March 6, 2011

Mass Couture - Inexpensive custom made clothing

I’ve discovered an amazing source for custom made clothing in addition to a great business opportunity. This clothing company allows you to choose colors and styles and fit, for suits, jeans and shirts. You input your measurements (they have very specific how to videos to get the exact measurements you need) and then custom make your items in their Hong Kong factories.

Shirts are $20 and suits are $99. And these aren’t crappy clothes, either. They’re REALLY nice. They are spreading the word through a 5 level deep network marketing organization. Anyway, check it out. (Affiliate link.)

December 16, 2010

Rattle has launched…

I’ve been working on this amazing communication app for more than 6 months. It has finally hit the app store. Check out our site for it at rattle.me. It’s a new communications platform that we’ve initially launched via an Apple app, but will migrate to some very interesting places, eventually.

July 26, 2006

Computer Backup Business Revised - Carbonite Rocks!

I wrote about this idea a long time ago. Since then, backup services have become cheaper and cheaper. They are now so cheap, it really doesn’t make sense to rely soley on an inhouse backup system that is susceptible to theft and damage during natural disasters, along with the main computer.

Check out this $5, unlimited online backup service.  That’s right… unlimited backup for $5 a month and it’s continually secure from theft or damage because it’s on the web. It’s also VERY automated and very hands off. Set it once and never worry about backing up again. It’s truly remarkable that computer storage space has gotten so affordable.

But the nice thing is, they have an affiliate program. They pay up to $3 per lead that you bring to them. That means the customer only has to enter their name, email address and download the software. That’s it. You get $3 for that. (This is because I can’t imagine someone not continuing the service after the trial and I’m sure they have an extremely good retention rate.)

But read my original computer backup idea and then apply it to this new program. Just go door to door, with a nicely done business card that just says, "Unlimited Online Backup - $5/month" then the URL to your own site that forwards to your affiliate link. On your site, offer to help them if they have any problems at all (giving your personal number and email address.) If no one is home, leave it at the door. Or just leave it at the door without knocking. Whatever. If you could manage to get 25 people a day to enter their email address and name and download the software, you’ll be making $75 a day. I would imagine you’d have to pass out about 500 cards a day to do this and with business cards being so cheap now a days, it’s doable.

If nothing else, you should get it yourself. 

June 7, 2006

Sherman Empire Update

I’ve been receiving emails from readers of my blog asking when I’m going to post again. This blog is near and dear to my heart, but it’s so easy to let it slip because of how busy one can get. I like to think that if an entrepreneur has time to post to their blog, they aren’t working hard enough or spending enough time on their ideas. Haha!

We’ve also just had a new baby. Here’s our new daughter, Zoe Belle Sherman. (This drawing was done from a picture taken when she was about 10 days old. Yep, she’s that hairy!)

Zoe Belle Sherman
 

She was born on May 16th and is healthy. Now we have two girls and that’s it. No more for us. :-) 

Meanwhile, in case you’re interested, here is an update on all my businesses:

Sticky123.com - Going good. I’ve neglected it a bit only because the logistics are not set up to do MAJOR sales with this business yet. However, I’m changing that and so I’ll be able to ramp this business up a bit. Current annual revenue from this business is about $3000.

Gr8American.com - This business is still solid. Just finished this year’s line of Old World Santas. I think they’ll be great sellers this year. (New guys aren’t posted on site yet.) Current annual revenue from this business is about $175,000.

EbookPrintout.com -  Gang busters. I’m working on an add on to this service, for author’s of ebooks that will make it even more appealing for them to use our services. Amazingly, the site isn’t even live yet and we already are making about $25,000 a year off this business.

AboveBlack.com - My book is still selling. It’s been out now for 9 years, so sales have slowed of course. But we just printed our 6th print run and we’ve now sold over 10,000 copies. Annual revenue is about $6,000. But this revenue is essentially all plowed back into advertising. I wrote the book not as a money maker but as a tool to educate the public as to what is going on in certain circles of the US government.

PurpleStreet.com - (The site is a template right now… we’re doing development on it so what is there now is nothing like the actual final site.) This is a new site I’ll be launching soon. It will be a service for micro businesses that have one or two products to sell and don’t want to spend lots of money on an online store, getting approved for a merchant account…etc…etc. With this new service, they can upload their product to this ecommerce enabled website, in their own category, and then just link to the cart from whatever one page sales copy they have on the internet. The cart is REALLY professional looking with the ability to track orders, process payments, do sales tracking, ROI…etc. This kind of service is way over due on the net. I don’t know of one place on the net like it for real goods. It’s all inclusive. All you have to have is an inventory of products and a picture of the product. Now that’s simple ecommerce. :-)  Estimated annual revenue by December 2007: $250,000.

MegaSticky.com - (Site not functional yet.) I will be selling sticky note pads that are just like 3M’s Post-It Notes, but BIGGER. Perfect product for schools and businesses alike. Imagine having a 1′ x 1′ (that’s "1 foot by 1 foot" folks) sticky pad in your sales arsenal or in your day care or in your classroom. Estimated annual revenue by December 2007: $750,000 to $1.5 Million

OrderDept.com - (Site not functional yet.) I’m building a database system for small businesses. Most small businesses get orders and fulfill them. They don’t think much beyond that. Most can’t even begin to imagine actually pulling data from their database and doing follow up marketing based on certain criteria…etc. Of course, everyone has differing levels of competency with database manipulation…etc, but for the most part, small businesses do not even come close to optimizing their current customer base the way they could if they had an easy way to do it.

With the system I’m building, a small business can simply forward their cart’s order notification emails to us and we’ll store their customer’s order data, just off that notification email. Then, we’ll have an online interface they can log in to at any time and it will provide an EXTREMELY easy way for them to extract lists from their customer base, from selectable criteria. The cool part is, we’ll be compiling this data into one location. A lot of small businesses may have several different systems going at one time. They’ll use one cart for one thing and another system or cart for another and to get all that data working together is a nightmare. We put it in one location, regardless of what cart system they are using to collect the info. They can even move their entire operation to another cart system and not worry one bit about all their historical customer data. It’ll all be safely tucked away into our system. Once they start up at the new cart, they just continue forwarding order notifications and everything continues like they hadn’t moved at all.

