I'd like some ideas please

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by nostalgia, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

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    DH is very concerned that his job may be in jeoperody and my home business is not doing well right now. So I am looking for some alternatives.
    I would love to find a home business that we both can run together and really enjoy and be able to make a decent income at. I know you are thinking, "don't we all"? But hey, wishes sometimes come true. So here is what I would like from you---some ideas.

    We live approx. 2 miles from a state park. We have access to some land approx. 1 mile from that state park. The lot is vacant. We would have to build on the site. It is roadfront property with lots of travelers in summer, but few travelers in winter. It is a rural area. If you were in my shoes and had this, what kind of business would you put there? My husband is very skilled in hunting, fishing, guns, electronics, management, and lots of other things. I am skilled in gardening, floral arranging, wildflowers, decorating, crafts, and some management skills.

    Knowing this, what kind of business ideas do you have for us? It can be part time or full time, seasonal or year round. All suggestions are welcome.
    Thank you!
     
  2. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Picture this:

    You build a parking lot and a store on your lot. Customers come to your lot and park their cars for $5 a day. The come into your shop, which is filled with all the stuff you make, local handicrafts on consignment, homemade snacks, and beverages, all of which are for sale with a sizable markup (because it's so convenient, right?). You have a comissary there (because you've gotten a catering license), at which your customers pick up their picnic basket full of the sandwiches they ordered, drinks, etc. They can pick through a bin of fresh veggies you've brought from your garden as well. While the wife is doing that, the husband is contracting fishing or hunting guide services with your hubby (if that's allowed at the park). If people are camping at the park, you can supply groceries, ice, toiletries, etc. as well. After everything's done in the store, the people can either "hike" up the road to the park, or hop in your van for $2 a person and get dropped off anywhere they want in the park, because you have a year pass. After their day in the park, they return, buy some of your jelly, homemade bread, dried flower wreaths, and then they buy some fresh veggies and some frozen local meat you're selling on consignment for dinner, hop into the car and drive out of your lives.
     

  3. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member

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    When I first got laid off I turned to flea marketing on the southern circuit. Earned enough in 40 days on the road to replace 5 months of my lost engineering pay. Even just working our local market I could make 200 to 300 a weekend selling costume jewelry to teenagers at 2000% mark up ($5 for a 12 cent bulk wholesale fimo neclace)
     
  4. Is the land yours so that you can build on. If so, have you thought about putting in a trailer court. I don't like seeing them pop up all over the country but they are a big business. A neighbor of mine put in 6 trailer homes and stays full all the time and we are not in a very populated area of this world. My neighbor bought used single wide trailer homes, fixed them up a bit, and rents them out for $350 a month. $350 X 6 = $2100 a month. He bought most of his trailers at auctions and gave in the neighborhood of $2500 apiece for them. He has been renting them for about 6 or 7 years now. He is very strickt on who rents and what goes on there so therefore he does have good tenants.
     
  5. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    If there is a lake or river in the park you have canoe rentals and bait as optioins also.
     
  6. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    The big money is in mole ranching. My wife, Wind IN Her Hair, just bought a moleskin jacket....holy smokes! was that expensive! I don't know how many moles it took to make her new jacket, but whoever raised them is probably raking in the dough. And I just bettcha that it doesn't take much room or food to raise a whole passel of moles. Gopher it!
     
  7. Cabin fever, have you been sucking on that waterbong again?
     
  8. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    And to think, I have just been killing them for fun for messing up my lawn. (I could have been rich) :)
    Who knew???????
     
  9. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    I really like the flea market idea. Gives you an outlet for your own products, and allows you to collect rent from other flea marketers. Outdoor rent around here is $20 per day, per booth, and the owner is the only one that is allowed to sell concessions. Fourty booths times $20 is $800. A nice chunk of change for not very much work.

    Your overhead is low, the profits can be high. People that travel love to look for a bargain, and will remember your place in the future.

    Seems like the most successful flea markets only allow used stuff to be sold, not a bunch of Made in China junk.

    Make sure you get good liability insurance if you do this.

    A big issue around here is sales tax. Flea market vendors are being forced to collect sales tax on the stuff they sell. Make sure you check into that as well, and cover yourself.

    Concessions can be HUGE profits too, once you learn the business.
     
  10. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone I appreciate the ideas. I might pass on that mole business though Cabin, but I do appreciate the advice. I wonder just how many moles it would take to make a coat? WOW! :haha:

    I really like the flea market idea. I could still sell crafts, home decor, food, and, hubby can sell tackle and hunting things. And that canoe rental thing along with bicycles would be neat too. Fresh veg., concessions, coolers, tents, -----
    Oh the possibilites, thanks to all of you. :)
     
  11. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    I believe more and more people will be forced to start their own small business. Gone are the days of the lifetime jobs provided by huge companies, factories, etc. You may want to do lots of reading, take some night school courses, find a mentor, frequent small business newsgroups, etc. The last thing you want to do is jump feet first into something which you've not planned carefully for... you'll lose your shirt! The majority of new small business ventures fail, but you can do a great deal to prevent that from happening.

