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    3421

     

    HOW TO START A DATING AND ESCORT SERVICE Starting and operating a successful Dating and Escort Service can bring in $60,000 or more per year for the sharp, aggressive, imaginative business person. The secret to success with a business of this kind is advertising that presents your services with a "show business" flair---while still maintaining good taste. To get started, you need an impressive looking application form. Research into a number of successful operations seems to indicate that a four-page application works well. This should be typeset with an attractive letterhead or company masthead on 11 by 17 inch paper, folded in half to give the impression of a "personal file." your best paper colors are either pale blue or ivory. The better paper stock you can afford, the more impressive your application will be--giving a greater aura of credibility to your business, and thus to prospective clients. In addition to the usual questions such as name, address, telephone number, marital status, place of employment, hobbies, likes and dislikes, your application should contain: *** A short personality test which can be obtained with a bit of research at your public library. For ideas, samples, and even tests you can use intact, be sure to check some of the modern women's magazines. And don't discount the idea of registering at an already established business of this type; or possibly you can see their application form without actually involving yourself any further. Or inquire among friends and acquaintances who have registered with a dating or escort service. *** Near the end of the application, you should include a short paragraph pointing up the fact that your organization, in addition to bringing people together as a dating service, also provides an escort service for out-of-town visitors and local non-members. You then pose the question: "Would you be interested in these kinds of dates, which would include all expenses, and a minimum fee of $25 for what usually amounts to a very delightful time with an interesting person. Your only obligation ever is to be your usual charming self, and enjoy." *** Just before or above the blank for your applicant's signature, include a legal disclaimer to any responsibilities or promises implied and/or not specifically stated within the application. The building in which your locate: for this one, you'll need a store-front office, and it should be in a better part of the business district in your city. Try to select a site that is upbeat and attractive without being"jivey"--one that would appeal to the more conservative or mature as well as the younger generation. Many of your clients are going to be mature, and be reminded, the mature, intelligent sector of our society is"getting younger" and more vigorous,"still interested in life"more than in years past. In other words, the section where you locate should reflect a modern attitude, but with solid values. The reception area of your office should be large and comfortable with as expensive a look as you can manage. Your receptionist is very important--very. She should be attractive, with a vivacious and outgoing personality. She should be able to quickly put your prospective clients at ease, and generally make them feel that belonging to your group is going to be the beginning of happier times, fun, and lasting friendships. You should have at least two expensive looking picture scrapbooks on the coffee table in your reception room. These you can fill with portrait or candid shots of members and clients. These pictures can pose a problem for you while you are in the beginning stages--so don't hesitate to gather pictures of various relatives, friends who are not necessary located in your area--or even visit a nearby campus and ask if you can take pictures of some of the best looking men and women. You will need to get a release signed by each one, and you simply explain that you are putting together a picture display book of terrific looking people in your area for the promotion of your business, and their names and any other information will not be publicized or released. After your prospective client has filled out the application, the next step is a personal interview. Your office should be cozy and comfortable, but business-like, and you should arrange for uninterrupted time in complete privacy with each person. You should use the interview to go over the application, answer any questions, and close the membership sale. you also use this interview as the basis of your estimate of the kind of person most likely to match this client. Be empathetic with your clients; you are going to meet people who are tired of the "dating game" as it is usually played out in the singles bars and unproductive groups they had joined before. You might get added help in the area of interviewing by writing for advertising material and brochures from similar services in other areas, adapting any techniques you like to your on interviewing process. Most escort services we looked into publish a monthly newsletter with tidbits of information and gossip about members. Who's doing what; job changing; who's travelling where; plus a listing of upcoming events and activities. Listing the names of new members is also a good idea, and quotes from members who are active and enjoying the service. Some of these newsletters feature"girl and guy of the month" with lots of pictures-"on the town", involved in hobbies at home, and candid shots in everyday life. Usually, the escort service itself will sponsor an "all membership" party about once every three months to introduce other members and project a sense of "family" and belonging. As we said earlier, advertising is the key to your success with this project. A small classified ad, run for about a week in the "Personals" column of your area newspaper, should start the ball rolling for you. Some ideas for pulling inquires from men might read like this: "Career woman, new to the area, seeking dates with honest, fun-loving guys. Call Barbara 123-4567," or, "Young recent divorcee ready to start dating again Call Linda at 234-5678." And for attracting inquires from women: "Young business executive wants to meet eligible ladies. Call Ron at 345-6789," or, "Active and ambitious young man wants to meet wholesome, All-American kind of girl. Call Brain at 456-7890." At the time you have an ad this type running, you'll want to have a bulletin board ads and notices on all the college campuses, in as many company newspapers as you can get into, and where ever people are most likely to take notice. This ad should be a straight advertisement inviting people to "get out of the rat race" of the singles game by joining your organization. You'll of course emphasize confidentiality, respectability, and the fact you deal only with people who are really serious about meeting new friends and forming lasting relationships. Your ads soliciting new members should tell readers you'll help them meet new friends and enjoy dates with people especially matched to their own likes and dislikes. A sense of fun and excitement should be conveyed, but at the same time, honesty, respectability and trust. You cannot use flashy headlines or pictures of models that give a connotation of an invitation into the bedroom. write your ads from the point of view of the people you want to sell to--build from what you believe to be their special wants, and visualize their thinking. Put yourself in the place of the prospective new member, and understand that it takes a great deal of nerve, we might even call it COURAGE, to make that move to ask for help in dating. (It is generally easier to just let things slide along--stay in the same old "lonesome rut" than ask for help--and risk disappointment.) You'll have to have a "planned explanation" when people call in answer to your ads. Quickly get the name and phone number, ask a few questions, then set up an appointment for him or her to come into your office. When you are in the interview, be bright, inviting, but factual and brief--and DON'T lose control of the conversation. Best to have your questions and answers written out in order that works best to pull the prospect into your office, and then follow it to the letter. When you're ready to expand with the Escort Services, get the word out to all the likely places where people are wanting these services will see your ads or hear about you in friend-to-friend conversation. Have some interesting posters made up inviting people to call asking about your good-looking, friendly, and charming escorts for every occasion--dinner dates, banquets, parties, theater dates, dancing, special occasions. Try to get one of these upon the wall at the airport, train and bus stations, and in better hotel and motel lobbies in your area--anywhere else that travelers are likely to notice them. Run a regular ad in your Thursday and Fridays papers, and also in the yellow pages of your telephone directory. Pass out business cards to all the car rental agencies and restaurants near the travel centers and to anyone and everyone having anything to do with convention or tourist arrangements in your area. You will have to experiment and test to determine the right fee to charge for providing an escort, but with most escort services, the minimum is $50, pus all expenses. This is a business that will provide pleasure and profit to a person who is outgoing, fun-loving, gregarious, but who is sensitive to the needs of others, and enjoys seeing people "get a new start," or seeing more reserved ones "come out of their shells." It takes more to get started in this business than it does for some other endeavors, but this is one that can start small and grow, improve, and even spread to franchising size.

         
    3422

     

    HOW TO MAKE YOUR FORTUNE WITH SELF-IMPROVEMENT SEMINARS Ever since the beginning of time, ambitious people of the world have attributed some "indescribable secret" to the success of those people with wealth. These people have spent, and will continue to spend, millions of dollars to cultivate these "secrets" within themselves. Particularly since the early seventies, there has been a growing demand by the public to attend classes, workshops, and self-improvement seminars that will enable them to align their thinking as well as their actions, with those of people who have already achieved success. The popularity of such best-selling how-to books as WINNING IS BELIEVING...THINK AND GROW RICH...HOW TO DEVELOP A WINNING PERSONALITY...OVERCOMING SHYNESS... IMAGINEERING... NEW LIFE OPTIONS... WINNING BY NEGOTIATION... SUCCESSFUL VISUAL-VERBAL COMMUNICATIONS... CONVERSATIONALLY SPEAKING... and countless others lends reinforcement to the "need" for self-improvement seminars. You can promote and stage these seminars either as a generalists or as a specialist in a specific area of expertise--and attain wealth for yourself almost beyond your current imagination! The market potential has only barely been scratched, affording a real ground-floor opportunity for those with the gumption to take action. Dale Carnegie--the author of the book, How To Win Friends and Influence People--was certainly one of the first, if not "the first" self-improvement seminar market/teacher. Back in the Great Depression of the thirties, he recognized this need in people to improve themselves--he worked out a deal with the local management of his hometown YMCA-- got the word around that he was holding classes on self-improvement--and the rest is one of the truly classic unemployed-to-multi-million-dollar success stories of our time. A self-improvement seminar is conducted much the same as a Toastmaster's Club meeting...It can be held just about anywhere, from the informal atmosphere of someone's living room to the formalities of the Hilton Convention Center. Basically, a self-improvement seminar is a gathering of people where one or more speakers talk on a specific subject. More often than not, only a certain aspect of self-improvement, such as How To develop A Positive Mental Attitude--is the thrust of the seminar. In other words, the more successful seminars deal with "specialized areas" of self-improvement. These speakers usually wind up their talks with audience involvement questions and answer sessions. Most of them "wind down" with the speaker circulating thru the audience, plus lots of opportunity for the purchase of self-help books and tapes by the people wanting on-going motivation and reinforcement to what they've just heard. Always-sometimes even as the featured subject of the seminar--there's a great deal of motivation projected during these meetings. At the bottom line, motivation is more the purpose of these seminars than the attendees learning something they don't already know. The favorite words of most seminar speakers is usually, "It's the difference between having a dream and taking action--a matter of saying I can, believing it, and then doing it--because you can! Successful seminars are generally based upon the concept of giving you the power to believe you can. The speakers usually speaks from insights and expertise gained from their own life experiences. Self-improvements seminars give the attendees the tools--and the motivation--to succeed. Thus, a well-organized and well presented seminar that helps people up the ladder of success can't help but succeed because we are a success oriented society--it's an easy sell with an income potential limited only by your ability to express yourself. You won't need an office to make it big with self-improvement seminars. The public doesn't visit you--you take your programs to them. Self-improvement seminars appeal to almost everybody--from blue-collar workers to top executives. The average cost per person to attend a seminar is very close to $300--so your basic audience will be from the upper-income brackets--but if you handle the promotional aspects properly, you'll pull them in from lesser income brackets as well. Many seminar promoters employ sales teams to call upon top company executives and either get the to partially pay the cost of several employees to attend as educational or business improvement investments--or to foot the bill for the sponsorship of a "group seminar" for all of that company's middle management personnel. Many specialty speakers make in excess of $100,000 per year with regular motivational and/or self-improvement seminars in this fashion. In the beginning though, you'll get your start by staging seminars for the general public in restaurant banquet rooms, hotel ballrooms, and convention centers. These will entail advertising costs, plus the charges for the rented space, and an "on hand" inventory of the materials you want to sell to the people who attend your seminars. Generally, you'll do best with an intensive radio advertising campaign during the week preceding your seminar date. In a metropolitan area of half a million population, you should spend a couple of thousand dollars on radio advertising, plus half as much for flamboyant newspaper advertising. Some seminar promoters invest a quarter of their budget in newspapers, then a half going into radio. Of course, the allocation of your advertising budget should be related to the previous proven pulling power of each media within that particular market. Not too much concern is given to television advertising, excepting for guest appearances of the community service talk shows. Most promoters spend all of this effort and money to promote a series of free seminars. These free seminars usually draw huge crowds, during which special "front men" turn everybody on with super-motivational stories designed to wet the appetite of those in attendance for more. These free seminars generally last only 45 minutes to an hour, and are strictly motivational in purpose. Each person in attendance is handed a brochure describing the up-coming "main event" as they leave these free seminars. An attempt is made to get an commitment---at least a deposit for the cost of the "real thing" which is usually set for the week following. Those who do commit themselves to attending the big one are then contacted by professional telephone sales people and given the complete sales presentation between the time of the free seminar ad the date of the real thing. With good advertising, up-front motivational speakers, attractive program brochures and experienced telephone sales people--you can count on closing about 30 to 35% of those who attend your free seminars. If you don't have the confidence or inclination to participate--be the principal speaker--at your seminars you can hire local sales training people, professional people from the medical specialties, local "experts" known thru your area newspapers or broadcast media, and or/ nationally known speakers wiling to travel and operating thru speakers' bureaus. You might want to contact Burt Dubin of Personal Achievement Institute--225 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 305--Santa Monica, CA 90401...or Dottie Walters of The National Speakers' Bureau--400 W Foothill Blvd., --Glendora, CA 91740. Finally, a reiteration of the fact that there are literally millions of people in all parts of the country willing and able to pay you for helping them to improve themselves. You can start with meetings in your living room, or your local restaurant. All it takes is action on your part to get it set up, and a push from yourself to start making it happen. Best of luck, and now get going with it.

         
    3423

     

    HOW TO START YOUR OWN BULLETIN BOARD ADVERTISING SERVICE Believe it or not, bulletin boards actually work as a traffic builders for any small business. They serve to enhance the community relations image of a business, and the space required to locate a bulletin board can be written off as a tax deduction when listed as advertising or public relations expense. People use these "business provided" bulletin boards to advertise things they want to sell, home-based businesses, and whatever they might want to trade for or buy. Then, they come back, sometimes morning, noon and evening every day, to check them, or to see who else has an announcement posted. Each time they come into the business owner's store or shop, they may not feel obligation to buy something, but of course the business owner has another opportunity to sell them something. Just about anybody can organize a route of bulletin boards; charge the advertisers a small monthly fee; keep them up-to-date and neat, (which will make the business owner happy) and make some really easy money in the whole process. The first step is to contact as many businesses in your area as possible. Grocery stores, drugstores, barber shops, beauty salons, service stations, quick print shops, rental shops, mobile home parks, shopping centers, apartment complexes that have foyers or recreation rooms---and the list goes on endlessly. Sell them the idea of allowing you to install and maintain a bulletin board service for them. Emphasize the community service, the tax write-off, and the fact that you'll keep it neat. When you get ten or more signed to allow you to install a bulletin board, you're ready to start making your bulletin boards. The best plan ( and of course the most economical) is to make your own. Cut a piece of corkboard 3 feet by 4 feet, mount a 3/4 by 1 1/2 inch frame around the edge, and cover this frame with a 3 foot by 4 foot piece pf plastic. Mount the plastic with hinges at the top and hasp at the bottom. On the back of the corkboard, install a couple of hooks for hanging it, and you're ready to go. Make up a sign---you can even type it out and use it as another bulletin board announcement---something like this: CITY WIDE BULLETIN BOARD SERVICES! Your announcement or advertisement displayed here for only $5 per month! For more information, call 123-4567. Put your sign or announcement on each of your bulletin boards, lock them up, and install them in all your locations. Ten such signs with only 50 announcements per bulletin board should bring you an easy $500 per month. When you put an announcement from the same person up on more than one board, charge them $5 per announcement on each bulletin board. And one other thing: The date the "run of display" ends should be marked on each announcement you put on each of your bulletin boards. In all likelihood, you'll have people waiting for space on your bulletin boards. Keeping records should be very simple and easy. Start with a loose leaf notebook, blank paper and a couple of packages of 3 by 5 cards. In your notebook, write down the date, the amount of money received and the number of announcements on display, and the contract expiration date. On the 3 by 5 cards, write name, address, phone number and expiration date of each contract, and the location (s) of the bulletin boards (s) that particular announcement is on. Arrange the cards in chronological order according to expiration date, and file them in a storage box. Once you get rolling, you shouldn't have to service your bulletin boards more than once a week, and as more people see the, more businesses will want you to put one in their business location, and more people will want to display announcement. Simple, easy and a real money-maker for you. This kind of business is what the newspapers like to write about, and the TV stations like to carry as news of what the people in their areas are doing as entrepreneurs. So take the feature editors out to lunch, make friends with them, and push for al the free publicity you can get. That's the plan. It's simple, easy and depending upon the population density of your area it could very well be the very thing you've been looking for to supply you an extra income. It demands little investment, not much of your time and no special training or education. But, as with any business venture, it takes ACTION on your part. You must get out there and set it up, and work at making it a success for YOU! It's really up to you, and we wish you success in it.

