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I, Marie Leaveau, am an alternative voodoo occultist entrepreneur from Louisiana and run an underground black market called Grimm Fairy artifacts Inc. Dubbed "The Bitch Queen" by naysayers, I have been operating since the 1800s, offering my services to a wealthy clientele in the application of witchcraft. For all the whiny millennial snowflakes who say that the American Dream is dead, I am a prime example that this is incorrect, as I have made a sizable profit and work to expand my business in the 21st century.

My business offers several services:

  1. Harvesting materials from slaves (fat, bones, skin, etc) to create magical artifacts. These items are imbued with the Mana of the individual they are made of to create magical effects. These can include items used to ward off mystical creatures, to creating better weapons, to something mundane like a wallet that can hold unlimited amounts of things.

  2. Sacrificing individuals in occultic rituals. They Mana harnessed from these sacrifices are used to power spells. Alternatively, specific organs can be harvested for use as necessary ingredients for other rituals.

  3. Voodoo rituals that affect targets have a backlash on the user. These individuals are used as proxies to absorb the negative energies resulting from the backlash, absorbing the negative effects.

My ultimate goal is to become the Walmart of the black market, a one-stop shop for magical items or services for rich clientele. Of course, this will be a massive operation involving many parts, from paying slave-nappers to obtain targets from third-world countries and failed states, to transporting them to various locations around the country, to housing and storing them until an order is placed, to actually performing the ritual when needed. My organization has been hampered by the abolition of slavery, and new technology has made operating more difficult.

I need a way to streamline this operation while ensuring that all it's moving parts operate seamlessly, while also cutting costs to return as much profit as possible. How can I make this work effectively?

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  • $\begingroup$ If approximately 200 years isn't enough to dominate your market, then perhaps your market is simply not amenable to an oligopoly or monopoly under past and current conditions. Beware of trying to cheat or exploit your workforce -- they can always sing to the FBI if they become disgruntled. Walmart may not be the best comparison - their competitive advantage is price; yours is not. Consider a higher-end comparison like Toyota or Nordstrom $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Jun 26 '20 at 17:07
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Walmart of the black market, a one-stop shop for magical items or services for rich clientele

Walmart is not known for its rich clientele. It's known for offering extremely cheap goods in a basic, no-frills store staffed by low-wage wage workers, and long check-out lines.

Being Wal-Mart is theoretically easy. Only deal with large suppliers and in large volumes, don't pay employees much and don't put the store in a high-rent area. Create a private label for goods that haven't passed other's quality inspections, and buy in bulk.

One important concept is WalMart isn't generally known for making anything, they're known for selling it cheap. Most of the things at WalMart are other brands sold at the lowest possible price. You don't need to worry about how goods are produced, you need to worry about getting as many goods as possible, and marking them up as little as possible.

I believe what you want is to facilitate illegal transactions like silk road. Be a broker for these illegal activities and connect buyers with sellers - and get your cut!

Hexes are illegal to buy and sell. The answer - buy and sell raw materials for illegal hexes in your chain of high-end boutiques! Use your existing legal network of stores to ship small quantities of high-end illegal product. Much like Gus Fring's used a legal storefront to ship meth around, you use your chain of boutiques.

As for high-end illegal hex services, just hire the "right" people. Many drug dealers work at bars and restaurants and use their legit job to launder their drug money. Same for your "hexers" - they launder the money through your organization, and you get a cut! Good thing your prices are sky high!

As for folks to be proxies for bad luck and other spell blow-back, you've got that solved too. The charitable arm of your organization is great at finding folks who will die soon from aggressive disease and arranging large payouts to families. All it takes is a wink, nod, and a lock of hair. Some CEO gets hexed in New York and a Piano falls on someone in L.A. - best of all, it's tax-deductible!

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Marketing research, Venture Capital, and aggressive lobbying

1. Marketing research

You're assuming that there's a large market just waiting for you to take control. You need to think carefully about how big the market really is. You want to become the "one-stop shop for magical items or services for rich clientele." How many rich people are looking for these kings of magic services? How many of them are willing to stop using their current provider and start working with you instead? And how much do they spend every year on these services? How much of the business could you get? You use Walmart as your example. Walmart doesn't actually have a majority of the market share in groceries or apparel or a number of other markets in which it competes. But those markets are so big that they can generate massive revenue from non-monopoly market shares. A lot of name brands are in similar positions. Your market might be so small that you'll have to absolutely dominate it in order to achieve the level you're envision.

2. Venture capital

Scaling your business is going to require a lot of money. You need to find people and organizations who can bankroll your expansion until you achieve profitability at scale. Here's a quick guide to getting venture capital money and the Small Business Administration has a guide to writing a business plan (a must for getting funding). If you want more background, I recommend Investment Banking by Rosenbaum and Pearl. One advantage of getting outside funding is that the investor might help you run your business more efficiently.

3. Aggressive lobbying

It sounds like you're planning to break a lot of laws across several countries. So you're going to need a serious lobbying machine. Put aside a good chunk of your revenue for lobbying in every country where you operate.

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The Nazis during WWII had to find a way to industrialize human extermination to fulfill their sick dream of racial purity via the concentration camps.

Their approach can be the baseline for your streamlined process.

Add maybe something taken from the modern slaughtering industry to reduce the human intervention in the entire process.

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So 1800's... trying to catch up to a 20th century business model.

These days it is time to go with synthetic voodoo products.

Start at the digital an molecular level and instead of dealing with creatures that have feelings and emotions and all that messy stuff, get a few PCR machines some stainless steel vats and couple of un-employed recent bio-mages phds that can't find a job. Set them up with a few bio-reactors and get them cultivating a few strains of e-coli to pump out some designer-hex-molecules. Its purer, more potent, and the authorities policies can't keep up with the tech. No law against it.

Most towns welcome, a "craft" brewery.... no need to tell them what is going on in the back.

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Import

Just like Walmart buys from China, bring the product in from overseas.

Plenty of places where you could set up shop that people just go missing and nobody cares. Bring the items into the country as the finished product ready for sale. Customs are looking for drugs and illegal products. Handmade leather wallets would get pass all inspections. Body parts come in as "Dog Treats" in heat treated, vacuum sealed bags. Potions as perfumes etc.

Since it contains nothing illicit and all the proper import paperwork filed, nobody would be any wiser.

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All that worked well enough when slavery was the case. Fortunately, due to your wealth, longevity, and insight, you started acquiring connections worldwide to use prisoners.

Cambodia was pure gold for you. Turkish prisons were a steady standby and provided a consistent stream. Saddam was good for 30 years but, you know, things change and the incoming regime was too religious and too bent on revenge instead of a mutually beneficial relationship.

Now, China is really a good chunk of your business and with the Uighurs and soon Hong Kong, you're really hitting your stride.

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