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Old 03-30-2012, 07:15 PM
 
624 posts, read 949,771 times
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what are some of the ways to find profitable businesses? I'd like to (err... I dream of) own a business and am looking for information on profitability of a given business.

Any info you all could provide will be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:06 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
26,166 posts, read 43,916,783 times
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How much you got to spend? $1 million, $10 million?

There are a lot of reports / articles on this subject. SBA publishes some good summaries from their clients. The most stable and profitable of the franchises is Subway. (One of the least is Quizmos, so it is not just a sector issue)

I use this service as one of many sources for your information request:
Industry Financial Ratios: financial ratios, industry ratios, industry balance sheet, industry profit & loss, industry financial analysis, financial benchmarks by BizMiner
Free Business Statistics, Financial Ratios and Industry Statistics by BizStats
RMA data from Library.


The Most Profitable Small Businesses - Forbes.com
Orthodontists (the wrecking yard of healthcare) is one of the more profitable of professional services... and to think they make a living on inflicting PAIN!!! Just think of the cash flows... They are largely private pay, they assure you PAY UP FRONT.

Anything with low barrier to entry and potential for 'e-commerce' erosion of clients / sales is a very BAD thing at the moment. You can't win by dropping prices.

Example #2.... Capital and carrying costs... (2 friends leave employment to start 2 businesses)
Friend (1) started an engineering service company... leased computers, contract employees, low overhead, cash up front from clients.
Friend (2) started a tool shop to support such businesses as #1 and other large companies... HIGH capital and overhead (employees and equipment). High taxes (personal property / B&O / L&I UI...) due to assets and risks required to support the business. Very long accounts receivables (90 days +). Very high carrying costs (projects take 6 months to complete). Very high Maint costs, very high insurance rates, very high utility rates.
Both businesses grow to 7 employees and plateau.


20 yrs later... company #1 has been sold 2x (owners retired early to start new firms) and employs ~ 100 people on 3 continents. Good health and growth.

Company #2 is very solid and has good reputation, but has had to lay off 3 employees, owner is back on the floor working, tax bills come every qtr for machines that sat idle during recession. Owner is happy but very tired. Machines are getting tired too. Employees are VERY hard to find (Since there is no (little) technical training and apprenticeships in last 15 yrs in USA.)

Next 20 yrs ??? you figure it out AND BE CAREFUL which business you buy.. Profit is not what it may seem.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 03-30-2012 at 10:23 PM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:03 AM
 
4,761 posts, read 12,069,147 times
Reputation: 7899
Search google.com for the following words...

most profitable small businesses
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:39 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
33,087 posts, read 60,089,538 times
Reputation: 36552
data shows that over 50% of all new small businesses failing within 6 months to a year. Having been a small business owner for 16 years and now in commercial real estate I can give a few reasons for it. First, people that fall for the franchisers saying that "anyone can do it". You pay your $80,000 or more and buy your equipment/supplies/products from them, then royalties, and find that getting people to come in the door and pay you is not so easy.

Second is being under-funded. You really need enough cash on hand to meet you personal and business expenses for 6 months with no profit before you should consider starting a business, more if you are buying an existing one and financing it.

Third is location. You have to do the research and avoid areas with a lack of potential customers, or where there is plenty of well established competition.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Full time RV"er
2,403 posts, read 6,002,509 times
Reputation: 1493
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV View Post
what are some of the ways to find profitable businesses? I'd like to (err... I dream of) own a business and am looking for information on profitability of a given business.

Any info you all could provide will be appreciated. Thanks.
How big of a business ?, and are you thinking of a hands on ( doing some of the work your self ?) , what type of past employment are you experanced in ? How much money are you looking to invest in the business, and Before you ask, the answer is no i am not going to try to sell you anything.

Last edited by Fighter 1; 03-31-2012 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:15 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,168 posts, read 67,984,889 times
Reputation: 36999
If you're looking to BUY a business then the LAST thing you want is one that is profitable.
You want one that should be or used to be and with some effort and the expertise YOU HAVE...
can be made to once again be profitable.

The important lesson being to NEVER own a business where you can't answer
the sorts of questions that this sort of thread is attempting to ask.

hth
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:09 AM
 
Location: East Side Milwaukee
711 posts, read 1,514,697 times
Reputation: 447
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Y_2010.svg.png
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:45 AM
 
10 posts, read 21,632 times
Reputation: 14
Start your business on ebey first, ebay tell you a lot of information about what earns big.
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