Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Looking Back: The Best Business Ideas Ever

Howtomakeadollar is a very well established, venerable institution that has existed since the early days of the republic. We were founded by the esteemed and honorable Dr. Andrew Benjamin Tyler in 1759 in Hampton, New Hampshire. Although our founder is still alive and quite vigorous, regular maintenance of this website passed into the hands of his successors back in 1952. Now, as the end of 2009 approaches (the 250th anniversary of the business), he has asked us to commemorate the best, worst, and most ethical ideas he has ever come up with.

Most Ethical Ideas
1. Sal's Vacation Army. It was part of our Christmas moneymaking series, and turned out to be highly profitable.
2. Bottled Bog Water: Not only is it a cutting edge business model, its also healthy!
3. Moneymaking Opportunities for Babies. Everyone has a baby or two, very few profit from them
5. Make Money Giving Terrorists What They Deserve Very ethical, very profitable, and good for national security
6. Make Money off the Nigerian Royal Family Make easy money transferring international bank accounts while helping a down-on-his-luck Nigerian guy. What's more ethical than that?

2009 Worst Ideas Ever
1. Make Money by Building an Island Out of Garbage. In principle we thought this would be a good one, but we were late to the party. It turns out there is already a gigantic garbage island in the Pacific Ocean, and barges were harder to find than we anticipated.
2. If I had a Dime Everytime I Heard That... The key word for why this failed is "if." Bottom line, people don't pay up.
3. Make Money by Cleaning Your Car This is another one of those "works in principle, not in practice" ideas
4. Make Money by Selling Snow: This idea may work once global warming gets back on track, but the day we posted this idea the East Coast got hit by a blizzard. High supply = no profit.
5. Make Money on Black Friday: Reason it failed: We didn't think of it until the Sunday after Black Friday. Woops!

2009 Best Business Ideas Ever
10. Make Six Dollars by Fixing My Bathroom Window for Me. This one has yet to make any money for anyone, but I really need someone to do it. Please help.
9. Give a Penny, Take a Penny We like this one because its easy and free. 
8. Free Money: This one is pretty much the same as Give a Penny Take a Penny, but with higher profit margins. Whats not to like?
7. Make Money By Cleaning Snow Off Cars: Only downside to this is that ShamWows get kind of weird when they freeze
6. Gift Cards Are a Scam: Not exactly a business, but its a good point to be made
5. Save Money by Not Buying a Swimming Pool: Again, not an actual business, but you can save thousands this way
4. Make Money by Not Farming: Easiest money you'll ever make
3. Start a Blog: We've made just over six dollars on this blog. Thats six times more than what we expected.

2. Collect Nickels: Impossible to lose money, high chance of gaining
1. Get a Promotion and a Raise: Yep, I got promoted the day after I posted this. It works.

Check back tomorrow for a (relatively) serious post about starting a microbusiness in 2010

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Give a Penny, Take a Penny

At most stores and restaurants, they have an amazing thing in front of the cash register... Free Money!  They usually call it "give a penny, take a penny."  Here's the business plan: Take a Penny!  Thats it, just take a penny.  Do it a couple of times and you'll have a dollar.  If you have a little kid, get them to take a penny as well.  No one gets mad at cute little kids and you'll get a dollar twice as fast.  If they didn't want people to take the pennies they wouldn't tell you to "take a penny."  Sometimes you can get lucky and even find a nickel

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Promote Your Blog

Now that you've started a successful blog (click here to see how) ... its time to promote it and get more people to enjoy your inspirational writings.  Using the power of the internet Al Gore has so graciously provided us with, you can promote your site to millions of people.  Facebook and twitter are two great sites to help connect people to your blog.  And the great thing is... they're free!  Nothing better than free things!  Nobody is on Myspace anymore, so just skip that one.  Set up an account with the same name as your blog and start asking people to join your group.  If you haven't already... you can follow us on twitter and facebook.

Follow us on twitter:
Join our group on Facebook:

Monday, December 28, 2009

How to Make Money By Helping the Nigerian Royal Family Transfer Funds to the U.S.

Business Description: Many members of the royal family in Nigeria are attempting to transfer large sums of money into bank accounts in the U.S. It is believed that over a million direct relatives of the king are currently trying to do this. For some reason they do not know how to use traditional banking services for these account transfers. Instead they choose to go to outrageous lengths in order to transfer their money. Unfortunately, they have poor grammar, and have strange names such as Dr. H. Pinkus Hansen C. T. Dinkus Doubletree Gore-tex IV. This forces them to go through the complicated and unnecessary procedure of contacting complete strangers to ask for help. Their problems are further aggravated by the fact that everyone they have ever met has recently died in a car accident.

How it Works: If Dr. Gore-tex or one of his associates contacts you and asks you to help him transfer his money, he will compensate you by paying you a commission on the total amount that is transferred. This commission is usually about 10%, and comes to several million U.S. dollars. I recommend haggling over this and asking for at least 15%, since he is in such a desperate situation. I always recommend haggling.

