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556fiend
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:38:21 PM
I've thought of a few ideas (fast food franchise, fencebuilding, housepainting) for starting a business.

I've got $25k in savings (admittedly, not a lot of capital to work with), and the wife has a great job that's able to pay the bills. I'm young enough (29) to start a small business and work it from the ground up. If there ever was a time to take a risk, for us its now.

If you had $25k to start a small business, what business would you start?
MrClean4Hire
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:41:47 PM
Cleaning Franchise. I did in 1995 for $40k. to gain experience. Started my own in 1997 and in 2005 my annual sales are 7.5 million. Very lucrative business. Got to have a solid reputation.
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Originally Posted By twonami:
no but my dog stuck his cold nose in my butt hole while I was nailing the wife on the floor
mayday
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:43:56 PM

I hate to be a downer but for $25K you may have to stick to internet-speciality business. I'm looking at opening a Fuddruckers; I have to prove to them I have $350K liquid and net-worth of at least $750,000 in assets. Thats just for starters.
556fiend
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:44:07 PM
Like a Merry Maids or something? You do homes, businesses or both?
556fiend
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:46:45 PM
Wow Mayday $350k liquid? I think the only fast food franchise I could do would be Subway. I had a friend who looked into it a few years ago and supposedly you can get into one for under $75k. I'd need a small business loan, but its doable.

MrClean4Hire
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:49:42 PM

Originally Posted By 556fiend:
Like a Merry Maids or something? You do homes, businesses or both?



Commercial only, offices, medical. Apts and real estate move in/ move outs (lots of $$$$$ in those)
Carpet and hard flooring is 60% of my business.
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Originally Posted By twonami:
no but my dog stuck his cold nose in my butt hole while I was nailing the wife on the floor
MTUSA
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:50:15 PM

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
Cleaning Franchise. I did in 1995 for $40k. to gain experience. Started my own in 1997 and in 2005 my annual sales are 7.5 million. Very lucrative business. Got to have a solid reputation.




Did you buy a Jani-King franchise?
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:50:16 PM
the cleaning bix is a very GOOD SUGGESTION. It really can be a matter of WHO does it best too -word of mouth and all. REad UFOC doc all day and night - too many internal lawsuits - avaouid them at all costs!

I started out in franchising - both as a franchisor and then a franchisee - worked with some folks who came from the cleaning background and had done very well. Now I am full into the food side - i.e. - Fudruckers!

Try to start with something you know.

Also - $25K - can be plenty. I started my company at 29 - now almost 10 years later - best move I ever made - very hard. I started with about $15K.

Good Luck!

consider options that let you "ease" into the new gig!
Skibane
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:52:26 PM
It's human nature to spend whatever capitol you have in equipping a business, rather than whatever you really need. Rather than asking yourself whether you can start a business with $25K, I'd suggest asking yourself what is the minimum amount of money you'd need in order to start generating a positive cash flow ASAP.

BTW, the cleaning business is a great idea. If you've ever read "The Millionare Next Door", you already know that most wealth in America isn't generated in trendy, high-tech business, but rather in basic goods and services that everyone constantly needs.
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MrClean4Hire
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:53:32 PM

Originally Posted By MTUSA:

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
Cleaning Franchise. I did in 1995 for $40k. to gain experience. Started my own in 1997 and in 2005 my annual sales are 7.5 million. Very lucrative business. Got to have a solid reputation.




Did you buy a Jani-King franchise?



Yep, awful company, good experience. They train the hell out of you.
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Originally Posted By twonami:
no but my dog stuck his cold nose in my butt hole while I was nailing the wife on the floor
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:55:08 PM

Originally Posted By Skibane:
It's human nature to spend whatever capitol you have in equipping a business, rather than whatever you really need. Rather than asking yourself whether you can start a business with $25K, I'd suggest asking yourself what is the minimum amount of money you'd need in order to start generating a positive cash flow ASAP.

