Friday, December 23, 2005
Enrolling a friend in a business course is just as good as a waffle maker. A book teaching people to better their lives via financial wisdom, physical health or mental stability is better than a pair of $200 boots. Other creative gifts, like a savings bond or a gift card for gasoline will go much further than most things you can get from the mall.
And never forget that Christmas is not a time for guilt trip shopping, but it has a deeper meaning to Christians and regular celebrators alike. Giving is a gift in itself and should not be done as a chore or on one day in December, because one did not do anything the other 364 days of the year.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
1. What product has the strongest demand in Beijing China, this year?
2. In Sweden, how many mega-pixels do average camera phones come with?
3. True or False: In rural Africa, there are more cell phone users than land line users?
The answers: If you dont know the answer or at least an educated guess to these questions, you are sleeping at the wheel.
I just want to encourage anyone with a goal of being successful beyond a professional career. (Let me clarify what I mean. A professional career such as a CPA, a film editor, web designer/programmer, a low level attorney, a customer service supervisor or an entry level analyst,) Please understand "I aint hatin the playa, just the game". I dont have issues with people that go to school, do well and achieve a good living. But I am honest enough to tell truth as I understand it. I am the type of person to tell my friends when their breath stinks or when they have had too much to drink. Its easy to look the other way, but when the fit hits the shan, it will stink.
I just want to sound the alarm to those of you smart enough to read the signs that the world is shrinking. Its getting flat. I am glad that you have a new 2006 luxury car. I am happy that you own a piece of rental property. I am even excited about the fact that your online business is making a good profit. Your success in Real Estate development should be commended. However did you know that half way around the world exist an army of people, that speak English, whose education level is as good or most times better than yours, just itching to take the job you earn $64K a year for $11K with no benefits?
And they are so hungry. Waiting to take your job. Stay on your toes. Look for opportunities where you can automate your processs and still make money. Look to highly specialize what you do. Can your system be easily duplicated? Think of ways to differentiate and you will last beyond the boom years of the 2000's.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Do you know who inspires me?
i am constantly inspired by people that make money in spite of their intellectual resources. In other words people that can accumulate wealth, not because they have the best grades in school, create the best investment systems or even come into money due to their relative's hard work, but because they have an innate knack for making money. Here are a few examples of people in my life who fit this exact structure.
- I meet a restaurant owner, who does not even cook, keeps loose financial records, and does very little advertising, but the place is always packed and the food is good. who says you need to know a business in order to get in that business.
- I know a gentleman that owns a mattress production company. Easily does 7 figures of work per year and does not even own a computer. no college, basic math skills and is bilingual. the guy has a nose for money and is a good people person.
- I have a friend that works a job making $11 an hour, yet through side gigs and relative frugality, this person has managed to save $10K in 2 years, while living away from parents and no credit card debt.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Are you interested in investing in real estate? I have a great idea for you to take a "shortcut" to locating a good area that may be out of town or out of state. Whether you are looking for a condo, a townhome, a SFR, or an apartment building everyone knows that it is always about location, location, location. So if you are living in San Francisco and desire to purchase a property in the Midwest, how do you know a good area of Springfield USA, from an ok area of Springfield USA? In other words, where do the upscale people live juxtaposed to the poser thugs?
I submit this idea to you:
Buy your property in areas where a Whole Foods Market is within close proximity. Maybe even walking distance. Why? You have to understand a little bit about their customer base, but lets just say it takes a certain type of person that will pay $4.99 a pound for grapes whereas similar grapes could be purchased from the grocery store for $1.20 a pound. If Whole Foods is in the area, the area is good, period. Just look at what Whole Foods requires before they will even consider opening in your area. I live in Los Angeles and I will tell you this, within any 1 mile radius of any Whole Foods Market, finding a 1 bd 1 ba condo for less than $315K is nothing short of a miracle.
Of course you want to find locations that have great schools, low crime, good neighbors and a good job market. But Whole Foods understands this and if you want to start your out of town search, checking for an existing Whole Foods is a great place to start. In Whole Foods last quarterly earnings annoucement the CEO, John Mackey let us in on new developments so here are a couple of places worth looking at, enjoy:
"Our new store pipeline continues to increase with today's announcement of nine new store leases totaling 549,000 square feet. The stores range in size from 50,000 to 80,000 square feet with an average size of 61,000 square feet and are as follows: a 60,000 square foot store in Chandler, Arizona; a 50,000 square foot store Orlando, Florida; a 52,000 square foot store in Eugene, Oregon; a 56,000 square foot store in Tarzana, California (a Los Angeles suburb); a 65,000 square foot store in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania (a Philadelphia suburb); an 80,000 square foot store in Dallas, Texas; a 61,000 square foot store in Reading, MA (a Boston suburb); a 50,000 square foot store in Connecticut and a 75,000-square-foot store in London."
