The Art of Barter

I barter all the time with my neighbors. I find out what they want that I no longer need and exchange it for something I need.
I traded a pressure cooker and a standalone heater for some yard work. The actual dollar value of the exchange would not have made sense, since my neighbor got the greater value. What made it equitable was our personal friendship and understanding.
I also use barter for some of my technical needs. I write copy for several websites in exchange for technical advice for my own websites. The exchange is equitable, based on friendship and a mutual understanding.
They key to barter is the perception of value. Not long ago I was approached by a company to write six TV commercials in exchange for exposure. I charge $1,500 for one sixty-second commercial, which takes at least three days to research, plan and write. They wanted all six completed in two-days, a $9,000 value.
I said no. The rate of exchange, giving up $9,000 of my tine and effort for exposure, did not feel equitable.
For barter to work the perception of value between the parties must be tangible. Trading a thoroughbred stallion for a VW Beetle, even if there is a desperate need for the car is a bit out of balance. The owner of the horse might feel cheated on some level.
Does barter take place on a corporate level or between governments? Absolutely. It’s called diplomacy. The negotiations can take months or years and regardless of how well crafted the final agreement might be, someone, somewhere won’t be happy. That’s just life.

Copyright 2018-2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

 

It’s A “No Brainer” – NOT!

I got an email the other day about a “no brainer” business opportunity. The email and subsequent seminar implied that, if I don’t sign up, I’m some kind of fool.
It’s a form of psychological lever that leads to a hard-sell approach with invitations to buy higher-priced products. The products will, according to the hype, will reveal even more “secrets” that will lead to even greater success (provided your bank account or credit rating survives).
One of my areas of interest is research. Over the years, looking into real estate, asset recovery and a few other business ideas, I’ve discovered that there are no “secrets” that can’t be discovered with an interview with a lawyer, an established investor, a public records clerk or a college course.
The Internet has made some of this research easier, of course, but the real keystone is personal motivation and study. Yes, the entire process may take a little more time, but, once the information is acquired, it’s yours to use as you please.
And yes, it’s nice to have a mentor but, in my opinion, the best mentors are people who will give you the information you need to open the door to your own opportunities. They won’t hold your hand. However, they will encourage you to find your own way, since not everyone uses the same techniques in the same way.
Another benefit of the kinds of mentors I am alluding to is that they won’t charge you an arm and a leg for the information. (I was once invited to pay $10,000 to be mentored for the same information I got from a $200 college class).
Yes, I teach marketing and business development seminars. I “mentor” through subscription newsletters that are very inexpensive compared to the information I share.

Copyright 2018-2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Start Small And Learn The Basics

I learned to swim in the shallow end of the pool.  I am far from the best swimmer in the world, but I get by.  Besides, I swim to entertain myself and no one else.

This also the advice I give to new entrepreneurs.  Start small, learn the basics and grow systematically until the business provides a comfortable and sustainable lifestyle.

Getting there is made up of two levels.  First, one-off sales that make a reasonable profit and introduce people to the product or service.  Second, ongoing or residual sales that are billed month-to-month and provide the financial foundation for the business.  The goal is to build both levels to the same cash flow ($100,000 each, for example).

When that level is reached, the marketing process is managed to sustain the cash flow and then systematically grow it to a higher level, stopping only when managing the business is no longer possible for a small group of individuals (or one person).

Information Addiction – Learning Never Stops

One of my favorite places on the Internet is an online bookstore.  I like reading a broad range of books and articles on the current subject of interest.

My ongoing subject of interest is direct response marketing and, in particular, the art of using email as a marketing tool.  I will explore nearly every book site I can find, including Barnes & Noble, Simon and Schuster, and, of course, Amazon.com.

When I find books I like I buy the hard copies whenever possible.  I add them to my library, after I’ve read them,  taken notes and marked specific pages for future reference.

I don’t just research marketing.  I also look for books and publications on different ways to start and build a business from scratch, plus publications on new technical developments. For me learning never stops.  The world of business is constantly evolving and the processes of marketing needs to evolve with it.  Learning never stops –ever!

Copyright 2018-2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Grocery Delivery Service

When I was in college, I was fortunate to live in a small suburban community outside Seattle.  It was made up wealthy people, many of themself-made millionaires (at a time when being a millionaire meant something).

The most interesting part of the community was the corner store.  And the most interesting thing about the store was its delivery service.  Neighbors could call the store, make their orders and have them delivered that same day. In some cases, they delivered groceries on a regular, monthly or weekly schedule.

I bring this up because the delivery service was very profitable.  In fact, according to the owner of the store, he made as much in a month as the larger supermarket seven miles away.

Will something like this work in today’s world?  Sure.  It already does, but it isn’t local and personal.  What can be delivered at a profit?  Lunches, groceries, office supplies? 

Copyright 2018-2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC