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Entrepreneurial Advice ?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by AK79, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. AK79

    AK79 Rookie

    Feb 25, 2004
    11
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    AK
    Hello all,

    This is my first post, I've been a lurker for a little while now, enjoying all things related and unrelated to the great F-car...

    Cheers to you gents and ladies who own these beatiful works of art, and those like me, who dream of someday acquiring one.

    Right, so I was curious to draw on people's experiences and advice. I am a budding entrepreneur at all of 24, and was looking for some general direction or advice in terms of websites to look at, people to network with, or get mentored by, etc... I enjoyed reading the threads regarding penny stocks, food service industry, business books to read... (btw, kudos to Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, and Brian Tracy, outstanding authors)...etc.. Not to mention all the F-car related things as well! Lol! I figure the Ferrari will be my prize down the road, for years of struggle and hardwork.

    So then, feel free to drop suggestions, I look forward to hearing from the diverse, accomplished group assembled here...

    Regards,

    AK

    *edit, moderators, feel free to delete if deemed inappropriate*
     
  2. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    welcome to the board!

    you should consider filling out your profile a bit.

    asking for "entrpreneurial advice" is a bit like asking for "career help" ;). it's an awfully broad subject. care to focus things down a bit?

    doody.
     
  3. darth550

    darth550 Five Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 14, 2003
    58,584
    In front of you
    Full Name:
    BCHC
    Two questions:

    1. Can you sell?

    2. Is your last name Kalashnikov? :D

    DL
     
  4. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    8,965
    Lewisville, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Guess
    AK,

    Welcome to FerrariChat.


    As for the budding entreprenuer. The best i can give you after being a manager and owner of a few businesses in the powersports sector is be prepaired to give up some of your free time while you are developing your business. A good example was my last position as service manageri would be the first person at the shop about 2-3 hours early and would be the last to leave 2-3 hours after close ontop of the 8-9 hours we were open durring the day 6 days a week and sometimes even on sundays when the service department was closed. i needed the quiet time to get caught up on the paperwork that i could not do while dealing with customers and the employees. When i ran my own business it was the same perhaps even more of an investment in my time.

    Best of luck to you and your ventures.

    Rob
     
  5. ILuv4Res

    ILuv4Res F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Aug 8, 2002
    6,507
    Full Name:
    Fred
    Start a company, take it public, sell out right before the crash, buy it back cheap, ride it up again, sell again before the next crash, buy 2 Enzo's.....one for you, the other for my professional advise.

    :)
     
  6. bluekawala

    bluekawala Formula Junior

    Jan 22, 2004
    430
    Ormond Beach, FL
    Welcome indeed! I'm in the same general boat... minus a year to two, but I plan to start a buisness in the auto industry and am looking forward to anyone's comments about this field. Or tips etc on starting any buisness'.
     
  7. ILuv4Res

    ILuv4Res F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Aug 8, 2002
    6,507
    Full Name:
    Fred
    More serious response.......Try to do what you enjoy (that also pays the bills), work hard, work smart, take risks & live below your means. You will soon begin to achieve wealth. At 24, the world is your oyster.
     
  8. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    8,965
    Lewisville, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Guess
    Fred,

    are you the author of "How to create your own ENRON and retire rich!" :D

    Rob
     
  9. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    23,199
    Taxachusetts
    Full Name:
    Raymond Luxury Yacht
    I am seriously going to write my own book on starting a business when I get older. Maybe then I will have some free time :)

    I have read a bunch of books on this topic, and I find many of them are crap. Here is one I really REALLY like. it's online, and it's free. Check it out:

    http://www.sherline.com/business.htm

    "Making it" in business isn't really that hard. Everyone worries about their idea. People think magically having "one good idea" will get them rich. Maybe for some guys that works, but the other 99.9% do it the old fashioned way - hard work and lots of it. Look around you - there are companies that make everything. From the monitor you're looking at, to the mouse you use, to the fertilizer you put on your lawn, to the clothes you're wearing. And each of those companies likely has an owner who does pretty well for him or her self. Good idea getting into business for yourself!

    I don't pretend to know too much about service based businesses - just enough to know I don't want to be in that business, so I'll let others advise on that front. I'm into tangible products... making something and then selling it. And I think this business is pretty simple once you figure it out.

    I can't help you pick a product, but I would suggest getting involved in an industry you know something about. A hobby is a great start. What things are you into? Developing a new or improved product for an industry you already know something about is a great idea. Then, you just have to do your homework to see if it's sellable, and profitable. Then you manufacture it, and sell it. In those sentences is a lot of hard work, but it's all do-able if you're willing.

