October 30, 2004

Your Picture Shouldn’t Be Your Brand

I was looking through some of those real estate little booklets you get for free at the store. As I was leafing through, I couldn’t help but notice that EVERY SINGLE real estate agent had their picture as part of their ad page for their listings.

This has got to be one of the widest scale mistakes in the branding world that I can think of. Without one exception, people had their picture next to their listings.

Colossal waste of space, folks. If you are in a service industry wherein you are the person people deal with like insurance, real estate, law… etc, don’t use your picture in your ads or on your cards or anywhere else. When you do that, it says either;

1) I think I’m really good looking and I want you to see that;
2) I’m actually pretty UGLY so I had to go to Glamour Shots to get this pic, just so I can look half-way decent;
3) I’m nice looking, so natually you’re going to want to buy from me.

Now, despite my pleadings, if you insist on being a knucklehead and putting your picture in your ad, DON’T DO IT IF YOU LOOK GOOFY!!! For God’s sake, put someone else’s picture there if you need to, just don’t use your own.

Okay… why am I adament you NOT use your picture? Because when someone is looking at your listsings, they are trying to buy a house. They’re not looking for a date. The only reason you’d want to put SOMETHING next to the listings is to create brand awareness so they will easily remember who you were so they can look you up on their own, later, without the help of the book that they have most likely have tossed by the time they call you. Your picture is not going to accomplish that task. Believe me. I can’t look up “hot real estate chick with blue eyes and high, goofy looking collar” on google. If something does come up, I can guarantee it won’t be a real estate listing.

You should always be striving to create “top of the mind” awareness in your branding. In particular for those people who provide a service with lots of competition. Case in point… radio advertising. It works very well and obviously, pictures don’t go over very well in that medium. But they do and say things (the good ones anyway) that ensures that you’ll think of them when you do think of that particular industry.

For instance; the Shane Company. They are a HUGE jewelrey outfit. The owner of the company does this really droll dialogue but the hook is how they close their commercial. It’s the same EXACT copy and has been for years and years. Here in the Portland area, I can even quote it for you, it’s so ingrained in my mind.

The Shane Company. Located across the highway from the Washington Square Mall at the corner of 217 and Scholls Ferry Rd. Open Mon through Friday ’till 8. Saturday and Sunday ’till 5. Also available online, at shaneco.com.

Actually, I know it so well, I know they change the hours during the holidays and are open even later. Talk about powerful. Do you think they do bang up business? They sure do. Then I was in California a few years back and heard the same exact commercial, only the last part was specific to that area. I’m sure they’ve been doing the same thing in that market forever as well.

Here’s what I’m getting at. For the 10 seconds I spend on that real estate agent’s page, other than noticing his/her listings, an identifying aspect of their ad should pop out at me and say or portray something so odd, and out of the ordinary, that I remember it when I close that book. It’s wide open, all the ideas you could come up with. Heck, if you had a picture of a big pimply butt in the corner of the page and you named your agency, “Big Pimply Butt” real estate agency, do you think you would stand out and you’d be remembered much more readily over the competition? I think so.

But I think “Big Pimply Butt Real Estate Agency” is already taken. So, you might want to think of something on your own. Just keep your mug out of your ads, unless your mug looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

October 29, 2004

What if your TEC isn’t the type to sell direct to the public?

A reader of my blog posted a comment I think bears addressing here in the blog instead of just through the comments.

First, read one of my previous posts on selling your talents, energy and creativity (TEC) directly to the public instead of through a broker (your boss.)

The comment I had from Barry, was this:

Dan:

Great site. I have a couple of comments on this piece and on the site in general:

(a) Some people’s TEC are hard to sell. I am a teacher, and sure I’d love to start a business, but what can I do with my ability to teach 2 + 2?

(b) Your site talks about looking for ideas. You are blessed with a creative mind, but not all of us are that creative. Sure, we can see ideas in the newspaper afterwards and say, why didn’t I think of that? But to come up with the ideas in the first place is hard, and I don’t know if it’s something you can develop. If you have a way to increase creativity and originality, please share it.

Keep up the great site! It’s a fun and enjoyable read.

This was my response to him with a bit more for this post:

Good questions. First, you’re right… not everyone’s particular TEC is suited for selling directly to the public through a business of your own. However, normally, if your TEC is such that CAN be sold directly, you’re more likely to be the type of person suited to be on your own. I guess a better way of saying it is if you have a passion to teach children, then you’re most likely not going to have a desire to “have a business of your own” because that’s just not “you.”

