Surviving loss of work: Re-Investing into the business world post-crisis

With the financial impact that COVID-19 has on the community around you, we start to understand the risk that we may have at maintaining or acquiring work in the immediate future. For instance, at this moment in time, many major cities are either “shelter-in-place” or have closures to “non-essential” businesses. That means that you are either 1.) a healthcare provider or essential worker like educators/teachers, 2.) food/grocery stockers, cashiers, etc, 3.) first responders, 4.) delivery system personnel like Fed Ex or Amazon Prime, or 5.) essentials for transportation like gas stations. If you are not one of those personnel, you risk the chances of losing your job or not being able to find work for a duration of time.

Understanding the risk of losing work, or preparing to acquire work once possible, here are a few tips toward getting ready for the re-opening of businesses.

  1. Understand Investments/Stocks/Retirement

Being aware of the fluctuation of stocks, bonds, and investments during this crisis is vital for anyone investing anything of value. A few tactics to consider, such as: A) pulling out your investment before your stocks drop too low (understanding the financial or fee penalties), B) riding the wave and hoping your stocks bounce back after the crisis, and C) Investing in other sources of revenue. Personally I am looking at a diverse portfolio and trying to find multiple avenues of investments in case of future risks. Sources of passive or residual income are always a great choice when available to limit the impact that loss of active work has on a household. Sometimes it is good to invest in some high risk and some low risk financial decisions.

2. Begin An Emergency Fund

Start setting some money aside in a savings account, especially if you are still getting paid during the crisis. Understand that ANYTHING can happen, and you need at least 3-6 mo of rent/necessities worth of finances set aside. If you are currently working, start setting aside a portion of your overall “profit” after expenses. If you are currently unemployed, set a minimum bank balance monthly, in which you try to limit yourself from going under that amount.

3. Prepare Business Documents

Start typing up or modifying application documents, such as resumes, cover letters, letters of recommendation, etc so you can begin applying as soon as possible. If you need assistance in writing or reviewing your resume, feel free to click here, and we will get you all set up and ready to apply for jobs!

4. Understand Essential Work and Markets

Now that both the previous and current generations have witnessed an international health crisis, we are all aware of which jobs come and go, which jobs are “essential,” which markets crash, and which investments thrive. We know that there will always be room for work and investments in the medical/health/tech world. Know that if you ever want guaranteed work, invest in these career paths, and consider the financial investments as well.

Understanding even just these few tips toward surviving the business closures and community “re-development” could give you an edge throughout you and your family’s lives.

10 Ways On How To Retain Clients As An Existing Business


“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

– Voltaire

JabaiIndustries.com
August 27, 2019

 

10 Ways On How To Retain Clients

There are countless ways in which businesses can not only attain clientele, but retain it as well.

Below follow 10 examples that may aid you in your business from a variety of angles.

Some of these suggestions are simpler than others, but none is so overly complex that it shouldn’t be at least considered at length.

#1 – Gift Boxes Or Bags

There are a variety of ways that you can show appreciation for customers; gift boxes or gift bags are two of these.

Amazon provides easy-shipper black boxes which could be used to show your appreciation to your customers. These gift bags and gift boxes could include T-shirt, Ebooks, starter packs, stickers, coffee cups, pens, keychain, clothing, etc. This allows the customer to see not only that you care about their business, but you are willing to show your appreciation in a variety of ways.

Click Here to View Black Mailer Boxes

 

 

Click Here to View Gift Box Colored Tissue Paper

 

#2 – Branded T-Shirts Or Apparel

Sending customers Branded T-Shirts or Apparel builds value when customers receive this.

Not only does this (1) promote your brand, but doing this (2) also allows your brand name to achieve wider recognition.

#3 – Referral Kickbacks or Commission

Giving customers kickbacks via referrals or commissions is a simple way to show your appreciation that can solidify loyalty to a great degree.

Likewise, customers will not only continue supporting your business for a much longer period, but could add significant word-of-mouth referrals that would probably not take place if this idea was employed.

#4 – Discounts On Future Purchases

Customer discounts is works similar to #3, though it is coupled directly to customers themselves, rather than those that could be referred therein.