         
    3424

     

    HOW TO MAKE BIG DOLLARS WITH BUMPER STICKERS This is the kind of business that might grow out of a conversation over a couple of beers at your favorite tavern. Imagine for a moment this scenario: Someone suggests that the owner should sponsor a summer picnic or softball game. The question then comes up as how to advertise it, and someone suggests bumper stickers. And the basics of a very lucrative business are set in motion. As you consider this idea for a source of income, your first decision will be whether to first line up the people willing to "wear" the bumper stickers on their cars, or the business owners who will want to advertise in this manner. A good friend of ours started such a business several years ago, and he found it easier to sell the business owner by telling him that 100 to 200 people were all set and willing to wear his bumper sticker advertisement, because such people were known to be in the area. All this boils down to a recommendation that you talk to your friends, neighbors and co-workers first. Get as many of them as you can to agree to "wear" a bumper sticker. You might offer to pay $10 for three months, or $5 for six weeks. With inducement of money just to put a bumper sticker on their cars or trucks, you won't have too many turndowns. One person we know runs an ad in his weekly shopper newspaper, advertising the fact that he pays money just for "wearing" a bumper sticker. And of course, don't overlook the pulling power of all the bulletin boards in your area. This is an ideal business for constant free publicity writeups in your local newspapers, plus interviews on radio and TV talk shows. At first, you'll want as many people as possible to "wear" bumper sticker ads. What you'll want to stress in any publicity write-ups or media interviews is the fact that you've got the "vehicles for exposure" lined up and organized so that any potential advertiser needs only to give you a call, and you can launch his advertising program immediately. Next, you check w a number of printers and determine the cost to to have bumper stickers made to order. Generally, you should be able to get a thousand bumper stickers for $100 or less. Whatever the cost, this initial outlay should be absorbed by your charge to the advertiser. So let's suppose you've got 100 people lined up to "wear" one of these bumper stickers on their cars for six weeks. Figure the bumper stickers will cost $100. Now, the problem of what to charge the advertiser. You should always charge on a "per-car" basis, i. e., on a basis of circulation, as newspapers do. So, you charge $5 per car per week, with 100 cars. This comes out to $500 per week, or $3,000 total for six weeks, from the advertiser. Subtract $100 for getting the bumper stickers made, add $500 as payment for the cars "wearing" the bumper stickers, and you would end up with a profit picture of $2,400 for those six weeks. In the beginning, you should be the one calling potential advertisers and doing all the selling. Once you've got your first program organized and running smoothly, your next step is a natural multiplication of your efforts. Run an ad in your local paper for commission sales people. Brief them on the basics and get them out on the street selling advertisers for you. The best time to launch a business of this kind is during the fair weather seasons, or just in advance of general political elections in your area. Once established, however, the business can, and should sustain itself year round. The selling "keys" to this kind of advertising are basically the same as those enumerated for "word of mouth" advertising. You've got people all over town spreading the word--talking about the advertiser. And these people are saturating the area with the advertiser's name and message wherever they go. It's easy! It's simple! and it works! Compared with other, more traditional advertising methods, bumper stickers advertising is very low in cost. One of the tricks of the trade is in using short, snappy, even humorous slogans or telegram styled messages. For instance: Anderson's Cafe---6th and Main---That's where I'm going---How about you? Another idea is to make the lettering on the bumper stickers luminous to the headlights of the cars following. Most important, be sure to make your lettering easy to read, and the message easy to comprehend at one glance. Actually, you could start at the front of the yellow pages in your phone book and probably never run out of places ready to be sold on your - plan of bumper sticker advertising. Some of the more traditional places to sell this kind of advertising include: Taverns Pizza Houses Physical Fitness Clubs Political Campaigns Radio & TV Station Movie Theaters Travel Agencies Trade Schools Auto Repair Shops Insurance Companies Flea Markets Newspapers Appliance Repair Sporting Goods Special Local Events The important thing is to always be creative in your selling efforts. Always show the prospect how his business can grow from advertising in this manner, you propose, and how your method is more positive, more responsive, and lower in cost than the more traditional advertising. Remember, too, the more clever or "catchy" the message on the bumper sticker, the more it will make people talk and respond. For ideas along these lines, go back to the yellow pages of your telephone book and read all those short, crispy one-liners. Remember also that advertising is a form of "brainwashing" and the more people see the message the stronger that message is imprinted in their minds. Therefore, when they need or are in the market for the services or product offered by the advertiser, they'll quickly refer to the strongest, easiest to recall advertising message in their minds. And that, of course, means that if the prospect sees a specific advertising message on the bumpers of the cars in front of him day after day, when he's ready to buy, that particular advertiser will be the one he will patronize. You can expand this business to include magnetic sign on the sides of cars, saddle-back signs on the back of cars, and even signs in the yards in residential neighborhoods. As I've explained in this report, line up your "method of exposure," determine your costs and then go after the advertisers. It can be a very easy way to achieve real wealth and independence for yourself!

         
    3425

     

    CAMERA PROFITS USING YOUR CAMERA FOR EXTRA MONEY One of the easiest ways to making extra money is with a camera. More people own cameras than radios, and photography is the fastest growing hobby in the world. Yet using a camera as an extra income tool is largely overlooked! With a little imagination, a flair for showmanship, and just a hint of showmanship, the average man or woman, or even teenager, can easily make an extra $300 a week with his camera. You don't have to have one of the popular, more expensive cameras either, or a lot of high priced attachments and equipment. in many instances, a Polaroid or other "off-the-shelf" camera will suit the purposes perfectly. The only special piece of extra equipment you may want to invest in would be a tripod for mounting the camera in certain situations. One of the easiest ideas is to visit a children's clothing store in one of the busy shopping centers, or the children's department in one of the large department stores. Sell the manager or store owner on the idea of your setting up in a corner of the store or department, and taking pictures of the shoppers' children. He can promote the fact that you'll be in the store taking pictures for a special prices during certain hours---perhaps on Friday evenings and all day Saturdays---in his advertising, thus drawing more patrons into his store because of you. You'll need a sheet or plain piece of material, or some sort of imaginative set for a background. But this can be easily make or build yourself. You should also have an eye-catching poster that calls attention to what you're doing and the prices you're charging. Unless you're a commercial artist, spend the money to have this sign made for you by a professional. The next and last thing you'll need will be a two-part receipt or coupon. This can be a simple piece of paper about 2 inches wide by 5 inches long. On the left side draw lines for your customers to fill in their name, telephone number and address. You might also want to include space for additional information such as the child's name and age and number of children in the family, for future efforts, but keep it brief and simple. On the right side of this coupon, have your business name, address and telephone number, plus a quick outline of the different kinds of photography work you handle, and perhaps a business slogan such as "Satisfaction Guaranteed or You Don't Pay." To add a little bit of class to this coupon, take the basic outline of this idea over to a instant print shop. Tell them what you want; show them your outline; and have them typeset everything. Then put a fancy border around the whole coupon and have it printed on colored paper. The best color is a "dollar bill" shade of green. If you want to give it even more class, you could have it printed on green, lightweight card stock. You'll want to divide the "information" side of this coupon from the "business card" side with a dotted line and perforations. If you layout this coupon properly, you should be able to get six of them on an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper or card stock. This means the printer can print and cut 6,000 of them for about the same cost as printing circulars or flyers. On your printing, shop around for the best deal, but in the end, it shouldn't cost more than $60 for all 6,000 coupons which will come those 1,000 sheets of paper or card stock. Now, when you take a person's picture, regardless of whether it's an "in-store" set-up out on the golf course, or along the street, you give your customer one of your coupon-receipts and tell them their prints will be ready in a couple of days. They fill in the information part of the coupon and give it back to you, retaining your "business card" portion of it. When the prints are ready, you can phone the customer and remind him--volunteer to deliver and collect; send them through the mail with a bill; or make arrangements with a store to take care of them until the people call for them and pay at that time. Most stores, golf courses, bowling centers, and other retail merchants will be glad to handle this part of it for you, because it brings the customers back into the places of business, and provides another sales opportunity for them. By all means, be sure to include an advertising circular with each set of pictures you deliver. This circular should explain how the customer can get more prints, how he can get enlargements of his favorites, and details relating to all the other photography services you offer Back to the original "in-store" picture taking set-up during evening shopping hours and on weekends for extra income. You can call attention to your "in-store" set-up, and bring in more business with a few merchandising promotional ideas. In the following paragraphs we give the highlights of a few ideas that have worked well. However, you should keep your eyes open to observe additional promotional ideas that could be adapted to fit your new business. Dress a helper in a clown suit, and take pictures of the kids in his lap or with his arm around the kids. Put a sandwich advertising board on a helper and let him stroll through the shopping center advertising the fact that you're in a Kiddies Clothing store taking pictures. Promote a "Baby of The Year" contest where you can take pictures of the babies, display the pictures on a "show board" and offer $100 cash plus a merchandise prize in a big drawing at the end of the year. Set up a booth in the mall and promote "Instant Snapshots." Be a Roving Photographer and take candid shots of shoppers and promote a "Shopper Of The Year" contest. Work with a clown and have him "attach himself" to the kids, and ask if they'd like to have their pictures taken with him. Build and inexpensive and portable set, such as an airplane, a race car, bucking bronco, hand-shaking scene with a famous person or "balloon figures" and take pictures of the people standing in or on these sets. Get out to the golf course and take pictures of the golfers teeing off. Get over to the bowling centers and take candid shots of the bowlers in action. Do the same thing wherever there's a sports event taking place. Be on the spot and ready whenever there's an opportunity to take team pictures. You might follow, or hire someone else to follow a Little League team through its season, taking candid and action shots. You then arrange the best pictures in a photo album with the team's name and year on front. You should be able to sell one of these albums to each member of the team. There's also the idea of "just" strolling through the park" on a Sunday afternoon. You can take candid and interesting pictures of couples, children and people in general spending time with their relatives. Keep tabs on the announcements of new births. Send advertising literature to the new mothers, and follow up with a phone call efforts to set up photography sessions. Keep tabs on the engagement notices in the weekend papers. Send your sales literature to the brides-to-be, and follow up with phone call efforts to take the wedding pictures. Set up a household and business photo inventory service. With this idea, you contact the insurance companies and determine if they will approve and endorse photographs you take of their policy holders' household, personal, and business property in loss claims. Most will, and from there--working either with the help of an insurance agent, the agency itself, or on your own--contact owners of property and sell them on the idea of you taking pictures of the household goods they have insured. You take the pictures--a pictorial inventory of everything they're claiming or would like to claim on an insurance policy--and then identify the pictures, giving one set to the property owner and the other set to his insurance agent or company. Picture inventories of household and personal property is still a new thing, but everywhere it's been introduced, it's definitely proven to be a super money - maker for the people willing to get out and hustle. If this idea arouses your interest, you might want to check into a going franchise operation that gives you a complete business manual, operations guidebook, and ongoing consultant services: Photographic Inventory, PO Box 4046, Morgantown, WV 26505. Once you decide that using your camera to generate extra income is what you're going to do, get out and use your camera, start taking pictures, and allow yourself the opportunity to build. Give yourself the chance, and you'll quickly begin to think of hundreds of ideas for taking pictures, merchandising ideas for promoting your services, and sales angles for increasing your profits. The important thing is to get started, regardless of how small your start, and begin cashing in on an idea that's still in its infancy. This is an idea that can produce new concepts for profit every day of the week. An idea that can be fun, as well as financially rewarding for you! You've got the idea and the plan--the rest is up to you. You've got the ball; now run with it!

         
    3501

     

    INSIDER'S SECRETS TO YOUR OWN MILLION DOLLAR MULTI-LEVEL EMPIRE BY MAIL AND OTHERWISE There seems to be any number of appealing Multi-Level Marketing programs available these days. Our researchers haven't analyzed them all, but based upon the appeal of those for the participants--most of them look as though they could put money in your pockets. However, don't ever delude yourself into thinking that multi-level marketing won't cost you anything nor require much of your time, or work on your part. Indeed, successful selling, and most assuredly, multi-level marketing, will require an investment--decication--and a lot of hard work! However, before you "sign-up" for any MLM deal or begin one of your own, it's going to pay you to do a little bit of market research relative to the sales potential of the whole deal. for instances, if you can sell to a "waiting market" you'll make money. But if the people you attempt to recruit as duplicates of yourself feel that they're going to have a hard time selling it to someone else, then you haven't got much of a winning MLM program; regardless of how much money you claim they can make, if only they'll get out there and sell! This specifically applies to MLM programs that offer "limited appeal" products such as gourmet recipes, health foods, household "knick-knacks", books on needlecraft or magazine subscriptions. Beware also of deals that require you to purchase an inventory or maintain a certain sales level. Look for the "bad parts" of an offer, and then weigh these against the ease with which you'll be able to make a sale. At the bottom line, if you have a hard time selling it, then the people you recruit to sell it for you will find it even harder to sell, and that'll be the end of your "big money" muti-level program. There are countless reports, manuals, books and other publications that "supposedly" tell you how to attain riches in mail order, party plan selling, and even street-corner sales. the thing is, all of these "how-to" publications try to instruct you how to put a mailing piece together, how often to send for you offers out, and even the importance of "neatness & quality" within your offer, but very few if any come right out and help you get your offer to your most likely customers. As you know, unless an interested buyer sees your offer, you're not going to make any money. What I'm saying is that most people thrash around, waste time, spend hundreds of dollars, and never make any money simply because they don't know how to get their offers to the people--without it costing them an arm and a leg... Here's how it's done: Regardless of what your offer entails, put together the most dynamic and mass-appeal "one-page" advertising circular you can come up with. As I've so often stated in the past, the best-selling and most-productive circular is one that "tells the reader you have a solution to his many money problems." In other words, with your circular, promise him a way to make himself rich, and he'll not only be interested, he'll jump on your program. Next, make it as easy as possible for the people who see your offer to respond. That is, addition to an order coupon at the bottom of the advertising circulars describing your offer, give him the chance to get involved in your program for least possible cost. If you've put together a "winning offer" most people seeing it will want to know more about it, but if you charge them $5 for registration or enrollment fees, you'll lose about half of those " wanting in," because they're afraid of being ripped off. But if you charge them $2 or less, almost all of the people seeing your offer will "take a chance," just to find out what kind of deal it is you're offering. In summary, you must have a one-page advertising circular that really appeals to most of the people CHANCE TO SOLVE ALL YOUR MONEY PROBLEMS! It must include a coupon the reader clips off and sends in to you for enrollment or registration in your program. It has to be priced at $2 or less to "get everbody" to at least check it out. And, it must be complete on one page to hold your printing costs in line. Assuming you're with us, and organized thus far, take this advertising circular you've made up in original form, to a quick printer in your area. Ask him to print up $10,000 of these one-page advertising circulars for you. This will cost you approximately $200. If you don't have the money, you can either work an arrangement with the printer to pay him in 30 days, or include him in as a "silent partner" in your program. Ask him to read over your offer, explain how you intend to get it to the people, and about how much money you expect to gross from it. Then, simply offer to split the proceeds if he'll carry your printing costs for you. While the circulars are being printed, and the ink is drying, line up your initial distribution efforts. The first thing is to contact the Cub Scout and Brownie organizations in your area. Arrange with the leaders of these groups to pay them $10 per thousands if they'll station people at the exits to all the shopping centers in your area and pass out one of your circulars to everyone as they leave the shopping center. Simply tell them that you've got 10,000 of these circulars to hand out, and that you'll pay them the $100 for handing them out, on the first of the month. The best kind of places to handout your circulars are those that feature discount stores, recycled clothing stores, and inventory reduction sales. Next on your list of places to hand out circulars should be Flea Markets, Swap and Shop events, and even garage sales. Anywhere there's a lot of people congregating or coming & going, is a good place to hand out your advertising circulars--all in your own home town and without postage costs. Now comes the good part...While your "hired helpers" are handing circulars out for you at strategic locations throughout the area, you should be calling in person on every shopkeeper and store owner or manager in the area. Show them each copy of your circular. Explain your program to them, and offer to cut them in on the profits if they'll help you hand them out by dropping one in with the purchases of each of their customers. The stores won't want to become involved in extra bookkeeping nor the handling of money for you, so you'll have to devise a method of knowing where your orders come from--a code for each of the stores handing out circulars for you. This is very simple. Just assign a different "department number" to each store, and when you have the circulars printed for each store, insert the department code in the address the reader is supposed to send his order to... Generally speaking, you should offer to supply the circulars without cost to the distributors, including the "special coding" for each store. Thus the need for a good working relationship with the printer in your area. The amount of commissions per order received that you allow to each store should range between 15 to 30 percent, but of course, always try to finalize each deal for the least amount. Be sure to keep records of al your in coming orders. It would be wise to have a separate record book for each distributor. Thus, you can review the number of orders received from each distributor's customers with him when you pay him his commission at the end of the month. At the same time, you should jot the name, address and phone number of each person sending in an order, onto a 3x5 index card. Arrange thee cards in alphabetical ad zip code order, ad store them in an old shoebox. When you have 10, 15, or 25 thousand of them, you'll be able to sell them at $1 per name to any number of mailing list brokers. Another thing you'll want to do, each envelope you receive--clip the stamp off and save these in still another shoebox--stamp collectors will pay you $10 to $25 for each shoebox full of stamps you can collect. After you've clipped the stamps off, place these envelopes with your customer's return address in still another storage box. When you have several boxes full of these envelopes from people who have spent money with you, there are any number of "list buyers" who'll pay you for them. Once you've got your town saturated with circular distributors-- be sure to leave a stack in all the barber shops and beauty salons, as well as at the counter in cafe restaurants, bowling centers, theaters, and the "lodges" of all the fraternal as well as labor unions in the area--your next move is simply to duplicate these efforts in a neighboring town or city. Basically, we're talking about multi-level marketing and total advertising-recruiting efforts on your part. Your main thrust should be to "pull in" as many people as possible--show them the program, and if they want it, let them get in on it--if not, forget about them and move on to the next prospect...This is called "prospecting," and it's going to cost you money and time, regardless of what you're trying to sell. So you put together an "invitation type announcement" which is your initial 42 advertising circular and you get it to as many people as possible. They pay you a "cover charge" of $2 to find out what your program is all about. And before you get all upset and throw this report in the waste basket, think about this: Let's suppose there are 42,000 people in your town--30,000 adults, and 18,000 separate families. If each of these 18,00 families were to send you $2, how much money would you have? 436,000 right? Now then, tell me whether or not you'd like to have an extra $36,000. The people send you $2 for a "look see" at your program for solving their money problems. You send them back your multi-level program brochure which describes how they can duplicate what you're doing and make a bundle of money for themselves, and the cost of the supplies for them to get started. At the same time, you send out another one-page advertising circular that offers business success reports. Just another for instance, let's say that 30% of the people receiving your MLM Brochure enroll and send for a start-up kit or supplies. You've expanded your MLM distributorship and made money, right? And now, let's suppose that of all the people who've sent $2 to find out what your program is all about, a total of 40% spend $5 with you for one of your business success reports--$36,000 gross income for initial expenses of $600--then, let's say your MLM brochures cost you $100 per thousand for total expenses thus far of $2,400--plus another $600 for your business success reports circulars--with another $11,250 as your commission from these reports, for a total gross income thus far of $47,250--then, 3rd class postage and envelope costs of $2,550...Subtract your expenses from your gross income of $47,250 and you should end up taking $41,700 to your bank, catching up on all your bills, or spending on a long overdue vacation to Acapulco or Hawaii... That's it! That's how easy and simple it is and it actually works! Once you've covered your entire state in this manner, simply start renting mailing lists of people listed as Opportunity Seekers, and shotgun your basic page, $2 offer to all of them. By following these instructions and working according to this plan, you should easily take in more than a million dollars within the next twelve months. We've been using the attached "$2 circular{ for some time now, and it's proven to be a fantastic winner for us from the start...We had 10,000 printed at a cost to us of $200--paid a couple of cub scout troups $100 to hand them out for us; and from the initial 10,000 circulars we handed out, we received 2,341 $2 inquires=$4,682...And, another 353 orders for the MLM Manual offered on the same circular=$7,060- Total income form our initial $300 investment was $11,742... Since that time, we've expanded our market, and we're now putting out 10,000 of these circulars each and every week. You can do it too! All it takes is that first circular and then, distribution. If you'd like to make some of this "big money" we've been talking about--feel free to duplicate our circular with your name/address on it, and get it out to the people in your area.

         
    3502

     

    SECRETS TO SUCCESSFULLY STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS The American Dream is, and always will be, to come up with an idea, start a business and become rich from your own efforts. Based upon this motivation, thousands of businesses fail each year, due primarily to not being familiar with the basics involved in running a business. This report will enlighten you, and give you a number of suggestions you can use to better guarantee your chances for success. This report is written with the warning that any and every business venture contains certain inherent risks, and any number of alternatives. We do not espouse that any one way is the right way or that our suggestions are the only way. On the contrary, we advise that before investing any money in a business venture, you seek counselling and help from a qualified accountant and/or attorney. Just about the first thing you should consider before deciding to start or purchase a business is the legal form you'll be operating under. There are basically four choices: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, and/or corporation. Each has a number of advantages and disadvantages. We'll try to enumerate some of them for you. As much as anything else, for many people starting a business is a form of ego-gratification, and they form a corporation for some sort of prestige gain - just to say, "I own a corporation." With just a little bit of observation, you'll find that one of the major causes of business failures is due to the founder wasting start-up capital on frills, such as an impressive store-front office, expensive furnishings, and corporate legal costs. One of the basic traits you must develop it you're going to be successful in business, is a tight hold on your expenditures. In fact, a good rule of thumb is that anything that does not make money for yo or protect your investment, should not be purchased at this time. Very definitely, this applies to the expense of setting up your own corporation. Unless you have a partnership and start your business as such, the only real advantage to forming a corporation would appear to be that a corporate structure will semi-protect the property you personally own. As an example, you own a home and car. You form a corporation to protect these possessions from business losses. Yet, if you can be found guilty of misusing corporate funds, your business creditors can pierce the corporate shield and come after your possessions. Basically, if you invest everything you have in your business, as most newcomers do, you don't usually need a corporation because you have nothing to protect. Your household possessions, personal belongings, generally your car, and even a portion of the equity in your home is protected by the homestead provision of the Federal Bankruptcy Act, and cannot be taken away from you. As a sole proprietor or partner of a business you'll be paying taxes on your overall earnings, much the same as if you were holding down a salaried or hourly paid job. Whether you do or don't take out money as a salary will have no bearing on the earnings of your business and tax return. The often advertised advantage of incorporating, that you can manipulate your salary in order to save on tax dollars, is real because of corporation laws. However, the IRS frowns on this practice. When your business is successful and making a lot of money, definitely check with your accountant on the advantages of incorporating. As a corporation, you'll be subject to a number of other drawbacks as well: generally higher state taxes, stricter laws concerning the operation of your business, more elaborate accounting procedures, and legal papers that are required just about every time you make a major move or sign almost any contract. Thus, your legal and accounting fees will be much higher as a corporation than will those required for a sole proprietorship type of business. As a sole proprietor or partnership, you'll find many areas require the registration of your business name. The cost however, is minimal, ranging from $5 to $100. About the best way to find out what laws apply in your area, is to call your bank and ask if they need a fictitious name registration card or certificate in order for you to open a business account. Selecting a name for your business is quite important to you and particularly relative to advertising. Your business name should describe the product or services you offer. Fancy names such as, Linda's Clipping Service will lose potential "walk-in and passing" customers to the beauty shop across the street that calls itself, Patti's Beauty Salon or Jane's Hair Styling Shop. The advantage of using your full name in the title of your business, such as Johnny Jones' Meat Lockers, has the advantage of making credit somewhat easier to come by - provided you pay your bills on time - but it also includes the disadvantage of confining your services to a local or at most, a regional area. Should you buy, lease, or rent a space for your business? think twice before you make any decision along these lines. Most businesses tend to grow quickly or they never get off the ground. There are a few exceptions, but only a very few, that tend to grow at a modified rate. So, buying a piece of property and setting up your business on or within that property, obligates you to ownership regardless of what happens to your business. Leases are almost always very strong contracts written by attorneys to the advantage of the property-owner. When you sign an agreement to pay someone for the use of their space over any length of time, you're "nailed in" to paying for that space regardless of what happens to your business. In the beginning, it's wise to either get the shortest-term lease possible, or arrange to rent with an option to lease at a later date. This does not apply to a retail business, unless your particular business happens to be an untried one. Definitely, you should open a business bank account. In selecting a bank for your business, scout around and look for one that can, and will help you. Determine what your banking needs will be, and then via telephone, interview the managers of the banks in your area. The important convenient bank to your business location. A point to remember: the closer you can make the relationship between you and the bank manager, the better your chances are going to be for approval on loans and/or special favors you may need at a later date. Try to become acquainted with as many of the bank employees as possible. The better you know them, the more courtesies they'll be extending especially to you in the course of your association. Just as a doctor is a specialist in his field, and you go to him for medical problems, your banker is a specialist in his field and you should go to him for your money problems. In business, you'll have to learn that everyone is an expert in his own line of work, and in your associations with other business people, refrain from acting like a "sharpie" and/or pretending that you know exactly how everything works in someone else's specialty. You'll find that very often, different banks specialize in different types of businesses. As an example, you're sure to find banks that specialize in real estate transactions, export-import businesses, and even manufacturing operations only. What I'm saying here is that if you're planning to sella fairly expensive item, your customers will probably need and/or want financing. It will behoove you to select a bank familiar with your type of product that will afford your customers, through you, contract financing. Some of the questions you should ask of your banker include the following: Is it necessary to maintain a certain balance in your account before the bank will approve a loan for you? What qualifications must you have in order to obtain a line of credit with the bank? Does the bank limit the number of loans, or types of loans it will approve for small businesses? What is the bank's policy regarding the size of a check you might deposit that requires holding for collection? And what about checks less than that amount - will they be immediately credited to your account? In almost all types of businesses, it will be to your benefit to set up with your bank, a method of handling VISA, Master Charge, and regional credit cards. The important thing here is to ultimately set up your account in the bank that will service all of these credit transactions for you - one stop for all your banking needs. In most instances, you'll find that having the capability to fill orders/make sales via credit card transactions, will increase your volume of sales appreciatively. Once you've made the decision as to which bank is going to handle your account, you'll need your Social Security Number or your Federal Employer's Identification Number, your driver's license, the fictitious name certificate, and if you're requesting a VISA or Master Charge franchise, you'll also need a financial statement. For corporations, you'll also need a corporate resolution approving of the opening of your business account. There are different policies exercised in just about every state regarding installation/hook-up charges by the telephone and utility companies. Some require a deposit, and some don't. You'll find that a great number of city business license departments are there solely for the purpose of collecting another tax. Depending on the type of business you're asking a license for, the building and zoning people may inspect your premises for soundness of structure and safety. Generally, you won't encounter any difficulties - you simply pay your fee to operate your business in that city, and the clerk types your name onto a city license certificate. Relative to sales tax permits and licenses, each state's rules and regulations very widely. The best thing to do is call your state offices and ask for information concerning registry and collection procedures. Many states require an advance deposit or bond, and you'll find that some wholesalers or manufacturers will not sell to you at wholesale prices until you can show them your sales tax permit or number. Should your business entail selling your products or services across state lines, in another state, you're not required to collect taxes except in those where you have offices or stores. You may find also that your particular business requires the collection of Federal Excise Taxes. For information along these lines, check in with your local office of the Internal Revenue Service. Some states also require certain businesses to hold state licenses, such as those required in many states for TV Repairmen. These are known as "occupational permits" and are most often required of barbers, hair stylists, real estate people and a number of other consumer oriented businesses. If you have any doubts, check with your state offices for a list of those occupations that require licensing. Any business doing business in any type of interstate commerce is subject to federal regulations, usually through the Federal Trade Commission. This means that any business that shops, sells or advertises in more than one state is subject to such regulation, and this includes even the smallest of mail order operations. Normally, very few business people ever have and contact with the federal regulatory agencies. The only exceptions being when there is a question of your operating your business unethically or illegally. Any business that sells or distributes food in any manner almost always requires a county health department permit. If your business falls into this category, simply call the county health department and invite them out to your place of business for an inspection. The fees generally range from about $25, depending on the size of your business when they first inspect it for permit approval. There are also a number of businesses that require inspection by a fire marshall, and fire department approval. Generally, these are those that handle flammable materials or attract large numbers of people, such as a theater. Overall, the local fire department has to be allowed to inspect your premises whenever they desire to do so. You may also run into a requirement for an air and/or water pollution control permit. These specifically apply to any business that burns anything, discharges anything into the sewers or waterways, or use any gas-producing product, such as a paint sprayer. Without a doubt, you'll need to check on local regulations relating to advertising display signs. Each city or township makes its own rules and then enforces those rules according to its own thinking -check before you contract to have a sign made for your business. The design and placement of your sign is very important to your business - specifically to retail establishments - but let me remind you that your business sign is usually the first thing a potential customer sees and as such, it should catch his eye and leave an impression that lasts. It would be a good idea to ride around your town and take a look at the signs that catch your eye, and try to determine the impression of the business that sign leaves on you. This is a basic learning formula for determining the design, size and placement of your business sign. Some of the other things to consider before opening for business - If you intend to employ one or more employees, you'll be required to deduct Federal Income Taxes, and Social Security payments from their checks. This will involve your filing for a Federal Tax Number and necessitates contact with your local IRS Office. Most states have "unemployment taxes" which will have to be deducted from the paychecks of any employees you hire. And there are a number of states that have income taxes - disability insurance - and any number of other taxes. Again, the best thing to do is check with your local office of the IRS. And above all else, don't forget to ask for the rules of the minimum wage law, and comply. When your business grows to the point of needing additional help, don't be afraid to look for and hire the help you need. when you're ready to hire someone, simply run an ad in your local paper and/or register your needs with the local office of your state's employment service. Businesses either grow or die, and those that grow eventually need more people in order to continue growing. When that time comes, hire the additional people you need, and your business will continue growing. If you don't, for whatever reason, you'll find yourself married to your business and your business growth stymied. Regardless of how small your business is when you begin, never walk in with the thought in mind that it's something to keep you busy. Anyone with an attitude of that kind is a fool. You begin and make a business successful in order to realize financial freedom. Establish your business. Put it on its feet, and then hire other people to do the work for you. And those businesses that require an operations manager, or someone to run a phase of the business you're too busy to handle, hire the person needed or the business will surely suffer. To protect the investment of your business, you need business insurance. If you've never had any experience with business insurance, simply look under the heading of "business insurance" in your phone directory. Ask for bids from several different companies or agents...Primarily, you should have a policy that gives you general liability, fire, workmen's compensation, business interruption, and vehicle coverage. You amy also want coverage against possible losses related to burglary, robbery, Life & Accident, Key Man, and Fidelity Bonds. As the sole proprietor of a business, you won't be paid as an employee, so there will be no income tax deducted from whatever you withdraw from the company's earnings. What you'll have to do is a gain check with the IRS Office for a Tax Guide For Small Businesses Handbook, and probably end up filing an estimated tax return on a quarterly basis. The minute you open your doors for business, you'll have to spend some time engaged in the work of bookkeeping. Exactly how, and using what forms, you keep books, should be on the recommendations of a good tax counselor...The same holds true for your overall business and/or payroll accounting system. Look for an experienced CPA that knows the accounting problems to your particular kind of business, and solicit his advise/counseling. If your business is going to involve the possible purchase or lease of operating equipment, again seek the help of your tax counselor for the most advantageous method of obtaining the needed equipment. Basically, arranging for your suppliers to give you materials on credit will depend upon your honesty and personal financial statement. The best way is usually a personal visit to the person with the power to approve or disapprove of credit at the company where you want to set up a credit account. Show him your financial statement, and explain your prospects for success. Then assure him that you've always honored all of your obligations, and that if ever there's a question or problem, you'd like for him to call you at home. And of course, give him your home phone number. We won't go into the exigencies of advertising your products, services or business here, but there is something along these lines you should always keep in mind. The best kind of advertising your business can receive is that you don't really pay for - publicity. When something unusual happens to you, your business, or your employees - that's news, so be sure to tell the news media in your area about it. In closing, let me say that the most important ingredient of your eventual success will be the soundness of the planning you did before you started your business. Any number of bad things can really throw your business into a tailspin, but it you've done your homework well - really set up a detailed business plan before starting - your losses or setbacks will be minimal. Success takes planning, and within this report, you've got a basic checklist...The rest is up to you...Good luck, and may your life overflow with success in all that you undertake from this moment forward.

