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 Going full time

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  • Total Posts: 113
  • Joined: 1/12/2013
  • Location: windham, ME
Going full time Sat, 08/3/13 12:30 PM (permalink)
How did you guys go full time? Did you slowly work into it or did you jump in head first? I currently work 6 days a week 60 hours a week for my day job and go vend thursday & saturday nights 10pm-2am. I'm doing well during those shifts making around half of my take home pay from my day job in just those 2 shifts. My wife runs a small at etsy business but I earn the majority of our income. We don't have a huge savings right now and have been using the additional money to pay off some bills to put us in a better spot to go full time.
Part of me wants to dive right in and just do it but the other part of me wants to be financially responsible and not risk a guaranteed gig for a gig that will definitely be up and down.

    • Total Posts: 3219
    • Joined: 9/10/2003
    • Location: Hot Dog University Chicago, IL
    Re:Going full time Sat, 08/3/13 3:04 PM (permalink)
    Janine Pestel aka dragondog in Mesa, AZ took the leap of faith last year. Track her down and give her a call.

      • Total Posts: 739
      • Joined: 3/5/2011
      • Location: Fieldale, VA
      Re:Going full time Sat, 08/3/13 10:21 PM (permalink)
      This is a good post, because it brings up a lot of issues.
      First question.....eased in cuz I wanted to test the market. Had some savings, tho unemployed. Knew I had to start making some money. No 60 hr. a week job. No income. If you have that, I suggest you save every dime you can. Cut down every  bill you pay. Get out of debt. Live frugal. Put 8 monthes living expences in the bank.
      Your midnite shift seems to work, how you gonna expand that?  Got other things lined up?
      Do you you have small children you need to feed?
      Do you like your day job?
      You seem to have energy, since you work so much.
      Let's let others chime in.
        Randy H

        • Total Posts: 36
        • Joined: 4/7/2009
        • Location: Mooresville, IN
        Re:Going full time Sat, 08/3/13 10:37 PM (permalink)
        Hi, I was wondering how cold it got up there in the winter?  Just south of Indianapolis, I would probably take winters off if possible if I could afford to.  I'm retired with a pension check coming in every month so I'm trying to compare apples to oranges.  Good luck to you whatever you decide to do.

          • Total Posts: 89
          • Joined: 2/18/2008
          • Location: west haven, CT
          Re:Going full time Sat, 08/3/13 11:14 PM (permalink)
          Reading your post i dont think you can do it. Reasons are you are the najority earner medical benefits with your full time job? If she were the majority income and you had health benefits under her plan i would say must know this business by now and conclude it can be very inconsistent, you are in maine? Severe winter weather may hurt your biz ...say the bar seems to risky at this point to lose your day job it may sound tempting when you make 3 hundred a nite but for most vendors that is not one two or 300 a day 5-7 days a week thru the year its up and down no guarantees

            • Total Posts: 89
            • Joined: 2/18/2008
            • Location: west haven, CT
            Re:Going full time Sun, 08/4/13 9:52 AM (permalink)
            here is how it worked for me...i used to work a 40 hour week at a hospital my wife works 40 hours at her job, after a year or so of going out a few days after work and weekends with my push cart i changed my status at work to '' casual'' i only work weekends(most employers wont let you do this) my wife retains her 40 hour job and i am under her health plan(health insurance was a main concern)....i take the food truck out tues-fri and she does the truck weekends while i am at my job we have been doing this for a bunch of years ....the important point is that i am able to change my status back to full or part time at any time if the food business went sour which it did not....i am pretty much off the truck thru out the winter so that was concern but again im fortunate to be able to pick up extra shifts during the winter....again in my opinion if anyone is going to give up a day job and rely on hot dogs to pay all the bills you better have a daily long line of customers

              • Total Posts: 113
              • Joined: 1/12/2013
              • Location: windham, ME
              Re:Going full time Sun, 08/4/13 6:12 PM (permalink)
              While I am the majority earner I do not have insurance benefits. They are too costly through my job so we go uninsured and pay cash at the Drs. 
              I don't like my job and my employer tried to get me to stop selling hot dogs in my free time once they found out I was doing it. So I have no problem getting done.
              I have a 2year old daughter to take care of but I also miss out on a great deal of her life working 6 days a week. Some weeks I don't see her for days at a time. I know if I could sell hot dogs full time and make a living I'd be able to spend more time with her and my wife.

              The bar rush is currently fairly steady and profitable. There's no threat of the bars closing because it's basically a cluster of a dozen or so bars and our city has a huge night life. I wouldn't be focusing solely on working late night if I went full time. I currently can only get out Thursday and Saturday because of my schedule on Friday's So I miss a very busy night each week when I could be out selling dogs. I would be doing thursday-saturday late night and then working days Monday-Friday. I have a few spots scoped out as well as being able to set up on city property. I also could line up enough events throughout most of the year to bring in more cash. If I didn't have a full time job I'd be able to sell the catering/party side more because I would have the time to do. 
              I know the weather will affect me business in the winter. I figure I'd more than likely lose January-February altogether and December and March would be spotty. I could easily fill this income with holiday work.
              My ultimate goal is to grow into a concession trailer and spend the fall doing county fairs in our state. 
              I think I'm going to finish out this year with my original plan like Jcheese said. Pay off my debt and get my monthly expenses as low as I can. That will set us up to be in a better spot to go full time. 

