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Possible Niches? Your thoughts

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by LittleWolfie, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I'm looking at a couple of niches were I might be able to add value and wanted to get feedback from people on here.

    The first idea

    Suggested by @Late Bloomer in my failed executions thread is the idea of a freelance technical writer, this seems like a good use of my skills. I've tried improving and writing up on existing work, and this gives me a chance to build up a portfolio without too much expense or working directly for someone for free(the data is often online) I'm narrowing it down more specifically to product datasheets, as I think this is where I could really shine. I'm currently working on one for Ubuntu then I will probably do Red Hat.


    Challenges
    I'm not sure how I get this in front of the target audience or whom I would approach. Whom needs datasheets? If I'm going to start cold calling or cold-emailing, what kind of industries should I target? Where will I get people who I can value add towards? I've looked at keyword research, but that has not given me any ideas of where to concentrate

    The second idea
    Is to sell a service helping Canadian companies selling electronic products to Europe with VAT. CETA makes reselling the existing service to Canada, much easier,and Canadian keywords indicate there is demand.

    Challenges
    However I'm not able to get the initial echo. I'd like to narrow it down even further, and see if there are any ideas of a particular type of company (In Calgary, that are likely to need that solution) How would one identify them?
    Once, I can get an idea of their volume of sales to Europe (Or predicted volume) and their costs to handle compliance, I can go and file for reselling, get the price from the provider and set up Canadian VOIP/virtual office too.
     
  2. Liam
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    Liam New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Regarding the first idea, a good place to start would be manufacturers.

    I work within the building industry and due to continual legislative changes and drive towards energy efficiency the amount of manufacturers information that is outdated I see is staggering.

    The building industry in the UK is quite fragmented and technical information is needed for all sorts of reasons, be it to make financial decisions, to assess efficiency, to assess noise and vibration to name a few.

    Manufacturers within the building industry due have in-house technical teams but a lot of the time they are far too busy to update their operation manuals so do use outside help.

    Manufacturers to consider include fan manufacturers, building insulation, boilers, chillers, air conditioning, amongst others.

    Also it might be worthwhile approaching mechanical and electrical building service contractors to see if you could provide a service. A lot of work I see is detailed with regards to specifications, i.e. the specification tells you which fan manufacturer to use, which model radiator to provide, etc.. But there is something known as design and build contracting which puts the onus on the service contractor, not the client, to provide something that will work within a building. The service contractor must then prepare technical data sheets to put to the client to allow the client to assess the suitability.

    The building industry in the UK is in a bit of boom time at the moment so there may be something in trying to pursue this, you never know until you try.
     
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  3. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks so whom do updated data sheets add value to then? Who has to added efficiency,noise and vibration? I guess they would like DB levels included. Can you tell me about your job? Do you have to deal with outdated or incomplete datasheets?
     
  4. minivanman
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    minivanman Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Inventory control specified for the pot industry? I say this because we were working on this but the head guy was becoming more and more of a prick so my partner and I backed out yesterday. It's a little more in-depth than just inventory control but you can take the idea and run with it.
     
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  5. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    It's still criminal here )up to 5 years in prison for possession,) so that would make it hard for me to find potential customers, willing to go on record compared to finding say fan manufacturers.

    It would have to be an export job, so I would need someone where it is legal. What can you tell me about the systems they currently use(spreadsheet? Database? and what the problems are?) Is it that someone might turn off their Saas or shrinkage or ability to swap back orders between shops.
     
  6. minivanman
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    minivanman Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    It's not legal in every state here, only certain states.

