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Armada

Starting A Business.

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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?

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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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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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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.

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

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

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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?

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

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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!

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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.

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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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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.

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