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S&P benefits of a hot dog cart/business

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by emt1581, May 26, 2012.

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  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    I just figured I'd share with the rest of you since there are a bunch of things I'm learning and noticing the further I get into my business. Now keep in mind, at this point, my "business" is a one-day a week venture and I'm working on two days (Sat/Sun) because I already have a full time job.

    First off, something I learned today...if you get yourself a business license, it only cost me $25. And what this shows is that you pay taxes on your business. Now for that $25 I was let into a club today.... a restaurant supply club. You want to talk about insanely cheap prices!!! WOW!! Bags and bags of rice, large cans of everything....it's pretty much a prepper's paradise! Not sure how hard it'd be for the rest of you but $25 a year is certainly worth it to me. And I'm not talking about sams club bulk....that seems to be retail prices or just under....I'm talking 50% less and 1000% more selection.

    Second, today my portable propane water heater and water pump came in the mail. Only cost $150-ish to my door AND it came with a shower. Now all I gotta do is buy the hoses and regulator to connect it to my propane tank. I already had a cheap $5 solar shower bag from wal-mart. Now there is no need to rough it. Just push a button and I have an instant hot shower.

    Third, by starting a food business I have LOTS of food on hand. Sure it's just hot dogs, snacks, drinks, and condiments, but that'll serve a dual purpose. 1) I can eat it if need be. 2) I can sell it.

    Fourth, other than needing to make a trip or two each year to buy the dogs, I have a pretty independent way to make a living should things ever go south with my current full time job or the economy or society....well....society might be more of a challenge.

    Fifth, networking....I've talked to a lot of vendors in my researching and they all said you meet LOTS of people...celebrities even. Who knows what connections/benefits that'll get me...but it certainly can't hurt.

    Truth be told, this is one big experiment for me. All through my childhood I heard my dad go on about how he'd love to open a doggie shop and retire....but he never has to this day. I don't want to be 60+ and still whining about what could have been...it just wouldn't sit right with me. So by doing this, at least I can say I tried. And if it does work out and one day turns to two and two turns to more...I'd like to quit my current job and open a doggie shop and pass the business on to my son (who I named it after).

    But for right now I have to start somewhere and this is it.

    There are certainly other S&P related benefits I'm sure. I just thought I'd share the ones I've noticed so far.

    One downside is that the costs were about 5%-10% more than I estimated so I may have to rely on my silver/stocks next month and cash in some....but that's why we prep right??

    In the end, if all goes well, I can do this full time and make a killing. If it doesn't, oh well...I sell the cart and am out nothing.

    EDIT: One huge thing I forgot to mention is how being an S&Per helped me get started. I'm one determined SOB. I do NOT give up. I had all kinds of red tape thrown in my way. You have no idea how horrible this process was. But through thinking outside the box and being resourceful I made it happen. Short of that, no way it would have. This is why I'm the first one in my city to make it happen legally. I got a pat on the back afterwards from both the local AND state Dept. of Health/Agriculture. They said they'd never heard of doing what I did to make things happen (basically I'm building my cart to be 100% self-sufficient and not need a separate commissary). Again, failure wasn't an option. Hopefully things work out as well if the SHTF...

    Just figured I'd share. :)

    -Emt1581
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  2. FatBoy

    FatBoy Millennium Member

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    Another good point... Hot Dog Carts are a CASH business. Just say'in.
     

  3. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Actually, it's not. In my research I found that only 7 out of 10 americans on average carry cash. Now the doggie shops in my town are just cash but given I'm so small at one or two days a week I don't want to lose sales.

    What am I doing about it??

    I'm buying a prepaid burn phone with a touch screen and data service (Boost) and have one of those Squares in the mail to me so I can take credit cards.

    No strings and fairly cheap.

    -Emt1581
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  4. Akita

    Akita gone

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    This sounds Great. I'm very happy for you and hope you get many hours of enjoyment, lots of great deals, and mega profits (hire some college types for weekend work with more carts as you grow?).

    BUT, you know the internet rule.....if there isnt a pic of the hot dog cart, it didnt happen!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  5. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    I'm actually picking it up tomorrow morning.

    What I'll do is snap a pic of the finished product if this thread is still up and running next week.

    The trip to Lowes to pick up the mounting equipment and plumbing adapters should be fun tonight (if the downpour stops) or tomorrow.

    As far as hiring kids and having more carts....I JUST BARELY made this happen by the skin of my teeth. Look at my other thread in GNG for more details. But in short, this is the ONLY cart I'll be allowed in my city. Other cities around me are just as bad. Maybe one cart per city....

