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Saturday, February 9, 2019

micro business 2


MICRO BUSINESS 2
Yesterday we covered a mail order used book business.  These are going to be Business As Usual money earning businesses.  Not apocalypse businesses.  You want some kind of income stream to help you move out into the rural area you’ve dreamed of as you goose your SUV engine to pass the urban ghetto on your way to work at the cubicle farm.  Just beware that a country business is a MICRO business, as the article title just might have hinted at.  You cannot live the life of Riley on a micro business.  You might make food money, but car and insurance and hookers and blow?
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None of these I managed to come up with as original ( as compared to what we talked about before ) is steady or dependable income.  You have a good month, you stock up on food.  You have a bad one, you look under the couch cushion for fresh produce money and live off of the stored calories ( your unemployment food storage is not the same as your collapse food storage ).  And I doubt one is enough even for just grocery money.  It is a supplemental income.  It is one of several income streams. 
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I haven’t sat and chewed the fat with an FFL holder for twenty years.  After that, it was just employees, not the owner.  I might be out of touch.  But I’m guessing that very few amateur gun sellers do the following.  Layaway guns.  See, you can’t really beat anybody on price.  Most guns are close to the same price retail.  And you can’t get a huge discount buying jobber.  Too many competitors have made this a razor thin margin item.  So retail gun stores sell all those gun accessories at stupid high mark-ups.  I get it-they must pay rent.
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But anyone can buy from online mail order companies those very same accessories rather cheap.  The retail guys are selling one-sies and two-sies to guys who can’t buy bulk or at a price to knock off shipping costs, or to the really paranoid who want cash buys.  You can beat the retail guys on both of those counts and you can beat everyone catering to the really poor guys that need to do a layaway sale.  Does anyone truly need layaway?  In a perfect world, no.  The customer just saves up his money.  We don’t live in that world.
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Remember that recent statistic that says something like 70% of the population doesn’t have $400 in saving for an emergency?  I could be wrong on the 70%, but I know it is high.  I do remember the four hundred for sure.  Layaway forces discipline in savings for budgets that normally don’t see any savings.  Remember, YOU understand that not needing money is easier to arrange than needing more money.  Very few others understand this basic core principle.  If you don’t see any competition from pawn shops or gun shops, there might be a market for gun layaways.
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If there is, you don’t need a huge amount of investments.  If you only carry a few types of firearms, that drastically reduces inventory.  Of course, you do understand that creating a business that doesn’t rely on skill means there is SOME inventory, always.  If you live in an area that is mostly hunting such as Montana, you carry those types.  And if your area is mostly squirrel hunters that are big into militia types you carry the AR-15.  This is also the type that gives you the most leeway. 
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You could just build your own ( although there are liability issues, and insurance.  But just selling guns you probably need that anyway ).  That gives the best mark-up.  Just offering layaway gives a little extra mark-up.  You could offer the 80% parts so your customers pay the mark-up for cash purchases and no paper trail.  If you always have a couple of guns in the process of being paid-off, that is extra inventory for you if you are “stuck” with them failing purchase completion.  Yes, you are stuck with inventory when Business As Usual ends, but that is a good inventory to have. 
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Another good inventory to be stuck with is a mini-preparedness business.  If you buy a bulk load of food grade plastic buckets, your customers cannot come close to that price.  Fill it with feed store wheat, diatomaceous earth treated, and your profit is in the difference between jobber and retail price in the buckets plus a very modest mark-up for labor ( customers know the prices of DIY, so you need to beat that ).  Don’t try to over do it on wheat inventory-let your feed store do that.  Just buy as needed with a modest stock of completed buckets ready to go.
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You could also add to that a fresh flour offering.  Few folks want to buy a $250-$500 machine.  A few might, but those are the really dedicated ones.  A lot more might, once they taste how good home ground is.  You would be killing off your customers, figuratively.  Of course, if you are just using your own personal mill, you in theory get some help in paying off the machine ( just get one that will handle the volume ).  Just be sure to buy a mill that offers “micronizing”, to get that expected baby powder consistency.
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The cheapest Wally whole wheat flour is 40 cents a pound ( well, it WAS.  It has been a couple of years since I bought any ).  If feed store wheat is half that you can charge the same as Wally retail and they get fresh verses store stale, I’m sure you could find some happy customers.  If you ground a bag a day that might only be a buck profit, but it is paying off the machine at the very least.  Which you use yourself.  And that is on top of the personal use buckets you got cheaper.
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Just as Commander Zero buys the semi-auto magazines he can use himself, cheaper because of a bulk purchase, and then defrays some costs further by offering some for sale, this is your basic idea here.  Just local instead of mail order for all but the books.  You are saving both them and you money.  Or if not saving them money such as on the guns, charging less than anyone else.  No, the books don’t save them anything, but there are only X amount of print books out there and you are offering mail order folks one last crack at affordable books, anyway. 
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Seeing far too many cheap used hard paperbacks go from overstocked commodities to Far Too Pricey semi-collectors prices, that ain’t nothing.  You should always do business as if karma was real ( far too many real world exceptions tell me it is a glittery unicorn fable ).  Not because you are an upstanding moral righteous fellow, even though you might be, but because a good reputation leads to far more business.  Shear the sheep, don’t butcher them.  And it is the right ( moral ) thing to do anyway.  Which is a bonus.
( .Y. )
( today's related Amazon link click here )
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29 comments:

