Monday, August 19, 2013

peddling to work


PEDDLING TO WORK

I expect corporations to act like asshats.  Here is an entity that gets “super citizenship” status, treated by the government as a favored child and looked upon by the bankers as a nice money laundering operation- and yet still manages to waste money and act retarded.  Corporations are like children inheriting vast fortunes and being brought up with a silver spoon in their mouth who then precede to kill themselves with a drug overdose at frat party number 316.  A corporate CEO will more often than not do nothing right, waste other people’s money, then retire on a golden parachute.  It would be the perfect job to have if you didn’t have to put up with douchebags just like yourself all day long.  Unfortunately, it seems like most of the small businesses in the last decade have been modeled along corporate lines.  Some clueless Yuppie read “Forbes” and “Fortune” all day long while in their CorpCubical and thought the prevailing model was just super deluxe peachy keen.  And so they emulated it, including one of the most retarded aspects- chasing the middle class luxury dollar.  Wal-Mart is doing the same thing, thinking that they can capture a niche to their way by selling brand name merchandise cheaper than anywhere else.  For a time this will work because the middle class is shrinking.  But before long you run out of customers.  Hell, almost everyone is doing the Middle Class Deposable Income Ambulance Chase.  Even a popular Self-Reliance writer elsewhere is selling old timey drinking steins.  That worked great and more power to them.  But it ain’t going to last much longer.

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Except for the 1%, everyone is looking at shrinking incomes and shrinking purchasing power.  And luxury items- from eating out to marble countertops to lawn service- are on the chopping block.  To expect people growing poor as all costs explode to provide for your salary is the height of foolishness.  And yet, wouldn’t it be nice to have your own business?  One without debt of course.  And one that undercuts all competitors.  You have a huge advantage over everyone else.  You listened to me.  And for ten cents a month ( up to a thousand readers a day, around a hundred bucks a month income from writing [ pre-book purchase income ] which is a real drop from my heyday.  Not that I’m complaining as I have the best readers around except for that Shiite Heel that owes me $20.  I love you all, but I know no matter how generous you all stay, your numbers will never make me rich-and I don’t care ) I DO spew vast wisdom.  You know that the current business model is doomed by our transition from cheap and abundant to dear and rare petroleum.  You know you can’t sell luxury and you know any business involving gasoline is in trouble.  You might think something as simple as a chainsaw for removing trees won’t be affected, but look at the support structure behind it like the truck driven to the site and the owners expensive mortgage in a dwelling using central heat and a wife driving her own car.  The guy who thinks of ways to do without fuel is going to get and keep the future business in a lot of different areas.

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First thing, you need a business that you can pedal your bike and bike trailer to.  Just by doing away with gasoline and car insurance, you’ve drastically cut your costs.  Second, you must be living Bison Frugal, with no rent and no debt.  Even an immigrant owner using illegal help can’t compete with you if he has a truck and rent to pay.  Remember that guy in Texas that had a blog for some time on cheap trailer living?  He lived in a metro area, but his hidden city lot was paid for and had a cheap trailer on it.  You can live cheap in the city, some places.  Which is where your customers are.  Obviously this whole thing won’t work if you are thirty miles from town.  A long time ago I mentioned a few bicycle work ideas, such as mowing lawns and delivering video rentals.  This was of course pre-Redbox.  I’m not sure if it would still be viable.  But who says you can’t have more than one bike business?  Lawn mowing.  Video delivery.  Grocery delivery.  Mobile computer repair. Knife sharpening and mobile bike repair.  Each one is dirt cheap to start with minimal skills.  And you won’t have competitors if you start now.

