There comes a time in every wastelander's life that they decide their travels are over, that they cannot go one more step. At this point, there are many directions they can turn. Some become town guards or soldiers, others turn to science and medicine, and others still turn to the classic profession of Merchantry.
This isn't a bad idea. The folk of the wastes need merchants in order for them to obtain goods and generally survive. Whole cities have been surrounded by single shops, dependant on them for survival. But everyone has to start somewhere, and where's better than the Guide.
To truly be a disciplined merchant, one must not go over board in their shop the moment they gain the idea. Good merchants took years to rise to the size they are, and this goes for everyone pursuing this field. Hell, occasionally a shop will start with almost nothing, not even a location! But these can work through this and thrive and make it to the top. But one should always start small. You have to know your place, and if you start in a small town or a big city, you have to build trust before you can build big. Remember these simple steps:
- DON'T gamble on your success. Do not go into the field of trade with the idea that you will be an instant success, as chances are you will fall flat on your face. Try to work up your funds. Start with roughly half the money you hold, then invest that to your business. With each amount of money you earn, put some aside for the business, some aside for purchasing new products, and some aside for yourself, because you are in the money-making business.
- Know what you are selling. Don't try to be a super market here; try to pick a single product, let's say guns, and move with it. Once you have a strong clientel devoted to your guns then you can start adding more products, because at this point you would have earned their trust and business.
- Location, location, location. Where your shop is can affect your profits. If you own a stand out in the middle of nowhere, there's a good chance you won't see much, if any business. Try to get as close to the busiest part of town as possible. If you can, try to get to a town with a decent population but a small amount of business. This will be a good starting position.
- Advertise and popularize. Hire people to shout out your store name from the streets, and scavange a good sign to put outside your doorway. But this isn't all. When the people from the streets enter your humble abode, greet them with kindness and passion. Have good deals and good products, as high of quality as possible. Work with the people to get your store known.
So, your store has taken off, and now you have a steady profit margine and are going strong. It's about time to expand. This may be harder than starting off, as should you fail this you may lose credibility as well as what you have worked up. It is here that you should follow the Guide to the letter:
- Work with the community. The people know your name and your store. You want them to think of you as a kind and giving man, not a conniving and manipulative person. In order to do this, give back. Fund schools, medical clinics, and security. Hold large deals in order to make purchasing products easier for your neighbors. Run charities and help build up the community.
- Study your competition thoroughly. With every new store on the block, there are easier and easier opportunities for one to become your successor. Try to beat them in every way, and if you must, use sabotage and bullying into doing so. But be descreet; should the public learn you will lose the faith they once held.
- Expand your employment rate. Hire more and more employees for various jobs, such as obtaining goods and managing the store. Hire guards for the store, and if you wish, for the entire town. Your store won't mean anything if a raider burns it to the ground. Ensure that all of your employees are faithful and reliable. And if they betray you...you know what to do.
- EXPAND AND DOMINATE. Constantly look for ways to expand your company. Open several stores in several cities. Create and manage caravans and hire guards to protect them. Establish home bases and corporate offices to manage your company. Overall, make sure your company reachs the top, even if it has to kick everyone else in the ass to get there.