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Taylor, it sounds like your friend's father would have far more connections to (and influence with) the various lenders who could help you guys. If he can't advise and assist the son who "followed in his footsteps every step of the journey," there must be at least a few things wrong with the basic business concept. My suggestion would be to sit down with him and find out what those things are -- then correct them before you approach lenders or outside investors. Because once you're across the desk from a lender, you really only get one brief chance to make your case (and you definitely want to be able to present the better case to them than you're presenting here).
I can sense that you're impatient, and want to get going with this franchise -- and I truly appreciate that energy. Even so, you have to be careful not to look like the hunter who fires off a dozen shots in every direction, and then says, "Gee I hope something good ran in front of one of those." That tends to make other folks uncomfortable. As painfully slow as it can seem sometimes, there's a process that one has to follow to launch a successful start-up. You can move fast, but you can't skip too many steps.
I know this didn't exactly give you the answer your were seeking, but I do wish you the best anyway.
And lighthouse, there is definately nothing wrong with the business concept, we've breifly talked to him and he said it looked great, we just really haven't talked to him about funding, not sure how he'll take it.
7007, $$$$$$$ Thanks for sharing so much. I am a SCORE Counselor and it usually takes a long time to find
out as much as you have shared. You have youth on your side and you sound like you are serious.
You wrote a national award winning business plan for business club in high school. Have you also written
a Business and Marketing Plan for this new venture??
You stated the biggest problem, That you are broke, have no assets, limited credit, and only 20 years of life.
Lighthouse gave you another great answer. Look into your local SCORE (SCORE is FREE)
and be very careful talking to lenders and investors. (They need to make money)
Good luck, LUCKIEST
7007, Maybe this will help, LUCKIESTh3. 6 Steps to Small Business Success
1. Start Smart
2. Plan Ahead
3. Set up Systems
4. Seek out Sales
5. Aim for Growth
6. Leverage Opportunities
1. Start Smart.
Identify a niche. Don't compete to be the lowest cost provider. Look
for what makes your product or service unique and adds a special value
for the client and charge for that value. Every business has many
facets. Start with what you know and like; start a business that has
meaning to you. Keep in mind that we don't know what the future holds,
many of the jobs and businesses of tomorrow don't exist today. You can
create your own success.
Now is the time to dream. To start smart, you should like the idea of
the business. The way to earn a good income and build wealth is by
serving clients well, making their life better in some way-it's more
than filling a need in the marketplace. To succeed you want to test the
idea to make sure your potential clients like the idea too. Test your
2. Plan Ahead.
People often ask me why bother with a business plan? Look at the
lottery as an example. You may get lucky and get the winning ticket,
but the odds are against you when you rely on random chance. I'm a risk
taker...but not that much, minimize the risk of going into business and
maximize your potential for success. Take the time to write a plan of
how you get from point A to point B. A plan gives you a clear future
focus and increases your chances of success.
The first rule of a start-up is put some of your own money in the
business. As the owner you must be willing to capitalize the business.
The second rule is put as little of your own money as possible in the
business. Prepare your plan and look for funding for your business from
multiple sources, which can include a business loan or business line of
Don't go it alone. Plan ahead now to build your team. Your team may
include a CPA and an attorney that you work with as needed. Add a
mentor from your industry and get a SCORE mentor to help you plan for
success. No one has all the answers. You get more ideas and information
by building a success, support team that can help you plan ahead.
3. Set up Systems.
The most basic system every business should have is a good financial
system. Ask yourself how am I going to generate enough income to
support myself and my family. Begin here. Put together a personal
budget, so you know what it costs you to live. Now, you can move on to
the business budget and sales planning, so you can see how many sales
you need to break even and make a profit. The start-up expense plan,
operating budget and your accounting software are vital to your
The daunting question is how do you go about seeking out your first
sale. Recognize that since you don't have a big ad budget to be seen by
everyone, you need to target a niche and get connected in your market
community, be it local, regional or national. You need other people
selling for you-not employees-goodwill referrals. Get out and talk to
as many people as you can. Join organizations that would have clients
for your product or service. Become a visible part of your market, and
then ask for the sale. You begin the sales process with people that you
know. Yes, it's okay to start with friends and family as your first
customers, and then broaden from there.
