FIVE ACRES OF TROUT—98-102
Here is a fine money-making idea that could be more or less duplicated in various parts of the country. Some years ago a man, living about fifty miles from a large eastern city, owned a farm that had been allowed to go to seed, so to speak. The conviction grew on him that sportsmen would pay good money for the privilege of fishing for trout especially when it was not so far from town.
There was a chain of small ponds on the farm connected by brooks. He made some improvements to his place and referred to it as a clubhouse. Wire screens were placed at the inlet and outlet of one pond. He purchased a few rowboats and obtained a large supply of adult brook trout from a trout farm. It wasn't long before the news spread about the existence of a fine trout fishing place within a couple of hours drive of the city.
Many enthusiastic anglers arrived by the score and gladly paid their membership fees in the new fishing club. Soon, the owner saw the advisability of putting in his own trout hatchery and rearing pools and in due course of time he was raising a quarter million adult trout every season. Then he started a sideline business of selling surplus trout to hotels, restaurants and private fishing clubs and the sale of trout eggs to small hatcheries brought in additional income.
There is another case where a man developed a similar pool in the heart of a western city which was built on a former miniature golf course. This pool had a waterfall to lower the temperature of the water and the murky appearance of the water made the fishing more of a sporting proposition. The patron would pay a tackle fee and a small fee for each fish he caught. He was permitted, of course, to take what fish he caught home with him after having them cleaned at the pool. The fish in this particular place were transported from a mountain hatchery, and within one month anglers took some 15,000 trout from the pool. This will give you some idea of the profits to be made in such an enterprise.
It has been reported that a fellow in Minnesota started a fish farm where he raised carp. They thrive on a diet of wheat. As shown by statistics, it is not unusual to produce 200 to 300 lbs. of fish per acre of water per year. This is much more than can be produced in farm crops or livestock on an equal acreage of land. A farm pond is fertilized much like a piece of farm land, except the fertilizer is of a higher nitrogen content. Ponds are stocked at the rate of 100 large mouth black bass and 1,000 bluegill sunfish per acre, and so on.
Turtles sometimes wander in to the pools and then there is a small batch of turtles to take to the market every year.
Some tests made by an Experiment Station have shown that up to 600 lbs. may be produced per acre.
With a couple of pools in his backyard, one man made extra money from the sale of bait to anglers. Minnows and goldfish multiply by the thousands and this particular fellow got 2¢ for "shiners" and 5¢ for goldfish. The average fishing party will buy 100 shiners and 50 goldfish which amounts to $4.50. If he averages only 5 fishing parties daily, during a good part of the year, you can see what it runs into. Overhead expenses are very light.
If you a sportsman at heart, this fishing-club business should merit more than ordinary consideration, for you have seen herein that it can develop into a profitable enterprise. Should you wish to obtain more information in connection with this subject, it is suggested you get all the government pamphlets and booklets available. A fish farm is not at all difficult to develop and many farmers are giving more thought to developing them.
In operating any type of fishing club or fishing farm for anglers, additional revenue could be obtained by providing the sport in winter time. That's something many fisherman would surely appreciate—the opportunity to fish during winter months. Ice can be readily broken for fishing in the pools. One could also offer added comforts to the patrons by furnishing hot coffee, drinks in the clubhouse.
She learned that the Indians not only used the meat of rattlers for food, but made ornamental necklaces from the bones. Her curiosity was whetted and the next time she killed a rattler she put it into a kettle. The next day she was the owner of a business. Necklaces, costume jewelry, buckles, buttons, and bracelets were among the ornaments she made. In telling about her unusual business, she explained: "The bones resemble carved ivory, and achieve a startling whiteness after a thorough cleansing and bleaching process. They are then sorted out and combined in different manners, some with colored beads and others just as is."
Her business prospered; in fact it became so good that she and her husband fixed up a studio in town where their handicraft was displayed to better advantage. According to last reports, she was employing trappers to get her snakes. She soon learned that there was usually a market for the rattles, skulls and fangs. Her wares were exhibited at dude ranches and tourist camps in addition to the studio. Rattlesnake skins contrived into a tailored suit excited a great deal of attention when it was displayed.
They also handled the general line of billfolds, pocketbooks and the like, all of which were made from the skin of rattlesnakes. It just seems that women will wear anything that is different, and tourists like to buy unusual novelties. Merchandise of this nature takes well in the west, especially with the tourist trade. It should prove very popular in eastern states.
