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Millionaire Kids Ezine, Issue #010 -- How to Start a Profitable Side Business for Under $350
October 17, 2007
How Your Teen Can Start A Profitable Side Business With Postcards For Under $350One of the best ways for your kids to learn about money is to start a business of their own.
But the most common excuse I hear from people for not starting a business is “I don’t have the money”.
So what if your teen could start a side business in something they love to do for less than $350? Or you could too.
Starting your own business is the quickest way to wealth – so let’s get your kids started YOUNG, shall we?
The easiest way to start a profitable small business is by doing postcard mailings. It’s inexpensive and flexible. And almost any service and most products you can think of can be marketed by mailing postcards.
My daughter Rachel, marketed her “horse sitting” and horse boarding and training with simple postcards.
It really does work.
Here’s some of the advantages to using postcards to market your new product or service:Postcards are much cheaper to print and mail than full-size sales letters in envelopes.
Postcards don't have to be opened to be read by your potential customer.
Postcards are small and easy to handle, so you can do a test mailing with a few thousand of them yourself
You can print and mail out 1,000 postcards for about $300 to $350. A small test mailing like this to people in your target market will give you a good idea of whether your business idea will be successful.
But the key to being successful is to only send your postcard to your target market. For example, Rachel only sent postcards to people who owned horses. No sense sending a postcard to a non-horse owner, right?
If you get a two percent response rate, which is not crazy at all, you could have 20 new customers. In the direct-response marketing business, a two percent response rate is generally considered good.
You could also use postcard mailings to launch a side business teaching computer skills. For about $350, you can mail out 1,000 postcards and very likely end up with 20 new customers.
At $60 per lesson, you could make $1,200 just in the first week. And many of your customers may want multiple lessons.
Can you see how this can potentially make you thousands of dollars for a $350 investment?
Once you see that your postcard marketing is working, you can mail out another 5,000 postcards…for another 100 new clients.
Now you have the foundation of a thriving, profitable business!
And you only risked less than $350 dollars to test it.
If you want to try a postcard mailing to test your business idea, here are the basic steps:1) Write some strong marketing copy for your postcard. The most important part of your postcard is the headline. Make your headline offer a solution to their problem.
For example, Rachel’s headline for horse sitting was: Going on Vacation? Need someone to take care of your horses?
This headline worked because it stated a big benefit that appealed to the target market: people who wanted to go on vacation but needed someone reliable to feed and take care of their horses while they’re gone.
Then list 4 or 5 bullets explaining your service and close with information on exactly how you can be reached. (For a local business, providing a phone number is usually best.)
Most of the time, you shouldn't have more than 100 words on your postcard.
2) Format the copy so it looks good.
Either use an inexpensive software program to do it yourself or hire a graphic artist.
Any office supply store will have several programs for under $50 that can help you design a postcard that looks professional.
Once you have it designed, save it as a PDF or Word file. Then you and someone you trust should proofread it carefully - several times, because it's easy to miss minor typos.
3) Find a reputable list broker who can rent you a good list.
A list broker is a person who can supply you with the names/addresses of people who would be good potential customers for you.
To find local list brokers, use the Yellow Pages or search the Internet under "list broker, [your city], USA."
You will probably have to rent a minimum of 5,000 names, even though you aren't going to mail that many postcards for your initial test. But it will be a small portion of your total cost for the mailing - and if your test works, you'll quickly use the rest of the names.
You must make sure your list broker is reputable before renting a list from him. He should have been in business for a number of years, and should have references available.
Don't be intimidated because you are a small customer for the list broker. Remind him that you might be mailing 50,000 pieces a month in just a short time if your test works.
4) Hire a printer.
You'll probably want to use a place like Kinko's or Office Depot that specializes in small printing jobs.
It's good to shop around a little, because prices can vary greatly.
It's customary to make a deposit when you place the order and pay the balance when you pick it up. Since the printer doesn't make a profit until you pay in full, you're unlikely to have any problem getting your job done quickly.
Before the postcards are printed, make sure you review a proof of the final copy to make sure they're going to look exactly the way you want them to look.
5) Drop your postcards in the mail.