Monday, November 21, 2005
I. If you are in the business of making money for yourself outside of your job, there will always be somebody that feels they need to compete. So when you tell them you invest in stocks or have a small internet business, then they feel the need to tell you "they have been there and done that" but it did not work for them. Or the subject of how their best friend's uncle is Warren Buffet's maid. This is where we get the phrase," silence is golden."
II. Kids in high school that are feed the lie, if i go to college and get a degree i wont have to work at McDonalds "flipping burgers". First of all, the only thing a degree will guarantee is that you will have 4 year years of tuition to pay for. Trust me plenty of college grads may not flip burgers, but they sure as hell carry them to me as i sit down to eat at the $6 burger joint. A degree is a great assest, but in life unless you have incredible skills, its about who you know, not how many degrees you have. Besides, America's richest man was a one time college drop-out.
III. People that get cell phones that they cant use or dont even need. What is the point of buying a Treo 650 if all you are going to use is the speaker phone function. "You aint that business", so go get a smaller phone.
IV. People that swear up and down that leasing a car is bad and that buying is the only way to go. Their argument, at the end of 5 now even 6 or 7 years, I will own a car, and you wont own anything. I wont argue which is better in this post, but I will say what you own is a depreciating asset, thats worth about 30% of what you paid for it, and about 20% of what you paid in total finance charges. And whats your reward for buying your car? Your warranty expired 3 years ago!
V. Lastly, People still caught up in race, when doing business. Its freakin 2005/2006! I think times were better when the Klan and Nazi's were easily recognizable. At least then ignorance was vocal and it would tell you why they would prefer that you or your kind would not patronize their businesses. Today, it is very subtle and covert. Its too bad that many people lose out on great opportunities because they have prejudged someone else based on their ethnic make-up. And whats real bad its not just minorities that are victims, but nowadays a lot of discrimination is given by minorities. Do you think Bill Gates or Donald Trump care about any color but green when it comes to buying their product?
And thats all i have to say about that.
After the many hurricanes hit the south, there were a few echoes here and there, from people I know, about going into the affected areas and buying up property. Wasn't there a scripture in the Bible about building one's house on sand? Anyways, that a risk i dont fully understand, but an opportunity nonetheless.
"However General Motors Corp. will eliminate 30,000 jobs and close nine North American assembly, stamping and powertrain plants by 2008 as part of an effort to get production in line with demand and position the world's biggest automaker to start making money again after absorbing nearly $4 billion in losses so far this year."
Research and due diligence, for items such as job growth, education levels and coming or developing industries could prove these areas to be great opportunities in the mist of sorrowful times for some. Its not personal, just business.
Friday, November 18, 2005
I must beg the question, am I really selling myself for less than I am really worth? I dont mind blogging, but sometimes it feels like a chore. I am sure you have read the "superstars" of blogging. You even look at their feedback and ask yourself, how come I dont get 30 comments, for a crappy post? You know who I am talking about, and no knock on those guys but lets deal with the real, most personal finance blogs are the equivalent of getting a haircut from the barber college. If your money goals were acheived would you really have time to write about how you plan to increase your wealth? Sometimes you may even say to yourself forget about 30 posts, what about 30 page views?
Some bloggers get all the love, the house, the 7 figure mate, the Mercedes, the tennis courts and the front row tickets at the show. Then there are bloggers like me, I feel like I should have better results but I dont. Thus i whore my thoughts for a measly few visits per day. Dont get me wrong I am thankful to have anyone read my thoughts, but there came a time in Brad Pitt's (bio)life when he said, I cant keep dressing in an El Pollo Loco chicken outfit, and will get paid what I am worth. I am working hard to give up my chicken suit, because I know i have a great voice, a great mind and I can do better than the backpage of the paper.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I dont understand why is that at 25, I get so many people that will on one hand say, you are doing well for your age, but in the same sentence tell me that I am trying to take on too many risks. Aren't you supposed to take risks when you are young and have the tolerance.
