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Eeekkk- going to look at a van!!!

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  • Eeekkk- going to look at a van!!!

    Ok, so I have been toying with this idea for a while, and while it is a financial fright for me, I am going to look at a van tonight. Questions so far I have thought of to ask:
    I would like to review his financials to see what he spent on fuel, insurance, monthly maintenance, storage (it is garaged at a facility), cleaning.
    Is the client list included in the sale price
    Repair records- proof of proper servicing at correct intervals
    Training for use and care of the van- I have no idea, never had one of these before
    Other questions- where does he fill up and dump grey water?
    Where does he dispose of waste from the toilet?
    Cost of the original graphics, who did them to get an idea of how much to re-do them
    What should I look for in terms of cleanliness/ neglect? Should I smell the water tanks to see if they smell clean?
    should I test each piece of equipment?
    It comes with a Cosmos systems, if he has not used it, will it need work/ new gaskets, etc?
    Is it reasonable to do a joint test dog for me to try out the mechanics of grooming in a van?
    I just don't even know if I will like being in a van after having been in clients homes and my own for so long.
    Sorry for so many questions, but I am scared and excited at the same time. My sister works for a bank and she is getting info for me on the small business incentive program that Obama is trying to pass.

  • #2
    You seem to have a good handle on what to ask. If the van was converted by a company such as Wag'nTails, Odyessy, Hanvey, etc. the owner should have a operating manual provided by the converter.

    The disposal of gray and black (toilet) water is a problem for YOU, not him. If you own a home, you can usually connect to the cleanout plug that leads to your sewer or septic system and dispose of the black water there. The gray water may have to be disposed of in the sewer, or you may be lucky enough to live in an area where you can use it for irrigation.

    But if you are hoping that the government is going to help you with financing your dream van, I hate to burst your bubble. Small business loans are at their lowest rate of approval in years. Those who are getting loans are people who have excellent (750 or higher) PERSONAL credit scores, have a proven track record in their field, and who can put a substantial amount of their own funds down. Think anywhere from ten to twenty five percent.

    The only new program that the Obama administration has suggested is giving seed money to small community banks to lend to small businesses. The problem is there is so much red tape with an SBA backed loan that most small banks will not participate. We asked our banker, and he said there is no way the bank could make a profitable loan with the restrictions that are proposed.

    It looks like if you are a small business person, like the "Soup Nazi" says "NO SOUP FOR YOU!"
    "With God's help, all things are possible!"
    Laura Lee Ray
    I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

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    • #3
      If Possible.....

      See if you can go on a ride-along. That way, you can see what goes on in a mobile.
      Good Luck! BTW, ditto on the government thing. Don't hold your breathe where the government is concerned.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kats_melody View Post
        The disposal of gray and black (toilet) water is a problem for YOU, not him. If you own a home, you can usually connect to the cleanout plug that leads to your sewer or septic system and dispose of the black water there. The gray water may have to be disposed of in the sewer, or you may be lucky enough to live in an area where you can use it for irrigation."
        I realize that, but I am not even familiar with the laws in our county/ city, so that is a starting point for the questions. I want to know what HE is currently doing. It may be he dumps at the facility he stores it at.

        I know that getting a loan will be difficult, and this likely will not become a reality for me, but I am going to try to see if I can get alternate sources of funding. If I like the van, and I think it will be a good investment, then I will complete a business plan. I did one for my business already, and as I see it, this is an expansion loan, not a start up loan. I have been in business officially for 1.5 years, and I am changing the direction and scope of my business. Rather than continue to offer housecall, I am looking to provide myself with a healthier, more productive and efficient way to groom. I say healthier because in reality, when you are using people's restrooms to groom in, you don't know what germs you are exposing yourself to. Also, bending over tubs and working in poor light are not healthy for the body.
        I love what I am doing, I am just ready to rethink HOW I do it.
        So I think I am on the road to a good business plan. However, without some numbers from the current owner, I will not be able to work out the financial estimates.
        The idea of a ride along is great, but I want to be able to wash a dog, use the dryer, etc.
        I will ask, if the finaicial stuff works out.

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        • #5
          So? What's the verdict?? Sure sounded like a pretty good thing on the phone....

          EDIT: Ooooo, wait'll you guys hear! I have the luck of being the first to know! Wish like hell I lived in Pebble Beach...well, no I don't but wow! Keepin my fingers crossed big time on this one!
          Last edited by PuppyFluffer; 02-03-10, 08:49 PM.
          Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
          George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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          • #6
            G'friend, DO get an independent assessment by a certified mechanic.
            "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
            People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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            • #7
              OK
              I liked it. I think my chin is dry now. I cleaned all the drool off.
              I have a lot of soul searching to do this weekend. I also need to crunch some hard numbers, write a plan, submit it to the bank and find out if I can even get a loan. I don't want to waste the guy's time unless I get qualified for the financing. If I do, then it will go to a mechanic, and I will test out every piece of equipment.
              I do have some questions:
              A clipper vac that has not been used in a long time- will it still work correctly?
              Same question for the Cosmos system?
              No TV, but it has a potty and a fridge and a micro.

