Ask any questions related to business / entrepreneurship / money-making / life
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I think Dien can shed better light than I can, however, I'll share a thing or two.
A decade ago, Harvey turned me around in my thinking. In so many words, which sometimes takes one a while to "decode", I found that I was doing a couple of things wrong.
Visible, vocal, and vulnerable. Too much of each. I learned those with really good Toll positions kept their cards close to the vest.
I was too mouthy, too eager to regurgitate, and too scattered, albeit doing OK with what I wanted to do.
I'll give Zayne, and anyone else an assignment. It takes about half a day. You want to go to Walmart. Then either a Home Depot or Lowe's or Menards, whatever is near you. Then a Target and maybe a few other stores.
You will wander the isles. I'll give you a starting point. Sewing machines. Go to the area where they sell the sewing machines and walk those isles.
This is still an EVERGREEN MARKET, one which few guys even think about.
As you look at the different machines, you will see isles full of stuff. Like OIL.
Maybe you will see a product like this:
A zoom spout oiler for sewing machines.
Go to Walmart dot com and you'll find there are 25 pages listed under sewing machine and most of those are parts, pieces or tools, not even the threads or other supplies you would find in the store.
Why do this? A trip down the isles where you can actually touch, pick up, examine, feel and even get the names of either the distributor or mfgr, to continue your research. I would want you to come away from this exercise with an AH HA moment, realizing how huge and diversified the whole idea is.
But you must ask questions.
In the case of the sewing machine oil, how is it different from other oils? That in itself is a whole educational ball game of viscosity and why the pros wouldn't use 3 in 1 oil on their machines due to the solvent evaporation, which could gum up the works.
So, oil...there are thousands of formulas, each one protected by a copyright, patent and maybe a trademark, the 3 pillars of protection of proprietary products.
The bottles or cans the oil is in. They might be unique to a particular use, like the white lined cans of some foods. You want to make yourself aware that there are all these things out there, being sold routinely, on a day to day basis, simple mundane little items like sewing machine oil and know and UNDERSTAND...
there is OWNERSHIP behind these. Who? This is where Thomas and other registries come in handy. There are Patents for sale. Every day.
Now this is just one form of a toll, but a half a day walking the isles of a Walmart (just not on a weekend, go late at night middle of week)...should give you the motivation to seek further intelligence.
So, then there is Charles Shulz, or was. Now almost 20 years after his death, the estate does up to 30 million dollars a year collected from licensing fees.
Licensing is another toll position. The Peanuts gang was copyrighted and trademarked, and licensed. Everyday, patents, copyrights and trademarks, these things are for sale.
You can either CREATE or ACQUIRE your toll position. Creation takes longer, acquisition is faster.
So this brief answer goes like this:
DISCOVER the world of TOLLS.
See for yourself the tens of thousands of products sitting on the shelves and KNOW and UNDERSTAND that an entity somewhere OWNS these things, and one of the best TOLL booths is owned by the guy who owns the shelf space...
Walmart. For one, one of the richest families ever, they own SHELF SPACE, and to get your product on it, can be a grueling process, or you go through their space process.
First, STOP, LOOK AND SEE all the gazillions of tolls already out there.
Second, know thyself. What can you do, what do you know, where do you want to go, and why? I think more important than the how to (and I believe Harvey believes this too).
I daily visit sites, and you all have Google too, which offer toll booths for sale, to see what is out there and what the asking price is. Where does your interest lie? That might be a good place to start.
I do know that Harvey could come to any of our homes, and work in that AREA, to locate or find a potential toll position. So look out your window, do a Google search for your neck of the woods, search for mfgr, or industrial parkways.
And don't forget the Private Label route too, it may be one of the fastest way to put yourself in a toll booth, but this often depends on the distribution channel you have set up too.
Dien can probably answer more, I will do my best to answer any specific questions if Zayne or anyone else have them.
Last edited by GordonJ : January 2, 2020 at 12:40 PM.
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