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Author: mikelly39 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 14983  
Subject: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/21/2002 9:42 AM
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I am a bit lost, and need some Foolish advice.

How do you go about finding a location for a business? (Family entertainment type of place)

Do you just go to a realtor's office, or is there some 'super secret' way to do so? Everything I have read is really vague on the subject, beyond "Just go get a location".

Thanks for your help!

Mikelly39
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Author: jimwa1 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5831 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/21/2002 10:44 AM
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Talk to a couple of Realtors, find out who does the most commercial leases - drive/walk around the areas that you are scouting out.

--Jim

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5833 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/21/2002 10:47 AM
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How do you go about finding a location for a business? (Family entertainment type of place)


Will this be an independent business or a franchise arrangement?

Will you be locating in a small town, suburban area, urban area, etc.?


ShelbyBoy

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Author: mikelly39 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5834 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/21/2002 11:49 AM
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...Will this be an independent business or a franchise arrangement?

Looking at staying independent right now.

...Will you be locating in a small town, suburban area, urban area, etc.?

More urban.... Mall Type area.

Mikelly39

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Author: mikelly39 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5835 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/21/2002 11:51 AM
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...Talk to a couple of Realtors, find out who does the most commercial leases - drive/walk around the areas that you are scouting out.


Thanks Jim, will do.

Mikelly39

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5836 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/21/2002 11:59 AM
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More urban.... Mall Type area.

It sounds like you will be considering a lot/building that is being marketed by a development or leasing company. My guess they already have traffic count information as part of their regular sales pitch for the property.

From a common sense perspective, is this the type of business where families would attend, teens in groups, etc.? Visit the area in question during different times of the day to see how much of that activity is in the area.

ShelbyBoy



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Author: feedmehuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5837 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/21/2002 12:20 PM
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Do you just go to a realtor's office, or is there some 'super secret' way to do so?

There *is* a secret, and I'll tell you for a fee.

Barring that... I learned a couple of years ago that, unlike residential realty, commercial realty isn't on one big database that a single realtor can access. At least not in the Southwest.

What I did was to drive around and examine locations, and write down phone numbers. Figure out how much square footage you need, and compare that to the sizes of the locations you check out. You might want to bring a tape measure along.

You can find a commercial realtor to represent you. He/she will be paid a fee by the owner of the property you end up renting (in a separate agreement), most likely. I called a residential realtor friend of mine and asked him to recommend someone for me. She knew the ins/outs of negotiating with landlords and was quite helpful.

My top choice looked pretty good, and we got into negotitations. A (40-page) lease ended up on the table, but when I started asking questions, the property owner started getting flakey and not returning calls. Every time I asked a question, he'd add another demand. Finally, he changed his mind and decided he didn't want to do business.

I was stunned, but got off my butt that weekend and drove around and reviewed the other properties on my list. My realtor was out of town for a few days, so I made some calls on my own. I found two very similar properties a mile up the road that were on opposite sides of the same intersection. I basically pitted them against each other to compete for my business. They fell over themselves undercutting each other, and I had a new property with a signed lease (12 pages) in two weeks.

That first-choice property with the flakey landlord is still unrented a year later.

Things to keep in mind: ask the landlord to warrant the HVAC system for a year after you move in. Remember that in addition to rent, you may be paying common-area fees (groundskeeping/insurance/maint.) that are shared by all tenants. Unless you put a cap on these fees in the lease, they can skyrocket without warning. Landlords seem loathe to limit these fees, and it took awhile before mine agreed in negotiations to limit the yearly increase on those fees to 5% per year. Of course, they didn't incorporate that agreement into the lease when it was drawn up, and I didn't spot it until after I signed it. Watch out for that. No problems with fees yet, touch wood.

Mine was a new property, which had some bugs to work out. Of course, your lease will specify that you accept it "as is" so if there are problems that existed before you moved in, they are now yours. Mine ended up missing a fire alarm. I discussed it with my property manager without throwing a tantrum, and they installed it for me at no charge.

