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    Free Essay
    9.9 of 10 on the basis of 1600 Review.
     

     

     

     

     

     

         
     
    Adm 4

     

    A DOZEN AND ONE WAYS TO REDUCE POSTAGE 1. Never send a letter that weighs less than 30 gms. Five size 8-1/2x11 circulars can be mailed with a 1st class postage stamp. By using all 10 sides with a variety of offers you have a greater chance of receiving an order. 2. When you advertise, state the price of your product and add Plus Postage e. g. "A DOZEN AND ONE WAYS TO REDUCE POSTAGE" $1 plus stamp or SASE (self addressed stamped envelope). When inviting inquiries always say "For information send SASE". 3. Advertise that you will do paid mailing. Set a competitive price and recover some if not all of the costs involved in mailing your own offers. 4. Write a good plan or folio; then create a good ad to sell it. Or offer it to others on a "commission" or "all profit" basis and fill the orders for a SASE. Your offers can then go along for a free ride when you fill the orders. 5. Make up an interesting ad sheet. Use up some of the spaces for your own ads then sell enough ads to others to cover the cost of postage, printing, advertising etc. 6. Advertise a "Free Big Mail for Postage - the More Postage the More Mail". (Big mail consists of at least one mailorder publication plus a variety of circulars). 7. Do exchange mailing. You mail 100 of another dealer's circulars and they will mail 100 or yours. 8. Purchase an accurate postal scale. Then you will never add more postage than necessary OR you can use up the full value of the postage being used. 9. Reduce postage by at least 40% by using Bulk Mail. Inquire at the Post Office. This requires the mailer (U. S.) to sort their mail by state and zip code and mail at least 200 like pieces at one time. 10. Save all the used postage stamps off your mail then sell them to the agents who advertise in the mailorder publications. One such company is: Mel Enterprises, Box 3777, High River, AB, Canada T0L 1B0. 11. Stamps that have not been cancelled due to an error of the postal cancellation machine may be used again. 12. Accept stamps from another country. If you can't use them trade with a dealer from that country for stamps that you can use or buy something from them paying them with stamps of equal value. 13. Watch mailorder publications for dealers who have new stamps to sell at a reduced price. N. B. It is false economy to not send a SASE when making inquiries of other dealers. You are more likely to receive an answer much more quickly and it improves business relations. The above material is NOT copyrighted. It may be copied then given away or sold. Your choice.

         
    Adm 5

     

    FREE PRINTING AND MAILING The biggest expense in the field of mail order is mailing and printing. Here is a very good, accepted plan for getting 600 3x6 circulars printed and mailed FREE! 1. Find an offset printer in your locale or by mail order who charges $12 or $13 per thousand for printing 100 9x12's, both sides. 2. Place the following advertisement in several leading mailorder publications: 1000 3x6 circulars printed for only $3. Send camera-ready copy. Our non-conflicting ad on the back. (Your name and address). 3. On a 9x12 sheet of paper you can get six 3x6 circulars. 4. Six orders from you advertisement nets you $18 cash. 5. You paste your customers' camera-ready 3x6 circulars on a 9x12 sheet of paper. 6. You paste six of your own camera-ready 3x6 circulars on another 9x12 sheet of paper. These will be printed on the reverse side of your customers' circulars. 7. Both copies are then sent to the printer for printing. 8. After printing have the printer cut out each individual 3x6 circular apart. 9. You will then have six 3x6 circulars, 1000 of each. 10. Package the 3x6 circulars and ship them to the proper customer. 11. Your customer has paid to have 1000 3X6 circulars printed. He will be doing the mailing. Your ad is printed on the back. THERE IT IS: 6000 3X6 CIRCULARS PRINTED AND MAILED FREE!

         
    Adm 6

     

    WHEN, WHY AND HOW TO USE MAILING LISTS Mailing lists may be the cause of more heartbreaks than any other single factor in mail order. A poorly chosen list, a weak mailing and the high cost of mailing to a list can tax the optimism of a new dealer very, very quickly. Arm yourself with knowledge before embarking on a course like this! Whether you should use a mailing list to sell your product depends on several things: Is it too complex an offering to be explained in a 30 word ad? Can you afford to mail 200 to 1,000 pieces on the chance that you won't get a single order? Can you make a profit selling your product to only two to twenty people in a 1,000 piece mailing? Will a re-order of your product be required, and can you make your re-orders pay for the losses you will likely get from mailing to a list? Do you know enough to choose the right list for your offering? It takes either great faith in your offering or great stupidity to mail with a list. Most list companies today, specialize in "opportunity seekers" - people generally quite new to mail order who are either looking for a product to sell or an offer that will get them rich in a hurry. Most of these "opportunity seekers" are engaged in chain letter type schemes at some point, and they use mailing lists to make gains in their plans. Most of them lose money, but enough people will try it once to make money, and these pie-in-the-sky dreamers are the bread and butter for a lot of mailing list companies. Unless you have a truly superior offering for these opportunity seekers, and you probably don't, they are not worth your time and money. Most of them are unsophisticated dabblers. Multi-level lists, offered by many companies, are truly an interesting way to test response to an MLM offer. Many MLM people like to write back - in their own handwriting - about their successes and failures, and they will always respond to a superior product. Specialized product-buyers' lists can pull beautifully if the offering is unique enough, and worth a try for merchandise marketing. Regardless of what kind of mailing list you use, be very careful in choosing a good list. Many are sold and resold to people making the very same offering, which is a waste of everyone's money. "Free" mailing lists are usually as good as their price indicates. Check the guaranteesmon sense will tell you which are good for you and which are good for the company selling the lists. And check to see how the lists are compiled. Are they people who have already bought something by mail, or are they merely people who indicated they might want to buy something by mail? In conclusion, we recommend that you never start any campaign with a mailing list when advertising is so much cheaper. While it may prove to be more profitable than advertising, keep this rule in mind: When you're ready to try a mailing list, be fully prepared to lose every penny you spend in buying and mailing that list, because it could happen.

         
    Adm 7

     

