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Self employed?

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I was wondering who all were self employed? I don't mean that you are a weekend warrior, like I was. I am currently taking a government funded coarse on how to be successfully self employed and I was just wondering who all has a business plan and that unique idea that has changed who you are into who you wanted to be?

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I am self-employed. Hubby and I own Twenty-Twelve Electronics Recycling (www.tter.ca). The only useful thing I learned from courses was bookkeeping. The life of an entrepreneur is a roller coaster ride; if you have a good day you are euphoric; if you have a bad day you are suicidal.

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I'm looking to become self employed. I've worked retail my whole life and am sick of it. I recently finished culinary school and want to use my degree. All I have right now is an idea in my head and some decent guidance from friends and family so I think this is going to succeed. I'm just starting actual business plan research so I'm scared about what will happen next. On one hand I'm excited that I'm going to finally be my own boss, on the other hand I'm nervous about how once this really gets started how much responsibility I'm going to have. I worry about how each of my decisions no matter how minor is going to affect everything I've worked so hard to create.

I wish there was a government funded entrepreneurship class like up north where you guys are.

After being long winded, I don't have a business plan(yet), but I do have a unique idea that I think is going to take me far and even though it is still in the planning stages has changed my life in very positive ways so far.

Dice bag maker, Out of curiosity, what kind of business do you want to start?

Brimley's Mom, How long have you been in business? What got you/your hubby motivated to start with your business? Where did you start on your business plan(I have no idea where to start)?

You guys all rock btw, You're always helpful with everything.

Thanks,

Pat C.

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I want to do my true passion! Chainmaille. Now, I know I could sell online like EVERYONE else, but I don't want to do it that way, since almost everyone and their brother does it online. There is a nice flea market not far away from me and they have fair prices and a lot of foot traffic. I actually want to have the one-on-one conversation with customers and not a computer screen.

Most of my jewelry is made from refurbished materials, such as brazing wire (welding wire for those who do not know), and my normal pitch goes along the lines of "It could have became an ugly pop can, but I made it into the jewelry." Now I know, as time goes by, I will have to stop using that line because more and more of my inventory won't be refurbished because I would like to start making suits and coifs rather then jewelry,

Oh, and before I forget, I would like to order... Maybe some bacon and eggs? :P

DBM

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Pat C., don't fret too much about missing out on a government funded program for entrepreneurs. I discovered the majority of government employees have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to running an actual business. The good things from the course would be bookkeeping skills and knowing what government licenses and permits are required.

Stubborness and pigheadedness are key attributes of the entrepreneur. The average successful small business owner has 3-5 failures prior to success. I am no different. This is my fourth business and it is holding its own.

Hubby and I got into this business because he also has a computer store that developed a clientele by specializing in older equipment...mostly off-lease computers that are 1-2 years old. Most people don't need to spend the money to get the latest gadget. He left the gamer business to others. He and a partner started the business with the miscellaneous computer parts they each had lying around. They built it up to the largest refurbished computer store in Canada before they parted ways. (The choice of business partners needs even more scrutiny than choice of spouse. Partners are a huge cause of business problems.) The recycling end meshes well with the computer store. I had just been laid off for the seventh time (yay for high-tech collapses) and we ran with it. It took three years before I could pay myself at all ($600/month). We've been in business for just over six years now and I have a modest income. Once in a while I skip my own salary to make sure I can pay my employees. There are good days and bad days; it's just that good ones are finally outnumbering the bad ones.

Things we have learned:

  • Banks generally won't lend money to small businesses. They will never say "no" but they will keep asking for more and more information to delay giving an answer.
  • Business plans don't last. As soon as you start implementing it, something will have to change. We have never had a written business plan. That doesn't mean we don't know what we're doing or where we're going. We just haven't written it down.
  • It is imperative to have 3-5 years of living expenses covered either by having savings or a spouse's income.
  • Perhaps the most important thing: Get permission from your spouse to undertake this endeavour. There is nothing worse that being nagged at home while trying to get a business going. You need harmony in your life because the business is going to really take all of your energy.
  • Keep positive people around you. You want positive energy.
  • Carry business cards with you everywhere. It's not a matter of knocking people over the head by trying to sell them on your business, but making casual conversation. Connect with other small business people; we tend to help each other a lot.
  • Always talk positively about your business. If someone asks how it's going, tell them it's wonderful. We don't rake in the money, but the business is great and growing. It doesn't matter than you barely made payroll or that you have to scrounge to pay the electric bill, business is always great.
  • Keep business and personal finances completely separate.
  • Good business accountants and business lawyers are worth their weight in gold. Cultivate a relationship from the very beginning so you know where to turn when you need them.

I'm sure there's lots more, but I can't remember it all. Just ask questions and I'll answer as well as I can.

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He just finished a culinary degree and you want to order bacon and eggs? Stretch your taste buds!

Fine... I will have endangered condor eggs with African Rhino bacon. Do not ask me how to get bacon from a rhino!

Also, Brimley's Mom is right on the money! I have been searching for a small grant, but the best I can get is a huge loan that I do not want at all.

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you can only the grants when you don't really need them, kind of like the people who need low interest loans and low payments get the highest rates and the lowest rates go to the ones who don't need the loan to begin with.