         
    3503

     

    HOW TO PREPARE A BUSINESS PLAN THAT GUARANTEES BIG PROFITS Success in business comes as a result of planning. You have to have a detailed, written plan that shows what the ultimate goal is, the reason for the goal, and each milestone that must be passed in order to reach your goal. A business plan is written definition of, and operational plan for achieving your goal. You need a complete but success tool in order to define your basic product, income objectives and specific operating procedures. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN to attract investors, obtain financing and hold onto the confidence of your creditors, particularly in times of cash flow shortages--in this instance, the amount of money you have on hand compared with the expenses that must be met. Aside from an overall directional policy for the production, sales effort and profit goals of your product--your basic "travel guide" to business success--the most important purpose your business plan will serve, will be the basis or foundation of any financial proposals you submit. Many entrepreneurs are under the mistaken impression that a business plan is the same as a financial proposal, or that a financial proposal constitutes a business plan. This is just a misunderstanding of the uses of these two separate and different business success aids. The business plan is a long range "map" to guide your business to the goal you've set for it. The plan details the what, why, where, how and when, of your business--the success planning of your company. Your financial proposal is a request for money based upon your business plan--your business history and objectives. Understand the differences. They are closely related, but they are not interchangeable. Writing and putting together a "winning" business plan takes study, research and time, so don't try to do it all in just one or two days. The easiest way to start with a loose leaf notebook, plenty of paper, pencils, pencil sharpener, and several erasers. Once you get your mind "in gear" and begin thinking about your business plan, "10,000 thoughts and ideas per minute" will begin racing thru your mind...So, it's a good idea when you aren't actually working on your business plan, to carry a pocket notebook and jot down those business ideas as they come to you--ideas for sales promotion, recruiting distributors, and any other thoughts on how to operate and/or build your business. Later, when you're actually working on your business plan, you can take out this "idea notebook" evaluate your ideas, rework them, refine them, and integrate them into the overall "big picture" of your business plan. The best business plans for even the smallest businesses run 25 to 30 pages or more, so you'll need to "title" each page and arrange the different aspects of your business plan into "chapters." The format should pretty much run as follows: Title Page Statement of Purpose Table of Contents Business Description Market Analysis Competition Business Location Management Current Financial Records Explanation of Plans For Growth Projected Profit & Loss/Operating Figures Explanation of Financing for Growth Documentation Summary of Business & Outlook for The Future Listing of Business & personal References This is a logical organization of the information every business plan should cover. I'll explain each of these chapters titles in greater detail, but first, let me elaborate upon the reasons for proper organization of your business plan. Having a set of "questions to answer" about your business forces you to take an objective and critical look at your ideas. Putting it all down on paper allows you to change, erase and refine everything to function in the manner of a smoothly oiled machine. You'll be able to spot weakness and strengthen them before they develop into major problems. Overall, you'll be developing an operating manual for your business--a valuable tool which will keep your business on track, and guide you in the profitable management of your business. Because it's your idea, and your business, it's very important that YOU do the planning. This is YOUR business plan, so YOU develop it, and put it all down on paper just the way YOU want it to read. Seek out the advice of other people; talk with, listen to, and observe, other people running similar businesses; enlist the advice of your accountant and attorney--but at the bottom line, don't ever forget it has to be YOUR BUSINESS PLAN! Remember too, that statistics show the greatest causes of business failure to be poor management and lack of planning--without a plan by which to operate, no one can manage; and without a direction in which to aim its efforts, no business can attain any real success. On the very first page, which is the title page, put down the name of your business-ABC ACTION--with your business address underneath. Now, skip a couple of lines, and write it all in capital letters: PRINCIPAL OWNER--followed by your name if you're the principal owner. On your finished report, you would want to center this information on the page, with the words "principal owner" off-set to the left about five spaces. Examples: ABC ACTION 1234 SW 5th Ave. Anywhere, USA 00000 PRINCIPAL OWNER: Your Name That's all you'll have on this page except the page number -1- Following your title page is the page for your statement purpose. This should be a simple statement of your primary business function, such as: We are a service business engaged in the business of selling business success manuals and other information by mail. The title of the page should be in all capital letters across the top of the page, centered on your final draft--skip a few lines and write the statement of purpose. This should be direct, clear and short--never more than (2) sentences in length. Then you should skip a few lines, and from the left hand margin of the paper, write out a sub-heading in all capital letters, such as: EXPLANATION OF PURPOSE. From, and within this sub-heading you can briefly explain your statement of purpose, such as: Our surveys have found most entrepreneurs to be "sadly" lacking in basic information that will enable them to achieve success. This market is estimated at more than a 100 million persons, with at least half of these people actively "searching" for sources that provide the kind of information they want, and need. With our business, advertising and publishing experience, it is our goal to capture at least half of this market of information seekers, with our publication. MONEY MAKING MAGIC! Our market research indicates we can achieve this goal and realize a profit of $1,000,000 per year within the next 5 years... The above example is generally the way you should write your "explanation of purpose," and in subtle definition, why you need an explanation. Point to remember: Keep it short. Very few business purpose explanations justify more than a half page long. Next comes your table of contents page. Don't really worry about this until you've got the entire plan completed and ready for final typing. It's a good idea though, to list the subject (chapter titles) as I have, and then check off each one as you complete that part of your plan. By having a list of the points you want to cover, you'll also be able to skip around and work on each phase of your business plan as an idea or the interest in organizing that particular phase, stimulates you. In other words, you won't have to make your thinking or your planning conform to the chronological order of the "chapters" of your business plan--another reason for the loose leaf notebook. In describing your business, it's best to begin where your statement purpose leaves off. Describe your product, the production process, who has responsibility for what, and most importantly, what makes your product or service unique--what gives it an edge in your market. You can briefly summarize your business beginnings, present position and potential for future success, as well. Next, describe the buyers you're trying to reach--why they need and want or will buy your product--and the results of any tests or surveys you may have conducted. Once you've defined your market, go on to explain how you intend to reach that market--how you'll these prospects to your product or service and induce them to buy. You might want to break this chapter down into sections such as..publicity and promotions, advertising plans, direct sales force, and dealer/distributor programs. Each section would then be an outline of your plans and policies. Moving into the next chapter on competition, identify who your competitors are--their weakness and strong points--explain how you intend to capitalize on those weaknesses and match or better the strong points. Talk to as many of your "indirect" competitors as possible--those operating in different cities and states. One of the easiest ways of gathering a lot of useful information about your competitors is by developing a series of survey questions and sending these questionnaires out to each of them. Later on, you might want to compile the answers to these questionnaires into some form of directory or report on this type of business. It's also advisable to contact the trade associations and publications serving your proposed type of business. For information on trade associations and specific trade publications, visit your public library, and after explaining what you want ask for the librarian's help. The chapter on management should be an elaboration on the people operating the business. Those people that actually run the business, their job, titles, duties, responsibilities and background resume's. It's important that you "paint" a strong picture of your top management people because the people coming to work for you or investing in your business, will be "investing in these people" as much as your product ideas. Individual tenacity, mature judgement under fire, and innovative problem-solving have "won over" more people than all the AAA Credit Ratings and astronomical sales figures put together. People becoming involved with any new venture want to know that the person in charge--the guy running the business knows what he's doing, will not lose his cool when problems arise, and has what it takes to make money for all of them> After showing the "muscle" of this person, go on to outline the other key positions within your business; who the persons are you've selected to handle those jobs and the sources as well as availability of any help you might need. If you've been in business of any kind scale, the next chapter is a picture of your financial status--a review of your operating costs and income from the business to date. Generally, this is a listing of your profit & loss statements for the six months, plus copies of your business income tax records for each of the previous three years the business has been an entity. The chapter on the explanation of your plans for the future growth of your business is just that--an explanation of how you plan to keep your business growing--a detailed guide of what you're going to do, and how you're going to increase your profits. These plans should show your goals for the coming year, two years, and three years. By breaking your objectives down into annual milestones, your plan will be accepted as more realistic and be more understandable as a part of your ultimate success. Following this explanation, you'll need to itemize the projected cost and income figures of your three year plan. I'll take a lot of research, an undoubtedly a good deal of erasing, but it's very important that you list these figures based upon thorough investigation. You may have to adjust some of your plans downward, but once you've got these two chapters on paper, your whole business plan will fall into line and begin to make sense. You'll have a precise "map" of where you're headed, how much it's going to cost, when you can expect to start making money, and how much. Now that you know where you're going, how much it's going to cost and how long it's going to be before you begin to recoup your investment, you're ready to talk about how and where you're going to get the money to finance your journey. Unless you're independently wealthy, you'll want to use this chapter to list the possibilities and alternatives. Make a list of friends you can approach, and perhaps induce to put up some money as silent partners. Make a list of those people you might be able to sell as stockholders in your company--in many cases you can sell up to $300,000 worth of stock on a "private issue" basis without filing papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Check with a corporate or tax attorney in your area for more details. Make a list of relatives and friends that might help you with an outright loan to furnish money for the development of your business. Then search out and make a list of venture capital organizations. Visit the Small Business Administration office in your area--pick up the loan application papers they have--read them, study them, and even fill them out on a preliminary basis--and finally, check the costs, determine which business publications would be best to advertise in, if you were to advertise for a partner or investor, and write an ad you'd want to use if you did decide to advertise for monetary help. With listing of all the options available to your needs, all that's left is the arranging of these options in the order you would want to use them when the time come to ask for money. When you're researching these money sources, you'll save time by noting the "contact" deal with when you want money, and whenever possible, by developing a working relationship with these people. If your documentation section, you should have a credit report on yourself. Use the Yellow Pages or check at the credit department in your bank for the nearest credit reporting office. When you get your credit report, look it over and take whatever steps are necessary to eliminate any negative comments. Once these have been taken care of, ask for a revised copy of your report and include a copy of that in your business plan. If you own any patents or copyrights, include copies of these. Any licenses to use someone else's patent or copyright should also be included. If you own the distribution, wholesale or exclusive sales rights to a product, include copies of this documentation. You should also include copies of any leases, special agreements or other legal papers that might be pertinent to your business. In conclusion, write out a brief, overall summary of your business - when the business was started, the purpose of the business, what makes your business different, how you're going to gain a profitable share of the market, and your expected success during the coming 5 years.. The last page of your business plan is a "courtesy page" listing the names, addresses and phone numbers of personal and business references--persons who have known you closely for the past five years or longer--and companies or firms you've had business or credit dealings with during the past five years. And, that's it--your complete business plan. Before you send it out for formal typing, read it over once a day for a week or ten days. Take care of any changes or corrections, and then have it reviewed by an attorney and then, an accountant. It would also be a good idea to have it reviewed by a business consultant serving the business community to which your business will be related. After these reviews, and any last-minute changes you want to make, I'll be ready for formal typing. Hire a professional typist to type the entire plan on ordinary white bond paper. Make sure you proof-read it against the original. Check for any corrections and typographical errors--then one more time--read it through for clarity and the perfection you want of it. Now you're ready to have it printed and published for whatever use you have planned for it--distribution amongst your partners or stockholders as the business plan for putting together a winning financial proposal, or as a business operating manual. Take it to a quality printer in your area, and have three copies printed. Don't settle for photo-copying..Have it printed! Photo-copying leaves a slight film on the paper, and will detract from the overall professionalism of your business plan, when presented to someone you're trying to impress. So, after going to all this work to put together properly, go all the way and have it duplicated properly. Next, stop by a stationery store, variety store or even a dime store, and pick up an ordinary, inexpensive bind-in theme cover for each copy of your business plan. Have the holes punched in the pages of your business report to fit these binders and then slip each copy into a binder of its own. Now, you can relax, take a break and feel good about yourself..You have a complete and detailed business plan with which to operate a successful business of your own. A plan you can use as a basis for any financing proposal you may want to submit..And a precise road-map for the attainment of real success... Congratulations, and my best wishes for the complete fulfillment of all your dreams of success!!!

