NeoBusiness School for the Conscience-Impaired
NEOPIAN STOCK EXCHANGE - Picture this: you’re out on the town with Mr. and Mrs. Pooglesworth, two of the most hoity-toity, respected, and unspeakably wealthy Neopian socialites this side of the Meridell Rubbish Dump. You three mosey on over to the Tyrannian Concert Hall to catch an evening show when, suddenly, you realize you can’t afford the 1250 Neopoints cover. All of a sudden, your face goes redder than a Tomato Chia. Left out in the sun. With a temper. And a rash.
Does this sound like you? Are you tired of scrimping and saving every last Neopoint to no avail? Are you sick of having to invent your own (remarkably painful) home remedies for NeoWarts to save NP? Are you fed up with renting out the upper floor of your Neohome for extra income to brawling pirates who play Deckball in the wee hours of the morning? Are you exhausted trying to convince your Neopet that the Pile of Sludge you gave her is indeed a perfectly acceptable Petpet? Do you grow weary of continually offering 1 NP on Paint Brushes at the Trading Post in hopes some unfortunate user comes down with an untimely sneezing fit and accidentally clicks the “Accept” button? Are you sick of gluing tree branches to your Bruce, hoping someone will confuse him with the Money Tree and leave bags of cash at his feet? Do you want me to give the questions a rest and continue on with the article? What’s your favourite colour? What’s the meaning of life? Why do they call those little yellow Petpets “Flowpers” even though you never see them Flowping?
If you see yourself in any of the above questions then, well, all I can really say is yikes. Never fear, for I intend to teach you how to have your Kau-hide wallet bursting at the seams with Neopoints in no time at all. The trick? Starting your own business. No, I’m not talking about that rinky-dink shop of yours you decided to name Big_hungry_al_252's Dung Emporium or what-have-you. I mean a real, viable business that will have you bringing home the Streaky Bacon in no time. Yes, soon enough, the Pooglesworths will be on the floor kissing your gold-plated toes and just begging to wax your Wellington Boots.
Ladies and gents, NeoBusiness School is now in session.
Now, I must tell you the first principle of doing business: you must leave your conscience at the door. Yep, grab a rope, tie ‘er to a pole or tree or nearby Turmaculus, and let it be. If you ever intend to turn a Neopoint, you’ve got to forget all about those useless pieces of garbage you learned in NeoKindergarten like sharing, kindness, honesty, morals, and the alphabet. Yes, it’s true. Every experienced Neopian entrepreneur knows that if you want to have any financial success, you’ve got to learn how to put the “sin” back in “business”.
Any up-and-coming business-type person needs to learn the lingo before he or she can even begin to think about raking in Neopoints. Here are some terms that, once learned, will increase your earning ability, like, a hundred bajillion times. Honest.
Profit: Profit = good. If you’re getting profit, it means you aren’t receiving zero Neopoints, because, as everyone knows, not receiving any Neopoints is the fastest way to not get any Neopoints at all... which you don’t want. Clear enough, right? Moving on.
Expenses: You’ve probably heard this time-tested adage at one time or another: You need to spend NP to make NP! It’s absolutely correct, and the more NP you spend, the more you would therefore earn. Thus, find as many excuses to needlessly spend Neopoints as possible. If you see a piece of Rotting Driftwood on sale for 99 NP, by all means, buy it. If you see one for 999 NP, even better. And, if you manage to find Rotting Driftwood on sale for 9999 NP, you’re going to be lauded as the greatest business mind ever to walk Neopia.
Tax: Entrepreneurs-in-training need to understand how taxation works. Okay, here’s how it goes: a little green gremlin called the Tax Beast steals a certain percentage of your Neopoints every so often in order to fund things like road repairs, hospitals, and schools. Of course, the technical workings of taxation are a bit more confusing than that, given that Neopia has no paved roads, the hospital does nothing to heal your pets, and Snorkles will be doing the macarena before Neoschools make an appearance in Neopia.
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles: These are the “standards of good behaviour” developed when it comes time to do bookkeeping. In short, the more loopholes in the GAAP you find, the more profitable your Neopian business will be.
