Posts Tagged ‘how to make money with nothing’

(Continued from last week’s article… if you have not yet read Part 1, please click here)

One month before I met my wife, I started to work and turn my troubled business around. So I did what I should’ve done a long time ago, I fired my non-producing General Manager and her cohort but kept one staff who was loyal to me.  That reduced my costs tremendously. I could now afford to pay that one staff to continue to chase after the deals that we were supposed to close and I could start to pay off the debt that had piled up.

But cutting costs wasn’t enough.  I needed to get more sales in so that I could get out of debt faster.  So I made a few phone calls and I was referred to a person who could probably help.  I called and arranged a meeting with the person and she mentioned that she would introduce me to her business partner so that we can discuss the matter thoroughly.  I did not know it at that time, but the business partner was destined to be my wife.

When I first met my wife Jhoanna, I was immediately attracted to her. She was radiant, elegant, beautiful, and little did I know then, a genius. After a minute or two of introductions, I explained what I thought would be the best deal ever and handed her a 2 page proposal.  After looking through it, she simply said: “Your deal doesn’t make any sense for us to get into it.” Bam! I thought I had the deal in the bag, where did that left hook come from?

Although the deal did not push through as planned, my wife made me realize one of the most important traits a successful entrepreneur should have. And that was to think about action and results, not fluff. You see the deal that I was proposing was to outsource 100% of the work of my company to them and I would take 70% while they got 30%. And how I went about pitching the deal to them was with nothing more than charm and fluffy words. My wife saw right through that and showed me with her matter of fact statement that handsome and charming I may be, that would get me nowhere. A lesser man would have just walked away, but not me.  I got even more attracted to her. She gave me another reason to turn the business around.

Well, back to the drawing board I told myself. The one staff I had kept was making little progress, there was still NO income, and the debt was still piling up. I had to do something more drastic.

Now at that time, Jhoanna and I were already dating and she became my sounding board, business advisor and more importantly, my source of strength.

One of the most crucial ideas that she gave me during those times was to get a “virtual office” to lessen my operating costs yet make my company still professional looking.  A virtual office is a business center service where you pay a minimal fee to rent the office address including the phone line and a receptionist without actually staying in that office.  With my wife’s help (she called up all the virtual offices in town and got me the best deal), I got one that charged only Php900 per month.

Armed with this solution, I decided to let go of my Makati office and phone lines to save more on costs. I made a deal with my staff to let her bring home the computer and printer and to use her home phone temporarily. I would pay for half of the phone bill and whatever excess electricity she would consume because she’d be working from home.  She agreed.

Interestingly, the Virtual Office was the key to getting our first client in. This was the next crucial lesson my wife had taught me about business:  You need to package yourself well. Perception is key. The Virtual Office allowed me to look extremely professional, yet lessen my overhead.

On our calling card was printed:

Office Address: …West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road Ortigas, Center Pasig City, 1605 Philippines.

Phone: (632) 6873416; Fax: (632)6874645

I instructed my staff to call all our prospects and inform them that we were moving to a better office. When my staff started calling our prospects telling them that exact line and of course our office address and phone numbers, guess what?  Most of the prospects’ reactions were very positive and that immediately increased their perception of us.  In fact, one of the comments that my staff relayed to me was “Wow you guys must be doing really well, because that address is expensive”.  Little did they know that it only cost me P900 / month!

And sure enough, after a couple of weeks, we closed our first major deal. It was for a Million Pesos Gross and that was the first sigh of relief I had in 10 months. Finally, the business was turning around.

