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ideas for a business relationship with permies.com  RSS feed

 
Michelle Bisson
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Location: Quebec, Canada
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Hi Paul,

I am not sure you want to continue discussing with me on this forum thread.  Maybe it needs it's own thread. Maybe one of your forum moderators could move it.  Or maybe you prefer to discuss things privately pm, email, phone etc...  Or maybe there is nothing more to discuss.  I hope not....
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It seems that adrien, destiny and devaka are tinkering with out code every day to add features and try to expand stuff.


I am not looking at replacing the tinkering that adrien, destiny and devaka.  They are doing a great service for you!
---

So, on the one hand, it seems that our needs for tinkering are rather constant.  And 90% of the things we do we spend a dollar to make a dime.  And once in a long while, we spend a dollar and get $100 back.  And on and on and on we go ....


If we could develop a project that is independant or goes beyond what you are currently doing where you only spend a dollar and get back $100.... maybe it's worth some brainstorming together.
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All sorts of people have affiliate programs that they would like us to sign up for.  But we have been burned by affiliate programs so many times that it is now fairly rare that we will even try one. 



I am not looking at doing an affilate program.  I personnally do not like them.  I have been following your programs and how you have given opportunity for others to run the project in exchange that they make an income and the possiblity to make a serious income ex.

Janet is now renting out some of the structures here, which is starting to bring in income.   She might hit full swing in about two months


I was personnally intrigued by this opportunity because we own some rental property & I have a passion for tiny structures & have been following the story of your wofatis.
----

I like the whole idea of the pie program businesses - maybe something like that? 


Are you suggesting that the pie program businesses you currently have going could be developed on a real directory platform on it's own website instead of the forum?  Please explain further.


----

With today's internet ...  things are so weird ... and changing all the time ...   it is really tough to figure out what will bring in actual coin.  The best we can do is throw the dice hundreds of times and see which things get traction.

This is definitly a challenge as we do not know where the future lies and someone with more money/time/prestige to throw at a project could kill the competing project.


 
paul wheaton
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I think I know the perfect thing.

http://www.permies.com/t/52199/tnk/bounty-based-kickstarter

Could this be "the thing" you seek?  Frankly, I think this would be bigger than kickstarter or patreon.
 
Michelle Bisson
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Paul,

I had not read your thread about wanting to develop a "kickstarter" type project till you referred me to it today, so my idea was nothing along this this type of project. "A kickstarter" type of project would demand enormous about of resources as it would need to be programmed from the ground up.


What I am thinking is a platform for a business directory and/or classified ads. Since there are many such softwares already existing, we would not custom program from the ground up - no need to reinvent the wheel. We work with the Joomla Platform and there are many directory extensions to choose from.  I believe that it would need to be membership basd where for a certain "$" they can list "so many" listings/posts. It could be that there are different levels of membership, ex. Bronze, Silver & Gold (or whatever) with different priveleges.

All the technical aspects of the site would be handled by us as well as all the Customer service, ex if someone cannot login then they need Customer support.  The project would have to support itself from the sale of memberships. I did not envision developing a Kickstarter program to raise funds, as it is extremely demanding from what I have heard.  It would be better to take that same time and simply build the directory / classified ads site.

--
business relationship with permies.com  (manybe a moderator can correct the spelliing in the title of this thread as it is confusing)

What are some of the current types of business relationships already existing? Do you have a standard format or is each business relationship so unique?

What does a business relationship with you look like?  Is it based upon a % the profits of the project? You receive "x"%.

If someone is willing to do all the work to develop and manage the project, and share a % of the sales with you, what do you bring to the project to justify they share this % with you.  Otherwise they would just go it independant of you & permies?

Obviously it has to be a win win for both parties for it not only be sustainable, but profitable and long term as least this type of project would need to be.



 
paul wheaton
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I have a business relationship with amazon.  I make links and they have a stable affiliate program.

I have many business relationships with scubbly.  I post a lot of different content there and they mange the money fondling, customer service, server downloads ...   The also act as an in-between for me and other content providers.

I have many business relationships with many content providers.