I figured my business (music lessons) would get most of its business from school teacher recommendations and the yellow pages. But the recommendations are slow, and the walk-ins by people who happen to drive by are much more numerous than I expected. Don't skimp on the neon signage! A company logo that looks good on a business card isn't necessarily so great on a lighted sign. Keep it simple.

Probably more info than you wanted, but I hope it helps.

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Author: mikelly39 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5838 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/21/2002 1:16 PM
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Wow!

Thanks, you can never have too much info in this area.

Mikelly39

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5841 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 2:08 AM
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As part of a school project, my niece recently emailed me a questionnaire asking about my business. Here is my answer to one of the questions. My business (surplus) is different from yours, but I think you'll see that my reasoning can be modified and applied to any business.
……………..

I choose my locations carefully. All three locations (the first we leased, the second I had built for me and leased and the one we own and are in now) are on the RIGHT side of the street as the GI's LEAVE the base. (Even if I were willing to get up at O'dark thirty to open for them as they were racing to make morning formation they wouldn't have time to stop on the way in to work.) Likewise, during lunch hour, nobody wants to fight his or her way through a left turn to get into a store. Especially if they know they'll have to do it again to get to Burger King for lunch. By being on the RIGHT side of the street as they travel off base to home and lunch I make it easy for them to turn into the store on the way.

I choose my locations carefully. All three locations have (or had) a large parking lot. If they can't park by the door many homeward bound people will decide to shop another time.

I choose my locations carefully. All three locations are (or were) on the far side of intersections as the homeward bound GI approaches. This gives the customers more time to see my signs and decide to stop in.

I also use signage to stake out my location. All of my stores have (or had) large (three foot) black letters spelling out our store name on a solid light yellow background. The current store has four foot yellow letters on a solid green wall.

As to how did I find the three locations? I drove, walked and watched the neighborhoods first to see traffic patterns. This, of course, after I'd decided who I wanted my customers to be.

In your case I'd want my “family entertainment business” to be in or near an upscale neighborhood. (Unless you have survey data showing poor people spend more on family entertainment.) I'd want to be on a main thoroughfare and/or by a large, well-used park, playground or sports facility.



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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5842 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 2:18 AM
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Oh yeah, one more thing. DON'T let a realtor tell you where your business should be. One, s/he knows nothing about your business. Two, s/he will be interested in showing you ONLY those places where s/he will get a commission, not where you can make the most money. When I was looking for a place to open my first store a realtor took me miles from the area I knew I needed to be in and tried to rent a store in a tiny shopping mall he owned. Know what you want and stick to your guns.

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5843 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 2:23 AM
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<< ...Will you be locating in a small town, suburban area, urban area, etc.?

More urban.... Mall Type area. >>

Malls have a lot of foot traffic but are expensive. You might get the same traffic just across the street from the mall or on the other side of their parking lot.

Is the mall you're looking at "kid friendly" in other words do they let kids hang around?

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5844 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 2:39 AM
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feedmehuman is right.

Also, DON'T move in on a month to month rent basis. The landlord will wait until you've moved in your equipment, placed a yellow pages ad, put up signage and generally established yourself -- then raise the rent.



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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5846 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 9:46 AM
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Oh yeah, one more thing. DON'T let a realtor tell you where your business should be. One, s/he knows nothing about your business. Two, s/he will be interested in showing you ONLY those places where s/he will get a commission, not where you can make the most money.


I think that's the best advice I've read on this board in a long time.


ShelbyBoy

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Author: mikelly39 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5847 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 10:15 AM
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desertdaveataol,

Thank you for the info. I'm on my way with Pen/Paper, Tape measure, DigiCam, and DW to scout out the perfect location.

At first, I was petrified about starting a business, but with the help I have recieved here the past few weeks, I'm actually really excited about it.

Thanks everyone!!!