Once you've agreed on a price, all you have to do is provide him with your social security number, bank account number and check routing numbers. He takes care of the rest.

Howtomakeadollar is an extremely trustworthy entity, and has been contacted by several members of the royal household over the years. They trust us inherently, and have sent us many highly important and confidential emails. However, we spend too much time developing this informative website, and are unable to keep up with the high volume of royal bank account transfers. For this reason, Howtomakeadollar is offering a limited opportunity to our loyal reader.

That's right. We will forward these emails to you for just one dollar. This will enable you to work directly with the Nigerian Royal Household on our highly influential recommendation. This is a limited-time reader appreciation offer that we are making to our loyal and trustworthy reader.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How to Make Six Dollars By Fixing My Bathroom Window

Business Plan: You fix my bathroom window, I pay you.

Business Description: The bathroom on the third floor of my house has a window. The frame of this window is rotted, and does not allow the window to close properly. This allows cold air to come in, as well as occasional insects. If you can fix it, I'll give you ten dollars. I estimate that you will need to buy about four dollars worth of lumber for this job. That will give you a $6 profit in addition to the rotted wood, which I will let you keep as a reader appreciation gift. You will also need a 40 foot ladder because the rotted frame is inaccessible from the inside of the house, and gloves because it is really cold today. I estimate that it will take you about an hour, which comes to $6 an hour.  Not bad. Many people in Zimbabwe will not make six dollars in a full year. Six dollars can buy approximately 60 candy canes in the week after Christmas, or one peep hole. You could also photocopy it. You can use the rotted wood to beat up terrorists, or animals, or to expand your island. Basically, you are robbing me blind with this business opportunity, but I'm a nice guy.

How to Save Money By Not Buying a Swimming Pool

How it works: Swimming pools are very expensive to build and maintain. You can avoid these fees by simply not buying a pool in the first place. Its that easy.

Related Money Saving Ideas: Don't buy a second house, Don't Take Exotic Vacations

Friday, December 25, 2009

How To Make Money At Christmastime (Supplemented)

A few more ways to make money around Christmas:

1.  Sal's vacation Army
This idea involves tapping into the Pavlovian urge to toss change into a red bucket at the sound of a bell around Christmastime.

1.  Dress up as Santa
2.  Buy a red cauldron (a bucket may work, but for best results use a cauldron, preferably with hanger)
3.  Buy a bell
4.  Position yourself outside of a popular store with said cauldron and bell.  You may wish to seek out a different entrance than the Salvation Army volunteer who is most likely stationed at the main entrance.
5.  Ring the bell vigorously.  Most people should not notice that you are not affiliated with Salvation Army in any way, but just in case, you could attach a sign to your cauldron that says "For Sal's vacation Army", with the "S" and "Army" in larger font.  This may fool the rest.
6.  Learn to live with the guilt.

2.  Post-Christmas Resale
You have most likely received a moderate to above-moderate amount of free things recently.  Some people call them gifts.  I like to think of them as opportunities to make money.  Immediately sell all of these "gifts" on ebay for maximum profit.

3.  Recycled Wrapping Paper
There is a segment of the population that actively looks to purchase things that are recycled, and another segment that loves finding bargains on Christmas items after Christmas.  Where these two segments intersect, you can find a profit.
1. Save a few empty cardboard wrapping paper rolls.
2. Gently unwrap any gifts you receive and keep the wrapping paper.  To maximize the amount of reusable paper, you could also offer (demand) to unwrap everyone else's gifts as well.
3.  Roll the used wrapping paper back onto the empty cardboard rolls.  You can combine different sizes and types of wrapping paper onto the same roll.  Secure the roll with a few rubber bands, tape, or even some used ribbon for extra flair.
4.  Sell the rolls to an environmentally conscious vendor.  Or sell them yourself from a cart outside of Target.
5.  For variation you could make a few rolls using paper that was completely trashed when the gifts were opened.  These you can sell for half price.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

10 Ways to Make Money at Christmastime*

*Contains only four actual ideas

There are lots of ways to make money at Christmastime. In fact, that is what the holiday is all about! It is a holiday that is based on and dependent on commercialization. Thats the meaning of Christmas. So if you aren't making loads of money off Christmas, you are probably one of the dupes who is spending it. Don't be a dupe.

As with everything else on this blog, some of these ideas are kind of good, others are not.

Business Ideas

1. Plastic Junk With Santa on It: 
 1. Find someone on Facebook who looks like they are from Taiwan or the Philippines.
 2. Friend them.
 3. Ask them to mass produce about 10,000 cheap plastic items with a picture of Santa Claus on them. These  items can be anything from napkins to mud flaps to frisbees. Most people in Taiwan or the Philippines should have no trouble filling this order.
 4. If you are feeling particularly cynical you can have a picture of baby Jesus instead of Santa.
 5. Once the shipment arrives, sell everything to Wal-Mart.