The projects were now coming in, and in the next 6 months, we had recovered 90% of the losses which was truly remarkable. However, I was still not making any money at that time from the business, I was still in debt and for some reason, I could not pay it off. Now this is where my wife truly helped me out. The turn-around of the business was just a small victory for the real problem that had to be fixed was my unhealthy attitude about money which my wife, through tough love, patience and practicality taught me to turn around as well.  (To be concluded next Sunday, Nov 15, 2009)

Mark So is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy.  A sought-after Business Trainer & Consultant, he has taught thousands of people practical insights and strategies to win in business.  On November 14, he is scheduled to conduct his signature seminar on Capital Raising and Cashflow Management.  For more information, you may contact Tel Nos. 6874445, 6874645, 6873416 or visit www.businessmaker-academy.com or www.zerocapitalclub.com.
Click Here To Download the File!

Click Here To Download the File!

One of the top questions that I get from people is “What’s a good business to get into?” If you’ve asked this question yourself then you are in luck because in this article I will not only teach you how to choose one that is right for you but I will also give you 100+ Business Ideas for you to explore further.

So here are the instructions to download the list of 100+ Business Ideas

1.)    Click on the Icon above (Or Click Here)

2.)   When the Page refreshes, type in your contact details and Click “Register”

3.)    Check Your Email Immediately — The file will be emailed directly to your inbox.

Now let’s get started with the second part. Below are 5 questions that will help you tremendously when choosing and pinpointing the right business for you. If you can say YES to all 5 questions for any particular business in the list of ideas, then congratulations as you may have already found the business that you’ve been looking for.

Now, if after going through the list, you still can’t determine what business to get into, not to worry. Through the 5 questions below, I will hopefully clarify for you where you should start in your quest to find the business that you have been searching for.

The 5 Question Test:

Question # 1.) Am I really passionate about the idea? Or am I just joining a Fad?

Many times people start a business based on fads and not what they really want to do. They get into it because their friends or people that they know are getting into it. Instead of thinking this way, try to figure out what you really want to do with your life. If you find a business that allows you to do this, that’s the first positive sign. Scan through the list and just let yourself gravitate towards an idea or two in the list.

Question # 2.) Do I have a Customer / Customers who are willing to buy from me?

In my business seminars I always tell my students that the first step to making money is to find the customer first then build the business later. I also wrote a little bit about this in my article in Manila Bulletin last September 27 “How To Make Money With Zero Capital” but this question goes a little further, ask yourself. “If I get into this particular business, do I know of any one or groups of people who would be willing to buy from me, emphasis on the word me.

Question # 3.) Do I have any experience or skills in this particular business industry?

A very big plus before you start a business is to already have experience in a particular industry whether it is in sales and marketing, finance or operations, inventory management because one of the secrets of Entrepreneurship is to know how to add value to anything that will make it sell better. Your skills and experience matter. So ask yourself, do I have the experience or skills to allow me to carry out this business idea?

Question #4.) Can I commit the time and energy in getting this business started?

It is a myth to think that you can just hire someone to open and run a business for you from the start. I know because I did that before and it ended up horribly wrong. Abdication especially in the beginning will be disastrous. There is no other way about it — You will have to make time to work on developing this business even if it means working on it when you go home after your day job. So ask yourself, “Am I willing to sacrifice a bit of time and effort into getting this business started?  Can I stay committed to it as the going gets tough?”

Question # 5.) Can I see myself leaving this business to my children or the next generation?

Will you be proud of this business if you make it a success? Because believe it or not, 99% of people who want to start a business, want to start not just a racket but a legacy that they can leave their kids and generations to come. So ask yourself, can I see myself passing this business on to my children if they want to take over someday?

Enjoy and Good luck!

Feedback appreciated: I’d like to hear from you directly whether through my blog or email if my articles have helped you, if you have implemented any of the advices I’ve given and what is your most pressing question is about business. Your feedback will help me come up with even more relevant articles in the future.

As early as I could remember, I knew that making money was already hard coded into my DNA. Allow me to share a few vivid childhood memories with you then afterwards, give you the most important advice that I will ever give.

Let me first bring you back to 1977. My mom and I were house-sitting for my Godparents for a couple of days while they were away on vacation with my cousins. I had just turned 5 years old and as a gift I was given a shiny, second hand instamatic camera with a free roll of film, 24 shots as I recall. “What to do with it?” I remember saying to myself. So I went around the house looking for things to take pictures of.

