Hello There!!

NozferatuNozferatu subscriber Posts: 1
edited January 2008 in New Member Welcome
    Hello Everyone....
Happy New Year to you all.
My name is Armond and I`m glad I found this website and forum....I only wish I`d found it earlier (i.e. some years ago).
A little about me.  I live in Los Angeles.  I`m a mechanical engineer by profession and special in 3D modeling and design of products.  I`ve worked in the automotive, aerospace, space, consumer product, and food and beverage industries design products and working projects at various times through my career.  I possess a master`s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and a bachelor`s degree from Cal Poly Pomona in aerospace engineering.
I`ve had a feeling and want to work for myself for a VERY VERY long time.  It`s long overdue for me.  Given my personality, I`ve come to realize I`m a people person, I`m very active, very hands-on....abit of a contradiction of personal traits when working with engineers (for whoever has will know what I`m talking about!).
I`ve tried my hand in a couple of ventures which one was good for a while and the other never took off (literally!).
My first venture was an online business selling imported Brazilian bikinis on Ebay Stores.  While it was good for a while, my supplier simply couldn`t get the items to me for a price that justified my resale prices (they were quite low for the quality and style...great bikinis).  I tried to get a new supplier but to no avail.
The second attempt was to try and purchase an already pre-existing business (which was 90% online, 10% store-front) that had ALOT of potential and a good customer base.  Without getting into too much detail at this point, I tried my best to sell the business to several banks...all of which claimed that they were NUMBER 1 in helping small businesses and so on.  Even with good numbers, and great business expansion plan that I wrote up, they treated me like dirt and basically stated "No House?  No Money..."
After that experiecne, I felt extremely let down and disappointed.  I think it`s fair to say that anyone in my position would have felt the same way. I had income comiing in from my work, the business showed BLACK and was positive, if not phenomenal, and my impression of "land of opportunity" is basically washed up.
Watching shows like "The Big Idea" by Donny Deusch where he brings people who`ve made it big with big money backing, lots of investors, and so on...and promotes them as being "dreamers" and "entrepreneurs of which YOU can be too", doesn`t help at all.
Well, I`m here to develop new networks and skills so that I can try again for the future. I have a great idea for a coffee shop but I want to learn how I can get different forms of financing and avoid banks, how to go about opening up such a store, where, etc...
I hope I can learn these things in the next few months so as to finally turn in that resignation letter and work for myself and really enjoy what I`m doing.
Thanks and I hope to talk to all of you on a regular basis.

Comments

  • stonesledgestonesledge subscriber Posts: 8
    Hello Nozferatu !!
     
    Glad that you found this place. It certainly sounds like you need some supportive folks around you at this point. Whatever you think...you ALWAYS have to remember that you can do anything you want, create whatever you want. You Decide! Then you make the plans to get there..with bank financial backing or not. There are certainly creative ways to start or carry a new business...you just have to dig and dig, but the options are there. You said that you work with 3d modeling. Have you ever thought about getting involved with 3d renderings, 3d walkthroughs? We have built some really neat renderings for some prominent companies and because it is a growing field, we are always looking for new talent. The software is already built and we are setting up new clients with some really neat projects. Just a thought if you enjoy 3d modeling. If a coffee shop is your passion, can you find a partner? Someone to have the investment. My friend Al just sold his coffee shop and is strictly roasting organic coffee now. The ladies who bought the coffee house were two women, one her passion was to own a coffee shop and the other wanted to be the business end and investor. They purchsed the 16,000 sq ft building and are building out office space, flex space etc along with the coffee shop. I know the women with the passion had not a dime to her name (she still owes me money) and is not very business savvy...but she is a nice women who did what she had to and scouted out someone to believe in her dream. You can too. Get a solid plan in place... never say that you can`t do something and don`t look at past downfalls as anything but a learning experience otherwise you will leave yourself haunted by the "what if`s ` everyday and not go so far. Just focus your direction, gain knowledge....talk and ask and ask more and dig. You CAN do anything! I wish you much success this year and look forward to hearing about it!!
     
