Where Business Ideas Come From

I was reading the local paper and came across a picture of the cleanest garage I ever saw. In addition to a picture of the garage there was a picture of a gentlemen, in his late 60’s cleaning the cobwebs with an extension pole. I thought to myself I have never seen a garage so clean in my life. The accompanying article was discussing how this individual and another had painted and put cabinets in their garages, and how you could eat off this garage floor. Now we have all seen those storage cabinets for garages, but how many of us ever get them and if we do, don’t we fill them up and then the garage goes back to looking like it did before we got them. Imagine if someone would come to your home, condo or townhouse and clean out, paint and organize that garage for you; and you would tell them how you want it done. I am not talking about those expensive ads we’ve all seen where they can come in and re-do your garage. Not many of us have thousands of dollars to spend on our garages. It got me to thinking that this could be the perfect business for someone who loves to clean and organize. You could network with one of the local home depot places to provide you cabinets, or you could take your re-sale number and purchase them directly from the manufacturer, rather than dealing with a local company. The only negative sometimes with dealing directly with the manufacturer, you might have to purchase larger quantities or they might have minimum order requirements. You could run small classified ads in your local paper, in specialty papers in your area or make up flyers with a before and after picture of what you could do with someone’s garage. You’d meet with the homeowner and discuss where certain items would be placed, inform them of your services: painting and providing cabinets and then re-organizing the garage for them. If it were me I would certainly get half of my fee up front (which would also include the cost of the cabinets). Like the article I read, get your local paper to feature your business. Show them a before and after picture. It would certainly be a great way to get you more business. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words. What should you charge. I really don’t know. However, if I were thinking about starting this business I’d call homeowners and ask them what they would pay. Tell homeowners you are doing a survey and just want to know if they would be interested if someone would paint, and re-organize their garage, and if so, what would it be worth to them. You would also have to find out the cost of the cabinets beforehand so that you could factor this into your cost; in addition to how much paint you would need for the average garage. You would obviously want a paint that is easy to clean. The biggest thing is to decide how much time it would take and what you want to make per hour. If it were me, I would do it on a sliding scale. By this, I mean it would depend on how much work the garage needed. You could also do quarterly, or semi-annual follow-up for webs and washing of the walls and floors and do any re-organizing. I might be way out of line, maybe somebody is already doing it. Again, I don’t mean the redesigning and remodeling companies we’ve all seen, I mean a small or homebased business owner. Anyway, it was just a thought! It gives those of you that think there is no type of business you can run an idea of how some business ideas come about. Think about what you like to do, what your passionate about, and see if you can develop a business around your interests.

Increase Your Income through International Trade

If you operate a small business, you may feel that your income potential is quite limited. However, you can increase and diversify your income through international trade.

1. Importing

Retail store owners can find additional products to sell from foreign manufacturers, distributors, and other suppliers.

Advantages of importing include increased product selection, lower costs, and increased income.

You may even decide to go exclusively into the import business and become a wholesale distributor.

2. Exporting

Manufacturers can find new customers for their products in foreign countries.

Perhaps consumers in your country have lost interest in your product. It may have become obsolete because of technological advances. A foreign market, however, may be desirous of that very product.

Maybe there is an economic slump in your country. Another country may be experiencing a boom. Sales from customers in that country may help stabilize your income.

Exporting can also help smooth the peaks and valleys of your income. For instance, if you sold winter sporting goods, you could sell to both northern and southern hemispheres to help offset the seasonal nature of your business.

Of course, you might also consider selling sporting goods for all the seasons and still export to other countries to increase and diversify your income.

You could also become an Export Management Agent. Arrange for other domestic companies to sell their products to foreign corporations and earn a ten percent commission.

You would think that selling to foreign customers would be quite risky. However, use of letters of credit can protect all parties. An Export Management Agent might actually arrange for ninety percent of the sale to be paid directly to the domestic supplier and ten percent to be paid directly to himself.

3. Licensing

Consider becoming a licensing agent. Earn royalties by arranging for foreign corporations to manufacture and sell the products of domestic companies.

4. Finder`s Fees

Imagine the possibilities for earning finder`s fees in
international trade!

You can earn fees from domestic companies for finding
foreign buyers (or for finding suitable imports from
foreign suppliers). You can also earn fees from
foreign companies for finding domestic corporations
that will buy their products (or for finding suitable
suppliers and products from domestic corporations).

5. Drop Shipping

Visualize receiving an order from a customer based in a foreign country and not having to be bothered with shipping and handling the product. No customs declarations or brokers are required by you. This is because your drop ship supplier is handling those details.

You might collect $100.00 plus shipping of $15.00 from your foreign customer. You then simply send your customer`s order to your drop ship supplier with your payment of $65.00 (consisting of $50.00 wholesale cost plus $15.00 shipping). Your drop shipper will now fulfill the order. Congratulations! You just made fifty dollars.

6. Mail Order

Add a mail order service to your existing business operation. Manufacturers, retail stores, and other businesses can increase their sales by using this additional method of selling that is very conducive
to international trade.

7. Internet Marketing

You can also extend your reach to worldwide customers by means of the Internet. Methods of obtaining foreign business include affiliate marketing, online auctions, online stores, and websites.