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What to invest 20k in to start a business?

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Christopher Lawson

Real Estate Investor from

Feb 20 '12, 03:00 PM


I'm looking for some help and ideas on what I could invest 20k in so I can start my own business. I'm looking for good returns and I'm always work hard. I am 20 yrs old and have no serious obligations as of now. I want a business that will thrive and that will grow. I have dreams of millions so a business idea of heavy income is a plus. The year is 2012, so i'm looking for ideas that are up to date. Whether it's gold, oil, real estate, websites or solar power I don't care. Help me make it big and share your how you "made it"!



J Scott Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Ellicott City, Maryland

Feb 20 '12, 04:42 PM
1 vote


I think you should invent something like ketchup...only better and more popular...



Medium_lishproplogoJ Scott, Lish Properties, LLC
E-Mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.123flip.com
CHECK OUT MY BIGGERPOCKETS BOOKS: http://www.biggerpockets.com/flippingbook


Carlos Flores

Real Estate Investor from Dallas, Texas

Feb 20 '12, 04:48 PM
1 vote


Reminded me of those old commercials waiting for the ketchup to make its way out of the bottle. Can the OP wait that long?



Medium_dreamstime_l_17553651_-_copy_crCarlos Flores, Stronger Communities Alliance, LLC
E-Mail: [email protected]
I pool investor funds together to acquire apartment complexes


Michael Power Donor

Real Estate Investor from Riverview, Florida

Feb 20 '12, 05:06 PM


Christopher / When I was 20-years old, $20k was worth about $2,500. I "invested" it in a good Chevelle SS. I don't have that anymore, (nor the $2,500 - just some good memories). Seeking what you are trying to do at 20 is commendable. I suggest a good ETF until you find your way in the REI world.

Opportunities do exist, even for $20k....you just can't buy them.

Mike P.



Ed Lee

Residential Real Estate Agent from Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Feb 20 '12, 05:52 PM


Leverage the 20,000...

If you have good credit, and proof of income you could use the 20K as a down payment to start flipping....

My goal would be to buy a property in the 30-40K range in my market..

Do a secured line of credit with the property as collateral. Bank will loan funds to renovate...

20K can turn into 40K easily with leverage and a good eye for deals..

Research, Prepare, Inspect, Buy, Restore, Resell...Repeat...



Joel Owens Moderator

Real Estate Broker from Canton, Georgia

Feb 20 '12, 06:02 PM
1 vote


"Whether it's gold, oil, real estate, websites or solar power I don't care."

You SHOULD care.

I owned some businesses when I was your age.I had a car audio shop.

The key to any business is that you are passionate about it.If you aren't passionate about it you will not get the stellar results you are seeking.

For most businesses 20,000 is not that much for start up.The number one reason for business failure is under capitalization followed by mismanagement a close second.

There is a difference between working IN your business and ON your business.Many small businesses such as restaurants,coin laundry,etc. are owner operators.Meaning they make it run day to day but it is not scalable since YOU can only be in one place at one time.

Smart operators learn how to scale the business by putting systems and people in place.By doing this you can grow your business and work on it and not in it.



Medium_allworldrealtyJoel Owens, All World Realty
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 678-779-2798
Website: http://www.AWcommercial.com
www.AWcommercial.com 678-779-2798 [email protected]


Rich Weese Donor

Real Estate Investor from sioux falls, South Dakota

Feb 20 '12, 06:04 PM
1 vote


This business opportunity may not seem very sexy to you but I always determined that if I went broke I would do the following. You didn't list where you were from so I'm not sure this would work in your particular area but here goes. When I was very young I got my start actually being a janitor and doing a lot of floorcare- mostly carpet cleaning and stripping tile floors and rewaxing. Most of these were businesses.

The startup is not very much as you can buy a couple buffer machines for a couple thousand dollars. The buffer and carpet cleaning pads are also very inexpensive as are the chemicals to use to clean carpets. I would then put flyers together and go around middle to upper class neighborhoods and offer tremendous specials to get your foot in the door. You are young enough, that you can build this business over a period of time. Another method was to go visit car dealers. Their floors, both carpet and tile get a tremendous amount of traffic and they will pay a high amount of money for the few hours it takes to put them back in good shape. This is an ongoing problem for them and if you just find out what they are paying you'll be able to undercut the current crew unless they do it in-house..

Doing it yourself also allows you to undercut the franchises in any particular area because you have no franchise fee, van cost etc.. It is also not difficult work and you can always hire a minimum-wage employee to take care of the corners that require the hand scrubbing, stripping, or waxing. Good luck. Rich



Michael Power Donor

Real Estate Investor from Riverview, Florida

Feb 20 '12, 06:16 PM


Rich / Simple, shameless hard work never fails!

Mike P.



James Park

Real Estate Broker from Johns Creek, Georgia

Feb 20 '12, 06:26 PM


Joel,
Awesome post and I couldn't agree more. You must of read E-Myth by Michael Gerber. :)

Originally posted by Joel Owens:
"Whether it's gold, oil, real estate, websites or solar power I don't care."

You SHOULD care.

I owned some businesses when I was your age.I had a car audio shop.

The key to any business is that you are passionate about it.If you aren't passionate about it you will not get the stellar results you are seeking.