Now, let’s assume you want to teach. I just mentioned that it might not be in you to be in a business of your own if you are a teacher. However, if you love teaching, and you still want to be in a business of your own, think of how that can be done. Don’t necessarily think what has been done in the past, think about what can be done that’s never been done. I’m not an educational expert, but I just recently had an idea for learning books for grade school kids that thinks outside the box and allows kids to learn and retain information a completely different way. The concept isn’t new, but applying it in an official cirriculum to children, I believe, is. Perhaps I’ll share this idea at some point on the blog. But the idea didn’t come from one thought session. It came over time, by thinking of three different other ideas that evolved to this one idea. If you’re ALWAYS in biz idea thinking mode, those chains from one idea to another can happen.

I’m positive that there’s something about teaching that bothers you and you wish it weren’t that way. If you can think of something that fits that description, then think of just how you can solve it. While you’re doing that, think of other interests you have and try to mesh them together somehow. Don’t be afraid to think of the silliest things. It’s a time for your brain to just be able to wander, without constraint. I guarantee, there is SOMETHING in your TEC that is transferrable to your own business, if you want your own business bad enough.

With that said, if you’re NOT teaching because you love to teach, but just because that’s where you found yourself and it pays the bills, you need to look at what it is you WANT to do, assess your TEC in that area, build it up if necessary by interning, volunteering, taking classes, reading on your own… etc. Then move towards selling it directly to the public and transition away from the safe paycheck.

Your second thought about how not everyone can come up with ideas. I tend to think not everyone WANTS or TRIES to come up with ideas. If you want to, and you apply yourself daily (hourly) to thinking in a different way like I’ve stated on my blog over and over, you’ll come up with things.

It takes practice just like anything else. Here’s a project for you… next time you come across or even glance at something that interests you in the slightest bit, don’t just admire it and wonder how you can own it, or wear it, or do whatever it is you do with it. Think about how you can make money with it. I don’t care what it is. ALWAYS think in terms of what you can do differently or from a different angle that will allow you to make money with a particular concept, product, service, thing.

I sometimes go into Michaels and wander around the store for a long time, just looking at things. Trying to think of different ways to use different things. I came up with an idea just recently for creating out of this world resumes for job hunters. I was there to look at frames for our annual family pictures and I came away with $20 worth of experimental things to try out this business idea I had just come up with.

If you’re not ACTIVELY in this type of frame of mind, you will find it difficult to come up with ideas, you’re right.

If all else fails, read dansherman.com and perhaps over time you’ll get something you can use. :-)

October 28, 2004

Now it’s true! You are “free” to leave.

Since I’m into making predictions on my blog, I’m going to make another one.

President Bush will get 57.4% of the popular vote and shock the entire nation that it wasn’t as close as everyone thought it would be.

Okay… so, there’s a bit of a wishing in that prediction. :-) But I do feel he’ll win and it won’t be quite as close as they are predicting.

As if I don’t have enough projects, I’ve developed a site that takes pledges in order to provide funding to Americans who would like to renounce their citizenship. Amazing that there are people out there saying they will leave the country if Bush is re-elected.

Well, I want to help them leave as much as I possibly can. So here’s my effort to do just that. Free-to-Leave.com. Please spread it around… I’d like to make sure as many people know about it as possible. We need to get them out of the country if they don’t feel we are still the beacon of freedom in this world.

I hear France is lovely this time of year.

October 23, 2004

Why Not Sell Your TEC Direct to the Public?

It’s the mythical goal of all Americans, it seems. To be a “millionaire.” But what EXACTLY is a millionaire? Is it someone who’s liabilities deducted from their assets equals $1,000,000? Yeah, I guess that’s one definition. How about a doctor who makes $1,000,000 a year in salary and bonuses? Is she a millionaire? Is she the same KIND of millionaire that the former example represents?

I say no.

Let’s look at the results of being a millionaire and then I think we’ll have our answer about the definition. WHY do we all want to be a millionaire?

I can hear the “non-materialistic” people in the crowd braying from the background saying they’ve never wanted to be a millionaire and it’s shallow to have those thoughts. Well, even if you don’t have the overt desire to be one, you’d be lying to yourself if you said you’d pass up the opportunity if it was dropped in your lap. So pipe down and listen up. Geesh!

We want freedom of our time. That’s what money SHOULD represent to just about anyone. Think about it. The less money we have, the less time we have to do the things that make us happy. One follows the other. Life is a struggle between both. But being “rich” in money doesn’t mean you’re rich in time. Take the doctor in the above example. I’ll bet she’s working a LOT of hours to make that money. Just ask her kids.

