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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:47 PM
Original message
How many people here own a business?
How many people here own their own business? Either your primary business, or something significant which takes many hours a week in addition to their actual business?

I'm a small business owner. I'm just curious how many others are here on DU, and in the lounge in particular. If you do own your own business what is it and how do you like it?
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Used to, full-time, for a couple years
I used to own my own web development bidness, but I couldn't make enough $$ to keep it going as a full-time venture. I still do contracting/consulting work on the side, but I'm employed elsewhere full-time.

I found out I really do not like being "the boss", nor do I like the particulars of running a business (paying bills, managing budgets, marketing, etc.). I'm much better as a team player-- usually in a devil's advocate role, which seems to be my forte.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Were you alone?
With your web development business was it just you alone consulting, or did you ever hire anyone? Do you think that if you had been succesfull enough to hire people to take care of 'running' the business you would have liked it any better?

Personally I prefer being 'the boss'. Not so much because I want to tell people what to do, but because I grew so sick of working for people who had no clue what they were doing. I don't know if I could ever go back to that.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
21. I had a part-timer on some projects
but I'm very used to working with clueless people who have no idea what they're doing. I saw it when I was a contractor, and I see it now, too, working in my current job.

I hate doing sales, and I found that most of my time was spent trying to sell myself to potential clients. I didn't get to do nearly as much dev work as I'd hoped, plus I had to do all the other crap I didn't want to do, either. I also didn't like paying both halves of my Social Security contribution (employee and employer), and trying to by my own medical insurance (with pre-existing conditions, it's next to impossible).

Now, I get to spend more time developing, and I have a boss that deals with clueless clients/end-users who wouldn't know the internet from a fishing net. The best of both worlds.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Yeah I hate sales too
Luckily I don't have to really deal with much of the financial stuff, but I still have to do sales, which I suck at. I just want to be in my dark corner sometimes and have everyone leave me alone, yet I have to put on the nice shirt and go to an office building and try and convince someone that they actually need something that they've never thought about before but everyone else knows.

Generally I don't mind dealing with clients, though occasionaly they can be a pain...at least they're paying...
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Guava Jelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. I own a small business
And keep a 40 hour a week job.
I many times work 12 hour days And yet i have never paid myself.
Thats what happens when you build a business from scratch with no out side cash.
I own a tiny plastics company.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. What kind of plastics?
I don't know much about plastics per se. Do you make specific things? Do you have a small factory or is this something out of your house? What do you do?
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Guava Jelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Polyurethane products
We make products like Fake cedar trim for 1 garage door company.We make flexable archetectural trim .And Floats for overfill protection.
We also make state seals and plaques.
been building it slowly for the last 4-5 years and now we are getting close to actually making money!!
normally its feast or famine type work
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. That's interesting
How did you get into Polyurethane? How did you get your first paying job with this business?
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Guava Jelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Actually i worked for a company that did the same thing
And realized I could do it better with less so My partner and I made a better product and grabbed a few customers away from old job.
we will soon take most of the rest.
Its a dog eat dog world..Plus they were @$$ holes to me for 14 years and payed crappy
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. No non-compete agreement I take it :)
Awesome. That's pretty cool. Sounds like you're on the verge of really turning the corner and exploding as a business.
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Guava Jelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. no non compete
We really arent competing..Our stuff buries thiers.
I should know I developed thiers.
And I feel really good about this year!!
one job and MO MONEY
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ZombieNixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. Technically I own half of two companies.
Neither of them does anything...yet.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Do you work on them?
Or is it something that exists apart from your daily grind? What do the companies do, or is it still too hush hush big break stuff to talk about?
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ZombieNixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. They currently exist apart from the daily grind.
One's a software company I'm working on product development for.

The other will likely never do anything, because I founded it with a friend of mine so we could have something to put on letterheads. :)
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Ah yes....Letterhead company
I had one of those in the past. It's funny these days. There is one of those 800 switchboard services that you can hire for like 10 bucks a month. I know someone who invented a fake company in a different part of the country and got a 800 number through one of these places. Made up the whole switchboard thing, and had an extension. Made the 'President' a friend of hers and had her extension go to her cellphone...Claimed a bunch of experience in the job, which in fairness was the same as she had before in previous jobs, but just more experience...turned around a got a good job.

I though that was going a bit too far and maybe criminal, but she had been looking for so long for an actual job that she thought it looked bad to have such a big whole on her resume, and that the longer she waited the worse it looked. Maybe she was right. she had a new job inside of a couple months.

What's the software product?
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ZombieNixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Right now I'm developing a game engine.
The company's assets are frozen by choice until I get it finished.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Sweet
I had every programmer boy's dream of one day making a game. One of the things I'd do if I won Powerball would be to start a computer game company. I even thought maybe....just maybe....I'd become a game programer when i grew up...

Then I grew up and realized that it was really really really hard, and that the jobs paid crap in general because every geek wanted to do it...

What kind of game is it? Have you seen that new gameplay video for Spore that was floating around lately?
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ZombieNixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I'm just writing the engine right now...
animation, terrain, physics, etc...

I've been meaning to check out the Spore video...haven't yet, though. :shrug:
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. It's worth it
just do a search for spore on video google....Just nuts what that guy comes up with...every five minutes when you think you've got your head wrapped around the game he pulls another layer off the onion.
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. Owner/Operator Lawn & Landscape Installation/Maintenance
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 03:01 PM by Earth_First
It's pretty demanding, often 10+ hours per day 7 days a week. No one will outsource my job. My employees are family (nor will I outsource their jobs). Overall, I LOVE my job. I am outdoors 9 months of the year doing what I enjoy doing.

Now, ask me what my degree is in. (Natural Resources Conservation) tough field right now.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. What do you do in the winter?
Is the winter a slower time? Do you have to bill higher in the warm months to make it through the slow colder months?

How do you get most of your business? Referals? Do you do any marketing?
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Roon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
20. I have a part time business
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 03:22 PM by Roon
My parents have a few rental houses between them, I clean, repair and get them ready to rent. Like I said, it's part time.
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