Please understand this, in Robert Allen's book, the One Minute Millionaire, we are exposed to the three rejection rule. This means that until you have heard the third rejection, you have not really been exposed to a persons true intentions. I wish to advise anyone reading this post, that no matter your age, race or investment strategy don't ever get down from someone that choose to take the easy route.
At the SuperBowl there are thousands of reporters, hundreds of announcers, fans in the stands...... but at any given time, only a chosen 22 can occupy the field at one time. Those guys on the field are the ones playing the game, the others are just commenting on second hand information.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Here is an idea:
If your house is the designated family meeting spot for the holiday's, here is an idea. Go out to eat. Unless you are a gourmet chef by trade, the labor of cooking all day to please a family and friends that have the craziest taste buds, is a daunting task. Why not take a trip down to the local quasi upscale diner for holiday dinner. Such as Cheesecake Factory or Red Lobster.
I would venture to say on a cost vs cost comparison analysis, you would come out better in the long run eating out, but if you add the value of time savings, you would almost have to come out on top. For a family of 10 adults a grocery bill could easily top $250, after stopping at Costco or BJ's, then a stop at Whole Foods or Wild Oats for your vegan cousin not to mention the trip to the local Kroger or Safeway for the last minutes fixings.
If your time is worth $20 an hour, or you make about $36K at the job then here is what your holiday is going to look like.
Eating at Home:
Total cost to cook at home for 10 adults:
Cooking Labor: $20/hr X 8 hours: $160
Pre and Post Clean Up: $20/hr X 3 hours: $60
Take the same family to the local restaurant, where a T-Bone dinner is $18 per, with tax and tip, no more than $25.
$25 X 10 = $250. A great savings. No dish washing and everyone eats what they want.
And you still have time to make it home to let the ladies watch TiVo's Desperate Housewives and the fellas catch the big football game.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Asking Price/Square Foot = Price per square foot.
$480,000/1200 sq ft = $400 per square foot.
Dont just make offers on real estate based on asking prices or what an agent tells you. Analyze competing and recently sold real estate and get an average of the price per square foot. Knowing this simple formula will often times help you tremendously in knowing if something is overpriced or not. In Los Angeles it is amazing how regular people and agents price their properties and the prices people are paying for real estate. I will not predict a bull or bear market in real estate, I will just say, ask yourself, is the ability to live in Los Angeles versus another area of the country really worth paying more than twice as much for half the home? Only you can answer that question
1. Vending machines- not as easy as it sounds. startup money is not great, but volume is required in order to compete with competiton, labor, theft, vandalism and the like. The greatest barrier to entry is the real estate. you know location, location, location. what is in it for the owner of the land can make or break your profitability.
2. Apartment ownership- greatest barrier to entry, down payment money. a great investment for the right person.
3. Giving to charity/church- this has been the most rewarding as in life you must believe that what you give is what you get. so when you give good, dont think money, but good that is what you get. Giving $100 to Red Cross may not bring you back $200 in cash, but when you get that 1st class upgrade on your cross country flight, that is your return, good for good.
With this in mind, I have been spending so much time learning the ends and outs of commission junction and search engine optimization. My buddy at NYCMoney has inspired me so much. Read this post for more information. But in short, this will not get you rich quick, however any goal you can set, AND FOLLOW THROUGH with, you can make good money.
Friday, October 21, 2005
You know what really grinds my gears? Stupid terms like jumbo shrimp and dry ice, thanks Peter Griffin.
But in business there are several things that really grinds my gears, I will list a few for your entertainment.
I. Friends that find out some profit making idea about two years after you found out about it, and they ask you to participate in their idea. Examples: "Hey bro, if you sign up at freewhatever.com, I can get a free whatever". "Hey man I think I am going to buy some Apple stock, those iPods are selling like hotcakes. GTFOOH."
II. People that try to get you buy something they dont even understand. Example: Why would I get a mortgage from your company when you took Algebra I in 11th grade and passed based on a technicality?
III. Free Seminars: If you are a real estate millionaire or an insurance billionaire why do you have free time to go around telling me how I can make millions like you did? I have yet to meet a real wealthy person that just goes around offering to teach others how to do what they did, because they want you to win.
IV. Excuse Investors: Dont buy real estate in California its too expensive. I was going to buy a home in New Orleans, but then Katrina came. I would buy Google shares but they are too expensive. STFU and do something.