But the first example is someone who MAY not be spending their time working. Instead, their money is working in their stead.

So, that’s my definition of being a millionaire. Having a million dollars working for you and not YOU working for the million dollars.

Okay, we understand that. Now let’s move on in our lesson.

Which scenario would you rather find yourself in;

1) You own your own business and it brings in $400,000 a year but your operating expenses are $350,000 a year. Which only gives you $50K a year in income.

or

2) You’re earning $60,000 a year working at a 9 to 5 job?

Your answer to that question may be very revealing in the type of person you are and whether you’re suited to be self-employed.

If you are bringing in $400,000 but have high expenses, you have LOTS of options to increase your income and reduce your expenses. It’s a matter of working towards certain goals to increase your net.

On the other hand, your chances of surpassing the $60K salary at the 9 to 5 job are negligible at worst and incremental at best.

But the far more important thing to look at is which scenario will allow you to get to the point where your money is working for you instead of you working for your money?

If you have a job, your boss is the middle man. He coalesces your talents, efforts and creativity (TEC) and sells them to the highest bidder then pays you what he/she feels is just enough to keep you around so he can continue to sell your TEC (that’s called maximizing profits.) There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s a place in this world for employers and employees. Both are admirable and worthy. But if you’re an employee, don’t fool yourself into thinking you are being compensated for your TEC. You’re not. You’re getting $X per hour, regardless whether you just painted the mona lisa or finger painted the latest project. (Unless you are on straight commission and even then, if your boss or company you work for is getting a piece of your action, you’re STILL not being paid directly for ALL your TEC’s value.)

If there’s a choice, and you feel you’re up to the challenge, why not be the middleman instead of the employee? Instead of trading your time for money, trade your TALENTS, EFFORTS AND CREATIVITY for money, directly. Your TEC is far more valuable than your time. But more importantly your TEC can be projected outward from us, and set apart from time, if we’re the one’s controlling the show. At some point, you can duplicate your TEC by hiring others. If you have 5 people all doing the same thing you have been doing and you’ve taught them to do well, you essentially remove yourself from the “time for money” scenario and put someone else in it. When you have complete ownership of your TEC, you are setting yourself up to grow beyond the bounds of the time clock into the realm of duplication of efforts by hiring.

After you’ve duplicated successfully, you can step even further away from the time clock by hiring people with their own TEC to add to the operations. You then become the broker of their TEC. At that point, you’re so far away from the “time-for-money” dance, you can’t even see the dance floor anymore.

In summary:

1) Sell your TEC direct to the public;
2) Duplicate your TEC by hiring people receptive to learning it;
3) Become a broker for someone else’s TEC;
4) Duplicate their TEC…
Repeat over and over as needed.

There are only three positions in life you can occupy to make money. They are:

1) Sell your own TEC, direct to the public;
2) Sell your TEC through a broker;
3) Become a broker of other people’s TEC.

You can do #1 and #3 at the same time or independent of one another. But if you fall into #2, you’re stuck and can’t do anything else because your time is someone else’s.

Now, you can be in #2 because, well, perhaps your TEC isn’t something of value on its own. It has to be pooled with other people’s TEC to have value and can ONLY be brokered. It just can’t be sold directly at a good enough price to live on. This is something you must work hard to correct. Get more education, read on your own, volunteer to do tasks for people from whom you want to learn. You MUST be doing something EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE that grows your TEC to the point that it doesn’t need to be brokered anymore and can be sold to the public directly. Even if you don’t choose to sell it directly, TEC that has value enough to be sold directly will at least increase your hourly wage if it’s being brokered.

So let me reiterate. I don’t think it’s unworthy to have other people broker your TEC (being an employee, in other words.) Some people just don’t like to work on the selling of their TEC which you must do if you own your own business. That’s fine. But the key to becoming a millionaire is selling your TEC directly to the public and duplicating it OR brokering other people’s TEC. You WILL NOT BECOME RICH if you are choosing to have others broker your TEC.

Sure, you can save and invest and when you’re 65 be able to retire comfortably. But that pales in comparison to being able to take 30 days to Europe when you’re relatively young or being able to be at ALL your kid’s functions because you aren’t tied to a time clock like employees are. Again, being rich is about being able to control your time instead of someone else controlling it.

So, next time you want to spend time with your family and you can’t because of work… ask yourself if you have what it takes to sell your own TEC.

