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MillDollQuick - How Can I Make a Million Dollars Quickly?

 

This page is not just another scam. If you think it is a scam and move on, you wouldn’t know what you missed!

 

Conversely, if you are looking for help to make a million dollars overnight with little or no work, we’re afraid this page does not contain any such secrets. Just to let you know, there are no such secrets.

 

 

! Earn Money by Just Searching @ Slash My Search 

 

Objective of MillDollQuick

 

The MillDollQuick section @ The Billion Dollar Site is about making a million dollars quickly. This section is not about making a million dollars, it is about making a million dollars quickly (within 3-4 years). This section is not about succeeding in business, it is about succeeding in business quickly, in monetary terms.

 

The MillDollQuick section provides inputs on strategies, steps to be taken, and hundreds of case studies, references, article, blogs and other web resources for those who wish to make a million dollars in a short period of time.

 

While there is a specific emphasis on business-based success, MillDollQuick also provides a number of resources to make a million dollars quickly, without having to start a formal business.

 

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MillDollQuick will be of use to the following audience

 

1. Persons wishing to know smart ways by which to make a million dollars quickly.

2. A person who has no previous business experience wishing to make a million dollars quickly by starting a business from scratch

3. An entrepreneur who is currently running a business and would like his business to generate much higher returns than what it does presently.

4. Persons wishing to know information about attractive business opportunities that they can use either in their current jobs or to plan a new business.

 

Comprising a number of useful insights, case studies & examples, MillDollQuick provides a comprehensive reference resource that can be used continuously by the million dollar hunters. And it is free.

 

We hope you find MillDollQuick to be of use.

 

Tell Us: If you feel you need inputs and web resources added @ MillDollQuick for any related aspects, please send us your questions and suggestions, and we will try our best to answer them and provide relevant resources. You may kindly send your questions to [narsi] at [esource] dot [in] (please remove the []s and change the at & dot to @ & . to get a proper email address) . We look forward to hearing from you.

 

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MillDollQuick - How Can I Make a Million Dollars Quickly?

 

Be honest – haven’t you asked this question to yourself at least once, more likely many times?

 

As popular this question might be, this is still one question for which there’s more noise than sense in most answers. Most of us would have come across so-called gurus who promise that their 50 $ book containing “powerful secrets” will make you a millionaire many times over within a year. All we know is that we have not really met a single person who has been able to make a million dollars with the help of those “powerful ideas”. Under such circumstances, we are forced to look for answers elsewhere. Thus starts this journey to find the answer to the question “How do I make a million dollars quickly?”

 

During our researches of case studies and fundamental principles for making a million dollars quickly, there was one common strain we found in almost all examples: Making a million dollars quickly almost always required a good amount of hard work and smart work. You might be the lucky guy who found a 100-carat diamond on your ranch, or the next PowerBall winner, but outside of these miraculous happenings, what is said earlier in the paragraph will hold good.

 

Get the two words etched in your mind – hard and smart. You need both in order make a million dollars quickly (say within 3-4 years), possibly starting from scratch and having only minimal resources. Hard work alone could make you a millionaire – but it will likely take very long. Smart work alone could make you a millionaire quickly – but you will need a good dose of luck without hard work. If your effort has both the hard and smart components, the likelihood of your making a million $ quickly increases tremendously.

 

So remember the formula folks: Hard + Smart = Rich + Quick.

 

No surprises there.

 

With this fundamental principle ( hard+smart = rich+quick) in mind, this section looks at making a million dollars quickly from two streams:

 

  1. By starting & succeeding in a business
  2. Through investments and similar efforts

 

The focus of this section is primarily on the first avenue - starting and succeeding quickly in a business - and the second stream is discussed at length in other sections of Billion Dollar Questions.

 

We have also provided resources & references for making a million dollars quickly from timely and smart ideas (which need not exactly be formal business ideas), as well resources for high paying careers – after all, it does not hurt if you become a millionaire by drawing a salary, does it? In our opinion however, the chances of an average Joe making a million dollars in 3-4 years from very super-smart ideas or from very high paying careers are low, but yes, the opportunities exist.

 

MillDollQuick - Making a Million Dollars by Starting the Right Business & Doing the Right Things

 

Except for the sheikhs of the middle east, most of the top 100 billionaires in the world made it there by starting and making their business successful – or their dads or grand-dads had gotten there the same way and these lucky folks simply inherited the fortunes. (See the list of billionaires for 2006 here). There are a few exceptions to these: Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft is in the top 100 and he did not start a business, for instance (though he has been with Microsoft for a long time). But overall, most of the non-sheikh very rich guys got there by starting a business.

 

Let’s talk about a million dollars- and not billions - because a million $ is how much we wish to have in our bank account. In the case of millionaires, you will find that quite a few of them made a million through salaries - by working for others. If you are an MBA from an Ivy League school, a top-notch programmer, a doctor in great demand, an engineer at a blue chip firm, or a top-class lawyer at a big law firm, and you have managed your investments and expenses wisely there is a reasonable chance you can have a million dollars in your bank account within the first ten years of your work. But within 3-4 years? Unlikely, unless you are in a pretty senior position in your job already, or a really lucky computer whiz kid.

 

There is of course one another profession where people make a million dollars quickly – the show biz profession which today can be considered to include books, films, music and sports. But as we all know, making it big in these professions is not easy unless you are truly gifted with talent or looks.

 

We are not ruling out the possibility of someone making a million dollars in 3-4 years from employment. We are only saying such cases are rare and are rather the exceptions than the rule. We have provided a list of professions that has high pay packets is provided at the Reference section

 

For the rest of us, who are not celebrities, who cannot count on our educational degrees, computer programming skills or being employed in one of those niche high paying professions, the best chance of making a million dollars quickly comes from starting a business and succeeding in it. Continue buying your lottery tickets by all means, but don’t count on them!

 

This section will hence analyse what it takes to make good money in business quickly.

 

Notes:

  1. How quick is quick? We’d consider 3-4 years to be “quick”.
  2. This section is not about how to succeed in business, though some of the ideas discussed here could help on that front too. This section is about how to succeed in business quickly, in monetary terms.

 

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The two step process to making a million dollars quickly from your business

 

Before we derive the two steps that have the potential to lead you to quick business success, let’s look at a key dimension that facilitates quick business success – Attractive Unique Niches.

 

If the term Attractive Unique Niches sounds sophisticated to you, you can look at it this way: You wish to achieve something extra-ordinary (making a million dollars quickly, say in 3-4 years, starting from scratch). It follows that you need to do something extra-ordinary to achieve that. You will have no qualms accepting this logic. The question however, is, what is the extra-ordinary thing you should do?

 

Extra-ordinary does not mean fantastic, it just means out of the ordinary. The “extra-ordinary” business idea you need to figure out is something that can (a) add high value and hence has excellent monetary potential, (b) is different from the “ordinary” that exist already (unique), and (c) is a niche area as against a very broad opportunity. This combination of high-value (to the customer as well as to you), uniqueness & niche focus facilitates any business to scale fast and make a million dollars profit in a short period of time. Let’s call this combination the attractive (high-value) unique (different) niche (narrow focus).

 

The two-step solution for making a million dollars in quick time boils down to the following:

 

(a) Identifying an attractive unique niche

(b) Exploiting it by spending all your energies on this niche.

 

We’ll spend the next few sections on expanding on each of the above.

 

MillDollQuick - Identifying An Attractive Super-niche

 

You might be surprised we have mentioned a new term “super-niche” instead of niche. We will soon explain that.

 

Identifying Niches

 

Every one who starts a business wishes to cater to a largest number of people possible, right away, with a product that can do many, many things. But this is the worst possible strategy for any business just starting off and is short on resources.

 

The best way to tap into the potential of a market is to narrow your focus to one or two very specific niches within a target market group.

 

Most buyers out there, when given the choice, would rather hire someone who has specific expertise and emphasis on their type of business or need. When you become the preferred choice, or when you start to get calls from companies whose market you excel in, price is no longer the driving issue, at least not the only driving issue.

