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    5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2007 4:06 PM by fragfirecafe

    Advice for the novice...

    fragfirecafe Newbie
      A friend and I are in the midst of making our own business. We are both quite intelligent and have a firm grasp on what we learn and learn quickly. My question is, what are some of the most important things that you have learned and would you kindly inform me of a few important steps before we take this rather large step into our futures.

      By the way, it is a "cyber-cafe" business that will be located in a quickly growing city of 100,000 people. Our intention is to provide wi-fi internet use, by-the-hour computer use as well as a few more services that are related to these. We have just recently graduated this past year and dont have much credit, connections or past experiences with business ownership. We took about every business related class available at our high-school and have learned much online.

      Any advice would be very much appreciated.
      Thank you for the time.

      -Robert Cole
        • Re: Advice for the novice...
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Good luck in starting your own business. How soon do you plan on taking this step??
          Have you visited SCORE online or in person?? SCORE can connect you with the real world.
          Do you have a business plan explaining in some detail your plans to develop a successful business??
          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Advice for the novice...
              fragfirecafe Newbie
              I would like to try and get it open before the summer so that all the kids with free summers can come and get into it. I know there is alot of work to do and that might be too soon, but we are quite flexible.
              I have never heard of SCORE, can you give me more information or some way to learn about it? I will wiki it after this session.
              Yes, we have tried to be as thorough and detailed as possible in our plan, we aren't done yet though. I'm looking here and a few other places for advice and help, to make sure we're doing things well as well as getting opinions from experts and other novices alike. We both think outside of the box, and in overlapping ways, but we are man enough to admit when there are better ideas than ours. Hahaha.
            • Re: Advice for the novice...
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              I'm sure you've estimated the revenue you can bring in each month -- and based on your post, I'm sure you understand the difference between your investment costs (how much you'll spend before you can even open for business) and your operating costs (how much you'll spend on wages, supplies, utilities, insurance, etc. each month to run the business). Now that you're developing a plan, use these figures to make a monthly cash flow projection that shows (starting now) month-by-month how much money you expect to spend, and how much you expect to take in after you open. (A SCORE counselor can probably help there.)

              Once you have those cash flow projections, look at every major investment and operating component independently, and see what happens to your costs, revenues, and profits if you scale something up or down -- in other words, how does a smaller building versus a larger building change the picture? How would having two additional by-the-hour computers or two less affect your costs and revenues? How would opening an hour earlier or an hour later impact your customers, your staff, and so on.

              Too many "novices" find a storefront, open the doors, and then start trying to find the right mix of all those variables on the fly (and they wonder why they're not making money). You can avoid a lot of the trial-and-error if you think of it as a game -- simulate your new business on paper or in a spreadsheet, and "play" with every element that might cost or make you money. Then you'll know how to spend as little as possible to make as much as you can.

              Best wishes on your new endeavor!
                • Re: Advice for the novice...
                  fragfirecafe Newbie
                  Thanks for your input Lighthouse. Based on everyones responses, it seems we are on the right path. I like to consider us "well-equipped novices" because this is our first stab at owning our own business, but we have collected much information and are applying it to our plans. We are wrapping up expected expenses and revenues and, just like you mentioned, have been toying with the specifics to find that "sweet spot".

                  I will check out SCORE and another thanks to you and LUCKIEST.

                  Good day.
                  -Robert Cole