The following suggestions have probably been considered or attempted by others. However, the potential lies in your ability to capitalize on your clients not having the time to complete the tasks for themselves. In the case of the Digital Photo Album business, there are thousands of people who are very familiar with converting paper photos to digital files but only a handful really have the time to engage the process. Hence, potential clients! Next, be sure to seek business guidance! This can be hard at times considering the amount of books and tapes sold on the subject. Just remember to look for information from people who have a similar business model as yours.
(1.) Start a business converting family paper photo Albums to digital photo albums. If you have a computer and a scanner you’re ready to start. If you use a mac, get iPhoto from Apple.com. I start with this application because iPhoto has the most complete process I’ve seen with a very low learning curve. Plus after you have finished scanning in all the photos and cleaning them up, for an extra charge to your client if you decide to do so, you can layout a hard cover photo book in iPhoto, and send it directly to Apple to be printed and mailed to you or the client for very little expense. If you’re on a PC consider Picasa 2 by Google, online at google.com for FREE. Did I say it was for FREE? I give a tutorial overview of Picasa on my site at theanthonyreport.com in the free tutorials section. It works similar to iPhoto but without the service of going directly to a book format. Still, the learning curve is low and the software is free. Both of the above require minimal computer system configurations ($500 e-machine or $1,200 iMac ) and scanner/printers run about $80.00
2.) Start a business trouble-shooting and upgrading computer systems. Now this may seem high tech but it’s really not. When on service calls I only have my knowledge of the PC and the Mac, an external hard drive to backup the clients documents, (even if they said they have done so), some software to run some tests and a screw driver. Clients are literally 2 doors to your left or right, if they have a computer. In fact the easiest clients in the world to get are computer clients. People ALWAYS need help with their computers. Trust me, once you announce just to your family and friends that you now fix and upgrade computers, you’ll be busy from that moment on. Don’t know how to charge? Just look at the price list the “Geek Squad” has. They charge $200 to setup a home network, excluding equipment! It really only takes 30 minutes, if that, to setup a home network, so under bid them. I would charge a $100 and be on my way to my next stop in 20 minutes.
3.) Setup a business configuring and loading iPods with music and video. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people with iPods that don’t use them or haven’t added music to them since their friend first put a few tracks on there for them. People WILL pay you to setup their iPod. What tools do you need? The know how and transportation to the client. Or, you can have them drop off their music, movies and their iPod to your home and charge a package fee or a per hour fee. When it comes to movies I have had people give me a couple of DVD’s and asked if I could get them onto their iPod. All you need is some DVD ripping software and a compressor software then transfer the files onto the iPod.
Where do you get your customers in your area? Advertise in the local online newspaper, post a flyer at Starbucks, tell a friend, who’ll tell a friend. Trust me, word will spread.
Once again, its not that people don’t have the technology to do these things, they just usually don’t want to take the time to get them done.
4.) Start a business creating forms for businesses. I know a guy who delivered a product to a client without an invoice detailing the exact amount of items to be delivered. An argument followed between the two regarding the amount. The person delivering the product wanted to keep the client so they just conceeded and brought the client more product at a loss to himself. A friend of mine let him know that all he needed was an invoice with his business logo and information on it with a carbon copy sheet attached. He had no idea as to how to do the above so he asked my friend to create the documents and get copies. My friend did so at a cost. There are a great many people who need all types of forms which can be downloaded from the internet and customized to fit the clients needs. What’s required? For this you don’t even need your own computer, use theirs! Google the type of form, download it, copy the text from it, bring it into MS Word and adjust! Or, depending on how complex it is, download a free trial version of photoshop and alter it there. Don’t know how to use photoshop, I have a great tutorial on my site that’ll get you up and running in no time.
5.) Create a Cell Phone Media business. On a flight to Atlanta I had a lady sitting next to me who decided to pitch me on a multilevel marketing product. I wasn’t interested in the product, but I was impressed that she had the promo video on her Treo cell phone. I asked her if everyone in the company had the same setup, she said no, her son had compressed the video to go on the phone. Now imagine your company that can take a corporate promo video and format it for the top PDA smartphones available on the market today! Most major corporations only use 1 type of phone but there are smaller companies with sales people that have the Treo, the Blackberry, the iPhone and other smartphones. Most phones can run either an Mpeg 4 (.mp4) video clip or a 3G compressed video clip. Download a free or very inexpensive video compressor like Movavi, (www.movavi.com) and you’re ready to go.
In part 2 to this article I’ll give you 5 more businesses and I give you some more marketing ideas as to the promotion of your businesses using digital technology. In the meantime I sugggest you stop by theanthonyreport.com and familiarize yourself with some other technologies that are available and how to implement them to accomplish everyday tasks in life.
As a Digital Technology Consultant and publisher of THE ANTHONY REPORT ([http://www.theanthonyreport.com]), Anthony Stewart specializes in Media Content Production. He has over 10 years experience in Graphic Design, Video Production, Web Design, Interactive CD-ROM and DVD Authoring. He is fluent on both Mac and Windows operating system platforms and has built and serviced computer systems for clients since 1996.
His Media Design and Video Production clients have included, multi-platinum rappers Nelly and Lil Wayne, NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony and Marquis Daniels, MichCon, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Daimler-Chrysler. He has also done extensive work for Loose Cannon Entertainment, the company behind recent NBA All Star Weekend Celebrity Main Events and Nelly & Jermaine Dupri’s Celebrity Weekends. Anthony has directed and produced several television shows, which include Everyday Cooking, Showreel, and the Digital Bridge. He is currently developing two shows for network cable in the areas of technology and health.