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SPM_ENT

Bronze Contributor
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Looks like @fastlane_dad answered most of your questions. If you have any specific questions about selling your business that would help your business sale, let us know and we can try to answer it.

The more general exit questions, things to look out for, lessons learned, ways to negotiate and more is something that we have on our to-do list to write about. It's a lot more than just a reply post could fit. Sounds like you are exactly the person that the piece would be aimed at helping, so if you have any good topics/questions that you think we should explore in it, we would love to hear it as well
Right on. Let me put some thought into it and put something together. Happy to jump on a zoom call to discuss if that's something you guys would be interested in also.
 
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NeoDialectic

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@NeoDialectic

Over the past few years I've built a business servicing energy companies, finding them rare and hard-to-locate items on an international scale.

I have completly lost interest in this industry but the skill set developed of finding niche things seems one to keep on developing.

Does anything come to mind on how to start pivoting to another industry? Or how to generally market this niche skill of mine?
It sounds like you need to train someone to do your job and soon enough they could completely replace you. This will enable you to sit back and make money disconnected from your personal time/effort and it will also enable you to expand your business if you so wish. I would guess that pivoting the business involves alot of networking with the new industries brass, and you can't do that if you are still entrenched in your day to day as well.
 

SPM_ENT

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Looks like @fastlane_dad answered most of your questions. If you have any specific questions about selling your business that would help your business sale, let us know and we can try to answer it.

The more general exit questions, things to look out for, lessons learned, ways to negotiate and more is something that we have on our to-do list to write about. It's a lot more than just a reply post could fit. Sounds like you are exactly the person that the piece would be aimed at helping, so if you have any good topics/questions that you think we should explore in it, we would love to hear it as well
Thank you, here are a few more questions I came up with...

Great questions. @NeoDialectic and I have been working on writing something that goes in depth on our selling experience and things to look out for.

Actually no. We only realized this years into the game that we can cash out (sell) with XXX our yearly profit multiple, that is also TAXED different (capital gains - hugely advantageous vs. taking it as profit yearly).
How/where would one do research to find a multiple for his industry?

Taxes

- Could you go more into detail about the cap gains vs taking it as a yearly profit? An example of what you would recommend would be great to see.

- How did you find your CPA? (I've been through two so far who haven't been great but charged a lot and never responded.)

- Any "fun" write-offs you were able to include in the company expenses?

A huge LIGHT bulb went off when this happened of how POWERFUL building a business and then SELLING actually is. From the moment we 'pondered' the idea of a sell until our business sold was ~ three to four years. The numbers needed to make sense to pull the trigger.
What did you do in those 3-4 years to make your company attractive enough to sell for what you wanted? More than just make it as profitable as possible.

How did you manage your partner distributions and salaries compared to investing money back into the company for growth?

Any difficult competition and if so what did you do to overcome it? Did you have to take losses in that regard?

How did you determine your partnership split and more importantly how did you manage to overcome disagreements to keep the partnership together?

Did you pitch to multiple investors to get the highest bid? Or more information on how the negotiations went, taking the 1st offer, etc.

Not related

Have you gone tubbing down the Salt River? I went recently while I was in town for a hockey Tournament, it was awesome.

Have you considered vacation homes and/or moving to other states vs AZ?

Any other questions please feel free to ask and we will update when our longer guide is done!! Congrats on your future exit and update this thread with your experience and progress.

Appreciate you!
 

Chosenone

Contributor
Jan 11, 2018
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@fastlane_dad and @NeoDialectic, thank you for the provided value! Your willingness for positive impact is truly admirable!

I'm about to launch a product on Amazon in the next two months, it's in the beauty niche.

Do you recommend having my trademark registered immediately or I should first have a decent number of sales, confirming that this mark has a future?
 
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Eric5505

PARKED
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Nov 24, 2021
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My business partner and I recently sold our successful online business for 8 figures. You can see @fastlane_dad intro page here, and mine here. We have had businesses in alot of categories, but have limited experience in old fashion "shaking hands" type businesses. Our primary expertise is online sales, marketing, marketplaces like Amazon (and others), bootstrapping, and mindset. One way we want to give back to the community is by guiding people that are still on their entrepreneurship path.

