Category Archives: Business Ideas

Clean Water–Profitable Technology

I remember a discussion I had with a friend a while ago where he was convinced that if he was ever going to start a business, or invest in a commodity, he would invest in water. “It’s the biggest thing next to energy!” He cheered.

About two weeks ago I had an interesting meeting with a gentlemen by the name of Hugh Bradley. We had a number of telephone conversations and he told me about the interesting technology he had developed for water-softening / water-purification. It is a powerful mono-pole ceramic magnet that filters water with astonishing efficiency. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that is manufactured in Payson, Utah. The names of the contracts Hugh professed were very significant, and the technology he touted was very interesting. His product is marketed and distributed through an independent contractor network.

It is a new product line and I couldn’t find anything about his company online. He prefers to keep it that way, as a product which he believes will absolutely sell itself.

I personally could not help him distribute his product, not only for time constraints, but also because I felt that as a business investment his proposal was too much emotionally/religiously based. It was fascinating conversation, none-the-less, and I would encourage anyone to look up Hugh Bradley and his Bioengineering Solutions for water purification to learn more about his opportunity.

My family has magnets and I also spoke with another mentor who runs magnets on a number of different properties. Magnets are great, but they do lose power over time. There are also a number of restrictions with the type of pipe on which you can place them. I would definitely look into it first the company and technology and reviews before either buying or selling magnets for water softening.

Water purification however is an incredibly fascinating and lucrative industry, especially in areas where water is a scarce resource. Magnets, chemical or mechanical each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Checkout the website for this arizona water softener company. This company offers a salt-free solution that still provides the benefits of softwater system. Here’s a list of the benefits they offer with their water softener installation in Arizona. If you are planning on going with a mechanical system rather than a magentic system, I have heard they are reliable. Honestly though, I don’t know much more than that. In any case, you don’t need to take my word for it, but if you are around the Pheonix or Arizona area you could call the owners of the company and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Good Luck!

Simplifile Your County Documents

I have a little sister who works for company that scans and digitizes legal documents. It is a fun little company that requires some initial contracts and some consistent employees, but appears nonetheless to be a relatively low maintenance company. I think that to own a company that only requires management 5 days a week from 9-5 would be really fun.

Intrigued by the idea, I did a little research and threw the idea around with a number of different mentors. Really, the physical space and cost of labor to store, sort and retrieve physical documents can be astounding. As policy and regulations grow in a myriad of industries, so does the need to record, sort and retrieve documents.

Aaron Brown, a quality control specialist, mentioned to me that the sheer amount of work it takes to map out and track work flow management alone is astounding. And often very problematic for businesses. This ofcourse means it can be very expensive to customize into your system. Effective is good, but simple and efficient is better.

I was pleased to find a company online that seems to address, (although in a very specific niche) the need for a simple and cost effective method to electronically backup hard copy documents and expedite and track the often maticulous process of work-flow management.

The company is Simplifile. Their niche is county recording. They offer an electronic filing service for counties, attorneys and people who do titles/deeds/property records. I’m sure it could apply to just about any industry that requires electronic document recording. (Although I think it would be a stretch to apply it in an accounting/financial records setting.)

As long as a company is already fulfilling the need, I can’t see myself trying to pioneer one myself. Probably better just to use their services. Here a link to their new website, (in case anyone is interested) and a couple of articles that tell more about ‘em.

Positive or negative experiences with their services would be helpful.


Cheesecake Factory: Chicken Madeira Delicious

During a recent business trip to vegas, I took the welcomed opportunity to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory.

Their chicken madeira is truly a cullinary marvel. The texture and flavor are satisfying to the last morsel.

Unfortunately, The Cheesecake Factory is all corporate owned. I called their corporate office to see for myself. If they ever change their mind however, I would love opening a franchise in Salt Lake City. We do have some good restaurants, but a few more couldn’t hurt.

Call for Social Entrepreneurs Plans

I have always been fascinated by business models which successfully integrate profitable business practices that measurably improve society.

Worldwide Book Drive doesn’t quite fit the criteria for this socially responsible business plan competition primarily because we don’t have any graduate students on the team. It is of course a minor technicality which could certainly be remedied, but not realistically before the deadline in less than 24 hours. .. That is… At least the cost doesn’t outweigh the benefit at this point.

I’m interested to see how things turn out with the Global Social Venture Competition. Should be fun to see who wins…

Starting Your Small Business

I hear a lot of the statement, “John, I have this great idea…” The simple truth is there are billions of great ideas out there, but the person that makes it happen is truly unique.

Listed below is a basic frame-work I developed to teach an introductory class to help people without prior business experience understand more about about their small business idea and how to make it a reality. (There are a myriad of resources available for people who wish to learn more… More will be forth coming)

Starting Your Small Business

What is your Business? Identify just what it is that your business accomplishes. For example, if Juanita sells beef tacos, she can look at her business and say, “I sell beef tacos.” Or, she can look at her business and say, “I sell quality food services”. The first statement is somewhat restrictive where the second allows the flexibility for Jane to adapt and make the most money from her venture.

Getting a mission statement. What is the ultimate goal of your business? This mission statement helps everyone involved gain a better understanding of just what it is you wanted to accomplish. It is important that the mission statement provides focus and flexibility. Jennifer should not limit her mission statement to, “Jennifer’s Taco shop wants to sell a lot of tacos”. Rather it should be more specific it outlining her ultimate goal as succinctly as possible. “Jennifer’s Taco shop works to ensure that everyone one in Chicago enjoys Jennifer’s quality beef tacos and unbeatable customer service”.

Basic marketing elements. There are four very important elements to marketing your business, and a few questions to evaluate them.

Product– What is my product? How is my product different from what other people can offer? What can I do to make my product better? What can I do to make my product more cost efficient?

