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What would be an ideal first business for a 24 y/o college graduate with $50k to put down?

Currently at a job I am not happy with and since the job market is not the best, I am looking to buy a business. I have enough money to put down and possibly get financing however I am just unsure which business would be appropriate for a first time owner. I have held many retail positions in the past and feel that I have a good business sense but is that enough to get started? Location does not matter as I am willing to move but would prefer warmer climate.

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Answers (11)
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Narrow to 3 locations in warm climate. Look on or for Multi-Unit Apartment buildings. Find one abutting the best neighborhood (old-money or newest "trendy") with 6-14 suites, that you can afford with $40,000 down. Once you find some; you can email them to me I'll do an cost and safety analysis on them if you like (we'll work out price). Or you can find someone else to do it. It should have occupancy of at least 75-80%. You'll live discreetly in one if you like. My suggestion this year is to (second step) then BUY A HOUSE TO LIVE IN AND GET THE $8000 CASH BACK FROM THE TAX CREDIT. (You HAVE until MAY 1st, 2010 to do it now! )You'll form a corp. to hold the property before taking ownership and have all corp. mail sent to a reputable registered agent. Get your vehicle, sam's club card, gas cards in the corp name and KEEP ALL YOUR PERSONAL AND BUSINESS RECEIPTS AND KEEP THEM SEPARATE. Anyway, get as many suites as you can with the $40k. Maybe you can find one with a retail unit-then you can open a business you like or chose one with a history of good sales in a good location such as a liquor store, deli etc(whatever someone else was suggesting). Buy and hold is the issue here, people WILL ALWAYS NEED A PLACE TO LIVE and you get to live free as well! Secure yourself first-then branch out with a business! If you follow my advice- you should have at least $3000-$6K a mo. income, (free rent if you choose only to buy the building) in a warm climate of your choice, $10K of your own $50K, $3-6K from security deposit transfer from seller, $8K tax credit (if you choose to do the whole 2-step process of building and home).

Totals - if buy building only - conservatively $3K+10K+3k=$16K plus monthly income of $3-6K- all for mowing a patch of lawn, cleaning common areas or lower rent on 1 by $150 mo and let a tenant do it.
Dont forget to save at least 15% in your corp for repairs and maintenence.
If purchase bldg. (as 1st business) plus own home (to live in for @ least 1 yr. then you can rent it if you so choose.
Total - $3K+$10k+$3K+8K=$24K cash by May 1st, 2010 plus monthly rental income of at least $3-6K

Daniel Gold I look forward to any questions you may have and to help you with complete analysis of specific buildings for purchase. For Good Fortune - Let's Work Together!

Nov 8, 2009
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Dan, try a small deli and/or diner. It's hard work, but good rewards and fun. Plus in the right area it is an excellent investment that will grow.

Nov 8, 2009
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Dan, try a small deli and/or diner. It's hard work, but good rewards and fun. Plus in the right area it is an excellent investment that will grow.

Nov 8, 2009
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Dan, try a small deli and/or diner. It's hard work, but good rewards and fun. Plus in the right area it is an excellent investment that will grow.

Nov 8, 2009
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Bluelight Acquisition Services

Hi Daniel,

Do something you will enjoy. I agree its easier to buy a business than to start one from scratch. A franchise might be a good option since this will be your first business but remember they do take a money out of your pocket.
I wouldn't do anything retail because of profits can be very low. Especially with the economic downturn. Get an advisor that can help you with your new venture. Try to find someone that knows how to run a business.
Don't spend the whole 50k. Save some for working capital and other expenses.

Good luck
Samuel Fitzpatrick

Nov 6, 2009
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Perry Development Partners

I have a start-up that may be of interest to you. Email: Regards. Colin

Nov 6, 2009
Julie A. Barnes, CPA
Small Business Exchange, Inc.
Travis County, TX

Hi Daniel,

Come on down to one of the ten fastest growing communities in the country: Austin, Texas. As the saying goes, "a high tide floats all boats" (or something like that). At this stage of your research, I would recommend that you think about what you truly enjoy. I've rarely know of anyone who succeeded big time simply in the pursuit of money.

I understand that you might consider this recommendation vague but it's wise that you understand what makes you happy before you jump in the deep end.

Please feel free to contact and I invite you to visit my blog: " for some free advice about buying and selling a business.

Thanks and Good Luck
Julie A. Barnes, CPA (just for fun)

Nov 4, 2009
Damon Desautel
Main Street & Main
Determined to Exceed Your Expectations!
Hillsborough County, FL
Premium Broker

Hi Daniel,
always, always, always...when getting in to your first business, do what you are passionate about. If you are in retail you must love what you sell. Use social networking sites to build your contacts starting now before you go into business, the more you have, the more chance of success you have. I had been in the restaurant bar business my whole life, it was not easy, but you must have passion for what you do.

Nov 2, 2009
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Look deep inside yourself. Are you truly and I mean truly ready for this commitment? The first thing I tell potential business owners is that they need to be sure they can do this thing. Owning a business is a 24/7 job that requires a commitment that is not known until you actually experience it.
No matter how many hours and how hard you are working for somebody else it just doesn't compare to the unbelievalbe stress and dedication it takes to be successful. Right now you are a trapeze artist and I am sure you are very good at it but you are working with a net under you. When you are an owner you are have no net. Are you ready?????
If you are ready then go where the money is. Take Sean's advice and look at all your options. Good luck.

Oct 28, 2009
Sean Lacy
The Hatteras Group
New Hanover County, NC


First of all- congrats on the decision to buy a business at such a young age! If you are selective and choose a business that matches your strengths, I'm sure you'll find that it's better than working for someone else.

Without knowing more about you and your specific skills and interests, it's hard to suggest a specific type of business. However, with $50k to put down, you should have a lot of options. I would start by choosing a couple cities that you might be interested in. Then I would search (on here and other business for sale sites) for businesses in those cities priced between $75k and $200k. This is a better approach than starting with a specific type of business as you may be surprised at what's out there and what catches your interest. Most small businesses will be offered with some seller financing so the amount you have to put down should give you a lot of options in this range. Just make sure you set aside money for early working capital.

Make sure that you have advisers on your side before you get too far in the process. Once you find some businesses that catch your interest, consider contacting a business broker to assist you. In most cases, they can represent you and be paid by the selling broker (although our market is far less efficient in regards to co-brokerage than real estate). In any case, make sure you have someone in your corner.

Good luck in your search. Feel free to email or call me with any questions.


Sean Lacy, CBI, CMEA
President, Horizon Business Investments

Oct 28, 2009
Jon Holmquist
Edgemaster Model 400 sharpener
Marion County, OR

Daniel, the best business for you is something that you would really enjoy doing.. You will be spending a ton of time out of each day and if you love what you are doing, the time will fly by not be a drag.
Your $50k will be a start but if you put it all into getting into the business and don't have enough to keep it going during the start-up year or two (depending on the business) You might end up wishing you never got into it.
Our franchise is a very low entry, in the $20k to $25k area and you can build it very fast. We have one guy that started out of his checking account and never touched his savings at all. You have to be able to make customer calls and with-stand no's as well as yes'es. Give us a look.
Good luck, Jon at Edgemaster Mobile Sharpening.

Oct 28, 2009

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