For most businesses 20,000 is not that much for start up.The number one reason for business failure is under capitalization followed by mismanagement a close second.

There is a difference between working IN your business and ON your business.Many small businesses such as restaurants,coin laundry,etc. are owner operators.Meaning they make it run day to day but it is not scalable since YOU can only be in one place at one time.

Smart operators learn how to scale the business by putting systems and people in place.By doing this you can grow your business and work on it and not in it.



Darryl Dahlen Donor

Commercial Loan Officer from Southern Maine

Feb 20 '12, 06:27 PM


As someone who owned a nightclub, I can tell you with 100% certainty that Joel's post has some valuable advice that often only comes with hindsight.

If you're looking for suggestions, I'd throw out the idea of owning a hotdog cart. I know two people who own them and they both do well.

One operates their cart outside of Home Depot, but I'm pretty sure they're under contract with a large compay who subcontracts the space out. The other person owns two carts and makes enough in the summer to take the winter off.



James Park

Real Estate Broker from Johns Creek, Georgia

Feb 20 '12, 06:31 PM
2 votes


When I was 20 years old, I was in San Francisco at the peak of the .com bubble, I put all money into tech stocks like everyone else and lost my shirt.

Hopefully you are a much smarter 20 year old than I was back then and do exactly the opposite of the crowd.

Take that $20k and short the S&P, short the Euro, and short the long term treasury bonds. I would not recommend shorting oil, gold, but i do recommend that you become very greedy to buy real estate today, especially when all the people around you are afraid to buy real estate.

"Whether it's gold, oil, real estate, websites or solar power I don't care."

Don't forget you are 20 years old only once.. Have fun!, date women, travel, and enjoy life.


Edited Feb 20 2012, 18:46 by James Park


Paul C.

Boston, Massachusetts

Feb 20 '12, 07:36 PM


Lots of sound advice here. My 2 cents is figuring out how much time are you willing or realistically capable of putting into your investment. If you're looking to spend 10-20 hours a week, then as others mentioned, doing an owner operated business would be difficult for you since you're not available all the time and can't respond to emergencies. I would rather invest in real estate buy getting some leverage and purchase something no more than 100k and using your funds for a down payment (less than 20% if possible), perhaps buy your first home with an FHA loan (3.5% down), renovate it, and then after you're done move on to another place a year or two later. Or, perhaps you could start a consulting company with whatever skills you have expertise in. Starting a cleaning business isn't a bad idea either as someone else mentioned. Register an LLC, get bonded for like $5k (I think insurance premium is like $100 annually), get some commercial cleaning equipment, build a simple yet detailed website of your services with some nice photos, make flyers (I've used miamiflyers.com) with a promo of like $200 entire home up to $2,000 sq ft 1st time customer up to 4 hours of cleaning services (you'll probably need a partner to help out to make things easier for you). It's a really great deal and for your time it actually comes out to $50 / hr if you do it by yourself which isn't that bad actually vs. a minimum wage job at $8-$9/hr. Lots of opportunities for someone young such as yourself! Good luck!



Ziv Magen

Real Estate Investor from Fukuoka, Queensland

Feb 20 '12, 09:32 PM
1 vote


Agree with what alot of the above said. Get passionate about something, enjoy doing it, decide how many hours you want to spend doing it every day, and find the right investment funds/work combination to suit your passion. Guaranteed recipe for success.

Ziv Magen


Edited Feb 20 2012, 21:51 by Moderator: Signature info belongs in your signature, please.


Luis Ontiveros

Del Mar, California

Feb 20 '12, 11:03 PM


It all depends on what type of real estate investing your interested in getting into.

If your interested in wholesaling properties and getting your feet wet, I personally would recommend you invest into some direct mail or other form of marketing for motivated seller leads and marketing for cash buyers as well.

Devour the information on the subject of wholesaling on this site, send out some postcards or yellow letters, set up your phone systems and websites and you can turn the 1k- 3k you spent into starting your wholesaling business into 10-15k from assigning your first property.

It's not easy work and it is time consuming. I can say there is also a learning curve as to researching properties , determining value, talking to sellers and learning to ask the right questions at first.

However, if you really want to get going in real estate and have those 20 g's available. I personally can't think of any other way.



Chris Masons

Real Estate Investor from Union, New Jersey

Feb 21 '12, 05:38 AM


20k is a great start for a 20 year old. Don't be in such a big rush to do something just to do it though. Keep saving diligently.

As others stated, find what you love to do. Find what excites you.

At the same time alot of hard work pays off. In my teens I pumped gas after school and did landscaping. I busted my but cutting grass in the hot summers but knew I had something bigger in store just didn't know what at that point.

I will say that now IS a great time to invest in real estate. See if you can partner up with someone and buy a nice 2, 3 or 4 family property and get your feet wet and see how you like it. Hard to lose with todays prices and interest rates.

What is your current full time employment?

regards,
Chris



Andre Coltrin

Real Estate Investor from Bozeman, Montana

Feb 23 '12, 01:51 PM


Lot of great ideas mentioned. For me if I would not spend I dime yet. given your comments you made. I first would set out to get a Financial Education. One of my favorite starter books I recommend is Richest Man in Babylon. Read it five times and take notes..... Another book I recommend is Increasing your Financial IQ.
- Andre



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