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  #1  
Old 09-10-2009, 02:19 PM
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I'm thinking of starting my own business

I'm thinking of starting my own business and would like comments or suggestions on how to get started, manage the business, etc...
What I can expect. What kind of computer based programs are helpful. Anything you can think of.

Specifically I'm thinking of opening a coffee shop somewhere close to Deltona/Deland FL. I'm thinking of getting large industrial size roasters and roasting my own coffee beans on site. I picture a nice relaxed atmosphere with internet access, a quiet section with bookshelves and maybe an area with tv's.
Eventually I would like to get into the commercial office coffee supply. And eventually selling brand name coffee over the internet.

I'm in the early stage of putting together a business plan.
Then I'll incorporate, get a federal FEIN number.

I really hope I can get a grant/s or low interest loans. I don't really have a lot of my own startup money.

So what do you think?

Danny
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:54 PM
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Check out the competiton. An indie coffee shop opened near me and near a chain-franchise. I give it a year. The guy who owns the chain shop has a tough go as it is.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:57 PM
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what do you do for a living now?
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorainfurniture View Post
what do you do for a living now?
I don't own a business.

I'm a field service supervisor. My background is in Facility Services or more commonly known as Stationary Engineer.
I don't have any background or knowledge in owning or managing a business.

There are no frachise's anywhere near where I want to be. There are 2 coffee shops around which I plan to visit and ask some questions. I won't be anywhere near them either.

Danny
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:07 PM
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I'd advise against it at this point for several reasons.

1. You don't know what you are talking about. Act stupid, hide your qualifications as best as you can and go work for one of those places. If you sound like you are too good, the employer will be suspicious about your reasons. So be smart, act stupid. That way you will know the minute details. Even if you open up a franchised store, you will still not know all the little ins and outs of the trade.

2. Right now, loans might be tough to get. You need to be able to answer my questions before I will roll out money. If you have no experience in the field, I will be skeptical of your success and my repayment chance.
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2009, 03:08 PM
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my two cents. there are many stories of independent small businesses that go bust, usually within the first two years. in other words, the odds are not in your favor. my advice is to check out one of the major franchises that have a long track record of success, i.e. Dunkin Donuts for one. I've heard a Dunkin Donuts in the right location can make a KILLING. granted a franchise costs more to open but the payoff can be substantially more as well.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:12 PM
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granted a franchise costs more to open but the payoff can be substantially more as well.
Franchises also have a working system that helps you out as opposed to you learning everything from the ground up. Otherwise, you start from scratch, make the mistakes that they made and go bust more easily.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dannym View Post

I really hope I can get a grant/s or low interest loans. I don't really have a lot of my own startup money.



Danny
From what I have learned in economics, macro, and accounting you're going to need at least a years salary to have in reserves to cover any unexpected costly expenses.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:16 PM
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If the prospect going out of business in a year would cause serious problems, I'd say no. Otherwise give it a shot.
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  #10  
Old 09-10-2009, 03:17 PM
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I think this kind of buisness or resturuant business is a personality people business. If your a people person and also a good buisness person, then you might have a chance. I am not what I'd term a businees owner, although I am/have been trying to start a small machine shop. I think you would need some food type items, but not a full tilt resturaunt. Muffins baggles and sandwiches would be a good start. I'd also figure on some local musicians on certain nights. I see some restuarants do that and even a near by coffee shop. I'd also think of special events from time to time. I think a good one would be a fall/halloween festival. Or even some special drinks around the holidays. Also, I'd setup some type of small lunch menu and maybe dinner. At a cetain point you will have to see if you can keep it close to your original premise though or if you sold out to keep money flowing in.
Tom
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aklim View Post
I'd advise against it at this point for several reasons.

1. You don't know what you are talking about. Act stupid, hide your qualifications as best as you can and go work for one of those places. If you sound like you are too good, the employer will be suspicious about your reasons. So be smart, act stupid. That way you will know the minute details. Even if you open up a franchised store, you will still not know all the little ins and outs of the trade.

2. Right now, loans might be tough to get. You need to be able to answer my questions before I will roll out money. If you have no experience in the field, I will be skeptical of your success and my repayment chance.

X2... I had a friend that worked at an independent coffee shop for 8 YEARS before she broke away and started her own gig... She's making a killing now... Do you know how much a good espresso machine costs? 10-35 THOUSAND dollars.... Those fancy ones you see at starbucks are 46 THOUSAND dollars EACH. Id get in the business as an employee for a while to see if its the right move for you..

I got in to the furniture business 9 years ago... The hardest part is dealing with the public.. (especially the dumb ones.)
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:19 PM
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I would start by going on the internet and looking up Florida Business.
With in that heading there are sites to guide you for a business license, resale license and state incorporation. If you incorporate your business it provides you with a certain amount of personal protection.
ALSO
Ask around and find a good business lawyer, accountant and insurance provider. Put things in the business name not your own.

You might contact a franchise co. like Starbucks to see if they would send an info packet (don't tell them you are thinking of opening your own shop)
The info they might send could give you some ideas about operating costs etc.

See if the local collage has a small business course.
There had been a TV series on PBS called Growing a Business and you might be able to find it.

My wife and I had our own business for 15 years but 9/11 screwed things up enough that we closed up shop. We manufactured a product that was primarily sold in the tourist market.

I'm a stationary engineer also for 29 years now
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:27 PM
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FYI, orange county requires a "Fictitious Name Certificate" or something of that latter for a business. I remember filling one out for a economics project that involved starting my own business.
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2009, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75Sv1 View Post
I think this kind of buisness or resturuant business is a personality people business. If your a people person and also a good buisness person, then you might have a chance. I am not what I'd term a businees owner, although I am/have been trying to start a small machine shop. I think you would need some food type items, but not a full tilt resturaunt. Muffins baggles and sandwiches would be a good start. I'd also figure on some local musicians on certain nights. I see some restuarants do that and even a near by coffee shop. I'd also think of special events from time to time. I think a good one would be a fall/halloween festival. Or even some special drinks around the holidays. Also, I'd setup some type of small lunch menu and maybe dinner. At a cetain point you will have to see if you can keep it close to your original premise though or if you sold out to keep money flowing in.
Tom
Follow his advice. Even if there isn't much competition around you need something to really draw in as many people as you can. The coffee shop/Cafe industry is tough but it can be done. I know of a Chocolate shop thats in one of the smallest towns in CT and they have been going strong for nearly ten years now and even managed to expand. If you sell the right product in the right place for the right place you'll do just fine.
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  #15  
Old 09-10-2009, 07:41 PM
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Just so you know, business is not about sitting back and watching the money roll in. You are going to have to work twice as hard as you ever have and see negative results for a while. The question is whether your family situation allows that at this time. It takes blood, sweat, tears and comes back for seconds. If your family situation is at all shaky, you need to get your priorities right first or you will come under fire from both ends. Money is the easier problem to solve, IMO. Worst case scenario you go bankrupt. You can always earn it back. So, the question is whether you are ready or not.
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