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Thread: Business Ideas 101

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    Gold Member vieome's Avatar
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    Business Ideas 101

    Most of us are here to promote our businesses, some are here for the interesting conversations. But being a business forum, I am hoping people would join this thread and throw business ideas they might have but have no interest investing in, or time to open the door of opportunity, so lets put some ideas out there for those wanting to invest and lacking ideas.

    1. Water Purification
    A future problem in South Africa, water chemicals are expensive and with bad service delivery water quality will get worse and worse. You can get a water franchise business with sosafe.com. The brilliance of this idea is that it kind of follows the software model. You sell clients the purification machine like say Reverse Osmosis, dont try and make a large profit on the machine, you make money from replacement cartridges.

    2. Water Storage Tanks
    With lack of water it is important that people collect rain water for use in the Garden etc. But perhaps in stead of making plastic ones for sale set up a business making them out of bricks, I have even seen some in Malaysia made out of wire mess and clay.

    3. Solar Panels
    Provide some form of solar power for homes.

    4. Invertors
    One can use solar to charge battery and an invertor to power up house, a good future business to invest in.

    5. Rasberry Pi
    Seems there is a demand for these Mobo's, installed with a good linux OS one I am sure can find a market for the many wishing to join the computer revolution

    6. Dried Foods

    8. With the price of petrol increasing, people will need some from of Petrol storage at home, so that they can buy and keep before a price rise.

    9. Security- Not every one can afford good security, but one could make fake cameras, fake electric wiring, just to give the illusion of security. Sounds stupid I guess but a plane flying at 3000 feet with a seat belt is an illusion of safety.

    What ideas do you have for business in this enviroment. What can be imported that is needed, what should be manufactured and not imported.

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    I tend to be a bit of a sceptic. I'll happily do my best to punch holes in any business ideas . The biggest problem with this is that if its a genuine half decent idea, guys are going to try and keep it out of the public domain for as long as possible - until it comes to sales time.

    I've had extra capacity in terms of staff, factory space and other basic infrastructure for years now, but have still not managed to find products to take up this slack. It of course doesn't help that I tend to need serious convincing when it comes to business ideas. I am of the view that a decent new product needs somebody to "champion" it and get the first sales going by using their specific skills, experience and/or contacts. Finding someone to do this is tough.

    However it will be interesting to see if what people might add to your list.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    How about Reverse Factoring?

    Big corporates are being forced to buy from BEE suppliers to maintain a high BEE rating. The small, black supplier usually does not have access to bank credit as he; 1. may be too small, 2. does not have equity, 3. does not have security, 4. does not even have a proper balance sheet, 5. may have a poor credit record or even judgments against him.

    Scenario: Big Company (BC) buys from established suppliers with whom they enjoy 30 day credit terms, which gives the accounts dept. time to reconcile accounts and arrange for payment. BC now want to buy from a small black entrepreneur (Sipho) to boost BEE points, but also to promote black entrepreneurship.

    Problem: Sipho can not give 30 days credit and requires COD payment so that he can buy stock for the next order. He has no access to bank credit as he has no security and a bad credit record (because he gave credit before and could not pay his own supplier). BC does not want to pay COD as it also causes problems with the accounting cycle.

    Solution: BC contacts me to arrange Reverse Factoring which will enable COD payments to Sipho, but still allow BC their 30 day terms. I do not require any credit checks or security from Sipho, as payment is guaranteed by BC. BC is a Big Company with an excellent credit record, so the risk is minimal, as long as we have proof of payment and correct documentation (invoice, POD etc.)

    Operation: Sipho delivers goods. BC sends E-mail or fax to confirm delivery. Factor confirms details and gross invoice value. Once validated, Factor deducts fees and pays Sipho via EFT. No retention is required as there will be no further dilution of the confirmed invoice value. At month end BC reconciles accounts and pay Factor the total of invoices due.

    Risk/Reward: a flat fee of 5% is charged and deducted from Sipho's gross invoice value. Sipho can buy COD and demand a discount from his supplier. Sipho can now grow his business as he has no cash flow constraints. As the business grows, Sipho can build up a credit record with his supplier(s) and his bank. He may eventually qualify for an overdraft or other banking facility which may be cheaper.

    Sipho may now invest in a delivery vehicle and start hiring people to work in his expanded business. If we finance all the Sipho's this way, we may even boost the economy by 1 or 2 %.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Edison made a lot of different light bulbs before he got to the one that worked well.
    I have tried a few things and it is the simple that works. Like short run presentation folders.
    Some interesting ideas how about some ideas around education we need that badly.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I would like to know the following:

    Is this topic about making money or about solving the world's problems? (I don't have an agenda, it's simply a question to determine a departure point)
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    good thought Blurock

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Right, lets throw ideas around.

    1. Water Purification
    There are many purification systems available ranging from chemical to mechanical systems (the teabag (mircofibre) filter developed by some professor). I can't see any money in this because ppor people don't have money to spend and rich people already have many products to choose from.

    2. Water Storage Tanks
    Again, there are many available and there is no money in it.

    3. Solar Panels
    many large companies have spent lots and lots of money developing these systems. We are not going to develop a better system overnight that is going to make us money.

