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Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to Make Money in the NEW Pet Market


I like the pet supplies market.

I've helped a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs in this market too.

Funny thing though........

One of the most sucessful entrepreneurs in this market started out with one of the most pathetic websites I've ever seen!

So....don't base everything on a "fancy" website. my opinion we're in a Depression....we passed the so-called "recession" several months ago.

But the pet supplies market online is still going strong. People will always take care of their animals and pets.

This goes for pet sitting, pet walking and pet spas (I'm not kidding!).

Here's part of an article I wrote for Early to Rise on the topic:


Dear Entrepreneur:

People are crazy about their pets. I see it in our house every day. We spent more money this year on special pet food, toys, and treats than we spent going to the movies ... but I didn't realize this was a $34 billion market!

There are several ways to profit in this market. One of the best is by selling pet supplies, toys, and/or specialty foods directly to consumers.

You'll make even more money by targeting pet lovers who regularly shell out big bucks for these items without hesitation.

In today's issue, I'll focus on three opportunities that will enable you to take advantage of this incredible "pet lovers' market."

Here's a short list of products and services that are hot sellers (online and off):

* Pet Pages (pet websites and hosting)

* Toys (Forget about squeaking bones, has more than 10,000 different toys to choose from.)

* Pet Insurance (I'm not kidding. Premiums start at $1 a day.)

* Pet Yellow Pages

* Pet Adoption Services

* Pet E-mail Newsletters

* Pet Charities

* Pet Grams (sent via e-mail)

* Pet Gift Cards (huge!)

* Pet Shows (Everybody knows how big dog and cat shows are - but horse and bird shows are even bigger.)

* Pet Vitamins and Supplements

* Organic Pet Food (Our cat won't touch it - but it's a hot rising trend.)

If you want to launch a business and profit from this market in the offline world (via direct mail), here are 3 simple steps to take:

1. Obtain a mailing list of recent repeat buyers who have purchased pet supplies via direct mail that are in the price range of the products you want to sell.

2. Obtain the names of a pet food manufacturer and/or supplier who is willing to process your customers' orders and drop-ship them for you. Here are two such companies: CarefreeVet and Great Eastern Pet Supply.

3. Obtain preprinted catalogs that you can send to qualified prospects. Most pet supply wholesalers, drop-shippers, and affiliates make these available for you to use.

If you don't want to handle telephone orders yourself, you can retain a call center to do it for you. You'll find dozens of call centers that specialize in this type of thing at, or you can do a quick search on Google.

If you prefer to market pet products and services online, I've got great news. It has never been easier to sell these things on the Internet., for example, is a specialty pet products retailer that has been very successful in "niche retail." They are ranked among's Top 500.

The primary mechanism for selling pet products and services online is to attract or drive qualified traffic to your website.

You don't have a website? No problem! There are hundreds of companies online that offer instant e-commerce sites or storefronts.

What's more, sites like eBay, Yahoo! Marketplace, and Marketplace can deliver mind-boggling targeted traffic to your site. Or you can just post an instant mini-store on these traffic monsters.

Pet supplies affiliate programs are another great option.

Affiliate programs offer one of the fastest and easiest ways to profit from the pet products bonanza.

With an affiliate program, all you do is post a unique URL link in search engine keyword advertisements, on targeted high-traffic websites, or in targeted e-mail newsletters. When someone clicks on that link, they're brought to a pet supplies website. If that person makes a purchase on the website, you receive a commission.

The affiliate program pays an 8% commission on sales up to $3,000 per month, and a 14% commission on sales over $15,000 per month. pays 15% on monthly sales over $16,000.

The beauty of an affiliate program with strong companies like Petco and PetsMart is they usually stick by their commission structure. (Unlike many small-time operators that revise the commission structure once you start selling like crazy.)

What's more, companies like Petco carry name brands and offer thousands of products.

Be sure to check out affiliate management companies like Commission Junction and Linkshare too. These guys make it super-easy for entrepreneurs like you and me to make money. Think of them as one-click affiliate superstores.

Two other concepts in the pet market that I like are pet insurance and pet pages (websites for pets). offers pet insurance for $1 a month. You could either start your own company or joint venture with as an affiliate. If you choose to go the joint-venture route, your job would be to drive traffic and qualified prospects to their website via your unique pet insurance URL.

And here's the deal with pet websites ...

You could offer your customers dozens of website templates. You can design these pet pages yourself, obtain copyright-free templates on the Web, or hire a freelance designer to do them for you.

You could give the templates away to pet lovers but charge a small annual hosting fee. Or you could give the hosting away and charge for the templates. It's up to you.

If you give the hosting away, reserve the right to post advertising on the pet websites to get extra income.

And that's just for starters ...

Take a look at They offer free pet websites and memorial pages to an active community of like-minded pet lovers. Plus, they make money on advertising by selling pet products as affiliates and with other value-added services.

As you can see, the profit opportunities in the pet lovers' market are enormous - online and offline - and nearly endless.