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Every business listed above is eventually doomed to fail.  Once the economy collapses, so does all services.  But you are going to be The Last Man Out.  You can even use those skills to a limited extent after the collapse, but that is just a bonus rather than a reason.  The reason you want to have a business is because you can only rely on your job for so long.  You are betting on grabbing clients that have money a bit longer than you.  Like Seniors that can’t drive, shovel snow or mow lawns.  The secret is to make these so affordable they would be fools to pay anybody else.  Find out what traditional companies are charging.  Then how much Junior down the street is charging.  Then go below each one in cost.  And advertise to them your other skills.  For instance, you show up towing a hand powered lawn mower from your bike.  You can cheaply mow, sharpen that mower blade AND the clients knives, AND fix their bicycle ( or sell them a bike trailer just like the one you made ).  You can delivery groceries for just a few bucks extra, and since you can bike a ways you can charge Albertsons prices and shop at Smiths.  The senior only shops at the closest, Albertsons, so she can’t complain ( just be honest with them ).  You see where I’m going?  Live cheap, charge cheaper than anyone else, and beat the cost of petroleum by going with a Biking Business.  You get in great shape, make friends, and become more independent.

END

 

16 comments:

  1. All of the bike tubes and tires are made in China, how are you going to ride on rims when they blow out?
    That aside, it is interesting. Living in the country, I would take it a step further and just use my draft horse to pull a hand made wagon with steel rims. I can make everything I would need from scrap metal. This is how it was done a little over 100 years ago, tried and tested.

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    1. As I said, the business isn't really meant to last past the economy. So tires/tubes last as long as your paying customers. After the economy, you can still work, depending on the business ( no more grocery store deliveries ), but not mobile. By that time villages reform from the cities/suburbs, each hamlet surrounded by fields of crops and fodder, so transportation is no longer needed. Let's face it, we are all going to have to retrain for PODA, even this articles jobs ( I can't even see sharpening making it long term. This was a job where cheap foreign labor met busy urbanites who had lost a skill. One of the first service jobs. In future, everyone sharpens their own tools ).

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  2. Lord Bison of the Great Basin and King of Coiffure;

    I've been thinking about this zero-petroleum mobile service business idea of yours for a while here, while all of us are making our own attempts at the transition to post-petroleum existence. The bundling mobile service that you describe is intriguing; Lawn Maintenance, Blade sharpening, Bike repair and Bike Trailer sales. In fact with some repair tools and some regional tweaking, one could modify the business model to practically any geographical location in North America; from the Arctic of the Alaskan North Slope to the tropics of the Everglades in Florida. Granted Bicycle transportation isn't going to work in the Arctic or in the Everglades, however post-petroleum transportation options abound (Think Dog-Sleds for the Arctic & Flatbottom Punterboat for the Everglades). Delivering the services to the customer/client is a whole bunch better than having the same make their way to your shop (or the lack thereof considering that the operation is mobile in scope, with only the most difficult jobs being performed back at the homestead) wasting their few resources, making trips that they don't absolutely need to make. As an addendum to the list of mobile services, one could reasonably add gun-repair (note not complete gunsmith service) to the bag, provided that parts commonality was confined to the most commonly breaking parts (springs, pins and the like) to the most common of possessed firearms such as Remington 870, Marlin 336, and the ubiquitous Colt M1911A1. Note that as the business grew and your got to know the customer/client base better, then one could expand said parts base to include other firearms as well thus satisfying customer/client demand and solidifying your business in the community. Keep keeping it real James!

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    1. I totally missed the "one to many rather than many to one". We will soon be there where you must rethink any and all trips. I don't see public transportation working much either- they are a huge money sink in communities going broke. Also, the blade sharpening works on another level beside convenience. If you can't afford another saw, it must be sharpened. I think I would butcher most of those tiny teeth. I'd pay someone, once the saw isn't a throw-away item easily replaced from China ( for the record, my old lumber saw, once dull, is now religated to a brush cutter where it works fine ).

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  3. A Hidden City. A place within a place. It has happened before. Also Sprawl-Mart is beginning to get a chunk bitten out of their ass by all of those $ Stores (i.e. quarterly profits are down to the ground, and burrowing).