    ABC's of How to Compile, Maintain & Sell "Red Hot" Name Lists NAME LISTS AND THEIR USE Virtually every inquiry or buyer's name ultimately ends up on a mailing list. Some are small lists, while others contain millions of names. Some are meticulously maintained, while others are carelessly handled. For those interest in mail order advertising, mailing lists can prove to be very valuable as well as a saleable commodity. If you wish to increase your sales, it is often a good idea to go into direct mail. To do this you would begin by renting another firm's mailing lists. Or, you would rent your list of customers' names to another firm. Either way, mailing lists can, and do play an important part in the every day world of mail order. Basically, there are three types of lists. They are: - house lists - mail response lists - compiled lists. Let's examine each more closely. HOUSE LISTS A house list simply put is a list of your own customers. They may be active, or inactive. They may be inquiries or buyers. They may have made ten purchases or just one, or in the case of inquiries, none. They may have placed an order in the last four months, or in the last four years. They may have spent a great deal of money or a small amount. They may be credit card buyers or cash buyers. Your house list contains your most valuable asset . . . the names of your own customers. These are the people who have purchased from you in the past and are very likely to purchase from you in the future. You can spend a great deal of money to rent outside lists, but none will bring you the financial rewards you will reap from your own customer list. These people know and trust you, and will order on a continuing basis. MAIL RESPONSE LISTS Second in importance are mail response lists. These are people who have responded to another firm's direct mail offer. The idea is to pick out a list of customers who have ordered products similar to those sold by your firm. Since it is a well-known fact that these people have previously responded to an offer similar to yours, there is an excellent chance that they will also respond favorably to your offer. COMPILED LISTS Although the people on compiled lists do not usually respond as well as the people on house lists or mail response lists, these lists can still be helpful if properly used. These lists are not generally used by small or medium sized business firms because they are too general in nature. But large firms, such as oil companies and insurance firms find them useful and even profitable. I have never used a compiled list and do not recommend their use for anyone but the largest mailers. While there are no set rules which can be applied to mailing lists, here are few "rules of thumb" that can be regarded as reliable in most cases. They may not apply to your list situation, but they will give you food for thought. The average list will change at least 15%-20% each year. Some mailing lists will change only 10%, while others have as high as a 100% rate of turnover. (Lists of high school seniors), etc. A direct response list (people who have already purchased goods through the mail) will out-pull a compiled list. A customer list will out-pull all other outside lists. By outside list I mean direct response or compiled lists. Allocate 10% or more of your direct mail budget to list development and maintenance. The 10% figure is the minimum amount you should spend. Most successful businesses find the more they spend the more they prosper. People over 35 years of age as a group, respond to mail order offers at a much higher rate than do people under 35 years of age. People living in rural areas respond to mail order offers at a higher rate than do people who live in urban areas. People who have ordered through the mail within the last 3 - 6 months ("hot-line" buyers) are the most productive names you can get. Multiple buyers (people who have made two or more separate purchases through the mail within a season) will always outpull buyers who have purchased only once within a season. The results you can expect will vary by season and/or months of the year, and by regional areas and states. Every list should be checked and cleaned at least twice a year or more. It is a good idea to review and update your list at least every six months whenever possible. Responsibility for maintaining and updating of your list should be delegated to a single individual whenever possible. We've heard the expression "too many cooks spoil the broth", well, when it comes to mailing lists it is a good idea to limit the number of individuals who handle the list to as few as is possible. The fewer the better. Use outside consultants and service organizations to help you with your list decision. These people have made it their business to study and understand lists. SHOULD YOU USE LISTS The first thing to consider when trying to make a decision about a particular list is whether or not the people on that list would be interested in your product. You want a list of people who have purchased something similar to your product, or at least something in the same general category. People who have already purchased cheese products are perfect for you if you are selling cheese products. But, if you are selling fishing supplies you would never want to rent a list of buyers interested in cheese products. Instead, you would want to rent a list of people interested in fishing. You might consider renting a list of names from a publisher who publishes a fishing magazine. Or maybe, a list of people who have recently applied for a fishing license. When renting lists it is imperative to find a list that parallels as closely as possible your own list of customers. The right list can and usually does make a tremendous difference in the results you can expect. WHAT TO SPEND Today, there are thousands of mailing lists available in thousands of categories. Almost any offer, no matter how unusual, can be matched to an appropriate list. The price of a mailing list can start from as low as $15 per thousand to as high as $75 per thousand and more. A few of the factors that determine the price of a mailing list are: - Freshness of list. - Buyer or inquiry. - Amount of purchase. - Multiple or one time buyer. - "Hot-line" buyers. - Credit card buyers. - Frequency of purchase. - Brokers recommend it's use. As you can see, many factors come into play when pricing a mailing list. The more desirable the list, the more you can expect to pay. LIST BROKERS AND COMPILERS It is almost impossible to succeed in direct marketing without the help and guidance of competent list brokers and compilers. It is the list broker's job to bring together the owner of a list and the firm who wishes to rent that particular list. The fee for this service is usually a flat 20% on each rental. You can rent names through a list broker for the same price you would pay on your own. So, it is to your benefit to take advantage of this service. It is to the broker's advantage to help you choose the best list available for your needs, so that if your initial test proves successful, there is a good chance you will wish to rent the whole list in the future. After a list broker arranges the rental, he next bills the firm renting the list and forwards the proper payment to the owner of the lists. These services are all included in his fees. A list compiler represents those lists owned and maintained by the company that employs him. They are specialists for the compiled list they represent. Basically, the compiler offers the same services as a broker. NAME LISTS - A PROFITS CENTER FOR YOU Many companies with as few as a few thousand names are earning a substantial income from the rental of their list. Larger firms who have lists in excess of 50,000 names are reaping huge rewards. If you will simply bear in mind the fact that these small companies with small lists are able to gross $40,000 a year and more in rental income fees alone, you begin to grasp a measure of the significance of just how profitable the buying and selling of names can be for you. It is truly a profit center without parallel in the mail order industry. List prices depend on the time and money you spent compiling them. Some lists are easily accessible and you cannot charge a great deal for them. Other lists require a great deal of time and money to compile. These lists are usually very expensive. NOTE: You have probably seen many dealers advertising their lists at cut-rate prices. In most cases these lists are worthless or so out-of-date that they are no longer of any use to anyone, except to sell to unsuspecting mail order buyers. Try to stay away from these dealers. Most of them are selling garbage. YOUR OWN LIST Once you have gotten your mail order business off the ground and have acquired a large enough list of inquiries or buyers, or both, it is a good idea to put your customer list up for rental with as many brokers as possible. While it is true that the primary purpose of compiling your own list of customers is to generate sales of your own products; an important secondary source of income can be generated through the rental of your list to non-competing firms. Profits from the rental of house lists can be enormous. It is not uncommon for many mail order businesses to make more money from the rental of their lists than they earn form the rest of their business. Indeed, if it were not for the monies received from list rentals, many a mail order firm would soon be forced to go out-of-business. For example, let us assume taut you have a customer list of 50,000 names. This list is considered small by most experts, but it will still account for hefty revenues. If you charge $40 per thousand names, you will receive $2,000 each time you rent your list. Of course, you will have to allow for the brokers commission of 20% or $400. That still leaves you with $1,600, assuming there are no other costs involved. If you rent your list ten times during the course of a year you should net approximately $16,000. Another benefit of renting your list to non-competing firms is that you will be able to get new ideas and insights about what your customers' likes and dislikes are. In addition, one of the firms that rents your list may try an approach that you might want to imitate. Many firms rightly or wrongly, refuse to rent their house list to another firm. They feel that the results of their future mailings will be diluted if their customers are deluged with offers from other companies. Other firms feel just the opposite is true. They state that as long as they rent their list to a non-competing firm no harm will be done. In fact, many feel that by renting their list to other companies, they are helping to insure that their customers continue to be mail order buyers. Still other firms take a middle-of-the-road approach to the renting of their list. These firms make sure they rent only their old subscribers list or inactive customer list. They do not rent their current subscribers list or the names of their active customers. Finally, there are the firms who like to exchange lists with both their competitors and non-competitors. Usually, only inquiries of inactive customers names are swapped. The best party of list swapping is the cost. If you would normally have to pay $40 per thousand names for a list, you can get it for only $8 per thousand names when you swap lists. (You pay only the brokers fee, or 20% of $40.) FUNCTIONS OF LIST BROKERS The DMAA research report lists the most important services performed by list brokers. FINDS NEW LISTS - The broker is constantly seeking new lists and selecting for your consideration ones which will be of particular interest. In fact, brokers spend a great deal of their time encouraging list owners to enter the list rental field. ACTS AS A CLEARING HOUSE FOR DATA - The broker saves you valuable time because you can go to one source for a considerable amount of information, rather than to many sources which may or may not be readily available. SCREENS INFORMATION - The broker carefully screens the list information provided by the list owner. Where possible he or one of his representatives personally verifies the information provided by the list owner. In addition, brokers in the National Council of Mailing List Brokers have available to them a wealth of information resulting from the combined efforts of the members. REPORTS ON PERFORMANCE - The broker knows the past history of many lists and usually knows the performance of ones which have previously been used by other mailers. ADVISES ON TESTING - The broker's knowledge of the makeup of a list is often valuable in determining what will constitute a representative cross section of the list. Obviously, an error in selecting a cross section will invalidate the results of the test and possibly eliminate from your schedule a group of names that could be responsive. CHECKS INSTRUCTIONS - When you place an order with a list owner through a broker, he and his staff double check the accuracy and completeness of your instructions, thus often avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings and loss of time. CLEARS OFFER - The broker clears for you in advance the mailing you wish to make. He supplies the list owner either with a sample of your piece or a description of it, and by getting prior approval minimizes the chance of any later disappointments. CHECKS MECHANICS - The broker clears with the list owner the particular type of envelope, order card, or other material which is to be addressed. CLEARS MAILING DATE - When contacting the list owner, the broker checks on the mailing date which you have requested and asks that it be held open as a protected time for you. WORKS OUT TIMING - The broker arranges either for material to be addressed or labels to be sent to you at a specified time, thus enabling you to maintain you schedule of inserting and mailing. LIST OWNER-BROKER RELATIONS GET LIST MAINTENANCE ADVICE - Consult with the list broker when deciding how to maintain your list so you may set it up the most practical, economical and rentable way. DISCUSS RATES - Discuss with your broker the price you will charge for rentals and decide on a price schedule that will bring you the greatest volume of profitable business. SUPPLY ACCURATE DATA - Be sure the list information you furnish is accurate. If the addresses in a list have not been corrected within a reasonable period of time, tell the broker. If a list contains a percentage of names of people who bought on open account and failed to pay, give this information to the broker. If you represent your list as made up entirely of buyers, be sure it does not include any inquiry or prospect names. If you have bought out a competitor and have included some of his names in your customer list, be sure to state this fact. Aside from obvious aspects of misrepresentation, you will be the one who suffers when you mislead a broker. ADDRESS ON SCHEDULE - Establish a reputation for addressing on time as promised. If you accept orders and fail to fulfil them on schedule, brokers become aware of this and find they can not conscientiously suggest your list to potential users. If, for some reason, you foresee a delay, advise the broker immediately, so he can advise the mailer. FURNISH LATEST COUNTS - Keep the broker posted on current list counts, rates, changes in the sources of the names and the like. When the composition of a list changes, it may very well become more interest to a user who had previously felt that it was not suitable for his purpose. In addition, when current information is offered to a potential user through the broker, it is more likely to develop activity than is an out-dated description. CHOOSE BROKERS WISELY - Consider carefully whether to make your list available to a number of list brokers or just to one broker. There are many things to be said in favor or working with several brokers. And at times there are also some good reasons for working exclusively with one broker. While the decision is yours, you should keep in mind the fact that brokers are people and each has his own particular personality, following, and sphere of influence. Therefore, as a list owner, you will be well advised not to narrow the field unless your facilities for addressing are so limited that the orders one broker can develop for you will be more than sufficient to take up all the available addressing time. PROTECT BROKERS - It takes a lot of time and effort on the part of a broker to interest a mailer in testing your list. Therefore, continuation runs should be scheduled through the original broker so long as he continues to render satisfactory service to his client. The broker is a member of your sales force, and he can only continue to do an effective job so long as you protect him on the accounts he develops for you. Recently there has been a trend toward list management as opposed to list brokers. A list manager takes over complete management of your list for rental purposes. Under this form of contract, the list manager is responsible for the following functions: - He solicits his own brokerage customers directly. - Makes all contacts with list brokers and is responsible for processing their orders. - Should at his own expense advertise the list. - Analyzes the results of each mailing and offer suggestions and advice. - Keeps all records and is responsible for all billings. - Provides the list owner with a detailed list of activity, along with commissions earned, etc. For this extra service he usually earns an additional 10%. Today, however, many list managers are asking for and getting even more. In my opinion, they are well worth the extra money. A good list manager will do his utmost to promote your list. In return, he will earn a substantial sum of money. But, not as much as the list owner. It is not unusual for a good list manager to double or even triple your previous rental income. Naturally, some list mangers will do a better job than others. If you decide to use a list manger instead of a broker, make sure you select the best one available. It will take some time, but it will be time well spent. I strongly suggest you subscribe to Direct Marketing Magazine, 224 Seventh St., Garden City, NY 11530. This magazine will keep you abreast of the latest information available dealing with direct marketing and list selection. HOW TO TEST A LIST Today the minimum number of names you are allowed to test is usually around 5,000. However, many brokers will waive this rule. They do not want to lose a potentially good customer just because he or she wants to test 3,000 names instead of 5,000. When testing a list always request Nth selection. This will insure that you will be testing the effectiveness of the entire list, and not just one small segment. Nth selection simply means that the computer randomly picks a few names from the entire list. The reason you should always use Nth selection is simple, besides the obvious reason already mentioned. It stops the broker or list owner from giving you his loaded names. Many a shrewd broker or list owner will rent you only their best names when you test a list. This will insure that you will get the best results possible. Later, when you return for additional names, you will get the shock of your life. In order for a beginner to get a trustworthy list it might be a good idea to rent your first nm large, reputable firm. Later, as you grow, tests can be made with lists from smaller firms. Another reason for selecting larger lists is, that should the results be rewarding, you will have a larger selection of names for your future use. Always try to rent a list consisting of buyers names only. The more recent the better. If you cannot get a list of buyers names only, go for a mixed list. This particular list will consist of both buyers and inquiries names. Once again, it is advisable to get the freshest names possible. Note: Always make certain that any list you decide to rent has been cleaned within the last 6-12 months. Otherwise, you may be throwing your time and money away. Lists that have not been kept up-to-date deteriorate rapidly. Many lists are totally worthless unless they are constantly cleaned. WHO BUYS MAILING LISTS All mail order experts agree that there is no less expensive way to increase their sales than by using the medium of direct mail. The problem all direct mail users face is where can they obtain the lists they need to continue their mailing campaigns. That is where the "mailing list dealer" come in. By being able to supply these firms with names of authentic mail order prospects he or she is able to build a very successful business. Once a firm has faith in you and the list you furnish, you can be assured that they will continue to use your service as long as you give them the same excellent service and results as in the beginning. Remember, the compiling and selling names is a very competitive business, and yet many aspirants, most with little or no knowledge of the business, strike it rich in this field. However, you must at all times offer your clients top-notch service and order-pulling lists. HOW TO GET STARTED To be frank and candid, your chances of success are almost non-existent unless you have primary knowledge of mail order selling in general. So, it would be prudent to start out in another phase of mail order selling if you are a mail order neophyte. The starting supplies needed to operate a mailing list business are moderate and inexpensive. You'll definitely need a typewriter (the best one you can possibly afford). Additionally, you'll need the following supplies . . . letterheads and envelopes, business cards, record books, some sort of filing cabinet, sheets of perforated gummed labels, (available at most stationery stores), carbon paper, shipping envelopes or containers, pens and pencils and a few other supplies as you start to grow. There are two ways for beginners to compile name lists: (1) On standard gummed labels, (available from your local stationery store) (2) Computer labels, from a home computer or a large main frame computer, (available from firms who specialize in this field). Since this book is primarily for beginners we will first discuss the gummed labels. Later in this book there is a section devoted to computer lists. Mailing lists are usually typed on sheets of perforated gummed labels ready to affix to envelopes. These standard sheets of perforated gummed labels come in 33 up sheets. Their cost is usually around $25 per thousand sheets. You can also offer the customer name lists on plain bond paper, usually there are from 35-60 names typed on a plain piece of paper. I do not generally recommend this method of name selling since it usually indicates the seller is a rank amateur. It is usually a good idea to sell your list on either gummed or pressure sensitive labels only. Later, as you expand, you will want to use a method of list compiling that will allow you to put the names in exact zip code order. This is a very important factor when it comes to selling your list of names. But in the beginning, you will not have the experience or money needed to properly zip code your list. When buying gummed, perforated labels, you should always get the ones with the carbon already inserted between each sheet of paper. In this manner, you will be able to type the name once on the original and have as many as 5 additional copies of each for sale. Another method of reproduction of your mailing list is a copy machine. You simply insert your master copy into the machine and copy as many sheets as you need. You can do this for pressure sensitive labels as well as gummed labels. If you can afford to rent, lease or buy your own copy machine it will greatly increase your volume and also your profit potential. There are many, many people using the above methods to reproduce and sell their name lists. Many are making a small fortune. But, the real big money cannot be made until you computerize your list. HOW TO COMPUTERIZE AND MAINTAIN YOUR MAILING LIST FOR GREATER PROFITS Probably the one question most frequently asked by mail order list compilers is, should I or shouldn't I computerize my list? The answer is, "that depends". There are many factors to be considered before you make up your mind one way or the other. But, one thing is for sure, if computerizing your list is right for you, it will improve your profit potential in 2 ways . . . (1) By a more efficient marketing of your list (2) By increasing your income from the rental of your list. Until recently, it was not a good idea to computerize your list if it contained fewer than 15,000-20,000 names. Today, however, with the aid of small office and home computers, anyone can easily store and print out a large amount of names. So, if you plan on increasing the size and profitability of your list, computerizing your list isn't only desirable, it's virtually indispensable. HOW TO CLEAN YOUR LIST You clean your list by putting the caption "address correction requested" in the upper left hand corner of your outer envelope when you mail to your own list. Or, you can offer your customers 10 new names for every 1 old name they return to you. This way you would not have to send out any mailings yourself. Your customers would be cleaning the list for you. Remember, computerized lists are like children. You have to maintain them after you've brought them into the world. List maintenance is principally a matter of adding new names, deleting "nixies" (undeliverable mail) and entering changes of address as customers move. None of these tasks are difficult, but without the proper care and dedication a good list can soon become worthless. WHERE TO OBTAIN NAMES FOR YOUR LIST Naturally, you can rent out your own list of customers if you have such a list. This is the way most beginners start. We have previously discussed this aspect of name rentals. You can also compile other types of name lists. Examples . . . doctors, lawyers, drug stores, high school students, etc. Several books and directories have been published that specifically deal with these types of lists. Two of the best are "Mailing List Sources", and "Mailing List Directory". These books are not cheap, so if you do not wish to buy them, they are available at most large public libraries. Another valuable sources for these types of lists is "Guide to American Directories for Compiling Mailing Lists". Another method of compiling names for a name list is to purchase the names from a mail order dealer. Many small mail order firms have no use for their names after they answer the original inquiry. They are only too glad to sell these names to the highest bidder. The price you offer for these names is usually just a fraction of what they would have cost you if you had paid for the advertisements yourself. I know of one list compiler who has become a very rich man using this method. He sends out a form letter to mail order dealers who advertise in the classified sections of magazines. He offers to buy their current names and all their names in the future for a fair price. After he acquires these names, he has them put on a computer listing and sells them to some of the biggest mail order firms in the country. He has been doing this for a long time and he probably is the king of the opportunity-seekers name list market. WHAT PRICES TO CHARGE The price you charge for your list can vary greatly. Basically, lists, like any other commodity, have different values. Always remember to keep your prices in line with what the other list sellers are charging. If you charge too little, most people will shy away, figuring that your list is not that good. On the other hand, if you set your price too high, most prospects will be financially unable or unwilling to spend too great a sum of money. Always try to be moderate in your price structure. If you are having good results renting your list, you might try raising the price slowly and see what happens. Never jump your price too rapidly if at all possible. This tends to scare away many good prospects and old customers. HOW TO ADVERTISE There are many and varied methods of reaching prospective buyers of your lists. We will try to discuss a few in this chapter. Please remember, that there are literally dozens of other ways to reach customers. We cannot and will not cover all the methods, but we will attempt to cover some of the most widely used methods. Advertise in various trade and business publications. There are magazines like Zip Magazine and Direct Marketing Magazine that list dozens of mailing lists in each issue. These ads are usually placed by the list broker, list manager or the list owner. This is probably the best method to use if you are going after big results. It costs a little, but it is well worth the price. You can also advertise your list in business opportunity magazines and periodicals. There are hundreds of these publications available for you to choose from. You will have to make test to see which one works the best for you. You can place classified ads in magazines. Many advertisers use this method because it is cheap and yet reaches a very large audience. Never ask for money directly from a classified ad. These ads should be used only to solicit inquiries. When you receive the prospective buyer's inquiry, you send them all the relative information about your list. Price, names, zip code. Another very profitable method used by list sellers is to rent a list of prospective buyers from another seller. Once you attain this list, you mail out your list information to this list. EXAMPLE . . . If you are selling a list containing the names of people who have inquired about a book on weight-watching, you might try to rent a list of names from another dealer who is selling a book dealing with the same subject. You would ask the other dealer to send you a list of all the people who have rented his list. Since they rented his list of people interested in weight-watching, there is a good chance they would be interested in renting a similar list from you. As previously stated, there are many more ways for you to reach prospective buyers. The list of inventive ways is almost endless. It is up to you to find out which method works best for you. There is no short-cut - the only way to accomplish this is by constantly testing all the methods until you hit the right one for you and for your list. HOW TO PROTECT YOUR LISTS If a mailer rents your list and is not specifically given permission to mail to it more than one time, and does so, then he is guilty of fraud. The Postal Service frowns on anyone who does this through the mail and the offender can be sued for damages as well. The best way to catch anyone doing this is to seed your list. Put the names and addresses of about a dozen people in the list and alert them to inform you if they receive more than one mail offer from the same person or firm. The fact that they do so does not automatically mean that you have been defrauded. As you learned from the information presented, it is highly probable that the name is on more that one list. It is worth investigating though and I would investigate before filing any formal charges. The best way to prevent multiple mailings is to include a letter with the name list informing the renter that the list is seeded and threaten prosecution for misuse. No mailer in his right mind wants problems with Uncle Sam or his Postal Service, and such a letter will cause an unscrupulous person to have second thoughts about taking liberties with your list. HOW TO GET HELP FROM THE EXPERTS It is a fact of life that no one will want to help you if he thinks you are trying to take the food out of their family's mouth. It is no different in the list selling and compiling field. If you need to, I would call some of the biggest names in the mailing list business and tell them that I was interested in having my list of names managed by them. I would tell them that my list contained 50,000 buyers of mail order books. As we discussed my list, I would ask a few off-the-cuff questions that I needed answered. Since they were interested in managing my list, they would only be too glad to answer any and all of my questions. You might say that my methods were sneaky and not above board. I would say that I did what I had to do to increase my knowledge of the mailing list business.

         
    Adm 8

     

    HOW TO MAKE PROFITS WITH A COMMISSION MAILING BUSINESS! There are many mailorder publications that will list your name under this directory... "Commission Circulars Wanted"... List your name under this classification and dealers will mail bundles of circulars to you with a blank space at the bottom of the ad in which you stamp your name. You mail these out and the ads "appear" to be your own. You receive money for whatever is advertised on the circular. You keep 50% and the dealer who sent you the circulars will fill the order for you for the other half. Never mail out a single circular by itself. Mail as many of the different circulars as you can, in the same envelope. Stuff your envelopes full. The more you mail to one customer, the more likely you'll make a sale and the less will be the per unit mailing cost. Mail order enthusiasts do read these circulars! Next, run ads in different magazines saying that you mail circulars for others. Charge whatever you determine is fair. Use the standard rate charged by others in the business. You can get this information easily by checking several dealers offering this service in the various mailorder publications and adsheets. Then determine a fair charge based on the variations of your services from the normal operations. Always mention in your ads that "WE MAIL COMMISSION CIRCULARS FREE!" Whichever part of the ad the reader responds to, you can make money. It is possible to run this business into a full time job and make good money well worth the effort you put into it. The best plan to follow is to keep growing. Run an ad every chance you get. Take on new commission circulars, test them, keep the ones that pull, omit the ones that do not pull. Before you realize it, you will graduate from a part-time mailer to a full time money-maker! Nine Steps That Put You in the Commission Mailing Business: 1. Order a good rubber stamp with your name and address on it. 2. Send for some free imprints (Commission Circulars). You pay only the postage for these. They are available from prime source mailorder firms. 3. Buy a supply of envelopes and stamps. 4. Address the envelopes to the names wanting big mail. 5. When you receive your circulars, stamp your name and address in the blank space on the commission side of the imprint. 6. Put one of each type of circular in each envelope, filling to the maximum weight for each level of postage rate. 7. Mail them. 8. When you receive orders, take out your commission. 9. Forward everything else to the source. (The firm or individual) who sent you the circulars... and you are in business! If you are serious about commission mailing, you will take the time to look over each offer in the Big Mails you receive. Most everything one needs to follow the nine steps above is offered in the various Big Mail Packets, most of it free. There is money in mailing, but it is not as some advertise it You won't make $50,000 a year by working one hour a week from your kitchen table. NO! It doesn't work that way. If you will follow instructions, be happy with from $100 to $400 a week, spending a few hours every night, five nights a week, then you too can make money in mailing the various offers available to you. The nine steps listed above give you everything you need to get started. It is now up to you. You invest only what you wish, you grow as big as you want. Just one note of advice... When you send your commission circulars, send more than one of a kind... You will pay the same postage to mail one as you will to mail several. The more you mail at one time, the better the odds of receiving orders. It's also a good policy to never get your circulars and your name lists to mail to from the same dealer. Yes! Using these nine steps can put you in the commission mailing business! Making Money With Your Own Adsheet! When you are in a position to publish your own adsheet you will be able to expand your basic commission mailing business for additional profits. Adsheets are usually started by the publisher cutting ads from other magazines and making paste-ups with these "Freebies". The publisher then mails his adsheets to these various dealers and asks them to re-run their ads with him at $$ per column inch. This is a risky beginning because many dealers are not in a position to buy, or do not want to purchase additional ad space for one reason or another. There are a number of publishers who have a method for starting adsheets that is almost 100% risk free. They send you partial page, or full page ads, that pay from 50% to 100% commission and you may run these ads over our name in your first edition of your adsheet. As paid ads come in, you simply replace these free ads with the paid ads. Until you get paid ads for your publication, you have a chance to make money whether you have paid advertisers or not. Moreover some companies will give you substantial discounts on their various mailorder programs if you run their 3x6 ad in the first edition. Thus you can make money off of their ads and you get professionally designed mailorder programs at very little cost. Also, there are a number of mailorder companies that have full line printing plants and they will print your adsheet for you at very competitive prices, in the event you don't have your own printer. As you dig deeper and deeper into the world of mailorder, you will be able to locate and contact many firms and individuals who will offer many and varied programs and services. How to Get Your Circulars Mailed Free! There is another way to get your circulars mailed free. As soon as you can afford it, become a supplier of commission circulars. The easiest way to do this is to take "all-profit" offers and have circulars printed on two sides. On one side have your own name and address printed. On the other side leave space for a rubber stamp imprint. Offer these circulars to circular mailers on a commission basis. They keep a commission from 50% to 100% on the one side, and you make your profit on the other. Use the same method for any offers that you develop for yourself. You can reach these mailers by advertising in, or subscribing to several mailorder trade magazines and adsheets. Another way to locate mailers for your literature is to notice the ads by mailers; usually at the bottom of their ads they state "Commission Circulars Mailed Free", which means they get one side and you get the other, as above. If you really want to get rolling using this method, take two "all Profit" offers, one on each side, and give the mailer 100% on one side. You still make yours on the other offer. Also, if you are interested in obtaining additional commission circulars for yourself, include "Commission Circulars Mailed Free", in your own ads. Still another way to get your literature mailed free is to include this little note in all your advertising... at the end of the copy... "Stamp appreciated". It only costs you two words, but it could save you a great deal in postage. If you are advertising in trade publications or adsheets use "SASE" which means "Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope". The savings from envelopes, addressing labor and postage can add up fast. Many small dealers use this method exclusively, even in the large circulation magazines. They have been using it for years and it still works! How to Make $100 mailing 100 Envelopes By Using the Exchange Mailing Plan! Regarding this plan they have been telling you to have 5,000 3x6 commission circulars printed, the circulars offering $1.00 items and paying 50% commission on every order received. Then mail 100 each to 50 "Exchange Mailers" in 50 envelopes marked X-100SY (which means Exchange 100-Send yours). When you receive 100 circulars from each of the exchange mailers, mail out one each in 50 envelopes. This way 100 envelopes mails your 5,000 circulars. If you have a good circular offering a popular seller, and the exchange mailers you sent yours to, are honest and dependable, you should receive at least a 2% return. Then they state that this plan will bring $50 profit. This is the complete plan and they say it works. That it is working every day for many mailers and that it will work for you! I have no doubt that it works; however the $50 profit they mention is Gross Profit before any expenses. Figure it up. By the time you purchase the printing, the envelopes and the stamps, your expenses will leave you little if any Net Profit. Of course, if the exchange mailers send you top pulling circulars for their "fast selling products" and you receive 50% or more commission on orders from these, you can make a substantial Net Profit, perhaps enough to pay for your time and effort. If you are serious about making money at home, commission mailing is one way to do it, but you must have circulars that offer top selling items. In this day and age of inflation and high postage costs it is difficult to make a buck by mailing circulars selling only $1.00 products. You should have a very minimum selling price of from $5.00 to $8.00 in order to pay you a reasonable amount! For just the postage and handling, many mail order firms will send you commission circulars and the names of other mail order dealers who will send you all the names you want, FREE! There are other dealers who are happy to send you their circulars without the cost in order to defray their mailing expenses. All you have to do is write and request their circulars or place a small display ad in various mailorder advertisers and ad sheets indicating that you mail good commission circulars free! You can get the names of a number of printers in the mailorder business who print commission circulars for a very reasonable fee. I would suggest that you order 6,000 3x6 circulars rather than 5,000 as suggested on the prior page for the simple reason most printers like to keep their printing formats and price schedules in round figures and 6,000 3x6's (approximately 2-3/4 x 5-1/2, not actually 3x6) will fit on 1,000 sheets of the standard size 8-1/2x11 paper. If you handle your commission programs on a conservative basis until you have tested and proven the value of each program, you can very well make $100+ by mailing 200 envelopes with an exchange mailing plan! Postage Saving Tips As with all your mailorder programs, just like any other business, you must operate efficiently and save dollars whenever and wherever possible. In your commission mailing programs it is especially important to get the most use out of every dollar you spend on postage and mailing costs. Errors and lack of planning when preparing mailing programs costs untold millions. Incorrect scales and mistaken rate calculations account for many more millions. The use of machines for folding and inserting, etc., can save substantially when your mailings get large enough to warrant their use. Most letters mailed at one ounce rates weigh much less than one ounce. Save money by stuffing your mailings with other circulars and inserts unless your mailing involves a special offer that is best promoted separately. Most people do not realize that a #10 envelope plus five standard 8-1/2x11 sheets will go at the ounce rate. It also is a saving idea to print on both sides of your documents. With a small battery operated mail opener that costs less than $20, you can open most envelopes quickly and easily without damage to the inserts. To maintain your mailing list on a current basis it will pay to specify "Forwarding and Return Postage Guaranteed", and "Address Correction requested". See your postmaster for third class bulk rate information. If you are mailing over 200 pieces you can mail for approximate 1/2 the usual cost. It's a simple procedure to get set up for Bulk mailing. After an initial charge you can renew for an annual fee. You will get back the cost of the fees just in the first few hundred mailings, and ride at the bulk rate for the rest of the year. However, it can take from a week to two weeks for delivery. Paste on color stickers are used to indicate the destination, making it easy to sort and bundle by zip areas, etc. Make sure everything is labelled properly and packaged well to minimize loss or damage.