As was the case of the local stores, "The Barn" also depended on its regular customers. As it was not right in town, the telephone served for them to contact their customers. The beauty of this business was in the fast selling of their produce.
The lack of a barn may at first blush minimize the opportunity in this idea to some readers. However, it may not be necessary to own a barn. Perhaps some relative who owns a farm may have one you could use. Also, some farmer might be receptive to a plan whereby you could dispose of some of his farm products, such as chickens, butter, eggs, vegetables, fruits, honey and so forth. All sold through a "Barn store." It is a known fact that many people are willing to go out of their way, and even pay more, to get nice, crisp vegetables and fresh eggs, also chickens. Fruits and vegetables always taste much better right after picking.
A "Barn store" could sell the farm products directly from the field to the customer, probably within an hour after being picked. A good slogan would be "From Field To Customer." Stores located in large towns and cities, dealing with wholesale houses, cannot hope (and seldom do) to get farm products the same day they are picked. If you've ever tasted, for instance, corn-on-the-cob at a farmer's table you know there's no comparison to that purchased from a store in the city.
If a farmer were contracted for 100 per cent of his products, he would obviously be certain of a constant market at good prices, and all his transportation headaches would be automatically eliminated. In the final analysis, prices could be lower than city prices justified by volume sales.
WOMEN'S CLUB GETS A MAGAZINE—105-106
The news of the current happenings and the future plans came from members acting as "reporters." She saw to it that the paper mentioned as many names of the members as it had space to do so. Social news—small items—proved to be a popular addition to the magazine. The mimeographed sheet contained so much "gossip" and other interesting matter that the club members eagerly bought up every issue!
By contacting other club secretaries in different towns she was able to start similar publications in these communities. As most of the readers of such magazines are quite well to do the merchants in the different towns found it good business to advertise in each one. It sold for a dime and only cost about 5¢ to duplicate on the mimeograph machine. Her advertising brought in around $10 a page. Claims that she makes about $45 to $55 on each issue. Much more could be realized if the "imprint" method of publication was used on a state-wide basis, covering all women's clubs! As in the case of other ad mediums, a student journalist — or mail-order copywriter, could handle the editing or rewriting work for each issue — and for a moderate fee.
Using the libraries and newspapers to good advantage, she secured a great deal of material. By making frequent tours of the state she learned of more and more interesting places—beautiful scenic spots! She snapped pictures and had special maps drawn up. No other medium or map pointed out the scenic wonders—the "little known" places—that this booklet did! It met with instant approval!
Local storekeepers advertised in the booklet and a printer financed the first issue on the strength of the advertising contracts secured. By placing a number in each bus station and train depot, in hotels and in all newsstands, she cleared about $280. A new revised issue is published each year.
This plan could be broadened with greater opportunities by carrying it on in several nearby cities and towns all at the same time.
MOVIES FOR INVALIDS—108-109
His projector brings the entertainment bedridden patients heard so much about. He takes anything and everything of interest and projects it on the screen for his delighted audience.
Hospitals, sanitariums and even private homes would gladly subscribe to a service of this type. Travelogues, animated cartoons, comedies . . . all these things would bring great joy to invalids. Best of all there is little or no competition in this field.
A motion picture camera helped someone else to make a better living. In this case the originator was already in business. He used his camera to take moving pictures of various local "happenings" around town. He was clever enough to see to it that he focused his movie camera on the "little people"—the average man or woman.
These interesting shots were then flashed on a screen which was located in his store window. An "Automatic Movie Projector" was used and the business owner could go about his work without having to supervise the workings of his novel window display.
Local people crowd in front of his window at certain hours of the day hoping that they can see themselves or a friend or neighbor flashed on the screen! A different reel is shown each week.
His average loss on bad checks has been about ¼ per cent (or ¼ of 1 per cent) which can be jotted down as an "expense" plus the services of two assistants. Deducting such overhead expense, it is easy to see why he clears several thousand dollars a year.
An additional service like this helps to increase the restaurant business for his dad, and this type of service could improve business and increase profits for other lines of commercial enterprises. People are attracted to this restaurant because it provides a banking service. Not all the "bank's" customers eat at the restaurant, however.
A "banking service" of this kind could be instituted in any large city in collection with another business. Of course the project could be worked by itself. One clever operator worked the idea without the benefit of a partnership with another enterprise and it worked very well indeed!
