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View Poll Results: You have 50k available in home equity for a business start-up...what would you do?
Service industry (genereal contractor,painting,windows,insulation etc) 29 39.19%
Self-storage industry 12 16.22%
Food/restaurant/bar 6 8.11%
Retail 1 1.35%
Buy an existing business with some cash flow 20 27.03%
Buy into a franchise 6 8.11%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 12:53 PM   #1
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If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

I have 50k available to me, and I've been ponderin a business start-up for a year or so. Most is int he form of home equity, some is credit cards (i could pull abotu 10k interest free for life-Discover)

I could ge tmore financing if it is needed for RE, either a building or land.

You see soem of my ideas, but I have yet to narrow it down much. My goal is to gross 30-35k in the beginning, and grow from there. I could scrape by though on maybe 28k for a year or so. The ultimate goal is to be self-employed and in charge of my own time. My current benefits suck baaad,so losing them sint a worry.


What ideas do you guys have? I'm sure there's more than I put int he poll.

Any links to forums or pages abotu these ideas would be super too. Thanks

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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 12:56 PM   #2
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

If I were you, I would refine what specific business opportunity I would be pursuing, then write up a formal business plan and make sure it is feasible. After that, I would think about the financing.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 12:58 PM   #3
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
If I were you, I would refine what specific business opportunity I would be pursuing, then write up a formal business plan and make sure it is feasible. After that, I would think about the financing.
Riiight. BUT, I have the money available, and that's about the most I'd feel comfortable in using....unless it was RE of course.

I have yet to come up with a business plan that seems profitable enough to implement, and thus I'm asking for opinions.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
Riiight. BUT, I have the money available, and that's about the most I'd feel comfortable in using....unless it was RE of course.

I have yet to come up with a business plan that seems profitable enough to implement, and thus I'm asking for opinions.

Let me get this straight. You have access to about 50k, some of which would be borrowed from credit cards (alarm bells going off in the background) and some of which would be a loan against your home (hurricane siren powering up...). You don't really have a clear idea of what you might want to do, but you'd like to be self employed and all of this to-be-borrowed money is burning a hole in your pocket. Right....

What I am saying is simply this: once you spend the money, it is gone. You cannot do a $7 trade and sell of a chunk of your small business any time you like. Therefore, be very careful with your precious capital. Think long and had before committing it and make sure you have done your due diligence and planned as best you can.

Here is a nice link on franchises: http://www.franchise-consultation.co...franchise.html

I have always been tempted by a Rita's Ice franchise, but I don't have time to do it myself. I have half-jokingly floated the idea with family, with mixed reactions. I think if my sister and BIL move close to us, I would seriously start talking about going in on a franchise with them and my parents.


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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 01:15 PM   #5
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

I live in NY at this point and looking forward to moving to Fla. in a year or so.

In N.Y. Ralph's Ices is a very popular place to buy different types of ices. It'
s a franchise with many stores and they all seem to do well. It's seasonal here in NY, and I often wonderded why there's no Ice places in Fla.

I think it would be a great start up business with very little out lay to get started.

Just a thought.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 01:31 PM   #6
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345

Let me get this straight. You have access to about 50k, some of which would be borrowed from credit cards (alarm bells going off in the background) and some of which would be a loan against your home (hurricane siren powering up...). You don't really have a clear idea of what you might want to do, but you'd like to be self employed and all of this to-be-borrowed money is burning a hole in your pocket. Right....

What I am saying is simply this: once you spend the money, it is gone. You cannot do a $7 trade and sell of a chunk of your small business any time you like. Therefore, be very careful with your precious capital. Think long and had before committing it and make sure you have done your due diligence and planned as best you can.

Here is a nice link on franchises: http://www.franchise-consultation.co...franchise.html

I have always been tempted by a Rita's Ice franchise, but I don't have time to do it myself. I have half-jokingly floated the idea with family, with mixed reactions. I think if my sister and BIL move close to us, I would seriously start talking about going in on a franchise with them and my parents.
guess you've never had a real entreprenuerial spirit burnign inside of you. if you did, you'd understand where im coming from. ive crunched number and toyed with ideas for maybe 30 businesses of the last few years. im in no hurry, but i know running my own business is my calling. i've built up, run, and sold 2 companies so far...but neither was as successful as i wished (one was painting bus,one was a website)

I'm just lookign for ideas, plain and simple.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 01:40 PM   #7
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

I spent 18 years at Mega Corp and got the biz bug. Bought a printing franchise back in the early 90's. Learned alot including the challenges of managing low wage employees.
Key lesson I learned was you will get a lot more your bucks to find someone who is doing what you want but wants to get out.* Often their biz is not doing well and all they want to do it to get it off their back.* There are also may small priorprietorships where the owner has no heirs and see's no way to get his money out.* These owners often can provide some valuable transition as well as under-developed enterprises.* My FIL is in this category and would never take any advise from family but if someone walked up to him and started to talk with him about buying his biz, he would be real excited.
Good luck and be sure you do lots of due diligence, especialy with the franchises (Most are in business to sell you franchises not make you successful)
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 01:41 PM   #8
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Well, *if it was me (and it is me - *I own a business - think often of owning another one for a while) *

I would focus on only two things, what I know, or what I have a burning passion to accomplish - I even hope the two might somewhere overlap.

