Author Topic: Active Entrepreneur  (Read 6845 times)

Michael792

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Active Entrepreneur
« on: July 11, 2014, 04:55:39 AM »
Hey everyone, I'm an active duty soldier. I want to start a business. I love business and have several plans for some once I get out of the Army. However, I would like some suggestions for businesses I could run with the limited time I do have now. I have a blog, but I only started it recently and I'm trying to build both content and audience before I monetize it. I think early readers are turned off by advertisements, and I'd rather have more content so the ads can be better targeted toward an audience. So, in the meantime, everyone chip in with their suggestions, please! :) Oh, also important to note I'm overseas with no access to a private vehicle or residence. (Not in a war zone, so no haji market suggestions either. Unless you want to, it might be entertaining. :D )

SDREMNGR

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 05:48:22 AM »
There are hundreds of different things you could do.  Sort of like there are hundreds of women you could date at any given city. But the one or two that would work out are the ones that interest you and that you have the skill, desire, and ability to do (the business, not the women).  It's too broad a question and topic.  I'm a business owner and it takes a sustained effort and a bit of luck to make it as a business owner.  Without the interest, it's too hard to make it last beyond a hobby.  To make it a viable and we'll paying endeavor, you have to be into it, at least until it's a success.

Michael792

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 05:56:58 AM »
I understand that and appreciate you saying it. I guess I need to clarify. I have very specific goals to build specific businesses after the Army, but I am interested in getting to know the business world before I get out of the Army. So what I'm asking for is ideas that people think would be interesting to turn into businesses. I'm not trying to find the one perfect thing I'll do, but rather see what other people think up and from that be able to brainstorm a bit better. Obviously I don't know what will work yet, and I'm a bit baseless right now. I'm trying to spur my own creativity by seeking some "out of the box" thinking, which just means looking at what other people can think of that I wouldn't have by myself. :) Whatever I end up doing, I guarantee you I won't do it just for the money. I'm looking for help in brainstorming something that will eventually turn into a thing I can enjoy, learn from, and make a modest profit from. Thanks for your reply, though. I really do appreciate it!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 07:46:59 AM »

Ok, you are in a temporary location(miltary), so you need to pick a business which is location independent.

Since you are working, you need something you can work on evenings, nights or free time.

Businesses also need to be working 24/7.

The only thing that meets this criteria is a internet based business
Here are some that I can think of

  • Site with Affilate advertising
  • Site with pay per click advertising
  • Online store  (maybe with drop shipping)
  • Private label sales on Amazon

I do not limit the site to a blog. For example I have a site called vocabking.com which has a vocabulary game for SAT and GRE. This earns money thru adsense. This needs about an hour of work a month. All the work was done upfront.

I have an online store (kowines.com) which I do in partnership with a friend who owns a store. So, my job here is just to maintain the site and update date which is about 4 hours a week. Again, the first 6 months when I was setting it up was intense, but now it is quite easy.


SDREMNGR

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 09:54:26 AM »
One thing I'd like to separate is the side gig from the real business.  The side gig may eventually turn into a full time job but most of the time I think it's a lot of brain damage for not a lot of money.  If money is what you are after and not a way to kill time, then even online Internet businesses will require dedication.  I wouldn't hold my breathe for any super money making ideas on here. Otherwise why would someone give away a great business idea?  Also, often the execution is the difference so how you decide to do it makes all the difference.

Pick up a copy of entrepreneur magazine.  Lots of different small business ideas and franchises in there. Gives you an idea of what's available.

Lastly, remember that building a business is different from having a side job.

Michael792

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2014, 03:23:58 PM »
Thanks, brother.  I get that it's different, but like I said, it's a way to earn a bit of extra money on the side. I don't expect anyone to give me an earth shattering, mind blowing idea.

Thanks for the ideas, CowboyandIndian. That's what I've been throwing around in my head, so I've been wondering what kind of a site that I could build that would earn money. I was thinking informational sites on history or something, because I absolutely love history and I'm great at finding information. All that would be left is putting it together in an easy to read manner, and building the site to be user friendly and helpful. I really don't know how much traffic a site like that would bring, but I thought it may be worth a try. What do you think?

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2014, 04:15:13 PM »
Go to your local library and borrow the book $100 Startup.  It's got dozens of case studies for small businesses.


Michael792

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 05:53:44 PM »
I'll try that, though I think I might need to check the other library on post. I haven't seen it yet in the library by my barracks. That is one nice thing about the place I live: I have a library maybe 100-150 meters away from my building.

arebelspy

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2014, 09:23:34 AM »
Seek to fill a need.

