Do you own your own business?

Canada
February 9, 2008 12:54pm CST
A good friend and I started up an alt/gothic jewellery, clothing and footwear business back in October 2006. We started up with practically nothing and over the last year and a half this business has grown to be something that I am extremely proud of. Now if only it were paying the bills ;-) I hope we will get to a point soon that we can at least start working part time and focus on the business more. So how many of you out there own your own business? Is it something that's part time for you and you do other work as well? Or do you get to work at your passion fulltime? What have been the biggest successes and challenges you've had with owning your own business?
4 people like this
12 responses
@petebaja (516)
• Mexico
16 Feb 08
Did you get investor capital to start your business? Did you apply for grants or anything like it? If you need help with business plans and such, let me know. I've written lots of them. Good luck with your business. Set goals, be tenacious, be positive and never give up!
2 people like this
• Canada
20 Feb 08
Thanks Pete. I have a business plan, but we didn't have any investor capitol, and we didn't apply for any grants. The first few months the whole thing was funded on credit cards. All our debt is paid off and we're finally starting to turn a bit of a profit which is nice, albeit a small one.
1 person likes this
@petebaja (516)
• Mexico
20 Feb 08
Good deal! I'm glad to hear you're out of the red...keep it up and keep us updated.
2 people like this
• Canada
1 Mar 08
Will definitely do. I'm kind of a dork, I get so excited about the business and it's successes that I want to share them with everyone. So no worries there.
@petebaja (516)
• Mexico
13 Feb 08
I started a real estate business in Baja,Mexico specializing in ocean front properties. It was last year I started and I'm just barely getting to the point where it is profitable. I don't have to work 15 hour days anymore. I don't have to work 7 days a week anymore. I have a steady flow of clients now and that affords me the luxury of working 9 to 5 and only 5 days a week. I can actually enjoy life now and have the weekends off for family or friends. It takes time and patience and a lot of hard work. Don't get me wrong, I may work shorter hours now, but I still work hard. You'll get to the point of where the business takes care of you and you have more independence. From what it sounds like, you're on your way. Keep it up and stay positive. Set goals and stay focused on them. Don't ever waiver or be indecisive. Set goals and standards and stick to it! When you change course in midstream is when you get in trouble!!!! Good or bad go forward, there is no reverse or backing up!!!!
• Canada
13 Feb 08
Real estate, nice! I guess I know who I'll need to see when I'm rich and famous and looking for a nice little place by the water. It's great that your finally able to cut back on the hours a bit and really enjoy running your own business and having your own life too. It's a hard thing to juggle when you can literally work 24/7 if you want to. You want to grow your business and keep things moving but at the same time you need to have time for yourself.
1 person likes this
@petebaja (516)
• Mexico
13 Feb 08
Believe me, the hours are shorter now, but not easier. The market just collapsed in California and the rest of the United States. That really has affected the real estate market in Baja. Most of our clients are tourists from Los Angeles, San Diego and other cities of America. But you're right, now I have more time for friends and family. A lot of them felt like I was avoiding them last year, when all I was doing was struggling to survive.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Feb 08
we were going to go into retail with tax write offs but they were a little to much for us right now. This isnt as much money as quick but its going ot bring in money. we figured if 50 people spent 20$ than we will make 2000$ a weekend and out of 100,000 people that go to traders village there has to be at least 50 20 dollar bills. LOL We are planing on going our first time this next weekend. so maybe one day we could get to where my fiance doesnt have to work. LOL
1 person likes this
@Madona1 (2097)
• Gibraltar
14 Feb 08
Hello there, I always dream of having my own business because I may earn better money if I work hard. And this will allow me to do something I like to do. However, my dream hasn’t come true yet. The business you are doing with your friends seems a great success for the time being as it is just about 19 months; you both have turned nothing to something. Keep up the good work! By the way, is your business online or land based?
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Feb 08
My business is an online store. I would love some day to have a physical store location, but the cost of overhead expenses is crazy. This way, we're able to offer a cheaper price to our customers and still serve our local community without them having to worry about shipping. What kind of business do you dream of starting? The only way you can achieve it is if you just find a way to do it and then make it happen.
@Madona1 (2097)
• Gibraltar
15 Feb 08
Hello there, I think online business is the most popular one so far as 1) you can work from home 2) you can sell to international buyers, which are better from the business point of view. Since I never have my own business, I am not the right person to comment. But I guess online business is better than the physical business. If opening an online business, do you have to know a lot of technical knowledge like building a website yourself; how to upload the goods’ details and prices; how to avoid the spam or hacker etc? Many thanks in advance for your time to response.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Mar 08
Yes, online business is definitely the way to go in a lot of ways. There are low overhead costs compared to running a physical location, and you have much more potential to reach a global audience. But it's not perfect. Shipping costs are expensive, and we have to deal with duty fees as well. My business partner handles all the technical stuff for us, so I can't comment on that too much. But I do know he's spent a lot of time trying to bot proof our contact form. There was also some argument about how we were going to work and in what currency.
@kellys3ps (3726)
• United States
22 Mar 08
I have my own business teaching dance and musical theater. It started from absolutely nothing to something that I earn about $2400 a month from - not too bad, but I would like it to grow. Right now I use my home and the local schools, but I would like to have my own location. The thing that I have the hardest time with is collecting money from people - I am such a softie!
1 person likes this
@kellys3ps (3726)
• United States
22 Mar 08
I have gotten most of my students from word of mouth, but my biggest source of students came from the schools in my town. I was able to send out flyers to each student in every school in my district. If you can't do that, see if you might be able to post flyers at the schools at least.