This not only encourages brand loyalty, but if carried out thoughtfully, could really snowball into significant growth depending on how those discounts are employed. For instance, one idea small business could follow is giving a 1% discount after the first purchase, with additional 1% discounts stacking on top. So while the second purchase might only net the buyer 1%, the eleventh purchase would net them 10% off, and so on. Of course, this discount is capped at a certain point, but it encourages incredible long term loyalty, that doesn’t sacrifice too much profit up front, but also rewards your most loyal customers over time simultaneously.

#5 – Exclusive Contents Or Perks

Exclusive content could be anything from educational to informative content, though it can certainly extend to much broader ideas.

These could perhaps extend to research papers, articles, and so on. Concurent with that, this could also include exclusive videos, group chats, and the like.

#6 – Recognition On Social Media Platform

Taking pictures with customers or clients and promoting those who support your work shows the world not only your appreciation for others, but how those individuals have impacted your life not just as a business, but as a person. Such an in-depth approach can really make a different in connecting with others and building community.

#7 – Free Services & Items Based On Loyalty

Giving customers free services at times, or free items, not only helps customer retention and encourages brand loyalty, but allows others to see that you’re willing to give something back to those that support your business.

#8 – Inviting Some Of The Clientele To Your Business

There are two main ways that one could show a client a business. The first of these could be done in person, and the second via a video.

Given that many people are intrigued with how certain business operate, this allows them to observe the business from an insider’s perspective, but also allows an in-depth view that is appreciated by some to a greater extent, much more than one would think in many instances.

#9 – Offering To Pay For Outside Services

Offering to pay for outside services could be done in a variety of ways. Before moving on though, there is a significant difference between pure professionalism and doing something for personal gain.

For instance you are a male, never be that person that invites a female out for personal gain, merging business with pleasure, when each belongs separately.

Now, whether ultimately acted upon or not, considerations should usually be made to show appreciation for others at certain times that have helped you in business, whether directly by being a customer, mentor, and so on, or indirectly through other avenues like referrals.

As an example, this can be done through dinner, attending a sporting event, a golf outing, as well as other ways. Having families spend time together could also be a great idea.

#10 – Promote Client Services

Only promote a client’s services if you truly believe in it. Stick to what you believe resonates with you the most.

This (1) helps your business relationships, (2) strengthens community, (3) helps grow their business, (4) shows that you care, and also (5) has the ability to help grow your business as well through word of mouth.

Final Thoughts

There are many considerations that can and should be given on how to retain clients. The simplest one is just showing your appreciation, and doing it constantly. How you do that is your choice, but a choice that should be pondered at length given crucial importance of it and the potentiality of it.

Never underestimate the power of appreciation, whether it is in business or life, for certain instances, though seemingly inconsequential at times, can strengthen relationships to a much greater extent than they are given credit, and also helps show others part of what you and your business are ultimately about.

 

board-2449726_960_720View our “Mindset 101” Article Here

In life, there are various avenues of learning. One way is through your own inherent actions. Another conversely, is through the actions…. Click Here to Read More

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About The Author:
Zy Marquiez
Writer, Researcher & Book Reviewer
Owner of Blocked Up

5 Lessons From Owning and Operating Businesses In The First Year (Part Two)

“Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
– Conrad Hilton

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.”
– Tim Fargo

The previous write up discussed 5 lessons from the first year of business of my close friend and business owner Hussien Jabai and me. The lessons bellow will continue along the same lines with 5 additional thoughts that could prove valuable for those starting their own business.

agreement-3546008_960_720#6: Know Your Customer Base
Are your primary customers middle-class consumers? Are they individuals concerned with health? Are they parents searching for entertainment options for their kids? Are they females? Males? Moreover, what’s the age range of your customers? Those two examples (of many) dovetail incredibly closely, for they allow you to know how to tailor your business model for your customers.

Social media analytics and other tools help with this. Figure out how to ascertain the demographics of your customer base, and you’re one significant step closer to success towards knowing whether your products will appeal simply to parents, techies, gamers, intellectuals, or any other type of individuals.
filmmaker-2838945_960_720#7: Don’t Be Afraid To Go Against The Grain
Though Jabai’s business model and myself each go against the grain in their own ways, we will focus on what he is undertaking because the scope is much larger and intriguing.

Jabai is an individual who is in the discipline of health and wellness. For business, he could have simply stuck within the run-of-the-mill health and wellness strata of society, and found incredible success. But he’s in the process of expanding way beyond that. His passions are filtering not only into helping individuals with personal training, which he thoroughly enjoys, but into his Fighter Training Systems (FTTS Project), which aids in Injury Prevention for First Responders. But there’s more, he is also undertaking a personal initiative to create a program that strives for a much larger scale regional (and
perhaps global reach) that could help individuals not just locally, but in various global regions.

