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Old 20.07.2011, 12:43
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Do you have a business?

Hello,

I am thinking a lot about the futur and since I would love to work for myself and since we are going to come back to Switzerland after this adventure, I want to start thinking about options and opportunities.

We have so many successful entrepreneurs on this forum, it could be nice to share a bit of your experiences.

How did you start you business?
What brang you the idea?
How did you find the idea and what you needed to achieve it?
Was it already in your mind to do that specific business or did you just try to find what would be the best to do?

Any stories of how it was at the very beginning?

Was it difficult to start?

Thanks,

Nil
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:01
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Re: Do you have a business?

I have had my own business twice and my advice would be:-

If you have to ask such basic questions you should probably not even consider your own business. In fact working for somebody else might also be a bit of a struggle...

Cheers,

Last edited by nigelr; 20.07.2011 at 13:02. Reason: spelling mistake...
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:13
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Re: Do you have a business?

YEY!!! The Nils'sesses's are coming back!!!!!

Nil you should think about what you want to do and what gap in the market, be it product or service you'd like to fill and what ideally you'd be happy doing

As for starting, current one hard? no not really as saw an obvious need from this very forum
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:18
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Re: Do you have a business?

You could start a business charging people to tell them how much water they should be drinking each day.
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:22
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Re: Do you have a business?

@Nil - you don't find a business, the business finds you, an idea that won't go away and that constantly bugs you until you do something about it.

If a person starts a business solely for the money then it normally fails. If you start it because you have to then it has a better chance of survival.
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:23
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Re: Do you have a business?

I think you should find your niche and think what you like doing first. As you know I have my small clothes store and I am really happy, but again I do that only for fun Ask yourself what are you good at and what do you like doing...best of luck Nil!!!
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:24
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Re: Do you have a business?

I almost got my own bar/grill but it fell throug last minute. just to get up to that part was quit time consuming. Also if you are thinking about buying a business (fonds de commerce) you needed 50% down....
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:28
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Re: Do you have a business?

I am just looking to hear other's stories, I find it fascinating!

It is like to sit down with old people and listening their stories of how it was back then! I am not looking for ideas but personal stories of how someone came to this idea, how it was to achieve it, etc. The history behind the business is the biggest part and so fun to learn about.
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:34
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Re: Do you have a business?

By the way, I do have a passion and yes, this is what I want to do as a business.

Like I said, having people sharing their experience is a learning process too.
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:38
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Re: Do you have a business?

Stop thinking about a business and start thinking about a way to monetise whatever you enjoy doing anyway. If your favourite thing in the world is to walk your dog then start a business doing that. If you love a pint - there's your business. If you go into business selling a product or service, make sure it's the product or service that you already find yourself bending the ear of strangers about - something that you are already passionate about. My other advice is to just do it. By that I mean don't worry about accountants and establishing a company and doing business cards and letterheads and and and....just get going for free if possible and think about the rest later.
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:39
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Re: Do you have a business?

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@Nil - you don't find a business, the business finds you, an idea that won't go away and that constantly bugs you until you do something about it.

If a person starts a business solely for the money then it normally fails. If you start it because you have to then it has a better chance of survival.
I have to agree here. Many people who have never run their own business think that doing so would be like owning a gold mine. Trust me, it isn't. If you have a fantastic idea/product and have enormous passion and energy for the idea, don't mind working 60 or 70 or more hours a week, sometimes - especially at the beginning - for little financial reward, then go for it.

Running a business can also be the loneliest profession, if you work for another company, if things are going wrong you go home at the end of the day to your life and family, if you work on your own you don't have a shoulder to cry on (well you do, but your wife or husband will soon get sick of it). Having said that it can be a lot of fun and for me it is a creative process, creating a product/market/service and having happy satisfied customers is a fantastic reward, even if the money isn't
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:39
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Re: Do you have a business?

I started my own business back in 2002 (GmbH) and haven't looked back since.
It came about because the partners I was working for split up and I wanted to continue working with both, but independently and on a neutral basis. I've been lucky enough to have established a solid client base over the years and they remain faithful, even in financially tough times.

I've been in this business since 1993 and love my work - so, I guess my recommendation would be: find something you are really good at and which you know that other people would be willing to pay for.

During my first 24 months I hardly made any profit, in fact I was so concerned about paying the office rent, infrastructure costs and so on that I only paid myself a minimal salary (only possible, because my husband and I are DINKs). Now the company's on a solid financial basis, I have an employee (part-time), and I can pay myself a reasonable salary.

IMO, it doesn't matter whether you're selling haircuts, shoelaces or legal advice. You just have to be GOOD at what you're doing.

Good luck!
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:39
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Re: Do you have a business?

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I have had my own business twice and my advice would be:-

If you have to ask such basic questions you should probably not even consider your own business. In fact working for somebody else might also be a bit of a struggle...

Cheers,
Thank you Warren Buffett for that education in how to fail and be depressed at the same time.
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:43
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Re: Do you have a business?

Start-up business can be easy, can be tough. You can do it for the passion, you can do it purely for financial gain.

Really all it comes down to is a solid business plan honestly and realistically thought out and followed through. That will define whether it's easy work or hard work, whether you will make a forture or whether you will struggle to break even.
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Old 20.07.2011, 13:44
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Re: Do you have a business?

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Thank you Warren Buffett for that education in how to fail and be depressed at the same time.
You're welcome - maybe I should charge for it.

@Nil - the other thing is try to start whilst you still have a job. There are plenty of things you can do on the side as a startup to offset the chance of failure. That way if you don't make a profit for a few years it doesn't matter so much.
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Old 20.07.2011, 14:00
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Re: Do you have a business?

started a business when we where in the uk,

started as just a sideline while I did my day job, then grew and grew we ended up be being the largest co. of the kind in the uk

but as grumpy said, it takes up all of your time, ALL of it, when you go from cottage industry into proper retail type outfit then the costs escalate massively, everyone wants there cut, and that can leave you working for nothing.

staff - a right PITA, all there problems become your problems, you just want to shout and slap them, your girlfriend not giving you sex is not my problem arghhhh

customers - my god, the stories I could tell about the stupidity of people, of course its not there fault, its your fault

in the end in very nearly made me go postal, I was busting a gut for an obnoxious moron and nothing was going right, was doing a delivery myself, the only one as he needed the goods NOW, so we where already out of pocket (own van) m25 was shut due to an accident, then the van broke down and a catalog of other issue, then customer on the phone shouting and screaming and calling me a liar, still wanted the goods but wouldn't get off his arse and meet me (broken down on the m-way, even though I was only 10 minutes from him) had a very odd feeling, almost out of body, then decided it just wasn't worth it, sold the company and walked away.

the guy who bought the company went bankrupt after about a year.

ETA turning a hobby into a business is a terrible idea, thats how I started and ended up hating it all
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Old 20.07.2011, 14:08
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Re: Do you have a business?

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started a business when we where in the uk,

started as just a sideline while I did my day job, then grew and grew we ended up be being the largest co. of the kind in the uk

but as grumpy said, it takes up all of your time, ALL of it, when you go from cottage industry into proper retail type outfit then the costs escalate massively, everyone wants there cut, and that can leave you working for nothing.

staff - a right PITA, all there problems become your problems, you just want to shout and slap them, your girlfriend not giving you sex is not my problem arghhhh

customers - my god, the stories I could tell about the stupidity of people, of course its not there fault, its your fault

in the end in very nearly made me go postal, I was busting a gut for an obnoxious moron and nothing was going right, was doing a delivery myself, the only one as he needed the goods NOW, so we where already out of pocket (own van) m25 was shut due to an accident, then the van broke down and a catalog of other issue, then customer on the phone shouting and screaming and calling me a liar, still wanted the goods but wouldn't get off his arse and meet me (broken down on the m-way, even though I was only 10 minutes from him) had a very odd feeling, almost out of body, then decided it just wasn't worth it, sold the company and walked away.

the guy who bought the company went bankrupt after about a year.

ETA turning a hobby into a business is a terrible idea, thats how I started and ended up hating it all
See? That was the idea of the thread....

Now if someone could come in with a nice story, that would be great...

please?
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Old 20.07.2011, 14:14
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Re: Do you have a business?

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See? That was the idea of the thread....

Now if someone could come in with a nice story, that would be great...

please?

it wasn't all bad met lots of interesting people, from idiotic wannabe gangsters all the way upto some of the richest people in the uk as well as sports stars, movie stars etc etc, generally the richer they where the tighter they where lol

lots of fun at times, made some good friends too

ETA

I don't regret doing it, I had to get it out of my system, rather then just live with wondering what if??
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Old 20.07.2011, 14:22
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Re: Do you have a business?

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You're welcome - maybe I should charge for it.

@Nil - the other thing is try to start whilst you still have a job. There are plenty of things you can do on the side as a startup to offset the chance of failure. That way if you don't make a profit for a few years it doesn't matter so much.
start while your husband is working and paying for a child-minder and cleaner. then you have the full day to invest in your business without having to worry about trivial household matters.
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Old 20.07.2011, 14:26
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Re: Do you have a business?

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ETA turning a hobby into a business is a terrible idea, thats how I started and ended up hating it all
i agree with this, as it will turn a hobby into a job, but that's not necessarily a bad thing if you don't mind losing a hobby.

conversely, it's nice to do a hobby that pays money, so long as you don't mind that it doesn't make you enough to live on and you don't stress yourself.

personally, i hate customers, they are annoying idiots who think they are entitled to the world just because they paid you 50 quid. i prefer to deal B2B where possible and am happy to tell customers i don't like to go jump - a luxury you don't have if you depend on it for a living.
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