Retire early & live your bucket-list

Why most businesses fail | What is the Super-Niche?

90% of businesses eventually fail, and the main reason why most businesses fail is because they did not have enough customers.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20 percent of small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of the second year, 30 percent of businesses will have failed. By the end of the fifth year, about half of all businesses will no longer exist.

I’m Dan Baker, and I teach you how I was able to be so successful in both the photography and video businesses, with what I call the Super-Niche.  I was able to earn enough with my cameras to be able to retire at 38, and spend several years traveling the world living my bucket-list. The world today is changing rapidly, with the future uncertain.  Everybody is wondering just what the New World Order will be.  I decided to create my very own personal New World Order, to become totally prepared, to not only survive, but to thrive, no matter what the future brings.

If you own a business, or are going to start a business in the future, the Two-Percent Niche could change your chances of failure from 90%, to an almost 100% chance of success. I say almost 100% because some businesses will fail no matter what. Maybe they were doing something illegal and got shut down, etc.

If you are looking for a career that has almost unlimited potential, the Two-Percent Niche could be the future you’ve been dreaming of. The most valuable thing that every business needs is what the Two-Percent Niche provides. No matter what happens to the economy in the future, you will prosper. Whether we have inflation, hyper-inflation, recession, or depression, you can thrive. It won’t matter to you what happens to the U.S. Dollar. The dollar could completely disappear and some crypto-currency could take over, and you will be totally unaffected. You can live anywhere, work in any industry. Entire industries could disappear due to government regulations, or new technology, and you can still thrive. Every business in the world will always need what you have to offer.

Virtually everything that I say will go against what you hear everyday from everybody else. Open your eyes and see for yourself another way, a much better way, a more profitable way, to build a business, any business.

The first step to changing how you think about how a business works is to first take a business and analyze it. Pick any business, in any industry. That business is producing either a product, or a service, that people are willing to buy. The business could be manufacturing something, or just providing a service of some kind, but every business is in one of these categories. Some businesses both make something and also provide some kind of service. If all a business had to do was make something, or provide a service, starting and running a business would be very simple.

But before a business can begin, it must have a location to operate from. It could be as simple as converting a garage, or spare room, into an office. Or it could get more complicated and you will need to lease office space somewhere, or even an entire building. Or build a building of your own, which just got really complicated, and very expensive. Maybe you need to buy or build equipment for your business before you can start doing whatever your business does.

Whatever location a business requires, you will need a business license, furniture, equipment, supplies, computers, insurance and more. Then there are seemingly unlimited local, state and federal regulations that you have to comply with, everything from environmental impact, to who you can hire, when they can work, how much you have to pay them, when and where they are allowed to work, and the list goes on.

Then there are local, state and federal taxes that you have to pay on a regular basis, so you’ll need an accountant. Don’t forget to get an attorney, you’ll need one to help set up whatever form of legal entity your business will be. You will eventually be sued for something, or you’ll have to sue somebody else, so that attorney will come with an annual retainer too. You haven’t even opened your doors for your first day in business yet.

Once your business is actually doing business you have to hire employees, fire employees, deal with incompetent employees, employees who don’t show up on time, or who quit. Let’s not forget those employees who file complaints against you, or who try to cause dissension among your other employees.

Everything up to now has to be done just to start and run any business, and these things are in addition to actually providing and product or service that your business does. Then you have to deal with vendors, maintain equipment, try and out compete your competition, deal with delays in everything you need to run your business.

It’s a wonder anybody at all wants to start their own business. Everything up to now sounds like I’ve pretty much summarized everything that is involved in running a business, but it’s not. In fact, everything up to now only covers about half of what has to be done to build a business.

Up to now I’ve talked about how to start and run a business, that either produces a product or sells a service. These are the things that every business owner deals with to start and run a business. But there is one little thing missing from all this. Customers who are willing to buy whatever product or service you provide. Where do customers come from, and how do you get them to buy whatever your business is selling?

