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Family business dilemma

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alittlebyte

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Jun 24, 2020
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Hi everyone, I'll cut straight to the chase. I've been recently facing a dilemma regarding either taking over my family's business or continuing on my own plans.

I am self-taught software engineer. I've been in this field for around 3 years now and the market is pretty rewarding if you know what you are doing, plus putting in the hours. The pay is great (around 3x the base salary, here in Greece) and I love what I am doing. I've been thinking of starting a side-hustle SaaS app for salons, after taking into consideration the CENTS commandments.

On the other side, we own a family business (kitchen furniture & wardrobes manufacturing) which used to employ around 30 people in the past, but after the economic crisis they were all gradually fired. So during the last decade or so, my father solely manages everything (from manufacturing to customer communication, etc.). I also have a fair amount of experience in this field. By applying the correct marketing strategy and focusing on smaller furniture, there a potential to achieve around 40-50k MRR, easily.

So, I am skeptical about all that mechanical equipment being left off, as well as the solid customer base and the existing capital (building, materials), in general. I've come down to combining my knowledge on software plus taking advantage of this economic asset, not just to "continue the business", but completely transform it into something new by providing an innovative and personalized customer experience when buying and using furniture. I am thinking of smart furniture using raspberry PIs in combination with a robust web platform and smartphone app.

Sure, there are other competing companies, but no one is utilizing existing technology as they should. For example, we are the first furniture company in Greece (probably in many other countries, too) to produce high quality, 3d animated videos demonstrating the assembly process of some products. So, the value skew would be the empowering of the average customer to access smart furniture without paying a premium (this would be possible due to the fact that I don't need a team of engineers to make it happen). From there, the possibilities are endless: Humidity sensors, inventory management & online grocery shopping interface, etc.

However, SaaS is an entirely different business and IMHO outcompetes any manufacturing company, because it has a big green check on every single CENTS rule.

Sorry for being too elaborate. Any thoughts on this?
 
Last edited:

rocking-m

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Jun 27, 2021
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Texas
Have you thought of working with your father part-time on the family business as a side hustle? See if you can help build it up to a point where it makes sense to move over full time. If it doesn't get there you still have your current job that you love.

I don't think it has to be an either / or decision......more of an 'and'.
 

robertwills

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Sep 9, 2020
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Atlanta, GA
Hi everyone, I'll cut straight to the chase. I've been recently facing a dilemma regarding either taking over my family's business or continuing on my own plans.

I am self-taught software engineer. I've been in this field for around 3 years now and the market is pretty rewarding if you know what you are doing, plus putting in the hours. The pay is great (around 3x the base salary, here in Greece) and I love what I am doing. I've been thinking of starting a side-hustle SaaS app for salons, after taking into consideration the CENTS commandments.

On the other side, we own a family business (kitchen furniture & wardrobes manufacturing) which used to employ around 30 people in the past, but after the economic crisis they were all gradually fired. So during the last decade or so, my father solely manages everything (from manufacturing to customer communication, etc.). I also have a fair amount of experience in this field. By applying the correct marketing strategy and focusing on smaller furniture, there is the ability to achieve around 40-50k MRR, easily.

So, I am skeptical about all that mechanical equipment being left off, as well as the solid customer base and the existing capital (building, materials), in general. I've come down to combining my knowledge on software plus taking advantage of this economic asset, not just to "continue the business", but completely transform it into something new by providing an innovative and personalized customer experience when buying and using furniture. I am thinking of smart furniture using raspberry PIs in combination with a robust web platform and smartphone app.

Sure, there are other competing companies, but no one is utilizing existing technology as they should. For example, we are the first furniture company in Greece (probably in many other countries, too) to produce high quality, 3d animated videos demonstrating the assembly process of some products. So, the value skew would be the empowering of the average customer to access smart furniture without paying a premium (this would be possible due to the fact that I don't need a team of engineers to make it happen). From there, the possibilities are endless: Humidity sensors, inventory management & online grocery shopping interface, etc.

However, SaaS is an entirely different business and IMHO outcompetes any manufacturing company, because it has a big green check on every single CENTS rule.

Sorry for being too elaborate. Any thoughts on this?
Personally I like businesses with no or low overhead, no employees, no real estate, no machinery, etc.. A lot less hassles.
 

alittlebyte

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 24, 2020
12
9
15
Greece
Have you thought of working with your father part-time on the family business as a side hustle? See if you can help build it up to a point where it makes sense to move over full time. If it doesn't get there you still have your current job that you love.

I don't think it has to be an either / or decision......more of an 'and'.
Hi, thanks for the feedback. I am actually kind of taking this approach right now, but my job requires a lot of my time. Unfortunately, one cannot juggle many things at once and hope to be successful. I am more concerned about postponing the SaaS thing for the next 2-3 years while building the family business.

