Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If You Build It: Lesson in Marketing

Weekends are usually for fun and relaxation. I spent mines working instead. I almost didn’t have a choice. My car club threw a car wash hosted at a local auto parts supplier to raise money for an upcoming trip. We started bright and early at 10 a.m. (it was supposed to be 9 a.m.) on Saturday. It was bad enough that I had to spend my Saturday washing cars (because it was kind of mandatory) when I realized that there was an overcast and it had rained earlier. I took a peek at the weather and more rain was scheduled for the day. All I could think was “Man, this day is going to suck!”. Talk about a good way to start the day. Then I realized something I learned from reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book entitled Increasing Your Financial IQ….I could take this seemingly dreadful experience and learn something. But the dilemma was what exactly could I learn. I thought about this the whole drive to the designated wash area. I finally realized what it would be once I got assigned me job for the day.
During last year’s car wash I was recruited as a wash attendant. I thought that would be the deal this year, but I ended up being the designated sign holder. At first, I got a little disappointed with the job but then I took a second to look beyond the position to see what it is I could learn to improve my business skills. At that point it dawned on me that I was in the “marketing department”. I was responsible for attracting customers to the wash. It would be my responsibility for the flow of vehicles and in essence our cash flow for the wash. Now was the time to apply some things I’ve read about marketing and to gain real world experience about different techniques and the application of those techniques. Throughout our 7 hour day I experimented with different techniques. I tried using no sign versus using the sign. Then I tried being animated and talkative with passing vehicles versus being silent. I also tried holding the sign in different place versus not moving. I learned a lot from this experience. Here’s what I learned:

  • “If you build it, they will come.” is not necessarily true. The existence of the sign versus no sign made a significant difference in customer flow. I actually used the “no sign” technique to decrease flow when we got too busy.

  • Just seeing a sign is enough for some customers while others require a little “prodding” so to speak. I actually had to interact with quite a few customers more than a few times to convince them to get a wash.

  • There are a few people who even though they were close to getting a wash ultimately changed their minds. I had to be creative when trying to convince them to go ahead with the wash. I actually succeeded at closing quite a few of those “sales”.

  • Word of mouth is strong! A good number of customers came from others who either got a wash themselves or drove by and referred someone to us.

  • In the end it was not one technique, but the combination of a few that ultimately netted the highest return! We actually doubled our money we made versus last year, in worst weather no doubt.

All in all these were great lessons learned and/or confirmed through experience. It seems experience is the best teacher because I had the opportunity to compare techniques. So what I want you to take from this is that you take my lessons and try to find ways to apply them in your situation or future situations. Life is a great teacher and there are lessons to be learned everyday according to Robert Kiyosaki. I am inclined to agree. To get more lessons from Mr. Kiyosaki I suggest picking up some of his books. The information within is priceless. Also check out his blog to get some tips on current financial events. In the meantime, my question to you is: Have you learned anything helpful today that may further your financial knowledge? Think about it and have a great day and grow rich!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Procrastination vs. Preparation: Lesson in Investing

So here I am…..on my next blog. It has been about 7 or 8 days since my last post. So now I guess you want to know “What’s the deal?”, right? Have I been procrastinating? Well, not exactly. While I have not posted in quite a few days I have been productive. As the title infers… procrastination versus preparation. Preparing is exactly what I’ve been doing. “What does that have to do with investing?” I’m glad you asked….let me explain.
They say the first time you do something is always the hardest part. That’s why I went ahead and posted my first blog, I wanted to jump that hurdle. After I posted it, my first thought was “now what?”. So I did what I always do, go looking for answers. I could have just sat there and hoped someone would read it, but that would be procrastination. Instead, I became proactive about my preparation. I started looking for answers about blog traffic, monetization of blogs, and blog marketing. During my search I ran across a millionaire blogger named Yaro Starak. This is a very interesting guy. I love his blog…if you want to seriously invest in a blog yourself(click here), I highly recommend reading and subscribing to his blog. I spent 4 days going over tips and tricks trying to cram….then I realized it wouldn’t happen so fast. So I digested what I could and started working on some social networks to build up a friend base and hopefully attract some readers. That took up the rest of the time.
So now it seems I had no time for the investing part huh? You could be wrong or right depending on your definition of investing. If investing to you is all about money , then no. I didn’t spend any money on new things. I didn’t play the stock market or open a new business. So what did I invest in? Knowledge. That is something that can never be taken away from me. It could make me millions and if I lose it all, that knowledge could bring it all back. So even though it hasn’t made me any money yet, I sincerely think it was a sound investment. I know it’s a much better investment than just sitting around.
Now it’s time to implement some of the knowledge I’ve learned. I’m going to post a lot of blogs. I’m also going to implement some monetization techniques. I will also share the techniques I use with you so that you can know about them. I will also try to provide links to where I get my research from so you can obtain the details and decide for yourself.
Even though I’ve had a hiatus from my blog I believe it will help the long term quality of my content. I will hopefully convey my ideas in a more efficient manner as a result. The next blog I will post will be about some things I did with my weekend that I took the time to learn something from. Then I will post another one about the concept of 90/10.
The moral of the story is as follows: sometimes it’s good to take a break from a venture if it will allow a more focused and efficient effort for the long term. Some people are so short-sighted the fail to prepare for the future and when it comes, it’s too late. Always take the time to improve, it may save your home based business. In the mean time you can contact me on myspace, face book, or blackplanet. Be sure and check the Ninety Ten Store for some books on financial literacy and inspiration. The question is: Do you prepare or do you procrastinate? Think about it. Until next time, live well and become rich!

Monday, April 21, 2008

What the Heck Is the Ninety-Ten Club?

Some of you may ask, "What is this 90/10 club?" Well, the short answer is...a place to share financial knowledge and experience regardless of your level of the knowledge and/or experience. I want newbies to have a chance to interact with some people who are professionals in this field. A lot of times the financially illiterate are intimidated by financial jargon and professionals. I am one of those newbies. This is a chance for everyone to learn and grow.

Another question that may be asked is "Why should I read a blog about finances and money from someone who is calling themselves a newbie anyway?" That's a perfectly good question. And it is the reason for this blog. I hear and read a lot about people who are rich AFTER they made it. I'm kinda tired of hearing about the "destination". So I'm allowing the world to see my journey. The good, bad and ugly. Through this blog (and hopefully a dedicated webpage with a forum) I hope to inspire some others to partake in this lifelong journey of wealth and hopefully connect with some more experienced people along the way.

So, here's the plan. I've been reading some financial books. I plan on sharing my experiences and feedback about what I read. I plan on starting a few businesses, joining a network marketing company. I will also share my experiences and ideas on those subjects. I also plan on investing..stocks, bonds, options, I don't really know yet but when I guys will know. I wont really recommend any product or service but I will tell you what I am participating in. What you do after that is your choice and your responsiblity. My question to you is Do you want to be part of the 10% who earn 90% of the money? Think about it and thank you for reading.

You can add me to your friend lists on myspace, blackplanet, my yearbook or facebook. Just search my name.