Can Veeky Forums evaluate my business model?

Techpill
Techpill

I offer a metal detecting service.

I charge based on square footage for people that want to see if there's any wealth in their backyard. I think this is a great business model because Metal Detectors are hard to come by seeing as how they're mainly sold online, and they aren't cheap.

The challenge is to figure out the rates. The idea behind this service is that it should be more profitable for the client to purchase my service instead of purchasing a metal detector.

I was thinking something along the lines of $25 fixed + $7/125sq feet?

What do you goys think?

Emberburn
Emberburn

that might be pretty cool
you'd want some really good metal detectors though
also would you plan on claiming a percentage of any valuables found?

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@Emberburn
I have a higher end entry level machine (Garrett ace 250), and it does the job exceptionally well on land.

I think I shouldn't claim any percentage of valuables, just because it can become quite complicated to divvy up the wealth of anything. At least in the beginning stages I shouldn't, but maybe down the road based on my success rate I could eventually do some %age.

I'm just more concerned about the rates. I obviously want to make the most amount of money possible, but I also don't want to make it look inflated.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

Just flat rate that shit. don't make the public do math.
small medium large huge, call for quote.

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

You must be 18 to post here

idontknow
idontknow

@Techpill

Sounds like a great idea OP.

Be sure to raise your rates once you get popular. They seem low.

eGremlin
eGremlin

@Fuzzy_Logic
This. Also ake sure that you don't loose money because your rats seems really low. If you are not taking a cut on found metals, you'll have to appear as serious and very trustworthy.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@eGremlin
Should i increase rate? I would have to transport there myself on a bike or bus seeing as how i don't have a car.

how would you price it?

RavySnake
RavySnake

If you charge 12.50 an hour you would be making as much as a mcdonalds employee.

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@Techpill
Are you in America? Because in some countries(eastern europe) it's illegal to own a big metal detector without registration and to find hidden treasure without sending it to the government in the next 24 hours.

askme
askme

@Fried_Sushi
Ontario, Canada

iluvmen
iluvmen

@Techpill
Do yards in Ontario have underground pipes and/or cabling in them that might set off metal detectors?
If so, check in to see if you can get a diagram of where they're laid out

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

Not a bad idea but your rates need to rise quite a lot, you won't be making a profit off $25 flat.

Soft_member
Soft_member

@Fuzzy_Logic
Depends if you plan to do this fulltime. Do (total living expenses+total business expenses)*20% / number of hours that you plan on working=very rough number of what you'll have to charge MINIMUM. Also try to make a spreadsheet with a ratio of median hours worked per surface covered so you'll be able to pice accordingly if you go for flatrates.

happy_sad
happy_sad

@Fuzzy_Logic
Interesting idea OP, but:

what's the average size of a backyard in your area?
are people really going to find enough metal in the backyard to justify the cost? I think you'd need to find a shitload of metal before I'd pay you even $25
how much time would it take you? If it's too long it won't be profitable. If it's too short, I'd feel ripped off.

I think you'd need to spend at least 20 minutes in my yard before telling me there's nothing before I'd feel like I got my money's worth.

I wouldn't pay you $25 to dick around in my yard to find scrap cans. Of course, I don't know anything about Canada so maybe your yards are gigantic and treasure often turns up. What makes you think this would work?

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

@happy_sad
I think it more to find treasure than just metal. A friend used his detector at my mums yard, they found chest, had fuck all in it but was pretty cool.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@Carnalpleasure
Could be interesting if this were the case. Are you selling a dream, OP?

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@Carnalpleasure
Further to this, really play off the idea that do people really know what is in their yard? Look at some of the finds people have made, the staffordshire hoard and such, maybe make a infograph / flyer to give to people with some interesting facts.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

@Techpill

This is retarded. In people's gardens there is usually a near 0% chance of making a find of ANY historical interest - even coins from the 50s/60s tend to be rare. The only exception is if you are in a garden close to the historical centre of an old city - for example, if you were able to have a go in a garden in central London. EVEN then, continuous occupation makes it extremely unlikely because the earth will have been disturbed so many times - meaning that anything of value will stratigraphically lie beyond the reach of even the best detectors.

If you're in America, this problem will be compounded by a lack of occupation until very recent times in most places.

You're better off offering a service to people who have lost their keys or jewellery in their yards, rather than to people who think you might strike gold.

t. 18 years metal detecting experience in Britain.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

@StrangeWizard
I disagree. If OP is truly selling a 'dream', as this user @Carnalpleasure
suggested, then it could prove to be profitable.

If you could compile a (fictitious or otherwise) list of customers/people who have found treasure in their yard, then people could be persuaded into giving it a go. Real people would be better, but they hardly exist, and their discovery may have taken place YEARS ago.

Obviously this all depends heavily on your sales skill, but if you could pull this off... $.

People are more willing to spend money when they can be persuaded into thinking of it as an investment. I went to China some time ago on a tour (which are known for bringing you places that offers them significant sales commissions).