The above example is the type of mindset that doesn’t settle simply for success, but reaches into making a difference, which is what ultimately changes lives.

books-4305459_960_720#8: Always Strive To Continue Learning
Whether in life, business, personal relationships, or anything else, learning can take place reactively, or proactively. Though lessons in each can provide incredible depth, reactive lessons (and insights) are simply lessons that come when the tide brings them, whenever time provides them, rather than you venturing into the ocean to seek your own veritable treasure. In other words, you can wait for treasure to arrive on the shore of a beach brought about by waves, with that treasure brought to you, or you can venture into uncharted waters like a treasure hunter, and seek treasure of endless types. Self-directed education is one of the ways that individuals can find treasure within the field of business.

A wiseman once said, learning from your mistakes leads to knowledge, while learning from those of others, leads to wisdom. Always seek to learn from the footsteps provided from those before you, and even if you can’t because you happen to be doing something that’s brand new, you can still learn laterally from other individuals and their businesses in this respect.

In conjunction with that, one of the books that provided great insights into learning proactively is the book Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies. This is an excellent crash course into possible avenues for individuals seeking how to expand their awareness of marketing, all the while offering pragmatic
examples of what can be undertaken.

action-3435773_960_720#9: Find (and Construct) Mutual Support Mindset Networks
It’s my estimation that the vanguard reason that Jabai and myself bonded so quickly wasn’t simply because we were business owners, but more importantly, our talks, whether business or personal, were based around the same type of mindset. Each of us employs a mindset that doesn’t simply seeks success, but seeks to go beyond that into creating something unique and far reaching.

Where I myself seek to help individuals express their creative desires through the medium of LEGO in multifarious way which helps bring people of all ages joy in countless ways, Jabai is seeking to help people well beyond the scope of individually tailored health.

Jabai doesn’t simply strive to stay in a comfort zone and be only a personal trainer, he seeks to expand his health and wellness business well beyond the scope that most people within the health and wellness area do.

While individuals can truly do most (or possibly all) things in life alone, one need not go at it alone when there are people of the same type of mindset out there, you simply need to find them and grow those relationships, whether it is in life or business.

Mutual mindset support networks aid in significant ways, from learning how to streamline your approach, having open-minded brainstorming sessions, to proactive seeking to not only to learn lessons from one another, but from others as well.

Each of us is seeking incredible distinct dreams, but with the mindset of empowering others, whether it is creatively or through health, and to buttress that with relentless passion to grow not only as a business, but as individuals as well.
hourglass-2910951_960_720#10 – Do Not Throw Away Time By The Wayside
Mincing no words, the average person spends time inefficiently by the truckload, it is a problem we all have, and its unfortunately a growing trend.

According to an article from New York Daily News penned a while ago, the average person spends 5 hours watching TV daily with some watching even more than that. At 5 hours per day, that amounts to 1,825 hours per year. That is 18250 hours per decade, and 91,250 hours per 50 years. That’s a lot of time! Over the course of 50 years, the total amount of time spent watching TV daily amounts to 3802 consecutive 24-hour days over that span. Or “just” 5 hours a day, for 50 years.

For the sake of simplicity, let us assume most of us happen to get 8 hours a day sleeping. In an entire 168 hour work-week where the average person spends 56 hours a week sleeping, and 40 hours a week working, that leaves one with 72 hours free. If one were to spend 35 hours a week viewing television, then that would leave 37 hours of free time. That’s nearly half of all of one’s available time spent watching television. That doesn’t even count social media! That seems ludicrous, does it not? That also doesn’t even begin to cover other activities individuals may carry out that don’t yield growth, whether in life or business.

Those are just some statistics of how much time is wasted, and there’s a lot more. The main point is that time is wasted by everyone including myself to varying extents. With modern media, it’s easy to spend countless hours on various apps and websites.

The best way to get around to creating time templates is simply to watch how much time you spend on social media and websites. There are apps that help with this. Once you do this, you will be downright shocked at how much time you spend on certain apps per week.

