Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Review of business idea/s

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  • #988463
    CaraTee
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    I thought this section may be the best place to get some feedback regarding a few business options we have.

    1. What needs reviewing?
    Business idea – do we buy an established business or start our own

    2. What does your business do?
    Hospitality/Food service/Nursery

    3. Who is your target market?
    Depends which business option we go with

    4. What specific concerns do you have?
    Which option we should take

    Will try to keep this brief/factual but its a little longwinded (thus why I am confused)

    Background on us:
    Hubby and I are early 30s with a 6mth old and 18mth old. Live in rural vic on 8acre property. Were both working as chefs in Melbourne for about 8yrs. Hubby has been a chippy for almost 10yrs now while I have worked in admin/finance. I am now at home with the kids but looking to go back to work. I have small retail food business (spice blends with room to expand into ready made meals etc). Hubby is passionate about gardening/permaculture/landscaping/nursery/veg garden type things and combines this stuff with his chippy work – mostly doing backyard renos/veg beds etc.

    Dream business would be a store that combines nursery, foodstore and self sufficiency store. All useful plants/seedings/seeds for veggies gardens, native tube stocks for property rejuvenation, retail self sufficiency goods (home brew equipment, dehydrators and preserving equiptment, reference books etc) and a foodstore (coffee, ready made baguettes/foccacias, savoury and some sweet items), my spice blends, take home meals, other limited pantry items). We could also sell fruit and veg from our big veggie garden. We would like to run classes in basic cookings as well as cheese making/foods preservation, beer making as well as basic handyman/carpentry and also propagation/nursery side of things.

    OPTION 1:
    Set this all up at home – we already have 8acres and hubby had build a big greenhouse and is currently raising seedling/tube stock. He needs to invest more funds to build poly tunnels and we are looking at 4/5yrs to get it all up and running as a side project while he continues to work as a chippy and diverts funds as we have them. Once this has happened, he would then need to spend $50-$80k on building a retail outlet on the premise including kitchen. We live 3km out of town so people would need to know about us and travel.

    OPTION 2:
    We set this business up in the town – there is currently a fantastic site for lease (hardware store that has been for sale for quite a while that they are now looking at subleasing just to get out). It has huge retail space with ample room for everything we want to do as well as an outdoor area for the nursery retail (mostplants would still need to be raised at home and then just stored/sold through the retail store) We would need to fit the store out from scratch for the food area. (we have access to plants on consignment until hubby is propogating enough of his own to supply ourselves in a few yrs)

    OPTION 3:
    There is a small deli for sale in the town. Asking price $85k. Food is slightly different to what we would be doing if we opened our own place but we could tweak it slightly while retaining her key strengths and run it as a successful business. There would be some scope to include take home meals and the retail self sufficiency component – homebrew, preserving equiptment etc. No room for nursery side of things. We would need to spend $20-30k putting in a kitchen (its more sandwich prep now)

    CONSIDERATIONS:
    The deli is established and therefore I feel its safe bet. We could earn some money and have stablish income even though its not our dream venture. We could then use the money/experience and in 5yrs revisit nursery/cafe when we have abit more capitol. I guess we are stuck though if the nursery/cafe would be best to run from home, or in the main street. If its from home, its probably best to go with deli for now and continue to work on nursery at home. Then sell deli and focus on nursery/cafe from home. If we are better of doing the nursery/cafe from town, thenmaybe its best to focus on that right now and don’t bother with deli? Are we throwing $85k away being safe and buying an established business when we could use that money to convert the hardware store? Or it is a bad idea to convert hardware store when we have all the space we need on our property to do it here and not have the overheads of a section sight.

    Another option is to buy deli and continue to run and then have the nursery from home as a seperate venture?

    Any ideas/suggestions/feedback?

    TIA

    #1167267
    Greg_M
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    I like the sound of your basic idea, I live in a small rural town within a tourist region … if done well, it certainly can work.

    My first question would be;

    How well is the town you’re looking at doing? Any retail is tough, but 2 businesses looking to get out would make me cautious (depending on the size of town).

    Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work, even if the town is not at it’s peak (but has potential for traffic). Sometimes, which was the case where I live … the mix of businesses is wrong, or dated.

    My partner and I took a punt and developed a cafe (I have a building background too) when the town was nearly dead … sold it a few years later at a very tidy profit … town is now booming for a variety of reasons. We had half an acre behind the shop/residence and did a similar thing … chooks, vege’s etc and put them through the cafe as finished products, customers loved it … we had regulars and tourists.

    If it was me I’d be concentrating on the food side, you have the background. Combining it with your own produce can be a winner … get a good name, and then go the “farm gate” nursery / produce stuff when people know what you can do. I think the margins in food are better too.

    Good luck with it.

    #1167268
    CaraTee
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    so would you do the deli with limited room (And needs a kitchen anyway) or hardware store?

    hardware store is older guy – dying business basically. Deli she has had enough of the work. its a growing town but does have quite a few food outlets/cafe – tourism route plus locals. if we did fodo it would need to be a twist iykwim

    #1167269
    MissSassy
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    WOW you have a lot to think about.

    You really need to run through each option as a brief business plan and look at the feasibility of each.

    Have you done a budget for your home and a budget for each business – knowing that only one of the options will give you a definite income from day 1?

    Your babies are young, what support do you have so that you can care for them and work in a business!

    Retail is very difficult but there is money in food so by doing your research you may just be onto something wonderful.

    #1167270
    Greg_M
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    Given the extra info … I’d go the hardware.

    Sounds a bit left of centre maybe, but quirky and different might be the “edge”.

    Everyone where I live thought I was an insane idiot, buying a Federation era shop and house that were close to derelict in a dying town … now I’m “just lucky”.

    The “industrial look” (I assume the hardware store is no great beauty), offers lots of opportunities for an off piste fit out … carpentry skills, plus quirky taste, a ute, and lot’s of trips to wreckers yards, secondhand food plant vendors can fit out a kitchen pretty cheaply imo.

    The “tip’, a local timber mill, and a commercial catering – auction and clearing house, became my best friends.

    Our experience was that people like something different, my partner made EVERYTHING (I grew stuff and scrubbed the bins) and it worked well. Bloody hard work though.

    Cheers

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