 

When you are in a niche, your competition is relatively less, you get talked about soon and thus your customers will likely market for you for free, and you can get higher margins / profits on your products. True, operating in niche markets does not sound as glamorous as operating in global markets with hundreds of offices and thousands of salesmen, but this unglamorous but extremely powerful method is the key to small business success.

 

Are you being smart? – Think back on what your strengths are. Try to recall what people usually credited you with. Is it your ability to talk and sell anything, or your ability to write well, or your skills at technology & gadgets? An idea of your strengths could enable you to identify a suitable niche quicker.

 

Looking for Niches

 

Before you even start looking for a niche, develop a mindset and an attitude that constantly look for niches. Keep reminding yourself when you review any idea that you have to evaluate if it passes the “Niche Test”.

 

So, where does one look for niches?

 

Existing Client Base – If you are already operating a business, take a look at your current client base. Where do your revenues come from now? Don't forget the 80/20 rule. Do 80% of your profits come from one or two services or products? In some cases it can simply be a matter of focusing on your existing client bases but repositioning the way you add value to these client bases!

 

Centers of Influence - Where do you have a large number of contacts? Your church, your religion, your school, a hobby, an Association, a part of town? Perhaps there is an attractive idea lurking in these places! Talk to your contact in these places where you have influence. Try finding out if there are unsolved problems / needs that you can relate to and find a solution for.

 

Competition - Sometimes niches present themselves by way of what your competitors are doing – or not doing. You can identify a niche by observing a competitor being successful in that niche, or by identifying gaps that your competitor is not serving. (see McKinsey Quarterly for regular industry-wise strategy updates)

 

Internet Search Words - One of the ways to hunt for potential niches is find out what people are searching for on the Internet. One of the sites you can use in this regard is a service called Overture, part of Yahoo today, or you can use keyword databases from ad services such as Google AdSense. Similar to Google AdSense, Overture is a pay-per-click web advertising service (in fact Overture pioneered it and it was later imitated by Google) but for "niche hunting" they offer a tool that allows you to type in a keyword, such as software training, and see how many people have searched on that and related terms in the last month. The Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool can be found @ http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/.

 

Read Business Newspapers, preferably 2-3 Everyday – However plain such an idea sounds, it has enormous potential. As mentioned earlier, a new idea need not be entirely new in the context of achieving success. It can be an old or existing idea applied to a new market. Business newspapers and periodicals have enough information everyday about how many businesses are achieving success all over the world. It costs little or perhaps nothing to lay your hands on these treasure troves. Why would you not do it?

 

Read Relevant Web Sites & Blogs Regularly – This point implies pretty much the same as what the earlier one does. Just one small note. Place special emphasis on blogs and read the blogs you select regularly. They are powerful vehicles for ideas. See a list of useful blogs we have listed in the reference section below.

 

Read/watch news & media sources that provide regular inputs on current and future trends - These could either be specific sections of your newspaper or your popular web portal, or specific TV programmes, or could even be those special friends who have a nose for what is going to be big in future. A list of online resources providing business & opportunity trends are listed in the Reference section below.

 

Identifying niches using the “Method of Categories” – This is a rather straight-forward, though possibly a long-winded method, useful for those who do not have a specific niche target segment or a short list of target segments in mind while starting the identification and further exploration of niche segments. To use this method, you need to have a broad idea of the domain or market you wish to operate in. Let’s say you have decided, based on empirical data and personal insights, that you wish to start a business in the software industry. We all know that the software industry is an ocean, and there are hundreds – if not thousands - of niche segments possible within this broad domain. So how do you go about arriving at a short-list of niche domains that you can further assess?

 

Using the “Method of Categories”, you try to divide/classify the software industry into further sub-divisions. You do this exercise not in your mind, as most of us try to do when asked for a list of sub-divisions, but you allocate a good number of hours (for something like software, this could be 25-30 hours) for doing this segmentation on paper. For the software industry, the first level of sub-divisions would go something like: (a) Operating Systems, (b) Software Applications, (c) Databases, (d) Programming & Development, (e) Internet & Web Software, (f) Mainframe & Legacy Software, (g) Consulting & Support. While ideally you should strive for a mutually exclusive and cumulatively exhaustive list of categories, don’t be too harsh on yourself in this regard, and arrive at a first-level list that is fairly comprehensive and in which each division is quite distinct from the others. Now take each of the elements in the first level (Operating Systems, Software Applications etc) and divide each of these further in the same manner. You might want to do one further level of sub-categorisation after this to have arrived at a good number of niche segments. Your list will look something like this at the end of this exercise, and could comprise over 250 categories – if you wish to be more meticulous, you might have over 500 categories by end of this exercise.

 

As mentioned above, do not try to finish off this sub-categorisation exercise in a couple of hours by simply jotting down the most obvious domains that are known to you. Plan this exercise over a period of 10 days and do quick research on the Internet using readily available categories such as those of Yahoo, Open Directory, Business.com. While this exercise would appear rather academic in nature, at the end of the exercise you will be surprised at the number of smaller domains you had not thought of in the final list you arrive at.

 

Once you have a pretty large list of market segments / categories, eliminate from this list those categories you feel are irrelevant or impossible. Doing this elimination process, consult with relevant friends or industry people if you have doubts about a particular category. Use any existing research material or do additional research using the web during this elimination process. The idea is to have a short list of not more than 25 categories at the end of this elimination. Use this list as a basis for your final choice.

 

So there you are! It takes a while to arrive at a comprehensive list of niche domains that serves as the starting point for further evaluation and analysis, but most often than not, this is time well spent.

 

Are you being smart? – Instead of doing all the research work yourself, you might want to pay a bright college kid some pocket money and ask him/her to do the data collection work while you spend your time more usefully on analyzing the data

 

After you have identified a short list of niche domains… 

 

The niche and the super-niche…

 

What you have right now is a list of niches. Your next step should be to identify super-niches.

 

A super-niche can be defined as a niche within a niche. If you think a niche has narrow focus, a super-niche has a narrower focus.

 

It is ideal if you could start your business in a super-niche, rather than in a niche. Super-niches afford the best chance for a small business to succeed fast, primarily owing to its extremely narrow focus which will enable the entrepreneur to become an expert in that domain.

 

Super-niches appear to be having limited potential at first sight, and they probably have only a limited revenue potential if looked at narrowly, but focusing on super-niches provide you with an excellent stepping board for future growth. The equivalent of a super-niche is what Geoffrey Moore, in his widely acclaimed book “Crossing the Chasm,” (Crossing the Chasm review @ Wikipedia, Info & order @ Amazon) calls the head-pin. The head-pin, in bowling parlance, is just one pin, but you knock down the head-pin, and the rest follow. In our terms, once you succeed in a super-niche, success in related segments follow. ( a note: though the book mentioned above - Crossing the Chasm - was originally written for marketing high tech products, in our opinion any budding entrepreneur should read it, since there are useful concepts in that book that can be applied to any venture)

 

There is something else positive and interesting about super-niches: They provide you the environment in which you need to market relatively little and hence spend less, and in some cases much less, than what you would normally spend. The super-niche and niche segment approach makes marketing your product much easier, especially if your product delivers excellent value to this super-niche. The reason? Many of your super-niche customers will most likely be networked with one other in physical or virtual spaces, and if your product solves a critical problem or provides excellent relief to a pain-point, people will talk about it, and some of these others they talk to will likely to the same market and/or product segment. This process repeats, and because you are in a super-niche which is relatively small, the word-of-mouth effect is strong enough to promote your product to a significant segment of the target audience. This means that, beyond the first few dollars you spend in marketing to the super-niche, you will likely need to spend relatively little after that while word-of-mouth carries you much farther into that niche. Of course, it does not hurt to employ some viral marketing methods, all the same. (see a good discussion on and resources for viral marketing from this section of BillDoll)

 

Typical Characteristics of Super-niches

 

  1. It will have little or no direct competition
  2. It will fulfill a need that is not being met possibly because of the small size of the market, or because the need is not well-known or well-understood
  3. It will almost always be an extension of an existing product or service. In this context, beware of dramatically new niches or super-niches – there are few of these that are really attractive and value-adding, and hence you might want to be doubly sure that it is indeed an opportunity and not just a hope or hype.
  4. Its target customers will be quite well-connected to each other. This proximity could be either due to physical boundaries (example: same city), or usage proximity (example: users of a web-based financial accounting software), or a combination of the two (example: users of environment friendly vehicles in Chicago). If you are able to identify a super-niche in which the target customers are connected in the second way (physical and usage proximity), pay special attention to this segment…it could have exceptional potential to succeed fast.

