Starting a Business...?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Squilly, Apr 28, 2014.

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  1. Squilly macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #1
    Hi (again),
    So as a few of you know, I've had strong interest in starting my own business over the past couple of years. I want to get a feel for it from current/previous owners just to get an idea. With that comes questions. Do you currently own? How long did it take to become successful if you were? How long did it take to start from thinking of the idea to truly having the business set up (not necessarily being successful)? How long did it take to start making profit? Was it difficult? Do you have a business degree? And lastly, do you have a passion for what you do? I ask all this because even though I come up with these ideas, I feel like I lack ambition to start any of them. As usual, this is not a troll thread and I'm being serious. Looking for real life experiences. Thanks :)
     
  2. hallidc macrumors 6502

    hallidc

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    #2
    I currently do not run my own business, however as a motivated young entrepreneur who ran a small business before entering school, I answered a few of your questions from my perspective.

    Do you currently own? How long did it take to become successful if you were?

    I currently do not own my own business, however I've owned a small hobby business before entering university. I was successful from the moment I began my small business. For some owners you could be successful from the start, or become successful months/years after you opened your doors.

    How long did it take to start from thinking of the idea to truly having the business set up (not necessarily being successful)?

    For me, I wanted to be my own boss since I was a a child. Although I ran my small business from the comfort of my home, it took a couple years for me to begin selling product. I'm mobile geek and knew I wanted to sell product that related to mobile devices. It took a few years before I could begin selling any product as I have to have the capital to make it happen.

    How long did it take to start making profit? Was it difficult?
    As mentioned above, I made a profit from the moment I began selling product. It was difficult as competition was heavy, although I had to determine price points of what consumers were willing to spend, while beating prices of competition and making a profit.

    Do you have a business degree?

    No. I'm currently working towards a major in entrepreneurship and management.

    Do you have a passion for what you do?

    Of course! Owning your own business has its pros and cons. While working retail before having the opportunity to open my small business, I knew for sure that I wanted to be my own boss. In order for you to be successful, you definitely need to be passionate in what your doing. For me it doesn't seem like working when I'm doing something I enjoy doing.

    --

    Having not owning a larger business like other on here, I hope my answers helped answer your questions. At least give you a general idea.
     
  3. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

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  4. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #4
    Appreciate the insight. Thank you.

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    Multiple ideas.
     
  5. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

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    #5
    Might be time to update your blog, as most of the ideas posted there are already products...
     
  6. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #6
    I know, I have to get around to updating it. Have stuff to add.
     
  7. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

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    #7
    Yes, and the side business is not my main job. I do not make enough money doing it to quit my "day job" but the extra money is enough and I enjoy doing it. I could probably market myself better and make enough money to not work my day job but it is not at the top of my list of things to do right now.

    It was about a 2 month process for me. I had to set up the website, get everything laid out and in order and get the business license stuff squared away.

    I make a little bit on every server I build. So I was/am profitable on every server I build. As I said, I do not make enough to quit my day job as the volume of servers I build is just not high enough. I usually make enough on my first build to cover the cost of the website and that sort of stuff.

    A little, but mostly just time consuming when first setting everything up. I do all the work from my own home so its not like a pay for a retail front. I try to keep operating costs low.

    Nope.

    If I did not I would likely have stopped building servers by now. I don't sell nearly the volume I need to quit my day job. It is purely an extra money and love of doing it that keeps me doing it.
     
  8. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #8
    Well I hope you're mining the mind of your brilliant brother, the eminently successful exporter. He probably can't give you advice on getting your products manufactured, but I bet he can give a few pointers on business contracts and general management. Plus, I bet, with his contacts abroad, you might be able to easily enter the Polish market with minimal barriers!

    Maybe he can help with a bit of seed money too!
     
  9. Happybunny, Apr 29, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014

    Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Ahhh electric media business is so yesterday.

    How about you and your brother start a Lamborghini import business, that would impress the hot girls.:cool:

    You could call the Business Baron von Münchhausen Motors
     
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #10
    If you are looking for a partner, StephenCampbell is your guy.
     
