Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

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Rock Island Ranger
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Rock Island Ranger »

What are you good at and what do you like to do, have passion for, and want to do in the future?
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TopSNOT_BigE
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by TopSNOT_BigE »

Thanks for all the replies and help.
Rock Island Ranger wrote:What are you good at and what do you like to do, have passion for, and want to do in the future?
I love to shoot long rifle, go fishing, work out, and make money:

I've been thinking about starting a local marksmanship course here in Iowa. As far as I can tell there isn't much competition but I'm not sure there is much of a demand for it either. So it would be something for some extra money here and there.

We are fairly close to a small lake and I've always wanted to put up cabin's on the lake but I think the DNR has that regulated for now. That's also a lot of money needed to start up. If nothing I'd like to start a hotel in the nearby town about 3-5 miles away. There is nothing there for vacationers, as of now, other than campgrounds.

A gym would be great, or a personal trainer but there are around 10 different gym names in the Eastern Iowa. I could push the "But I'm the Biggest Badass Ever" theme but just not as a first business.

I am planning for retirement now. Putting money into stocks, mutual funds, 401k, and other long-term interest rated investments. Nothing high risk. But the ultimate goal is to own and operate a business... and then maybe sell it for a good deal of money. :lol:

Let me know what you guys think about those ideas. Good? Bad?
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by panthersix »

Hey Pastor, ever thought of franchising the Range? I have some land in Canada that very suitable for a range and Canuks go ape over that shit since it's very regulated.

I don't have to worry about the regulations as my land is on an Indian Reservation. They're used to gunshots at all hours of the day and night :)
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Rock Island Ranger
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Rock Island Ranger »

panthersix wrote:Hey Pastor, ever thought of franchising the Range? I have some land in Canada that very suitable for a range and Canuks go ape over that shit since it's very regulated.

I don't have to worry about the regulations as my land is on an Indian Reservation. They're used to gunshots at all hours of the day and night :)
Actually, yes I have and am. However, if it is something you want to pursue, happy to show you the cost, setup, POI, target markets, ect....lot of variables but as much fun as a man can have with clothes on. I wouldnt charge a bro and happy to show and tell and help anyway I can.
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K.Ingraham
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by K.Ingraham »

If you're thinking of motels, cabins etc; learn how many rooms/beds are available in your region and along the roads/interstates in between the markets.
Interstate travelers looking for a place to throw out an anchor for the night tend to go for the 'big name' franchises that are taking up all the space by the interchanges, the small 'mom&pops' are getting pushed out in those locations. Consider a franchise & if you aren't a "people person", forget it.
Also, forget the notion of owning your own buz is being "independent", unless your idea of independence and freedom being at work 16-20 hours a day seven days a week to be free. To make your business go, you must give it that sort of attention. No work - no pay - no paid vacations - all benefits are paid for at retail. Good luck.

Look around, especially in the cities, for BBB and community college courses or seminars for wanna-be startups & make sure you learn the book keeping, tax and gov regs inside and out. That'll kill you faster than anything. Just like successful officers learn logistics and how to handle the supply room and stay on top of the hand reciepts.
In my city a bunch of retired biz owners and execs have formed a group to advise new business owners and help them out with training and advice, they even will look at your finances etc. Basicaly guys who retired in name - sucessful capitalists are not the sort of people who ever really retire.
Last edited by K.Ingraham on June 13th, 2010, 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lefty
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Lefty »

Whatever your idea, the very first thing to research is customers - who is willing to pay for what you are selling/providing? Where are they? Are there enough potential customers to make the deal worthwhile?
I have met lots of people who had "great" ideas, but when I had them sit down and figure out how many people are out there in their trade area who might buy their goods/services, I got a lot of "Gee, I hadn't thought about that"
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by panthersix »

Rock Island Ranger wrote:
panthersix wrote:Hey Pastor, ever thought of franchising the Range? I have some land in Canada that very suitable for a range and Canuks go ape over that shit since it's very regulated.

I don't have to worry about the regulations as my land is on an Indian Reservation. They're used to gunshots at all hours of the day and night :)
Actually, yes I have and am. However, if it is something you want to pursue, happy to show you the cost, setup, POI, target markets, ect....lot of variables but as much fun as a man can have with clothes on. I wouldnt charge a bro and happy to show and tell and help anyway I can.
The land is a natural firing range - a gravel pit backing up into hills. I'd just rent guns and sell ammo and ridiculous rates and let the Canuks get their rock and roll on! PM inbound!
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Invictus
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Invictus »

Where do you live?

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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by panthersix »

Invictus wrote:Where do you live?