2. Christmas Tree Removal
 1. Go around after Christmas and offer to take people's Christmas trees for a dollar
 2. Put all the trees in a big pile in the middle of a field. This pile should be enormous, with at least 50 trees in it.
 3. Soak the trees with gasoline
 4. Advertise a big Christmas tree bonfire on New Years Eve
 5. Sell tickets to the event
 6. Sell hot chocolate
 7. Set the trees on fire at midnight
 8. Optional: Put a few loud firecrackers in the middle of the pile of trees so that it makes cool noises and pops lots of big sparks.

3. Gift flipping
 1. Figure out which electronic gadgets are likely to be in high demand at Christmas
 2. Buy as many of them as possible
 3. Sell them on Ebay for more than you bought them for
Side Note: A friend of mine bought two Nintendo Wii's a few years ago when they were new. He sold one on Ebay on Dec. 20 for $603, and sold another on Dec. 23 for over $800. They had cost him about $250 each.

4. Following FedEx trucks around
 1. Drive around until you see a FedEx or UPS truck
 2. Follow it
 3. Do not look suspicious
 4. Wait until the driver stops and leaves a box on someone's porch
 5. Wait until the driver drives away
 6. Run over to the porch and grab whatever they left
 7. Open  it up and see what it is. It is probably one of five things: A power tool, An electronic gadget, Jewelry, A bag of mixed nuts, A cheap plastic thing with Santa on it.
8. Take it home and sell it
Side note: This is actually a pretty big problem at Christmas, so if you are expecting a delivery, you should try to be home when it arrives, or you should leave instructions for the driver to put it somewhere that is not visible from the street.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Free Money

I don't know if you've seen it or not... but people literally throw away money everyday.  At most malls in America, they walk up to a fountain and throw money in it.  For some reason, people feel throwing money away gives them good luck.  Sure, it might only be a quarter here, a dime there, a nickel there... but it all adds up.  Millions of dollars every year.  So next time you are at the mall and you see a fountain with money in it.  Just reach in and grab it.  I'm about 78% sure the "finders keepers" rule applies.  I've never seen a sign that says "Money in Fountain is property of this mall, do not take."  As long as no such sign is posted...  you're good to go.  But, make sure you say "finders keepers, losers weepers" so everyone knows all you are doing is recovering lost money and not stealing.  Don't worry, you'll be okay.  Within about 30 seconds you will be $1 richer.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to Make Money By Collecting Nickels

Bear with me on this one

Currently (Dec. 2009) U.S. nickels are worth five cents. The cost of the materials that nickels are made of (nickel and copper) comes to about 4.5 cents. So the face value of a nickel is slightly more than the cost of the materials. However, commodity prices are subject to fluctuation. In 2008 the amount of copper and nickel in nickels was actually worth about 6 cents. That means that if you had sold your nickels as metal, you would have made about a 20% profit. Not bad.

Commodities in general, and metals specifically, are expected to make significant gains in 2010 and for the foreseeable future as the dollar loses value. This means that the price of copper and nickel is likely to increase, while the face value of a nickel is likely to decrease. This means that in the future your nickels will be worth more for their metal content than as currency. In fact, I will go out on a pretty solid limb and personally guarantee you that sometime in the next two years, the value of a nickel will be higher for its metal than for its worth as money.

And its happened before too. Dimes used to be made almost entirely out of silver. However, in 1965, the cost of silver exceeded the value of the dime. So guess what happened? The government changed the makeup of dimes and started making them out of cheaper alloys. How much are pre-1965 silver dimes worth now? About $1.25. Imagine if you had stashed $1000 in dimes in 1965. A one-thousand dollar investment would now be worth $125,000. Thats hard to beat. Especially when you consider that there is no way to lose. More on this later.

Why does the price go up? Lots of reasons, but the big one is obvious. Once the government starts producing cheaper substitutes, the Treasury Dept. is going to start collecting all the more valuable originals to melt down and sell as metal. They aren't stupid. You can't keep producing coins that cost more to make than they are worth.

Once the majority of the valuable nickels are pulled off the market, the only ones left will be the cheap substitutes. Collectors will rush to get their hands on the original nickels. Other people will rush to melt them and sell them as metal. Either way, the nickel you bought for five cents will be selling for a lot more than that.

The best part about this investment is that you can't lose. Even if I'm wrong (never happened before) you can't lose. Lets say nickel and copper prices drop significantly and the government never starts using cheaper alloys. Well, your nickel is still worth five cents. You didn't lose anything. You can hold it for 50 years and never lose. Do you know of any other investments that can't lose value?

The downside is that you have to actually buy a crapload of nickels and keep them somewhere safe. To make it worthwhile you should probably buy at least $1000 worth, which would take up a lot of space and be very heavy.

