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Old 08-05-2007, 11:57 PM
 
1,397 posts, read 4,304,533 times
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Hi everyone,
Me and my husband would like to start our own private business. But everybody are telling us that it is hard, we'll be burned out, and so on. Are there any people who are really satisfied with their own business and the way they work? Any regrets? All answers will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:27 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,433 posts, read 24,210,764 times
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It is hard. You will be burned out. Most startups fail.

But it's also darn near impossible to become wealthy working for someone else.

If you are successful, you'll love it.
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:41 AM
 
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So much will depend on what you will try to do. You must be able to fill a need that no one else has. It's hard work to start a business up. But many people do and are quite happy with it. Study or take classes on how to run a business, learn about profit and loss and payroll regulations.

If you don't know how to do simple bookkeeping, LEARN. Most businesses fail because no one has any idea about how to figure how much it is costing. They have the money in their hand and don't know how to figure how much they can keep and how much must go back into the business. Proper records are VERY important.

One solution is that one of the couple works and earns enough to keep the family going, while the other develops the business until it's going well enough to support them both. That mean that one person will be bearing a heavy load of twice the work or the other will be working two jobs. And worse of all, it may never get better. You may never be able to take a vacation from it.

Or you could make a fortune and retire early. But it MUST be something that fills a need for the public to be interested.
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:08 AM
 
1,214 posts, read 1,650,706 times
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Default It is hard....Often very hard..

The first thing you have to be sure of is that you do not easily frighten...Because if things go wrong (and they often do) you have to have the personalities to handle it...

The first thing is to make sure that you have something to sell...Be clear on what you are going to do, and if there is a market for it...A business plan helps, even just to write it for your own organization of ideas, steps that you are going to take, what is involved, how much will it cost (itemize this)....etc., etc...

Some people succeed right away, when they have the right product/service, network of contacts, the personalities to sell, sell, sell.....Because it is mostly about selling....

Make sure that you have enough capital...This is very important..It takes money to make money...And, by this I mean you have to be able to cover your overhead for a period of time - And, that period of time depends on your business (which would be blueprinted out for you in your business plan)...

Make sure you plan for obstacles...This can include your competition, your marketplace, the economy, even some of your own handicaps (such as physical handicaps with mobility, heavy work, vision, hearing...) that may interfere with your business. (Believe me, even with the wonderful technical tools that are available - A simple physical handicap is hard to overcome in running your own business.,..You realize then that it's a "handicap", not an "impairment").

Again, I point out the importance of not fearing problems and failures...Believe me, there can be times when you do not have $1 in your pocket, and your telephone, utilities or other bills will be due that day...Many people will break-down and quit at this point (or even much before it) - So, you must ask yourself if you can handle this situation?...And, how would you handle it?...Do you have the strength to live with this possibility, and not quit?

When you work for yourself, and things are working in your favor - It's fantastic!...But, you must then use that situation to prepare for the possibility that it will end (sometimes very unexpectedly and quickly from outside market forces)...So, you cannot relax in good times, you must plan further, for the long term...("No morning sun lasts all the day" is truer in today's business environment).

Last edited by migee; 08-06-2007 at 06:14 AM.. Reason: error - duplicate wording
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Weston, FL and Vero Beach, Fl
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We have a tech company and at this moment, I have some free time on my hands, which is rare. Of course, I worked all day at the office yesterday which was Sunday.

My husband and I started this business - I am the owner. Our business is primarily high end technical training, software development, smart home automation. We are very small.

We have had moderate success and that came from planning - I can not stress this enough. Also, my husband and I did this gradually before giving up our day jobs. There have been many weeks when didn't pay ourselves to ensure our employees got paid and their insurance paid. The sacrifice has been enormous, the good times have been great. What we have learned goes without saying.

Since I handle the business end of our business, the stress and worry has taken its toll. I think a different person, one with a tougher skin, would have handled it differently.

There are days when I regret we ever started this and there are days I couldn't think of doing anything else - in short, you have to be prepared for the good and the bad.

Again, plan, plan, plan. What is it that you want to do? We did something that we already had experience in and it has worked out for us.

Let me throw out something - and that is insurance. Last year, one of our customers basically said, if you want to continue providing your services to us, we will require you to carry ___ amount of insurance and ____ amount of such and such. We now have to carry insurance that exceeds $6k a year and this was an expense we hadn't budgeted. So, you alwyas have to be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure you have the means of paying your personal bills until you are up and running - which means at least 1 to 2 years of reserves. Some will say that is too much, no it isn't.

Good luck to you.

Last edited by jhlcomp; 08-06-2007 at 11:23 AM..
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:14 PM
 
1,397 posts, read 4,304,533 times
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Me and my husband want to open a diesel shop. There are going to be many new diesel cars coming from Europe to here, and with the gas prices high, we think that people would wanna drive diesels ( they'll be more popular ). Being that my husband is a Mechanical Engineer, he knows a lot about modern day diesels which many many people ( at least in our area ) don't and they don't do such stuff. Also, they don't do tunning of the diesel engines etc. Plus, my husband bought a "technology" ( for his diesel ) from Europe that provides even better diesel mileage and makes the car quicker. So, being that you can buy and do that only in Europe, and recently, in Canada ( unless you know how to do it yourself which is very difficult without very good tools and equipment ), I think that would be a good addition for our business. So, we think that would be something good to do...

We're still in planning process, and all of your advices help a lot too. A lot. But the thing of it is is that our family is always telling us "Why do you need that, you have a secure job...You can face with a lots of problems running your own business..." But, we're determined to do that.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:10 PM
 
7,099 posts, read 23,892,964 times
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You might want to check on it, but I think that at the present time Diesel fuel cost as much if not more than gas.

Diesels have always been unpopular in America. I think he would have to combine a diesel shop with regular engine repair in order to build up enough trade at first.

You are talking about long days. The usual shop, gas or diesel will be open 10-12 hours per day with at least 5 hours or more on Saturday. One thing about cars is that if they can't be driven to the shop, you have to be able to go get them. Don't forget to add that into your cost figures.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Weston, FL and Vero Beach, Fl
2,945 posts, read 11,937,729 times
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In adding to Padgett2, you might want to start on a business plan. It may be something you will never use, but the exercise of doing this makes you focus on your upfront expenses; i.e. cost of a shop, labor, insurance, dealing with compliance laws.

Take a look at this article - it says it all:
Own Your Own Garage from Monster Career Advice
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 606,356 times
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The fact that you even posted a question like this suggests to me that you are not ready to own your own business. If you have self doubts now and let other people's opinions sway your decision you are not ready.

You need to ask yourself some hard questions, such as, "why would we start our own business in the first place?" If the answer is that you are tired of working for someone else, you are not ready to own your own business. If the answer is that you can provide a service or product that has a clear point of difference to what is already being marketed in your area, and do it at a profit that equals what you bring home now or more, then you may have a chance.

If you do not have adequate capital (cash) to run the business for at least one year, including providing yourself a salary roughly equal to what you bring home now, then you are not ready to own your own business. And please, do not borrow the money unless you already have experience running a similar business successfully.

Everyone thinks owning their own business will solve all of their problems - it doesn't. It just creates a new and different set of problems.
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,433 posts, read 24,210,764 times
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I do understand what you are talking about! I drive a diesel bug and after the warranty expired I had it chipped and redone to eliminate the back pressure on the engine. Result....90mpg and way more pickup than a 90hp car should have. I love mine. However, I wonder if you are really ready for this. There's a whole network of diesel freaks that will do all this work for free plus the cost of parts. It doesn't have to cost much.

What Bullhead Broker said about money is very true!
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