V. Ignorant people: Dont you hate when people tell you that what you have done and have been successful in is the wrong way to do it. Example: Someone will say "I would never buy the stock market, real estate is a way better investment. Besides the stock market is way too risky!" And they say this the same day you made a killing on the three stocks you bought last month. The worst part about is the fact that the money you made is the same money they would ask you to use to invest in their Ponzi scheme idea next week.
And thats all I have to say about that!
Monday, October 17, 2005
I dont feel as though I am new to the real estate investment circle. I have first hand experience on a deal or two in my day. But I am ready to jump from the Carlton Sheets class, into the baby Trump class. But how can I do this if I am always thinking so small? I have buddies that say, "If I buy a duplex for $200K and it can cash flow with +$222 a month then that is great right? Well yes and no. Listen my little friend, time is too short and more importantly valuable. So indeed you can do well with positive cash flow, after all that is the name of the investment game, but when in Las Vegas, if you play the nickel slots you will win nickels. When you play the dollar slots you win dollars. And when you own the casino, YOU JUST WIN BABY! This idea is one that I hope to get me somewheres between the dollar slots and the casino ownership.
I found a dream home, that would normally be featured on MTV cribs in Raleigh, a nice city that is growing by leaps and bounds. This is one city you dont have to worry about home price appreciation busting anytime soon, as increases for this cycle are in the single digits. But given some time, promising markets either live up to their potential or they are exposed for what they lack.
Idea: Note many details left out to quicken the story. The home is listed for $920-980K. Wow that's not too shabby huh? About 6500 sq ft, not bad. Here is a comparable.
Because we are not in Los Angeles or Boston, there is a such thing as making an offer under asking price, WHO KNEW?! For simplicity sake just say I am willing to pay 900K and the buyer is willing to accept. Now lets say the house would appraise for $960K. And the bank has no problem lending this amount. Of course you would need a cooperative seller, but why couldnt I offer to purchase the place for 960, with the stipulation the buyer makes the 1st years, mortgage payments, for simplicity sake lets say $5k for 12 months equals $60K. Of course one would need to cash or plan for the next year(s) of payments, but that is my idea of how to take a million dollar home and get paid to live there for the 1st year.
Conclusion: There is more to life, especially the life of a real estate investor outside of the big cities of San Diego, Virginia Beach, The O.C. and the big Apple. Think BIG!
Sunday, October 16, 2005
I wish to encourage anyone reading this to realize that life is a cycle of cycles. All investments are cyclical and the cycles are what should be studied. No matter the investment, learn the vehicle(stocks, land, gold, businesses) and then look to understand the cycle.
Avoid various mistakes such as opening a bakery at the height of the Atkins diet. Wait out the diet cycle and look to attract at the end of the cycle. By the way Atkins is a pretty good diet, if you have the will power. Another example would be to avoid investing in companies that hit their 52 week high. This is a general rule of thumb and rules were made to be broken. You can wait for a dip in the price if you love the company and then make your move. This goes for the housing market as well. The boom of the past 5 years is not only cyclical but regional. Do your homework understand the cycle and then you will begin to understand how you can make money during the booms and during the busts.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Many of the ideas I come up with often are already in use. But the art of the deal is not inventing the hamburger, but rather creating a system that is so bullet proof, that you turn the hamburger into McDonalds.
I did some research on "nanny cams" and "child care webcams". I mean how great would it be for a parent to check in on their kids from work over a secure webcam? I know all of you single people may be wondering, what the hell am I talking about? But it is simple, the technology and conveniecne is already out there. This idea calls for the implementation of marketing such a product to business owners that probably lack the technical know how or fail to see the benefit of such a product.
Business Type: Childcare premium service sales
Estimated Start Up: <$2K. ( marketing, advertising)
Where: Local markets
Potential Coverage: national, unlimited
All that is required is a video server, web cams, a high speed web connection, and a secure login. But the best part is none of that is your concern. Essentially all you need to do is identify a company in your area that offers such a service and you and/or your sales team is armed with a product that has a high demand and a great ROI for either parents or child care owners.
Think of the same model that cabinet and carpet companies use. Most of them are not manufacturers of the products they sale, they just mark-up the products and order them for you. As for profit potential, that depends on how you set up your business plan.
At Larrin's for profit ideas, we dont make a lot of the ideas you have, we make a lot of the ideas you have better.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
It must be nice to not have to need a car, to save on gas, insurance, maintenance and payments. Gas prices are the real killer.....or are they?