It seems that this chap bought a house trailer on time. Then converted it into a traveling bank. Working the plan on a spare time schedule he is said to gross around $750 for each day's work! The expenses are extremely small. $70 for the bonding company plus wages to his pay clerks is just about the only money paid out for operating expense! Of course there is the investment in the trailer but that is an asset with a marketable value if he wishes to sell it at any time.
His men operate from both sides of the trailer, which has a large open window cut into each side. As many as 3,000 men line up to cash their pay checks at either window. Three tellers handle three separate lines with dispatch and it doesn't take much longer than an hour or so to handle the men from an average size plant.
This ingenious "little fellow" learned that the working man will tell his fellow-worker about such a convenient service if he is sure it is dependable and if he knows the trailer will be at the same location each pay day. This kind of advertising is bound to double and triple the number of men served inside of a month or so! Employees seem to like the handy trailer service. It saves them the time needed to take a streetcar to the nearest bank that will handle such checks. Or if they take the check into a store there is the chance that they will be obliged to buy something that they do not need. The trailer bank does away with all of this!
A good many men are paid each Saturday and when they come out at noon it is too late to take the check to their own bank. Then too the average worker quits work at around 4 or 5 P.M. on weekdays and this hour is not a convenient one for doing business with the bank. So—the small check-cashing enterprise does perform a handy service that the men appreciate. At any rate over 3,000 of them did to the extent of paying 25¢ for the service!
For the worker who does not have the time to pay his bills, one of the windows (the one at the end of the trailer) will take care of this problem. The man at this window will write him a check and make it payable to the person it is to be mailed to. The check will even be enclosed in an addressed stamped envelope. The operator will see that the letter or letters are taken to the post office and deposited in the letter box. The same 25¢ fee applies to this service and worth it to the busy worker! Some men find it necessary to send money back home, to pay their electric bill by mail or take care of an insurance payment, a magazine subscription, the payment on their home or the monthly rent. There are numerous payments to be made by mail nowadays.
This extra service gives the operator an additional $1,000 in fees from the workers of just one large factory! The trailer visits this particular plant twice each month so you figure the profits!
That's all wrong. A public stenographer couldn't make ends meet on her miserly earnings. She did some mending and a bit of laundering for her male patrons. The business soon began to grow and a girl had to be hired. She called her laundry the "Bachelor's Laundry" and within two years handled over 100,000 bundles yearly, serving over 3,500 patrons. Laundry and mending was for male patrons only. Three trucks deliver the mended laundry. There is no extra charge for repairs.
An idea like this catches afire quickly. Those who start with a huge bundle of cash are people most unlikely to succeed. A business grows. It just doesn't stand up and tower head and shoulders over the rest immediately. Start anything. Start in a small way. Things will gradually shape themselves into undreamed of proportions.
It isn't always necessary to own the laundry or dry cleaning business in order to make large profits in this field. Some of these establishments will pay up to 50 per cent commission on all work brought in. The independent agent simply uses his own truck and builds up his own route bringing the work in to the plant and also making deliveries. One such agent reports that it is possible to visit around one hundred homes each day and that 50 per cent of the calls will be productive. There is so much pressing, cleaning and laundry work to be found in each home. It stays there simply because the owner hasn't taken the time or trouble to get it to the cleaners or to the laundry (particularly the cleaning and pressing work).
Such friendly calls bring out a lot of this "hidden" business and the order can yield from 25¢ to $25, depending on the type of job! The amount of capital needed for such an enterprise is extremely small.
One man built up a route of 600 customers which netted him $130 a week and best of all he was in business for himself and not simply a salaried agent for the company.
BREAKFAST IN BED—114
The girls were instructed to post their notices on the dormitory bulletin board in regards to the time they wished to be served and their choices of jelly and juice. The meal itself was inexpensive, non-fattening yet very filling…breakfast of toast, jelly, fruit juice and coffee . . . all for 15¢.
Apartments and rooming houses, where no meals are served, would be eager to subscribe to a similar service. A couple could operate from the basement of the home or even next door. On Sundays alone the breakfast in bed could reap a profitable income to any man and wife looking for a way to make extra money.
A newspaperman who covered the accident found out this man had taken a picture of it and contacted him immediately. He sold one of the prints to the newspaper. The newspaper in turn told an insurance adjustor that the man they bought the print from had several shots of the accident. The insurance man bought a set of them for $35.
