Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

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Alphaville
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Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Alphaville »

I'm currently winding down a media-making self-employment operation, and looking forward to starting a business instead of getting another job. I hate jobs. Don't want one.

By business I mean something that can work by itself even without my being there. E-Myth style, only a lazier: I don't want to own a franchise.

Basically looking for something that:

a) can be done online from anywhere (currently in the USA, but would not mind moving)

b) does not trade time for money

c) does not require me to become a "personality"

d) profits during a recession/depression

e) does not require huge capital outlay

f) can net $500-$1000/mo with about 50h of work per [strike]week[/strike] *month* (but should be able to run mostly by itself after a while).

I'm picky, I know.

I've considered joining the glut of marketing affiliate websites, with a focus on frugality for the recession (everyone wants "personal finance" in a recession), but there is such a glut and it's so boring, and does anyone really believe those useless reviews and recommendations with Amazon links? Plus they seem to be churned out of a factory with economies of scale I wouldn't want to compete against. Plus, again, boring.

Also, in the past I've messed with Forex quite a bit for learning purposes. I more or less broke even, but eventually realized that day trading only favors the house. Yes it was exciting, yes I was enganged, but it was a casino. And a running a casino is a business--playing at one isn't. Well, maybe for professional poker players, who rely on skill--but again that's a job, not a business, per the definition.

So-- ideas? Should I buy some online vending machines?

Anyway, I'm putting forward this question for everyone's consideration/amusement/potential profit, and to see what comes up.

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by Alphaville on Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chenda
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by chenda »

I've been thinking for years about a skin care range, something which could meet all your criteria. I going to look into it again seriously.

Alphaville
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Alphaville »

chenda wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:58 pm
I've been thinking for years about a skin care range, something which could meet all your criteria. I going to look into it again seriously.
Oh, like how make-up does well during downturns because people can't spend on bigger things? Yeah, that's a thing. Stockings and lipstick during wartime, that sort of thing.

Would you manufacture or market? Marketing is lower barrier to entry.

And totally doable if you're into it, yeah. I mean why give free recommendations to people when you could do it for money... (goodbye altruism, lol).

I would do something like that if I knew what to market. I'm too much of a generalist to know much of anything in particular. Hmmmm.....

horsewoman
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by horsewoman »

Alphaville wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:25 pm
I would do something like that if I knew what to market. I'm too much of a generalist to know much of anything in particular. Hmmmm.....
Oh I can relate to that! I'm a really good public speaker, the bigger the crowd, the better - but I have no topic I know enough about to get into public speaking! :)

Alphaville
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Alphaville »

horsewoman wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:02 pm
Oh I can relate to that! I'm a really good public speaker, the bigger the crowd, the better - but I have no topic I know enough about to get into public speaking! :)
Horses? Farming? Semi-ERE?

if you can do public speaking you can make videos.

I've watched homesteading stuff on Prime video that wasn't particularly knowledgeable but was entertaining. Not the greatest production values either. And yet, we watched the whole series of short videos like you'd get on YouTube. All you need is a phone and your farm but I'd recommend adding a shotgun mic.

----

SPEAKING OF WHICH

Has anyone here created content to sell on Amazon? That might be a form to create passive income: make once, sell forever.

Well, obviously Jacob has... but he sells the book via other channels as well.

Any experiences to share from this?

FRx
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by FRx »

I create digital courses geared towards doctors and sell them on my own website.

horsewoman
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by horsewoman »

@alphaville - these would be the obvious ones, but actually I'd not touch any of them with a ten-foot-pole as a YouTuber! I'm wary of posting anything in horse-related Facebook groups or forums, there isn't a more pretentious, arrogant, know-it-all bunch of people than horse people, I'm afraid. (I've had all types invading my farm back when we had boarding horses, thank you very much. I love horses, but not their owners.)
My husband is a very private guy, he would not be comfortable with me filming our farm, so that is out as well.

I have been thinking about making videos about simple living, so if this virus will destroy the market for live music as I fear, I might have enough free time to look into it...

Alphaville
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Alphaville »

FRx wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:51 pm
I create digital courses geared towards doctors and sell them on my own website.
nice! i assume you have some expertise they want.

do you use DRM for downloadables or just allow password entry? how does it work with the copyright? is it interactive/require coding? fully automated or do you have to be there?
horsewoman wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:53 pm
pretentious, arrogant, know-it-all bunch of people
[...]
private guy
[...]
I have been thinking about making videos about simple living, so if this virus will destroy the market for live music as I fear, I might have enough free time to look into it...
oh ha ha i believe you, i’ve met a few

you’re a musician too? if so, no worries, live music should return with a vengeance.

btw i’m working on an animation right now. that would be a way you could create videos without putting your private face
/farm on it.

it’s of course more laborious, so it might not be worth it, but i’ve seen amazon “videos” that are just narrated powerpoints. not sure on the ROI on those though. but the cost is LOW.
Last edited by Alphaville on Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chenda
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by chenda »

Alphaville wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:25 pm
Oh, like how make-up does well during downturns because people can't spend on bigger things? Yeah, that's a thing. Stockings and lipstick during wartime, that sort of thing.
Yes, and for me, and I think many women, skincare is considered a basic essential which I wouldn't cut spending on. Especially as I have very sensitive skin and there are only a few products which work for me.
Alphaville wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:25 pm
Would you manufacture or market? Marketing is lower barrier to entry.
Market but to a bespoke formulation, so it would be more than just private label. I developed an interest in skincare due to my own skin problems so it's a product I believe in a use personally.