         
    Adm 14

     

    HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH CIRCULARS AND ADSHEETS Have you placed your display ad in a national magazine with over 20 million readers, then waited for the orders to pour in? But the days go by and there is little or no responses? Perhaps you receive only three or four inquiries and only make one sale. What was the cause of this catastrophe? Is it because your product does not have mass appeal, or is the magazine 100% wrong for the product you are offering? The reason for all mail order advertisements is to get inquiries and sales. If you know there is a definite need for your product and others are advertising similar items, month after month, in the same media, then admit it... Your ad is no good! People are by-passing your ad and when they turn the page you have lost them forever! Your ad or circular must stop them in their tracks. How do you do this? There are three best ways to get their attention. With a headline, a picture or illustration, or a combination of both. And what should you say in your headline? Subconsciously, readers are always looking for some excuse to quit reading an advertisement, so you must say whatever is necessary to force them into the subhead and body of your message! This can be done in many different ways. Most people are interested in news so if your product is newsworthy you can use such words as.. NOW!.. AT LAST!.. NEW!.. GET! If you are giving information or offering a free incentive, the word "FREE" is a great word for the headline. Use the word "WHY" in the headline and they will read the subject and perhaps the body of your copy to see if the "why" pertains to them. Use words that indicate your message has great benefits for them. If your product is a book or report that tells how to do something, "HOW TO" is usually a good start for your headline, or if you are offering a choice "WHICH" fits the requirements for one of the key words in your headline. To hold the attention of impatient people use words that indicate they will be able to read the rest of the message easily and without delay. Words such as "Fantastic", "Unbelievable", etc., should be used sparingly or the reader may believe the article is just a big "come-on' with little value and not worth wasting their time reading! Using words asking for advice, or giving advice will often appeal to the reader, depending of course on what is being offered. For that matter, you don't have to use "canned" words. Just prepare copy to fit your offer using your own creative ability. See things from your readers' point of view and work up your presentation accordingly. If the headline is not read, then you might as well forget about the rest of the ad. If the headline doesn't stop them, your ad or circular is just money down the tube regardless of how great your product may be or how good the ad appears. You must use the headline to attract the reader with words that appeal to their wants and desires. Words that practically force them to read the rest of your message. In the body of your copy develop the information about your offer in a logical sequence, point out the benefits, tell how and where to order and finally call for action, NOW! To make the copy more interesting, you can Capitalize a few of the key words and sentences. If you are offering something free you can often short-cut the ad by using just a headline, a picture, and a subhead, without the need for detail. You can give specific facts about your product and the benefits to the prospect or, with certain kinds of offers, a better approach may be to keep the offer a mystery; keep them guessing. Some products such as books, reports or money-making programs can be sold using the mystery method if the price is not too high. Written testimonials are a valuable addition to your sales message. A 100% money-back guarantee is a must. At the lower right hand corner of your circular include an order coupon. Make it simple and easy to follow and let them know that their order will get immediate attention. Put your telephone number on the coupon so the prospect will not have to call the operation to find out if you are legitimate. Your Own Circular Program! The time has come to prepare your own circulars when you have acquired or developed your own product, have "latched" on to an exclusive, or have found an item with sufficient markup to produce a reasonable profit. In starting an adsheet or circular venture it is generally possible to have others pay a substantial amount of the cost and expenses! This can be accomplished in several different ways. Advertise in mailorder trade publications that you will print and mail 1,000 3x6 circulars (approximately 2 3/4 x 5 1/2), for $5.00, or a one-inch or 40 word classified or display ad for $2.00. Paste up the ads on an 8-1/2x11 sheet so that after printing each sheet can be cut into six circulars. Ads for your own product are printed on the back side. Hopefully you will receive sufficient response to get $25 or $30 in orders. If you can hold printing and ad costs to $25 you will now have 6,000 circulars with your ads on one side, prepared and ready to mail At no cost to you! Your ads printed on the back of the circulars are commission ads paying others 50% for orders they get for your product, which you drop-ship to their customers. You will mail these circulars in bulk to circular mailers and opportunity seekers, who send you the postage for a free supply. Perhaps one inch or so of the 6,000 circulars will carry an ad for the 3x6 circulars or the $2.00 ad offer. Another inch of space can be used to offer free commission circulars upon receipt of a stamped, self-addressed envelope (SASE). The larger the envelope and the more stamps, the more circulars they will get. This will leave 6,000 circulars with 3 or 4 inches of space in which to advertise your own product (commission ad). If you send these circulars out, printed in the right combination, you may discover Perpetual motion! It is well to test other size circulars (5-1/2 x 8-1/2); 8-1/2x11, etc.). However when you get larger than 3x6 you may well consider that you have your own adsheet going. You can cash in on the additional sources of revenue and other benefits to be derived from a good adsheet! Important Facts in Your Circular Programs! Your ads soliciting for 3x6 or $2.00 ads may get little or no response. You must be prepared to print something along with only one measly ad that may dribble in. You have advertised for, and accepted your customer's $2.00 so you must print it within a reasonable time. Maintain a flexible position with all your circular programs. Be prepared to vary, substitute, add, delete, change, etc. You have your own regular ad on a circular with your name and address printed on one side. ON the other side you have prepared a good commission ad, leaving space for the dealer's stamp. You send a batch to dealers and mailers, at their request, then sit back with great expectations. Again, nothing happens. Why? Perhaps the mailers did not send them out! Generally though, when they pay to get them, even if just postage costs, they will mail them. However, maybe some of the mailers just realized that unless they mail these circulars to out of the circle prospects, they may not be the ones to get the orders? After a couple of weeks of "Nothing", if you start getting orders direct at the mailer's price instead of retail, you will know that the buyer has "Gone Around" your mailer. Your printed name and address on the one side vs. your mailer's rubber stamp on the other has tipped off those operating near the edge of the inner circle with mailorder experience and know-how. They know who the prime source is will try to go direct! This makes a deplorable situation. Under these circumstances you have no way of knowing which mailer is entitled to the commission and of course you have not received enough to pay a commission anyway. You can send the money back and ask the party to submit the order again through your dealer but neither one of you will ever hear from the party again. Your mailers and dealers must be protected all the way. When such things happen your program must be changed to eliminate any "unfair situations". Some unscrupulous enthusiasts will cut out the address of your Co-publisher, paste it as the return address on the envelope and enclose their own ad with one-half the ad cost. It is apparent that your Co-publisher "got another order" until you notice that your Co-publisher lives in Florida and the envelope was "Stamped" in California! There are many little tricks that by themselves seem immaterial, but when they are multiplied a million fold across the country they become a matter of deep concern for all of us in the mail order industry. How to Prepare Your Own Copy! With but a minimum knowledge of the Graphic Arts and few basic tools and supplies you can make your own "Camera Ready" originals. The "Original" may be typewritten copy, hand lettering, drawings, newspaper clippings, printed material... Just about any good sharp black copy on white paper. Most anything, except copyrighted materials, can be reproduced by offset printers at a very reasonable cost. Simply layout and paste up the material in the form you wish the finished work to appear. (Normally your finished copy will be printed only as good as the original; however the printer can often "clean" up the original, but at an added cost.) If there is an offset printer in your local area, you can use a simple roll-on waxer very conveniently for the paste-ups. If you must sent the paste-ups through the mail, a glue stick or rubber cement that sticks firmly is recommended. Use the cement sparingly! When glossy photographs are involved, they must be "screened" before the printing process. This is done by the printer, and of course, for an additional charge. Increasing or reducing the size of your copy can also be done with the printer's camera. On typewritten work be sure you have a good ribbon, preferably a carbon ribbon which leaves clean, sharp letters. Don't erase except with a typewriter equipped with an automatic erasing device or in a manner that does not leave smudges. (These can easily be "wiped out" and cleaned up by the printer but you ought to hear him when he gets poor originals). Headlines can be best prepared with Rub-on transfer letters or with a strip printer; unless you have a typesetting machine, MacIntosh computer with a laser-writer printer, or equivalent! Be sure the paste-ups are straight and in alignment. Only one side of a sheet is to be used for Camera ready copy. Leave not less than 3/8 inch margin on all four sides. You can use regular bond paper. If you have a good copy of a form that has been printed previously, use it. If a few changes are necessary, they can be readily pasted over the originals. Use white touch-up liquid to cover errors or blotches. If you are producing a magazine or circular with several pages, determine the additional cost for such work as binding, cutting, stapling, etc. You maybe able to save substantially by doing some of these jobs yourself with the purchase of a minimum of the right kind of equipment. Perpetual Money-Making Circular Program! They continue to come! The endless "money-making bonanzas"! Now there's the one called "Perpetual Circular Program", supposedly an endless money-making system where everyone wins. This "typical" plan consists of a list of 10 names, number from 1 to 10, indicating what each has to sell and their address. In order to join the "Perpetual Circular Program", you send 50 cents to each of the individuals listed, plus a large self addressed stamped envelope, which will be returned to you with their advertised offer. Then cross off the name in the number 1 position and re-number the list 1 through 10, adding your name in the number 10 position. (Sound familiar). Next you are supposed to re-type the list and print at least 100 copies. Send a copy to each of the ten names (advertisers) and the remaining copies to names of your choice, by mail or in person. In turn, these businesses are supposed to do the same, and as your name moves from the #10 position to the #1 spot, they state that you could receive up to 12,000,000 requests. Assuming a 5% return from all the mailers, you would receive $240,000 based on 30 cents profit per request??!! By keeping the advertisers at ten, to ensure growth, they think the ads seem reasonable, at least less speculative than lotteries or fluctuating investments. Also, to help ensure continuation of the "Perpetual Mailorder circular" you can print your own mailorder ads on the back.. Another way to get your ads to new sources. Even though this plan may first appear to be merely an advertising program wherein you receive full value for your $5.00 (50 cents x 10), it is a pyramid scheme dependent on continued participation in order to produce the results it dictates. Therefore, it appears to be no more than just another of the endless illegal chain letter schemes that all of those who have been in the mailorder business for a short time receive every day of the year. However, you can always check out this type of plan with your local postmaster. If it should happen to be legal it could be a good money-making proposition. Your postmaster may tell you that it is illegal, even though he probably doesn't take the time to really check it out properly. If programs similar to this are illegal, or even if they appear to be against the law, don't touch them. These kinds of propositions never produce any money anyway. They only cost the participants' time and money, and could cost a lot more in the event the postal authorities follow through and prosecute. All Profit Ads - You Keep It All! A number of mailorder dealers publish information "folios" which they will send your customers free for a stamped addressed envelope. They provide the ads which you circulate over your own name, usually asking $1.00 or $2.00 retail. Although called "All Profit", they are really 80% commission ads or circulars. (It will cost you a first-class stamp to send the order with a stamped addressed envelope to the source, who then stuffs the envelope with the order plus ads for some of their other products.) The source for "All Profit" ads hopes your customer will then order something from them. Their ads cost them only the labor of stuffing the envelope and printing of materials. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to the various sources for samples of their all-profit ads and circulars together with full details of their offerings. You will find numerous mailorder dealers who offer the "All Profit Ads" in most every mailorder adsheet and mailorder ad magazine. Be sure to give them a test before blowing your money as most of them are good only for acquiring name lists, other mailorder contacts, general information and for education in mailorder methods... Not for direct money-making activity! Publishing Your Own Adsheet When you have accumulated sufficient knowledge from preparing your own circulars and from co-publishing magazines and adsheets of others, you may want to become a publisher. You have learned the going rates for various size ads depending on circulation, etc. Start with 1,000, the minimum circulation for an adsheet. Think up a good name for the title! Something different! Something unique! An interesting title will often mean the success or failure of your adsheet venture! Have your first adsheet printed on both sides of an 8-1/2x11 sheet, 20# paper, folded in half to form four 5-1/2x8-1/2 pages. Use enough space for a good title, ad rate information and editor's comments. Make it Co-publishable or simply an adsheet whereby each advertiser gets a few mailing copies, with the balance sent out by yourself or by paid mailers. As an incentive, print a couple of your offers as commission ads. Prepare and insert editorial material and articles of interest to the mailorder dealers... Solicit and offer free ads for your next issue. You will lose cash flow on the first few issues, but at least you will be getting your own ads circulated and your adsheets out before the public. If you have a clean, nicely printed publication with the right unique and interesting title, you will start receiving ads and after the fourth or fifth issue you should have it filled with paid ads, along with all of your own advertising. As an example, if your rate is $4.00 per inch, you can still sell approximate $100 worth of ad space after allowing for all the space you need for title, rates, etc. Cutting this in half to allow for co-publishers 50% rate leaves $50 to pay for the printing and mailing. If handled properly your own ads will ride free from that point forward. Constantly build up your customers' name list. Keep it up to date. This list is a valuable asset if properly maintained. As your list of advertisers and co-publishers grow larger and larger, you can add more pages and continue to expand until you have a number one mailorder magazine producing reasonable profits! 16 All Profit Ads and Their Information Sheet! Run any of the following ads over your name in any publication, adsheet or circular. When the orders come in, send the customer the answer shown, or just circle the answer on one of these information sheets and mail it to them. (This gives them the rest of the ads and answers free as a bonus). You can have your local printer print a batch of these sheets in volume, or just have a few copies made as needed to fill each order, using this sheet of the original camera-ready copy. Or these sheets may be obtained from Prime Publishers, 1460 Boulder Ave., Crescent City, CA 95531 for $4.00 per 100 sets, prepaid to you! Ad 1: "How to sell your old telephone book for 50 cents a page! Information $1.00." Answer: Run the next ad (ad 2, below) over your name and fill the order yourself with the pages from your own telephone book. Ad 2: "A page from my telephone book with names & addresses! 50 cents." Answer: Fill the order yourself with your telephone book! Ad 3: "One inch all-profit ads and the information they sell, Only $1.00!" Answer: Fill the order with one of these adsheets. Ad 4: "How to get swamped with orders for you big mail! Information $1.00." Answer: Run the next ad (ad 5) over your name and address. Ad 5: "16 All-Profit ads free in my big mail. Rush this ad and $1.00." Answer: Slip one of these sheets in your Big Mail and mail it to them. Ad 6: "Gross $100.00 from a $4.00 investment. Information $1.00!" Answer: Send $4.00 to Prime Publishers, 1460 Boulder Ave., Crescent City, CA 95531 and ask for 100 of these all-profit ads and answer sheets (100 prepaid to you for $4.00). Sell them for $1.00 each! Ad 7: "Start your own "Turn Key" Mailorder Business! Rush $1.00 for information!" Answer: Write to (place your name and address here if you have "Turn Key" mail order plans or programs to offer) for free information on their "Turn Key" mailorder programs. Send them the full information about your programs OR, if you have none available, send them one of these sheets. Ad 8: "Name of a firm who will put you in business for only $4.00. Rush $1.00!" Answer: If you can put them in business with one of your programs for $4.00, or convert this ad and answer sheet to a $4.00 program for them, place your name and address here. (As mentioned above, you can always refer them to the name and address of Prime Publishers if necessary). Ad 9: "16 ads you can run over your name and keep all the money. Full information for only $1.00!" Ad 10: "Stuff 100 envelopes and Gross $100.00. Rush $1.00!" Ad 11: "How would you like to receive 100 letters a day, containing $1.00 in each one?" Answers to ads 9, 10, 11: Fill orders with one of these adsheets. (You can have your local printer make as many copies as you need" or you can get them from Prime Publishers at $4.00 per hundred sets.) Ad 12: "100 Circulars mailed with ours in our big mail. $4.00!" Ad 13: "Letters remailed 75 cents each." Answers to ads 12 and 13: Perform the above two services yourself. Ad 14: "How to Destroy the desire for cigarettespletely tested, proven... $2.00." Answer: Before breakfast take 1/2 teaspoon each, of Rochelle Salts and Cream of tartar. Also chewing Ginseng root and swallowing the juice helps. Ad 15: "How to destroy the desire for liquor... Tested and proven... $2.00!" Answer: Mix Gold thread herb with Golden Seal in tea. This creates a violent distaste for alcohol. Grains of spices added to liquids helps also. Ad 16: "How to get free postage for life. Details $2.00!" Answer: Advertise a good pulling mail order plan and at the end of the Ad put" "Rush $1.00 and one or two first class stamps."

