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Moving to a new state. Weighing my options.

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by timjitsu, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. timjitsu

    timjitsu Member

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    Hey everyone,

    Well I get straight to it. I'm the manager of my family sign business (mostly traffic signs), and my wife and I just decided we want to move to Georgia. My family situation is weird, but pretty much when I tell them that I'm leaving I will likely be disowned so it's kind of an all-in decision. Making signs is all I know, I worked for my dad during high school summer breaks and once I turned 18 I immediately started full time and now I'm 33 and still here. I don't regret it, I actually like what I do but the down side is that my work experience doesn't really transfer over to anything, so getting a job that pays anywhere near what I get paid now will be pretty much impossible.

    With that said, when I move I will be debt free and will have enough for a down payment on a house and some extra money to live off for a while. But I'm wondering if I should immediately start a sign business or get a normal job and do signs on the side and slowly build my customer base. I feel that if i immediately start my business I will need to go into too much debt to start up and I will burn through cash for at least the first 6 months because I am starting with zero customers.

    What do you guys think is the best thing to do? Has anyone been in a similar situation before? Any help is appreciated.
     
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  2. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    My experience with starting a brand new sign shop is that it takes more like 2 or 3 years to build a clientele that can really support you. Perhaps if you're in a bigger city where you could get accounts that spend more money you could do it faster, but then again they probably already have sign companies that they work with.

    So it would probably depend on what kind of town you are moving into and what kind of business climate is there.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Find sign shops in the area and ask if any are hiring. If they are, that could be a good inkling that the industry is booming. If not, I don't think I'd open still yet another one, with no references.
     
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  4. timjitsu

    timjitsu Member

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    I'm planning on moving just outside of Atlanta. So there should be a lot of customer opportunities.

    From my experience in the traffic sign industry, it's the cities you want to get in with and contractors are a close second. But they each have their pros and cons. Cities spend more money, but are more picky. Contractors spend less money but are less picky.
     
  5. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    I was in a similar position around three years ago, sold my house in Nashville and moved to Mississippi to help take care of my wife's dad, who passes right before we sold our
    house. She inherited his house and land, but the house had lots of issues... I pretty much had to gut it... I spent too much time trying to do it myself and save money rather than
    getting a business going and paying someone to do the work.
    My advice is: The money will go much quicker than you think, buy a shop you can live in while you and your wife get the business going and wait to buy a house.
    If you don't mind me asking, why Georgia?
     
  6. danno

    danno Member

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    I left Charlotte, NC 3 years ago. I'm currently in Birmingham, AL. There is a big difference in the way the shops and clients respond. Charlotte was more about quality. Birmingham is more about price. Before the start of the Covid, I knew some shops in the Atlanta area that were 2-3 weeks out for new orders. That has all changed. I would do some research about the area in which you are attempting to land and follow Gino's advise.
     
  7. timjitsu

    timjitsu Member

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    We have a 5 year old daughter and will likely have another child by the time we end up moving, so living out of an industrial building just isn't an option for me.

    I chose Georgia because it seemed to be the best mix of cost of living/ rural countryside / city life / climate / politics.

    I live in Southern California right now and all politics aside this state has gone so much downhill since I was a kid it's not even funny. I live in what used to be considered a nice part of Orange county. However just the last 4-5 years the homeless population has increased probably 5x. I used to walk my daughter to this little donut shop around the corner from where I live but not anymore. The homeless have built themselves a little tent city and it smells like **** and sh*t and the city isn't doing anything about it. The housing market is ridiculous as well. My wife and I make very good money and can't even afford a somewhat nice house, in a somewhat nice neighborhood. A house just sold in my neighborhood for $800k, It was only a 3Bed 2 Bath 1600sf house. It's just not a good place to raise a family anymore unless you're making $300k+ a year and can afford to live a nice neighborhood.
     
    • OMG / Wow! OMG / Wow! x 1
  8. BlueMoonATL

    BlueMoonATL Member

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    My opinion would be to secure a job for a while and get settled, then consider opening your own business. I've helped people start sign businesses in that area, and while you are right that there will be a lot of opportunity in the area you are moving... its still very expensive to start a company. I've got connections in the traffic sign space, and can probably recommend some companies in the North Atlanta area you can check out. There are actually general contractors that do a lot of the road work in Atlanta that you can approach about working for them. And with the amount of road construction that is ALWAYS going on there, there will be no shortage of business. You can also consider working for one of the sign suppliers there. Let me know if you want to pursue that course and I'll connect you with some of the sales managers that I know.
     
