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Which business types (B&M) are the most Fastlane?

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phlgirl

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Aug 29, 2007
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While reading the candy thread, I found myself wondering which business types are the most fastlane? Of course, a great deal depends on how a business is managed; however, are there certain business types which tend to be more fastlane than others?

I know a guy who has made a fortune with dry cleaning units and car washes (I have mentioned this before). The idea (so I am told) is that there are few moving parts & that the concept is consistant, regardless of location, which makes it easy to replicate, once you get it right.

Anyone have examples of fastlane business types?
 

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fastword

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Jan 2, 2008
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I don't have greatest answer without based on experiences but with soo much research I have done.

I learned to search as many "buy business" as you can and you will end up finding great deals.

Find ratio of purchase price and cash flow would help speed up paying off the loan faster to make bigger cash flow.

Look for business that has started few years but growing fast.

If you had many ideas to improve one business that wasn't developed to improve stream of incomes.

Find business who have owner having health problems and need to leave business in hurry will end up best deals.

Those were my research based on fastlane.

I saw one deal that was so amazing;

Purchase: 100,000 Gross Income: 1,000,000 Cashflow: didn't say
Base Customers: 600

Comments: Health problems which can't keep up fast growing and willing to negotiate.
 

WheelsRCool

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Aug 12, 2007
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I am no expert, but from what I have seen and read, making a business fastlane is just a matter of determining whether the processes to the business can be automated (along with the basic stuff like is the busienss profitable, etc...).

For example, take custom teddy bears. One might think to get custom teddy bears, you'd need to make one yourself or have a specific bear-maker person custom build you one.

But then you see like that BUILD-A-BEAR Workshop chain of stores, which has grown into a few hundred stores in only ten years! They have an automated system for building/making custom bears and are all over the country now, global now too I believe. Everything is systemized, so they can replicate the original store concept and just spread it around globally. There are smaller, more regional custom bear-building chains as well I believe.

McDonald's is a famous example, having a system for making burgers. No one person makes a McDonald's hamburger.

Car washes, dry cleaners, again you create systems to automate the whole thing, then replicate through chains, franchising, or both.

I would imagine no business is "more" fastlane than another, it's all in how you create it.

Bookstores, even martial arts schools, you can build a chain of martial arts schools where everything is systemized as well too, or workout gyms, etc...it is amazing how many businesses can be fastlane really!
 
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phlgirl

phlgirl

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Aug 29, 2007
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Thanks for the input folks. I agree - mostly, it depends on how the business is managed. The owner's approach makes/breaks whether or not the venture is fastlane.

Fastword - I think (and have read) that what you wrote is correct. Similar to REI, it is often smart to look for a seller who is distressed. It's unfortunate, but often great opportunities present themselves when someone is in bad health, going through a divorce, death of a partner, etc.

I would also think that one might want to purchase a business which holds it's own currently but is being managed poorly, thus allowing room for serious expansion/improvement.

I'll admit I have asked this question for somewhat selfish reasons. After our venture in FL is complete, in approximately 1 year (+/-), my husband and I are planning our next phase, which includes acquiring income producing businesses back north. :) I am trying to start the education process early, as I know there is lots to learn!

Wheels - I do like the idea of a gym - would think that would be very few moving parts and therefore easier to run somewhat absentee, which would then allow for multiples.
 

MJ DeMarco

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B&M businesses go Fastlane via franchising or by offering a distribution network that can reach worldwide proportions. If you own a local store, but sell worldwide (say via the internet), this is Fastlane. If you own a local store and franchise 1000 units nationwide, this is fastlane.

If you notice the key to this is being at the top of the chain, what I call, the "driver" in the Fastlane ... not the passenger. Passenger arrangements (For example, buying a franchise) also can be Fastlane but have higher barriers to success and far less control. If you sit in a car and are a passenger, you aren't driving, you aren't in control, and your direction is somewhat dictated by the driver.
 

mtnman

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If you notice the key to this is being at the top of the chain, what I call, the "driver" in the Fastlane ... not the passenger. Passenger arrangements (For example, buying a franchise) also can be Fastlane but have higher barriers to success and far less control. If you sit in a car and are a passenger, you aren't driving, you aren't in control, and your direction is somewhat dictated by the driver.

That sounds like a little insight into the metaphors of the new book. :banana: When will it be ready by the way?
 

PurEnergy

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Jan 4, 2008
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Phlgirl, so it sounds like you should be looking for a motivated seller of a poorly managed business that's profitable and can be taken to the Internet.

Sounds good to me.
 
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phlgirl

phlgirl

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That sounds perfect, PurE!

I am absolutely keeping my eyes open for many of those qualities. It really does remind me of the RE purchase process - in that there is just no reason to buy without it being at a ‘discount’. If you cannot find one, well, then you are just not looking hard enough.

So…… off I go…. it’s a numbers game and I feel like I am learning a great deal just talking to the brokers/owners, reading the financials and asking tons of questions!! Just happens to be one of my favorite things to do. :)

I will do my best to keep you posted (and harass you with further questions). Keep the suggestions coming!! Thanks all.
 

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