Dirty Minded

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Cleaning is big business. How big? BIIIIIIG. Look at it this way: things get dirty like night follows day. Dirt is perpetual and dependable no matter how hard you try to avoid or prevent it. As sure as death, it is inevitable that someone will need to clean something, sometime.

Cleanliness is next to godliness! For anyone who has read The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, you should know that mankind’s ability to transcend to a third dimension of existence is hinged on one’s ability to aspire for divinity. Confused? Ok… basically, cleanliness separates us from animals — nuff said on this topic.

So what are we actually talking about here? Our newest client  The Cleaning Authority in Olney MD. These guys are literally cleaning up! (Bad joke… i know.) This little business in less than two years has gone from zero to almost $5 million in annual revenue. What’s their secret?

Anyone who is familiar with the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg will know that to build a business juggernaut, you need to find a gap in the market and aggressively and quickly fill that gap. This is what TCA did — and to great effect. They are now the premier cleaning service provider in the Olney area. Going forward, they have big plans to move into other cities, with plans to dominate the national cleaning market within the next ten years.

I for one look forward to working with this ambitious little startup (if it can still be called that). So… what can we take from all this? Keep it clean ladies and gentlemen, for what separates us from the animals are our virtues! If you can’t keep it clean… get it cleaned! Our recommendation would be to get in touch with the only authority on the matter… The Cleaning Authority.

Pensions, Retirements, Investments, Income

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Wealth Management–Why Not?

We work with lots of accountants but only a handful of wealth management companies. What’s the difference? It’s quite simple, and we’ll try to explain in this post.

Accountants tend to deal with tax-related services;  helping business owners pay their taxes. Wealth management companies on the other hand focus on maximizing their customers’ wealth. Take Anderson Wealth Management (http://www.andersonwm.co.uk): They provide their clients and customers with a whole range of products and services. These include everything from retirement planning, mortgage and investment advice, and income protection services.

They support both companies and individuals with their wealth-planning needs, making them versatile businesses and very lucrative if you have the qualifications to start one. What’s more, there aren’t too many around. The main reason for this is because financial institutes tend to keep this very specialized service in house, paying their financial advisors very well. This means very few IFAs risk starting their own businesses, opting to staying employed.

A relatively unknown niche of the finance industry, many are oblivious to their existence. However, the industry sector is growing, with more and more people considering their own financial needs. Take private pensions for example. These are relatively new financial products and it wasn’t long ago that it was the norm for the state to provide ample retirement benefits. This is no longer the case, and with an industry full of private pension products, it’s no wonder that it makes sense to pay a professional to help one choose the best product for them. The same can be said of investment advice. It’s common knowledge that most do not have the experience to successfully invest in the stock market. Doing so is often no better than gambling. Anderson Wealth Management know these financial instruments very well and are skilled in investing their clients’ money wisely.

Horsing around? You bet!

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Don’t act like you didn’t see this coming — online horse racing. Yep — it’s just like normal horse racing… but more… online <ahem>. I mean, who wanted to get dressed to the nines, travel to the races with their mates, have a few drinks on the way, gawp at the drop-dead women, place a few handy bets and generally have a fab day out anyway…? Much better to sit at home in your pants looking at a computer screen — huh?

Sorry for the segue. All jokes aside, we tend to deal with a lot of this kind of business — they’re very up and coming. Strangely enough, the hard-core gambler is much more content with the idea of sitting at home and gambling in their pants. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it I guess.

What’s astounding about these little business ventures is the margins they yield. Holy smoke! If I wasn’t running this business, I’d definitely be running an online horse racing gig. No need to spend money on premises, no need for horses, which means no vet fees, no need for stables, no need to shoot the poor blighters when they break their legs — the list goes on. This business model boils gambling down to its core elements.

Everything is electronically controlled… so the house always wins of course. It goes further than that though. As everything is online, organizers have the ability to make events to order. This includes customizing race lengths, number of horses, racing conditions and much more. It’s win win: Punters get an unlimited variety of things to waste… i mean gamble… their money on; organizers simply can’t lose.

What’s not to like? All I’ll say is be sure to use our services if you’re thinking of starting a business like this. We have tonnes of experience that you’ll find invaluable.

New or used?

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Did you know that the car-leasing business has exploded in recent years. Prior to the 2007 global economic crash (no pun intended), cars were either bought outright or leased through a company.

Oh how things have changed. Now, more than 70 percent of all cars on the road are on personal lease. (Did we learn anything from the worst recession in recent times?) So the question has got to be… is there any need for second-hand cars? Of course there is! In fact, the second-hand car industry is healthier than ever. Dealers of used car are being elevated from the once shady con artists to respectable sales people who own/run honest businesses. Heck — we’re now seeing the advent of huge players in the used car industry like the Car Warehouse and We Buy Any Car. If anyone tells you that there isn’t any money in the used car business… then their either stupid or trying to trick you.