That sounds sort of old fashioned or naive, I guess, but since construction, real estate and development are what I know I can't imagine starting a web based business or a retail store or franchise.

I wouldn't want to "buy into" anything where my $50k was going to expensive equipment costs or franchise fees with questionable returns.

But then I'm a cheapskate.

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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 01:43 PM   #9
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
guess you've never had a real entreprenuerial spirit burnign inside of you. if you did, you'd understand where im coming from. ive crunched number and toyed with ideas* for maybe 30 businesses of the last few years. im in no hurry, but i know running my own business is my calling.* i've built up, run, and sold 2 companies so far...but neither was as successful as i wished (one was painting bus,one was a website)

I'm just lookign for ideas, plain and simple.
Nope, that must skip a generation, since Dad is an entrepreneur and I am not. *Probably also a risk preference thing going on, too.

I think there are lots of things out there that could be made into a business, but a lot of it depends on your skills and abilities. *I could easily do a tax prep franchise, but I'd be a hopeless failure at anything mechanical.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 02:06 PM   #10
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Well, assuming you have the skills, construction/maintenance-type businesses have a relatively low barrier to entry, and, judging from the caliber of various contractors/subs with whom I've had the pleasure to deal, the field is WIDE open for someone who returns calls, shows up on time, and does quality work.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 02:10 PM   #11
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

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Originally Posted by Have Funds, Will Retire
Well, assuming you have the skills, construction/maintenance-type businesses have a relatively low barrier to entry, and, judging from the caliber of various contractors/subs with whom I've had the pleasure to deal, the field is WIDE open for someone who returns calls, shows up on time, and does quality work.
agreed. although i'd rather avoid that field if possible. I'm still trying to decide exactly waht part of the industry serves me best. painting/drywall was a little harder to get goign because its somethign a lot of homeowners can/will do for themselves....
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 02:35 PM   #12
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

I am sitting here in my office right now getting ready to send a client of mine who wants to start a small business a publication from the state of Minnesota entitled A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota. It is available from the state for free. It has sections on forms of business organization, regulatory considerations, accounting, loans, employment issues, taxes and available sources of information. If you can make your way through this guide, you might be up for starting a business.

Also, our local university has the Center for Education and Economic Development. This entity assists people who are interested in starting small businesses. It helps them determine whether there is a market and helps with business plans.

You might look into similar rescources in your area.

My personal opinion? Stay away from bars, restaurants and retail unless you go the proven franchise route.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 02:58 PM   #13
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
I have 50k available to me, and I've been ponderin a business start-up for a year or so.* Most is int he form of home equity, some is credit cards (i could pull abotu 10k interest free for life-Discover)

I could ge tmore financing if it is needed for RE, either a building or land.

You see soem of my ideas, but I have yet to narrow it down much.* My goal is to gross 30-35k in the beginning, and grow from there. I could scrape by though on maybe 28k for a year or so.* The ultimate goal is to be self-employed and in charge of my own time.* My current benefits suck* baaad,so losing them sint a worry.


What ideas do you guys have? I'm sure there's more than I put int he poll.

Any links to forums or pages abotu these ideas would be super too. Thanks

I'm going to go out on a limb, but judging by the way you write, you don't have an eye for detail. To be successfully self-employed, you need to pay attention to the details. Sure you can make a living just doing an average job, but you won't get to the next level or be able to charge more for just average work. Sloppy writing and sloppy work go hand in hand.

You are probably the type that rushes through something or gets it done by cramming at the very end. That won't work either in the long-term.

Spend a few hours (or days) researching what you want to do, and then only do it if you are good at it. There's a big difference between all the items you listed in your poll. I'm not a big fan of franchises, but it may be your last resort.

And when you think you've figured everything out, go see a lawyer and a CPA before you implement your plan and start spending your borrowed money.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 03:15 PM   #14
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
Riiight. BUT, I have the money available, and that's about the most I'd feel comfortable in using....unless it was RE of course.

I have yet to come up with a business plan that seems profitable enough to implement, and thus I'm asking for opinions.
I think Brewer's point is that writing a business plan will force you to take a diligent look at your idea. *If you can't write a business plan that would persuade a bank to cough up some cash, then it's probably a big risk to your own money.