As you realize where those time vortexes of yours are, you will be able to adjust accordingly, hopefully slotting something productive in those areas like self-directed learning, business analysis and forecasts, etc.[1]
Final Thoughts

In modern times, success in business is not as complex as it was in the past. With the rise of the internet, social media and online social network, there are literally countless resources at hand, and a lot of those are free. However, if you can learn (proactively rather than reactively) from the mistakes and footsteps others took in a way that it can prevent you from making the same mistakes yourself, thus helping you forgo unnecessary hardship and time waste, you will be quite a few steps ahead of the
competition.

Seek to push your business beyond the boundaries of comfort zones, but first, seek to push yourself beyond what you think you are capable of. What you do personally within your life, the mindset you employ, will inevitably seep into that of your business and your employees and will become the template for success in your future.

In life, individuals often surprise themselves of what they are capable of doing once they employ a can- do mindset, rather than a can’t-do mindset, and in business it’s not different.

Don’t wait upon the shores of life for treasures to come to you, veritable life insights that could also be applied to business; that is simply wasting time you could be using to venture on into the unknown seeking the treasures that life and business provide. And you never know, when seeking those very treasures, you might just run into a life-lesson or insight that changes your life forever.

One can’t put a price tag to life-altering life-lessons and wisdom that come about which help you not only in life, but in business as well. Those can only usually be attained by venturing beyond comfort zones.

Life happens to everyone, but unbounded success happens only to those that keep persevering beyond their comfort zones and into uncharted waters, even if they face a storm. And just like those storms within the seas help provide the circumstances that create master navigators able to steer their vessels in any way, within any storm, the metaphorical storms life and business provide will make you capable of navigating through various circumstances be them economic downturns, personal plight, or anything else.

Such is the mindset of a proactive individual; such is the mindset that makes unbounded success inevitable.
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Author Info:

Zy Marquiez
July 27, 2019

Author’s Note:
[1] Time efficiency and inefficiency will be something discussed in the future and extrapolated upon at length given the incredible ramifications it has for business and success. This is only covered in this article in a cursory manner to give an individual a morsel of how significant time loss is within our lives.

5 Lessons From Owning & Operating Businesses In The First Year

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
– Farrah Gray

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
– Confucius

_________________________________
Zy Marquiez
January 23, 2019


The first year in any venture can be a roller coaster ride, particularly in business.

Such ventures can include incredible highs and torrential lows, but it’s the full length of the journey, what you learn from it and what you ultimately implement that will really set you apart from the of the field.

Based on these ideas, key insights will be discussed in this blog post based on lessons learned from the initial year and change of operating small businesses. Future blogs covering additional insights will follow thereafter, so keep a look at for those in the near future.

As a preamble offering background to the following insights, the following considerations will be based on the experienced gained from two small business owners, one of them being my close friend Jabai and that of myself.

Hussien Jabai, who conceptualized this post nigh a week ago in one of our business brainstorming discussions, is CEO and Owner of Jabai Performance, wherein he also focuses on Personal Training, and is also the Founder of the Fire Fighter Training Systems (FTTS Project), which aids in Injury Prevention for First Responders. Conversely, I myself am CEO and Owner of both a LEGO-parts store on Bricklink named Blocked up, and also the Square One Productions Ebay store. Both of us have known each other for about six months and have learned a great deal from our business platforms and numerous business conversations.

The advice that follows is a conceptual collation of significant lessons we have learned in our respective businesses in hopes that other business owners may have a foundation to venture from and some idea of what to do, and what not to do. Examples will follow from either one, or each of our respective fields where applicable.

money-2180330_960_720#1: Know What You, Your Products & Services Are Worth

A business transaction, is not unlike any other transaction. Agreements, whether contractual or not, are purely two parties agreeing upon a set of parameters and/or a certain price point. Not all price points are created equal, however.

To give you an idea, while business A might offer to sell their services to customer B, at say $500 per transaction, that doesn’t mean that this is the ideal price-point for the product or service. An exact or very similar transaction could take place at the $750-1000 price range between business C and customer D, and if that is true, then selling your services lower than what the regional, national or global average is, is highly detrimental, and could even set your business back when compared to the competition.

Within personal fitness, how much each trainer charges is obviously a personal choice that is coupled with experience, not unlike any other business. The model that Jabai chooses to employ is one where the services he offers aren’t the highest priced, but certainly aren’t the lowest either. If he prices his services too low, he’ll just get swamped with customers, his time won’t be as efficient given the value he puts on his time and the experience he has garnered in the field, and he would ultimately undercut himself. Likewise, if the prices he sets are too high, it will not only narrow down the range of potential customers who can afford his services, but it will also limit the likelihood of garnering repeat customers as well.