    This is not my forte so what they are and are not doing is not something I could help you with. My best friend and business partner of about 30 years was the guy that was active in this as this is the type of work he does. We were teaming up with another guy that we had never worked with on this and the other guy turned in to someone we did not wish to work with. We all had a meeting last week and he was worse than ever so my partner and I decided this week that we were done. My business partner has worked with inventory control systems for over 20 years so for him to need this other guy's help, it must be way more than just inventory control but I was just throwing out an idea. You could do some research and maybe run with it from there if you choose. I usually just sat there not knowing what they were talking about most of the time but every now and then I'd be on the same page as they were. lol I was just the moral support guy when it comes to that type of thing. I'm no software guy by far.. :)
     
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  7. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    A viable option to Windows hedgemony...Linux apps on ChromeOS

    It's not legal anywhere on the continent here, so a trip to the customer is much harder, so not something I'd consider without a local partner.

    I'm more intrested in hearing your ideas around washer/dryers
    What problems did you face, or do you face?

    Your intro shows how you shared space with another guy, well there are no coworking warehouses. So there might be an opportunity or storage as a service. What if at purchase point you could have sent all your washers and dryers to off site storage and just have a few delivered at a time?

    Also what do you think of the idea here?

    A viable option to Windows hedgemony...Linux apps on ChromeOS
     
  8. minivanman
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    minivanman Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    The only problem with used washers and dryers is getting inventory. Buying locally and you have a narrow market yet if you have them trucked in, there goes your profit. My partner was wanting to expand this just a few days ago but by the time you do, it's not really worth it. And in my case, if I expand it, it makes too much work for me or I hire people and that is not why I'm in this business. I don't want workers. The owners of 2 of the largest used washer & dryer outlets in my area are friends and they do not sell the quality, new sets like I sell because they can't get enough of them cheap enough. It doesn't make sense if the price isn't right. Most times if you have them trucked in, you get the worst of the bunch that no one else wanted so that = more money lost.

    I went in with that bum on a warehouse and he never even moved much in. I took a few sets over there but I really like working at home, as I suppose he does too. I like working for 2 hours and taking a break for 2 hours. Or maybe working 30 minutes and taking another 2 hour break. If this was 30 years ago I'd do it different but nowadays my goal isn't to work, it's to keep busy so I'm not bored. I did get bitched out a few days ago because I have too many washers and dryers here. I guess I better have her a place built in the back yard that is really pretty so it takes her mind off the garage :innocent: :halo:

    Off site storage.... there are plenty of storage places for people to rent around here. I see guys trying that all the time but they quickly go out of business it seems like. You need water and 220v electricity to test the washers and dryers. If you can't test these new washers, you will have a lot of mad customers and a lot of wasted time repairing what you sold.

    I don't have any problems in the washer and dryer business now. It runs like a very well oiled machine (no pun intended)... that's why my business partner wanted in on it. lol

    The link above is what my partner does, not me. But speaking of problems, the problem I have with him is that when he does something like for example, makes a system for school emergencies, he wants to go and present it. Problem is, he sucks at it. If he would tell me how he wants to present it and be there to answer questions while I present it, we could do much better. But I just roll with it and have fun. If we sell it, we sell it, if not, we don't. Our goal is to stay busy and we are doing a good job of that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  9. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Well space here is not as abundant especially in the south east where it as a premium, so the version of you down south might make a better customer.

    There's my idea. Find 10 people with the same inventory problem and you can start to consolidate the loads. With enough contracts, (here at least) you could go straight to the dump, buy their good ones, and have them trucked out. The question is where I would find washer repair people or any other kind of business that has trouble finding inventory and is likely to be in close quarters with competitors.

    How much do you pay per machine usally? If I could solve the transit problem do you think your partner would be willing to pay for that? I'd need to know what the ideal number of machines weekly he would like to recover woukd be and where they would need to go.
     
  10. minivanman
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    minivanman Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Getting others to go in with me on a truck load still doesn't make money sense. I still pay the same amount per unit no matter if I buy a truck load or me and 3 others buy a truck load. I can use a whole truck load myself if I wanted. By the time you have them trucked in you're paying $80-$100 or more each piece. I pay 1/2 that now. You get good units shipped to me for $50 each shipping included and I'll buy all you can get. 1 truck load a month or 1 truck load a day. But they can't be junk. I've contacted about everyone I can find so if you can get me that deal, I'll take it.

