Author Topic: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?  (Read 4874 times)

a_scanner_brightly

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I recently sank like $40,000 on an interactive art project over a two year period.  The end product is fucking rad.  The business model was supposed to be to rent it to festivals but my two other partners on this project have become so time poor that I doubt it will ever make money doing this; we can't bring it up to a level where it's easy to set up and tear down by hiring ad hoc labor so for now it's just a fun hobby for us.

That got me thinking though.  How many businesses could I have started with that same $40k that would be yielding actual money by now?  Especially if I had two partners that each threw in a similar amount of money?

Not looking to poach your genius web 3.0 startup idea.   Looking for responses like "landscaping business", but a bit more unconventional.  Preferably local oriented.  I want to get out of the house and do stuff.

Also I'd like it to be somewhat capital intensive ($40k+), so that I'm not stuck trying to get my messaging through the other 1000 people in town who claim to be able to do the same thing.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 01:29:53 PM by a_scanner_brightly »

SC93

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 02:16:57 PM »
Good Lord!! Let's just take my cleaning business that I started with $3.17... it made me millions. And it wasn't even that hard. Once I got a little money and hired people it went fairly smooth as far as business goes. My business now (used washers and dryers) was started with $150 and next year it could profit $100,000 if I choose to be that busy. This year I've really piddled around with it and made $50,000.

I've started a few lawn services and sold them. I don't remember how much money I had in the other 2 (I can tell you it wasn't over $500 because I never sink much money in to a business) but I only had $1500 in the last one and sold it for $15,000 30 days after I started it.

It really depends what you want to do and if you are smarter than most people. It seems as though I can make most any business work but that's not true for most others. What interests you? You must find something that interests you.

I just don't think $40k is needed for most any business to start. That's just a chance I don't like to take with my money. If I get up to $4000 I'm in panic mode. I like for my dollars to stay close to home with daddy :)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 02:35:21 PM by SC93 »

retireatbirth

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 02:07:20 PM »
You could sell more expensive items on Amazon. A product you could sell for $100 on Amazon might cost $50/item to source so you'd be spending 25k to 50k to get your first batch manufactured.

lindy_zag

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 02:19:49 PM »
If you're an artsy person, you could stay in that route - community theatre, a community social dance space, a monthly ticketed comedy show. You'd need the start-up cash to rent out the space and do some marketing and it probably wouldn't make you much, but it could be super fun and a great way to meet new people!

Apple_Tango

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 03:38:53 PM »
I follow a YouTube channel called Mike and Lauren, I think they were featured on the Mad FIentist podcast a while back. The guy, Mike, is always talking about fun/interesting businesses he's started. Recently he posted a video trialing a yard clean up business after Hurricane Irma. He has previously stated that his most profitable business was office cleaning, which was coincidently mentioned up thread.
The video is pretty cool https://youtu.be/Qp_4O44H1OM

I have never started a business myself, so I'm mostly posting to follow because I really want to do something!! I just can't decide on what. 

kayvent

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 04:12:32 PM »
Prostitution.

SC93

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 11:45:46 PM »
Actually I spoke of house cleaning and even though people think they are the same, they are far from it. While most office cleaners used to charge between $18-$30 a man hour, we (house cleaning business owners) charged between $20-$90 a man hour. That was a while ago. While those numbers might have changed a little, I doubt office cleaning comes close to house cleaning even today. Plus, office cleaning can depend more on carpet cleaning, strip & wax jobs and other work on the side to make more profit. While those things can also be done in house cleaning, we didn't have to depend on those things for extra profit in house cleaning. I never mention this because people won't believe me but before the housing bubble hit we used to clean foreclosed houses and make as much as $500 per man hour. Not possible nowadays but we had it good for awhile!! I was asked to go back in the cleaning business last week..... I thought about it and the. told her, HELL NO!! It's great money but HELL NO!

If you want to be out of the house, instead of renting a space at a flea market why aren't YOU the flea market? Most sellers know that the person making the most money at a place like a flea market or festival is the person promoting the event. Start in a parking lot and go from there. Lots of easy ways to advertise a flea market that are free or cost very little.

With $40k x 3 you could open the most badass dog park in the US probably. Lots of money in dogs. The Fire Hydrant Dog Park. Have a space for a couple of food trucks to set up with 1 being specifically for dogs and take a cut of what they make. Have a couple more spots for a groomer truck and a vet truck.