We figured one of the more impactful ways we can do it is by answering peoples questions publically versus in DM's or personal consultations. So if you want our opinion/advice about your personal situation, we will be happy to read through your questions and give you a personalized answer. But it has to be public. That way everyone can read and discuss our answers. If we don't have experience in a topic, we will let you know.

My name is Eric and I am coming to you for some advice if you can spare a moment.

I’ll try to keep this is as condensed as possible.

I've been given the opportunity to own a small part of a company(25%) my success depends on the ability to do two things quickly.

Recruiting people on a consistent basis. Mostly younger individuals this is perfect for college students.

2. To turn the website into a lead generating juggernaut for attracting new business and taking this company to the next level (1,000,000+ sales)

The product is less than $50 but has a very strong closing rate

I am looking for maybe 4 to 5 ideas for how to get this thing moving in the right direction ….. Fast.

I know that you will need more information to answer this properly please ask away I appreciate your time and advance.
 

REV5028

Bronze Contributor
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Oct 29, 2022
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31
New Mexico
My name is Eric and I am coming to you for some advice if you can spare a moment.

I’ll try to keep this is as condensed as possible.

I've been given the opportunity to own a small part of a company(25%) my success depends on the ability to do two things quickly.

Recruiting people on a consistent basis. Mostly younger individuals this is perfect for college students.

2. To turn the website into a lead generating juggernaut for attracting new business and taking this company to the next level (1,000,000+ sales)

The product is less than $50 but has a very strong closing rate

I am looking for maybe 4 to 5 ideas for how to get this thing moving in the right direction ….. Fast.

I know that you will need more information to answer this properly please ask away I appreciate your time and advance.
Hi, Eric!
I know you're looking for a response from the professional entrepreneurs, but your post reminded me of another thread I dove into yesterday at the suggestion of MJ. Just thought I'd share it with you in case you wanted to check it out until the OPs can get back to you. I wish you the best!

 

NeoDialectic

Successfully Exited the Rat Race
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@fastlane_dad and @NeoDialectic, thank you for the provided value! Your willingness for positive impact is truly admirable!

I'm about to launch a product on Amazon in the next two months, it's in the beauty niche.

Do you recommend having my trademark registered immediately or I should first have a decent number of sales, confirming that this mark has a future?
Disclaimer: My business specific advice on this could change drastically based on the actual situation and gameplan. (For example, trademark may be a required proof of validity. Or it may even be an important part of your marketing strategy). The following advice is of the "in general" variety.

Personally, we never cared to trademark things until sales are rolling in. It was considered a distraction from priority number 1 (testing market feasibility). The protection you eventually received by applying for a trademark is based on first sale date and not date of trademark application. The primary advantage to trademarking is the ability to protect your mark (no one will take action based on your promise that you own the rights... They want to see your trademark). Fighting infringements on your IP is a successful business's problems. Leave it to them. You focus on creating a successful business.
 
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Last edited:

NeoDialectic

Successfully Exited the Rat Race
FASTLANE INSIDER
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Phoenix, az
Thank you, here are a few more questions I came up with...
Thanks for the questions. We will be sure to expand on these topics in our write up. Here is some rapid fire answers though.
How/where would one do research to find a multiple for his industry?
Google to find firms that sell businesses (e.x:"m&a firms to sell your online business"), or even more specifically businesses of your type. Most have a selection of publicly available businesses that they are currently selling or have sold in the past along with brief descriptions, prices, revenues, profits, etc.. You can expect that the final sale price was between 80%-95% of the advertised price. Also keep in mind that only 30%-80% of that price is guarantied up front (highly deal dependent).
Taxes

- Could you go more into detail about the cap gains vs taking it as a yearly profit? An example of what you would recommend would be great to see.
What do you mean by taking the sale as yearly profit? I'm not sure what you are referring to. However, it is common for bigger businesses to have a % of the sale price paid through a note (loan) over X years. This is taxed the same way it would have been taxed if you received the money right away. In many businesses, a big part of the sale should be directed towards capital gains (as them paying for Goodwill). But this really is business specific.
- How did you find your CPA? (I've been through two so far who haven't been great but charged a lot and never responded.)