You can go to banks and ask for $50 worth of nickels without attracting too much notice. Vending machine operators and fast food chains do this frequently. Just go to the bank once a month and buy a bunch of nickels. Eventually you will have a pretty big collection. Its an investment that can't lose, and will probably make major gains.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Make money cleaning snow off of cars

Business Idea: Get snow off of peoples cars.

Business Description: No one (at least that I know of) likes to go out in the freezing weather and clean off snow from their car.  Especially when you are dressed up for work to give your presentation to the CEO and are already running late.   Although you wouldn't be late if you followed our how to get promoted blog.  With this business, you can make money cleaning off other peoples cars when it snows.

Business Resources: Big truck full of hot water, ShamWow

Step-by-Step Business Plan:
1. Wait for snow
2. Fill up your water truck with hot water (if you don't have a water truck and/or can't find one to get for free on craigslist you can use a large bucket full of hot water)
3. Go to apartment or townhouse complex. 
4. Pour hot water all over the cars to melt the snow and ice
5. Get out ShamWow
6. Dry car with ShamWow
7. Place bill under windshield wiper (everyone loves to get things placed under their windshield wipers)
8. Alternatively, you could work out a deal with the HOA and just have them pay you.  This will probably mitigate the risk of not getting paid.

Feasibility Quotient: 97

Business Risks: Global Warming

Business Competitors: Crazy lady who goes outside with a broom and wipes off her car every 30 minutes

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sell Snow

With global warming coming upon us so fast... we need to enjoy the MASSIVE amounts of snow we are getting these days.  According to Al Gore, all snow and ice in the entire world is going to be gone in the next 4 to 6 years!  So, for the next 4 to 6 years, collect snow.  Put it into a freezer in a fancy container with the date on it.  Then in 50 years from now when no one even knows what snow is; sell it!  All you need is to live in a place that gets snow, a container, a pair of gloves and have a big freezer.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

If I had a Dime for Every Time I Heard That...

Business Description: Instead of saying "If I had a dime everytime I heard that, I'd be rich" you should actually start charging people a dime every time they say it. This will get you some money, and will get people to stop saying stupid stuff around you. 

Business Competitors: I don't think many people are actually working in this business, so competition will be low. Don't be afraid to charge more, up to a quarter.

Related Business Idea: If someone says "A penny for your thoughts," always take it. This should be a no-brainer
Other Related Business Idea: If someone says "here's my two cents," demand that they give you two cents.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Start a Blog

It seems like everybody is making money off the internet these days.  How can you too??? Start a blog!  All you need is a catchy name and something to write about.  Top notch blogs usually deal with something to do with the following: politics, religion, money, how to make money, hobbies, and families. 

If you have a controversial political or religious view, blog about it.  If you think global warming is a good thing that sould be supported... blog about it (Support The Warmth).  If you know how people can make tons of money from investing in biotechnology companies on the stock market... blog about it (Biotechdaytrader).  But, make sure you blog.  If there is nothing for people to read about, they won't come to your site (it can get a little boring reading the same post over and over).  Its easy to start a blog, but it does take some work to stay motivated.

Here's how to do it: go to come up with a catchy name (that has not already been taken), sign up, and blog.  Simple as that.  Then simply get thousands of people to visit your blog everyday and have companies pay you for everytime your blog is viewed.  Its free to start and you have the potential to make millions!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How to Make Money by Making Islands out of Garbage

Business Name: Garbage Island Paradise Co.

Business Plan: 
1.Collect garbage from people for a fee.
2. Look around on Craigslist to see if anyone will let you borrow a barge for a few weeks. (A good rule of thumb for barge aquisitions is that bigger is always better)
3. Put the garbage into the barge
4. Drive the barge out into international waters, preferably somewhere warm
5. dump the garbage out
6. keep track of the location where you dumped it
7. repeat steps 3-5 until you have successfully built an island. I doubt this step will take very long.
8. Go to a beach at night
9. Dig up a barge load of sand
10. Dump the sand on top of the garbage island
11. Spread it around
12. Repeat steps 8-11 until garbage island is covered in sand
13. Plant palm trees on island
14. Get a bunch of coconuts and dead crabs.
15. Distribute them evenly around the island
16. Hire some women to walk around
17. Subdivide island and sell off portions of it to developers
18. Collect garbage generated by island tourists for a fee
19. Repeat steps 2-17 somewhere else.

Business Risks: Island floats away, Island smells like garbage

Profitability: This business works on many levels. First, you can make money by collecting garbage. Second, you can make money by selling island real estate.

Business costs: Sand can be expensive, which is why Howtomakeadollar recommends digging it up from beaches at night.

Feasibility Quotient: 94

As a side note:  some guy actually spend $16 billion making his own island (pictured below).

What was he thinking?  He would not be in such serious financial ruin right now if he had used peoples trash!