I have a business relationship with google adsense - i run their banners here and there.

I have a business relationship with two or three advertisers - I run their ads in exchange for coin.

....

At the same time, I have been "offered" hundreds of "business relationships" that did not work out.  It seems it was not long ago where I spent an hour and a half on the phone with a guy where he was gonna "make me famous" by having me do all the work and he keeps all the money (after all, he said, he needs to make a living too). 

Further still, there are hundreds of business ideas I have tried that paid nothing or way too little. 

I like the idea that there would be a permaculture business directory and/or a permaculture classifieds ad system.  Sounds great.  I wish there was a way to set up such a system so that it could be totally free in the beginning, and then charge something like 50 cents for a while .... maybe forever.   Maybe a system where things are five or ten cents for the bare minimum but as much as a dollar or so for something more significant.  

How this relates to me as a business?  I have no idea.


 
Michelle Bisson
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It seems it was not long ago where I spent an hour and a half on the phone with a guy where he was gonna "make me famous" by having me do all the work and he keeps all the money (after all, he said, he needs to make a living too). 


I was offering the opposite. Obviously it has to be a win win for both parties involved.

Further still, there are hundreds of business ideas I have tried that paid nothing or way too little. 

This is always the challenge.  But you do know your members and have some idea that might meet their needs and at the same time give you a revenue source.


I like the idea that there would be a permaculture business directory and/or a permaculture classifieds ad system.  Sounds great.  I wish there was a way to set up such a system so that it could be totally free in the beginning, and then charge something like 50 cents for a while .... maybe forever.   Maybe a system where things are five or ten cents for the bare minimum but as much as a dollar or so for something more significant.  


All the directory systems I work with use Paypal as the payment gateway,   & Paypal has a $0.49 plus 2.9%. So the minimum fee collect would be around $0.55 at the breakeven point. 
If the directory was free at first, we would get a lot of spam registrations.  If there is a small fee then there is zero spam registrations.  Most of the directory systems that I work with you set the price or free with a certain number of ads or unlimited.

Ex. one level of membership could be: price $5.00 unlimited ads, another level could be $1.00 10 ads, but if paypal takes $0.55 then there is not much left over.  You would have to have thousands of members to make any income.  Example, if you had 1000 members at $1.00 that would be $1000.00 but then you have $550 Paypal fees, that leaves $450 left.  That would not make the project sustainable.


How this relates to me as a business?  I have no idea.
 

If you are interested, it could be part of the Permies.com empire and be promoted that way like all of your other revenue generating projects.

Right now we are working with a client that we are integrating a hotel rental system.  This non-profit recreational organization has 2 cabins that they rent out either by the cabin or per person like a bunk house for those who.  It is not live yet so I cannot show you, we have till the end of August (or so) to complete it.

Here is an example of a business directory that we built for a non-profit association client for their members. This directory is different than what I would like to propose would be a normal business directory.  The layout presentation, and functionnality would be totally different. This is a custom project exactly the way they wanted it. http://www.apeseq.ca/repertoire/repertoire-des-membres They are a long term client of over 10 years.
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Since at this stage, we are only brainstorming..... if anyone wishes to brainstorm too to see where the discussion leads, feel free.  My ideas are not fixed in concrete at this point.
 
Michelle Bisson
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I wish there was a way to set up such a system so that it could be totally free in the beginning, and then charge something like 50 cents for a while .... maybe forever.  


It could that "Commercial" members who advertise for commercial purposes could have an annual fee of $5.00 and
"Non Commercial" members have could have a FREE annual membership.

It could be that the first 1000 "Commercial" members get a free account for a certain period with unlimited listings

Still just brainstorming....

 
Rufus Laggren
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Michelle

Coming from: I have been a low level visitor to Permies for several years. Some familiarity and interest, not involved w/the core decisions group at all. I am curious about biz ideas here and on the web in general.

If you care to comment:

Are there other viable payment portals besides PayPal?

$.50+ per transaction seems huge. Is it in fact huge or is that (in your opinion) actually what PayPal reasonably needs to charge and if so, is there an understandable explanation you can pass on?

