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    10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 25, 2008 11:54 AM by snipperred

    Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business

    Latin_Entreu Newbie
      Hi, I'm currently 21 and though I have some superficial business knowledge I still consider myself a well idealistic person. Therefore, I have had some pretty cool ideas ranging from website module services to other things more like home based or even individual and personal leisure services. FIrstly, I have had this idea about opening a Grocery Distribution Service to any home up for service, I can range from delivery, but in first glance my company would be in charge of all the purchasing and delivery and holding the accounts payable. Customer just has to agree to the terms presented to them and sell it as a leisure yet very accomadable service and necessity. Now, I would like to hear some advice on how to go about patenting the idea and incorporating the company. I would prefer to have all the paperwork working as I begin to work on the Idea itself, mainly marketing the company around. Also if someone can help me with some guidance towards patenting the logos and business module, I would really apreciate it. thank you.
        • Re: Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business, Welcome

          Who are you?? Do you have a first name?? Where are you?? Go to Members page and share some info.

          Do you have a name for your business?? Have you developed a Business and Marketing Plan??

          Do you know about SCORE?? SCORE is FREE and can help with the guidance.

          Good luck, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business
              Latin_Entreu Newbie
              Hi, well yes, my name is Jose. Im currently residing in Miami, Fl.

               

              I was thinking in the line of naming the business with the name of my girlfriend. sounds interesting. As have I developed a business plan? well not yet, honestly this Idea I began to contemplate some weeks ago, two at max, I was thinking of a idea I also want to realize but then It hit me, so truely I havent really come up with a detailed business plan, I mean I have some over the top knowledge of how it would function however I still think it needs more work to really bring more depth to it's work and coming of. Well Luckiest, I heard of "SCORE" only now that I've read it in some posts but not really familair with it, this morning I was reading something about the SBA and thats why I though of joining here, I figured there would be someone who can help me to bring this about. My main concerns are marketing, possibly finding a good associated partner in the food industry I can ally myself with and use that as an association towards the credibility of my services, also by that I would be forced to meet their standards of service, thus, in turn improving the service of my company and creating that customer base and customer service that will bring the profit and the productivity.

              Is there any way I can get some pointers on patenting the logos I have in mind, also which type of Corp should I use for the company and most importantly getting the necesary capital to jump start it. Off the bat I think somewhere between 15 to 30k would do just fine. I mean if I can securea an associantive partnership with a local supermarket and have my accounts payable with them on credit the initial couple of months until my customer base is founded and based then I can manage with just 15k first. I figure the patent for the logos and name and possibly the company mission statement can cost me something around 5k.....am I missing something? what else should I be looking into? thanks.
                • Re: Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business
                  snipperred Scout
                  You're nowhere close to ready. Sleep on it for a few years.
                    • Re: Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business
                      Latin_Entreu Newbie
                      Well thanks, but if you can be more constructive about your criticism about sleeping on it then I'll consider it, otherwise, please refrain yourself from bringing those type of comments to my attention, not helpful at all mostly not even founded on a based argument. Now back to the topic, anyone, can you give some pointers on some initial steps about what type of Corp would funtion best with this, it's a service company all the way, though I would initially be the sole owner I would support the possibility of partners in the near or possible future. Thanks.
                        • Re: Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business
                          snipperred Scout
                          O.K., I have personally known several college students who have offered this type of service. The idea is not patentable. The margin in grocery retail is somewhere around 2%. The vehicle, gas, time, and effort costs are all passed on to the consumer. It's hard to pass those costs over to a client and markup your own margin. However, it is feasible in some wealthier neighborhoods. It's just surprising to find how stingy people can be who have the money to spare and to compete with the intangible cultural value some place on the event of going out to shop. The kids I saw do this service started with people they personally knew and developed word of mouth reputation. It's my impression their clients paid at a perceived loss in order to help support these students through school and entrepreneurial effort. Even then, the students did not have a realistic margin built into their pricing to profit even if they had a volume of clients. In fact, they would have necessarily needed to raise their rates to cover their costs if they had a larger volume of clients. That puts you in the precarious position of trying to offer an increasingly expensive service to a market that just might consider that an increasingly overpriced service.

                          These students did this on the side without the benefits nor costs associated with formal business. If you add those costs, especially for benefits that may not actually add value to your clients, then the prospect of doing this business in terms of profit and loss becomes dubious.

