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  • #967508
    Kwaka_Chris
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    Hey everyone, I thought I would register here and have a look around. I have recently discovered this forum and it seemed to have alot of knowledge pumping through its veins so it seemed like a good idea.

    Why am I registering?
    I have recently hit hard times due to an unfortunate series of events that means I cannot continue work with my current employer. The lucky thing is, I have been attempting to start a small home/net based business for a while now and never had the initiative to push it further.

    Finally because of my previous job though, I have an ABN and I have studied a fair bit in the past with accounting, business and economics to give me the good basics in establishing a business.

    The problem?
    My problems are simple, trying to decide on what to do, I have many hobbies ranging from remote control vehicles (I love building, repairing and selling them) as well as photography (I would call myself able, but I do not have the professional gear required to compete) and of course, I love anything Automotive.

    I have recently been talking to many suppliers, and learning the ropes with things like T/T’s very new to me and have already stumbled across the issues of suppliers not being able to meet the information needed for me to complete a T/T (lost in translation perhaps?)

    Basically it all boils down to a few things I would love doing, and the rest have been weeded out due to the inability to buy items and be competetive with a survivable profit margin unless I ordered extremely large quantities.

    1. R/C Car components, I have the knowledge, experience and have personally used many of the items im looking at importing, and love them to bits as a value for money item.

    2. Photography, well, there is not much money in this unless you have the professional gear, the only service I can physically offer is my skills as a vehicle detailer, combined with my photography and digital editing abilities to provide a full “vehicle pre-sale” service, where I can offer a professional detailing, and the photo’s that I know sell cars.

    3. Reselling automotive accessories, I love this idea, its just a matter if finding suppliers that are reliable, good value and working through issues in translation.



    Frankly, I am happy to work out of my garage, with the internet as I don’t have a massive amount of capital to invest in starting a business. And I’d much rather start small, with minimal overheads.

    I’d also like to meet anyone in Sydney that is in a similar situation to me, 2 heads are always better than one as they say.



    Well thats me in a very ranting nutshell, HI!
    Cheers, Chris.

    #1026716
    ray_223
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    Hi Chris,

    Welcome to FlyingSolo.

    My advice would be to find another job – best if it is an area related to one of your future business interests (which is probably not what you think you would hear from this forum!).

    It takes time and money to start a business. Usually the less money you have the more time it will take, and in the mean time you still need to live.

    When looking for a new job keep in mind what business ideas you have and try your best to get a job flexible enough to not impact to greatly on your own business aspirations.
    One option is to get a part time job in a totally unrelated field – doing this work will motivate you to start/grow your own business!

    Good luck

    #1026717
    Kwaka_Chris
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    Thankfully thats what I’m doing at the moment. I completely understand the need for a ‘day job’ especially while establishing a new business.

    That and I would like probably $15 000 capital to invest in starting a business if full time, or $7000 if I start it off as a part time business from home while I am still employed elsewhere.

    #1026718
    ray_223
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    Hi Chris,

    In that case the next step is to do some analysis on market opportunities.

    Have you heard of SWOT analysis? Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis
    I always like to focus on the niche markets – especially if starting from nothing. The big risk here is that you need to identify – as best as possible – if the market is big enough to support a business.

    So, you should have some form of unique selling proposition (USP) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unique_selling_proposition

    I’m no expert in any of the 3 markets you mention:

    Do any of the current big car suppliers stock any parts you are considering re-selling? For instance I doubt if you could compete with Super Cheap Auto – but I suspect that isn’t the market you would be going after?

    Photography – can you niche it down to auto photography as an example? Maybe provide a service where car enthusiasts can get professional car photos of their own cars at car events? Again, depending on where you live and what skills you have it may be difficult to start a general photography business.

    R/C parts – are there many websites where people can buy these products in Australia now? If so, how would you do it better / different?

    I went through a similar experience for a few years wanting to start a business – and tried a couple of things half heart-idly – until an idea hit me in the face – in a totally unrelated area. So keep with it and always be on the lookout for little market niches where not many businesses are currently competeing in, or not competing well.

    I don’t really think there are any shortcuts – and at the end of the day you need to take a risk to see if it works – but make sure you risk as little money and time as possible at the start – and then build!

    Good luck

    #1026719
    Kwaka_Chris
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    Thankfully I’ve done a fair amount of business/economics in the past at university so I’m up to date on SWOT analysis etc.

    As for places like supercheap Auto, they suprisingly get almost identical parts to the ones I am looking at selling, but tend to rebadge them. Also because they have much higher overhead costs and are still getting roughly the same unit price as I would be, their final selling price is still 20-30% above where I would be comfortable selling.

    As for the R/C market, its a very mixed bag, I can supply components, as well as my own services as a repairer / constructor which tends to get a bit of attention, but the market itself is saturated with cheap imports that grab everyones attention. The niche here is dealing with the higher quality racing goods, hard to get into and not really something I would prefer as the primary focus of my business, just due to the fact that while there is a market, its not as big as the automotive accessory trade. Of course eBay is the big contender here, but only if the customer wants to buy directly from China. Thankfully I’d be undercutting the local hobby stores by 15-20%

    Photography, well, to do it professionally requires upwards of 10K worth of equipment, however if you have the skills to provide a good detailing service and your not afraid of some hard labor, the income is there. From memory, I used to follow this rule of thumb as a mobile detailer;

    A full detail was a niche product (but still well sought after with many regular clients) the offered price was around the $299 mark with a cost of around $30 in disposable products and $15 in fuel for 8 hours work. still not a terrible income.

    A minor detail, It was possible to fit 2 or 3 into a single days work if the chance was there at around $149 with similar costs.

    #1026720
    FletcherTax
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    Great advice from Ray

    Chris, if you’d like to meet some fellow Soloists in Sydney and throw ideas around – I’d recommend joining us at James Squire on the 7th. We’ve all struggled and I’m sure we’ll all pitch an idea or two your way.

    #1026721
    Kwaka_Chris
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    Oh sorry to add onto that, the detailing service is actually fairly popular, startup costs from where I am now would be roughly $3000 (majority of which is just to get a vehicle again!)

    The beauty of it, is that I offer a classic style of service, the true method of car detailing as it used to be, while the modern “waterless carwash” franchises are popular, i would not touch them with a 10 foot pole if I loved my car. (additionally, from my research it was about a $50 000 in startup costs)

    #1026722
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    Hi Chris,

    Ahh, th tingling urge inside you to start a business – we’ve all felt it don’t worry, it’s good to see your have the foresight to plan ahead.

    Something that may be worth considering if submitting some of your photography to “stock” websites.

    Stock websites resell your photography and keep around 30% of the sale price from memory.

    You won’t make enough money to retire, but I know a few people who make $100 to $500 a fortnight with this – A little extra cash can go a long way when starting a business ;)

    – Jake

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