Also, it’ll help small businesses keep their database "clean". Meaning… let’s say you have a customer order a Widget X and then right after that, they discover Widget Y and they order that. With all the data going into our system, we’ll recognize that customer as already having ordered another product and just add this new purchase to their existing customer record. So, when you go to query the database, you’re not going to duplicate your mailing by sending something to this same customer twice and you’ll know that they ordered both of these products without having to compare your product purchases against each other for duplicate customer records. Of course, if you have a cart that requires registration and for the customer to have an account, that won’t happen. But MOST small businesses don’t have carts like that. Estimated annual revenue from this business as of Dec 2007: $25,000 to $50,000.

Mystery Business - I have one business that I’m reluctant to discuss in detail. It’s too sensitive to competition and right now is our biggest money maker. So it would be silly of me to expound. But I at least wanted to let you know that it exists and definitely makes money. Projected 2006 revenues (not profit, revenue): $500,000. 

ForSaleByColor.com - (Template right now.) This is a new blog I’m having designed at the moment. I’ve alluded to this business in the past. Yes, it’s a blog. So why create another one when I don’t have time to add to this one… right? Well, it’s because ForSaleByColor.com will actually make money (butt loads of it.) Plus, my assistant, Francy, will be doing much of the actual blogging, I think. At least once it gets rolling. So, keep an eye out on that one. It might get some high profile attention when it launches since it will be a faily new take on the blogging concept. Estimated annual revenue as of Dec 2007: $50,000 - $150,000 (Lot of "what ifs" on this one.)

CarSticky.com - In early stages of conceptualization. Not much to report at the moment.

DanSherman.com - This blog actually used to make money with AdSense, but about a year ago or so, they started serving crappy public service ads ALL THE TIME on the site. So, I just removed them. So, DanSherman.com used to make about $1500 a year in just AdSense revenue, but it doesn’t any more. Perhaps I’ll rethink my monetization plan for this at some point.

Various Affiliate Links - Over the years, I’ve signed up with affiliate programs and displayed them on various sites of mine. (Some of them I haven’t even visited or worked on in over 4 years.) I just get checks in the mail every so often for these programs and for the most part, I have absolutely no idea how I made the money. Annual revenue: $1000

So that is the status of the Sherman Empire such as it is. Every day is another challenge. But challenges that I cherish and wouldn’t change for the world.

Be different and never give up. 

December 12, 2005

Multiple Streams of Income - Accomplished!

I had a small milestone the other day in my entreprenuerial journey. This may have occurred before, but a few days ago is the first day that I actually noticed. I had sales from 5 of my businesses all in one day. That’s 5 streams of income that are actually bringing in money. Of course, the challenge is to do the things necessary to grow them all.

I was watching a special on Leonardo Da Vinci the other night and it quoted from one of his notebooks, wherein he said something to the affect of:

To create an idea from nothing is noble but to carry out the idea into practice is servitude.

I’m VERY much paraphrasing here, since his was so much more profound, as you might imagine.

I’m diligently working on my biggest project to date. Technical details are holding us back (I absolutely despise the crappy details of establishing an SSL secure server for taking orders… despise it, I say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I can’t wait to reveal it to you to get your opinions and of course, your business, as each and every person that has access to the internet in the US and other western nations could use my new website at some point. Talk about a target market, hey? :-)

December 9, 2005

Computer Backup Service Business

I think I’ve touched on this before, but not this particular idea.

Why not take an ad out in your local paper or even go door to door (”we’re in the neighborhood” kind of thing) and advertise your services to set up a computer backup system for people so they won’t lose any of their data if their computer goes down? You would be absolutely AMAZED to know how many people do not have their computers backed up. Almost every single house you go to is a potential customer.

Take a cool looking hard drive with you when you go door to door. Use this one. It’s very cool looking and if you happen to get a Mac household, you’re a shoe in. Tell them you’ll set up the hard drive and ensure their data is being backed up every night at 2am (or whatever time they want) and they’ll never have to worry about it again. Their data will always be backed up.

The hard drive comes with backup software so you can just install it, tell it what to backup and you’re done. Tell them they can get it done now for $250 (which includes the hard drive and backup software and your services to set it up) or if they want to schedule another time, it’ll be $275. You can use that price difference to close the deal. After some talking, etc… just say, “You know, I’ve got some other installs in this area on that date, so I’ll do it for the $250 if you can commit to X date.”

You get the drift. The drive cost you $200 and you just made $50 for maybe 20 minutes of work, if that.

Be sure to choose neighborhoods that might have $250 to spend on backup solutions and it would be a very good idea to take credit cards for your payment.

Carrying the actual hard drive with you will give the customer something to lust after. When you get to the door, hand it to them as soon as they open the door and have them hold it while you talk. It keeps the door open and gives them something to start desiring. Add in your sweet talking about how they absolutely NEED to backup all those MP3 files, pictures, word documents, emails… etc. They know they’ve been putting it off and so many will just say, “Yeah, okay… I need to get this done and I’m never going to do it if I wait for myself to do it.”

Congrats. You are now a career backup technician. Of course, now that you have a relationship with them, give them your card and tell them what other services you do or partner with a tech in the area to give their card to them for a share of the profits in the future… or something like that.

Go forth.

October 2, 2005

EvDO Card Rental Update

I finally got around to putting my Verizon EvDO broadband wireless card up for auction on ebay. Not to sell it, but to rent it. Here’s my first post regarding this idea.

I got several bids and someone won it for $4.25 per day. He’s got it reserved for the end of the month, for about 7 days I believe. (My wife needs it in the beginning of the month for her travels.) So, I’ll net about $30 for that rental period. My cost is $65 a month (I have the insurance plan for $5 a month in addition to the $60 a month service fee.)

I can see this working quite well in the long run. Of course, this is one idea I don’t want anyone else to do since I don’t want TOO much competition out there. :-)

There you have it, Nev. An update!

September 19, 2005

Rent an EvDO Laptop Card

I recently purchased an EvDO card for my laptop so I can have high speed internet access while I’m travelling. (Here’s the Verizon site for EvDO.) I used it for the first time at a gift show in Seattle last month. It was FREAKING amazing! I got so much work done during that show, it turned out to be a non issue that I was gone from my business during the 5 days of the show. The show management company was selling high speed internet access for $500. Yes, that’s a 5 with two zeros behind it. I laughed myself silly when I saw that.

So, being the entrepreneur that I am, I decided to make some money with my card while I’m not using it. (Or at least pay for the service fee each month!) I’ve built a website that links to an ebay auction for the rental of the card. You can see the site here.

It remains to be seen whether this will actually work. I guess we’ll see in a few days. :-)

Update here.

