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Most Millionaire Business Owners Never Sell to the Ultimate Consumer

By Thomas J. Stanley on Nov 18th, 2014 in Mentor's Corner

The arch type millionaire is a self employed business owner/entrepreneur.  Thus it is not surprising that many people ask, “But what type of businesses do they own?”  To these readers I say, “Well, take a look at the 6 columns of business types listed in Appendix III in The Millionaire Next Door and the 12 columns in Appendices II and III in The Millionaire Mind.”  It is ironic that few people even after reviewing these lists see what most successful business owners see.  The large majority of the businesses listed do not sell products and/or services to the ultimate consumer.  They sell to other businesses, institutions, government organizations, etc.  It matters not that two-thirds of our economy’s gross receipts is accounted for by the consumer market. Yet upwards of 80% of millionaires who own businesses are in the business to business category. 

A reader recently countered with “well what about that guy who sells very large trees to big league consumers such as those who are members of the Forbes 400 billionaire club?” (See Big Trees, Big Wealth)  I reminded this fellow that “Mr. Trees” does not actually sell his products to billionaires directly.  He does sell them to many of the most “important landscape architects in the United States.” 

The business to business market relates also in this equation to transplanting large trees.  Recently The Chronicle of Higher Education mentioned that The University of Michigan required that a 200 year old oak tree be moved 100 yards to make room for a new business school.   The tree weighs an estimated 700,000 pounds.  Some might say that the tab for moving the tree wasn’t all that steep, $400,000, when you consider that is only about 57 cents per pound! 

There is a growing need in America today to preserve our history, including vintage trees.  Yet there is a critical shortage of people with the skills and ingenuity of the Mr. Tree types.   

2 responses to “Most Millionaire Business Owners Never Sell to the Ultimate Consumer”

  1. John says:

    A critical shortage is exactly right!
    Do something that a majority of the population doesn’t want to do. Whether it is “port-o-lets” for the bowl games, roofing, etc. You name it!
    Know your mathematics, read, control your costs, and be honest.
    An old economics professor one time said, “the market is never too full if you are good at what you do”.
    I was listening (for once) and still reading extremely important blogs, among other literature.

  2. Willie Bell Jr says:

    This tells me that regardless of who you market to the door is wide open to become a millionaire or billionaire. Just do it.

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