If you could invest in starting your own business, what would you do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-11-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you had the opportunity and $ to invest in a small business (say, $2-3000), what would be your choice for a business to start up? 

 

I've thought of several things from raising angora bunnies for fiber to becoming a local art tutor (I love to paint and have about 10 years of education in the art field). We've considered a coffee stand or food truck (obviously more investment than the 2-3k), running an etsy shop for hand sewn items, or selling hand-dyed wool spinning fiber either wholesale to yarn shops or as a monthly club.

 

Essentially I'm looking to find the best return on investment, and hopefully something that would make the investment worth it.  I'd like to see a permanent tool that I can use over and over again to make $ instead of constantly having to purchase inventory.

 

We are in the brainstorming phase right now, and so I'd just like to hear what you'd do if you had some start up money and could do anything you wanted. :)

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#2 of 6 Old 12-12-2012, 01:58 AM
 
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Craaaap, idk if I could do it on a $3k start-up with rent prices in AK, but I plan on opening an indoor playground someday :) Like ACTUAL playground equipment, then maybe one of those large play places like at McD's, and a section of trampolines. We have like... 9 months of winter so I think it would go over really well :)

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#3 of 6 Old 12-12-2012, 04:18 AM
 
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It depends on your passions. For me, it would involve books or educational software. Something like that.

I like the idea of an indoor play area in Alaska.

At one time, we thought about creating an indoor mini golf place.
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#4 of 6 Old 12-12-2012, 07:11 AM
 
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I just wanted to put in a word of encouragement. I have a translation business that I started after getting a degree in the field and working for four years - it has now been going strong for almost 12 years. My budget was also in the neighborhood of $2k (mostly computer and reference works). So, it can be done!

 

My business is just me and the occasional subcontractor I hire, and it's fairly flexible, although I definitely work more at certain times than I would working for someone else. Then again, I'm making more at those times, too. And making my own decisions about work - priceless.

 

As for the choices you mention - hand-crafted items are tough to get enough return on unless you eventually contract out some of the work or sell materials/patterns/classes, at least from what I have seen. I do know one person who is making a living selling jewelry who does all the work herself (etsy and craft fairs).

 

The art tutor idea sounds great. Potentially you would need space for classes and materials, plus advertising - would that be within your $2-3k budget?

 

I guess the key is what would you truly enjoy doing 12 hours a day (not that you work that much every day, but those times come & then you really want to enjoy what you're doing).

 

PS A really good book that helped me when I started out:

http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Self-Employment-Surviving-Thriving-Downs/dp/0874778379/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355325028&sr=8-2&keywords=Secrets+of+Successful+Self-Employment

(It's kind of old now so the Internet angle would be missing, but the advice is solid.)


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#5 of 6 Old 12-12-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for the feedback! 

 

Ragana - I think you hit the nail on the head with your post - it is really hard to make a return on hand-crafted items. 

 

I have been thinking about the art tutoring thing for a while.  I live in a very art-focused community, but the budget for our schools has been cut recently and art is one of the first things that has been removed from the school programs.  It is an absolute tragedy, and almost everyone in the community is in an uproar about it. 
 

We do have a community college that has a lot of "enrichment" art classes (they cost the same tuition as everything else), and an art-store that provides classes to adults in the community (that ultimately cost as much as the college).  From what I know there isn't much in the way of art-instruction for school-aged kids k-12. 

 

I have a friend that owns an art/music charter school here and I may be able to work out some sort of trade or discount price on renting their facility for art clubs after school (hopefully open to anyone in the community and not just their students).  I could pay for the rental of the space for 3 months or so ahead of time, and see how it goes in that time.  Hopefully I could make enough to continue doing it and paying for the space after that.  I could potentially offer classes on the weekend for high school age and adults. My husband and several of my friends are also really artistically inclined, so if things took off I could potentially have additional teachers. 

 

The idea of having an art "camp" over the summer is really appealing too, especially for the younger grades with parents who work and need someplace to have their kids attend during the summer.  Around here specialty "camps" are really appealing and fill up fast.  They also charge a lot and could be a real potential money maker.

 

There is also a market here for classes with the elderly who are interested in painting or drawing, especially within the many retirement homes we have here.  The fees are less because they are on a fixed income (usually around $10/lesson for group sessions), but it would be rewarding and another way to gain some business.

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#6 of 6 Old 12-12-2012, 10:26 PM
 
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I wish you so much luck with your endeavor. I wish I had the nerve to even seriously consider my own business. If there's a will, a way, and a need, then go for it!

 

Lately, I've thought of starting a farm that would specifically specialize in the herbs and vegetables that are used in Mexican and Central American cuisines.  There's a huuuuge population of Mexican and Central American migrant workers where I'm located and there's also a ton of vacant, arable land that could/should be put to use. The mainstream supermarkets are expensive and don't stock hispanic groceries, and the stores catering to this population don't really sell fresh foods. Why shouldn't they people have access to food that's not only fresh and a taste of home but healthy, too? But.... seed money, supplies, business acumen are things I completely lack and I doubt I'd ever get involved in agriculture, but it seems like something that could work. 

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