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Passions in Poetry

Attention: SBO's (I have a dream)

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serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839

0 posted 07-15-2008 10:10 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Note that I typed SBO--not SOB.

Since I've never had a mid-life crisis before, I can't calculate if I'm in the midst of a mid-life crisis--all I know is I am near the end of my gig as a stay-at-home mom. So...I'm exploring possibilities.

I've decided that I don't particularly want to be a writer. (Don't ask--but let's just say I've discovered that the business-end of this profession looks just like the business-end of everything else to me--if ya know what I mean)

Sooooooooo....I have in mind, the same damned thing that other people have had in mind since the Statue of Liberty has held her torch welcoming our future merchants to our shores.

I wanna buy stuff cheap and sell it high. Um, high-er

Karen wants to be a merchant.

I just cleared the fields of the details of this little dream of mine, because it's really not that important.

What I am looking for from my friends at Pip is the "how-to's" and the "don't do" stories. Most small businesses fail, and I know this.

(I worked for a man once who questioned my judgement on his books--he told me he'd owned and operated 19 businesses--and I replied:

"All you needed was one to succeed!" I couldn't believe he was bragging on NINETEEN failed businesses, the spirit of not wanting karma to bite me in the arse?

I'm asking for good advice and business sense.)

All I know is what I have learned from running a home--

"Keep your income higher than your overhead."

Not as simple as it was to type that--

But please, regale me with cautionary tales and nodding, hopefully some success stories.

I have a dream.

Share with me?

Paul Wilson
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
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since 07-07-2002
Posts 4023
Between Fantasy and Reality

1 posted 07-18-2008 12:29 PM       View Profile for Paul Wilson   Email Paul Wilson   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Paul Wilson

Karen...SSS...??? Short, sweet simple

~~To share my poems with you is to share my heart with you~~

Member Elite
since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710

2 posted 07-18-2008 02:11 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Here’s my advice:

Do something you like, make sure it’s legal and don’t be surprised if success, when it comes, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be - it wasn’t in my case.

Member Elite
since 09-21-1999
Posts 3657
Sycamore, IL, USA

3 posted 07-18-2008 10:32 PM       View Profile for sandgrain   Email sandgrain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sandgrain

The only small business I've owned was my real estate business, but I learned a lot during that time...much from my customers.

1.)  Decide what type merchandise, blown glass treasures, a cigarette store or exotic furniture.  Are you out to furnish a need or satisfy a dream?

2.) Location, location, location is paramount. Lord and Taylor won't survive in the ghetto, nor will a Dollar store make it in an upscale neighborhood.  

3.) I once saw a sign, "Last Realtor for 1/2 mile." Study demograhics.  Opening a great KFC, between a McDonals and a Burger King, is a recipe for disaster. Know all your competition.

4.) Never buy a failed business and try to revive it.  Once people have a bad taste concerning that place, you may never draw them back regardless of how much you've shined the place up, reduced the prices, etc.

5.) It's usually wiser to rent space for a new business than buy the realestate. It gives you more options to locate near a business that draws your kind of shoppers.

Some of these seem so elementry, but I've seen some real blunders over the years.
My wise customer looking for a 12 flat told me not to bother setting up appointments to get inside the units.  He said just take me there about 11 to noon on a Saturday morning.  I can find out all I need to know by seeing the cars and tenants come and go.

Hope you find something in here helpful, Karen.

Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada

4 posted 07-19-2008 12:02 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

You might as well give the Ocean a drink of water, as give America another business.
Kit McCallum
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since 04-30-2000
Posts 16920
Ontario, Canada

5 posted 07-19-2008 08:53 AM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

Hi Karen,

Well, I’ve been in it for about 15 years now (just one business, lol).    From an administrative standpoint, here’s some thoughts for ya:

- Be prepared to spend a lot of time for the first while, with very little profit. Keep the money in the business and make it work for you to keep building up the business. The worst things I see are people who work hard, start to see some profit, then go out and spend, spend, spend (new boat, new car, new something). Next thing you know, they had nothing left for the next payroll, the next purchase, the next whatever. Keep it viable and don’t drain it dry at year end.

- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.   Make sure your service or products are diverse enough so if one area dries up, you have other services or products that will keep the customers and money flowing during the slower times.  Small clients are as important as the big ones.

- Market research is important. Is there enough people out there willing to buy what you want to sell? What's the pricepoints, how much will the market bear? Who is your competition and where are they located?  What key things have made your competition successful? Can you do it better, wiser, more cost effectively?

- Surround yourself with “good” people.  Good bookkeepers that will remain honest and upfront with you, “good” staff, who will treat your customers and clients as you would, and “good” friends and family with positive reinforcement for the days you wished you’d never started a business, lol.

- Keep on top of your paperwork, your books and your end-goals. Make sure you get those invoices out and payments made in a timely fashion.  There’s nothing worse than getting so caught up in the day-to-day fires to put out … then being surprised down the road when you finally get to take a good hard look at where you’re at.

- Learn from every mistake you make - big or small (because we all make them daily). Take them in stride, and don’t beat yourself up over them. Digest them, figure out how or what went wrong, and learn from them so you don’t repeat them.

OK, that’s my main thoughts off the top of my head – just more of an overall from admin vantage. Hope it helps ... and good luck Karen! It can be exciting, rewarding, tiring, frustrating and wonderful ... all at the same time.  
serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839

6 posted 07-19-2008 01:57 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well, it's something a friend and I have been discussing. Since the demographics of New Orleans has changed, and there seem to be plenty of businesses who study that and were not only willing to change, we'd like to be able to do something to cater to the folks who don't know where to find their favorite things anymore.

Right now, we're just mulling over the idea of maybe starting with a flea market booth for some of the more "craftier" items--and no, I don't mean handwoven pot holders. *chuckling*. We'll see, though.

I've seen too many people go under too fast by just renting a space and filling it with stuff thinking that "if you build it they will come."

I say the amount of business dictates whether y'need the overhead of that location, location, location! Until then, she had sold voodoo dolls, soaps, tinctures, gris-gris bags on consignment to shops in the French Quarter.

But yep, if we do ever actually have a shop, with a sign over the door with the little tinkling bell that rings when someone walks in, we don't intend to "marry"
any one specialty item.

Right now, neither of us cares about the money. We just want something to do that is fun, and maybe give some of other artistic friends a venue to showcase their talents.

(I know a guy who does some amazing "driftwood" art, and in case you find that corny, he actually has an ear of corn that looks very realistic, as well as other stuff. (Looks great in a bowl for the table!)

And Essorant-- negativity. But thanks for the idea! We need some negativity neutralizer candles, incense, and gris-gris bags too!

Post-Katrina? Those should sell! But we'll see. I'm just happy my friend is moving back home! gleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

She's coming in for my surgery too! I...sigh. Now that's a buddy, huh?

Like ya'll.
Member Elite
since 03-21-2003
Posts 4407

7 posted 07-31-2008 10:14 PM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

Karen, Have you watched The Big Idea? Donnie Duesch is on now and I find it interesting. He is a go getter and  the show is about helping others to get started and realize their dream.
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