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General Business Question

Started by baileyuph, July 27, 2013, 02:00:12 pm

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Todays quesion:  If you had significant money to invest in your business what would be your strategy?  Significant money .........meaning over $25,000.

What changes would you make, like engaging in a new product or service or the way you are now generating products?

Times change and our business is no exception, we could be smarter business people if we could make the right changes over time.  For example, just read a biography of one upholster's exerience.  That business was started and ran much as we read here and then a couple ideas surfaced that caused the small business to change and go in the same direction (upholstery) but in the manufacturing category.  But, that wasn't the ending there, the operator saw several pheripheral opportunities/services even associated with manufacturing that were exploited and now the business is on the exchange.  This isn't a fairy tale, it actually happened, I am with holding to protect the privacy of the company.

So, in a word, greater success happened by having a vision, great overview of the industry and making changes to achieve greater efficiency.

Significant money and a vision, willingness to go for it.  Actually, significant money is all relative, but whatever amount could be a "movement" toward an overall dream.

This question can be kept simple, instead it could be what is your business diection?  We are all business people, for the most part I assume.



I'd not call that significant.    That might buy you a delivery van.  It's not going to go far to get a bigger building, new machinery, raw materials inventory, promotion and advertising, sales, or hire help.

Quote from: DB on July 27, 2013, 02:00:12 pm

Todays quesion:  If you had significant money to invest in your business what would be your strategy?  Significant money .........meaning over $25,000.


"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison


I would probably carve the money up. Some would go into real estate ( buying or expanding  building ) which would give me an appreciable asset and future return on investment. Some would go towards marketing and advertising to expand and bring more business in the door and some would be invested, even if it was a low yield investment vehicle.



Unlike byhammerandhand, I would call $25,000 significant. For me personally, I would invest in going mobile, as this would just be so much more convenient for both me and my customers. I'm situated about 30 minutes or more from most of the lakes around here.  It would also mean more business.
Right now, I have my little sole proprietorship, which I'm happy with. I don't pay for advertising, just a craigslist ad, a website, and word of mouth. I also don't keep an inventory of fabric. I order per job. And will never hire anybody. There's something to be said for keeping it simple.


In the grand scheme of things, 25K probably isn't a significant amount. BUT.....for a one-man upholstery shop, it CAN represent a significant investment.

And I can't think of any better way to get the most "bang for your buck", than the idea Jojo has.

25 grand should be enough to acquire a late-model work vehicle, and have enough left over to equip it to suit your needs.

In recent years, I've shied away from doing service calls as much as possible. But if I were looking to ramp things up, that would certainly be a viable option.

But of course, it's only a good idea if "going mobile" is the direction you want to go in.
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


For someone doing canvas work like jojo mobile has to be the way to go. A nicely fitted box truck that could be worked from is great. As for me... With 25k I think I would take a vacation and let the business take care of itself. Can't build a new shop, expand much. Tools and equipment are in place. Advertizing maybe some. Stock na. It can sit to long.
Minichillo's Upholstery


Chris (Mojo) seems to be the guy with business consulting background so I'll defer to him.

But unless this is a shoestring operation, I still stand by $25K is peanuts to start a new manufacturing branch.

I learned long ago there are three critical success factors to any business:
- A product or service that people will want at a price that's profitable to produce/provide
- Good management -- keeping an eye on the books, knowing when and where to commit resources, organizing and leading
- Capital - having funds to keep an ongoing operation

The most common source of business failure is the failure in the third factor (cash).

Ever watch the Shark Tank?   Some are hopelessly drifting (management) or don't have a viable product, but most need cash to get lift off.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison


When you're thinking of SOMEONE ELSE investing 25K, it doesn't sound like a significant amount.

BUT!!! If someone asks YOU to invest that much, it suddenly causes the needle on the "significantometer" to swing way over into the red zone. ;)

Would anyone here be willing to put 25 grand into a venture that may not produce a return?

