$5,000 to invest - what would you do?

36 replies
Hi,

As you can tell by my name my normal habitat is the copywriting forum.

But I really need your help.

A friend of mine has been laid off at work and doesn't want to get another grinding 9-5 job.

He's got $5,000 to invest to start an owner owned business not a franchise (maybe with his good wife who is stressed out at her job).

The criteria is -

It has to be offline - they know nothing about the internet (I'm not even sure if they have a computer).

Nothing too physical (they are in their 50's and she has a bad back).

Nothing where they have to make something complicated (they are not, how can I say "technically" minded).

On the positive side - they are very hard working and evening work is fine.

They don't expect to get rich quick.

They do realise they start slowly and build things up.

They are really nice, friendly people, based in the UK.

Any ideas would be gratefully appreciated.

Or if you know of any good websites or books that suggest ideas for "starting your own business" I can grab the details and pass them on.


1000 Thanks,


Steve
#invest
  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I don't know about the UK but here in the states vape shops are opening up like crazy. Insanely high growth potential, growing market, easy to get started. Inventory, juice, etc. should be relatively cheap to get started. I'm actually on the verge of getting into that industry over here as well.

    Very low start up costs... biggest cost would be retail location, and since commercial real estate is down (at least here) there are great deals to be had.
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    • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I don't know about the UK but here in the states vape shops are opening up like crazy. Insanely high growth potential, growing market, easy to get started. Inventory, juice, etc. should be relatively cheap to get started. I'm actually on the verge of getting into that industry over here as well.

      Very low start up costs... biggest cost would be retail location, and since commercial real estate is down (at least here) there are great deals to be had.
      The Industry is operating like the wild west for the most part and littered with cowboys, because everything is so easy to get into, everybody and their dog is buying into and more than often they are clueless & married to dumb and dumber.

      This combined with many of those cowboys probably being kids in undies after school knocking up a site and selling cheap clones combined with no business license, taxes or any insurances etc, where people mix and make juice in every outhouse, dirty kitchen sink, or squaller conditions, you challenge is to play in the mud with these people. San Quintons jail yard looks like a playground compared to the crap that floats around.

      Now mix this with possibly every original bit of kit sooner or later being cloned, and for the better part most vapers wanting everything cheaper than cheap, it is a hard gig to get into and work through the mud and crap.

      Lastly worldwide you have the opposite force where people / big tobacco, health groups and the general nanny states all fighting to close things down so that they may save the whales and tree's and you have an uncertainty of building any solid future not knowing where any country / state laws will fall as things go forward, making it hard to get a balance or a mindset on building a solid future, it is just a little hard to do that right now.

      You could easily, being green and not knowing about every single product and getting a feel for vapers and how they buy, spend your 5K in a blink of and eye and end up with a bucket of yesterdays crap that nobody is buying anymore.

      good luck with it but do a lot of homework first and know the state of play before walking out to the batters plate.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    Does the U.K. have and alternative to the USPS's Every Door Direct Mail?

    If so... Bob Ross!
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    You could do a search but there was a guy here for a little while that was flipping washing machines and dryers and claimed to make good money. I'm pretty sure that's a legitimate option. They aren't that complex and from your everyday homeowner to apartment communities people have need for them. When they break people often just get rid of them and get new, but there is always a need for cheap machines in the lower income market.

    Maybe they could pick up discarded furniture, refinish and repair it, and flip that as well. There are lots of opportunities like that.

    My wife and I clean houses and I've gotten into mobile auto detailing and carpet cleaning over the years, but that is fairly physical work. We are self-employed and have been for 14 years doing this, but many do take it and make actual businesses with employees out of it and swap doing the actual labor for managing the labor and running the business side only. We just don't want the headaches of employees and choose to stay just the two of us.
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  • Profile picture of the author wsands
    Why not use that $5k to get some sort of professional license? Insurance adjuster or something?
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Contact companies and ask them to buy their old cell phones for 1/3rd of their retail value.

    Take care of everything, shipping,etc. Sell for profit on kijiji,craigslist and ebay or other resellers.

    A solo operator can make a decent income with just a computer and a phone doing that but you have to be organized.
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    • Profile picture of the author SeoDust
      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

      Contact companies and ask them to buy their old cell phones for 1/3rd of their retail value.

      Take care of everything, shipping,etc. Sell for profit on kijiji,craigslist and ebay or other resellers.

