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Have you ever started your own business?

Brandon

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#1
Have you ever started your own business, if so what tips do you have for those thinking about starting a business?
What was your business about, was it successful or did it tinker off and why do you think the outcome was so?
 

Monster

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#2
The best advice I've read about starting your own business is: "Don't bother!"

Because starting your own business can be very tedious. It requires full committment, even beyond working hours. And besides the dedication, you'll need every ounce of wit and money that you can lay your hands on.

Failure among young entrepreneurs / startups is VERY common ... so if you're not fully committed, don't even think about it.

The first business that I had was mildly successful and a rampant failure, and afterwards, I had to pay off a 5-figure debt over 5 years.

The second business that I had was only part time, but still I realized I don't have enough time for it.

That's the reason why most of the time, I try to be full time employed. Perhaps someday I will try to be a business man again, but not when I have the relative comfort of an employment.
 

Brandon

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#3
It requires full committment, even beyond working hours
So much truth here, it's not as easy as all those youtubers claim with the "how I made a 6 figure salary on 3 hours of work a week"
The old saying that if it's to good to be true then it probably isn't applies to 99.999% of those get rich quick stories you hear.
I've been running my own business since 2005 and one thing (of many) I didn't expect is the amount of taxes my stupid government wants to keep. It's really ridiculous and although I love my country I do feel small business owners get shafted right off the bat.

Everyone likes the idea of not having a boss and working for themselves until they find out how much time they'll actually put into a project and start to figure out what they're actually making by the hour.. it can be depressing if you let it get to you :sick:
 

Monster

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#4
and one thing (of many) I didn't expect is the amount of taxes my stupid government wants to keep. It's really ridiculous and although I love my country I do feel small business owners get shafted right off the bat.
Here, they even do tax estimates, i.e. you get to pay taxes in advance, even before you made the money ... :censored:

That was one of the reasons I stopped my second business, b/c it would have ruined me ...
 

Brandon

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#5
Ya, what a scam. Don't even get me started on how screwed up our federal reserve and banking system are too o_Oo_O
One thing that helped with one of my venturs was tax write-offs, those have saved me the last few years.
Unfortunately there isn't much to write off when you a programmer or developer after you take care of internet, education and your devices
 

Brandon

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#7
It depends but you should be able to itemize your education expenses if it's a requirement of your current employer.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthon...professional-education-expenses/#4a360c204fc4

Education Expenses, In General

Regulation 1.162-5, which governs the deductibility of educational expenses, can be neatly broken up into two categories, and further into two good tests, and two bad tests:

Category #1: Expenses that CAN be deducted

Tuition can be deducted if it:

1. Meets the express requirements of the individual's employer imposed as a condition necessary for the individual to remain employed, OR

2. Improves or maintains the taxpayer's skills in his employment or trade or business.

Category #2: Expenses that CANNOT be deducted

Tuition cannot be deducted if it:

3. Is required in order to meet the minimum requirements of an existing position, OR

4. Prepares you for a new trade or business.
 

Monster

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#8
Interesting (cannot use it though since I'm living in Germany not the US, but perhaps somebody else here can use that info) :)
 

Brandon

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#9
Ya I was wondering when you asked, I thought you're over there but wasn't exactly sure.
My last and I guess you could say current job (although I'm about to change) I was able to write off all the miles I put on my car which helped tremendously come tax time.
 

Monster

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#10
I was able to write off all the miles I put on my car which helped tremendously come tax time.
Yup, we have a similar regulation over here. :)

(Haven't been able to use this though in the past years, since I'm working from home, but I can at least deduct some of my expenses for rent and electricity bill.)
 

Brandon

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#11
Yup, I deduct 10% of my house.. That was figured because my offer roughly took up 10% of the space in my house.
So 10% house payment for the year, 10% all utilities, then I had 100% of my cell phone, internet and hardware cost that added up.
 
#12
A few years ago, I purchased a local turnkey Cafe and gutted the building.
In my spare time, Im rebuilding it into a Pizzeria.
I am in no hurry since I live in a small Illinois town and all the odds are against me.
My advice is RESEARCH! Know the demographics, the competition, not to mention every aspect of the business itself.
My little slice of heaven is simply a retirement project at this time.
Small Business has been consumed by Wal-Mart, Dollar General, and Caseys around here.
 
#13
Yes I have started a business in the past and it was a web hosting business in 2003 and like Monster said don't bother! And I will tell you why, business these days is super over saturated and unless you a name brand with recognition people are not going to buy from you.

Lately I have seen a bunch of people dumping a lot of money into websites and online stores and it saddens me because they come to various forums that I visit and they talk about how they haven't made any money and how they are not giving up hope or they end up folding up shop in 3 months or less. My advice to people and websites or business is not to spend any more money than your willing to lose because most likely your not even going to make a single penny!