Does It Really Take Money To Make Money (Online or Offline)? A Reality-Check of 2 Case Studies

The short and simple answer to this question is NO!

Now, before you start screaming that I am crazy, out of my mind, have lost my marbles and all the other things that generally get tossed around when someone has the nerve to state something like that, let me clear a few things up.

It does not take a monetary investment to get your business off the ground (aside from the everyday items you already have around your house).

It does take time, effort, drive and determination on your part to do it though, a good dose of imagination, sprinkle in some luck for good measure and most importantly, it takes a dream. Now I am not going to go into any of the usual dream-building, nor will I tell you exactly what to do, or how hard you have to work to do it. You already know the answers to these things.

NOW, to make it big (and trust me, what you consider to be 'big' may differ greatly from every other reader of this article) it will at some point take monetary investments. There, I said it. At some point, if you really want to break out and make some serious money, you will have to invest some money in your business.

But that does not mean you can't get started for free, work hard, and see your cashflow begin to roll in. At that point, reward yourself, you've earned it, maybe take your loved one out for a dinner, because he/she probably had to put up with quite a bit already.

Being an entrepreneur is not hard, but the dedication it demands can be hard on any relationship, so take a night off.

Ok, now we're back, had a great and wonderful evening, time to get back to work. The next step is to take some of the money you are making and if at all possible, invest it all in growing your business (after all, you probably still have a job that pays your bills at this point).

If you reinvest at least a healthy part of what you earn from your new venture, you can achieve the success you dreamed of, but beware, it can be an pretty strong temptation to start tossing your money out the window, but I know you are strong enough, deep inside (go ahead, grab yourself by the collar and shake a little) to overcome it.

Let me give you two examples from my own experience that I hope will inspire you to take your dream, embrace it and get you rolling with your own vision.

Case Scenario 1: Offline Food Delivery Service

While still living in San Antonio, I was working part time at a Pizza joint delivering pizzas a few nights a week. I had a full time job as a dispatcher, but with a wife (now ex-wife), two kids, a dog and a cat, and all the bills that come with a family, things can get tight. The team that managed this little franchise was doing a pretty poor job at marketing, and an even worse job at managing. Well, enough of the ugly picture, it just gets worse. Time to talk shop...

I wanted to do something a little different, help my colleagues (who were just as fed up as I was), so I happened to notice that most of the deliveries (and probably the only thing really keeping that pizza shop going) was the local Air Force training facility.

So I sat down one weekend, with my ex-wife and laid out the plan (You have to have a plan. Let it start as a vision and a dream, but make sure you write it out step by step).

The plan was simple, take orders from the Airmen, pick up food, take the food to them, and get paid. Easy, huh?

Ok, here's what I did, I made some flyers on my beat up old computer, used a freeware contact management software to keep track of customers and an old tin lockbox I had in the garage for a change drawer. Bingo, N.E. Deliveries was born.

We would take calls from the local servicemen and my ex-wife would jot down their order. She then paged me, since I normally hung out (if I wasn't on a run) near Fast Food Central (a little corner where a bunch of the main chains all had a shop). I called her back from the payphone (I didn't have a cell phone at the time), took the order, grabbed it from the store and took it to the Airbase. Cost to the Airmen? Price of the food, plus a $5 delivery charge and whatever they wanted to tip me. Understand the scenario please, these men and women, come out of basic training and haven't even seen a Big Mac in ages. Now they are at a technical school, which still doesn't give them the freedom to run down the street and grab a taco.

It only took one weekend and I had made more money with this venture than I had during the whole week of delivering pizzas every night.

But here's the kicker. Word spread real fast, I got too busy and I was even getting orders to go pick up pizzas at my old shop (they couldn't deliver fast enough and people were willing to pay the delivery charge for good and fast service). We even started getting calls from the local neighborhoods, were our fliers had spread to, or other personnel, who were not in training at the airbase, lived.

Uhoh, we ran into a big problem, too much business. (What a wonderful problem to have). It happened that I kept running into some of my former colleagues, and boy I tell you, the first few times they saw me show up at their shop to grab a pizza and then a little while later some others saw me deliver their pizza to the airbase, wow, what a rush that was and it was the turning point for my company. 4 of the drivers that I was pretty close to and that I had great respect for came on board with me instead.

The end scenario was that we delivered a lot of food to hungry people and made everyone happy in the process. And the drivers were able to make more money as well.

Scenario 2: Online and offline Telecommunications Brokerage

Unfortunately, N.E. Deliveries had to stop when we were transferred to Japan (thinking back, I know I could have sold the concept and kept it going, but I was still new to business thinking).

So, here we were, overseas in a new country, not a lot of jobs to even start with, what to do.

I happened to notice that a lot of the phone services for calls back to the States were very expensive and even more so in my case, since most of my family lives in Germany.

I also happened to have noticed this online company, which was giving away free dealerships for long distance calls, callback programs and a few other telecommunications services. And who doesn't like free? Not only that, but their rates were pretty good, they offered not just one service from one company, but a lot of them together. So I sat down at that old beat up computer again, cleared out all the contacts from N.E. Deliveries out of the same old freeware contact manager, and created some new flyers. I was able to hang them up in a lot of areas at no charge and started to get some calls in. Now, part of my online business meant, I could literally just send them to a website, let them pick the service they wanted and just wait for my check. The problem I saw though was that a lot of military people overseas at the time were not familiar with what a callback service is, so I decided to help. I put my phone number on the flier, and when someone called, I explained to them briefly the cost, how it works and what makes it better for them than using, say a calling card. I would even go visit them to show them how and even set up an account I used for myself as a demo account and would allow them to call home to the United States for 5 minutes for free, just so they could say hi to someone special in their life.

Just doing something simple like that (and it really didn't cost me much on my phone bill) generated a lot of extra sign ups, since I went out of my way to give them more information than any of the other companies that were trying to push their services.

Ultimately, this lead to a steady, monthly stream of income and several other opportunities to work with other companies as a telecommunications consultant. The best part? I learned everything I needed to know from the online company I signed on with, I still learn a lot even now. I am still receiving paychecks from clients that signed up with me all those years ago, who now have services through me in either the United States or in some of the other countries they are now stationed in. And once I took some of that income and placed a small display ad in the local military paper, wow, things really started to take off.

The overall thing I want you to leave with after taking the time to read all of this is plain and simple: YOU CAN MAKE MONEY OFF-LINE AND/OR ON-LINE, without investing any additional money (I only gave you two examples, but your imagination will guide you well, as long as you think outside of the box). And you can grow your business even more by reinvesting some of your earnings (if not all) into your new venture.

I know you've heard it a thousand times before, but I have to say it anyway. If I can do it, so can you. I have no special education (aside from the school of hard knocks), no degree, none of those things. I am just an average guy, with a computer, an internet connection, a printer and most importantly the dream, desire, vision and determination to succeed.

Here's to your success,

Xavier Nelson is the publisher of eBusinessCornerNews, your source for reviews, articles, free resources and more. Get your free subscription at right now.

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