I am really attracted to the location and time detachment the digital businesses give ( in a manufacturing company, this can only be achieved by having employees AND some kind of a manager, though you'll have to physically inspect many aspects of the business).
 

alittlebyte

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 24, 2020
12
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15
Greece
Personally I like businesses with no or low overhead, no employees, no real estate, no machinery, etc.. A lot less hassles.
Yeah, that's what really bugs me... Nowadays you can approach good MRRs with just an internet connection, a pc and some marketing skills.
 

daniels97

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Mar 13, 2021
11
12
17
Brno, Czech republic
Hi everyone, I'll cut straight to the chase. I've been recently facing a dilemma regarding either taking over my family's business or continuing on my own plans.

I am self-taught software engineer. I've been in this field for around 3 years now and the market is pretty rewarding if you know what you are doing, plus putting in the hours. The pay is great (around 3x the base salary, here in Greece) and I love what I am doing. I've been thinking of starting a side-hustle SaaS app for salons, after taking into consideration the CENTS commandments.

On the other side, we own a family business (kitchen furniture & wardrobes manufacturing) which used to employ around 30 people in the past, but after the economic crisis they were all gradually fired. So during the last decade or so, my father solely manages everything (from manufacturing to customer communication, etc.). I also have a fair amount of experience in this field. By applying the correct marketing strategy and focusing on smaller furniture, there a potential to achieve around 40-50k MRR, easily.

So, I am skeptical about all that mechanical equipment being left off, as well as the solid customer base and the existing capital (building, materials), in general. I've come down to combining my knowledge on software plus taking advantage of this economic asset, not just to "continue the business", but completely transform it into something new by providing an innovative and personalized customer experience when buying and using furniture. I am thinking of smart furniture using raspberry PIs in combination with a robust web platform and smartphone app.

Sure, there are other competing companies, but no one is utilizing existing technology as they should. For example, we are the first furniture company in Greece (probably in many other countries, too) to produce high quality, 3d animated videos demonstrating the assembly process of some products. So, the value skew would be the empowering of the average customer to access smart furniture without paying a premium (this would be possible due to the fact that I don't need a team of engineers to make it happen). From there, the possibilities are endless: Humidity sensors, inventory management & online grocery shopping interface, etc.

However, SaaS is an entirely different business and IMHO outcompetes any manufacturing company, because it has a big green check on every single CENTS rule.

Sorry for being too elaborate. Any thoughts on this?
Hello!
Really difficult to decide. I can feel you are kinda emotionally connected to the father's furniture business, am I right? Tbh I personally more like your saas idea because of CENTS.
 

alittlebyte

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Jun 24, 2020
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Greece
Hello!
Really difficult to decide. I can feel you are kinda emotionally connected to the father's furniture business, am I right? Tbh I personally more like your saas idea because of CENTS.
In a way, but I had long come over it during my early 20s (I am now 24). It just seems absurd from an economic perspective to let a manufacturing plant go to such a waste. It's an asset.
 

WestCoast

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Personally I like businesses with no or low overhead, no employees, no real estate, no machinery, etc.. A lot less hassles.

Personally, I like businesses with high overhead, big staffs, machinery. A lot less competition.
(Plus, I don't have to do much - the team executes the vision.)

Think of all the people online with a laptop and a good idea.
Those are your competitors.

Think of all the people who have signed leases for warehouses, bought machinery, hired teams of people. Think how much bigger and stable that moat is.
 

robertwills

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 9, 2020
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Atlanta, GA
Personally, I like businesses with high overhead, big staffs, machinery. A lot less competition.
(Plus, I don't have to do much - the team executes the vision.)

Think of all the people online with a laptop and a good idea.
Those are your competitors.

Think of all the people who have signed leases for warehouses, bought machinery, hired teams of people. Think how much bigger and stable that moat is.

Higher barriers to entry does not at automatically mean less competition and vice-versa. Look at big steel and what happened with competition from China. Look at wildly successful billion dollar valuation internet companies that own virtually no assets. Higher barriers to entry definitely can mean substantial risk of capital. The world is trending towards "brain capital" and automation and the large industrial companies with vast armies of employees are fast becoming history.
 

woken

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So you have the choice between a proven business that could potentially work and
same business with a different approach you’re not sure about.

Why not build what you have first and then you can afford to test other ways?

Also, how does one achieve MRR in a furniture business?
Did you use the term loosely or is it just something I’m missing?
 

alittlebyte

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Jun 24, 2020
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Greece
Personally, I like businesses with high overhead, big staffs, machinery. A lot less competition.
(Plus, I don't have to do much - the team executes the vision.)

Think of all the people online with a laptop and a good idea.
Those are your competitors.

