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Old 09-23-2010, 08:47 PM
 
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I want to start a business serving foods, cab services and computer repairs/construction. It seems a lot, but I think there is a high demand for these products in my area.

Would all of this be too much for a start-up?
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:49 AM
 
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hey i personally feel starting a business that too in such a diversified fields (serving foods, cab services and computer repairs/construction) is not a wise decision. they are the unrelated fields,further initially i believe you should focus on one business which you can further diversify as per the requirement and your willingness.


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Old 09-24-2010, 06:53 AM
 
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Write a business plan. Go through all of the steps, do your research the right way. A good book is "The Successful Business Plan" (link to it here).

For a relatively simple business such as the ones you described, the end result should probably be around 35-40 pages of written strategy, estimations and predictions. I would also start with ONE of the areas you described, make it successful, and then think about another area. Do NOT use the same legal entity for all three of those areas. Think about it - if one of your cab drivers accidentally hits someone, do you want that person to be able to sue for assets from the cab service only, or for assets from all three businesses? Also, what would your customers think about a company that does all three? People like specialized companies (if a company only does one thing, they do it well) over the jack-of-all-trades types. Just do your due diligence. The book I posted is a good start. It is a couple hundred pages of questions like the few I posted, but doing the hard work now can save you a lot of pain later.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:51 AM
 
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Serving foods? What, like a waiter? That is a pretty thin business description.
Cab services - starting a cab company? or just being a cabbie?
Computer repairs/construction - you may be about ten years too late on that one.

My experience is that a business that you already have experience with works best. Frankly, business plans and focusing on a single idea ONLY make sense if the idea is an almost guaranteed success. Banks love them because they create a false sense of certitude, and figures they can chomp into - even if those figures are fake. Banks are good at fake figures, in case you haven't noticed.

When I started my business, I figured that the primary source of income would be delivering janitorial supplies and paper goods, I was flexible enough that when I saw the potential for a large income stream from a computer program, I shifted gears and developed it even as the other part of my business was dying away.

Many companies do this shifting, they just are much more ponderous in their moves. When was the last time you got a telegram from western union, or rode a wells fargo stagecoach?

Business plans help focus, and can keep you from going down a blind alley, but all they are are models with lots of fancy detail. They don't quantify drive, desire, or ability.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:11 AM
 
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Great advice above.

I can see where you can eventually blend some of the above business... though, keeping it all separate legally is an excellent idea.

If you start the cab service, offering service during only certain hours, you can do the computer repair and construction at home in between "runs". Eventually, when you have a more definite idea of how those two mesh, you can possibly add the third - utilizing your own cab service to deliver the food possibly.

Have separate business cards for each, btw. Each business name should be separate, though you can something in each name that ties them together, that would be clever.

When you're setting out your business plan, be realistic. While you think you can work 20 hours a day, you really can't. I'd do some research too - find a need within each of those services - what do people like/dislike most about the current services offered. What will you do differently from each of them, to set yourself apart? What will make people want YOUR cab, instead of another? Why use YOUR computer repair/construction company? What will set YOUR food delivery apart from the competition?

Don't answer those questions here - just think about them. Research, research, research.

In our field, we found that CHEAP was what the client said they wanted. Undercutting competition can get dicey. So, being cheaper isn't enough - and being too much cheaper not only sets off warning bells, but also defeats the purpose of working for ourselves. We found that what our clients really wanted was responsive service, work that didn't need to be "fixed" and a great attitude. They don't care that we don't know as much as our competition - we're honest about what we can and can't do. So they use us for 90% of the work, and we let them know when they'll need to hire the other guys.

Works for us.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:50 PM
 
Location: US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samston View Post
I want to start a business serving foods, cab services and computer repairs/construction. It seems a lot, but I think there is a high demand for these products in my area.

Would all of this be too much for a start-up?
Simple answer NO

It depends entirely upon the person starting up, but the simple answer is no, it's not too much for a start-up. Some people can do it and some people cannot.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Serving foods? What, like a waiter? That is a pretty thin business description.
Cab services - starting a cab company? or just being a cabbie?
Computer repairs/construction - you may be about ten years too late on that one.

Restaurants serving new foods in my area, door to door cab services, and bespoke (so to speak) computer construction, for the home user and small businesses.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:36 AM
 
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These need to be legally independent businesses.

Also, what makes you think there is demand for these three businesses in your area? The food industry is extremely competitive and most entrepreneurs do not survive, so what makes you think you will? I am not trying to make you a pessimist, but you do need to evaluate your goals from every possible angle.

What would make someone buy a computer from you rather than a major brand such as HP or Dell? Trust me, I understand you get superior computers by building them yourself or having someone custom build the PCs for you, but I imagine it will be hard to convince consumers. While you can provide superior computers, it is difficult to do for under $1,000 while the market offers $500 computers...albeit lousy computers, but the consumer generally does not understand the compromises that go into offering a brand new $500 PC. I build PCs for myself and several businesses but I would be very hesitant to try to turn it into a commercially viable solution considering the overall ignorance of the average consumer, and the marketing budgets of the big name brands.

And why do you want to start a cab company?

In no way am I saying these ventures may not be worthwhile, but I cannot urge you enough to thoroughly explore your actual market and its demographics. I would highly suggest you start one company at a time rather than all three at once. Entrepreneurship is difficult enough with a single company let alone three simultaneous operations. Take it slow and steady.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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The cab company wouldn't be a bog standard one, but would provide different services from those already in operation. Also, the food business would be serving different food than is available presently in my country. Demand for taxi services here is high, and we have a big fast food culture here, so i reckon they could be profitable.
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