It got me to thinking. As I live in Los Angeles home of the Notorious 405 freeway. The only freeway in the world that has a 60% chance of a traffic delay at 1:25 am on a Saturday. How I have longed for a toll for that freeway. Maybe I will get my wish after all. Think about it, when McDonald's raises their prices on Big Mac's how many NFL players even notice? And what about your soy milk? Last year 2 for $5, this year 2 for $7. If you have a decent amount of wealth and income, these price rises are often blessings in disguise. Smaller lines, equals more time, equals less mistakes, equals fresher offerings, equals less stress. Hell I think $7 gas prices could end world hunger and bring peace in the middle east, j/k!
If gas prices went to $7, many people would cry but I would be happy. I would have the means to drive and not only that I would get back so much time. Lets say you have a job that pays you $30 an hour, or roughly $57,000 a year. This means that your time per hour is worth at least $30. If you want to drive from Orange County (Anaheim) to San Fernando Valley (near Hollywood) at 4:00pm the distance is roughly 85 miles round trip. With no traffic the trip should take no more than 1.5 hours. Lets add traffic and the time is more like 3-3.5 hours driving. You have wasted or not optimally used a finite resource called time, doing what? Flipping driving an automobile! With the additional 1.5 hours your time is worth $45, but many people would complain about the additional $$25 ($4 more for 6 gallons with a car with at least 21 mpg, Ford Explorer) in gas it would take to complete the trip.
Now imagine that same logic but instead of 60,000 per year, add a zero to 600,000 per year. Instead of $30 per hour its $300 per hour. This is the rationale that many wealthy people consider when small things like gas prices rise. Even at $3, gas is still cheaper than milk, per gallon, and milk prices are subsidized! Food for thought.
Monday, October 03, 2005
This weekend I attended the Rich Dad's seminar featuring Robert Kiyosaki in Los Angeles, sponsored by local radio station KFWB.
A few notes on the seminar:
1. The workshop was attended by over 2,000 people. Over $85 a ticket at the door.
2. Kiyosaki used a couple of cuss words, some of the multi syllable kind. I dont know why but this shocked me. Kind of like learning about mom's sex life before dad. Whoa, too much information.
3. He professed that his mission is not to tell you how to make money, but to educate you so that you can figure it out yourself. He asked himself, how he made money and replied (one of the ways), "write a book that sold over 25 million copies and get a commission of $3 per book" I was like damn! Do the math on the Rich Dad, Poor Dad book alone.
4. I just wondered what was his cut for speaking as he spoke, from the top of his head for about 1 hour total during the entire workshop.
Thoughts on Kiyosaki:
1. I am a supporter of Robert, especially for beginning investors. His common sense approach provides a wealth of information that I would have never been privy too, as I grew up in a poor dad household.
2. While I support him for beginners, anyone that has spent more than a year reading his materials, needs to get out of the nest and start doing. As Robert will probably tell you, he makes his most money from those that are scared to leave the nest and always feel they need more information. One more book, one more CD, one more course, one more workshop. If you dont have something on the inside click and say I can at least try, then you will be the smartest broke person on the block.
3. His educational seminars run seamlessly and he really is an MC. Very little Q&A, very little information at a seminar that you cant get from the books. I admire his system, whether you agree with the message or not, the system is flawless for making money. And even his wife is involved, amazing. Take notes from the methods and focus less on the message.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Talk about expensive... While Hawaii boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the union at around 2%, they also have prices more expensive than Manhattan. A gallon of milk: $5. Gasonline: 3.40 and a pineapple from the Dole Plantation: 2 for $35!!!!!!
I have come up with some real good ideas in the off time. Check back soon to see the updates.
Aloha! and Mahalo!
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Recap: You can trade your income each month if you have the desire and access to capital.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I have an idea in the making, however I was wondering if you knew of any resources for making contact with Indian students without getting on a plane and going to New Delhi?
This idea, has a great twist, but I need some assistance getting it off of the ground.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Estimated Start Up: >$5K. ( marketing, advertising, insurance, data collectors)
Where: Local markets
Potential Coverage: wedding industry, party planners, catering services, optometrist, doctors, beauty suppliers, grocery stores
Information is in big demand. Have you ever tried find a list wedding planners in your city? What about a list of venues to rent for a party. There is information out there, but it is not standardized. There is very little specialization occurring on the web. So the idea is make a publication, either online or offline that focuses, better yet specializes on one subject well. Instead of a phone book for everything, imagine a phone book for mechanics, child care or car washes. Industries that can not immediately benefit from the web like a product driven business. I guess I am taking the Real estate idea and expanding it to several areas.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
This is an ebay owned company that uses the ebay approach to services. I used them to get a quote for an LLC filing a year ago. Great source of information.
