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Friday, November 07, 2008

Affordable computers in our economy

The next billion computer users

The major computer manufacturers in America are jumping into foreign markets to compete with the local guys like Lenovo and Acer for their piece of the pie. The rush is on to great affordable computers for developing countries. Some are surprised by the quickness with which those affordable products are being taken up by the next billion computer users in emerging nations. Of course, that has only intensified their decision for a even stronger drive into those low-income markets, because the simple truth is; small revenue returns from small items from millions and millions of buyers is much better than no sale, no revenue all the more given the present global economy.

While it pleases me to know people in those developing countries including emerging BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets I see no less an opportunity for entrepreneurs in America. Specifically, in the low-income consumer market in America. Major manufacturers are geared too high in price and their assumptions about this market segment to penetrate and compete successfully. Some personal observations I have encountered countless times living, working and interacting with these Americans might help to elaborate on that a little bit.

The multi-billion dollar low-income consumer market in America

As many people as are quick to confirm they own a computer an even greater number confess it doesn't work or it's too slow, too old. Then, there is a large number of them who do not own a computer because the price is out of their reach. Some have no desire to own one. Others do not know what they could possibly do with one. Still, others desire to own one with some uncertainty as to what they would do with it, but they cannot afford it. Even if they could scramble the financial resources to buy one they cannot justify such a large-sum expense. The fact is major computer manufacturers know of this multi-billion dollar low-income consumer market in America. As big a market as it is it is best accessed by the smallest sole proprietor, the entreprenuer. The smallest slice of that pie could well make a considerable difference of family income for some people.

There is no bank or retailer expected to provide a loan or a layaway option for these consumers. The best, workable option is in the very community in which they live. They are in the midst of a vertible network of technical know-how individuals and consumers. How do they connect and how do they help each other while at the same time provide a boost to our economy from the bottom up?

The IPC Plan

It's not a loan or layaway plan or government subsidy, but the IPC (Individual Part-purchase Control) Plan. It represents a way to break through even the lowest retail price barrier. There is no document or contract to sign. The IPC Plan is merely a practical concept of mutual benefit between two people.

You, the technician, hobbyist, engineer, direct the consumer with "grocery list" in hand to Goodwill, other thrift store, reseller or discount electronics retailer week after week, month after month for every part required for his system. The consumer controls his weekly, monthly purchase expenses as he can afford it.
  • The consumer stores components in his home individual with parts inventory list.
  • The consumer and you agree on a date when you will build the system, unload and install software.
  • You build the system for the agreed upon fee.
  • The consumer owns his computer debt-free.
  • Total control of expenses by consumer

The parts inventory list is not only a running total of parts and cost, but the consumer can exercise his freedom to take it to anyone he chooses when he is ready to contract a builder for his system should the tech change residence, decline to build it or has become overwhelmed with too many orders.

What this involves is more than the consumer can ever expect from a retailer; a relationship between two members of a community. Some minor points of education would involve safe-guarding components from static electricity discharge and other careful handling reminders. In the end, the total cost of parts and your fee could exceed the cheapest system the consumer saw at the corner retailer. No, there's nothing wrong with this picture. Your neighbor, friend or client was well aware of his financial investment in the IPC Plan. The difference between the IPC Plan and a retail purchase is the consumer was able to absorb the cost into his daily living expenses. The expenses were in his total control.

Listening to opportunity

Independent Enterprise Networks enable members to connect with other techs as well as consumers. You determine the size and complexity of your project whether a private consumer or small business owner. Like the consumer, you, the networker determine how many separate client IPC Plans you have in your portfolio at any give time. The only financial expense is made by and controlled by the consumer. A local discount retailer or reseller may not be impressed, take notice or listen to one tech, but when they see the numbers involved with networks that has a way to make them listen to opportunity.

Get your information posted on the IC-TechNetwork.

Watch for IE-Network business presentation to be annouced for December 2008 in Round Rock Texas.

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