***Fast-Start Tip***

Determine which niche of the pet market you want to sell into.

If you want to sell pet food, products, insurance, and/or toys online, you'll need to build a simple (e-commerce friendly) website. Use successful websites as a guide.

If you're not making or developing your own products, you'll need to locate a manufacturer or supplier that will process and drop-ship the orders for you. A quick search on Google will provide hundreds of pet supply drop-shippers.

Your marketing efforts will be concentrated on attracting and driving qualified prospects to your site. And there are many ways to do this. You can advertise your products in pet-related e-mail newsletters and on high-traffic pet-related websites. You can also purchase keywords and phrases in the top search engines (like Google, Yahoo!, Lycos, MSN, AOL, and LookSmart).

Hot Tip: Prepaid keyword advertising is becoming even more popular than pay-per-click (PPC). PPC can be very expensive - especially when you're testing dozens or hundreds of keywords. Prepaid keyword ads enable you to determine the cost of your ads upfront. Two leaders in the prepaid keyword advertising area are ExactSeek and

Another option is to become an affiliate with a company like offers thousands of brands, a streamlined affiliate program, brand recognition, and a good reputation with customers and affiliates.

If you prefer an offline direct-marketing approach, you'll need to get your hands on mailing lists of recent repeat pet-product buyers, a manufacturer or supplier to process your orders and drop-ship your products, and a full-color catalog that you can mail to prospects.

As I said, most pet supply wholesalers, drop-shippers, and affiliates make preprinted catalogs available for you to use. Just make sure the order form in the catalog includes a key code so you are credited for all sales.

You could also partner with veterinarians and provide them with pet products on a wholesale level. You can purchase thousands of top-quality pet products from China for pennies on the dollar.

Check out my Importing Fortunes 2015 while you're at it. This is the best program of its kind on the market - bar none!

If you live near a top pet supplies direct marketer, consider going to work for them on a temporary basis. If you're lucky, that will put you in a position to receive a million-dollar hands-on education. There may also be an opportunity for you to start or develop a new channel for the company, whereby you would receive a percentage of the profits if it's successful.

There you have it!

Now you have everything you need to know in order to profit from the $34 billion+ Pet Lovers' Market!


Marc Charles

Additional Resources:

Responsive mailing lists

Pet Products Affiliate Programs

Doctors Smith and Foster






Pet Supply and Food Manufacturers (that offer drop-shipping)

Worldwide Brands


Exotic Nutrition

Purina Mills


Free Hosting - DotEasy

Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Make Money Connecting People Instead of "Dots" by Marc Charles

How to Make Money Connecting People Instead of "Dots"

This question sent to me last week:

Question: I’ve heard there are ways to make money bringing people together for deals or by making simple introduction. Is that true?
                                                                                        Bob Jenkins - Arizona

8:33 AM

Dear Entrepreneur:

You can make money “connecting” people instead of "dots:. I’ll show you how I make money doing this.

A “Connector” is someone who brings people or companies together and collects a fee or commission when a “deal” or agreement between two or more parties is consummated.

When I started out as a “Connector” I charged a flat fee to the entrepreneur who was interested buying a business in Colorado.

A few years later I leaned toward earning a percentage of each transaction or deal. I found people are very receptive to concept of percentages on a deal. But I still made commission on some deals.

My first year as a “Connector” I made $22,000. By my third year I was making more than $50,000 per year…all by making a few phone calls, sending some email and once in awhile face-to-face meetings and travel.

Another recent example…..

I read about an entrepreneur looking to acquire travel focused websites in a business newsletter.

The prospective buyer was only interested in travel websites with significant traffic, fully functional ecommerce and professional programming code.

I contacted the prospective buyer by email, introduced myself, and sent him a link to my website with background information and client testimonials. The buyer responded immediately expressing his interest in working together.

I explained my “Connector” service, and submitted a proposal with a fee recommendation. The buyer/client agreed to the terms of the deal.

Simple Steps to This Business

1)    I located two travel websites which met his criteria.

2)    I introduced the prospective buyer to both travel website principles. One of the websites was a perfect fit and the prospective buyer made an offer to the seller through yours truly. The final sale price was negotiated in a few days.

3)    When the travel website sale was completed, I received a wire transfer for $2250, which was my “Connector’s” fee – in this case 3% of the deal. The entire deal consisted of less than 3 hours of work.

You can locate people and companies who looking for products, businesses, land, commercial real estate, surplus inventory, bankrupt companies, and capital, etc. in top national business newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, Investors Daily, The New York Times (Sunday Edition), Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, and the Los Angeles Times.

There are hundreds of useful websites for finding clients and “Connector” deals too.

Here are some sites I used for locating clients and “Connector” deals:

· is an excellent source for finding companies looking for specific products.

·        International Wealth Success publishes electronic and print newsletters with an abundance of contacts and leads for “Connectors”.  They also publish a comprehensive course on becoming a “Connector” (also known as a Finder’s Agent).