Promotion– How do my customers here about my product? What is the most effective way for people to hear about my product and services? What can I do to integrate that into the promotion of my product?

Price– What is my cost of goods? What is the cost of operation? How much do I charge my customer? What are they willing to pay? What incentives do I offer to buy more product?

Distribution– How do people get my product? Does the location of the sales of my goods meet with the demand?

Financial: maintain books that show the cash flow in your business. The more detailed you keep the records, the more information you will have to develop your business in the future.

Tasks: Outline the responsibilities of your business in as much detail as possible. This is important to not only help you be organized, but to also provide the structure by which you can expand or lighten your work load in the future.

Inventory: Make sure that you keep running count of your inventory. If the amount in your inventory doesn’t match the amount it shows you have in the books, for more or for less, do what you can to figure out what happened.

Remember what you’re doing and why you’re doing it! Your business provides incredible opportunity to learn and grow! Work to have your business work with education and family development, to provide even greater opportunity and freedom in the future.

Save as much money as you can and avoid spending money on things that do not provide benefit for the business or family. (ie. Tobacco, alcohol, entertainment magazines etc.)

Time is money. Do not waste time. Look for opportunities to further your education. Read books, watch videos and listen to audio cds that teach good business principles. Avoid watching television or movies that do not promote family unity, education or good financial practices, (this includes novellas).

Worldwide Sponsorship Program

We’ve recently adapted a sponsorship model into our work at Worldwide Book Drive, that integrates complimentary businesses into our book drive schedule. This is roughly the same price as pre-sorted postage, but offers a personalized introduction of the Worldwide Book Drive Sponsor to every home in Utah. (As the Worldwide Book Drive Program Grows of course :)

It introduces a completely new component of the WBD business model, but it provides an opportunity for us to maximize our community good-will and direct collections model. We are in the process of running a pilot program. If any you know of any companies who are interested in having a direct introduction as a community minded business, be sure to let me know.

Keep posted!

Techy past times…

So we had a little fun with a inter-company competition of ping pong yesterday. A few of the guys from our little Books Collection and Redistribution company, (Worldwide Book Drive), met up with the guys and and and suffered a clear defeat. It was a great break away from the daily grind and fun for everybody. I remember a long time ago that Preston Wily, Sewelldirect President and COO, suggested starting up a local company competition circuit. But it never quite got off the ground. Feel free to check out its roots anyways at

I think it would be a great idea to get a sort of interbusinessmurals going… There’s a good name for a website (kinda long, but could become a new term :)

College Times Recognizes WBD

Worldwide Book Drive (often cited as world wide book drive), is a small company with a huge vision. We have recieved a lot of positive feedback on our services and programs. We have a long ways yet to go, but I believe it’s on the right track.

The College Times recently did an article on our program. Click here to learn out Worldwide Book Drive News Coverage. One of the comments made by the writer stated that the idea seemed to basic and so easy, it’s no wonder nobody thought of it earlier. Who’s to say if they have or haven’t thought of it before… but making it a reality has been an entirely different experience. We still have a long ways to go, but we are grateful for any positive coverage or encouragement we can get… Keep your eyes out for more Worldwide Book Drive coverage in the future…

Can You Build Land?

When I was in 4th grade, I remember learning about the problem of landfill waste and drawing up what I felt was a grand concept to compost waste and create land in floating barges in the ocean. I drew up plans with areation modules, anchoring systems, etc. When I learned that the Japanese had already developed land generation, my 11 year old heart was broken. I couldn’t believe it! But I moved on.

I had almost completely forgotten about this, until last week when I watched Superman Returns with my wife. When Lex Luther talks about how much money he would make by creating land… One of the only truly fixed resources–it got me thinking. I thought about my 4th grade idea, and then a few of the things I’ve learned since then.

Somebody asked me the other day what I would do if I already had hundreds of millions of dollars… I gave the question serious consideration and then responded that of course I would relax some, establish a helpful and strategic foundation or non-profit and then, I would like to make land :)

I know it sounds like a larger than life idea. But I can absolutely see a market for floating land creation. There are a number of available technologies that can meet the needs for cost-efficiency, independent energy and water. Moreover, in today’s environment of systems theory and networking, a network of floating real estate becomes even more valuable and useful.

I’ve seen whole floating colonies of fishermen and impoverished vietnamese. I’ve walked the piers of houseboats and cruiseliners… People are doing it already. It just needs the right team, the right funding and the right timing before we see an impressive reality of new land.

Webdevelopment Outsourcing

In my opinion, development costs are some of the scariest expenses of a business that integrates the web. Generally speaking, front end isn’t too bad, but a back-end that allows dyanmic interface and webmastery, not to mention shoppingcart and customer accounts can add up fast…

I was first introduced to offshore outsourcing by John Jonas, who was researching its possibilities in his various ventures. I was really impressed with Danny Sullivan and the model he had developed for web outsourcing in the Philippines. The prices seemed reasonable enough but I was concerned about reliability and consistency and language barriers etc.

At first it was a little frustrating… We hired on a trainee. A great price, but really not quite as fast as we were hoping or expecting. We stuck with it, and after a while our trainee began to deliver much more on our requests. Better yet, he even began suggesting some of his own ideas and accomplishable creativity.

It is absolutely different than working with qualified american programmers. The pros and cons really depend on where your company is its development.

I would highly recommend it for any company that has more work to do than it can handle alone. In fact I have often thought that like re-selling webhosting, there might be some money in reselling webdevelopers :) Really.

I also think it would be relatively easy to start a development company and pick up work from anywhere in the world. It would be a simple model, with a fixed overhead of labor and enough qualified programmers to grow as fast or as slow as you would want.

I will not at all be surprised if this model begins to be replicated and re-sold, a lot like webhosting… We’ll see :)