Let’s consider the appeal: You like sports cars… but you don’t like the cost of new ones. Let’s say you’re into Porches — very nice they are too. You pop down to your local dealer and notice a used Porsche for sale. Hmmmmm… so what are you gonna do? Are you going to buy a new Porsche for $150,000 dollars, or are you going to do business with the dealer to buy a used one for a fraction of the price. Let me tell you… if you’re a savvy buyer, you’ll know that you can get 90 percent of the new car’s performance for 25 percent of the price!

Yes, you can lease a new car and put up with the terms, conditions, mileage restriction and crippling interest payments. Or, you could do a bit of research, buy a cheapy and have just as much fun.

Law bites

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Dog bites! Bet you didn’t see this little business gem coming. Well, you’re in for a treat because Los Angeles is writhe with dogs and abundant on bites. So, we all know lawyers quite literally have a license to print money — right? Well the good ones do anyway. More than just legal intellects, a good lawyer is an astute business man. The best practices tend to grow very large; therefore the once law practicing owners are forced to become office managers and usually, if they succeed, CEO of large law firms.
We’re getting a little off topic, because what we actually wanted to talk about was a very interesting niche indeed: dog-bite law. You know your worst nightmares have been realized when there is a subdivision of law that focuses on dog bites. What ever next? Cat scratch law? *Edit: I Googled it… cat law is a thing too.
So the question: is there anything in a dog bite. Other than pain, blood, and the possibility of rabies? There sure is — money! Not literally… it’s not like a dog will bite you and your arm spurts out dollar bills BUT you can sue. Cha ching! Nothing makes the pain go away like a wad of cash right… maybe antiseptic cream… but antiseptic cream can’t buy you a new car.

One of our clients is a lawyer who specializes in dog bits (heck, he probably does cat bites too). What can be said about his business other than its astounding success. Him and his partner clear $500k a year, easily. I know what you’re thinking — that many people are getting mauled by dogs? Your damn right they are. Now I’ve scared you into never leaving your house, consider this: dog-bite law requires very little training indeed. You could hide away in your house while learning to become a bite lawyer.

There’s bald and then there’s bald

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If we told you how much money our client — Hair Transplant Bedford — made in a year, you wouldn’t believe us. Let’s just say that their business defies belief! So what makes them so successful? Erm… how about… the millions of balding men who aren’t ready to kiss goodbye to their beloved flowing locks!

I bet the penny dropped for you just as it did for us. What’s the perfect business? Let me tell ya — it’s simple. Pick something that has an inexhaustible supply of motivated customers and sell them something that is scarce and hard to reproduce anywhere else. Does this approach ring any bells??? Those of you who’ve seem Breaking Bad know exactly what i’m talking about.

Put simply, this type of business just cant lose! Unless some mad scientist figures out a way to allow balding men to regrow their hair through the consumption of a pill. I can’t see that happening any time soon. So until then, all you baldies out there need a specialist to implant donor follicles into your scalp.

You’re right… it sounds horrific BUT people are willing to pay top dollar for it… so who am I to argue? By the way, let’s be clear on what exactly is done during the procedure. First, a donor who has too much hair to spare, provides their follicles to be implanted into a subjects head. The transplant specialist collects all the donor hair follicles (being careful not to mix them up… for obvious reasons). The follicles are then implanted into the recipient’s skin… on their head… where they’re bald. It takes absolutely ages… anyone who’s sat through a tattoo doesn’t even know they’re born!
If there’s anything to take away from today’s post it’s this: 1) Try not to go bald… it’s expensive 2) If going bald can’t be avoided, save money by making peace with it. 3) Start a hair transplant business… they’ll make you rich (also handy if you’re bald).

They can make a pill for anything nowadays!

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There will always be money in the fat business, pure and simple. We’re not going to get into the morality of the issue… but we are going to look a bit closer at a very interesting niche.

Fat burners! This is a little known industry which product was mainly used in the body-builder industry until recent times. It was big business then and is even bigger business now. Back in the day when people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno were kings among brutes, fat burners were used widely as a means for body builder to ‘lean up’ before competitions. This innovative product would speed one’s metabolism, burning any excess fat in the process, leaving contestants look lean, muscular and in striking condition.

Move forward a few years, and interesting little pills, like phen375, captivate an entire section of the weight loss market. Commanding a reasonable prices, distributors enjoy exceptional margins. Also… there’s always gonna be fat people… let’s be honest. So the market is never going to go away. In fact, we’re getting fatter in the Western world… so if you’re a fat-burner business owner… you’re laughing.

