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  1. #1
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    Default Do what you love: Business ideas?

    Recessions are great for starting small businesses and giving up the "keeping up with the Joneses" career goals or "play it safe and get rich" ones. Time to do what you love?

    What are your ideas?

    I have two: Leasing saddles to folks who don't want to take that 40% hit that happens when you drive it off the lot....every cotton pickin' time your horse grows or you buy/lease one.

    Big Diesels for Short Chicks. Here, I'd help people like me learn about their trucks and how to work on 'em. Seriously. A business that taught women to get comfortable choosing their own vehicles and doing whatever level of diagnostics or work they'd like. I can count on one hand the number of women mechanics I know and I know of only one woman-owned garage. Ain't no reason the ladies can't do this.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  2. #2
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    Jul. 13, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Big Diesels for Short Chicks. Here, I'd help people like me learn about their trucks and how to work on 'em. Seriously. A business that taught women to get comfortable choosing their own vehicles
    This would work just for women and cars, period. It's almost creepy how many women have never bought a car by themselves.



  3. #3
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    May. 15, 2006
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    Eastern WV Panhandle
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    Since DH is a SAHD he created not one but two businesses, based on his interests, to keep himself sane:
    - Custom Firearm Manufacturer & Gunsmith, and
    - Making motorcycle tank vests (MOLLE storage system for
    your dual-sport gas tank).

    Both are doing well. Folks who still have money are still buying guns, especially for self-defense, and those who don't are selling and we pay a bit more than the pawn shops. The second has only been in place for a few months and is really taking off, as higher fuel prices mean more people are riding motorcycles to commute or run errands.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    This would work just for women and cars, period. It's almost creepy how many women have never bought a car by themselves.
    I know! Which is whack. It would be great to start with car buying for women. Which the men selling cars would not like.

    I can't see why cars are designated "Guy." It's not like it takes physical strength or your gonads kept on the outside of your body to mess with them...
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  5. #5
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    Jan. 10, 2008
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    Love both the saddle and car/truck idea...

    My absolute dream job would be to open a children's bookstore. It's not financially feasible, but it's my dream if I ever had the money to support it. I'd do writing workshops and story hours and literacy stuff and bring my dogs with me to the store.



  6. #6
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    May. 4, 2003
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    Default

    I'm sure there is a niche for Powder Puff Mechanics, college courses, or women car salesmen to help women. Women who are glamorous do a good job of selling Toys to Boys - or sportscars to men. But can you afford a dealership!!??



  7. #7
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    Mar. 16, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    I'm sure there is a niche for Powder Puff Mechanics, college courses, or women car salesmen to help women. Women who are glamorous do a good job of selling Toys to Boys - or sportscars to men. But can you afford a dealership!!??
    I have been in the car business (in sales) for 10 years. I am ready to sell something that women embrace. Fancy lingerie



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myalterfornow View Post
    Me too, cept I sell either the services to maintain or the parts. So many people in general, don't have a CLUE.

    I think a car "advisor" would be a great idea. I think it would be a good thing if a woman had another, trusted, respected woman to turn to to give her advice/etc on buying, maintaining, repairing their vehicle(s). Sure, any repair facility with integrity "sells what is needed, when it's needed." But not all facilities are founded on looking out for the customer. With the complexities of the cars on todays market, I think that would be a fabulous idea. Like a matchmaking service for people looking for vehicles.
    In our dealership we have 2 women on the sales floor, 2 in the internet dept, 2 female service advisers, 2 female service assistants, a female who is the face of our parts counter, our assistant service mgr is female, as well as one of our finance mgrs, and all of our admin staff. I guess I forget that some of the car business still exists in the dark ages.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myalterfornow View Post
    Ain't that the truth!!!

    I just think a little guidance and general knowledge on the customers part could go a long, long way! I think it would be good for the dealerships and the customer. But it seems your dealership is much larger than ours, judging by your need for 2 in the internet department! We have a salesperson who wears both 'sales' and 'internet sales' hats!
    Women certainly seems to prefer to talk to women, that is for sure.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliCat View Post
    I have been in the car business (in sales) for 10 years. I am ready to sell something that women embrace. Fancy lingerie
    I did that... worked at a bath and skincare and lingerie boutique/apothecary! It makes for fun encounters with shoplifters when you're running down a busy city street screaming, "JUST GIVE ME THE !@#$ING PANTIES!"



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    This would work just for women and cars, period. It's almost creepy how many women have never bought a car by themselves.
    Bought my last car on my own... went to four dealerships and chose the car based on WHO THE HELL WOULD HELP ME. Seriously. The first three guys wouldn't give me any hard numbers, wouldn't give me any concrete answers to anything I asked, and two even said "come on back with your husband....."

    The last place, the guy treated me like a real person and gave me all the information I was requesting without messing around, so I bought the car from him.

    I would love to open a children's art studio, and even went so far as to write a business plan, look into financing and check out space this summer. I ended up putting it on the back burner for now but am hoping to do it for real in a couple years...
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  12. #12
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    Jul. 29, 2004
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    I'm all for small businesses and being self employed. I started my small business 4 years ago and haven't looked back. For my business, I combined two things that I love ... public relations and horses. I figured the public relations portion was a little more lucrative than the horses portion. And while I absolutely LOVE my job, I do caution people to really think things through before venturing out on their own. Being self-employed requires a lot of discipline, a lot of math skills, and a lot of time. There's no such thing as leaving your job at your desk at the end of the day. It took four years for me to be able to go on a real vacation (ie more than 3 days in a row), and even then, I took my laptop with me and checked in 1-2 times a day.