 

Some examples of niches and super-niches are provided below, to clarify the difference between a niche and a super-niche.

 

Examples of Niches & Super-niches

 

  1. Niche: Retailing only computers for a locality. Super-niche: Retailing only laptop computers for the locality
  2. Niche: Offering only strategic, top management consulting only for companies in the state of California. Super-niche: Offering only strategic, top management consulting only for the state of California & only for the chemicals industry
  3. Niche: Manufacturing only “green” (environmentally conscious) farm tractors. Super-niche: Manufacturing only “green” farm tractors of small sizes.
  4. Niche: An online tax advice resource only for the UK market; Super-niche: An online tax advice resource only for the UK market which delivers tax advice only through online chat.

 

Are you being smart? – Think about business successes close to you. Think about the uncle who got rich in a few years, or your wife’s friend who sold her company to a giant. What were the niches they were operating in? Do these thoughts give you ideas?

 

So what’s the big picture with the niche and super-niche?

 

Remember this simple rule: First figure out how to create a hundred dollars while spending much-less (identifying the attractive super-niche), then put in focused efforts to replicate this many times for the super niche (exploiting the super-niche). Once you have succeeded in the super-niche, replicate similar efforts for the niche segments that are adjacent to or are concentric to the super-niche segment you originally chose.

 

Example: You open an “organic foods only” restaurant in your health-conscious locality – a super-niche because it is a combination of two niches – “organic foods” and “geographical niche – your locality alone”. All foodstuff & ingredients that this restaurant serves have been grown organically. This super-niche possibly commands a good premium for which there is little or no competition – thus you have the possibility to make a hundred dollars while spending much less, once the initial capital costs are put in. Once you have started the restaurant, fine-tune each and every aspect of the business over the next few months, so that not only you now the business that generates high profit-margins, you also have the mechanism to replicate it easily. Once you feel you have grown well enough (say, one year after you started operations), you possibly can think of scaling it to adjacent niches. In this case, you might either wish to increase the organic offerings from the restaurant, or you might wish to start a similar restaurant in adjacent health-conscious locales.

 

Identifying Super-niches

 

Identifying super-niches might not be as easy as identifying niches (which in itself requires some amount of work). It could require a rigorous, theoretical analysis of the segment, as well as practical observations of the niche market.

 

One rigorous method to identify super-niches - once you have identified a list of niche domains – is to spend enough time evaluating each of these domains, and digging into further sub-segments of each domain. For example, if you have identified setting up a jewelry shop in your locality as one of your niche domains, try to identify further sub-segments or super-niches – would you wish to offer only diamond jewelry (product segmentation), or would you wish to offer only jewelry for the premium and ultra-premium segment (market segmentation), or would you wish to offer only diamond-jewelry for the premium & ultra-premium segment (an intersection of product and market segmentation).

 

Another useful method of identifying super-niches would be to read a good number of industry-related trends analysis for the short-listed niches.

 

Having discussions with industry professionals and end-users of the product or service is yet another useful method to identify any unmet gaps within the niche.

 

It is highly recommended that you combine the conceptual aspects of research (segment analysis, industry trend report analysis) with the practical aspects (discussions with industry professionals, preparing business prototypes) in order to arrive at a small set of super-niches.

 

At the end of this exercise, you should ideally have not more than 2-3 super-niches that you can evaluate further.

 

Are you being smart? – Try describing each of your super-niche product or service offering in a sentence. If you are not able to define your offering in a sentence, you perhaps don’t have such a clear idea after all!

 

Evaluating Super-niches

 

While there are a number of ways to evaluate the business potential of any business idea, in the context of an entrepreneur with limited amount of resources trying to target a super-niche, the following aspects stand out:

 

  1. Does your product/service address a specific, narrow pain point? – Make sure your product or service solves a problem that is at least somewhat painful, preferably quite painful, and is a specific, narrow problem. The more painful that the problem your product/service solves, the higher will be the premium people will be willing to pay for it, the less you have to try selling it, and you can be assured that your users will talk about your product to just about everybody. Try imagining that your target audience lives in a small town with cold climate where everyone suffers from cold (running nose) most of the time, and let’s say you have discovered a product that stops the running nose in seconds after it is applied. Wouldn’t you think that your product will be a big success, at a premium price and with little or no marketing dollars spent? Some examples of specific, narrow pain-points: (a) 0-1 year-old babies getting injuries on their knees due to the constant contact of knees with the floor. The narrow focus is visible on two fronts – focus on very small babies and focus on their knees. (b) Students having problem understanding the basics & concepts of mathematical probability. The focus is visible on two fronts – the “basics” & the subject – probability. (c) Garbage disposal professionals & individuals having difficulty finding extra work (moonlighting) and extra money in the city of Toronto – the three focus points are the function (garbage disposal), the city (Toronto) & the need (moonlighting).
  2. Does it have a reasonable potential market size? – Remember, you wish to make a million dollars profit over a 3-4 year period. While your super-niche market segment might not make you a millionaire on its own, it should be large enough to give you the start required. There is no point trying to cater to a market that has just 20 households, unless you are selling a product that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  3. Is it attractive in terms of profit margins? – This is an important criterion. It is critical that you select a niche that has a high profit margin, for the simple reason that to generate the same amount of profits, you need to sell much less for a high-profit-margin niche when compared to the amount you need to sell in a low-profit-margin niche. In practice, however, you need not worry too much on this point – if you are able to zoom into an opportunity that adds significant value to the consumer, is unique in its offering in a narrow niche, such an opportunity almost always tends to have high profit margins. But it never hurts to confirm the same.
  4. Does it have too many competitors? – You will need to be extremely lucky in order to have a product/service that has no competition, even in a narrow niche. Most likely there will be at least some competition. Just ensure that the competition is not too many. Ideally, for a super-niche, you should not be having more than a couple of guys as your competitors.
  5. Does it have a USP – unique selling point? – This point is related to the one above – competition. If your product has no competition, then that itself is its USP – the fact that there is no one who can offer similar value. However, in the more likely scenario of your product/service having some competition, just ensure that your product/service is able to offer a value that is at least in some significant way/ways different from the rest. Considering the earlier mentioned example of a jewelry shop, if there are a couple of other jewelry shops in your locality offering products similar to yours, perhaps you can offer free jewelry repair and polishing for the first two years. Or perhaps offer a free jewelry polish every two months regardless of whether they approach you or not. Remember that for a buyer of high-priced jewelry, while its looks are terribly important, cleaning or polishing it all by themselves is difficult and risky (a pain point). A service such as this would address a pain point and at the same time could differentiate you from the rest of the crowd.
  6. Does it have a UTP – unique talking point? – We define a UTP as an idea/concept/thing that motivates people to talk about and spread the idea or concept quickly by word-of-mouth. This is critical because for most small businesses, marketing & sales comprises one of the largest cost components. If you can get people market your product through word-of-mouth, not only does it make your product sales sky-rocket quickly, it does so with very little marketing expense for you. Many times, your USP or the key value your product / service adds could be the UTP, but don’t count on it. A few times, you will have to wrap a nice, buzz-creating package around your USP or value-add to facilitate word-of-mouth. Google’s much-better search results was its USP and key value-add, and to a significant extent, its USP was a unique talking point in itself. But remember that the first page of Google even today (May 2007), comprises the search box and very little else. This thoughtful packaging kept reminding everyone that Google was about search – what a powerful talking point for its users, especially when its competitors had a hundred other items cluttering their slow-loading main pages! (see also: Viral marketing section @ BillDoll)
  7. Would you be able to create a world class product or service for the super-niche? – Creating a world-class product or service might sound daunting for a small entrepreneur, but when you are operating in a very narrow niche, being world class is not so difficult. Remember that most times, there will be little competition and you will have no external benchmarks. At the same time, sustained super-normal profits are possible only if your offering is of exceptional quality. The benefit of operating in a super-niche is that creating such high-quality is within your reach. However, it is best to confirm to yourself whether you would have the technical capability or resources to create such a high-quality offering for the super-niche.
  8. Some trial and error could help too.  If you have come up with many domains which you feel could be attractive super-niches but are not sure which the most attractive ones are, preparing a small, inexpensive “business prototype” could help. That is, you try out each of your choices in a small way, with a limited audience – the audience could just be your friends and relatives, or it could just be the households in your street etc.

