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Can a business be profitable right away?

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneurship and Startup' started by SaraK, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. SaraK
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    SaraK 20 kph

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    I'd like to get some feedback from the group as I keep going in circles with this dilemma that I'm in.

    I find myself once again in the position of needing to find a new job, but to tell you the truth my heart's not in it. Yes, I know I need a job to pay the bills. But I'm so sick and tired of doing what I've always done and being at the mercy of employers and not appreciated (financially) for my talents.

    The obvious answer is, start my own business so I can control my own income and working situation. However, my experience and advice from others says that businesses take time to build up to a point where they are profitable enough to support you to the point that you can quit your day job. So this tells me that the sensible thing to do is get a job for now, start a business on the side and work it up from there.

    However, there is a part of me that says that being "sensible" is what has gotten me to the place I'm in, and that I need to open my thinking up and believe that anything is possible - even a business that is profitable right away.

    So here I am with two voices inside me at war - one saying "play it safe" and the other saying "take a risk!" In the past I've listened to both voices on various occasions and gotten burned by both and helped by both. So I really don't know what to believe at this point.

    This brings me to pose this question here on the Fastlane Forums to the people who would have the best perspective of what is possible:



    Is it possible to create your own source of income right away, without a job? How fast can you make your own business profitable? What does it take to implement this kind of solution?

    I welcome your answers and ideas.

    Sara
     
  2. Gold777
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    Gold777 30 kph

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    Selling something on eBay can always be profitable right away provided that what you're selling you're getting at a cheap price. Buying a website that's already profitable and scaling it/collecting the monthly income wouldn't be profitable right away but it would bring in some nice passive income and you would be able to recoup your losses within a few months.

    Those aren't the only ways but they're some of the easiest/quickest. The other options would be to build your own website that provides a premium service or products that people need.

    It's possible to create a source of income right away though as long as you can find a little bit of start up money to fund your project. Like I said, with eBay or craigslist you could make your business profitable in just a few days or less, that's probably the fastest. It takes smarts, hard work, dedication, (usually) money, and skills (sometimes even a team) to implement successful solutions. I don't know what you're trying to make money from or how you want to make money so I can only give you a general idea of what it takes. A good note would be that it also takes patience.
     
  3. biophase
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    My question is why haven't you started your business before? Is it because you had a job? People with current jobs tend to feel comfortable and don't feel a need to start a business. They also use the excuse of the job taking up all their time for having no time to start a business. I don't know how many friends of mine have asked me to help them with an ecom store after they've lost their jobs. Guess what, as soon as they find another job they instantly drop the ecom store idea.

    You can start a business and become profitable right away. I don't know what you would need to replace your income, but it would probably take a while.

    If you went and got a job tomorrow, would you still start a business? It sounds like an either or thing, so if you got a job and were let go in a year you would be asking this same question in 2013.
     
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  4. (zendolphin)
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    (zendolphin) Warp 6

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    right away?

    all depends on what methods you use, and how experienced you are. if not experienced 1-3 yrs. if experienced, when you sell your first item.

    I agree with BIO, if you have been on here a while, why haven't you started? why haven't you already have the outlined bones of one?

    my opinion, knowing nothing about your cash situation ect, I would say get a job, and make the commitment, sans excuses to start that biz now. or we will see this post again in 2013.
     
  5. SeattleSunnyDay
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    Sara this all depends on your skill set, money available, product or service you would like to offer and your execution of it all. I have experienced what you are going through first hand. I started 2 years ago and fell off track several times because of many different things but I have remained persistent. Fortunately for me I have had a lot of time to work on my idea wo too overall much worry about money and not having a regular job, but those days are coming to an end.

    I think this all depends on the situation you are in from many aspects. One thing I do know is that you have to follow your heart and if it's telling you not to go back to work then you should listen. There are many great reasons/benefits to not having a job, however I'm sure you have to also be realistic as it looks in your profile pic that you have children that depend on you to support them.