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  9. BlueMoonATL

    BlueMoonATL Member

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    A house that size in Gwinnett County (Dacula area) would go for mid $200s to low $300s. Plus the property tax will be SOOOO much lower. Price of gas is lower too! Good schools in that area as well. 3BR Houses in Dacula, GA
     
  10. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Show me your business plan and I'll be able to give you 800,000 reasons to reconsider your move. I'm local. I get coffee at sunrise. You do have an actual business plan, correct?
     
  11. timjitsu

    timjitsu Member

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    I haven't put together a business plan yet, because I haven't visited the area yet. My wife and I are going to take a week off and take a trip there to research the local job a business market.

    I'm not sure what you mean about giving me 800,00 reasons to reconsider my move.
     
  12. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    Well, visit Georgia and report back with what you learn.
     
  13. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    That's what I thought, but didn't want to be insulting... Just a FYI; I know people who have sold everything to get away from Atlanta and moved to one of the Carolinas .. Just based off what they said, the area
    is becoming dangerous and very liberal. Eastern Tennessee would be my choice.
     
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  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    In my opinion, nothing's the same as it was 6 months ago and they're changing daily...... mostly for the worse. By the time you check things out, get your plans together and move, it could be altogether different in just a month or so, let alone 3 or 4 months. Just be careful. You might wanna consider making a 'B' and 'C' backup plan.
     
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  15. timjitsu

    timjitsu Member

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    True, my nextdoor neighbor's daughter lives in Cumming
    I agree, I'm not moving immediately. I'm still paying off some debts and saving as much as I can. I'm just getting started with researching and coming up with a plan for right now. I for sure and going to wait until this whole, ummm situation, is over. lol
     
  16. timjitsu

    timjitsu Member

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    Yeah true, but from what I've read and what I've been told by a few people I know personally who have lived there. Liberal politics seem to be isolated to Atlanta. Once you go outside of Atlanta it's very conservative. I actually looked at TN for a while, I just had a hard time finding a city that was affordable that didn't have a high crime rate.
     
  17. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Then, ya better hold onto your seat, cause it looks like we're in for a lo-o-o-ong ride on several fronts. Cripes, right now ya hafta be careful crossing state lines without getting pulled over for quarantine. Then, ya need to be on the lookout for peaceful people.... especially when ya can't carry guns across state lines. Consider your choices wisely.
     
  18. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    If you like, PM me and I can suggest a couple areas that are growing, has lots of potential, very safe and land is cheap... so you can check them out too on the way (assuming it's a driving trip)

    This is a great idea, no conflict of interest while you build your shop & might get a discount.

    What about buying a piece of land with a nice shop, or where you can build a nice shop & putting a mobile-home on it?
    I know that might sound a little "redneck-ish" to you, but IMHO it's better to be off the beaten path to avoid tire kickers & set
    yourself up so you're not under a financial strain the first few years... I would seriously wait on the house until you're sure you picked
    the right place and are making money, then you pick or build the one you want and you have time to familiarize yourself with the area.
     
  19. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Active Member

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    Atlanta was one of the first to experience the migration from the liberal states, many from the east coast in that example. As in many of the desirable conservative areas, the liberals move there for things like easy going lifestyle, family-friendly, cheaper cost of living etc. and then bring their liberal politics/taxes/regulations with them and ruin it. They just can't seem to help themselves. I have neighbors in my remote corner of the state who escaped the declining city they helped ruin ,to retire, and almost immediately start b***hing about how racist and backward everything is. A mid-size population area in a conservative state that is not dominated politically by a large liberal population area is your best bet. Getting harder to find.
     
  20. BlueMoonATL

    BlueMoonATL Member

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    I saw that happen first hand in Atlanta, specifically Cobb county in the last 10 years. Moved to Nashville 3 years ago and it's the same here. I saw Matthew McConaughey recently being interviewed about the same thing happening in Austin and complaining about it. For years their slogan was "Keep Austin Weird" and he suggested changing it to "Keep Austin, Austin". LOL
     
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