View Full Version : Business Owners/Starters

06-21-2006, 02:17 PM
Has anybody here at Redzone ever started and/or run their own successful business?

I have bounced the idea of starting my own business for some time now but I am unsure what line of work would be best...and that should be the easy part.

I think I have the drive to be successful, but I can't zero in on the niche' that would work best for me. What I know best is the line of work I am currently in (management consulting), but I know I can't compete with the big firms like what I work for, let alone smaller firms.

I know all about how to get financed, write a business plan, etc....I guess what I'm looking for are experiences.

Can anybody share their experiences? Success stories? Crash & burn stories?

06-22-2006, 08:53 AM
Hi BuckU,

I'm 45 and haven't had a "real job'' for over 15 years.

I was working for a paper company (in Venezuela) back in the late '80s as their corporate treasurer. Good job. Not a great career path (not terrible either) Good pay. Tough hours. Lots of office politics.
I left and started an investment advisory service (newsletter), which had three employees (myself, an analyst, a secretary).
Several circumstances conspired to make that move:
1) There was an incredible bull market and I made some good money in it...a cushion so to say.
2) I had already moonlighted in the area. Had followed the market for years, keep statistics and had written some stuff before.

It took me 9 months to set up shop. Could have been less, but I'm a terrible procrastinator. We hit the ground running, mainly because I partnered with a political/economic (not investment) newsletter service and had quite a few subscribers (and their cash) before we even published our first issue.

I ran the business for 10 years, despite the initial "success'' it never was much of a money-maker. Although we had a great product...the potential market was limited and became more so as our clients went out of business and/or consolidated among themselves (remember the bank mergers?).

Shut it down in 1999. And guess what? I still work "'on my own" and my main clients are people/firms who were subscribers from my newsletter. I make A LOT more money now, but without those 10 years of ''self promotion'' (through the newsletter) it probably wouldn't have been possible.

If I can give you any advice it would be to choose your business BEFORE you start. Don't go sell junk on eBay just because someone else did. But you don't have to stick to your usual line of work, either. Something that was/is a hobby...could very well be a good business opportunity.

And don't be afraid...you can always go back to "'work" if it doesn't pan out. But I don't think you'll want to.

06-22-2006, 09:46 AM
Has anybody here at Redzone ever started and/or run their own successful business?Pedro and I used to own a business, sold it in 1999.

Owning your own business is both a great and a horrible experience, but working for someone whose business or person you care little about is worst.

Heres' my tip.

Pay your bills and make your life simple enough that if you miss some pay days you won't crash and burn, because chances are you'll be the one who doesn''t get payed on time the most while you're getting your feet off the ground.

Roy Tucker
06-22-2006, 09:50 AM
I was in on the ground floor of a software company during the dot-com boom/bust 1999-2001. For a year or so, we did incredibly well and the 5 of us founders thought we were all going to retire as millionaires in 5 years.

But things began to turn down. Our venture capital backers thought the way out of it was to put the pedal to the metal and grow out of it instead of shrinking back. Bottom line, we got overextended both work and money-wise, worked a years worth of 100+ hour weeks, and finally went under. It was a wild ride. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I discovered the entrepaneur in me but also discovered my limits. As I tell my wife, that experience burned most of the insulation off my wires and I don't think I'll try it again.

But whatever it is you try, you have to *love* it and be ready for it to be your entire life for a while. I've got a neighbor who started a carpet cleaning business and it doing very well with it. I've got an old boss who started a coffee shop and its going meh. But if I ever want to get a hold of them, I just call the store because that is where they always are.

06-22-2006, 10:14 AM
Funny this thread popped up, my Dad is driving as we speak to Rock Hill, South Carolina to buy a franchise called Servepro. It is a company that is usually contracted through insurance companies that comes in and repairs fire, water, and mold damage. Apparently it is a HIGHLY successful franchise if managed properly. The plan is for he and my brother to move out there and run it for a couple of years and build it up, then me and my other brother move there and replace my Dad when he gets out. I have very high hopes for this right now, it seems like something that can support mine and my brothers families. My Dad is basically doing it for us while getting himself a comfortable income to live out the rest of his and my Moms life. So keep us in your thoughts and pull for us! I'll keep you updated as it goes.

06-22-2006, 10:16 AM
Funny this thread popped up, my Dad is driving as we speak to Rock Hill, South Carolina to buy a franchise called Servepro. My sister was born in Rock Hill.

Tell him to stay out of Clover.

06-22-2006, 10:56 AM
Coming down to my neck of the woods, Tommy?

06-22-2006, 02:57 PM
Coming down to my neck of the woods, Tommy?

Yeah, we'll probably be living in Rock Hill (the Reds aren't blacked out there for MLB Extra Innings :)) so we won't be far. I lived in Charlotte for 4 years and loved it, great city.

06-22-2006, 03:00 PM
My sister was born in Rock Hill.

Tell him to stay out of Clover.

:) Bad part of town?