I’ve started numerous businesses thus far in my life (none of them leading to financial freedom - yet...) but I’ve learned countless lessons that I intend to share.
I’ve literally had hundreds of ideas and I live with a pen and pad by my side at all times (I recommend this to all), but I will only be sharing the projects that fit the following categories:
A) I’m involved in the business or project currently.
B) The project is on hold but serious steps have been taken to progress it.
C) The project was scrapped for one reason or another - and hopefully a lesson learned.
I will list the projects below. There will be articles about each of these as I share with you what I am learning from each.
- We purchased the existing Mobile, AL franchise from the owner in 2016. The franchise sells re-manufactured ink and toner to customers. The business was run well, but we saw an opportunity to grow the business. The market is shifting and we aim to target more local businesses rather than at home consumers. We also plan to printers on a lease program where customers agree to buy ink through our channels.
Bottega Collection Boutique
- I'm now in women's fashion ha! This is an online women's clothing boutique that my wife took over. We sell young contemporary women's clothing and aim to empower women through how they feel about themselves and actions that they can take at home and in their community.
The Mobile Rundown
- We send an email weekly to our 4,800+ subscribers in our area with the top local events; we also utilize facebook
as communication tools for this business.
The Fuse Project
- A 501(c)3 non-profit that I helped start to better the social, education, and health in the lives of children in our local community.
ForeFront Real Estate LLC
- In 2011 I obtained my real estate license in order to save money on real estate listing costs for houses that we were renovating. A year later I partnered with a friend and we started our own brokerage.
Mobile House Buyers
- This is a child company of ForeFront Real Estate and is our house buying lead capture website. We currently wholesale properties to other investors and still look for good renovation deals.
Mobile Investment Property
- This is also a child company of ForeFront Real Estate and is our website for investors. They can view our current deals as well as subscribe to get deals sent to them via email.
The Southern Investor
- This is a blog that I started in 2011 based strictly on real estate investing. I post specific investing articles at this site, so if you’re interested in renovating or wholesaling single family houses it’s a solid resource for you.
ON HOLD PROJECTS:
Bi-Weekly Hip Hop at The Dumas Wesley Center
- After not having success at finding the right people to start a hip hop dance crew, we decided to bring dance to the community center as a way to bring folks together with fun and dance.
Alabama Right of Redemption eBook - The top search on The Southern Investor blog is regarding Alabama Right of Redemption. I decided to develop an eBook to sell regarding foreclosure redemption laws in the state of Alabama. The book is finally written (it takes time, I will tell you!) but the project is currently on hold in order to solidify other projects. It could possibly be scrapped, but has been a great initiation into the world of digital products.
BPO digital product - BPO stands for ‘broker price opinion’ and is a valuation done by a licensed real estate professional (similar to an appraisal). My business partner does approximately 25 per week and has become a local expert. We would like to create a membership website where agents interested in creating an income from performing BPOs can come to gather information and expertise.
COMPLETED or SCRAPPED PROJECTS:
- Furniture-Art-Design-Fabrication. This is what we do. Our art isn’t just art – it’s functional art. Each piece has a story – its own sentiment. Nurtured back to life by hand with re-purposed material. Modern Industrial pieces where we promise “no two are exactly alike.” [we dissolved this LLC in 2016 due to different directions of the business partners. It was a fun and unique experience].
Port City Properties LLC - This company was my introduction into real estate. I partnered with a top local investor that I became good friends with and we created Port City Properties, dubbed PCP. We renovated 12-15 properties and sold many more wholesale to investors. We only dissolved this company due to us going in separate directions with our business goals. But I’m proud to say that he’s still an incredible friend and we still do a large amount of business today!
Digital Memories - When I returned from New Zealand I bought a high quality scanner in order to digitize all of our family photo albums. I decided that others would want this service so I created a site, cards, and fliers. I put them out over 100 in my neighborhood and received 0 calls. That’s right, zero. Maybe I should have made my sample 500 houses. Maybe I should have just knocked on doors and asked if they needed my service. Either way, I know that people need it, but I can’t make a horse drink and I didn’t have time to wait. So I sold the scanner close for what I purchased it for and basically had all of my family photos scanned at no cost. Works for me.
Quixtar - When I was at Auburn I was approached with an exciting network marketing opportunity. Quixtar was basically Amway re-branded into a new hip online strategy (they have since been renamed Amway). In general, there is a lot to learn from these opportunities - how to sell, how to work with people, understanding the operations of a small business, among others. The biggest takeaway that I have from these types of businesses is this: don’t get sold on the hype. It’s exciting and it’s supposed to be. But at the end of the day you have to look at the product being sold and the price point and usefulness of that product. If it’s not a product that you would be excited to buy yourself as a consumer, then why would you want to go into business selling it?
Mass Nexus - This was my introduction into business, although we never did any real business. It’s included on this list because my business partner and I had tons of meetings where we brainstormed, masterminded, and came up with fresh ideas. We also paid an attorney approximately $700 to set up our LLC. So we were legit, right? One of our main ideas was to create a website called TestBook that would be a site where college students could basically post and sell their class notes online. We scrapped it, but my friend Ryan is doing incredible work today and I think we both grew and learned from it.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: (I have chosen a select from from a master list of business ideas I have -- they're for your enjoyment; feel free to laugh out loud)
Virtual Gong Website - create a site that gives you a gong sound and has other fun things whenever you accomplish a goal or task. Ha, VirtualGong.com
is still available as of this writing if you want to create it - I'd love to hit the gong first!
Baby Class for Fathers - catered towards men, it would be "What to Expect When You're Expecting" for the bros.
Create a DJ School online - DJ classes with video tutorials, live training, group music projects, etc.
Create a pool exercise DVD - I looked at one point and didn't see any good ones, but the pool is one of the best places to do incredible workouts beyond just swimming laps.
Form a hip hop dance studio - nothing in our town is currently catered to the adult crowd and I know there's a demand.
Watchology - it would be the Netflix for dress watches; my buddy already created the subscription model for neck ties with www.tietry.com
Dry Cleaning Delivered - Sounded good; does this already exist?
Create an eBook for Section 8 real estate investors - educating investors on this type of real estate investment.