         
    Adm 15

     

    BIG MONEY IN BIG MAIL When you receive hundreds of different informational packets from all over the country do you consider it junk mail and file it in file #13 without even opening the envelope? Tens of thousands of mailorder dealers and enthusiasts send out informational packets every daybine this with all the other commercial advertising and promotional materials that float through the mail and its easy to see how the Postal Department stays in business. However, there is a big difference between so-called "Junk Mail" and "Big Mail". Big mail consists of a great variety of advertising circulars, adsheets, magazines, mail order and income opportunities, multi-level marketing concepts... and a million illegal chain letters every day. Most of the multi-level marketing programs are about as worthless as the chain letters, neither producing any money, not even for the ones who initiate the programs. However when you look over the advertisements and offers in "TRUE" Big Mail you will find a great deal of interesting information, and quite often a good money-making proposition. You will find various articles written by publishers and mailorder dealers that add to your knowledge. In fact if you are going into the mail order method of doing business, or if you are already heavily involved in mail order, the information you receive in the form of Big Mail is a must. So... Make a trip to your nearest store. Pick up a copy of the latest business opportunity, and/or money-making magazine, review the thousands of classified and display ads. Send for the information and offers that appeal to you. You will be flooded with various material from all over, including every kind of marketing program and, eventually, 500 different kinds of illegal chain letters. Open it all! Stay away form the chain letters and "make a million dollars-overnight" deals but review it all... You will find some good and lucrative money-making plans... and many good ideas that may spark that million dollar idea that has been floating around in the back of your head for the past 2 years. And of course, in the process of receiving, reviewing, analyzing and filing the valuable portion of the materials you receive you will be building up a good name list, to use for your own offers or for rent or re-sale to others. You never know, the next piece you open may spark than million dollar idea! A word of warning though... When it start coming it never stops... At least I still have it coming in by the ton... and it's 20 years and 2,000 tons later! Money in "BIG MAIL"! The amount of money you make with Big Mail depends primarily on how your programs are handled and on the materials you make available for the Big Mail Packet! Unless you have a number of your own offers to include in the packet, to get started you may have to re-mail some of the big mail you receive from other dealers. They won't mind... If you are not buying perhaps your customer will. It is much better for them than to have it wind up in your file "13". To get the Big Mails coming in, you will have to promote to the effect you are a professional mailer and for a reasonable fee will mail circulars, ad sheets, etc, to the inner circle, outer circle or both, depending on the best route for a particular offer. You can stuff many offers in a packet weighing just a few ounces. A certain amount of free mailing of commission circulars which offer good selling products can also enhance your operation by keeping your inventory of "BIG MAIL" offers sufficient to fill demand. On the outgoing side, promote the fact you have "thousands of offers" from "hundreds of dealers" available for a small fee (assuming, of course, this is fact). This is better than using the over-worked words "BIG MAIL". Include your own offers with all the outgoing packets. Get 100% value for the high postage costs. Fill them right to the weight limit! How to Mail 1,000 Big Mails Free! Keep advertising. Place at least one ad each day until you are receiving an average of 34 a day or 1,000 each month. If you will use the following ad, this plan will not be hard to implement as it should bring lots of orders: "How to mail out 1,000 big mails free!" Complete plan 50 cents. (Your name and address)" This 50 cent plan weighs only 1/10th of an ounce or less and will go for the minimum postage. You can fill the envelope with another 1 and 9/10 (Nine one-half sheets...or...Four 8-1/2x11 sheets.. or...almost 70 3x6's) for a free ride without paying additional postage i. e. You can make up a big mail weighing 1 9/10 ounces, or less, and you can mail it out free with the plans you advertise. The "Big Mail" can include imprints that pay you a commission or you can charge others for mailing their circulars and include them. The main point is that ads selling the 50 cent plan will usually pull many more orders than just "Big Mail 50 cents". A good dealer will make extra income with ads like this. And in the event you didn't understand what plan we're talking about, it's the one you are reading right now! How to Get Your Circulars Mailed Free! There is another way to get your circulars mailed free. As soon as you can afford it, become a supplier of commission circulars. The easiest way to do this is to take "all-profit" offers and have circulars printed on two sides. On one side have your own name and address printed. On the other side, leave space for a rubber stamp imprint. Offer these circulars to circular mailers on a commission basis. They keep a commission from 50% to 100% on the one side, and you make your profit on the other. Use the same method for any offers that you develop for yourself. You can reach these mailers by advertising in, or subscribing to several mailorder trade magazines and adsheets. Another way to locate mailers for your literature is to notice the ads by mailers; usually at the bottom of their ads they state "Commission circulars Mailed Free", which means they get one side and you get the other, as above. If you really want to get rolling using this method, take two "all Profit" offers, one on each side, and give the mailer 100% on one side. You still make yours on the other offer. Also, if you are interested in obtaining additional commission circulars for yourself, include "Commission Circulars Mailed Free", in your own ads. Still another way to get your literature mailed free is to include this little note in all your advertising... at the end of the copy... "Stamp appreciated". It only costs you two words, but it could save you a great deal in postage. If you are advertising in trade publications or adsheets use "SASE" which means "Self addressed, stamped envelope". The savings for envelopes, addressing labor and postage can add up fast. Many small dealers use this method exclusively, even in the large circulation magazines. They have been using it for years and it still works! Financial Considerations with "BIG MAIL"! A 8-1/2x11 sheet of #16 bond paper weighs 8 pounds per thousand. (2 reams). (128 ounces or 7.8125 sheets per ounce). #20 bond paper weighs 10 lbs. per M. (160 ounces or 6.25 sheets per ounce). If you are mailing out the "equivalent" of 100 8-1/2x11 #16 circulars for your clients at $2.00 and receiving $2.00 for 4 ounces of your big Mail, how do you come out? What are the costs involved? To start with we will have to figure in "equivalent" units because of dealing in circulars, adsheets, etc., of all different kinds, sizes and weights. Also, some of the circulars will pay us a commission on sales made. Due to the hundreds of variations in a program from one mailing to the next and the varying postal rates per ounce, it is difficult to write a set formula for cost determination. A simple rule of thumb will suffice much more adequately and with no big mathematical "Brain Drains" involved. Figure conservatively by allowing six 8-1/2x11 sheets of #16 or five sheets of #20 weight paper for each ounce. (Accurate postal scales are a necessity). In equivalent units then, we can safely figure 12 (1/2 sheets) of #16; 10 (1/2 sheets) of #20; or 36 #16 (3x6's); or 30 #20 (3x6's); per ounce. In other words you can send out some 120 3x6's in a four ounce packet... etc... Depending on the weight of each packet, it now costs some $2.50 to $3.50 average to mail 100 equivalent full sheet circulars, exclusive of envelopes, advertising, labor and general overhead expenses. When preparing the mailing packets, sorting and stacking can be very time-consuming. If folding, cutting or stapling is involved it is just that much more out of potential profits. You must remember that "TIME IS MONEY"! Allocate your time to the programs that are bringing profits! Drop the non-producers.

         
    Adm 16

     

