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Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 08:23 PM
Anyone here own a small business either currently or in the past?

A friend and I are looking into getting a martial arts school started, and don't know the first thing about finding venture capitalists and small business investors.

We have some funds already, and will be looking at different government loans, but we still need more funding to get this off the ground.

I would appreciate any input anyone can give me. SERIOUS RESPONSES ONLY, PLEASE.

BTW, those who have known me in the past will probably start seeing me on here a little more often...For what it's worth, I'm back as much as I can be.

Ari Chi3fs
07-31-2006, 08:27 PM
good luck, going into business with a friend is scary sometimes. As someone who had a shady business partner... get a contract agreement.

Dunno where to get funds, except begin thinking about what you want. It will come.

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 08:29 PM
Thanks, Ali. I've been in business with another friend in the past. The difference with this new venture is that my friend and I are very like-business minded, unlike my past partner.

I'm not saying that it will be easy, but if I could do it before, I'm sure that I can do it again.

beavis
07-31-2006, 08:31 PM
A friend and I are looking into getting a martial arts school started, and don't know the first thing about finding venture capitalists and small business investors.
You should just beat the crap out of people until they give you the necessary funds.

SERIOUS RESPONSES ONLY, PLEASE.
You haven't been around much lately, have you?

wutamess
07-31-2006, 08:33 PM
You have to draw up a business plan no matter whom you'll need to petition for funds. Either reaserch it or get a lawyer to draw one up for you and put it in writing for you.

Research it on google.... I guess, search business loan or how to obtain business loan or whatever.

They're there. I ran across them while starting my business.

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 08:33 PM
You should just beat the crap out of people until they give you the necessary funds.

You haven't been around much lately, have you?
I've been around enough to know that a disclaimer would be necessary.

wutamess
07-31-2006, 08:35 PM
Ol' Lafayette Indiana... You a Boiler Maker? me & my wife (gf at the time) lived there for 2 years.

Glad to have left that boring ass place.

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 08:36 PM
We have a business plan pretty well started, but we lack in terms of the specific financial information. We can figure out percentages of a budget, but we can't come up with explicit numbers without investment information.

In other words, I think we have enough to sell the idea to someone willing to invest in our business, but not enough to get a business loan.

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 08:37 PM
I'm not a Boilermaker, but I've had to put up with plenty of them. I'm originally from Iowa, but I've been living here for going on four years now.

I'm hoping the business will be a ticket out of here ;)

morphius
07-31-2006, 08:48 PM
SERIOUS RESPONSES ONLY, PLEASE.

So I guess "Hot Lips Martial Arts" is out of the question then.

Wish I had something to offer in advice, but I don't. But good luck!

chris
07-31-2006, 08:52 PM
Anyone here own a small business either currently or in the past?

A friend and I are looking into getting a martial arts school started, and don't know the first thing about finding venture capitalists and small business investors.

We have some funds already, and will be looking at different government loans, but we still need more funding to get this off the ground.

I would appreciate any input anyone can give me. SERIOUS RESPONSES ONLY, PLEASE.

BTW, those who have known me in the past will probably start seeing me on here a little more often...For what it's worth, I'm back as much as I can be.

Speaking as an angel investor, and entrepreneur who has started numerous companies, getting VC funding is not going to happen. VCs have moved up the ladder to invest in well established entities or new entities that have the protential to generate revenue of $100MM.

Somthing is consider is the friends and family path...people who know you and believe your vision to success.

Also, find an angel investor who shares your passion for the sport may invest.......banks are going to be tough.

Angels are your neighbors or contacts that have extra cash to invest. The professional trades may be a good source in your area. Never cold call an investor; FIND the person who you know that knows them to make the intro. Goes a long way.

Don't pay an attorney $5-$25K to write the business plan. There are $99 software packages or off google that will get the job done. And don't pay anyone to find money for you. Big scam.