For a small upholstery shop, $2000 for a new sewing machine can represent a significant, life-altering investment.

It all depends on what we're talking about. For a manufacturing branch, 25K will probably barely be enough to acquire permits, and bring everything up to code. But for most of us, that much money CAN be enough to take things "to the next level". 
"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban


July 31, 2013, 01:56:51 am #8 Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 02:14:54 am by DB
Yes, as all of you saying, it does take money to make moves in business and the amount that is significant will vary depending on where most are in their career.  Starting out anything can be significant and otherwise, well we all know after a business grows and gets on its feet, disposable money can and does grow.

But, what the drift of the thread is; times change so does our business and the encouragement is to keep on improving and take advantage of change when it applies.  It sounds like most of us are working to learn more, get more efficient, and when it is practical we will invest what we can in our business.  

One thing I am doing is investing in my retirement account.  I set a goal, at this point it is 80 % accomplsihed, the goal provides for retirement, living assistance, and nursing, should it occur.  Couple more years and the goal will be achieved.

That doesn't mean retirement is over the horizon.  Heck, I love to work, learn, and make money.  The money is a way of keeping score and also allows me to invest in whatever to enhance the business.  If I operated and still did what I did when all this started, I do not think it would have been the best thing for me and the business.  One of the biggest changes I have done, is be more sensitive what I do with my time and how much time it takes to do work.  Over the years, there is real meaning to "time is money".

I better put the brakes on, I also love to talk business.  Talk the changes in the work, and how to manage the business, just like all you other business people.  That is what this site provides, good place to learn, exchange, and how to chase those visions.   Thanks to all the participants.



July 31, 2013, 02:02:59 am #9 Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 02:24:37 am by Mike
Quote from: byhammerandhand on July 30, 2013, 07:52:06 pm

But unless this is a shoestring operation, I still stand by $25K is peanuts to start a new manufacturing branch.

arnt most of us small business 1 2 maybe 3 people starting a new branch sound like  more space and more workers to me

I suppose ive been a shoestring forever ive never put that much into the business other then moving and buying a home in florida so I could work year round so maybe I have??
but I thought of that as investing in me I am the business

but at this point I would need that much id like to have more to spend asap getting my shop AC but where only talking a couple k tops.  I like pauls idea it take a vacation I havnt had one sence 2004


Mike, what would be a vacation that would make you happy? 

You like to boat ride and fish, I am led to believe.

Take a long week end when you can, as a starter.  You have worked very hard and deserve it.



I used to ride and would have liked to ride down the keys id like a road trip to the middles hkeys a rent a nice cottage and hire a fishing  guide and enjoy some local food


I guess we need to know some specifics on what type of "manufacturing" operation is being envisioned.   Even if you're a one-person shop, assuming you'll go into this full bore and re-focus your energy into start-up, you'll need some resources (personal or otherwise) to pay your living expenses for about 6-12 months until your new enterprise starts generating revenue for you to live off.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison


25K?  prolly a professional photographer and website development. 

I have great equipment and plenty of skill.  I'm pleasantly conversant, well read and literate. 

I need a better internet presence because the people I need to reach are internet savvy and "cull the herd" of likelies by using  the internet!


The net isn't necessary for me, get all I can do.  A lot of people do shop that way, I understand they are looking for price as much as anything else.  Most of what I do, if not all cannot be shipped or they won't ship it if they are out of town. 

But, the net could help for a relatively new or very unique business service.  It would be interesting to hear from a custom upholstery type company that is being served well by having a net.  What I mean is getting a lot of work from a distance due to their net.

It isn't a lack of computer savy talking here, I have plenty of computer science training and work experience in computer work even programming.  Why mess with it when I could be putting out work and getting paid on work dropped off from local customers?

Some find me anyway from their computer, they search and get my phone and location from yellow pages.

It would be different if I specialized in something somewhat more unique, I realize that and would probably do things differently.

If entertains a site on the web, the more effecive sites appear to be the most informative sites.