- Any "fun" write-offs you were able to include in the company expenses?
No good advice here from us!

Anything business related can mostly be written off. Including hot sauce challenges to build comradery at the office!

What did you do in those 3-4 years to make your company attractive enough to sell for what you wanted? More than just make it as profitable as possible.
The guiding principle was "make it as profitable as possible" as you suggest. If I was to add anything to that it would be that we never considered this to mean cost cutting. We spent more time focused on increasing sales. Generally that is finding new marketing opportunities. Not of the "can we optimize ads to increase sales by 1%" variety but of the "can we advertise somewhere new which can have the possibility of introducing our product to millions of people in a completely new market" type.
How did you manage your partner distributions and salaries compared to investing money back into the company for growth?
I think this will be heavily dependent on business type. Personally we took out almost all of the profits as salaries/distributions. It was done every 3 to 6 months. Our business was very cash flow rich and we kept big balances in the business itself. So we always had enough to cover any new ventures. By the time credit cards are due, the coffers would be full all over again.

Obviously this would not apply to business types that are inherently low on cash flow.
Any difficult competition and if so what did you do to overcome it? Did you have to take losses in that regard?
Competition was always the cause of parasitic losses. It's nothing you would see overnight. It would just be slow and gradual loss of sales. The way we overcame it is expanding into markets where our competition weren't.
How did you determine your partnership split and more importantly how did you manage to overcome disagreements to keep the partnership together?
We are always 50/50 on anything we do together

As far as work split.....sometimes I contribute more, sometimes he contributes more. You need to be OK with that and if you aren't naturally OK with it you need to fight your own demons to be OK with that. Right now, I'm currently out of town AGAIN as part of my plan to travel for a very large part of 2022/2023. Invariably that means he may be at the helm more often in some regards right now. When he had his child a few years ago and went completely MIA for months, I was there to take the reigns. You need to have enough trust in the other partner that they want what's best for the business as well. If you have that, you will naturally give alot of grace when hearing the response to the question "what did you do for the business today?". It may be nothing. But then one day it is the difference between 0 sales and 10.

I have another post on partnership HERE
Did you pitch to multiple investors to get the highest bid? Or more information on how the negotiations went, taking the 1st offer, etc.
We received alot of interest and pitched to multiple investors. Our price, field, and other factors did narrow down the list a bit though. We did end up closing with the company that were first to give their LOI (letter of intent), but not because they were first. They were just obviously the most eager...and all the benefits that go into that.....

Negotiations were a very stressful time. In our experience, while the people running daily operations of brands in the private equity companies aren't exactly the most experienced.... The same can't be said about the acquisition and negotiations team. They are very sharp, so you better bring your A game.
Not related

Have you gone tubbing down the Salt River? I went recently while I was in town for a hockey Tournament, it was awesome.

Have you considered vacation homes and/or moving to other states vs AZ?



Appreciate you!
My wife and I went Salt River tubing YEARS ago when we were much younger! haha. It was a bit of a drive to get there, but a very fun time! Definitely something I would recommend for others to try if they like water, the great out doors, and....drinking....

While I have considered vacation homes, at the end of the day it just makes so much more sense to rent when I go somewhere than to buy. At the current time we are staying in AZ and I don't see us moving out. But it is definitely always possible!
 

SPM_ENT

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Aug 1, 2017
93
206
36
Los Angeles
Thanks for the questions. We will be sure to expand on these topics in our write up. Here is some rapid fire answers though.

Google to find firms that sell businesses (e.x:"m&a firms to sell your online business"), or even more specifically businesses of your type. Most have a selection of publicly available businesses that they are currently selling or have sold in the past along with brief descriptions, prices, revenues, profits, etc.. You can expect that the final sale price was between 80%-95% of the advertised price. Also keep in mind that only 30%-80% of that price is guarantied up front (highly deal dependent).