Additional option: There is an existing trash island?  Almost.  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is growing!  Just get a big net or ball of yarn to link the trash together.  Its an island that will keep on growing!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Make Money By Having a Child

Business Name: The Diseased Children's Fund
Business Plan:
1. Find a baby
2. Adopt the baby. If you are unable to adopt a baby, you can try to make your own, but this is not recommended
3. Name the baby "Charity" if it is a girl
4. Name him "The Diseased Children's Fund" if it is a boy
5. Set up various fund raising events for "The Diseased Children's Fund."
6. Keep the funds for yourself

Monday, December 14, 2009

How To Make Money By Bottling Bog Water

Consumers have already been conditioned to buy something they can get for free (water) by concluding that having it bottled is somehow safer than the retrieving it from the tap.  Clever marketing and common perception have created an extremely profitable industry.  Studies have recently shown, however, that this perception may not be entirely accurate, and according to "government and industry estimates" up to a quarter of all bottled water is actually bottled tap water!  (see the story here)  If people are already willing to pay money for a perceived health benefit that may not exist, perhaps some will be willing to pay money for a rumored health benefit that definitely does not exist.  Yes, I'm talking about the rumor (started here) that bog water has antioxidant properties and enhances libido (not true).   This has been demonstrated repeatedly (never) by diligent (dubious) scientific (imaginary) research.  So, spread this rumor as fact, and head to your local bog to be the first to start selling the miracle swamp tonic known as bottled bog water!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How To Make Money on Black Friday

Business Idea: Set up a snack stand outside of a popular store on Black Friday.

Business Description: People voluntarily choose to wake up ridiculously early in the morning to stand in line in the cold to possibly buy things they probably don't need.  You can help\take advantage of them.

Business Resources: Snack food, hot drinks, hot packs, ponchos (optional), and card table.

Step-by-Step Business Plan:
1. Wake up early in the morning on Black Friday
2. Gather up whatever snack food you have lying around.  Or plan ahead and buy\make donuts, muffins, bagels, etc.
3. Make a pot of coffee or hot water for tea and hot chocolate and pour into a thermos.  Don't forget cream, sugar, tea bags, and hot chocolate packs.
4. (optional) Take ponchos to sell if raining, hot packs (pre-heated) if really cold, and a card table to display your wares.
5. Dress warmly.
6. Drive to a popular store hours before its advertised opening time.  Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target are viable options.
7. Set up the table and arrange the food and drink on it for display.  If you are an over-achiever, place the sign that you made ahead of time on the table as well.
8. Sell food and drink to the hungry horde.  Try not to ridicule them too much since they represent your customer base.
9. Continue to operate your snack stand throughout the morning.  Some people may not be hungry right away, but after spending hours standing in line to get into the store, and then standing in line to get out of the store, many of them will be famished.  Set your prices accordingly.  The more famished your customers are, the more money you can charge.  You can try to lure people in by offering free hot drinks, since heating up a bunch of hot water and providing tea bags or hot chocolate packs will not cost you too much, strategically place a tip jar on your table, and sell the baked goods for profit.

Feasibility Quotient: 85

Business Risks: You may need a permit to operate a snack stand on store property.  If someone asks to see your permit, offer them a scone.

Business Competitors: Stores with snack stands\restaurants inside.  Avoid these stores.

Business Growth Opportunities:  This is a scalable business model.  The more time and money you put into your stand (such as offering gourmet drinks or hot breakfast sandwiches, etc), the more you can potentially make out of it. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

How to Make Money By Cleaning Out Your Car

This business is actually a pretty easy one to run. All you need is a car.

Business Description: If you've owned a car for very long, chances are it has gotten kind of messy. There are probably broken pieces of doritos all around the drivers seat. Usually you can find a french fry or two, and sometimes you can even find a bag of groceries. In addition to food related trash, you will probably find a few receipts, napkins, and used condoms. Its a good idea to clean and vacuum your car a few times a year, and most people do this anyway. But what if I told you that you could make money while you did this? You'd be interested right?

Well you can.

You see, in addition to all the trash that you find in your car, you will probably also find a few pennies, nickels and dimes. If you are lucky you may even find some quarters. This can add up to a dollar or more.

Go ahead, scoff.

But why stop with a there? If you clean your car once a day every day of the year, you would make $365.00. If you clean it twice a day you would make $730.00

Now who is scoffing?

Related Business Ideas: Try on an old coat that you haven't worn since last winter, and check the pockets. Do this every year.

Ultra-Related Business Ideas: Clean out other people's cars for a small fee, keep the change as a tip.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to Make Money By Not Farming

Hi, how is everybody doing? Good? Awesome. I'm good too. But I don't have time for all this small talk.
I know a way to make you rich without even having to work, and without having to venture into any ethical grey areas.

The US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has a smaller division within itself that is called the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The FSA owns something called the Commodity Credit Corp. (CCC). All three groups figured they should make a fourth group called the Conserrvation Reserve Program (CRP). The CRP is audited by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The purpose of the CRP is to give money to people for not farming. Did you catch that? They pay you for not farming. I'm not kidding.