    I have a couple ideas for you so if you would like to hear about them feel free to pm me and I'll give you some more insight as to what I have been going through the past 2 years. I'm finally very close to making my ideas work but it's been a long road of trial and error and a lot of stumbling. Now looking back there was a lot I could have done different so I tell myself, wow if I could only start over...well fact is tomorrow is a new day so I'm just that much closer to success.

    Good luck with your pursuit to self employment. I hope you make it to your dreams.
     
  6. FastNAwesome
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    Yes it is possible, and it can be profitable as soon as you land your first sale of whatever.

    A great thing to do if possible is to first find eager buyers, and then go into formalities of forming a company,
    and getting whatever you need to run your business - with knowledge you're already profitable and have
    orders waiting from day one.

    Don't know what you plan to get into, but this thread may be inspirational:

    www.thefastlaneforum.com/general-bu...9-hustlers-guide-buying-selling-anything.html
     
  7. Cparsons
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    Cparsons 25 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    Service businesses, and (if you know what you are doing) small internet businesses can be profitable right away. Other businesses, no.

    If you have no experience, and no set idea on what business to do, I would suggest taking a job in the mean time until you get all your ducks in a row.
     
  8. SlimTycoon
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    SlimTycoon 30 kph

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    Here are your questions:

    "Is it possible to create your own source of income right away, without a job? How fast can you make your own business profitable? What does it take to implement this kind of solution?"
    (To be 100% honest, if you have to ask the above questions, it's best that you get a job.)



    A business can be profitable right away, but that's just way too much pressure you're putting on yourself. You have no room error and everything must be PERFECT..........unfortunately things don't work that way.

    Why not get a job? At least you'll have money coming to cover your expenses.


    When you say start a "business", do you really mean start a business or do you mean starting a job that you own? Because that's what it sounds like. A business will run without you being there. Is that your long term plan? Or are you just trying to earn money in place of a job? Are you building something that you can later sell for a large or even a small sum?



    I'd lose the "I don't want a job" mentality. You do what you have to do(legally) until you get where you're trying to ultimately end up.

    If that means working 3 jobs, so be it. No one said you're "locked in" to working for someone for ever.


    Just be clear on what you're trying to accomplish and be honest with yourself.
     
  9. 77startup
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    77startup 20 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    I would have to suggest against it. Building a business to be profitable right away means that you're ignoring process and chasing money which probably won't replace your jobs income. JMHO.
     
  10. dubaismartmoney
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    Yes a biz can be profitable right away.

    that being said you need to do all the work before hand.

    you need to do all the things that can make that happen.

    Respect the process and work , work and work on your biz and then , when you open up you can be profitable right away.

    its no impossible, thats for sure, but it isnt easy !

    plant your seeds and then you can get the profit :)
     
  11. SaraK
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    SaraK 20 kph

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    Thank you for your valuable feedback!

    Thank you for the many candid replies. I've been doing a lot of thinking about this and realized that the reason that I haven't moved on other business ideas (I've had several, in various stages of planning) is due to a fear of not picking the right one. So many times in my life I go down a path and it leads to a dead end. Just recognizing that is what's stopping me will help me move past it.

    Also, I have difficulty with starting a business primarily for the income - creating a job instead of a business in other words, because doing something just for money does not inspire me. So that is really why I don't want the job - it doesn't motivate me. So you're right - I shouldn't start a business just for the money. (Reminds me of the story MJ tells about the cat and the milk.)

    I now realize that I need to consciously recognize that there are two categories of work - things I do for money and things I do because I want to. They have different purposes and different motivations. I have been getting them jumbled up together but now I can begin to identify and separate my business ideas by which category they fall into, and pursue each thing I do for the correct reasons.
     
  12. BJProducer
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    You have to be realistic. I see 2 handsome young men in that picture with you SO... if you have to work a little while to make ends meet than so be it. My advice, allbeit, amateur since I'm just starting my Fastlane journey is this:

    Get a job, but set a hard date to LEAVE it behind. Give yourself 6 months of employment time. In that time be using your spare time to plan your own business endeavor. Make sure you have ever aspect of it well thought out, documented, strategized, researched and that you do all of your due-dilligence and when that date hits... you JUMP on that Fastlane like Tigger all hopped up on Pooh's honey lol... sorry, it's 3:18AM and I'm still awake.

