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Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related

 
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
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Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related


As of this month, it is 1 year since I have been in business for myself. It has been a tough year. Everyone has their reasons for going into business, however my situation is a little different. My whole family is in the construction field... and my dad was in business, then there was his deteriorating health which I was left taking care of him while working for others.

After he passed, in 9/07, some major legal crap went down which is just way to depressing to even talk about (nothing criminal)

I was working for the best painting contractor in Buffalo, who reinforced what my dad had taught me in my teens about how quality of work really makes the difference vs quantity. Anyways, we had a falling out.

I worked for another guy who was at the bottom of the quality ladder, and after witnessing his right hand man buying an 8ball of coke over lunch, needless to say I was only with that guy for one day.

I was sort of forced/chose to give up working for others.

Unlike many of you, who built your businesses from peanuts, part of taking care of dad for 8years, was that I get all his stuff after he passes... pretty much a new work truck, tools, equipment. So I had all this stuff, much more equipment than anyone I have ever worked for in my garage... Came to a point of, why am I working for others when I have more crap than them?

So, I made the plunge, did my research... read all the articles...

Few things have stuck out like lightning rods...

1) if you follow all the articles to the T, youll be bankrupt with in the first year. Period.

That includes articles on this website and advice many of you dole out... No offense.

2) When starting a business, be prepared for no vacations, no spending money, no money period, no goodies, and working, actually working 80hours a week. Oh and you wont be getting paid either.

Many of you who are well established mention being paid for the time you spend working on your business. This holds major water LATER in the business. However for new businesses, it doesnt hold any water because there isnt enough work = MONEY to pay yourself for the work you put into the business.

I started my business with less than $2,000 in cash. Sold off a lot of tools and equipment to pay bills. used credit cards to help keep this rolling... Took money out of my equity to stay afloat...

Its been a long hard road, and more so going forward. It is also been an interesting experience to go from the 'employee' to the 'owner'

The important thing for us newbs, is making enough money to support our selves, with out going bankrupt. On average I spend 40hrs per week (7days) workin on the business in one capacity or another, and dont get paid for it. I have put every penny I have made (except for the trailer) back into the business. Its definitely is not easy. And have lost 1 good friend over the business, since he turned into a major liability for me.

While 99.9% of those here that are established, its good to keep your head held high, and apply thier adivce to your life, but to also watch out for pitfalls. One of the major pitfalls is attempting to pay yourself for all the time you spend on your business. You cant do that when your 'new' or you will price yourself out of ALOT of work.

There are many good articles out there about starting a new business, but one thing to keep in mind, 90% of them were written before we entered into this recession. So while their tactics work in a good economy they may not work in THIS economy. with millions out of work, and those with money holding on to it.

As far as the financial end, my advice is to shave as much off your overhead as possible. Even if that means having no TV service. I personally havent had TV service in over 2 years and frankly dont even miss it. Super data plan for your cell phone? do you REALLY need it?

The trick is to get your bills as low as possible to stretch every dollar. Shop at discount food stores and prepare your own meals. Personally I find cooking to be majorly relaxing.

Just remember, that when starting a business, giving a price quote for a job is only half the equation... you need to put an honest effort into lowering your overhead as much as possible to maximize your profits...

damn I lost my train of thought
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:02 PM   #2
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Re: Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related


Even though I had a few high-end project completed in Buffalo-actually Williamsville and Depew- Buffalo is one though place to operate construction business, not enough juice,you may need to expand the service area to Rochester, Erie..

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Old 05-11-2011, 03:44 PM   #3
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Re: Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related


Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrPainting View Post
As of this month, it is 1 year since I have been in business for myself. It has been a tough year. Everyone has their reasons for going into business, however my situation is a little different. My whole family is in the construction field... and my dad was in business, then there was his deteriorating health which I was left taking care of him while working for others.

After he passed, in 9/07, some major legal crap went down which is just way to depressing to even talk about (nothing criminal)

I was working for the best painting contractor in Buffalo, who reinforced what my dad had taught me in my teens about how quality of work really makes the difference vs quantity. Anyways, we had a falling out.

I worked for another guy who was at the bottom of the quality ladder, and after witnessing his right hand man buying an 8ball of coke over lunch, needless to say I was only with that guy for one day.

I was sort of forced/chose to give up working for others.

Unlike many of you, who built your businesses from peanuts, part of taking care of dad for 8years, was that I get all his stuff after he passes... pretty much a new work truck, tools, equipment. So I had all this stuff, much more equipment than anyone I have ever worked for in my garage... Came to a point of, why am I working for others when I have more crap than them?

So, I made the plunge, did my research... read all the articles...

Few things have stuck out like lightning rods...

1) if you follow all the articles to the T, youll be bankrupt with in the first year. Period.

That includes articles on this website and advice many of you dole out... No offense.

2) When starting a business, be prepared for no vacations, no spending money, no money period, no goodies, and working, actually working 80hours a week. Oh and you wont be getting paid either.