  1. Playing in the firearms "business" can get a minion burned. (Ok, all the old timers that sit at tables in every gun show with their private party over priced unicorn gun collections can chime in how they know better) Jim's Nevada legislature is out of the gate right now with mandatory background checks on ALL transfers (sales and gifts) legislation (that will pass, blue state=blue balls) that will cause any such endevour to be REQUIRED to trudge down to an ffl licensed dealer for logging in and out and background checks on buyer transferee. This effectively negatates a private party business model outside your own clan, workmates, or church parrish members. Too small of a circle of contacts to actually move product and make money on their broke ass selfs. Failure to do so will be a sting operation easy meat for either Federal leo, or state leo who would be eagerly giddy to prove their new found enabled POWER AND AUTHORITY. They spend 18 months of paid investigation time just to make "examples" of ruby ridge and mt. Caramel residents, your not exempted from the same customer service policy. (Asset forfeiture anyone?) Many dealers are now also going layaway programs on guns out of necessity due to economy sliding and the neighborhoods changing they are licensed and zoned for (not leaving, business anchored) it now makes up a good percentage of sales nowadays. Stay with flea market or gun show table of accessories, survival gear, home based foods, ammo, crafts etc. Not a product that is as regulated as nuclear power electricity production. As an ffl licensee for years and years, I know of things and just share info. Good luck with endevours.

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    1. See? I have been out of the game for some time. Thank you for the much needed update. Well, at least that leaves the 80% items sales if you want to get stuck with useful inventory ( as an aside-damn! I really must be out of touch up here with the mines still operating. I know it could end any day, but am not experiencing it first hand yet ).

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    2. Yeah, it is a new paradigm. Communities can be checkerboard with poor underclasses near or aside reasonably affluent retirees, working class, 9 percenters. This hides or masks reality from the illusion. Glued together by rule of law, so it is all functional. Your county seat, interstate corridor acts as an economic hub. It shows like an ant farm of activity, but a drought of real economy or grind up of system gears can collapse it like a queen ant die off without a replacement. Then there is that big bare circle patch out there where what once was.

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    3. Government surplus, shopping hub, mining and railroad activity-yeah, we are vulnerable in every single aspect. Burn, baby! Let's get all these humpers out of here before the collapse.

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    4. They will linger, like moochers at a buffet, moaning out noises, wandering aimlessly, zombies, wearing bad clothing styles. It really does suck all around, everywhere.

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    5. Or, they will return to Cali where the welfare is much better. I can't believe the people I hear whining about how great that state is. Go back, already!

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  2. Building guns as a whole end product requires it to be stamped with identifying information. Name, city and state, and any form of a serial number. Yes, even if it is for your own personal use, collection. You can make one (1) unit per year. Any thing more requires a ffl "manufacturers" type of license. Reselling multiples of guns as an enterprise (that becomes an interpretation of a business operation) creates your position as "being in the business", and requires dealer licensing. Stag Arms management or staff got cocky and made full autos on the side (tinkering, personal playthings, etc) without that particular endorsement or type of license. They all got jammed up "federally fudged" and lost the company. Research the government gang's rules and laws before proceeding. They are kinda in charge.

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    1. It isn't something I would want to do, not after thirty-forty years of ATF terror tactics. Not even just as a dealer. There are plenty of macho minions who might throw caution to the wind and want to self-finance their own arsenals. The article was under the assumption all the dangers were known and accepted.

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    2. Yeah, just guidance for 'law abiding citizens'. There is enough unseen and unknown tripwires out there in the bush as well as charlie. Don't need to compound things by making previously friendly forces (leo or regulators, if you behave) to another adversary arrayed against you.