                • Total Posts: 89
                • Joined: 2/18/2008
                • Location: west haven, CT
                Re:Going full time Sun, 08/4/13 6:55 PM (permalink)
                Well good luck i hope you make wary that you have a 2 yr old with no insurance a few illnesses would really hurt unless you get some state/fed money, also keep im mind planning zoning and police are always wanting to change an ordinance hopefully you live in an area that welcomes street vending

                  • Total Posts: 113
                  • Joined: 1/12/2013
                  • Location: windham, ME
                  Re:Going full time Sun, 08/4/13 7:53 PM (permalink)
                  The city I'm in is VERY street vendor friendly. I pay my yearly dues and I can set up on public property with very few restrictions.
                  As for the insurance aspect I already don't have it so it's not like I'd be losing anything. My job offers insurance for me and my family at the tune of $250.00 a month or $1,000 a month. Then its a $6,000 dollar deductible before the insurance even kicks in. 
                  We don't get state or federal assistance as we make too much under the income guidelines. We just don't really go to the doctors unless its an absolute necessity or for my daughters routine check ups. When we do go I pay cash. I know if something horrible happened to any of us we'd be screwed but at this point in my life it's a risk I have to take.

                    • Total Posts: 739
                    • Joined: 3/5/2011
                    • Location: Fieldale, VA
                    Re:Going full time Sun, 08/4/13 9:25 PM (permalink)
                    Another good post from Silly.
                    No insurance, that's moot.
                    Hate your job, good motivation.
                    Missing out on 2 y/o'll lay on your deathbed and regret that.
                    Finish out the year paying down your debts, saving money.
                    Set a date in the Spring while marketing all Winter.
                    Can your wife run the cart alone?
                    Maybe an option to ease in.

                      • Total Posts: 89
                      • Joined: 2/18/2008
                      • Location: west haven, CT
                      Re:Going full time Sun, 08/4/13 11:04 PM (permalink)
                      Sounds like you are ready to jump in...hating your day job is a very good reason,thinking you will have more time with your daughter well thats to be seen depending upob how sucessfull you become you have to put in long hours,also right now your few days a week are fun and extra money...when you go full time the fun may fade and now your under the gun to bring in cash and as you know it will be hard work...are you going to plan on taking the safe serve course to sell burgers fries etc in the trailer? My buisiness really jumped when i did that , but the drawback is i have zero free time in the spring/summer
                        hella good tacos

                        • Total Posts: 112
                        • Joined: 7/27/2012
                        • Location: Portland, ME
                        Re:Going full time Sun, 08/4/13 11:52 PM (permalink)
                         summers in portland are good, but once the end of September beginning of October comes around expect sales to drop off significantly.   Unless you are doing events there isn't much in the way of street vending.
                         come fall and winter that will cut to between half to 1/4 of that depending on the weather.
                        All i am saying is have a backup plan for the cold months. I substitute teach when the weather gets bad.
                        <message edited by hella good tacos on Sun, 08/4/13 11:56 PM>

                          • Total Posts: 9579
                          • Joined: 9/1/2006
                          • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                          Re:Going full time Mon, 08/5/13 12:36 AM (permalink)
                          As JCHEESE said, Get out of Debt FIRST, put what you need to live on for 8 months, (Or more) in savings and then re-evaluate what to do. I would not recommend it before you do that.
                          Do you do the kind of work that you could return to easily?
                          I think you'll need a Plan B for the winter months. You'll need to keep the Cash Flowing.

                            • Total Posts: 113
                            • Joined: 1/12/2013
                            • Location: windham, ME
                            Re:Going full time Mon, 08/5/13 9:10 PM (permalink)
                            If I leave on good terms I can probably work part time for the company I'm at. I'm also looking into an early morning paper route. They pay really well for only being a few hours a day.

                            I've been looking into a lunch spot in a different city. The city is fine with my operating there but I don't want to approach the property owner to see what they think since I can't do lunch there right now. But I think it could be a very profitable spot to hit a couple days a week.


                              • Total Posts: 113
                              • Joined: 1/12/2013
                              • Location: windham, ME
                              Re:Going full time Mon, 08/5/13 9:12 PM (permalink)
                              Top_Dog  -  I will be getting doing more if I move to a trailer. I want to do deep fried bacon wrapped dogs, bacon wrapped corn dogs, burgers, fries, fried pickles, etc. My long term plan is to run the hot dog stand for a few years, add a trailer to the business and work the cart most of the year and then in the fall use the trailer to hit the fairs for 4-5 weeks straight. I'll also use it for other larger festivals during other parts of the year.
                                Coaches Kettle Corn

                                • Total Posts: 6
                                • Joined: 8/5/2013
                                • Location: Kc, MO
                                Re:Going full time Tue, 08/6/13 12:24 AM (permalink)
                                I love that plan! I do alot of fairs. The trailers usually outsell everyone! Just the look alone does it.
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