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What is your dream small business?

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
Today I was at my favorite used bookstore and the lady who owns all the books ask' if I want to buy the business. She's been running the store for 40 yrs. has established connections throughout the country, steady local and national clients, a decent selection of first prints AND she'll work with me on financing and acquainting me with all of the personal relations she has developed with other dealers. I told her I couldn't do it right now and wanted to graduate college before anything, to which she replied, tell me when you're interested. I 'm frustrated, this has been a dream of mine and I just can't do it! So, with that what's you dream small biz?
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
The Irish One said:
I 'm frustrated, this has been a dream of mine and I just can't do it! So, with that what's you dream small biz?
Why can't you chase your dream? I can't say that I have one, or I think I would be chasing it. I think maybe I will just become an absentee landowner and wreak havoc on neighboring cities code enforcement....JK.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Video store, record store (back when they were vinyl, not now), bookstore. I've also thought about a travel agency (maybe when I'm semi-retired, if travel agents still exist).

At one point a friend of mine and I were looking at opening a bookstore and coffee shop in the Eugene, OR area, but that was mostly a pipe dream. We even had business names picked out.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
6,414
Points
39
My dream small business would be to operate a pastry shop or dessert shop. I just don't want to work bakers' hours, and am afraid of taking risks like that.

TIO, if you can at all do this, go for your dream!
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Book store-that's a tough business in today's world :) Too many people come in, page through your books, and go order on-line for $2.00 less :(.

I'm not much of a dreamer, sadly enough.

I think, though, that I have become more and more interested (obsessed) in ceramics -collecting. So, I wouldn't mind owning an art gallery specializing in pueblo pottery and local artists and talavera from Mexico. Of course, I have no comprehension about how to go about running a small artsy-fartsy business like that, but...Edit: (And I might have trouble selling any of the stock)
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
BKM said:
Edit: (And I might have trouble selling any of the stock)
Hmmmm... In San Francisco? I thought artsy-fartsy and fabulous people love that kind of thing. The bay area seems like the perfect place for that.

I have a friend in Alameda that has a glass studio ... he seems to do okay, even with some of the bizarre stuff he sells.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Hmmmm... In San Francisco? I thought artsy-fartsy and fabulous people love that kind of thing. The bay area seems like the perfect place for that.
Does liking this kind of stuff make me "fabulous?" Oops. Time to take up huntin' and fishin' instead. Of course, I do like cycling and hiking-so I recover a bit of my (admitedly small) ruggedness :(

Your comment brings up the problem, though-too much competition. Plus, my point was I would want to keep the better stuff for myself. :(
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
Messages
178
Points
7
Dream Small Business

Yeah, it sounds unoriginal, but I've been pipe dreaming a coffeeshop for years. I've pinned down even the location -- next door to a municipal government addition and nearby two future housing developments in the city's arts district downtown.

Those of you who've been to DC's Adams Morgan neighborhood will recognize my two inspirations: the cheap ethnic food of Julia's Empanadas and coffee bar Tryst. That's right: it would serve empanandas and spring rolls on top of the usual sandwiches and baked goodies. All the usual espresso drinks plus coffee-based mixed drinks charged at a $$$premium.

Small tables would populate the front for lunch crowd. Two living room sets, a long dining table, and shelf of books, and a stage would occupy the back, on a hardwood floor. Live latin jazz on Friday and Saturday nights, with all other nights up for grabs (whatever the regulars want to do).

Of course, to be the neighborhood spot, it'd have to be open for breakfast and into the wee hours. That's the problem. I do NOT want to work those kind of days........
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
Rumpy Tuna said:
Oh man that sounds fun. I was thinking about opening up one down by the nursing home.
location, location, location....grandma & grandpa dont control their bladders and bowels like they used to, so there's a big demand in that marke.t
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Ran a bookstore for 5 years, not as much fun as it sounds. Just wait until the holidays, when you have to learn all the fancy gift-wraps, the special orders don't come in, and all the retired New Yorkers think they have a god-given right to be at the front of the line!

Even tho' I am an obsessive reader, it's not much of a brain-challenge to run the business, unfortunately. Altho' I did meet a lot of nice people. Being in planning used a lot more brain cells.

My dream job now? Hmm... having enough money to retire, and working part-time just to get a discount at a great store.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Re: Dream Small Business

oulevin said:
Of course, to be the neighborhood spot, it'd have to be open for breakfast and into the wee hours. That's the problem. I do NOT want to work those kind of days........
That's what the employees are for. Sleep in.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
The Irish One said:
Today I was at my favorite used bookstore and the lady who owns all the books ask' if I want to buy the business. She's been running the store for 40 yrs. has established connections throughout the country, steady local and national clients, a decent selection of first prints AND she'll work with me on financing and acquainting me with all of the personal relations she has developed with other dealers. I told her I couldn't do it right now and wanted to graduate college before anything, to which she replied, tell me when you're interested. I 'm frustrated, this has been a dream of mine and I just can't do it! So, with that what's you dream small biz?
Do the research, if it is a passion, follow it! read a lot about books and that business. Work in one. Ask people who frequent them why they prefer a shop over the internet. Observe the employees and find out what you WOULDN't do! and what you would.

About collage!

Under grad short of the hard sciences is a monkeys job, even then, you get to grow mold or survey roads for a living. It will expand how you think, so finish, but don't get fixated on your "major" as most don't end up working in it any way! If your young, buy the business, if you fail, fail spectacularly! you can recover better sooner rather than later.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
This is a book store for very serious minded collecters. There is nothing but wall to wall hardcover out of print and/or first print books and it's in a very small space, books everywhere -no room to walk. Very obscure stuff. If I bought this store I'd have to get a pipe and tweed blazer let the hair grow a bit -get the mark twain thing going on. very eccentric business. Zoning Godess hits the heart of the matter. I want to save for retirement, I need to use as much brain power as possible for as long as possible -I have no choice in the matter -it has everything to do with my constitution. Owning a store at this point in my life isn't going to feed that necessity.If (hate that word) I had my degree I could pull it off. I want to raise my kids in a book store or a library, so one way or another, down the road, things will work out.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
I have to agree with DoD: go for it, if it looks viable. You can go back to college or work on it part time or, if the business takes off you can simply remain a college dropout ,like Madonna and Bill Gates. Why do you HAVE TO FINISH COLLEGE? It is Your life. Who the hell is making the rules? You? Or some one else? Do you care more that you do what you want to do? Or do you care more that you do what other people expect you to do?

I do what I believe is Right when it comes to my kids and things like that. But it became very clear to me when I was just 16 or 17 that I was the one who was going to pay the consequences for my choices and no one was really going to protect me from any of the things I feared -- so I might as well get the pleasure of making the damn decision, thanks. I have taken it on the chin a few times but I don't live with a lot of regrets, or shoulda, woulda, and couldas. I did as I chose, I accomplished the things which were most important to me, and I am pretty happy with myself. I did eventually return to college. But I do not regret dropping out of school and I do not regret giving up my scholarship. I believe I made the best choice available to me.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Some of my dreams small businesses.

Bookstore, almost like the one you describe, where you are dealing with collectors and the informed, not someone looking of the best deal on the Oprah book of the month club.

Had the bike shop dream, but after working in one no way.

Glass blowing. If I move somewhere I can take classes I will be, seeing it on TV and seeing nice pices fascinate me. Only thing, I'm not too coordinated, could be ugly for a while.

Farming. Some of my happiest days were being a field slave on a farm. Now only if you could afford the investment and be able to make a living at it.

For all of thses there is one big problem, I have a low tolerance for financial risk / stress realted to money.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
Zoning Goddess said:
and all the retired New Yorkers think they have a god-given right to be at the front of the line!
...didn't you read the 11th commandment???? ;)

my dream job would be a christmas tree farm... and maybe some XC ski trails on a large farm in Vermont or Upstate NY. Closed for mud season.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Nudie bar, bike shop, tattoo/piercing shop, gun shop....

In 29 Palms, CA there is a place that combines all of that in one building.....and they pawn stuff.
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
Messages
178
Points
7
Cardinal; yeah, I did have employees in mind, and there'd at least 10-15 including my partners. I'd have older family friends (underemployed or retired Filipina and Vietnamese ladies) along with artsy fartsy yuppie types involved in the district or live there, to attract a mixed crowd). But in every retail/restaurant establishment I've worked at, the owner/manager putting in 14-hour days, chain or independent, is the norm. Maybe I can get the other partners to fill in for me....
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I would love to own a cool record/cd store with new and used CDs and vinyl. I would also hire some pretentious hipsters to scare customers just like in High Fidelity.

Second choice would be a small bar/restaurant.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Zoning Goddess said:
...and all the retired New Yorkers think they have a god-given right to be at the front of the line!
Yeah, what is up with this? It happens almost every time I go to the post office and its not like I am going to say anything to someone who looks like me grandma (and they know this, which is why they do it).

It is reasons such as this I could never work or own a small retail business.

My dream small business would be my own planning consultant firm where I had the ability to finically choose my projects. Many consultants don’t have this luxury and have to take what they can get to pay the bills. My company does fine, but my boss takes a lot of what I call “evil” projects. They pay well, but are not pleasant to work on. Where is the soul satisfaction!!