There are two ways to find customers. The first way is to contact people directly, face to face, and tell them about your business and what you are selling. This is the oldest method of getting customers. With the development of modern civilization it became possible to get your message out to large numbers of people indirectly, without having to have a person actually talk to each potential customer individually.

The printing press changed everything. You could now promote your business to potential customers thru newspapers, magazines, billboards, etc. Then came radio, and later television, and you could now reach people over the airwaves. Creating and running newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio stations and television stations is extremely expensive. The people who put up all that money to create one of these media businesses charge you to advertise to potential customers. They have created their own little monopoly, and you have to pay dearly, if you want to use them to promote your business.

You can’t use any of these types of media directly though. You have to have an intermediary, like an advertising agency, or a public relations firm, to create the “content” that you run on the different media. Almost every business outsources all of their advertising and public relations, because dealing with “mass media” companies is a very specialized endeavor. And let’s not forget very, very expensive.

That is how businesses found customers for decades. Then came the internet, and the world of business changed forever. In addition to the “mass media” that existed before the invention of the internet, today we also have websites and social media. Every business owner knows that the internet is THE future, and it is an absolute necessity for any business to have a website and use social media.

Every business needs somebody to build and maintain their website. Somebody to do social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc, for them. Somebody to start and run a YouTube channel for them. And an SEO expert to round out their team of needed “experts” in the internet age. Plus, they still have to use advertising agencies and public relations firms to connect their business with the old-school mass media sources that still exist, even though these old-school mass-media are all slowly dying, and will eventually disappear like the dinosaurs that they are.

In addition to having to have every one of these experts working for them, business owners also need content to put on all of those different websites, social media companies, youtube avenues, plus all the “old school” mass media newspapers, tv, radio, etc. So every business owner will also need to hire photographers and video producers as well.

Here is a list of all the “experts” that every business owner will need to hire to find customers for their business.

Advertising Agency
Public Relations Firm
Web Designer
YouTube expert
Social media expert
Video Producer

Every one of these so-called experts tries to convince potential clients that they’re speciality is very complicated, well beyond the ability of a business owner to do for themselves.

So, besides having to create a product or service to sell, every business owner has to deal with all of these issues in any business, and either deal with the himself or hire “experts” to deal with them.

local, state & federal regulations
local, state & federal taxes
hiring & firing employees
local, state & federal licenses
renting or buying a location to operate business
buying & maintaining equipment
buying supplies
disposing with trash, which could include hazardous waste
parking for employees, customers & deliveries
complaints from customers
collecting from late paying customers

These are just the basics, some businesses will have other issues to deal with. But even doing what a business does, creating a product and/or service, and dealing with all of these things that go along with being in business, all of these things added together is only half of what any business needs to do. Once you are in business and having created either a product or service to sell, the “other half” of the business needs to be done, and that is selling your product or service.

The reason that 90% of all businesses eventually fail is not because they couldn’t produce their product or service, it’s because they couldn’t find enough customers to buy their product or service. Stop for a moment and think about that, because it is very important. The one reason why 9 out of 10 businesses fail is lack of customers, and what do you think that almost every business does? They out-source the getting of customers to somebody else, thinking that they cannot possibly do it themselves.

So they end up hiring all of these so-called “experts”:

Advertising Agency
Public Relations Firm
Web Designer
YouTube expert
Social media expert
Video Producer

How many business owners want to hire a web designer? Or an advertising agency? Or Public relations firm? Youtube expert? Social media expert? SEO expert? Photographer? Video Producer?

If you answered ZERO you would be right. No business owner wants to spend any money at all on any of these so-called “experts”. And they definitely don’t want to spend time dealing with all of these so-called “experts”. To a business owner every one of these things is just another business expense that has to be paid for. Every single dollar spent on getting customers is a dollar that is not profit in their pocket. To a business owner all of these things are just business expenses, no different than attorneys, CPA’s, taxes, insurance, labor costs, rent, utilities, supplies, etc.