         
    3504

     

    THE INSIDE SECRETS OF FREE PUBLICITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS Product publicity is the "secret pathway" to business success everyone wants. In simple terms, product publicity is a kind of advertising that costs you nothing, yet brings in the orders for you. Regardless of what kind of business you are operating, you should want, and strive for, as much publicity for your business and your products or services, as possible. After all, it's "free advertising" that is essential to the growth of your business. However, your publicity efforts should be well thought out, and pre-planned for maximum results. The first, and basic form of obtaining publicity is through what is known as the press or news release. This is generally a one page story about your business, your product/service or an event/happening related to your business that is about to, or has recently occurred. These publicity stories are generally "shot-gunned" to all the various media: local newspapers, radio and TV, and trade publications. Problem number one is getting the people to whom you've sent these publicity stories, to use them - publish or broadcast them. And this leads us back to the "right way " of writing them and sending them in. In every case, send a short cover letter addressed to the person you want your material to be considered by... This means that you send your story to the city editor of the newspapers; the news directors of the radio and TV stations; and the managing editors of the various trade publications. It will do you no good what-so-ever, to send your material to the advertising, circulation or business managers - describing how you're a long-time advertiser, subscriber or listener. The most important thing is that you make contact with the person who has the final say as to what is to be published or broadcast, and at the bottom line - this person's use of your material will somehow make him a "hero" to his or her readers, viewers or listeners. The cover letter should be a short note. Go to a paper supplier - tell him you want a hundred or so sheets of good bond paper - 8 1/2 by 11" preferably in a pastel color such as blue or ivory - and that you want this paper cut into quarters, giving you a grand total fo 400 sheets of note paper. "From the desk of..." note sheets are too elaborate until the people you're contacting get to know you - first time around, and until they use your material, don't use these semi-formal note sheets... On this note sheet, begin with the date across the top - skip a couple of spaces and then quickly tell the recipient of the note: the attached material is new and should be of real interest to his readers, viewers or listeners. We advise our dealers and distributors of MONEY MAKING MAGIC - our regular publication for serious wealth builders and extra income seekers - to send the following note to the editors and news directors of the media in their areas: "Here's something that 's new, and for a change, truly helpful, to people trying to cope with inflation - the soaring costs of living - and those engaged in building extra income businesses of their own. Should be of real value - interest - to your readers. Please take a look - any questions, or if you need more info, give me a call at: (503) 666-5824..." Then, of course, you skip about four spaces, type your name, your business name, and your address - sign your name above where you've typed it, and staple this note in the upper right hand corner of your news release. This note should be typed and double-spaced. So now, you've got a cover letter, and you know who to send it to... We type up one such note, and take it to a near-by quick-print shop. They xerox the note 4 times, past these 4-copies onto one sheet of paper, print 50 to 100 copies, and cut the paper into individual notes, all for less that $10... Do not try to save money by photo-copying or xeroxing - a photo-copy is a photo-copy is a photo-copy, and will not do the job for you... Now you need the actual publicity release, which also must be "properly" written if you expect it to be used by the media. Above all else, there's a proper form or style to use, plus the fact that it must be typed, double-spaced, and short - about a half page in total length. About an inch from the top of the paper, with an inch and a half margin on each side of the paper; from the left hand margin, type in all capital letters: PRESS RELEASE: Then, underline these words. Immediately following the colon, but not in all capital letters, put in the date. Always set the date forward by at least one day after the day you intend to mail the release. On the same line, but on the right hand side of the page, and in all capital letters, write the words, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Underline this, and immediately below, but not in all capital letters, type your name - your phone number - and your address... Skip a couple of spaces, then in all capital letters - centered between the margins - type a story headline, and underline it... Skip a couple of spaces, and from the left hand margin, all in capital letters, type the words, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: From there on, it's the news or publicity story itself. You can write the headline before the story, and then a story to fit the headline - or the story before the headline, and then a headline to fit the story - either way, it's basically the same as writing a space ad or a sales letter... You attract attention and interest with the headline and fill in the details with your story. Here's an example of the headlines we use on publicity blurbs for MONEY MAKING MAGIC: HELP IN MAKING ENDS MEET NEW PUBLICATION FOR EXTRA INCOME SEEKERS Notice how we continue to sell or involve the editor - His readers are always looking for better ways to make ends meet, and he's specifically interested as to what our promise involves... He wants his readers to "think well" of him for enlightening them with this source of help, so he reads into the story to find out who, what and how... Suffice it to say that your headline, and the story you present to the editor, must sell him on the benefits of your product or service to his readers. Unless it specifically does this, he'll not use it. You must sell the first person receiving your materials. Keep this fact uppermost in your mind as you write it. The person you send your press or publicity release to, must quickly see and understand how your product or service will benefit his readers - thereby making him a hero to them - and he must be assured it will do what you promise in your headline. Come right to the point and say your product is lower in price, more convenient to use or in what way your product or service is useful to the people in general. It's also a good idea to include a complimentary sample of your product or an opportunity for him to sample your services. Remember, the editors receiving your information are fully aware of your purposes - Free Advertising! They are not in the least interested in you or your credentials - If you've sold them on the benefits of your business to their readers, and they want background details, they'll call you. That's why you list your telephone number and address... These people are busy people. They have not got the time nor the interest in reading about your trials and tribulations or plans for the future. They want only "a flag" that alerts them to something new and of probable real interest to their readers. Sell the editor first. Convince him that you've found the better mousetrap. Show him that your product or service - that your business - fills a need and/or will interest a large segment of his readers, his viewers or listeners. When an editor uses your publicity release, always follow-up with a short thank you note. Never, but never send a publicity release to an editor and then call or write demanding to know why he didn't use it, use it as you wrote it, or only gave you a quick mention. Do this once, and that particular media will "round-file" any further material received from you, unopened! If your first effort is not used, then you should review the story itself; perhaps write it from a different angle; make sure you're sending it to the proper person - and try again! As stated earlier, these people are busy, with hundreds of publicity releases passing across their desks every day - They only have so much space or time - therefore, your material has to stand out and in some way, fit with the information they - the editors - want to pass along to their readers, viewers or listeners. Regardless of your business, product, or service, you must build your press release - write it - around that particular angle or feature that makes it beneficial or interest to the readers, viewer or listeners of the media you want to run your press release. Without this special ingredient, you're lost before you begin! The timing of your press release is always important. Try to associate your press release with current events in the news. A story on job lay-offs and increased unemployment carried in the newspapers, on TV and radio would prompt us to get a publicity release out to all the media on the help and opportunity offered by MONEY MAKING MAGIC! Say there's a deluge of chain letters and pyramid schemes making the round - the media picks up on it and attempts to warn the people to beware... Within 5 days, we would get a publicity release out, explaining the availability of our report on chain letters and pyramid schemes - a report that explains everything from A to Z - who're the winners and who're the real losers. There's another kind of timing also to keep in mind... Publication deadlines... For best results, always try to time it so your material reaches the editor in time for the Sunday paper. This is because that's when the papers have their greatest circulation; the most space is available; and the people, the most time to read the paper. For articles you'd like to appear in the Sunday paper, you'll generally have to get your release in at least nine days prior to the date of publication. If you're in doubt, call and ask about the deadline date. IN SUMMARY: Choose the media most likely to carry your press release. Select those that carry similar write-ups on a regular basis. Always use a cover letter of some kind. It pays to call ahead to find out the name of the person you should be sending your press release to. Use the proper press release form, complete with a headline that will interest the man deciding whether or not to use your item. Be sure your press release is letter perfect - no typo's or misspelled words - and don't photo-copy - always have each letter or press release individually typed or printed. When your item is used, send a thank you note or call the editor on the phone and thank him for using your press release. Never, but never call or write an editor demanding to know why he didn't use your press release, why he had it rewritten or cut it short - just try, and try again!

         
    3505

     

    HOW TO MAKE IT BIG WITH A USED BOOK STORE Operating a used book store is a lot like owning a recycling center-not too glamourous until you take a look at the owner's bank account. This is an ideal "absentee-owner" type of business, or a small investment type business for someone to start while holding down a regular, full time job. The type of person "best-suited" to running a successful used book store, is a man or woman who loves to read, has collected books over the years and enjoys associating with people of similar interests. Start-up risks average high, with the average time period needed to become firmly established, about 3 years. After that "becoming established" stage however, you should be able to enjoy ownership of a business without extreme market fluctuations, plus an income close to $50,000 per year or more. Ideally, a used book store will need a market population of at least 50,000 persons to support it. Try to locate your store in a "high traffic" area, as near as possible to a college or university campus. Something to bear in mind is the shopping habits of the average used book buyer: First, he is a browser. He notices your shop, drops in and begins looking around to see what kind of books you have available. If he spots something that really interests him, he'll probably buy then and there. If not, and provided you've made him feel comfortable this first time in your store, he'll be back-dropping in to browse whenever he's in the area. Shopping Malls are an excellent locations for book stores. Locations near other, or "new" books stores are also very good- if the buyer doesn't find what he wants in the "other" book stores, he'll check your store. Grocery store shopping centers are generally poor locations for book stores of any kind. It's important that there be a lot of casual strollers in your location area, and that you encourage these people to drop in, and browse around. If you want the entire front of your store to be a show window...take pains to arrange your window display in an uncluttered manner, showing the kinds of books you have...However, a window display is not really necessary...more important is a window for the passers-by to see into your store...At any rate, if you do go with a window display, keep it low-never more than 36 inches high leaving a lot of room for the people passing to see in youe store, and notice the people browsing thru your books. We know of one successful operator who had members of his family, relatives and friends, purposely "browsing" thru his store, just to project that kind of image for the store. Once you have your store location selected, paint the entire interior in a dark, warm color, such as mahogany. Install a lighter shade of indoor/outdoor carpet throughout. The lighting should be indirect, and somewhat subdued to give the store a warm feeling. Locate your checkout counter parallel to one of the side walls...You don't want it blocking or guarding the easy entry or exit from your store. You want your customers to feel comfortable just visiting your store. in other words, do everything you can to encourage the browser, because it's proven time and time gain that the browsers are the book buyers. Allow the people to come and do generally as they please;to pick up thumb thru the books that interest them; to read them and "fall in love" with them. These will be your real book buyers. Your book shelves should run along each side wall, and across the back of the store. Don't build them more than six feet high. Partition these shelves into sections about four feet wide, and at the top of each section, place a sign indicating the general subject matter of the books to be found in that section. Paper the walls of your store, from the top of your book shelves to the ceiling with posters--colorful and descriptive travel posters, broadway show billboards, concert posters and full color dust jackets from books that are perennially popular. The next thing is to build or buy half shelves, tables and revolving racks for other or more books. The half shelves--about 4 feet wide by 4 feet high and similar to book cases in your home--should be located at right angles to your wall shelves, and in the rear of your store. The tables should be about 3 feet wide by 4 feet long, and about 30 inches high. These also should be located at right angles to your wall shelves, but closer to the front of your store. A revolving wire rack, to hold currently popular or specially featured books, and located at the front of your store, will be a special extra merchandising effort that'll really pay off in sales of your books. In locating your half shelves and tables down the middle of your store, stagger them--one 3 feet from the wall shelves, the next one 6 feet out, then 4 feet and so on. This will allow people to be "seen" in your store; cut down on the appearance of a formal or military layout, and project a more casual atmosphere for browsing and this is precisely what you want. This kind of arrangement will cost you some space, but it will be worth it with increased traffic. Another merchandising idea that works very well is a couple of revolving wire racks on wheels...These you push outside and position near the entrance to your store. You can feature popular paperbacks, and a few oversize hard cover books with bright, flashy colors in these racks. Your store hours should match those of your neigbors...In fact, you cold "jump off to a quick start," by opening a half hour earlier than your neighbors. Use his opening half hour to take care of paperwork, and get yourself organized for the day. When the early shoppers see you're open early, they'll begin coming into your store to "browse and kill time" while they wait for the other stores to open. If you cannot be there to "open the store," then hire part time help. The best arrangement is house wives or college students in 4 hour shifts at the minimum wage. First off, write out a list of duties you want each clerk to perform while he's on shift. In addition to taking care of sales transactions, you might want him to do some stocking, dusting, cleaning, sorting and prcing..Regardless, you'll have fewer problems and enjoy bigger profits if you formally write these "shift duties" out, and post them as job requirements, and explain them when you interview for hired help. Look for, and try to hire only book lovers who are personable, outgoing, and have some sort of business aptitude. You the train these people in all phases of your operation, with the thought in mind that they will run the store in your absence, and eventually be your store manager. the best way to find such people is by talking with your customers, observing which might be willing to work for you, and which of them might best fulfill your needs. You'll need a outside sign for your store - preferably one that hangs right angles to the flow of traffic in front of your store. Many successful used book stores utilize hand-carved wooden signs, while others display painted signs with calligraphic lettering. By all means, spend the extra hundred dollars or so to have spotlights installed on your store front, focusing on your store signs. Backlit plastic signs just don't create the comfortable image necessary for the success of a good used book store Newspaper and/ or broadcast advertising will be much more expensive than it's worth. Your best bet is to create a comfortable feeling and open invitation for browsers, price your stock fairly, concentrate on personal service, and let word-of-mouth advertising and time do the rest. Even so, you should run an ad in the yellow pages. perhaps and ad in the college paper, and from time to time, special sales ads in your local shopping papers. Inexpensive flyers inviting people in to exchange books, or to just browse, can be printed at your local quick print shop and handed out or placed under the windshields of cars in the larger shopping center parking lots. Advertising, and special sales during holiday periods such as Christmas, Mother's Day and Father's Day are generally quite effective in bringing new customers into your store. Most used book store entrepreneurs use their own book collections as start-up inventory base. In addition, talk to as many neighbors, friends and relatives as possible for the donation of books. Then start making the rounds of all the garage sales and flea markets. You should have at least 10,000 books in stock when you open for business - and that's a lot of books. Search for books to sell-those you can buy for 25 cents or less--in all thrift shops, Goodwill stores and Salvation Army outlets. Church bazaars and estate sales also sometimes provide you with almost "complete" libraries. You might place a small ad in your newspaper announcing that you're looking for good used books to buy. Generally, you evaluate a book according to the price you think you can get it for in your store. Then you subtract two thirds of that total, and offer that as your " buying" price. Always separate the books you feel certain you can sell from those you aren't sure about. It's going to take awhile for you to become proficient as a book buyer, but with practice and some experience, you'll quickly develop the "intuition" you need to realize a profit on every book you buy. Always flip thru the pages of each individual book, and be sure of its condition before you quote a price. In many instances you'll also find that out of a box of 25 books, you're only interested in buying 10...The seller will generally be wanting to get rid of his books, now...And for a couple of dollars more than your "bid price" on the 10 books you want, he'll let you have all 25 of them..This is like a windfall to you because you can always use the "unwanted" books as leader items or extras to generate traffic during two-for-one sales; all books on a certain table for just a nickel each; or your choice of free books for everyone coming in to browse on certain days.. You should carry hardcover as well as paperback books. Pay no more than 25% of new price for a mint condition hardcover book, and buy only those you are certain can be sold in your store. pay no more than 10% of the new price for a mint condition used paperback, and steer clear of the hard-core sexually oriented books. Visit the libraries and book stores in your area. Observe what people are interested in reading and what they're checking out or buying. Stock your store with these kinds of books. below is a listing of the kinds or types of books you should consider stocking in your used books store: BUSINESS BOOKS: These should include books on leadership, career advancement, time management and people management. HOW-TO BOOKS: These should include all the self-help and self-improvement manuals you can find--mail order, auto repair, carpentry, metalwork, home building, gardening, and business start-up. COOK BOOKS: You'll probably be surprised at how many people buy books relating to the culinary arts. A well stocked cookbook section will mean definite profits for you. Forget about books on dieting, home economics, and etiquette--these just don't do well in used book stores. SPECIAL INTEREST BOOKS: Watch and listen to the people of your area...Be on the lookout for people into World War, history, aviation, sports perfection, movies and just plain old book collectors... PAPERBACKS: Women's romance, science fiction, mysteries, and historical novels are all good movers--currently enjoying an upsurge in popularity and sales. These will be the "best movers" in your inventory, so develop good sources of supply, and price them for fast sales. Building and maintaining your inventory, while continuing to rapidly turn that inventory over, can be handled in a number of different ways. It's not a good idea for you to exchange two or three of your customer's books for one of yours. There's always a variance in price, plus you may not want the type of books your customer is offering to trade. The most feasible plan seems to be to give the customer a "credit chit" for each book you buy from him. Simply have a supply of business cards promoting your store, printed at your local quick print shop. On the back of the card, have them print something along these lines: "The bearer of this card is entitled to _______________ cents credit on 50% of the listed price of any book at Ye Olden Book Store/s/ Your Signature." Then when someone brings in a couple of books to sell, you pay him in credit chits, marking in the amount and signing your name on the card. An easier way might be to have your signature printed on the cards when you order them--you or your clerk would simply fill in the credit amount, and emboss the card with a notary-type embosser. Usually, you allow 20 to 25 cents for mint condition paperbacks, and about one quarter of your selling price for hardbacks. Always make sure the customer understands that regardless of how many 'credit chits" he has, the credit chits can only pay for half the purchase price. This of course, is to protect your cash-flow problems, and your income of "hard money." Many used book stores add to their income potential by adding tape cassette lending libraries. These are a real money makers with a kind of service tat lends out "books on tape" and special learning programs where portions of the rental fee applies to the purchase of the original tape cassette. A great many used book stores add to their income by running mail order book selling operations in addition to the retail business. This is a natural, either for a retail operator wanting to expand his market or a mail order operator wanting to increase his income. TYPICAL USED BOOK STORE START-UP COSTS.... 1,000 TO 1,500 SQUARE FOOT STORE RENT (1st and Last month's)..........$1,000 to $2,000 UTILITY & PHONE DEPOSITS.............$50 TO 300 INSURANCE (1st Quarter Payment).......$100 TO 200 LICENSES & PERMITS...................$50 to 250 INVENTORY............................$2,500 to 5,000 SHELVING & REMODELING................$2,000 TO 5,000 MISC (Decorating, checkout counter cash register, supplies........$1,000 to 1,500 LEGAL & ACCOUNTING...................$600 TO 1,200 ADVERTISING & SIGNS...................$1,000 TO 3,500 __________________ TOTAL................................$8,250 TO 18,950 OPERATING CAPITAL....................$5,OOO TO 12,000 Entrepreneur should have enough operating capital in reserve to not only keep the store operating for the first year, without counting on anticipated profit, but also enough for unseen emergencies without having to count upon income from the store to see him through. TYPICAL USED BOOK STORE MONTHLY OPERATING COSTS... PAYROLL.............................$1,500 to $2,500 OWNER/OPERATOR SALARY...............$1,000 to $2,000 RENT/LEASE..........................$ 600 to $1,000 ADVERTISING........................$ 500 to $ 1,000 DEPRECIATION........................$ 100 to 150 UTILITIES & PHONE...................$ 150 to 300 PRINTING & STATIONERY................$ 100 to 200 SHIPPING COSTS......................$ 100 to 150 INSURANCE...........................$ 50 to 100 MAINTENANCE.........................$ 50 to 100 MISCELLANEOUS.......................& 100 to 150 ____________________ TOTAL...............................$4,200 TO 7,650 OPERATING COSTS.....................$4,200 TO 7,650 ANTICIPATED SALES...................$5,000 TO 8,500 NET PROFIT BEFORE TAXES.............$ 800 TO 850 PRO FORMA ANNUAL INCOME (B/T).......$9,600 to 3,000 A word of caution: Though you must project an open, COMFORTABLE invitation to browsers and would-be book buyers, you MUST also inconspicuously guard against shoplifters and outright thieves. The best is to place mirrors strategically throughout the store so you can see your customers from the checkout desk at all times. Your smaller and more expensive books should be kept up front SO that you can see them and what your customers are doing with them, without seeming to be guarding them. There are a number of theft prevention gadgets and devices available, but even more important is alert hired help that can keep an eye on the customers without making them feel they're being watched. The risks of starting a used book store are high for the dreamer unaware that it's just another retail business and should be handled as such. Well organized and intelligently-operated used book stores are very stable, and they provide a very comfortable income for the owner-operator willing to persist thru the start-up period. This can be the kind of business you've always dreamed of owning, but you'll have to have the patience to let it grow and the perseverance to see it thru to its ultimate success. With these thoughts in mind, I say reach for the sky and may the angels of paradise always be smiling upon you with endless good fortune!