 

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Some useful reading for identifying & evaluating niches & super-niches:

 

  • Developing a Niche Market - by Julie Austin. Though this article was written for medical counselors and healing professionals, it is written in a simple manner with a lot of clarity, and hence is applicable to most business domains. (PDF)
  • Came across the book & its site “Six Strategies for Striking it Rich Online with Niche Products". This appeared to be a regular get-rich-quick book, and it might yet be. But I found the authors being spot on with regard to a real need – a way to identify attractive niches. This is what the book claims to teach us. No harm checking out the site?
  • 5 Steps to Creating a Profitable Niche for Your Small Business - Power Home Biz
  • Seven Steps to Choose a Niche for your Blog – from Making Big Money Online blog
  • Super-niche Social Networks – from Social Degree blog
  • Niche Thyself – Key to legal blogging success – from LexBlog
  • Your Own Superniche  - from Get Slightly Famous – this article explains why finding a super-niche is terribly important for an entrepreneur with limited resources.
  • Narrow Your Niche – from SCORE, counselors for small businesses

 

Are you being smart? – Once you have finished your evaluation, invite a group of intelligent friends for lunch and tell them your idea and get their feedback. Who knows, you might have missed something completely that they can point out. You might be completely wrong in your assumptions. Or who knows, one of your friends might even give you a better idea! It is better to find out these in the very beginning.

 

Based on all the parameters mentioned above for super-niche evaluation, arrive at one super-niche on which you are willing to put in all your efforts.

 

All right, you now have narrowed down a starting list of niche categories to one super-niche based on further research. While in most cases, a super-niche owing its very characteristics will in itself be quite unique, sometimes you might likely end up in a situation in which the super-niche you have short-listed is not intrinsically unique (for instance, the example mentioned above of a “laptops only retailer for a town” is a super-niche, but there is nothing very unique about it – the perception could be “this is another computer seller”). Such super-niches may fulfill all the other criteria put down above for niches evaluation, but on the uniqueness front, they might be scoring low.

 

Uniqueness can be defined as “existing as the only one or as the sole example; solitary in type or characteristics”. Essentially, uniqueness implies that there is no competition for precisely the same product or service.

 

Is uniqueness a must, especially for an attractive super-niche for which there is only limited competition? We would consider uniqueness to be a must for any business that wishes to succeed fast. Even if you are in an attractive super-niche, offering something that you alone are offering is a great way to succeed fast – it results in a strong brand identity, in much stronger word-of-mouth, and higher profit margins. So, if your super-niche happens to be one in which some others are offering exactly what you are offering (though they might not be focusing on your super-niche alone), you must spend time to make your offering unique.

 

Let the nature of uniqueness be such that it magnifies the benefit. Note that we are not talking about cosmetic uniqueness, not the type of uniqueness in which you wrap a funny looking monkey doll on your pizzas and claim you are unique. We are talking about unique value addition. In most cases, such a unique value addition will magnify the key product or service benefits. Consider the following examples of “unique” additions and how they magnify the key business benefits.

 

Some examples of not-so-unique attractive super-niches and their unique counterparts

 

  1. Not unique - A financial investment advisor focusing only on hedge-funds in New York city. Unique - A financial investment advisor focusing only on hedge-funds in New York city, and who sends the investment status and the relevant industry updates daily to customers’ mobiles. (Timely information is everything for hedge fund investors; this unique addition to the offering is a great way to add extra value)
  2. Not unique – A beauty care centre in south London focusing only on eyebrow care. Unique – A beauty care centre in south London focusing only on eyebrow care, which is able to make your eyebrows look similar to the latest fashion in Hollywood. (Looks-conscious folks are almost always celebrity & fashion conscious and thus this added offering magnifies the key benefit)
  3. Not unique – an online resource that provides technical help for Macintosh graphic cards. Unique – an online resource that provides technical help for Macintosh graphic cards which has the only online Macintosh graphic cards community where users from all over the world provide help and advice on Mac graphic cards through chat, message boards and email. (Real-time and interaction information from worldwide experts is critical for technology related issues; hence the added features significantly enhance the key benefit of the service)

 

So how do you make your attractive super-niche offering unique?

 

By using some of the methods described below:

 

Combine Ideas / Aspects / Dimensions / Characteristics – Any good book on creative thinking will tell you that one of the most powerful ways to arrive at new ideas is to combine multiple ideas – preferably from different fields - to form a new and possibly unique idea. Many times, combining two well-known ideas from two different can result in a completely new and workable idea. Let’s consider one such combination: One of the rather well-known online ideas today is to launch a blog – millions have done it and continue doing it, so it is a rather common idea. Another well-known fact is that many people have less and less time these days outside of their work-time and offices. So why not start a blog that provides suggestions, examples and case studies of how people can have “more” personal time, or how to use their scarce personal time more memorably? Perhaps such a theme is already discussed in some blogs, or perhaps no blog is dedicated to this rather important topic…in which case you have a unique and useful idea, made out of two rather common and well-known concepts/ideas!

 

Substitute a small part of an existing idea with a different element – eg., instead of ice cream, perhaps you can think of selling ice-liquid – the liquid form of the cream? Haven’t you seen many times people actually enjoying drinking the liquid part of an ice cream that had melted and flown into the cup?

 

Adapt an old idea to a new market – eg., “take agriculture home” – perhaps you can conduct classes for your neighborhood on how to utilize their gardens more productively, and sell gardening equipment, books and other supporting products?

 

Magnify - Design a new product/concept/service by magnifying a benefit in an existing product – eg., how about designing watches that can “speak the time” at pre-specified intervals?

 

Reverse – fully or partially - an existing concept to arrive at a new idea – eg., instead of selling books to users, why not buy books from users – and thereby start a “used-books” seller service? Not a new idea for sure, but this indicates how reversing a useful idea can result in another useful idea.

 

Eliminate a part of an existing product/service to arrive at a new product or service – eg., if you review the history of low-cost airlines, you will realize “elimination” was the concept used to arrive at the low-cost carrier concept – eliminate all the “non-core” and fringe airline offerings, and what do you have but a low-cost airline!

 

Re-arrange parts of an existing product/service to arrive at a new product or service – eg., in almost all mobile phones we see the display/screen on top and the keyboard at the bottom. Can you reverse it and have the keyboard on top and the display at the bottom? Does it increase aesthetics? Does it make it easier for people to use the keyboards? Does it look more “cool”?

 

(The above framework is derived from Michael Michalko’s “Substitute – Combine – Adapt – Magnify – Modify – Put to Other Uses – Reverse – Re-arrange” or SCAMMPERR creative thinking framework – See Michael Michalko’s web site)

 

The above examples are not necessarily “million dollar” examples; neither does every example represent a superior idea; but the examples show how a little “lateral” thinking enables us to come up with a number of possibilities in just a few minutes.

 

So! You now have been able to identify an attractive super-niche and you have made it unique. What next?

 

Tip: Bookmark MillDollQuick for future reference 

 

Exploiting a Super Niche & the Subsequent Niches

 

Exploiting a super niche is equally important to, or more important than identifying one. If you are convinced that you are on to a good super niche, please keep in mind that your single largest enemy from thereon until you hit your first success will be focus, rather the lack of it.

 

Simply put, an entrepreneur sees opportunity everywhere. This trait is his biggest strength – and his biggest weakness!

 

A small business has far fewer resources than its large competitors. Even if you are in a super niche where there is little or no competition, remember that there is still competition – and that competitor is called time. You have only a limited amount of time to reach the goal, and if you don’t reach it, time wins.