      A solo operator can make a decent income with just a computer and a phone doing that but you have to be organized.
      Can confirm this works. This is similar to what I did a few years ago when iphones were really popular. Only difference is I targeted those cell repair kiosks in malls and 3rd party cell phone shops.
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  • Profile picture of the author eltonpiko
    one thing they can do is look for properties to buy which has low down payment and then they can rent it out.The rent money will pay the mortgage and give them a profit that will be a start. Or they can look for properties and look for buyers so they can get a commission on each sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
    Helping them without knowing them would be short of impossible. If you search this forum there are dozens of I have X amount of cash what should I do with it.
    The anwer is always the same. We don't know what do you think YOU could do with it with your skills etc.. when you decide let us know and we can help.

    Also the $5,000 amount means nothing so you can remove it from the equation. Good ideas can always raise money.

    If they were my friends I would ask myself these questions.

    How long can he be without income before it causes serious financial issues?
    If the answer is less than a year he needs to get a job, any job yesterday.

    How long can he be without income before it causes him depression or puts significant strain on his relationship since his wife is already stressed etc... I bet its already causing stress. At that age heart attacks just happen, if ANY job relieves that its worth doing.

    Your heart is in the right place but do you think it will matter what you find or suggest?

    The profile here is 50+ worker bees that are nice people but not into searching. Not even owning a computer suggests that new ideas etc.. is not big on their list. They are now hitting the ages where their life decisions will come home to roost. I have dozens of friends like this. Very few have made major life changes like owning a business. The very few that did were insanely hungry for change and took the initiative themselves and only needed very little support after getting started.

    I near drove myself nuts suggesting what I believed were obvious life changes for friends but then figured out they are only obvious and workable for me due to my specific risk tolerances, personality etc...

    When he shows up at your door with a new laptop under his arm and says show me how to use this damn thing help him.

    When he shows up and says I started this business I need your help writing my flyers help him.

    Until then he needs to drive the initial idea, then you can get behind him.
    Further to that based on what you know of their finances and the other issues I mentioned above the best thing you might be able to do for him is tell him to get a job. If he is so motivated to change just you telling him to get a job will push him further to owning a business.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    As you may appreciate, it's not a matter of having $5,000 to work with. It's about being the right people. I hear about bad backs, age and computer illiteracy, but I don't care about their weaknesses as much as I care knowing what their strengths are. "Hard working" is good, it's necessary... but exactly in what areas do they excel?
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    • Profile picture of the author joshril
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      As you may appreciate, it's not a matter of having $5,000 to work with. It's about being the right people. I hear about bad backs, age and computer illiteracy, but I don't care about their weaknesses as much as I care knowing what their strengths are. "Hard working" is good, it's necessary... but exactly in what areas do they excel?
      Misterme is right...

      What are their strengths?

      There are thousands of businesses that can be started with $5,000...

      The downside of getting into business with just $5,000 is that there is a very low barrier to entry, which was already pointed out that many people may be entering that same space and causing problems... vape shops... even online marketing... haha.

      I would probably recommend a service based business depending on skill set with that sort of investment to get started.

      Thanks,


      Josh
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  • Thanks everyone and great answers.

    I know without knowing them and what their abilities are its almost impossible to give concise ideas.

    I guess you would call them unskilled blue collar workers.

    And certainly they have escaped from the wonders of technology (i.e. no computer).

    But they are hard working, reliable, ethical and willing to try something new.

    They have such pleasant personas - you can't help but like them.

    They aren't "salespeople" as such but with a bit of coaching they probably could "sell" something.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author bonvideo
    1. Start a new business implies Learning new things and skills.
    2. Direct selling could be a good approach. I suggest silver jewelry direct selling
    3. Can you get involved and help them in some way ex. Taking charge of the tech side of business?
    4. A real estate license could be a good start. People tend to trust to older sellers (again learning is key)
    5. They should split and try two ideas, this way they do not put all their eggs in one basket. One could try a venture while the other should go looking for a nine to five job maybe.
    6. Maybe dog breeding could be a good option think of expensive Chihuahas, with one single website they will be in business!

    If you need more ideas let me know! I will be glad to help

    All the Best!
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Steve there is the bouncy castle business.

      Since it's weekend work/fun mostly,
      it's an opportunity for them to carry on with their day jobs
      until this gets to the point of replacing their job incomes.

      Obviously I don't know their market conditions
      for such a enterprise.

      Here's where you locate the bouncy castles
      direct from manufacturers.

