Category Archives: Business Pursuits

I’ll tell you more when I can…

Let’s Start Up This Business

I have yet to blog about business, mostly because I’ve had nothing to blog about. No manner of schooling can fully prepare you for just how much physical work goes into any business. This, so far, is what I have learned.

Opportunities present themselves, despite the plan you make for your own enterprises. For months I have been researching technology, in order to launch a unique product. It’s been hard, and there is a lot more to it than I originally thought.

Then, an interesting email crosses my computer. It asks for my college to send someone to a music store that can fix sound amplification products. The school sent me out, since I am currently the only graduated member of the program, and I brokered an education deal with the music store to repair customer units.

Now, I’m knee deep into amp repair. I have two at home, one at the school lab, and many more on the way. The owner of the music store keeps asking me when I’m going to be bringing in business cards, so he can tell the other shops their repair woes are finally over. I’m still learning the trade, but very soon, I think he’ll get that wish granted.

How come no one told me I had the puzzle piece in my hand the whole time?
How come no one told me I had the puzzle piece in my hand the whole time?

I quit my grocery job with the understanding that I would launch my product, and maybe find entry level work somewhere in electronics. Now, I have the opportunity to start up my own business, and the sleepy dreams of never again working for another person wake me each morning.

The reality of it is, I need to learn more about the niche I’m entering. I’m picking stuff up rather quickly, but experience with more and varied issues is needed. Still, in this kind of work, with no one nearby that is involved in it, much of that training will have to be on the job. Since I am already conducting repair work through the college, for free, and no one is complaining about any turnover time, why not start doing it for money, sooner rather than later?

Starting up a business in California is tricky. We have more fees and paperwork than any state, and many of them are annually recurring. Tax laws and employee rules are stringent, with the numbers and lines of text continuing for books and books.

Still, I have resources at my disposal, a couple of degrees on my wall, and the encouragement of the industry. So, look for more of that soon!

The other side of my business, arcade game repair and resale, hasn’t seen nearly as much demand. I would have thought that finding people to buy classic game machines for decent prices would have been easy, but so far finding those customers has proven difficult.

I fixed those three Slick Shot machines I was working on, got them cleaned up, and put them out there for sale. After over a month on Craigslist and the local newspaper classifieds, the only hit I got was a scam attempt from Texas. I’ve lowered the price, and will be waiting to see how that goes.

You can learn a lot about the market by taking these two business examples and scrutinizing over them. On the one hand, I have an idea that I thought would be perfectly profitable, yet has shown me zero indications of this. On the other, a ready-made business; all I have to do is learn the trade.

From “Zero Effect”, which is a great film. Why didn’t I listen to Daryl Zero when he was talking about his?

When you take a business class, especially one in entrepreneurship, they tell you over an over that the first thing you need to do is find a hole to fulfill. In the case of amp repair, the hole has apparently been there a long time, just waiting for the right person to come along with a shovel. I’m still feeling out the arcade business, but my first impression is that there are not nearly as many people looking to put arcade machines in their homes as I would have thought; or probably would like.

I still think the market is out there, and close by to boot. I just have to find out where they are shopping.

The Business of Monetizing One’s Exploits

In looking over the things I wish to accomplish, I see the potential for many of them to make money. Perhaps some are longer shots than others, but how does one decide what to pursue?

Follow your heart, I guess.

I have a definite business idea, but it’s not far enough along for me to talk about it openly. At first, I thought it would be an easy deal┬áto put together, but now realize that I need to learn a number of things about the particular technology involved before I can proceed.

I’ve applied for, and been accepted into, a special studies course at Delta College. My semester-long research project will give me a better understanding of what I need to do, in order to get that particular business off the ground. It is my hope that, by the end of the semester, I will have a working prototype model, that I was able to build myself.

In the meantime, what other kinds of trouble can a guy with loads of free time get himself into?

I’m being sent on my first in-home repair mission, to fix a customer’s treadmill. One of my instructors, a man with a lifetime of consumer electronics experience, has set me up to succeed in this endeavor. With my recent work on the very similar handicap scooters I fixed for the Delta disabled persons department, I should be able to transmit my knowledge to this endeavor. Of course, I missed the one day window that the customer had this week, and now will have to wait until they get back from two weeks of vacation.

In the meantime…

A couple of my video-producing friends are planning to launch a YouTube channel. They want to produce a number of short episode television shows, and have asked me to contribute. Since I have been considering doing this anyway, as part of my renaissance list, it was an easy fit to say yes. Plus, I will gain the benefit of their aid, expertise, and (best of all) equipment. This is still in the planning stages, and my show is the furthest along as far as development is concerned, but we still won’t be filming anything for another couple of months, at least.

In the meantime’s meantime…

With the help of a friend, I’ve fixed and cleaned up the three Slick Shot arcade games in my garage. They are now ready for sale, and I plan to put them up for purchase soon. With the money from their removal, I would like to start up an arcade repair and restoration business. It is my hope that I can generate enough income with the sale of newly-repaired machines to supplement my other endeavors, the most of important of which is not working.

While this is the most presently viable option as far a execution, I fear it may be the least monetarily potent. I mean, how often do we see broken arcade games for sale?

Still, there are business ideas worth forging ahead with, and I plan to pursue them all, at some point. I’ve also submitted my band’s first album for play on Pandora, and if we are accepted, may begin to see a whole new slew of listeners interested in our music. Who knows, that may just help us go platinum, and all will problems will solve themselves.