OK, it’s a Monday here in the Philippines. Some of my regular readers know that Mondays are my usual days for publishing editorials and other somewhat ‘off the wall’ posts.
Well this one will certainly live up to that habit, but I had a whole bunch of issues I wanted to cover about business and it just seemed appropriate to lump all of them into one article … so if you are interested in:
- Starting a Business in the Philippines
- Starting a Business in the States that you can Later Run from the Philippines
- Or just some general Prime Marketing ideas so you can earn money instead of Wishing
Here you go. Enjoy
A few days ago an online colleague of mine, Spencer Haws, posted an article in which he included an interview (podcast) with his cousin Jon that talked about Jon’s new (and highly successful) business back in the mighty metropolis of Allen, Texas (population ~87,000 or so).
I really got interested in this venture when I found out that Jon was doing over $70,000 in revenue within his first three months. Doing what you may ask right away when you see those startup figures?
Simple. Mowing lawns.
I hear the naysayers out there now. “Dave, YGBSM (Google is your friend if you don’t know what that means), people don’t make that sort of money doing menial, physical (blue collar) tasks like yard work.”
Well, they do. And, as you might have expected coming from me, the Internet plays a big role in this operation. We don’t (yet, anyway) have Internet-controlled lawn mowers, but it’s closer than you think, perhaps.
Anyway. the link to the podcast is here I I think it’s worth a listen.
Spencer’s Article and Podcast:
Now, if you aren’t going to go listen or download, here’s a couple key points I want to hit on. Like many of us, Jon was firmly locked onto to the US business pattern of last century.
- Go to school (tying yourself into unconscionable debt for years and years)
- Get a degree
- Hang around and wait and hope someone will hire you, on their terms, and for a salary roughly one third of what you bring in for the company.
But jon escaped the trap. I guess he wasn’t mired in the trap as many people still are … waiting for ‘the government’ to fix things. As if they could.
Here you’ll learn, among other things:
- Why Jon put nursing school on hold to start a landscaping business.
- How Jon got his first few customers without a crew, equipment, and living 1500 miles away. (A true lean start-up!)
- Why Jon had to write a business plan and executive summaries for his wife before leaving school.
- How niche sites and long tail keywords bring in 40% of his business.
- The importance of understanding the life-time value of a customer.
- How these online marketing tactics can be applied to any business (and local service businesses in particular).
- How average monthly billing, additional services, and “passive” tactics are all part of Jon’s plan for business growth.
You can check out the interview right here on iTunes or listen or download directly from Spencer’s site:
Here’s something else that ought to be touched on, especially since this business is in Texas. I can also hear plenty o naysayers out there making comments like, “Well of course this kid could make it work there in Texas, all he’s done is round up a bunch of illegal Wetbacks and cracks the whip over them. This idea wouldn’t work in a legal environment.”
With all the current rancor regarding “illegal” aliens in the USA I wouldn’t blame you for making that assumption.
But if you check, not only does Jon insure all his employees are ‘true blue’ Americans, he promises perfect English-speaking capabilities as well. He actually uses the built in-bias many folks have toward Mexicans in the state of Texas, but he markets his wares in a very subtle way. Look at this page, as an example: http://www.working4college.com/about-us/
OK, now what does this have to do with supporting yourself in the Philippines?
Well here’s just one way that I see.
What would prevent any one of you, working part time to start, forming a similar business (doesn’t have to be lawn care, but yard work is pretty much a recession-proof industry) in your home town area … or in any area you want to move to?
then, i=once established, keep growing the business and building up both your customer base and your cadre of dedicated employees.
using technology, such as GPS tracking to monitor what truck goes where, when, cell phone snapshots of each job completed, Skype for online interviewing and employee staff meetings, on-line accounting and time clock services, on-line banking and payroll services, just work yourself into a routine where you seldom have to leave your home in order to manage the business.
Then, when the magic day comes that you can move to the Philippines, just make the move … nothing changes, the business stays where it is, and you move instead.
I wrote an article about a similar operation here not long ago …
and there are other such stories out there, if you care enough to want to make it work, rather than think up ways it won’t work.
Let me close with something profound from my colleague Seth Godin’s blog.
Don’t wait for the right answer and the golden path to present themselves.
This is precisely why you’re stuck. Starting without seeing the end is difficult, so we often wait until we see the end, scanning relentlessly for the right way, the best way and the perfect way.
The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now.
Step by step, page by page, interaction by interaction. As you start moving, you can’t help but improve, can’t help but incrementally find yourself getting back toward your north star.
You might not end up with perfect, but it’s significantly more valuable than being stuck.
Don’t just start. Continue. Ship (Editors note: as in, “Do Something”). Repeat.
You want to figure out how to support yourself with your own business? Online or offline or a hybrid, as some of my examples frequently are?
th just gave you your business plan (or retirement plan if you already have an income) in just 113 words. Can you read it?
Just get unstuck.