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Advice on starting a business? *UPDATE*

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MudFrog, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    I'm thinking about starting a computer business along with a buddy that I work with now. This would be a business tailoring more to the high end gaming PC and custom PC's. We have a lot of PC company's around but most of them use junk components and none of them offer custom PC's like window kits, water cooling supplies, etc...
    <br>
    <br>We would probably look into a government grant for getting the business started, and we know the people who own part of the mall we would have it in, they said they would give us a good deal on rent. Are there any suggestions or pointers on stuff to keep in mind while trying to get this thing started?
     
  2. shaggyk5

    shaggyk5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    i know nothing about it. But good luck. sounds like a neat idea.
     
  3. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    My only advice would be to talk to people doing simular things, and get thier opions. Best of luck, let us know how it works out.
     
  4. kumma

    kumma 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    i've been self employed for 12 years. just a few suggestions and pointers.

    - its a lot of work, many times i wonder why i dont have a 9-5 job for someone else.

    - be very clear on money issues, noting breaks up a business or freindship like money, who controls it, who spends it, whos liable for what, etc...

    - get all your plans in writing and draw up legal papers regarding business status and principles.

    just some basic issues you find its a ton of work but it can be rewarding. good luck.
    craig
     
  5. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Kumma's right. I would add:

    Survey your potential public for demand for your product before you go into trying to make someone want something they may never want. Find a need first, then develop a company to supply it, or invent a new product that when you survey the concept, gets better than a 30% "i'd defintely buy that" answer.

    Have enough capital to pay for all your operating expenses for a year before you commit to any expenses, and if you don't have the money yet, lower your expenses to nothing until you do (called operating on a shoestring) Don't underestimate your operating expense figures.

    Set up the company minimally as an LLC, so that neither you nor your partner would be responsible financially or legally for ther company's failures.

    Be willing to fail and get back into something again.

    Realize that it takes three years or more for a company to become financially viable unless you have the rare or unusual product or service. For example, I have a friend who went into the videography business by first working in a company that did transcription for depositions, then he approached management about videoing depeositions as an adjuct, it went very well, he became independent and within 3 years was making $300,000 + personally a year, then sold the business for a fair sum. Not the norm.

    Good luck.
     
  6. talldogg

    talldogg 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Good advice Kumma.
    I'd also add, that since you mentioned you'd be partnering with someone else, is to get to know the guy and determine whether or not he has the same motivation you have in running the business. Not only in the sense of fulfilling daily tasks, but in the sense of setting goals for the business and doing what ever it takes for your business to reach those goals.
    I personally partnered with a couple guys to start up a body shop a couple years ago and the plan was great and was practicaly gauranteed to succeed. Unfortunately the two other partners didn't have the same ambition and due to personal mistakes that I made, I was not able to carry the whole business by myself. Not to deter you, as I would definitely do it again, just better. BIG TIME LUCK TO YOU!!!
    Sam
     
  7. talison79

    talison79 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Contact your local Small business development center run by your local government. They have a lot of resources available free to the public. They have cubicals with phones and computers, fax machines, an extensive business library, and representatives from the Small Business Administration to handle any questions, including questions about loans or government grants. The best part is its free and its one of the few thing done right by the government. Also very few people use it, so its not crowded. The first thing I would work on would be a business plan. Lack of planning is the number one reason business's fail. Do not skip this step.
    Some other option are Score, it stands for Service core of retired executives they will help with anything you have questions with. You can also look into joining your local Chamber of commerce. Hope some of this helps and good luck.

    Talison79
     
  8. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    The first thing I would recomend is to start the business in your home on a part time basis, this is the best way to gauge the demand for your product. Subscribe to any trade magazines and associations and gleen all the info you can and talk to people in that area. Get a web site up and join all the gaming etc. forums you can and offer great service.
     
  9. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    I basically already have a side job going, I do computer repairs and build custom PC's all the time. While we will have the typical "Budget PC" that anyone can afford, we want to specialize in "custom, not your everyday PCs". We would offer stuff like Window kits, neon, Over clocking goods, clothing, etc... All of this stuff is very very popular in the gaming industry as well as to people who just want a cool looking case. Something else I'd like to toy with would be custom HTPCs (Home Theater PC), these would offer HDTV decoders, Progressive Scan DVD players, DD and DTS surround sound as well as a way to surf or play video games on your tv. We pretty much know what kind of stuff we would like to build / sale, but I also think the PC repair/ home network setup would do well also. I'm not 100% sure I'll even start a business but I do want to research the idea, because it's been my dream for a while.
     
  10. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Thanks for all the advice everyone... it's giving me a lot of ideas on what to do and how to make it happen.. Keep them coming!
     
  11. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Sometimes ya gotta go for your dreams
     
  12. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Well I think I'm gonna focus on building HTPC (Home Theater PC's) at home and selling them on an website to get everything started. I honestly don't know if I'm ready to quit my job and start a business, especially since I'm responisble for taking care of my family. I need to see how well the side job will do first. Thanks for all the input, and if your ever interested in one let me know.
     
  13. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    In what price range are they ???
     
  14. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Not sure yet... haha..

    I have to figure out what components I want to use. I will have 3 differen't types, a Budget, Standard and High Performance HTPC. All of them will support Progressive Scan DVD, DD and DTS surround, etc... but I have to work out the details.

    If you are really interested send me a PM and I'll go over the details with you.
     
  15. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    A little bit of an update... I wasn't able to start the business with a friend so I'm trying to start it as a side job by myself. Already registered the domain and all. http://www.extreme-pc.net However I still haven't created the site so you'll just get an error if you try to view the page. I'll let ya'll know when it's up. Wish me luck!
     
  16. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Good luck buddy!
     
  17. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Good luck with it. I was doing repair and building custom PC's for a few years. I made the most money in repairs but I got burned out for stupid people always having some dumb problem and not wanting to pay. I am starting up a 4x4 accessory business now. Out of the garage. I know some guys that all selling to the rice crowd, cash only, no inventory, and they are making good money. Good luck with yours.
     
  18. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    I am starting up a 4x4 accessory business now. Out of the garage.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Can you give me more info on this please?
     
  19. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    Thats cool... I already have an ebay store selling exhaust... Magnaflow, Flowmaster, Ractive and some other brands. Doing pretty good but can always use extra cash /forums/images/icons/smile.gif.
     
  20. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Advice on starting a business?

    No problem. I formed a "C" corporation. Got my tax number and am waiting on my biz number and my DBA form. The DBA form went to Boise and the Biz # number form had to go to Florida. As soon as I get my DBA form back, I'm up and going. What I am going to do is be a reseller. I have a guy with a shop that I'll contract out if somebody wants a lift installed or gears done or something. Smaller stuff I could do in my own garage. The name is going to be Gate City 4x4. Hopefully I will mostly doing cash and carry stuff. Markups should be real low as I dont have any overhead. Oh, I'll also be able to take a credit card. Untill that DBA form shows up I'm just swinging in the breeze.
     

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