      Bouncy Castle-Bouncy Castle Manufacturers, Suppliers and Exporters on Alibaba.comInflatable Bouncer

      Another angle is to be wholesaling them into the UK market.

      Since you say they seem very personable,
      then chatting with mum's and dad's could
      come naturally to them.

      Of course your advertising skills could help them immensely.

      Do you have a Laptop or do they have a smartphone
      so they can see the Alibaba listings?
      That will gauge their interest level.

      Best,
      Doctor E. Vile
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      • Profile picture of the author Importexport
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Steve there is the bouncy castle business.

        Here's where you locate the bouncy castles
        direct from manufacturers.

        Bouncy Castle-Bouncy Castle Manufacturers, Suppliers and Exporters on Alibaba.comInflatable Bouncer

        Another angle is to be wholesaling them into the UK market.

        Best,
        Doctor E. Vile
        Bouncy castles might be a great business, but I'm sorry but I must correct the Alibaba part of your post. There are very few manufacturers among the suppliers listed in the Alibaba link provided.

        Alibaba is full of listings by traders falsely claiming to be manufacturers.

        Newbies are taking big risks in trying to buy overseas as though they were shopping at the corner store. It is important to learn something about safe sourcing before your risk your money.

        "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          For years, I have bought and sold products by advertising in classified ads. The new version of that is E-Bay, of course.

          But for several years, I bought air purifiers by advertising in "Wanted to buy", and sold them for much more in the "Merchandise for sale" column.

          I don't go to garage sales, but it's an option. I bought liquidations, and from businesses that are closing.

          It takes no sales skills, just knowing how much to pay, and what sells. You can do it with appliances, furniture, tools, books, ( I made serious money as a teenager, buying and selling comic books), cars, just about anything that holds its value.

          I bought 200 nice hotel chairs for $5 each. I cleaned them, and sold them a week later for $35 each.

          You just buy from people that need money, and sell to people who need what you have, at a huge discount.

          If they have to, they can hire any kid to list their stuff on E-Bay.
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          • Profile picture of the author DABK
            A niece of mine does that. Goes to garage sales, gets tables, desks, chest of drawers, nothing else, for $0-25, hauls them home, cleans them, repaints or adds patches of paint (sounds odd but she makes them look good), sells them.

            The day I found out she was doing that, she'd gotten a chest of drawers for $10. Two days later she'd sold it for $125.

            The drawback, because of the size of some of those things, she has to enlist help.

            It seems, on average, picking stuff up takes about 1 hour, getting it ready to sell 40 minutes. On average, she ends up with $65-70 per item. That's some $39/hour of work, if she's calculating things correctly.

            Around here, that's pretty good money, especially for a 21-year old.


            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            For years, I have bought and sold products by advertising in classified ads. The new version of that is E-Bay, of course.

            But for several years, I bought air purifiers by advertising in "Wanted to buy", and sold them for much more in the "Merchandise for sale" column.

            I don't go to garage sales, but it's an option. I bought liquidations, and from businesses that are closing.

            It takes no sales skills, just knowing how much to pay, and what sells. You can do it with appliances, furniture, tools, books, ( I made serious money as a teenager, buying and selling comic books), cars, just about anything that holds its value.

            I bought 200 nice hotel chairs for $5 each. I cleaned them, and sold them a week later for $35 each.

            You just buy from people that need money, and sell to people who need what you have, at a huge discount.

            If they have to, they can hire any kid to list their stuff on E-Bay.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    I'm more aligned with Plessard here. Some are meant to be self-employed
    and some are not. They don't sound like they have drive. $5,000 to live on and/or
    start a business is nada, zip, zed.

    However:

    Since they are not techie, buy merchandise low and sell high
    at flea markets or perhaps a mall or street kiosk. Nice looking costume jewelry
    comes to mind. It's been a while, but the numbers are probably roughly
    the same: earrings for $2, sell for $18. If flea markets, they have to research
    and sell something that everybody else is not selling.

    Or, maybe they could sell your flyer/copy services?

    Lorel Langmeyer (sp?) is a "millionaire maker" - self titled I think. Fluke or
    not, I will agree with her suggesting that people start their first business in
    an area they know about because the learning curve in starting and running
    a business is steep.

    What do they know about?

    What interests or hobbies do they have that can be monetized?

    Any skills - such as woodworking, sewing, knitting - that you don't know they
    have that can be monetized?

    Maybe a home or office cleaning service?

