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Author Topic: About Montana, Wyoming, etc.  (Read 9190 times)

unstructuredreality

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About Montana, Wyoming, etc.
« on: August 07, 2004, 05:21:31 pm »

What do you folks think the possibilities of the service business opportunities in these states are.  In New Hampshire, I can think of several.  Out west in sparsely populated territories it just doesn't seem practical to say, start a powerwashing business or other low-skilled high return business unless one locates to one of the "major" cities and even then the populations are so small that business could very well dry out.  Perhaps a brainstorming thread that isn't technology centered could be in order, what do you think?

Just a couple of pennies
Good Day
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unstructuredreality

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About Montana, Wyoming, etc.
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2004, 08:19:38 pm »

How about this:
Name 5 businesses that a guy or gal can do to make decent money without being technically savvy in these states.  A system can't work without those who service the community.  I've been to Wyoming and Montana and have talked with many too, so what can the average guy/girl do there other than broadcast views on the internet?
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Basil Fishbone

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About Montana, Wyoming, etc.
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2004, 10:18:45 pm »

Quote
What do you folks think the possibilities of the service business opportunities in these states are.

Western Montana is a prime location for service industry businesses.  Local pundits always complain that these businesses do not generally pay good wages, but if you are the business owner, you can do well.    Many areas in Western Montana are booming, and there is lots of cash around.  Lots of competition, though.

I saw one ad for a power-washing business in the Bozeman phone book, offering to clean most anything.

Quote
Name 5 businesses that a guy or gal can do to make decent money without being technically savvy in these states. A system can't work without those who service the community. I've been to Wyoming and Montana and have talked with many too, so what can the average guy/girl do there other than broadcast views on the internet?


If you are really good at something, it might make sense to focus your service business on the upper end of the market.  There is lots of wealth pouring into places like Bozeman, Big Sky, Kalispell, Red Lodge and Hamilton.  Lots of houses going up in the $1 million to $10 million (or more) range.

You can be a business owner if you are savvy and hungry.  You can start out with something like food sales from a cart, or window washing, or snow plowing with a pickup truck or 4 wheeler, or a maid service, or personal care attendant service, or firewood providers.  You might have to do several things at once (or seasonally) initially.  In Bozeman there is one company that has a fleet of several good sized trucks (not semis) which have a big hand-painted sign on the side that says  We Do Anything Call xxx-xxxx .  They have been around for 10 years, and are successful.   They do about anything that needs to be done.

Any of these can be successful independent businesses in Western Montana, if you are the owner-operator:

Carpentry and the building trades.  In places like Bozeman, Kalispell, and several other rapidly growing places in Western Montana, these services are in demand.

Electricians and plumbers. See above.

Mechanics, welders, fabricators.

Heavy equipment operators.

Mailing services, property management, animal boarding, pet care, rental stores, bars and casinos, cafes and coffee houses, appliance repair, landscaping, real estate, business record management and storage, furniture repair and refinishing, second hand stores and pawn shops, ski tours, or be a guide for hikers, photographers, birdwatchers -- lead expenditions.  Custom sewing and tayloring, tree maintenance, catering. (I just went through the yellow pages index and noticed those.).

For those not wishing to be in business for themselves, the above list covers  some well-paying jobs that are not highly technical (depends on your definition I suppose, but you do have to be good at something to get paid well).  In other cases, you have to be the owner to get much return, most of the jobs will be low paying, such as dog grooming or coffee slinger or clerk.

Also, sales, if you are good at it.


Here is census data on service businesses in Montana:

http://www.census.gov/prod/1/bus/services/...rea/92serv.html

See examples of existing businesses here:

http://www.mymontana.com/?template=business_directory

Basil Fishbone
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ZooT_aLLures

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About Montana, Wyoming, etc.
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2004, 10:36:43 pm »

Hey Basil,
How bout machinists with hobby level gunmaking abilities?*grin*
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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

Basil Fishbone

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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2004, 10:49:24 pm »

B)  You bet!  With the recent 9th circuit court decision regarding manufacture of firearms for personal use, and not moving in interstate commerce, the possibility exists of manufacturing firearms for sale to Montana residents only without the federal paperwork.  Watch the next session of the legislature for developments on this.  ;)

Basil
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unstructuredreality

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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2004, 01:28:26 am »

I like machinists, and plumbing can make some good cash, even without a license, if the environment is right, ie. the neighbors won't snitch you out to the city  You know- edited "plumbist" and adding "plumbers" make some of the best skilled wages around.  I'm talking about those who feel and live freedom, but don't have the skills that can make say 35 000- 50,000 a year depending on demand and only then in "urban areas" where prices are higher for living.  I was thinking maybe an electrictian.  How many consistent electricians are there in the communtity?  I know the cost of living is so much cheaper in these places which is why my girlfirend and I are kind of keen on the area.  I would still focus on business I create throughout the "great 50 states" because I can, but would it be feasible to change carreers in a pinch.  My girlfriend, who isn't so computer savvy as I am, would like to be able to move on just in case the business of electicity isn't what it's cracked up to be.  No offense to your valualble insight, she worries that the possibilities just aren'te there yet.  Shoot, I know plumbers in the city of Chicago who make 90,000 per year, granted it's in the "big city" near Chicago which isn't going to sound as nice as half  that in a small town but COL is lower.  I'm thinking of services that with minimal startup, one could make a decent living.  Not 100,000 per year, althouh it would be nice in a small town, but more like 40,000, or is it just not possible?  Could one survive comforably being an electrician or other skilled laborer in a modest town and do well enough to obatin "real estate" that would satisfy a growing family of say, 4- two parents and 2 childeren.

