by Andrea Di Fiore (Singapore)
Since I was a little kid I have always had the passion for business. Everything started when at the age of 13, I decided to invest my savings to buy a CD burner (it was quite expensive at that time in Italy). After few days I spotted a possible business idea and I start wondering if it was feasible or not. The idea was to let the buyer choose which kind of music s/he wanted in that CD, for instance you could decide to put into this cd 3 Michael Jackson’s songs, 2 Nirvana’s songs and so on. Then I decided to invest my very last savings to buy 5000 songs and I started selling costumed music CDs. (For the records, copying CD and Music CD was not illegal at that time). It was a successful business for a 13 years old kid but suddenly everything became illegal and I had to stop with it.
Few years later I started with the gym and it soon became my real passion. As most of the people do I decided to buy supplements from my gym, starting from vitamins and moving on to protein and other products. When the monthly cost for buying supplements became quite noteworthy I decided to stop buying supplement from the gym and find a new place to buy from. Which is the biggest and easy market to reach nowadays? INTERNET of course! I started looking everywhere and comparing the prices of products and I suddenly become aware of the delivery costs drawback! Even with shipping costs though, it was more convenient than buy from the gym shop but it was really annoying. It was then when I first spotted my next business idea! Why don’t I place orders for me and my friends so that I can offset the shipping costs? I started with medium orders and I wasn’t charging any margin to the real price. Then I realized that if I buy bulk I could have bigger discounts and free shipping costs, thus I started earning a small percentage every orders. But it wasn’t enough! I decided to look outside Italy and I noticed that in other countries the prices were even lower (when the Pound Sterling was near the Euro I closed the best deals), I then decided to start ordering from other countries and especially Eastern Europe countries were the prices were really low (Free flow of goods in Europe is awesome! There are no customs whatsoever). The business was successful and the gym owner noticed a big drop in sales. I was offering the same products at 50% off and being able to markup 30% profit for me. After few months, the gym owner decided to kick me off the gym trying to save his business. I was so disappointed, I knew I was not doing the right thing to him but I had so many friends in that gym and especially so many clients! It didn’t take me long though to find a new gym and talk about my business to the owner and starting a joint business. Funny thing is that all the customers from the old gym were still buying from me. Helped by one friend I expanded my supplement business to other 3 gyms. And everything is going pretty well even if the competition is getting crazy! I think next step will be the opening of a website to offer the products to the mass.
What I tried to tell you with this (maybe boring) story is that if you find something linked to your hobby or passion you will for sure succeed. I can tell you that if you like what you are doing is not difficult to work all day! You won’t even notice that you have spent 13 hours doing stuff! What I suggest to all of you is to find something who gets you really excited and define a business idea around it.