For smaller deals, you can find Finder’s Agent or “Connector”  prospects on classified sites like CraigsList, Classifieds, eBay Classifieds, and .

You can also advertise your availability as a “Connector” to qualified prospects on business networking like IWS Money, Ryze, Biznik, and FastPitch.

You’ll also find a boatload of joint venture clients and “Connector” deals on these sites:

Being a “Connector” is a fun sideline business for anyone who enjoys putting deals together and introducing prospective buyers and sellers.

Most of the “Connector” deals and introduction I’ve developed over years have been done online, but this is a great offline service too.

Another recent example….

I recently introduced a gentlemen looking to buy a small marina with a women interested in selling. My prospective “cash out” should be about $10,000 if a deal is consummated!

Getting Started ASAP

The first step to success in this business is choosing an area market to “connect” people to, such as real estate, money, business purchases, commodities, products, web-based business brokerage, etc.

The next step would be assembling as much information as possible in your chosen field. Hopefully you’ll already be familiar with the field or market in which you chose to work. But either way you’ll need to compile some information on typical prices, demand, profiles of current deals, scarcity of items, etc.

Reach out to people or companies in need of the products, markets or items in which you specialize. Explain your “connector” or finder service and your proposed fees.

Present a simple Finder Agreement to prospective clients.

International Wealth Success offers a great Global Finder Kit for around $100 and it includes Finder Agreements. But you can also Google Finder Agreements in an Image Search.

Connecting people and companies to the products and deals they seek is a lot of fun and it’s a great part or full time business.

An entrepreneur contacted me out of the blue recently seeking a non-bank investment or loan for a group of upscale mobile home parks he’s seeking to acquire. I’ll be “connecting” the entrepreneur with three “A prospects”, and earn a small fee when and if a deal is completed – sweet.

If a “Connector” business is a good fit for you – click here and tell me about it.

I’m considering the development of a program to help entrepreneurs make money in this business!

Your humble host,

Marc Charles

***** Action Strategy *****

When you start a new venture one of the hardest things to do is take action.

This is especially true if you’re not familiar with a market, product, service or business.

But put this aside and take series of simple steps or actions.

Today you can do this by checking out the links and resources I’ve enclosed.

Then write down one idea that “pops” into your head.  Next, act on the idea.

For example, after checking the links and reading information one idea which pops into your head may be bringing a buyer and seller of a business together.

In your city, town or area you find a coffee shop for sale. You could post some information about this sale in a wealthy area of the country, either on CraigsList, business website or in the Wall Street Journal. Your objective is to bring two parties together and be compensated for it.

Use your imagination. What kind of deal can you put together? Who could you “connect”?

Have fun and play nice.

*****Valuable Resources*****

Tumano (small business classifieds)

BizBuySell (huge Internet marketplace for business)

Facebook (search business)

AskMarcCharles (send me your business idea or question)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to Make $1,000 by Marc Charles

How to Make $1,000 Whenever the Mood Strikes You!

7:38 AM

Dear Entrepreneur:

You’re going to love this and it works.

I watched as four guys tapped away on their keyboards…with graphs and numbers whizzing across their screens in a small, back office in Rockport Maine.

What were they doing?

They were doing what millions of other entrepreneurs are doing….but with an unusual twist.

I’ve never seen anything like it before.

I was invited to watch these guys by a family friend. They were trading the FOREX market…currencies.

You’re probably thinking……”Forget it man, that’s risky stuff”.

But hear me out.

I thought it was super risky too, and I’m no rookie!

I traded currency futures as a fulltime and as a money manager for eight years.
But I was completely clueless about the FOREX market….until this little pow wow in Rockport.

$3 Trillion Raging Torrent of Cash 

The FOREX market is a $3 trillion raging torrent of cash. You can research the numbers.

It’s different (and not as risky) as trading currency futures.

I’ll show you how you can make money in the FOREX market just like these guys in the back office.

But first, I’ll give you some background so we’re on the same page.
Make no mistake about it….this business can be run from anywhere in the world. 

The guys I mentioned work in back office in a beautiful historic building in the village of Rockport Maine.

But that’s not all….

You can run this business from almost anywhere!

I know of entrepreneurs trading FOREX from luxury tents in the middle of the desert.

I’m not kidding.

I also know a woman that trades from an empty warehouse. There’s also guy working this market from a house boat on the Ohio River. The list goes on and on…I even read about a retired schoolteacher trading from a VIP box at a major league baseball game!

Simply put….FOREX is the largest electronic marketplace in the world.
FOREX is used by banks, governments, drug cartels, ex-patriots, international corporations, sheiks, kings, and tiny speculators like you and I.

The best part is you can start trading with less than $2500. I know entrepreneurs who started with less than $1000!

Granted…you can lose money in the FOREX market too. Don’t kid yourself.
But I’ll show you how professional traders limit their losses. You can copy their strategies.

When I talk about “limiting your losses” here’s what I mean…

A professional currency trader once told me, “Managing losses is more important than making money in this business”. 

He added, “Making money is the easy part”.