 

It is thus imperative that once you have identified a super niche and have done a bit of prototyping and trial marketing to figure out if the super niche is actually attractive, you focus ALL your energies on that super niche.

 

Succeeding in all Business Components of a Super-niche

 

Any business has the following components, and so will your business, even if focused on a super-niche. Even if your business is being run from your home, with you being the sole employee, all the following components are present in some form:

 

  1. Operations / Manufacturing – the core of what you do
  2. Marketing & Sales
  3. Human Resources
  4. Finance
  5. IT & Systems
  6. Strategy

 

While you are exploiting the niche or super-niche, make sure that you design each and every one of the above components to be as efficient as possible. With few resources at your disposal, unless you run a tight ship, it is most likely the ship will sink. How do you make sure each of the above business components in run as efficiently as possible?

 

And efficiency alone is not enough. Be creative in each and every one of the business aspects - we appreciate that is easier said than done. Which is why we provide some thoughts on creativity for each of the business aspects.

 

  1. Operations / Manufacturing – are you employing the most cost-effective processes? Have you made sure your operations processes do not have unnecessary overheads? – see the following links: Small Business Operations Management – from Entrepreneur
    1. Make sure you regularly read the relevant trade journals and research journals. You will be surprised at the number of simple operation-specific ideas that these magazines & journals provide at practically no cost.
    2. Are you creative? – Look around your competition (or related businesses, if you have little or no competition) to see what sort of creative methods they are employing in their day-to-day operations. Do these suggest any ideas for your business operations?
  2. Marketing & Sales – are you being creative in your marketing? Are you incorporating elements of viral marketing in your marketing & sales campaigns? (see also: BillDoll section on: How Do I Generate Viral Marketing?, Small Business Marketing Resources from Entrepreneur, Niche Marketing: Targeting the Best Prospects - From Steven Van Yoder, About.com)
    1. Make sure you are using the new media – web sites, blogs, Web 2.0 collaborative media – to your advantage. Online media is an especially effective medium for viral concepts. Spend time identifying forums, discussion boards, blogs and mailing lists (such as Yahoo groups) you would like to be a part of. All these online communities provide you excellent returns at practically no cost.
    2. Blog marketing – As you product or service is most likely to be quite unique, start a blog for your business and provide useful and regular updates. Invite other industry professionals to contribute to your blog and give links to other relevant blogs. This way, you build a thriving online community around your business. In fact, if you approach blogging the right way, you will be amazed to see how many of your online contacts would be willing to go out of their way to spread word about your business online. (see a list of resources for getting more traffic to your blog)
    3. Brand it! - Even if your business is a small business, make sure you brand your product or service, and be creative while naming your product or service. You might not have a budget to popularize your brand, but if your give a name and an identity to your product or service in a creative manner, it can significantly assist in the word of mouth phenomenon for your offering. As an example, if you look at this section, rather than not having a specific name for this section, we decided to brand it MillDollQuick – a rather quirky sounding name we hope will stay in readers’ minds. Also note that we have used this term MillDollQuick many times along the page, which will hopefully ensure recall. Next time a person who has already visited this page wishes to search for the page again (assuming he has not bookmarked it), he has to type in MillDollQuick in a search engine and we will be right on top of the results – simply because such a word did not even exist when we created this page!
    4. Talk! - Don’t ever be shy to talk about your business and product or service offering to any relevant person you meet, or to your friends and relatives. Who knows, they might be able to provide you some great ideas or some important business leads.
    5. Sell, sell, sell - If your business is such where you have an office or a location where your customers walk in, make sure your office is also a showroom. For instance, if you are running an organic foods only restaurant, make sure the salient features & benefits of your business are displayed prominently inside the restaurant where your customers can see and read them. If you can afford them, place free creative take-aways for the customers which can again act as your sales brochures. Make your customers work for you at no cost!
    6. Loyalty programmes - Are you offering some type of loyalty programmes that will bind the customer to you? These loyalty programmes need not necessarily be in the form of monetary or tangible incentives, but it is quite well-documented that tangible incentives work best.
    7. Are you creative? – Do you have someone in your team (if it is not yourself) who is known to think out-of-the-box? If no, find someone known to you and make sure you are able to pick his or her brains often. These need not be expensive. A lunch once a fortnight most times will be good enough for these folks, if they are already known to you.
    8. Are you creative? – Have you figured out ways by which the world will do part of the work for you? Yes, it is possible. An example is to provide incentives to your existing customers if they bring in more customers. The cost of customer acquisition by these methods is much lower than by traditional marketing & advertising methods.
  1. Human Resources – are you choosing highly motivated people to work with you? Have you formulated attractive incentive schemes for your colleagues/employees? One of the better ways of making a million dollars is by enable your employees to make some decent cash themselves in the process. Even if you happen to be the only employee of your own business, remember that there are other human beings – outside of your customers – who are a critical part of your value chain, such as your suppliers, business facilitators (banks, friends who have loaned you money, your spouse & family who provide you moral support)…See also: Human Resources Issues, News & Articles from Smart Biz, Human Resources for Small Business – Business Week
    1. Make sure you invest in your health and your employees’ health – it need not be a large investment, but make an investment that keeps you and your employees fit all the time. Such an investment will pay you back in a big way. As the business owner, make sure you take time out everyday to do your physical exercises. Small businesses are so dependent on the business owners that any illnesses to them even for a short period can cost the business dear.
    2. Are you creative? – Do you have a process by which you listen to your employees? For small businesses, informal processes (such as chatting with them regularly and asking for their feedback and suggestions) work best, but make sure you deliberately put in these processes to work.
  1. Finance – are you keeping a tight watch on your finances? Do you have clear monthly and quarterly financial goals? “What you cannot measure, you cannot control” is an age-old saying (attributed to Lord Kelvin who, appropriately enough, invented the thermometer!), so if you cannot measure how well – or poorly – you are performing financially, you might not be able to control the outcomes either. (see also: Finding New Ways to Generate Revenue - Get creative when it comes to bringing in the dollars, says Mark Cheplowitz @ Entrepreneur, Small Business Finances, Cash Flow & Tax Assistance – from Business Know How; Pricing Strategies for Small Business - From Darrell Zahorsky @ About)
    1. Do you have a financial consultant – not an accountant, but some one who knows the latest happenings in the financial world, can point you to excellent investment opportunities for your surplus cash, and can connect you to funding companies such as VCs or to companies which could wish to acquire you? Hiring such a financial consultant full time of course will be costly and is not necessary either for a small business, but you might want to rent an expert’s time – perhaps 3-4 hours per month.
    2. Are you doing detailed financial performance analysis of your business every month, preferably every fortnight? A regular, detailed financial analysis of your revenues and expenses will provide you inputs on how to operate more profitably on a continuous basis.
    3. Are you creative? – How are you managing the surplus cash you have? Don’t let it idle in a current account where it gets little or no interest. Look at your business surplus the same way you would look at your personal finance and explore the best avenues for investing this surplus.
  1. IT & Systems – while small businesses are unlikely to have a huge outlay for hardware and software, make sure you use personal productivity tools to save time and make daily processes more efficient. These days, many software products are available as open source / free software, so you might not have to pay much (or anything at all) to buy those! (see also: Business & Productivity Software – from Smart Biz; Business & Productivity Software – Downloads & Reviews @ Download.com). Tip: Before you try doing anything manually on a computer, do a quick search on the Internet to check if there are software (possibly even free!) available that can automate the manual process.
    1. Do you have a friend or acquaintance who is a tech whiz-kid? Just make sure you take his help in locating, installing and integrating cost-effective software for your office.
    2. Does your web site have the necessary web 2.0 components integrated? RSS feeds, Code for social computing sites such as Digg, del.icio.us etc? Ask your tech help to implement all these.
    3. Are you creative? – Have you every asked your IT specialist (full-time or part time) to experiment new technology ideas for the company, either offline or online? Do that. Give him or her some incentives to identify and try out some interesting concepts.
  1. Strategy – Make sure you allot at least an hour (ideally 2-3 hours) every week when you brainstorm ideas and strategies with your key colleagues / friends. During these brainstorming / strategy sessions, some of the issues you might wish to deal with could be: a. Are we heading towards where we wanted to, b. What were the mistakes we made in the last few weeks and what can we learn from them, c. What are the problems we faced in the last few weeks and what are the opportunities that emerge from these problems, d. Are there trends and happenings in the market that we should review and exploit? (some nice & useful tips for brainstorming – from 1000 Ventures)
    1. Market feedback – Do you have some simple but effective mechanisms for feedback from the market on your product or service? If you don’t, make sure you have a mechanism by which you get at least a rudimentary but constant feedback from the market. One of the simplest ways will be to have a mechanism by which you interact with at least some of your customers on a regular basis. This could be a formal mechanism (where you invite some of your customers every month for lunch and get their feedback), or could be informal (you might simply say hello and spend everyday talking to some of your customers who walk into your shop, for example).
    2. Complementary products or services – If you have quickly established a good customer base, can you gain more from your customer base by selling them complementary products or services manufactured by others? For instance, if you are running a beauty care centre in south London focusing only on eyebrow care, can you tie up with high-quality manufacturers of women’s haircare products and sell their products from your shop to your customers who walk in? Not only does this extra offering add more value to your business by complementing it, it also is useful for your customers who can now buy those haircare products with confidence because they have already been evaluated by you.
    3. Partnerships & alliances – All of us, and especially entrepreneurs, have an urge to do everything themselves – that is the way they are made. But most times, winning big in quick time will require some sort of a partnership. It could be a marketing arrangement with a larger company, or a production tie-up with an outsourced third-party company, or simply convincing your talented friend or spouse to be your partner in business. Sensible partnerships in which risks and rewards are both shared in a fair manner will most times accelerate business growth.
    4. Are you creative? – Are you regularly reading good books and web sites on strategy? These are a must. For a few dollars (or sometimes free, if it is online!), you are able to get the insights from the world’s top consultants, chief executives and businessmen. It is foolish to pass up such an opportunity.