In my 40+ years of being a photographer and videographer, dealing with hundreds of clients and shooting thousands of jobs as a freelance cameraman, guess how many of my clients wanted me to create images for them? If you guessed ZERO you would be correct. Not one single client ever wanted to spend a single dollar to hire me to make photos or shoot video. They hired me because what I did for them was just one more thing that they had to do, in order to get customers who will buy their product or service, so that they could make a profit. I was just a commodity that they had to buy, and they hired ME because they thought that hiring me would make then more profit than hiring somebody else. And that is the ONLY reason any client ever hired me.

Clients neither liked me or disliked me, I was just one more “expert” they had to hire in order to make a profit in their business. Clients neither liked my images or disliked them. They didn’t care what the images were as long as my images helped them make a profit. PERIOD!

I understood that the service that I provided was just a commodity to a business, and that there was a million other people who could have provided the very same service to that business. There was nothing personal about it, and I understood that.

That is why I had such a successful career as a photographer and videographer. I realized that I was just one of a million people who could have done the same job as I was hired to do, for every client that I ever had. But I got hired a lot more often than any other photographers or videographers, because I understood my place in the business owners mind better than any other photographer or videographer. I got a lot more work, and I got a lot higher day-rates than anybody else offering the very same service.

The reason clients passed over other photographers and videographers, and paid me a lot more money for the same thing was very simple. Every other photographer and videographer was selling photographs or video, but I was selling something else. I was selling a solution to the business owners needs, not images. I’ve never met another photographer or videographer that understood this. The business owners didn’t realize this either, but every client I met with over my career hired me instead of someone else. They didn’t know why they hired me, for a lot more money, but I knew.

That is why I was able to retire at 38, and do everything on my bucket list (except for seeing the northern lights, even though I was in northern Canada and Alaska twice).

What I learned about getting well paying clients with a camera is exactly the same thing that web designers, social media experts, SEO people, YouTube experts and lots of other people can use to build a thriving business for themselves. Business owners can learn this same knowledge to save a huge amount of money, and eliminate a lot of headaches, in their business. Every dollar saved is one more dollar that goes right into their pocket, and this could drastically increase their profit.

I had to come up with a name for what I’m trying to teach you. The best name that I could come up with is the “Super-Niche”. I have over 40 years of living behind a camera lens, both still and video, and consider myself to be extremely competent with a camera. I never claim to be the best photographer, or videographer, in the world. Nor do I claim to be the most creative person who even looked thru a viewfinder. But you would be very hard pressed to find anybody who has been more financially successful with a camera.

There’s not much that I don’t know about photography, or video. But anybody who has spent so many years doing anything would become extremely knowledgble about what they do every day. With all the skills and experience that I have with a camera, would you care to guess how much of my skill I use on a normal shoot? I have given this question a lot of thought. and here is what I have concluded.

Of all the shoots that I have done in my life, probably 99% of them required only a very small percentage of my skills, and only a very small percentage of what my cameras were capable of doing. When I say a small percentage, I mean an extremely small percentage. I don’t have any way of knowing exactly what percentage of photography knowledge and skill I normally use. Maybe it’s 1%, maybe it’s 3%, or 5%. It’s definitely less than 10%. So I arbitrarily chose to call it 2%. That is where two-Percent Niche came from. I’ll explain where the “niche” part comes from shortly.

I was doing thousands of high-paying shoots over the years, but I almost never used anymore than a very small percentage of what I, or my camera gear, was capable of producing. Besides being a shooter, both photography and video, I also build websites. Care to guess how much of my knowledge is needed to produce a website? Would you believe that I only use about 2% of my knowledge on a regular basis? Are you starting to see a pattern here? Do you think that maybe I am on to something?

Let me give you an analogy. Modern automobiles are very complicated machines. To truly understand how they work you would first need to understand how oil is formed, how it is pumped from the ground and then refined into gasoline. Sounds like you would need a degree in petroleum engineering. To really understand how a modern internal combustion automobile works you would need another degree in mechanical engineering. And modern automobiles are controlled by large numbers of computer chips. Throw in another degree in computer technology to round out the knowledge you would need to understand how a modern automobile works.

How many people who drive in the U.S. have degrees in petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science? Nobody? How can that be? How can you drive a car without knowing how a car works? This is pretty stupid isn’t it? Everybody knows you don’t need to be an expert mechanic, much less have several degrees, before you can drive a car. All you have to know, is how to put the key in and start the engine (or push the start button on some cars), shift the car into drive, use the gas and brake pedals, and turn the steering wheel. You only need to know an extremely small amount of knowledge about a modern car, in order to drive that car. How much knowledge do you actually need to know? Maybe 2%?

It’s exactly the same thing with creating your own content, making your own website, doing your own social media, YouTube and SEO. You don’t need to know everything, you only need to know exactly what you need in order to get the job done. You don’t need to know anything else.

If you knew only 2% of what I know about photography and video, you could have done 99% of all those thousands of jobs that I did in my life, that I got paid extremely well for. But how do you learn which 2%, of everything that there is to know about photography, that you need to know, in order to do with your own camera what I can do with my camera? Ah well, that is the real question isn’t it?

Where do you suppose, that you could learn just the 2% that you need to know, without wasting your time and money on the other 98% that you’ll never need? That’s right, there s nowhere I have ever seen that just teaches youth 2% that you actually need. Until now there wasn’t anyplace. I decided to change things, and show you how to do photography, video, how to build your own website, do social media. YouTube and SEO. Not teach you everything about everything, but just the actual things you need to know to do it yourself. The 2% that you actually need to know, without wasting your time on anything else.

What you will learn from me is the 2% that you need to get the job done as good as any so-called “expert” in any of these fields could do. And you don’t have to pay any of these “experts” a single dollar for their services. In less time than it would take, just to have an initial consultation with a perspective web designer, about building a website for you, you can build a website yourself. And any time that you want to make an addition or change to your website, you can do it yourself in less time than it would take to just call your web person. In less time than it would take to contact a video producer, about shooting something for your business, you could shoot, edit and upload the video yourself.

You don’t have to believe anything that I’m telling you. All you have to do is watch what I’m doing myself, on a daily basis, and you’ll see that what I do is so simple that you can do it for yourself. I cut everything that I do down to the very basics, and make it so simple any business person could do it for themselves, better than they can hire an expert to do it, much faster than any “expert” would do it, and for ZERO COST!

I will teach you the 2% that you need to know, to do your own photography or video, build your own website, make videos and put them on YouTube, do your own social media and SEO.

To learn more about Dan Baker, you can read his bio and client list. You can read all of Dan’s articles at his archive.  He uses the techniques in the Super-Niche to build the website for Fulltron Aviation, which is an umbrella of several aviation related businesses: Flight School, private airport, a social organization called the Hillbilly Squadron, and How-to GoPro videos.














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"Mercenary with a Camera"

Dan started a photography business at 13.  After a winter day that was 18 degrees below zero, he went on vacation to the Florida Keys to warm up, and stayed for 28 years.  He was financially free at 38 and retired. He met a cute blond and fell in lust.  She fell in love (with his stuff),  and they spent money like drunken sailors.  When the money ran out, she ran out, (with her cocaine dealer).  Dan and his camera went back to work, and he retired a second time 48 months later, at age 44.  Then he did everything on his bucket list (except for seeing the Northern Lights).  Then he was bored and went looking for something to do with his time, so he built two airplanes.  After the planes were done he got bored again, so he started this blog, to show you how to communicate with video in today’s world, and become financially free in only a few short years, just like he did.

- Dan Baker -