OT: Starting Businesses in Difficult Times

If you look at my web site you'll rapidly see through the use of the plural 'we' and realize that the only product that Wescott Design
Services has to sell is hours of Tim Wescott's time. Thus, the business doesn't have a life independent of little ol' me.
So, ever since I started the business I've been working on starting a seminar business, too, with the intent of training up minions and getting something going with a life of its own. This so that if I get sick or want to retire I can either have an income stream or something to sell.
But dangit, the plans I made assumed a booming economy and a high-end seminar that would charge great big wads of money to train someone up and get them back on the job with newly improved skills quickly.
I have some specific thoughts on how to overcome this, but I was thinking this morning that there has to be some lessons to be learned from history -- specifically, what sorts of businesses were successful at starting up or coming back from the ashes between 1930 and 1938, and how'd they do it? I was wondering if anyone has seen any good books that cover this sort of thing.
(Note, if you're a popular historian with a business school bent, or a business author with a historical bent, that there's an opportunity right here).
TIA
--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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For the sort of a "how to have a business to run that sells something other than my time" my answer for myself is websites. They run by themselves and make money for me. It is also a very recession resistant business.
i
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What are your web sites selling? Physical products? eBooks? Videos?
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I am not selling anything, they are informational, but carry ads or some such.
i
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Ah, gotcha. Don't you need many thousands of hits per day to make significant money that way?
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Depends on site, generally yes.
i
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Well I was expecting that you would at least show a landing page or so. Not that you would want to see metalheads generating money for you with click-throughs, of course. :-)
I am doing something similar with http://bogusbeer.appspot.com
It's the first in what I expect will be a number of web sites that filter features attached to items in a particular domain.
I scrape data from various locations on the web, then reformat it in a way that I can present it to users based on the features they select.
I find this whole process quite compelling for a number of reasons. But I won't bore you with the details unless you have an interest.
DOC
On Aug 27, 10:25am, Ignoramus31855 <ignoramus31...@NOSPAM. 31855.invalid> wrote:

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That could still work, but you have to look outward. My dream is to get a cruise ship and teach international seminars while cruising around the world. Hey, let start to dream together.
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On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 08:45:29 -0700 (PDT), linnix

There was a controls seminar some years ago given on a tall (sailing) ship in the Carribean. That would be nice. Some potential upside on taxation too, depending on your residency and citizenship.
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wrote:

I am thinking about the Pacific. They (the students' parents and governments) have money and willing to learn. It is too difficult to arrange it for them in the US, so it needs to be in international water.

Able and Willing to change.
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On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 12:34:31 -0400, Spehro Pefhany

I had a good friend that was the main instructor for PSpice classes. He took a look at all the usual costs involved, and figured out that having the class on a one week cruise would cost LESS than holding it in a hotel, both for the company and the students!
Unfortunately, the reality of going to your boss, and asking to take a cruise to learn PSpice sank the idea! You are supposed to be working! 8-)
Charlie
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On 08/27/2010 02:54 PM, Charlie E. wrote:

I had a guy tell me that his boss wouldn't let him go to the Embedded Systems Conference when it was in San Francisco because SF was too much of a tourist town, and it was just vacation time.
Getting sent to a seminar in an armpit of a city someplace was fine, though.
Probably the best solution to that is to choose a variety of venues -- catch the "I'll get a seminar and a vacation" at some, catch the ones with Grinch for a boss in others.
--

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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That's hard-core.
And to think that there are actually some ENGINEERING COMPANIES in San Francisco! I wonder how they ever get any work done? Amazing!
:-)

I spent a month at a customer site in Rochelle, Illinois, once... definitely qualifies as an armpit.
---Joel
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On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 16:24:57 -0700, "Joel Koltner"

Try Seaboard Electronics in New Rochelle New York.......brrrrr...I counted 23 stripped or currently being stripped cars/trucks on the SIDE OF THE FREEWAY as I passed em from JFK to the factory.
Mid 1980s......and I couldnt carry CCW there....BRRRR
I went to lunch and a pickpocket got his hand smashed in the door to the restaurant when he fumbled his trick. Dont know how that happened...shrug
I never ever nevernever went back there. Nononono!
Gunner
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New Rochelle's average household income is $199,061. The average home price is over $752,000. It's one of the most desired towns in the US, with a crime rate less than half of the average.
What you drove through to get there, in Queens and the Bronx, is the New York equivalent of Taft, California. That's why you saw the stripped cars.
What probably threw you off your feed is the lack of garbage heaps and broken-down pickups in the front yards. It doubtless looked like alien territory.
--
Ed Huntress



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This website has the average household income as a lot less.
Estimated median household income in 2008: $59,359 (it was $55,513 in 2000) New Rochelle:      $59,359
Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/New-Rochelle-New-York.html#ixzz0xtzsd3Sz
http://www.city-data.com/city/New-Rochelle-New-York.html
Dan
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This website has the average household income as a lot less.
Estimated median household income in 2008: $59,359 (it was $55,513 in 2000) New Rochelle: $59,359
Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/New-Rochelle-New-York.html#ixzz0xtzsd3Sz
http://www.city-data.com/city/New-Rochelle-New-York.html
==============================================Thanks, Dan. The $199,061 figure was for the northernmost of three ZIP codes for New Rochelle. My mistake.
It's still one hell of a nice -- and an expensive -- town. My family belonged to a beach club there in the late '50s.
--
Ed Huntress



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It probably is a nice town, but not my idea of a great place to live. I prefer having a little distance between my house and the neighbors.
Dan
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On Sat, 28 Aug 2010 05:17:18 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@krl.org"

Estimated median household income in 2008: $59,359 (it was $55,513 in 2000) New Rochelle:      $59,359 New York:      $56,033
Estimated per capita income in 2008: $37,933
New Rochelle city income, earnings, and wages data
Estimated median house or condo value in 2008: $607,700 (it was $299,900 in 2000) New Rochelle:      $607,700 New York:      $318,900
Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/New-Rochelle-New-York.html#ixzz0xupdSyGO
Thats quite a difference between average income and housing costs..isnt it?
Gunner
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Mean prices in 2008: Mobile homes: $362,500.
http://www.city-data.com/city/New-Rochelle-New-York.html#ixzz0xtzsd3Sz
It sure isn't Taft, is it? d8-)
--
Ed Huntress



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