 

Key Success Factors for a Super-niche

 

While you need to run a tight and creative ship by following all the above points mentioned, it will help your business growth enormously if you could identify the key success factor or factors that drive the growth in your niche segment. Considering the earlier example of a successful organic foods only restaurant business opportunity, it helps to identify what were the key drivers for success (note the word key)? Was it just the concept alone, was it the locality, was it the way the concept was marketed, was it any specific association or tie-up that the business had. It is critical that the key success factors are identified because extra resources can then be spent on these to enable even faster business growth.

 

Examples of key success factors (KSF):

 

    1. Super-niche: Retailing only laptop computers for the locality. KSF: After-sales service & support
    2. Super-niche: Offering only strategic, top management consulting & only for the chemicals industry. KSF: Phenomenal understanding of the strategic and operational dynamics of the chemicals industry.
    3. Super-niche: Manufacturing only small “green” farm tractors. KSF: Facilitating reliable supply of “green” fuels.
    4. Super-niche: An online tax advice resource only for the UK market which delivers tax advice only through online chat. KSF: Reliable online availability and speed of response.

 

How can one identify key success factors?

 

  1. Analyse your business growth. What type of customer gives you most of your revenues? If you are able to pinpoint one or two profiles of customers who give you most a large share of your revenues, try to analyse why they are giving you such a large share of your revenues. This analysis could lead you to a identify a key success factor.
  2. If people are talking about your business (positively), listen to them and see why they are talking about you. Words like “I like them because…”, “they are good because…”…sometimes indicate the key success factors.
  3. Think about your product or service offering and put down on paper its key features and key benefits. This listing could help you identify what key feature and/or benefit could be the key success factor.
  4. Analyse your closest successful competitor. Try to figure out the one or two key aspects of that business which have made it a success. This could help you pinpoint KSFs for your business as well.

 

It is recommended that you spend time to identify the key success factor or factors. It might take a couple of months after you start before you are able to do this, but make sure you have this at the back of your mind while observing your daily business proceedings.

 

Once you have identified key success factors, ensure that you invest enough time, effort and money to make this key business driver accelerate your business even faster.

 

What if you had chosen a wrong super-niche?

 

It is likely that even after all the time and efforts you had put into selecting a super-niche, you might it find it to be much less attractive than what you thought. We would reckon, one in ten times, such a situation could happen. What should you do then?

 

First, be sure that poor performance of the niche is not owing to your lack of efforts or focus. Secondly, make sure you had been in the market for enough time to make a decision – we’d reckon a minimum of 3-4 months of operations will be required before you can form any sort of credible opinions. Third, make sure that you have done your analysis correctly while trying to evaluate the performance. For instance, if you are evaluating the financial performance of your business three months from the time you started, make sure you are applying the right parameters and benchmarks to measure the financial performance – and please remember, even in a super-niche, you need some time before the business can start accelerating at a very fast clip.

 

If you are convinced that your super-niche is not attractive enough even after all the above riders have been taken into account, should you be worried? Not much, for the following reasons: (1) The amount of time and money you had invested was not huge, owing to the very nature of a super-niche, (2) You can still go back to your final short-list right away and see if there are other super-niches you can start targeting, and (3) your first few months in the super-niche would have given you useful insights about the market / domain you are operating in, which you can use to plan your further business activities.

 

For our further discussions, we will assume that the worst case scenario – of your choosing a very unattractive super-niche – has not happened, and that you have been able to succeed in your super-niche.

 

Tip: Bookmark MillDollQuick for future reference

 

Succeeding in Subsequent Niches

 

This is the easier part. Once you have been able to dominate a super-niche and your business is generating good profits, you have quite a few handy assets with you to decide your growth strategies:

 

  1. Asset 1: Cash. Cash is oxygen for any small business, and your success in the super-niche would have provided you with a small war chest.
  2. Asset 2: A well-oiled business set-up – Setting up an efficient business infrastructure takes time and resources, but you already have a first-level business set-up. This is always a very useful asset.
  3. Asset 3: Knowledge of markets – This is possibly the most important asset. You already have tasted success in a super-niche, and along the way, you would have learnt more about the super-niche segment as well as opportunities lying close to that segment

 

Use the above three assets to succeed in the subsequent niches. The key issue is identifying these niches, which will likely be much less difficult that identifying the super-niche. With regard to implementation, you will have to operate with pretty much with the same underlying principles as you did for the super-niche. The only significant difference could be that you might have to have a larger marketing/advertising and sales budget, as word-of-mouth is less likely to play as crucial a role in a niche than it did in a super-niche.

 

Are you being smart? – When you have succeeded in your super-niche, start scouting the market to see if there are bigger players who might wish to acquire you. Who knows, they might be willing to pay you a million dollars right away for your business.

 

Useful reading for exploiting a super-niche and subsequent niches:

 

 

So there! We now have the basic ingredients using which one can make a million dollars quickly in a business.

 

 

To summarise our discussion on making a million dollars quickly by starting a business:

 

Step 1: Identify, evaluate and decide on a unique, attractive super-niche

Step 2: Spend all your energy in exploiting and succeeding in this super-niche. Subsequently, extend your success in the super-niche to subsequent & related niches

 

It is worth looking back at two words we mentioned before we started this discussion on starting a business – hard and smart (work). If you look at the two steps and review what we have detailed for each of the two, you will see that the execution for each of these combine both the smart and hard components. It is also easy to see being smart dominates Step 1 (using your brains to identifying the best niche), and hard work dominates Step 2 (focusing on an attractive opportunity and executing it damn well).

 

A few other important points to keep in mind when starting a business:

 

  1. Seeing a need & filling it – Most multi-millionaires and billionaires got to where they are today by following this rule. It is however not as simple as it sounds. One, it is not easy to identify a clear need that has not been addressed already. Two, even if you are able to find such a need, you still chart out a proper strategy to fulfill that need. How does one go about finding unmet needs? There are a number of methods, be we would think that the two most productive methods would be (1) Observing more keenly what you are reading, watching or hearing, and (2) Asking people well-thought out, open-ended questions that draws them out to tell you some unsolved problem they are facing. Anytime you hear someone mutter, “This is a pain in the neck”, sharpen your ears. “Every problem is an opportunity,” might be a cliché, but it is a cliché that is still worth remembering.

