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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021

Do it in a dorm: start a home business

My favorite dream is to be the next Bill Gates. To start from the comfort of my room to the top of the skyscraper with my name on it. Though it may never happen completely  at least half of it might. From the comfort of my room there are some opportunities to be had in making a little extra change on the weekends or in between study time. In my quest to get paid while hanging out in my pajamas I discovered opportunities I never knew existed.
The first two are the simplest, easiest and have, unfortunately, low returns for your time and money invested. The first is through filling out online surveys. The way it works is that you google “online surveys for money” then choose something you like and sign up for it. The second is called Microplace which is a microloan site that allows you to loan money to people in need who then pay interest on the loan which can range from 1 to 3%. Satisfaction comes from knowing that you have helped someone in need and turned a little bit of a profit doing it.
Now if you are more interested in owning an actual business. Then the best advice comes from Professor Lynch in the business school who told me of the simplicity of supply and demand. Find a demand and meet it. For example if you have a car and you know that there is a number of freshman who desperately need to go to Walmart or Kroger then it is possible to find a few who are willing to pay a few dollars to get there. Dr. Houry told a story from back in the day when he was in college. He would make sandwiches that were better than the competition, load them in the back of his car and sell them to hungry students. Today that would not be possible because of the cafeteria but look hard enough and you will find an opportunity and all you need to do is take advantage of it for example programming for Android devices which has low barrier to entry and a new mercer club dedicated to android. For more you can visit or contact fellow student and Android fan Levi Lewis []
I had a conversation with my uncle who happens to be the Chief Information Officer of River-Edge. His response to starting a home business was to,”Note that a plan is the same whether you are writing for a small business or a large business. The contents are still the same. What you need to cover are the same. Investors are always interested in knowing how you plan to make your product, how you plan to sell it and who your customers are. So the advice for a young person starting a business is:
1. Make sure you have a solid business plan
2. Make sure you have a solid market base. You cannot start a business with no market to sell your product. How do you determine if you have a market? By doing a market research.
3. Be sure to follow the 4 P’s of marketing: Price (price the product right so people in the market you are targeting can purchase it. For example, Ford cannot claim to be making cars for students if each car cost $50,000. How many students can afford a $50,000 car?). Place – Make sure the product is getting to the right customers. You can’t be making Sun Tan lotions in Alaska or selling heavy Winter jackets in Ghana. Product – The quality of your product should be better than what is already on the market. If you product falls apart after one use, then nobody will buy it. The final P is Promotion – Advertise whether by word of mouth, print or television. It can be just fliers. Customers will not buy your product if they don’t know that it is out there.”


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