Author Topic: What are your experiences with having your own business?  (Read 2703 times)

Larabeth

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What are your experiences with having your own business?
« on: January 29, 2016, 03:10:37 AM »
I'm thinking about trying to start a pet-sitting company in my area.  I worked for one for a long time (I work 911 nights and did that during the day... no, I don't sleep much, hahaha) and I enjoyed it, but the boss was unreasonable with her requests (two half-hour appointments at 7 AM on Black Friday - 45 minutes apart? Yeah, I quit after that one).  I also have some general business management experience and lots of marketing experience.

I've looked into bonding/insuring (important for going into this type of business) and licensing, etc.  It would put me out about $2000, which I could pay in cash. 

It would purely be what I felt like doing as I had time. 

Do you all have any advice about starting up a business?  I did something very small when I was in college, but I want to at least make this endeavor fun (not necessarily the same as stress-free to me, hahaha)

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: What are your experiences with having your own business?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 06:58:10 AM »
Go for it. The only way you'll know if it works is by doing it. Once you decide to pursue it, go full-throttle.

It's a lot more work than I anticipated. I found that I need to learn to focus MY time on growing the business instead of actually doing stuff like making logos or completing easily outsourced work. It's really difficult to do both at the same time--at least if you're like me and working a full time job.

If you're just looking for a little side cash, then do it all yourself. If you want this to pay your bills though, I'd suggest building a base on your own then try to find people to pay to do the work and take a cut of it. With the time you save, focus on getting new customers.

Mongoose

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Re: What are your experiences with having your own business?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2016, 03:56:35 PM »
+1 to a lot more work than anticipated. We are doing it all on our own right now and it can get crazy. For instance, our website and merchant services crashed yesterday so we've been scrambling to fix it while still doing our clients projects and working the day jobs. Most of the time it is very doable though with a lot of attention to time management. One day we hope we can focus on it full-time.

As long as you make sure you have all your licenses, taxes, insurance etc together, it sounds like it would be worth a try. Since you can start with cash and won't need a loan, you can grow it as you have time/desire.

Even with the stresses and time crunch, starting our business has been fun (mostly...there are, of course days). My advice would be to make sure you have your ducks in a row, figure out a name and go for it.

Larabeth

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Re: What are your experiences with having your own business?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 01:44:49 AM »
I appreciatie it!!!

GrowingtheGreen, I hope to begin expanding and having others work under me.  I'm a bit nervous about the management aspect of this, but like you said, I have to go for it to know either way!

Mongoose, I'm definitely glad I'm in a position to do it without a loan.

snuggler

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Re: What are your experiences with having your own business?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 07:51:10 AM »
One option I've used is Rover- it is kind of like the Uber of petsitting.

It was great for me for a couple of reasons:

- didn't have to worry about advertising- I just put up a profile, got a few reviews from former clients (friends, neighbors, whose pets I had sat), started off with low rates to get some initial great reviews, and then scaled up my prices
- you can advertise if you want, and give people codes to get $ off their first booking on Rover. Since this doesn't come out of your pocket, it is a great advertising tool for apartment buildings, Craigslist, etc.
- you can identify which days you are available and which you aren't. This helps reduce the number of inquiries you get that you have to turn down, and thus saves a lot of time
- it automatically increases your rate at busy times (i.e., holidays), which is nice. You can always turn this off, but it is really nice.
- it has limited insurance coverage, and emergency vet hotlines, which gave me some peace of mind. I'm not sure what normal petsitting businesses get, but the insurance coverage was enough for my needs.
- it will help you find an alternative if you have an emergency and can't make it (i.e., you get in an accident, are very sick, etc.)

There are a couple of cons:

- they take 15%
- you can't specify certain times of certain dates when you aren't available (you can always mention this on your profile, but it is hard if you aren't unavailable on the same time each day)
- you can't limit your geographic area (you can mention this in your profile, but some people will ignore that/not read it and still contact you)

Good luck in your new endeavor!

Larabeth

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Re: What are your experiences with having your own business?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2016, 05:33:27 PM »
Snuggler, I've looked into a couple of things like Rover, but my main idea is to eventually automate part of my income by having a couple of employees working, as well as myself. 

Though for anyone who is just wanting to make some side cash, Rover is an awesome idea!!!

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: What are your experiences with having your own business?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2016, 08:52:19 PM »
I appreciatie it!!!

GrowingtheGreen, I hope to begin expanding and having others work under me.  I'm a bit nervous about the management aspect of this, but like you said, I have to go for it to know either way!

Mongoose, I'm definitely glad I'm in a position to do it without a loan.

If you've got a local chapter of the SBA, they can provide guidance for hiring employees.

Larabeth

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Re: What are your experiences with having your own business?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 09:10:34 PM »
I appreciatie it!!!

GrowingtheGreen, I hope to begin expanding and having others work under me.  I'm a bit nervous about the management aspect of this, but like you said, I have to go for it to know either way!

Mongoose, I'm definitely glad I'm in a position to do it without a loan.

If you've got a local chapter of the SBA, they can provide guidance for hiring employees.

I hadn't even thought of that... and I know the director.  Thanks for that catch!