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#1 Armada

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:45 PM

I've always thought it would be cool to have my own business but never too sure how to do it. I'm currently in school right now, first I started out with Law, didn't like it so I went in to Computers Science and its easy and all but the programming part of it is boring so thinking about changing again. Is there anything I should take if I'm interested in opening a business.

I'm particularly interested in opening a Ski/Snowboard shop (Could be a bike/wakeboard shop in the summer maybe). From what I've read its really tough to start out, trying to get the big names to let you be a dealer for their things and early on you shouldn't expect any big profits but the rewards of having your own business is awesome in the end. Before I even get close to opening a business I'd like to get some experience in the Ski industry.

Anyone else have any experience opening a business or know any information?

Edited by Armada, 08 October 2012 - 08:50 PM.

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#2 GodzillaDeuce

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:51 PM

revenue - cost = profit

good luck
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#3 goalie13

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:53 PM

One of the best pieces of advice I have heard in this regard came from my Business Ed teacher way back in highschool. He said that if you want to start a business, make sure you are prepared to make no money for at least two years.

Many businesses fail because they don't have the resources behind them to sustain the business while they establish their clientele. Most businesses, especially independent ones, are not successful right out of the gate. It takes time to build your brand and build a reputation. Make sure you have enough resources to keep the business going while you are building up the business.
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#4 Tearloch7

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:55 PM

If you are in BC, contact Community Futures .. they have some terrific free programs available on business planning .. or at least they did last time I checked ..

http://www.community...es.ca/programs/

Good luck .. :)
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#5 Tortorella's Rant

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:55 PM

Well, if you like computers then stick with computers but ditch the programming. Because programming sucks. Networking or building PCs is more enjoyable. And then if you still have the urge to do a business, open a computer shop many years down the road.
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#6 Armada

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:01 PM

Awesome stuff so far guys. Is it true that the government gives you a small sum of money to help you start a business?

Well, if you like computers then stick with computers but ditch the programming. Because programming sucks. Networking or building PCs is more enjoyable. And then if you still have the urge to do a business, open a computer shop many years down the road.


Good idea but at the same time its not entirely something I'd like to spend doing for the rest of my life and I feel as though its harder to compete as a computer shop against the bigger stores such as Best Buy, Future shop, etc.. When it comes to Computers. Not something I'd be passionate about.

Edited by Armada, 08 October 2012 - 09:04 PM.

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#7 goalie13

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:09 PM

The other thing I want to put out there is, no matter what your business is, you have to figure out what your competitive advantage is. Or basically, what is the reason people want to be your customer.

It could be that you have a unique product / service. It could be that you have industry leading customer service. Whatever it is, you have to figure it out before you launch your company or you may be doomed to be just another face in the crowd.
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#8 Jägermeister

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:10 PM

Promise me free equipment and I'll give you all the help you need.
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#9 Armada

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:21 PM

The other thing I want to put out there is, no matter what your business is, you have to figure out what your competitive advantage is. Or basically, what is the reason people want to be your customer.

It could be that you have a unique product / service. It could be that you have industry leading customer service. Whatever it is, you have to figure it out before you launch your company or you may be doomed to be just another face in the crowd.


For sure, the great thing about opening a ski shop is that there are a lot more board shops in Vancouver rather than ski shops but still have to find a location.
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#10 Dion Phaneuf

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:28 PM

We own a framing company but it's not really comparable to a ski/bike shop. Some of the important things are location and demand.

Opening in downtown would be ideal if you have the money. *Mr. Mayor LOL
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#11 JoeyJoeJoeJr. Shabadoo

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:46 PM

How much start up capital do you have? Hopefully a lot.
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#12 Armada

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:50 PM

How much start up capital do you have? Hopefully a lot.


I'm working on it now, not much at the moment but I have my parents to help me out a bit. I want to work in the industry for a few years before I get remotely close to when I start considering opening a business.