 

Example of a unique need: IdleAire Technologies - One of the most dramatic and significant business success stories in recent years is provided by IdleAire Technologies Inc, an entrepreneurial business located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. IdleAire succeeded by addressing and solving a major environmental problem. Over a million long-haul trucks operate in America and waste billions of gallons of diesel fuel each year when drivers stop to rest and leave their engine idling. To eliminate this problem, IdleAire installs individual heat and air units above parking spaces at truck stops. These units allow drivers to turn off their engines and adjust temperatures as needed. They get a safer, quieter sleeping environment. Truck owners benefit too. They save as much as 40 percent over the cost of fuel that otherwise would have been consumed. Use of IdleAire technology also saves wear and tear on their engines. This need was waiting to be fulfilled, wouldn’t you agree? Read more about IdleAire from here

 

  1. Riding a wave – Remember the dot com days? While many businesses flunked, quite a few others made good money, legally. You might say those who made money in the dot com days got lucky, but well there is another way to look at it: they just happened to be at the right time, catching the right wave, perhaps? You would have heard about the chap who sold the domain name altavista.com to the Alta Vista search engine for a few million dollars. Or the celebrated case of the domain name www.business.com getting sold for a reported eight million dollars. Would you call these cases luck? Or would you rather categorise these guys as being smart enough to recognize a wave very early and exploit it?

 

Riding a wave in an intelligent and calculated way is one of the easiest ways to make big bucks fast. You still need to work, but possibly you need to work much smarter than harder.

 

We have provided later in this page an ever-expanding list of “current waves” that you can refer to.

 

  1. Figure out your strengths and do what you know best – If what you know is not an attractive enough to earn you a million dollars, then perhaps you need to attain new skills. On the other hand, it is quite possible that you can use your existing talents in new ways to make big bucks. Understanding how to do this could take some time and research, but this path can be most rewarding, since you are using talents that you already have and perhaps enjoy putting use to.

 

  1. Sometimes, a big but intelligent risk pays off – What can be classified as “big risk” is a subjective issue and depends on your circumstances. But please have this as a rule of thumb – no risk, no returns. Very high risk, possibility of very high returns, but also possibility of getting hurt badly. Moderate risk-taking sounds like being neither here nor there, but this is perhaps the way to go for most normal people. Keep your eyes open for “reasonable risk-taking” opportunities. Remember, you could get hurt a few times you take those moderate risks – you could lose money on an investment, or lose your job trying to do some moonlighting, whatever – but making a million dollars without taking ANY risks is extremely difficult. Unless of course you win a lottery.

 

  1. Take desperate measures – I’d not recommend this to everyone, but if you consider yourself to be a risk-lover, this could be the one for you. Figure out a way by you can legally make a million dollars and go for broke. Just tell yourself, “I got to do this, or else,” and take any number of desperate measures to get there. Please remember, no half-hearted measures. If you are desperate to make those million dollars, show your desperation in action.

 

  1. Love your idea – A great way to succeed in any venture is to “practice loving” what you do. The journey is most times the reward, so liking what you do matters.

  

  1. Put your money where your mouth is – if you think something is a good idea and can be easily tried out, don’t just talk, do it

 

The above-mentioned points can be considered as traits needed to succeed in a business. Combine these traits with the two-step “Attractive Super-Niches” strategy, and voila, you have a powerful engine to make a million dollars in quick time.

 

Thus we come to end of the section on: Making a Million Dollars by Starting the Right Business & Doing the Right Things

 

There is an additional benefit if you succeed in business. While you might have started the business to make a million dollars, who knows, by the time you have made your million, you could have built an attractive business that can grow much bigger and fetch you profits far higher than a million $.

 

We hope that this section has at least been able to facilitate your thinking process on how to succeed in making a million dollars quickly from your business. All the best with your efforts.

 

Well, one last note: Once you have made your million using the details provided above, don’t forget to send us a cheque as a token of your appreciation J

 

Tip: Bookmark MillDollQuick for future reference 

 

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Some Smart Ways to Make A Million Dollars Quickly

 

There will be some who think, “The above-detailed process to make a million dollars by succeeding in a business might not suit everyone - it appears very difficult to me.” And they could be right. While the method of Unique Attractive Niches is, in our opinion one of the most optimal ways to accelerate your business, starting from scratch, it might not suit everyone’s temperament.

 

For this reason, we are also providing a few other “smart” ideas that can get you there.

 

The ideas below may not be applicable to everyone either, and these are not robust as the detailed “Attractive Unique Niches” idea provided earlier, but what the heck, if you are able to benefit from these, why not!

 

  • Hitch your wagon to a star - Even before you start your own business, look around and see if any one known to you is running an exciting business that has excellent monetary potential. Perhaps you can join that friend or relative in his/her business? If you can prove that you bring some valuable assets to the business, you could become a business partner and make a million dollars without having to start from scratch!
  • Wheeling-dealing profits - Are you comfortable wheeling-dealing? If yes, you might want to scan your market for broker opportunities. Brokers usually make a small percentage on deals they facilitate. These deals could be practically in any domain, but some of the well-paying broker domains are real estate, financial investments (especially in investment banking & hedge funds), mergers & acquisitions of businesses, and sourcing of very high value products or services. If you are in the right place at the right time and spot such brokering opportunities, a few good deals have the potential to bring in substantial returns to you in a short time, with relatively less work than in starting a business from scratch.
  • Explore Internet ideas – There have been many cases where ordinary folks have come up with useful, niche ideas and been able to implement them on the Internet to quick success. If you are a tech savvy person, you would do well to consider if there are simple ideas you can try on the Internet at little or no cost. Who knows, one your ideas could zoom. (see also the section Making Money Online @ BillDoll)
  • Bargain hunting – Do you have a nose for good bargains? If yes, you can use this talent to make a million bucks in a short time. Watch out for great bargains – they could be in real estate, or in stocks, or in other high-value products such as arts and paintings. If you have a nose for good bargains in high-value domains, you can try out buying low and selling high. A few such good deals, and you could have serious cash in your bank account. Note: You do not necessarily need cash of your own to do bargain hunting – you could take a loan from your friends, for instance.
  • Celebrity professions – Try out celebrity professions. This might sound as if it is not for you, but how do you know? Celebrities need not necessarily be actors or sportspersons. You could become a successful author with a couple of hit novels, you might become a popular TV show host who starts earning big money from commercial sponsorships because you become famous, you could become a celebrity cheerleader, a celebrity speaker, a celebrity political columnist…put down a list of celebrity professions you feel you have the talent for, and try it out. Most times, it costs little to try out writing a book, auditioning for a talk-show host job, or writing half a dozen political editorials!
  • Marry rich – You might question whether this can justifiably be called an ethical idea, and we ask, “why not?”. We are not asking you to marry someone just to get rich. But perhaps you can find a woman or a man who you like and who is also rich? Come on, it has happened many times. Well, by marrying rich if you and your spouse together get richer by a million dollars owing to your spouse being rich, does it hurt anyone in any way?!

 

Other Ways to Make a Million Dollars Quickly

 

Of course there are other ways to make a million dollars quickly. Avenues such as stock markets, real estate markets etc., are quite well-known. Some of these avenues can be construed as businesses themselves, in which case you apply what is discussed in the previous section to that avenue. The following sections @ BillDoll explores each of these avenues and how to make it big in each of these areas.

