Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

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TopSNOT_BigE
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Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by TopSNOT_BigE »

I'm so sick of working for lazy stupid civilian employers. All I want to do is own and operate my own business. But I have no clue where to start.

I figured the best place to get some ideas would be from my brother's in arms. So? Anybody have some good ideas what business YOU would start?
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RANGER513
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by RANGER513 »

Well, being from 1st Batt. ya could open a on-line leg shaving cream company. :shock:


:lol: :lol: :lol:




I don't know.......but I would pick a service or product that is a must, not a want. i.e. vehicle tires, food, clothing, heck even wireless communication devices. Just thinking out loud.
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by K.Ingraham »

Best way to suck the fun out of anything you enjoy is to do it for a living. Another hackneyed phrase: "The best way to make a small fortune in ______ is to start with a big fortune."

If you're math-savvy, I'd recommend getting an AS in civil engineering and get your land surveyor's license. The OJT in NYS is seven or eight years, but if you like it, it is well worth it.
The market is ready made, much of the work is outdoors, it is initiative driven and your results come quick. Still gotta deal with people though, like to collect the payments - nothing is perfect :?

If you have to be a civilian, look into the fire department.
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TopSNOT_BigE
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by TopSNOT_BigE »

I'd rather shave my legs in the sun than hide from the rain.

I'll look into the civil engineering but I'm really thinking about a different path. I've always thought "do something your interested in" but then I'd have to start a bar, a gym, and a strip club. And there are too many of those out there. And the chances of those actually making me more money than headache are slim. (strip club is out of the question, wife wont let me)
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by dbmtrman »

RANGER513 wrote:Well, being from 1st Batt. ya could open a on-line leg shaving cream company. :shock:


:lol: :lol: :lol:




I don't know.......but I would pick a service or product that is a must, not a want. i.e. vehicle tires, food, clothing, heck even wireless communication devices. Just thinking out loud.
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by garyedolan »

I have given lectures, some through the Small Business Association, on how to start and how to run a successful small business. You may check out my resume at http://oftheirownaccord.com/author.html
As my phone number is posted, feel free to call me any time. Always willing to help out a Brother Ranger.
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Ohmess
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Ohmess »

I'm a business guy, not a Ranger. But, I used to review business plans for folks seeking money, so allow me to make a few comments:

If you are trying to avoid the bullshit you see in working for others, be advised that running our own business entails its own bullshit. The most obvious examples are keeping customers happy, motivating/supervising/retaining employees and complying with government rules (licensing, taxes, etc.). Getting money and keeping investors/bankers happy is another huge hassle.

As an initial matter, you need to think about any new business in terms of capital needs. Capital has a price, and you need to pay the price for capital from the time you start using it until your business is self-sustaining. If you want to start a retail store, for example, you need capital for rent and fixtures and cash registers and inventory. If you do not have or cannot get capital, then certain businesses are out of the question. You mentioned starting a gym; this entails a chunk of capital for space, equipment and staff before you can even open, and you need to pay for the use of this capital from day one until you have enough customers for the place to cash flow. This is one reason so many of these places fail. Service businesses can get off the ground with almost nothing in capital.

The second thing you need to think about is your skills. Here, you need to be honest and look at what you can do and do well. No matter what business you decide upon, you need to understand everything that needs to be done, and then determine what elements of it you are going to do. What obviously falls out are the elements you need to hire or contract for. By way of example, tons of small businesses hire a payroll service to process payroll and pay payroll taxes. This is a bullshit thankless task nobody wants to do.

This brings me to one way to look at the question. As you consider different alternatives, think about all the things that need to be done to run the business. Make a list. Then ask yourself, which are the most vital. Then compare your skills to the list of vital activities. If they line up, you may have a chance. Where you see gaps, ask yourself, am I willing to learn to do these things. The more you cannot do yourself, the more expensive it is going to be to run the business.

One other thing I would add, you don't need to go from where you are now into the business. Consider, for example, going to work for someone doing the business you want to do before you jump in. Take a low paying job if you have to. Consider it an investment in your future. You can learn a great deal from the inside and from watching someone up close who is actually operating a business.

