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Case Study: Online Business - Goldvu

goldvu

Name: David Gibson

Business Name: GoldVu

Online or offline business: Online

Products and/or Services Offered: We offer people & corporations the opportunity to own and privately store physical gold, silver or platinum bars and coins as both an investment strategy and a way to keep your savings outside of the banking system.

We are based in the lovely Mediterranean island of Cyprus.


Can you tell me about your background and where you come from? Did you/do you still have a regular job?

I started life living as an Expat throughout the Middle East, Far East and Europe. From there I went to university where I studied Horticultural Business Management.

Following academia, I realised that glorified gardening wasn’t for me so I joined the British Army where I went to RMA Sandhurst, however, after several years of service I was medically discharged when I broke both my legs.

My last regular job was as an Operations Manager for business development company, where over 7 years I helped grow it from a small business into one that delivered over GPB 5 billion of new business to our clients each year.

Eventually I decided that I had had enough of working for others and set out to create my own business, which I now do full-time.

What is the name of your business and can you describe what you do and who you do it for?

My company is called GoldVu

GoldVu offers investors a way to directly buy and sell physical gold, silver & platinum bullion and have it privately vaulted on a safe custody basis. GoldVu is interfaced with 16 institutional wholesale precious metals marketplaces located across 11 countries and 4 continents which, in turn, allows my clients to get the best priced bullion in the industry due to the low premiums and price spreads in the markets we offer.

Our clients have the choice which country they want their bullion to be stored in and if they requested their physical holdings to be segregated, then they can also personally visit the vault to inspect their own uniquely serial numbered bars. If clients don’t wish to vault with us, then they can elect to have their bullion delivered to them.

We have clients that include private individuals, businesses & corporations, professional investment funds and banks. Basically anyone can use us.

Why did you start your business?

I wanted to provide a way for investors to keep their savings outside the banking system as I didn’t feel that they were stable or solvent enough anymore to be trusted with the safe keeping of your hard-earned money.

By providing a very safe and stable alternative to the banking system I felt I could provide everyone with a real way to protect their personal savings, investments and company reserves.

Where did your idea come from?

I have always been interested in physical precious metals as an alternative to modern currency since before I went to university. This was due to being exposed to it a lot when I lived in the Middle and Far East.

It’s widely said that you should do what you enjoy or are interested in for a job, which is why the idea of doing something to do with physical precious metals appealed to me.

Who or what inspired you?

My inspiration was history.

I understood that the currencies that we use today such as the US Dollar, British Pound and Euro, are simply created as debt out of thin air. This form of currency is known as Fiat, where the production of the currency is not restricted by an amount of a physical asset it’s linked to such as gold. This lack of restriction means that an infinite amount of currency can be produced at a whim.

In the last 5000 years of history, there have been well over 600 documented examples of fiat currencies introduced and all without exception, have failed. After failure they always reintroduced either gold or silver as a basis of the new money.

The average time for fiat currencies to fail is 40 years.

On 15th August 1971 the US Dollar separated its link to physical gold to become a fiat currency and the other currencies worldwide followed suit. The major US banking crisis in 2008 was year 37, and so the first cracks and stresses of fiat started to show itself.

2016 is year 45 and counting.

With fiat currencies having such an absolute track record of failure, I want to help as many people and business get their savings out of the banks, financial system and the currencies they are currently held in and into physical precious metals before the storm hits. I want to people and companies to preserve their wealth during the inevitable coming reset and onwards into the new monetary system.

What training or development did you undertake in order to start your business?

I gained my precious metals knowledge over many years of being actively involved in it for my own personal investments and interest, which meant that thankfully I didn’t have a steep learning curve as part of my business’ development.

How much money did you need to start off your business and where did it come from?

The initial main outlays for the business was USD $800 for the creation & registration of my company and USD $299 for my subscription to SiteSell who support my entire online business presence. I provided all of the capital investment into the business from money that I had set aside.

The rest of my investment was my time.

How do you make money now with your business?

