Write a 250 word essay on the business opportunity which most intrigued you.
In his latest lecture, Mr. Emmons gave several possible business opportunities; Website Development, Copywriting, Graphic Design, Videographer, App Design, and Selling Products Online. Since I had previously decided to create a business around art, the graphic design opportunity intrigued me the most.
The interwebs define graphic design as, “the art or skill of combining text and pictures in advertisements, magazines, or books.” While graphic design itself is not particularly appealing to me, I have found a few ideas similar to graphic design that have allowed several artists to make a middle class income within only a few years. One of these ideas is selling commissions. Basically someone gives you a photo or a character or an idea and you get to draw them for money! Super simple concept and very similar to graphic design. It’s great. Unfortunately if you are not a super-popular artist, you may not be able to sell anything in the beginning. Many of the more well-known artists that I follow have their shops set up as such: a gallery of paintings that anyone can buy, open commissions for people to buy specifically crafted paintings, a shop such as Patreon where they effectively sell tutorials and special peeks into their sketchbooks, and something like a redbubble shop where they sell specialized art products like shirts, pins, and stickers. Many artists also do product reviews and can even be sent new art supplies to try out and review for companies. A key part in these artists success is their interaction with their followers over social media. Taking requests, answering questions, and doing fan-art are all part of their popularity and key in spreading news of their amazing art.
Clearly before beginning any sort of art-career, you must have people who are interested in your art and willing to pay for your designs, but once you do have that, art is not a terrible middle-class income career to pursue.
Write a 250 word essay on cash versus accrual accounting.
There are two main types of accounting I am going to be talking about right now. The first is called cash accounting. This type of accounting is very simple and straightforward. Basically as soon as you receive or give money for anything you write it down. The second type of accounting is called accrual accounting. This is when you record anytime you perform a service or give someone a product and make a note of when you are getting paid. For example, say you buy some hamburger buns but you don’t have the money on you so you tell the cashier you will come back on Friday to pay for them. The cashier can either record that they made a sale on Friday (cash accounting) or they can record that they made a sale today and are going to get paid for the sale on Friday (accrual accounting.) Why would you do one over the other? Say you were going to be taxed on Thursday. If you use cash accounting then you’re not going to be taxed on those hamburger buns that you sold because you haven’t recorded that they were sold yet but if you used the accrual accounting method then it will say that you already sold the buns (even if you haven’t gotten paid yet) and you will get taxed on the sale same as normal. One is not necessarily better than the other but each does have its own advantages.
Write about your favorite product-based company.
Dick Blick is a privately owned art supply store that has both physical store locations and an expansive online store. While the physical store is a heaven for artists with its shelves of colorful goodies, the online store offers better deals and a much wider selection of art supplies. Frequent online specials ensure that artists come back to Dick Blick to purchase their art supplies at cheaper prices than surrounding competitors. Even though Blick is only a distributor, they have begun selling a line of good-quality “blick” products that are now being sold by other retailers all over the U.S. if not all over the world. Dick Blick also has several subsidiaries, including Utrecht Art Supplies, a well-known international art supply store chain.
There isn’t really anything else to write about Dick Blick.
Write about Harry Browne’s 5-point sales process.
The five points of any sales process are 1) Get the customer’s attention. 2) Identify the problem/need of the customer. 3) Position your product/service as the solution. 4) Prove your case. And finally 5) Ask for the order.
The first step is obviously essential. If someone is walking down the street and your business grabs their attention, they will probably step inside to take a quick look around. If your business does not grab their attention, they will keep walking down the street and you will have no chance to sell them anything. I cannot stress enough how important advertising is. If anything with your display or the wording of your sign is just slightly wrong, you will have no customers. Once they are inside, you can proceed to step two. Engage in pleasant conversation. Find what irks them. (Let’s say you run a jewelry shop.) Do they need a gift? Are they frustrated because they cannot find a certain color gem anywhere else? Now comes step three. Start thinking about how your product could help and commiserate with the potential customer. Don’t say anything about your product quite yet. Here entereth step four. Make a few suggestions about how your product might help them solve their problem. Don’t push. Answer any objections and prove that your product is the one they want by professing your positive company history, experience, equipment, or statistics for success. Don’t make it sound like you are just trying to push your product, because you shouldn’t really be. In order to have successful business, you and the consumer are making a deal mutually satisfying to both parties. Here comes the final step. Usually customers will close the deal on their own by making an executive decision but occasionally they need a bit of help. A careful nudging such as, “Shall we close the deal?” should work adequately. Keeping the customer happy throughout the entire transaction affects your business and personal reputation more than you might think. If word gets around that you are stingy, or pushy, or rude, you will have no more customers. People’s word is taken much more seriously than a sign, no matter how pretty that sign is. Remember the words of Harry Browne, “Selling is a service.”
Compare the franchise model against going independent and “doing your own thing.”