So what are the types of challenges one faces with this kind of business? Well… lots. We’ll focus on one of the most common — cash flow. A lot of our clients who operate within this business simply get this wrong. They’re either running out of stock and holding onto too much capital… or they’re buying too much stock, taking too long to sell it, which is leaving them out of pocket and in precarious positions.

Anyway, think twice before you decide to chow down on a McDonalds… it could cost you much more than the price of the meal itself! We here at FFBS are fans of good, old-fashioned exercise… however, this is comparably lucrative. Maybe we should cover the fitness business in another entry — keep posted for more insights.

Eye eye captain

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To continue our recent coverage of all things cosmetic in business, we’ll be looking at another interesting niche — eyelashes.
Put yourselves in our shoes for a moment: You’re sat in a business strategy meeting with a client. We’re talking business models, products and services, sales funnels, etc. Then the CEO of our client’s business turns to you and asks ‘… how long does it take for eyelashes to grow?’ What do you do… what do you do?

Rarely is it our place as consultants to understand the smallest detail of our clients’ products/services… but it turns out that eyelash grow rates are an important metric for those in the eyelash growth treatment industry. Following the CEO’s question and several blank faces, we were enlightened as to why this particular piece of information is important to said client. The details are beyond the scope of this post… lets just say… it takes longer than you think to grow a set of eyelashes… so take care of them.

So, what are we actually talking about here. In summary, eyelash care is a multi-million dollar industry — no joke. There are tonnes of products and services out there ranging from lengthening, shortening, filling, coloring… you name it. This particular client focuses on growth treatments… because… you need your eyelashes to grow… I guess. So, if you’re one of the unlucky people who struggle to grow eyelashes — and there’s gotta be quite a few — our client offers the service for you. It’s worth noting that this isn’t supposed to be a shameless plug… it’s more of an eye opener (get it? Eye opener…) to this niche business sector. So next time, you throw some body a wink or you’re plucking some dirt from your lashes, remember how lucky you are to have those tiny little unassuming pieces of fiber tangling from your eye lid.

Nothing quite as versatile as surgeons

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If i told you the number of our clients that operate within the health industry, you’d be astounded. In fact, most of our clients are either surgeons, doctors, or some other type of medical practitioner. Health, or lack there of, is big business —  cosmetic medicine is even bigger — people would rather look good than feel good, or so it seems.

Let’s take a look at the plastic surgery business (http://www.aaaford.com/ for example). So, why are surgeons making a killing. It’s quite simple… whether we want to admit it or not… we are vain. We want to look good — we want to look like the celebrities do. So, who can we thank/blame for this. The media of course, who else! Never has it been so celebrated to have silicon implants, tummy tucks, nose jobs and alike. With so much social pressure to look at ones best… is it any wonder that the cosmetic surgery industry is booming?

It must be said however, that looks aren’t the be all and end all of these kinds of procedure. Plastic surgery has many useful and noble applications with regards to trauma as the result of an accident. Birth defects are other areas where surgery can help individuals overcome debilitating and/or unsightly body image issues.

So there you have it. It’s win win for surgeons who decide to open their own business. They provide a service that is all things to all men and women. Everything from medical correction procedures for trauma and defects to breast enhancements and reductions to serve cosmetic ends. Oh — and lest we for get to mention — the margins are very good indeed. If you have the persistence to complete the training (and the finances), this could be a worthwhile profession for you. Who knows, your business could become the practice of choice for Hollywood’s up and coming celebrities – the sky is the limit.

Keeping your motors in step with the business beat

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One of our clients is in the electric motor business — more specifically the linear stepper motor niche. Say what now? That’s what we thoughts at first… but here’s the thing. When you’ve been providing business consulting services for as long as we have, you quickly learn that it doesn’t matter too much about the product or service being sold. It’s more about the business model and how it can be improved. Working with a new client, especially one as niche as this particular one, is all about figuring out the fundamentals:

Who are their clients
How is new business being generated
How are sales being converted

A Linear Stepped Motor and things like it are actually quite interesting as far as electrical motors go. When a stepper motor is turned on, it divides 360-degree rotation into… well… steps. In other words, instead of spinning round in one full circle, it will rotate one step at a time. For example, if a motor has four steps, it will rotate 90 degrees at a time. Make sense?

So what’s the big deal about this kind of motor. I’m glad you asked. Control! These kinds of motors are used widely in the manufacturing industry. Have you ever seen those funny little robots that traverse a rail? Yip — linear stepper motors make that movement possible. There are literally tonnes of practical applications — who would have thought! So when our client came to use for advice on how to grow their business, we were both happy to help and excited to learn about this little-known industry.