What do you mean by taking the sale as yearly profit? I'm not sure what you are referring to. However, it is common for bigger businesses to have a % of the sale price paid through a note (loan) over X years. This is taxed the same way it would have been taxed if you received the money right away. In many businesses, a big part of the sale should be directed towards capital gains (as them paying for Goodwill). But this really is business specific.

No good advice here from us!

Anything business related can mostly be written off. Including hot sauce challenges to build comradery at the office!


The guiding principle was "make it as profitable as possible" as you suggest. If I was to add anything to that it would be that we never considered this to mean cost cutting. We spent more time focused on increasing sales. Generally that is finding new marketing opportunities. Not of the "can we optimize ads to increase sales by 1%" variety but of the "can we advertise somewhere new which can have the possibility of introducing our product to millions of people in a completely new market" type.

I think this will be heavily dependent on business type. Personally we took out almost all of the profits as salaries/distributions. It was done every 3 to 6 months. Our business was very cash flow rich and we kept big balances in the business itself. So we always had enough to cover any new ventures. By the time credit cards are due, the coffers would be full all over again.

Obviously this would not apply to business types that are inherently low on cash flow.

Competition was always the cause of parasitic losses. It's nothing you would see overnight. It would just be slow and gradual loss of sales. The way we overcame it is expanding into markets where our competition weren't.

We are always 50/50 on anything we do together

As far as work split.....sometimes I contribute more, sometimes he contributes more. You need to be OK with that and if you aren't naturally OK with it you need to fight your own demons to be OK with that. Right now, I'm currently out of town AGAIN as part of my plan to travel for a very large part of 2022/2023. Invariably that means he may be at the helm more often in some regards right now. When he had his child a few years ago and went completely MIA for months, I was there to take the reigns. You need to have enough trust in the other partner that they want what's best for the business as well. If you have that, you will naturally give alot of grace when hearing the response to the question "what did you do for the business today?". It may be nothing. But then one day it is the difference between 0 sales and 10.

I have another post on partnership HERE

We received alot of interest and pitched to multiple investors. Our price, field, and other factors did narrow down the list a bit though. We did end up closing with the company that were first to give their LOI (letter of intent), but not because they were first. They were just obviously the most eager...and all the benefits that go into that.....

Negotiations were a very stressful time. In our experience, while the people running daily operations of brands in the private equity companies aren't exactly the most experienced.... The same can't be said about the acquisition and negotiations team. They are very sharp, so you better bring your A game.

My wife and I went Salt River tubing YEARS ago when we were much younger! haha. It was a bit of a drive to get there, but a very fun time! Definitely something I would recommend for others to try if they like water, the great out doors, and....drinking....

While I have considered vacation homes, at the end of the day it just makes so much more sense to rent when I go somewhere than to buy. At the current time we are staying in AZ and I don't see us moving out. But it is definitely always possible!
Thank you for taking the time to answer them. Great partnership advice, I'll check out your other thread as well. I look forward to reading your write-up!
 

Nyavix

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Nov 21, 2022
15
20
Canada
My business partner and I recently sold our successful online business for 8 figures. You can see @fastlane_dad intro page here, and mine here. We have had businesses in alot of categories, but have limited experience in old fashion "shaking hands" type businesses. Our primary expertise is online sales, marketing, marketplaces like Amazon (and others), bootstrapping, and mindset. One way we want to give back to the community is by guiding people that are still on their entrepreneurship path.

We figured one of the more impactful ways we can do it is by answering peoples questions publically versus in DM's or personal consultations. So if you want our opinion/advice about your personal situation, we will be happy to read through your questions and give you a personalized answer. But it has to be public. That way everyone can read and discuss our answers. If we don't have experience in a topic, we will let you know.

Ayo,

The skills that I currently have are in the arts and I've been thinking through business ideas that I'm not sure fully fit Cents. The first is the music business as an Artist. Generally, artists don't like to handle the business aspect but I do. I've built up skills in music creation, a bit in music marketing, and artist breaking. This normally would break the law of entry but I found something that not many new artists can do. I've been learning game development since I was 13 so I have 3d modeling and animation skills. I put together a formula for trying to generate a lot of attention. Creating a promotional piece showing off my skills in music production and 3D animation. I was hoping to hear your opinion on something like this!