Here is how it works. Many people own farm land. They work really hard all day, starting at like 4:00 AM, and they sweat, have callused hands, and smell like manure. Sometimes they have to artificially inseminate cows. These people provide food for the entire world. These are the people that originally settled the U.S. and made it rich. If the weather is good, and the markets are good, they can make money. If something goes wrong, they lose money. These people are called Farmers, and the USDA, the FSA, the CCC, the CRP, and the NRCS hate these people and wish they would all go away and maybe fall off a silo.

Other people own farmland and do not work really hard all day. They do not get up at 4:00 AM. They do not sweat. Their hands are soft and delicate, and they do not smell of manure. They never artificially inseminate cows. They do not produce food for the entire world, and they do not contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy. They own farm land, but they do not farm it. These are the people that the USDA, the CRP, The CCC, the NRCS, and the FSA care about.

If you refuse to farm, they will pay you money for your land to just sit there not being farmed. Here is how it works.
1. Call someone at the USDA.
2. Ask to speak with someone at the FSA
3. Ask someone at the FSA to connect you with the CCC
4. Ask the CCC to connect you with the CRP
5. Hold, while the CRP person gets the ok from the NRCS
6. Tell the CRP that you are not a farmer
7. Swear to them that you do not own any cows, and that you do not like crops.
8. Ask for money
9. Periodically throughout the year take pictures of your land, making sure there are no crops growing on it, or any cows roaming around
10. Send these pics to the CRP

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gift Cards Are A Scam

Gift cards are an easy gift, and most people love to give and/or receive them.  They provide the giver with the illusion of sincerity and the recipient with the promise of a future shopping spree.  Win-win, right?  Wrong.  Do not buy gift cards.  They are a scam.  The only scenario for which it would be fortuitous to purchase a gift card would be if you were on your way to a store/restaurant and were already planning on spending a set amount of money, and you can purchase that set amount of money in gift cards from a store that will give you cash back or gas money for buying gift cards from them.  Merchants make money off of gift cards because they get cash in hand for the exchange of future goods or services.  They can reinvest your money and earn interest on it while you have nothing, until you use the gift card.  When you use the gift card, you are locked into spending it at a certain store and you may be forced to purchase more than you want, just to use up the balance of the gift card.  This forces you to spend money in order to use something that was likely received as a gift.  The other option is to spend as close to the gift card amount without going over, which will inevitably leave a usually small amount of money on the card, which will eventually expire.  This is exactly what the merchant wants, because if enough people do this, it will add up to a significant amount of money earned by the merchant for doing nothing at all.

That being said, a smart way to earn money would be to sell gift cards.  If you own a bakery, a hair salon, a drive-in movie theater, etc., supply gift cards for your customers to purchase.  You can also provide incentive for customers to purchase more gift cards than they would ever need by offering a free $5 card for buying, say, $50 or more in gift cards from you.  If you do not own a business, you could attempt to coordinate with local business to sell gift cards for them.  Arrange to receive a commission for each card sold and suddenly you're making money with little investment on your part.

Monday, December 7, 2009

How To Get a Raise or Promotion

If you are working on a few business ideas but aren't making enough money to quit your job, you might as well get as big a raise as you can. The economy is in pretty rough shape right now, and many businesses have frozen wages or even cut them. Here are a few ways to get promoted or get a raise.

1. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Everyday.
2. Be cheerful. Smile when people talk to you, especially your boss. Always say your day is going good, or great, when someone asks you. The project you are working on is going great, and you enjoy the challenge. No matter what. Sometimes your co-workers will complain about the boss, or the work, or the temperature. Do not join them. Either stay out of the conversation altogether, or chip in something positive.
3. Carry a notebook and pen with you all the time, even to meetings that you know won't be important
4. Say something at meetings, even meetings that are ridiculous wastes of time. Managers feel just as awkward in these meetings as everyone else, and they will be relieved if someone else talks a little bit. It breaks the awkward silence. A good question to ask at weekly team meetings is "are there any extra projects coming up?" This shows that you care about the big picture and want to be involved.
5. Say hi, by name to higher-up executives when you pass them in the hallway. They probably don't know you. You want them to.
6. Show up a minute early everyday. Some managers are micro managers who will actually keep track of this. Others will not keep track but will occasionally notice and appreciate it. Better to be occasionally noticed coming in early than occasionally noticed coming in late.