Now, in my own personal aside, when launching the LEGO-parts selling business platform I have pursued on Bricklink, I employ a software used Brickstock. Narrowing down a lot of information into a bite-sized piece, each particular LEGO set has parts lists that can be viewed as the inventory sheet, and each of these parts is sold for a certain price.

Now, the key part here is that each LEGO part is priced at a global average within the Brickstock software, not a regional or national one. This means that, if you don’t know, and I certainly didn’t know this at the nascent stages of starting the Blocked Up Bricklink store, the your regional (or national) price of most individual parts could be much, much higher than the global average, then you would be leaving significant profits at the table. Some of the reasons for this price discrepancy are that in Bricklink (1) some buyers do not like purchasing from sellers over-seas because of the additional shipping charges they incur, (2) many Bricklink stores outside of the United States have (surreptitious) hidden fees, and (3) the issue of waiting much longer for parts is highly problematic when many of the LEGO MOCs (My Own Creations) that are designed by independent LEGO creators are on a time table.

These reasons are why many LEGO creators don’t mind paying a higher premium or a much higher price in certain instances for individual parts within their actual region. However, this isn’t something that’s written about anywhere within the LEGO community that I have noted. It is definitely something to take note of because if you happen to have a store with tens of thousands of parts, hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of parts, then adding even $0.05 cents per part is netting significant profits over the span of a hundreds of orders, entailing tens of thousands of parts, or more.

I have seen Bricklink Businesses who I wholeheartedly support, and whom I appreciate greatly that have been around for over 10 years and whom I have also learned a LOT from that have done this mistake and still do so, and whose business model stays stagnant or grows only slowly, and definitely not at the rate that it could. To be fair, I am only talking about stores where people are doing this for a living, and not selling parts as a hobby.

Also of note, I am also not stating that people need to have the highest prices for their parts, nay. What I am saying is that, if a product is selling for a given price within your region, pricing a hair under that price is something to at least be considered at minimum, since many times these parts would be cheaper than any other store out there anyhow. Pricing parts any lower than that is financial suicide given that you’re only going to grow slower and not take advantage of the supply and demand price mechanisms that rule economics. Just as important, carrying out such glaring oversights in my honest opinion are also a colossal time waste given that this time could be allocated to further grow the business or even free up personal time if that is what you seek.

action-3435773_960_720#2: Always Pay Attention To Your Competitors

Learning is growth, and growth should entail learning. A significant way individuals can learn in life is by learning from others, and in business this is no different. And thankfully, one of the best ways to learn is from those that came before you, or those that partake in your business field.

As touched upon lightly in the aforementioned point, some business products/services have established price ranges, while others do not, in which case you would have to figure out what the price range and market is for that given product/service. In most businesses however, if you look hard enough you can ascertain what prices are optimal for your business, and one of the best and simplest ways to do this is by keeping an eye on similar businesses.

This advice might seem ‘obvious’ at first blush, but it’s something I often see overlooked on Ebay every single day, and that’s not an overstatement.

In addition, other notable things other businesses could do is (1) move prince ranges up or down, which affects your product and profits, (2) have complete control of most of the market, which (a) gives then incredible flexibility in the control of setting the market price, (b) often aiding them in pricing products/services at a much lower price point given that they are in it to flip-products quickly, not unlike a convenience store or even Wal-Mart, which follows a different model than simply pricing products at a specific price point. And (c) this affects the speed at which your products sell.

office-3295556_960_720#3: Know What Your Lowest Price-Point Is & Don’t Go Below It

From what I have gathered, in many online businesses, sellers will undercut each other relentlessly to the point that they are barely profiting from their products. In my personal view, this is like willingly choosing minimum-wage when you could make a higher per-hour rate, or per-transaction rate, than that.

As a business owner, this used to bother me because I always felt the need to have the lowest prices with certain products, but that’s not always feasible (or reasonable), and many times it’s downright detrimental to your business model. In Ebay stores, as well as in Bricklink, there will always be stores with lower prices, but that doesn’t bother me now because prices aren’t the only thing that people rely on, which brings me to the next point.

business-2297833_960_720#4: Know Your Business Model

In business, like in life, it is incredibly important to know your business model in its totality.