The greatest site on the web no one is talking about is Google Answers. IF you ever wanted to know, "how many banana pie manufacturers were located in New York and Florida", you simply post the question, offer a price for how valuable you think the information would be and wait for "experts" to answer your question. You can submit a question for as little as $2.50.
This got me to thinking. As a real estate investor, can you imagine the damage that has been done to properties? Now, using the Mad Money mentality, can you imagine the awesome deals that are to be had in the region? Profiting off of other people's misery may be very cruel, but when you think in black and red, you can see opportunities clearly.
Lastly, I am so tired of the media's sensationalism when it comes to reporting money. " The government is spending 30 billion for this" " The hurricane damage may be $25 billion for this" I wish they would stop with such misleading reporting. The Wynn Casino in Las Vegas cost well over 3 billion to build and that is one building. You must think to yourself, billion is slowly becoming the new million. Stop telling yourself, if I only made a million I would.... Think bigger than your mind constrains you.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Disclaimer: Do not try this at home!
Business Type: Not very legal service: SAT tutoring
Estimated Start Up: less than $100
Where: Affluent kids that are not smart enough to cheat on their own whose parents are morally challenged.
Have you ever watched the Godfather and sat in awe by the effort the men gave to ensuring their family was doing well? What about seeing Denzel Washington in Training Day, rooting for the bad guy? Earth to you guys! THEY WERE CRIMINALS.
As Pacino said in Scarface, " You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your f+++&$n' fingers and say, "That's the bad guy." So... what that make you? Good? You're not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don't have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth."
Back to the idea. How easy is it to take an SAT test for someone else in high school. Lets check the security hurdles. A proctor, usually a school assistant or para-eduactors looking to make some extra dough. Most teachers wont work 5 hours for $80. You should have a valid high school id, about as hard to make as chocolate chip cookies. Then you have the option of taking the test in any school in the country. This test is just begging to be worked.
Here is the plan. Organize a group of college kids that scored well on the SAT. Discretely acquire parents to pay you $2 for every point you score on the SAT, for their kids. The test is out of 2400 points.
Lets say on average you get a 2000 score, you make $4000 bucks. You pay the college kid $500 for 5 hours of work. Save about $200 to hush up money. And you are looking at $1300 profit for organizing like vito corleone!
Because so many scholarships and admissions decisions are tied directly to grades and test scores, $2000 is a small price to get into "great private school" compared to "party state college". In other words for $4000 investment, your child can have exposure to some of the finer things in academic life. Please don’t be so naive to think this is not already happening, I just wanted to bring it to light.
Lastly, I would never do this, and I encourage you to read this only for its entrepreneurial content, but imagine the possibilities of success or failure, cash versus possible jail time. The caper would be too easy. Just make the administrators offers they cant refuse.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
1. Sell original merchandise (guess.com | dell.com)
2. Sell original service (legalzoom.com| SEO | web designers)
3. Resell a product or service (resell web hosting)
4. Sell personal items (ebay.com | overstock.com)
5. Affiliate Marketing (www.cj.com| amazon.com | small companies)
6. Paid search displays (AdSense)
7. Sell Banner Ads: (on site or blog
8. Phishing (wikipedia)
9. Pharming (wikipedia)
10. Online Rebates (ebateplace.com)
11. Other illegal activities, (I'll never tell!)
12 Online Poker (I know most people lose with this but many make a healthy, questionably illegal, living doing this) -Thumb
13. Creating a small program that helps people via the web and then get bought out by an internet giant ( Konfabulator bought out by Yahoo | Blogger bought out by Google) -Thumb
A cool website called Meet Up, allows people to form and join groups in which members have common interest or goals. I know its been around for a while, but hey everyone may not be as fast as you are speed racer, cut me some slack!
However if you are looking for long lost vampire buddies or a flag football team to join, here is the place to find it. Aside from the cost of your time and sorting through many bogus groups, should you find the diamond in the rough group your life could receive a real quick boost.