         
    3506

     

    HOW TO START AND OPERATE YOUR OWN VIDEO TAPING SERVICE This is a fabulously profitable business that's still infancy. And for sure, if you want a business that takes no special training, expensive office set-up or large investment--yet is capable of showing almost immediate profits--this is it! Now is the ideal time to get started with your own Video Taping Service. Purchasing and learning how to operate, as well as maintain the necessary equipment, and the operating procedures have been so simplified that almost anyone with the ability to read, can study a video instruction manual for a couple of hours and immediately produce professional quality, highly marketable video tapes. Without a doubt, video tape technology has replace Super 8 home movies as the most-desired memory-saving system. One and two-person video aping services around the country are reporting gross earnings of $50,000 to $100,000 per year. One operation we looked into, reported an income figure of $80,000 during the preceeding 12-month period. They were accepting taping jobs from all quarters and keeping 4-hired teams busy. Marketing imagination, organization, and attention to detail are the keys to success in operating this business. Ideas and request for a new things or events to tape and preserve for later playback/viewing, are coming in faster than one can list. Then, there are so many things to remember and minor details to take care of, that the only way to operate successfully is with a series of checklists..for the person selling the service as well as the man or woman on the recording camera. But don't let mentioning of details to remember, scare you off. On the contrary, you'll find video equipment easy and inexpensive to practice on, especially when compared to attaining a comparable degree of expertise with film. You can use the same tape over and over again, and this is definitely a business where the phrase "practice leads to perfection," applies without qualifications or reservations. To start a video taping service, You'll need a video "porta-pack" recorder, and at least a half dozen tapes. Check around in your area. Start by "reading up" on all the available equipment used for video taping. A trip to your public library and few hours browsing thru the periodicals on video equipment should give you added interest and a basic indoctrination. Next, check out the suppliers listed in the yellow pages of your telephone directory. A few phone calls to those places listed, plus a few in-person visits, should supply you with enough catalogs and "idea material" to keep you plenty busy for a week or more. These elementary learning steps are necessary as the foundation of your business. You should be able to buy a good quality video porta-pak recorder for about $850, with blank tapes for $20 or less. When you buy, always dicker with the dealer--explaining to him that you're in the process of establishing a video taping service, and if he will include a supply of tapes with the recorder, or at least give you an especially good price on them, you'll probably buy all your tapes from him. It may not be your regular way of buying things, but when you're starting a business, every dollar counts, so always shop around for the best prices. Once you have your video recorder, take it home and start practicing with it. Think of yourself as being on a job for a homeowner or an insurance company, taking a photographic inventory of the house and/or the occupant's possessions. Practice by making a tape record of your own household furnishings. Make a tape, then play it back and critique your work. Then do it again, and again, until you have a tape you can use in sales presentations to homeowners and insurance companies. Video tape recordings of this kind are becoming extremely popular with homeowners and insurance companies alike. Then, look thru your weekend newspaper and make a note of the girls announcing wedding dates. Open your telephone directory and call these girls on the phone. Ask them if they'd mind if you came to their wedding and make a video tape of it, without any obligation to them of course. So you go to the wedding, introduce yourself and practice making a video tape of the wedding ceremony. Take the tape home and critique it. Keep this up until you have a tape you're reasonably proud of, and then call the bride. Ask to come over and let her see the tape. Explain to her that you're just getting started in the business, and you simply want her comments and suggestions. Chances are, when she sees the tape, she'll want to buy it. While you're in this learning phase of your new business, visit an apartment building and arrange with the manager to make a video tape of her showing the apartment to you as a a potential renter. Contact, a couple of property management and real estate firms, and do the same thing with condominiums and houses for sale. You might want to listen in on the police radio frequency, and make tapes of auto accidents, particularly those involving injuries. Another idea might be the taping of golfers practicing at the local driving ranges. Other ideas include any kind of sports practice session, birthday parties, special anniversaries, baptisms, bar mitsvah's, publicity stories, sales presentations, and "fireside chats" by company presidents or general managers. These are just a few idea suggestions you might want to pursue. You may find a certain kind of video tapping assignment especially enjoyable and want to specialize in that area. Or you may want to leave the door open for any kind of assignment and handle each as the opportunity presents itself. Whatever you decide, there are a few "sure success" points to keep in mind as you begin to sell your services. Remember, the idea of having a video cassette system in one's home, is gaining in popularity every day. There area already some two-million videocassette recorders in American Homes, with an estimated 100,000 being sold to new customers every month. Further estimates indicate that by 1990, at least one half of all U. S. households will own either a videocassette recorder or a videodisc player. All this means your market is growing and is expected to continue growing thru the end of this decade. Virtually everyone would like to see himself as a star in home movie. Thus, when you show him a video tape of himself in the starring role, he'll either buy the tape on the spot or want you to make a similar tape for him. Regardless of false modesty, everyone likes to show pictures of himself, and explain to his friends the different highlights of his or her life. With this understanding about your prospect in mind when you make a sales presentation, your closing rate should be quite close to 100 percent. The best way to sell your services is to run a regular ad in your area newspaper. Such an ad might be similar to this one: VIDEO TAPPING SERVICES Whatever your idea or assignment, we can handle it for you! No job too large or too small! We're experts at taping weddings, anniversaries, birthdays parties and other special occasionsmercial assignments also welcomed. Your satisfaction is guaranteed, so give us a call---123-4567,right now! When you receive calls in response to this ad, your objective will be two-fold: Find out what kind of taping job they have in mind, and set up an appointment to show them an example of the kinds of tapes you can produce for them. Show them an example of your work. Once you've met with them, and shown them a demonstration tape, you should have the sale in your pocket. Never meet with a prospect in a selling situation without some sort of demonstration tape to show him. Try to match the tape you show them, as closely to their wants and needs as possible. Wedding tapes you have made for prospective wedding clients, and shots of golf practice or instruction to golfing prospects. Besides an ad in the newspaper, and the yellow pages of your telephone directory, make copies of the ad and get it up on the bulletin boards in your market area. Send news and publicity releases to all the media in your area, definitely whenever you've got an unusual or special kind of assignment. Have some impressive business cards printed, and hand them out to whomever, and as often as you can. The slogan on your business card might read: Have Video Tape Recorder, Available for ANY kind of assignment--You name it and I'll tape it... Radio and/or television advertising will probably be more expensive than the resulting job assignments will sustain, so be very cautious when considering this type of advertising. However, it will very definitely be advantageous for you to pursue guest interviews on just about any kind of broadcast talk show. Talk show appearances and free write-ups about your business in your local newspapers are promotional angles to reach for at every opportunity. Always be on the lookout for promotional ideas and gimmicks that will result in area - wide publicity for your services. The bottom line is simply this: Don't be adverse to creating a story or set of circumstances if it results in a talk show appearance or newspaper write-up for you. How much should you charge for your services? Basically, the going rate in most large metropolitan area is about $50 per hour you spend on the assignment. Thus, you're going to have to learn to estimate pretty accurately just how long each job is going to take you to produce a quality recording. It's always a good idea to check out what other video taping services in your area, or in a comparably sized city in your neighboring states are charging. Newsletters and trade publications serving businesses of this type are available, however we don't know of any that have attained national prominence as of the date of this report. Check with your equipment supplier on any that he might know of... Success with a business of this kind does not require an office set-up or any special education or training. You can start it on a part-time basis from your home, and parlay it into a full-time, very high profit profession. The prestige this business will afford you is similar to that of a doctor. Starting with a young couple's wedding, if you follow up on each sale properly, you'll probably end up making tapes for the birthdays of each of their children, school graduations, anniversaries, more birthdays, family histories, last wills & testaments, and into a whole new cycle with each generation. You will need imagination, an affinity for people and selling moxie. Imagination is important because in many instances, you'll have to suggest an idea for your taping services. Although just about everybody would like to have a taped record of some event or part of their life to pass along to future generations of their family, most will not be able to decide what to tape until you suggest something to them. You'll also find that almost no one is aware of even half your capabilities until you make suggestions. Taking pictures of people requires an ability to get along well with people--get them to relax, and immediately feel comfortable in your presence. You've got to be persuasive while exercising a great deal of tact and diplomacy. Make friends easily and quickly. Be aware of, and understanding of wants, desires and ambitions. Actually, selling and getting along with people, are almost synonymous. Life is and on-going program of selling yourself to achieve your own wants and ambitions. Read a few good books on the art of selling, such as: HOW TO SELL YOURSELF by Steve Girard; and HOW TO SELL ANYTHING TO ANYBODY by Tom Hopkins. remember, selling is really just a matter of recognizing someone's needs and then satisfying those needs with a product or service. Your customer will automatically accept it as fact, that you have the professional knowledge and equipment to fulfill their needs. All you have to do is reassure them, listen to their reasons for these needs, and in closing the sale, become a good friend to them. And that's it-- the plan can enable you to get started with your own Video Taping Service. By following our suggestions, and with a bit of energy as well as persistence, you should be able to begin with very little start-up investment and quickly begin to realize the fruits of your own profitable business. If you have any questions, or run into special problems feel free to call me or drop me a line. Having laid it all out for you, the rest is up to you---Your future is in your own hands...

         
    3507

     

