September 29, 2011

TableTopics: #35

Today, question #35: What kind of business would you love to start?

Ok, the most honest answer is that I pretty much have no desire to open any business of my own. Running a small business has to be exhausting, terrifying, and all-encompassing for your life. I don't want to take on the risk associated with mortgaging my economic future and putting it in the hands of market fluctuations, fickle consumer tastes, changing tax laws, and utter random chance. I don't want to put in the long hours that are required when you're the be all and end all boss of things.

I know that every get-rich-quick scheme ad assumes that everyone hates being bossed around and desperately wants the freedom that comes from setting your own schedule, running things the way you want to run them, and holding your future in your own hands, but I don't want any of that. I may grouse and complain about the bosses above me, but I don't want their jobs. I like being a cog in the wheel. I like being guided. Sure, I might not enjoy the way the bosses guide me a lot of the time, and I may not like where they're guiding me, but I don't have the desire/guts/chutzpa/cajones/stones to be the one doing the guiding.I'm not going for my principal's certificate for a definite reason.

All that being said, if you gave me a few million dollars and said 'open your own business,' let me have the financial safety net needed to not worry (and to hire enough help that I didn't have to kill myself just getting the business afloat), and told me to open my own business, I'm not entirely sure what I'd open up. I can see problems and advantages to most any option I can come up with:
  • book store - The neighborhood, comfortable, homey book store concept has been done to death by people way more business savvy than I am, and I feel like the chances of making money on a brick and mortar book store at this point is pretty much slim and none, and slim just left town with the growing popularity of iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and the like. Book store's nice and sort of romantic and all, but it's not a business to be starting at the point. Take me back to the 1960's, and maybe a book store would be my choice, but not in the the 2010's.
  • comic book store - To some extent I get the same feeling about a comic book store that I do from a book store. Digital is coming, and there's no stopping it. It may not be coming as quickly as the digital general book market is, but it's coming, no doubt. Plus, the number of players that have to figure things out (mostly DC and Marvel for like 80%+ of the comic market) is smaller meaning that once they figure things out, the business is going to change radically and instantly. Might be fun to run a comic/gaming store and all, but the market isn't growing,and it's not a social enough thing for me to do. I've been in comic stores throughout my life, and there are enough times that I'm the only customer in there that I'm guessing it's a lot more lonely lot than most gamers and comic readers imagine. Sure, you can hire all your friends to just hang out with you, but that's pretty much a disastrous business decision.
  • music (record/cd) store - Same problems as both of the above. The digital revolution is gonna kill them entirely in the next decade or two. Sure, Record Store Day helps, but it can't be making and realistic change in the market. Yeah, I'd get to hear the newest music all the time, but the novelty of running a record store seems like it would wear off very quickly. Rob's isn't the life I'm looking for.
  • restaurant - No interest. I love eating at them, but I can't cook and don't have any clue for a restaurant that's better than or different from anything already out there. I'd pretty much want to recreate Troy's or Waffle House or Jeff Ruby's or the Knotty Pine, and they already exist. Why would anybody want to come to my place when they're already there and established?
  • blog writing - There's no money in what I write. Unless you folks are each willing to pony up like a few hundred bucks a month to read my drivel, that's a failure of a business model.
  • media critic - I could do that, but I'm guessing it's a pretty tough market to break into as there are like a million other people who are every bit as good as I am at writing about music, movies, television, and that YouTube video they saw yesterday. Plus, I don't think that really qualifies as opening a business. Freelancing, maybe, but not opening a proper business.
I think my answer is gonna have to be 'I don't want to open one.' I'm happy teaching and eventually retiring and traveling around some.

In case you're late to the party, here's the deal...

Here's what I've answered so far...
  • #25 - "I Know What Love Is" by Don White (way more detail here)
Already requested answers...they'll be answered (probably in this order)...

  • 36...16...19...22...24...27...32...37
Feel free to request other answers in the comments.

No comments: