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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

Hi from Michigan :)


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #11  
Old 06-26-2010, 12:30 PM
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I actually did try to start a 'real' business about four years ago.
What kind of business was that going to be and what about it got you interested in it?
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2010, 04:50 PM
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Default It was an errand service

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I had read a few articles about and, as with the lawn care service, started to research everything I could about it. You didn't need a degree to pick up prescriptions, groceries or dry cleaning. The investment wouldn't be huge. And it was perfect for a mom to do. Most things involving kids...appointments, conferences, sporting events...are usually scheduled. Which meant I could schedule errands around those things.

At this stage, though, lawn care looks like a better opportunity. It might have been then, too. But Michigan's economy is terrible, and getting a job is not that easy to do so this would be better for my kids, who have graduated now. It certainly has the potential to give them a better income than a fast food restaurant!
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:37 PM
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That would be a great start up business in the right area. I would think it might work more in a richer area. It would be interesting to scan through local phone books or websites for such businesses to see if there were any in the area. Maybe also talking with a local pharmacist to see if they have seen such businesses in the area and if they feel they could work.

I do think lawn care might work better in more areas though. As long as grass grows, it will need to be mowed.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:22 AM
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Default Unfortunately I don't live in the right area :(

Actually I suppose I don't live in the right place for a lawn care business either. Except with this, if I can schedule a few properties in the same area, there won't be so much time wasted in traveling. Errands never really worked out that conveniently.

One big drawback to the errands was grocery shopping. People can get very specific with particular brand, flavor and size. Believe me, you can spend more time than you'd think trying to hunt them up. I had one customer who was extremely picky about almost everything her list.

It's funny but the business consultant I worked with felt I'd fail because I had too much competition. Companies 1-3 hours away from me. I called most of them and they thought it was ridiculous.

If anyone is interested in starting an errand service, I'd suggest a flat rate for things like grocery shopping-because it's not as straight forward as it sounds. Just go pick up a few groceries. I would also suggest that you get enough cash ahead of time to more than cover their purchases (returning any change when you deliver the groceries). You wouldn't want to be stuck with those bills.

The one thing I wish I'd focused more on was picking up food from local restaurants and taking it to the customers. I think THAT would take off very well in many areas. As long as the charges weren't astronomical. The only things you can get delivered in my area are pizzas and anything those restaurants sell (like subs, breadsticks and salads). I think it's that way in many cities. You could probably even get to know the owners/managers and enlist their help to market to customers. It would mean more business for them. And they would probably be willing to let you supply tasteful paper placemats for them to use, as well as putting business cards somewhere in their establishment.

I should add that I think placemats in restaurants are a good idea, no matter what line of business you're in. It helps owners/managers to cut down on their expenses and gets the word out about the service you're offering. It would probably work better in non-chain establishments though. You'd have to Google it because I can't recall where they can be ordered.

Sorry, I tend to ramble. A lot!

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Old 06-30-2010, 12:53 PM
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I've been suckered in to doing direct sales by friends...and failed at all of them in a spectacular way. I can't get 'excited' enough about plastic dishes, home decorative items (much as I loved them) or outrageously expensive supplements. Not to mention the fact that I'm not really in to hauling a bunch of stuff-often pretty heavy-to house after house.
Another thing you had talked about that I think is very interesting is the topic of those multi-level marketing or direct sales businesses that many of us have friends who try to push.

Looking back at these, why do you think they seem to always be there? It always seems to be that no matter who we are, a certain percentage of our friends are going to be pushing these 'businesses' on us.

Do any of these ever actually work or is it that the only money that is ever made is the sign up money that seems to go along with every one of these 'opportunities.'
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:10 PM
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I think MLM's are always there because a lot of people like the thought of what the companies promise. The idea of owning your own 'business' (often for less than $100.00), making lots of money-so you can take exotic vacations, buy your dream house, etc..., is very appealing to the targets of the salesperson. Unfortunately, many of their targets can't afford to lose the money they're going to kiss goodbye in sign up fees, sales aides and advertising.

Can you make money at it? Sure. I've known a few (very few!) people who make between $50-100,000 a year. Most just wind up a little poorer but hey...at least they can use the products they're usually stuck with.

MLM's are a great learning tool though. They leave you plenty of time to learn about how to run a real business.
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