    My biggest suggestion is to surround yourself with people that a) have business experience and b) believe in what you're doing. One of the best decisions I made was hiring a bookkeeper that had a lot of experience with small businesses. She's been an invaluable resource for me when sifting through what seems like mountains of paperwork.

    I have a few inspirational quotes around the office, including:
    Do what you love, love what you do.

    “You become what you believe – not what you wish or want, but what you truly believe.” - Oprah

    Stress blows. (accompanied by a picture of a puffer fish )
    Take Your Equestrian Business to the Next Level: http://www.mythiclanding.com/
    Follow me at http://mythiclanding.blogspot.com or http://twitter.com/mythiclanding



  13. #13
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    I was self employed for 7 years. When I was younger, I loved it. I came and went as I wished, made good money.
    When the economy started turning back in 04-05 (ie, gas shot to 4 something a gallon), I decided to get out. I phased out my business and now work in an unrelated field.

    Do I miss it? Not really. It's very very hard to wear all the hats. When I was done working, I had paperwork to do, bills to pay, calls to make. It never ended. I wasn't always taking home a paycheck and when I did it was never the same amount.

    You really need a strong stomach, high energy and good stress management to be self employed. Good luck
    mykidshavefourlegs.blogspot.com



  14. #14
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    First, who the heck doesn't know how to buy a car and get a good deal? Why is everyone acting like it's totally sexist? I never had a problem in my youth (when it was more male dominated) and now find that there are dealerships that are staffed mostly by women. I have one dealership near me that has ALL women service reps in the mornings and mostly women at night. They have a mix of male and female mechanics (70% male--due to the fact that there are fewere women in that field by choice) and 50/50 for sales staff.

    I really don't see that any of my friends can't buy a car, either. Well, maybe one of them is just too naive to be allowed out with a checkbook on her own...anywhere.

    Only place I've run into sexism in sales is in buying a house. If you get the boys club going, they think all women are suckers. I LOVE to prove them wrong and go for knocking them off their feet at the knees or crotch level--whichever works best during the deal. There are also a lot of women who've thought they had to act like men to sell homes. Scumbags come in both male and female.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  15. #15
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    Only place I've run into sexism in sales is in buying a house. If you get the boys club going, they think all women are suckers. I LOVE to prove them wrong and go for knocking them off their feet at the knees or crotch level--whichever works best during the deal. There are also a lot of women who've thought they had to act like men to sell homes. Scumbags come in both male and female.
    LOL, my name is first on the deed, mortgage and house insurance. My insurance rep commented "Hmmm. That's weird, the man's name is always first" I said "Well, the man usually makes more money."

    The worst sexism I have encountered was from other women. I work in a male dominated field (there are only 30 women in my state with this electrical license). I've had female customers be condesending, rude, and just plain bitchy to me. Up one side down the other. Same woman speaks to a man? Specifically a man that works for ME? Sweet as pie.
    mykidshavefourlegs.blogspot.com



  16. #16
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    May. 4, 2003
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    Being self-employed is a double edged sword. We have been for 30 years and my husband loves what he does and does what he loves. But you have to be a self-starter, in for the long haul, a multi-faceted person, or able to hire what you cannot do (book-keeping). It takes years to get established and we have no company pensions, paid vacations, etc. We work 7 days a week in the summer, and hardly at all in the winter.

    It takes energy to keep at it and willingness to put in hard work - a lot of it, for years and years. I think we work harder than some of those who have a pay cheque coming in reliably.

    OTOH, we get up and are at work with our first cup of coffee. Two hours a day has not been spent on a freeway, with the expense of city clothes, vehicles and gas and wear and tear on the body.

    We have saved by not having overhead, other than our home, educated three kids, done the horsey thing, etc.... so it has worked out for us I guess.



  17. #17
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    Feb. 9, 2005
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    Don't forget that the self-employed don't have benefits! This is a big $$ issue. Insurance is not cheap or feasible for some people to get without an employer.

    I echo the "you need to be a self-starter."
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
    Don't forget that the self-employed don't have benefits! This is a big $$ issue. Insurance is not cheap or feasible for some people to get without an employer.
    Fair warning that you just gave me a need to hijack this thread for a second.

    SERIOUSLY?? Benefits? What benefits? You pay through the nose for them with a big company. You are paying for everyone else, too. You get dinged on every little thing. Current healthcare (specifically, lets not go into the charges on the 401ks, etc.) sucks. It is all about pay backs to clinics and charging to pay big salaries for the managed healthcare providers. Heck, even our government has decided it's okay to force the citizens to pay CORPORATIONS for healthcare.

    Honestly, if you have a health savings account and put money into it every week, you're better off than paying for the other over priced systems.

    If everyone went back to this mentality, people could more often afford to pay for their healthcare. We could have major medical for those who are truly worried and it would not be mandatory, but an option.

    Okay, I'm done. I just think the lack of benefits is a fear driven excuse not to take any risks in this world. It's part of what's killing America. We're all being driven by fear of the unknown. Guess what? Buying insurance is a placebo. It won't really buy your protection and full coverage that will keep you from going broke if you ever get some long term illness. It just makes people THINK they'll be okay. Really sad. It's one of the biggest cons/scams around in that it plays on people's fears.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



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