    In the meantime, there are other things you can do. I just started to simplify my surroundings by selling things I no longer use or need: Keyboard, guitar, older electronics, my 2nd computer, so forth & so on. That's extra income right there. We often find ourselves mixed in the clutter of life and only half of it all is even needed. You could even sell toys that the boys might have outgrown.
     
  13. MJ DeMarco
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    A business can be profitable immediately if it involves a "time trade" or a service that you are doing. Back in my early days, I designed and developed websites (time trade) while I built my advertising service (business system.) The "time trade" business activities paid my bills and put food on the table.

    In today's environment, a person might be developing mobile applications or doing consulting (time trade) while building another side business (the business system).

    So to answer your question, if you business involves a time trade early on, yes, it is possible to be profitable immediately.
     
  14. CommonCents
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    CommonCents 120 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Look at ways you can leverage your current job/industry experience. How can you add value?
     
  15. theBiz
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    Completely agree, this is why most "fastlane mindsets/businesses" get laughed at by mike the carpenter (gepetto) because hes been making money from day one as youve been running yours for some time and either losing money or made none yet but if it does hit we all know who wins at the end of the day.

    Time for money business ( immediate profit)
    A business worth building ( usually not profitable from day one.)
     
  16. InMotion
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    InMotion 120 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Now take this for what its worth but I would try and leverage what you already know if you are in need of immediate income. With the exception of buying selling, assuming you have the setup, the above statement is correct, as you would assume. One side of the coin I believe most people dont look at is the learning curve. If you are not leveraging something you already know, or have a feel for, in starting a business there WILL be a learning curve and this would probably equate to short term losses or at least little income. If you were planning on starting something out of your realm of knowledge or something you couldnt pick up on quickly I would get a job and then get paid while you are trimming your learning curve. Just my two cents though.
     
  17. theBiz
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    Way too many people look for the immediate profit which results in you becoming a tradesman (physically performing the tasks and doing whatever you know) for this exact reason:



    Now ideamogul, i agree with your above post 100%, but please do not push anyone to do this. I feel so bad when i see someone about to start a business for that reason. It should be created off of demand, low competition, and some competitive advantage which SHOULD NOT BE YOU PHYSICALLY DOING THE WORK FASTER OR BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE, your business should do it faster and better than anyone else which comes down to strategy and building scaleable replicatable systems within the business.


    1) Tradesman

    One guy buys a piece of property for 100k, he physically builds it, takes him 1 year, no current income because hes working, his cots are 150k total. He puts it on the market for 250k, no bites, ends ups selling for 200k 1 years later. Hes so busy working he never looks at creative ways to market or sell properties which in turn, he never learns the skills.

    2) Business Man

    Finds the same piece of property for 100k, buys it with a local guy who owns a huge, well known, real estate brokerage firm with a large list of people always looking to move into the area. Costs them 200k because they cant do the work. They end up selling the home for 230k because they have people coming to them looking to buy homes day and night but they do not have to pay an agents fee. So in the end the profit was pretty close, the two partners split the profit but it is done in half the time. At the same time they are macro managing the project and working in their existing businesses still making the same money they would of made regardless of this deal.


    1) Knows how to build it, does not study the market as well, has less marketing ability, less sales ability, less negotiating skills, less buying power due to less time to shop around.

    This is what happens when you go into business to do what you love, or to make a quick buck. I honestly would rather have a job then do that because its a tough life. It controls you and puts a false promise in your head that you will escape, but you become dependent on the income, and it becomes a never ending nightmare which is usually put 100% on you which = stress and zero free time.

    Forget about a business plan, write on a piece of paper how many employees you will have, what they will do, and what your daily operations will be. If you write down on the piece of paper that it will be you hanging the clothes on the rack or you changing oil at the mechanic shop remember your going to own a job not a business.