    MAIL ORDER LAWS AND REGULATIONS An Overview Introduction The intent of this report is to give the newcomer to the mail order business an overview of those laws and regulations that most affect the small mail order operator. The intent is not to give legal advice. Such advice should always be sought form an attorney. Only those laws and regulations that apply to the small order operator most directly are covered. Advice is given from the perspective of an operator of a mail order business rather than from a legal perspective. For those interested in an in-depth review of the laws which affect the mail order industry, it is recommended that you read the following book: The Direct Marketer's Legal Advisor, by Robert J. Bosch, McGraw Hill Book Company. The 30 Day Rule To protect the consumer the FTC has enacted the Mail Order Merchandise Rule which is generally referred to as the 30 Day Rule. Many states have enacted similar laws. Some of those laws have a more narrow definition than the federal; the most notable is New York State. The 30 Day Rule requires the seller to deliver the order within a 30 day period, unless otherwise stated in the sales literature. If the seller, for example, states in the order form that delivery takes 4 to 6 weeks, he has effectively insulated himself from the law. In a practical matter, however, he may have also affected his business in a negative way. The 30 day period begins when an order arrives and has been properly paid for. The 30 Day Rule is an easy regulation with which to comply. It should rarely take longer than 30 days to fill an order. If it does, the seller must notify the buyer of the delay and the reason for it. Some mail order companies delay shipment of orders until checks rendered for payment have cleared. This should generally not take longer than 10 days. If the seller wishes to follow such a policy, he should so state in his literature. From the perspective of a mail order operator, I do not consider this to be a sound policy. NSF and ACCOUNT CLOSED checks are relatively rare and can be minimized with proper controls. If you practice such a policy, you may save a few dollars but in return you will make customers unhappy. I personally do not buy from companies that state in their literature that they hold checks for clearance. Most mail order companies experience very small bad debt ratios. It is recommended that you call the bank the check is drawn on to verify funds on larger amounts; as for example, on orders over $50. Once the buyer has been notified that an order has been delayed, the seller is automatically granted an additional 30 day delay unless the customer advises the seller that the delay is not acceptable. If he does not reply to the notification, it constitutes legal acceptance of the delay. In general, and in most states, the seller may obtain a second 30 day delay as long as there is a good enough reason. The New York law differs form the Federal law in that stipulates a maximum period of 65 days (including delays) for an order to be filled. Newcomers to the mail order field residing in New York State should obtain a copy of the New York regulations. The 30 Day Rule does not pertain to credit card sales. Credit card charges should be processed when an order is filled. If a mail order credit card sale is cancelled, the seller must issue a credit against the account of the buyer within one billing cycle following receipt of the cancellation request. Unordered Merchandise The Federal law pertaining to unordered merchandise is simple. It strictly forbids this practice. Free samples, if so identified, are exempted. Merchandise Substitution Most states, including New York, as well as the Federal law permit sellers to substitute merchandise of similar or superior quality. The law requires it, and it is also a good business practice, to advise the buyer when making a substitution that he may return the merchandise free of charge if he is not satisfied. Certain items, such as merchandise which has artistic value, cannot be substituted. In this regard, for example, a book on how to start a given business may be substituted by a similar book on the same subject, but a book of literature by a renowned author may not be substituted. Return of Merchandise Unless the seller specifically states that he does not offer a money back guarantee or offers, for example, a 30 day money back guarantee, he is required to make a full refund for a period of 60 days if the material is returned in good condition. My own experience with returned merchandise indicates that it is quite rare. Our company, as an example, received no more than 1 to 2 returns for every 120 to 150 orders. If you are a seller of information products and you sell reports or other information which can be easily copied, you may wish to enact a policy stating that there is a no return policy for reports, etc. The above laws are the only Federal regulations pertaining to the sale of merchandise which are unique to the mail order industry. Headliners in Advertising and Sales Literature A few words should be said about the proper usage of some of the most common headlines used in advertising. Again, for an in-depth review of laws pertaining to advertising, refer to the book as listed above. The most common and most effective of these terms are: SALE, NEW and most of all FREE. FREE is a magic word in American advertising used by giant companies and small ones alike. By all means, these terms should be used since they do produce sales. And if the advertiser follows a simple rule of honesty in the usage of these and other advertising terms, he will stay out of trouble. Sale A sale is a reduction from the seller's own former selling price of a given article. The seller must have sold, not just offered the article, for a reasonable period of time. This simply means if a 50% discount is offered on a $10 book, the book at some previous time must have actually been sold at $10. If it just has a cover price of $10 but was always sold at $7, a $5 price is not a 50% discount. Free Free means it is free. To re-emphasize, the term is very successful and will generate sales. But if something is offered for free, it should be free. The value of the free item cannot be hidden in another part of the offer, such as charging more for the other items than you would normally charge. New Here is another straight-forward terms. It should only be used when new items are advertised. A new book is one which came out in the last 6 months (maybe 12 months, and that would be stretching it) but definitely not 2 years. How to Start Your Own Company Once you have decided you want to go into business, you must set yourself up to get started. This is not at all difficult. You should have no concerns on this matter. It is easy and inexpensive to do. There are no unusual legal requirements to sell by mail. There are generally three ways to structure a business entity. The sole proprietorship, the corporation, and a partnership. The sole proprietorship is the easiest, fasted and least expensive way to set yourself up. In most cases this would be the way to start out for a small business. Corporations have tax benefits that can be more advantageous than a proprietorship, but they also have strict record keeping requirements. As a rule of thumb, a business should be incorporated if it has annual sales in excess of $250,000. It is against the law in most states to use the abbreviation Inc. unless the business is incorporated. But you can use Co. Partnerships also have specific legal requirements. Forming a partnership is generally necessary when going into business with someone else. There are advantages and disadvantages in doing this. Besides sharing workloads and profits, the partners must get along well. It is almost always necessary to obtain legal counsel in ordered to set up a corporation or a partnership. D. B.A. and/or Business License In most cities or towns it is required that a business license be obtained. In addition, you generally need to register your business name if you are using a fictitious name. If you are using your own name, it is not required. Call you local city or county clerk's office to obtain the necessary information. A Summary of Copyright Laws For those interested in becoming self publishers either by creating their own work or using someone else's, here is a short summary of copyright law. What Copyright Is Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of "original works of authorship"' including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. Under the copyright law, copyright protection (for printed works) pertains only to the words and their sequence; it does not pertain to any idea, process, system, etc., regardless of the form in which is it described. That is, you copyright the words contained in the copy, not the content. The copyright law generally gives the owner the exclusive right to do and authorize others to do the following: in the case of printed works, to reproduce the work in various forms such as copying, etc. It also gives the owner the right to display the copyrighted work publicly. Copyright Secured Automatically Upon Creation The way copyright protection is secured under the present law is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure a copyright. There are, however, definite advantages in doing so since, in the case of a litigation, it is substantially easier to prove copyright if registration has taken place. Under the present law, copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy for the first time. Registration Procedures Registration procedures are simple. In general, to register a work, three elements have to be sent to the Copyright Office in Washington, DC. An application (proper form can be obtained from the Copyright Office), a $10 fee, and a nonreturnable deposit of the work to be copyrighted. For more specific information, including a copy of the law, write to: Register of Copyrights, Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20559 U. S. Postal Laws In general, it is against the postal regulations to utilize the U. S. mail service to transport hazardous materials, pornographic materials and chain letters involved money. For more specific information, write to: Consumer Advocate, U. S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza West, W. W., Washington, DC 20260 You may also obtain a free copy of the Consumer's Resource Handbook. It is designed to help consumers resolve complaints about goods and services with local, federal and state agencies. Write to: Consumer Information Center, Department 532, Pueblo, CO 81009 Other free publications that may be of interest to you: "Selling by Mail" can be obtained from: Small Business Administration, Washington, DC 20416-1110 "The Mail Order Rule" can be obtained from: Federal Trade Commission, Publishing Office, #130, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20580-0001 A final thought: In the conduct of your business, let common sense and honesty be your guide.

         
    Adm 17

     

    DO'S AND DON'TS WHEN WRTING CLASSIFIED ADS DO WRITE OUT ALL DETAILS in your ad offer. Read it, edit it, and re-write it for a shorter, money saving effective ad. "Think small". DO FOLLOW ALL THE RULES when writing your classified ad. Use these ideas. Attention Interest Desire Action DO USE A NAME with each classified ad including your envelopes. DO NOT CHARGE for sales letters or circulars. DO BE HONEST with all your classified ad claims. DO IDENTIFY your product. DO WRITE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD simple, clear and direct. DO USE WORDS EVERYONE KNOWS and everyone will understand what your are saying. DO USE A WORD that will benefit a reader. DO NOT OVERPRICE your product. DO ADVERTISE FREQUENTLY. Constant exposure creates a familiar offer with better response. DO OFFER A MONEY BACK GUARANTEE in your classified ad, salesletter or circular if possible. An excellent sales technique! DO TEST YOUR AD in 2 or 3 smaller, low cost publications. Record results. Code each ad. DO READ PUBLICATIONS that relate to your product. Write for ad rates, paid circulation, discounts and closing dates. Keep records. DO HAVE ALL YOUR LITERATURE AND PRODUCTS ready for mailing when your ad appears in the publication of your choice. Do not delay in responding. DO USE THE COPYCAT METHOD. Do what other successful advertisers are doing. Only with a slight twist, idea or offer. DO RUN SEVERAL ADS worded differently. Keep records of results. DON'T OVER ADVERTISE. It can be expensive. If you want to, do it gradually. DON'T PRETEND YOU KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS. Because you don't. Take time to find out what you need to know. DON'T TRUST YOUR MEMORY. A thought will leave you as quickly as it came. Always write down a good idea. NOW! DON'T PLACE YOUR AD in the wrong classification. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY on ad words to amuse or entertain, but use words to persuade, inform and sell your product. DO USE A SHORT BUSINESS NAME. Make it easy to pronounce and remember. DON'T FORGET THE M. E.D. I.C. S. Motivation. Enthusiasm. Desire. Image. Creativity. Success! DON'T GIVE UP. If your ad doesn't pull after a fair exposure, try re-writing it. One or two different words may do the trick. DON'T SPEND THE PROFITS. Re-invest the money in more continuous advertising. DON'T FORGET, an ad that offers "FREE DETAILS" means writing a sales letter or circular. AVOID HIGH TYPESETTING COSTS AND MISTAKES Getting your price lists, brochures, catalogs or newsletters typeset does not necessarily have to be a costly procedure. Keep in mind that the main cost in typesetting is the time involved in setting type. By minimizing the time needed to create a typeset piece you can effectively keep your cost down. The following suggestions can help reduce your typesetting expense. Know what you want the FIRST time around. Have a picture in your mind. Trial and error can be costly. Don't have a typesetter set it one way, then decide a different format would look better. Reduce and eliminate author's corrections by thorough proofing and re-proofing. Avoid minimum charges by combining small jobs and having them set at the same time. Try to use one family of type to save time and money by avoiding font changes. The consistent look is better. Give explicit instructions on marking up copy: type styles, column widths/margins. With a large job, such as a brochure or annual report, request a style setting proof sheet to get approvals before the entire job is done. Avoid super rush jobs, especially if you don't really need them. Avoid lengthy corrections on the phone. You might end up paying for corrections later that could have been avoided if you had done your editing on proof sheets. Get the layout finished and approved before having type set... the same goes for copy, of course. Avoid the use of "run-arounds" (reducing the width of the copy to make room for a photo in the column, for example). If you do use them, use simple shapes, boxes, squares. Avoid the use of curved or angular type. Type reading left to right on a page (for example, this report) is faster and less expensive to set than copy that is set in a curve or running sideways on the page. The use of unjustified text and captions is less expensive than justified because it sets quicker, costing less time. Don't depend on the typesetter to read your mind. Be specific.

         
    Adm 18

     

    TWENTY-ONE ENVELOPE TRICKS! When your envelopes aren't opened, you can't make money! Before you can get an order, the recipient of your mailing package must first open the envelope. Unfortunately, many recipients of direct mail simply discard the material without opening the envelope. Because of the high costs of printing, envelopes, and postage, your mailing package represents a sizable investment. You simply can't afford to make this investment, and then have your sales material discarded in unopened envelopes. With the following methods, you will have a substantial reduction in the number of unopened envelopes and a pleasantly profitable increase in sales. 1. If you envelope looks like junk mail, it will be treated like junk mail (in other words, thrown in the trash without being opened). The solution is simple - don't mail your material in envelopes that look like junk mail. 2. Avoid using mailing labels, because they make your envelopes look like junk mail. 3. Type the addresses on your envelopes. 4. Neatly write or print the addresses on your envelopes. 5. If you don't have time to use method three or four, then pay someone to address the envelopes for you. Pay them for each envelope they address; do not pay them by the hour. 6. If you must use labels, then use colored labels. 7. If colored labels are too expensive, you can color white labels with a marking pen. Fluorescent marking pens are especially good for this purpose. You can find these in office supply stores, discount variety stores, discount pharmacies, etc. 8. Use colored envelopes. ( * The Post Office will not appreciate your colored labels and envelopes. These items create problems for their optical scanning equipment.) 9. Use first class postage and print FIRST CLASS in several places on the envelope. An inexpensive rubber stamp, with red ink, makes an "official" looking impression. 10. Do not rubber stamp the return address on your envelopes. This looks extremely unprofessional. 11. Avoid using labels for the return address - this also looks unprofessional. 12. Pay a print shop to print your return address on your outgoing envelopes. This isn't expensive, and it creates a more professional image. 13. Use a colored typewriter ribbon to address envelopes. 14. Use a colored pen to address envelopes. For example, I like red ink. 15. Address your envelopes on the back side. 16. Print or rubber stamp a short message on your envelopes. This is a very effective with material that is mailed to persons who inquire in response to magazine ads. For example, we advertise a Free Mailing List Dealership. When we receive inquiries about our dealership, we rubber stamp this message on all outgoing envelopes - "You requested this FREE Dealership". 17memorative stamps are more attractive than standard issue stamps, and they are the same price. Use them. That's an easy way to get your envelopes opened. 18. Use marking pens to draw designs on your envelopes. even a series of straight lines, in a variety of colors, will draw attention. 19. You can buy paste-on dots, stars, smiley faces, and so forth, from an office supply store. Place these on your envelopes. 20. Instead of buying one first class stamp, buy several stamps in smaller denominations that add up to the same price. This catches attention because it looks more expensive. 21. Large mail order companies occasionally place some type of solid object inside their envelopes. For example, specialty advertising companies use inexpensive pencils, pens, plastic pocket calendars, etc. You can also use this idea. For best results, try to tie the object in to your offer. 22. Tape a penny to your sales letter. Then, in the sales letter, offer to give your prospective customer a discount - perhaps $5 or $10 - in exchange for the penny. 23. Use envelopes with windows. 24. With window envelopes, the recipient's address must be inside the envelope and placed so it shows through the window. Take advantage of this. Place the address on some type of Cash Coupon that looks like a check. 25. Use large envelopes, such as 6 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches, or even 9 by 12 inches. This is expensive, but the envelope will be opened. 26. "The more you tell, the more you sell." Use a large envelope and include plenty of sales material. This is very effective with higher price offers. A few of these methods are a little eccentric, and a few are more expensive than normal methods, but they will all help to get your envelopes opened and increase your sales. We promised you twenty-one methods, and we have actually given you twenty six! That's because we believe in giving our customers more than their money's worth. I recommend that you try this with your own business - you'll find that it pays big dividends.

