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Please help with starting a new business

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posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 04:10 PM
Hello Members!

I have a friend who wishes to start a new business. Specifically, a small eatery mostly dedicated to take-out.

So, let me begin by stating the positives:

1 - My friend is one helluva cook who has been working in the industry for years.

2 - The owner of a local strip mall wants a new restaurant and is willing to bargain in the hope that my friend can get this up and running.

3 - There is a genuine demand in this area for the very type of restaurant she wants to open.

4 - I believe we could get a decent start on capitalization. (Emphasis on "start"; opening a restaurant is not cheap.)

Now comes the bad news:

1 - No clue as to how/where to start this project.

Knowing there are plenty of ATS members who are either small business owners, or simply have a solid familiarization with entrepreneurship, I'm looking for advice on how to get this going.

Does anyone know of any resources, or general tips, that can help my friend? Please let us know. This is an area both her and I plead complete ignorance in. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My friend is absolutely determined to go through with this, and I'm quite certain she can succeed at it. Please help her realize her dream.

Thanks in advance!

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 04:33 PM
The small business administration and, sometimes, local community colleges can usually hook you up with a retired business person to act as a mentor. It is usually free because the mentor is retired and often looking for something interesting to utilize his skills and talents. Perhaps your friend could also take a small business management course at a local community college. I wish him/her the best of luck. I would not want to be an employer in this political climate.

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 04:37 PM
reply to post by Hessling

You can try to find a free mentor at Give them a try.

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 04:39 PM
You will need to go to your city hall and get info on business license. They will be able to get you started on gathering the information required to open up a food establishment. Sorry don't know much about the food industry. I'm sure you will need to deal with health department and such as well.
The most important thing to have is a business plan. What will you sell? To Who? For how much? etc etc.
That is really the hardest part because you are basically guessing at how well you will do for the first few years.
The SBA (small business administration) is a good source for info. Your city or county should have some sort of extension office for small business's.
There are ton's of website's that will help with business plans which is good for getting financing and such.
Look around for lawyers who specialize in small business as well. Most good lawyers will offer free consultations that will give you some great info.
Once you gather the information and costs needed to get licensed and permits you will have a much better idea of what you are up against in running a business.
Again form a real plan of what you are going to do with the business. Can not stress that enough!!!
Good luck and hope that helps a little.

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 04:44 PM
I don't own a company or anything, and im pretty poor so i wont give you or your friend any advice, but i will say this to your friend and yourself if your getting in on the deal, good luck to you both or to her, i hope it all works out for you/her.

Just be sure to shoot some free meal vouchers our way when its up and running. ATS free discount cards anyone???

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 04:47 PM
You need a business plan.

Put it on paper and then prioritize.

Be ready for the word.....No

Do not take that for an answer.

Opening a business is a local issue.

The only bad thing about food is the endless permits.

Opening a business is 95% bravery and 5% incredibly hard work.

Good Luck

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 04:51 PM
Yes, without a business plan a bank will not take you seriously about a loan so putting a business plan together is a must. Do not forget about business insurance. This is a must as well!
edit on 31-7-2011 by Grimbone because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 05:04 PM

Quite often you have a business idea that you percieve will fill a gap that needs filling

However that is only YOUR perception.

There may indeed be a gap for your product or service, however to maximise your chances you must ask the general public what their perception is and what they would want from your product and service.

This also serves as a form of word of mouth advertising that gets the word out to your target market area.

Once you have all the information from your research you can then tailor your product/service to further fill that gap and make your business a greater success.

A lot of people fail to do that properly thus their business fails or is not as successful as it could have been.

Just laziness or inexperience i guess.

This should be the very foundation of your business plan.

If you need free pro marketing advice then message me.

I am happy to help.

I have helped set up many businesses in the UK, however with regards to funding and licensing I have no clue how that works in the US.