• Canada
1 Mar 08
I've always wanted to open up my own licensed cafe, with spiked drinks, but never got past the planning phase, and often find myself short on motivation. I think I'd need a business partner to really bring it to fruition.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Mar 08
Business partners are the awesome, I can definitely attest to that. And it's nice when you can find someone with complementary skills to your own. He's very good at the technical side of things and the backend of the operation and I'd rather deal with all the people and marketing. Cafes can be hard to get off the ground. Aside from being licensed, what would be your spin on the whole thing? What's going to set your coffee shop apart from other coffee shops out there?
1 person likes this
• Canada
2 Mar 08
For me, the biggest feature or target of appeal for my cafe would be the atmosphere. It would not (ideally) be at all like the busy restauraunts and coffee shops which are all too commonplace in today's cities, like Tim Horton's or Starbucks. My cafe would be very mellow, laid back and great for conversation or just lounging about. There would be comfortable furniture, art, soft ambient music and dim moody lighting, possibly even a fireplace. A place where you could go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the stress of work. Where you could converse quietly with an old friend or read a book in a relaxing environment. Where regular customers would be greeted with a familiar smile and addressed by name. There would be NO drive-through.
@MagicGuy (157)
• United States
9 Feb 08
I started one a year ago... https://www.ClearVisionWebs.com and found the way to promote it using desktop marketing software. Here is a free one that actually works as long as you sign up. Yes, there is a $20 upgrade available, but you really don't need that to start. You can get a copy here;http://www.desktoplightning.com/JeremyL
• Canada
9 Feb 08
Thanks, I'll have to check that out sometime. So do you do this exclusively or do you have a job outside of the home as well?
@MagicGuy (157)
• United States
9 Feb 08
Actually, I have just quit my cooking job. But, I did need it to keep my business up and running. Once I got a mailing list with the software, it was easy to make sales double. You really should give it a try, especially because it's free. Just go here. http://www.desktoplightning.com/JeremyL
1 person likes this
@nanayangel (7839)
• Philippines
22 Feb 08
Hi there monochrome_lie! I own a business and it's an internet cafe. It doesn't do well always but most of the time, we earn alot. Usually, that happens on weekends. Anyway, aside from owning that, I also work as a part-time book keeper in my Uncle's beach resort. I only go to the resort for an hour or so everyday and it isn't a pain at all since my husband manages our internet cafe. I love our business because it pays the bills and I also love staying here because I can go internet surfing as long as I want.
• Canada
1 Mar 08
An internet cafe owner must be one of the best jobs for a myLotter, because you can be sitting at work making money while you make money. It's genius really. It's like how I wanted a PDA phone so I could more easily myLot from anywhere. It'd be nice, and I definitely bet I would see an increase in my earnings.
• United States
20 Feb 08
well my fiance and i are doing a body jewelry for now and then we are going to go as we go i want to get shirts and i think he wants to get some pagan stuff, i think we need more body jewelry and he thinks we need more rings LOL no but we will figure it out as we sell what we sell and grow. Were not having to put that much money into it at first to get started and profit is really really good. Its like i dont believe people pay what they do for what i get if you know what i mean. thats good to know your doing good congrats and i wish the best for you and us LOL, we are starting out selling at Traders village (its like a big flea market if you didnt know what that is) and grow from there. With just what we got we can make like a months of my fiances pay and he makes good money, but thats if we sell all of it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Mar 08
Wow, that's awesome! It sounds like you guys have things pretty together. Body jewellery is a great item to sell especially online, because it wholesales for cheap but what people pay for it retail is significantly greater. I'd like to start carrying some assortment myself, but for a very particular market.
@wjolene (265)
• Malaysia
15 Feb 08
i'm thinking to have own business but STILL THINKING. i'm lack of funds
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Feb 08
Have you thought about applying for any grants or investor funding? You would need to have a business plan most likely, but it's a good way to get some/all of the start u capitol that you need.
• United States
13 Feb 08
Well that's cool you have a good friend that started a business selling gothic accessories - I wish there was on here though. But yeah I do my own business in computer repairing. And of course making extra money on the internet is another good way for making business. Hopefully by next year or so I can put more extra business in the Philippines with computers, internet, cell phones and a restaurant. It's better to do business nowadays, making your own profit and being your own boss. Nowadays, employment jobs don't pay enough for a stable living since gas prices and grocery prices have gone up to the skies.
• Canada
13 Feb 08
Actually it's my own business that I started but yes, it is pretty cool :-)
• United States
9 Feb 08
I own my own business as well. And I work full time. I do my business in my spare time which is not often right now. I get mandated at my job and have to work 16 hour shifts. I don't like that but I really like getting a paycheck on those 2 certain dates. I like knowing it is coming at least. I know that I can get paid with the business, but that is not for sure all of the time. I want a for sure income. I want to take a leave from work and concentrate on my business more, but I don't feel secure enough to do that yet. Maybe next month. Stuff is really picking up so hopefully.
• Canada
9 Feb 08
Yeah, I know what you mean. I often feel guilty about the amount of time that I could be devoting to my business but instead I'm at work, which is a job I hate. I know that someday soon it will not be such an issue and I will get to focus more exclusively on my business but in the meantime the waiting is driving me crazy. Security is really important to me and I need to know that my bills will be covered first.
• United States
14 Feb 08
I had my own painting business, but after a year my husband and I folded. Just weren't cut out for it I guess. Too much involved for us. :oP
1 person likes this