Ok, that’s about it for today’s post — we hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to get in touch with us should you need more information about this or any of our other articles… and remember… the linear stepper motor business is where it’s currently at.

Keep your nose… out of our business

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Rhinoplasty (meaning to o shape or mold) is big business… the industry is worth billions! But what is it? It’s an operation designed to alter ones nose, with the purpose of improving looks, breathing and sinus function. Typically, surgeons are both skilled and experienced, allowing them to cater for a wide range of procedures, allowing them to customize service to suite the individual needs of their patients. Does this procedure change from location to location? We like to think not. Take rhinoplasty in Raleigh NC, for example, it’s the same there as it is anywhere else… so I wouldn’t worry.
Surgeries vary based on the need — some are even emergency operations due to trauma, or some other kind of injury. Procedures may result in the reduction or increase of size. Therefore, one can achieve alterations in any of the most commonly noticed areas. For example, operations can result in a lengthening, shortening, widening and slimming… not to mention nostril alteration. The practical applications go far beyond making someone look good or correcting damage due to trauma. This kind of procedure is also a vital solution to correcting birth defects.
The goal of surgery is to achieve a natural look… although some celebrities will beg to differ, as it can be a status symbol… they can spend tens of thousands of dollars on an op — some have more than one! To ensure success, every patient must undergo an extensive needs analysis and facial profiling before their operation. Medical grade photographs are taken by qualified photo professionals. The photo’s are then analyzed by the business’ doctors and the operation is planned. You have to remember — this is just another kind of business; therefore, customers are kept informed every step of the way.

As a business model… this ones a tough one to get into. Many years of training are required before one can practice — ever more time is needed before the average surgeon gains credibility. Then, and only then, will it be possible to go into business… with many failing because… surgeons are surgeons and therefore not qualified to run a business… but that’s an argument for another day.

In the business of air and conditioning

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Owning a business is a great way to earn a living while maintaining full control over your lifestyle. While there are many ideas that one would undertake to achieve this, owning an air conditioning installation business remains a premier choice.

An air-conditioning business serves clients who require new units for their buildings and also services old units that are installed in existing buildings. The owner of this kind of venture will have to choose whether to deal with new units or service old ones. He will also have to acquire a license before commencing his activities. Different licenses may be required to start the venture. It is important to check with the local government for more information on this before setting up the practice.

There are start-up costs that the owner will have to cater for. They include renting the premises where the business will be located and the purchase of machinery required for the enterprise. For repair services, tools will be needed such as servicing tools and safety equipment. A new storage unit will require an inventory and new air conditioners. In calculating the costs, get a rough estimate on what is needed and check in the field how much these things cost. It is the easiest way to know how much capital should be raised. The owner can finance the venture with their savings or sell off a few items.
Running an air-conditioning enterprise can be done from home. Lack of the vast sums of money stated in the plan does not mean doom for your venture. As the business owner, you can run this type of investment in your garage as you accumulate enough money to help you get a suitable premise.
With a ready market in the residential area and also in commercial buildings, this type of venture can be quite lucrative when well executed.

A special thanks to Snowman air conditioning installation in Melbourne, for their help with this article.

The 3D printing business

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Starting a business like Pongo Store

Starting a business is difficult for anyone especially when it comes to one that needs some form of knowledge in a given subject. The other aspect that may be difficult is the labor, effort and cost needs in ensuring it turns out successful. Starting a successful business is dependent on certain factors.

Creativity: This refers to coming up with an idea that will actually capture the attention of your targeted customers. Consumers will not be attracted to something that was already previously existing, for instance, while beginning a 3D printer business, the targeted consumers will mostly be companies thus it is paramount to analyze the market segment of 3D printing and innovate services that will differentiate you and will make you stand out in your respective market, thus creating a monopoly for yourself and in the long run, higher profits.

Good Interrelationship skills: This is important for the purpose of having a better understanding of your consumers and thus use the knowledge acquired from them to better your business. At the same time it will aid in getting sponsors or worthwhile partnership for the production of a given product, for instance, a manager with good interrelationship skills will be able to convince the top rank organization within a given market segment to invest in the company, thus improve the companies credibility to the consumer base.

Making use of the best marketing strategy: This starts with having a good understanding of your consumers and the best tool of capturing their audience, whether through advertisement, social media, or person-to-person selling. It would be in the best interest of the company to come up with new possibilities for consumers through the adapted marketing strategy which would attract the customers and drive more traffic towards the company’s website and social media pages.

Check out Pongo Store — these guys are a good example of a startup.