    Personally I would forget about any paths to quick riches. Business is like Hollywood. For every guy that scored big with a great idea in business, there are thousands of others going out of business or barely making it. Just like for every Tom Cruise there are 1,000 struggling actors who can't pay their bills. You could be one of those business superstars, but you could also go to LA and audition for the next reality show and win big that way too. Chances are probably equal of becoming a hit. The difference between the other 1,000 stuggling actors who didn't get the part and the other 1,000 businesses who didn't hit it big overnight is that the owners of those 1,000 businesses often make very respectable incomes and work for themselves and are in charge of their own future.

    Anyway I'm rambling. Any ideas on what you want to do would be very helpful. My background is manufacturing electronics products and selling them to the automotive aftermarket industry.
     
  10. AK79

    AK79 Rookie

    Feb 25, 2004
    11
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    AK
    Thanks for all the responses!

    Doody: Lol, point taken, profile is more 'filled in' ... In terms of narrowing things down, I would say, perhaps, more focused at the moment on the small business sector/retail operations, primarily b/c I do not have a product or service that I could market independently (YET!)...Also toying with the idea of import/export operations from South Asia, or East Africa, but feel that market is close to saturation...

    DL: hahah, I've done many sales oriented jobs in the past to put myself through school; car sales, electronics, etc, but in the end, isn't life just one big pitch? and lol, nah, AK's just what my good friends in college called me, so it stuck...

    Rob: Appreciate the goodwill, from my limited research, that sounds pretty accurate...but am quickly realizing, thats really the only way...Btw, what exactly is the powersports sector, pardon my ignorance...

    Fred: Thanks for the tips...Realizing the hard truth in those comments...But it's a very good thing..the sooner the better...

    SRTMike: Kudos mate, good information...Any chance you are from Swift Racing Technologies? As far as what I'm into, or love, its cars...I have a broad knowledge base when it comes to automobiles, out of pure passion and enjoyment; the ultimate goal would be to get involved in something auto related, wheter it be on the retail sales side (owning a dealership), or entering into the supply chain for manunfacters (sp?) through import/export from other countries...just throwing out some ideas...even capitalizing on the aftermarket parts boom would be challenging and rewarding...but agreed, hardwork, and focus are essential... the main thing is to literally make something ($$) from nothing...or not much lol...

    Cheers all, thanks again, and look forward to enjoying the community and learning much more...

    AK
     
  11. benedict

    benedict Formula Junior

    Nov 6, 2003
    731
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Although I'm an attorney by trade, my real estate investments have made me financially independent in a relatively short time. I would recommend two things to do right off the bat: read Robert Kiyosaki's book "Rich Dad Poor Dad", 2) check out a site called Creative Real estate online. www.creonline.com. Of course as someone else posted, you must have a passion for what you do and then the money will follow.
     
  12. teak360

    teak360 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    9,737
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:
    Scott
    The book is fairly simple, but sometimes that's the best way to convey an idea. My twelve year old son is now about 3/4 through the book. He protested having to read it at first, but now he is asking relevant questions and gaining an insight into the fact that there are more options than just getting a job and working for a salary.
     
  13. cohiba_man

    cohiba_man Formula Junior

    Jan 23, 2003
    937
    Canada
    Full Name:
    John
    QUOTE:"gaining an insight into the fact that there are more options than just getting a job and working for a salary"




    Perfect. That IS the point of the book, and a VERY, VERY important lesson for everyone to learn at as young an age as possible. I've never had a job, and even when I was younger the thought of having one never crossed my mind; working is BY FAR the least efficient way to earn money. I'd bet 99% of financially successful people are self made. Although there are some CEO's who went to business school and worked their way up in a corporation and earn huge salaries, and actors or musicians that get paid millions; they are the exeption, not the rule with regards to financial success, and people need to understand that.
     
  14. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    4,274
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:
    Tyler

    AMEN BROTHER!!

    Too many people confuse getting a great job and a great income with being wealthy. Huge difference in the two. Lots of wealthy people have low incomes and lots of high income people have little to no wealth.

    Trying to get wealthy on a taxable income is an uphill battle.

    One of the best pieces of advice ever on FChat is a qoute from Dale:

    "if you beat your head against a wall, it hurts. Therefore, whenever possible, avoid beating your head against a wall." Dr. Tax
     
  15. dherman76

    dherman76 Formula Junior
    Owner

    Feb 25, 2004
    601
    Boston
    Full Name:
    Darren Herman
    I've been an entrepreneur since I was 14 years old - basically, I don't know what it is like to 'not be'. However, here is one bit of advice - you are NOT going to have free time for the most part for the first couple years, atleast. This is natural - do not get discouraged. People are going to say things to you such as, "dude, you're working way too hard" and such, but don't let that get to you. Keep your mind on your goals and keep your head up. And remember, learn from your mistakes, don't get side tracked by them.
     