I attached a product of my formula below!

Thank you for this opportunity!

View attachment Nle Choppa - In The Uk Open Verse-C.mp4
 
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NeoDialectic

Successfully Exited the Rat Race
FASTLANE INSIDER
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Speedway Pass
Feb 11, 2022
336
1,757
Phoenix, az
Ayo,

The skills that I currently have are in the arts and I've been thinking through business ideas that I'm not sure fully fit Cents. The first is the music business as an Artist. Generally, artists don't like to handle the business aspect but I do. I've built up skills in music creation, a bit in music marketing, and artist breaking. This normally would break the law of entry but I found something that not many new artists can do. I've been learning game development since I was 13 so I have 3d modeling and animation skills. I put together a formula for trying to generate a lot of attention. Creating a promotional piece showing off my skills in music production and 3D animation. I was hoping to hear your opinion on something like this!

I attached a product of my formula below!

Thank you for this opportunity!
That's pretty good!

The path you are describing doesn't fit the typical Fastlane mold. But that's ok! I don't know your actual business, but here are a few ways I could imagine success. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas.

If you want to go the route using your own music:

I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss your idea as breaking the law of entry. However, you may have to rethink what the value is that you are providing. If it is just being a music artist, then as you guessed, that barrier to entry is low. But judging from your explanation, the value you provide is unique, entertaining 3d animations combined with good music. That's completely different. How many artists know how to also 3d animate? I would be not many.

The key to your growth will be producing good content and exposing it to the public as much as possible. That could mean full videos on youtube, cut-up videos on tick-tock, posts on Instagram, etc...The difference between failure and growth is getting one video to go viral anywhere. That is far from "making it," but you build a base of followers and keep going.

If you want to go the 3d modeling route:

I would spend time trying to figure out an excellent universal template that could fit a wide range of songs in your genre. Then I would spend time editing currently popular artists into them. The key here is to figure out a template and technique to do this fast. Then do it with 10, 20, or 30+ artists and send it to them in a message. Say you like their songs but think they would pop off much better with great animation behind them. Then send them the video for free as a gift and tell them you could make them more for $$. You could tell them they could even use it for free, as long as they tag you in any marketing material.

The more popular the artist, the more powerful their response to you will be. But the other side is that they are too popular and aren't even checking their DM's. So you got to find the sweet spot of the creators popular enough to have some clout but small enough to still check and reply to DMs.

If the market likes what you're producing, you will have some artists paying you to make animations because of these DMs. The artists who liked your content but were too cheap to pay for animations would still benefit you. By posting your free animation, they are providing free marketing material for you.
 

Nyavix

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Nov 21, 2022
15
20
Canada
That's pretty good!

The path you are describing doesn't fit the typical Fastlane mold. But that's ok! I don't know your actual business, but here are a few ways I could imagine success. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas.

If you want to go the route using your own music:

I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss your idea as breaking the law of entry. However, you may have to rethink what the value is that you are providing. If it is just being a music artist, then as you guessed, that barrier to entry is low. But judging from your explanation, the value you provide is unique, entertaining 3d animations combined with good music. That's completely different. How many artists know how to also 3d animate? I would be not many.

The key to your growth will be producing good content and exposing it to the public as much as possible. That could mean full videos on youtube, cut-up videos on tick-tock, posts on Instagram, etc...The difference between failure and growth is getting one video to go viral anywhere. That is far from "making it," but you build a base of followers and keep going.

If you want to go the 3d modeling route:
I would spend time trying to figure out an excellent universal template that could fit a wide range of songs in your genre. Then I would spend time editing currently popular artists into them. The key here is to figure out a template and technique to do this fast. Then do it with 10, 20, or 30+ artists and send it to them in a message. Say you like their songs but think they would pop off much better with great animation behind them. Then send them the video for free as a gift and tell them you could make them more for $$. You could tell them they could even use it for free, as long as they tag you in any marketing material.