BTW, the cleaning business is a great idea. If you've ever read "The Millionare Next Door", you already know that most wealth in America isn't generated in trendy, high-tech business, but rather in basic goods and services that everyone constantly needs.



Yep. janitors will never be automated and is quite recession proof. Help is easy to find, I pay above average though. I make less profit, but happy customers and workers makes my day less stressful.
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Originally Posted By twonami:
no but my dog stuck his cold nose in my butt hole while I was nailing the wife on the floor
raven
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:56:06 PM
[Last Edit: 6/20/2005 5:56:53 PM by raven]
I have one idea for the short summer. I live a mile away from a part of town with something like 8 hotels crammed into a small area not a 1/4 mile long (it's near the airport).

So in the summer, you see hundreds of bored tourists walking around this commercial strip of town, just to get out of their rooms and do something before their tours, flights or whatever the next day.

Thing is, there's a very nice trail just 1.5 miles away that runs along the sea, with nice views and forest. My business idea is just to buy a van or mini van, trailer, couple of bikes, and telephones, and bring tourists out to this really nice trail for a bike ride, then pick them up and bring them back to their hotel at their convenience. Make brochures and plant them all over the hotels, bribe hotel staff for any referrals that result in customers. It'd probably cost $10,000 to start up. Only problem is, the season is just 4 months long.

Sod off, Swampy
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Posted: 6/20/2005 5:58:56 PM
One more business idea cleaning related.

Hi rise window cleaning, 150k a year for working about 4 months. Insurance is high and equipment is cheap. Not much competition.
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Originally Posted By twonami:
no but my dog stuck his cold nose in my butt hole while I was nailing the wife on the floor
raven
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Posted: 6/20/2005 6:03:56 PM

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
One more business idea cleaning related.

Hi rise window cleaning, 150k a year for working about 4 months. Insurance is high and equipment is cheap. Not much competition.



My ex-brother-in-law's best friend had that business. She said the profit margins were amazing and the start-up costs were neglible.
Sod off, Swampy
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Posted: 6/20/2005 6:06:57 PM
Good topic. Keep em coming!
556fiend
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Posted: 6/20/2005 6:07:33 PM
We live in a suburban area that just gave permits for builders to build 1500 new homes in the area. Maybe there's an opportunity to clean the newly built homes? Never thought of the service industry. Can't be too much start-up to start a janitorial company.

Keep the ideas comin'
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Posted: 6/20/2005 6:09:00 PM

Originally Posted By 556fiend:
Wow Mayday $350k liquid? I think the only fast food franchise I could do would be Subway. I had a friend who looked into it a few years ago and supposedly you can get into one for under $75k. I'd need a small business loan, but its doable.




If I was going to do fast food it would have to be a Sonic drive in. Outstanding potential.
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Originally Posted By twonami:
no but my dog stuck his cold nose in my butt hole while I was nailing the wife on the floor
Daytona955i
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Posted: 6/20/2005 6:17:51 PM
You might not need a small business loan, write a business plan, do a break even analysis for the first 5 years, and you might be able to find some venture capitalists. Better terms, less rigidity.
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MrClean4Hire
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Posted: 6/20/2005 6:24:58 PM
[Last Edit: 6/20/2005 6:25:36 PM by MrClean4Hire]

Originally Posted By 556fiend:
We live in a suburban area that just gave permits for builders to build 1500 new homes in the area. Maybe there's an opportunity to clean the newly built homes? Never thought of the service industry. Can't be too much start-up to start a janitorial company.

Keep the ideas comin'



That depends. I have over 200k in equipment.

To do houses you will have to have about 5k for good equipment and be the low bidder. Build a rep with the local builders and you are set. Easy way to make $250 a day.

Feel free to ask me questions, I'd be happy to help.
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Originally Posted By twonami:
no but my dog stuck his cold nose in my butt hole while I was nailing the wife on the floor
556fiend
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Posted: 6/20/2005 6:36:11 PM
ok Mrclean:

Would you hire help right away, or clean yourself?