Advertising: Advertising helps generate interest in your business and stirs up potential clientele. Now, they say that all publicity is good publicity, so I would suggest talking hold of a less pricey grassroots advertising campaign and report your business to the Neopets Team for vulgar language and harassment. If all goes as planned, maybe the monitor on duty will be your first customer!
Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization: I... uh... er, this concludes the terminology section of NeoBusiness School.
Now that you understand some of the basic definitions, it’s time to put your know-how to the test! As any conscience-deprived business expert will tell you, one of the best ways to rake in the Neopoints is to find some sort of locale in Neopia where people currently are not spending their Neopoints but where they realistically could be spending their Neopoints. Get what I’m saying? There are plenty of places in Neopia where users get things for free, like the Giant Omelette or Coltzan’s Shrine or the Space Station’s Lever of Doom, but you just have to find a way to get them to pay.
I suggest doing this with a tollbooth. After all, users have been getting free omelette from Tyrannia for years, so logic dictates that would they have no problem suddenly paying for this privilege, correct? Makes sense to me! Now, when users come up to the Giant Omelette only to discover your tollbooth blocking their way, you need to be steadfast and detached in handling them. By being consistent in how you answer their problems while not letting them emotionally affect you, you stand the greatest chance of succeeding. Here’s an example of how the exchange between you and the random user who comes traipsing along will play out:
Big_hungry_al_252: I’m, um, on my way to the Giant Omelette.
You: The toll is 100 NP.
Big_hungry_al_252: I’m... just trying to feed my Lupe so he doesn’t go hungry.
You: The toll is 100 NP.
Big_hungry_al_252: Can I just... go through? I don’t have any Neopoints, and my Neohome is going to be taken from me, and it’s really hot outside, and I think all the dung is giving me sinus problems, and I’m just trying to–
You: The toll is 100 NP.
See how you did that? Steadfast and detached, you handled that problem without anything like guilt standing in your way! Just make sure you bring some sort of sturdy blocking-type object for when Sabre-X inevitably comes to pile-drive you into the Tyrannian Volcano.
This really is only one example of a business you could try out when, in reality, there are hundreds. All businesses break down into two distinct categories: services and goods. The Mystery Island Tiki Tours would be an example of a service, since you don’t receive anything tangible from them. The Health Food Shop, on the other hand, is an example of a good. Except nobody likes health food, so maybe they’re more of a “bad”.
It really doesn’t matter what kind of business you have. Mow lawns, rake leaves, stick little plastic googly-eyes on empty Neocola cans and sell them for a ridiculous profit... it makes no difference. More important than what you do is what people think of you, requiring your business to have a good image in the eye of the Neopian public. Think of a flashy name for your business. It not only needs to convey some impression of what your business does, but it must be eye-catching. Thus, while Ike’s Business is not a very good name, Ike’s Excellent Business That Is Affordable and Excellent is much better.
You should come up with some sort of mascot to reflect your business. Now, this can be difficult and take years to come up with a decent mascot that reflects your Neopian business and connects with the public, causing you to spend millions in corporate research and PR. This requires patience and therefore isn’t worth it, so I suggest you bypass that by grabbing some random Chia off the street, maybe dress him up in bell-bottoms, give him a bowler hat, maybe some rhinestones, a fuzzy rainbow wig, some more rhinestones, and top it all up with even more rhinestones. See? Business is easy.
Well, um, that seems to be all the time we have, so, uh... speech. Right. As you go out into the world today... something about the relationships you’ve cultivated... life lessons... yadda yadda... okay, you’ve officially graduated from NeoBusiness School! So long as you follow the tips detailed in this article, you’re bound to end up with a financially successful business that will leave you with a whole mountain of Neopoints. Or maybe just a punch in the jaw. Whatever comes first.
Note: This guide is a parody and no part of it is meant to be taken seriously at all... except for the part where you’re supposed to watch out for Sabre-X. That guy packs a wicked left hook. Consider yourself warned. :)