The franchise model involves quite a bit less risk than the independent business model because you already know that your idea is a winner and you will earn money. This takes fairly little innovation but you do have to pay other people for the franchise and the work they’ve done to come up with the ideas and policies and designs and tried-and-true methods for attracting customers. Since you have to follow everything to the letter regarding the franchise, your ability to upgrade and morph in accordance with the popularity of your particular location is severely restricted. What I’m trying to say is that if people really like your fish sandwiches at one location but people really dislike them at all other locations, the fish sandwich will be cut from the franchise menu, regardless of how much the one location profits from the sandwiches. So it is fair to say that the franchise model is less risk/less reward than the independent business model. The latter model has a substantial amount of risk involved. You have no idea yet if the people will like your product. You are probably not 100% sure how to attract the maximum amount of customers and you definitely don’t have as much money to support your business as the franchise model does. Another problem you have to face is the amount of innovation you must accomplish on your own. The logo, the business name, the uniforms that your employees are wearing all have to be designed–and if you can’t design them on your own, you have to pay someone to come up with an attractive an unique theme. On the other hand, except for the money that goes to paying your bills and your employees, you get all of the potential profit. Since your company is independent, you needn’t bother with paying a franchise and are under no obligation to follow the orders of anyone regarding the operation of your business. If the fish sandwiches are popular, go ahead and serve them in order to appease the customers and maximize your profit. The independent business model is clearly more risk/more reward. Although I cannot really say if one business model is truly better than the other, the independent business model seems to be a much more appealing option to an entrepreneur ready to start their own business.
How do the 3 areas of business apply to a business in your city?
Ok so Imma explain to you what the 3 areas of business are before we really get into this. The first is sales and marketing. Basically this is the part of business that gets the product out in the open and sold. The second area is operation where everything is manufactured or taken care of. The third and final area is administration and finance. Pretty self-explanatory: who is in charge and who we have to pay or how we get paid.
My family manages an industrial property and rents out spaces on the property as a business. The first area of business (sales and marketing) is dealt with by our business through the use of a sign in front of the building that advertises the empty space and occasional craigslist listings. The second area of business (operation) is apparent whenever me an the fam. pick up trash, inspect the building weekly to make sure it’s in shape, fix anything that needs fixing, and generally make sure the property is attractive enough to attract potential tenants. If by any chance we are unable to fix a problem we call in a handyman. For the third and final area of business (administration and finance), we end up doing a lot of paperwork and computer-spreadsheet editing. Then we have to go collect rent from all the tenants and make sure everyone is caught up on their payment. Then back to the spreadsheets! Time to pay the bills for the building. Of course it’s never quite that simple, but overall, this is how the 3 areas of business apply to our business. :)
“What can I cut out of my weekly schedule in order to increase my efficiency?”
I have noticed that lately, I always doodle when listening to Lit or Civ lectures. While I enjoy this time to do something I love every morning, not drawing would probably increase my efficiency in the end of the week papers. Drawing does not mean I can’t listen, just not nearly as well as if I was taking notes for instance. If I took notes, then at the end of the week, I would not have to pick as many facts that I cannot remember from articles or listen to the conclusions of lessons again to write them down for future reference. However, if i cut out the drawing time from my day, I would probably go insane and then I would not be able to listen to lectures at all. A compromise would be to put aside my drawing for the final review lessons of each week and take notes those days, but leaving the rest of the week to doodle while listening.
“Why shouldn’t I borrow (money) to buy something that depreciates?”
If I borrow 30,000$ and use it to buy a car and then drive it at all, then it immediately becomes worth only 20,000$. It depreciates in value. If you borrow money to buy that car, fully intending to pay it back, and then get into some sort of financial trouble and end up selling the car, you are still in debt by at least 10,00$. You’ve effectively dug yourself into a financial black hole. But if you use that borrowed 30,000$ to buy something that can produce more money, then instead of digging yourself into a hole, you are building yourself a crash-pad in case you get into a financial crisis and will be able to pay the debt back with extra money left over. Or even better, just don’t borrow money.
Just catching up on a LOT of unwritten business papers… ;P But there are sooo maaany *cries* so just little on each.
L20 “Why is running my own business a way to guarantee my employment in 2030?”
Hmmm. Let me list the ways: 1) I can control whether or not I stay employed (so long as my business is successful). 2) I can directly control all of our marketing and product changes to better appeal to the public and therefore stay in business. 3) I can control my finances to a very precise extent and adjust the product production process accordingly to make a decent amount of money. Aaaand I am apparently a control freak… Continue reading
How Does Harry Brown’s Approach to Selling Rely on the Principle of Service?
The Secret of Selling Anything is about becoming a better salesman, and presents very logical points on how to do so. These points state the ideal mindset of the parties on either side of the cash register and how to manipulate the buyer to earn a profit. Harry Brown’s approach to selling relies on the Principle of Service, because if the seller is pushy and rude, the customer will almost never make a purchase.
From the moment the customer enters the store, he knows what he wants—otherwise he would not have walked in. The businessman’s ultimate boss is the buyer, so just as if the seller insulted the CEO of his company, if he offends the buyer, he will never make a profit. In every interaction, the customer has the upper hand. The Principle of Service simply stated is this: the businessman had better be a servant to the buyer, because the buyer is the boss. The seller’s job is to be helpful, ask questions, answer the buyer’s questions, show the buyer the right merchandise, show the buyer how to buy, and follow up with the buyer after the purchase. Floppily, the buyer is in charge.
The purchase keeps the business man fed and happy and the customer satisfied. A win-win scenario for both, if only the business man follows the Principle of Service.