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    3. Shut up, pay your taxes, and we might leave you alone. True, dat, homey.

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  3. When I built my AR almost 2 years ago there were 2 stores within a 1 hour drive that had accessories but both were priced higher than online stuff with shipping included. So of all the parts I bought only one was local, the trigger. Both those stores are now out of business. Bezo wins again!

    The local FFL that transferred my Spikes lower receiver from Tombstone Tactical in AZ only deals with used guns. I stopped in to see him a couple weeks ago and he still had the same used inventory as he did a year ago. He told me nobody's buying and lots of people are wanting to sell their used guns but he has run out of space. He also does small engine repair on the premises so he's not going broke. Yet.

    The only thing I'd be willing to do with guns, considering the atmosphere today, would be to help someone acquire the right parts and assemble an AR. Give em the list and tell them to order all of it then come by and plan to spend about 3 hours or more and we'll get it done. And in the process they'll learn how their gun works and how to disassemble it. Frankly though, the process is so easy that I'd probably be too embarrassed to charge money for such a thing. Be like charging the old lady down the road $10 to come by and jump her car. I briefly thought about reloading ammo in other people's empties but then decided I didn't want to get in any MMA fights because somebody's gun blew up from hot ammo that I DID NOT make. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. Not gettin rich but I ain't starvin yet neither.

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    1. Yeah, I am in a mini bubble here, not realizing how bad it is. If folks can't buy guns, THE most treasured and prized tool after a car, the economy truly is nuked. All minion feedback most appreciated. This was an eye opener. We had one gun store in town close, but I just thought it was because there were too many to begin with. Now we are back to one, plus the two pawn shops for the used. And even those might be in for trouble if the mines keep laying folks off. So, a decline here, but an implosion Out There.

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    2. Probably glut in the market. Millenials are not gun fans. 18 years of war and repeat deployments scared off the military as a hobby interest type job route or career except for the poor and minorities, thus there aren't much of any paramilitary consumers. Every one of age since last assault weapons ban term had expired and obama frenzy of sales have their fill of guns bigly. Just like used cars, they are parked and stored everywhere. Only by mass criminal thefts or police recovery, confiscating, disposals will there be spurred demand enough to turn the market. Civil unrest won't work either as half of 'Merica won't get off the couch, or the old lady has his balls in a lock box and johnny can't come out to play, or shop on his own anymore.

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    3. Pawn shops deal in the guns for pawn loans only as they hold certain values better than tools or musical instruments, etc. The pawnsters make the money on loan interest 'vig' on the balance or holding the item. Most are straight desperation sales like selling your gun back to the shop. Buy for 500, sell back cause your broke and need cash, get maybe 250 or 300 even if shiney new. They hold 30 days and resell at 425 or so as a 'used' gun that is attractive priced versus another new model, for the next customer. Some guns actually may run a circuit of owners like a prostitute. Slutty business really.

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    4. 4:55-I'd say we saw a glut several years ago. Around Sandy Point? Now, it is just severe economic contraction.
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      5:04-and you know the shiny plastic AR's are the easiest bitches on the rack. You don't see any AK's. Or, I never do. Higher disposable incomes here might just mean nobody buys redneck ranger guns.

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  4. We were having that exact conversation while out reconnoitering the area south of us (Pugsley wanted to take pictures with my camera, sadly, he has a better eye than his old man for a good picture).

    The Mrs. (who exceeds my cynicism level by a factor of 11 was complaining about bad business practices, and I countered that they wouldn't do whatever it was that she said (I can't remember, I have Advanced Wife Memory Wipe - I keep forgetting what she said).

    "And why not?"

    "Because they want you to come back as a customer."

    And that was a good enough reason. Be just and fair and you'll have repeat business, right up until you go bankrupt for being just and fair.

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    1. "Right up until you go bankrupt". Ha! Sad, but probably quite true. Cynical wife, most assuredly a keeper.

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    2. "Advanced Wife Memory Wipe"

      HA! Every now and then my wife tries to catch me at that, and she usually does. Any more, if I need to know an answer to a question right now I precede the question with, "In 10 words or less, what is such n such?" and that really ruffles her feathers. Thing is, she always takes the long way home and sometimes I'm in a hurry. shrug

      BTW, anyone else reading C5's latest series over at https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/c5-defines-the-adapters-movement-in-four-parts-part-iii-make-food-first-again/

      He's turned it all upside down, and even posted a couple pix of himself, kind of revealing. LOL go look

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    3. I love Green Mountain Dude. Love all his stuff. This, not so much. But I'm not throwing out the baby with the bath water. Even in the midst of something like this, there are still gems. In part one or two, he mentions that old hay raising land that was so poisoned no amount of organics/compost was working. Tidbits like that are priceless. I'll never look at conventional farmland the same again. If it won't support you immediately, there is no reason to covet or protect it.