                          I actually love the idea though. I think about it often and do come across the notion from others from time to time. The service concept is a pretty common one in my opinion. It's just the challenge of making a business out of it is very real. If you go with a formal business then you should be prepared with more than just a superficial knowledge. It's very tempting to think how simple this can be with accounts receivable and terms, etc. However, in practice, my impression is it is more difficult than it seems. Actually, I lived in a latin country where this was the norm. You might have some opportunity to do this. It could be a matter of who you know and how good you are at relationships. The other side of that coin is covering the cost of a formal business and actually making a living from it. I have a passion for people with an entrepreneurial spirit such as yourself. I truly hope you succeed in your endeavor. I stand by my advice, but wish you the best of luck!
                  • Re: Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business
                    NoBullFunding Scout
                    Sounds like you have some interesting ideas. Before you go getting patents (I'm a but unclear on what you are patenting) and Tax IDs and spending lots of cash, my advice would be to try it on a small scale. If it works, then you know you have something. If not, then you can move on to the next idea.

                    The conventional wisdom is to write a business plan and incorporate...yadda yadda yadda. Realistically, if you have the concept in your head, I say give it a try and see what happens. Not every business idea needs a business plan if the concept is simple enough. You may not have it all written down, but as time goes on you will have to address issues that come up...which is exactly what a business plan does.

                    FYI - I'm not sure where you live, but the supermarkets near me all offer a delivery service, so you may want to look into that.
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                      • Re: Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business
                        My_Lan Adventurer
                        I was 20 when started my first business, so I know where you are coming from.

                        So first I want to ask you a few questions.

                        1)What is your experience in this field?
                        2) Are you working with anyone else?
                        3) Are you taking advice from anyone else that you trust, close with, and know what they are doing?
                        4) Are you a student?
                          • Re: Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business
                            Latin_Entreu Newbie
                            Thanks for the advice, well to answer the previous post...Yea you are right regarding the concept of the patents, in reality I wouldn't need to patent anything off the bat, however it's something I find of a need later on, however, like you suggested I can start it small. That's what I had though of at first. Something more individually then as it progresses take it to the next level. I have to review that, regarding the delivery services in the surrounding supermarkets, however, common sense.....Who take advantage of those things anyways? really? Im pretty sure the percentage of consumers who really know there is such a thing don't always use it, mainly because it's vinculated with the supermarket itself, however on a servicing level, an independent currier or company operating as a private delivery service can get a more vast set of customer base then perhaps a supermarket offering it's own delivery service, well there're a lot of things that can upset that scale but it's a thought..

                            Now in regards to My_Lan....Well, experience I have none on the field of inhouse distribution, however the Idea comes up since I use to be a distributor for a mid-size spice company back when I was 19. I had about a year of experience in Distributing to supermarkets and small grocery stores and such. At the moment I'm not working with anyone else though some help would be great, I believe that the more minds on it can get a greater boost and uplift. Advice....well thats why Im here really, most of the people around me wouldn't help me with this, specially giving the current economic situation, they'd flip out, excuse my slang but yea. And if I am a student? Well not at the moment. I have someone thats pushing me to get my degree, and well thats one of the reasons I want to get something like this started. I'm not a big fan of working for someone else's pockets. I've got some general info on business, and consider and highly believe that I need a sound foundation for any business whether small or big.. Most of my current knowledge comes from the job which I currently hold which is Assitant MNG at a luxury rental company. Not much, but I get pointers from seeing what the owners do right and their mistakes, as well as other business I interact with and the clientel and where they come from, mostly business owners, some to great scales other, well, just like you and me, average people running or opening small businesses.
                              • Re: Need Some Guidance In Starting My Business
                                My_Lan Adventurer
                                Ok well here are my suggestions.

                                1) Work at least a little bit in inhouse distribution. Why? It will give you an idea on how that side of the business is run. Learn from them what works and doesn't. Before I started doing web design, computer repair and networking, I work in the field under other people who were doing it for years. And when I started my business, I still worked for them some because when something went wrong in business or I needed advice, I could always ask them. Plus, it was two sources of income.

                                2) You are on the right track in finding a partner. Split of the responbilites and watch over each other. But your partner should be someone who you can really trust and won't steal your ideas or sell your business behind your back.Get everything you guys do in writing and document it. Paper trails can come back to help you.

                                3)Find someone who is has a lot of experience and that you can trust. Like in number one, when you need direction, they can give it too you. It is also good networking. Do not just depend on forums for advice. It would be much better talking to a person face to face.

                                4) I HIGHLY suggest you go to school and take some courses in accounting, economics and marketing. You don't have to major but it is best to know the basics. You want to know about price elasticty of demand, consumer surplus, seperation of assets in accoutning, book keeping, types of business structures(LLC, Sole Prop, SCORP), etc. I found these courses very helpful myself.
                                1 of 1 people found this helpful