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Do you own your business?


Ant

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I'm wondering if there are many business owners on here?

 

It would be interesting to hear about the type of business, how you got involved, has it been all you hoped for, and any other interesting notes.

 

As a wage slave with a lack of creativity but an interest in business I would like to hear about your experiences.

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Yeah i do.

 

Cavity wall and loft insulation company. I did it when i left school and started it over 4 years ago. No hoilday, No sick pay and the buck stops with you. I really dont like it and often see my mates with 9-5 and envy them. Chances to make huge money keeps me going. Worth it? not sure really ask me next year as this is make or break really. I will walk away with more than i put in but i dont know if it was worth the stress.

 

I also have a rental which is another full time job. I used the money from a house sale to build my own house and used what was left to put down on a house in canterbury. Less of a headache than the company but still no fun when you get a phone call at 3am saying there is water coming though the ceiling.

 

I have 5 students living in the house every year they go and more move in, this leaves about 4 weeks in the summer to short the whole house out. This year that ment all new windows and boiler. This is a long term investment once i pay it off im going to retire end of.

 

Being your own boss isnt all that great.

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Hopefully the "day to day" business tips in your favour as it sounds like the ideal exit scenario could be to sell it with a decent profit and become a wage slave (and enjoy all the perks) with a bit of money behind you for any new ventures that potentially take your interest.

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Hopefully the "day to day" business tips in your favour as it sounds like the ideal exit scenario could be to sell it with a decent profit and become a wage slave (and enjoy all the perks) with a bit of money behind you for any new ventures that potentially take your interest.

 

The whole aim is to pay off the rental. If thats in 10 years then i will quit then, if its sooner then happy days. I dont care what is going on i will shut up shop and live off the rent.

 

The problem is owning your company is your never away from it, you dont just clock off or go on hoilday from it. You bring it home, when its running good its the best feeling ever, when its not then its the pits.

 

Dont get me wrong last year i was flying earning stupid money, this year changes in the goverment schemes have made it very hard. The rental stress last year was bad as the buggers didnt pay on time, this year they are fine.

 

Stuggle now so i wont have to when im older is the plan. Going it alone is a risk no doubt had i not paid my house off i never would have thought about it the chances of failure would be to high. I dont envy anyone trying to start up in this climate.

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One thing I will say from my knowledge of people starting up in their business is know your market.

 

Currently in my company there is no engineering knowledge and all software is contracted out to a firm which is run by 4 specialists one of which use to work for our company. They know there market, have an insider giving them work who use to work for the contracting company and have an easy ride. The company was picked up after last bloke that owned it ran it into the ground so cost them nothing but they knew the potential was there.

 

 

I am personally a wage slave but have a rental property otherwise I would of ended up in negative equity. Good tenants are making it a dream. So i got my own business as well on the side and has been mentioned a rental to pay off is the aim. If i had the capital and good tenants I would have 10-12 rentals making me money as in Newport a 3 bed house is around

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My brother used to run a small sign-making company. He'll probably start doing it again soon. Major problem for him was trying to get money out of people. Some people just don't like giving out money even though it was a good job. He was chasing after a lawyers firm for about six months one time.

 

He also did a sideline of hiring out those "Flab-a-loss" machines. He stopped that quick smart as people were taking them and selling them and there was fuck all he could do about it. Police wouldn't help. Expensive machines too.

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I run my own business, Easy School Website. It provides schools with a way of creating and managing their own websites without having to rely on their local authority or whomever offered to do their website on the side.

 

I've been going since 2010 and in that time we've had just over 1,700 registrations and the site is busy. This is something very different to Quote the Raven though I'd imagine, as I spent many, many hours writing the system so that it pretty much runs itself, meaning my day-to-day efforts are fairly minimal. I'm on hand along with 2 others to answer support email and phone calls and to enhance the system, but it means I'm not stressed every day trying to meet someone else's deadline for my wage and can be a little less regimental about work.

 

So in that sense, I'd say it's been more than worth it for me but then it's a particular, non-manual business model. Given the many hours (and I really do mean many hours) I spent getting things off the ground in my own time, I'd say I'm only now starting to see the benefits whereas if I had a business offering a more direct, personal service (like being a plumber etc) I'd have seen the benefit earlier but I'd have been kept busy more constantly, if that makes sense.

 

One thing I do hate though, is the paperwork that goes with running a business. In essence, this is very light indeed as all my payments and contact is done online, but even still, I always dread the end/start of the financial year :(

 

So in summary, it really depends on what your business is and making sure you know your market inside out.

 

Good luck with anything you do, would be more than happy to answer any questions (even though I'm by no means an expert!).

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Thanks for the offer of assistance Scratchdj - your business sounds really interesting in the sense it sounds like you busted a gut to get it going, and can now take a more laid back approach and watch it essentially tick over with some day-to-day assistance to service users. In fact if all goes well it sounds like you've got the type of business that you could have faith to operate with your current staff and the odd bit of input while you explore other options.

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Scratchdj - can I just say what a great business idea that is. I know from experience how schools struggle with websites so a 'boxed' solution like yours is really good. I assume they have a basic CMS?

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Ant - are you thinking of setting up something ?

 

It's something I'm not against doing. I just don't have - at this time - a great creation or opportunity in mind. But if either arose it would be good to already have got a feel from "the coal face" from a variety of people. Ultimately it just might not be for me, but the pitfalls and rewards described on here are in line with what others have said.

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