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How to capitalize on this business offer/opportunity?

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How to capitalize on this business offer/opportunity?

Old 12-13-2011, 08:35 AM
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Default How to capitalize on this business offer/opportunity?

I had an interesting conversation with a small business owner the other day which ended in a type of an offer. I'm not looking to leave my current field or change careers just yet but this could be a great way to add additional income or even set myself up for the future if I want to change careers.

Here is a brief description and some basic history of the company. The company specializes in selling industrial controls and industrial supplies but also has and can branch out into other products. The big customers are generally within a maintenance dept of a factory, power plants, etc. They currently have contracts with the US Navy for converting freon units on ships which includes selling the new freon as well as the oil for flushing out the systems, NIH with all of their fixing and construction, Boeing (huge facility that constantly needs something) a few prisons, colleges, etc. Although industrial controls and HVAC type stuff is the speciality this company pretty much sells anything (think smaller, much small Grainger type company).

The owners are pretty old school, no website and mostly communicate via fax (attachments on computers is a hassle for them). Despite this they are very successful. There is no real training (these guys had none, they just started the company one day) and they generally make cold calls into the targeted potential customers.

They presented it as all I need to do is start making calls and I'd get a percentage of the sales. Seems simple enough but where would you really start with this? This is not the type of opportunity with a lot, if any hand holding, etc.

I wouldn't expect a website to actually generate income but wouldn't a basic website be a good idea? They do not advertise. The income is unlimited but I would be starting from the beginning, no customers, no income but a great opportunity.

So any thoughts on where to begin, how to start and grow business? I've been in sales my entire life but want to hear what the experts think....

Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:38 AM
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IMHO, these days ANYTHING can be sold on the internet - no matter how technical or how small of a market. In fact, in some ways, the smaller the market, the more it can benefit from the internet.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:39 AM
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Why reinvent the wheel, duplicate their winning model in a new region.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mertzy View Post
Why reinvent the wheel, duplicate their winning model in a new region.
Good point. They deal all across the US and mostly ship their products. They joke, but being in the Philadelphia area, that it is much easier to call on southern or western targets as the people are much nicer!

99% of the work is done over the phone.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:27 AM
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Put a business plan together and ask other successful people for input on your plan. A website is not mandatory but it is necessary to add credibility to your venture. It does not have to be a sales site but it should at least be a company brochure. A potential client should be able to contact you through your site too.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:13 AM
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It's business' like this that IMO are typically ripe for buying.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:17 AM
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whatever you do, with them or without them, contact a lawyer who knows what he is doing.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:06 PM
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Look at the books first!
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:48 PM
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Do they want you to sign a non-compete?


If not, seems to me you have nothing to lose except some time and a lot of potential upside down the road.
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:46 PM
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I'll make you a website if you will give me a percentage of your sales...
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:07 PM
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No contract, no non-compete, just make some calls, find new accounts and grow the business.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SeaNile View Post
No contract, no non-compete, just make some calls, find new accounts and grow the business.
Run away. Who's to say you don't bring them a load of new business and they kick your ass to curb?
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
Run away. Who's to say you don't bring them a load of new business and they kick your ass to curb?
I know for sure because it is family. I agree that it's a bit odd that I don't have more info but that is how that side of the family is when it comes to earnings, business accounts, gross, etc. I do know the two of them gross about 4 mil in sales.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:15 PM
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Make and manage a website and get a percentage of online sales. Even if the business model is functioning well, a website with a little info on products can't hurt and will probably generate additional sales.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:23 PM
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what IS your current field? Sounds like you could maybe make some money bringing them out of the stone age into the computer age.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Boataholic View Post
what IS your current field? Sounds like you could maybe make some money bringing them out of the stone age into the computer age.
X2
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:55 PM
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This doesn't sound like a business offer or opportunity. It sounds like a job offer. You sell things and make a commission, just like most other sales people I know. Job offer, not business offer. Do you want a second job?
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Boataholic View Post
what IS your current field? Sounds like you could maybe make some money bringing them out of the stone age into the computer age.
Currently a sales rep for a medical device company. All my selling is face to face in the OR instructing on devices, then moving on to purchasing for contracts, pricing, etc.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:27 PM
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Developing customers is not easy, you are either good at it or not, my guess is you are good at it.

If you are good at developing a customer base, who is your competition. If you are competing with the likes of Grainger and Global then what is your competitive edge. Why I am going to buy from you, I can go online and order anything I need from either Grainger or Global. Who is your competition?
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:48 PM
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I work as a purchasing agent, 98% percent of my orders are online. If it's a small (under $2500) purchase I go online google search, price compare and order it, give a credit card if we don't have an account. If it's large find it online at 3 compainies, send out an RFQ (request for quote) to sales@abc, sales@xyz, sales@ccc. Get the lowest quote and order it. I hate salesmen that cold call or worse show up. If I need a product I just order it and have it shipped where I need it. I like email attachments and hate faxes. A year later I can go on the computer and search for an item and have all my info in seconds. If it's on a fax I have to page through order files after I look up the PO online.

If you can get them to give you the online sales, it could be pretty lucrative. I'm old school, over 60. The young'uns do everything on line
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