Mikelly39



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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5848 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 11:02 AM
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So are you going to fill us in on what type of entertainment business you're considering?


ShelbyBoy

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Author: mikelly39 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5850 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 12:13 PM
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...So are you going to fill us in on what type of entertainment business you're considering?

I would, but I don't think I can trust you people. :D

Seriously though, I've been looking into a few different ideas, The Family Entertainment is the latest idea though.

#1)Laser Tag/Arcade/Snack Bar type of place.

#2)Financial Planning - More "Personal Finance" stuff that the Fool teaches here. (CC Debt, Budgeting, SAVE SOME STINK'N MONEY, etc.)

#3)Car Wash - Self-Serve & Drive Through.

#4)Deli w/Mom - she has been looking into this on her own, but may need additional Financial/Buisness support.

#5)Computer Consulting - Last ditch effort to get out of 9-5 working for someone else life. (Convinced I'm really burned out on doing "computer support" though)

I'm sure I won't get ANY comments about my ideas, right?

Thanks again!

Mikelly39

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Author: blford Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5851 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 12:24 PM
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Hi Mike,

OK, you asked for it!

#1)Laser Tag/Arcade/Snack Bar type of place.

There are several of these here in Richmond, VA, along with outdoor paintball fields, and they seem to do very well!

#2)Financial Planning - More "Personal Finance" stuff that the Fool teaches here. (CC Debt, Budgeting, SAVE SOME STINK'N MONEY, etc.)

I assume, here we go again, that you already know something about this. It's a high traffic market here as well since there are so many young people around who don't know how to handle their finances well. Several colleges with kids with CCs.

#3)Car Wash - Self-Serve & Drive Through.

Every state I've ever lived in has had these around. When I move somewhere it's one of the first things I look for. The people/owners I've spoken to all say it's easy and profitable.

#4)Deli w/Mom - she has been looking into this on her own, but may need additional Financial/Business support.

A friend of mine had her own little sandwich shop and she said it was on the easiest businesses she ever had. She'd hire students and a lot of her menu items were simple enough to be heated with a microwave. She only needed a small frig, sink and the micro (if I remember correctly) and she had fun as well. Short hours since she only did lunch.

#5)Computer Consulting - Last ditch effort to get out of 9-5 working for someone else life. (Convinced I'm really burned out on doing "computer support" though).

If you're burned out, don't do it. You won't be happy and that's not the kind of business you want. If you're not happy, your employees won't be happy and neither will your customers.

HTH

ßill╒
(Good Luck!)

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5852 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/22/2002 12:35 PM
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How about a self-serve and drive through car wash with an indoor laser tag & arcade facility. While the kiddos are playing and the car is being washed, the parents could eat at Mom's Deli, receive financial planning assistance and a little computer knowledge on the side - all inside the same facility of course? :)


Seriously, that's a diversified list. When you narrow it down, come back and post - you'll likely get some good tips and suggestions.

ShelbyBoy

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5853 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 2:19 AM
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<< #1)Laser Tag/Arcade/Snack Bar type of place. >>

Had one of those here in town a few years ago, lasted a few months. Needs a BIG place (big rent) and the equipment ain't cheap.

<< #2)Financial Planning - More "Personal Finance" stuff that the Fool teaches here. (CC Debt, Budgeting, SAVE SOME STINK'N MONEY, etc.)>>

My CU has "partnered up" with CUNY in an effort to make some $$ since fewer people are putting $$ in the CU right now. The guy only knows about the investments his company offers and the CU is doing it for a % of the take. I don't know how you'd compete against stuff like that. Who would your costumers be?

<< #3)Car Wash - Self-Serve & Drive Through. >>

Two types in our town. A big fancy place with live people helping the machines for big bucks and another downtown doing the same thing for fewer $$. Both have been around for years, so they must be doing something right.

The other type is the do-it-yourself bays. I haven't seen any of them going out of business either and a new one just opened up a few blocks from where I live.