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  5. Manhunt For Claude Dallas (1986). I didn’t know until more recently that they had made a movie based on his life. I found it on youtube for free, but the video doesn’t quite match the voice (Probably an attempt to avoid youtube’s tracking algorithms to weed out copyright infringement). To my surprise, this made for tv movie wasn’t half bad, and stuck pretty close to the real story. The scene where the attractive girl in the bar was hitting on Claude, and her boyfriend came along and wanted him to step out in the parking lot, was a real life incident. Ol’ Claude coolly and casually said to the dude “I think that you should know that I carry a gun”, and the dude decided that he didn’t really want to mess with Ol” Claude after all :D Gotta love the right to the point, economy of words approach of westerners :D I was trying to figure out who that hot young babe in that scene was, and was surprised to learn that it was a young Annette Bening. I never thought that she was bad looking, but she looked exceptionally hot when she was young.

    Not a half bad flick, and worth checking out.

    (1:30 min, not the 2:05:07 listed. It repeats past that)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VsPTM8nbJQ

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    1. Thanks, I'll be checking that out.

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    2. Yeah, Annette was pretty hot back in the 70's. Hell, she was still stirrin' long wood around these parts in "Open Range". LOL

      Hey, why isn't this thing remembering my handle any more? I have to type the whole thing in every time.

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    3. You're asking me about computers? Hell, Grandpa, you're more proficient on them than I am. And this is the easier one. I tried Wordpress and was beyond lost.

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    4. Cut me some slack, I'm on a win 10 machine and it pretty much does what it wants. My XP machines stopped working online over a year ago. Godaddy handles my website hosting and email and a week or so that set up started requiring me to log in each time too. So maybe they're behind the blogger issue to. I also have 2 blogger sites, that our programmer son set up to appear as standard domain websites, but haven't been to em in a year or more. Guess I should go check em out to see if they are acting up too. All this tech stuff is really wearing me out man. One of these days I'm gonna drop all of it. Just drag all this shit out to the curb and get back into the business of living fully - rather than fooly. Like that play on words?

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    5. Actually, that was a rather nice play on words. I wouldn't mind going back pre-computer. Of course, I couldn't write anymore. But post-computer, there won't be anyone to read it anyway.

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  6. “You cannot live the life of Riley on a micro business.”


    Yeah, except it’s 2018, and under AOC’s “New Green Deal” that replaced airplanes with high-speed trains, Riley is now an unemployed aircraft mechanic.

    Bab’s took the “burning the coal” and hooked up with Tyrone, following much lesbian experimentation whilst away at Marxist university. Tyrone later decided that fatherhood wasn’t for him, and decided to head for “whiter pastures”.

    Junior married the boy the next door, and is still living a high quality of life following his HIV diagnosis.

    Peg, now a ball busting feminist career woman, decided that marriage was less than satisfying, and that a life without Riley, was a better life for her. So she ass raped Riley via the feminist family courts, and now Riley lives alone and broke in a one bedroom apartment in a bad part of town, living on mac and cheese, top ramen, and replacing his Taylor with the local thrift store.

    I was just going to stop at the aircraft mechanic nullification comment, but figured what the hell, I was on a roll :D

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/43194/aocs-green-new-deal-proposal-one-stupidest-ben-shapiro

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    1. The problem with a train isn't that it isn't a plane. I won't fly again with TSA, nor, especially, corporate safety standards. The problem is that Amtrak is deadly enough without it going faster.

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    2. I'll probably never get on a commercial plane again. Yeah, TSA, but mostly because I'm not allowed to protect myself. I tend to avoid entities that treat me like a criminal.

      I rode train a lot in Germany and would again, and not those bullet trains. Keep it reasonable, say 50mph or so, so you can enjoy viewing the countryside, and I'm there man. When a train breaks you can get out and walk, when a plane breaks you can't get out and fly. At least not for long. I did a write-up on trains over at American Digest last month:

      http://americandigest.org/wp/i-likes-me-some-trains-by-ghostsniper/

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    3. Something like "it isn't the flying, it is the landing" part, after the plane breaks? :)

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