The basic tenant of creating a company is that you own the company. You
are not just creating a job for yourself. It's less risk and less
investment to get a job. Building a business is creating a company that
is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you
want the company to be in terms of sales, net profit and employees?
Your answer to each of these questions will influence how you grow.
There are varying costs and profits associated with growth. It's
important to make a deliberate choice early about how you want to grow
6. Leverage Opportunities.
Good luck. Good fortune. Good timing. All play a part in business. As a
business owner, be very clear about your core focus for the business
and how it serves clients. Your core business is what pays the bills.
Then, as an entrepreneur you are about opportunity. When you see a
potential opportunity or stroke of luck measure it against your core
business focus. Good fortune is great, when it matches your vision for
the business. Always consider if a good opportunity is the right fit
for your business. If something looks great, but it's not in sync with
your long-term plan and budget, think carefully before committing your
Thanks guys. I recently began my business plan a few days ago, looking to work on it as much as possible to get it done as soon as possible, but have it be a great plan still. I started testing the market a few days ago with clientelle surveys, so far it looks as though if we were to create this business it would boom, out of all surveys distributed, every response to a question on the survey was yes, I would be interested in shopping at your store, and they would also visit me over local competitors, very nice.
7007, There is a new posting today my mFinancial "GET FLEXIBLE LONG TERM LOAN AT MERIT FINANCIAL SERVICES @ 2% INTEREST RATE."
Check it out. Might help, LUCKIEST
The video gaming industry is a dog eat dog industry and to get in you really have to know your stuff. Investors would expect that you could compete with box stores such as walmart/target and the ever popular ebgames/gamestop as well as how you can compete against online rental services and sustain your growth and longetivity.
Your resource should know everything about the town and that will help you get demographics, location and all sorts of the nitty gritty details that could put a smile on a bankers face. At your age though you may not be able to leverage your own credit but there isn't any reason your resource (or yourself) couldn't sell your concept with a strong research backing behind it to make it viable.
Have you ever worked in the industry? do you have retail experience? do you know someone who could manage the store? Do you have an accountant/banker who is aware of franchising and how to leverage the franchise for funding? Does your resource since he is in city council have any help in small business growth areas? For example in PA there are keystone opportunity zones where if you locate there you get tax incentives and discounted lease costs as well as direct access to small business development centers and whatnot.
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Hello All!! I stumbled across this board purely by luck and started browsing around and found to have some really good advice and information on it. Thanks for that! Anyways, a friend of mine and myself are looking at going into a business venture, you guys have probably heard of it, Play n Trade franchise, named in the top 50 franchises of 2007 by franchise magazine. I've looked into it and it seems like it's a win win situation. We have prime location, an excellent market to sell to, Wal-mart being the only competetion ( play n trade offers to beat any competitors price), and we have the drive to make it happen. The thing is we're only 20 years old, only 2 years of credit experience for both of us, everything I say I own, is really 1/2 mine and 1/2 the banks, haha. My friends father is a self made millionaire hopping on hte computer selling bandwagon in the 90's, and eventually buying a 2 million dollar restaraunt, and building a 4 million dollar marina, but all of his assests are tied in what he owns and stocks. He says this would be a good area for a video game store, but isn't willing to fund the whole 125k to 175k. We were planning to use him as leverage because he is on city council and well known in our small town. Basically we're broke, have no assets, limited credit, and only 20 years of life behind us, making us look very unworthy to most. We're experienced with the business world, I wrote a national award winning business plan for business club in high school, and have worked retail most my life. My friend has followed in his fathers footsteps for every step of the journey, and I've been there for pieces. We're trying to find loans or potental investors, who are willing to help us, we've surveyed the local crowd and found a business of this type would surely be a hit in the area. Even if you guys could point me in the direction of a lender that would consider us would be helpful. Thanks for being so informative and helpful to all of you! -Taylor LaRocque