Only concern: You'll be one of the first hit if drought causes a water shortage. Also look into pollution and sewage problems. Our city crooks ... er I mean fathers recently made the car washes install some sort of sumps to keep mud from clogging up the city's drains.

It looks to me (an outsider who knows NOTHING about it) like a good cash flow business as long as people have $$ for cars I guess they'll want to wash'em.


<< #4)Deli w/Mom - she has been looking into this on her own, but may need additional Financial/Buisness support. >>

Lot's a labor. It'll tie one or both of you down until you find an employee who can be trusted. Also be prepared to deal with government food inspectors coming around. Last time I heard five flies in sight without his moving his head and you got closed down.

Also, be SURE all the plumbing is approved for a restaurant before signing any lease. Some places require special sinks and stuff you'd never think of. Might want to go down to city hall and talk to an inspector or two about what's up.

<<#5)Computer Consulting - Last ditch effort to get out of 9-5 working for someone else life. (Convinced I'm really burned out on doing "computer support" though)>>

Only start doing a job you hate for yourself if you're in it for the money. Cause it's the same job just with more worries and (maybe) a few more bucks. Better to look forward to coming to work in the morning.

You might combine this or Financial Planning with the self service car wash since you could have an office on site and maybe talk a few people into coming inside for a consultation and a free tire gauge.





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Author: bcfrench Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5854 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 8:53 AM
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<< #2)Financial Planning - More "Personal Finance" stuff that the Fool teaches here. (CC Debt, Budgeting, SAVE SOME STINK'N MONEY, etc.)>>

That job would end up involving a lot of sales, cold-calling, etc. My husband did the financial planner thing for awhile in grad school in conjunction with Fidelity and grew disillusioned about how much sales that job involves. Which is OK if you like sales -- personally I don't.

<<#5)Computer Consulting - Last ditch effort to get out of 9-5 working for someone else life. (Convinced I'm really burned out on doing "computer support" though)>>

Well, there is computer support and computer support.

First of all, there are an awful lot of unemployed computer people out there right now, so you may have a lot of competition. The number of unemployed web people out there right now either (a) trying to make it doing freelance web work and/or (b) supplementing with computer support gigs would make your head spin.

I think the key to success in this area is to find a specialty in demand. I have an old work acquaintence who has a successful business specializing in building, maintaining, and troubleshooting home networks -- cable, DSL, Ethernet, etc.

I've often wondered if there was a business opportunity in the area of professional computer shopper. The number of people I have seen in computer stores growing glassy-eyed at the salesman's pitch about RAM and gigs and 3-D rendering is amazing. I recently watched as a salesguy tried to get a very elderly couple to buy a very top-of-the-line computer with everything in the world, including a DVD burner and a 64MB gaming card. When the salesguy went away to check something, I asked them what they wanted to use the computer for. Their daughter and her family just moved across country and they wanted to get email and the ability to look at grandchildren pictures on her daughter's family website. The lady thought she might also want to look up recipes. I took them over to look at the budget models.

A professional computer shopper could sit down with a client, assess what they would use a computer for, perhaps suggest some other uses they might want to consider, and then recommend possible systems, peripherals, and software, and then do the research to get the person the best deal. Not only that, this person would be knowledgeable about new products, recent reviews, reliability ratings, etc. This person could also help the person set up the system, home network, antivirus/firewall software, that sort of thing.

I think there are some people out there who would pay someone to do all that for them. I know my mother would have if she hadn't had me or my sister to shop for her; she told me so.

...Barb



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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5855 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 9:02 AM
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How do you go about finding a location for a business?

I use one end of my living room, which remained empty most of the year anyway. I also like the low rent, plus the landlord's not too bad either.

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5856 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 9:15 AM
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I use one end of my living room, which remained empty most of the year anyway. I also like the low rent, plus the landlord's not too bad either.


LOL.