What service can you provide?  How can you do something useful, or helpful, for people?

Start with that.  Making it generate cash after that is the easy part.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Michael792

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2014, 04:53:25 PM »
Hey, thanks for the advice. I hadn't been expecting any more replies here, so it was a pleasant surprise this morning. I've been looking around. Had a couple of failures already, so I started doing some stock photography. Trying to build that up at the moment. If I find something else to do during the week, it'll be easy enough to do photography on the weekend and upload/keyword it all then. I've thought about getting a second job on post, but I really want something that's more flexible than a second job. So far I've determined that buying knives at half price and trying to mark them up will not work. Soldiers tend to steal the things they need. I think I need to look into electronics, but I'm not sure of the market or very knowledgeable about the products. There's not a whole lot of people here I can sell to, and I can't speak Korean. So I'm kinda limited, unfortunately.

Threshkin

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2014, 05:42:43 PM »
Michael,

I checked out your blog.  It looked interesting but I found the stark white text on a deep black background hard to read.  You might think about that.

arebelspy

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 08:43:08 PM »
Hey, thanks for the advice. I hadn't been expecting any more replies here, so it was a pleasant surprise this morning. I've been looking around. Had a couple of failures already, so I started doing some stock photography. Trying to build that up at the moment. If I find something else to do during the week, it'll be easy enough to do photography on the weekend and upload/keyword it all then. I've thought about getting a second job on post, but I really want something that's more flexible than a second job. So far I've determined that buying knives at half price and trying to mark them up will not work. Soldiers tend to steal the things they need. I think I need to look into electronics, but I'm not sure of the market or very knowledgeable about the products. There's not a whole lot of people here I can sell to, and I can't speak Korean. So I'm kinda limited, unfortunately.

You're looking for something you can do, and then hoping it's profitable.

I would suggest that you are doing it backwrds.

Do people on the post need knives?  (Apparently not.)  Do they need another source for electronics?  Do they need more stock photos?

Find something people need, then provide it for them.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Michael792

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2014, 03:50:25 AM »
Threshkin- Thanks for the advice. That's the way the theme came default, and I really like it. Most pages are black text with a white background, and I kind of wanted something different. The theme does offer a black on white version as well. Think I should change over to it?

Arebelspy- I like the view on perspective you offer. Originally I was looking for something people need, but I honestly don't even know where to begin. I mean, pretty much all our base needs are met, so I have to branch into wants and try to figure out a market there. That's why I tried knives, because I thought "Hey, we're soldiers, we need knives in the field." Problem is most people aren't combat oriented and have some sort of office to work in, so they don't really need a knife. And most of the guys that do need them already have them or are going to steal them so they can afford to drink.

I guess I could offer to buy people alcohol, since we're on rations here. There's not a lot I can do with that, because it's a strict ration and soldiers won't go for a high markup. They'll just go off post and get soju.

Stock photos, I figured I like taking pictures and I like hiking. Figured Id pair the two and try to build something small income-wise. I'm also learning a lot about photography in the process, which is pretty fun.

I'm not getting promoted any time soon, unfortunately. Found out recently my Reserve time counts for pretty much nil. So no option of exploring that.

You're right about electronics. There's so many cheap places off post it's not worth me getting into that.

A buddy of mine sells shoes, but won't say anything about how. He doesn't want any competition, and I don't know enough about anything shoe-wise to go up against him.

I have no idea where else to look.

Michael792

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2014, 04:19:15 AM »
Threshkin, I actually just changed it. Figured it might be difficult for others to read as well. If you don't mind giving it a look and throwing some feedback my way, I'd really appreciate it :)

Threshkin

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2014, 06:42:25 PM »
Threshkin, I actually just changed it. Figured it might be difficult for others to read as well. If you don't mind giving it a look and throwing some feedback my way, I'd really appreciate it :)

Yes, much easier for me to read!  Sorry for the delay in responding.


Michael792

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2014, 09:58:50 PM »
No problem! Thanks for the feedback!

mozar

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Re: Active Entrepreneur
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2014, 10:47:37 AM »
Some companies are able to create wants, rather than cater to needs, it's true. Usually they specialize in a particular field, work on it for a few years, talk with people in the same field, start to get a feel for what people need or want. You're not going to easily hit on a profitable idea. You need to try different ideas over and over again, for years, until you hit on something that works.
I recommend "How to get rich"
http://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Rich-Greatest-Entrepreneurs/dp/1591842719