But marketing, yes

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 05:06 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 05:12 PM
reply to post by Hessling

First of all be prepared for a hell of a lot of disappointment and initial knockbacks,especially in the current economic climate,do NOT take no for an answer,persevere,persevere some more and when you are feeling mentally and physically drained from the endless "nos" persevere yet more.

A structured business plan is a must,state your objective-i.e opening an eatery.outline the amount of personal capital that you are prepared to allocate to your venture(if appropriate) show some figures,i.e the number of patrons that your business is likely to attract in the first year,you could leaflet your local area outlining your intent and go door to door asking people if they would be likely to patronise your eatery should it open.
Scope out the competition,define why people would choose your establishment over similar dining establishments,i.e what makes you stand out? ensure that your qurterly or annual forecasts are accurate,there's no point in asking a lender for say 50 K if that will not cover all your initial outlays. Take into account(for instance) cost of buying/renting premises, staff salaries,utility bills,liability insurance,hygiene and food certification costs,any local legislative requirements that may require an initial cash outlay.

More importantly determine if you have both the physical and mental stamina to run your own show.believe me it is a trial of wills at the outset.Seek the advice from those who have been succesful in setting up a similar venture and check with your local government offices for any courses/advice on setting up in business.

Stay positive above all else and the very best of luck to you in your venture.

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 05:12 PM

Originally posted by Hockenberry0001
124578 qwerty

You have done this in every thread you have posted in

MODS take note

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 05:18 PM
Restaurant success is dependent on great food and great service. Everything else is secondary. There are two key strategies I would recommend though ...

1) Recruit friends, family and colleagues to eat at the restaurant as much as possible in the beginning. No one wants to try a new EMPTY restaurant. Get it populated any way you can.

2) Strategize your menu to have some key high margin items that will be ordered often.

On the business side, think small ... Have less space than you need. Have less equipment than you need. Have less staff than you need. If you're struggling with "small", then sales will ensure you make money rather than you struggling to get enough sales to pay for an operation that was too big to begin with.

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 05:37 PM
Sorry folks, but I only have a minute.

First of all, thank you everyone so very much. Tossing out stars in every direction, save one - see the P.S. below, for your help.

I told my friend I could post this on ATS and the good stuff would just flow on in. God, how I love being right!

I'll be back later to make some specific follow-ups. In the meantime keep it coming folks. This is great!

P.S. - How'd a banned reply show up on this thread?

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 06:10 PM
reply to post by Hessling

The op of the 'Off topic' comment was spamming crap, lucky another poster on here and the mods were on top of the situation. Now wheres them free meal vouchers?

edit on 31-7-2011 by BlackDove because: (no reason given)

edit on 31-7-2011 by BlackDove because: (no reason given)

edit on 31-7-2011 by BlackDove because: Thought one more edit would make a nice number.

posted on Jul, 31 2011 @ 06:25 PM
reply to post by Hessling

gourmet sandwiches are usually a good hit...and not that hard mother opened up her own gourmet sandwich shop inside of a gas station...we do gas/snacks and the deli...we make our own potato salad and pasta salad...we have a big flat top grill that we cook pretty much everything on...we don't have a frier but if you were to get one you could do quite a bit more (though i prefer the homecooked taste of a flat top)...we have been successful for the most part (even though our location isn't the best we've made it work)

we do most any sandwich you can think of and use fantastic hoagie buns and bread...along with daily specials and homemade soups for every week...(a slow cooker is wonderful for making delicious specials)

Good luck with the restaurant...hope I gave some idea's at least...i don't know much about what you need to do legally but if you go to a library you can find self help stuff there and usually somebody there can point you in the right direction...

posted on Aug, 1 2011 @ 02:56 PM
Thanks once again.

Love the mentor idea. That should be a great step forward.

Will begin putting together a Business Plan. Anyone know of any good sites or resources?

I'm hoping the mentor can assist in evaluating the local market.

Okay, that's some stuff to keep us busy for a while.

Wish us luck and look for a free voucher in your U2U. May take a while for that though.

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