    HOW TO START YOUR OWN HIGHLY PROFITABLE CATERING SERVICE People with money seem to be on a binge to prove their status and flaunt their wealth by staging large, catered parties. As a matter of fact, in some circle of affluency, a party or social get-together isn't considered an event of any significance unless it's a catered affair. With the same kind of reasoning, businesses of all sizes are using catered lunches, cocktail parties and dinner meetings to build their images and increase company sales. It's a matter of keeping up with the competition in promoting a company and/or product. On a smaller, but just as busy marketing scale, more and more working mothers are paying to have catered birthday and graduation parties, as well as wedding receptions handled by caterers. The reasons are simple to understand--if she's working outside the home, today's mother just doesn't have the time or the energy to do all the planning and staging of a memorable party. Besides those reasons for turning everything over to a caterer, working mothers feel a little guilty about the time away from their children they lose because of their jobs. Thus, they're ready and willing to make it all to them by paying for a lavish party the child will remember for years to come. Caterers handle everything from birthday parties for children, to breakfast in bed and intimate candlelight dinners for two, to company dinner parties for 50 and wedding receptions involving a thousand or more guests. This kind of entreprenuerial business is definitely growing and becoming more popular with people of all income levels. An imaginative caterer in a large metropolitan area can easily gross $150,000 per year, while a small part-time caterer in a small town can count on at least $10,000 to $15,000 per year. One small, but very ambitious caterer is reported to have grossed $250,000 after only 2-years in the business! You don't need special education or training to become a successful caterer. You do need a affinity for people and a kind of intuition as to what people enjoy in different environmental settings. A quick survey of successful caterers across the nation shows that began with zero capital by working out of their homes. The basic starting up investment would appear to be around $500, with some big spenders capitalizing their idea with as much as $15,000 in order to get off to a fast start. This seems to be an ideal business for an ambitious couple to start and operate with very little capital investment required. One person can spend his time hustling up business while the other would do the planning, organizing and actual catering. As with any business, your success will be directly related to the soundness of planning and the working of that plan. Understand exactly what your client wants, and give him what he wants in the way of service that reflects upon the client in a complimentary manner. Basically, you can start with an advertisement in your local newspapers. This advertisement need not be much more than a simple announcement: Creative Catering-Specializing in personal service - We can handle any party or special event from start to finish-no idea to small or too large - Your satisfaction is always guaranteed! We can handle everything for you.. Call us, and let us make your parties worth remembering... Naturally, the first thing you want from anyone calling to ask about your services, is that anyone calling to ask about your services, is that person's name, address and phone number. Then you want to know what kind of party or event they have in mind. As soon as you have this information, relax a little bit and inquire to find out about the person or the company--the people--sponsoring the party and their ultimate goals or reasons for the party. If it's to celebrate birthday, graduation, anniversary or a wedding reception--finding out about the interests, background and ambitious of the guest of honor will be of value to you in your planning. Taking a few minutes to learn everything you can about whoever the party is for, and the people giving the party, will also make it much easire to close the sale than any sales pitch or special persuasive tactics. People like to talk about themselves, and they especially like to tell everyone why they're honoring someone, even when they pretend to keep it a secret who initiated the idea. So, it's important that you be a good listener, that you have the ability to get people to talk about themselves, and that you take notes on the things they tell you. This same principle applies to business people, regardless of who's talking to you or the purpose of the catered affair. The more polished and adept you can become in getting your prospects to talk about themselves, the more information relative to their background you can elicit, and the more you listen; the better your parties will be, and the greater success you'll attain in the catering business. You take the information you glean from this first interview and plan/organize the event on paper. This means you're going to have to have contacts or at least working relationships with innumerable service businesses. If your client wants to stage a birthday party for a 12-year old---he or she greets the guests as they arrive, makes sure everybody knows who he is---then what about party favors---a soft drink and a conversation leader until all the guests arrive--the opening of presents--icecream and cake--and games to play, a thank you gift for coming, and a reason to end the party at a pre-determined time... Do you greet the guests, does the mother or father, or the little boy or girl? Where do you come up with the party favors at less than regular retail prices? Where are you going to get the soft drinks-your cost and the glasses or paper cups to serve them in? What about ice? What kind of games to play? Who'll be the conservation leader? Will there be a clown or someone special to keep everything moving according to plan? Where do you get the ice cream and cake? What games to play? How to get everyone involved? And finally, a feasible and polite reason for ending the party and sending everyone home... All this takes planning, organization, and if you're going to make a profit, a definite awareness of cost control. Get it all down on paper as a proposal to the people who want to pay you to carry it off. Figure out your costs, the time involved in putting it all together, and then get back to your prospect. Always leave room for changes in your proposal. In fact, expect them--invite input and suggestions from the client--and always have an alternate idea in your mind for each of those on your written proposals. Discuss your proposal with the client just as you would a script for a television show, make the suggested changes and ask for a 50-percent advance deposit. From there, it's just a matter of following your plan. Regardless of size or type of party--whether your client is a working mother or a giant corporation--the format is always the same: initial inquiry, interview, your proposal, 2nd interview for any changes, agreement, deposit, staging the party itself, and your final payment. As mentioned earlier, success in this business comes from your planning--having a lot of contacts--and working your plan. An important word of caution: Try not to get "boxed in" to setting or even revealing a tentative price until you've had a chance to listen to what the prospect wants, to study your own capabilities, and to make a formal written proposal. If a customer wants to know how much you charge--and if you feel it necessary in order to eventually close the sale--you can tell him 50 to 100 dollars per hour, plus expenses, and of course, depending on the type of event the customer wants. As for how much the average party costs, again tell him that it varies anywhere from 50 to 5,000 dollars. Always keep in mind that you are a professional, and that if the ordinary person had your knowledge, contacts and ambition to do it himself, he wouldn't be calling you on the phone. He needs your help for any number of reasons. You specialize in this kind of work or service just as a doctor specializes in medicine and a lawyer in legal matters. Therefore, you should, and do expect to be paid accordingly. Something else--this business thrives on word-of-mouth advertising--referrals--and thus, is direct "freeway' to the kind of customers where money is of no concern. However, on order to gain access to this market, your business emphasis has to be on service. This means the capability of handling everything for the customer, from having the invitations printed and sent out to cleaning up after the last guest has left. Businesses and people in the upper income brackets, like to pick up the phone--tell someone they want a party on a certain date--and then forget about it, knowing everything will be taken care of without further worry or time involvement from them. Once you've developed your expertise and clientele to this level, you'll have a business in the $200,000 to $250,00 per year range. Definitely arrange for a display ad in the yellow pages of your telephone directory. You'll probably get 40% of your inquires from this source alone. Generally speaking, radio and/or television advertising will be too expensive when compared with the immediate results. However, it is recommended that you consider these media prior to special holidays. Working with restaurants, supper clubs, bridal shops and entertainment business in general. can bring in hundreds of referrals for you. Rubbing shoulders with, and circulating as a part of your area's civic and service clubs, should also result in more business for you. Keep your eyes and ears on the alert. Where ever you go, and with whomever you associate, always be ready to promote and sell your services, if not on the spot, at least make a note to follow up when conditions are more in your favor. Promoting and selling your services will require at least half your time, and that's why two people operating catering services are so successful from the start. The actual selling is quite simple so long as you emphasize the service and time-saving aspects. The more time-consuming work you can handle for the client, the easier it's going to be for you to close the sale. Handing out business cards is one of the least expensive ways to advertise, promote and sell your services. One enterprising caterer makes arrangements with the sponsors of all his parties, to see that each of the guests gets one of his business cards. Another gives each of his clients a stack of his business cards, and tells them he'll pay them $25 for each prospect they refer to him. He tells them to write their name on the backs of the cards, and to hand them out to their friends. And then, whenever a person tells him that John or Jane suggested he call, and he presents the card with John or Jane's name on the back, this very successful caterer sends John or Jane a $25 check. Another very successful caterer pays commissions to a group of housewives and college students who solicit--via their home phones--interviews for him with brides-to-be. They get their leads from announcements, and pictures of brides-to-be in the local papers. Many caterers pay sales people a commission for letting them know when they hear about a party or special event being planned by one of their business customers. The possibilities go on and on, and are seemingly un limited. Time is becoming more valuable to a lot more people every day, which means there are more and more opportunities for great wealth and personal independence as a professional caterer. In reality the success for just about any person entering this field, will be limited only by his or her own imagination and energy. There is definite opportunity for great wealth within the catering field. Anyone with a sense of service to others can succeed. Very little "readycash" is needed to begin. Therefore, the only thing standing between you and the realization of your dreams, is the action it takes on your part to get started...

         
    3508

     

    HOW TO START YOUR OWN SUCCESSFUL WINDOW WASHING SERVICE Here's a business that, almost more than any other with equal potential for real wealth, meets the most stringent requirements of just about any skeptic. In fact, there's so much in favor of the "little guy" with this business, it's a real mystery why more people don't choose this one as the vehicle for their ultimate independence and financial security. This is a business that can make you rich very quickly...It's a kind of service business that can can very profitably be operated by one person--male or female..The basic knowledge needed for success is simple and easy to learn..Very little monetary investment is needed for equipment--usually less than $100...There are virtually no storage space requirements...You can operate out of your home for virtually as long as you like; and yet, there's a real demand for this type of business everywhere... The success potential for window washing services is present in the smallest of towns as well as the largest metropolitan areas. Your risks will be minimal, while your rewards can far surpass even your wildest dreams. Generally, a one man operation in a city of 50,000 can expect to gross $4,000 or more per month after 90 days. Operating expenses for one person operations grossing this amount should be less than $1,000 per month. Ideally, your plan should be to solicit new accounts, do the work yourself and establish a regular customer route. Once you've established such a service route, and you're beginning to realize a good profit, you should hire part-time help to do the work while you solicit new accounts and establish more regular customer routes. You should concentrate on providing regular window washing services for all the one and two story office buildings and storefronts in your area. Start with those closest to your home and expand your efforts outward. Choose a busy thoroughfares leading into your city's downtown area. Select the one closest to your home and begin calling on business owners and store managers all along the street into the downtown area. Usually, you won't have to do much more than introduce yourself, briefly explain your services, and leave your business card. We did this regularly on a once-a-week basis, and after 6 weeks, we had enough business to keep one man busy--6hours a day, 5 days a week. Until you become well established, don't even bother soliciting work on windows higher than the second story. However, it's best to call on every business, one after the other as you make your way to the downtown area. Later on, you can call upon churches, private schools, businesses located on side streets branching off the main thoroughfares, and even homes if you'd like to try that market. Generally though, you'll find the residential market too time-consuming to make your efforts really profitable, plus the fact that you simply won't be able to charge enough to make it worthwhile in comparison to your commercial customers. Apartment houses and condominiums are quite a different story however, particularly when you can land several customers in the same building. As mentioned earlier, you can headquarter in and operate completely out of your home. You can store your cleaning equipment and supplies in a corner of your garage. Your bookkeping and other paperwork can be taken care of at the kitchen table, with whatever office supplies your need, easily stored in a dresser drawer. Speaking of office supplies, you should have a supply of business cards--and an adequate supply of billing statements with your business name and address, plus mailing envelopes and return reply envelopes. You can get away with rubber-stamping your business name and address on your statements and envelopes, but your business will grow faster--you'll probably save time and money as well--by going with printed supplies from the beginning. There are nor "real reasons" not to list your home address as your business address, but listing a post office box number--if you prefer--wil not really harm your image. Te important thing is personal contact--someone from your company regularly calling upon prospective customers. Talk with them. Listen to them. Get to know them. Find out who's currently doing their windows for them, if they have any complaints and how you can offer them a better deal. When you've actually investigated the service they're contracted for, and you're certain you can offer them a better deal, put your ideas into the form of a written proposal and give it to them. Don't be afraid to submit a proposal for a better deal, remember when you do, your proposal should offer more than just a price break. Under-cutting a competitor's price usually means less profit for you, and an overall deterioration of your reputation. It may temporarily result in more work for you, but you're in business to attain wealth--not work yourself into an early grave. If your spouse is home during the day, she can answer the phone for you and generally set up appointments for you, while you're out making sales calls. She can also type out your monthly statements, see that they're sent out on time, and pretty much handle your bookkeeping for you. Should it not be feasible, or for some reason inconvenient for your wife to handle your incoming calls for you, look around until you find a good, dependable Telephone Answering Service. Many of these telephone answering services handle typing jobs as well, so if you're lacking someone to handle these chores for you, chances are you can find all the services you need without much of a search. It's important with this type of business that you have a "live" voice answering your calls. selecting the right people to handle your calls, and spending the extra time necessary to train them according to your desires--even paying a little more to have things done the way you want them done--is almost always well worth the time and added expense. Remember, this is a service business with your growth dependent upon the personal contact you and your representatives have with prospective clients. Work on it, develop it, and cultivate your personal contact transactions. As the size of your company increases and you hire crews of people to handle work assignments, you can usually get your answering service to take on the added duties of job assignments notification or dispatcher. All of this simply points up the possibilities of operating your business out of your home indefinitely, should you choose to do so. If someone along the line you decide to set up an office in a location other than your home, you might want to make an offer or otherwise induce one or two of the people from your telephoning answering service. Regardless of how large your work force becomes, it's always best if you supply the window washing equipment and supplies. Employees should be allowed to take the equipment home with them, and required to use their own vehicles for transportation to each job site. By all means, spend the extra money to supply your workers with uniforms. Matching shirts and trousers with a big patch on the back of the shirts, listing your company name and phone number, is not only impressive in projecting image, it's also one of the cheapest and best advertising methods. Once you've hire people to do the actual window washing for you, get a couple of magnetic signs showing your company name and telephone number. Be sure to "wear" these signs on your car as you make your sales calls and spot check on the progress of your work crews. Later on, you can get similar signs for your crew chiefs. If you should opt for company-owned vehicles, you'll find vans to be the most convenient and serve your needs most efficiently. Be sure to have your company name, phone number and logo painted on each side of these vehicles--and allow your crew chiefs to drive them home at night--all of which benefits you with practically free advertising. The kind of equipment you'll need to professionally wash windows is relatively simple...A12 or 18 inch window brush, aluminum telescopic brush handle...6 inch, 10 inch and 18 inch squeegees with replacement rubber blades...A couple of plastic or galvanized water pails, one 2 gallon and the other 5 gallon...And an 8-foot step ladder, plus maybe a 16 foot straight ladder... Your start-up should include 5 gallons of liquid soap..a good supply of clean rags, towels and chamois..And a sharp razor blade scraper... This entire list of supplies and equipment should total no more than $250 in cost. You'll need to add to your equipment only as your business grows and you have need to hire more personnel... Some professional window washers are proclaiming an alternative or "better method" than with the use of window brushes and squeegees. They're advocating the use of "strip washers." These are 3/4 inch pieces of aluminum pipe covered with a nylon sleeve that fits the pipe. These are similar in appearance to the handy do-it-yourself paint rollers, and are used in much the same manner. These strip washers reportedly work very well on all but the dirtiest of windows. Another alternative is an extension pole and brush device. Water is pumped thru the handle and out the brush in a rinse-wash-rinse cycle. Most professionals claim this device is ideal for second story windows, but for best quality workmanship, they still prefer the basic brush and squeegee approach. Still another alternative is a hose-water-fed brush that utilizes de-ionized water where ladders aren't feasible. De-ionized water is a kind of water from which all minerals and foreign elements have been removed. Using this kind of water assures the window washer an easier and faster job with no worries about streaking or water drops. Your prices should range between $20 and $25 per hour. Pay for hired help should start at $5 per hour. It's important that you do some homework on the various glass treatments in vogue these days. Many of these coatings and coverings require special treatment such as the use of soft towels instead of brushes that might scratch the surface of the window coating. The professional technique for washing windows cleanly and in the least amount of time is as follows: A few drops of cleaning solution in your bucket of water. remember, too many soap suds are detrimental to quality work. Wet your brush from the bucket and then scrub the window. Take your squeegee and make one wiping pass across the top of the window. Be sure to keep the end of the squeegee pressed firmly against the molding or top sill of the window frame. Wipe the squeegee, and then do the same thing down each side of the window. from this point on, it's just a matter of wiping the window clean with one continuous stroke. You do this by arching and looping your wiping strokes across the window pane, back and forth, never stopping or lifting the squeegee blade from the glass. With this in method, you can wipe even the largest window clean in just a matter of seconds. Practice at home on your own windows and those of your neighbors. You'll quickly develop a knack for this method and wonder why you never discovered it before. When you've finished with the squeegee, take a chamois and carefully "blot-wipe" any excess water that may have not have been picked up along the sides and bottom of the window frame. In reality, that's all there is to it. You'll find the spring and summer months to be the busiest, but because of the increasing popularity of painting holiday scenes and special sale announcements on business windows, be alert for year 'round opportunities along these lines as well. Keep plugging away and offering your services to businesses throughout your area, particularly along those busy thoroughfares where moving traffic contributes to the build-up of dirt & grime on windows. When you're ready to hire helpers or people to do the work for you, a simple ad in your local newspaper's "help Wanted" column should bring you more applicants than you'll ever use. After you've hired the one or the ones you want, keep a record of the ones you liked but didn't hire, and check with them when you want to add onto your crew of workers again. Bulletin Board notices will also bring in a surprising number of applicants. Another good idea is to spread the word that you're looking for part-time help, amongst your local firemen, policemen and teachers. depending on your area's pay scale, you can do pretty well by contacting the temporary help services in your area. About the only regular advertising you'll need to do is a medium to large display ad in the yellow pages. This is a must because once you're established you'll find at least 50% of your business coming from having seen your ad in the yellow pages. An "insider's" trick to advertising in the yellow pages--Try to name your business with the very first letter of your business name beginning with A-B-C, or X-Y-Z. Statistics and surveys tend to prove that when people look for a service in the yellow pages, they invariably pick from either the top or bottom of the alphabet. Aside from the yellow pages, your next best advertising will be the "reminder" kind, such as note pads with your company name imprinted on them, special calendars or holders, special date or appointment books, and/or sports caps with your company name/emblem on them. However, as this kind of advertising is quite expensive, it's good to keep in mind, but best to hold off until you can well afford it. Any radio, television, newspaper and/or direct mail advertising efforts will cost you much more than any business you receive from it, so don't even consider this type of advertising. However, do think about, and submit "press release" material to these media as often as you can, because any publicity coverage they give will surely be well worthwhile. Telephone soliciting for business works well, but you should have a list of businesses and their telephone numbers, plotted out according to new routes you're trying to build. Time spent travelling between jobs will cost you money, just as time spent looking up telephone numbers along a certain planned route will seemingly take forever. If and when you decide to drum up new business by phone, you'll have much greater success if you can offer some sort of promotional gimmick to get them to try your service. We had great success one time by offering to do windows for free if they'd let us put a sign in the window--These windows cleaned by AAA Window Cleaning Service--666-5824... Another time, we did the windows for half price as an introductory offer..And still another time, we joined with our telephone answering service--on a combined promotion...half price on three months of telephone answering service just for trying our window washing service...The ideas, gimmicks and promotions you can use are limited only by your imagination... Later on, we hired some good-looking college girls--on a commission basis--to call on businesses along the new routes we are trying to develop. They just introduced themselves as representatives of our firm, explained our services and offered a half priced introductory service. They ended up selling better than 60% of the business they called upon. During one summer, we even tried a crew of these young ladies as window washers--they weren't the best...We dresses them in snappy red & white suspender-type short-shorts and drew quite a crowd on each job. It was good advertising for us--we got free newspaper and television coverage, and an untold number of new business leads--but the glamour of the whole thing grew old very quickly. But it was a gimmick that brought in new business, caused a lot of people to recognize that we were in the window cleaning business, and made our selling job easier. Truly, this is an easy business to start...and with just a bit of imagination on your part, as well as persistence and quality workmanship, you can easily become financially secure as you want...And it takes is action on your part, so reach for it and may you always enjoy the fruits of a bountiful success! THE END OF THIS REPORT

