By: Tom Chatham
It is becoming harder every day to keep up with rising prices in a declining economy. This type of situation is often referred to as stagflation. Your income stagnates while prices rise making life ever more difficult. In the situation many Americans now find themselves in, they will need to develop a business of their own to replace the ones that are now disappearing at an alarming rate. The best businesses to be in in the future are those that provide a basic necessity to the population.
For those with a small plot of land that need to support themselves, it becomes necessary to maximize the income from that land. Many people make good money from produce which can be grown intensively in many cases but unless you live in southern latitudes you can only grow most things for part of the year. While produce is a sure money maker in most cases it cannot be stored for very long making it difficult to provide income on a regular basis throughout the year.
Growing things such as grain is one way to insure you can store a product for sale the year through but unprocessed grain does not provide very high profits on a small scale. An acre of corn will only provide you with several hundred dollars gross per acre so a large field is required to make any reasonable profit. But, what if you could make thousands of dollars per acre instead of hundreds? This would make the small plot you have more viable as an income source.
A bushel of corn sells for about $6 depending on the season and available stocks. That same bushel of corn when ground into cornmeal will generate around $36 on a retail level. The ability to grind your own grains for resale provides you with the opportunity to maximize profits on your small acreage. It is easy to find a produce stand in rural areas but how many sell value added products like cornmeal or flour? This can provide you with a product that few others have and if you have sufficient acreage, you can produce enough to sell throughout the year.
With small scale grain raising, you have the ability to grow heritage plants in an organic way. Many people now seek organic feeds for their livestock making organic grains a growing business. You will not make the maximum profit per bushel selling as feed but if you have sufficient land, it can increase your profits immensely. Another product you can provide at the same time are seeds. Having the ability to produce seeds for sale can reap huge profits if your selling base is large enough. A bushel of heritage corn can sell for as much as $1,200 when broken down into small packets for home gardens.
Value added products are not limited to grains. If you have a sizable woodlot, a small portable mill can provide you with lumber to sell. With a flock of chickens you can sell eggs for a few dollars a dozen or you can hatch them out and get a few dollars per chick. Those that can raise and process meat can increase their profits considerably over the sale of live animals. Making cheese or ice cream from excess milk adds a lot of value to dairy products. Making products such as sorghum syrup, rolled oats or honey are products that are not made by everyone that sells produce so you will have the ability to draw people to your business for these specialty items.
In the search for better profits from your small plot, it is necessary to develop a customer base that you can depend on for repeat sales. Repeat customers are the basis of any profitable business regardless of the product. Having a business location where your customers can come to view your products and fulfill their needs is the very best way to build a small business that can provide income during difficult times. Your ability to control your products from harvest to sale will allow you to remain competitive in the marketplace and reap the maximum profit from your products.
Using available resources to their maximum potential is the way Americans built this country up from the wilderness they found. Making a product to sell is the only way to produce real wealth. The act of producing value added goods requires knowledge and equipment. By analyzing your potential and that of your land you will be able to determine what you are capable of and what equipment you will need to build up your business. By making up a list of what you need to do you will be able to plan out a strategy that may take a few years to realize but can provide you with the ability to be productive and stay ahead of a declining business environment where basic necessities will always be in demand.
By: Tom Chatham
During a catastrophe, many of the things we take for granted may not be available for an extended period of time. In a situation such as a currency collapse, the normal supply chain can be affected for weeks or months until some type of stabilization occurs. Those that are entirely dependent on the normal operations of the complex system we have can find themselves in want of daily necessities and suffering terribly because of it. No matter how much people are told to prepare for disasters, the majority will always subject themselves to the normalcy bias and ignore the problem assuming “someone” will fix it if anything happens.
For those that understand the problems we face and understand the complexities of the supply chain, the ability to stock extra items for later sale can provide a source of income to help you acquire the things you need but do not have. The ability to open a small store to sell the things that will be difficult to find in the aftermath of a catastrophe is a sound business venture that should be seriously considered. In the following list of possible items that you might want to stock, it becomes evident that food items are left off.
During a series of shortages the first thing people will need is water, food and energy. These things will be needed during the crisis and this is a dangerous time to be selling critical items. Those that have no form of exchange that you are willing to accept will become desperate and likely violent. Trade during this time should be carried out through intermediaries to prevent individuals from targeting you for their needs. Any food or energy items you have to part with can be disposed of at this time if you have a proper plan in effect and extra supplies for this purpose.
This article deals with sales of supplies from a store either stationary or mobile, that people may want or need after the situation has stabilized and they have other needs to fill. Many of the suggestions are durable items that may not be in production for a while but will play a role in hygiene, health, shelter repair, household needs or recreation. Most of these items are still available relatively cheap for the time being and take up very little space but may command a premium price later. They can be stored for long periods of time with little degradation in function. These are only some of the possible items you may want to store. A careful analysis of your location and possible needs will help you develop a good list of sale items that will be in high demand when the situation stabilizes.
Also keep in mind that having a few oddball, slow moving items that no one else carries may bring customers to you first providing the opportunity to sell other items that everyone else has.
Lighter fluid and flints
Feminine hygiene products
Lamp wicks and mantles
Misc. hardware – nails, screws, staples
Tubes of caulking
Tubes of roofing tar
Wheel bearing grease
Rubber repair kits
Beyond having a few items to sell you may want to plan on a post crisis service business you can run to generate income. A business that requires a small amount of equipment and limited space should be your goal. This will allow you to shelter your equipment and protect it during the worst of the crisis and allow you to move it if necessary.
Milling flour and cornmeal – Grain mill required
Smoking meats and producing sausage – Smoker, sausage stuffer, sausage ingredients and fuel source required
Baking bread, pies and cakes – Specialty pans and spices required
Clothing repair service – Sewing machine, patches and sewing supplies required
Auto repair – Mechanic tools required
Welding – Welder and supplies required
Barber shop – Chair and barber tools required
Diner – Cooking equipment, food source, dining ware, tables and chairs required
Ammo reloading and gun repair – Reloading dies, press, bullet mold, powder, primers, lead pot, case tumbler, gun smith tools and repair parts required
Furniture construction and repair – Carpentry tools (furniture specific) required
Saw sharpening service – Files and vise required
Blacksmith and tool production – Blacksmith tools and forge required
A decision to develop one or more of these business ideas will require a thorough analysis of the business idea and a listing of all individual items you may want to have on hand. You should ask some basic questions to identify the best business to start.
What services will local individuals need the most?
What services am I capable of performing with the proper tools?
What equipment can I afford to buy and store until needed?
What will I accept for payment and how much will my services be?
Where will I set up my business?
What expendable supplies will I need to replace on a regular basis and where will I get them?
Regardless of the crisis that occurs you will want to have a plan to generate income when things stabilize. Those that are already prepared to start a business will have an advantage over those who have not planned for recovery and lack the equipment to begin. The ability to generate income is the ability to control your future. Chance favors the prepared mind.