    Where do you find people that are having inventory problems? Almost every used washer and dryer guy in the US outside of the east coast. I talked to a lady that owns 5 used washer and dryer stores in western Florida and she said she tried buying truck loads but they cost too much and they were mostly junk. I spoke with a guy near Jackson, Tennessee and he said the same thing. 2 guys in Dallas said the same thing. I know where several warehouses full of washers and dryers are but they are either junk or want to charge me too high of a price. I always let the calculator do the talking.

    If a person wanted to sell other types of appliances you might be able to make deals on all kinds of things and there is a way to get 'in' with the right people. Personally, I don't want to scale this business. I sell 30-50 sets and that keeps me busy maybe 25 hours a week. My partner wouldn't go in to this type of business without me. It's just not his thing. I have the money, that's not the problem, I wouldn't need him if I wanted to expand.

    If you are in it for money.... choose something online.
     
  11. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Sorry my poor world geography is hampering me here. Isn't Florida on the east coast? It Is facing east, or is there a certain distance inland still considered east coast?

    Going in only makes sense if your a logistics company concentrating on dryer refurbing. If you can reduce the cost of transport,then the lower costs make sense. I'm not familiar with the US, but here the obvious answer would be to take stuff from tip/junkyard,sort through on site,place on cheap boat , then medium rail then lorry. Being an island gives some advantages in cheap slow shipping.

    So it might work here but not in the US.

    Okay so your partner would not be the target customer, it woukd be someone doing your business who does want to expand and is willing to pay a fair price for non junk(can you tell by looking at a photograph of the machine or do you need to actually see it) could you point out good examples on eBay for instance?

    Oh, It will be online. It's your inventory control idea for washer/dryer refurbishers rather than for the pot industry. This is a database and logistics problem at heart,so plays right into my skill set. The scaling people don't want software, they wan' t the right kind of machines.
     
  12. minivanman
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    You are correct, Florida is on the east coast but that's why I pointed out I was talking about western Florida. I know it looks close but western Florida is 5 hours from the east coast at best. lol But, there are no places that sell wholesale used appliances within 12 hours of western Florida. Southern Florida and North Carolina are the 2 closest places.

    No, there is no way to look at a washer and tell if it is good or not. A person would need to spend 1 minute with each washer to check. It's not profitable. I have no idea about ebay.... not profitable to ship. Won't work in the US. Things might look good on paper but not in reality. lol Go with an online business. :)
     
  13. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    It would be an online businesses, although the checking process looks to be harder than I initally imagined.

    Still basic idea might work for another kind of flipper.
     
  14. idit
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    idit New Contributor

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    Medical cannabis, no doubt, the hottest niche at the moment. Only possible problem is the legal issue but it is becoming more and more accepted in so many places all over the world so it is just depending on where you are going to promote it.
     
  15. The Abundant Man
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    The Abundant Man Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Mary Jane is still a Schedule 1 drug by the US DEA(Drug Enforcement Administration)
     
  16. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    Just a note...

    If you can't effectively REACH a market, there is NO market.
     
  17. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I can't effectively reach the limo booking and reservation market or dozens of other markets other fastlaners are servicing.

    So the market is there, if there are sales from others.

    I'm missing another part of the puzzle, I'm still exploring a localised version of the washer/laundry issue.
     
  18. Logan Powell
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    Logan Powell Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Do you currently live in Calgary AB? Curious as I am not too far from Calgary either.
     
  19. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Nope I'm in the UK (much closer to the supplier) Alberta province, just had the best data available, however any similar sized city should work. PM me if you want to know more.

    It will be a couple of years before the circa CDN $1,182.1 million of exports in Alberta becomes in need of this service, however you could make a fair bit in the meantime with digital services and start brand building in the meantime.
     
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