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Old June 15th, 2013 #1
keifer
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Default Business Models for small business: Core requirements for making it work.

I am interested in hearing ideas regarding small business models. Not so much on how to get rich selling shoe laces and personalized coffee cups, but rather info and experience on the guts of small business requirements on day to day as well as start up. Info about insurance, employees, taxes etc.

My personal interest for what I have in mind would be that I am the employee and maybe one other, possibly my wife and that revenue would be from the open door public sector.
 
Old June 20th, 2013 #2
Alex Linder
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Your questions are too general. There's no such thing as some generic business. All businesses are very, very specific. Serving who? Doing what?

Find out what people need done and do it. That's your business model. Or, find some hole in the market - something that's not being offered. Offer it. But first try to figure out why no one else has come up with the same idea you have. People aren't all that different. If someone's not doing something, there is probably a good reason.
 
Old June 20th, 2013 #3
keifer
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If there is one reason I don't have a business now it because I see it as a person does not own a business , but rather the business owns them. If a business has the potential to add quality to my life then it would be said that the business affords me more free time for life. Dreamin' ..yes I know.

My idea is to open a gym, not a fitness center with PC rules to cater to PC people, but a low budget gym with little to no restrictions. The basic idea is to get a for-closed home, gut it and furnish it with hand picked used equipment. This equipment will generally retain much of its value in the event things don't workout and I have to fold on my prospects. The plus to this objective is that I would not have to continually replenish a resource product for resale and profit margin. At the core I would be selling motivation, and in which case is the vulnerability of this type of business. The gauge for success in this situation depends on a persons demands in life like houses, boats, vacations and what not. But my requirements are minimal relatively speaking.

What are the hows and whats of setting up employee compensation and taxes, as well as liability. Is there nothing more to it than paying an accountant and a lawyer?
 
Old June 20th, 2013 #4
Alex Linder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keifer View Post
If there is one reason I don't have a business now it because I see it as a person does not own a business , but rather the business owns them. If a business has the potential to add quality to my life then it would be said that the business affords me more free time for life. Dreamin' ..yes I know.
Confused is what I would say. Speaking as one who has done what you're speculating about, and I don't mean VNN. That you think a business will give you free time - I would love to laugh at you, but your conception is so entirely wrong I can't. A business will take 100% commitment, heart and soul, for a good long time, until you're established. Maybe years down the road it will bring in reliable profits, and you can have someone else manage it. Then again, you might be a natural at it, as I surely was not, or you might have some special skills or market niche. I don't know. I do know that about 80% of startups fail, and I also know that it takes an incredible amount of hard work to start something from scratch. If you have a lot of money backing you, it can be easier, but if you think that starting a business will give you time off, you're completely misconceiving it. It will consumer ALL your waking hours, I kid you not. If you're serious about making a go of it.

Some people are meant to be employees. Some are meant to run their own show. Don't be confused about which one you are. There is nothing in the world wrong with working for someone else; in a very great number of cases it is the best option. But if you do have an idea, think it through as carefully as you can, solicit good advice, and take the plunge. Don't wait, either. You will not have energy in your forties that you have in your twenties.

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My idea is to open a gym, not a fitness center with PC rules to cater to PC people, but a low budget gym with little to no restrictions. The basic idea is to get a for-closed home, gut it and furnish it with hand picked used equipment. This equipment will generally retain much of its value in the event things don't workout and I have to fold on my prospects. The plus to this objective is that I would not have to continually replenish a resource product for resale and profit margin. At the core I would be selling motivation, and in which case is the vulnerability of this type of business. The gauge for success in this situation depends on a persons demands in life like houses, boats, vacations and what not. But my requirements are minimal relatively speaking.
Check out the gyms in your area. What kind of business are they doing? Is there something they're not offering that you can? Or is it enough to knock off their model in a better/different location? Why aren't they doing what you propose to do? These are the kind of questions you want to ask. Imagine you were trying to sell someone on investing in your gym. What case could you make that would entice him into putting down money? Ever written a business plan?
 
Old June 20th, 2013 #5
David Langdon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keifer View Post

My idea is to open a gym, not a fitness center with PC rules to cater to PC people, but a low budget gym with little to no restrictions. The basic idea is to get a for-closed home, gut it and furnish it with hand picked used equipment. This equipment will generally retain much of its value in the event things don't workout and I have to fold on my prospects. The plus to this objective is that I would not have to continually replenish a resource product for resale and profit margin. At the core I would be selling motivation, and in which case is the vulnerability of this type of business. The gauge for success in this situation depends on a persons demands in life like houses, boats, vacations and what not. But my requirements are minimal relatively speaking.
I am well aquainted with this industry and have several friends who own successful gyms.

Are you in good shape yourself, ostensibly at least? Planning on hiring staff?

When you say a "gym, not a fitness centre" does that mean you mean to intend to cater to weightlifters mainly and your inventory of electrical CV machines will be minimal? Is it going to be a weight lifters gym per se?

I say this as electronic cardio machines break down a lot and most all fitness centres with lots of cardio equipment have fairly expensive (and necessary) maintenance contracts. If you have electronics knowledge or past experience in repairing said equipment it will save you a lot of money.

The resistance equipment that experience the most wear and tear (and therefore need replacing/fixing) in gyms are cable stations and dumbells.
Both of which anyone will metalwork or basic maintenance skills could rectify. You can buy rubber coated db's which are a lot more sturdy.

Is there going to be a music sytem, TV's and/or Aircon?

