My wife and I love to keep busy. Both of us have full time jobs and also have our own side businesses; hers is photography and mine is blogging. With our multiple sources of income, we have been able to set audacious goals such as paying down all of our student loan debt within 14 months time (we accomplished this in March, 2011), and also to pay off our home mortgage in 4 short years (only 3 years and 2 months to go on this plan).
Since we are knocking down our mortgage loan payoff from an already short time frame of 15 years down to 4, I figured it would fly by in no-time. Well, I was wrong. We’re only 10 months into the plan and I already feel like this mortgage should have been fully paid by now. We still have $61,450 to go! I don’t want to admit it, but I could see us sluffing off on our extra payments soon, mainly because we’re not really paying extra on our house for a purpose other than saving a few bucks on interest.
I know that getting rid of our debt is the next step to becoming ultra-wealthy, but we really need a future goal to look forward to as a tool for motivation.
A New Business Venture?
Personally, I love the blogging business because starting a new website has practically no risks because the start-up is so low! I paid $44 for the first year of my site and earned over $4,000. It was absolutely awesome! However, a blogging business is nothing to depend on. Google could make one change overnight and suddenly your earnings drop from $5,000 per month down to $50. It’s happened to other people, and it could happen to me too.
For this reason, my wife and I are thinking about starting a more tangible business down the road. We’re not thinking about anything too seriously quite yet, but just the brainstorming about a future idea keeps our motivation flowing because we both know that before we start any type of venture, we’d like to have our mortgage paid in full.
The Wedding Dress Shop
Just recently, a local antique store has decided to call it quits. The knick-knacks are out and the for sale sign is up, and it got my wife and I thinking about what businesses might thrive in that location.
My wife absolutely loves weddings, and I think her next greatest passion is fashion. Meld those two areas together and what do you get? Wedding dresses of course. Naturally then, she thought that this location would be suited perfectly for a wedding dress shop. Given the demographics and the style of the location, I actually agree with her 100%. For fun, we decided to dig into the numbers to see if the business was practical.
Get Rid of Our Mortgage
Like I stated before, we’re committed to getting rid of our home loan before starting a new venture. So, with our current payments of $1,911 per month, we could start considering a new venture 3 years and 2 months from now. But, if we really got serious about getting rid of this debt, I think we could increase our payment to $2,400, which would allow us to pay off our home loan in just 2 years and 6 months.
Purchase the Antique Store
The store is currently listed for $324,900, which we believe is a little high. It’s already been on the market for 260 days and hasn’t stirred a ton on interest. If this place is still on the market in 2.5 years, we’re certain that we could buy it for just $225,000.
If the accommodations permitted, I wouldn’t mind living in the store to keep expenses low, but let’s just assume that we stay living in our fully paid-for house for now.
Non-Wedding Shop Income
The asking price includes not only the antique store, but also a builders office that is earning rental income. Upon purchase, my wife and I plan on receiving $800 per month for this unit.
There also is enough room in the store to rent out some space for local photographers. This side-room would be all set up with backdrops and lighting and could be rented by photographers that are taking professional photos. This would most likely bring in at least another $500 per month.
The Wedding Shop
Of course, this is where the real income would come from. Since we only need to house the sample dresses in the store, our expenses would stay low (would only need to invest about $10,000 initially), but if we were able to sell just 150 dresses per year (that’s only 3 per week), our profits from the markup would be right around $100,000.
The Big Draw
If you’ve ever been a bride, you know that one of the toughest things to do is visualize a sample dress as a different color. Do you know what I mean? Maybe you love the style of the dress, but the sample is only in stark white. You’d really like to purchase the dress in champagne. Sometimes you just have to go by faith and figure the dress will be beautiful, even though you’ve never seen it.
With my wife’s skills in graphic design, this blind purchase will never happen again. She can take a photo of you in the sample dress, and then alter the color to what you want – all in a matter of seconds! I think that this simple skill will separate our bridal store from all the others.
What do you think of this business idea? Is it crazy? Or does it sound like it has potential?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.