    Dont get me wrong, many of the best businesses have sprouted from the founder who was physically doing the operations early on due to lack of capital or knowledge, i do not think any of us are too good to learn the business or get our hands dirty, but you must have a plan to get out of that fast, and if the plan doesnt make sense dont go forward. Be realistic in some sense, if you have no exit strategy at all from physically working, its a problem, you saying "oh when i get really busy ill stop working" is not enough because that type of thinking.. youll be doing the operations forever.
     
  18. InMotion
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    I agree 100%. I wrote this in the assumption that she could possibly mine out an opportunity, possibly a scalable system, within what she knows. You are right about the quick buck and doing what you love, which was not what I was implying. Im not a grass is always greener person, sometimes there are opportunities in what you already know was my point. I dont know what she did and thats one reason I suggested taking it with a grain of salt.

    Good clarification.
     
  19. healthstatus
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    Does it have to be either or? Could you take a part time job that covers your expenses but gives you time to work on your business?
     
  20. cashflow3000
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    Hi Sara -

    You don't need a job to pay the bills. You need money to pay the bills. Read that again until it sinks in.

    There are 1000s of books and gurus who tell you to start a biz "part time" until it spits out enough profit etc but you have to do what makes sense for you.

    If what makes sense for you for whatever reason is to go ahead and get another job, then do that.

    But, consider this. If you want to make a successful business chances are you will have to make a failing business (or several) before you have one (or more) that is a success.

    If you start a business this year and it fails, will you be able to get a job this time next year?

    If you work a job this year and don't start your business, will you be able to start your business next year?

    Remember, tomorrow never comes.

    YES it is entirely possible to create your own source of income right away, without a job. Panhandlers do it each and every day, its not that difficult.

    As far as your questions about making businesses profitable I will make this claim: EVERY business has a period of time before it is profitable. For some businesses it is years, for some it is months, for others weeks. For others still it is profitable with the first sale - however long that takes.

    You are asking good questions, keep thinking, keep striving, and go for it!

    Have fun, and good luck.

    James Hagarty
    Bellingham, Washington
     
    SaraK and biophase like this.
  21. biophase
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    Awesome and so true.
     
  22. theBiz
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    I second that.
     
  23. SaraK
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    SaraK 20 kph

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    I have taken on a freelance client and am looking for more to do just that. I am also looking for jobs in areas where I have a lot of previous experience as well. Meanwhile, I will increase the amount of time I am spending on my writing, starting today.

    My experience is in project management, graphic design, marketing, and copywriting. I'd like to focus on the copywriting from this point, however I'm willing to leverage any of those existing skills.
     
  24. SaraK
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    Very good point.

    I recently read a note I had left to myself from a blog I wrote last year that said, "No one wants money...they want the things they can buy with money. Ask yourself, what is it I really want? Then start thinking of ways to get what you want without money as the intermediary."

    I think it's helpful to remember that money is not a means in and of itself, just a medium of exchange.

    Yeah, I know this from personal experience, which is why I was having fear about starting another one. I know things do not always go as planned, even when you are committed and work hard.

    LOL!

    So true. For me this highlights the need of good planning to figure out how long a particular business will take so you can plan accordingly.
     
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  25. SaraK
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    SaraK 20 kph

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    An interesting note...

    One of the things I have learned is that it is often much easier to start at the end - the final result you want to achieve - and then work forwards to identify the steps to get you there.

    So I thought, ok, what is at the end of my life? Death. So I sat down and wrote my eulogy - what I wanted said about me at my funeral. Sounds kind of macabre I know, but it was actually a very positive experience. It put everything into perspective for me.

    The interesting thing? Money didn't come up once. That's when I realized that making money is purely a tool to pay the bills, which is totally separate from my business ideas which are based on a higher purpose. Yes those businesses will need to be profitable, but again that is a tool to keep the company viable not the reason for existing.

    So I've decided that I'm going to do what I need to earn money in the short term to pay the bills, whatever works - full time job, part time, freelance - based on existing skills that I can get paid for right away. In the meantime I will work on my story and my first business with true commitment and inspired purpose.
     

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