Segway Rental Business

Here’s a great way to fund a cross country trip/vacation. Buy about 5 good used Segway machines and get an RV to haul them (and you) around in and set off across America.

Stop along the way at parks or parking lots (get permission from the owner… perhaps pay them a measly daily rental fee) and set up shop. Put out your pre-made big signs (and perhaps a lot of small ones in the area) and rent Segway rides in increments of 15 minutes.

You can even approach owners of large lots (like grocery stores and such) and see if they’d sponser an 8 hour day of free rides for their customers. They could offer free rides to all customers who buy $100+ in groceries. The store owner pays you a flat $1000 for a day’s worth of your 5 Seqways (or whatever you have). You just work your 8 hour day of quick training for each rider and then letting them ride in a predefined area (obstacle course… etc) and you’ve made yourself $1000 for an 8 hour day. Even if you don’t get the sponser gig each time, you can still set up in any empty open space and make at least $400 to $1000 a day by charging $10 for 15 minutes of riding time or something like that.

If you did this two days during the week and on Saturday and Sunday (4 days a week total), you could quite easily make $3000 - $5000 or more a week while travelling around the US.

All this business takes is a good legal disclaimer for the customer to sign, several machines for them to ride on, an RV, some signs, some time on your hands… and you’re set.

This is a pefect business for retirees. Retirement can actually be lucrative if you just give it some thought. :-)

September 10, 2005

Rent Your Investment House Out as a Hotel

With the housing boom right now, there are so many houses that are being purchased just to turn around in 6 months for a tidy profit. If you have one of those houses, why not get some ongoing revenue out of it without having to deal with tennants in the interim months that you’re waiting to sell? Heck, if it’s profitable enough, just keep the house and continue to rent it as a hotel.

With the ability to advertise to a specific audience for pennies, now-a-days (Google Adwords), it would be quite easy (and inexpensive) to advertise your 2 or 3 bedroom house as a nightly rental, essentially. Especially if it’s near the airport or a major freeway.

Take my situation. Our house is about 2.5 minutes off of I-5, just south of Portland OR. According to the overture keyword suggestion tool, there are about 250 searches a month for “wilsonville hotel”. If I can advertise my house for nightly rental at $80 a night, and I can rent it for say 30 nights a month, that’s $2400 a month in revenue. I have a nice house so I could probably get even $100 for it a night (keeping the price low so that it definitely fills up every night.)

If my mortgage is $1100 a month, that’s quite a profit. Even taking into consideration daily maid service… etc.

And I wouldn’t have to deal with the headaches involved with renting a house out to a traditional renter.

Heck, you could make quite a living from this. Just buy up houses near major freeways, buy ads on Google’s Adwords (or Yahoo… wherever) and sit back and watch the incredible revenue stream.

Of course, this would take some work managing it all, but it would be well worth it to get double your money on your property each month while increasing your equity at the same time.

Add in the use of a car, if you have a house near the airport. This would increase the value proposition even more. You could have a nice $20,000 car parked in the driveway to be used by your guests. So, you could charge maybe $150 a day and pay off the car with the extra cash.

This is done all the time through exchanges. My mother-in-law has done house exchanges with people from other countries where she flies there and stays in their house and uses their car and they fly to her house and uses her house and car. Yes, you’d have to make sure your guests are trustworthy and if you’re dealing with just one every two or three nights, that’s easier than hotels dealing with 50 a night… etc. So, there’s some liability issues, obviously, but I’m sure the overall profitibility far outweighs the liability exposure.

This gives people a totally new perspective on real estate speculation I would think. You couldn’t do this even 5 years ago because the common person didn’t have access to a pool of ready and willing buyers. But now that anyone can place an ad through Google’s Adwords program, anyone has instantaneous access to potential overnight guests.

I love technology!

August 17, 2005

Linkpaper Update

I know some of you are following the news regarding my latest “linkpaper” project. Just wanted to let you know I’ve updated the blog that relates to that project over at Blog County News.

August 4, 2005

Linkpaper Launching on August 8th

I’ve been alluding to this project in several of my previous posts. I’m officially unveiling it to my blog readers here and now. Hopefully, there will be others that will pick up on it from here and post it on their own blogs… and the news will spread.

I’m getting a bit excited about this project. I’ve been working on it for a while now. In my never so humble opinion, I think I’m about to launch what will amount to a ripple in the pond of journalism that will change the way we are exposed to news offline.

It’s called the “Linkpaper” and as far as I know, I’ll be the first to launch such a news delivery medium. You can read more about it over at the blog that I’ve set up for it here.

In short, a Linkpaper is a newspaper of sorts, but only the first 250 or so words of the article/news item is printed. Kind of like a blog that’s set up to deliver the first 250 words (or whatever) when read via an RSS feed.

It assembles news items from across the internet, from any and all sources, including a heavy reliance on blog entries. It’ll be delivered to people’s door steps for free.

I know you will have many questions, and I’ve answered many of them on my new Blog County blog. So, be sure to visit there if you get a chance.

Here’s to trying to change the face of offline news delivery… cheers!

Our first issue will be printed and delivered on August 8th. Wish us luck!

Update: If you’re interested in being a local Blog County business center (meaning you print, distribute and sell advertising in your local area), shoot me an email to myself (at) dansherman.com. It’ll require about $1000 in start up capital (equipment and initial working capital.) That isn’t something that can be replaced… so please don’t ask if you can make it up in sweat equity. You gotta have the right equipment and some working funds to get going.

July 28, 2005

Alternative to Airport Taxi and Long Term Parking

Here’s a new one for you. Provide an alternative to long term airport parking and/or taxi rides to and from the airport.

I’m sure there are plenty of places in your town that are a $50+ one way taxi ride to the airport (from people’s houses… etc.) That’s $100+ that is spent on a taxi ride if they are using it to get to the airport and get back to their house from the airport at the end of their trip.

Long term parking can get quite expensive as well. I know here at the Portland airport, it’s $8 a day (it may have gone up to $10 recently). So, if you’re staying some place more than a week, it’s going to cost you more than $50.

This is where you can come in. Offer your driving services, but not as a taxi. You’d offer to meet them at their house right before they leave for the airport. You park your car at their house and ride along with them to the airport. They drive right up to the departing area at the airport, they climb out and you drive their car back to their house for them. Then you climb back into your car and drive home. When they’re scheduled to fly back into the airport, you go back to their house, park your car, drive their car to the airport and meet them at the arrival curb. When you get back to their house, you climb back into your car and drive home. Mission complete. You are now $60 richer, or whatever.