I once read an article for stay-at-home moms about starting a part-time business and operating it from the home.

One of the benefits was if the "landlord" gave her any problems, she could put her cold feet on him at night.

ShelbyBoy

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Author: bcfrench Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5857 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 9:41 AM
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I use one end of my living room, which remained empty most of the year anyway. I also like the low rent, plus the landlord's not too bad either.

That's a definite advantage of running an entirely Internet-based business. My husband and I both work at home (he works for IBM and telecommutes) so we got a three-bedroom apartment: our bedroom, his office, my office.

...Barb

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5858 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 10:08 AM
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<< A professional computer shopper could sit down with a client, assess what they would use a computer for, perhaps suggest some other uses they might want to consider, and then recommend possible systems, peripherals, and software, and then do the research to get the person the best deal. Not only that, this person would be knowledgeable about new products, recent reviews, reliability ratings, etc. This person could also help the person set up the system, home network, antivirus/firewall software, that sort of thing.

I think there are some people out there who would pay someone to do all that for them. I know my mother would have if she hadn't had me or my sister to shop for her; she told me so. >>


Yes, Barb, there's a lot of need for that sort of thing (computer shopper/setter-upper) out there. The killer though (IMHO) is in the last sentence of your last paragraph. There's also a lot of qualified (and not so qualified) family and friends out there who'll do it for free.

My brother, who's a computer guru for a large corp. in the Northwest, tried something like that, in his spare time, a few years ago. We never talked much about it, but he's since moved on to other things. It seems that that, and several other things he's tried, never made what he made "workin' for the man" at regular rates much less overtime.

It seems to me, one of the problems (aside from FREE family help) is contacting the clients. People buy computers about as often as they buy cars. So it's not like you'd be going back every month to re-re-sharpen their knives and scissors.

I hope you shoved a laptop up that salesman's ... er ... down his throat when he came back.



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Author: mikelly39 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5859 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 11:26 AM
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Ok, here's plan revision #54,345,217:

#1) Convert 2nd Bedroom into Home office. Hey, wait, that's already done.

#2) Advertise(small scale) Computer Consulting/Budget-Debt Assistance as 2 seperate companies.

#3) Get Cards/Flyers/Coupons printed for items in step #2

#4) Register with Temp Agencies, Headhunters, Monster.com, etc for Contract work. (I have 15 years experience working with all aspects(Programming/Mgmt/Networks/Communications/Web/etc.). I would imagine I could get a contract or 2 during this process.

#5) Scout out all Car Washes in general area, look for ones available for purchase. (Talk w/Owners, Suppliers about people looking to sell)

#5.1) Possibly work at one PT for added cash & experience.

#6) Purchase Car Wash.

#7) Hope at least one or more option in step #2 or #6 work out.

*NOTE: DW Works FT right now, so bills are covered. Have 1 Debt(Car), spotless credit, 6mo e-Fund, Approximately 20% down for the average Self Serve Car Wash earning interest every month in a MM account.

I did not bring in to account the "Deli w/Mom" because that's her gig. If she wants my help, we'll worry about it then.

I also didn't mention the "Laser Tag" Center because it involves other investors, and I'm not 100% sold on their commitment yet. So far, it seems like I'm doing all of the legwork, and the only one willing to risk giving up the "9-5 steady paycheck".

Any thoughts on this plan??

Again, thank you for all of the help/inspiration/comments. It sure makes this process alot less intimidating.

Mikelly39

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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5860 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 12:06 PM
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#2) Advertise(small scale) Computer Consulting/Budget-Debt Assistance as 2 seperate companies.


I wouldn't mix the advertising on these two - it sounds confusing - stick with operating as two different companies.


On the computer consulting, think long and hard about the copy before you spend money having advertising materials printed. Computer consultants seem to have a hard time communicating with non-geeks.