I did not have to look far because the moment the household helpers saw my shiny new camera, they started offering to pose for me to take their photos. With no hesitation, I counter offered to take their pictures for 1 Peso a click. They agreed. Kaching! I was in business and all I had to do was push a button. 24 pesos in 1977! Not bad for a 5 year old kid. (Of course my mom had to shoulder the expenses of actually developing the film. Thanks Mom!)

Then when I was in grade school, I started a small sideline racket by selling bubble gum scratch cards (made by Fleer, it was a set of 3 PACMAN scratch cards with free bubble gum) to my classmates for 12 pesos while my cost was 9 pesos (a 33% mark-up). At that time, my classmates went crazy for the stuff but were too lazy to go and buy it themselves. I saw an opportunity and took it. Every dismissal time, I would go to Shoppesville in Green hills to get the stuff, bring it to school the next day and do it over and over again. I made a killing and I was only 10 years old.

As I moved on to high-school, I entered yet another money making venture as a sketch artist that designed t-shirts for school events –Yes, I was pretty good in drawing back then. In one project, my seatmate made a deal with me. There is an upcoming school dance he said, I’ll come up with the money to finance producing of t-shirts for the dance but you design the logo and the artwork. I’ll give you 30% of the profits if we make money. but if we don’t make money then that’s my problem. I looked at him and said: I can have your drawing by tomorrow; it was a no-brainer deal.

By the end of the day, we had sold all the shirts. I netted P5,000 (Equivalent to P15000 today). I made money yet again, this time no capital needed from me.

Then, when I graduated from College, I decided to try the corporate life. Within a few weeks, I found a high paying job, eventually got hired by a bigger transnational company and then again by an even bigger multinational company all in a span of a few short years. My salary at this point was staggering. I started to change my lifestyle, bought anything I wanted on a whim justifying it by saying, well I deserve it anyway. Life was good. At least that’s what I thought.

You see for all the money that I would earn, I would spend it all on useless stuff because I thought that I could always make more of it anyway. In fact, I became so careless about it that my credit cards were always used up and for some reason would never be paid off.

I needed help but I didn’t know how or even where to start until I met my wife Jhoanna. The day I met her, was the day I became a true success.

She became my greatest inspiration. If you remember the movie of Jack Nicholson “As good as it gets” there is a line there that truly captures what I felt for her back then until now: “…You make me want to be a better man.”

How can I get married to Jhoanna, when I’m neck deep in debt and careless about money I asked. Well, I think Jhoanna overheard me because she seconded the motion.

So with a lot of “Tough Love”, she made it a priority to help me get out of debt, by teaching and helping me create a money management system to follow. Every Month I had to put in a big chunk of my earnings into a special bank account that we set up which I could never ever touch. She would use that to pay off my credit card debts first, then the rest would be for our wedding fund. It took us a little over 3 years to fully pay off my debts and get back on track but if it wasn’t for my wife, I would never be who I am today.

Today, I lead a group of companies that are 100% debt free and profitable.  I am a successful businessman, forex trader and trainer. So my best advice ever for you in Money is this:

“All of your success in making money will mean nothing if you do not know how to manage your money properly. If you do not know how to manage your money get help from someone who does, better if it is your spouse.”

Thank you Jhoanna, because of you, I am and continue to strive to be a better man.

Author Box:

Mark So is the CEO of Businessmaker Academy.  He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila, as well as CFO of Teach It Forward, a non-profit organization for community livelihood. Together with his wife and partner, their main goal in life is to help others improve their lives personally, professionally and financially.  For more information about the products and seminars they offer, please call 6874445, 6874645 or 6873416 or visit www.businessmaker-academy.com.  You may also email him at markso@zerocapitalclub.com.

