Small business ownership

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Q
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:58 pm

Post by Q » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:52 am

Storage unit sales has also been a side thing I have been highly interested - basically "junk" dealer. I went to a few for research, and boy is it a rag-tag mix of different people.
It is definitely something that can earn cash quick, but takes cash and time to work. Auctions are usually three or four days out of the week, and then the weekend to sell off stuff. I assume and it seems that you get to know dealers in the commons - furniture, machines, clothes.
Time and effort. Since most auctions happen after I would be done "day-trading" in retirement, this was another fallback retirement job, thus the research


Q
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:58 pm

Post by Q » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:52 am

Storage unit sales has also been a side thing I have been highly interested - basically "junk" dealer. I went to a few for research, and boy is it a rag-tag mix of different people.
It is definitely something that can earn cash quick, but takes cash and time to work. Auctions are usually three or four days out of the week, and then the weekend to sell off stuff. I assume and it seems that you get to know dealers in the commons - furniture, machines, clothes.
Time and effort. Since most auctions happen after I would be done "day-trading" in retirement, this was another fallback retirement job, thus the research


CestLaVie
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:24 am

Post by CestLaVie » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:33 am

Re: owning woodland.
I own some woodland. Typically, you have to wait 20 to 30 years for seedlings to become trees mature enough to be harvested. That's a long time to wait for a payout. Sure, you could have several lots and harvest one lot at a time at regular intervals (kind of like a rolling CD or bond ladder). That's what I do. But it does requires a minimum of maintenance (reseeding, clearing brushes, making sure no one damages your land, etc...). I think you can make pretty good money with woodland (carrying costs are typically low). But you shouldn't neglect the cost of hiring people to fell, hoist and transport the trees. If your lot is in a particularly remote location, those costs could be significant.
Also, wood being a commodity, the amount of money you will collect is uncertain. Prices can vary based on the state of the economy as well as weather conditions.


murpheyw
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:17 pm

Post by murpheyw » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:20 pm

Own a commercial building and become a landlord.
www.loopnet.com
this site has a nice feature of being able to sort by cap rate.


RobC
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:17 pm

Post by RobC » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:20 pm

I've repaired a couple of residential washers and its been really easy, and cheap to do. Most of the time it's a small part thats been designed to fail (like a key in a keyway is made of soft steel so that you only have to replace the key not the motor/shaft) Just pay attention when your takeing one apart and the worst that can happen is it's above your skill level and you can put it back together and have it looked at by a pro.


rachels
Posts: 156
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:47 am

Post by rachels » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:43 pm

My father used to work as a logger doing selective cutting and harvesting of wood lots. One farming family decided to harvest their woodlot after several generations to pay for some repairs to their barns. The folks in our town really went crazy and harassed the hell out of my dad (think yelling and news cameras). Few people were old enough to remember that the whole forest was contrived and intended to be harvested. I guess most of them never actually walked in it, as it would have been obvious that all the trees, though enormous by that time, still stood in neat rows. I always found that to be an amusing complication to letting your woodlot go too long.


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Smashter
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Location: NYC

Re: Small business ownership

Post by Smashter » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:13 pm

In lieu of a recent thread on what constitutes real wealth (viewtopic.php?t=9078) I thought I would try to revive this ancient thread.

I know a guy who owned laundromats and absolutely hated it. He didn't like that he had no control over pricing. He now sticks with real estate.

Has anyone tried owning a storage unit?

My brother is a family doctor, and I've been wondering about the benefits of investing in a location for him to go into private practice. Of course, that opens up the can of worms about doing business with family.

Other ideas include a coffee shop, gym or a liquor store (so many seedy/grimy ones, seems like this could be done well and you'd make a killing).

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Small business ownership

Post by George the original one » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:08 pm

Smashter wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:13 pm
Other ideas include a coffee shop, gym or a liquor store (so many seedy/grimy ones, seems like this could be done well and you'd make a killing).
There are new marijuana stores opening every day, in every empty shop front along the highways here in Oregon.

Felipe
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: Small business ownership

Post by Felipe » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:08 pm

I have yet to meet a small business owner who has an easy time running their business.