About the Permies Proposal and possibly in a more direct manner than you're ready for:

From your and Paul's very brief discussion above, it appears you're talking about two revenue streams:
- listers in a specialized "yellow page" type directory
- advertisers, although it was not clear if you're thinking display type or just classified; but that detail probably doesn't change the theory

Apparently billing would be per directory listing or per ad for some certain time - right? Any significant money would seem to require a LARGE directory and MANY individual ads. Even if the display period was based on "days" and not "months".  Am I understanding right or are there additional revenue streams somewhere?

The hot question would then be where/who/how to garner thousands of paying directory listings. The directory would need to be some more or less specific size in order to pay out, right?

A similar Q would apply to the ads: For any one period of time, how many ads would be needed.

Or. Work it backwards:

How much revenue would a "directory" cum ads need to realize each month to amortize your investment over, say, two years with all expenses both capital (setup) and operating and "other" accounted for? Then what does Paul need to see over the same two years to cover his wear and tear, actual hours spent for himself and others (billed at something reasonable), opportunity cost (he won't be able to easily cut competing deals other places)... and misc other expense. How does this monthly $ figure parse back upstream to Permies community which has to be the ongoing source of this  money? Does that ongoing $ figure sound plausible for the Permies community as we know it? What does that say about pricing?

Have you or Paul developed a list of plausible entries for the directory? Who and how many in the community are going to advertise - businesses, individuals, venues? It is possible, is it not, to ball park these figures and thus get a preliminary reality check?

Or... Have I missed large parts of the picture and the Permies Proposal has other hard revenue streams my simple Q's don't account for?

Please don't get me wrong. I think Paul has created large potential in Permies. But I'm not sure anybody has actually assessed that potential and the simple ideas you threw out don't yet seem to have any clear connections w/the facts and data of Permies. As I said at the start, I'm not part of the decision process here so I will quite understand if specifics cannot be part of this thread, or maybe this kind of discussion would bear better fruit just between principles. OTOH, maybe it's possible to talk over concepts and methods and if so I'm all ears. <g>

There is another consideration: What screen space will your total proposal take in the Permies site? I will naively assume that various hooks, links, banners, scrolls and all related accounting can be seamlessly integrated w/minimal cost and upset (!). However, that still leaves the Q of whether those elements would look proper to Paul and the site designers. Or maybe you have covered this elsewhere? If there are other threads on this topic I haven't read them.

Regards

Rufus
 
Michelle Bisson
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Hi Rufus,

First of all, I want to make it very clear that there is no agreement between Permies.com (Paul Wheaton) with myself or company, nor is there any formal or informal private discussion. Just what you see in this thread.

And Paul comment...
How this relates to me as a business?  I have no idea.


It is quite possible that the discussion is over for now. 

I hope not...

So I keep brainstorming....


Every project needs to be sustainable for long term success.  Paul works extremely hard to find ways to generate revenue to sustain Permies.com and wheaton labs, plus have a revenue to support himself.

So if I were to develop a Permaculture directory & classified ads site, it has to have some way to sustain it especially if it is to be runned professionally. 


Rufus, I really appreciate all your comments.... they are worthy of further discussion.  Right now I am at work and this weekend we go to our GoPermaculture Food Forest suburban lot so I will not have a chance to respond much today, maybe a bit later...



 
Rufus Laggren
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Michelle

Thanks for the quick reply. Have the good weekend. If you can respond more fully I'm sure there are others beyond myself (and Paul) who would appreciate a bit of education.


Regards

Rufus
 
Michelle Bisson
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Hi Rufus,

I have a few moments now, so I'll respond to some of your comments/questions.

Are there other viable payment portals besides PayPal?

Paypal is the most popular and the web software systems that I work with all work with Paypal.
If anyone knows of other alternative payment gateways that the rates are cheaper, please let us know?


$.50+ per transaction seems huge. Is it in fact huge or is that (in your opinion) actually what PayPal reasonably needs to charge and if so, is there an understandable explanation you can pass on?