Think of all the people who have signed leases for warehouses, bought machinery, hired teams of people. Think how much bigger and stable that moat is.
You are right. It satisfies the Entry commandment 100% and I hadn't thought of it! You gave me a new perspective actually. Thank you!
 

alittlebyte

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 24, 2020
12
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Greece
Higher barriers to entry does not at automatically mean less competition and vice-versa. Look at big steel and what happened with competition from China. Look at wildly successful billion dollar valuation internet companies that own virtually no assets. Higher barriers to entry definitely can mean substantial risk of capital. The world is trending towards "brain capital" and automation and the large industrial companies with vast armies of employees are fast becoming history.
China is a thorn to every non-chinese manufacturing company...
 

alittlebyte

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Jun 24, 2020
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Greece
So you have the choice between a proven business that could potentially work and
same business with a different approach you’re not sure about.

Why not build what you have first and then you can afford to test other ways?

Also, how does one achieve MRR in a furniture business?
Did you use the term loosely or is it just something I’m missing?
I used it loosely. By recurring I didn't have in mind revenue from the same customers, but a different chunk of customers from a potential-customer pool.
 

robertwills

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China is a thorn to every non-chinese manufacturing company...
That's only because other manufacturer's are not creative enough or able to see other possibilities. It maybe true the Chinees government subsidizes industries but that it is limited overall. Look at the competition to create a C0VlD VAXClNE. Most of the major highly experienced players did not believe rna would work.
 

daniels97

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Mar 13, 2021
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Brno, Czech republic
That's only because other manufacturer's are not creative enough or able to see other possibilities. It maybe true the Chinees government subsidizes industries but that it is limited overall. Look at the competition to create a C0VlD VAXClNE. Most of the major highly experienced players did not believe rna would work.
Do not think so bro.

It is because of cheap working force, not so much regulations in the area of labour law and very low GDP per capita. In the future China is going to be more and more like Europe or US. Since it will be richer, people will want to live their lives differently - more as we are living.

Other countries like India will take the role as a cheap manufactory for other countries and companies will move their factories there.
 

LeszekM

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Do not think so bro.

It is because of cheap working force, not so much regulations in the area of labour law and very low GDP per capita. In the future China is going to be more and more like Europe or US. Since it will be richer, people will want to live their lives differently - more as we are living.

Other countries like India will take the role as a cheap manufactory for other countries and companies will move their factories there.
They have already moved.. I watched a documentary movie about China, they have already some factories in Ethiopia and also some rights to the lands which were gotten in tricky way..

Personally, I like businesses with high overhead, big staffs, machinery. A lot less competition.
(Plus, I don't have to do much - the team executes the vision.)

Think of all the people online with a laptop and a good idea.
Those are your competitors.

Think of all the people who have signed leases for warehouses, bought machinery, hired teams of people. Think how much bigger and stable that moat is.
That looks pretty true. It looks similar like in UNSCRIPTED when MJ wrote about his friend and searching for best selling product on Amazon. He goes opposite way, they way that most people criticized and earn a lot of money.

It it not so easy to achieve that "high overhead, big staffs, machinery" but @alittlebyte that is a great advantage if your father wants to share it with you. You are many steps forward that people who wants to start. With your young, fresh energy i think you could develop it! Maybe start how can you apply all CENTS into your fathers company?

@alittlebyte Ask yourself what you want to achieve and which road will be faster to do that, but of course don't forget about your intuition and what your heart is feeling!
If you want to be free, don't worry about money maybe engage into father's company and sell it after few years and then move to the another business idea with completely different perspective with few $B on your account.
 

alittlebyte

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Jun 24, 2020
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Greece
They have already moved.. I watched a documentary movie about China, they have already some factories in Ethiopia and also some rights to the lands which were gotten in tricky way..


That looks pretty true. It looks similar like in UNSCRIPTED when MJ wrote about his friend and searching for best selling product on Amazon. He goes opposite way, they way that most people criticized and earn a lot of money.

It it not so easy to achieve that "high overhead, big staffs, machinery" but @alittlebyte that is a great advantage if your father wants to share it with you. You are many steps forward that people who wants to start. With your young, fresh energy i think you could develop it! Maybe start how can you apply all CENTS into your fathers company?

@alittlebyte Ask yourself what you want to achieve and which road will be faster to do that, but of course don't forget about your intuition and what your heart is feeling!
If you want to be free, don't worry about money maybe engage into father's company and sell it after few years and then move to the another business idea with completely different perspective with few $B on your account.
Seems like the way to go!
 

Lyinx

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Personally, I like businesses with high overhead, big staffs, machinery. A lot less competition.
(Plus, I don't have to do much - the team executes the vision.)

Think of all the people online with a laptop and a good idea.
Those are your competitors.

Think of all the people who have signed leases for warehouses, bought machinery, hired teams of people. Think how much bigger and stable that moat is.
Everyone wants to have an online business right now selling stuff (programs, or t-shirts) so, a high competition market.

If you get into manufacturing now, when others are getting out, you might have a niche

Also, don't jump in and start making big changes in the biz right away. If it's working, don't break it!
You can always make improvements and new models AFTER you understand the customer.
 

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