Update: 12/8/09-- My company has several thousand employees and has frozen wages for everyone indefinitely. I work on a team of about 65 people, and it is really hard to stand out. However, today I was given a promotion with a pay raise of 11%. I truly believe that following the principles I named above helped me get the promotion. I do above average work, but on a team of 65 people there are probably 10 people who are as productive or moreso than I am. Several of them have more experience at the company, and some have a masters degree. I was told that I was the first and only person who was seriously considered for the promotion, and that I was chosen because I am the most professional and have the best attitude. Its not always fun to get to work early, and I hate dressing up, but its worth an 11% raise, especially when the entire company is locked down.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Find inspiration

I came across this website the other day while thinking about developing howtomakeadollar. I find the website inspirational.
It is a website some guy developed where he sold one million pixels. Each pixel was sold for $1. Some people would look at this idea as a million dollar idea. But, I think it is a perfect example of one million $1 dollar ideas.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

How to Make Money With Nothing But a Copy Machine and Some Cash

Business Idea: Print More Money

Business Description: There is a lot of money out there. Very few people would notice if someone added a little bit more of it. This is where you come in.

Business Resources: Copy machine, cash, green crayon

Step-by-Step Business Plan:
1. Go to Staples
2. Find a copier that does double sided copies
3. Get the cash out of your wallet. 
4. Put it in the copy machine.
5. Turn the copy machine on.
6. Select the number of copies you want to make. I suggest a really high number like 80. 
7. Hit "Copy."
8. Collect the photocopies from the tray
9. Color the back sides of the copies green
10. IMPORTANT! Remove your original money from the copier
11. Put the original money and the new money into your wallet
12. Pay for your copies
13. Act casual
14. Run

Feasibility Quotient: 61

Business Risks: Nope

Business Competitors: United States Federal Reserve

Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Make Money By Organizing Races

Business Idea: Organize local races and competitions

Business Description: Every summer you will see signs advertising some sort of race, usually it is a 5k or a marathon. Most of these races require contestants to pay an entrance fee of $15 to $50. Yes, thats right. People pay money to run even though they can run for free whenever they want to. All you have to do is plan some sort of course. I recommend a 5k, which is just over three miles. You should pick a somewhat scenic route, and you will probably have to get permission from your town. Once you get permission, just give the race a name and market it.

Business Expenses: Your town may make you pay some sort of fee to run on the course. Your other costs will be advertising, giveaways, (you should provide snacks, Gatorade, and T-shirts to your runners) and prizes.

Business Logistics: You will have to start work on this at least a year before your target race date because there are several steps, and all of them can take significant time. The more time you have to market your race, the more contestants you will get. Start by mapping out a scenic course through a local historic area or park. Once you have a good course in mind, go to the local authorities and ask for a permit. Pay whatever fee they charge, as long as its reasonable, like $100 or less. Then go find local businesses who will sponsor the event. To entice sponsors, you should offer to put an ad for the company on the back of the t-shirts you give out. Once you've collected enough money from your sponsors to pay for your expenses, you should start advertising. Put signs on nearby street corners, post bills on any kind of public bulletin board, and put an ad in the local paper. If possible, write an article for the paper. Get a free website that provides all the information. You should give your race a memorable name. The registration fee should easily pay for the t-shirts, and you should be able to pocket about $10 per runner. On  the morning of the race make sure the course is well marked, make sure there are tables full of snacks and drinks, and prizes. There should be age groups, and prizes for the top three finishers in each age group. I recommend participating in a few races before you actually host your own. These races get more and more popular every year, so make it a regular event.

Related Business Ideas: Triathlons, Wife Carrying Contests, Polar Bear Clubs

Business Risks: If you don't get enough contestants to cover your costs, you could lose big time. Try to spread out the risk by getting local business to partner with you.

Feasibility Quotient: 74

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Million dollar ideas are overrated!

Stop trying to come up with "million dollar ideas."  This is an epiphany I had the other night as I was trying to come up with another million dollar idea.  I have a lot of million dollar ideas.  But unfortunelty I do not have one million dollars.

One of the ideas I had actually became a million dollar idea.  However, it was worth a million dollars for someone else.  Several years ago I had the idea to invent a Christmas tree star/angel that would be able to extinguish a fire if the tree ignited into flames.  For those of you who watched American Inventor (an American Idol type show except people competed to see how had the best invention) you would know that the winner of the one million dollar grand prize invented the Guardian Angel.  The Guardian Angel is an angel that goes on top of a Christmas tree that can put out a fire. 

The problem with my million dollar ideas is the fact that most of them require money.  Money is something that I do not have a lot extra of to put into my million dollar ideas.  And this seems to be the problem will all of my million dollar ideas, they are not making me any money; and they cost too much money to start.

So, I have officially given up on million dollar ideas.  My new philopsophy is to stop trying to come up with a million dollar idea and start coming up with a million $1 ideas!  Most $1 ideas do not cost any money to start.  This blog will be an attempt to document all of our $1 ideas.  Hopefully some of our ideas will make more than $1.  And for someone like myself that has lots of ideas, this is a great way to keep my creativeness flowing.  With my one million dollar ideas I keep getting hung up on how to fund my invention/business.  With all of our $1 ideas, this worry will be eliminated and things can start happening.  I would much rather have several $1 ideas then nothing at all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How to make money with dangerous animals

Business name: Violent Animal Rental Services Inc.

