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Old 04-13-2016, 05:42 PM
Location: Woodinville
3,185 posts, read 3,868,232 times
Reputation: 6266


Originally Posted by canadian citizen View Post
I buy live lobsters, over the phone from Nova Scotia, and have them flown to Toronto, by air freight, and sell them to catering companies, and large hotels. My average order is 200 to 400 pounds, and that is all ways pre sold. My mark up is 40 percent above what they cost me, including the actual product, insulated boxes and dry ice packs, plus air freight costs. A one and a half pound live lobster costs me anywhere from four to seven dollars, all in. My selling price is 40 percent above that. Prices vary every day, and the season is basically spring to late fall. In December there is a big export market to France, where lobster is a Christmas treat.

I never see the lobsters, the customers pick them up at Toronto airport, and take them away. I am paid on the day after the delivery by bank transfer, and I also pay my suppliers in Nova Scotia, and Air Canada the same way. No chasing after payment....and the bank's monthly statement is a record of the business activity. I hand that and my out of pocket expenses to my accountant, monthly.

Been doing this for over 10 years.

JiM B.
This is pretty interesting. Do you need any sort of license to be doing this?

Let me reword the question. All these little hobbies and side hustles are interesting. If you're making any decent money do you need to have licensing or other things like that in place?
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:25 AM
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,057,246 times
Reputation: 6721
Remember that I am in Canada, so my situation is unique to our laws. Things in the US may vary.

I live in the Province of Ontario, where I am a sole proprietor with a Ontario tax number and a HST tax number. That means that I don't pay tax on the things that I buy, that is passed along to the end customer. It also allows me to take a tax deduction on everything that I buy that is used in the course of making a living. Such as maintaining a office in my home, liability insurance, personal disability insurance, accounting and tax preparation services, computer upgrades, telephone services, and office supplies.

I file two tax returns, one for my business, and one for me as a individual. I have to do that as a I am a senior citizen, who receives a number of pensions. One from the Canadian Forces for 30 years of military service. I also receive the Canada Pension, which I paid into from 1964, when it first started, to 2004, it is a combination of employer contribution and a equal personal contribution, each payday, based on what you earned in that pay period. In 2004 I officially retired and started collecting it. I also get the standard Old Age Pension that all Canadians are entitled to get after age 65.

This is a full time business, for about 9 months of the year.

I also own a company that does metal refinishing, using a dry blasting technique, for removing all the paint on a car, before repainting it. It uses crushed glass beads, mixed with water, under high pressure air, to blast the paint off. I employ two men, who I can keep busy year round. We can also do graffiti removal, and boat hull cleaning. It is a non toxic process that uses a recycled product, crushed bottle glass, that is cheap buy at $10 a 50 pound bag. The big expense is the portable air compressor. It has to be a industrial power unit, to deliver the cfm that the blaster requires.

Doing a paint removal on a performance or antique car , costs the customer around one thousand dollars, but it is done in an hour. Compare that to the old fashioned methods, that take days , and don't deliver the results that our system does. It removes all of the paint rust and plastic body filler, right down to the bare metal, them we spray it with a rust stop spray, and it is ready for the primer coat, in about two hours. A 40 foot sail boat takes about 3 days with two machines and two men, for a cost of about $6000 to the customer. For that we remove all of the hull paint .

I pay my employees $25 an hour plus full benefits. Obviously that is a tax deduction for the blasting company, along with the costs of my two trucks and two air compressors, and supplies, vehicle insurance, worker's compensation premiums and liability insurance. And bi weekly tax payments to the Province of Ontario, for my corporate taxes.

It is enough to keep me busy.

JiM B.

Last edited by canadian citizen; 04-14-2016 at 07:36 AM..
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:38 PM
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
24,149 posts, read 13,668,407 times
Reputation: 11363
Thanks for your detailed response!
Your paint removal business also sounds very interesting and lucrative as well!
Definitely motivating to hear about these types of businesses.
It's funny that they call the pension an "Old Age Pension" seems kind of politically correct these days!
But I guess it's kind of like how they have the United Negro College Fund even though Negro is politically incorrect these days..but they kept the name for historical purposes.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:13 PM
779 posts, read 2,964,084 times
Reputation: 623
Eight (8) years from the end of this year every Baby Boomer (those born between 1946-1964) will be age 60 or older. (April 2014) Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that there are 76.4 million baby boomers.)

There are many who were born before 1949.

With that said, why not take advantage of the opportunity to help with things that might be harder to do as one ages....as side hustles.

  • Mobile Laundry Service. - Trend home laundry pickup & delivery services springing up each year.
  • Auto detail mobile car-washing biz- get clients in bunches at office parks, shopping malls, schools, sporting events, and other places where cars like to gather.
  • Snow Removal
  • Rototilling
  • House Cleaning
  • Window Cleaning Service
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Landscaping Mowing lawns gardener/tree branch remover,weed whacking, clean flower beds, turn compost, plant and/or water plants.
  • Rake leaves
  • Clean gutters
  • Roof cleaning
  • Junk Removal Service. Clean out garage basement or attic and haul off.
  • Moving Service
  • "Trashouts" for places like the "We Buy Ugly Homes" HomeVestors (Call the main office and offer to clean out for free if you can have the junk to sell! Make sure you are NOT just talking to a Realtor there (ask if they are a Realtor!) .....as some Realtors have said they get paid to hire someone to clean them but instead the Realtor lets someone keep the junk if they will clean and the Realtor pocketed the money that was to be paid to the person doing the work. )
  • Chimney cleaning
  • Pool Cleaning Service.
  • Office Cleaning
  • Painting - houses, walls, gates or street numbers It is important to have street numbers plainly visible where emergency workers can locate a home quickly when time is of the essence. It takes only minutes to paint (florescent paint) and one can do several homes on a block.

