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New Businesses Right Here in South Central Idaho
Over the years, I’ve watched a number of new businesses in our little Town here in south-central Idaho. The town is too small for most franchised businesses and many businesses that have been running over the years have closed their doors. This is true of many Idaho town. The business districts of some of our neighbors look like ghost towns. It is always sad to see a business close because of lack of traffic. But that occurs here.
The Mexican Immigrant Businesses
I’ve watched the Mexican community here in Idaho start new businesses. They take place in three forms. One is the food industry. Some start selling tamales. You will see a sign in a small business that says they have tamales. Some have them in a freezer on-site where they will get them for you. Then you will see Mexicans selling burritos and such from a truck. After they have gained a little income. They will open a restaurant where local business has gone kaput. My dear friend, just opened such a restaurant last month.
The second type of business run by our Mexican immigrants is a place that sells phone cards and will transfer your hard-earned cash to your family back in Mexico. Maybe the money is being sent to the party that sponsored immigrations into the United States.
The third type of business, often combined with the second type, is a clothing store selling clothing to the local Mexican population with some business focus towards the gringos.
A Local Big Success Story
There is one business that has interested me in our small town. It is a bakery Mexican grocery store. My son is a veterinarian so he has seen this store from day one. One of the herd managers working for a local dairy whom my son knows very well brought his brother up from Mexico. His brother was not a cow man. He was a Baker. He opened the bakery for his brother.
The bakery started making tortillas. These were sold locally in grocery stores and super markets and to all the surrounding towns. I see their delivery trucks all the time.
They also made Mexican pastries. They soon added Mexican groceries to the store and sometimes I buy cooked pork there so that I can make enchiladas for my sons family.
A few years ago, after I had moved up. From Arizona, they opened a huge store, a one million dollar store in Twin Falls. It is a bakery, restaurant and Mexican supermarket. This was in addition to a store they had already opened in Twin Falls and in several other towns.
Most New Businesses Here Fail
Sometimes local people will see that a store is vacant and they will start a business. It might be a tattoo parlor or a thrift store. They don’t last long.
One lady has an antique store that she started a few years ago and she somehow has succeeded.
Also, a Mennonite family took over a local business, a restaurant, and turned it into an antique store restaurant combination.
I took my family there for a Christmas dinner of turkey or ham which they loved. That restaurant only opens for breakfast and lunch except for special occasions. The other evening they were selling Navaho tacos which I love and which I missed. They promised me that they will do it again.
A long time flooring store moved out of town because the owner couldn’t get along with City Hall on a parking problem. So he simply moved his business to Twin Falls. That closing was voluntary. The store is still vacant, next to a store that moved across town.
Why do most local businesses fail? Because it is only a 20-minute drive to Walmart and the big national chains. We have two local grocery stores in our town. The owner of one of the stores, another good friend of mine, passed away a few years ago. He knew how to run that business in this community. Now his son-in-law is running the store and it is on shaky ground.
The Key to Success
Not every Mexican business survives. But those who have good business sense and good products do succeed. I’m sure that there are other businesses that could be started in this town from our non-Mexican population that could succeed. But taking a haphazard approach to the business will not succeed.
There are a number of Internet businesses in our town. Three are owned by my family members. Two of these businesses have owners who know what they are doing. The other one is mine.
Also a lady who has a farm where she grows lavender and turns it into lotions and creams which she sells to local markets has a very good Internet business. I don’t know what her income is now from that part of her business, but about 10 years ago she was making a very good income from Internet sales alone. She was widowed not too long ago, so it’s nice for her to be independent.
It Starts With a Business Plan
If you want to start a local business, here are some things that you should definitely do:
1. Go to SBA.gov and learn how to create a business plan. You can do it at no charge right on the SBA site. You might take an initial try at creating your business plan but I suggest that you do a few other things first.
2. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and asked them where you can get some free training on how to start a business. Your banker can also help you in this regard. These courses are usually taught at junior colleges and universities but they are also sponsored by local organizations. Your instructor will probably be a retired business person who knows what is going on in the business world. He or she will tell you how to start a business plan and help you do it.
3. Talk to local business people, including your banker. You will find that they are very friendly and helpful so don’t be afraid to go to them. You might want to call them and ask for an appointment.
Don’t Start In Debt
Many businesses start in debt. Entrepreneurs who have made millions and billions of dollars often say not to borrow money to start your business. Yet, that is exactly what people do.
I watched a company go to kaput in Iowa because they took out an SBA loan but they didn’t use it properly. They knew the business that they were in because they had been in many years but only on the sales end. Now they wanted to get into manufacturing and they knew absolutely nothing about doing that, and they knew nothing people and how they should be trained or utilized. So they ended up out of business and in debt.
People who start businesses in their home and then expand are often successful. They stay out of debt.
Debt is a valuable tool for existing businesses if the business assets are strong enough to support the debt. If you’re going to go in debt, how are you going to pay that from your new business when you have no business? You need to build your business first, as difficult as that seems.
Entrepreneurs say that the most viable asset you have in your new business is you. They seem to never sleep, working day and night to get their businesses going. It is a sacrifice that they realize they must make. Some people call his sweat equity such as accumulated by a new home buyers in the Habitat for Humanity program. I helped build four (4) houses for Habitat for Humanity in Arizona. Often we had the new owners working with us.
My granddaughters make baby hats and wigs and they sell them on an Etsy site called YumBaby (my Etsy store is MyStuffy). They have a dozen employees to help them make the hats and looks.
The son of my wife’s caregiver has an Etsy store where he sells key ring boards which he first started making in my kitchen. He is using the profits to go to school.
My son is a veterinarian but he has started two businesses, one of which he sold recently. These he has run from his home and office. With 15 children, you can use the extra money.
It is possible to start a business from home and not going to debt. I could give you a dozen more examples if I were not so old and lazy.
P.S. Click Here to learn where to get training to start an Internet Business.
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