  16. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,856
    Vancouver Canada
    Full Name:
    tj
    Also suggest you take a look at EMyth, www.emyth.com for more info. Michael Gerber suggests we avoid the entrepreneur myth, basically don't just build yourself a 7x24 job but build processes staff can run. Work on the company, not in it. I think he goes overboard but the basic principles are sound.
     
  17. benedict

    benedict Formula Junior

    Nov 6, 2003
    731
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Great recommendation! This book helped me learn to delegate tasks to others which is one of the hardest things for a small business owner to do. I still laugh at that story about the pie lady. She made fabulous pies and loved doing it so she went whole hog into the pie business. Since she insisted on personally doing every aspect of the business, she drove herself insane. A year or two later she said "I hate pies, I never want to see another pie as long as I live". The lesson is that if you start your own business yet you are working 7 days a week, you've defeated the whole purpose and all you've done is given yourself a JOB.
     
  18. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    8,965
    Lewisville, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Guess
    AK,

    Not a problem since most people outside of this sector dont exactly understad it either.. The powersports sector is basicly Motorcycles, ATV's, Personal Watercraft, Snowmobiles. The key area that i focused on inside of the sector was service and competition modifications. Currently i am still in this sector but no longer in management, as for now i am teaching the service side of the sector.

    One other area i did dabble in was Information Technology. This is a very tough area to get into since there is a lot of competition and the margins are very thin.

    Best of luck......

    Rob
     
  19. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,856
    Vancouver Canada
    Full Name:
    tj
    had morning coffee now;

    1. add real value to your customers, make a painful problem go away
    2. always, always watch your cash flow
    3. keep your integrity very high
    4. repeat every day for life

    and you'll do fine. it's not nearly as hard or as secret as much of the population thinks. the tough part, I think, is the distractions. good luck, and let us know where/how you proceed!
     
  20. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
    1,671
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Full Name:
    Al-Al Cool J
    As an entrepreneur I can only agree with everything that's been posted. PM for real estate investing if you like.

    Al
     
  21. bluekawala

    bluekawala Formula Junior

    Jan 22, 2004
    430
    Ormond Beach, FL
    Yes, I heard that (if you have a privately held buisness) its better to have positive cash flow but not make a profit because Uncle Sam will tax it hard core. That gets trickier when its public because people like to see profitability for dividends etc. So I take it that its true you can't go out of buisness with a positive cash flow, and you don't have to make profits on paper. I suppose you would take the 'profits' and reinvest in the company or buy a cool company car (for advertising ;) ) anything to not make a profit on the books. Fill me in if I'm off, please, I don't know too much about it and my accounting class will hardly teach you little loopholes.
     
  22. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,856
    Vancouver Canada
    Full Name:
    tj
    here in Canada are tax laws are different, but I suspect the overall motivation is the same. We all want to minimize our taxes, and maximize our future toys and present fun. However, the banks like to see decent personal income to approve mortgages, so have to show some income stability, at least while there's a mortgage and loans. Can also balance dividends vs. sallary - good reason to pay an accountant for a few hours for professional advice relevant to your situation.

    Lots of business owners show very little income but have significant net worths. And why not - private businesses are much more fun than public scrutiny and dealing with minor shareholders. It wasn't my choice that our primary vendor chose Honolulu for their big conference this year, nor that my wife is a full partner with me.

    Kind of by definition, bankrupt means not enough cash to pay the bills. watch the cash, forecast the cash, protect the cash, love the cash (after the wife and kids of course). keep cash for the lean times, and they will come. Can't over emphasize. people get in trouble by signing-up for more overhead than they can support. offices, staff, equipment, it all adds up.

    For a private company it's the same game as minimizing personal taxes - stay low, pay low tax rates. But then, high taxes can be a nice problem to have too, just don't spend it before the govt. gets it.

    Up here we have some fairly strict guidelines for company cars, but mainly what can and cannot be claimed as a business expense. I think we're up to $750/month for a lease and $540/month for a loan. q: Guess who leases, a:everyone. But my brother, the accountant, claims there's some guidelines of reasonbleness which he keeps telling me means only one company car at a time! takes all the fun out of it imo. but at least there's not much words on maintenance expenses.

    and remember - lots of people not nearly as smart as you and me make a lot more money in business.
     

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