Now, in the case of my friend Jabai, he has set his business model with a price point at a happy medium where not only he is satisfied with, but at a point where his customers are as well, which encourages customer loyalty. I follow a similar mindset with most of the products sold, although not in the exact manner because where Jabai sells a service, I sell thousands of different products/parts between both stores.

Along the same line of thought, could each of us set the price of our products/services much higher than we do so now? Yes, we certainly could. Why don’t we? There are a lot of reasons for these, but we will focus on two of these.

The vanguard reason for this is to have happy customers, which encourages repeated business and customer loyalty. Secondly, there is a moral point of view in that although we do want to profit from business, we don’t want to fleece people, which is a delicate balance at times in business. That said, what people considering ‘fleecing’ is entirely subjective, but the majority of people usually agree upon certain price-ranges before something just gets downright expensive.

Due to those reasons, we have each settled on our respective values for our business practices and what we are ultimately satisfied with. This is ONLY a cursory glance of this notion, and can be gone into further detail later on, but it is mentioned simply to give a bird’s-eye view of the concept.

ux-788002_960_720#5: Make Sure You Consider A High-Value Or Rare Product/Service – A ‘Strong IP’ (Intellectual Product)

Let’s now consider the notion of having a high-value or rare product/service.

Having a high-value or rare product/service is something to take note of given that not all products and services, although sometimes exact in nature, are similar in the way their execution is carried out when infused into a business model. As the first example showcased, two businesses can have the exact product, but the initial business values it much lower, thus nets less profit than the latter business. Adding incredible value and/or rarity to the product/service only increases the profit, or the magnitude of the mistake made within such an example.

Expanding upon the notion of having a high-value or rare product, let us now contemplate what I jokingly call having ‘Strong IPs’ within your business. The reason I have chosen this jargon specifically is because one of the greatest lessons I have learned from watching Nintendo as a company.

The lesson that I have learned from Nintendo is that they do not devalue their intellectual property (IP), which is the reason why (1) their products net so much profit, and (2) why their products maintain their value over time.

In the last few years, what I have learned is that even if you go back a decade or more, the products created by Nintendo, not only retain their value quite well, but in some instances increase in value with time. This is one vanguard reason why having a strong IP and knowing what it’s worth is paramount.

Besides, since Nintendo creates the games themselves, they set the global market; the prices that individuals pay for Nintendo video games is nigh always the same across the board, and given how much Nintendo values their IPs, those video games rarely go on sale, thus securing greater profits in the long run. To be fair, Nintendo also has high standards when publishing video games, whereas some other companies do not, which is why they can’t keep their IPs at such a high price point. This is why it’s noteworthy to see Nintendo take their craft seriously, because not only do they carefully craft their IPs with careful consideration, but they deliver on the vision of having a high-quality product through and through.

Now, in my personal case, neither do the Bricklink nor Ebay stores have items that are created by me. What I do offer instead as a smaller subset of the Square One Productions Ebay store are items that are incredibly rare.

Case in point, something I invest heavily in are rare video games and collector’s editions, Playstation 4 Collector’s Editions to be precise. From time to time, a particular game will get a physical Collector’s Edition for a video game that was never produced physically and only produced digitally; given that, the mintage of that item will be somewhere along the lines of 2000-3000 copies. While that might sound like a lot of copies to some, when one realizes that there are nearly 100 Million potential buyers as PS4 owners, you realize that you have a very rare item. It gets even more interesting from there though.

Most of those 2000-3000 copies will be purchased by collectors. For example, let’s say that 50% of those collector’s editions are purchased by collectors, and I could make an argument that the number is much higher, but let’s roll with that number for simplicity’s sake. If such is the case, then you now have only 1000-1500 copies available for purchase, if not much less than that. (In my daily pricing research on EBay, I would say that the numbers is closer to 5-10% of that, but either way, you have an incredibly rare item, which only makes it that much more valuable.)

An unwritten rule that most resellers take is selling the item for double what you paid for it. So if you paid $50 for a collector’s edition, selling it for $100 is not uncommon. Even so, in my opinion, a mistake that some individuals do is pricing these items incredibly low; say at $75 or so. While that might seem like a 50% profit if you were to take Ebay as an example, such is not the case for EBay keeps 10% of that, so the profit is only $67.50, or is it? PayPal takes another 3%, which would is $2.25. Now that ‘profit’ went from $67.50 to $65.25.