Selling post workout shakes and protein bars will bring in extra income as well as the ubiquitous sports drinks. The margin is low but post workout people are hungry and thirsty.
You'd be surprised at how much money the latter can bring in. I have a friend who makes hundreds of pounds sterling a week just from the few vending machine selling lucozade sport, and he owns a small private fitness centre.


.
 
Old June 20th, 2013 #6
Bardamu
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I question the idea of a converted house for a gym.
 
Old June 20th, 2013 #7
David Langdon
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Would need a lot of conversion for sure, at least from a UK perspective.
 
Old June 21st, 2013 #8
Randal Goode
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It seems to me that gyms are ubiquitous anymore, and from what I can see, most are not running anywhere near enough business to be anything but at best barely breaking even. The ones that have a lot of people must mostly be long established ones and the "name" gyms, or the first decent one to ever open in an area, etc. It's usually hard to copycat something that has already been done, unless yours is very much an improvement over the first or original.

You definitely want to scope out the area and seriously scrutinize that aspect. My immediate reaction, and this is based entirely on my own region, is that your gym idea is badly flawed. There is no way I'd try that one. Maybe your area is entirely different and a gym would be a winner, but I seriously doubt it, considering the number of gyms I've seen open in the last ten years or so in what seems to be everywhere.

Moreover, considering what I said in the final sentence of my first paragraph, since you are stating you plan on getting an old house and converting it, well, that is hardly likely to be that dramatic improvement over the other gym(s). Just saying.

It sounds like you need to regroup and make another plan. I cant see it unless you are somewhere where there is no gym at all or they are major shitty. And like Alex said, it looks like you are seriously misinformed about what it is and what it takes to make a business. Not trying to be an asswipe or mean, just pointing out some obvious. Don't want to see you lose a bunch of money and crash and burn when you can simply be told a few things that will prevent it.
 
Old June 21st, 2013 #9
keifer
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I do have experience working as an employee in a wide range of gyms, from the very best in the world where world record holders congregated, as well as a gutted house. The life expectancy of a gym is going to rely on membership contracts that lock in payment. The gutted house gym I mentioned seemed to work although I can't imagine the owner made any kind of money because the gym was geared toward the financially disenfranchised. This gym was also located in an area of high population and middle to low income. The one thing it offered was that it could not be said the lack of being in shape was for a persons money troubles. Of course this is flawed business wise while trying to get money from the poor and would seem more like a charity project. This was also a transient gym for which the cost was only slightly cheaper than having your own gear and a place to put it. When considering this idea it is from the point of view of what is the most cost effective building, what is the absolute cheapest structure to be had. Maybe further investigation would reveal that a warehouse type structure is cheaper on rent, but there does seem to no shortage of vacant houses these days. A house would be last consideration and I understand your reservations on the idea. I knew a guy who had a warehouse gym in southern Florida with no air conditioning. He survived twenty plus years off of membership that did not want a fluff environment that would be payed for by higher membership costs, but still he made it by with no AC, and living in the back room so his personal over head for cost of living was offset. Offsetting cost of living is the primary reason I would consider the idea of an alternative structure. I have no illusions that owning a gym will make me rich, nor do I think it will afford me 100% free time and I did make a comment to that affect in previous post.
 
Old June 21st, 2013 #10
Donnie in Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
A business will take 100% commitment, heart and soul, for a good long time, until you're established. Maybe years down the road it will bring in reliable profits, and you can have someone else manage it.
Or sell it, because competent managers who aren't going to repeatedly rob you are rare. No one will run it like you will.

I don't have a soul, as I sold it to Rock and Roll, but you're right about the 100% commitment. Most people are lazy. They're lazy in business, too.

If you're just starting up, you can have a business, or you can have a personal life.

You can't have both at the same time in most cases.
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Old June 27th, 2013 #11
Crowe
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You could just work for yourself and be a 1 man business. Maybe you got a skill you can use to make money? You would need to get personal liability insurance if your skill involves you doing anything that could potentially result in a costly fuck up. Personal liability insurance isn't too expensive for 1 person.

A lot of small businesses start out as a 1 man operation like that. Find something you can do that isn't terribly competitive in your area. Competition sucks when it comes to making money.

Last edited by Crowe; June 27th, 2013 at 01:19 PM.
 
Old June 27th, 2013 #12
Karl Lueger
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Quote:

I don't have a soul, as I sold it to Rock and Roll, but you're right about the 100% commitment. Most people are lazy. They're lazy in business, too.

If you're just starting up, you can have a business, or you can have a personal life.

You can't have both at the same time in most cases.
So true.
From what Ive seen so far,
that is true at least 95% of the time, if not always
and still is no guarantee of success.

Being on the small business side of the fence I know how hard it is
but funny thing is the other business owners I know always complain how difficult it is,
but the people in the corporate world who work for others always bitch about their jobs and there want to own their business and work for themselves..

so both side so of the argument are un-happy.

fuck it, find a way to get rich, retire early and devote more time to WN cause..
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Last edited by Karl Lueger; June 27th, 2013 at 02:30 PM.
 
Old June 29th, 2013 #13
Donnie in Ohio
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Originally Posted by Karl Lueger View Post
So true.
From what Ive seen so far,
that is true at least 95% of the time, if not always
and still is no guarantee of success.
It's like Jack Welch said, and I'm paraphrasing: You have to define what your goal actually is, and exactly how you're going to achieve that goal. Otherwise you're doomed from the start.

It sounds simplistic, but most people don't have that, in their business lives, personal lives, or yes, our political lives.
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Old July 23rd, 2013 #14
keifer
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I drove past a Golds Gym that had a sign for ten dollars a month, no contract.
 
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