    cheers,
     
  12. Upham

    Upham Well-Known Member

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    You can also sell firewood to the campers. What about E-Bay? I know a guy who goes to garage sales and buys stuff to sell on E-Bay. His wife bought a box of dishes for five bucks put two sets of two on separate auctions and got $25 per auction and still had more dishes to sell. He got a kitchen canister set for $5 and thought he could get $20 for it on E-Bay and ended up getting $550.00 for it. :haha: Some peoples junk is anothers treasure.
    Up
     
  13. diane greene

    diane greene Well-Known Member

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    Hi Nostaglia:

    If you don't own the land you might consider purchasing a mobil store - an old
    bus or hot dog cart type business. Less overhead and if you have to move you
    still have your investment. Now the tough stuff:

    The first rule before starting a new business is have at least two years living expenses in the bank (separate from your seed money). If you have to worry about paying your electric bill it is hard to concentrate on business growth.Most business' fail because they are underfunded or do not turn a profit
    quickly enough to meet the owner's living expenses. The other way is for one of the partners to hold on to their current job until the business turns an acceptable profit, thereby securing a certain amount of income.

    Before you do any investing- make up a business plan (you can get help from
    your local business development office) and then go visit the people at zoning to
    see if your plan is feasible. Don't forget to check with the DEP, DEC and DOT
    since you are on a busy road near a state park. They will all have their own set
    of rules and zoning will not know what they will want from you. Especially check
    with the DOT - we live on a county route and they required us to have
    a specific design for our parking area and we had to conform to certain drainage
    regulations ($1500 later it was fixed). If you are on a state route and there are
    no curbs installed in front of the business area you may be required to install
    them. Every state is different - know the rules before spending any money.
    This is advice from someone who has been there.
     
  14. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a couple of thoughts. First, set everything up in small scale. Find out if people will notice you, and stop in. Bring 5 or 10 firewood bundles at first, and see if it flies. Get two cycles, not ten at first. Maybe offer something (trash bags, sunscreen and insect repellent in a pump on the counter??) inexpensive that people going to the park will need, and might not have. Offer aspirin and feminine products and salt and pepper for sale, to mention a few things.
    You mentioned the lack of travelers in winter. Could you let a charity sell Christmas trees the first year, or maybe do it yourself with a donation to any charity with a sale. You don't need to stay open all Winter, maybe just to New Years.
    If there are campsites, but limited facilities at the park, then maybe laundry, and shower services would bring customers.

    Good Luck!
     
  15. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    Another idea is to build small cabins on the property that you can rent. Would take some capital, but maybe you could offer them as primitive places at first for a low price per night, then upgrade them later.
     
  16. tacomee

    tacomee Member

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    I'd try the rental cabin idea, or RV parking maybe. Many rich folks will pony up big $$$$ for a week rental of a cabin. All that would stop you are building codes... otherwise a *rustic* 24'X24' cabin would really be the ticket.
     
  17. pumpkinlady

    pumpkinlady Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of the small country store to offer park visitors things they need. You could also add some kennels so that people visiting the park could live their dogs in a safe environment while they are fishing, swimming, hiking, etc....
    This could bring you $10.00 a dog for the day. Just provide water, if they want the dog fed...voila...you sell bags of dog food and treats in your store.

    There are lots of options you would have to increase your earnings having a place near a state park.

    We live just outside of a state park and we sell pumpkins and fall produce right out of the field. We do no advertising just a couple of signs in the park. (Signs are permited because the park doesn't own or maintain the road, the township does). We make a lot of money off of park visitors and many have made us part of their yearly tradition of coming to look at the fall foliage.

    You would be surprised what people will buy when they are just out to have fun! Good Luck...let us know how it goes. Laurie
     
  18. I seond the rental cabin idea. Or, a bed and breakfast. I'm always looking for a place to stay when I go hiking because I'm never ready to go home. A nice place to stay - hey, I could take off another day and stay in the woods!
     
  19. I remember reading about a couple of ladies (in Mother Earth maybe?) who had a regular fruit & veggie route through a large campground. It worked well for them.

    God bless,
    Bonnie
     
  20. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    My .02 cents...

    I think a lot of this is good advice, but I think much of it misses the mark.

    Here we have a person who is worried about income, yet most of the ideas require significant capital outlay. If the business goes under, this could be a financial blow that would be very hard to rcover from.

    Some ideas:

    1. Guide service. If your husband knows the park well, folks will pay him for that knowledge, even on public land. The upside is that he probably has everything to start a small service already, and all that is needed is some minor advertising.

    The downside is that it will severely cut into his own hunting and fishing.

    2. I like the idea of the flea market, and small country store idea, but I would start small, and see what pans out. If you have traffic, and you have sales, you can always expand. Which brings me to....

    3. The actual building(s). Let's suppose your flea market idea goes over well. Let's suppose your husband's guide service brings in some money. A friend of mine started out with a used house trailer he bought for a song, and turned it into a country store.

    First, he ripped everything out. He finished the front, and the two sides in pine board & batting. He had a single door on the front, with a small handicap accessible porch as the entrance to his store. He then put in some home-made pine shelving, some vinyl on the floor, and made a sales counter for the exit door. Since he was a retired school teacher, he had a bit of income to tide him over until established. He and his wife worked like dogs to make a go of it, and he planned for success (his original store was situated so that when he built his new store, all he had to do was build the new one as he could, and then pull the old trailer out).

    4. If your business is successful, be prepared for competition. Folks like to think that if they can do that, I can do better, or that there is room for everyone. There seldom is.

    Just a few thoughts....