TipSet #4

TipSet #4
Designing Killer Flyers

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Many of the small businesses you start can benefit from a simple, well designed flyer. Whether they are posted on doors, cars, or handed out one-by-one, a good looking handbill can really boost your business.

6 Tips for Designing Professional Flyers
1) Color
-Black and White may be cheaper but Color gets customers
-For the time it takes to hand them out it is worth it to do it in color
2) 2 Fonts Only
-Resist the urge to use lots and lots of different fonts
-Make sure the two you choose compliment each other
3) Avoid Times, Arial, etc.
-Professional ads don’t use fonts people are sick of
-I write papers in Times, I hate papers, don’t write an ad you want me to like in Times
4) A Call to Action w/ Expiration
-An offer, “50% if you call by 11/12/06”
-“Call today and save $25”
5) Show Them What’s in it for Them
-Create a need in them, “Don’t have time to make it to your kid’s soccer games?”
-Don’t just tell them what you do, tell them what they will be getting
6) Headline
-Not too big but noticeable
-Attention getter, “17,000 house fires are caused by dryers each year!”
7) Picture
-Relevant! Professional quality
-Make it big enough to see
8) Size…Half Sheet Works
-Half sheet works better than quarter size
-Full page looks too much like it came right from your home printer
9) If you Can Say it in Fewer Words…Say it in Fewer Words!
-Don’t waste their time
-5 Second Rule, make sure that in 5 second they know exactly what your flyer is about

At-Home Oil Change

TeenBiz – Idea #12
At-Home Oil Changes

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What needs to happen every 3,000 miles with your vehicle? An oil change, right? How many of you forget or only remember to get your oil changed when you don’t have time? I do nearly every 3,000 mile cycle and so do thousands of other people. There are a few companies that already do this but most focus mainly or fleets of cars and trucks for larger companies instead of the household. The niche here is to go right to people’s homes and change their oil in the driveway.

What You Need
-You first need to know how to change your own oil. It really is not that difficult to learn but knowing how to do it on many different types of cars and trucks (especially older ones) will take some time and research. EHow has a good article available here.
-You can use ramps or a jack and jack stands. I would recommend jack stands because they are easier and faster
-A way to figure out which type of oil and oil filter are required for each vehicle. This can be done by doing a quick web search for each car you have to change or by reading the owners manual once you get there and returning with the parts later.
-An oil filter wrench, Rags, Oil Pan, Funnel, a larger oil holding container

How It’s Done
-Once again, flyers are the way to advertise this time but professional, COLOR flyers are the key. Remember, professional does not mean fancy. It can mean simple and plain but make it look like nice. Example, IPOD ads, simple but professional. They have to be professional because these people are trusting you with their car and they have to immediately sense that trust.
-Once you have capital built up definitely do ValPak or MoneyMailer. Why? Even though your service may only cost $40 you can create repeat customers that you can go back to every couple of months (if you do a good job the first time)
-When you get your first job, do a quick web search and find out which motor oil and oil filter the vehicle will need (make sure you get the make, model, etc for the vehicle)
-Roll up, jack up the car, slip the jack stands under, change the oil, do something extra (like wash their windshield or something that they will notice), and then leave something as a reminder for their next change (like a air freshener with the mileage or date then need their next oil change at)

Other Resources
Engine Oil Bible
How to Select a Filter

TeenBiz: The Host - Gregg Blanchard

Who I Am
I love small business, I love running my own business, and I love learning, sharing, and improving my skills when it comes to internet marketing, small business, entrepreneurship, and other aspects of running a small business.

My Main Business
I started Second Nature Snowmaking in 2005 and since have been able to double the total income each year since. Largely internet based, it has not only been a perfect income for a student, it has given me real-time access to test and implement marketing principles.

What Else I Do
I also do freelance web design work for small businesses and entrepreneurs. For example, I love helping people with unique, talents, and skills start their own small business around their abilities to generate a part-time income.

I spend about 10 hours a week with a small software company in Northern Utah where I am responsible for the internet marketing; including web design, search engine optimization, newsletter marketing, and more.

Making Money Online

Making Money Online
4 Common Ways To or NOT To Try

There are numerous ways to make money online, we are going to review a few of the most commonly heard of ones out there. Personally I think the internet is a great way to supplement an income or help grow a business but making money off of info products, affiliates, or advertising specifically is tough. Being online is all about getting established, getting the word out, getting ranked in search results; all of which takes time. If you need money quickly, I would try to stay away from the net. However, there is so much money out there for the taking online patience and hard work are the keys for cashing in.

Online Surveys
Bogus, few people actually make money, the rest get scammed. It is true that many people do make money but most just lose time and money that could have been spend elsewhere.

Affiliate Marketing
Speaking of affiliate marketing this is also a growing way to make money online. People set up sites that refer people to products they may be interested in. ClickBank is the most popular method for affiliate marketing. For instance, you set up a site where you have reviews on 5 golf lesson ebooks. People click on your link, purchase the product and you get a cut (usually 50%). The trick? Getting visitors. Pay per click (PPC) campaigns are usually too expensive for most affiliate products. With one I did once I made an average of 50 cents for every $30 I spent it PPC advertising. So the trick is to get listed on search engines and get natural, free traffic…and lots of it, otherwise it just won’t pay.

Selling Advertising (Adsense & Adbrite)
The same goes for selling advertising using Adsense or Adbrite. You have to have a lot of natural traffic or you just will not make any money. Adsense sites exist but as I mentioned at the beginning, it takes a lot of time to get them going so this is kind of a part time project you would have to slowly feed until it blooms.