If I come across any good entrepreneurial groups, I will let you know.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Business Type: Online Cookie Store
Estimated Start Up: $2.5K. ( marketing, website, quality packaging)
Where: Online and Domestic
Cookies anyone? Ok I will admit that I have the world's sweetest tooth, because every time I eat something sweet, I think of a way to bring my sugar high to the masses! My friends call me the cookieman!
But for about two years now I have had this pipedream of selling cookies online. Although I do bake and cook rather well, the key to money making is taking yourself the furthest away from the product or service as possible. For instance, you wont catch Warren Buffet selling insurance or Steve Jobs at a crappy Apple Store "Genius Bar" repairing an iPOD battery.
Now here is the deal. Locate a fair size baker or bakery in your area, there cookies/sweets must be loved, like a local legend. Contract to purchase a variety of cookies from this person everyday. These cookies will have possibly an extra pinch of cinnamon or sweetened with a teaspoon of honey, something to make them a lil different. Now comes your part. Contract to have designer boxes and packaging created. Possibly gold foil and a red box like Tiffanys to differentiate yourself from the mom and pops outfits that are polluting the web.
Open up the "cookiestore.com" and beat the competition on service and presentation. Think JetBlue. Offer a money back guarantee on all cookies sold. Offer discounted shipping, offset by pricing strategy.
Pricing Strategy: $15 a dozen, $2 shipping - minus $4 wholesale dozen - minus 4 shipping and packaging - $2 Labor = $5 profit.
These cookies are to be sold and marketed as high end cookies to willing customers everywhere. The best part is the fact that you keep no inventory beyond boxes and packaging. Quick entry to market due to the fact that the production infrastructure is already in tact. Your business is winning customers over with presentation and service. If you think that $17 (shipped) is too much for a dozen, do a search for yourself for gourmet cookies.
Marketing the cookies: Too easy, offer affiliate programs, partner to offer giveaways with a company like Crate and Barrel, SEO, link exchange, add a baker's blog, sky is the limit for this cookieman.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Estimated Start Up: $6K. ( marketing, training, advertising, insurance, back ground checks)
Where: Market to affluent areas as a status symbol.
Remember Mr. Belvedere and Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler? If you like old guys with British accents then they are perfect choices, but how can you justify paying someone 60K per year to answer your door and serve tea and crumpets or biscottis?
This new age butler is one that is versed in culture, style, fashion, technology and finances. Lets not forget about the traditional knowledge of teaching gentlemen and lady like behavior, table etiquette and even improving your vernacular. Should you buy Joe and Seven for All Mankind Jeans? Ask Jeeves! Should you lease or buy that Hummer H2? Ask Jeeves! Your husband has dinner in Japan next week and needs to learn basic Japanese. Ask Jeeves!
In other words, when this person has completed getting your car washed, filling up the gas tank, changing the oil and organizing your mail you have an instant "queer eye, tech geek, Jim Cramer, James Bond type" at your disposal for instant advice.
The value added benefit to this service is that the service is paid for on a community pay plan. This means that one butler's salary is paid by splitting the butler's costs and time between 4 households. In order to schedule consultations or services, simply logon to "www.newagebutler.com" see available times and reserve your butler. During training you could even teach Englsih accents!
Cost are to be determined, however each butler receives training based on areas that they need knowledge on. The butler is contracted through the New Butler company and all jobs and pay are handled thru the office.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Business Type: Online data resource
Estimated Start Up: $2.5K. (programming cost, marketing)
Where: Local markets at first, with potential for national or regional growth.
Snapshot: If you haven't used GoogleMaps yet, then you were probably too busy playing Oregon Trails on your Apple IIe, or maybe that game of paper, rock scissors was too fun to give up.
But have you seen what some people are doing with Google's open source functions of Google Maps? Take HousingMaps.com for example. Craig's List + Google Maps = HousingMaps.com. You can see potential apartment listings on a map, for free at least for now.
What if you took a similar approach of exploiting Google Maps with an ethnic/interest based search for specific cities? We know that CitySearch and Yahoo Local, etc have a long way to go before the produce constant useful results; its difficult to be all things to all people on a local level. This leaves room for the little guy.
1. Google Maps + Cuban/Persian/Italian Interest in Austin Texas
2. Google Maps + Gay Interest in San Diego
3. Google Maps + for Budget Minded in Charlotte
4. Google Maps + Athletes in Atlanta
5. Google Maps + BBQ Joints in Seattle
6. Google Maps + Real Estate Investors
1. Google adsense.
2. Affiliate Marketing
3. Potential for interviews
4. Any other suggestions?
Monday, August 08, 2005
Estimated Start Up: $15K.