         
    3509

     

    HOW TO START A TELEPHONE ANSWERING SERVICE Organize yourself properly. decide how much money it's going to take for you to feel comfortably wealthy, and the reach it with your own Telephone Answering Service. Our research has turned up hundreds of husband and wife entrepreneurs who, beginning with just a couple of thousand dollars in borrowed funds, and a lot of ambition are grossing $250,000 or more after a couple of years in business. The exciting part is that the door is wide open for you to do the same! The demand for telephone answering services is growing!!! The advent of electronic answering devices in not even beginning to slow this demand! A great many people are completely "turned off" by the frustration of expecting to talk with a "live person," and having to listen to a recording that advises the caller to leave a message at the sound of the tone. Exasperation of this kind can sometimes cost a business person thousands of dollars in lost profit. Realizing this, today's successful business person wants the personal touch of a friendly, professional "secretary" answering their phones for them. The professional answering service operator can pass along the proper messages to the different callers, take messages, get clarifications and even set up meetings with special customers. In many instances, businessmen come to thick of the operators at their telephone answering service as vital to their success, and often reward them them with special favors or bonuses when a particularly lucrative deal is closed because of courteous and efficient service by the people at the answering service. To get started properly, you'll need an initial investment of about $10,000 for equipment and facilities, plus working capital. In the beginning, with a 2 person operation, you can have your operator selling by phone while you make in-person sales calls. You might also want to add a couple of "hungry" commission sales people to help line up a good list of accounts as fast as possible. These efforts will take planning and coordination because you won't want two different sales people calling on the same prospect. You can begin operating out of a spare bedroom or your garage--you'll need a leased switchboard from the telephone company--with plans to move your operation into more formal quarters at a later date. However, it's quite expensive and time-consuming to have a switchboard moved once it's been installed. Our suggestion would be to locate a "beginning" small office, and plan on being there at least 5 years from the start. Many operations begin in a small 200 to 300 square feet economy office location, and as their growth warrants, open a second location with space for eventual expansion to include 3 or more switchboards. Our research has found that you'll need an average of 85 regular customers per switchboard in order to realize a minimum profit after expenses. Just about anyone with a business card will be a good prospect for your services. People working out of their homes are a very good prospects, especially those holding down regular jobs while moonlighting with a part-time businesses of their own. Every salesmen is a prospect, people who work on a 24 hour "on-call" basis, repair service business owners such as plumers, electricians, locksmiths, and auto mechanics...There are other kinds of services that will be interested too, such as ambulance companies, towing services, volunteer fire departments, survey organizations, and customer complaint departments of virtually every business in your area..By all means don't forget the doctors, dentists and other professionals! A lot of beginners start by providing service only for these intermittent users. These people "put out the word" that if they can't be reached at their regular number after 4 or 5 rings, the caller should dial the number of the answering service. The answering service, which in this case is just a housewife answering her home phone, takes the caller's message and either relays it to the customer or holds it until he checks in with her. Very simple, very easy and very profitable! Usually after such a "shoestring" operation has 15 to 20 customers. it's necessary to install a phone with multiple incoming lines. The cost and questions of the phone company can be allayed by purchasing your own telephone and explaining that your have several teenagers in the family. However, once you have 35 to 50 customers it's time to expand into a commercial operation complete with switchboard and hired operators. The average rates to charge for your service should be about $35 per month for a specified number of calls--usually 70 to 75--with a surcharge of 25 cents for each call beyond that number. Other calls such as "wake-up" and reminder calls for appointments, are usually billed on a "per call" basis at about 50 cents per call. Most telephone answering services provide a variety of other services to keep their operators busy during the times when there are no incoming calls. These services range form typing, envelope addressing, computer input services, envelope stuffing, subscription soliciting and order fulfillment for mail order operators to reviewing books for publishing agents. In recent years, some have even included private post office, mail drop and forwarding services. The important thing is to keep your operators busy doing some kind of work that makes money for you. When you decide to lease an office get going, complete with switchboard--it's important that you try to get as close to the telephone company's switching or exchange station as possible. This is due to the mileage charges it'll cost you for landlines. Remember too that each exchange station handles prefixes limited to customers within a certain radius of that station. What all of this means is that if most of the businesses in your area have a 234 and 345 prefix, you'll want to locate your answering services offices as close to the station serving these prefixes as possible. Basic installation and set-up of one switchboard will cost you close to $4,000... Generally, a metro population of 35,000 people will support a telephone answering service hoping for $50,000 per year; 75,000 to 80,000 people will be needed for $100,000 and $150,000 people for $200,000 per year or more. For more help and further information, it would be wise to contact the Associated Telephone Answering Exchange, Inc. This organization the industry's watchdog group can up-date you on current practices and trends. Meanwhile, in setting up your own facilities keep your costs in line with a realistic view of your anticipated first year income. It should't be too difficult to find low-cost rental space in an older building not far from the telephone company's exchange building - the telephone company is usually just as reluctant to pay high rent as you are..Locating in an older, less than "beautiful" building should not detract from your business because few of your customers will ever actually see your offices. Most will sign up for your services either thru your in-person sales calls on them, or your telephone soliciting efforts, and send their payments in by mail. You'll need 125 square feet of space for each a small reception area which can also double as a rest area for your operators and general office area for bookkeeping, billing and other administrative functions. Be sure there are convenient restroom facilities as well. Before installation of your first switchboard, the phone company will require an inspection of your office, mainly to determine if the floor is strong enough to support the weight of the switchboard. Save yourself a lot of frustration by explaining this to the real estate agents or the building managers before they start showing you what's available. The best thing is to ask for certified copies of the original building blueprints or previous inspection reports, and have these in hand when you contact the phone company. Once you're ready to go, consider the attitudes and feelings of the people who'll be working long hours on the switchboards for you--invest in some cherry paint for the walls, non-glare lighting, carpeting for the floors and a few wall prints, pictures or other decorations. Look around for good used office furniture and buy or lease only what is absolutely essential. A pocket calculator and a used manual typewriter will work fine until you get the business running on a dependably profitable. When you order your first switchboard, listen to the telephone company's instruction, read the operating manual and attend their training sessions. The more you know about the equipment, the easier it's going to be to operate it, and the more you'll understand your profit potentials. The traditional telephone company switchboard is known as the model 557 or TAS-100. This board handles 100 incoming secretarial lines and 15 office trunk lines, with this board, you have the capabilities of receiving incoming calls and making outgoing calls at the same time. You also have a business answering line which can be used as your number for customers wanting to use your number as their business number and/or for special events such as a special number for survey replies or telephone orders such as advertised on television for one-time-only sales promotions. Even though you have the capabilities of 100 incoming lines, you shouldn't activate more than 5 or 10 more than your actual customer list. As you add to your customer list, it's then a simple matter for the phone company to activate or "tie-in" according to your needs. Your rental lease payments to the phone company for equipment includes maintenance, so whenever you have a problem or something isn't working properly to suit your needs, call and ask the phone company to send a repairmen. Some of the extras you can get with your board includes a "secrecy" switch. This feature prevents an operator from listening in if a customer has already picked up his phone and answered the call, but it does not prevent the customer from picking up his phone after the operator has answered. The customer could by request the operator to hang up and conduct whatever conversation he wants with the caller. Another feature is the "position-splitting" key. This involves plugging in a second headset and simply turning the key to enable two operators to work the same board during an especially busy period. When your customers want to call to check with you for any messages, you can have them call their own number if they're calling from a different number, or pre-designated trunk line. Most answering service owners equipment works both ways until they decide upon the system that works best for them. Whichever method is finally chosen should be decided upon with the efficiency of the operators in mind. In addition to your switchboard, you should install a time clock and message racks. These are ideally located above or on top of your switchboard. The operator the takes the call, jots down the message, punches the time clock and quickly slips it into the customer's message box. When the customer calls in for his messages the operator retrieves the messages from his message box, reads them to him, again punches the time clock with each message slip, and drops them into a "dead message" box. You should keep these message slips for totalling at billing time, so it's a good idea to have each operator file them in your customer folders as they finish their shifts on the board. retention of these message slips for at least 30 days is not required, but it is a good policy to practice. You may find a customer will want to check on a message received or double-check his billing against your records. Basically your message rack can be either pigeon hole compartments in a wooden box designed and built to fit your space, or a lazy Susan clips similar to what restaurants use for fast food orders. At any rate, you shouldn't have any problem in finding what you need on the open market. It isn't necessary that you have specially designed or printed message slips, but you should have a plentiful supply available and within easy access to your operators. Simple 4 x 5 inch pads should be all you'll need, and if you'll check with your local quick print shops, you'll find most of them willing to make a thousand or so pads of 50 to 100 pages each, from scrap paper, for almost next to nothing. Another essential to plan on--buy in wholesale lots and keep handy for your operators--is pens. It may be exasperating until the business is on a sound profitability basis, but in a busy month, one operator can easily go thru 100 or more pens. Don't fight the how's and why's just charge it up as a business expense and order more pens. You'll need some form of maintaining basic customer information such as address, name and number to contact during an emergency and any special answering instructions. For this, simply go with 3 x 5 or 4 x 5 index cards and place them in each customer's message slot for easy operator reference. Many services have these cards laminated in plastic to prevent them from getting dirty or deteriorating with constant use. Efficiency is the name of the road leading to profits in any small business, so when you begin one switchboard, make sure you have that position-splitting key, and that you balance the board. In other words, don't put all of your similar customers--such as plumers, electricians and doctors on one side of the board. Instead, divide them across your board--half on them on one side and half on the other side. This will enable you to put two operators on that board in times of emergency. Your customer lines must be distributed according to usage across the board for maximum efficiency of your operation. Each time a customer "signs" for your services you should have him sign a simple contract that specifies the name and address of the firm to be billed for the service, and typed name as well as signature of the person authorizing the service. There should also be space on this contract for alternate phone numbers, names and addresses as well as phone numbers of persons to contact in case of emergency, and any special answering instructions the client may want you to use. Don't forget to include a clause requiring 30-day notification of service cancellation by either party to the contract. It's also a good idea to state that a full month's payment must be made for any partial month's usage, in order to cover any disconnect charges. You'll probably want to stipulate that the last month's base charges are to be paid at the time of service approval, in order to enhance your working capital situation. Check with the phone company--find out if they or you are to bill the customer for hook-up charges, and the line into your switchboard. By all means, get everything written out and fully explained in the contract. You'll be money ahead by paying a good contract that not to put all that you want into a legal contract that not only protects you, but also is binding upon your customers. One other item of paperwork you should have is an Errors & Omissions Insurance Policy. This protects you and your operators against any liability form mistakes or missed messages--very good to have, and available at very low cost thru the Associated Telephone Answering Exchange, inc. by special arrangements with Lloyd's of London. Your other insurance needs are those basic to any business. Always shop around for the best rates. In the beginning, you and your spouse or partner can operate a telephone answering service. However, we strongly suggest that you add to your "operator staff" just as quickly as your customer list warrants. The longer you try to operate with just 2 people, the longer it's going to take you to achieve real profitability. Remember, you want a 24 hour, seven-days-a-week, full service operation. This will require at least three full time operators for your board, plus at least one relief operator--and don't forget about commission sales people. Ideally, you should try to hire people with telephone switchboard experience, but in order to get these people, you may have to offer short-shift, moonlighting tom regular telephone company operators. It will take some time to train inexperienced people, so bear this in mind when you begin looking for people to hire. It's always a good policy to hire your new, inexperienced people for the evening shifts. Break them in by having them "sit in" with an experienced operator during the daytime hours, and have someone close at hand during their first week on the evening shift before turning them loose to handle the board by themselves. The most important qualifications to look for in an operator are voice and attitude. The voice must be pleasant and sound alert, interested and ready to help the caller. Warn your operators never allow their "personal feelings" to show thru when they're answering the phone. They represent your business and your customers. As such, they must project a professional manner at all times. Teach your operators to answer the phones with a "happy smile" in their voices. Train them to take their time with the callers, and get the message right by reading the message back to the caller, and also be sure they ask the caller for the correct spelling of his or her name. Unless specifically instructed otherwise by a customer, insist that your operators never allow an incoming call to ring more than twice before answering it. Hardly anything frustrates anyone calling a business number more than a telephone that seemingly rings forever before someone answers it. You can start you inexperienced people at $4 an hour, and your experienced operators at $6 an hour. Try to explain to them that the success of your business depends on them, and as your business prospers, so will give them their monetary rewards. Get them involved and interested in helping you succeed. It's going to take aggressive selling on your part to reach success with a venture of this kind. You must spend at least 50 percent of your time making sales calls--if you can't or don't wish to do any personal selling, then you'll have to hire at least two full time people to take your place. In addition to your own sales efforts or people who will fill your shoes in this area, you should hire at least one other full time sales person. You should plan to have someone making telephone solicitations for at least 3 hours out of each working day. Selling your services--building an ever larger customer list--is the name of the game for real success. You've got the start-up information, and form here on, the rest depends on your own ambition... Associated Telephone Answering Exchanges, Inc. Bankers Square 100 Pitt Street Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 683-3770 TYPICAL EQUIPMENT COSTS: TWO OPERATOR CHAIRS...........................$90 DESK & CHAIR..................................100 TWO SIDE CHAIRS................................50 BOOKCASE.......................................50 FILING/SUPPLY CABINET..........................50 CALCULATOR.....................................50 USED TYPEWRITER...............................150 BASE FOR SWITCHBOARD...........................60 MESSAGE RACK...................................75 TIME CLOCK....................................250 OFFICE FURNISHINGS/DECORATIONS................150 5-THOUSNAD MESSAGE PADS........................25 24-DOZEN PENS..................................12 SWITCHBOARD LEASE (ONE BOARD)...............4,000 CABLE INSTALLATION (ONE BOARD)..............1,500 RENT ON OFFICE................................600 UTILITY DEPOSITS...............................50 BUSINESS LICENSES..............................50 BUSINESS INSURANCE............................350 LEGAL FEE.....................................100 SUPPLIES..................................... 200 TOTAL $7,957

         
     
         
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