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emmalr's Avatar emmalr emmalr is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Posts: 291
Off to a good start!

Last night I attended an adult evening class about setting up and running your own business. It was just at my local school and was an opportunity to learn more about the money/legal side of owning a business. That was all I expected anyway.

However, the man running the course is a retired businessman. He still invests in other business's and teaches adults in the evening. He went round everyone individually and asked about their idea's - plumber's, electrician, record label, clothes store etc...he spent a couple of minutes on each person. Then he got to me. When I told him my idea his eye's lit up and spent the next half and hour talking to me about my business model. He's know's a young lad who targeted the same customer base as I am planning to target and is setting up a meeting between the pair of us to talk. Apparently this lad (who was only eighteen when he mace his first million on business) is also looking for a new business to invest him. The guy then said he was also interested and would probably be fighting this lad out for my signature.

Then he told me that he has business associates who would probably be willing to do some deals with me (sponsorship, investment etc...). He talked about them for a good ten minutes and how they had helped the lad (Chris) when he started out. I assumed that he was talking about local business men...then he mentioned their names...Richard and Stelios (Virgin and Easyjet). I nearly fell off my seat.

So now my head is in the clouds. I'm reworking my business plan today as the guy (David) wants to see it. The only problem is deleting parts of my plan from my brain as David suggested other ways of doing things.

Yesterday morning I thought that I would be setting up a small company and growing it slowly myself. Now things have speeded up dramatically. Should I just go with the flow and do exactly what these people say...or do I step back and stick with my original ideas. I think what I am worried about is getting in with the big boys and looking like a cowering school girl. I mean I am confident in myslef to run a business, but I never prepared myself for such interest before I have even started.

God I sound like I'm in a therapy class.
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Martin Martin is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Luton, Bedfordshire
Posts: 2,726
lol wow sounds like this class got you in a spin

I'd say go along with it, if nothing else it's another set of ear's to listen to your idea's and another set of eye's to check your business plan.

But, remember he is a business man, use NDA's and make sure always the last decision is yours, don't lose control of your final dreams and visions by allowing them to steer your newly powered ship! (If that makes sense lol)


All the best

Martin
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natasha natasha is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Walthamstow, London
Posts: 1,665
Wow congrats!!

I agree with the advice that Martin gave.

Try to keep grounded and don't get too carried away, remember your goals and want you want out of your business.
Just remember its your idea, but partnership can be great as the partners may posess skills that you do not have, and vice versa.
Overall i think you should act confident even if you have butterflies inside!
I have also been thinking about doing a short adult start your own business course, i've been thinking that for ages but haven't got around to it yet!
But good luck, let us know how it goes.
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"Make no small plans for they have no power to stir the soul." (Niccolo Machiavelli)

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1nzvestor 1nzvestor is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: London
Posts: 258
Great story.

However, be vigilant - you don't want someone else stealing all your ideas then starting up a rival company targeting your established database.
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Ian J Ian J is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 166
Re: Off to a good start!

Quote:
Originally posted by emmalr
Should I just go with the flow and do exactly what these people say...or do I step back and stick with my original ideas.
If they are experienced businessmen they may be able to bring ideas and suggestions to the party that you hadn't thought of but it is down to them to explain their reasoning to you so that you agree with their ideas and don't just assume that they know best.

Good luck - I hope that you are successful
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Clementine Clementine is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Twickenham
Posts: 319
I would echo the sentiments mentioned so far.

If I were you I would be more nervous now than I was before because the bar has now been raised - so to speak.

These people - of they are as connected as they say - could easily take your idea and run so NDA's a the way to go. They could also get involved and make more money out of the whole thing than you. You could find yourself 'frozen out' for example if they are all high flyers and you are still learning the ropes.

I would approach this confidently because the idea is yours, will remain yours, and any input by these people will remain as that - an input. Not an invitation to run the business on your behalf.

You don't want to become an employee of their business when it is your idea here.

Make sure any agreements maintain your position of control. Dictate that 49% of the company (maximum) is up for grabs if they want a peice of it. This will make sure you always have the major share.

If you do not appear too keen they may want a peice of the company more desperatly.

But most of all - KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND.

This may be the best thing that ever happened - it could be the worst.

Great news though. Well done.

Clem.
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young_mum young_mum is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45
I sure wish i could find someone willing to invest in my business like that! but i agree with what everyone else has already said,
and good luck!

P.S tell him he can pass some "investment" my way too if he wants!
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Adam Adam is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Leighton Buzzard
Posts: 1,812
Sounds good but as everyone says watch out.

If it is still the target audience we spoke about and the one I am thinking, just remember that everyone thinks it is an easy money route and therefore everyone wants to be part of it.

It is not, I had a number of big companies expressing interests and it all came to nothing.

Go ahead with it and show your enthusiasm and see what you get.
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