         
    Bb 1

     

    Messenger Service Vital Information ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Start-up Investment - Low - A home based operation using personal automobile. Less than $200. High - Hire several drivers, buy or less vehicles, set-up office. $50,000 and up. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Break - even time - 30 to 60 days ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $20,000 - $700,000 Profit (Pre-tax $18,000 - $200,000 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This Market is Immense One thing is for sure the more technology we develop and the faster it works, the less time we have. We recently saw this ad in the Yellow Pages under Messenger Services: "Panic Deliveries" One of the Fastest Surest Delivery Services in the Area. This really describes the market well. Everybody is in a panic to get all types of things from point A to point B. And both companies and individuals are willing to pay a price. One of the factors that will continue to drive this business is the lack of dependability of the U. S. Postal Service. A few years ago you you could be 95% sure that anything mailed First Class would get to its destination the next day if it was in a radius of about 150 miles. And it still works, or shall we say at least 30 - 50% of the time.. But who can live with those odds. And the beauty is that the Post Office can almost guaranty you that their service is getting less and less reliable. While the Fax machine has taken much of the market from the U. S. mail, it really only works for letters and other written material, that are from one to two pages. Legal and other documents, payrolls, deposits, proposals and a host of other written and other matter are best entrusted to a local delivery service that can get to its destination in a few hours. Even UPS and Federal Express do not provide this service. In our market survey we determined some of the following needs ( and a great many more which cannot be listed here) for fast local delivery services: Attorneys who absolutely had to get the documents to their clients (or from client to attorney); Doctors offices to labs; all types of businesses sending proposals to another business; (sometimes items had to be taken to the airport to be put on a plane only to be met in another city by yet another delivery service), businesses now are also using delivery services on a regular basis to get payrolls, accounting documents, etc. to other in-town and even deposits to the bank. Delivery services will operate in a specific geographic area which may encompass a large metropolitan area or a rural area stretching 60 - 100 miles. Delivery time is generally within a few hours. Fees will depend on many factors and ranges from a minimum of about $12 to around $30 per delivery. However, companies who will utilize the service of a delivery service on a daily or several times per week basis will be able to obtain better rates and this ongoing business can be a boom for a delivery service. How to Find New Customers and Keep Old Ones Happy You should put your initial marketing efforts into finding corporate business, especially business that will require your service on an ongoing basis. Finding a large company with name recognition will also help much in finding other customers. Direct marketing, advertising and, most importantly, calling on companies both in person and by phone will all be good sales approaches. Initially zero in on a relatively small geographic area for your customer base. This will make it easier to cover a lot of ground and to provide fast service as you find clients. You are selling a service, reliability and speed. You are really selling yourself. You will need stationery and an attractive flyer/brochure. A local printer will be able to provide your promotional material. Select prospective customers from the Yellow Pages, or if affordable through the purchase of business mailing lists. Send your material and then follow-up by phone and in person.. Call on the decision makers which will be primarily secretaries and office managers. Since owners of new businesses never have enough time or money, the personal sales approach can only be used for larger companies. To reach smaller companies direct mail and advertising will be most effective. Advertising in business related publication and the classified section of your local newspaper should prove to be very worthwhile. Most newspapers have a "Business Services" Heading in their classified pages. A listing in the Yellow Pages as soon as your budget can support it is a must. Since most companies do not have a department that specifically deals with transformation and delivery, this task is often undertaken by employees whose main responsibilities lie in a different area. Besides the wages the companies pay to these employees, they pay them benefits which will range from 20% to 35%. Thereby an $8 hourly wage becomes $10.50 and so forth. Use this factor in your sales presentation. It is most important that you keep your customers happy, especially the initial ones. They will give you a good reference for future business. A periodic newsletter which can be as little as one or two pages will help in keeping good customer relation. A quick phone call from time will be most effective in keeping you in touch with your customers especially as your business grown and you will have drivers to assist you. Operating Your Business This business is an ideal home-based business. Your tools are a phone, an answering service, and a car. As the business grows and employees are added an office outside the home will become more desirable. Many messenger service which primarily operate in the downtown areas of the largest cities use bicycles. In most cases, however, a reliable automobiles is a must. A telephone answering service that can reach you by beeper will be most effective. As soon as affordable a car phone would be a great benefit by saving unnecessary trips. Having excellent knowledge of the best and fastest routes in your city is important. Since you will spend a lot of time in your car and as such will become a "professional driver", make sure you will drive safely and not incur traffic violations. Your car should be well maintained. A breakdown could create major problems. Owner operated Messenger Services have extremely high profit margins, up to 90% of revenue. If you want to grow, however employees or independent contractors will be required. This will significantly increase your revenue, and likewise decrease your percentage of profit. If you hire employees and they use their own car and have an accident you and your insurance company will be liable. If you acquire company vehicles the cost of insurance will be prohibitive especially in certain areas of the country. This business lends itself ideally to hiring Independent Contractors. You pay them a fixed percentage of the delivery fee such as 50% and they will be fully responsible for transportation, insurance, travel expenses, etc.. Most likely they will also work harder since their profit potential is that much higher. While your initial geographic area of delivery may be relatively small the more you grow and the more contractors or employees you have the larger that area can become. Probably anything up to a 3 hour driving range will be quite feasible. Most owners of new business will be so hungry for new business that they may consider any piece of business to be quite worthwhile. As your business grows and you acquire special knowledge both about general management techniques as well as specialized knowledge about your specific business, you will want to watch all areas and factors that will effect expenses and efficiency. High efficiency produces high profits. Most of your customers, certainly your corporate clientele, will require credit. This area needs close watching. Bills must be sent out promptly and should be paid within 10 to 30 days. Many businesses will cut off customers who are more than 30 days overdue, but there rarely is any rational in carrying any business past 60 days. Resources Industry Association Association of Messenger SErvices, Inc. 270 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 212-532-8980 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and so much more refer to the Business Start-Uo Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 2

     

    Desktop Publisher Vital Information Start-up Investment Low - $700.00 (If computer and printer is financed). Home-based operation. High - $4,000 - $10,000 Buy equipment and set up office. Break - even time - 90 days to 6 months Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $20,000 - $250,000 Profit (Pre-tax) $16,000 - $110,00 An Exploding Market According to recent estimates by business consulting firms this market has grown from roughly 3 million in annual sales in 1985 to almost 3 billion in 1991, and there is no end in sight. One of the real opportunities and challenges of this business is the fact that there are still millions of clients out there that as yet do not even know that they need the services of a dekstop publishing service. Desktop publishers use computers, laser printers and sophisticated software program in the preparation of high quality graphic material. The price of the equipment used is continuing to come down dramatically, therefore the start-up estimates may be high. The quality of graphic material which can be produced in this manner is so high that only a professional can detect the difference between material designed by desktop publishing and material which has been typeset. The latter has a somewhat higher resolution which is not noticeable to the naked eye. Much of the material you see in newspapers such as USA Today and magazines was prepared through desktop publishing. Desktop publishers prepare graphic materials such as: brochures, flyers, full page advertisements, newsletters, books, proposals, forms and much more. Some desktop publishers will also perform word processing services for their clients. While some desktop publishers will prepare almost any kind of graphic material, many will specialize in one or more, such as newsletters. While prior computer knowledge is a plus anyone who has a desire to learn the operation of a computer can acquire the ability to become a desktop publisher. Quality laser printers which a few years ago sold for $4,000 to $7,000 can now be bought for under $1,000. The laser printer is the key element in making desktop publishing possible. The laser in the printer is activated to "paint" a picture of the computer file which was created through desktop publishing software. As such it acts as a photocopier, by scanning back and forth at high speeds while the drum containing the toner rotates back and forth. The toner is similar to that used in photocopiers. It is attracted to, or repelled from the imaged or 'un-imaged' areas of the drum. As it passes the rotating drum it is transferred onto a piece of paper. This is called "camera-ready" material. It is taken to a printer to be reproduced. To truly understand the continuing magnitude of this field, it is important to realize that until the invention of the laser printer, graphic material was either produced by graphic designers or typesetters in printing businesses. Since graphic designers were, and still are quire expensive their services were generally only available to the medium-sized and larger companies. The typesetter, on the other hand, who rarely had artistic ability prepared art-work for those who could afford the graphic designer. This material generally looked second class. Desktop publishing for the first time has made it possible for any size company to present itself with graphic material which looks every bit as good as the material that huge corporation use to sell their products and services. Who Are The Customers And How To Find Them Almost any size company and organization is a potential customer. Many of the large companies have down-sized their P. R. and Advertising Departments during this recession. And medium-sized and small companies rarely have the equipment or personnel to perform this very specialized work in-house. Potential customers are, for example: restaurants which require menu design, a painter who needs flyer to pass out, a legal firm which requires hundreds of different forms, a hotel which needs brochures, a writer who needs a cover design for his book, and we could add hundreds of other situations to this list. You should join one or more Chambers of Commerce in your community and surrounding communities and other organizations which allow you to meet potential customers. Advertising is both daily newspapers - business section, or in the classified section under "business Services" will be very worthwhile. As soon as feasible an ad in the Yellow Pages will give your business additional visibility. Advertising in other business related publications in your community will also be beneficial. Direct mail directed to businesses and organizations will also be highly beneficial in most businesses, once you have found your first few customers, especially the "first big one" it will be easier to find other clients. Word of mouth of a satisfied client will go a long way and it will be your most effective advertising. The quality and eye-appeal of your brochure and other sales material will be of vital importance. After all you are a desktop publisher and therefore your brochure should very professional looking. Clients will also want to see some work ("your portfolio") which you have prepared for clients. One of the best leads for new business will be the never ending flow of junk mail which you will receive from both local and out-of-town companies. Much of this material will not be very professional in appearance. You can gently and diplomatically suggest to a potential client how much more effective their sales campaign will be with professional looking material.. Since many potential graphic material is too expensive for their budget they will be pleasantly surprised when they learn from you that it can be prepared for $15 to $30 per page. Operating Your Business Most anyone without prior computer background, unless they are young enough to have had computer instructions in high school, will be initiated by computers. Yet slowly but surely computers are becoming as much a part of our lives as automobiles. And if you consider how little most people know about the operation of the automobile engine, but how well they can drive you will realize how easy it is to learn the operation of a computer. While books, operating manuals and even classroom instructions will be most helpful, the most effective way to learn is through practice. Basic knowledge of most software programs, including desktop publishing software can be acquired in about 20 hours. To become truly proficient will take about 2-3 months. This business lends itself well to be operated from your home. Since you will be receiving clients it is important that your home-office be presentable and well kept. As you business grows you can move to larger quarters in an office. Your initial expenses in addition to the equipment itself will pertain to basic office supplies, the preparation and reproduction of your sales material, advertising, postage and miscellaneous expenses. If at all possible get a second telephone line just for your office so you can insure it will always be answered professionally. An answering machine or telephone answering service will communicate with your clients in your absence. Owners of new businesses will spend the majority of their time, during the start-up phase on finding new business. Your new clients will be looking for quality graphic material which is prepared in a relatively short time span (generally from 2 to several days depending on the project - larger projects may take substantially more time), at a reasonable price. The cost of your services are determined by what your competition charges which is pretty well determined by general cost of living expenses in your community. It will be a good idea if you do some snooping around and visit some of your competitors as a "potential client". You will find their advertisements in local business publications and the Yellow Pages. Since you are selling a service most of your revenue will go to the bottom - line and will become profit to you. Operating expenses will be relatively small for general office supplies, paper, laser printer toner, etc. Of course, you may have to finance the purchase of your equipment over a period of time. If your credit is good, financing will be relatively easy to obtain through most computer stores. Since new computer equipment is becoming outdated at an ever increasing speed it is best to buy equipment on the lower end of the price range even if your budget can stand the higher outlay of capital. Small businesses and organizations will be requesting credit extension. Your care in granting this privilege is important. Nothing is more aggregating then selling a service "your time" and not get paid. It is not at all unreasonable to request payment up front with new and small business clients. Once you have granted credit to a business or organizations set down strict rules and stick to them. In general there rarely is justification to carry any client beyond 60 days. As you expand and require assistance to carry the work-load consider hiring "outside contractors" instead of employees. There are many individuals who have the knowledge and equipment to free-lance with desktop publishing. You will be saving the various benefits which are required to pay to employees and which average about 20 - 30% of salary. Resources Publications: Publish, P. C. World, Mac World are the best known publication. New ones are coming on the market on an on going basis. Organizations: Most of the major desktop publishing software programs sponsor user clubs/organizations throughout the country, such as Ventura Publishing. Education: Almost all colleges and university have an extensive curriculm in various computer instructions including desktop publishing. There are also various private instructions available thorough seminars, etc.,however, these tend to be quite expensive. For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 3

     