If the reseller had sold the item at $100, the Ebay 10% fee would drop the profit to $90, with PayPal taking its 3%, leaving the profit for the item at $87. Although how each seller sells their item is obviously their choice, there’s an enormous difference between selling a product between $65.25 and $87 after fees. While an item sold at $75 will net you a % 30.5 profit, an item that sells at $100 will net you 87% profit. Those kinds of returns will snowball significantly, or at a snail’s pace, depending on which price point you pick and business model you choose to employ.

In the Square One Productions business, 80% of the products or so, perhaps a bit higher, all are priced ‘to-go’ at near the lowest price-point, with the rest of the items having much higher price points, the highest around in fact. This is because when your item is limited, and cannot be created ever again unless by some unknown circumstance or ‘miracle’ later on, the value of that item is incredibly high [1]. This is why it’s not uncommon for some of the rare video games and collector’s editions that are sold to have a 3x-5x return, and in rare cases higher than that even.

Given all of that, knowing exactly where your product falls on the spectrum of rarity and value will net you significant profits in the long run and only make it easier for your business to succeed, or continue its success.

Final Thoughts

Please keep in mind, none of the above thoughts are shared as end-all-be-all ideas. These thoughts are shared to offer individuals perspective for those seeking insight when perhaps considering starting their own business, or who know others that have done so or are planning too.

There are a lot of additional ideas that can be discussed, but these initial five were chosen given that they set a sound baseline for the next part of this series.

In business, like in life, there are unlimited options that individuals and business owners can undertake. What options are chosen and what follows there in isn’t only directly related to the quality of research carried out within your business, but the perseverance and focus applied to each particular idea and/or venture.

The more focused and precise the actions undertaken, the greater the net benefits and profits that will accrue over time, and the more rapidly those benefits will manifest. And in business, like in life, these benefits are what increase the quality of life, or business, which is why careful consideration should be given to it.

As such, each step that you take should not only be taken with incredible thought and mindfulness, but it should not be taken lightly, either.

______________________________________________________________

[1] The notion of rare video games, or games minted in limited runs, is not something new, although has garnered a lot of attention the last few years. In fact, ‘Limited Run’, is the name of the company that I invest the most heavily in and support not only in my business practices, but for my personal endeavors as well. As a small company that is doing what to keep physical media for game cartridges of video games in an age where most companies are seeking to make everything digital, I appreciate what they do heavily and will continue to support them for the rest of my life.
[2] Some of these examples were only delved into in a cursory manner, and could be expanded upon at length in the future.

 

 

 

Author: Zy Marquiez

Poker Player

Owner of Blocked Up

Writer, Researcher, & Book Reviewer

The Reality of Being An Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is a booming career path with the upcoming Millennial Generation. With this being said, I want you, the reader, to explore what the journey of entrepreneurship really entails, in efforts to create a dialogue of your thoughts and experiences in your specific industry.

 

Make Friends With Stress

stressCongratulations. You made the decision to stress over the growth and development of a newborn business that lives or dies based on every action you take. Being a business owner, especially as a small business start-up, requires a lot of construction of foundations of company systems and structures. Unless you have established funding and pre-established staff personnel, you are now responsible to raise this baby of a company on your own. Time to grow up, man up, and be the father (or mother). Get use to stressing about the progression of your child.

Eat Shit For Years

clean-863691_960_720Most of you made the decision to “be your own boss” because you got tired of listening to the commands of someone else, hated being on someone else’s schedule, dreaded working in your previous work environment, or some other random reason. Guess what, sometimes in life you have to deal with those issues to learn the skills necessary to form your own business, build a network through the audience of a current job, or become one step closer to being mentored by the right individual. You might hate shining shoes, fetching someone’s coffee, or cleaning up after someone.. But in the end, if that allows you to become one step closer toward building your business, then suck up your pride and be the best shoe shiner you can be!

Building Funds By Building Up Someone Else

money-2724241_960_720Unless you were given funds/grants to open a practice or business, more than likely you are or have had to save up funds in efforts to launching your business. It is going to take years of working for someone else, helping them fill their wallet, before you will have enough saved up to work on your own dreams. Give all you can to build up the other person, and you will realize just how much that person can actually help you in return.