Now, you’d have to look at the numbers on this. Every city is different and it depends on where you live in relation to the customer and the airport… etc. There are a lot of variables here. But for many people, your services would save people money and be much more convenient for them than either a taxi or long term parking. I know in my case, I could charge $60 and make about $12-$15 an hour if my clients were in Beaverton for example (worse case scenario in my town because it’s the furthest location in the metro area from me and the airport, simultaneously.) That price would include everything to and from airport, roundtrip.

I don’t have any illusions. This isn’t an idea that’s going to make you rich, but it’s actually a perfect part time job for perhaps a retired person who has a lot of time on his/her hands or anyone else that needs just a part time job that has flexible hours. If you had just two jobs a day, that would be about $1200 a month working 5 days a week (under the pricing I just quoted… yours would be different and even different per job, depending on their location and your location relating to the airport.)

You could advertise on google adwords for the keyword, “airport shuttle” coupled with the name of your city. (You don’t want to pay for clickthroughs if they aren’t in your city.) Other keywords would be “airport taxi” or just “taxi”… etc.

Some details you’d have to work out.. auto insurance and bonding. Make sure you are covered for driving other people’s cars. You’d have to be bonded, I’m sure. You won’t have to have a taxi license or chauffeur’s license, though, since you won’t be driving anyone. They’d be driving you when they were in the car. You’d be driving while alone. :-) So, if your city is like Portland, and they’ve created a legal monopoly in the taxi business and don’t allow any new taxi licenses, you can stick a finger in the air (pick a finger, any finger) towards their general direction. (Portland has had like 312 taxis authorized to operate in the city limits for over 20 years. No other companies can even apply to provide taxi service here. Oh, did I mention that Portland is the least business friendly city on planet earth and are absolute leftist guerillas, when it comes to taxes and red tape… in my humble opinion. If I didn’t… there you have it!)

Some other alternatives to this idea are to store their vehicle for them if you have a secure location close to the airport. That would keep you from spending precious drive time back to their house if they lived far away. But then there would be other issues regarding how you get to and from everywhere before having their vehicle… etc. There are many variations to this that one can customize to their own situation. You’re an entrepreneur, right? Run with it.

June 19, 2005

Sell Custom Tshirts

Technology is getting to the point that it’s quite common now to see all kinds of products that were at one time only available in the thousands, without customization. Now we have things like shoes and M&Ms that can be customized.

Tshirts are no different now thanks in large part to machines like this one.

Screenprinting on tshirts used to be a fairly drawn out process. Especially for full color prints. It could take over 2 hours just to get everything set up. Of course, this didn’t lend itself to doing one original design per tshirt without spending a good chunk of change on that one shirt.

Now with the advent of ink jet screen printing technology, you can do original tshirt designs all day long at a very affordable price.

I’m going to write a lot of ideas on how to make a business of one-off tshirts and I’m sure you can think of a million ways to make money with this machine as well, but here’s my first idea.

Using my Ready-to-Print Sticky Sheets, print a message that will get people to your website. On your website, advertise the tshirt concept shown here:

Custom Tshirt Business Idea

You can’t see it very good in this image, but the house image has been given a “fresco” look to it. Kind of like when you stipple your walls with a sponge to give it an artistic affect. You can do this quite easily in today’s photo editing software. Takes about 2 minutes, tops. You can make the images look painted, or drawn… black and white. Whatever you think would look good.

So, at the same time you’re putting the advertisement on their door, you are also taking a picture of their house using your digital camera. Of course, noting the address with the number of the image on your disk. You do this for 500 homes in one day. (It’s a full day of work, that’s for sure.)

Meanwhile, you’ve set up a cool looking tshirt site. When the customer sees your ad on their door and comes to your site, you tell them on the site that you’ve already taken a picture of their home. All they need to do is order a tshirt and viola, you’ll send them a tshirt with THEIR home pictured as the “Country Club” and their last name as the name of the Country Club.

Let them know that you’ll post the image that will be printed on their shirt on the website for them to see before you send it out. If they don’t like it, they can cancel their order with no obligation. (Get the order, however, before generating the image.) If they don’t respond within 48 hours (or whatever) from the time you post the image, that means they’re happy and the tshirt will be made and shipped.

You can charge a fairly good premium for this because it’s a one-of-a-kind shirt and they realize there was much more work involved with this shirt concept. However, your secret in the hole is the fact that it only costs you about $3.50 to make the shirt. That includes the cost of the tshirt! Of course, that’s NOT counting your marketing labor of going door-to-door and taking the pictures… etc.

Oh, here’s a great source for getting good quality shirts, too.

If you do this for every house in your town, then you can use that information to make even more money, based on another one of my ideas I posted here a while ago.

You can also do a co-op ad campaign with someone else by placing their ad on the customer’s door as well, while you’re there. That could increase your revenue for the day, without doing anything other than what you’re already doing.

Back to the shirts… if you get just 15 people (3%) of those 500 home owners to purchase from you, at a tshirt price of say $29.95, you’re making a profit of about $390 a day. If you do it in the right neighborhood (where people are fairly proud of their houses), you could make a considerable amount more. Meanwhile, you’re building a database of house pictures for the other idea of mine.

You could hire people off craigslist to do the actual door-to-door stuff for you and pay them $100 a day and pocket the rest and just concentrate on running the site. (Doing the image rendering and tshirt printing… etc.)

Oh, and Google might want your pictures too. For their new maps application. Who knows.

So much opportunity, so little time. :-)

Oh… still some left. Check out my limited edition, “American Entrepreneur” tshirt.

June 7, 2005

Extorting Your Customers - Stop the Madness!

I’ve written about this before, but it’s come back to me in spades after reading this bull crap.

This has happened to me, as well. At Walmart, no less.

The first outfit that offers professional portraits where a family can come in, have a 30 minute session with a photographer, then receive the digital pic files that were just taken, royalty free, will become a millionaire in short order.

Think of the money you’d make. Charge a sitting fee of $100 for 30 minutes of your photographer’s time in the little room with the multi backdrops. When they’re done, they pick up a DVD 5 minutes later containing high res digital images of ALL the pictures that were just taken. They own them from that point on. Heck, you could sign an agreement with one of the digital photo processors online like ofoto.com (kodak now, I guess) and have all pictures automatically uploaded and ready to order for the family…. etc.

The days of extorting your customers are coming to an end. The same with printers and their ink. Lexmark has just lost their court battle to stop a company from making ink cartridges that circumvent Lexmark’s chip technology that attempts to keep other company’s cartridges out of their printers.

