You Can Literally Make A Business Out Of Anything!

Reclaimed MaterialsI wanted to highlight a very good friend of mine back in the UK and what he has done over the past 3 years. This is such a creative idea and one that I’ll let him discuss below in a second but I just wanted to give a quick brief overview. Nigel is a carpenter and an antiques specialist. After being laid off from his job due to lack of demand for the business’s services he decided to set-up his own thing. As he’s already 50 he wanted to only work part time but doing things that he actually enjoyed (great start), he loved working with one specific type of wood which was called Wye Pine – Wye is a place in Wales which is where his business is based in the UK. I’ll let him take it from here!

So as you know I created Warehouse 701 with the sole purpose to make some additional money giving people creative reclaimed furniture and accessories for their homes. The USP of the entire business was based on the fact that no one else did anything like this, which meant these pieces were 100% unique. Not like Ikea or Tesco where you can buy some nice stuff, but then everyone has it. This was more for the upper class individuals who wanted unique furniture that was funky and reliable at the same time.

We started by simply going to auctions and even scrap yards, salvage yards were our favourite and me and my co-owner Jon started picking up items for under ¬£40 a pop and then reclaiming them and making a piece of furniture or an accessory (outdoors mainly) that we could then sell for double or triple this in our warehouse or on our website (which now has over 500+ products] People loved the idea and it slowly start to take off. People just loved having something unique and we loved building and restoring the items as well. It was a win win. I couldn’t be happier and although we haven’t broken any large money milestones we are having a great time and have a number of staff to help us with the heavy lifting as we get older. Build a business in your passion my friends! Thanks. Nigel.

Awesome.

He’s doing what he loves and enjoys doing and is getting paid and making some good money in the process. Who wouldn’t want to do that! Follow your dreams people!

Worker – Business – Investor – Millionaire

This is a quick post talking about how someone I know and respect became a millionaire. There were 3 very clear elements to his success and today I wanted to talk about the basics of how to do this and WHY people need to do this. Not only for themselves and to have financial freedom and all that. But more than that, this offers us a way to improve our families forever. Leave a lasting memory.

Laptop1.) Job / Work

The first stage in “how to become a millionaire was to get a job. This seems really counter intuitive for most people and when I say this they always look really confused.

The reason I say get a job is because this gives you security. This gives you what you need to live (and barely at that.)

For example if you try to dive straight into stage 2 without having any savings or income you will not only fail but you also be very limited by your personally situations, meaning you won’t be able to grow very quickly. In the long term having a job at first actually drastically increases your chances of becoming very successful and rich later on.

Business2.) Business

Stage 2 is without a doubt business. I asked my friend what he felt was most important to his success. Below is a long quote sounds like something I would have said anyway.

Honestly I think my success is not down to luck or hard work. That’s a strange statement but it’s down to educating myself. Education helped me learn about how to make 30%+ a year in investing and how to build a well run, systematised business. When I started Ecoflor I didn’t have that much knowledge of business, If I had stopped learning or stopped reading and building my mind I would 100% not be where I am today! I have no doubts about that.

From the business point of view, I can say that testing things and just taking action was my biggest issue. As soon as I just started I became a lot better. Most people think you need the perfect business plan or a great USP and obviously those things are important in a way, but if you spent 6 months planning whilst someone else spent 6 months implementing their business, the person implementing will be 1000 times more valuable.

Investing3.) Investing

It’s not all that difficult to become a millionaire from the 2 steps above. There are businesses that have sold for 100 million that people didn’t even know about. And the number of businesses that make their owners over $1,000,000 a year is huge. More than you probably think too. Even from a job point of view. There are executives that earn over $500,000 a year with bonuses, in 2 years congratulations you are a millionaire. The issue I think is lifestyle. In business there is always the risk that your business might go under, in your job you could lose your job AND you are paying the tax man 40%+ of your earnings over a certain amount (that’s bad)

There is a better way. Invest.

Invest in whatever you want but remember 1 specific key: BE SPECIFIC. Don’t be a generalist in business. I personally had a meeting with an IFA about 3 years ago. He told me “maybe” and “if the market goes” way too many times. Numbers like 10-15% were thrown around liberally and eventually I thanked him for his time and walked out. These are the people that are “successful” not the ones that have the lifestyle that you want. Become the best in a very specific element of investing and you will be successful. Learn. Grow. INVEST IN YOURSELF.

Thanks for reading.

Pre-Import To Do – Give the People What They Want

Give the people what they wantRecently we did a post with an introduction to import export businesses. A friend of mine read this and recommended I outline the pre-import stage. Most people do nothing before going out and looking for a supplier. They won’t have a business name, idea or even a marketing plan, they will simply go out and try to find specific products that best suit their needs. This is the wrong way to do it for a number of reasons, but not least because you don’t know what the market wants!

Market Research Basics

Market ResearchMarket research essentially means finding out what the people want. Then as the business owner you will go out and provide the best product or service for a specific price. But if you don’t do the research in the first place, you might be providing a product that nobody wants! And that’s a quick way to lose a lot of money and waste a lot of time!

To give you an example the friend of mine who spoke to me about the export investing article started a business creating leggings (ghost fitness leggings to be precise), he didn’t know the first thing about them but what he did know about was marketing and how people think. So instead of just trying to dive in he reached out to experts in the niche as well as a number of his friends for some market research. He simply asked these individuals a number of questions about what they wanted from a pair of running leggings, what they would use them for, how much they would pay and a number of other market research questions.

This wasn’t something he had to do, I mean this guy is a very talented marketer and could have shifted any quality product that he chose. But the key was he wanted to create a long term brand, and as you probably already know the easiest way to create a long term brand is to create quality and value for whatever you do. And to do that you have to know what people want to pay for a particular product, and what they want out of it.

Next StepsWhat to do

So let’s say you’ve been reading this article and you agree that providing value at a good price is the way you want to go with your business. So the next logical stage is market research, but like most start-ups you don’t have the investment to go to a data company and ask for what the “people want” so instead you do this yourself. Below are 5¬†tips I would highly recommend when conducting your research

  • Have a large, wide batch of people – 20+ varying age ranges, genders, interests etc. If your product is specific to one gender or target audience, then ensure the majority of your market researchers are in fact in that particular bracket.
  • Create specific questions to ask – People don’t want to have to think, and in fact the data will be better if you give people options on what they have to select. For example colour, sizing, pricing ect. You can also add lines at the bottom of the question that says something like “additional notes” if you want to give someone the opportunity to explain what they mean.
  • Only contact relevant people – Sometimes a smaller quantity is better than 100s of people who don’t actually know what they are talking about and wouldn’t consider buying your product anyway.
  • Be accurate & approachable – When people talk to you don’t seem distant or that you don’t care about their answers. This will simply annoy them as they believe they are doing you a favour, which technically they are.
  • Offer a free sample – This is a great one to improve engagement of individuals. Offer a free product once it goes live with the specification that they will leave a review. This means as soon as your product goes live you have a number of people that will not only leave a review but will also give you feedback on the product too.