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How hard is it to start a small business and retail business? Want some ideas.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by MissouriGlock, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. MissouriGlock

    MissouriGlock

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    So I have a college degree in business and management and have taken some graduate level classes. However, I moved to FL a couple years ago and most of the economy down here is service based and I can't find a career full-time job so I'm stuck working retail. Many in my area of the west coast work two jobs because of the cost of living and mostly service based work around here.

    I got a lot of student loans too so I want to start making money and a career. I've worked mostly in the service industry my whole life so I'm familiar with how retail works.

    Anyway, I was thinking how much would it cost for a small retail shop? I was thinking of one idea was a small shop that sold quality cell phone cases because it's mostly just the big box stores that sell them unless you want the cheap junk that is sold at the mall kiosk. I thought about that but mall rent can be expensive. I know the markup on the brand name cases is quite high though. I reached out to a few of the manufacturers about how much in orders they require to be a dealer but I get generic canned replies back to fill out web form for my business address and name even though I don't have a business!

    I've also thought about a small shop that sells beach and outdoor wear like sunglass and hats and brand name sun glasses with high markups because in my town there is hardly anywhere to buy quality sun glasses in my touristy town other than one Sunglass hut kiosk at the mall. otherwise you have to drive up to Sarasota or 30 miles south to get to a mall that sells quality stuff.

    Finally, I was thinking about a cheaper alternative and started something more web and service based. I was thinking of a service to offer where I simply search for jobs for people all day via the internet and on the web since that is where a lot of jobs are now posted and then I send the client links and detailed report of the job posting. Similar to head hunter, but for the common worker and much cheaper too. I knew a guy at my old job who was looking for a better job and paid someone like this who would search for jobs for them and then email them to him. Saves a ton of time because it can take hours searching on the internet and all the job sites for jobs. Very time consuming especially if you're already working and want a better job. Main expense would be advertising and paying someone to design a flashy website.

    Also what about cleaning but office and commercial cleaning for offices and businesses? I'm good at cleaning from my current job and don't mind cleaning floors and the crappers.
     
  2. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

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    How far along is your business plan?

    How much working capital do you have?

    How long can you go personally without making any money or more likely losing money?
     

  3. OGW

    OGW NRA, SAF

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    First off, pay off your debts. As Dana mentioned, figure out how much capital you'll need, then multiply it by five or so. It's highly unlikely you'll make money for a good while.

    Personally, I'd accumulate experience in whatever field you want to be in on someone else's payroll.

    The failure rate for new businesses is huge.
     
  4. XDRoX

    XDRoX

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    Welcome to the forum and good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    My only advice is if I was going to start my own business I would try to find something no one else is currently doing. Which would be hard.

    Or if you want to be your own boss I'd just get loan from the bank and open a Starbucks. As long as your at least 12 feet from a current Starbucks you're bound to do well. :D

    But seriously, have you considered opening a restaurant chain like McDonalds or Starbucks? I hardy ever see them go out of business. I see mom and pop stores and small stores go under all the time.
     
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  5. WT

    WT Millennium Member

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    Quality has a price. If people are working 2 jobs to survive, I think high priced quality items may not be in their list of priorities.

    Cleaning services? You would probably have to hire illegals and avoid many tax requirements to compete in Florida. Very risky.

    As noted, assume the first year you will not break even and the business might not even survive that long.

    Permits, insurance, accounting ... lots of things involved in a new business.
     
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  6. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

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    Are Starbucks franchises or corporate?

    But even a bank loan for a franchise requires a business plan.
     
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  7. r3dot

    r3dot

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    Those sound like failed businesses.
     
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  8. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

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    MissouriGlock...

    Dont take what I say as "dont do it".

    Take what I say as cautionary. Get you ducks in a row.

    Also know, if you own a business, you wont be working 40 hour weeks. Or 60 hour weeks. Probably 80 or 100 or more, especially at first.

    Have you managed people? That is not easy to do.

    What do you do as a small business when you are out with your SO after having worked 3 weeks without a day off (80 hour weeks). You get a few hours off. And you employee calls you because they have some excuse why they can't make it into work?
     
  9. MissouriGlock

    MissouriGlock

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    I personally have about 22k in my checking account. I live at home and have my parents pay my health insurance, car insurance. All I pay is my credit card bills each month. If I got a second job I could probably have 35-40k in my checking account this time next year.