I second the construction business, especially electrical & plumbing. *Carpentry seems wide open too. *Several of our dojang's tae kwon do parents own those businesses, and they're working 60-80 hour weeks. *The carpenter tells me that he used to cost out a job, add his "normal" profit, and then tack on 25%. *He's still swamped with job offers so he's now tacking on 35% and he's STILL not back to a "normal" workweek. *

We've learned most of our home improvement skills in the process of not finding a contractor, which leads me to a second recommendation-- home handyman. *It's astounding how a relatively new neighborhood will have most of its faucets start dripping in the fifth year, the appliances go bad in a little later (roughly years 10-12), followed by all of its water heaters (years 15-20). *I regularly see ads in our community newsletter from a guy who works full time cleaning dryer exhaust ducts. *(His ad shows a dryer going up in flames.) *Plenty of people have neither the time nor the interest in fixing these minor maintenance problems and they'd be delighted to pay you $50-$60/hour to fix it for them. *

NWSteve, you're still in the printing business? *We get two community newsletters that used to be bare-bones Word documents with address labels & first-class stamps slapped on them. *Some entrepreneur has been persuading these community associations to let them publish full-color glossy eight-page pamphlets with advertising. *The CA pretty much e-mails their calendars, schedules, & input as Word files to the publisher, who adds a couple boilerplate articles ("Be a good neighbor" stuff) and crams the newsletters with advertising before bulk-mailing them to our mailbox. *It's the same professional publishing quality as Business Week and it looks a lot better than the local newspapers. *You only realize what's going on when you get newsletters from two different CAs that share 95% of the same content. *I'm sure that once this publisher works through the island's hundreds of CAs they'll go after the non-profit newsletters and the rest of the clubs/associations.

Personally if I had $50K I'd put it in a money-market account and start looking at rental real estate. *Oh, wait, we're already doing that... although it may be a decade before this bubble deflates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by retire@40
I'm going to go out on a limb, but judging by the way you write, you don't have an eye for detail.
Yeah, you sure are going out on that limb. (In a pretty patronizing manner, too, IMHO.) I don't think it's possible to judge the quality of a person's business-management skills by the way they pound an English keyboard. (I'm glad I'm not judged by my sloppy handwriting!) All of those skills you perceive as lacking can be found by working with other partners/employees or, as you've mentioned, lawyers & CPAs.

So who the heck are you to judge? If Fred Smith had listened to his business prof or to your critique then he never would have started FedEx. (I wouldn't necessarily have had the cojones to go to Vegas to make my payroll, either, but I can't argue with his results.) And Kiyosaki's first book about American school systems fell flat on its face, but he sure recovered when he hooked up with Lechter et al. Frank Lloyd Wright was notorious for an entire career of last-minute cramming & sloppy details. If thefed is willing to take the risk then he'll figure out how to work the business... maybe not on the first try and certainly not without some pain, but he'll learn.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 03:28 PM   #15
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Great replies. I appreciate all of the input. Agreed, my typing is dismal, as I AM usually in a hurry when typing here, as I am at work right now! LOL

It's funny you mentioned dryer vent cleaning. I have in the past, and again more recently, looked into starting a duct cleaning business. Basically getting in the door with a loss-leader, and selling more services if possible (filters,decontamination,carpet cleaning,hepa filters etc). I knew a guy who did this in the past, and was quite successful. And he wASNT a good business man.

Has anyone here ever had their ducts cleaned? If so, tell me hwo it went, if you enjoyed the service, if you'd reccommend it to anyone, how much it cost, setc.

Thanks
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 03:32 PM   #16
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Was surprised real estate is not on the list. 50k leverage (20% down) could launch you into a muti-family or commercial-residential mix.

No business plan needed. Handy-man skills a plus.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 03:36 PM   #17
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
Has anyone here ever had their ducts cleaned? If so, tell me hwo it went, if you enjoyed the service, if you'd reccommend it to anyone, how much it cost, setc.
Think this has been discussed at length here:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=3568.0

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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 03:36 PM   #18
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Quote:
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Has anyone here ever had their ducts cleaned? I
Thanks
I am not sure I am willing to share such personal information on this board.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 03:52 PM   #19
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Think this has been discussed at length here:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=3568.0

lmao....very funny.
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?
Old 11-07-2005, 04:49 PM   #20
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Re: If you had $50k to start a business, what would it be?

thefed
another idea for a start up business, related to your previous experience in dry wall/painting would be real estate rental management. Now in some states you'd need to have a real estate license, maybe even a broker's license, that requirement would be state specific. If that's a hurdle, you'd need to associate with a broker.
Once that's figured out, property owners, even those who have been in active management, get tired of the midnight calls, dealing with repairs, etc.
Start small, idea is to get to one property owner with a number of properties and expand from that base.
You'd have many bosses, many headaches, but once in place the business would generate cash flow on a regular basis.
Good luck.
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