For example, if I am a homeowner and want my house painted, I can look in the yellow pages and find a house painter ad with the word "residential" and I know that's someone to contact. If I own a business and want my business painted I'll look for a painter ad that includes the word "commercial."

But computer ads don't seem to be that simple. If I am an individual computer user wanting a problem or two solved or if I am a business owner wanting some type of inventory management assistance, I look in the yellow pages and see computer ads that read, "Complete integrated solutions" or "Software Development and Implementation."

I suggest you clearly state what you'll do for a customer.

By the way, I know a local company that's doing well offering very basic computer classes. A four-hour class on using the Internet and email is $59. They average 10-15 people per class. They also offer Word, spreadsheet and other such basic topics.



As for budget-debt assistance, what exactly will you do? Offer advice only for a fee? Will you contact creditors and negogiate reduced payments, interest rates, etc.? I would think this would be a very difficult service to market unless you have some unique and easily defined services.

ShelbyBoy

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Author: mikelly39 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5861 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 1:37 PM
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ShelbyBoy,

Again, more great advice, and more to think about. Thank you.

Just out of curiosity's sake, what kind of business do you own?

You seem to be very well informed, and on top of things.

Thanks again,

Mikelly39

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Author: blford Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5862 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 2:31 PM
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I think the key to success in this area is to find a specialty in demand. I have an old work acquaintence who has a successful business specializing in building, maintaining, and troubleshooting home networks -- cable, DSL, Ethernet, etc.

I also know a consultant who does this and is very successful.

I've often wondered if there was a business opportunity in the area of professional computer shopper. ...snip... I think there are some people out there who would pay someone to do all that for them. I know my mother would have if she hadn't had me or my sister to shop for her; she told me so.

Barb has a good idea. I know because I already do this myself. I charge between $25 to $50 depending on how much time is involved.

I am a VAR and sell PCs, but I don't always recommend the ones I sell because they don't always "fit" what the customer needs. If I don't have a PC to fit their needs I will shop around for the customer (hence the higher charges) to find them the best deal I can locally. Some customers want a local store to buy from for warranty issues.

You can take this as far as you want to as you don't have to limit it just to PC's. I was shopping for people for all kinds of parts and software (still do) through local stores before I started my online store.

ßill╒



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Author: blford Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5863 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 2:38 PM
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Hi Mike,

It sounds like you've really done your homework on a lot of this already.

You've got some good ideas and if you feel comfortable with your plans then the next step is checking in to the laws, business licenses and such, and actually implementing your ideas.

Just my 2¢.

ßill╒

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Author: mikelly39 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5864 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 3:56 PM
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ßill╒,

Thank you for more great suggestions/advice.

I've been looking into doing my own thing for quite some time, just couldn't really pinpoint what that "thing" was though.

But, I think I have been using that excuse for too long now. Along with the unbelieveable amount of fear in giving my notice, and NOT having somewhere else "Steady" to go to.

Guess you only go around once! (unless you're into that recarnation stuff)

BTW, I sure hope we aren't in the same market for the "computer support" idea. I'm hoping to pick your brain clean in the next few weeks. :)

Thanks again

Mikelly39

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Author: blford Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5865 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 4:30 PM
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Hi Mike,

Thank you for the kind words.

I've been looking into doing my own thing for quite some time, just couldn't really pinpoint what that "thing" was though.

That and getting started is always the hardest part and since you're already doing one of the most important parts of starting a business, the research, you've got a good start already. If you're worried about the income, you could always start off part-time in your home until you get busy enough to go FT.

I have a lot of competition here in Richmond, VA, but don't mind as I work with a lot of these people. We swap customers as some don't want to Troubleshoot and others, such as myself, don't know about Networking.

I'm not a threat to these people, hence the reason they'll work with me. And I get to pick their brains too!

I might be able to help with some minor stuff, but there are others on this board who know the technical details a lot better than me, so don't pass them by either. They have some great ideas and are willing to part with them as well.

You can always e-mail me if you wish to discuss things that might be off topic on this board.

