Talk to Corndog. Or go visit his fish store thread. Lots and lots of information in there.
Adventures with Corndog: Corndog's Fish Store
Anyone here run their own business? How did you get started? What field are you in and how did it turn out?
I want to start a pet store that sells reptiles, fish, birds and your average dog/cat/animal supplies also giving some floor space for adoption groups.
I've been in the exotic animal game for a while as a breeder(Ball Pythons,Axolotls,Skinks,Monitors) but I want to have my own store front.
In my area you have two types of pet stores, one is Petco that is filled with idiot employees and terrible animal conditions and the other is your typical "Local fish store" that is usually filthy, dimly lit and filled with people trying to rip you off.
I'm big into animal ethics and I wanted to make a cross between Petco and the Apple Store, I wanted to have free classes during the week on a variety of subjects that range all across the spectrum of animal care. These classes are both informative and act as a draw for customers so we can pitch and properly educate them on items we sell in our store, I once read an article about how once cellphone and retailers picked up the education model that Apple uses the sale of "extras" increased dramatically.
How do I start? I have average credit, no personal business experience and about 25k I could spend on start up. I have years of experience working with the animals and the care, transport and sales of them and have numerous hook ups with breeding groups and vendors.
What is step no 1.
Make sure you post a sign in your front window that you only prefer certain types of people as customers.
Are you going to allow people to decide what restrooms to use in your store or are you going to have a pat down test to determine which one they should use?
Pet store slogans: screw black people, #petlivesmatter
I recently started my own business and I just googled "how to start a business in Texas". You can do most of the stuff yourself but I was worried about fucking shit up and time was a factor. I ended up using LegalZoom: Start a Business, Protect Your Family: LLC, Incorporate, Wills, Trademark, Legal Advice and just let them do it for me. I went with a DBA since I'm contracting for a larger company and they didn't require an LLC.
You might want to research what's required in your state, the different types (LLC, DBA, etc.) and see which one fits your needs best. I'm also not sure which state you're in but a good starting tax rate to set aside is 25-30% to ensure you don't have to pay in at the end of the year. After your first year you will be able to figure out how much you realistically need to set aside. I personally like the huge check at the end of the year and 30% isn't that big of a hit to me.
The DBA cost me $250.00 through that site and they did all the tax stuff for me (got my employee ID number etc). It took maybe 2 weeks and I was set, I want to say an LLC. was $1200.00 or something. I just filled out the forms, sent them too them and they updated me when things changed.
I'm sure this part is common sense but here is how I did it. I have my check deposited in a bank account tied to my business only (Employer ID number) and then I set aside 30% and transfer the rest to my personal account.
EDIT: Also, the biggest kick in the nuts to me was fucking Obamacare! The cheapest plan I could find was 240/month. I was really pertrubed by how much that shit costs. I also have 1 million in insurance in case I fuck something up and it's only 90 bucks a month, I'm sure if I destroy a compressor I will get dropped though.
As for applying for a business loan I can't really help you there but I can tell you that you need to show up prepared, full business plan including all costs etc. If you show up with nothing it won't work out in your favor (A friend of mine tried to start a business and showed up extremely prepared, the loan officer was happy. He said most people showed up with no idea how they were going to run it etc., which was almost always a guaranteed rejection).
Hope this helps.
I'd also say your biggest hurdle is going to be location, usually anything worth a shit is absurdly overpriced. So you either need a very large clientele you draw in or a very good social presence/advertising strategy. The bird store I bought my Conure from is way off the beaten path and because of this they cannot attract new customers and they only open for one weekend out of the month.
Edit: Not trying to crush your dreams, just giving you something to think about. I'd rather you go into battle prepared.
I guess what I'm saying is, there's a lot of information out there to help you and you should take advantage of it. Learning as much as you can and being fluent in business lingo is only going to help you in the long run. One more thing and I'll get off my soap box: if you're already considering outsourcing and cutting corners, you may want to spend some time in a dark, quiet room asking yourself tough questions about how much you want to be a business owner.
Obamacare isn't required for businesses under 10 people too and for 14 and 15 premiums were half tax deductible or some shit.
As a brewery that serves on site samples I only need portable toilets for customers.
What I mostly want is to augment my online business with a store front. I want to triple my current breeding stock and pick up some new species and store them in a location, but having a nice store front with some display tanks and pet supplies as well for walk in customers.
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