What would you consider a low bid for cleaning a 2500 sq.ft. home for a new builder, and what equipment (besides cleaning product) would be necessary to get the job done?

What about carpet cleaning only business? Is there a lot of potential, seems like doing residential carpets only would limit start-up costs.
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Posted: 6/20/2005 6:51:57 PM
I have a family member who started cleaning houses in the morning before going to college... all under the table. She did 5 houses during the week and then one or two on weekends for party etc. It only took about $200 in supplies to get started.

Today she has over 30 ladies cleaning houses and offices for her and she makes a very good living at it. She could get more business but does not have enough employees as they are hard to find. Only about 1 out of 20 applicants get hired permamently. Her secret is to get only people who clean well and are totally honest (don't steal). It seems that for most people finding a cleaner who does not steal things around the house is number one on priority.
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Posted: 6/20/2005 7:01:24 PM
Not to mention Workers Comp.
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Posted: 6/20/2005 7:06:06 PM
Also look into buying a biz, instead of starting one. You have enough capitol on hand to get into a small one where the bulk of the work is already done as far as set up and employees etc. Look for something with room for expansion, retail is usually out, but services like, janitorial (uncle started with rented equipment and a couple buddies and a willingness to work holidays) are the way to go. What you are selling is the skills and the time of you and your employees.

In regards to employees, never do anything that you can hire someone elso to do, your time is too valuable to clean toilets yourself. If you do things right, your biz will make $ if you are there or not, otherwise you are just making a job for yourself, and in most cases you can get paid the same working for someone else with less effort involved.
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Posted: 6/20/2005 9:22:48 PM

Originally Posted By yekimak:
In regards to employees, never do anything that you can hire someone elso to do, your time is too valuable to clean toilets yourself.



That depends a lot on the size and nature of your business. Taking on employess can be a huge drain on your time - the paperwork and legal aspects get complicated real quick (not to mention dealing with employee personal issues). Most folks who are starting a new business have plenty of other things to worry about without also having to deal with employees. Also, nobody you'll ever hire will have as much motivation to do the job right as you will.
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zoom
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Posted: 6/20/2005 9:27:52 PM

janitors will never be automated

Very true. Our janitor works about five hours a week whenever he wants, and he makes more than twice as much per hour than any other employee, including the owner! It's not fun work, but if you do a good job and are dependable, most of your customers will be a customer for life.z
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Posted: 6/20/2005 9:34:03 PM
Buy into "Smoothie King and start living the nutritional lifestyle.
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Posted: 6/20/2005 9:43:30 PM
anyone know anything about dry cleaning? ....clothes and such.
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Posted: 6/20/2005 10:34:34 PM
The real question is what do you like to do? Do you know any trades? Do you like to work with your hands?
What ever you pick, pick one soon. I am 19 and started my business last year. I could not imagine having to start a business and have a family to feed and a house to pay for. I work 70 hours or more some weeks yet i don't think i will even get a paycheck this year. I pump it all back into the biz for more equpiment!

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Posted: 6/20/2005 10:39:04 PM
So MrClean, the real question comes... did you go the corporate route to buy new MP5s?
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Posted: 6/20/2005 10:59:29 PM

Originally Posted By 556fiend:
ok Mrclean:

Would you hire help right away, or clean yourself?

What would you consider a low bid for cleaning a 2500 sq.ft. home for a new builder, and what equipment (besides cleaning product) would be necessary to get the job done?

What about carpet cleaning only business? Is there a lot of potential, seems like doing residential carpets only would limit start-up costs.



I owned a carpet cleaning business for more than 10 years, I don't know how it is other places but around here the phone book is LOADED with carpet cleaners. You need some connections for work as a base to get started otherwise you are just one of a hundred in the phone book.Do a good , honest job and build the word of mouth and it is a Great business. It helps if you have other income and don't have to depend on revenue from the carpet to survive at first.