  11. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #11
    BMW might have a problem with BMM. Although with all the money his brother is making from his iPad deal, instead of buying a BMW, he can just buy BMW. Problem solved. :p
     
  12. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #12
    Already asked if he could give me his supplier contacts, specifically Apple. He wanted $10k.

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    Thank you.

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    :confused:
     
  13. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #13
    Hieronymus Carl Friedrich Baron von Münchhausen (German pronunciation: [ˈmʏnç(h)aʊzən]; 11 May 1720 – 22 February 1797) was a German nobleman and a famous recounter of tall tales. He joined the Russian military and took part in two campaigns against the Ottoman Turks. Upon returning home, Münchhausen is said to have told a number of outrageously farfetched stories about his adventures.[1]
     
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #14
    Currently own my own business - started it in 1990. I'm a professional photographer. I teach photography, I do commercial work, I sell into the fine art market. I occasionally build a website for someone. That's my 'paid' activities… I do lots more that is unpaid - on purpose. Some years I'm financially successful, some years I'm less so.

    The 'success' question is a tricky one and overlaps with the 'passion' question. I am a photographer because I must be. I can not imagine being anything else. My definition of success does not involve how much money I make, but rather can I continue doing do what I love - while investing in the tools that I need to do it well. I have been at it for close on 25 years - and have some very good tools and a high degree of respect. So… Yes... I am successful by my definition. I don't own a Lambo though… so others may disagree. I don't know when I started being 'successful' - but I've managed to stay in business this long so it must have been early.

    No… I do not have a degree in business. I went to university to get a business degree, but ended up doing an eclectic liberal arts program instead. I do have a diploma in Commercial Photography - along with half a dozen other diplomas in related fields (like how to teach adult, etc).

    I worked hard. I busted my butt. I make my clients happy. It helped that before I went to photo school and started my business I worked on hotel front desks. I know what good customer service is … and many people don't know how to do it.

    Hope this helps.

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    Are you trying to make a point, perhaps? ;)
     
  15. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #15
    I like your humor.
     
  16. OzExige macrumors 6502

    OzExige

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    #16
    Sorry to say this (obvious maybe?) - but there's your 1st hurdle.

    Be passionate - update it!
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    [MOD NOTE]
    If cannot contribute to the topic, then do not post. Please avoid personal remarks or insults to any member.
     
  18. GoCubsGo, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2014

    GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #18
    Wait, you asked your twin brother for business advice, because clearly you have demonstrated his keen sense of business here, and he wants $10k for the advice and the contact at Apple?

    BTW, your brother isn't in contact with Apple. He is not a registered reseller. At best, he has a number to call for bulk sales.

    I do not run my own business but if I did, I believe I would get in on the import/export game with the Poles. They seem like fine folk.

    You don't really need a business degree to run a business; however, some courses that help you understand how a business runs would be helpful. You should focus on what you want to do, what licensing you need, what kind of insurance you should carry, and what kind of capital you need to start up. You should make a business plan that includes projections on when you intend to be profitable and you should know up front how you intend to acquire the capital you need.

    Since I do not believe your brother has two nickels to rub together, I would steer clear of him.
     
  19. D.T., Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014

    D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #19
    I’ve owned my own businesses for 25+ years and always had the entrepreneurial bug. I’m on my 3rd/4th/5th, having sold #2 in 2000, and the #4/5 being startups (though I dislike that term). Owing your own tends to be extremes: about as satisfying as anything else you’ll experience, coupled with moments of frustration and no-sleep-concern :D

    Mine have all been in the technology sector, mostly services, but regardless of the product or service - computers, development services, a restaurant, car dealer, etc. - there’s some basic business practices that many folks fail to understand and crash ~n~ burn.


    Some great points made in the post above, the OP should read, re-read, and thoughtfully consider the recommendations - and while I removed the part about the OP’s brother, that’s a _bad_ idea on several levels.

    [edit]

    Figured I’d answer some of the OP’s questions directly:

    Do you currently own? How long did it take to become successful if you were?