For this trader managing losing trades became the focal point of his strategy.
There’s an old adage in the FOREX and currency trading markets which states:
“Cut the losers and let the winners run”

This means a trader needs to learn how and when to cut losing trades, and when and how to let the “winning” trades run wild.

Sometimes it’s easier said than done. 

I’ll show you one strategy for limiting losses in this week’s issue.

FOREX – or “FX” – stands for Foreign Exchange. It is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world – 30 times larger than all the U.S. equity markets combined.

“Foreign exchange” is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another.

About 5 percent of the daily volume in this market is from companies and governments which buy or sell products and services in a foreign country or must convert profits made in foreign currencies into their domestic currency. 

The remaining 95 percent is produced by individual traders who participate in the market for profit.

For most entrepreneurs, the best trading opportunities are with the most commonly traded (and therefore most liquid) currencies, called “the Majors.”
Today, more than 90 percent of all daily transactions involve trading “the Majors”.

The Forex Currency “Majors” are:
·        The U.S. Dollar
·        The Japanese Yen
·        The Euro
·        The British Pound
·        The Swiss Franc
·        The Canadian Dollar
·        The Australian Dollar

The FOREX is a true 24-hour market. 

In fact, the FOREX begins trading each day in Sydney and moves around the globe as the business day unfolds in each financial center – first to Tokyo, then to London, and then on to New York. 

Unlike other financial markets, investors can respond to currency fluctuations caused by economic, social, and political events at the time they occur – day or night.

The “FX” market is considered an Over the Counter (OTC) or “interbank” market, because transactions are conducted between two counterparts over the telephone or via an electronic network. 

And get this…..

FX trading is not centralized on an exchange, as it is with the stock and futures markets.
The most significant difference between the FX market and the currency futures market is participants in the FX market deal on a principal-to-principal basis. 

In the currency futures market, participants deal, instead, through brokers in an “open outcry” exchange.
Okay here’s the good news…..

Internet brokerages now give individuals access to this market.
The low entry costs (sometimes as low as $500 as I said) have drawn thousands of small investors, traders, and speculators into the market.

But that’s not all…..

New “Mini” FX Accounts for Small Position Traders and Investors
The new “mini” FX accounts are a great way for small traders, investors, and speculators to make money too.  

Most of the new “mini” FX accounts can be opened with less than $1000. The contracts are about a third of the size of a standard FX contract.

Here are some top brokerages which offer both regular and “mini” FX accounts:
·        HotSpotFX
·        Forex
·        FXCM
·        GAIN Capital
·        Saxo Bank
·        GCI Financial
·        IG Foreign Exchange
·        Global Forex
·        ForexClub
·        AFM
·        CitiFXPro
All of these brokerages will help you open an account and get started trading.
Most FOREX brokerages offer step-by-step practice tutorials too.

Listen to this…

The sheer number of currencies traded in the FX market serves to ensure extreme volatility on a day-to-day basis. 

There will always be currencies which are moving up or down, offering opportunities for profit (and commensurate risk) to traders. 

Believe it or not, extreme volatility is actually a good thing!
It means a market is moving like wildfire. If you’re on the winning side of a trade you’ll make money much faster!

How to Make $1,000 with FOREX

In order to make $1,000 in one week on FOREX you’ll need to generate 1000 “pips”.  

I’m simplifying here …but stay with me.