I’ve said this before, as well. But it’s high time an electronic company comes out with a printer product that is profitable based solely on the sales of the printer. Then sell the cartridges directly to the consumer via the internet for dirt cheap, without the typical retail markup. This would do two things… it would differentiate yourself from the other slimeball printer companies that fleece their customers at the “gas” (ink) pump. It would prevent other companies from knocking off your ink cartridges because there would be no profit on them if you’re selling them direct for cheap. In one fell swoop, you’d radically change the landscape of the printer market and force others to re-think their business practices. Yes, there are always going to be those that would rather pay $50 for their printer and then pay high prices for the ink because they hardly ever use their printer. But there’s a HUGE market that would gladly pay $500 for a printer if the ink costs were chicken scratch.

Remember when you HAD to buy your phone from AT&T when your phone service was through them? When we look back on that now, it’s hardly believeable that we were forced to do that. But it’s true.

If your business model relies on holding your customers hostage to an inflated (exclusive) pricing structure for your revenue stream, you better start rethinking that business model.

You’re toast if you don’t.

You might also burn in hell for it. At least I hope so if you’re a certain printer company that starts with a “H” and ends with a “P.”

Bastards could drive Ferraris with all the money I’ve spent on ink. Grrrrrrrr!

March 1, 2005

Make Millions - Invest in Iraqi Dinar

Well… maybe. :-)

I’ve been taking a look at this Iraqi dinar investment talk that’s being discussed here and there. Most people (investment advisers) are down on the prospects that it’ll actually pay off.

Essentially, because the Iraqi economy is most likely at it’s lowest point going into the future, it’s worth maybe speculating a little on its currency. They just issued brand new Iraqi dinars and got rid of the old currency that had Uncle Saddam’s picture on it. They’re saying that it’s one of the most secure currencies against counterfieting since it was designed using the very latest in anti-counterfieting technologies.

Anyway, 1 dinar (IRQ) is worth .0007 cents. Or, to quote it the other way around… 1460 dinars to one US$1. So the exciting part about this is that once the economy starts to get on its feet and the nation starts to come out of the influence and specter of war, the terrorists are defeated and their oil reserve can be tapped (2nd largest oil reserves in the world) the tinar will start to increase in value.

I’m of the opinion that 15 or 20 years from now, we might just be looking back and wondering why we didn’t hawk our grandma’s teeth to buy Iraqi dinars. However, it is a very risky investment because we never know how the international markets will handle the trading and value of the dinar. It’s actually not even traded as of yet and no international banks will even buy or sell them. Plus, the value is fixed at the current level indefinitely. I’m assuming because if they didn’t set it, each bomb blast will send the value plummeting lower and lower until you’d have to bring a pickup load of paper bills to buy a glass of water.

But the speculator part of me (located right around the left butt cheek) says that if I just buy 1 million dinars and sat on them for a LONG time, I might just have sealed my retirement in spades. If not, I’ll have a million dinars to take a trip to Iraq and hopefully pay for my stay. (Post suicide bomber era!)

I’ve done a lot of research on where to buy them and the best place is actually ebay. Here is a link to all the dinar auctions. To give you an example, you can buy 500,000 Iraqi dinars for $480. If the value of the dinar gets back up to the Saddam imposed artificial value it was set at before the first gulf war of $3.30 per dinar… well, you don’t have to be a math genuis to figure that you’ve got yourself a nice return. From $480 to $1.6 million. Yowza.

There is a bit of precedent here. There were a lot of currency speculators that were buying up Kuwaiti money right after the first gulf war when it had plummeted in price. But they had a good economy prior to the invasion and assets invested overseas… etc. They didn’t have a national debt such as the likes as Iraq has.

Anyway, caveat emptor. But boy, it sure would be cool to be on the gravy side of that train if it comes in, huh?

February 1, 2005

Teach Ebay

In case you haven’t heard, ebay has upped their commissions to their affiliates. You earn commissions for signing people up as ebay members and generating bids on items up for auction. The low figure used to be $15 per sign up. Now it’s $20. The per bid commission has gone up as well.

Some ebay affiliates make over $1 million a month. That’s not a typo. Yikes!

So I got to thinking. The sign up commission starts at $20 per sign up. Why not rent out your local library’s meeting room, rent some old laptops for the day, set them up and put an ad in the paper advertising a free “Ebay Class” to all people who have never used Ebay before. Specify in your ad that if they’ve never signed up for ebay, the class is free. If they’ve already signed up and they just want to know more about how to use ebay, the class will be $25. (You can still get bid commissions off these attendees.)

If you get enough people to sign up consistently, you can buy your own used laptops (pretty cheap) and take your gig on the road. If you live in a big enough area, you could feasibly have a class every week. If you can get 50 people per class, 4 times a month, that’s 250 x $20. If you eventually own your own laptops, and you use the library which is really cheap, you can clear $5000 a month in sign up commissions. Of course, you’ll have them bid on something they want to buy, which will give you some more commissions. If you put together an ebay guide book of some sort or sell someone elses’ (through your Amazon.com affiliate account of course) that ups your take even more.

If you can have more than 1 going a week, that’s even better. Try to organize 1 a day. Perhaps in different parts of town or your state… wherever the numbers can support that many. Just hire someone to do the classes and you can just do the coordination part. Because if you have 1000 sign-ups per month, your commission is now $30 per sign-up. If you’re doing 30 classes a month, averaging 50 people per class, that’s $45,000 per month. If you have that many going on, you can pool your advertising money and do radio ads in a wide area… etc.

If you can do 60 classes a month, at 50 per class, you’re commission goes up again to $35 per sign up. Now you’re at $105,000 PER MONTH in sign up commissions PLUS the bid commissions you’d get with that many people bidding on things during the class.

There are numerous other ways you can add on revenue here. You could sell your attendees all kinds of add-on items. Use your imagination.

January 24, 2005

Use Famous Birthdays to Justify Promotionals

When I sold beds for a living (nice pay but awful hours), we were trained in the skill of dropping the price to close the sale. They always stressed to NEVER drop the price without a reason. If you just drop it, for no apparent reason other than to get the sale, the customer catches on and you lose their trust. (BTW: This is the reason car salespeople and other big ticket sales professions have the reputation they have.)