Business Description: Basically what you are trying to do in this business is rent out your dangerous animals to people who are willing to pay money for the chance to prove their manhood in a fight. You provide the bear, wolf, wolverine, or crocodile, and they fight it. In my experience, most people are willing to pay $200-$300 per hour for this service. In addition to the rental fee, you can also charge admission to the event, and charge commissions on any gambling that takes place. Alcohol is usually in high demand as well. It may be a good idea to have medical staff on hand in case any of the contestants survive.

Business Logistics: You need to acquire a few fighting animals. I recommend that you start with wolves, bears, and crocodiles. Wolves are inexpensive, and come in packs, making them easy to load into small cages and transport the around the country. Bears and crocodiles are “big ticket” items that will draw a crowd. Bears can be expensive, but you don’t need to worry about replacing them because they very rarely lose a fight. Crocodiles are difficult to procure, but many villages in Africa will actually pay you to capture their crocs, so there’s that. No one has ever killed a croc in a fair fight, so you probably don’t need to worry about replacing your croc once you get one. I never recommend tigers.

Business costs: A good fighting bear can run anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000 depending on age. Wolves are significantly cheaper. You can usually buy a decent wolf for about $250 in Canada. The wolverine market is very tight right now, so any price is a good one. I do not recommend tigers under any circumstances.

Business Risks: Lawsuits. Many animal rights activists will want to get you for animal cruelty. But remember, its not cruelty if the animal attacks you first. Everything that happens after that is self-defense.

Feasibility Quotient: 18

Competitors: Ice Hockey, This Guy

Marketing Suggestions: This is a business that mostly sells itself. Very little marketing is necessary.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How To Make Money By Installing Peep Holes

Business Name: Peep Hole Installation Corp.

Business Description: Most people use a peep hole on their front and back doors so that they can look out and see who is there before opening the door. This is a simple safety feature that is built into many doors. It provides peace of mind for occupants. However, many people do not have peep holes on their doors. This is where you come in.

Business Logistics: There are dozens of places where you can buy a peep hole. I suggest looking at any hardware or home renovation store such as True Value, Lowe's, or Home Depot. You can look online as well, but remember that you'll have to pay extra for shipping. You want the cheapest peep hole you can find. The next step is to look for a housing development or condominium complex that does not have peep holes. These complexes are almost always built by the same company, and each unit is identical to all other units. If there is no peep hole on the first door you see, there probably are no peep holes anywhere in the whole development. All you have to do is knock on a door with no peep hole, give a short sales pitch, and then install it on the spot. It takes about 5 mins. You can charge $15.00-$20.00 for the service for very little work. The hardest part of this job is selling your service to your potential clients. That is why you should start with large developments. This will enable you to try numerous houses in a single Saturday afternoon.

Business Costs: Cheap peep holes can be bought for less that $5.00. You will also need a cordless drill, which is nice to have anyway. If you have to buy one, you can get a good one for about $50.00.

Business Risks: The only thing you are risking is the cost of your materials, which is minimal. Start with a single installation. If you find a customer quickly and easily, you can go out and use the profit to buy a few more peep holes. If you are only spending your profits, you can't lose.

Feasibility Quotient: 27

Competitors: None

Marketing: This service sells itself. If you find a house without a peep hole and present yourself in a respectable way, you should not have any trouble.

How To Make Money With A Terrorist

Business Name: Terrorist Beatdown Corp.
Business Description: Sell tickets to people who want a chance to beat up a terrorist, or watch it happen.
Business Logistics: Next time a terrorist gets arrested, you need to run to the courthouse and post his bail ASAP before anyone else has a chance. Once you have freed him, tie him up really good and stash him on a big boat. Cruise out into international waters and sell tickets to people who want to beat him up. Twenty dollars for a single punch, 50 for a knee to the crotch, and 200 for a full five minute beatdown, $500 for a crowbar, shovel, or two-by-four beating. You can sell tickets for observers as well. The important thing is to make sure you are in international waters. I’m about 50% certain that you can do whatever you want in international waters. There are no civil liberties at sea. The ocean has no respect. Eventually the Geneva people will convince the Navy to go after you. No problem. Just dump the guy out and pretend you are fishing.
Business Costs: The biggest expense will be posting bail. For really dirty terrorists this can run in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The other expense is a boat. You’ll need a big boat that can hold a crowd of at least 100 people. It will need to be fast enough to get out to international waters before the Coast Guard takes notice. You can probably find a boat like this on the cheap at Craigslist
Business Risks: Terrorist escapes, blows up boat with pair of shoes.
Feasibility Quotient: 46
Competitors: Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp
Marketing: If you post bail on a terrorist and then run him off into international waters, you will probably get all the publicity you need.
Related Businesses: This business model also works for rapists, molesters, serial killers and jaywalkers

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...