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INTRO Busy husband and father...

Discussion in 'Forum Introductions (Who are you!?)' started by SethChild, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Thoelt53
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    Thoelt53 Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Only 5-10% of the population? That is a BIG market.

    If we conservatively assume the number is closer to 5%, and just 1% of those people are interested in a backyard chicken rental, that is still a potential market of ~165,000 people.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  2. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thanks again for reflecting on this with me. To start, I'd like to mention a few challenges that the business currently has.
    - We drive ten minutes each way to get to property where we raise the chickens (we live on 1/3 acre in a blue-collar suburb)
    - The property is offered to us free of charge, but the landowner highly values his privacy so we can't have customers or employers come to the property
    - Here's the time and money involved in a $450 (plus mileage) rental package
    - A coop is/was built for $350 materials, $350 labor = $700
    - Two chickens cost me $60 total (not counting the time and feed and equipment that I put into them, plus the time of finding a reliable person from whom to buy chickens [this has been one of our greatest challenges])
    - I invest two hours in prepping for a delivery (gathering materials, packing, cleaning and repairing coop)
    - I drive 45 minutes to residence
    - I give a one-hour startup session, which includes unloading and setting up
    - I drive 45 minutes home
    - Talk with customer on average fifteen minutes over the phone over the course of the rental
    - For about 15% of customers, I arrange with a customer to get to them a replacement chicken due to predator-loss or sickness or not laying well enough
    - Six months later, I drive 45 minutes to residence
    - Load up coop and visit briefly with customer - 20 minutes
    - Drive 45 minutes back to residence, or to the farm, where I unload coop and chickens
     
  3. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    So you can see how time intensive this is. Also doing rentals remotely (without a local franchisee) would be difficult because of the cost of shipping the chicken and coop back vs. the total cost of the coop and chicken. So we were to scale nationally without franchising, it would seem to leave out the rental option, and we would help people get started with chickens by shipping them the coop and all-supplies, feed etc. and then shipping chickens from one of the local hatcheries that sells chickens that are about to start laying. If we invested $300K or so in a residential/commercial property we could raise some of the chickens ourselves and have a little more control over our supply.
     
  4. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Or we could assist people to find chickens locally on their own, by telling them where to look, and give them tips on do's and don'ts.

    The challenge is when people don't want their chickens any more. Locally, we're always on the lookout for animal-friendly farms that will receive non-producing layers and give them a nice home to live out their years. But what it comes down to is people have the following options when they don't want their chicken any more.
    - list on craigslist or on a local chicken community facebook group
    - take to an animal shelter
    - Take to a vet to euthanize
    - Euthanize chicken on their own
    These aren't exactly feel-good options.

    I hope this isn't overwhelming, and not trying to be Debbie-downer here.

    With a half million, off the top of my head, I'd use $300,000 to invest in a residential/agricultural/commercial -type property with plenty of storage, but as close as possible to the suburbs and urban areas where our customers are. The rest I'd use to:
    - Hire a web developer to add completely automated web ordering and fulfillment, if possible
    - Hire an engineer to help us convert our coop design into one that could be flatpacked and fairly-easily assembled. I think I would outsource the building of these, to avoid the low passivity of a human resource system. (or I'd use a coop or coops from another manufacturer(s)).
    - Legal to patent our coop designs, Trademark our business name "The Easy Chicken" and slogan/USP "Backyard eggs made easy."
    - Contract for administrative and management support, to help us make good, timely decisions, and focus our efforts as business is growing
    - Contract or hire for additional marketing support to make sure this aspect of our business is consistent and robust.
    - Hire for delivery
    - Video production so that people can learn how to use us, and our setup without me being there in person at every delivery
    - Phone system that would allow for efficient handling of incoming calls for consultation/support
     
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  5. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    This is one aspect of our business, but the most labor intensive.
    We also have sales of our packages and hourly consultation visits.
     
  6. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thanks great input. Yes, we're considering all of the above. I went into detail today with regard to the chicken business in other posts on this thread. Jansen Sharpening is definitely a simpler business. However, our net income this year will be $10,000 (last year, $7000), and I don't see a way to grow this significantly locally without opening a store front and hiring people. Even then, a store front sharpening shop that serves an exclusively local market is definitely not fastlane, because it fails the commandment of scale. We could do a mail order service. We currently offer that on our website, but shipping makes it a bit challenging, with slim margins per item. And we haven't had the time or money to market this nationally, and we don't really have a great shop at our residence. We just pull out the sharpening equipment and set it up on the dining room table, sometimes just to sharpen a couple knives. Most of our income with this comes form sharpening onsite at the busiest farmers market in the city every Saturday during spring, summer and fall. The other farmers markets have had very small sales numbers, and aren't worth our while.