    4. Invertors
    Same as above.

    5. Rasberry Pi
    Dev boards have been around for years. Arduino, hordes of Microchip, Atmel, 8051 etc. with the advent of cheap tablets fitted with all the technology in an average PC and IO i just can't see the value in this board other than for hackers to play with. Yes its fun to add a bit of veroboard IO to your devboard but again, it doesn't translate to real money.

    6. Dried Foods
    Where is the money in this for you and I - there are so many companies that are absolute masters at this.

    7. With the price of petrol increasing, people will need some from of Petrol storage at home, so that they can buy and keep before a price rise.
    I wouldn't touch this with a barge pole. The average guy already sets himself alight with his kerosene lamp. Imagine how much trouble you will get into when the first guy burns his house down.

    8. Security
    Now here is a topic that I think one can work with. I've had an idea rolling around in my head for a very long time. Imagine this: You place an airbag in a compartment inside the car door. The bag is installed below the window line facing outward and upward. The bag is controlled by a floor switch that is easily accessible by the driver. Ok, so when a hijacker gets close enough to the window you hit the button. The force should be enough to knock him over backwards and also to knock his weapon out of his hands. The force will not kill him. That millisecond where he is disoriented should give the occupant enough time to take evasive action. The nice thing about this idea is that it does not damage the car and there is no real real risk if the device is accidentally deployed. An airbag deployes within 10ms, the guy will not know what hit him. These could be installed in all four doors and the driver could be given control over their deplyment.

    Other ideas:

    1. Lets look at electricity and energy.
    The problem is that we look at this incorrectly. We turn energy into electricity and then we turn it into someting else i.e. light, heat, etc. I think that we need to focus on generating energy and storing energy in more appropriate forms. So the question is this: If we need light at night, how do we gather light during the day, store it and then set it free at night. Same goes with heat. Ok, light. One could store light directly via lumenescent materials. Heat, one could store it by heating stones and trapping the heat then realising it slowly at night. The point that I am making is that we are trying to solve the wrong problem; the problem is not how to store electricity; the problem is how to store appropriate energy and releas it over time.

    2. Transportation (fuel)
    Again, we are trying wto solve the wrong problem. The problem is not the cost of petrol per se, the problem is that each of us move 1.5toms of metal and fuel around because we need to shift our own body mass of say 100kg. Think about it, you move all that mass purely to move your own body around.

    2.1. I met a guy a couple of months ago that came up with an interesting idea to solve this problem; the idea is to develop an app that allows people to share a ride. So, you would register on the system and then you would enter your movements via your smartphone. So lets say I am going to town at 10am leacng there at 12 and them coming back. I would enter this information into the system by giving a Google Maps start point, I could give Waypoints and then the endpoint. Other people looking to go to town could log on to the system and see my movements and then decide to join. Each participant will charge a rate for giving the lift and of course the ones using the service would have to pay a rate. One could have the system square all the charges up at the end of the month. i don't know how the idea is coming along but there is a lot of merit in it.


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    Gold Member vieome's Avatar
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    @Adrian Well to get to good ideas one just has to throw around ideas and keep going. Like what Ian said Edison played and played with an idea that led to light for homes. This is really about bouncing around business ideas.

    I understand critics, many of the ideas that are making people money in the world today are ideas that people say would never work. When I was living in England I went to soho china town, and the place is full of chinese restaurants, how does one then open a another chineses restarant in a place full of chinese restaurants and make a sucess. One owner starts a restaurant called Wonkys, the theme of the chinese restuarant is that the waiters and chefs are very rude to clients, the restaurant is famous for that. What happens in Vagas people still open casinos.

    Water Purification
    I actually ran a small water purification business and there is money to be made, bottled water is just Reverse Osmosis purified water, one could hire out water dispensers and supply companies with water refils, good money in that. Or better yet sell the water dispensers and supply the water. The water companies need a revamp though, in Reverse Osmosis there is 6 stages of purification, the problem is that in selling the fillters you can buy a single stage filtration but you cant then just upgrade your single to double and so on till you get to the RO stage, if that is done plenty can be made. It does not matter if there is a cheap way of purifying water and there are many. People still buy expensive products.

    The Ideas I was putting forth are looking at the downward direction South Africa is taking and where the future of making money is. But this thread is about any ideas and how to make them work.

    On education and that I think one could start a time bank. This have been very succesful in many places.

    On the Rasbery Pi, I am desperatly looking for one, and I know quite a few others that are, so already I see a market for that, it maybe money to be made in the short run but it is money to be made.

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    Gold Member vieome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh View Post
    8. Security
    Now here is a topic that I think one can work with. I've had an idea rolling around in my head for a very long time. Imagine this: You place an airbag in a compartment inside the car door. The bag is installed below the window line facing outward and upward. The bag is controlled by a floor switch that is easily accessible by the driver. Ok, so when a hijacker gets close enough to the window you hit the button. The force should be enough to knock him over backwards and also to knock his weapon out of his hands. The force will not kill him. That millisecond where he is disoriented should give the occupant enough time to take evasive action. The nice thing about this idea is that it does not damage the car and there is no real real risk if the device is accidentally deployed. An airbag deployes within 10ms, the guy will not know what hit him. These could be installed in all four doors and the driver could be given control over their deplyment.
    Very interesting idea.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Years ago someone actually patented a flame thrower mounted in the car door.
    It was outlawed due to the potential threat of harm to the hijacker/robber.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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