    Any services needed by their employers, or former employers?
    (I used to work at Coors brewery and every so often they need to clean
    the conveyor lines that the empty cans ride on to the filler. An ex-employee now
    provides that service. The process involves shooting pellets of dry ice.)

    My 2c.

    Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author edusegzy1
    i would invest in educating my mind about investing. In the short run, the ROI is low. In the long run the ROI is infinite.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Might want to consider going into the mobile marketing space, they don't have to be tech savvy to understand the idea of a business texting their customer base new promotions and updates to drive business.

    This space is also growing exponentially so they're in a market where the growth is already there.
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  • Profile picture of the author MrRodrigue
    Definitely give a chance to your very own offline marketing campaign and see how it goes!
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  • Profile picture of the author Gladiator
    This thread is almost a year old! I wonder if the OP did anything at all?

    However I will have something the next week that will change your life and make big bank!
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by Gladiator View Post

      This thread is almost a year old! I wonder if the OP did anything at all?

      However I will have something the next week that will change your life and make big bank!
      Yes!

      I can't wait!

      Just tell me where to send the money!!
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      • Profile picture of the author Gladiator
        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        Yes!

        I can't wait!

        Just tell me where to send the money!!
        1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20500, United States
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  • Profile picture of the author JeffreyMichel
    Would definitely create own product and market the hell out of it with that fund
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    I realize this is an old thread but for anyone that reads this - if you find yourself without a job suddenly (laid off, fired, etc) and all you have is $5000, go get another job. Use the $5000 to pay your mortgage or rent and use it to feed ur family.

    Don't go chasing a pipe dream when you are under the gun. That would be dumb.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkHarnois
    I would go for high ticket sales, find a partner who can create the course and back up the project with your fund, you will do really well if you know how to do traffic part..
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  • Profile picture of the author gupta78
    Check out the Market demand, and Supply products accordingly. Start with small scale and gradually increase.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    With those resources, I would seriously talk to people to get into the arbitrage business, buying and selling digital goods and services.

    You’d be surprised as to how many contest websites pay for $5 designs found on Fiverr.

    This cuts across the board.

    We’re not just talking about logos here.

    Even banners can fetch quite a pretty penny if you pitch it in front of the right eyeballs.

    Arbitrage is big.

    There are all sorts of services, there’s all sorts of digital products that you can buy low at certain places on the internet and sell high at other places.

    You really just need to know where to look.

    Also, you need to build trust with the right vendors and set up the right relationships.

    A great place to start as far as developing a network of buyers that would pay top dollar is LinkedIn.

    You might want to consider LinkedIn groups and others.

    In fact, a lot of my e-book writing services are sold through resellers.

    People do arbitrage with my writing services.

    I don’t really mind because as long as they pay my basic rate, I’m happy.

    But I’ve been told that people have flipped my services up to four times their value.

    So, with your $5000 in investment, you might want to look into building websites that do digital arbitrage and devote a lot of the funds to building a solid online brand.

    That’s just one idea but never underestimate the power of arbitrage whether you’re dealing with fixed digital products or online services.
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    LOL>>>> I love it when we drag up an old thread...but there is always the air of mystery

    what happened? Did Ma and Pa take the $5k and find a fabulous biz and are now working a few hours a day and living in Ibbiza?

    Or did they lose the 5k and have to take a drudgy job ?

    Did they ever get a computer? Inquiring minds want to know
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  • Profile picture of the author RTSteam
    I don't know whether this would be good enough for them but how about food business. A good food and catering service will never go out of business. It is not as complicated as it sounds like and is something that they can easily learn. Since they are hard working individuals and are willing to learn, this would fit them really well. I also believe that $5,000 might be enough to start a simple home based food business. They just need someone to give them a nudge and support them while they are just starting and you might be the perfect guy for that spot.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenwatson011
    Banned
    You can start a Book Shop and it does not involve too much activity.
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  • Profile picture of the author colzinfobiz
    Unless I missed the point - there is a lot of business tech talk. I thought this guy was tech illiterate.
    Steve's copy writing skill's should then be enough to set his mate up. No worries about internet....with copy writing skills he could phone or go into almost any small business and offer a copy writing sales makeover for their current advertising campaigns.
    I'm sure their would be plenty of businesses in their area in need this type of help - even if he had to start offering a small free service to get his foot in the door.
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  • Thanks everyone.

    I did pass on many of the suggestions.

    If I could I would tell what happened.

    But…I can't get hold of them to find out.

    I'm hoping they are doing well.


    Steve
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