@gtoo
I've been in California long enough to see that most either go bankrupt (lower sales than expected from high/established competition and high labor/land costs that eat them alive when a crop fails or people don't like their product) or they get kicked out by the community (ie-building something near the dispensary that the dispensary can't legally be too close to was how my old favorite disappeared but having the police take all their product/cash and lawsuits are more common). There are many forces working against them. If they do become successful, everything built is on a shaky foundation due to the political climate.

brighteye
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Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:02 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: Small business ownership

Post by brighteye » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:52 am

Throwing out some ideas for inspiration:
- raw milk automat (I guess you would have to be a farmer for this), or selling raw milk at a farmers market. If your point-of-sale has good frequency of customers, you could make a good side income. People are willing to pay the grocery store price. The automats are expensive though and it is cleaning intensive

- expensive rental cars, f.ex an oldtimer for weddings (you know that people are willing to spend $$$ for their wedding day) or a sports car for a weekend. I know a guy who rents out Ferraris etc. for $1000 or more per day and he has a couple of them. I think mostly immigrants from Eastern Europe rent one, drive back to their home country to show off to their relatives and friends (proving that they "made it" in Switzerland). It's crazy but it works. Costs are obviously the cars and the insurance.

- Glasses/glass bottles at official events (parades, festivals, national holiday festivities etc.) are forbidden in Switzerland. Plus to reduce waste, efforts are made to use reusable containers (with deposit on them). There are companies specialised on renting out plastic cups to the event organisers, because it is not worth it for them to buy cups for one day a year only. I think they make a killing in profits. They provide the clean cups, you can give them back dirty. You pay a rental fee per cup plus have to pay for all the not returned cups. Investment up front would be the cups (you would need 1000s or more), a place to store them and a cleaning machine.

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Sclass
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Re: Small business ownership

Post by Sclass » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:26 am

Hmmm. Where's your angle? It seems that these types of businesses are kind of unsophisticated. Not to say they're not going to make money...I've met wealthy laundromat owners while being a destitute renter but I'd think you can come up with something better? Seriously you have a physics PhD, quant experience and the track record of making a successful website and you want to do laundromats?

You already run a virtual vending machine. Why run real ones?

Farm_or
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Re: Small business ownership

Post by Farm_or » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:22 am

A lot of good ideas. I looked at a lot of small business ideas before returning to my Ag roots.

Something relatively easy to start typically had a lot of competition. Other bigger options were less common but required more input of capital and/or labor. The local sbdc was big help with marketing demographics.

Small business does often succeed. It has impressed on me that a lot of those success stories that I personally know of were immigrants. They were able to overcome a lot of negatives that someone else knew about and passed on the opportunity. Sometimes too much knowledge is disabling.

Plenty had told me personally about all the pitfalls of small hay bales business. A little bit of ignorance and passion for the business has enabled profit for five years now...

Stahlmann
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Re: Small business ownership

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:19 am

Hmm.

I will join this topic. Once I heard about businesses (which probably are in area of "small businesses") where "the manager" is not in charge for antything, he can delegate everything to other people. In what direction should I go if I want to know more about it?

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distracted_at_work
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Location: Western Canada

Re: Small business ownership

Post by distracted_at_work » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:02 am

@Stahlmann. I've been doing loads of research on small business and a reoccurring theme is that when an owner isn't directly involved, the business usually fails. Not involved a delegation sense, an owner should still delegate tasks, but entirely hands off.

I think 2010 Jacob had the closest thing to an automated, non-internet, business idea with the laundromat. Storage units could also work. Pick a growing city, build storage units on cheap outskirt land and the city will form around you while you wait.

Augustus
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Re: Small business ownership

Post by Augustus » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:43 pm

Not sure how you feel about food and beverages, but I was thinking a food truck or trike sounded awesome. I ran some theoretical numbers and it sounded promising based around a coffee trike. Basic plan is bike to or store bike near largest office complex you can find. Offer superior product but simple menu. Sit there during the morning rush or pay some kid to do so for you. Leave around 11am. Check out coffee trike and food trikes, lots of people do this apparently.

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Sclass
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Re: Small business ownership

Post by Sclass » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:21 pm

Oops this was posted in 2010.

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