So you’d give them some totally stupid reason that you’ll drop the price to see if they are biting. The one I like is the mismatched fabric. After they’ve been hemming and hawing about a certain mattress set and you know that all it will take is a little nudge and they’re hooked, you say, "Tell you what, do you mind if the box spring has a different color fabric than the mattress?" Of course they don’t care. No one cares… particularly if you can save some money. They say, "No" and then you say, "Tell you what, let me check something real quick."

The salesperson goes back to the front counter and checks his shopping list, calls his wife to see what time she’s going to be home… anything to look like you’re checking on something. Then he goes back and gives them the mismatched line and says because they have two mismatches at the warehouse, he can knock another 5% off… or whatever he thinks is the least discount he needs to give to tip them over.

Viola! Sale made. And it only cost you 5%. But the key to the sale was, you gave them a reason for the drop and they were under the assumption they were getting a deal because of a unique situation that needs to be jumped on right away.

Now, there are real reasons for drops as well. But many times, companies will use the drop simply as a closing tool and for no other reason. The reason may be completely false.

The method I recommend, however, is the fun drop. It’s a drop your customer is fully aware of but will take advantage of anyway because they like what you are selling, like you and find your offer compelling, regardless of the reason. My philosophy with drops is to be honest with your customer. Tell them that you need their sale and because you do, you’re going to give them a 5% discount because they have a red shirt on and you love red shirts… or whatever. The point is, you make light of the drop and the customer knows you are on their side and you’re just trying to help them make the decision a little easier.

This idea I just came across at Idea Site for Business is a fun drop. It gives you a reason to send a communication to your customer and it’s a fun drop at the same time. Relate a special price you are running on a product with a famous person’s birthday. Here’s a snippet from the site on this idea:

Examples: Offer a "genius" of a sale on Einstein’s birthday : March 14. Have a really "cheap" price for one day only on Jack Benny’s birthday: February 14th. Haven’t heard from a client in a while? Harpo Marx’s birthday is November 23rd (he was the deaf Marx Brother.)

Is that genius, or what? (Excuse the pun.) I just love it.

January 19, 2005

Let People Jump off the Golden Gate Bridge

I just read an article about this filmmaker that convinced the city officials in charge of the Golden Gate bridge to set up a camera on public ground to film the bridge 24 hours a day to ostensibly chronicle the "day in the life of the bridge."

Turns out he is doing a film about suicide and he wanted to catch all the suicides that happen on the Golden Gate bridge throughout a given year. He actually caught all 19 successful jumps that year and all the attempted ones as well.

The city officials are all up in arms that they were lied to regarding the motives of the filmmaker.

Give me a break. Who in the world cares?

This got me to thinking. Why not actually build a rampart where people can go to the edge and from which they can fling themselves off? No worrying whether the cops are going to get them first. No worrying about breaking the law. No worrying whether they’re going to clear the suicide net or not. Just look down and step off.

However, before they can legally launch themselves into oblivion, they must undergo a 2 hour counseling session with a licensed psychologist in a little office right next to their final leaping pad. Anyone can call a hotline and request their two hour preleap counseling session at such and such a time. They meet the counsellor at the little preleap office and go through their two hours. If at the end of that session, they still want to leap, go for it.

I know this sounds odd, and yes, there are those that won’t have the mental wherewithal to make a call and pre-plan like that, but there are many who might be saved because you gave them a controlled route to their demise instead of making them dodge all those that are capable of saving them.

In the "crazy-enough-to-kill-yourself" community, the Golden Gate is a big draw. Let them come and allow them to do it, but only after going through a "hoop" before doing so.

Then film the heck out of it. Film the aftermath as well. The families that were devastated by their supreme act of selfishness. Film, film and film. So people can see just how tragic it is to take your own life, not for you, the scum bag doing it, but for all those that you leave behind. Tragic isn’t even a good enough word. It’s the ultimate act of hatred towards those that you professed to love at some point.

January 8, 2005

Kitty Litter Service - Make $250+ a Day

I hate those ads that quote you can make $X amount per day… etc. However, I fully believe the title of this post to be doable by the average person.

First, I’ve already written a related idea (they both have to do with cat poop) so if you want to read that one first, here it is.

More likely than not, you own a cat. Cats are the #1 pet in the USA. Over 70 million Americans own cats. The ratio goes up higher if you focus on nicer neighborhoods containing middle class to upper middle class homes. Which is where we’re going to focus this idea towards.

This is an incredible opportunity just because probably 75% of all the houses that you hit with your marketing are going to be potential customers. Talk to any marketing expert and they’ll tell you, that’s a good number.

This idea will combine another idea of mine about marketing. Read that one first, then come back here.

Essentially, this idea is selling a kitty litter maintenance service. For a house with 2 cats, you’ll charge them $30 a month to make sure they’re kitty litter box is clean and well maintained. For 1 cat, you’ll do it for $20 a month.

Using the post it notes, concentrate on particular neighborhoods. For this to be an efficient operation, you’ll need to make sure your customers are close to one another so you don’t waste time in travelling. It won’t work if you have to travel to clients all over town in one day. Put your ad on a post it note (you can use flyers too, I guess… I just like the post it note because it stands out from all the other joe blows out there advertising on people’s doors) and go through a neighborhood, sticking your ad on people’s doors.

Your ad is going to advertise your cat box maintenance service. For $X, you’ll clean and maintain their cat box 3 times a month. Their cat will receive fresh litter duing each visit… etc. The price INCLUDES the cost of the litter. No more packing 30 lb sacks of litter home to store in the garage. No more wondering whether the cat box has been cleaned in the past week. No more smell, no more mess. If there’s pregnancy in the house, they can eliminate that worry. (On second thought, with all the benefits you’ll want to tell the customer about, you might want to use a flyer instead… haha!)

Think about this… people HATE to clean the cat box. You show me a freshly cleaned cat box and I’ll show you a husband that was just told to clean the cat box because it’s starting to smell. I would gladly pay someone $30 to just take care of thing leaving me free to never have to think about the dirty thing ever again.

The key to this is to make your job as easy as possible is using a bigger cat box and flushable litter. There are several boxes on the market, but you can also MAKE them out of the big plastic bins that almost every store sells. Here’s one I made.

I just cut a hole in the top and viola, a cat box. My box is really an experiment. Hence the rough cut. You’ll want to get these cut in bulk by some outfit that can do it properly. But I bought this monstrosity at Target for $4. It’s important they be fairly good sized so you can go 10 days for 2 cats without the box filling up with poopage. When you empty it, you simply dump the whole thing into the toilet, wipe it out with an alcohol soaked handy wipe (alcohol dries really fast), fill it back up with litter and you’re on your way. The cleaning will be a piece of cake since you’ll be doing it each time. The waste won’t start to eat into the plastic because you’ll be cleaning it regularly.

