To those in financial distress, more adviceSubmitted by Oyate on Tue, 01/27/2009 - 04:29
I wanted everybody to know I pray for all of us and our nation daily.
I know you guys are doing sensible thing like gardening and I really like the guy with the preparedness products business idea. Just a couple other ideas/thoughts I hope might help someone. I've been well off and I've been poor. I know life from both sides. The first ideas are for those who need food on the table but I'll work around to some ideas for those of us with at least some working capital left.
1. It takes way more smarts to survive with nothing than to stay rich once you are there. You have to be ready to seize every opportunity no matter how small. Some of you were talking about snow shoveling and that's right on, when it snows, grab that shovel, bundle up and go door to door to dig cars out and shovel driveways. When it's warner, grab yourself a bucket and a squeegee and walk down mainstreet cleaning windows. Look after your elderlies--they might not be able to afford expensive, in-home care but they need some help now and then. Babysitting is always a standbye. And it sounds like practically everybody needs firewood this winter. Don't worry about which one of these you want to do, you want to do all of them. You are trying to build a client-base.
2. For all these services as well as raking leaves, handyman work, screw advertising in the paper. All you will do is sit by the phone waiting for it to ring. Get out, go door to door, and distribute inexpensive flyers. Half-sheet of paper flyers you print one out of on a computer then Xerox off a bunch at the cheap copy place ($0.10 at the copy shop or $0.20-0.3. per sheet with your printer) and hand them out. Hit the streets. Another hint, if you don't have a phone to get messages, get to the local convenience store and make a deal with them to handle it for you. Being friends with the local (not the franchise) convenience store is key in hard times.
3. Any of you in serious trouble that is eligible for SSI or SSD insurance but was too proud to take it till now, it's time to suck it up. Same goes with food stamps. You can volunteer time at the local free food bank to repay kindness, plus they hook you up with the good stuff. I'm sorry people but you've paid into it your whole working lives. If you get a little something back when you need it I'm glad.
4. To the young and strong, don't hesitate to investigate stories of plenty of work in LA, TX, WY and other areas. You don't want to be sitting around unemployed. Just look before you leap. Find out what specific towns are hiring and what cheap rentals/hotels are around there. Don't discount the stories on these boards that areas that are hiring also have attendant service industries (read: spouse can get a job too).
5. Of course there's nothing like being self-employed. There are some good margin businesses you don't need a degree or a bank loan for. I like food service when the chips are down. Hot dog carts can be real honeys in the right place. Hot dogs were the "depression sandwich". Catering can be a sweetheart deal and you don't need your own commercial kitchen, just some good local chefs that understand how to wholesale food out to you. And for all you bakers who just know you can market your chocolates and cookies, your commercial kitchen is probably at a local church where they have a code-compliant facility. Just make a deal for the use of the kitchen and deliver your product. These are just examples of low-cost-of-entry types of things. But they are very different examples. With hot dogs, you offer people cheap eats where they are hungry. With chocolates it's a bit different.
6. If you ran a business, you probably know how to run a business. It's tax time. Know how to fill out those dreadful forms? Quickbooks? Peachtree? Lots of people need help.
7. If you are fighting to stay in buinsess and you service your local market, this could be a life saver. I'm a web developer myself, and I'm amazed at how LITTLE it takes to OWN some markets online, and this can be a massive life saver. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU SERVICE PEOPLE should have a website targeting your specific local with your services. I never thought of it till now when some people asked me for help (in other words people who can't afford to pay me) and the results in many cases are out of this world.
8. If you are sitting on any kind of inventory you need to unload and you aren't using the power of the almighty internet, you need a geek marketer. I've come in for commission for deals like that. Furthermore, if you have a business or marketing idea on the internet, totally don't hesitate to start calling web developers to see if they want to do a deal. About 35% of web developers will listen to a deal proposal thoroughly and ask serious questions.
9. If you manufacture anything that Chinese people don't have, I want to hear about it. International trade is coming within the grasp of the small business or entrepreneur. I'm not talking about outsourcing anything to China folks, much the opposite. I'm serious, we're within reach of trading some of our unique value and products globally. A by-product of the patriot movement is turning out to be how we're....um.....globalized. OK, that was such a bad word to describe it to you folks right? Oh man.
Hey, just some thoughts. I was trying to think "now what can I tell them they don't already know?" But sometimes ideas give you ideas of your own.