    Yes, see above. It’s hard to measure success. A lifestyle business? Generating consistent revenue? A clear exit strategy? There’s a lot to consider.

    How long did it take to start from thinking of the idea to truly having the business set up (not necessarily being successful)?

    Way back when, I went from, “I can provide these services myself”, to check in hand in a month or two, but I didn’t need any/much infrastructure, just a computer :)

    How long did it take to start making profit? Was it difficult?

    Again, services had little startup costs, so profit was happening right up front on some, my startups are externally funded through different mechanisms, and aren’t “profitable” in terms of revenue, but have tripled in terms of evaluation. Understanding your return vs. investment can be a complex process. Difficult? Heck yeah, everyday you have to think about _everything_ as a business owner, and a small business you’re wearing a dozen different hats: I’m a developer, writer, sales, admin, marketing, customer support, along with having to be grounded in daily operations, but needing vision to grow.

    Do you have a business degree?

    No, but see quoted post above, I do work with my wife who is outstanding at administrative management. I gained significant experience from #2 where as a partner I knew where to put my trust in things I wasn’t skilled at.

    Do you have a passion for what you do?

    Absolutely, that was goal one in doing my own thing.

    :cool:

    Totally off topic: my wife is from PA, went to school at CMU :)
     
  20. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #20
    I think it also needs to be said... "owning your own business" can mean a lot of different things.

    Do you mean someone who owns a large company? A company with lots of employees? A large building? Where the owner has very little to do with the front line stuff? Or...

    Do you mean someone working for themselves? A photographer, a plumber, a consultant also own their own companies. The difference is that in the 2nd scenario you can start up very quickly and you deal directly with the customers.

    There are lots more ways to own your own business ... these are just two examples. It would be helpful if you could narrow it down a bit as each scenario requires a different skill set. And different passions. For example... I'm passionate about the service I provide... and not so much about the business side of things. On the other hand there are successful folks who are passionate about managing people and a business - and don't really care what the service or the product is. Which do you want to be?
     
  21. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #21
    He stays in contact with an Apple rep. Don't know what it entails since he's so secretive. Thanks for the additional advice.

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    Both. Sole proprietorship, partnership or large corporation.

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    So did you enjoy all 5? Or in it for the $? Did working with your wife cause negative outcomes in your personal relationship? I've read bad things online of relationships being tarnished when business gets involved.
     
  22. noisycats macrumors 6502a

    noisycats

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    #22
    Well he still owes you 2.5, so offer 7.5 and y'all should be even.
     
  23. Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    #23
    Contact isn't worth $10k (or $7.5k) to me.
     
  24. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #24
    I always enjoy it, because I was into technology out of my love for it, even when it wasn’t a respected and highly compensated field. In fact, most of my friends/peers who were into it early, and didn’t pursue it just for money did well through the various ups and downs (I’m sure there’s a lesson there somewhere...)

    There’s a big personality component to this too, there’s some folks who enjoy something, they can make a decent living at it, but they’re also very motivated by money - that’s tough, because you’ll have a lot of internal turmoil. There’s some folks who love life and the kind of experiences that come with having loads of cash-flow, so while their work may not be the biggest turn on, it’s a means to their preferred end. Then there are the folks who love what they do, and the fact it isn’t going to make them rich isn’t a factor. They wake up and go to sleep happy every day.

    I was offered a pretty stout salary to say after the acquisition, I turned it down, I like steering my own ship, having the freedom it gives me, even if it meant a hit to my wallet. I like having a balance of both, and since I work all the time - or none of the time :D - I like liking what I do, and I appreciate the freedom the money brings my family to afford the things we want (education, trips).

    My wife is +awesome+. We both work from the home office, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know I’ve heard countless stories about how impossible it would be to work with a spouse, or how trying/doing so really destroyed a relationship. We don’t have any issues, but we have kind of a different lifestyle too, not having a fixed schedule, living at the beach, we have a great relationship and have been working together for like 15 years (we met at my #2 company :D )
     
  25. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #25
    Brought me to tears! :D
     
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