My column this week is about "sticky business".....I hope you enjoy it.
The “Sticky Business” Factor
By Marc Charles
A business partner said my idea was too “sticky”.
He meant it in a bad way. But at least he said it with a smile on his face.
My partner was referring to a business with endless tentacles, paperwork, overhead costs, government red tape and a potential lawsuit magnet.
I’m sure you’ve heard about or been involved with a “sticky” business on some level. I tend avoid them like the plague.
That’s why I was surprised when my partner suggested my idea was too “sticky”…..the nerve.
In my launching, reviewing and advising hundreds of business ideas and products over the last 29 years or so, only a fraction of them could be considered “non-stick”.
However, that doesn’t mean sticky businesses aren’t profitable.
The “stickiest” business I ever saw was also one of the most profitable….transporting hazardous (and nuclear) waste.
The entrepreneurs who worked this venture could make $20,000 to $70,000 per load. The cost (and headaches) of running this business included retrofitted tractor trailers, maintenance (cleaning), drivers, government inspections, insurance, fuel, special licenses and certifications.
I wouldn’t recommend transporting hazardous waste for anyone without political connections, world class insurance, smart people and very deep pockets.
On top of that, you’ll need nerves of steel. My friends were threatened, shot at and their transport vehicles were sabotaged.
There is a boatload of businesses in the “non-stick” category. When I dissected the business idea I mentioned earlier for my partner he reluctantly agreed it wasn’t as “sticky” as he thought….the nerve.
Granted, nothing is “non-stick” or problem free all the time.
The bestselling “non-stick” frying pans rarely offer a money back guarantee should something stick.
A great “non-stick” business I found focuses on a hot rising trend called China.
Actually, the business focuses on Chinese products, commerce and worldwide demand. I’ll tell you about it in a second.
But first, I’d like to show you some new things developing in China right now. These things leverage the opportunity in a big way.
According the Financial Times China has opened the floodgate of cash reserves to get their “export machine” cranked up again. Apparently some Chinese (in powerful places) believe the financial crisis the last two years is receding.
Money is flowing to entrepreneurs and businesses again like it did pre-2007.
Granted, Brazil is getting the lion’s share of attention (and money) lately because they’re surpassing the US as China’s largest trading partner.
But entrepreneurs in any country can leverage the China trend and a “non-stick” business I discovered by becoming a “finder”…..more on this in a second.
Another issue is China’s currency.
Import and export entrepreneurs are wondering if they’ll suffer a backlash over China’s currency policy. It’s a no-brainer Chinese wants to control the value of their currency (Yuan) against all other currencies.
But China’s currency has a couple of things going for it. First, China’s economy is relatively stable compared to the US and other countries, and second they have low government debt.
I’m not an economist…but a sound economy and limited government typically increases the relative value of a currency.
In real world currency trading China won’t be able to “control” much of anything, if they plan to do business with other countries.
But overall the Chinese currency should play a major role in international commerce in a good way.
China needs trading partners to survive. The country does not have the resources to be self sufficient. That’s a good thing for the “non-stick” business I found.
China needs to make and export products to the world, as well as import and consume them.
China is a living, breathing money monster which needs to be fed.
Lastly….China’s population is still growing like wildfire despite all the restrictions on having kids.
According to the World Bank China’s population was 1.3 billion in 2009 (1,356,359,928 as of January 2011).
And get this….
Chinese planners want to merge nine cities around the Pearl River Delta in the southern part of the country. This would create the largest “mega city” in the world with a population of 42 million people. This is greater than the entire population of California (39 million)!
China has unlocked the cash vault, the population is skyrocketing and they need trading partners to survive.
A “non-stick” business opportunity…..
The opportunity is about bringing buyers and sellers together and earning a percentage of each deal. This is also referred to as an import export “finder”.
I saw this opportunity in action the first time in Wausau Wisconsin.
The entrepreneur was making money as a “finder” connecting buyers in China with sellers in the US. His product was the herb ginseng. The buyers were Chinese distributors and retail stores.
The herb ginseng is still wildly popular in China.
The import export “finder” opportunity is one of the hottest “non-stick” opportunities around.
By “non-stick” I ‘m referring to a business minus the tentacles, paperwork, inventory, buildings, employees (unless you want them), red tape, and massive overhead costs.
When you’re a “finder” you match buyers with sellers or visa versa and make money if and when a transaction is completed.
In most cases a “finder” simply facilitate deals or makes introductions to prospective partners.
And the best part is the lawsuit magnet aspect is almost eliminated.
Granted, one downside to this business is the learning curve…..and don’t kid yourself, it takes time. There are no exceptions if you want to learn this business.
But in my research I stumbled on a website which can accelerate the learning curve a hundred fold.
On top of that, I was so impressed with the impact the site, market and trend was having on entrepreneurs I developed what became known as the China Wholesale Trader.
The China Wholesale Trader is the most comprehensive resource library, how to course and interactive community in the world. See what entrepreneurs are saying about it here.
China is on the move again and there’s money to be made.
China was crippled by the financial turmoil over the past two years just like every else. But they’ve opened the cash spigot enabling companies to import and export products again!
In addition, there are more than 70,000 importers and exporters registered on AliExpress.com right now.
There are more than a million companies and entrepreneurs registered on Alibaba.com. Most of these companies and entrepreneurs are aggressively seeking business partners and deals as we speak.
People have compared AliExpress and Alibaba.com to eBay.
But the comparison is weak.
eBay focuses on the consuming masses. And eBay is a great place to sell imported products!
AliExpress and Alibaba.com focus on businesses and entrepreneurs.
This is one of the great “non-stick” business opportunities of the 21st century.
Is the opportunity a good fit for you? I’m not sure. But it’s worth a “peak”.