There are several flushable litter materials on the market and in the bigger bags they cost about .50 cents a pound. Once you get big enough and are buying in bigger quantities, I’m sure you’ll be able to find it even cheaper from a pet supply distributor. This is an estimate, but it’ll probably take about 8 lbs of litter, per box, depending on the size of the box… etc. That is the only expense that comes out of the fee you’ll be collecting (other than gas and other business related incidentals.)

Essentially, you charge $10 each time you make a trip. If you do each customer every 10 days, that averages to about 3 times a month. Your litter expense is about $4 per trip. So, you get $6 each time you change a litter box. If you cluster your customer base in a tight geographic area, you can do 4-8 houses an hour. Do the math.

There’s one more major detail you have to address. Just like when people have a maid service to come in and clean on a regular basis, you’ll need to have access to the customer’s home without them being home. So, you’ll need to get bonded and licensed for work inside people’s homes unsupervised. That’s not a big deal, but it is something you’ll need to do. Check your local city or county government’s website or go to their building and ask about business licensing and bonding requirements. (Bonding questions can be directed to your insurance agent, as well.)

This can start out as a part time business. Just concentrate on a cluster of homes. Hit them once a week for a month with a flyer or post it note, advertising your business. Don’t think that just because they didn’t call you after the first flyer went out that they aren’t interested. If they see your flyer once a week for four weeks, they’ll know this isn’t some idiot trying out a business idea. They’ll start to take it seriously and it’ll become a conversation in the household, believe me. Especially if the husband sees it. :-)

The only two challenges is overcoming the customer’s reluctance to having someone come into their home unsupervised. But if you dress professional, perhaps with a logo’ed shirt on, nice haircut, professional paperwork…etc, you’ll break down that barrier quick. Then there’s the space issue. What if they don’t have room for your bigger box? No problem, you can come once every 5 days to empty their current box but it’ll cost them $40 a month instead. (Watch them find room somewhere for the bigger box all of a sudden.)

Go make me proud and empty some litter for a living.

January 5, 2005

Make Winter Crash Videos

You’ve probably seen the video blooper shows and sometimes they show a montage of cars sliding into one another during ice storms.

If you have a particularly bad intersection in your area that gets a little dicey during snow or ice storms, next time you have one, take your video camera to the corner and some warm clothing and essentially camp out at the intersection with your camera trained on the intersection. If it’s a really icy hill or something like that, you’re bound to capture some really good video. Depending on how much footage you get, you can edit it all together and sell the video on the internet or perhaps even to local news agencies. Of course, if you catch any really bad footage, the police might want to take a look at it for their ensuing report. But hopefully it’s just a bunch of sliding around and fender bendering. Set it to music with maybe an hour’s worth of footage and you got yourself a hit.

Be sure to get the people slipping and falling while walking down the sidewalk. Those are always good for a laugh.

December 24, 2004

Another Use for WiMax - Spy Service

As WiMax evolves and the chips get smaller and more efficient, someone’s going to build a flying apparatus that will be WiMax enabled with a really small video camera mounted on it. Something like this only on a much smaller scale.

What good is that? Imagine this…

Having a very small flying device, equipped with a small survellience type of camera and a WiMax chip. The WiMax ability will allow it to transmit a live video feed, wirelessly to the base unit that could be 20 or 30 miles away. Using the camera, you could effectively control the little device like you were actually sitting in it while flying.

With this little flying "eyes in the sky" you could rent your services to spy on suspected cheating spouses… etc. You’re hired by a suspecting spouse. You get details from that spouse as to when the cheating spouse usually leaves. You fly your little spy device to their house and you land on a roof adjacent to the target house and you sit there and wait for the target car to leave the driveway. You then follow the car with your spying device, hovering 100 feet or whatever over the car, following it to wherever they go. Meanwhile, the video feed can be fed through your website live to the spouse that hired you. She (he) could watch in real time where their spouse goes. If the spouse stops, you land somewhere where you can maintain visual on the car or perhaps even be able to see through open windows… etc.

This same thing can be hired out by parents who are suspicious of where their teens are going.

There are going to be sooooo many uses that we’ve not even thought of yet, for the WiMax technology. It has so much potential. The bandwidth, coupled with the non line of sight range, just opens it up to so many uses.

December 23, 2004

Make $150+ a Day Removing Bumper Stickers

How many cars do you see now with the 2004 election bumper stickers on their backside? I see LOTS of them. They’re everywhere. I was smart enough to put my Bush/Cheney sticker on my back window. Putting them on the window allows for a much easier removal.

But what about those poor saps that put them on their bumpers? How many do you think will still be there when they trade in their cars? Again… LOTS!

Why not learn how to easily remove bumper stickers then put together a tool box full of the proper equipment and head off into middle class America’s neighborhoods.

Talk about cherry picking. Wow. Just walk down the streets and spot cars sporting outdated bumperstickers and ring their door bells. If you look professional, clean cut, maybe even make up an identification badge and hang that from your shirt. Tell the owner that you’re in the neighborhood removing bumper stickers and you’ll be glad to do theirs for your standard fee of $6 for the first sticker and $2 for each additional. Tell them you know exactly what you’re doing and you’ll leave the paint underneath as good as the paint around the sticker and they’ll never even know they had a sticker on their backside to begin with.

This will work particularly well with anti-Bush.. uh-hum, I mean Kerry supporters. I suspect they will want to remove any and all evidence of such a hideous memory from their backsides as quick as possible.

I would imagine your closing ratio on this would be pretty high. Perhaps even as much as 50% of more. Particularly if you work the middle to upper middle class neighborhoods that won’t miss $6 and will want to have their nice cars back in apolitical condition without having to get down on their knees AND risk scratching their cars because they don’t know what they’re doing. Find just 25 customers a day and you’re making $150 a day without breaking much of a sweat.

Of course, you’d want to upsell your services to increase your revenue while you’re there. Tell them for an additional $7 you’ll spray both license plates with a substance that will make their plates virutally impossible to take a picture of by those photo (Nazi) radar detector devices. Do up a little flyer that explains how the photoblocker spray works and give it to them and tell them to take a look at it while you’re taking care of their bumperstickers. Then they can let you know about the license plate spray job when you come back to the door to collect your payment for the bumpersticker removal. If they want it, they’ll tell you then. If they don’t, no big deal. Move on to the next car. By asking, though, you’ll probably increase your daily revenue by 40%-50%.

