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.