 

 

 

Some More Ideas

 

  • Winning a Lottery – Yes, it is mostly about luck, but there are still some secrets that can make you luckier than you actually are. See the BillDoll section for “Are there secrets to winning a lottery?”
  • Making it Big on eBay – read this BBC News story on how some smart entrepreneurs are making it big on eBay
  • Saving Right – not exactly a quick method, though
  • Multi-level Marketing – not exactly recommended, but it might work for a few people who are born salesmen

 

 

References

 

 

Young Millionaire Examples & Case Studies

 

  • Young Millionaires – from Entrepreneur magazine - Think it's nearly impossible to become a multimillionaire before you're 40? Meet 24 young entrepreneurs who did just that--and learn the inside secrets to their success.
  • How 23 young millionaires built their empires - The inside secrets to success of those blazing their own trails – from MSNBC
  • Young Millionaires – Young Entrepreneurs Who Made it Big – AOL Small Business
  • Young Millionaires – what are the characteristics of young millionaires? And what are some million dollar ideas? Read here from Oprah
  • Millionaires reveal secrets - By Robert Skeffington - September, 2004 - The Sun-Herald, Australia – 2004’s rich list of Australia's young millionaires shows the best businesses to be in are retail, services, technology and entertainment.

 

 

Some of the “current” waves

 

Check out if you can relate to one or more of the following “waves”. We will continue updating this list.

 

  1. Wellness & health
  2. Online Search – related: Google AdSense
  3. Internet, E-business, E-commerce (see here)
  4. Personality development & self-help
  5. The wave of entrepreneurship
  6. Home-working & teleworking
  7. Multi-level marketing
  8. Emerging economies – China, India, Russia, Brazil (see here)
  9. Green wave – renewable energy, Biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen economy, wind energy (see here)
  10. Open source & free software movements (see here)
  11. Real estate (see here)
  12. Spirituality & religious faith on the increase
  13. e-learning & e-tutoring
  14. E-marketing
  15. Outsourcing & offshore outsourcing
  16. “Wealth at the Bottom of the Pyramid” – The Middle Class & The Lower Middle Class Wave
  17. Education – Children’s Education, Higher Education, Management Education
  18. The Mobile Economy ( see here)
  19. Biotechnology
  20. Specialty Sleep Products (see here)
  21. Art – Art Auctions, Paintings
  22. e-Money – Credit & Debit Cards, Smart Cards, Cashless Transactions
  23. Increasing Power of Celebrities
  24. Beauty & Aesthetics – Looking Good (see here)
  25. Organic Foods & Organic Products
  26. Retirement Wave ( see here)
  27. Pet Foods
  28. Leisure
  29. Blogs & Blogging
  30. Social Computing ( see here) – related: Web 2.0 – Online collaboration and user-generated “content”
  31. Experience Dining ( see here)
  32. Fashion Clothing & Jewelry
  33. Targetted & Behavioural Advertising
  34. Senior Care (see here)
  35. Kids Products
  36. Home Improvement
  37. For emerging opportunities in the IT industry, see emerging & future trends in IT & software industries @ this BillDoll section
  38. Personalisation & Mass Customization
  39. Ultra-simple design
  40. Reinvention of Religion
  41. Women Power
  42. Retirement of Baby Boomers
  43. Remote Working
  44. Need for Analytics & Business Intelligence
  45. Cultural Diversity in Business Places
  46. Contextual Advertising
  47. Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions
  48. Vegan & Vegetarianism
  49. The Long Tail
  50. Miniaturisation

 

 

Some Stars You Can Hitch Your Wagon to

 

  • Internet Explorer browser – over 500 million people use it everyday
  • Mega popular social networks such as MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube
  • Google AdSense & AdWords

 

 

Some Good Blogs that Provide New Business Trends

 

 

Tip: Bookmark MillDollQuick for future reference

 

Trends Magazines & Trends Sections of Magazines

 

 

Other Trends Resources & Articles

 

 

High Paying Jobs & Professions

 

  • The Hottest Jobs – Business 2.0 @ CNN Money
  • Six-figure jobs - May, 2004 - CNN Money - The income-equivalent of the Holy Grail, the six-figure salary, is not easy to come by. But it helps if you work in an occupation that provides the potential. CNN/Money's series on interesting six-figure jobs – those that go beyond the usual suspects, such as ones requiring a J.D., an M.D. or an M.B.A – looks at occupations that give you a bird's eye view on medicine, the seven seas, and some of the most beautiful links around.
  • What are the highest paying jobs? – from Wiki Answers
  • Highest Paying College Degrees – May 2002, CNN Money
  • List of the highest paying jobs in the U.S.  It’s interesting to see how the different types of jobs in the tech industry compare to other industries – from JASLabs
  • High Paying Careers – from Money Zine – provides a list of top average salaries, top 10 highest paying jobs and more. A useful resource
  • How to get the best job for your qualifications – see comprehensive answers @ BillDoll
  • High Paying Jobs – No Degree Required – from AOL Jobs
  • High Paying Jobs for Generalists – from WSTM

 

Million Dollar Case Studies & Success Stories

 

  • Small Business Success Stories – from Entrepreneur
  • How to Have an Overnight Internet Success Story – from Mashable
  • Million Dollar Video Poker - Dancer arrived in Las Vegas in 1993 with a bankroll of $6,000. Seven years later he had a million dollars, all from playing video poker a beatable game. This is Bob’s incredible story how he learned to play video poker, sought out profitable promotions and id very thing in his power to gain an edge on the casinos. He shares his triumphs and his defeats along the way. See more info @ Amazon
  • Interview with the AdSense Million Dollar Man, John Calacanis @ JenSense
  • Small Companies & Google AdSense is the Future – Markus Find of PlentyofFish
  • OfficeTiger: An amazing success story - a September, 2006 news story - OfficeTiger, one of the first to enter the business process outsourcing space in India, is now the undisputed king especially after R R Donnelley & Sons acquired it for a whopping $250 million in an all-cash deal.
  • Millionaires tell how they did it - Their stories vary, but their advice is pretty much the same: Work hard, stay focused on your goals, take calculated risks and enjoy what you're doing. – from MSN Money
  • 4 secret millionaires' road to riches - They're from modest backgrounds, and they've faced plenty of hurdles. But these folks learned how to slowly, steadily build wealth without drawing the least bit of attention – from MSN Money
  • Young Millionaires – Young entrepreneurs who made it big. Millionaire entrepreneurs before 40. From AOL Small Business

 

Web References

 

 

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Book References

 

  • Rich dad, poor dad, by Robert T. Kiyosaki - A good book for getting your head in the right spot to start a business.
  • How to be a billionaire, by Martin Fridson - Really makes you look at the world differently.
  • Dave's Way, by David Thomas - The story of Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's, who started as an orphan bussing tables in a restaurant, and he went on to create an empire.
  • Built from scratch – about how a couple of regular guys grew the Home Depot from nothing to $30 billion
  • Be my guest - by Conrad Hilton - The story of Hilton Hotels
  • Crossing the Chasm – by Geoffrey Moore – A must-read for all those who wish to do business in and market high-tech products
  • Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth - by T. Harv Eker – “a witty pep talk for wealth-seekers is delivered by someone who's still amazed he's a millionaire”

 

Tip: Bookmark MillDollQuick for future reference

 

Some “interesting” million dollar ideas

 

  • Million Dollar Home Page – The chap Alex Tew apparently made a million dollars in six months with this idea of selling a pixel for a dollar

 

Some Whacky Million Dollar Attempts

 

  • A Million Bucks in A Month - Remi Frazier has an American dream. He took a plane to New York with $100 in his pocket and intends to end up with a million-dollar business – read more this June 2006 BusinessWeek article

 

 

Not exactly million dollar ideas…but some good (and a few dopey) ideas

 

  • Body advertising
  • Five fun ways to make quick cash - Let your passion lead you to part-time jobs that are exciting, flexible and lucrative – CNN Money, Mar 2002
  • Unusual Ways to Make Money – a different site with some good (and sometimes whacky) ideas
  • 40+ Ways to Make Money on the Internet – from Dumb Little Man blog – an excellent list of online business ideas for those who wish to make some pocket money as well as for those who wish to make some serious money.
  • 15 Ways to Make Money on the Side – from Find Articles
  • Twenty-five Ways to Make Money with Bicycles – who would have thought there could be 25 different ways? This page from Bike Web Site proves there are

 

Billion Dollar Site Highlights

 

 

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One more Video
on Funny goals and stupid Goalkeepers

 

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Key Words: Million dollars, $, getting rich, getting wealthy, million dollars fast

 

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BillDoll.com – The Billion Dollar Site