So back in college, I experimented with a couple of business gigs to try to make some money. I knew I was never going to get a job while in school because first, it never really worked for me, and second, I just never saw satisfaction in a dead end job that didn’t challenge me. Here’s a juxtaposition of my successes and failures about my first foray into business.
1. iPad/iPhone reselling – In college, I found reselling iPads my main source of funds. I made around $600-$1000 per month working about 1 hour each day. If you do the math, I actually made around $25/hour doing this. And most importantly, I was able to do this all on my computer and phone. I can still easily replicate this system in NYC but the problem is traveling to meet your buyer would be a hassle when you have a job that requires you to be around for 10 hours/day. If you want to learn my system, I’ll teach you. Just send me an email. It’s really really simple. All you need is a phone, a computer, and $300 to start with.
The main disadvantage of this model is that it isn’t scalable. Why? Simply because you would need a steady supply of iPads. That means getting in contact with Apple and arranging terms, which is very unlikely that they’ll just sell you iPads at wholesale.
2. PS3 controllers – This business wasn’t entirely mine, but I was part of it. Basically, my college buddy ordered a bunch of PS3 controllers from Alibaba.com and we sold them on eBay. Turns out, though, that the controllers were knock-offs and my friend’s eBay account eventually got a bad rep.
3. Niche Adsense Websites – Basically, I created (paid someone to make the site) 5 single page websites with a highly-targeted and keyword-rich domain name that can rank easily on google. Out of those 5 sites, 2 succeeded and brought it some decent earnings. One site averaged $150/month without any maintenance whatsoever. The sites are created in a way that maintenance is unnecessary. The other site made about $75/month. The best part was, once the sites were up and running, I didn’t have to do anything and I simply watched money come in. It was awesome!
What I Learned
The most important lesson that I learned was to research a product/service that would bring in money right away. I learned the hard way when I decided to start a clothing store online. I tried to spend as little as possible because I didn’t want to risk my money. I pooled around $500 to buy minimums of some pieces, an e-commerce site, and advertising. It turns out the market is way too crowded and you would either need something that jumps out of the page or something that has such an insane value that people won’t be able to turn it down. The internet is just littered with so many clothing stores that it would be crazy difficult to launch another one without any significant selling proposition.
Likewise, test, test, test your product/service before going full-on. I’m currently testing a couple of products right now to see which one is the most lucrative and which one would have the fastest traction. Updates will be made as soon as I am able to gather some data on my market test. I would obviously love to see this work out right away but my experience in sales tells me that business, is a numbers game.