October 20, 2004

Another Must Read…

Off topic, but very important for this year’s election. This is an excellent article written by a liberal Democrat with dual citizenship (British/American) who has voted Democrat (Labour in England) all her life. Read her very compelling argument for why she’s marking “W” on her ballot this year.

Simply a must read.

October 15, 2004

Sell MP3 Files Illegally

I thought that might get your attention. Nah… I’m not going to advocate stealing. However, I do know of at least one person who made millions doing this. (Or at least that’s what he claims. You be the judge… read on.)

I wrote a book back in 1997 which is highly controversial in the "credible" world. I don’t even like to mention it here in my "money making" blog because I don’t want people thinking I wrote it to make money. I didn’t. It’s a true story about something that happened to me. It’s just a coincidence that I’m an entrepreneur as well.

Anyway, someone sent me a manuscript of sorts a few years ago. It was completely anonymous (he sent it to me via a "hushmail.com" account). I guess he figured since my own book was so controversial, he’d send me his story in hopes that I would publish it.

Well, it doesn’t warrant publishing in a traditional sense since it’s only about 30 pages or so. (Maybe not even that.)

I read it and was struck by just how "doable" the scheme he claims to have carried out, was. So, I figured, what the heck. I’ll release it in ebook format. I set up a website to sell it and soon forgot about it. I didn’t do any promotion or anything like that. I even felt so guilty for making any money off of it, I basically set the price ($1.50) to just enough to cover the merchant fees and a little help towards bandwidth costs.

Low and behold, I got an order out of the blue today for it. I put it up so long ago I had to look around in all my files to even find where I had put it online. Gotta love google. The guy who found it said he did a google search for "mp3 ebook" and it came up fourth in the listing. Who would have thunk it.

Anyway, if you don’t mind going to jail, read how this guy made over $2 million selling MP3 files without getting caught and then duplicate it. If you DON’T care to go to jail, but would like to see how this guy claims to have made lots of money, read it. If you think the whole thing is a waste of time, check out google’s new desktop search tool. (Completely unrelated to the mp3 ebook, but something I’ve just discovered and LOVE!)

WiMax Backup Service

Hey everyone. Sorry about the tardiness as of late. Been busier than ever. This blogosphere is going to be the death of me. I’m hooked. I’ve GOT to read at least 20 blogs before I start my morning. And they wonder why the circulation of all the newspapers around the country are going down. Duh! Haven’t read a newspaper in eons. (Except USA Today which I read on Friday for all the biz opp ads in the classifieds section.)

As you probably know if you’ve read my blog consistenly, I’m a big wireless freak. Love me some no wires.

Been thinking of unusual ways to make money with the new WiMax standard coming out. In case you don’t live and breathe wireless news like yours truly, WiMax is a new standard of delivering wireless information. It’s kind of like WiFi, but the distances are going to be much greater. Up to 20 or 30 miles from the transmission point, without line-of-sight.

So here’s my idea. With the price of data storage coming down, it wouldn’t take much to setup a room of hard drives and hook them all to wireless routers and then use the WiMax spectrum to provide data backup service to area businesses and even individuals. Other than the hard drives, the biggest cost of data backup services is the huge bandwidth they have to maintain. If you eliminate the cost of a T-3 or whatever connection you have to maintain your service, that savings can be passed on to your customers and thereby GET more customers. You could offer 20 GB of back up storage for $5 a month, easily. (At that rate, you’d get business so quick, it’d make your head spin.) With 250 GB hard drives going for $200, you could sell out the space on that one drive for $60 a month. The only overhead is electricity, hardware costs (hard drives, wireless routers and antenna) and the rent on space. Your customer would have to pay for their WiMax access point. At first, this might be a couple hundred dollars but that will come down quickly. Still, there would be plenty of people who would jump at $5 a month backup service, even with the up front one time hardware cost.

Here’s another idea. Sell one to one backup services. In other words, you provide the central place to hook people up with one another. A guy calls up and says, "Yeah, I want to participate. Another guy calls up and says the same thing. You match them up and setup their systems so they talk to one another. Guy #1 hosts Guy #2’s back up hard drive. It’s plugged into the corner somewhere. He never touches it. Guy #2’s back up hard drive is hosted over at Guy #1’s house. Again, it’s in a corner somewhere not being touched. They purchase their own hard drive and WiMax equipment and you just install it and make sure it works.

Admittedly, that option is stretching the realm of possibility, but it’s an idea. That way, they each have back up and neither has to pay a monthly fee. Just the up front costs associated with buying the hard drive and wireless gear and having it all installed and configured by you.