Let's assume we only have winning trades 50 percent of the time.
In this case we will need to shoot for 200 “winning” pips each day. This could be done by taking more trades.
I recommend keeping it simple and only using 6 currency pairs.
I would track the currency pairs on a four hour chart (easy on any FOREX site or with charting software).
Okay…..I would place a 200 bar moving average, and a 50 bar moving average on the chart.
If the 50 bar moving average crosses the 200 bar moving average, then you could take a FOREX long trade.
It would be the exact opposite for a sell trade.
Keep your stops in the neighborhood of 50 pips, and use your take profit order in the 90-125 pip area.
At $1 per “pip” you would make $1,000 in five trading days.
The FOREX offers a ton of ways to lower risk and enable traders to profit in both rising and falling markets.
FOREX also makes it possible leverage positions (the most attractive aspect of currency futures), with low margin requirements.
Best of all, FOREX charges zero dealing commissions!
Marc’s FOREX Basics – Easier Than You Think!
1. Buying and Selling Currencies
Currencies are always priced in pairs. All trades result in the simultaneous purchase of one currency and sale of another.
While trading on FOREX, you would execute a trade only at a time when you expect the currencies you are buying to increase in value relative to the one you are selling.
If the currency you are buying does increase in value, you must sell the other currency in order to lock in a profit.
An open trade (or open position), therefore, is a trade in which a trader has bought or sold a particular currency pair and has not yet sold or bought back the equivalent amount to close the position.
2. How Base Currencies Are Quoted
The first currency in the pair is considered the base currency; the second is the counter or quote currency.
Most of the time, the U.S. Dollar is the base currency, and quotes are expressed in units of 1 USD per counter currency (for example, USD/JPY or USD/CAD).
The only exceptions to this convention are with the Euro, the Pound Sterling, and the Australian Dollar, which are quoted as dollars per foreign currency.
FOREX quotes always include a bid and an ask price. The “bid” is the price at which the market maker is willing to buy the base currency in exchange for the counter currency.
The “ask” is the price at which the market maker is willing to sell the base currency in exchange for the counter currency. The difference between the bid and the ask prices is referred to as the “spread.”
The cost of establishing a position is determined by the spread, and prices are always quoted using five numbers (for example, 134.85), the final digit of which is referred to as a point or a “pip.”
For example, if USD/CAD is quoted with a bid of 134.85 and ask of 134.90, the five-pip spread is the cost of trading this position.
From the start, therefore, the trader must recover the five-pip cost from his profits, necessitating a favorable move in his position in order to simply break even.
3. The Rollover Transaction
In the spot FOREX market, trades must be settled within two business days. For example, if a trader sells a certain number of currency units on Wednesday, he must deliver an equivalent number of units on Friday. Some currency-trading systems may allow for a “rollover,” with which open positions can be swapped forward to the next settlement date (giving an extension of two additional business days).
The interest rate for such a swap is predetermined – and, in fact, these swaps are actually financial instruments that can be traded on the currency market.
In any spot-rollover transaction, the difference between the interest rates of the base and counter currencies is reflected as an overnight loan. If the trader holds a long position in the currency with the higher interest rate, he would gain on the spot rollover.
The amount of such a gain would fluctuate day to day according to the precise interest-rate differential between the base and the counter currencies.
Rollover rates are quoted in dollars and are shown in the interest column of the FOREX trading system. Rollovers do not affect traders who never hold a position overnight, since the rollover is exclusively a day-to-day phenomenon.
What is Margin?
Trading in the currency markets requires a trader to think in a slightly different way about margin.
Margin on the FOREX is not a down payment on a future purchase of equity. It’s a deposit to the trader’s account which will cover any currency-trading losses in the future.
A typical currency-trading system will allow for a very high degree of leverage in its margin requirements, up to 100:1.
The system will automatically calculate the funds necessary for current positions and will check for margin availability before executing any trade.

The FOREX Learning Curve
The learning curve is substantial, especially if you’ve never traded currency futures, options, or equity markets. Therefore, in order to accelerate your understanding of this market, you’ll need to read as much about it as you can.
I’ve listed a few books below that will help. There are also dozens of FOREX trading seminars available. But, as always….buyer beware.
The best FOREX trading seminar would be one conducted by someone who is a successful trader but is also a skillful teacher. Not everyone can teach.
A quick search on Google for “FOREX Training” or “FOREX Seminars” will produce a slew if results.  The best resources are usually based on other people’s recommendations….so read the testimonials.
You’ll find hundreds of books (and reviews) on and (used books) too.
$50,000 Practice Account Absolutely Risk Free!
At you can sign up for a $50,000 FOREX practice account absolutely free. That’s right. A “practice” account. This enables you to try the FOREX waters without risking a dime!
On top of that, is packed with free tutorials, webinars and live instructive classes. It’s a great resource for beginning FOREX traders.
Another way to get up to speed in this market would be to work as an intern or apprentice at a FOREX trading firm. That’s how I learned! You’d be amazed by how much you can learn about the FOREX markets by assisting experienced traders.
Because of the opportunity for large profits the FOREX markets are hard to resist.
So it’s a good idea to understand and manage the “risk” potential too.
A Sound Strategy for Limiting Losses
One of the greatest aspects of the FOREX market is the ability to place “stop loss orders”.
A “stop loss order” is an order to buy or sell when the price of a FOREX contract drops or rises to a designated level.
For example, let’s say you buy the Japanese Yen and sell the US Dollar at a certain price point. But the market moves against you….in this example the Yen falls in value in relation to the US Dollar.
You can place a “stop loss order” BEFORE you enter this trade to protect yourself and limit downside losses.
When the “stop loss order” is triggered (automatically and electronically) you would be removed from the trade, and your position would be liquidated.
I always trade using “stop loss orders”….even when seasoned traders tell me I don’t need them!
If you trade the FOREX markets it’ll be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various methods of risk management, like stop loss orders.
This is a great business opportunity for startup entrepreneurs.
Have fun and trade wisely.
Marc Charles
“The King of Business Opportunities”

**** Action Strategy ****
Sign up for a $50,000 practice account absolutely risk free today.

You don’t have to risk a dime!

It’s that simple!

But you need to move on the information in this week’s issue if you want to make money.