From this point on the man became an un-official wreck photographer. Police notified him of all smash-ups. When he arrived on the scene and took the pictures he placed a little sticker on the windshield of the wrecked vehicle notifying those concerned where the pictures could be had.
Cameras provide many interesting ways of making a living. There are hundreds of ways to make a camera pay.
One clever photographer learned that many factories would welcome the taking of pictures of their workers, many different assembly processes, different plant departments and the factory in general. These candid shots are usually of value to the plant owner because they can be used in the advertising "copy" and trade magazine articles featuring their products or plant.
He calls on about six small plants each week and takes up to 50 "shots." It is easy for him to clear $50 a day with this interesting work. Many of the workers were eager to buy copies of the snaps. These sold for 50¢ a piece. The management paying double this fee for their own copies.
TRAPPED BUT NOT KILLED—117
Alligator traps are made here regularly, as well as snake traps, and the latter are baited with live mice. However, to keep the whole process humane, the snake never does get the mouse.
THE LADYBUG KING—118
In one day he can collect 50,000 ladybugs in his automobile. He finds them in huge colonies under rocks, hanging on bushes and in the bark of old trees. He captures them and puts them into gunny- sacks.
The ladybugs are placed in screened boxes and shipped to many parts of the country, even to Cuba. Whenever anyone seeks protection from the aphid…wheat growers, fruit raisers, nurserymen, etc.…they simply call upon this man to supply them with a shipment of ladybugs.
Although capturing and selling ladybugs to the aforementioned can be worked by one man, there is a farm in California that produces from 80,000 to 3,000,000 lady bugs a day. There are 28 buildings on the farm. The feed bill is 5,000 sacks of good potatoes a year.
The public library contains many interesting books on insect control. The mere handful in the country selling insects that kill other insects cannot handle the vast business that protrudes like a sore thumb to those who want to study up a little on this subject, and make a commercial go of it. Bug-raising can be profitable!
Also unique is the "Pedestrian Advertising Service" operated in an eastern state. Instead of broken-down wanderers as sandwich men to carry advertisements, this clever man had a corps of well set-up young men, drilled to walk with easy grace, coached in pavement etiquette, and uniformed. On breast and back they wear printed bulletins—and they stop the crowds too, because they are different than the usual sandwich sign carrier.
SERVICE STATION FOR BABIES—121
In this manner she founded the baby servicing station for busy mothers. She used a delivery car for quickly servicing her customers with sterilized bottles and nipples, orange juice, pre-mixed formula, feedings, talcum powder, lime water, diapers and bootees. The idea caught on so fast that help had to be hired to take care of the increased trade.
Along with this business she conducted an employment bureau for nurse-maids. All the mothers had to do was call up this bureau and a nurse-maid would be available at any time of the day or night. Mothers who try to make appointments with the hair-dresser or go shopping, but can't because of baby, found this service to their liking.
Every community has child-raising problems, but not every community has a service like the one mentioned here. Those who at least make a try will find there are many eager to subscribe to this unique service.
DON'T LEND YOUR TOOLS—RENT THEM—122-123
Within a radius of 25 miles in the city where he lived he served many customers, building shelves, cabinets and other things, besides repairing doors, screens, etc. His charges were on an hourly basis and he employed one helper. In less than six months he was netting over $200 a month.
A similar shop-on-wheels could be operated by a carpenter or mechanic and in any average city there should be sufficient business available to keep such an enterprise busy.
One enterprising gentleman built a profitable business simply by renting tools. He had a small neighborhood shop equipped with all kinds of carpenter tools and folks were eager to rent them. It seems that the average household seldom has sufficient tools to make necessary repairs around the house.
Merchants know some businesses click better than others and nine chances out of ten the answer lies in advertising or merchandising ideas—good ones!
This man's plan was that of collecting for retailers advertisements of products similar to those they carry, placed by others in the same field. And his only expense was paying for the numerous newspapers to which he subscribed, clipping the ads, pasting them, and finally, mailing.
The advertisements, segregated according to merchandise sold, were sold as a monthly service to business concerns who had the latest and best advertising or merchandising stunts to choose from. And as an idea can always be improved on the merchants lost no time subscribing to a service that would bring in more business. The man charged $3.00 a month or $25 a year for his advertisement clipping service.
A ready reference file like this is invaluable to merchants who know the value of good advertising. It can be worked in any business district in the country.