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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by panthersix »

Jobs I've seen that may apply:

1) Traffic Counters - you and a partner use electronic keyboards to count cars at intersections, it's a 12 to 16 hour day, but minimum is $1,500. My firm has hooked up with a bunch of retired military guys that do it for golf money. We have to foot the per diem if they travel for us, but they drive and take their wives and golf while on the road.

2) Small Airport Operator - I got the opportunity to meet with these folks when I was the S3 Air for a USAR ANB unit coordinating to use their facilities as drop zones in rural NC. They are basically gas pump attendants for small a/c that might use their facilities. Sometimes they may have a Civil Air Patrol unit there or whatever depending upon how isolated the air strip.
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snipe4fun
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by snipe4fun »

http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/index.html

Small Business Development Center offices are in every county, nation wide, and offer free courses on various subjects prospective small business owners might encounter. They also offer free services in the way of reviewing and helping to refine your business plan and locating funding.

If you're looking to start a business that makes or sells alcohol they won't/can't help, but everything else seems fair game.
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Lefty »

After 30 years in banking, I retired in 2005.

Last year I came out of retirement to work for a local non-profit community agency. Last month I became the Business Development Director and have been assisting clients in creating business plans and finding financing.

Read and heed what has been posted by the others, esp. Gary Dolan. Nothing against anyone else, but I know Gary and would recommend him to anyone. Gary and I worked together briefly on a business development project which was a great experience. I can personally attest to Gary's credentials.

Good luck to you!
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Jim
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Jim »

Lefty wrote:After 30 years in banking, I retired in 2005.

Last year I came out of retirement to work for a local non-profit community agency. Last month I became the Business Development Director and have been assisting clients in creating business plans and finding financing.

Read and heed what has been posted by the others, esp. Gary Dolan. Nothing against anyone else, but I know Gary and would recommend him to anyone. Gary and I worked together briefly on a business development project which was a great experience. I can personally attest to Gary's credentials.

Good luck to you!
Damn, Karl, my opinion of Gary just went up 25%. You are not usually generous with your evaluations.
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by garyedolan »

Jim wrote: Damn, Karl, my opinion of Gary just went up 25%. You are not usually generous with your evaluations.
How dare you Damn Karl, as all I am and ever hope to be, I owe to Karl, who is at least 25+% better than I am in Business Plans and (Especially) Financing!
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Zonk 1/75 »

Ohmess wrote:Consider, for example, going to work for someone doing the business you want to do before you jump in. You can learn a great deal from the inside and from watching someone up close who is actually operating a business....................................................
and then steal their clients and leads! :twisted:
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by McD »

Let's See:
Bar owner for 10 years... terrible business for the family and your liver but you can make some $$.

2 Different Ice Cream trucks 4 years... great Seasonal buisness.... find the neighbor hood with lots of kids!

Senior in home care5 years..... non-medical (less licencing). Sold the buiness! :)

The worse part of all of them was the employees except for the Ice Cream truck... we drove and did it ouselves... and you get free MilkShakes whenever you want.

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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by RangerX »

There's some great advice here.

A few things from my own personal perspective.

Service industries are the easiest, particularly if you are going to be providing the service. As long as you sell no product you are looking at the minimum paperwork, i.e. no sales taxes, less paperwork at tax time, etc.

If you do decide to start a business based on something you like doing, try looking at it from a business perspective. For instance, guns. While a damn fun hobby, the business side is brutal. You will likely have to carry somewhere well North of 1/2 a million dollars in inventory, and the economy plays havoc on your numbers. Political climate as well. Not a business I would want to be in. At most I would consider acting as a broker and gun smith, but no inventory.

Computers on the other hand. I did IT services independently for a while (still do a little). No out of pocket for me to start up other than incorporating/filing fees & buying Quickbooks. After I got to the point where I was making enough to warrant a salary, I realized that the paperwork for payroll was a PITA, so I started using QB Payroll. Totally worth it.
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