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Businesses that make immediate profit

June 3, 2009

Impossible, right? You need to invest, create, promote, manage, bla bla bla, and then several months later, if you managed it well, you might see some returns. You’ll say that the norm is 6-12 months, perhaps more depending on the business.

And you’d be right because when people talk about business, your mind automatically brings you to investing in stock, real estate, or running a “proper” business like trading.

But to say its impossible to make immediate profit… well… I dunno about that. Let’s forget about so-called “unconventional” businesses like MLM and new-age businesses like blogging for money if you can call it a business. Let’s focus on conventional stuff.

Here’s my favorite example – selling iced flavored water by a bus stand on a hot day. Here’s the daily cost breakdown.

$0.00 : Water, 20 gallons (you stole it from your neighbor’s tap)
$10.00: Ice
$5.00 : Color and flavoring
$5.00 : Sugar
$10.00: Transport cost
$10.00: Operating “license” payable to some thugs every month

Total daily cost: $40.00

So, if you sell 1 glass every 3 minutes for 6 hours a day, you’ll sell 120 glasses. At $1 a glass, your daily income is $120.00. Knock off your expenses, your daily profit is $80.00.

You will recover your capital investment – table ($25.00), aquarium display ($200) and plastic drinking glasses ($20.00) – in about 4 days. You carry no stock. Your operating capital is $40 a day.

The more “branches” you set up in different parts of the city, the higher your sales (and profits).

So the truth is, when people say its impossible to do it, what they really mean is its impossible for THEM to live with themselves if they went and did something like selling iced drinks on the streets. Not their style.

What do you think?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 3, 2009 4:25 pm

    If making money is the major aim, should we care about style? I do know about winning, you don’t need style for that. But losing in style? No such thing…

    In the small time businesses, I know of many people who make good profits on a daily basis. But since such amounts are not considered BIG income, some of them go for bigger stakes at sweepstakes and turf clubs. That’s where they loose them equally fast on a daily basis. Easy come, easy go… They never seem to realise that it’s little drops that make the ocean.

    We have a neighborhood vegetable seller who runs a roaring trade on a pickup truck. But his daughter refuses to let him pick her up at school if he comes by in his pickup. He must come in his Honda. When you’ve earned it, you can have style. Nobody questions where you get it from.

    Haha, I guess kids are like that. Peer pressure in school is probably the hardest thing for a person to endure, as much as peer pressure at work. But yeah, I think many people like to derive more than just income from business. They want dignity too. Self worth, that sort of thing. And that’s why when someone says something about their job or business, I never take it at face value becoz often, they mean much more than what they say.

  2. June 3, 2009 6:24 pm

    mmm wat if u sneezed while carrying that big tank of water? u lost ur $40 for the day. 😛
    and i believe such unexpected things do happen to businesses frm time to time, and certain badly-planned businesses might suffer from such ‘incident’ for long term.

    or maybe, your drinks jz sux and people don want to buy after 1st try. or worse, it causes people to have diarrhea !

    well, nxt thing u know, your lemonade empire or whatever empire might end up to be the next GM. ;P

    Valid points, but how’s other businesses any different? We wouldn’t have software companies, developers, etc. closing down left and right otherwise. 🙂 What I meant was that in spite of what people believe, some businesses can give you immediate profit. Question is whether these are businesses that you or I would get into.

  3. June 4, 2009 1:11 am

    Alvin …you’re mean ..

    Damien is trying to give a lil motivation to entrepreneurs ..and you ..and youu….:p

    ah well , shit happens ..i will show you mine ..

    my shop got flooded ..
    anyone remembered last year October ? There was some crazy Thunder storm heavy rain going on until SS2 and Petaling Jaya area got flooded..yeap.

    Whoa, the water reached your ceiling? You whole shop became an aquarium then. 😀

    Haha, don’t worry man. Alvin is every bit as imaginative as I am and we are always thorough with details. 😀

  4. June 4, 2009 1:13 am

    Alvin …you’re mean ..

    Damien is trying to give a lil motivation to entrepreneurs ..and you ..and youu….:p

    ah well , shit happens ..i will show you mine ..

    my shop got flooded ..
    anyone remembered last year October ? There was some crazy Thunder storm heavy rain going on until SS2 and Petaling Jaya area got flooded..yeap.(assuming you guys are from my area lah)

  5. June 4, 2009 9:37 am

    haha..flooded as in the water came from the top ..from the drain ..

    A basement shop eh.

  6. June 4, 2009 5:41 pm

    Sometimes there are things which only those involved can explain. Take that 9 to 5 job that all vy for. It definitely isn’t 9 to 5 anymore if you observe most of them. It’s more or less 12 to 18 hours if you’re really on the go to get where you can really earn bigger bucks. That’s about how much time the koayteow man or the veges seller puts into his workday too. I think how much one earns is directly proportionate to how much effort one puts in, with a little bit of luck.

    Yeah, and the thing about the koay teow man is that he gets the cash immediately while the 9-5 guy only sees it at month’s end, less tax and mandatory deductions. 🙂

  7. June 4, 2009 6:00 pm

    well , but the koay teow man has the opportunity to hire an indon worker .

    then the working time is 1 hour per day ..(half an hour to open the shop , half an hour to close the shop and collect money :p )

    Its a tradeoff. The koay teow man has to pony up the cash for rent, equipment & raw materials, plus he has to trust that the worker won’t pocket some of the day’s takings. Sometimes the tradeoff is worth it. Sometimes not.

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