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              • #8
                I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!!!!

                You've been in a state of limbo for so long, this is bound to work out for you

                Sending good vibes and prayers your way!

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                • #9
                  In my opinion an even bigger question, does it have a generator and how many hours are on it? And what type of service has been done on it. If it doesn't have a gene, you may want to determine what type of clientele you are servicing and if they are going to appreciate you plugging into their home. And if you plug in are you going to limit your service to small dogs because it will take you twice as long to dry big hairy dogs with one little hair dryer that pulls from a 15 amp from the house. It is my opinion the generator is the biggest deciding factor on a mobile. It is a 5K purchase and a huge maintenance issue. Good luck

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                  • #10
                    Don't forget to take a good hard look at your area if you are able to get the van. How much competition is out there. How far will you have to drive. How much can you charge. These questions related to the business end need to be asked and answered in addition to questions about the van in order to succeed.

                    I hope it's all good and you get the van. Yesterday I was in my van and I was so happy! I love mobile grooming.
                    www.gomobileandsucceed.com
                    http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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                    • #11
                      http://www.petgroomerads.com/mobile/popup/2010-0007.htm
                      I looked at the odometer and verified that as well as the generator meter inside. I don't know if those can be futzed with, but the hours check out. It was clean, smelled clean. I will need to make modifications to the cab slightly- I need pedal extenders because I am a very vertically challenged person. Hubby will have to build a platform of sorts for me to do the big dogs. I could store it in the bathroom when not in use.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by groominshuman View Post
                        In my opinion an even bigger question, does it have a generator and how many hours are on it? And what type of service has been done on it. If it doesn't have a gene, you may want to determine what type of clientele you are servicing and if they are going to appreciate you plugging into their home. And if you plug in are you going to limit your service to small dogs because it will take you twice as long to dry big hairy dogs with one little hair dryer that pulls from a 15 amp from the house. It is my opinion the generator is the biggest deciding factor on a mobile. It is a 5K purchase and a huge maintenance issue. Good luck
                        I'm sorry but I am shoreline only and I do big hairies and they don't take me any longer than they did at the salon when I was using the Lange there. I have a Hanvey Gold Hi-V and it's a very nice dryer that pulls only 10 amps. I do a Samoyed every 4 weeks and have him done in usually 1 1/2-2 hours including bath, dry, brush out, trim etc. They DO make good dryers that don't pull a lot of amps, like the Hanvey and the Kool Dry. I have never had a client even blink when I mention I plug in, many ask if I need their water hose too LOL. Most of my clients are upper income levels. Perhaps because there are few mobiles in this area and most of my clients had never heard of such a service until they found me, but I've never had a problem plugging in. My next one has a gene, and I'm not thrilled about that as all I hear about on this board are gene problems. I wanted an inverter, but when he found a great deal on a gene I couldn't pass it up. I may just use the gene in the summer when I need to run the A/C, who knows.
                        What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                        • #13
                          That Elite looks like a great deal. Good luck on the financing. Hope you get it.

                          Definitely check the generator. Although you hear a lot of cursing about generators on this forum, what you don't hear about are people who DON'T have problems with generators. We don't and ours was NOT taken care of, having been salvaged from a wreck and put in storage for almost two years. Cleaning up everything put everything right, we have put over 1300 hours on the generator with the only repair being a new fuel pump.

                          Most problems with ANYTHING can be traced to either improper installation or lack of maintenance. We change the oil and filter on the generator monthly whether it needs it or not. We change the plugs every 500 hours.

                          The Clipper Vac is built like the proverbial brick outhouse. Ours had hair and gunk in it when we got it, we cleaned it up, painted the exterior, and it looks and runs like new.
                          "With God's help, all things are possible!"
                          Laura Lee Ray
                          I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by groominshuman View Post
                            In my opinion an even bigger question, does it have a generator and how many hours are on it? And what type of service has been done on it. If it doesn't have a gene, you may want to determine what type of clientele you are servicing and if they are going to appreciate you plugging into their home. And if you plug in are you going to limit your service to small dogs because it will take you twice as long to dry big hairy dogs with one little hair dryer that pulls from a 15 amp from the house. It is my opinion the generator is the biggest deciding factor on a mobile. It is a 5K purchase and a huge maintenance issue. Good luck
                            I plug in and am not limited to small dogs. I have a Davis 20 amp dryer. I prefer to plug in over dealing w/ a generator and I service high end clientele. Not one client has ever said a word about me plugging in
                            The ocean is a desert with it's life underground and the perfect disguise above><((((؛>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((؛>¸.
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