My reservation in on Rice Lake in Ontario, Canada.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_Paudash" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; My great grandfather's brother. Every eligible male on the reservation volunteered and served in WWI and WWII.
Doc Mac
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TopSNOT_BigE
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by TopSNOT_BigE »

To keep everyone up to date: (If you care):

So "We" are going to start a brew pub. "We" being a few friends I've met along the way, no Rangers but ex-marines. Two of us are amatuar brewers and one works as a brewer at a bigger company, not sure which. This is a fresh plan so we are just starting the research now, finding out licenses, fees, costs, and assistance.

I wanted to get some advice from you all. You guys said that SBA does not assist with anything alcohol related so what other organizations do?

As far as $ goes. We all have "some" nest egg cash, full time jobs, and great credit. Our plan is to work fulltime and use our downtime to work on this business.

As soon as I have a "Real" plan all set up I'll probably be giving you a call, Lefty and Gary.

Any help here is greatly appreciated.
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Redrose100
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Redrose100 »

I have a little brew pub experience and my first bit of advice would be do not do it. Trying to finance this type of operation in this economy without a proven Restaurant/Bar track record is going to be a rough go. So just take those funds, invest in gold and bury same in your secret place.

Since that will probably not dissuade you my second bit of advice is do it yourself. You will find that trying to operate a bar with partners is vexing but even worse will be trying to get three brewers to settle on a product line. That and you can eliminate the whole partner break up in a huff thing when another partner may or may not have had relations with another partners significant other on or near a pool table while under the influence of the witches brew.

If your still willing to plod on shoot out some more info -

Are you thinking of building your own space or leasing an existing bar/restaurant?

What kind of square footage are you thinking about?

Who is your customer? College boys, metrosexuals, construction workers?

How many barrels is your operation going to start with?
Note: My first endeavor was a 12 barrel operating in a 5500 square foot facility with bar only food service and we grew out of it in less than a year. So if you are thinking of bootstrapping a 5-10 barrel operation realize that if successful you will be expanding just as your existing equipment has lost nearly all its value.

What are your products going to be? Ale, Bock, Lager, etc . . .
And how many lines are you going to present? Holiday brews, etc . . .
Note: that Lagers will absolutely kill any small brew pub.

Think refrigeration maximization because it costs to buy and maintain.

Are you going to sell bottled product? Bottling adds 20-30% to any operation and takes up a ton of space. And depending on your local health department cleaning bottles can become pretty costly. And hand cleaning bottles while drinking is not advised. My best bottles have Dragons on them and while they look fantastic never sold more beer or made me any more money than a regular brown bomber.

Get ready for the fees -

Legal -
You mentioned that one of your partners is working for brewery. Odds on he has a no compete agreement - They are going to sue if for no other reason than they can file for a few bucks and maybe win.

Liquor/brewing license the municipal will go through your background fairly extensively and you just have to suck up to the process. It costs.

LLC/Incorporation fees. A mans gotta be insulated.

Construction and real estate -
Ground up 7500 square foot facility done cheap will come in at around 625K plus site and site development costs.

Renovating existing just costs and costs and you never get what you want.

Equipment -
A decent 12 barrel operation will run you around 175-225K
A used 12 barrel operation will run you around 120-140K and you will pay for it every day you own someone's old nightmare.

Kitchen equipment - You get what you pay for. Figure about 110K for a small food operation.

Tables/Chairs/Linens/silver - you name your price. I built most of my first place's furnishings when we tore the bowling alleys out for the brewery equipment. We cut the lanes up into tables, benches, bars, etc . . . Cheap and it looked like it. Years later I built a more refined establishment that my wife designed and it cost a ton and I never felt comfortable sitting down in the place. IMO cheaper is better let Wolfgang Puck spend 2 million on tables and linens.

So to start a 12 barrel operation with no bottling in an existing space you should look at around 500K start up. In a ground up building you will need around 1.5M and that is doing everything on the cheap.

And if you get this far you will love the next step - Operations - You may think hey I was in the military and I had guys under my command and it all worked. Not so much the same here. I will just leave you with all employees are that employees not friends, wives, sisters, etc . . . This will be your largest expense from opening until you shut it down and if you let them the employees will crush your business.

I am thinking of starting a new venture - 15 barrel operation with a rib house, shooting range, and a pick your own vegetable patch for the kids. Close your eyes and think of an old A&W drive-in that would serve Malt Liquor and tasty BBQ and after you can drive down the shooting range and plunk away until your barrel melts.

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TopSNOT_BigE
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by TopSNOT_BigE »

Damn. Next time you shit in my cereal, Redrose, dont eat so much corn.

We are thinking more of a small scale operation, 3-5 barrels.

Again, just started the planning so I dont know the all the answers yet.
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by K.Ingraham »

You'd better do some market research. The 'pie', ie: customer base, is only so big. It does not grow. One more establishment just makes the slices of that pie smaller, which is another way of describing what Lefty explained above.
Does the market exist for an upscale beer product in your community? Are the potential competitors doing well or just getting by? If you pull some customers away, will that just make both of you crash? If they are busy, you might be also.
Does your potential customer base give a crap about quality product? If you're in a college town, they'll just want lots and lots of cheap bubbly crap and tipsy coeds. What Schlafy pulled off in St Louis under the nose of Amhauser-Busch is inspiring to the likes of you but be aware, it is rare and an exceptional achievement. A.B. in particular, does not tolorate the likes of you in their market. You might have a very tough time finding brands that you can serve alongside of yours, and that includes sodas and mixers.
In NYS, the state background check for your liquor license is like getting a security clearance - can all of your partners survive such scrutiny?
Your partners are not friends anymore. It is now business, all business and some biz partners are people you really won't like to sit down to the bar with, but you will want their names on the DBA form with yours.
Advertise, advertise, advertise! If you can't afford to get your message out there, you can't afford to be in business, period. It's the last thing you cut in tough times - no, make that the one thing you DON'T cut.
Well, that, and health and safety.
Have fun. :P
Oh, if you do succeed, offer us beer snobs on this site some of yor t-shirts wholesale please.
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by garyedolan »

Please take heed to the sage advice rendered here--many great salient points not just to ponder but to follow.
A PARTNERSHIP is like a marriage, BUT WITHOUT THE GOOD PART. Much better to do this on your own, especially as you are starting small. No two people have the same work ethic and the same goals, so there is little chance of anything being EQUAL as between the partners. If there is some special skill you need from one of your intended partners, then take the time NOW to learn it or be able to acquire it by paying for it by hiring. You can fire an employee but you are stuck with a Partner. Funny thing is that I have seen Partners get along better when struggling than when first getting successful and then income creates great problems.
If you have never run this business before, then NOW go work for a similar establishment, even if only part time, to learn the ins and outs, how and when and where to buy; how to attract and keep customers, what works and what does not, how to hire and handle employees; and so much more. Plus, you will find out if you love doing this busines, because you better love it as you will have to do many things, like book-keeping, taxes, cleaning and perhpas many other things part of this business that you clearly will not love or even be good at---but, as the ownere, YOU do it all.
Join a Trade Association and read, read, read about this business.
Befriend other similar business owners who do not operate near where you want to have your business location--they will "like" you because you are just like them in business and you are far enough away not to be competition, so you can pump them for info and they will more than likely be glad to share secrets of business success they have achieved.

Then, there is always room in any business for well-planned EXCELLENCE coupled with determination... However, be careful what you wish for...
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Lefty
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Re: Any Business savy Ranger's out there?

Post by Lefty »

What eveyone has said.

X3

Basically what you are being told is to get real time experience with it and do a feasibility analysis.
Don't even start a business plan until you have done the feasibility study. As the name implies, it means finding out if the idea makes sense before you start planning.
Get a feasibility outline from SCORE, your county business development office (if they have one) the SBA, the library, or just Google the damn thing and get the outline. Do the work, crunch the numbers, use your head, not your heart, and really be critical. Spending several hundred dollars to find out it won't work is far better than getting in debt up to your neck and getting ruined financially to find out it won't work.
My view on partners? It's like that old saying about your girlfriend and your wife. Once you marry your girlfriend, she becomes your wife and stops being your girlfriend.
If you enter a partnership with a friend, he becomes your business partner and stops being your friend. Partnership clashes and breakups are as nasty as divorces and just as costly.
Make sure your partner's credit and financial situation is as good as yours or better, then he has just as much or more to lose, thus he will be just as committed as you are. Believe me, you do NOT want to get into business with someone who has a shaky credit rating or pre-existing financial problems.
Better have a HUGE chunk of $$$$ to put in it - any potential lender/investor wants to see how much you have in it as a gauge of how committed you are to the business. None of them will take 100% of the risk. in the best of times most conventional lenders wouldn't touch a brew pub/restaurant/tavern with a ten foot pole. In today's economic environment you will be lucky to get them to even talk to you.
Good luck to you, and I am not being sarcastic.
P.S. Remember operating without food and sleep in RS? Going into business will do the same thing to you - you will be sleep and food deprived - and the course runs much much longer.

OK guys - insert snide comments HERE about defense industry related businesses............
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