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DBM, If you come visit I'll have plenty of bacon and eggs for you. Of course they'll be stuffed in one of my gourmet muffins or crepes. I'm all about the baked goods for breakfast. As far as the condor eggs, I can get ostrich eggs they might have to do. Rhino bacon on the other hand might take some work.

Pat C., don't fret too much about missing out on a government funded program for entrepreneurs. I discovered the majority of government employees have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to running an actual business. The good things from the course would be bookkeeping skills and knowing what government licenses and permits are required.

Stubborness and pigheadedness are key attributes of the entrepreneur. The average successful small business owner has 3-5 failures prior to success. I am no different. This is my fourth business and it is holding its own.

Hubby and I got into this business because he also has a computer store that developed a clientele by specializing in older equipment...mostly off-lease computers that are 1-2 years old. Most people don't need to spend the money to get the latest gadget. He left the gamer business to others. He and a partner started the business with the miscellaneous computer parts they each had lying around. They built it up to the largest refurbished computer store in Canada before they parted ways. (The choice of business partners needs even more scrutiny than choice of spouse. Partners are a huge cause of business problems.) The recycling end meshes well with the computer store. I had just been laid off for the seventh time (yay for high-tech collapses) and we ran with it. It took three years before I could pay myself at all ($600/month). We've been in business for just over six years now and I have a modest income. Once in a while I skip my own salary to make sure I can pay my employees. There are good days and bad days; it's just that good ones are finally outnumbering the bad ones.

Things we have learned:

  • Banks generally won't lend money to small businesses. They will never say "no" but they will keep asking for more and more information to delay giving an answer.
  • Business plans don't last. As soon as you start implementing it, something will have to change. We have never had a written business plan. That doesn't mean we don't know what we're doing or where we're going. We just haven't written it down.
  • It is imperative to have 3-5 years of living expenses covered either by having savings or a spouse's income.
  • Perhaps the most important thing: Get permission from your spouse to undertake this endeavour. There is nothing worse that being nagged at home while trying to get a business going. You need harmony in your life because the business is going to really take all of your energy.
  • Keep positive people around you. You want positive energy.
  • Carry business cards with you everywhere. It's not a matter of knocking people over the head by trying to sell them on your business, but making casual conversation. Connect with other small business people; we tend to help each other a lot.
  • Always talk positively about your business. If someone asks how it's going, tell them it's wonderful. We don't rake in the money, but the business is great and growing. It doesn't matter than you barely made payroll or that you have to scrounge to pay the electric bill, business is always great.
  • Keep business and personal finances completely separate.
  • Good business accountants and business lawyers are worth their weight in gold. Cultivate a relationship from the very beginning so you know where to turn when you need them.

I'm sure there's lots more, but I can't remember it all. Just ask questions and I'll answer as well as I can.

  • I know banks have a hard time lending to small businesses but there are SBA programs that help.
  • I know business plans don't last however banks want them if you have any chance at a loan.
  • I have some savings and my wife works so we should be set with that.
  • Wifey is encouraging me to do this so I can do something with my degree.
  • I do have lots of positive people around me, both family and friends. They're my trusted advisors.
  • Working on the business cards, have the web domain(no site up yet, but gotta work on my brother for that), set up twitter(@muffinvanct) and facebook(The Muffin Van CT) so I think im on my way. Also am working on networking in my area, already have several suppliers lined up for local product.
  • So far all I see is positivity, so that's what I'm exuding.
  • I understand finances need to be separate, my accountant has already advised me on that.
  • Already have an accountant(father in law so I trust him implicitly) and he has a lawyer i can work with once I need to start setting up the paperwork and all.

Thanks for the input Brimley's Mom, and everybody else. I will let you know how it all goes, and if anybody is in the Hartford, CT area in about a year or so come find me. :thumbup:

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Do not ask me how to get bacon from a rhino!

it's just belly fat that's been cured in salt/sugar and occasionally smoked. theory is there, though I can't imagine what it'd taste like.

back on topic, I WISH!

my god could you imagine if i could make a healthy living in my city doing this stuff?? that's the dream.

my wife however has decided to skip working for 'the man' at her daycare, and instead open a home daycare. so we'll be 50% self employed lol

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I had a brainfart the other day, and someone (actually, my best friend) actually convinced me to get a web site and do some online sales. As much as I love entertaining the idea, there is just one issue... Too freaking many maillers online, but when you look at it as I do, there is no one at the local flea market (I know that SOME people won't enjoy my product, and the market is tiny, but you never know what you're going to get.

Same goes for Pat. Everyone needs food, but you gotta make them want what you got. I may not be able to get many online sales, but the ones I do get will be a bonus. For Pat, maybe Rhino bacon should be on the menu? You know, something that will get the attention of the general public? I know in parts of the US they serve rather big pieces of bacon - or maybe Pat can be the only joint in town that sells Peameal bacon aka Canadian bacon? Not to take a hand in telling anyone what to do, but I love food and I look forward to trying Pat's food! I should be down there within the next five years (planning a big trip to the Keys)

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Self-employed? Does retired count?

That depends... Are you making more cash then whatever your pension is? Better yet, if you don't have a pension, then yes, you are :P

(OMG!! 99 posts!!)

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