Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

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Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Iconcur
So I was thinking to myself as I'm sitting here on a Sunday why I don't just open my own business. I already do all the paperwork the only thing I don't do are the taxes on my check and pay utilities. my current situation I commute across 3 counties to go to work from Vallejo to san Rafael. I travel the whole length of HWY 37 I only have Tuesdays off they wont let me have any more days off, and the hours are on the weekends 8-5 and during the week 8-6. with the commute I am typically away from the house for about 12 and a half hours. I figured if I put in so many hours I might as well own the business. I was wondering what you guys did when it came to it buy a business or start your own. oh and how do you calculate a businesses goodwill if you buy a business?

P.S. I searched all over the interwebs and this forum and I can only find bits and pieces I'm hoping its not a secret. oh and btw this is my first post so don't go to hard on me okay.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Troll
Gentle does not exist in ownership.
it ain't so easy.
if you're tracking your hours now, you'll be in for a head spinning if and when you own.
-home depot, Costco, midnight alarm calls, etc.
as my friend windyanus would say-
welcome to the NFL.
just wait for the employee thefts, clean piping, no shows, unemployment, w-comp, and osha claims.
go ahead.
sink youre and wife's 401 in this game.
go immediately and get a 2016 f350 lifted.
The saying is "open the doors and they will come" could not be further from the truth.
Believe me- you want the honest truth, before the balls go in the wringer.
'but fuck it-what do I know. I'm just some condensending  loud mouth obnoxiousfucker.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

smwalker
In reply to this post by Iconcur
Wonder why you travel so far?  No shops near your home?  Or they just don't pay enough?  That is a telling indicator if a certain area cannot afford to pay you a decent salary as an employee you would not be able to find any other employees to help you out with your business.  Yes you could do it all yourself but half the benifit of owning a business is finding some time for yourself.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Johnnybeme
In reply to this post by Iconcur
Let me give you two intangibles. First there is no real reward but to oneself, and that will depend on the ease of success. Second there is the reality of the automotive business, it is difficult. You have experience and are seeing what you do benefiting maybe those who could not possibly do it. You already put out more effort than should be necessary. I say you are in perfect shape to make a move. After 33 years I cannot personally recommend it and I sure cannot be the one to push you off the bridge. You must be the one to take the leap cause it WILL be life changing. We need more technician operators so I give you my blessings and wish you all the luck. It is always better to be lucky than it is to be good. Charge more and be happy cause maybe it will your coffer that fills rather than you boss.

JM
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Iconcur
In reply to this post by Iconcur
thanks for the replies guys, as to why I don't get a job in Vallejo well.....its twofold cheap and no jobs. not a good place to get a job if there is one available they wont pay more than 12$/HRmax, and I have been to quiet a few shops I'm not going to blast them here but after I fixed all there problem cars they didn't need me anymore. Vallejo is basic just a cheap place to live town and work somewhere else my rent went up to 675$ from$600 few months ago for a 1 bedroom apt. so yeah its cheap. also The saying is "open the doors and they will come" could not be further from the truth. and I agree that's why I was thinking of just getting a operating business. oh and I don't have a 401k neither does my woman, I'm not going to borrow money to start a business either. and I'm happy with my fully paid off 2013 scion. anyways I'm moving up to Yuba county near beale airforce base so with any luck ill have a job lined up for me as soon as I move there. I figure I'm young enough to try something like this and still be able to recover if I fail because I know owning a business is no guarantee I have seen it at other shops I have worked at. any more replies about owning shops be it TO or TR would be appreciated and it would be in Yuba county so I wont saturate the market for you bay area guys lol.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

none
I will say go for it. I am glad I did it over ten years ago. It sounds like you do repair too which will help to get work in right from the get-go. I personally would not pay extra to buy someone else's shop. By the time you have paid for the "blue sky" you will have made your own name. Yuba County is not enhanced (Star Directed) either so it wouldn't be as tough to start off without having STAR certification for the first three months or whatever it takes.

Are you looking to live in Marysville/Yuba City or just near Beale AFB? There is a gate on the Grass Valley side of the base too but your rent will certainly go up. The areas you are looking don't seem to be plagued by low ball smog prices either (yet).

I started off and ran my shop by myself for a few years. I put in a lot of hours back then but I would do it again.