IMPORTANT NOTE: FOREX trading involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors.
****Valuable Resources ****

Recommended Books on Trading FOREX Markets
Trading Global Currency Markets, by Cornelius Luca
An Introduction to Foreign Exchange and Money Markets, by Reuters Financial
Currency Markets: How to Access and Trade the World’s Biggest Market, by Phillip Gotthelf

FOREX Mentoring and Training Programs
Concorde Forex Group, Inc
Euromoney Training
The Ultimate FX Predictor

Opening a FOREX trading account
Global Forex Trading
Saxo Bank
Crown Forex
FX Solutions, LLC

Friday, September 11, 2015

A “Hidden” Real Estate Market Generates More Money Per Square Foot Than a Las Vegas Hotel Room!

A “Hidden” Real Estate Market Generates More Money Per Square Foot Than a Las Vegas Hotel Room!

9:22 AM


My friend P.S. (RIP buddy) launched what would become a multi-billion dollar real estate market in the 1970’s. 

This “hidden” real estate is still making entrepreneurs a lot of money. 

In fact, five people on the Forbes 400 Richest List have ties to this phenomenal market.
And the market keeps growing despite the recession. 

More important, the money making potential of this baby is still under the radar!

One of the reasons the market remains hidden is because it’s not “sexy” and it doesn’t have enough “flash” for financial talk shows.

The best part is you don’t have to be a billionaire or even a millionaire to make money in this market. 

Plus it’s fairly easy to get involved, and especially as a passive investor. 

You don’t need special training, college degrees, or real estate expertise. These things won’t hurt you, but they’re not required.

The market I’m talking about to is “self storage” real estate.

And here’s the kicker…….

You can start out small and build this business in a way which suits your lifestyle.

My good friend P.K. in Henderson NV started a small venture about a ten years ago and now controls three self storage investments. 

If you like the idea of residual income (without the headaches of typical real estate investments) this could be the perfect opportunity for you.

My friend P.S. whom I mentioned, developed a unique twist in this market called a self storage real estate investment trust (REIT).

You’ll like this……

Little-Known “Investment Trust” Angel

A self storage real estate investment trust or REIT is similar to conventional REITs. And it can be an incredible tool for generating substantial wealth, and in many cases it can reduce tax burdens.

If you’re not familiar with this concept, I’ll break it down for you.

A REIT is a tax designation for a corporation investing in real estate. A REIT can reduce or eliminate corporate income taxes. 

On the flip side, REITs are required to distribute 90 percent of the income to shareholders. This income may be taxable in the hands of the investors.

The REIT structure was designed to provide a similar structure for investment in real estate as mutual funds provide for investment in stocks. 

Like other corporations, REITs can be publicly or privately held. 

Public REITs may be listed on public stock exchanges like shares of common stock in other firms.

Self Storage Wildfire

The modern self storage business in the U.S. began in Texas in the late 1960’s. 

But self storage can be traced back to the United Kingdom more than 800 years ago! 

People are still buying “stuff” and running out of room in their houses, apartments and businesses so they need somewhere to put it.

Today, you can find thousands of self storage buildings along major highways throughout the U.S., Canada, South America, the U.K., and Australia. 

However, the neat thing is this business is not limited to prime locations along major highways. 

You can find self storage properties in almost every town, village and rural area around the world.

Here’s the deal……

The average self storage facility consists of about 100 storage units. 

In larger metropolitan areas you can find facilities with 500 units or more. 

I toured a facility in Orlando, Florida recently with more than 2,500 units!

The dimensions of the storage rental units vary. But the most common sizes are 5’ x 10’, 8’ x 10’, 10’ x 10’, and 10’ x 15’. 

Customers can rent a self storage unit to customers for 30 days or as long as 5 years or more.
The average rent for a 10’ x 10’ storage unit in the U.S. in 2010 was $79 per month, according to Inside Self Storage magazine. 

The rent in larger cities can be as high as $300 a month. 

But get this……another surprising source of revenue in this business is late fees.

Late rental fees –typically run $5 to $25 per month.

Another source of revenue is the auctioning off of storage-unit contents when renters don’t pay within the certain period of time.

One of the hottest shows of the year is Storage Wars on A&E. It details the self storage auction business… gotta love it!

Anyway, an auction occurs when the owners have forfeited their stored items by failing to pay their rent. As an owner or manager have to clear out contents anyway to make room for a new tenant and selling the contents and make up for at least some of the money the renters owe.
Portable self storage is taking off too.

The biggest player in the portable self storage business is PODS (Portable On Demand Storage). Home Depot and other large retailers are getting into the game now too.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, self storage owners were buying low budget properties often hidden from view by other buildings and structures. This is not the best formula according to 35-year self storage veteran Paul King of Las Vegas.

Here’s what Paul told me:

“In my experience the most profitable self-storage operations are those located on the way to a grocery store, Wal-Mart, gas station, or home improvement store. It doesn’t hurt if your self storage facility is located on a major road with super-easy access.”
Current trends back up Paul’s opinion.

Today, mega-franchisees are buying prime frontage as well as retail lots, and paying big bucks for them.

Sovran Self Storage Inc. a New York based company has nearly 25 million square feet of self-storage in 381 facilities.

There are hundreds of companies which serve to the self storage industry, too. 