    We are thinking of my wife accepting a job to do web content navigation for friends of ours who own a thriving web development company and have contracted with her in the past to do content navigation, and then perhaps using this to springboard into a web-based business in the future.

    I don't even know if our businesses would be worth much for a few different reasons. I'll bet there's a thread somewhere on this forum that discusses the valuation of small mom and pop type businesses (that's kind of where we're at right now).
     
  7. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Jansen Sharpening
    Control: We're good there
    Entry: A little too easy, relatively low equipment costs to start out, and have to have good fine motor skills
    Need: It is awesome to use sharp knives and tools; But on the other hand, you can get every type of kitchen knife at the dollar store; I have not been able to find solid numbers on what percentage of the population has their knives and scissors and tools professionally sharpened. Then there's salons and barber shops, which we service as well. They absolutely have to get their stuff sharpened at regular intervals
    Time: Trade for time unless you hire and train; human resources systems score low on passivity
    Scale: If you can hire more people, and do a great job marketing for mail order and subscription-based you can sharpen more knives; a human resource system would be my last choice; I'm not a great people manager guy

    However, my wife is awesome at sharpening, had the idea to start it up, and any suggestion of shutting it down raises her hackles.

    I have not yet read the thread by @NateKruse about fastlaning a sharpening business. I haven't (yet) invested in insider access.
     
  8. NateKruse
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    NateKruse Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    It’s going to end up being a human resource system. My next big goals are to get a physical location then an employee.
     
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  9. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Actually, with updated numbers I saw today, our net is around 30K YTD.
     
  10. MHP368
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    MHP368 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    That chicken thing is bizarre enough to have traction. Could you package it sort of like a franchise?

    Get a book and a video series "how to" and sell access for whatever amount

    Pay some marketer to get the ball rolling and voila

    I feel like the yuppy crowd on reddit would eat that up , will it make you financially independant? No. Could it make you 5 or 6 figures before the "newness / weirdness" wares off? I think so
     
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  11. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    So how do you do it better than him? He's given you a great roadmap on what doesn't work. You have a great opportunity to come in and do it different and improve.

    I don't have the skills to design/engineer my products either. You get people on board who know how to do that. Contract it out. @ZCP think you could flatpack a chicken coop? Or at least get it onto a 48x40 pallet?

    Could also ship other companies coops, but the margins won't be as good. Would make the most sense as part of the package deal, so you can make more on the other products in the package.
     
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  12. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Have you thought about charging more? Have you tested it?
     
  13. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    We're thinking about slicing rentals from our repertoire because it is seems to restrict us to a local market, and there's not enough locals to rent that would enable us to hire our jobs like repairing cleaning up coops. We've also considered significantly increasing rental prices to make it worth while, for example making them the same price as owning the setup. We've also considered raising prices. Based on conversations with customers, I do think it would reduce the number of rental customers, but perhaps that's what we want. But we could also still consider franchising, but do it in a less labor intensive way than rentthechicken.com.

    Since we have two businesses and feel so stretched, and the chicken business has so many facets, we're leaning toward putting more into the sharpening business and slicing out the parts of the chicken business that require the most work, and then only providing the products and services that are less-labor intensive for us, and making a some cash next year off the work that we've done up to this point.

    If we decide to inject more time and energy into expanding the chicken business, I'm starting to think that engineering our coops to ship and sell might be the way to go. Not to complain, but the fuzziness and lack of clarity is quite challenging. :)
     
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  14. Davejemmolly
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    Davejemmolly Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    if it was me, I'd try to diversify out of the 'live chicken' business, and concentrate exclusive on a flat pack chicken coop, and driving traffic to your website that shows the best way to look after chickens, what to feed them etc... make it interactive and kid friendly, to pitch it as an education exercise.. kids recipes for eggs etc.

    I could be wrong, but I can't seriously imaging people laying their hands on the their own chickens is overly difficult, but the coop and knowledge is the impediment.

    Would be much easier to scale as well, as it takes out a lot of the 'one on one' interaction with the consumer.

    just my thoughts
     
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  15. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Before you give it the axe, significantly raise the price and see what happens. Whatever price would make you say "If I could do it for X, this would definitely be worth it". And see if anyone pays. If not, well then I guess you're done with it.

    It's tough man. No road map for entreprenuership. Dealing with some "fuzziness" myself right now. Trying to navigate the best path forward. Keep at it.
     
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  16. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Thank you for the encouragement. If we decide to tread a safer path of doing it very similar to what we've done, I think this is the way to go. Thanks a bunch!
     
  17. SethChild
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    SethChild Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER

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    This really resonates. This is the way I'm leaning right now. My wife and I are talking ongoing about our direction. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.
     
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