Personally, I look for companies that have technology or patents that I can use if the founder runs thru all my money and I have to pick up the pieces. I figure 7 out of 10 investments fail, 2 break even,and the last makes the return.

GOOD LUCK!

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 08:52 PM
So I guess "Hot Lips Martial Arts" is out of the question then.

Wish I had something to offer in advice, but I don't. But good luck!
Yes, quite out of the question.

I kind of like "Mr. Christopher Kicks Morphius' Ass Karate School."

You're not much help %(/

elvomito
07-31-2006, 08:57 PM
call anyone on this list:
http://www.sba.gov/gopher/Local-Information/Certified-Development-Companies/cdcin.txt

more info:
http://www.sba.gov/financing/sbaloan/cdc504.html

morphius
07-31-2006, 09:04 PM
Yes, quite out of the question.

I kind of like "Mr. Christopher Kicks Morphius' Ass Karate School."

You're not much help %(/
I think you could get a couple people to sign up for that school, but the list isn't long enough to sustain a business :D

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 09:07 PM
I think you could get a couple people to sign up for that school, but the list isn't long enough to sustain a business :D
I wouldn't be too sure ;)

big nasty kcnut
07-31-2006, 09:15 PM
Also make sure about where you open your school find a good place that is up to code and is very acciable.

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 09:20 PM
The sad thing is, we can't really search for locations until we have our investor funding. We know that we want to locate in Fishers, IN, because of the customer base and lower level of competition. But we won't be able to get any location set up without more funding.

chief husker
07-31-2006, 10:06 PM
You should just beat the crap out of people until they give you the necessary funds.

You haven't been around much lately, have you?

You either. Welcome to my dojo!

Bwana
07-31-2006, 10:23 PM
Hey! Now there's a blast from the past.......good to see you MC!

alnorth
07-31-2006, 10:36 PM
I never had a small business, but here's my guess as to your problems from looking at the problem objectively and dispassionately.

The only type of investor who would give you money at terms you would consider reasonable would be someone who loves you, ie family. Someone who doesnt know you will look at this as an ***extremely*** high-risk investment. They would expect 18-19 out of 20 loans of the type you need to go bust and fail, so they need those 1 or 2 businesses that succeed to make them a hell of a lot of money to be properly rewarded for their investment risk. In other words, an investor who doesnt know you and is looking at this strictly as a calculated risk will want to own your soul, getting the lion's share of the profits and demanding you work extremely hard.

If you go the bank route, you need to convince them of a couple things. 1) you need to convince them that you are going to have a reasonable chance of success. They are in the business of lending money to good bets for a decent return, but they dont want to throw money down a rathole. 2) If you do go bad, they would want to know what they would be able to take from the failed business to minimise their loss: assets, buildings purchased, equipment that can be resold, etc. If assets are limited, your renting a space, and the equipment has little resale value, youll need to work on 1). This will be extremely tough, but the best way to improve what little chance you got is to show confidence and convince them you know exactly what your doing with a detailed compelling business plan, and that you will make money. (and therefore so will they). Crawling in the loan office on your knees as a supplicant would reek of desperation and lack of confidence.

Anyway, your best bet is to borrow money from family, mortgage everything youve got, and/or borrow up to your eyeballs. If you have no money or insufficient credit, then try to find a way to earn and save more money, or re-evaluate the entire plan. Starting a small business is very high risk, with a possibility of high reward if you make it.

alnorth
07-31-2006, 10:43 PM
Another thing, you need to have enough resources to fail for a year or so. Most successful small businesses start out very slow before building up a reputation and customer base, and sometimes a business that might have succeeded in a couple years fails because the owner is out of money and needs to eat. If you are depending on having 4-5 full classes of students supplying you with income within 2-3 months, then you could be in trouble.

Iowanian
07-31-2006, 10:55 PM
Rex Kwon Do


You evah get a roundhouse kick to the face from someone wearing pants like these? fergeddaboudit.

