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whoaskew
04-27-2011, 07:46 PM
I need input from the all-knowing Chiefsplanet to help me with a little market research.

Well Dane left, so i guess we should start calling it the ALMOST all-knowing Chiefsplanet...


If any of you business owners haven't read the 4 hour workweek, I wholeheartedly suggest you read it, along with the E-Myth. After 12 years of being self-employed, I can honestly say that those books changed my life.

Next month I will be celebrating my 1 year anniversary of hiring my first virtual worker. I remember catching hell on here last year, when I merely suggested the idea. People were primarily mad because they thought I was giving away American jobs. Of course what those people thought, and the reality of the situation were exact opposites.

To this day, I still employ 10+ Americans for every person I employ overseas. Further, I have been fortunate to come across US citizens living abroad, who have joined my team.


Well anyway...


Currently, I have a team of highly skilled, college educated, and experienced people working for me across 5 continents. I plan to creating a membership service for (U.S.) small business owners to share resources (which should help them grow, AND also allow them to hire more Americans).

Membership would come with a team of FREE EMPLOYEES working for them for up to 4 hours per week to take care of any of their biggest business headaches.

What I need help with is deciding what standard types of services and pricing that I should choose for the membership.

If you are currently or eventually plan to be a small business owner, what would you have the team assigned to do for you each week?

And what would you be happy to pay each month for that type of membership?

doomy3
04-27-2011, 07:48 PM
What is your business?

whoaskew
04-27-2011, 08:31 PM
I have a few small businesses right now.

1. Real Estate Investor/Property Manager
2. Insurance Agent
3. I am also a business consultant for a few small companies in KC


I bought my first house in 1999, as a 20 year old college senior, working on my business degree. The house is in Kansas City and I was living in Jefferson City where my college was, and I had no job, no credit, and no money. Graduated in May 2000, moved back to KC, and bought my second house 2 months later. In May 2001, I was 21 years old, and I bought my first apartment complex using no money out of my pocket.

All the while, I was doing the Corporate America thing, managing/supervising at Walgreen's, Advance Auto Parts, Sprint, H&R Block, etc. But that grew old pretty quick.

A bad car wreck in 2004 led me to enrolling in graduate school, and I got my MBA in 2007. For those three years, the majority of my classes focused on big businesses (Walmart, Ebay, Google, Sprint, etc.) and the strategies that they used to make obscene profits, .

I always looked at it like, why can't small businesses follow their example?

Bwana
04-27-2011, 08:36 PM
Paging Rainman and DaFace.

ChiefsCountry
04-27-2011, 08:37 PM
Real estate is a great profession. :)

whoaskew
04-27-2011, 09:31 PM
Real estate is a great profession. :)

Yes, it definitely can be, but I have also gotten my butt kicked a lot over the years too. Honestly, I still make mistakes everyday, but the truth is I learn more from the mistakes than I do the successes.

ChiefsCountry
04-27-2011, 09:51 PM
Now if real estate sales would just pick up - I could invest in some real estate.

whoaskew
04-27-2011, 10:36 PM
Now if real estate sales would just pick up - I could invest in some real estate.

I am focused on keepers. If all goes according to plan, I will have an additional 100 free and clear rentals by the end of the year.


I just sell a few here and there to help with my monthly overhead, but I prefer not to. I kind of regret selling the one 2 weeks ago, but an investor offered $13,500 on a house I bought a few months ago for $5,700. I couldn't turn an offer like that down especially since I hadn't began working on it yet. He already has a cash buyer from California waiting to buy it from him for $27,000 after he puts a couple grand into it.


I sold that house on Monday, April 11th and I purchased another house on Friday, April 15th for $1,000 cash. The seller figured she would have lost the house anyway because of the $1,800 in back taxes that have to be paid on it by the end of April (a couple days from now).


Right now, I am trying to parlay every dime of my cash into as many houses as I can get while everything is on sale for 95% off. Selling a few here and there is just a means to an end for me. The way I look at it selling is the icing and keepers are the cake.