Anyway, a more memorable part of the tour involved the tour guide telling us about a previous tour member who had struck it rich buying a certain art piece. She painted a story involving this person going into a pottery studio, picking out a random piece that he thought looked nice, and obviously it was one that was painted by the Chinese version of an Old Master figure, netting him hundreds of thousands in profit (gross simplification of story).

When we got there, most of the tour members were snapping up pieces. I won't lie, I was also affected by the story and was trying to find a good piece, anything significantly different. These pieces were sold at a slight premium (something like a couple hundred bucks, nothing people couldn't afford), but their true value was obviously a lot lower. I snapped out of it only because my father warned that I was getting too affected by the story, but everyone else were buying pieces left and right.

A dream, friend, is something a lot of people will pay a lot of money for. Even if they know that the chances of even breaking even is next to nil, they will buy it to just ENTERTAIN the mere thought of getting rich. Ergo for lottery tickts.

I have more... observations,if anyone's interested.

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

Just imagine how good of a sitcom pitch this is

two main characters, naive and idealistic kid who wants to find awesome treasures and his greedy fat friend who just wants to rip people off
they constantly completely dig up people's backyards only to find a rusted metal can
plot arcs when they find weapons, gold, oil

On-topic, I know people will buy pretty much everything, but you have to consider how much customer dissatisfaction there would be. If someone paid you money for this, and you found nothing, or worse, if you found "something" and it turned out to be junk after you made a hole in their lawn, it'd make people pretty unhappy.

Also, the fact that you don't want to take a cut of the findings smells to me like you're pretty sure you won't find anything. Others might notice this too.

Inmate
Inmate

@Crazy_Nice

@StrangeWizard
here. So what you're saying is the OP should just scam people? Hardly a recipe for long term business success, unless your intention is to live as a vagrant con-artist.

Metal detecting is not an investment. Even in Britain, which has some of the best/fairest detecting legislation in the world, where you are allowed legally to keep and sell anything that falls outside of the definition of 'treasure' - and that includes all coins as single finds. If OP has ever detected before - especially if he has done it in Canada - he will know that the amount of time that needs to be sunk in for even the most minor reward is colossal.

Even in Britain, where you are literally tripping over history, this is true. You can spend 12, 13, 14 hours in a field next to a Medieval church and there is no guarantee you will find even a single, battered hammered coin.

People think of detecting as a get rich quick route - because you hear about the finds of a life time - the Staffordshire Hoard, the Hoxne Hoard, the St. Albans hoard. What you don't hear about is the 99.9999% of detectorists who 99.99999% of the time find very little indeed. Even on the very rare occasion when you say, find a gold stater or a medieval gold angel, the £4/5k (and that's assuming a find in very good condition, and that is at least uncommon) you will make out of those rare finds hardly covers the cost of the detector, petrol to reach site, and more importantly the months and months of time spent finding bullets, coke cans, rusted toy cars.

Nobody would bite - OP already would seem to me like a conman on my doorstep. The average punter wouldn't be interested enough, and anybody with minimal knowledge of the history of Canada will know there is almost 0 chance of finding anything worthwhile in their back gardens.

Your business would dry up very quickly given the failure rate. OP would make more out of the little time he'd be up and running charging by the hour, not by space searched.

iluvmen
iluvmen

@Inmate
You've made some very good points, most of which I agree with. However, as you are an insider, you would agree with me that trying to make money by trying to earn a cut of whatever is found is business suicide..As you may be able to tell from what I've said, I agree that next to nobody has made a find of any significance.

However, I wouldn't label it something as harsh as a 'scam'. Lottery winners know that the chance of striking it rich is next to 0, but many still buy it. Such a business arguably creates no value, but sustains itself. Furthermore, who's to say that OP will NEVER make someone rich? As long as there is a chance, however slight, I'd say that people are willing to pay for it. If they are willing to pay for a chance (however small) to entertain the thought of striking it rich, then it isn't a scam. (As much as lottery pools are).

Of course, you may choose to see it as such. But I'd argue that as long as people are willing to participate, and that as long as you keep to whatever agreement that was in place when something notable is found, then it is fair business practice.

I say let OP do his work. He mentioned that he already was in possession of a metal detector, so why not try to make some money off it? I was merely giving him suggestions on how to persuade more customers. I used the phrase "persuaded into thinking of it as an investment" to mean that OP could generate more success if he highlights the cases of success, just as the Chinese tour guide did.

I did say to compile a list (fictitious or otherwise), but OP does not have to misrepresent anything if he doesn't want to. I also mentioned in the same breath that 'real people would be better', but obviously cases of someone digging up a chest of gold coins a century ago wouldn't be quite as effective.

Your business would dry up very quickly given the failure rate

Maybe, maybe not. I do think this business idea is a unique one. As long as OP is a good salesman, it could work.

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