Brock
07-31-2006, 10:58 PM
Rex Kwon Do


You evah get a roundhouse kick to the face from someone wearing pants like these? fergeddaboudit.

Grab my hand. Other hand. YOUR other hand.

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 11:00 PM
Thanks, Bwana. I've not been really gone, just not around much. Just got my computer hooked up again for the first time in a year.

jAZ
07-31-2006, 11:01 PM
Mr. Christopher...

The Small Business Development Center is a free service that helps prospective business owners by mentorship. They can help you write a business plan and then help you go through the process of securing funding like an SBA loan. They will also help you market, staff, grow and eventually sell the business.

It's a truely outstanding program. There is a program in your area (assuming you are indeed in Lafayette, IN).

This is a link to their contact information.

http://www.isbdc.org/default.aspx?action=WhereWeAre&CountyId=63002

Call them ASAP and make an appointment. I work with these people (both via my own business and in a profession capactity) and at least here in Tucson, they are staffed by some truely outstanding people with some tremendous professional experience who are doing it for the passion to help people like you.

Iowanian
07-31-2006, 11:04 PM
So I guess "Hot Lips Martial Arts" is out of the question then.

Wish I had something to offer in advice, but I don't. But good luck!

I don't really think this is the kind of serious input mr C was looking for, morphius.

A solid business plan includes a business name that is unique, memorable and has recognition of the service offered.

Given that information, I think A more helpful and appropriate suggestion for the business name might be


HiiiiiiiiiYaat feet, Jui Jitsu and bottle rockets.

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 11:05 PM
Thanks, alnorth, and everyone else. I think we've decided that going the route of an outside venture capitalist is not necessarily going to be the most successful route.

Our plans now are to network as best we can with friends and family, and seeing how much we can get that way. The temptation is to become discouraged about the whole thing and give up, but the fact is we know what we will have to offer is better than anything else out there now (at least in this area), and that it's going to be successful because of who we are and the way we approach our business.

However, I believe that we are going to have to put our plans on hold for now, save and earn more money of our own, and like I said, network among friends and family to move forward from here.

jAZ
07-31-2006, 11:06 PM
The sad thing is, we can't really search for locations until we have our investor funding. We know that we want to locate in Fishers, IN, because of the customer base and lower level of competition. But we won't be able to get any location set up without more funding.
Have you looked into scheduling/renting space at local YMCA, gym or the like in order to host your classes starting right away? And then use the time to work on a more substantial longer term plan for loan funding?

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 11:07 PM
Mr. Christopher...

The Small Business Development Center is a free service that helps prospective business owners by mentorship. They can help you write a business plan and then help you go through the process of securing funding like an SBA loan. They will also help you market, staff, grow and eventually sell the business.

It's a truely outstanding program. There is a program in your area (assuming you are indeed in Lafayette, IN).

This is a link to their contact information.

http://www.isbdc.org/default.aspx?action=WhereWeAre&CountyId=63002

Call them ASAP and make an appointment. I work with these people (both via my own business and in a profession capactity) and at least here in Tucson, they are staffed by some truely outstanding people with some tremendous professional experience who are doing it for the passion to help people like you.

Cool! Will do!

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 11:09 PM
Have you looked into scheduling/renting space at local YMCA, gym or the like in order to host your classes starting right away? And then use the time to work on a more substantial longer term plan for loan funding?
Not yet, but I like your thinking.

Mr. Christopher
07-31-2006, 11:10 PM
I don't really think this is the kind of serious input mr C was looking for, morphius.

A solid business plan includes a business name that is unique, memorable and has recognition of the service offered.

Given that information, I think A more helpful and appropriate suggestion for the business name might be


HiiiiiiiiiYaat feet, Jui Jitsu and bottle rockets.
I would never really expect a serious reply from you anyway, Iowanian

Iowanian
07-31-2006, 11:22 PM
I give serious replies all the time.

There is just fact that someone had to use the rexkwondo joke to get the shennanigans out of the way for serious future discussion.