If I had to do it all over again, I think I would be in the ice cream business. Pay minimum wage to the counter girl (hire a really nice looking girl but no skimpy clothes) and any day that she is all smiles and extra nice to the customers she gets her pay doubled. In reality you want to pay her that much anyway but if you make that stipulation, it could really benefit you. Be known for not being cheap with the ice cream. People don't mind paying $4 for a huge cone but we sure as hell don't want to pay $3 for a small cone that makes us think we got screwed. Just 1 extra swirl can make all the difference.

I'm sure it would cost so much more today but 20 years ago there was this guy that took out a mortgage and loans totally $200,000. He wants to open a haunted house. His wife was scared and told him if he lost their house she was going to divorce him. He opened the haunted house ($7 admission back then) and within the first 2 weeks he had broke even. So the remainder of the season was all profit, prolly 2 or 3 more weeks and we all know the closer Halloween gets, the more people go to a haunted house so his profit probably soared!!

LovinPSDs

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 10:32:56 PM »
Friend of mine built a Fro-Yo food truck trailer, which is piggy backed of the Fro-Yo stations he added to the already owned area of his gas station.... The trailer is CRUSHING it, even on it's first year.  Don't get me wrong, he has a really hefty amount into the trailer, but their first season of food truck events has paid for the trailer and 2018 will be nearly pure profit.  He's also making huge strides in the gas station because they had little to no overhead in regards to the location.  All he did was clear a place on a far wall and setup 6 machines.  Again, capital intensive a bit off the bat, with it's showing huge rewards.

Little Aussie Battler

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 11:02:45 PM »
Index fund investor.

elaine amj

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 11:36:38 PM »
Index fund investor.
LOL. My DH was asking a somewhat similar question and I told him the same thing.

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GreenEggs

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 07:42:37 PM »
How about a late night infomercial selling Tatoo Removal cream?  Who cares if it actually works.  Give a money back guarantee, less the $19.99 shipping & handling fees! 

How about a Shark Repellant with a "Lifetime Guarantee"?! 

And of course, you've got to double the offer for "Free" (just pay separate "fee") !

Nothing's wrong with making money from stupid people.  It's the "American way".  Just ask the President.


chrisviola

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SC93

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2017, 05:59:35 PM »
Or, who knows how many ant farms you could start!!!

Shale Butter

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2017, 07:25:16 PM »
I really enjoy working with trades people. Iíve also come across young folks who have everything need need to be successful but havenít been able to hit their stride. Personally Iíd look at high margins construction related services where I could empower good people who didnít get an early shot at a concessional path.

Double Yu

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 09:34:46 PM »
SC93, you're impressively entrepreneurial. It's like listening to a foreign language - melodious, evocative of foreign lands and interesting locales and dang if I don't acutely feel my homebody, stick-in-the-mud tendencies. The thought of starting a business tickles panic attacks in my mind's crawlspaces, though the same mind admits to a few arms-length daydreams along entrepreneurial lines. Kudos to all the folks who just up and do it!

SC93

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 09:53:58 PM »
What is keeping you from doing it? Find something that costs under $1000 and do it. Or under $100.... it's all good! You will have butterflies for a few days but it gets better. How many times are you going to live? If you are like everyone else, only once! Send me a private message.... lets get you something started by next weekend. That's one of the keys.... just do it! Too much thinking will lead you to never start it. Let's do it now!! On my most successful businesses I woke up one morning and decided to do it so I did...... here has always been my business plan..... let's do it today and see where it takes us.... The electric company does not take goals or a business plan as payment. Send me a message.

Rightflyer

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 03:09:43 AM »
SC93

Over the last year I have read your unfailingly positive entrepreneurial posts with great pleasure.

I hope your posts give more people here the push they need to embrace self-employment.

Just wanted to give credit where it is due.

Thanks

SC93

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 10:33:37 AM »
Well thank you. I know some people think different but in the business world today, you gotta have thick skin.... but I try to be as nice as possible. :) Anyone really can start some type of business if they really want to. And if you don't have the money to start the business you want, start another business and save to start your dream business.

Double Yu

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Re: What's a fun, mildly profitable business that you can start with $40k?
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2018, 11:58:46 AM »
What is keeping you from doing it?

In all honesty, what's stopping me is 99.9% my mental habits. The other fraction of a percent is... well, probably my mental habits...

Fear, I suppose, and the 'sense' I have that I'm not 'success material.' Way too strong of a tendency to dwell on the meta analysis of things as you can see.  And my signature line is pretty spot on. I have a low tolerance for repetition/boredom and love a learning curve and associated skills acquisition but am likely to traipse along into new territory rather than become "expert" at something.

And that is 3 lines of way-off-topic. Sorry to the OP. I shall stop here and PM you, SC93.