Picture this …
You’re invited to a lobster bake at the yacht club by a friend who has four marinas in the area.
A half-hour into the party, you meet a guy who imports boating supplies and sells them to retailers. During your conversation, you find out he’s looking to expand. You ask your new acquaintance if he would be open to paying a small commission for any new business you might generate for him. He eagerly accepts your offer, and you reach an agreement. Over beer and lobsters, mind you!
Then you introduce your marina-owning friend to the boating supplies importer.
They hit it off immediately. Before long, they are discussing prices. In other words, negotiating. Within a few minutes, they have a deal. Your friend will buy some of the importer’s products wholesale and sell them at all four of his marinas.
But that’s not all. Going forward, you get a percentage of each and every sale the importer makes to your friend!
My first year as a “connector” (also known as a “finder’s agent”), I made $22,000. I made it by introducing high-profile advertisers to trade publishers … and by introducing business sellers to business buyers. When they struck their deals, I received my “fee.”
Before long, I was making $50,000 a year … simply by making phone calls and sending e-mails. It took only a couple of hours a week of my time. I was still making nice commissions by introducing business sellers to business buyers and advertisers to publishers. Meanwhile, I had started helping print publishers slash production costs by outsourcing to India.
I stumbled into the “connecting” game. But I found I was perfect for the job because of my background as a successful entrepreneur. I’ve launched, bought, sold, and managed dozens of small businesses over the past 19 years. What’s more, I’m a former commodities futures trader. I learned a great deal about human psychology by monitoring and trading financial markets. (Not to mention how to steward large sums of money.)
Actually, anybody can be a “connector,” even with a very limited business background. It requires almost no capital to get started. You’ll be providing a service that’s in high demand. And you can run the whole thing from your home office.
You’ll have to test the waters to find the best way to structure your compensation. You can charge clients a flat fee, or you can charge a percentage of a transaction made as a result of bringing people together. If ongoing sales are involved (like the deal between my friend and the boat supplies importer), you can receive “residual” payments.
Either way, you can make good money.
Recover from the Recession Before Everyone Else
If you’re like several people I know (and yes, myself included) you’ve lost half or more of your 401(k), IRA, stock portfolio, or whatever retirement plan you’ve got going in the last six months.
But you could have it back – and then some – before 2009 ends.
Not only that, but sometimes clients will ask you to assist them in other ways — negotiating, setting up escrow accounts, developing sales agreements, and more. If you have the skills, you can, of course, charge additional fees for that extra work.
Basically, here is how the “connector” service works …
Let’s say you hear about someone who is interested in buying a large parcel of land, a business, a commercial building, surplus merchandise … or any of the thousands of other products, services, or properties that are bought and sold every day.
Then let’s say you find someone who has that item or service or property for sale at a reasonable price.
You inform the prospective buyer that you’ve found an eager seller. You tell the prospective buyer that if a deal is made, and both parties are satisfied, you will be entitled to a finder’s fee or commission.
When you and the prospective buyer have an agreement, you introduce him to the prospective seller.
A buyer and seller will sometimes (rarely, in my experience) try to negotiate a deal without your help, even though you introduced them. Not to worry. You can keep this from happening by putting your agreement with the buyer in writing.
Nothing fancy. Don’t get tied in knots over paperwork and contracts. Keep it simple. My first agreements were less than a page long, and were sent by e-mail or fax. Just outline the terms of the deal (including your commission). Then have it signed by the prospective buyer before any introductions, negotiations, or transactions take place.
For the most part, you can trust people to live up to their end of the bargain. After all, you’re making money for them. So they’ll probably want to do business with you again in the future.
Here’s another example of a deal I completed as a “connector”:
I read about a man who was looking to purchase websites. Specifically, he was looking for travel websites with significant traffic that were also fully functional with e-commerce.
I contacted him by e-mail, introduced myself, and gave him a brief rundown of my business background. Then I told him about two travel websites I thought might interest him.
I explained my “connector” service, and presented my fee proposal. He agreed to the terms.
I then introduced the prospective buyer to the principals of both travel websites. One of the websites was a perfect fit, and he made an offer. The final sale price was negotiated in about a week.
When the sale was completed, $2,250 was electronically transferred to my bank account. That was 3 percent of the deal. My “connector” fee.
It’s that easy.
On top of that, this particular deal took less than 60 minutes of my time, from beginning to end.
Where do you find potential deals? The sources are almost unlimited.
- You can find people and companies looking for products, businesses, real estate, surplus inventory, bankrupt companies, capital, etc. in all the national business papers. That includes The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, The New York Times (especially the Sunday Edition), Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, and the Los Angeles Times.
- There are hundreds of websites for finding deals, too. Alibaba.com, in particular, is an excellent source of clients looking for specific products.
- International Wealth Success (IWS) publishes newsletters with an abundance of leads. IWS also publishes a comprehensive course on becoming a “finder’s agent.” Contact them for details.
- Three resources for finding clients and deals overseas are the South China Morning Post, the London Times, and the Gulf Times.
- For smaller-scale deals, you’ll find a boatload of leads on CraigsList (under the Items Wanted category) and Crain.com Classifieds.
Whatever niche you work in, this is a fun sideline business for anyone who enjoys putting deals together and introducing prospective buyers and sellers.
P.S. “Connecting” is just one of the “under-the-radar” opportunities I talk about in my service, Ka-Ching. Mostly, I reveal unheard of deals, HUGE discounts, and how to get free stuff. That includes everything from everyday expenses to vacations to big purchases like cars and homes. Find out more about Ka-Ching here.