The money that my business makes comes from several areas and I intend to add more revenue streams as the business develops by implementing new services and offerings which will all help to add value for my clients.

The primary business income is derived from clients buying and selling precious metals and consultation services. I have several minor revenue streams such as advertising and other product sales. 

How did you actually start your business, in 10 steps or less? 

I took a monthly subscription with SiteSell to assess if I could achieve a solid online business through them, and once I was happy  with what I found I upgraded to an annual payment.

After several months of research using SiteSell’s tools, I was able to identify the best and most profitable angle for my business to  take.

After I established a route to market, I had to create a registered company through which to do business with, but the problem was which country?

I felt that the laws and actions of Western governments were evermore encroaching on peoples & corporate liberties and privacy, which didn’t reflect on the values that I wanted to build my business on. More research led me to Samoa, a small island nation in the Pacific. I found that Samoa had very strict ‘old school’ rules in those areas of concern that helped to guarantee what the West was slowly eroding. As I was going to be in the business of protecting people’s livelihood, I needed to have the company set up in a jurisdiction that helped to contribute to that aim - so Samoa it was (which is a poor reflection of the West that I had to do that).

Once the company was legally registered, I then joined the Allocated Bullion Exchange as a member broker. This provided me with direct access to the global institutional wholesale precious metals markets, which in turn I allow my clients to access and use to buy physical bullion.

With everything in place, I started building my online presence and take on clients. This building process is now an on-going activity.

What obstacles did you face when you started your business and how did you overcome them?

Starting a business from scratch is a hard task as you need to develop your services, build up momentum and online presence.

The online aspect of business building was new to me so that side of it proved to be the most difficult part to get to grips with. Fortunately for me I had access to an excellent set of tools and services developed by SiteSell and their support with this helped me to crack a lot of what I had to do.

I found that the Allocated Bullion Exchange that I was a member of, wasn’t as efficient in their admin or operations as I am or was used to. So I had to manage and resolve both several of their issues and grow & develop my business at the same time, which proved quite frustrating. I just had to knuckle down and address everything in order to help push through the various issues. Sometimes there is no clever trick to get around something, just hard work.

What are some of the things you found most useful in getting your business off the ground and why?

Prior to getting my business started, I found that it was research that greatly helped me to ensure that everything went according to plan. It helped me to have the right business idea, direction and tools in place before I actively started trading.

Once I started the business the most useful trait I found was persistence. Issues will always crop up in a new business and you shouldn’t let it get you down, but rather solve them and keep moving forward. You can’t plan for everything and have every last thing in place before you start. As an entrepreneur starting alone you will have to learn a lot on the job and be a jack-of-all-trades. The best way to start is, once you identify a potentially profitable business idea that appeals to you and you have any critical things place, just start. 

What advice would you give to someone who is looking for an idea to start a business? How would you suggest they go about it?

If you don’t have a clue as to what you want to do, the best way to start is to write down a list of the things you’ve achieved, interests, hobbies, experience, anything you have knowledge on, where you live, what things you like to dream about, aspirations and more (get input from friends and family). Don’t worry about subject content or if it can be profitable at this point, it’s just about pulling together a list of potential ideas to start with. You will likely find your list to be huge and somewhere in there is an idea that you could base a profitable business on.

In today’s world, it’s now easier and cheaper to set up a business online than having a physical store (that can come later), so consider building your business online in the first instance. You will still have to do market research to find which subject on your list has the best profit potential, which is where I used SiteSell.

Whatever the subject matter your business idea is, just remember to choose something that appeals to you and have interest in so that you don’t lose motivation once you’ve started your business.

Is there anything else you would like to say that is not covered by the questions above?

You can’t plan for everything and have every last thing in place before you start. As an entrepreneur starting alone, you will have to learn a lot on the job and be a jack-of-all-trades. The best way to start is to identify a potentially profitable business idea that appeals to you and once you have any critical things place, just start. 

How can people reach you who would like to know more about you and your business?

For more information my website is Goldvu

I am also on Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin if anyone would like to follow me on social media.


David on a video cast discussing his small business idea