Info Products
-This I think is the heart of making money online so I will spend a lot of time here.
-We personally are trying to create more and more information products. Why? Immediate delivery via email, no stocking or shipping costs, and 100% profit is achieved with each sale. An example is a contributor to TeenBiz from Second Nature Snowmaking. They niche is selling inexpensive home snowmaking equipment. At one point they realized that if they just tweaked their snowmaker designs slightly they could build them almost entirely with locally found parts. And if they could build them, anyone could So they made plans in PDF format and sold them on the site. Snowmaker sales did not decline but those that couldn’t afford the machines bought plans. Profits increased about 25% overnight.
-If you have a specific talent or skill, think about what others may need to know that IS NOT found in free articles or websites.
-Here is another angle you could take, if you are doing let’s say home winterization for a fall business, set up a site and then on the site create an inexpensive (but not too inexpensive) alternative. Write a quality ebook guide on winterizing your home and sell it for $25 on your website. People come after seeing your flyers or what-not and have the thought, “I could do this myself really” then they see the book and realize they don’t know what quite to do and they buy the book.
-Creating products that can be delivered via email are the way to go. We are currently working on a info product to feature on TeenBiz that the listeners can market and make most of the profit on (we are thinking you will take at least an 80% cut).

Remember, unless you have a 100% unique product, creating an online presence will be very difficult, competition will be still am you may not see significant profits for months. The key is natural search engine rankings, that is where most of your traffic will come from. This is not to discourage you from making money online because there is huge potential, it will just take time so be patient.

TipSet #3

TipSet #3
If at first you don’t succeed…maybe failure is your thing.

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Finding a Niche
6 Tips
1) Look at where you spend most of your money
-Where there is money there are business opportunities
-Look for ways to cash in
2) Look at where you spend most of your time
-That is the basis behind lawn mowing
-What kills your weekends and spoils relaxing evenings
3) Look for a lack of knowledge
-“What I wish I’d know in…” books
-Class for HS grads about entering the real world
4) Look for complaints
-When people say, “I wish that…” take notes
-People create business ideas but joke about it, take those seriously
5) Look for ways to make things better
-You don’t have to invent a new lawn mowing system to mow lawns
-Basis behind fast food, people want to eat out but don’t have the time
6) Look for ways to connect two parties with similar needs
-FedEx is a classic example
-Delivery service from all restaurants w/ “to go” service

From Idea to Income
1) Create a plan
-Write down a sketch of everything you will need to get started
-Make goals, plan a timetable for finishing things
2) Do research
-Starting a dog teeth brushing service, find out if people actually care about that
-Do surveys, talk to friends, neighbors, and relatives
3) Simplify
-Since we focus on keeping costs down, keep things simple
-Eliminate unnecessary equipment, costs, etc.
4) Test if Possible
-Look for ways to perform real-life tests
-Pass out a couple thousand flyers to test the return rate
5) When You Start, Dive In
-I call this the “cold pool principle”, jump in or don’t touch the water at all
-Commit 100% to making your business work
6) Don’t Give Up
-Realize that your company will not become a trusted, household name overnight
-Trust your research, trust your instincts and your niche; and do as Winston Churchill said, “Never, no Never, give up!”

Home Winterization

TeenBiz - Idea #10
Home Winterization Inc.

Every homeowner needs to take certain preventive maintainance step each fall call home winterization. Nearly everyone knows that certain things need to be done to prepare you home for winter but rarely if ever do homeowners get around to taking care of these small but important projects.

The service you can offer is simply a complete home winterization service which could include the following…

  • Check the furnace filter, replace if necessary
  • Check all the windows in the home, inspect the caulking for wear and deterioration. Use caulk to fix holes if necessary.
  • Check all doors for old, worn out weather stripping, replace if necessary
  • Clean the old leaves and junk our of the gutters and downspouts
  • Check gutters for leaks that could drip onto porches and sidewalks and cause ice
  • Trim long, overhanging and dead branches off trees that could break under the weight of ice or snow.
  • Check the foundation for gaps and cracks
  • Prune shrubs for protection against snow and ice
  • Check for loose shingles
  • Check the flashing around the chimney for any gaps and to be sure it’s watertight
  • Check attic for poor insulation and drafts

    Right there you have, let’s see, about a dozen things you can inspect. Each one carries a few different pieces that need inspection. Once you break it down you could have a 25-30 point home winterization inspection/repair job. You can easily charge $100-$150 for this because I did it last year.

    It took me about 2-3 hour to do a complete check depending on how many repairs I did. I simply offered a complete checkup that included repairs at no extra cost. I think that one line got me many jobs because so many people are afraid of people coming over and then scamming them into thinking they needs tons of repairs. The repairs needed for winterization or minimal. For exampmle, a new fiberglass disposable furnace filter costs about $5 a piece and caulk needed for an entire home will be only a few dollars.

    The supplies you will need are a ladder to get to the gutter and roof. Caulk and caulk gun. I would bring a tool set with you just in case you need it and if you have a tool belt, wear it. You will look 10x more legit with a tool belt.

    That’s it, home winterization is simple, everyone knows they need to do it but few people get around to taking care of it. I would just do flyers and door to door for this one. If you have the money to get a ValPak or Money Mailer out before the window closes for the need for home winterization then go for it, this would be an ideal ValPak business. High individual cost and huge need. Best of luck!