Oh, and I fully plan on making this dream come true one day down the road.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
Bike shop/coffee shop/outdoor store called Buzz Bikes. I've got plans all written up, ready to submit to the bank for financing, and locations eyed up for refurbishment. Wife won't let me do it though. Something about never having taken a business class or something like that. If this planning thing doesn't work out for me, this is my next best bet, and Lisa says I can do it then, classes or not(that's what mentors are for rught?).
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
martini said:
Bike shop/coffee shop/outdoor store called Buzz Bikes. I've got plans all written up, ready to submit to the bank for financing, and locations eyed up for refurbishment. Wife won't let me do it though. Something about never having taken a business class or something like that. If this planning thing doesn't work out for me, this is my next best bet, and Lisa says I can do it then, classes or not(that's what mentors are for rught?).
sounds like a cool idea... like the name.
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
Messages
1,361
Points
23
A restaurant serving creole-style, New Orleans dishes (i.e., crawfish etoufee, shrimp creole, red beans and rice, crawfish bisque, oysters rockefeller, poboys, etc.). Yummy!!! :D
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Events coordinator. Ties in very well with my obsessive planning compulsions.

Someone was telling me about a friend of theirs who hired a "life organizer" and this person basically organizes their schedule and tells them when to go to the gym, when to clean their house, when to send out christmas cards, etc. I'm a bossy girl - i'd love a job like this. And my sister would probably be estatic because i'd be off her back about her not sending out thank you notes from her wedding in june. :)
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
My dream business: I have a few. I always wanted to be a writer. But I also have no desire to live the life of a Starving Artist. So that will have to be just one of the things I do, not my sole source of income. I want to start a planning or economic development type business, using GIS as the basis, while I continue to pursue my formal education.

And I have joked with a friend about starting my own publishing house. She has published a few things and sent me a sample of a small book she and a friend self-published a few years ago. I think it would be fairly easy to upgrade the book, print it on the large format printer I bought over the summer, and make a more upscale, boutique-y looking booklet using materials readily available at retail stores. I told her we could update and expand her book and advertise it on the Internet and be set up to print on demand, one book at a time if necessary. I spent considerable time this summer researching how to self-publish my own work because I think the stuff you can get done at Kinko's is dreadful and the prices are equally appalling. I had some presentation materials done up at Kinko's earlier this year and the high cost and so forth helped me decide to buy my own wide format printer.

I did all that designing of publication materials (and a system to do it reliably and attractively without it becoming Slave Labor) because I do have some work commissioned and I want it to be properly presented if I am going to charge what I think I am worth (and the client is willing to pay it -- he already paid me for a smaller amount of work before asking me to do this project) -- and, gee, I really need to finish that and get paid. The next thing I plan to do is upload GRASS to my laptop and get that working -- in the process, I probably will do some bonding with my computer-geek brother-in-law, who recently put GRASS on a couple of systems -- and find some "local" data. I am still trying to figure out specifically what services to offer or what market to focus on, etc.

All of this work to lay the groundwork for starting my own business has seriously interfered with my ability to fill out job applications, <grin>, which my stodgy husband wishes I would do. He doesn't really want to hear "start my own business". Oh well. What he doesn't know won't hurt me and he always changes his mind and decides he is really in favor of my "cockamamie" ideas AFTER they have been implemented and he can see how well they work. (Can you tell what a Visionary he is? NOT!) I figure he will shut up about 'job applications' after I start cashing checks from clients regularly -- or perhaps the first time I get a Big Check. I still have Good Intentions of filling out a few job applications -- but I am merrily paving a road to hell with those good intentions, so to speak: I just can't seem to get to such time wasting activity. I have too many important things to do. :)
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
SlaveToTheGrind said:
Okay, more realistic would be to open my own golf shop.
If you're looking for a managing general partner, you need to look no further....I'm all over that!!! Maybe include a sports bar, too??
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
Downtown said:
Events coordinator.
Oh, I forgot that one. It is one that my sister has suggested I consider. because I have done so much of that type thing without getting paid. "Career military wife": I can make barbecued ribs even though I don't eat them because they work so well for pot luck events. I never have leftovers to take home. Anything I or my husband brings disappears fast.

And I helped my sister with her wedding. She should have told me sooner that she was 'not a Phone Person'. :)
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
Someday, my husband and I hope to run a small inn or B&B.

We actually had an opportunity a couple of years back, when my relatives on the west coast put their B&B on the market. But we weren't ready then. My relatives both passed away. The house is now occupied by renters and hasn't been kept up.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Mabye a small jazz pub / restaurant or bungalows or any tourist activity, because people that are in that buissness right now offer terrible quaility service...
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,437
Points
27
RichmondJake said:
If you're looking for a managing general partner, you need to look no further....I'm all over that!!! Maybe include a sports bar, too??
Now, just to have the capital to make the investment.....
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
There are a few ideas I have:

1. A dog walking business
2. An ice cream store/photo gallery in a coastal community
3. Events coordinator would be fun
4. High end photojouralism style wedding photography - something we used to do on a semi-regular basis prior to moving to NoVa. Loved it. We still do it for some people. Hey PG, got any photography experience - we could supplement our incomes!!
 
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