Other service industries are welcome for consideration.  What do people think about simple low-overhead businesses, one could start and make a living doing so.

Thank you for your time in answering
« Last Edit: August 08, 2004, 05:43:05 pm by unstructuredreality »
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Basil Fishbone

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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2004, 12:37:35 pm »

Quote
How many consistent electricians are there in the communtity?

According to the Bozeman phone book, there are 20 electrical contractors listed in Bozeman, and more in surrounding communities.  The total number of electricians employed would naturally be more than 20.

Quote
Not 100,000 per year, althouh it would be nice in a small town, but more like 40,000, or is it just not possible? Could one survive comforably being an electrician or other skilled laborer in a modest town and do well enough to obatin "real estate" that would satisfy a growing family of say, 4- two parents and 2 childeren.

The prevailing wage in the Bozeman area for electricians is $21+ per hour, which is about $40,000 per year. For statewide statistics see:
http://rad.dli.state.mt.us/pw/building/2003bcpwF.pdf

Competent electrical business owners would probably make more.

Basil Fishbone
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Ted Nielsen

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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2004, 01:11:46 pm »

*
« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 12:35:40 pm by Ted Nielsen »
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Ted Nielsen

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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2004, 01:17:07 pm »

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« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 12:35:17 pm by Ted Nielsen »
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unstructuredreality

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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2004, 01:39:12 pm »

Thanks folks.
 I do have some technical know how- not as much as some here- but thought these kinds of jobs would lure more and provide some options for people who are "walking the line" because they worry there will not be enough business to go around.

Snowplowing! :)  Coming from Michigan and knowing of a few folks that have made their livings off of it I can say that if done right, the summers can be a time of travel or a time for doing other odd jobs.  I'ts tougher in the dry snow years but good livings have been put together with minimal investment, particularily if one already has a truck.  I even tried it one year as a teenager with an owner of a company, but moved on.  I got weary of all of the darn wet snow! lol.  Half the time, the snow melted and I always felt like we were ripping people off.

The wise one's always sock away money and explore better situations as time goes on.  It is truely amazing that building one business and saving that money, can lead to even more businessess,  Parlaying the savings into something that will last all year.  
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H.M. WoggleBug, T.E.

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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2004, 05:34:36 pm »

Quote
You know plumbists make some of the best skilled wages around

I don't know what a "plumbist" is, but a friend of mine became a plumber after he couldn't find a job as a computer programmer. Actually, he was my mentor.

Anyway, he started off at Roto-Rooter, and after about 20 months or so will be licensed and able to start his own biz. He says that in the Wine Country of California (Sonoma county?), he can bring in about 75 - 100 dollars an hour. Better than his programming wages at the height of the tech boom!

I'm a fair electrician myself, and I'm "Joe PVC" with irrigation plumbing myself. Plumbing isn't hard, but it can definitely get messy. Most of what you'll fix, I suspect, will be screw-ups from amateurs like me. That's what I've had to do around here, certainly.

I would imagine that the changes in plumbing are much less hectic than for an electrician. Electricians are expected to be able to wire in digital, intercoms, controls, home theatres, etc. etc. Plumbing has PVC, copper, iron, and maybe a few alternate plastics, and THAT'S IT!

'Bug
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Take care of the means, and the end will take care of itself.

unstructuredreality

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About Montana, Wyoming, etc.
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2004, 05:39:58 pm »

Hah, did I say plumbist?  Gee whiz.  Plumber is more what I had in mind.  My message board mind works faster than I type sometimes.  :)  lol
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unstructuredreality

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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2004, 05:46:51 pm »

One of the best business to start with low overhead is a window cleaning service.  I used to do it in high school and just after.  Good cash and if you find the right areas, the referrals were great.  Just do a good job and you can take that business anywhere.

Peace and Good Day

Plumbist, sheesh, thanks for pointing that one out above H.M. WoggleBug, T.E.!  Could be a new occupation like a chemist of sorts.
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byron

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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2004, 05:50:10 pm »

"Resume Preparation"

I keep getting this sales pitch (a good one too) telling me that with their program, a computer, and copier, I can prepare professional resumes and make a decent living working from home.

Any thoughts about the viability of this?
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Basil Fishbone

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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2004, 06:47:45 pm »

Quote
Could one survive comforably being an electrician or other skilled laborer in a modest town and do well enough to obatin "real estate" that would satisfy a growing family of say, 4- two parents and 2 childeren
.

Here is a very good site which has databases which are much more accessible than university or government databases using PDF.  You can look up Montana median housing prices by county, and there is a lot of information about all kinds of things.

http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=27

http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/localList.p...tion=down&sec=0

In summary, a skilled laborer will do very well in Western Montana, and real estate acquisition is very doable. If you are able to establish yourself in a small town which is isolated from the hot spots, real estate is quite cheap, and yet you would make a decent amount of money.

Basil Fishbone
 
 
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