The more popular the artist, the more powerful their response to you will be. But the other side is that they are too popular and aren't even checking their DM's. So you got to find the sweet spot of the creators popular enough to have some clout but small enough to still check and reply to DMs.

If the market likes what you're producing, you will have some artists paying you to make animations because of these DMs. The artists who liked your content but were too cheap to pay for animations would still benefit you. By posting your free animation, they are providing free marketing material for you.
Thank you for responding, it's given me a bit to think about and 2 possible routes. Before, I tried to mash it all together by building visualizers for other artists and working on my own green screen 3d animation. I'm definitely leaning towards the green screen videos cause of exactly what you said: "How many artists know how to also 3d animate". None that I know of in the hip-hop space and the one artist I'm thinking of who did it in the pop side made a video game so still very different!

Ill keep at it!
 

Master K. Stone

Contributor
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Jul 21, 2017
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25
Edmond, Oklahoma
Hello @NeoDialectic

Thank you for this thread. Thank you for sharing yourself with people who currently can't give much back.

I've been brainstorming ideas to get started on the Fastlane track with after reading various posts on the website.

I understand that you aren't an expert at everything, but you have more business sense than 99.99% of people. So I was hoping for some feedback.

Here goes...
Idea: Rental system that focuses on kitchen appliances. Specifically immersion circulators.

How (I think) it adds value: The circulators cost $100 -$200 to buy. Most people don't use it more than a few times before it's stored away and forgotten about.

If instead, they rented it for the times they do use it (sort of like a Turo/Airbnb for kitchen appliances) and paid a small fee (~$10/month) that would be the value add. They save money but also get access to a restaurant-quality cooking method only when they need it.

How it would work: A rental website. I've seen similar ones for gaming consoles so I would base it on that.

CENTS framework:
Control: I'd own all the equipment.
Entry: Reasonable amount of know-how is needed for execution, which eliminates 90% of people.
Need: I've seen multiple channels on Youtube, that have 100K+ views. People are at least interested in this equipment though. For many, the price might be the biggest hurdle.
Time: a rental system, which is excellent.
Scale: I have a goal of renting out 20K units a month. I think it is reachable.


I've just outlined the bare-bones idea here. I'd refine it as I go. I just wanted an expert to give some feedback and possibly poke some holes through my logic and challenge my thinking.

Thanks again!
 

Isaac Odongo

Bronze Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
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Speedway Pass
Nov 7, 2022
119
108
My business partner and I recently sold our successful online business for 8 figures. You can see @fastlane_dad intro page here, and mine here. We have had businesses in alot of categories, but have limited experience in old fashion "shaking hands" type businesses. Our primary expertise is online sales, marketing, marketplaces like Amazon (and others), bootstrapping, and mindset. One way we want to give back to the community is by guiding people that are still on their entrepreneurship path.

We figured one of the more impactful ways we can do it is by answering peoples questions publically versus in DM's or personal consultations. So if you want our opinion/advice about your personal situation, we will be happy to read through your questions and give you a personalized answer. But it has to be public. That way everyone can read and discuss our answers. If we don't have experience in a topic, we will let you know.
Thank you for the opportunity. I tend to gravitate towards online business ideas because a number of them seems can be started with a relatively low cash capital. Besides, some of them are hugely scalable. I have a few ideas which are a need and obey the command of Time and control. Entry requires programming knowledge and practice. Although ChatGPT makes me worry writing code will become and lower the entry level. NB. I don't think I need to keep at a job for ten years to start a CENTS business. But that's what I think may happen if I pursue what other people around my country are pursuing. Therefore, I gravitate to web and Internet.
1. What are the things I need in terms of skills, other resources and necessities to properly execute such ideas?
2. What human or corporate network do I need to scale such ideas?
3. Does it make sense for me who needs to learn programming from scratch to have such business ideas im the field of programming?
4. How much work and time is required to fully execute an idea that involves writing an app?

Feel free to provide information that may be necessary for me that I may have missed in my questions. Thank you in advance.
 

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