ChiefsCountry
04-27-2011, 11:08 PM
I am focused on keepers. If all goes according to plan, I will have an additional 100 free and clear rentals by the end of the year.


I just sell a few here and there to help with my monthly overhead, but I prefer not to. I kind of regret selling the one 2 weeks ago, but an investor offered $13,500 on a house I bought a few months ago for $5,700. I couldn't turn an offer like that down especially since I hadn't began working on it yet. He already has a cash buyer from California waiting to buy it from him for $27,000 after he puts a couple grand into it.


I sold that house on Monday, April 11th and I purchased another house on Friday, April 15th for $1,000 cash. The seller figured she would have lost the house anyway because of the $1,800 in back taxes that have to be paid on it by the end of April (a couple days from now).


Right now, I am trying to parlay every dime of my cash into as many houses as I can get while everything is on sale for 95% off. Selling a few here and there is just a means to an end for me. The way I look at it selling is the icing and keepers are the cake.

Basically that is what I am looking at doing. Just need the cash to get it started.

whoaskew
04-28-2011, 02:32 AM
Basically that is what I am looking at doing. Just need the cash to get it started.


I know what you mean. it doesn't take long to run out of money.

Since I have been doing this for a while, I routinely get houses for $0 - $2,500, but they take some work and I wouldn't recommend my system for everyone.

Just about anyone can find a pretty solid, rent-ready rental property for $5,000 - $10,000 all day long right now. Just make sure you know how to identify and avoid the money-pits, and make sure that you pick one in a neighborhood that tenants will actually want to live in.

Rain Man
04-28-2011, 11:35 AM
On the original post, it seems like your cost for four hours of time needs to be less than the cost of 4 hours of temp time. What is that, $15 or $17 an hour or something? And if you're asking people to lock in that commitment, it needs to be notably lower. Add in the risk and inconvenience of not knowing who's doing the work, and I would think you'd need to be below $10 an hour for new captures. Maybe if you establish a track record and get good word of mouth you could pull it up later.

So that'd be $40 a week for that element of service.

For a firm like mine, there's not much that we could use temps for on a remote basis. I wouldn't put them on client work, but maybe I'd have them harvest contact information for marketing or something.

whoaskew
04-28-2011, 03:05 PM
On the original post, it seems like your cost for four hours of time needs to be less than the cost of 4 hours of temp time. What is that, $15 or $17 an hour or something? And if you're asking people to lock in that commitment, it needs to be notably lower. Add in the risk and inconvenience of not knowing who's doing the work, and I would think you'd need to be below $10 an hour for new captures. Maybe if you establish a track record and get good word of mouth you could pull it up later.

So that'd be $40 a week for that element of service.

For a firm like mine, there's not much that we could use temps for on a remote basis. I wouldn't put them on client work, but maybe I'd have them harvest contact information for marketing or something.

Cool thanks. It sounds like you have an already established business. I am not really going after them, since they already have plenty of available help.

I am primarily trying to help micro businesses and startups. Home daycares, real estate contractors, convenience stores, barbers, landscapers, etc. Basically, the people who we all interact with everyday.

For instance my mom has been running a home daycare forever. But it is not just a regular, sit and watch nickelodeon all day long daycare. It is an advanced kindergarten preparatory daycare. 4 year olds "graduate" from her program to enroll in kindergarten and are as advanced as 1st or 2nd graders. She keep limited enrollment, at times as few as 4 kids. I have seen times where 2 of the 4 kids are from the same family and the family moves out of town for a job offer or something.

Not only did my mom's income unexpectedly get cut in half overnight, but then she ended up having to spend $300 on advertising in the KC Star and the American Classifieds, plus another $200 on flyers at Kinko's to hopefully attract a suitable family. Understandably, my mom doesn't take just anybody, so there is no guarantee she will find someone immediately, which means additional costs to continue advertising next month.