You’ll find mini-storage consultancies, brokerages, and financing companies that specialize in this market. I’ll cover some income opportunities’ in these markets in future issues.

Self storage development seminars are selling out nationwide.

If you think that’s great, then listen to this…

What’s the Big Deal with Self Storage?

The self storage market is considered by many real estate entrepreneurs to be a true “cash cow” venture. 

This simply means operating expenses are relatively low and owners often realize more revenue per square foot than other real estate investments.

The self storage market is almost recession proof. 

I know everyone says his or her market is “recession proof”.

But just think about it. 

The economy is hurting. 

Real estate foreclosures, bankruptcies, and subprime mortgage meltdowns are at historical highs. 

But have you seen any self storage businesses or REIT in this market go bankrupt recently? 

Most of the self storage operations which are not overleveraged with first class management (with an eye for direct marketing) are doing fine.

Why is the self storage market flourishing when so many others are going under? 

One reason is when families are forced to move out of their homes due to financial difficulties they usually need someplace to store their goods – enter self storage!

There are other reasons too. 

But self storage has a relatively small monthly charge. 

Therefore self storage bills are often grouped together with other utility bills like electricity, phone, Internet, cable, and water. 

The delinquency rate in self storage is typically much lower than home or apartment rentals.
Business owners have found self storage useful in a downturn too. They can rent smaller office space and supplement the lack of space with self storage.

Let’s Do the Math! Comparing Other Real Estate Ventures with Self Storage

Here’s an example of what an entrepreneur in Atlanta did recently: 

He purchased an older, three-story building in a rundown section of Atlanta for $550,000 (owner-financed) and converted it to a mini-warehouse consisting of 110 units. The mini-warehouse is currently 85 percent full. 

The monthly rent for a 10’ x 10’ unit is $100. The math is pretty simple: 93 units x $100 = $9,300 per month in revenue. The mortgage payment is $1,100, and there are a few additional costs because of the location. There expenses include a security system, as well as a full-time manager. 

Still, this is an example of how an older building can be converted to a profitable self storage business.

Here’s another example:

An entrepreneur in north Chicago has 75 10’ x 10’ units, for a total of 7,500 square feet. (Actually, it’s a bit more – but we’ll simplify it for this example.)
Her potential revenue (with 75 units rented at $225 per month) is $16,875 per month. $16,875 divided by 7,500 gives her $2.25 per square foot. 

Meanwhile, the typical 2,500-square-foot, three-bedroom home rents for about $1,500 per month. And $1,500 divided by 2,500 equals only $0.60 per square foot!

Can you see why self storage facilities are so attractive?

Let’s look at a medical office building... 

There’s a new 100,000-square-foot medical building in Las Vegas that offers office space from 1,485 to 7,200 square feet in size. 

I’ll use a 2,500-square-foot space (which is about the average) for this example.

Okay, the rent for this space goes for about $1.50 per square foot, or $3,750 per month.
This particular building is 40 percent occupied. With that occupancy rate, let’s say five 2,500-square-foot office units are each generating $3,750 per month for total monthly revenue of $18,750. 

And $18,750 divided by 100,000 square feet equals almost $0.19 cents per square foot in actual revenue.

If the building was 80 percent occupied and the revenue was $120,000 per month, the actual revenue would still come out to only about $1.20 per square foot.

What about a strip mall?

Let’s take a look at a typical strip mall near a nice area in Austin, Texas. A 4,000-square-foot space was recently available for $4,500 per month.

There are 10 units in this particular mall. Three of them were empty.

Four 4,000-square-foot units were currently occupied at $4,500 per month each.
Three 2,500-square-foot units were currently rented at $2,750 per month each.
Four units x $4,500 = $18,000.
Three units x $2,750 = $8,250.
Total revenue: $26,250

The total retail space in this strip mall is approximately 36,000 square feet. With the parking lot, the actual total is about 50,000 square feet.

Here’s the math: $26,250 divided by 50,000 square feet equals only $0.52 cents per square foot!

Not only is the potential profit per square foot of self storage mind boggling – especially as compared to most residential and commercial properties – but get this: self storage does not have most of the headaches typically associated with real estate – like plumbing, live tenants, and wear and tear. On top of that, the cost of utilities for each unit is a bare minimum. Can you say overhead light?

But before you get into this business you have to do your homework:
1. Locate and identify every self storage facility in your area or state.

2. Physically look at all the locations – and take notes. Walk around the property. Rent a traffic meter and stick it on a tree or utility pole (check local regulations to make sure its okay). Observe the condition of the buildings, fences, and traffic to and from the facility.
3. Talk to the managers of the facilities if you want to, but only as if you are a customer looking to rent a unit.
4. Spend 30 minutes per day educating yourself on the industry. Most people don’t do this, but that’s how you become an expert.
5. Subscribe to the industry’s main trade publications (listed below).
6. Do the math!

Self storage is a great business opportunity! The profit margins can be as high as 70 percent.
And one of the most attractive aspects of this business is that there are no people in the units! If you’ve ever been landlord, you know what I’m talking about.

