If you are looking for a quick way to generate customers for any local service you provide, consider the possibility of holding a raffle for your service. Any kind of service that people want or need will be a good candidate for this type of marketing method, and you will make a lot of money doing it. Are you a babysitter? Do you offer secretarial services for home based businesses? Are you a massage therapist? Do you teach piano lessons? Any of these services (and so many more) are likely possibilities. What you'll do is print off raffle tickets and agree to split part of the proceeds with the charity of your choice. Visit your neighborhood homes, door to door, and ask them to purchase a raffle ticket for your services. For example, if you offer hairdressing services, ask them "Would you like the chance to have your hair done for free for an entire year (9 sessions) for just $5?” Explain that you are offering your services and part of the proceeds is going to the charity you chose. You will be amazed at how many tickets will be sold. Sell only 400 tickets and you will be making $2,000 just for doing 9 haircuts in a year. Can you imagine how much money you can make if you cover your entire city with these tickets? Plus, you will be gaining valuable advertising, because each and every one of those who bought your tickets is a potential customer. Use those addresses and send them coupons once the raffle is drawn. If you send each of those buyers a coupon for a discount on future services, as a “Consolation prize", you will instantly increase your business and gain valuable new contacts.
Restaurants that offer delivery services are usually able to generate more business than those who only offer take out services. You can capitalize on this trend by contacting local restaurants that aren't currently offering a delivery service and offering to home deliver their orders at no extra cost to them. All they need to do is print "We now offer home delivery" on their next batch of takeout menus. Make sure it is stated clearly on the menu that the delivery fee is between $2 - $5 (depending on how much you want to charge). They will see an increase in business at no extra cost to them, and you will have an instant market for your services. Keep in mind that you will not only earn the fee for the delivery, you will also be collecting all the tips!
Each year, your local elementary school teachers supply lists of "what parents need to buy" for their children at the beginning of the school year. You can help busy parents save time and money, while helping your school raise some much needed funds for the classroom, by offering to create pre-filled supply packs for the students. You will be able to buy the supplies in bulk and on sale when it is off-season, and prepare the packages ahead of time for distribution to the classrooms. On the first day of school, when the teachers usually send home the list of supplies, ask the teacher to add a note that if the parents prefer to purchase a "Supply Pack", they are welcome to send the money in with the child the next day and the pack will be available for their child at school. You can easily fill a "Supply Pack" with everything the child will need for the year at a cost of around $10 per pack, and sell them at around $20 each. The pack itself will be easily worth about $40 to the parent if they had to buy all the supplies at retail price, so your packs will save them a lot of money and the hassle of the annual trip to buy school supplies. A really handy tip is to have the school send out notices to the parents a month before school starts, and ask them to reply with a confirmation of their willingness to purchase the supply pack when the school year begins. That way, you will know ahead of time how many orders you need to plan to fill. Give the school a 30% split on all the profits, and you can easily make around $4,000 per school each year. In fact, you can probably get your supplies a lot cheaper by cutting a deal with the local office supply store to include their coupons and flyers in each pack. If you approach one of the smaller stores, instead of the big chains, they will be grateful for the low cost advertising and exposure to all the local parents and businesspeople that send their children to school.
Preschools and daycares aren't always able to budget for a full time music teacher, but may be willing to pay someone to come in once or twice a week to provide this additional activity. By offering a serice such as this, you are providing the preschool or daycare with an enriched spectrum of activities, without breaking their budget. By freelancing this service to many daycares and preschools, you can establish yourself with a full time income in your community. You do not have to be a qualified teacher to do this, provided you have experience in the field and the patience to put together a program that appeals to small children.
With the advent of the West Nile virus, it has never been more important to have a yard area that is free of mosquitoes. You can create a niche market in your area by purchasing bulk quantities of environmentally friendly insecticide and a small sprayer. During mosquito season, grab your sprayer and start going door to door, offering to do a free mosquito inspection. Look for standing water and damp pools where mosquitoes like to breed, and when you find evidence of a mosquito population, offer your services to rid the yard of these dangerous insects. Homeowners, particularly homeowners with small children, will be glad to pay you $25 - $30 to cleanse their yards of these pesky creatures.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|