It won't take long to put the labels that you get from the list broker on your postcards, then peel and stick the stamps. Even so, keep in mind that the reason you're doing it yourself is because you want to do a very inexpensive test of your business idea.
Once you know it works, you'll be able to hire someone else to take care of the stamping and labeling so you can spend your time bringing in more customers.
Sending out postcards can be a very effective and low-cost way to start a new business. With only a few hundred dollars at risk, almost anyone can afford to test the waters.
Random Acts of TithingDo you have an overweight grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew, or friend?
Did you know that overweight people get teased the most? And the teasing is especially brutal for school age kids.
I have a cousin who I don't believe will live until he's 40 years old because of his weight problem.
And you should hear how mean some of my own family members can be towards him! It really is sad.
I always make an effort to visit with him at family gatherings and make sure my kids do also.
It only takes a few minutes to show someone who is silently suffering that you care.
And you never know...your kindness might inspire them to start that exercise program!
Profitable Investment Idea:You've probably heard about the drop in housing prices in the news recently...and the explosion in foreclosures.
So why am I buying homebuilder stocks? Seems kind of crazy, right?
Because I believe it's the easiest way to make 5 times your money in the next two years!
Now please remember, I'm not a professional stock broker or financial advisor.
But I do a lot of reading on stocks and investments and I manage both my kids' and my parents' investment accounts. As well as my own!
And I've averaged over 23% the past 4 years.
Plus, I have my B.A. in commercial economics, and have worked in banking, accounting, and tax preparation over the years.
But the real reason I'm investing in homebuilding stocks, specifically ITB (a mix of the top homebuilders), is because my financial "bible", True Wealth, says so.
And I've made more money in the past 4 years taking his advice in investments in the past 15 years. Really.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you the link to his newsletter...it's WELL worth the $79 annual fee.
Just For MothersDo You Ever Feel Invisible?
Motherhood is one of the most under appreciated and difficult jobs in the world, and some times…
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.
Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”
No one can see I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.
Some days I’m only a pair of hands – nothing more. Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?
Some days I’m not a pair of hands – I’m not even a human being.
I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a weather channel, “What’s the temperature going to be today?” I’m a taxi service, “Pick me up around 5:30, please.”
I remember when I used to read and study economics…show my American Saddlebred horses…ride my bike around the lake…
But now, that’s been replaced with hurrying up to wait for my kids at football practice, swim practice, basketball games, piano lessons…
I’m going…going…gone! Never to be seen again.
One night, a group of us were having dinner celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.
I was sitting there looking around at my girlfriends all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style skirt. But it was the only thing I could find that was clean.
My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it!
I was feeling pretty pathetic when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.”
It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.
I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her note inside:
“To Sonja: With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”
In the days ahead I read that book cover to cover. And I discovered what would become for me, four life-changing truths.
No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names.
Yet these builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
Isn’t that what we mothers do?
Our work is never done and we will never see the final, completed masterpiece of our kids.
But God sees everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built. He saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam and was puzzled, so he asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof?”
“No one will ever see it.” And the workman replied, “Because God sees.”
I closed the book and felt the missing piece fall into place.
It was almost as if God whispered to me, “I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no mess you’ve cleaned up, no batch of cookies you’ve baked is To small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”
As mothers, we’re building great cathedrals in our kids. We don’t know for sure if we’re doing it right. Or if the foundation is strong enough. But we have faith and keep building.
And one day, the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by our patience and sacrifices…
Of Invisible Women.
It's Good to Know...Financial Terms For Kids1) Foreclosure: When the bank takes back your home because you can't make the monthly mortgage (house) payments.
2) Bill collectors: Companies calling you to ask you to pay your bills.
3) Donation: A free gift to a charity organization. For example to church, goodwill, or the Humane Society
Cheap Family FunIt seems like Texas Hold Em is the rage lately...my dad goes at least once a week to tournaments.
But it's cheap entertainment.
Why not play Texas Hold Em with the kids? It's fun and a good way for them to learn some math and negotiating skills as well!
Plus, you could make a warm pot of chili with shredded cheese, onions, and sour cream to top off a fun night of card playing...
And don't forget the hot apple cider too!
We have a lot of fun playing poker with the kids - my dad even gave us some chips that he won at his last tournament.
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