I also would say that it paid to advertise heavily the first year and slowed down but still advertised in the newspaper and stuff for the next two. Once my name was somewhat established I cut WAY back on my advertising.

I personally wouldn't even bother doing T/O since you are limiting yourself for no reason. By the time you could apply for STAR you could apply to do CAP repairs.

The paper work end is not as big of a deal as is may seem and your invoicing programs do some of it for you. You can always have a book keeping service do this for you.

That is my two cents for now but I still think that if you are even thinking about it you should start to save and commit to doing it within the year.  
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

DeadTheSTAR
In reply to this post by Iconcur
If you bust your ass off at first It will be a good investment or you if you buy a well established shop then you will be good...we just opened a second shop last month and its not doing so well...be it my boss(owner) doesn't care too much for it because I've told him we need to advertise and make the shop look like a smog station and figure out how we can get some volume in. I get maybe if im lucky 2 cars in a day. he's losing money but like I said if you can commit to your business I feel it will be good to you.  


im at the point where I may go look for another shop to hire me, my pay has been cut and sitting 10hrs a day babysitting a building is not in my best interest. I like to work for my money.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

deviationmaster
dead star where are you located?
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Best Answer I Can Give
 As it says, Best I can give.
So here it is. I DON'T KNOW.

 You will love it. You will hate it. It owns you, you don't own it. Unless you are willing to go without for awhile, forget it. The smiles that people give you when it passes, makes up for a lot of the bad.

 It's real balance.Good and bad. Bad and good.
 Never make fun of the choices your wife makes. You were one of them.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

DeadTheSTAR
In reply to this post by deviationmaster
deviationmaster wrote
dead star where are you located?

Los Angeles
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Smogtech
In reply to this post by Iconcur
If found the location, I would go for it.  It taken 3 to 6 months to get star cert after that you will be ok. I would say the 1st years you will work for free and hope to get event with the lease and other spend.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

bcwcardz
In reply to this post by Iconcur
As a former shop owner,  don't do it.  You can't make money in this state in this business.  If you like being at work day and night and you have no family you might eek it out.  There is so much involved in this crap. I used to be the guy running the shop and thought that I can do this and keep all the money for myself!  Well I bought a shop and I wouldn't do it again. I enjoy my wife and kids and don't want to die living in some shop all day and night just to make a couple bucks. Only way I recommend is if you are single and have no life.  Go for it if that's the case. Good luck
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Johnnybeme
BCW is right it takes way too much out without the proper reward. Sometimes I feel trapped and sometimes I feel lucky but always I am just tired. Now the only reward is the ability to tell an ahole to f##k off or to pass on an overly difficult job but both are actually bad for business. If someone wants a great clientele and an established name I would be happy to move along. Do you know the way to San Jose?

JM
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

none
In reply to this post by bcwcardz
I don't know if the original poter ever checked back in but here are my thoughts.
bcwcardz wrote
As a former shop owner,  don't do it.  You can't make money in this state in this business.  If you like being at work day and night and you have no family you might eek it out.  There is so much involved in this crap. I used to be the guy running the shop and thought that I can do this and keep all the money for myself!  Well I bought a shop and I wouldn't do it again. I enjoy my wife and kids and don't want to die living in some shop all day and night just to make a couple bucks. Only way I recommend is if you are single and have no life.  Go for it if that's the case. Good luck
Reading his original post he works more than I ever did here. He only has Tuesdays off and is gone 12 hours a day. I now work 2 Saturdays a month and when my kids were in sports I didn't work Saturdays at all. I close the shop for vacations too. I will say that the business is still on my mind when I am at home though.

Smogtech wrote
If found the location, I would go for it.  It taken 3 to 6 months to get star cert after that you will be ok. I would say the 1st years you will work for free and hope to get event with the lease and other spend.
Where he is looking is a "basic" area too so even not having STAR won't be too big of a deal to begin with. I imagine the AIR FORCE base will bring in its fair bit of "out of the area" STAR directed traffic, so I think it would be worth doing STAR.

