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January 15, 2017

Making Money By Selling Refreshed Apple Products

money appleTry, for a moment, to think of a corporation that compares to Apple. What company has the name recognition, branding, and carefully constructed image that Apple has built over the last decade of total technological dominance?

The Leader of the Pack

The answer, of course, is that Apple has no real competition. Their rise to power has been slow and steady, but the cell phone industry analysis is indisputable. As of mid-2015, CNet reports that about 100 million Americans use iPhones. That’s roughly 1/3 of the population of the United States.

If you walk into your local coffee shop, you’ll immediately note the dominance of the MacBook as the preferred notebook computer for telecommuters across the US. Want a tablet? The iPad is the obvious choice.

The popularity of a product is one of the most important variables in determining whether there is money to be made in servicing and repairing that product. Consider other household goods, appliances, or even vehicles? If a car manufacturer produces a dominant model, and that model is purchased and driven by 1/3 of the US population, how many other services professionals can benefit from that popularity? Mechanics will exclusively service the model. Aftermarket part manufacturers will build and distribute exclusively for the model and re-sellers will benefit from exclusively carrying the model, since such a huge percentage of the population will purchase it.

Using the auto analogy helps to demonstrate the significant opportunity that exists for an iPhone repair franchise. Sure, cars cost more. But the impact of Apple’s popularity is difficult to comprehend without thinking in terms of other, similarly valuable products.

Apple Franchise Markets are Everywhere

One of the secrets to successful franchising is selecting an appropriate market in which to operate a new business. For some franchises, that decision can be tricky. Food preferences can depend on region. Educational and fitness needs are largely dependent on demographics like age and income. But Apple products, with their complete market domination, are present in every metro area and suburb, every college campus and retirement community. Uses vary, certainly. The average MacBook pro user will differ significantly from the average owner of an iPhone manufactured three years ago. Their repair needs, however, are universal.

Refreshed Apple Products as an Income Stream

Making money with an iPhone repair franchise is possible in part because of the multiple income streams that are generated by a familiarity with the products and the capacity to fix them. One of those income streams is the sale of refreshed products, which come in as trades for customers in search of an upgrade. Although we’re accustomed to hearing about how high-tech goods are out of date as soon as they are purchased, there are several reasons that consumers have proven to be quite interested in purchasing used or refurbished Apple electronics.

  • Upgrades are largely software based. From one generation to the next, cell phones, tablets, and computers no longer change physically by leaps and bounds so that they quickly become obsolete. Instead, Apple (along with its competitors), rolls out downloadable software updates that keep even older hardware running for many years.
  • New products are prohibitively expensive. Thousands of dollars for laptops. Hundreds of dollars for even the cheapest cell phone in the lineup. Apple products are extremely expensive, but that has done nothing but whet the public’s appetite for them. Middle-income consumers have kept the prices of used and refurbished Apple products steadily high for years, with online and iPhone repair franchise profits significantly greater, as a percentage of original retail pricing, than any other comparable goods. A car driven off the lot loses a third of its value immediately. A brand new iPhone does no such thing.
  • Many repairs are easy. Broken screens and dead home buttons are often enough to send consumers—accustomed to instant gratification from their expensive devices—running to order a new tablet or phone. But the repairs are often simple and largely cosmetic, which means excellent profit margins on refreshed items. Frustrations with non-working features or broken exteriors often mean upgrades for buyers, but for an iPhone repair franchise they mean quick turnover, minimal investment, and exceptional profits.

Selling refreshed Apple products is worth investigating for any savvy entrepreneur as a personal experiment—list an item online for sale—something in a desk drawer that you’ll never use again—and look how quickly buyers flock to purchase your used electronics. It’s a lesson that warrants reflection.

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October 19, 2016

Four Quick Tips About Budgeting

entire budgetingBudgeting doesn’t need to be hard. It can be as simple as you want to make it. However, there are a few things that you can do to make sure you have a positive experience with your budget. Here are four tips to make sure you have a great experience and start to feel the “magic” of budgeting.