Money can get really tight when you are looking for a job and sometimes, even when you already have a job!  But the good news is, you can start your own business and create extra income almost immediately with ZERO CAPITAL whether you are currently employed or not.  So, are you ready to take in the secrets that I will share today?  Read closely.

You Don’t Need Money to Make Money

I was interviewed for a TV show hosted by Bishop Chito Tagle on ABC 5 and the theme of the show was “Entrepreneurship for nation building in the Philippines”. In the course of the interview, I was asked how someone can start a business when they have no money. To this I replied, “I think a lot of people have it backwards, the reason why you will go into business in the first place is because you don’t have a lot of money to begin with.”

I got a quizzical and interested look when I said this and the host asked me to elaborate further, so I replied: “In business, you do not need capital, you need customers. If you have capital but no customers, you are not in business, but if you have customers, even with no capital, then you ARE in business and you can make money”

The Zero Capital Method

Let me share with you some insights for making money without money, I call it THE ZERO CAPITAL METHOD which is really about starting your own profitable business, sideline or racket—with nothing (okay, less than a thousand pesos if you really want to be strict about it) and I don’t mean getting a loan or a hand out from your parents or relatives.

With the Zero Capital Method, you can immediately make extra money whether you are aspiring to become an entrepreneur, looking for a job or already have a job but just want extra income.  So without further ado, here are my no-nonsense learning principles and action must-do’s based on what I and my business teams do to start Zero Capital Businesses.

1. Erase from your heads that it takes money to make money – This saying is not for Entrepreneurs but for Investors. There is a big difference between the two: Entrepreneurship is about making money from nothing, Investing is about growing your money.

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2. Understand the true meaning of Capital. We loosely associate the word capital with Money. There are many other forms of capital that is not related to money but with the right plan can be made into money and a successful business. These are:

  1. Talent / Skill Capital – Do you have a marketable talent or skill in something? Write it down and make your list as long as possible
  2. Experience Capital – Do you have sought after experience in something? Think about how you can use that to start a business.
  3. Social Capital – Do you have any Influential connections in your network whom you can tap (not to give you capital) but to open doors for you?
  4. Time Capital – Do you have time? Time can be made into a business.
  5. Solution Capital – Do you have Solutions to everyday problems?
  6. Ownership Capital – Do you own everyday, useful equipment or property  that you can make money with?

3. Learn how to market and sell these forms of capital with ZERO Costs. The purest form of business is when you are able to sell. The sweetest form of selling is if you are able to do it without any upfront costs! If selling is not for you, partner with someone who does it well and work out a “Commission-Based-Zero-Cash-Out” arrangement.

4. Learn to negotiate. If you are used to bargain hunting and haggling in Divisoria, then this should be second nature for you. If you do not know how to negotiate, you must learn. – This is a non-negotiable. How? Go to divisoria with an experienced bargain hunter / negotiator, make a goal to buy something that you need at 50% of the asking price. If not successful, repeat until you are.

5. Learn to manage your money. In business, you can start with zero capital but you don’t want to end up with zero profits.  When you generate money, don’t spend it all on useless (non-profit generating) expenses.  Learn how to separate business and personal transactions using financial and tracking tools.

6. Learn from experience, or at least someone with experience to guide you and shorten the time to get to your goal. Do not get advice from people who have not done what you want to do and just tell you why it won’t work. Do not get advice from people who are not successful because you don’t want to end up like them. You want to end up like someone who has been down this road and who has succeeded.

Now, these 6 pointers are just the beginning of a very exciting road ahead. It is not for everyone.  But if you truly want to start making extra money now, there is no need to wait any further. All you need to do is ACT ON IT.

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Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader and educator.  He is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance and corporate training center and the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila.  A sought after speaker for business and forex, he is scheduled to conduct his signature workshop “Zero Capital Business” on October 17 and 24, 2009.  To know more about workshop, you may visit www.zerocapitalclub.com and www.businessmaker-academy.com or call (632)6874645.  You may email your comments and questions to:   markso@zerocapitalclub.com