Better Business Means More Money (Part 5)

We are all looking to increase our income in a meaningful way. Often times, that means cutting costs, but that only goes so far until you hit minimum expenses line – then, nothing. So, the obvious solution is to enhance your income. Depending on your skill set, availability, and interests, there are any number of ways you can make extra money on the side, even if you work full-time.
I am serious on this question how we should increase our income. A salaried person can expect only some extra incentive if he is able to satisfy his immediate boss. An investor can expect if the market is bullish. A self-employed person would be able to get ground only if his competitors have failed in his line of expertise. But for a businessman, I think, it is very much possible to enhance his income by increasing his business and with enhanced business, he can expect more money.
In this post too, I may like to share some unique and inventive ways which I understand can be helpful to you in this direction. But their success depends upon your own efforts, good judgment and sincerity to the cause. Even though these measures may not work for you specifically, surely, the thought process and ideas behind each of these ventures may spur your creative juices to go out and start your own venture – quickly and profitably.
1. You Can Become A Carpet-Bagger.
One of good friends told me about an interesting way his brother used to make a killing in college. Each year, when all the students were moving into their dorms, there was nothing nicer than having a nice warm carpet on the floor instead of that cold, hard, terrazzo flooring. While students were mulling about moving their stuff in for the year and waving bye to mom and dad, this entrepreneur was out making money.
What this guy did, was he would borrow his dad’s van, buy tons of carpet remnants from his local carpet store for next to nothing, then drive his van from dorm to dorm selling the remnant squares for like 30 bucks a pop. If he paid $3 each and unloaded 100 of these at the start of a school year, he netted $2700! Now, perhaps September is the best and only time to do this in volume each year, but surely this has your creative juices going right?

Can you think of other big annual events? Items in short supply? Items that are easy to mark up and sell in volume?

2. You Can Become A Shame-Saver.
A guy in my school told our class about his friend, who used to make a killing selling diapers! Yes, diapers! His business model was much more creative. See, there’s a whole set of clientele that wear diapers that aren’t too proud of it – Older Men. As guys get older, they start to experience “leakage” and other various urinary maladies. What this guy did was cater to their market.
When an older guy needs something like diapers, he doesn’t want to walk into the grocery store and pick them up. He’s naturally embarrassed about it and doesn’t want the neighbour rolling up next to him at the checkout while he’s got a big box of these things. If ordering through the internet, these guys also get pissed when the Fed-Ex guy leaves a giant box of diapers on their door-step, or worse, has a neighbour sign for the delivery!
What this cunning guy did, was to develop a website and cater to the “anonymous” crowd by basically buying up entire garages full of undergarments, promising to disguise the packaging for shipping, and then ship out with a mark-up on eBay of a couple bucks per pack (after he got a volume discount from baseline as well). Because of the embarrassment this method avoided, and the recurring customer base he established, older men were willing to pay a few bucks extra per pack, and he was able to turn this into a nice 5-figure side gig for years. By now, I’m sure the word’s gotten out on this business model and arbitrageurs have bid down the opportunities (or companies figured out to ship certain packages with discreet packaging). I understand you too have got some idea to get on.

3. You Can Become A Middle-Man.
Aside from the generic “sell your stuff on eBay” bullet you’ll see on virtually every side-income post, how about doing this in volume? Kinda like the woman from 40-Year Old Virgin with the “We Sell Your Stuff on eBay” store, here’s a common situation.
We all have a ton of stuff laying around our home that we should get rid of on eBay or Craigslist. However, we each know tons of people who are in the same situation who are either as lazy or lazier than we are. What if you went to these people, like your parents, friends, neighbours, anyone who wants to unload their junk while making money effortless; go to them and say, “If I can unload a bunch of your junk and spend the time doing it, would you be willing to give me a cut? I’ll do all the legwork, you just tell me what you want to sell and how much you’d be willing to sell it for”.
This is especially easy for people who live close to you. So, in a single Saturday, you could go through, take hundreds of pictures, upload a hundred ads on Craigslist (free) or eBay (for premium items where you could make more money) and basically act as a broker for all those transactions. You could keep a record to share with your friends and family so they don’t think you ripped them off, but in essence, you make money by “batch processing”. You do all the work in spurts, and collect some residuals. If you can round up 10 people willing to participate, sell $500 worth of their stuff each, and collect 20% of the revenues, then you just made $1000 for dealing with some shipments and people stopping over your place from Craigslist ads. It’s not huge money, and it’s kind of labor intensive, but if you’ve got time on your hands and you’re organized, why not?
You know tons of people that are lazy.
You know tons of people that pay for convenience.
There is a ton of “hidden value” out there in opportunities like this.
You want to make some extra money.
4. You Can Prepare for complaints and how to rectify them.
If you are in a existing business and a customer complains, it is very important to have a game plan in effect ahead of time for how to deal with them. Sometimes, full refunds are not feasible for every little complaint while in other cases they might be. Some companies go above and beyond and give customers oodles of freebies to make them happy. This is entirely up to you, but no matter how you handle it, it is essential that there is a protocol put in place in advance so you can protect both your customer and your bottom line.
5. You Can Mix It Up.
This goes without saying, but don’t just stick to one form of advertising. Banner ads, pop ups, viral videos, flash videos, mailings, email newsletters, and many other methods should all be used in conjunction if possible. If you choose only one method, you’re limiting your leads and the number of people you reach.
6. You Should Be Aware Of Advertising Costs.
While marketing as mentioned in #5 is important, don’t spend more money on advertising than you’re bringing in. Do a very careful assessment of all advertising and make sure it’s fruitful. You can do a wide variety of analysis on your advertising and how well you’re doing, so you can cut certain things or decide where to place more money and where to cut back.
7. You May Tell Your Story.
Write a thorough and entertaining “about us” section for the website. Give people a better insight into your customer, how it was formed, and what you are passionate about. This makes people feel connected to your business and gives them a sense of confidence so they have a background on what you do, and where you came from. This is quite an effective way to reach out to people, particularly new customers.
In the next post, I may like to put up some more suggestions for your kind consideration and act upon if they or some of them are found suitable for you or you think that they can help you.
Be Happy – Better Business Means More Money.