Social Media Is Saturated, Be Unique

tree-200795_960_720Everyone wants to be the “next big thing” on social media. It’s time to realize how saturated everything has become on the web and find what truly sets you apart. You have to find your niche, understand the problem of the audience, solve the problem, then provide that solution. Even that being said, you have to promote your campaign strategically so it doesn’t come across as just another similar company within your industry.

Invest In Your Health

physiotherapy-595529_960_720Being a business owner takes a huge toll on you. I rarely acquire 8 hours of sleep, although I should. I rarely have a stress free weekend, although I know I should. I rarely have a weekend to do absolutely anything I want unrelated to work, although I know I should. There is a lot I know I need to invest into more. I don’t have any excuses. But I want to share my experiences, and recommend you set aside time for your health. Invest in proper rest, hydration, nutrition, physical activity, and stress relief activities. Invest in yourself.

Friends Come and Go

runners-635906_960_720The time it takes to sleep, work a “standard” job, workout (invest in your health), and then work on your business, leaves very little time to just run around. Sometimes individuals that don’t see eye to eye with us on our journey, only see the quick glimpse of a picture right in front of them. People can take your investment into your business as a personal insult on eliminating time spent with them. You can only hope that your friends understand how much time and energy it takes to develop a company, along with all the other internal and external stresses you might be facing.

If They Had Your Mindset, They Would Be In Your Shoes

brown-shoes-1150071_960_720As we begin to invest in mentoring, training, and hopefully hiring team members, more stress begins to pile up. Sometimes individuals that we seek to carry out tasks with the same ambition and drive as we have don’t hold up to your standard. This shouldn’t be seen as a flaw in their character or as an insult on your leadership skills. Understand that your dream to run a successful business might not be the goal of any of your employees. Most individuals are usually working to receive a paycheck to pay bills. You have to capitalize on the strengths of your staff, embrace the weaknesses, and encourage a positive and driven work ethic.

Play Nice, But Never Stupid

action-3435773_960_720People can take advantage of you if you enter any industry blind and naive.  You have to embark on this journey both strong and confident in your trade. With this being said, help build relations, grow your network, establish alliances, and be kind to everyone you encounter. The goal is to never burn bridges. Take the time to build others up. While you focus on your goals, also lend a hand to those that might need to be uplifted. Realize that not everyone in the industry is out to get you. But, also know that most of your competitors also love to see you slip and mess up. Understand when to lend a hand, and when to make a move.

Good Things Don’t Always Happen To Good People

filmmaker-2838945_960_720.jpgYou are gonna run around, bust your ass, and believe that something good is gonna have to come from all of your hard work. You are gonna want to hold on to the belief that good things ALWAYS happen to good people. But in the world of business, sometimes people just want to see your company burn. You have to play the game strategic, line up your network, establish referral funnels, grow your audience, and most importantly BE YOURSELF. Just because you are a good person, doesn’t mean good things will happen to you. On the flip side, being true to yourself makes your goals and success so much easier to achieve. In the end, fight for what you believe in, and nothing is impossible to achieve.

Sometimes Business and Family Doesn’t Mix

familyWhen growing your very own business, you might find it hard to resist bringing your family into the picture. Maybe you want to bring one of your family members into the company as an employee or to manage a specific department. It will become difficult to not mention small business achievements, team discussions, progression updates, or anything that has to do with the development of your company to your family. Understand that business shouldn’t consume your discussions with family, and from experience, it is best to completely separate the two. The last thing you want is for business to be the center of a family conflict. Make time for both family and your company. Invest in those that truly matter the most.

 

At the end of the day, being an entrepreneur isn’t always (but can be) a very difficult, lonely, and stressful journey full of obstacles. It is up to you and how you overcome those obstacles that shape you and define you as an individual. Not all aspects of entrepreneurship sound so cold, but we tend to glorify the “career path” as a golden route, when in reality the journey can be full of struggles. I hope you, as a viewer, read this and it begin a discussion with yourself on your decisions to start your own company, or you are able to relate with each point made.

 

Whether you have began this journey, or are debating to begin, feel free to reach out to us via comment and we can collaborate on our experiences.

Never feel like you are in this battle alone.

Let’s make it together.

#LeadByExample

 

 

Photo Dec 09, 8 29 32 AM

Content Provided By:

Hussien Jabai of Jabai Performance LLC