Photo by Flickr:baejaar

WouldIPursueIt: Success In Business by Running the Numbers

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 54 seconds

I think it's true.   comes to those too busy to look for it.  But I think it should also be asked,  "What are you busy doing?"

If you're like me  your mind is constantly running, nonstop.  I'm  thinking non stop how to improve an existing product I use,  build a useful product from scratch that doesn't yet exist or a myriad of other things,  all revolving around making the world a better place and maybe, just maybe turn a buck or two doing it.

I have so many ideas and thoughts that many years ago I started keeping a database of the thoughts that came to me.  I record them on my phone whenever I feel inspired.  Trust me when I say, I get inspired a lot.  This handy Android app helps me tremendously in organizing and categorizing my sometimes (seemingly) random thoughts.  Below is a screenshot of some of the databases I keep along with the number of entries.  Of course, this is just some of them,  there are pages in the app.   If interested in the app, click on the Image,  it will take you directly to its location on Google Play.

Screenshot_2016-06-08-13-01-50-1

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Why am I telling you this?  Because being an entrepreneur, at least of the variety I am,  you have to wear many different hats and be many different people, all at the same time.  The world,  especially the one that exist virtually, is constantly changing.  Do you want to invest or open a restaurant only to realize in 20 years people's taste have changed away from "junk food".   Would you want to open a mail order business or God forbid start a newspaper publishing company?   In business you are subject the fickle nature of the consumer,  you are pretty much at their mercy.

One day your business may be flourishing and the next day you're in the unemployment line because you weren't adaptive and willing to conform your business model to the changing taste of society,  whether you are catering to the general public or to other businesses.

My point is,  you need to diversify.  Never put your eggs all in one basket.  You want to own or invest in a business that does not need you to be physically present in order for it to run.  Do you want to trade in your job only to be a slave to a business that may even be paying you less and be more demanding of your time?  That is no way to live either.

I look for businesses to start and invest in that I can hire someone else to run if need be and allow  me to  be completely hands off.  I like the idea of being on another continent and still lining my pockets with cash while sipping cocktails at the beach.

Most of my interests lie in the digital realm... although I believe you can have a physical business that will lend itself to be manager driven.   There is one particular hair salon that comes to mind that the owner typically is not a beautician of any sort.  The day to day operations are run by the store managers.  That's the business model I seek,  but with the overhead and upfront costs,  I would rather stick with a business that can reside in the cloud, thus sans all the overhead and aggravation that usually comes with running a physical enterprise.

virtualeconomy1

So how do I find a business that I may want to pursue?  I perform extensive research on other businesses that are doing the exact same thing or similar.  This is where the internet and its vast and limitless amounts of information becomes your friend.  There is truly not much you can't figure out.  I research everyone from Ebay and Amazon sellers to people selling hosting and marketing services on the side...   Remember the databases I keep?   I pick a few at a time that peak my interest and research the hell out of them.   Of course,I can't pursue everything that comes to my mind and makes it into my database,  I'm mentally exhausted by the end of the day as it is... so I only choose a few.

So, to prepare for success in business - research and study those who are already doing what you are doing or selling what you want to sell.  See if you can create a different angle or even do it better. There are countless research tools online and if you can't find one,  you can make (or have someone do it for you) your own.   Whether you want to sell a digital product, write an Ebook or create your own product to sell on Ebay or Amazon,   do your homework.


So today I'm going to leave you with something I've been studying.  I have always been fascinated with hosting companies.  I think it's the landlord part of me... renting out part of my hard drive (server) to others..   I'm always looking to snatch up web hosting companies on Flippa.  The problem can sometimes me they can be very intensive as far as support tickets go.. I've been there,  I had a very small one and it was NOT fun.  I catered to a different kind of user,  so that may have been part of the problem.

Anyway,  I've been researching a company (person) selling websites on Ebay...  from first glance it doesn't look like they do very well... but as we know, first glances can be very deceiving.

I extracted the following data from this particular Ebay seller.  THey are selling websites.  I believe they use this as a method to build their hosting company... one of many you can employ. You can click on the image below to go directly to the google spreadsheet.

Title (of course)  -  So I can see what their best sellers are.
QTY (quanity) -  how many they have "available" of each one.
No. Sold (number sold)  - simply the number they sold of the item.
Bids -  this number is usually zero because most people "buy it now" and don't bid.
Price (in dollars) - they are based in the UK and some of their auctions are in pounds...  I did not take the time to convert the ino dollars, but it was approximately 20% of the listings, so keep that in mind.
Revenue - the total amount of money (not taking Fees into consideration) that was collected..  the Price is multiplied by the Number sold (No. Sold)
Total - running total of the money collected.
End Date - the date the auction ends.  Keep in mind, in this case it is in European format  (Day/Month/Year)

So what can we glean from this information?

CLICK on IMAGE to SEE SPREADSHEET

2016-06-08_1338

 

This is a Summary of what I've found based strictly on the data from Ebay,  not including the fact they are building a customer base for recurring billing for their hosting and related services, which I will discuss later.

Number of Listings:  847
Number Sold:  443  (keep in mind,  many of these were multiples of the same website,  one Iphone site had 6 sales for example)
% Sold  17.28%
Items Not Sold:  2121  (keep in mind this is mutliplied by the Quantity of each one)  Many auctions had more than one available but one auction.

Revenue Collected:  11,663.93   (May 26 2016 thru June 8 2016)
Potential Yearly Revenue: 31,010
(from these 443 sales only - because hosting is NOT included)
Total Revenue Collected:   41,673.93   (May 26 2016 thru June 8 2016)

This business is run like a well run machine,  which is very necessary for success.  If you can't do it yourself,  you need to find someone who can do it for you, without knowing too much, of course.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You can list each auction a month at a time...  so the end date is pushed out in this spreadsheet.
  • Keep in mind,  the date is in Day/Month/Year format.
  • This does not include Paypal, Ebay or domain fees if they offer a free domain.
    These kinds of websites can be built easily and sold in quantities.
  • They charge $30 to transfer to YOUR hosting - doesn't look optional but I'm sure if you begged enough they would comply.
  • They charge $70 a year for hosting with 3 months free.  It looks like you have to pay this money immediately.
  • This is a snapshot of just a week....  I'm sure they do much better and plan on digging deeper into their business model.
  • Everyone will choose different hosting plans,  the above number is if EVERYONE chose the $70/year.  It's not realistic,  the choices will be all over the place.

Feel free to study the spreadsheet by clicking on the image above... if you have any questions,  ask them in the comments section.

Photo by Flickr:baejaar

 

Using this method enables you build a nice customer base you can sell other value added services such as:  phone numbers with all the bells and whistles, facebook pages, SEO and many other things, only limited by your imagination.  It also provides you with a nice recurring income.  Wouldn't you like to see those yearly sales in your paypal account every year?

So keeping with my "Would I buy It" Or "Would I pursue It" theme...  my answer is YES -  though with a partner who I would consult with and they keep a specified amount of the profits while they use my resources.  It is impossible to focus and give all your attention to EVERY opportunity that comes your way.

 

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