$0.55 is the minimum fee for Paypal per transaction. It is $0.49 plus 2.9%.  So if the transaction was $10.00 then the fee would be $0.49 plus $0.29 = $0.78

it appears you're talking about two revenue streams:
- listers in a specialized "yellow page" type directory
- advertisers, although it was not clear if you're thinking display type or just classified; but that detail probably doesn't change the theory


At this point, I am proposing two types of display of listings. 1. classic business directory 2. classic Classified Ads directory, but a 3rd revenue stream could be selling space for Advertisers.  Other revenue streams could be developed as opportunity arises.

Apparently billing would be per directory listing or per ad for some certain time - right?


Neither.  I think it should be by membership level with an annual fee.  Say $5.00/year ex. a commercial business could list in the business directory but have several listings if their product or service warrants it. ex. a farm that sells trees but also sells chickens could list in both categories.  In the classified ads section, there would be an annual fee say $5.00 with unlimited ads as long as they are not repeats. ex one ad for selling their tractor, one ad for selling their truck etc....

It propably should be Free for non-commercial memberships.  With unlimited posts as long as it is not spam posts.


Any significant money would seem to require a LARGE directory and MANY individual ads.

I do not understand this.

Even if the display period was based on "days" and not "months".  Am I understanding right or are there additional revenue streams somewhere?

I think possibly a month as the displayed period with the option to renew -not extra charge.. 


The hot question would then be where/who/how to garner thousands of paying directory listings.
 
If the annual membership fee is $5.00, you need less paying members than if the annual free is $1.00  It would be a lot harder to make it a success in you are not already working within a community.  That is why I am proposing it be part of Permies.com.  There is already a large community.  

Again, I state, there is no formal or informal discussions apart from this forum thread.  There is no agreement to work together.  I am just brainstorming ideas.


A similar Q would apply to the ads: For any one period of time, how many ads would be needed.
Or. Work it backwards:

How much revenue would a "directory" cum ads need to realize each month to amortize your investment over, say, two years with all expenses both capital (setup) and operating and "other" accounted for?

I am suggesting a annual membership fee with unlimited ads or listings.    I think that having 1000 commercial memberships / year would be a first major milestone.

Then what does Paul need to see over the same two years to cover his wear and tear, actual hours spent for himself and others (billed at something reasonable), opportunity cost (he won't be able to easily cut competing deals other places)... and misc other expense.


I have no idea.  I am not even sure Paul would share this information publicly.  Again I state, there is no formal or informal discussion between Paul and myself apart from this forum thread.  I am not even sure he is following this thread anymore or would even be intersted in collaborating with me on such a project.  He may not even think that I meet the requirements for partnering with him.  So I could be blabbering on for nothing.

How does this monthly $ figure parse back upstream to Permies community which has to be the ongoing source of this  money? Does that ongoing $ figure sound plausible for the Permies community as we know it? What does that say about pricing?

I  do not quite understand these questions but do not feel that if if I did, I could answer this.

Have you or Paul developed a list of plausible entries for the directory? Who and how many in the community are going to advertise - businesses, individuals, venues? It is possible, is it not, to ball park these figures and thus get a preliminary reality check?


How this relates to me as a business?  I have no idea. - Paul quote
Paul and I are far from any collaboration and may never collorate on such a projet.

I only brought up my proposal when Paul publish his post on Fishing for coin. 

There is another consideration: What screen space will your total proposal take in the Permies site? I will naively assume that various hooks, links, banners, scrolls and all related accounting can be seamlessly integrated w/minimal cost and upset (!). However, that still leaves the Q of whether those elements would look proper to Paul and the site designers. Or maybe you have covered this elsewhere? If there are other threads on this topic I haven't read them.


Since Paul has not proposed anything to me at this point nor showed any interest directly in my proposal with him or Permies apart of it, it could be that simply that he likes the idea of a Permaculture directory/classified ads site, but simply wishes me "Good Luck" and go on my way.

Maybe it is time to end this public discussion and close this thread if Paul is not interested for further discussion at this time or ever.


Rufus, It looks like I found the time to respond tonight
 
Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! And this tiny ad too!
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