Alphaville
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Alphaville »

chenda wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:27 pm
it's a product I believe in a use personally.
oh you’re already knowledgeable then and if you can identify a demographic you could target (i think that’s how it works) it could be a nice opportunity for something.

FRx
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by FRx »

@alphaville I use the teachable platform. They charge you a little money every month and a percentage of the profits to host the courses. It's worth it for me since they courses are in the $500 range.
I'm a physician myself so the content is something I'm familiar with but my audience isn't.

Frita
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Frita »

@horsewoman
I would think that the simple living topic could be well-received. Could you gear it toward musicians and/or disability care staff (I have thought about a similar business for future and current educators. But since I am more of a in-vivo person, making videos holds little appeal.)?

Alphaville
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Alphaville »

@FRx that sounds like a nice setup, I will check it out, thank you.

Tyler9000
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Tyler9000 »

I've thought many times about starting an online business, but the biggest hurdle to me is the insane sales tax system that has developed for digital products where every state gets to individually decide how much of a cut they get to take out of each download. It's an administrative nightmare that discourages small entrepreneurs from even trying.

Any tips for managing that would be a big help.

Frita
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Frita »

One thought my spouse and I have had over the past several years is a life skills class for uni students. We have observed that basics (i.e., yard maintenance, driving in snow/ice, budgeting, using washers/dryers/clothes lines, etc.) are no longer givens. They have community classes for people with significant cognitive delays. Home economics is no longer mandatory in junior high, much less offered until high school around here. The delivery model would be the challenge though.

ertyu
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by ertyu »

Frita wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:26 am
One thought my spouse and I have had over the past several years is a life skills class for uni students. We have observed that basics (i.e., yard maintenance, driving in snow/ice, budgeting, using washers/dryers/clothes lines, etc.) are no longer givens. They have community classes for people with significant cognitive delays. Home economics is no longer mandatory in junior high, much less offered until high school around here. The delivery model would be the challenge though.
weakness: it's not you and your husband that should think that they need it. They should think that they need it. Uni students can easily google any of these things - the fact that they haven't means they're not high on their list of priorities.

horsewoman
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by horsewoman »

Frita wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:38 pm
@horsewoman
I would think that the simple living topic could be well-received. Could you gear it toward musicians and/or disability care staff (I have thought about a similar business for future and current educators. But since I am more of a in-vivo person, making videos holds little appeal.)?
The thing with YT is, you need a lot of content and stamina. I have the attention span of a fruit fly, plus my interests are so broad that the only overarching theme I have is that I have no overarching theme :)
I get a huge kick out of live performing and public speaking, which keeps me motivated to do it. I don't think it would be the same with videos.

Frita
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Frita »

horsewoman wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:27 pm
The thing with YT is, you need a lot of content and stamina. I have the attention span of a fruit fly, plus my interests are so broad that the only overarching theme I have is that I have no overarching theme :)
I get a huge kick out of live performing and public speaking, which keeps me motivated to do it. I don't think it would be the same with videos.
I wonder if live performances requires more marketing than YouTube. There is something to be said about listening to live music versus watching a concert live on TV. One doesn’t feel the energy of the music and people. (I notice this in meditation too. Even when silent, one can sense others’ chi.) I imagine that you miss performing with your band and solo harp performances with the lockdown situation.

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Ego
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Ego »

@Tyler9000

Ebay has taken sales tax collection and payment out of the hands of sellers. They do it all. I haven't done last years taxes yet but I don't believe I will bother to list it on my balance sheet. I would imagine that shopify and the other big gateways have some sort of plugin to handle this but I may be wrong.

Regarding business ideas, a few months ago a friend purchased the inventory of a beauty supply shop that went out of business. He sold most of it before we returned but was unable to sell the hair dye and was happy when I offered him $45 for about 650 packages. It took months to sell the first bottle. In late February I began to see an uptick. Now I am selling about 8-10 bottles a day.

The stuff is toxic. I would imagine a lot of people are trying this at home for the first time and would be open to trying a non-toxic versions produced locally.

Alphaville
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Re: Business ideas for the upcoming depression?

Post by Alphaville »

Frita wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:26 am
life skills class [...]The delivery model would be the challenge though.
I took a look at Teachable that FRx uses. It looks very well put together and most courses use price tiers that make it accessible while keeping the thing profitable. Seems much better than the Youtube ads model.

Of course there will be competition, etc, but check out the samples on the website.

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