There are ways to really leverage your profit in this industry, too, including my friend’s concept of self storage real estate investment trusts (REITs).

There are also investment partnerships that acquire only the most profitable facilities. 

Real Estate Collapse Actually Helps this Business Grow

As I said at the beginning of this issue, my friend was instrumental in developing the self storage REIT market. 

He would always tell me, “People will always store stuff. And they often have to store even more of it when times are bad or their real estate investments go south.”
Take this advice to heart. 

People will always store stuff. And when real estate investments go sour, people have a lot more stuff to store.

InDetroit, for example. Real estate sales have been plunging for two years in this city, with no end in sight. There are no buyers. In many ways Detroit is a war zone today.

But the self storage business in Detroit is actually pretty healthy. I was unable to find any self storage businesses for sale there. This tells me Detroit’s self storage entrepreneurs may be doing well.

Determine which approach works best for your situation: starting from scratch, buying an established mom-and-pop or prime location facility, or investing in rehabbing a rundown building.

This market is huge and growing! This opportunity is yours for the taking.

Your humble host…..

***** Action Strategy *****
Self Storage Fast Start Guide 

1)    One way to get started in self storage is by developing your own facility from scratch. This means you would build your own facility from the ground up. 

This approach has some serious flaws. It requires expertise, capital, location selection, and a myriad of other time-consuming and expensive tasks.

2)    A popular alternative would be to acquire an established self storage business. The best terms can usually be found when mom-and-pop operators want to get out of the business. These operators typically sell because it’s been unsuccessful for them. But with an in-depth understanding of this market you can turn these babies around.

Mom-and-pop self storage businesses are rarely listed with conventional real estate brokers.
Here are three simple questions you can ask to determine if an existing self storage business is worth the asking price and if it has the potential to make money for you:
  • How many units does the business have?
  • What is the current occupancy rate?
  • What is the actual drive by auto traffic number?
If a self storage business has 100 (10’ x10’) units… and the current occupancy is 40 to 50 percent... it could be considered a “prime target” by self storage “insiders.” 

But it must have at least moderate levels of drive-by traffic (2,000-5,000 cars per day).

Self storage owners can’t lie about how many units they have, but they might try to “cook the books” regarding occupancy. But if you do your homework, you’ll know if you can make a particular location profitable. 

3)    Instead of going for a mom-and-pop self storage business, you could acquire a self storage facility in a prime location – one where the traffic (and cash flow) is much stronger. These locations are usually very pricey – in the $1 million to $2 million range.

But when you start digging you’ll see why investors gladly shell out the big bucks for these cash cows!

Here are some self storage businesses that were being offered for sale in prime areas on major highway intersections recently:

Western New York, Texas, and Mississippi (12 self storage centers) – $35 million
Southwest Florida (39,000 sq ft/16 acres) – $1.5 million
Loudon, New Hampshire (27,200 sq ft) – $1.2 million
San Clemente, California (22,760 sq ft) – $3 million
Augusta, Georgia (29,900 sq ft) – $545,000
Bow, New Hampshire (16,900 sq ft) – $550,000
Las Vegas, Nevada (74,800 sq ft) – $3.7 million
Coos Bay, Oregon (13,500 sq ft) $650,000
Lubbock, Texas (54,445 sq ft) – $1.2 million
South Chicago Heights, Illinois (49,600 sq ft) – $1 million
Hickory, North Carolina (21,240 sq ft) – $285,000
Paris, Tennessee (7,800 sq ft) – $229,000
Prescott Valley, Arizona (40,300 sq ft) – $2.1 million
Gainesville, Georgia (14+ acres) – $1 million
Ankeny, Iowa (10 acres) – $850,000
Kissimmee, Florida (35,200 sq ft) – $3 million

4)    If starting from scratch or buying an existing mini-warehouse business doesn’t work for you, there is a fourth option.

In years past, the success of self storage was dependent on prime real-estate exposure.
But today, there are rundown, older buildings in many downtown areas which can be converted to a self storage operation. 

Granted, some of these areas aren’t the best place in the world to do business…..including self storage. 

But hundreds of areas across the U.S. and Canada have seen a resurgence of revitalization. 

The one advantage of centrally located self storage in major metro areas with easy access is people – lots and lots of people!

It’s fairly easy to do. And this redevelopment is often welcomed by local civic leaders because they’ve lost a good chunk of their population as a result of the exodus to the suburbs (and exurbs). 

In some cases, you can acquire old buildings at deep discounts. 

By the way, you don’t have to limit yourself to older buildings right in the center of town. 

There’s another growing trend too. It’s converting empty barns and steel buildings in rural areas and retrofitting them for self storage facilities.

Check out this self storage facility in Waipahu HI!:

**********Valuable Resources ********** (find self storage businesses)
Extra Space Storage (franchise and REIT)
Public Storage (franchise and Public REIT)
U Store It Trust (franchise and REIT)
Global Portable Buildings, Inc. (leading manufacturer of mobile storage units)