I think the foothills are much different than the bay area because we seam to get the same for inspections and in some cases more but or cost of living is much lower. (though not as low cost as Vallejo)
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Iconcur
In reply to this post by Johnnybeme
hey guys sorry i dont respond to every post im like a church mouse when it comes to online forums, bcwcardz i understand where youre coming from i had 1 boss retire from his business but he sold the shop to his manager. let me explain why this is important the land lord passed away and the land got passed down to her son who is a big time gambler and he wanted the shop for himself. he was going to raise the rent from 4500$ to 7000$ mind you the land was huge we once had a used car dealership store there cars back there and still had plenty of room. any who the manager bought the business relocated to a smaller location where another shop had been and when i go to visit him he has plenty of time for his wife and 5 kids. i quit before he sold the shop but always kept in touch. so i do understand the no money to be made in california part but if thats true of everyone then all the shop owners i know must be drug dealers lol. know then johnnybeme if i may i would be willing to travel to youre shop to talk in person and hell ill buy you some lunch if you do , you can pm me if you want. i can make it today. oh and i know there is a chance of failure but like i said im young enough to recover as explained by NONE 12 hours a day 6 days a week im only getting paid for 9 and a half hours. if any other shop owners want to chime in im all ears good bad or ugly.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Johnnybeme
Anytime but call first 408-224-7887 ask for johnny, that be me.

JM
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

BayAreaSmogTech
In reply to this post by bcwcardz
bcwcardz wrote
As a former shop owner,  don't do it.  You can't make money in this state in this business.  If you like being at work day and night and you have no family you might eek it out.  There is so much involved in this crap. I used to be the guy running the shop and thought that I can do this and keep all the money for myself!  Well I bought a shop and I wouldn't do it again. I enjoy my wife and kids and don't want to die living in some shop all day and night just to make a couple bucks. Only way I recommend is if you are single and have no life.  Go for it if that's the case. Good luck
+1

If I had to do it all over again, I would take the city job as a tech. Having your own business sucks. Most people forget all the overhead. Rent, esp contract, tools, electricity, advertising, phone lines, garage insurance. The list goes on and on. That $4k a month rent turns into 5-6k after all is said and done. Then you're constantly having to be on top of everything because 1 missed pcv valve could put a halt on everything and make you bankrupt. You can't take any sick days and you certainly can't get ill, hurt or take a vacation because then how will you pay rent.

If you do repairs, you have to deal with the customers, invoices, estimates, part ordering, part reordering when the first several times you get the wrong parts, telemarketer bullshit, bar bullshit, epa bullshit, fire department bullshit, edd bullshit, etc etc.

Now if you want to hire someone else, you have to pay them and then pay the state payroll taxes. You also have to correct any fuckups your employee might make.

Its just waaaaay too much stress to own your business unless you're in a niche repair field. The only guys I see enjoying their life in this business are ones that own very successful Euro or specialty shops but that kind of client base can take 10-15 years to attain.

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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

none
BayAreaSmogTech wrote
If I had to do it all over again, I would take the city job as a tech.
I too think a government job would be good for the benefits like early retirement but I can't do anything about that now.

I do think at times what I would do if I quit running this shop. Every job has its expenses and headaches though. If you already have your smog license and know how to do repair this is a relatively inexpensive business to get started in and you can get it rolling pretty fast and take money in right from the start.
People are usually shocked when they find out I'm not a very good electrician.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

BayAreaSmogTech
none wrote
BayAreaSmogTech wrote
If I had to do it all over again, I would take the city job as a tech.
I too think a government job would be good for the benefits like early retirement but I can't do anything about that now.

I do think at times what I would do if I quit running this shop. Every job has its expenses and headaches though. If you already have your smog license and know how to do repair this is a relatively inexpensive business to get started in and you can get it rolling pretty fast and take money in right from the start.
The quality of life just isn't there. I had the opportunity to take a city job as a tech but passed on it because my old boss wasn't doing well health wise. I didn't want to leave him high and dry.

I regret it now as city jobs are pretty lax. Do a couple of oil changes on new police vehicles and maintain their fleet of vehicles that aren't even 10 years old. The guy that retired was making $35 an hour doing stuff that someone at Jiffy Lube gets paid $10 to do. Work 5 days a week, full benefits, retirement, paid vacation, sick days. Man I'm an idiot for passing that up. The guy that retired told me it was my job if I wanted it.
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Re: Thinking on buying a business, thoughts

Calibration Required
In reply to this post by Iconcur
I'll add my 2 cents ...

If you're expecting it to happen all by itself with little effort, your highly mistaken. I've noticed that most, if not all, highly successful businessmen, which I have encountered, make their business their priority - wife, kids, vacations, freetime, etc., all are pushed back as secondary, business comes first over all else.

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