Tip #1 – Write it Down

Budgets can come in many shapes and sizes. They can be created for individuals, families, and households. You can even create them to help you find the funds to go on a service mission, have a wedding, or have another specific event. The biggest issue, however, is not that people don’t want to do a budget…it’s that they never write it down. Writing it down brings a level of commitment. Putting it out on paper or a spreadsheet, or even using an app of software allows you to see it and commit to it. So take a second and write your budget down, if you haven’t already!

Tip #2 – Create a Savings Plan

Along with a budget, consider having a separate document that goes along with your budget that will work hand in hand. That document is a savings plan. Creating a specific savings plan will enable you to keep your mind on the long game… that is saving for the future and for future emergencies. It doesn’t need to be hard. Just specify how much you want to save and then make specific, action goals so that you can make sure and accomplish what you are striving for.

Tip #3 – Make Goals

Speaking of goals…while you are writing down your budget and savings plan, make sure that you make S.M.A.R.T. goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time oriented. Setting goals allows you to look into the future and make plans. It will also become a benchmark and allow you to feel successful when you hit those goals. Look at the next six months or a year and make some goals and then do everything that you can to strive to hit them!

Tip #4 – Keep the Long Term in Mind

We all have times when we have an emergency or situation in which we need to spend money to survive. Whether it’s medical bills, or the car breaks down, we all have times when this happens. Don’t let it bother you. Pay what you need to pay, and then get back up and keep striving to hit your goals. If you can keep the long term in mind, then you will forever be able to accomplish your goals (even if it takes a bit longer than you thought).

If you can keep these four tips in mind, then you will have a positive budgeting experience. Put it out on paper, create a savings plan that compliments your budget, and make specific goals to help you get where you want to go. If something happens in the middle of your plans, keep the long term in mind. Following these four tips will increase your level of financial confidence and ultimately help you find financial peace in the months and years to come.

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May 1, 2016

Making Money With Your Clothes

money making from clothesOne wouldn’t necessarily think of their clothes as a money maker, but what we wear vastly impacts our business success rate. Having a fine tuned business acumen includes knowing what to wear and when.

If you are heading to meet a new client, you want to dress to impress. As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. If you show up to a meeting with a potential new client horribly dressed, they will have a terrible first impression of you. You want to leave clients with the impression that you are professional, successful, and above all else, confident you can do anything the client needs you to get done.

Dressing yourself in Macy’s is gong to convey all of the right messages. If you show up to a client meeting dressed in second-hand clothes or faded and stained suits, nothing you say will be able to convince a client that you can accomplish what they need from you. Dressing in Charles Tyrwhitt however, demonstrates that you have a history of success. Showing up to a client meeting wearing the finest of clothes demonstrates to your clients that you can succeed. When you demonstrate this, you earn their trust and their account.

It might seem odd to think that how you dress can impact your financial success, but our appearance plays a large role in how we interact with others. Dressing for success is critical in business. If you dress well, you will find your list of clients expanding and your income increasing. By contrast, neglecting your appearance will only bring you frustration and hard times financially.

Make sure to take care of your business by taking care of your appearance. You need to invest in quality wear above all else- get some shoes that shine, keep your slacks crisp, and make sure your tie is on straight. Never wear the same suit twice to a meeting with a client- so make sure you keep at least four to five different sets of suits in your closet. You’ll want to be prepared at all times to let your suit do the talking for you.

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March 15, 2016

Why Women Need To Be Involved In Family Finances

financial planning for single motherIn 2005, I began working with a new client. She just got divorced after over 30 years of marriage. Like many women, she had been content to allow her husband to take care of their finances. However, circumstances changed. In her late 50s, this woman found herself in uncharted waters: managing significant financial matters with zero prior experience.

While insurance, investments and financial planning have traditionally been “a man’s game,” there are many statistics that predict a different story. Women are living significantly longer than men and are more likely to become widows. Like it or not, it’s imperative for women stay on top of all things financial, for themselves and their families.