    Erin
  • NozferatuNozferatu subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Erin,
    Thanks for your reply and kind words.  It`s nice to see people who are supportive.
    To answer your questions:
    1) I do 3D design work for product development. I have done some animation and fly-bys for product presentation but my forte is designing a product and creating drawings and manufacuring prototypes for clients.  For example, let`s say you had a piece of furniture you had in mind...from your sketches, ideas, etc, I`d design the product via a 3D CAD package software, create working manufacturable drawings and have the product made for you for testing and ultimately production.
    While this is what I do, I would like a change...in some form or another.  I am interested in your product if it`s something I can do independently or on a level of self-reliance close to being my own boss.
    2) For the coffee shop, I`d love to get ideas for how to do the business but I`d prefer to go it alone once doing it.  I`ve had a few "potential" partners before and I`ve honestly come out feeling not so hot about the idea of partnering up.  My experiences have taught me that I can`t rely on anyone but myself.  The people I came across were either flakes, never followed through, and sent me in a wrong direction (which ultimately translates into wasted time).
    But obtaining ideas and advice is invaluable to me.  My idea is very basic but I think could be super effective given it really hasn`t been done before (i.e. the concept).
    I suppose we can discuss this in further detail later but I`ll start by doing some research on this forum and trying to see if I can find threads that can give me an idea of how to approach certain hurdles (i.e....where do I get funding?).
  • SandraPSandraP subscriber Posts: 3
    Welcome Nozferatu! I know you will find great resources here!
     
    I understand your feelings about going it alone but remember, you can`t be all things to all people. So while you might want to be "Top Dog" think about building a team to support you in the areas that are not your strengths.
     
    As Bo Short says, "You can climb a hill by yourself but to climb Mount Everest you need a great team."
     
    Much success!
    ~Sandra
  • chrom10chrom10 subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Armond,
     
    I can understand your frustration with banks turning down potentail small business owners just because they have no personal collateral (house) to put down on the loan app.  I started my company to initial help friends that were turned down by banks when they wanted their own business.  Since I work with private lender they are able to design a loan around the customers vision of what they want for their business.  I can finance start-ups or franchises from $10,000 to $3million. 
     
    Jamie
  • NozferatuNozferatu subscriber Posts: 1

    Welcome Nozferatu! I know you will find great resources here! I understand your feelings about going it alone but remember, you can`t be all things to all people. So while you might want to be "Top Dog" think about building a team to support you in the areas that are not your strengths. As Bo Short says, "You can climb a hill by yourself but to climb Mount Everest you need a great team." Much success!~Sandra

    Hi Sandra,
    Thanks for your reply!
    I totally agree with you regarding building a company you`ll need more than one person...no doubt about that.  I`m  not quite at that phase yet with any of the projects/ideas I have so far.  For example, the business I was planning on buying out a few years ago would have been easily manageable by myself since it was pretty much all internet based.  The time I`d have to remain at the store was minimal and could have been coupled with the internet sales while at the store.  I agree...that is a rarity!
  • NozferatuNozferatu subscriber Posts: 1
    I second Sandra`s sentiments.  There`s nothing wrong with wanting to build your dreams yourself without a partner.  You don`t ever have to have partners in a business but you cannot build a company without other people.  You will have to rely on others to help you in your success.  You may have had some poor experiences in the past but it isn`t always like that.  The right working relationships are positive for everyone!
    Also, check out this recent thread.  Here`s a seasoned entrepreneur who is offering advice in the coffee business!  He or she might be the right person to ask your initial questions.

