Never Carry Fresh Calamari In a Paper Bag

Never Carry Fresh Calamari In a Paper Bag

A fool and his money are soon parted – Old Saying

Dubious people may well advise you otherwise, but common sense tells you certain things are doomed to failure. Take Fred for example. Fred is one of those characters who feels it is his duty and sole purpose in life to give out advice on how everyone can line their pockets with gold. Fred knows the best deals going. He can tell you how to turn your measly income into a six figure income, (even show you photographs of million dollar sports cars even you can own), with hardly a finger lifted. Want to get rich quick?  Yep, good old Fred can see to that.

For every Fred on this earth and other parallel worlds, there is a Charlie. Gullible Charlie. Charlie will throw away good money chasing dodgy, “get rich quick,”  schemes based on the word of someone he has never heard of,  backed by testimonials from people that probably don’t exist. Skepticism and logic rarely play a part in Charlie’s life. He goes along with anyone’s advice and believes just about any tall tale he hears.

Putting all BS aside for a bit, the world has more Charlies than Freds.  This can mean only one thing. There’s a helluva lot of suckers out there. Let’s hit home even harder. We have all been there at one time or another and even the best cons have been conned at some point. Since the advent of God II, (the internet), both species have thrived and multiplied in vast numbers.

So far the Net can claim fame in several categories.

– World’s greatest playground

– World’s biggest career booster

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– Worlds most sordid meeting place (even Caligula would roll over in his grave!)

– Worlds busiest market place

The list goes on!

To manage any business successfully, certain criteria must be met. The level of success will be graded by the amount of time and money spent on meeting these measures. The following brief list is a breakdown of what is required to run a profitable business.

No one is going to hand you over a ready made business for $29.95, so keep your credit card in your pocket because with out a good business plan you will go nowhere. Do the hard yards first, work out what you can afford to invest, then seek niches suited to your budget.

Remember these key points:

1)Plan a business around what you know and enjoy doing.   As an example, we will use a demo business. Let’s say you know something about gardening. You enjoy plants, have a small garden and you can tell a pansy from a petunia. Hit the computer and Google your heart out. Find out what is going on out there. Is there a lack of solid information or how to’s on certain aspects of gardening? Are there niches available for a product or service you think you can provide?  If it’s tedious and tiresome then consider remaining with your current job on the budget you are accustomed to. Show some patience and determination and things will start happening.

2) Check to see if a buck can be made from the potential markets you have analyzed (I assume you have been taking notes, right?). If it’s a physical item available in physical stores, visit these places and conduct a little industrial espionage. Otherwise Google up providers and check their pages for prices.  Going back to our demo business, how much do nurseries charge for liquid fertilizer?  What does a comprehensive, “How To” gardening book go for these days?   If you can source competitive products or services or even better, produce them yourself then go for it. If not, keep searching because sooner or later you will.

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3) Never underestimate the importance of location. Certainly if you are in, or ever have been in, business you realize that location means everything. If you want your business to have customers, (called traffic these days), you either have to be located in busy, high traffic areas, or spend plenty of time and money on advertising and offer good incentives to create traffic. Around the world, high traffic locations come at a premium price. Busy shopping strips ask big dollars for the privilege of setting up shop.  The net is no different.

4) Develop the best way to market your product or service. First of all, target the right people. Pile your business into a neatly organized webpage (or blog), then write your own informative articles about your business.  Publish informative articles on Digg, Reddit, Mixx, and others. Provide a link back to your page letting people know there is more great info to be found. Tell friends and relatives about your site and get them clicking. Let people know who you are, what you have and why they should have it.  If you are honest and loyal, you will build a list of clients. If not, then you will be chasing new customers forever.

5) Public relations is one of the most important aspects of any business. Treat every potential customer like your best friend. Sometimes to sell something worth ten dollars may cost you a further ten dollars in “freebie” information. For example, “Look ma’am, pansies are classified as annuals and grow best during the cooler parts of the year. However, if you shade them from the afternoon summer sun and trim them back, you can get two to three years growth from these.”  Every smile, every piece of positive feedback you give potential customers will eventually strengthen your enterprise.

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6) Work hard at keeping your store looking clean and fresh. Update products, services, and information so that it never stales. Keep your name out there on the airwaves through as many social media outlets and forums as you can. Work at making a name for yourself and the traffic will flow.

These are the basic truths of setting up any business.  If you enjoy it you won’t find it so difficult. This article will help you to a certain degree, but only you possess the most important thing needed.  The willingness to begin and the determination to persevere.

Only cons know how to make a quick buck. Trouble is they burn bridges each time they do. Successful businesses and long lasting enterprises are created by building bridges.  Don’t be a Fred and don’t be a Charlie.  Instead, be unique, be honest and be different.  Be dollar smart  and be realistic.  Perhaps even this could be a niche worth marketing in itself.

If a man has money, it is usually a sign, too, that he knows how to take care of it; don’t imagine his money is easy to get simply because he has plenty of it.- Edgar Watson Howe (novelist, magazine and newspaper editor)