1. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    You may be able to help me with this business concept problem…

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by The Backward OX, Jan 24, 2010.

    You may be able to help me with this business concept problem…

    I have a totally new business idea for the service industry. I’ve identified a need and found a way to satisfy that need.

    It involves a part-time Personal Assistant (provided by me) taking over and managing certain activities* in my client’s life for a period of approximately 13 weeks (X as many clients as I can generate). The clients would be drawn from a base of people sharing these same activities.

    If it makes it any easier for you to understand, you can call these activities “their daughter’s wedding.” It isn’t this, but the illustration may help you.

    *The idea could make me a fortune. So you’ll appreciate why I’m keeping the exact details to myself.

    However, it may be difficult to get the concept off the ground.

    This is where you come in - you may have suggestions for ways around the difficulty.

    The problem is that, 1) I am an unknown quantity; I have no track record to fall back on, and 2) I’ll be promoting an entirely new idea to the buying public.

    And it gets worse - my concept comes at a relatively high price.

    If I was the buying public, I’d be wary of me. :(

    So, can you think of any ways in which I might persuade prospective clients that I’m on the up and up, that I'm sincere, that I know what I'm talking about, and that I can “deliver the goods?”


    Thank you for your input.
     
  2. Ree
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    Ree Member

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    I'm an entrepreneur and have gotten excellent advice over the years. It's difficult to make suggestions not know more about your service. Can you tell us your industry?

    I would suggest signing on 2-3 clients for free or on a heavy discount and build your reputation. Then use those clients for your testimonials and references. Don't waste money on advertising until you have testimonials, even then be selective.

    Can you run a beta of your service before going full-steam? You might find your margins are too small to proceed. Or, the rewards aren't what you anticipated.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You should probably start with a patent application. Beware of companies and sites that promise to help you get your patent registered - some are probably legitimate, but a great many of them negotiate deals for joint ownership of the patent, charge you outrageous fees and deliver nothing, or steal your idea outright.

    Pitching your idea to a company without the patent in your name can also be risky. You may end up signing over your patent rights for a pittance if you aren't careful.

    If you see any significant value in your idea, you should really talk to a patent attorney first.
     
  4. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Thanks for that. Post has been modified to answer your first question. What is "run a beta" in this context?
     
  5. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Okay, for those of you who want details...

    Here’s a hypothetical situation for you to consider, that explains the concept.

    Let’s say you’re a home owner. Anyone, from young married with children to elderly and retired. And let’s say you’re thinking of moving house. The reason why is irrelevant. One criteria is that you are financially well-off.


    Now I’m going to ask you to use your imagination. I want you to think of as many things as possible, that might need to be done as part of this moving process, from the moment you first start thinking of moving, until you’re putting your feet up in the new place. I’m sure you’ll agree the list is too great to set out here. And can have as many variations as there are people.

    For most people, moving house is near the top of the list for stress-inducers. For some, it’s top of the list. It shares top billing with death and divorce.

    Okay.

    So how would it be if you could have a Personal Assistant take over and manage everything, and I mean literally everything, that’s involved in this process, from start to finish? Maybe over a two- to three-month period. You still pay any costs incurred, but that’s where your involvement ends. It would mean that all you’d have to do is point, while you sit back with a drink in your hand.

    Is that a service you’d be prepared to pay for?

    If yes…

    Would you consider a fee of US$13,500 to be reasonable?
    That’s €9,500; GB£8,400; AU$15,000.

    …that’s the service I’m thinking of providing.
     
  6. Ree
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    Ree Member

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    Thanks for the details. Very helpful.

    I don't think a trial run would work here and this idea is a huge undertaking. Not impossible, but very challenging for so many reasons.

    First off, you need to write a business plan to flush out all the details. Even if you don't need investors, it's an great exercise to understand your requirements. Plus, it will make you decide if you're serious or not. You might get halfway through and say "Ugh, this isn't worth it." Check out sba.gov or other small business sites for business plan outlines.

    If you are serious, you should consider trying to align yourself with a realtor and giving them a kick-back for referrals. Maybe even get a realtor license to give yourself some credentials.

    Also, I'm sure you know this... affluent people tend to have extremely high to unrealistic expectations and they are usually connected with each other in some way, either socially or through business. Piss one off, and you're done. ;)

    Good luck!
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't rich people already have PA's to arrange for house removals, book holidays, interview staff etc? And companies where I live include packing as part of their services for door-to-door removals, even when the person is relocating to another country (when they include customs services). Just speaking as an ex-rich person...
     
  8. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I don't know if I'd trust someone else to do that sorta thing. I mean, obviously its a lot of work and could potentially be stressful, but the process requires the homeowners to put in that work, to be there making decisions, often on the fly, overseeing all the work that's going on, making sure everything is as they want it.

    Also, moving house is already one of the most expensive things you are likely to do in your life, what with everyone from banks, estate agents, movers, insurance, replacing furniture, cleaning costs, renovations and redecorating...besides the super-wealthy (who would probably be the least inclined to use such a service), I can't imagine many people being willing to part with that much money for something that they are capable of doing themselves. I mean, people are willing to pay for greater convenience, but not that much...
     
  9. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    You've grasped the concept perfectly. I've posted this in a few other forums and the money angle is where it seems to fall down with most people.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i have to agree... as one who'd moved more than 50 times, before my 50th birthday, some moves made while beyond poor and some while fairly wealthy, i have to agree that you will not find people willing to part with that kind of cash, for such a 'service'...

    another detail you may not have considered:

    while no 'patent' is needed [or available] for a service, you would have to be bonded, to get people to trust you with their most important personal info and/or belongings...

    sorry to have to burst your balloon, but i don't think you have a viable idea here... that said, in my old life as a writing consultant, i also drew up business plans for some of my clients and no longer do anything for money, so if you'd like a free consult, drop me a line 'at home'...

    love and hugs, maia
     

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