Where: Local markets at first, with potential for national or regional growth.
Concept: What if you could view the stats of a real estate agent as easy as a professional ball player? Is the agent good or great? Expensive or competitive? Bilingual? What if you were a Texan that wanted to invest in San Diego real estate, but wanted an agent that specialized in multi family properties near universities?
This company would be in the business of data collection of real estate agents performance. Of course it would help if you started of local as there are well over 1 million real estate agents in the country. The company would communicate directly with the state department of real estate to secure the names and other public information stored on licensed agents and brokerages.
It would be in the mode of a "wiki" site where users play a large role in the addition of new data. Users add their experience and rank agents according to various ranking criterias.
1. Experienced buyers and sellers post comments on agents
2. New users come to find an agent
3. Agents come to read posts about themselves and competition
1. Possibly seek power of a market by centralizing information that was previously not available.
2. Advertise mortgages and related real estate services.
3. Publish annual reports
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Create a website that offers how to videos on demand for people to use and learn from. Topics ideas:
I. Cooking - "How to bake a pound cake"
II. Home Improvement - "How to lay concrete" Four part series.
III. Child Care - "How to swaddle your baby"
IV. Auto Care - "How to check your breaks"
V. Computer - "How to color correct in PhotoShop"
The concept is to make videos ranging from 1-4 minutes that users can view and learn for free. Novice film makers using iMovie or other small scale editing tools can easily upload a clip for review and even get paid for each time their clip is viewed.
The site is free to registered users. The money is made via traffic, advertisements and category sponsorship and other creative ways of compensation. When the "VideoPod" becomes a hit then little videos like these would be perfect to watch on the go.
Estimated Start Up: $100K-$250K.
Where: Housing markets mentioned in the pending "bubble".
Do you think there is a bubble coming? I am not here to argue for or against, but inform you that either way, the intelligent investor is still making money whether it rains or shines.
The run up in real estate prices over the past 4 years has been nothing short of breath taking, especially in my two hometowns of Manhattan and Los Angeles. But I am really concerned when my old high school friends that used to take the remedial math class, approach me about taking out a an option ARM mortgage or buying a $100K house in November and selling that same house for $350K.
But for those of us that are experienced in real estate investing or making money wisely period we must realize that no one man is an island. Of course you can flip here and there, but when you are in a market where your investment candidates are 500K plus, one must be careful that their next investment is not their last.
So use the strength of many investors to secure higher end properties, less prone to market moves and competition. Essentially this idea is nothing new, but on a local stage, many 6 figure candidates are missing out on the potential to leverage their investments with the funds of investing partners.
Gather a pool of 5-10 investors, appoint and pay a manager to acquire, analyze and invest in higher end properties that may be too risky for one person to do by themselves. Highlights include background checks, LLC formation, attorney consultation but once the "foreplay" is over, the potential to dominate a market with deep pockets is endless. Of course mortgages are involved and business banking but this is an effort take beginner's from investing Chump to Mogul Trump.
Each investor is allocated a shares of the property and investment fees, but I would rather see 7.5% of $500K profit than 100% of a $12K profit.
Much like Starbucks is a gourmet coffee house, I thought it would be great to go down to the local Poppa Krunk and pay $6.50 for a bowl of gourmet granola cereal with chocolate soy milk, fresh strawberries, blue berries and a glass of fresh squeezed OJ. You know all the milk choices, cow, goat, soy, almond, rice; toppings bananas, berries, spices, sugars, honey, etc. Now the kicker would be the fact that the company would not sell regular cereal, but exclusive gourmet cereals like you might find in Whole Foods or Wild Oats market.
I said why not, people pay $1.00 for a Krispy Kreme and a $5.00 for Coldstones ice cream, things that can easily get from the grocery store, so why not charge them for a bowl of custom made cereal. Laugh now, but they laughed at Ben and Jerry as well.
Then last year I read an article in Business 2.0 about a company called Cereality.
Although I was a bit crushed, I felt good that my idea had been implemented. Now for some more original ideas.
I know intellectual property and ideas are our greatest asset, blah, blah, blah, but until I take an idea and push it through, it just an idea.
I was really motivated to write this blog after finding Neville's Financial Blog .
It was like I found some college kid, then saw his links on the web and began to realize that I was not alone in my quest to get out of the rat race and in the race of life.