You would need a good van, a truckmount extractor will run anywhere from 10k to 20k ( prochem is the best IMO ) . You could start with a good portable extractor for about 5k. The portable requires more labor from the operator to do a comparable job to a truckmount. It also requires power and hot water which is not always availabe on new construction and vacant rental homes. Hope that helps.
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Posted: 6/20/2005 11:49:32 PM
Real Estate
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Posted: 6/20/2005 11:59:38 PM
I'd look into a Quizno's franchise... about the same size and setup as a subway, but a helluva lot better product. I've talked to a couple of the local owners and they seem to really like owning one.
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Posted: 6/21/2005 12:14:02 AM

Originally Posted By 556fiend:
I've thought of a few ideas (fast food franchise, fencebuilding, housepainting) for starting a business.

I've got $25k in savings (admittedly, not a lot of capital to work with), and the wife has a great job that's able to pay the bills. I'm young enough (29) to start a small business and work it from the ground up. If there ever was a time to take a risk, for us its now.

If you had $25k to start a small business, what business would you start?



I actually started my own internet business with a 250$ investment. Bought a bunch of pager motors, solar cells, and cannibalized walkmans for parts. Soldem' on the internet and made about 300$ a year for 2 years, and I STILL have crap laying around from that venture.

Ben
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Posted: 6/21/2005 12:20:49 AM

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:

Originally Posted By 556fiend:
Wow Mayday $350k liquid? I think the only fast food franchise I could do would be Subway. I had a friend who looked into it a few years ago and supposedly you can get into one for under $75k. I'd need a small business loan, but its doable.




If I was going to do fast food it would have to be a Sonic drive in. Outstanding potential.



Could you get one to open up here? God I love Sonic. Ain't been to one since 2002 because I don't get to the south very often.

The Subway here in Seward used to hold the record for single day sales...might still hold it. the BK went T/U in 2 years due to bad management, but the Subway is going strong.
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Posted: 6/21/2005 12:22:28 AM
+1 on hiring/training people rather than doing it yourself. Otherwise you are just a consultant (one who doesn't get overtime pay and assumes a lot more risk than usual).

$25K should be plenty to start a non-capital-intensive business.

When it comes to employment, use a payroll service to handle all the details for you. I use Paychex and they have been great so far.
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Posted: 6/21/2005 12:25:14 AM
Automated (coin operated with spray wands) car wash.

You could possibly get it set up using the 20k as a down payment on an SBA. They make some change and are not really complicated.

However, for $25k, you CAN start a gun business.... if you don't overspend on your site.
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Posted: 6/21/2005 12:37:02 AM

Originally Posted By COZ_45:
Automated (coin operated with spray wands) car wash.

You could possibly get it set up using the 20k as a down payment on an SBA. They make some change and are not really complicated.

However, for $25k, you CAN start a gun business.... if you don't overspend on your site.



but then what do you do with all of the shot dogs?
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Posted: 6/21/2005 12:48:50 AM
My brother does a construction cleanup business--cleans up and recycles what is possible of all the construction debris around and in new houses. You need a truck and preferably some connections with the builders. You need to be careful about the trash haulers--they're politically connected and some have arranged exclusive monopolies.

With any small business like this you need to be careful about depreciation and making sure you fully cover your costs. It's very easy to low-ball your bids, then discover five years down the road that you've got worn-out equipment and no cash to replace it.
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Posted: 6/21/2005 12:50:24 AM
Red Bull Vending

Try this you could probably buy three of these and make your money back in no time because EVERYONE drinks energy drinks. Just my .02

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Posted: 6/21/2005 1:57:33 AM
Someone mentioned a vending product. I have a small part time vending business that makes around 1500 a month with less of an investment than you are talking about. Just get something that makes you money all the time, with little input or time from yourself.