    Hi CampSteve,
    Thanks for the advice...I`ll definitely look into that thread and start poking people with ideas!
  • NozferatuNozferatu subscriber Posts: 1

    Hi Armond, I can understand your frustration with banks turning down potentail small business owners just because they have no personal collateral (house) to put down on the loan app.  I started my company to initial help friends that were turned down by banks when they wanted their own business.  Since I work with private lender they are able to design a loan around the customers vision of what they want for their business.  I can finance start-ups or franchises from $10,000 to $3million.   Jamie

    Hi Jamie,
    Where are you based?  What you are offering definitely sounds appealing...how can I learn more about your product?
  • stonesledgestonesledge subscriber Posts: 8
    Here is the link to our site 3D Walkthroughs . Take a look, if you are intersted you can PM or contact us through the site or call and ask for Dave if you have any questions. You can build off as your own service, using our team and platform.
     
    Erin
  • LaCremaCoffeeLaCremaCoffee subscriber Posts: 3
    CraigL, thanks for the props.  And Armond, I too can`t fathom or except " partner" on the other hand I`m enchanted by the idea of a "team."   What ever you decide to do; make sure yout talent(s) is/are used.  If not for my B.S,  love of coffee,and wanting to be a teacher: Icouldn`t be the roaster that I am.   If you ever think about COFFEE,as a buisness, Please contact me [email protected]Oh yeah, I`m a coffeedude.
  • LaCremaCoffeeLaCremaCoffee subscriber Posts: 3
    Also where would you want a coffee shop...remember it`s LOCATION 3x and evenmoreinvolvedthanmost know.
  • NozferatuNozferatu subscriber Posts: 1
    Hey LaCreme,
    Absolutely I`ll be in touch.  My coffee shop idea is a bit unorthodox and being that you are a coffee roaster, you may not (or you may...depending on what can be developed here) look at it in good light, but I think (well...at least to most people I`ve mentioned and trusted my idea with) tend to think it`s a good one. 
    My gut says it is...who knows though.  Location is very important. Environment is VERY important...and that`s one of the things that I think I have going for my idea as well.
    I`ve been told (and have confirmed it myself by drinking this stuff) that coffee, IF TRULY FRESH, does not taste bitter...it actually has a sweetness to it (albeit not a strong sweetness but it`s there).
    I`d love to exchange ideas with you if you`re up for it!
  • NozferatuNozferatu subscriber Posts: 1

    Hi Armond....love the screen name!! What caught my mind is that
    your screen name refers to perhaps the very first movie of a vampire,
    and your real-life name echoes the poweful character in Anne Rice`s
    novels. I think that`s a good omen, and portends great success as you
    move forward.
    I`d suggest not getting too bogged down in worrying about finance at
    this point. Much better would be to have a detailed business plan,
    factoring in all the things you`d need to get started, then all you`d
    need to grow. What would you mean by "growth," and can you segment that
    growth into phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3.
    When you have that organized, you`ll probably find financing more
    easily that if you worry about how to find capital before you have all
    the details.
    Or....do you have all those details already?
    Also---and I just thought of this---have you contacted this member, "LaCremaCoffee?" He`s very into custom blends, and I`ll bet would have lots of thoughts about opening a coffee shop..!

    Hi Craig,
    Thanks for the kind words about my name!  I actually never realized that connection between my real name and my screenname....crazy!
    I agree with you about idea then financing part...I must admit money has always been a concern of mine since I pretty much did everything by myself (i.e. family and parents never really were able to help much due to circumstances). 
  • chrom10chrom10 subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Armond,
     
    I`m based in Southern California.  Since  you went to school at Cal Poly, which also happens to be my alma mateur, you should know where the San Gabriel Valley is which is where I`m located. 
     
    I can tell you little more about my services if you are interested.  You  can click on chrom10 above to email me and I will be more then happy to answer all your questions.
     
    Have a nice day!
  • chrom10chrom10 subscriber Posts: 1
    I`m based in southern california.  I have a few lenders in mind that provide start-up funding but which one is best for you depends on what you are looking for, fund wise, for your start-up.  You can email me by clicking on Chrom10 above and I can answer any questions you might have.
  • NozferatuNozferatu subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Chrom.
    Thanks for the info...I will get a hold of you shortly!  Good to know you graduated from Cal Poly too!
    Take care.
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