Many of you who are well established mention being paid for the time you spend working on your business. This holds major water LATER in the business. However for new businesses, it doesnt hold any water because there isnt enough work = MONEY to pay yourself for the work you put into the business.

I started my business with less than $2,000 in cash. Sold off a lot of tools and equipment to pay bills. used credit cards to help keep this rolling... Took money out of my equity to stay afloat...

Its been a long hard road, and more so going forward. It is also been an interesting experience to go from the 'employee' to the 'owner'

The important thing for us newbs, is making enough money to support our selves, with out going bankrupt. On average I spend 40hrs per week (7days) workin on the business in one capacity or another, and dont get paid for it. I have put every penny I have made (except for the trailer) back into the business. Its definitely is not easy. And have lost 1 good friend over the business, since he turned into a major liability for me.

While 99.9% of those here that are established, its good to keep your head held high, and apply thier adivce to your life, but to also watch out for pitfalls. One of the major pitfalls is attempting to pay yourself for all the time you spend on your business. You cant do that when your 'new' or you will price yourself out of ALOT of work.

There are many good articles out there about starting a new business, but one thing to keep in mind, 90% of them were written before we entered into this recession. So while their tactics work in a good economy they may not work in THIS economy. with millions out of work, and those with money holding on to it.

As far as the financial end, my advice is to shave as much off your overhead as possible. Even if that means having no TV service. I personally havent had TV service in over 2 years and frankly dont even miss it. Super data plan for your cell phone? do you REALLY need it?

The trick is to get your bills as low as possible to stretch every dollar. Shop at discount food stores and prepare your own meals. Personally I find cooking to be majorly relaxing.

Just remember, that when starting a business, giving a price quote for a job is only half the equation... you need to put an honest effort into lowering your overhead as much as possible to maximize your profits...

damn I lost my train of thought
good stuff. you have a good attitude.

My first rule when I started my first biz, was that I'd never spend even 1 dime, unless I could show how that dime would generate a quarter, OR prevent me from losing at least a dime. After that, it's all marketing. This strategy has worked out quite well.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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Re: Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related


I agree somewhat with your post. A website is probably not necessary immediately. You will spend a ton of time doing unpaid work on the business. I cannot fathom how that unpaid work can amount to 40 hours per week though. I have 3 employees, and probably spend maybe 15 hrs a week doing the business side. Maybe you overthink things. Spend some time relaxing and not thinking about the business. Spend a couple bucks on something you enjoy. Everybody needs a break now and then. If after a year you still haven't made ends meet, it may be time to chart a new course. Consider working part time for someone. The right person could rally serve as a mentor for a day or two a week and also help you bottom line.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:46 PM   #5
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Re: Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related


Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren View Post
I agree somewhat with your post. A website is probably not necessary immediately. You will spend a ton of time doing unpaid work on the business. I cannot fathom how that unpaid work can amount to 40 hours per week though. I have 3 employees, and probably spend maybe 15 hrs a week doing the business side. Maybe you overthink things. Spend some time relaxing and not thinking about the business. Spend a couple bucks on something you enjoy. Everybody needs a break now and then. If after a year you still haven't made ends meet, it may be time to chart a new course. Consider working part time for someone. The right person could rally serve as a mentor for a day or two a week and also help you bottom line.
I agree that 40 hours a week working on non-paying business activities is excessive. I run a small operation and do not spend near that amount on all business operations. Anyway, maybe I should. What are some of the business activities that people are doing? How much time are people spending doing marketing activities and what are they doing during that time? I do my own bookkeeping which takes a considerable amount of time. But, I would like to start spending more time on marketing.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:23 PM   #6
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Re: Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related


I work on marketing 24 hours a day. It's not work to me though I consider It a fun experience. I guess it depends on what lens you view it through.

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Old 05-11-2011, 05:38 PM   #7
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Re: Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related


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Originally Posted by Mike's Plumbing View Post
I work on marketing 24 hours a day. It's not work to me though I consider It a fun experience. I guess it depends on what lens you view it through.

Mike
I agree. I spend 80% of my time on marketing efforts. I have hired people who specialize and focus on other aspects of the business.
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:45 PM   #8
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Re: Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related


I see your point about marketing 24 hours a day. I also see your point about marketing 80% of the time. Is what are some of the marketing activities that you do that take up 80% of your time?
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
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Re: Starting A New Business... And The Process. Advice And Articles Related


Website improvements and SEO, build landing page sites for keywords, blogging and social media, ad layout and design of direct mail pieces, write copy for tv and radio commercials, I go on local morning tv shows twice a month (prepare talking points and graphics), visit job sites to get before, during, and after photos, manage and further develop our online connection tool, just to name a few...

Rest of the time I focus on big picture stuff and managing my company's management.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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Yes, marketing specially online marketing takes alot of effort and time.

i'm always putting seo first and i manage to get to the top of search enginess in less than 3 months if i really want to be first fast. and if i stop i will eventually go down the rakings, because its hard to manage 3 different business at the same time.

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