I'm just interested in what I should look into and think about before deciding this but I'm pretty sold already.
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#13 Grapefruits

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:51 PM

I've always thought it would be cool to have my own business but never too sure how to do it. I'm currently in school right now, first I started out with Law, didn't like it so I went in to Computers Science and its easy and all but the programming part of it is boring so thinking about changing again. Is there anything I should take if I'm interested in opening a business.

I'm particularly interested in opening a Ski/Snowboard shop (Could be a bike/wakeboard shop in the summer maybe). From what I've read its really tough to start out, trying to get the big names to let you be a dealer for their things and early on you shouldn't expect any big profits but the rewards of having your own business is awesome in the end. Before I even get close to opening a business I'd like to get some experience in the Ski industry.

Anyone else have any experience opening a business or know any information?


Head up to Whistler and see if you can find a job up there for the winter. It might be a real pain in the ass to get and the travel might suck to get their unless you live close by, but if you're serious, Whistler would be a great place to learn and make business connections.
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#14 thehun

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:13 PM

Work in the industry like you said, in the mean time look for an existing business to buy. The customers, stock, infrastructure and staff are already in place. I have started a scuba diving company here in Gladstone, qld. My advantages are:

I am the only dive company in the area. The closest one is a 2 hour drive return trip with 4 trips return or a hotel stay for 4 days.
I have no staff. I am keeping it small to begin with
I have no overhead. I own everything. I have an island with a resort ( that is not being used, and when it does I will move my business from home to there. I have a pier to dive from and a 7ft deep pool. No cost.

When the business grows, and I have the capital, I will buy a 40ft power catamaran and offer weekend trips out to the great barrier reef. The plus side of being small is I can take off on holidays anytime and I can work around shift workers schedule. I know it is not much, but it is a start for a guy who has had no training to run a business.

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#15 Mainly Mattias

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 02:49 AM

There are small business seminars that are free at the central library and lots of reading material at the small business center at waterfront station. Research the customers, the competition.. I had this Canada Business Network site bookmarked for business plan templates. Sauder has the entrepreneurial option if you're thinking of schooling. Haven't heard how it is though.

Oh, and maybe take an online "are you an entrepreneur" test. I think that having the entrepreneurial mindset/passion/craziness is more important than business or industry knowledge. You can always hire subject matter experts to give you advice or do things you don't have the expertise in. Good for you for planning ahead!

There may be good reasons why there aren't any ski shops (other than Sigges). There may not be a market to support a downhill ski shop. High cost product, requisite inventory, high risk for theft, high insurance rates, seasonal sales, high overhead..
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#16 nucklehead

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:56 AM

It sounds like you get bored easily. Know this, when you have a business YOU'RE MARRIED TO IT!!!!!!!!!
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#17 RUPERTKBD

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:20 AM

I wouldn't go into the Computer business. Margins are a razor thin and online vendors have pretty much taken over.

It doesn't hurt to have computer skills and savvy, but if you're looking for some training that will actually help with running a business, I would suggest taking a business administration program. This includes the basics of bookkeeping, marketing and business law. These are all aspects of business management that it is important to know, otherwise they need to be farmed out at considerable added expense.

Tearloch's idea of approaching Communnity Futures is a good one. CF is there to help people with the basics of a business start-up, including help with a solid business plan, which you will need in order to get financial backing.

Good luck!

Edited by RUPERTKBD, 10 October 2012 - 06:59 AM.

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#18 Squeak

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:24 AM

Starting a ski/snowboard shop is hard - unless you know the brands reps.

It's a very who knows who driven business, and any well known brand will not go into business with a start-up shop unless their local rep can vouch for the owner.

So - my suggestion, is if/when you get a job within the industry, anytime a rep comes into the store (which is about once a month) - go introduce yourself or talk to them. You need to seperate yourself as someone who actually wants to pursue this, rather then just a seasonal employee looking for a 'job' close to the hill.

Edited by Squeak, 09 October 2012 - 10:26 AM.

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#19 AbbyNucksFan

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:35 AM

I started my own small business 11 years ago with help from Community Futures.. I'm still doing it now. My favorite quote from one of the guys at CF was "owning your own business, you get to work half days! noon to midnight, 10am to 10pm, 8am to 8pm.. half days!" in other words, it's a lot of work. I am in the computer sales.repair business, and like has been said in this thread a few times, dont get into this business. Competing with the big box stores is hard, and the online guys is even harder.
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#20 Armada

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:44 AM

Great stuff so far guys.

-Lots of research before starting
-Location, Location, Location
-There are a few seminars
-Gain experience in the industry
-What sets you different from the other competitors
-Promise Jagermeister free equipement
-Have a built up capital to start
-Build reputation with reps from the companies that you want to be a dealer of.

Thanks guys, also great stories about your own experiences for the few that have their own shops.

Edited by Armada, 09 October 2012 - 10:46 AM.

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#21 Wetcoaster

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:45 AM

See past threads on this subject:
http://forum.canucks...79#entry9847279

http://forum.canucks...37#entry9436337
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#22 Squeak

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:51 AM

Another suggestion - listen to anything Wetcoaster says.
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#23 canucks_dynasty

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:44 PM

I have friends who own their own company. So here's a short story...

Friend #1) It was his father's store. It was good money but small. He took over. Works 6 days a week at 10hrs a day for the past 20yrs. He's since expanded to other cities and is pretty well off. But he's married to his job. No wife. No kids. No pets.


Friend #2) Worked for a company for a few yrs. Became sort of like a right hand man. Convinced his boss to sell the company to him. Took on a HUGE debt load. He's smart and driven and grew the business. Almost went bankrupt with his expansion. But he's rich now and diversifies his money (property, stocks, etc). Has a wife and kids.


Friend #3) Started a cafe with his buddies. Didn't have a business plan nor exit plan. Now after 3 yrs of making no money...he wants out. But his buddies don't want to give up just yet. Just got married and has a baby. Got a full-time job elsewhere now and works part-time at the cafe.

Edited by canucks_dynasty, 09 October 2012 - 12:46 PM.

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#24 Offensive Threat

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:18 PM

Be prepared to fail. Most small businesses do.

Read the bio of most big money success stories and you will find a few early failures in their past.
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#25 sixwings

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 10:27 PM

UVic has got a strong entrepreneurship program. I have some friends who were in it and they said it was really good, some of them started businesses straight out of university that are going quite well. If that's something that interests you it's worth looking into.

I'm dubious about the benefits of a 4 year program focused on entrepeneurship. It seems like if you have a good idea, you need to start it and figure it out as you go. Although a ski/snowboard shop isn't going anywhere, so taking a few years learning how to create a sustainable business may not be a terrible idea.

My brother started a business, and while he's doing REALLY well, it has taken a toll on him. When you own a business, it's no longer a job, it's no longer 9-5 or something you can leave at the office. For a business to succeed, it needs to be part of you, and consume you. My brothers business is a part of him, there is never a minute off. And while he's wildly successful and rich, it has definitely taken a toll on his life. He does however love the company and loves his life.

Edited by sixwings, 09 October 2012 - 10:28 PM.

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#26 King Heffy

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:06 PM

For courses, I'd recommend a basic course in accounting and one in marketing.
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#27 RyanKeslord17

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:01 PM

If you don't mind me asking, where are you doing Computing Science? Just wanna know as I'm going into that.
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#28 silverpig

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:21 PM

If you find programming easy, then keep with compsci and do a tech startup. The nice thing is you can start it part time for next to zero cost.
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#29 Armada

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:03 PM

If you don't mind me asking, where are you doing Computing Science? Just wanna know as I'm going into that.


Douglas. They have some pretty good instructors.
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#30 Ghostsof1915

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:11 PM

http://www.bdc.ca/en...px#.UHYpYURreOg

Business Development Bank of Canada. A federal government corporation, good for developing capital. Not sure if it has the resource material it used to have. But do your homework. Make sure you've got a good base to work with and a product or service that has demand. As Goalie13 said be prepared to lose money year one, break even year two and in year three then you might finally get a profit. My brother started small but had a good and at that time untapped area to start his business in. He's well off now, and even with some reversals in his business he's still going strong.
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