There’s opportunity in almost everything you can see, touch, hear and even taste. But you gotta be thinking in those terms at all times.

I mean ALL THE TIME!!!

December 15, 2004

Profit from Late Fee Frustration

I just recently signed up for Hollywood Video’s MVP program. For a set fee per month, you get to check out 3 movies at one time without paying for them. Only if they’re eligible for the MVP program, of course. Which eliminates many of the latest ones. (Our store is the only store in the nation that gets it cheaper than everyone else because the national headquarters for Hollywood Video is here in Wilsonville, right down the road from where I live. I guess they want to be neighborly. Whatever.)

Anyway, it’s a great deal if you have youngins who like to watch the same thing over and over and over. However, it’s ONLY a good deal if you remember to bring the stinking things back in time. If not, you pay for the rental of the video for the next 5 days, whether you like it or not.

I came across my latest idea because of the HEFTY late fees I incurred recently. I was so pissed about them, I was determined to think my way into a business by solving this consumer problem. Lesson… whenever there is something in life we find unpleasant, there’s ALWAYS a potential business there somewhere.

So I was really motivated to think of a way to make money and at the same time reduce Hollywood Video’s cash cow, called "late fees."

Here’s something. As with all my ideas, I’m sure it will evolve and morph the more I think about it. Provide a service to people in your town for picking up their movies the night they are due and bringing them back to the video store.

Just do a nightly run along a pre-planned route circuit in your town. Sign people up for your service by putting stickys on their car while it’s parked outside the local video stores. (Be careful with this. This is a guerilla tactic as you will be told not to do it after a while.) But you could also go door-to-door in middle class neighborhoods, putting stickys on their doors, as well. Keep your customers geographically grouped so as to be able to do your nightly run quickly.

After someone signs up, all they have to do is put their video(s) out on the doorstep in a mutually agreed upon place on the night their movie is due and you can pick it up and return it for them while on your nightly run. Each time you do this for them, they are charged a flat rate of $3, or something like that. Regardless how many videos they are turning in. Your late fee is typically $3.75 per video. If you have 3 videos, that adds up. Not to mention the convenience of not having to get into your car and drive down to the video store in the middle of the night. Heck, you’d have people using your service not only to save on late fees at the last minute, the night their videos are due, but also people who just want the convenience of not having to worry about returning them physically.

There’s a lot of details and numbers that would have to be crunched on this idea. But that’s what it is at this point, just an idea.

Some thoughts… you could have them keep the light on their porch if they have a video out so you can do a quick drive by without having to get out at every house. That would be crucial from a time standpoint. You’d also want to make sure they put their videos out by a certain time so you can be sure to catch it. There’s even an online service that will allow you to place a text box on your website where people can type a message and send it to your cell phone via SMS messaging. You could save a lot of time by requiring that your customers send you a text message by going to your site (make it REALLY simple for them to accomplish) and typing their address or some other prearranged code so you can know that they are ready for a pickup.

I could go on and on with little improvements on this. But I’m sure my smart audience gets the drift on the idea. Solve people’s problems and you’re in business.

Oh, and if Hollywood or Blockbuster were smart, they’d JOIN you and support your business by advertising your services in their stores. But, of course, that’s not what big businesses do. They are in business to HIDE stuff like that from you, counting on your laziness and ignorance to continue to fill their coffers with sideline profit centers like late fees. It’s just so short-sighted.

But when big businesses are short-sighted, opportunities are waiting to be discovered by those of us that want to solve customers problems and not create them. :-)

Now go make a net profit. (That’s my new sign off… kinda like Dr. Laura’s, "Now go do the right thing.")

November 28, 2004

Live in a Mansion for Free

In keeping with my business concepts and ideas related to the holidays, here’s one. It’s a business opportunity AND a plan to build a beautiful home for next to nothing.

As everyone in America knows, light shows are VERY popular during Christmas. Some people just go overboard but that’s great because it gives us lazy bums something to look at and aspire to. :-)

Why not turn this into a way to pay for your own custom built house?

Here’s how it would work. Buy a few acres outside a fairly major metropolis and plan on building a home. Only this home would be custom built to have lights that automatically drape or somehow cover itself with lighting ALL OVER the house. I mean on every square inch of the house, there would be a light. In the day, they wouldn’t be visible. But the system would be engineered to put all the lights in place during the night somehow. (A good engineer can work this out somehow.. like have them unroll in sheets of light rows from the eaves…etc.)

So, your entire house would be just covered from head to toe with lights. Of course, you’d want your entire grounds to be custom designed with a huge light show as well. I mean a REALLY BIG show. One that would attract people from hundreds of miles away.

But, and this is important, make sure your light show is interchangeable with the seasons. So, for Easter, you’d have a huge Easter themed light show. During 4th of July, your lighting show would be red, white and blue, Independence Day themed. Then the next one would be Halloween and then of course, Christmas.

In your plans, you’d have a nice gate (lit of course) with a gate house at the front of your driveway. This gate house would be where you would collect the entry fee that you’d charge people to drive your property to see the light show. You’d have designed the entire thing to be seen from a long meandering driveway that exits out another street somewhere.

Your Easter show would open maybe 3 weeks before Easter and close the day after Easter. Your 4th of July show would open on June 15th maybe (or earlier) and close the weekend after the 4th (or whatever). Then the Halloween one could open on October 1st and close on November 1st. Christmas could open the day after Thanksgiving and close on Jan 2nd, or thereabouts.

So, your shows are open to the public a total of about 12 to 14 weeks, give or take. In that timeframe, if you’ve set up your lighting system from the ground up to be very automated and easy to operate, you could essentially bring in enough revenue throughout the year to pay the mortgage on a very nice custom built property. Essentially, you work maybe 20 weeks out of the year and vacation the other part and at the same time, your house is being paid for by your adoring public.

If you do the numbers, you could feasibly bring in a few hundred grand a year or more. Halloween and Christmas alone is HUGE business. You could be looking at $10,000-$20,000 a day in revenue during these two holiday seasons. Of course, you’d have to work out the actual numbers and you’d also have to make sure you could afford this endeavor even without the added revenue, just to be safe. But if you could extract revenue on your property like that, year in and year out, that’s at the very least, a great way to pay off your mortgage in just a few years.

Of course, you could piggy back on my previous idea about selling sponsorships… only you’d be selling them for your own lighting display. :-)

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