There are many aspects to financial planning: savings, retirement, day-to-day expenses, student loans, college savings, estate management, building a comprehensive stock market portfolio, life insurance, and more! It can get overwhelming trying to keeping track of every aspect of your broad financial plan. Here are four tips to get started:

1) Make it fun. Financial planning is not something that brings an immediate smile to one’s face. Try to take the stress out of it by making your conversations fun. Plan a “date night” where you cook together and go over one aspect of the finances over dinner. Don’t try to go out: restaurants are wonderful for romance, but not great for private financial conversations. Whatever it is you enjoy, try to mix that in so you can associate something positive with this new learning adventure.

2) Don’t get defensive. Your goal is to become more educated and involved in your family’s finances. This doesn’t have to be a cause for alarm or fighting! Remind whoever is currently in charge that this is not a criticism of what they have been doing. You are not going to change things overnight or perhaps even at all, so do not start out on the defensive.

3) Start with cash flow. In terms of where to start, I recommend beginning with the basics: cash flow. Where are funds currently being spent and allocated? How are new expenses prioritized? This is a good time to analyze expenses both from a high level and then more detailed. We get busy with our daily lives and while a $100/year item may not be significant—how many of them are there? Those can really add up.

4) Meet and engage with your team. Do you personally know your CPA, attorney, and financial professionals? Start to build a relationship with them. Make sure you understand how they make decisions, how they bill, and how they can help you and your partner reach your goals.

Starting the process is half the battle,and there is no wrong answer when deciding which area to approach first. Remember that this is a team effort between you and your family, spouse, or partner, so don’t try to go it alone. By following these steps,I believe you will become more empowered to make smart financial decisions in good times and in bad.

Meghann McKenna is Owner & Financial Adviser at McKenna Financial in Bozeman MT, a family owned financial firm serving clients since 1949. She also is a Registered Representative offering securities through NYLIFE Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC a Licensed Insurance Agency, and a Financial Adviser offering investment advisory services through Eagle Strategies LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. McKenna Financial is not owned or operated by Eagle Strategies LLC or its affiliates. This article is offered for general information purposes only. It does not set forth solutions to individual situations. Consult your professional advisor(s) before implementing any planning strategies. SMRU 1683868 (exp. 2.18.2018)

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March 5, 2016

Prepaid vs Postpaid in India – Business details

prepaid vs postpaid businessIndia’s popularity among low cost mobile manufacturers like Xiaomi, OnePlus and others is big enough to make the country their highest priority. The main reason for this surge is, among many other things, the fact that Indians prefer prepaid connections more than post paid. While the lucrative recharge offers make prepaid a better option for cost sensitive con-sumers, what this translates to the low cost mobile manufacturers is a market free from telco-subsidised iPhones and other high-end phones.

Indians have too much love for prepaid and it is only going to grow stronger. This is in con-trast to developed markets where unlocked gsm phones barely have a market. In developed countries like UK and US, telcos heavily subsidise high end mobiles to acquire long term subscribers in a bid to recover the amount through the course of the term. These connections typically come with a two year contract, with a monthly rental that help make the business profitable. Most customers in these countries do not seem to mind as long as they get their brand new high end smartphones. This is a long shot in India where even postpaid consumers pay a premium price for flagship devices.

It does raise the question though – are you better off using a prepaid connection or would a postpaid arrangement serve you better? Like any other question like this one, the answer does, to some extent, depend on who you are and what are your needs. Surely, you can not work with a prepaid connection if you work in Sales. However, there is a large group of mobile users who are happy with mobile internet and barely even make calls.

For anyone looking to have more control over their bills and a more clearer understanding of their usage, Prepaid is still the way to go. Convenience wise, however, postpaid remains the choice to make especially now that most telcos offer auto debit of monthly bills. It sure will be interesting to see if Indian telcos will start offering US style contracts here and how that’ll change preference.

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