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Old 02-19-2014, 07:27 PM   #16
PalePhase
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If you're planning a retail venture, unless you really like dealing with The Public (and by that, I mean all the irrational, dollar-clutching slobs who will try to pass off the costs of their poor decision-making skills onto you), I'd say find something else. If you are going into the service aspect, you need to figure out how to differentiate yourself. If you are planning on product development, you need to have good mfg/sales connections who will not rip off your IP.

*** Edit ***If you do go into mfg, do yourself a favor and plan ahead for how you are going to handle returns.
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PalePhase screwed with this post 02-19-2014 at 07:36 PM
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:18 PM   #17
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Out of somewhat morbid curiosity, what's it take to be a dealer? For example, there's no Triumph dealer anywhere near here. What fiery hoops would need to be jumped through to open a dealership?
Money, training, building requirements (sq feet, etc), certified mechanics, insurance? A million $? More? Who does this?

*I know, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. I'm not interested, just morbidly curious.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:27 PM   #18
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I would first get a job in a dealership to see what the dealership life is all about. It aint for everyone.

I would not even consider it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:48 PM   #19
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Hi all ! " It's not about money " In my honest opinion anyone who wants to go into business with that feeling should stay out . Unfortunately every business is money driven , they are nothing more than profit centers . If you want to have fun doing it and money is not important , leave it as a hobby .
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:52 PM   #20
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well, we now have the full spectrum covered, from "only do it for the passion" to "only do it for the money."
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:58 PM   #21
randyo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaced_ghost View Post
Its not about money. It's about making a job out of something I love.
unless you have the sponsorship of a philanthropist or you are similarly endowed, it is about the money
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:08 PM   #22
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unless you have the sponsorship of a philanthropist or you are similarly endowed, it is about the money

yes, i realize that it is about money. My point was that I'm not trying to get rich. I'm aware that the business has to make enough money to survive and pay me and my employees enough to live on. I understand all of that and then some, trust me. I'm just asking this one question: for those that have done it, did owning a motorcycle related business prove to be an enjoyable enterprise, or did you end up hating it and/or losing your interest in or ability to enjoy motorcycling?
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:08 PM   #23
Bill Harris
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It can be enjoyable and fun as a hobby, but less so as a job/career. And think about what it'll be like in 40-50 years...

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Old 02-19-2014, 10:22 PM   #24
steveWFL
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Originally Posted by PalePhase View Post
I think the bigger question is if you'll lose your love for it before it becomes a sustainable business. Basing a business on a personal interest is a great way to scratch off a personal interest.
+1, Beat me to it.

If you really want to hate all things motorcycle, sure open the business
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:24 PM   #25
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yr probably right. that's how I feel about art and building things, and that's why. I turned it into a job. most likely why I'm asking.
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:30 PM   #26
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PalePhase View Post
I think the bigger question is if you'll lose your love for it before it becomes a sustainable business. Basing a business on a personal interest is a great way to scratch off a personal interest.
It certainly can have that effect. Many people with a very strong passion for motorcycles lose it when they turn that passion into a business. This is especially true if you are counting on it for a living!

Ask me, I know!
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:52 PM   #27
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I also think that's malarkey, to an extent. I know a lot of people who have pursued their life passions as a career, and are extremely happy with it (obviously with a caveat here or there). Although, I don't personally know many who have made a job out of motorcycles or bicycles that feel that way. Perhaps it's endemic to owning a retail business?
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:04 PM   #28
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I've never been in the moto business. I did make the mistake of turning my avocation (hunting, shooting) into my vocation for about a decade. My business was nominally successful, on paper, but it took me a couple of years to get to where I was turning a profit, and I never did make back all of the money I invested in the business (mostly due to the fact that I leased a building and put a significant sum of money into infrastructure/TI and the owner sold the building out from under me). I was an avid competitive target shooter and hunter before I started the business... and then I spent most of that decade doing very little hunting and shooting. Dealing with the subject for a decade as a job took a lot of the joy out of it, and to this day my motivation to be an active participant in the hunting and shooting sports just isn't there anymore.

You have to be careful starting a business. You have to be the one to make the nut every month, not your boss/employer. You'll have a couple of partners who, between them, will tell you pretty much how to run your business, get paid something off of the top even if you don't make a profit, and really make running a business a PITA. I'm not talking about the Mob, but about the government (federal, state, local).

I averaged well over $1MM/year in gross sales. I employed between 12 and 20 employees, full- and part-time. I paid out $1MM in payroll, not counting payroll taxes. I'll never own another retail business with employees again. If the system we have today had been in place since the country was founded there would be no America as we know it.

My strong advice to you is, if you can't run it for a while out of your garage/shop and make money pretty quickly without any employees AND while doing everything aboveboard... licenses, taxes, etc., then you can cut your losses on an expensive hobby. But, there's enough name-brand custom bike players out there to make a mighty tough row to hoe for a new business with an unknown... and this isn't exactly a booming economy.

One more thing: if you're going to fail in business, fail quickly. By that, I mean put aside a certain amount of money you're willing to invest (and lose) in the business... and when and if it's gone shut the business down. Don't keep throwing good money after bad chasing a dream that isn't going to come true.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:12 PM   #29
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that's extremely helpful, thank you
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:21 PM   #30
PalePhase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaced_ghost View Post
I also think that's malarkey, to an extent. I know a lot of people who have pursued their life passions as a career, and are extremely happy with it (obviously with a caveat here or there). Although, I don't personally know many who have made a job out of motorcycles or bicycles that feel that way. Perhaps it's endemic to owning a retail business?
It's a lot easier if you aren't betting the farm on it. Most people who grow businesses out of passion start them as hobbies and then get to a point where they have to make a decision whether the day job is necessary or holding them back.
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