    My parents won't take out a loan on their house or give me money for a business though which ticks me off. I know other people got started off from personal loans for small businesses or had their parents just buy it for them.

    Someone suggested lawn cutting and charging cheaper by undercutting those lawn cutting businesses you see mostly Mexicans doing it and doing it smaller scale but then again I want the quality and best equipment to use for my business.

    Here in Florida I see a lot of small retail businesses only lasting a year though.

    This is what sucks because I think the market where I lived in St. Louis was much better for retail. Like I love the Blues and Cardinals and up there we have small businesses that sell sports jerseys and they make good money. Down here where people are not big local sports fans a shop wouldn't last like that.
     
  10. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    Just the first part - the economy is down so I can't find a good job, I think I will start a retail business sounds like a BAD idea.

    What is keeping you in FL? Go to where the economy is better. At least find a business where there is a need. Don't dump your time into an idea you think might be good.
     
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  11. MissouriGlock

    MissouriGlock

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    McDonalds you have to be a millionaire literally to be able to buy a franchise. Of course ideal would be a gun range and shop but I've worked in them and help ran them before and know the high cost involved. Just the ventilation system isn't cheap.
     
  12. BradD

    BradD

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    Imagine how many of those items you'd have to sell just to pay the rent, etc. Here's an example: I thought about starting a tree farm years ago. I did some research and found that the seedlings were only selling for $1-2 each. The math is pretty easy on how many one would have to sell to gross $100k, let alone fund the operation and have something to take home. Forget it.

    If I wanted any of those items, I'd order them online in 15 min. and wait for FedEx or UPS to deliver them to me. I would have a LOT better selection online, also. I bought a $150 MSRP G-shock watch for Christmas. There's about a million models of those, and I was able to pinpoint the EXACT features I wanted online, and found one for $99. Delivered to my door in a couple of days. I looked at the selection of watches in town and couldn't find one that was close to what I wanted.
     
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  13. MissouriGlock

    MissouriGlock

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    Problem is here in Florida it's mostly old people, especially the West coast and the big cities are getting VERY expensive and rent just too high.
     
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  14. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    *You're going to have a tough time of it.
     
  15. MissouriGlock

    MissouriGlock

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    I think my problem is location. I live on the West Coast of Florida which is a tourist trap. I'm from St. Louis MO which is quite different. Those shops up there in the malls and kiosk who sell accessories do pretty well up there and stay in business. I mean the small business ones, not the corporate cell shops. Younger population and in my area of FL with older people they're not buying new phones twice a year.
     
  16. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    Then cater to the old people. Start a business taking them to doctors, getting prescriptions, delivering food, check in on them for their children in other states, etc. Maybe setting up activities for them and arranging transportation. I assume most of the old people in FL have money so that is a good place to start when looking for customers.
     
  17. holyjohnson

    holyjohnson

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    there is a reason retail is in chaos right now.
    unless you can think of a retail business that no one else does brick and mortar or on the web,you`ll find it very hard.
    harder with debt already.
    you`r better off in a service Ind. but YMMV and i would`nt tell you not to but i`d say settle you`r debt and have twice as much capital as you think you`ll need,have trustworthy people to work with and don`t expect to work less then 80 HR/WKs
    make sure you have a reasonable lease without unreasonable penalty for breaking and do car counts.
    save every penny for taxes and don`t expect to make a profit for the first 5 years or not to lose money for the first 2 years.
    try to find investors or partners you can trust and work with.
    good luck.
     
  18. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    I buy my cases on Amazon for $10 and have been very happy with them. You could also cater to the tourists, find a niche others are not addressing. Take a vacation to an area you don't know and see what you would like it to have.
     
  19. MissouriGlock

    MissouriGlock

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    I think my parents should just give me some money or take loans out then to HELP me. I have a relative who took a loan out to buy a small retail shop that was a successful business but she bought it and wouldn't stay open late and market her business and she closed it up within a year and had to owe 100k loan on it. She'd rather be on facebook and closing shop early to go out with friends from what I heard.
     
  20. Hines57

    Hines57 Simple Member

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    College grad, living at home, they pay your bills, you're mad they won't front you money to start a business.

    Seems obvious. Hot dog cart.

    .