    -Emt1581
     
  6. Dexters

    Dexters

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    EMT,
    Have you figured out your pricing yet?

    Will the prices be inclusive of taxes?

    Will you be charging extra for toppings?

    What will a plain dog cost?

    What will a can of pop cost?

    Will you be putting out a TIP jar?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  7. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    -Emt1581
     
  8. DoctaGlockta

    DoctaGlockta

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    The biggest expense for everyone is federal and state income taxes.

    You now have a business which you can purchase many S&P items with pre tax dollars.

    Writing off your biz expenses (and the odd S&p item ;) )will benefit you and your family immensely.

    Congrats.

    Reataurant depot is a pretty amazing place isn't it?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  9. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    See due to the lack of cover I'm thinking I'll put a plate carrier with rifle plates inside and a G17 mounted to the front with a MICH helmet on top at the drawer near my feet....but I'm guessing Uncle Sam would NOT consider that a business expense. :supergrin:

    Taxes are something I'm building in to my prices at around 30% based on my research and talking to tax preppers.

    Before I open I'll be running my final numbers by my H&R block office to make sure I'll be good to go. It'd suck to open a place that will cost me money instead of making it for me.

    But at this point I should be making between $.50 and $1 off of each dog AFTER taxes and costs.

    -Emt1581
     
  10. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Restaurant depot is amazing but they pissed me off royally today!! I drove an hour and a half only to find they decided to stop carrying Sabrett hot dogs a few weeks ago and never bothered to update their site. :steamed:

    Tomorrow when I pick up my cart I'll be stopping at another one in NJ which the vendor I'm buying from buys his from.

    -Emt1581
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  11. Dexters

    Dexters

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    I think those are reasonable prices and get people to buy.

    I'd say go with 2.75 on the large. For me, if it was $2 & $3 I'd buy two $2 ones.

    I think those TIP jars are a good idea. I don't drop any money into them but many others do. Don't forget to 'seed' them with some change and bills when you open up.

    Good luck.
     
  12. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Again, going back to research here but it is always easier to slowly/slightly raise prices than it is to get people to buy at already raised prices. Plus I'm happy making those amounts so I probably wouldn't raise for a while.

    As far as a tip jar...I was always told never to tip and owner, so I don't. But I know a lot of others do. Plus I learned to bolt down the tip jar so someone doesn't run away with it. You grab that and try to run you won't like my response.

    -Emt1581
     
  13. DoctaGlockta

    DoctaGlockta

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    My advice stay far away from H&R Block. Find a real accountant that deals with small biz. You will reduce your personal tax burden from your day job. And as a small business you need to budget for security of yourself and equipment ;).
     
  14. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Here's the problem though...

    H&R block is who we used last year and found they were 400% more expensive than the guy at my work who takes care of taxes and budgeting for the entire kiddie prison. However, I don't want to tip off my work that I'm doing this until I'm up and running. I doubt they would do anything or get pissy but rather than risk it....

    ....that's why I was thinking H&R block initially. However, there is another small biz organization near me that is free so I think I'll give them a buzz.

    Thanks

    -Emt1581
     
  15. Stevekozak

    Stevekozak Returning video

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    I am so interested in following this venture of yours! I think it is really a great thing to try. I hope you keep updates here, as I have no interest in going to that sad-sack lounge to read about it. Again good luck on your venture and I, for one, believe you will make a go of it!!
     
  16. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Well, other than the inspectors who treated me like I was opening a crack house....everyone gave me the same response "MMM....I love hot dogs!!"... so I'm pretty optimistic about it. :)

    I will definitely give updates but you know me....I'm on GT all the time. Just bump the thread(s) and remind me and I'll hop on.

    -Emt1581
     
  17. Akita

    Akita gone

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    Agree 100% re H&R.
    And in my world, night vision is a Must for a small businessman. Like DG sez, you have to budget for your personal and business security.
     
  18. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    :rofl:

    Nice. But I think that'd raise an eyebrow or two, especially since I'm not allowed to operate after dark...

    ...yet another piece of red tape.

    -Emt1581
     
  19. DoctaGlockta

    DoctaGlockta

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    If there is one person that can save you literally thousands and thousands of dollars over a lifetime is a great accountant. I gladly write a generous check to my accountant every year. Best money I spend all year. Just like everything else you get what you pay for.

    Good luck.
     
  20. 20South

    20South

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    Nothing wrong with Block, just find one that is franchised and not corporate owned. You will find good people who know small business as well as anyone - since a block franchise is, well, a small business.
     
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