Is this worth pursuing?

I have a project that is keeping me busy right now, but it’s temporary and I want to start collecting ideas and suggestions regarding the next one. In particular I have an outline offer on the table that I would appreciate some input on. If it turns out to be not for me then maybe someone here would want to take it on.

My TaiJi teacher is a European, and wants to return home this summer with his TW wife and son. He’s been here ten years, mostly teaching English, and is burned out. Right now he’s not working, and has no spare cash as it’s all been committed to the move.

He has this idea of selling Martial Arts equipment to Europe from Taiwan, and wants to get started yesterday. But he has no knowledge at all of how this works. E-bay? Online store? etc. He has a ‘partner’ that has been working on this for a year or so, but nothing is happening as far as I can see. Also, once he has given his advice and expertise to help put together a product line etc., what more can he contribute? I think there is a possibility that he could become superfluous to his partner’s business.

My feeling is that its not going to be successful in any case, unless he can market the service somehow. Why would people suddenly start buying stuff from a site that no one has ever heard of? Can he really be cheaper than everyone and still turn in a profit? I think he needs something to make people turn to him.

The obvious answer is to exploit his 30 years experience to build his own program that people will follow - in other words, to have a brand and market himself properly. This is beyond his ability. He doesn’t have the background, or the mentality, to develop himself from being a teacher to being a ‘guru’.

This is a pity. He’s a good teacher, and seems to know his shit. He even has the sort of qualifications that will make him saleable. What he needs is a manager.

Suggestions, anyone?

Umm, not wishing to sound too stupid, but you could manage him. You’ve seen the holes and know the strengths.

Ride on bro’.


Dunno about selling via Ebay from overseas commercially, too much hassle I would think (individual mails, customs trouble for the receiver etc.).

I’m cashing in my Taiwan chips next year (or sooner, I hope) and one of the things I was considering doing back home is opening an Aikido Dojo (I need to research all the rules and regs). Perhaps your Taichi teacher could do the same type of thing. That might make the selling of the equipment easier.

Get on the internet and build a marketing database over ppl, who might be interested in this sort of thing.

Then email them and/or send them brochures.

If you have enough interested, you pack some samples, and buy a ticket to Europe. Then go around, visit the customers, separete the wheat from the chaff, and deal with the guys who remain interested.

That was how I would do it.

So it boils down to finding people who can distribute for you in your target markets, and focus on the Taiwan end. If you can’t find anyone willing to sell it, then it’s not likely to be sellable.

This is really the question. Do I want to do this, or would I be wasting my time?

To simply have your own dojo, or whatever the TaiJi equivalent is, is one thing. I’m thinking along the lines of getting some kind of organisation going - seminars, a book etc. - so that your name is known. That makes your website the place to go for info and equipment, no?

It’s a big project, probably going to need some money, so I’m looking for opinions on the viability of it all.

Also, there would need to be a reliable person at this end dispatching the goods. It makes sense to get a system in place first, by starting a small scale e-store, and start figuring out how to promote your brand. But I don’t have time for this right now, so there’s an opportunity for someone here to help get that started. N’est ce pas? Anfang sofort! (Need to start practising my European languages.)


And DB, are you really cashing in? :shock:

I have no idea about martial arts really, but here are my thoughts: have you done some research whether there is a market at all for this stuff (whatever it might be … ?), and if there is, might it not already be saturated? No help in having a specialist of 30 years who “knows his sh*t”, a dedicated manager & ‘driver’ who creates a super eShop and what not, plus a reliable organization/individual to manage the supply- and logistics side, if several shops/sites/companies are already doing just that and maybe to prices you can’t match because you don’t have the volume … non? Have you looked at the products themselves, what kinds of margins would you be looking at after taking your overhead into account? I’d also say any on-line activity on its own doesn’t cut it if you want to sell something and live from your business. On-line shops are a passive medium that, if you’re lucky, get’s some positive mouth-to-mouth propaganda, so you won’t safe on PR etc. cost … you could of course spam … :wink:

What you wrote in your last post sounds to me more like a “movement” than a business. To be able to, on the side, make some money from periferal acitvities that grow out of an organization that’s primarily concerned with some eastern/martial arts discipline/philosophy (??) (book?) seems to me to need just that: growth, i.e. time …

Lastly, if I’m not convinced of sb’s “mentaliy” with regard to business attitude, drive etc. I wouldn’t dream of entering into business with that person, good teacher or not. Xpet

If you want it to be a business, you should do the traditional homework and try to get a view of the market before charging ahead. You might not put too muchmoney in it, but your time has a value as well. If you do like me and charge ahead without thinking about that you will gain lots of experience but little else. (Experience has a huge value but it can be bought cheaper elsewhere, like when working for somebody else).

With a new product, the best solution is to get into an established network. I would not worry about there being lots of competition, as long as you can differentiate your offering.

jag förstår inte vad du säger… ?

Dit problem.

Jeg vil med største glæde forklare det på dansk.

… not necessary, I wouldn’t understand it … :smiley: I was just curious which skandinavian language your quote is, so I used a swedish google-find … :laughing: om forladelse!

… not necessary, I wouldn’t understand it … :smiley: I was just curious which skandinavian language your quote is, so I used a swedish google-find … :laughing: om forladelse!

Boufa Fitte :laughing:

Danish - which a quick check of the flac icon would have told you :laughing:

If he could get his batteries recharge, he should work here and earn as much money as possible before heading over. It’s like starting from square 1 and being in your homeland, it will take time to gain some revenue stream. In anycase, the place he should be living should be large enough to hold taiji classes. You might as well start off where you live as it saves expenses from renting. Then start off marketing your experience. Show your accolades and pictures in your makeshift dojo and advertise in the newspaper. Possibly the community one near place of residence. Also, when you advertise, try to explain the benefits of Taiji Chuan. Then when you get a posse of people, practice in the parks and other public places so you can get recognized. I think I saw this in a martial arts movie or two if I missed a step. :wink: