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Business Ideas Directory

Grumpy Cat and the Thriving Cat Meme Marketplace

It seems this cranky kitty has as many revenue streams as lives.

Jenna Goudreau

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Grumpy Cat, the frowning feline who’s become an internet sensation as a perpetual sourpuss, has inked a deal with Broken Road Productions to star in a feature film.

It seems this cranky kitty has as many revenue streams as lives. She appears in videos sponsored by pet-food maker Friskies, has a line of popular merchandise and is beginning a press tour for a new book.

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Grumpy, who received the 2013 Webby Award for Meme of the Year, is not the only cat meme turned money-maker. Internet memes are now spawning businesses built on endorsements, film and TV roles, products and photo books. From a viral video that evolved into a New York pop-up shop to a meme that saved its owner from financial ruin to the one that started it all, we take a look at the thriving cat meme marketplace.

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Jenna Goudreau is an associate editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she worked as a staff reporter for Forbes magazine and Forbes.com. Jenna has appeared on CBS, CNBC and MSNBC and contributed to ForbesWoman, Businessweek and Ladies' Home Journal magazines. She graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism and lives in New York City. Email her at jgoudreau@entrepreneur.com and follow her on Facebook.

Business Ideas Directory

12 Cannabis Products You Can Legally Start Selling Right Now

You can start selling CBD-infused products or items to support the budding marijuana industry right now.

Nicole Crampton

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Since the Constitutional Court ruled that consuming and growing cannabis within a private space is legal, the cannabis support industry has the potential to skyrocket. If South Africa follows the current global legal trend of making recreational cannabis legal, then you’ll want to be able to capitalise on the change as soon as possible.

All of the products below are currently legal to retail. Several of the products will support the private market and can be scaled to support the future recreational market.

The Cannabidiol (CBD) infused products can simply be altered to expand into this future industry. You should determine what recipes work and what flavours are popular among the CBD market, then when the recreational market becomes legal you can start testing what these new customers prefer.

Here are 12 cannabis products you can already legally sell in South Africa:

  1. CBD Cannabis Oil
  2. The dab pen
  3. Cannabis beauty and skin care products
  4. Glass blunt
  5. Cannabis-infused drinks
  6. The Nuggy multi-tool
  7. CBD edibles
  8. Silicon waterpipe
  9. Cannabis lip balm
  10. Silicone bubbler
  11. Pain-relief cream
  12. Edibles Gummies
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Business Ideas Directory

Alan Knott-Craig Answers You Questions From Business Idea To Start-up

Choosing the right idea, packaging it for market and setting the right price all work together to launch your successful start-up.

Alan Knott-Craig

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“Don’t stress about people stealing your idea. If it can be stolen, its worthless. The only valuable ideas are the ones that only you can execute.”

Question: I would very much like to create a business that deals in Jungian psychology and the interplay between seeing nature as a great healer for the psyche, and environmental education. The problem is that I don’t have a product per se. I have information that I know extremely well and can speak very eloquently on (with great passion). How can I monetise this information? I have very good counselling skills, I know my subject matter backwards, but I’m struggling with how what I know can benefit the market. — Lavinia 

Product is easy. Selling is the hard part. You feel confident you have a solid product, now you need to package it, market it, and sell it.

Start with packaging. Create a website. Explain on the landing page what you offer the customer. Make it simple, no jargon. (ie: I will make you happy). Testimonials are highly effective.

Remember: Selling aspirin is easier than selling vitamins. Relief from pain is an easier sell than prevention of ill-health.

Okay, you have a website. Now you need to raise awareness. Share with all your friends and family. Share on Twitter, on Facebook. Get the word out there. Someone will eventually contact you. Now, you have to actually sell your product.

Make sure you give the right price, and make sure you collect your cash. Business is not for folks who feel squeamish when asking for money. Help your first customer. Wait for word-of-mouth reference. Help the next customer. Rinse, repeat.

Related: 20 Quick Money-Making Business Ideas

Selling hours is hard to scale. If you want to grow your revenues without working harder, consider online counselling, or group counselling. Books are great for PR, not great for revenue.

Should I bounce my idea off someone I trust and whom I believe would give me constructive feedback? What type of person would this be? — Ian

The first question to ask is, ‘What is his incentive?’ If the person you ask has the same incentive as you (ie. your success), then pay attention to advice. If not, ignore. That’s why you should ignore most advice. Only seek out those that have your best interests at heart.

The second important question to ask is, “Does he have experience?” Asking a life-long Post Office employee his opinion on your start-up idea is a pretty useless exercise. Chances are he won’t know that he doesn’t know anything about start-ups, and so will spout a fount of advice that is not grounded in reality. Same goes when asking a Professor of Entrepreneurship. For the most part, academics have great theories, but have never had skin in the game.

Regarding the question of trust, don’t stress about people stealing your idea. If it can be stolen, its worthless. The only valuable ideas are the ones that only you can execute.

How do you crowdfund a food business? — JC

All things being equal, crowdfunding doesn’t work. Especially for start-ups in South Africa. It’s like trying to be Jay-Z or Taylor Swift. You see the success stories, every day. They’re paraded in front of you. What you don’t see are all the failure stories. For every successful crowdfunded company (or Jay-Z), there are hundreds of thousands of failures.

Related: A – Z Easy Small Business Ideas

If I were you, I wouldn’t put energy into crowdfunding, no matter whether it’s a food business or a rocket business. The way to raise money for start-ups is family and friends.

I’m not making as much money in my chicken business as I thought I would, and I think it’s because I’m buying complete products for re-sale. I’m thinking of buying live chickens, then slaughtering, packaging myself to re-sell, giving me the freedom to manipulate pricing to my advantage. What do you think? — Mam

Your instincts are right: You must control the price. You want to be a price-maker. The opposite of a price-maker is a price-taker. Don’t be a price-taker. That way lies stress and poor-dom.

First step in price control is to understand demand and supply. You must control supply. If you can’t manage supply, you can’t control price.

Sometimes that means being the ‘platform’. Sometimes it means vertical integration (slaughtering chickens). Sometimes it means both. Just ask yourself: What do you need to do to control price? Then do it.

Ask  Al

Do you have a burning start-up question?

Email: alan@herotel.com

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Business Ideas Directory

10 Cannabis Business Opportunities You Can Start From Home

The marijuana industry is on the verge of exploding within South Africa, there are numerous business opportunities you can start from your couch.

Nicole Crampton

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Now that consumers can enjoy weed in the comforts of their homes there is the potential for an entire industry to support and cater to these individuals. Looking to the American cannabis industry will reveal new innovations and even more business opportunities that you can inject into the budding South Africa market.

Selling marijuana is still illegal, for now, as parliament decides what their next steps will be on legalisation in the next 24 months. Considering the global trend, they will likely bring this industry into the mainstream to regulate and tax it, following the in the footsteps of USA and Canada.

In the meantime, you could create a whole business around offering services and products to those using it legally.

Here are 10 weed business opportunities you can start from your couch:

  1. Weed on-the-go
  2. Cashing in on cannabis accessories
  3. Sell an indoor incubator
  4. Build an App or Platform for Weed Users
  5. Offer a safe and convenient storage option
  6. Bong Protector
  7. Making and Baking Cannabis edibles
  8. Become a weed artist
  9. Cannabis cosmetics
  10. Reefer reviewer & blogger
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