    Information Detective Vital Information ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Start-up Investment Low - $5000 ( a home office) High - $20,000 (an office with one employee) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Break - even time - Three month to one year ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $25,000 - &10 million Profit (Pre-tax - $20,000 - $2 million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Golden Needle in the Haystack? It is said that the world's knowledge is doubling every eight years! That's a staggering and impressive figure, assuming all that knowledge is accessible to the people who need it. Fortunately for the 300 to 500 "Information Detectives" operating in the U. S. today, the average corporation, writer, journalist, student, doesn't have ready access to the facts and figures they need and trying to unearth the appropriate information is a great deal like looking for a needle in a haystack. And what a haystack! Thanks to today's overwhelming increase of computer usage, thousands of entrepreneurs, major corporations, government agencies, etc., are all able to compile libraries of information ranging from the effects of oil spills on inland lakes to the state with the greatest number of horse breeders. And all this information is available on some data-base somewhere. But how does the average "Joe" access that information? Information detectives are paid to find the needle their client needs. They primarily use computerized data bases, but it doesn't stop there. They often need to leaf through reference books, publications and, on occasion, the view experts. The key to success in this service industry is knowing where the bodies are buried. Don't Byte Off More than You Can Chew You will need some basic equipment when you start your Information Detective operation: a computer, printer and modem. You can keep overhead down by starting operations in a spare bedroom in your home. You will probably need some training; the vendor of your data-base system may offer one - or two-day courses to familiarize you with their system, but you will probably need a great deal of practice to become proficient in your searches. When and if you decide to rent an office, and another researcher or two market more heavily, your overhead can easily double or quadruple, so take it easy and slow. Keep a close eye on how you are "growing your business". Although some corporations have in-house information services, most information detectives are home-based, one-person operations. A few entrepreneurs in this industry have capitalized on their talent for unearthing information and expanded into large information gathering businesses. These independents and entrepreneurs generally work on an hourly basis (usually in the $50 to $70/hour range). As your business increases, you will more than likely want to try to establish a base of clients who employ you on a monthly retainer basis (you will guarantee them a minimum number of hours per month) and of course bill additional amounts for larger projects. Watch Out for "Tunnel Vision" Especially in the early stages of your business, it may be necessary to keep more than one egg in your basket. Many small independents don't have enough demand for their services to fill the whole day, five days a week, so they beef up their income by providing other services which compliment their major activity, i. e., conducting seminars, writing articles on information on information retrieval, and/or teaching computer courses. In addition to providing income, these activities can be a good "networking" technique to get your name out there and garner valuable contacts -- people who may later hire you detect for. Resources Industry Association Information Industry Association, 555 New Jersey Ave.,N. W., Suite 800 Washington, DC 202 639-8262 Special Libraries Association, 1700 18th St.,NW Washington, DC 20009 202-234-4700 Consultant Katherine Ackerman & Associates, 403 Oxford St.,East Lansing, MI 48823 517-331-6818 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual

         
    Bb 4

     

    Videographer Vital Information ----------------------------------------------------------------- Start-up Investment Low - $1,000 or less for home-based operation High - $100,000 and up for outside offices and acquisition of sophisticated equipment. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Break-even time - 2 months to 1 year ----------------------------------------------------------------- Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $30,000 - $800,000 Profit (Pre-tax) $20,000 - $250,000 ----------------------------------------------------------------- A Market With Continued Major Growth New video technology of recent years has created opportunities for a new segment of professional videographers. While certain types of video-taping will require a highly skilled videographer in assignments such as sports events, or a stage presentation, other assignments such as the taping of individuals for a dating service, legal depositions, insurance matters, and most social events will mostly require good knowledge of the equipment, experience, and the ability to work with various groups. The marketability and demand for various services is almost unlimited. Video presentations are more commonly used now on sales presentations of all types, various insurance claim matters, real estate sales, all types of training material and in a variety of other situations. The market is really only limited by the ability of the videographer to sell his services for a variety of purposes. Finding Customers Who Need Your Services The Individual who has a good personality and enjoys mixing with people will have a marked advantage in this field. Since many individuals, organizations or companies may never have considered to utilize video for their event or presentation the trick is to create the demand through the sale. Networking your services through a group of friends and associates will be most effective along with advertising. Advertising may be used to reach the social event buyer as in the case of wedding and barmitzvahs and advertising in business publications for a variety of business services. Yellow Page advertising will also be an excellent way to get known in your community. Direct mail properly followed up in personal and telephone sales contacts will also be quite effective. Churches, hotels, restaurants, florists, jewelers, clubs and other organizations and businesses servicing the social market will also be able to generate new leads. Getting your name out to as many of these companies as possible will be a major plus. It is easy to track social events yourself. Check the social pages in your newspapers for engagement announcements and synagogue records for upcoming batmizah . You can then match names against those in the phone book and will be able to mail your brochure or flyer. You may even consider specializing in a certain market segment as, e. g. legal videographing. Before you embark on this market find out what laws are in your state pertaining to videotaping for legal purposes. They differ substantially by state. An excellent way to get started may be to try associating with court reporting service. In states where it is legal, many of these services now tape the deposition in addition to keeping a written record of it. Another fertile market may be to initiate a direct marketing campaign to an affluent neighborhood to sell video-taping services of valuables for insurance records. In your sales presentations to various businesses, the time savings that can be accomplished through video presentations should be stressed. A real estate agent can save hours of time which can be utilized to generate more sales by utilizing video presentations of residences rather than driving potential buyers all over town. You may be able effectively use bartering to get your business going. For example, you may want to video-tape one or more catering events for a carter and in return have the carter recommend your company. The free video-taping of a social event for the owner of a graphic design business or for a printer may get you a free brochure. The Operation of Your Video-Taping Business Operationally it will be rather easy to get started. Depending on your budget you have the choice of buying equipment outright which can be quite expensive, or you can finance, or rent it. If you are on a relatively tight budget, or are not quite sure if you want to pursue this business long term it would be advantageous to go with the rental option. You will be able to rent all the basic equipment required for the taping of most any event, such as as camera, player, color monitor, lights and sound equipment. You can even rent editing equipment, or you may want to utilize an editing service in the beginning. A van or station wagon to lug the equipment round will be very helpful. Other expenses will be for basic office supplies, telephone and answering machine, a professional brochure or 2 to 4 page flyer, business cards, etc. While specializing in a given area such as social events, business services, or something else will probably make good business sense over the long term, it may be advantageous to pursue all markets during the first year. This will build revenue quicker and you will be able to determine which market you enjoy most. Working social events can be trying. Some knowledge of social etiquette and how a certain event should be conducted will be very helpful. Even more, be sure you know who is truly in charge of the event. Each event will have is own little idiosyncrasies depending on the participants. It may be that a given relative should be taped more than someone else. Whoever calls the shots will be able to direct you. Surely this business is ideal to be started from your home. As your business grows a design a design studio can be rented. Once you have the basic equipment in place, most of your revenue will go to the bottom line, unless you are renting equipment. It is therefore often possible to generate a profit relatively quickly. While it may be necessary to grant credit to established businesses and organizations, it is not recommended that you grant credit for social events. To do so is not commonly done even by hotels and restaurants and is generally considered quite a risky practice. Resources Books & Publications: An excellent book is: "How to Capitalize on the Video Revolution", Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, NY Videography Magazine, 50 West 23rd St.,New York, NY 10011 Broadcast Week, Box 5727, 2500 Curtis St.,S-200, Denver, CO 80205 Organizations: Women in Film & Video, 27 West 20th St.,New York, NY 10011-212-206-8555 Film councils can be found in most larger cities. For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up Fact Finder Manual.

         
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    Computer Consultant Vital Information ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Start-up Investment Low - $0 (consulting for existing clients) High - $5,000 (setting up an office and advertising) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Break-even time - Immediate to one year ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Estimate of Annual Revenue and Profit Revenue $50,000 - $250,000 Profit (Pre-tax - $40,000 - $200,000 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Computer on Every Desk? With the advent of PCS, computer systems are now accessible to small and mid-sized companies. Very few businesses, no matter how small, can not afford to ignore the growing demand for instant information and finger-tip response to their clienteleputerization is a standard tool of competition and, if used correctly, should rapidly pay for itself in a reduction of man hours and an increase in efficiency. Most companies have to computerize in order to "keep up with the Jones" but many small and mid-sized businesses haven't the slightest idea which of the myriad of available hardware and software makes the most sense in terms of their own business. And ...this creates a natural marketplace for the computer consultant. The demand for these services is growing by leaps and bounds. Making Cents Computer consultants serve two basic functions: Selecting the appropriate computer system, including hardware, software, networks and peripherals. This is a one-time project and vital to the success of the automation process. Most business people are afraid of spending thousands of dollars for an inadequate or incomplete system. A consultant maps out the strategy for the appropriate system and the most effective and efficient software. Integrating the computer into day-to-day operations. A consultant may be used on a on-going basis as upgrades in software occur or then network needs to be expanded. A computer should make a business so much more efficient and productive that is pays for itselfputer consultants not only productive that it pays for itselfputer consultants not only help businesses realize this potential but a computer consultant's expertise should make the process much less stressful and the transition processes more comfortable and easier to accept. Overhead Is Minimal The only inventory you need is what's stored away in your brain: education and on-hands experience are your greatest assets. Like most computer experts, you probably already own your own PC and that's the only equipment necessary for start-up. The more involved systems work will come on-site as you design and install your client's more sophisticated hardware and software. The lion's share of your start-up expenses will be advertising and marketing your services. Because your work will be exclusively on-site at your corporate customer's locations, it will not be necessary, especially in the beginning, to have an outside office. Not only will your costs be kept at a minimum by working from your home, but you can deduct office-at-home expenses off your taxes for the percentage of your home you convert into office space, but be sure to use that area of your home exclusively for your work. When you begin your marketing efforts, do your homework and find out the type of customer who is truly in need of your services. Most undoubtedly, you will want to target mid-sized corporations. The big boys probably have permanent on-site computer experts and the little guys probably can't afford you. Make your marketing dollar as effective as possible by doing some legwork before you begin. You will also want to look long and hard at your areas of expertise. Do you have a specialty or are you an across-the-board type of computer expert? Should you target a specific industry? Can you easily recommend the proper system to an accountant as you can for a trucking company? Geography plays a major part in identifying potential clientele. If your specialty market is scattered all over the country, you'll want to advertise on a wide-scale. If you are the across-the-board expert, you can target a specific location. Keep in mind, the closer to home you're working, the less of your capital will be eaten up with travel expenses. It is very important to establish on-going relationships with your clientele. Many companies pay their consultant a retainer good for a few hours per month in order to have a standing opportunity to ask questions or upgrade programming. This is often a less expensive option for your clients than hiring a full-time staff person. You will need to let your clients know how you can help them in their day-to-day operations and set up a flexible enough schedule so that you will be able to work within their parameters. Working on this basis with a number of companies will guarantee you some regular income and cut back on marketing expenses. Balance What You Know and Who You Know Since you can't possibly know all there is to know about computers, you'll need to make contacts in the industry who can assist you when you come up against a situation you're not qualified to handle. You will want to compile a network of professionals you can call on to fill any voids you find as you go along. You have the option to subcontract to other consultants (many university professors, for example, free-lance as consultants). You may want to put your subcontractors on the payroll or you may simply wish to put your client in touch with your source and then step quietly out of the picture. You may not receive immediate remuneration for the recommendation, but the long-term benefits can be well worth your efforts. Not only will this build good-will with your client but the other consultants may wish to return the favor when they have a need for your area of expertise. To Market or Not to Market? When starting any new business, the main focus must be on effective marketing. The first contacts will be the most difficult and will probably require references. However, after you reach your capacity, you will have a tendency to slack off on your marketing. You'll be so busy with one or two clients that you'll forget that there is an end to the work and to the income. Suddenly, the work will be are starting all over gain. It is absolutely essential to keep marketing even when things are at their most hectic. A certain percentage of your time should be spent bringing in new business no matter how busy your are. You will have to decide what percentage of time allows you to keep an even flow of business coming in and out. You will find yourself only spending a portion of your time in "billable hours." A certain amount of time must be spent doing administrative functions, like billing and taxes. Another portion of your work must be spent in staying up-to-date with current developments in the industry and with software and hardware innovations. You may also want to round out your services by writing articles for magazines or publications or giving seminars or workshops. These types of endeavors can help provide additional revenues and expand your network for both clients and subcontractors. If you billable hours fall off, you will want to devote more time to marketing but remember, no matter how much money you already to have to do,, your's is a finite service and sooner or later, you're going to need new business. So never forget to continue to market..., network, and expand your client base. This will help to curtail the roller-coaster ride many new and/or small businesses face. Common courtesy will also help your gain referrals and keep your clients happy. Send a thank you note to clients to let them know that you appreciate their business. Make follow up calls to let them know that you are concerned that the services you provided them are effective and producing the results you were anticipating. A little personal touch here and there can keep your name in the minds of the most hardcore business person. Manage Your Growth Many computer consultants opt to stay one person operation. One of the attractions of being your own boss is that you can leave behind the hassles and politics of corporate life. The flip side of that coin is that the only funds coming into the business are your own billable hours in any given day. Owners of large computer-consulting firms reap a percentage of every dollar earned by each associate. There are many trade-offs involved in being self-employed. Neither option is going to be a walk in the park. But the most important thing to keep in mind is to manage your company's growth. Don't get in over your head, just take one step at a time and keep an eye on the road ahead. Resources Industry Associations: Independent Computer Consultants Association, 433 N New Ballas, P. O. Box 27412, St Louis MO 63141 (314) 997-4633 ACME Inc., 230 Park Ave., New York, NY 10169 (212) 697-9693 Institute of Management Consultants Inc.,19 W 44th St.,New York, NY 10036 (212) 921-2885 Publications: Consultants News, Templeton RD.,Fitzwilliam, NH 03447 (603) 585- 2200 Byte, 70 Main St.,Petersborough, NH 03458 (603) 949-9281 Business Computer Systems., 375 Washington St.,Newton, MA 02158 (617) 964-3030 Info World, 1060 Marsh Rd.,Suite C-200, Menlo Park, CA 94025 (415) 328-4602 For additional information helpful in setting up your new business, information about licenses, permits, the legal structure of your business, taxes, insurance and much more refer to the Business Start-Up fact Finder Manual

         
     
         
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