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    1. They painted the blue over with brown and told all the Yuppies to come on down. Oops! Where's the yuppies? The same place $50 oil is, fools!

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  4. We are not the middle class. We are the working poor. We may have the "middle-class values" whatever they are, but we are the working poor. The middle-class survivor types are all over at the Flagship.

    Is "Shiite Heel" another form of Islam? :p

    Also been looking at Elko county tax rolls. Your
    lot is valued 50% more then one of my lots, so I'm paying taxes on 2 $1000 lots of land, while you are paying taxes on 1 $1500 lot of land. I'm a bit confused myself, I think this means that crack-head neighbors raise your property value!

    I'll blather more later

    Gil

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    1. I think if you can see a power line with your naked eye, your property taxes double. Never mind it is about $2k each lot to string a line to you ( I think I heard $8k to get power from the west/east road down to my lot ). Property taxes here BITE ( a co-worker with 2.5 acres and a year round stream with older mobile home pays $100 A MONTH in tax ), but that is pretty much all the taxes you are screwed by. No income tax for all you fools going to Idaho.

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    2. I'm a tad confused (ok, a normal state for me) by the prop tax thing. Having bought and read everything you have written I'm sure you mentioned prop tax of $50/yr on your lot - one of the big selling points of living there. As an aside, once the economy tanks the income tax in Idaho will be a moot point....

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    3. Looking at the tax rolls. If you have a foundation home, you will not be taxed on a septic or well but will be taxed on your power hookup.(nice) If you have a mobile or trailer you will be taxed on septic/well/power. Also if you have 2 lots side by side you will pay tax on septic on both lots, though I think most people are only running 1 septic tank. Hmmmm...

      Interesting is that solar improvements are not taxed in Nevada. Barbed wire fences are taxed. That sucks since Nevada is an open range state. Strangely, fences are valued/taxed higher then wells.

      So live in a insulated trailer, use solar, and composting your waste is the cheap way to go. Addding a well will only increase your taxes about $30 a year.

      Gil

      PS: A nice lady with a nice dog and a 740 sq ft house had a tax bill of $560ish. Looks like Elko county gets around 3/4 of a percent a year. (.0075) It's a bit easier to figure then their convultied(Intentionally mis-spelled word)method.

      Your coworker might of got screwed by putting a foundation under that mobile home. Sheds with foundations get taxed... county might be tracking stuff through permits.

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    4. Actually Elko property tax rate is .00897 percent. I paid $8.97 for each $1,000 lot. Duh...

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    5. She has fences, out buildings and foundation. Still, a smidge high for a home rather than a house.

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    6. Not $50 a year. It was $5. Now $10 on the cheaper two lots. The whole thing is, you can't add perminent structures or you get screwed. Hide the real home underground and have a travel trailer as bait for the tax man. Then you are only taxed on raw, unimproved land.

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  5. Husky offers this airless foam tire.
    It is a tire --- not a foam tube that
    goes inside a bicycle tire.
    http://www.husknybicycles.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=hb&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=404-409

    I use airless tires since 2001. The tires I put on my
    Schwinn mountain bike in 2003 are alive ad well.
    Apply liquid hand soap to tire and rim.
    Secure tire to rim at two places with cable ties.
    With a long flat screwdriver lever the tire
    on to the rim. When the tire is on the rim
    turn the wheel as you bounce the wheel on the
    floor to fully seat the tire.
    Let the soap dry. It does no harm.

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  6. Beer Steins I presume are to pay for taxes, and school books, and such.

    It is awfully hard to live without a cash flow unless you are willing to go completely the pre-collapse collapse route.

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    1. I can't remember if it also included paying the Bankster Bitchez for their Farmer John Homestead. Too long ago reading it. I'd say it is impossible to live w/o some cash flow. Even bums on Stamps need some replacement items they can't scavenge. Especially MadDog.

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