When Guy #1’s house burns down, Guy #2 simply makes sure he gets his stuff backed up again somewhere because his backup is gone (toasted.) But Guy #1’s back up is at Guy #2’s house, so he’s good to go. He just gets another computer setup and restores everything via his WiMax connection.

Of course, the first backup idea above has some nifty add-on possibilities. You can start selling internet access to your customers if you feel so inclined, over the WiMax connection. Of course, then you’d have to get a backbone connection to the internet, but at least you’d have a built-in customer base to start with.

October 9, 2004

Updates: Get Paid to Piss People Off

If you’ve already read this post before, just go to updates at bottom.

I was driving from Oregon to California a few years ago. It was about 1 am and pretty much NO ONE was on the road. This guy in an El Camino entered the freeway right alongside me then got in back of me. His ride was so low in the back that his headlights were pointing up and it was VERY bright. So, I slowed down to let him pass.

Well, then HE slowed down. So, instead of slowing further I just sped up to get way out ahead of him so his lights wouldn’t shine in my mirror so brightly.

So, I got her up to about 80 mph before slowing back down. The guy evidently got off at an exit because I didn’t see him anymore. But wouldn’t you know it… police siren… WHOOP!!!

So I pulled over and explained to the *sshole cop about the El Camino and his headlights and I just sped up for a little bit to get away from him and then slowed back down.

He said that I slowed back down because I saw him which was WRONG since I didn’t see him at all. Plus he thought I was lying about the El Camino because he didn’t see one because it evidently got off before he got onto the highway.

Long story, short. I got a ticket and I was one PISSED off motorist. I was purposely NOT speeding on this trip because I didn’t want a ticket. Instead of listening to the situation and letting me go with a warning, he had his quota to make.

So, the whole rest of the way I was fuming over how I could get even and then the business idea dawned on me.

Provide a service to people like me that pretty much got money legally extorted from them in the form of an unjustified ticket. Your service would pay the speeder’s ticket (after the speeder pays you, of course) but then you would pay it by sending a bucket of pennies or something highly annoying like that. If you can’t send cash (some jurisdictions don’t allow cash to be sent through the mail to pay the fine) then your service can send micro payments in the form of checks. So, for example, a $180 ticket could be paid with 720 checks each made out for .25 cents.

You think that might piss off the clerk or SOMEONE there at the courthouse? I think so.

As the entrepreneur starting this business, you just need to find a bank account that doesn’t charge you for each check (unlimited check writing) and then just charge the speeder to pay his bill for him by adding your surcharge… whatever that might be. You could offer to send 500 checks, 1000 checks or 2000 checks and of course, if the speeder is REALLY pissed, he’ll opt for the ULTRAPISSED package of 18,000 checks all for .01 cent each. You can charge a flat fee plus a certain amount per check.

I’m telling you, there are MANY people that get really pissed off when they get a ticket for the stupidest reasons. So, you’d have lots of customers. Of course, you’d also get people who SHOULD have gotten a ticket and they think they’re innocent. You could put a limit to the infractions you’ll accept. Like, you won’t accept anyone speeding in a school zone.. or tickets for more than 50 mph over the speed limit… etc. You set your own moral litmus test.

I for one, would have LOVED to pay that fine in small increments just to force them to spend more in manpower to process the fine than perhaps the revenue brought in justified.

Sweet justice! I think government organizations that rely on speeding for their revenue are evil and should go strait to hell, without passing go.

Just my humble opinion. :-)

Update: I just came across a nifty way to block your license plate’s picture from being taken by those photo radar ticketing things. Cool stuff. Use this and you won’t have to worry about paying a ticket. Prevention is the best medicine. :-)

Another Update: Just came across an article about a guy who paid his parking ticket fine with money smeared in feces. I think he would have been much better off using my idea. Now he’s been arrested and faces another fine up to $500.

October 6, 2004

Contact Any Celebrity

I came across a really cool affiliate program. The site sells access to a database of celebrity addresses. I can’t think of even one celebrity I want to write to (except maybe Cartman from South Park, but he probably gets way too much mail to answer a poor schlub like me) but I’m sure there are people out there that would pay for that access.

There’s gotta be a killer way to market this service off line. It’s kind of like the map to the star’s homes. But I don’t imagine sitting on the side of the road in Omaha, NE, holding a sign that reads, “Celebrity Addresses for Sale” would get much business.

Here’s an assignment to my readers (all 17 of you… haha!) Think of an interesting way to market this (off-line) and post your idea in the comments. Perhaps others will learn from your idea and go join the affiliate program and market it in their local areas.