For a person like my mom, I could do something like the following:

1. Create and manage a waiting list of people who want to enroll in her daycare and follow up with interested parents until there is an available opening: have my team set up a simple website with email newsletter

2. Eliminate the constant interruptions of phone calls from the people responding to her advertisements which can get pretty frustrating when you are in the middle of teaching children: set up business phone lines for her and have my team of telemarketers to take messages, prescreen callers, and be a general receptionist for her.

3. Find her free or inexpensive online advertising alternatives: assign my team to create and manage social media accounts, and market daily on sites like craigslist to generate leads for her

4. Reduce her weekly workload: I can assign some of my local personal assistants to come help her with cleaning, field trips, filing, bookkeeping, and errands. They can also fill in for her if she needs to leave to go to an appointment for a couple hours (i.e. doctor's appointment), instead of having to close the day care for an entire day.


Now that I am older, I already take care of many of these things for my Mom, and of course I don't charge her anything, even though she offers to pay me. What I need to know is if people who aren't my Mom would find value in such a service to help them with their business.

Now, I don't want to be a crutch for the owners, but I want to help, which is the main reason why I want to limit my assistance to 4 hours per week.

Iowanian
04-28-2011, 04:03 PM
There are indeed mountains of mindless, nonbillable tasks and time eaters in running a small business.

That said, I would have a difficult time trusting a temp, or someone I can't see and don't know to perform client work. My reputation is at stake if they screw up something. I'm not sure that I trust a temp to do a lot of the other time eating tasks like invoicing, billing etc.....but if there were an advanced "accounting" service that dealt with payroll, filing tax payments and documents and biennial reports and things like that....I might be interested in theory.

I guess I can think of basic research items that a temp for the right price might be nice for, to help with overflow. Things like researching addresses and phone numbers for a specific contact list, from data available online. There are tricks to doing theses things accurately, and imo reliability is the important factor. It would need to be done right, and on time.

For the right price, things like mailing of information and brochures to potential clients(targeted, not bulk spam) might be of interest as well.

whoaskew
04-28-2011, 08:04 PM
There are indeed mountains of mindless, nonbillable tasks and time eaters in running a small business.

That said, I would have a difficult time trusting a temp, or someone I can't see and don't know to perform client work. My reputation is at stake if they screw up something. I'm not sure that I trust a temp to do a lot of the other time eating tasks like invoicing, billing etc.....but if there were an advanced "accounting" service that dealt with payroll, filing tax payments and documents and biennial reports and things like that....I might be interested in theory.

I guess I can think of basic research items that a temp for the right price might be nice for, to help with overflow. Things like researching addresses and phone numbers for a specific contact list, from data available online. There are tricks to doing theses things accurately, and imo reliability is the important factor. It would need to be done right, and on time.

For the right price, things like mailing of information and brochures to potential clients(targeted, not bulk spam) might be of interest as well.


Cool thanks. It really helps to receive input from everyone. Saves a lot of trouble when the things that sound great in theory don't work so well in the real world.

mesmith31
04-28-2011, 09:02 PM
We sound like the same person...started in insurance....started a real estate company...flipped about 300-400 houses...read the 4 hour work week and EMyth...said wtf am I doing...took John Reese's "Outsource Force" course...now have about the same amount of people as you doing sundry tasks...currently preparing for a major launch. Best of luck! Maybe we grab a beer some time.

whoaskew
04-29-2011, 12:49 AM
We sound like the same person...started in insurance....started a real estate company...flipped about 300-400 houses...read the 4 hour work week and EMyth...said wtf am I doing...took John Reese's "Outsource Force" course...now have about the same amount of people as you doing sundry tasks...currently preparing for a major launch. Best of luck! Maybe we grab a beer some time.

Damn man, that is amazing. I first came across Tyrone Shum, but I have learned a lot from John Reese too. I plan to release my first WSO next month. We'll have to stay in touch.

Good luck to you as well