HTH

ßill╒

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Author: LynnHerron Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5869 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/23/2002 10:12 PM
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<But, I think I have been using that excuse for too long now. Along with the unbelieveable amount of fear in giving my notice, and NOT having somewhere else "Steady" to go to.

Guess you only go around once! (unless you're into that recarnation stuff)>

The worst bit is 'before' when you've got to make that decision to go for it. Once you've done that everything is easier. Being self employed is hard but once you are on the road you just keep going along it. You lose security but each day's survival (or hopefully success) in business is very rewarding in itself,

Lynn


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Author: feedmehuman Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5893 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/25/2002 2:40 PM
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Being self employed is hard but once you are on the road you just keep going along it. You lose security but each day's survival (or hopefully success) in business is very rewarding in itself.

There were plenty of flaws in The Millionaire Next Door, but one thing it pointed out was that a business has many customers, and therefore many sources of income. On the other hand, when you are employed by someone else, you have only *one* source of income. Your employer.

I'd say working for The Man is a lot less secure than actually being The Man. (or Woman).



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Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5906 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/25/2002 9:58 PM
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There were plenty of flaws in The Millionaire Next Door

What were the flaws you noticed?


ShelbyBoy

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Author: desertdaveataol Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5913 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/26/2002 1:56 AM
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<< There were plenty of flaws in The Millionaire Next Door, but one thing it pointed out was that a business has many customers, and therefore many sources of income. >>

I probably didn't find as many flaws as you did, but one thing I just couldn't understand was why he kept going on and on about shoetrees.

OK, so maybe well made (expensive) shoes will outlast cheap ones, but what do shoetrees have to do with THAT?



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Author: rah1420 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5943 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/27/2002 9:42 AM
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#1)Laser Tag/Arcade/Snack Bar type of place.

As a guest at one of these businesses in the past few months, I can tell you that I won't be going back there any time soon unless they advertise either private parties only or age- and experience-appropriate times for the players.

My 11-yo son attended a session of laser tag that the parents of one of his friends organized. Apparently there was a large cadre of older, more experienced teens using the facility and the operators organized the play party (pre-teen inexperienced) against the 'mashers'. Well, guess who got completely turned off of laser tag? And whats more, guess who also got bumped into and physically intimidated (the older kids would just start firing repeatedly and backing you into a corner and continuing to rack up points while you were helpless and couldn't get by them.)

I sent the operators an email regarding this issue, but never got a reply. So we know where to stay away from in the future. :-{)

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Author: LynnHerron Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5955 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/27/2002 2:50 PM
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<As a guest at one of these businesses in the past few months, I can tell you that I won't be going back there any time soon unless they advertise either private parties only or age- and experience-appropriate times for the players.>

It is a good point but unfortunately it tends to apply just about anywhere you've got kids together. I recently saw a major fracas develop in a small 'ball pool' set up as unsupervised entertainment for kids in a furniture store. Well actually the idea was that parents were supposed to be supervising but obviously what happens is that parents wander off to look at furniture...

Lynn


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Author: rah1420 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5959 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 5/27/2002 3:37 PM
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Yeah, but a ball pool I could understand as an ad hoc kind of thing, and the parents should've been a bit more sensitive to this. The laser tag operators knew that a party of six or seven 11-YO boys and girls was coming, most with no experience, and to pit them against "Ralph's Raiders" or some other of these every-day-for-a-year teams was sheer stupidity. Or carelessness.


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Author: bankingintern Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6013 of 14983
Subject: Re: Location, Location, Location? Date: 6/3/2002 4:31 PM
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YOu do hard and dirty work. you research. Figure out who your business woudl apeal to and then go find a site that is convineltly located to a large concentration of these people. If you're focusing on family entertainment, your going to want to be located near familes with money to spend who would like your business. YOu probably need to go find a good libary (possibly a college libary) and do some reading there are many many college level books specifically on the topic you've asked about.

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