Or maybe everyone will look at this post, yawn, and go back to surfing the web. :-)

October 5, 2004

Interesting Juxtaposition

WARNING! OFF-TOPIC!

Survey of French citizens resulted in 90% support for Kerry over Bush.

Survey of 4,000 full time and part-time US military personel resulted in 73% for Bush and 18% for Kerry.

The big problem people have with President Bush is his policy on Iraq, yet the people MOST effected by this policies give him the highest level of support.

Conversely, the people (among many others) who are LEAST effected by his policies (because of their consistent non-support for anything America does to try to improve the world) give him the least support.

Ruminate on that one, folks. Who’s camp would you rather be associated with?

Please remember that France is a nation that has hated and fought against everything we stand for since we liberated their country over 50 years.

They wouldn’t allow Reagan to deploy land based nuclear weapons to deter the communist threat during the cold war.

They wouldn’t grant fly over access for the surgical strike Reagan launched on Libya in retaliation for the Pan Am airline bombing.

The list goes on and on. This is a country totally against us in every way and they support Kerry by a margin of 9 to 1.

Then here’s a quote from Edwards, just today, from the Drudge Report:

Dem vp hopeful John Edwards cut to the chase last night on ABCNEWS NIGHTLINE:

ABC’S BOB WOODRUFF: “He has avoided the kind of negative attacks that can make national news, although recently, he has stepped up his rhetoric.”

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC) (clip of a speech): “I’d say if you live in the United States of America and you vote for George Bush, you’ve lost your mind.”

WOODRUFF: “There’s been criticism that you have been too soft.”

EDWARDS: “Do I seem soft to you?”

It’s like these people are TRYING to lose this election. It’s just sad, very sad.

October 2, 2004

Garage Storage Installer

I was researching some options for storage in our garage. I need LOTS of room to run my business in there and so I needed to get things up and out of the way. I want to use as much of the ceiling area as possible since it’s wasted space. (It’s a finished garage with an actual 8′ ceiling.)

I came across this storage company that sells kits allowing you to store things by essentially hanging stuff from the ceiling.

Here’s a picture of one of the 2′ x 8′ suspension storage thingys.

Essentially, you screw the posts into the ceiling and VIOLA, you have about 60 square feet of storage space, just like that. (You can adjust how far it hangs down from the ceiling from 30″ to 44″.)

As I do with every single thing I come across, I tried to think of a way to make money with this concept.

Do up some nice flyers, with a picture of the storage shelving and leave them door to door in a middle class to upper middle class neighborhood. Offer a complete installation of said shelves. The price of the 24″ x 96″ (2 feet by 8 feet) hardware is $80. Then add on the cost of the four 2′x4’s that it takes for the actual shelf surface. So, you’re into it for about $100 (including shipping of the hardware.) If you sell these, including installation for $175 each, I think you could sell a couple a day if you passed out flyers to about 500 houses a day. (Perhaps even 3 or 4, it would vary I would imagine.) Be sure to inquire with the storage company if you can get a discount for buying in bulk.

If you set up your schedule so you’re passing out flyers in the morning from about 7am to 11am. Take lunch and the from about 1pm to however long it takes, you can be installing shelves that you’ve sold from previous day’s flyer runs.

Installing just 2 a day, working only 5 days a week is $3000/mo. But I’m pretty sure you could ramp that up to 4 or 5 a day if you used some cheap labor to do your flyer distribution freeing you up to concentrate on the installations.

Of course, once you get to the house, you can do some upselling by recommending to them that the 4′ by 4′ shelf would fit nicely “here” and “here”. By the time you leave the house, you could feasibly have sold 4 or 5 shelves, all of different sizes. Because you’re working in volume, you can use the price drop method for closing the sale by saying, “since I’m already here, I can do the rest for 25% off the regular price.” You’d still be able to make $250+ for a multiple shelf jobs. You’d be amazed at what you could upsell once you get there. People who have their garages stuffed to the gills would probably salivate at the prospect of freeing up their entire garage floor space in one big swoop. Sell their dream of having all their garage floorspace, not the shelves. Remember, always sell the benefits, not features.

You’ll want to partner with some local outfits that do various things. Like lawn maintenance, repavers, siding, roofing and even those people that seal your garage floor and make it all nice and glossy. Just leave them a flyer of all these other services and have an agreement with these other guys to give you a kickback of some sort if they get a call from your lead. (Of course, they would be doing the same with their clients, for you.)