  • Handyman
  • Personal chef/meal delivery
  • Set up computer
  • Computer training and be on call to answer questions
  • Research on line for best prices (example if they need a new washer)
  • Clean off old computer and haul off
  • Vacuuming since they might not be able to lift to vacuum under
  • Errands - clean closets and haul items to consignment, Driving them to appts, changing light bulbs, handling their bill paying and other details.
  • Manicures, pedicures, hair stylist skin products in home
  • Massage Therapist, house visits if certified.
  • Respite care- to allow caregiver time off.
  • Caregiving business continues to grow as the population ages.

Last edited by OneDayAttaTime; 04-14-2016 at 04:47 PM.. Reason: adding a few more....
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:45 PM
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,057,246 times
Reputation: 6721
JM 1982.

Thanks for the kind words.....

The lobster business grossed $145,000 last year, net $110,000. The blasting business grossed $457,000, last year and netted $309,000. All of the equipment is paid for, and the running costs are actually not that much. The initial investment was about $35,000, for a used pick up truck, a used 24 four foot flat bed trailer, a ex rental company ( Home Depot ) used diesel compressor, a used 100 gallon water tank, and the actual blaster and 100 feet of hose. The most expensive item was the blaster, which at the time I bought it, was not available as a used unit. That small original unit cost me $9,000. It was the smallest unit that the company made, at that time.

My two current blaster units cost $19,000 each, plus the compressors, and the flat bed trailers. About $40,000 per complete unit. Having the units on trailers allows us to go to any location, and do the work at the customer's location. When we do a car, we can do it in the drive way of the customer's home. The process , unlike sand blasting, leaves no residue, except the glass crystals, which we vacuum up with a shop vac. The water comes out of the blaster nozzle as a mist, and dries within a few minutes. We lay down a plastic trap, and that's all.

The largest job we have ever done was 4 ex Toronto Transit Commission street cars, that had been bought by an amusement park, to be converted into a café and ice cream shop, with the street cars arranged in a open square configuration. We blasted all 4 of them over the course of 2 weeks. We could have done it sooner, but each one had to be hoisted into it's final position, by a crane, which delayed our work schedule. We blasted both the outside and the insides, to remove all the paint, insulation, rust and dirt. First we had to mask the windows, then blast each car, which are 80 feet long and 12 feet high. The seats had been removed first.

I should point out that in the summer I hire two University student helpers, who work with my full time employees. They are paid $15 an hour for a 40 hour week with over time at time and a half. I have had the same two young guys for the past 3 years. They call me in April to see when I want them to start working. My full time guys get 5 weeks of paid vacation per year, two weeks in the Christmas/ New Years period, a week in the spring, and two weeks in the fall for the hunting season. We don't normally work week ends, nor statuary holidays. I trust my guys to work with out supervision.

I am 70 now, and the two business operations are separate, and a lot of it I can do on the phone. The lobster thing I don't advertise at all. It is strictly "word of mouth " between the hotel chefs and the banquet hall owners. The blasting service I do advertise, but quite a bit of my car blasting jobs come from the two car shows that I do in the winter in the Toronto area. I do actual demos, at the car shows, and that sells the service better than any kind of advertising. Car guys who see the way that the equipment works, and how the metal surface is afterwards, are sold. I take orders at the shows, and fill up the next 4 months with jobs on cars.

This winter, I also did the Toronto Boat Show, and got some big jobs. The problem with that is the boats are all over the Province, at marinas, on cradles. so we have to travel to the location. With the car jobs, they tend to be in the city, or the suburbs.

It keeps me young.

Jim B.
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:50 PM
16,484 posts, read 17,501,756 times
Reputation: 23531
Rentals for one

I also do construction consulting with home or business owners who don't know what the contractor is saying and need someone in their side. Btw I despise crooked contractors. I tend to get really annoyed when I see one screwing a client.

On a rare occasion a friend or a friend if a friend needs some electrical I help them out.

I used to buy broken jet skis and refurbish them and resell them. Used to do a lot of 440/550 stand ups and sit down Yamaha and Kawasaki 900/1100/1200 two strokes. I didn't do too many Polaris or Suzuki. Too slow selling IMO.

A buddy and I started a boat dismantling business but that didn't work out for various reasons
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:31 AM
2,745 posts, read 1,404,970 times
Reputation: 3093
Canadian those businesses sound great...but I don't know if I'd call water-glass blasting entirely non-toxic...
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:37 AM
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,057,246 times
Reputation: 6721
I have to ask you.....water, and recycled glass, with a rust inhibiter. The rust inhibiter is mixed in with a ratio of one part inhibiter, to 100 parts of water. The water comes out as a mist and evaporates within two minutes. The glass crystals drop to the ground, and are vacuumed up at the end of the job, to be filtered and used over again.

What part of that is toxic?

Jim B.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:44 AM
2,745 posts, read 1,404,970 times
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it's glass dust man!
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:57 AM
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 7,311,669 times
Reputation: 6650
I manage four websites: Sell automotive related, supplements, adult hobby related and started a publishing company this year.
Plus the usual auction and vendor sites like Amazon. Not much time left in the day for anything else unfortunately.

Started doing the Ebay reselling nearly twenty years ago and realized it was possible to make money on subjects one knew about.
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