FREE SOAP TO HOTELS—125
After pondering over the matter for sometime, it occurred to him that soap would be an excellent medium to impregnate with the invigorating odor of the pines. After experimenting with some formulas he discovered one that would hold the fragrance of the pine needles. A manufacturer was interviewed who was willing to make the product for him. However, our "mountaineer" was discouraged when an advertising agency informed it would take about $50,000 to put the product on the market and build up consumer demand. His few hundred dollars capital looked small compared to the fifty grand, but where there's a will there's a way and he talked over the situation with his manufacturer.
The upshot of it all was that he decided to put up the soap in tiny bars and around each bar, a label and a coupon. On the label appeared the following words: "This soap will keep everything clean but your conscience". The coupon read: "I like your soap. Send me six cakes. Here's your dollar". Arrangements were made with some hotels, large and small, to place a bar in each room, as the room was rented. In due time orders started coming in. The hotels were well pleased with the idea, and so they should be because the soap was given to them gratis. In this way the sample bars served a double purpose; i. e. free soap to the hotels and advertising for the owner. The end result was business coming from various parts of the country.
As the soap was extra good, and people liked the fragrance of the pines, repeat orders continued and this "mountain business" grew into a substantial mail order enterprise.
One may not engage in this particular business, but an ingenious person may at least be able to adapt the plan to another business or get an idea of his own from it.
His initial investment is having the map drawn and a cut made of it. However, his map is a most unusual one. A strictly localized map showing the trip around the lake, the lake itself, nearby resort towns, restaurants, various stands, rooming houses, repair shops filling stations, small dirt roads, excellent sections for fishing, picnicking, anything and everything around the local region which a vacationist might miss. The little comparatively unknown "shady lanes", streams, hiking trails, pools, fishing holes, forests, parks, camping spots, waterfalls, hills, mountains, all these would be included. Such a map could be illustrated with a number of beautiful scenic photographic views of the region mapped.
Naturally, a local map like this one is highly beneficial to the various business people in and around the lake region. Vacationists are in the habit of confining themselves to the hub of activities in a lake region. The walking distance places rarely get these spenders to come to their own stand or what have you. So a map like the one put out by the Michigan man literally and actually put their own place "on the map". The vacationists would make it their business to visit a certain restaurant on the map or the repair shop in case of automobile trouble.
The man who started this plan then solicited advertising from the business men shown on the map. This advertising space was exclusive from the one appearing on the map, the latter being a mere indication of just exactly where one could find the business on the map. Approximately 6000 of these maps were printed and 200 of them given to each advertiser to carry on their own distribution. The drawing of the map, advertisements and other copy material was rushed to a nearby city where a printer finished the job and mailed the 6000 maps back to the promoter. The latter's income on the 6000 maps was around $375.
The map promoter goes from one lake region to another all summer long. With the help of an artist anyone can draw up a rough map and have the finished product sent to the printer once the artist is done with it. There's much advertising to be had from this map idea, advertising that wouldn't be hard to sell.
POSTCARD REMINDER SERVICE—127-128
As trying to remember such dates is quite a chore to some people, the response was excellent. 10¢ was charged for each date listed, and he claimed that he earned $65 a month for this side-line occupation. He only advertised locally. An extension of the plan would be to advertise in other communities throughout one's state, which should produce a larger volume of business.
A subscription plan is used by a Veteran in operating this plan. He charges $2.50 for six month's subscription to, the service and agrees to mail out a fair amount of "reminders."
He and his good wife started housekeeping in a shack overlooking the Pacific. They spent their sun-tanned days by the sea. Before long the children were collecting shells, and in the backyard workshop the family converted old bottles into lamps, transforming driftwood into shell-encrusted furniture. Hobbyhorses were made out of empty kegs, cork, sailcloth, rope and seaweed. Their creations decorated the homes of film stars and some of the salvaged wreckage became atmosphere background for romantic tropical movies.
The most valuable finds were the blue or green abalone shells which were worth $100 apiece to fanciers. What a life! And what an enterprise!
Such novel items as candle sticks made out of shells, colorful window drapes made out of old fishing nets, tables made out of barrels topped with driftwood boards and the like appealed to the smart department stores! Some of the shops have more orders for the stuff than these people can possibly take care of! The mails bring them a flood of orders each day!
The usual "tourist novelties" are not to be found in their quaint shop. Everything made must have a practical use. It must be good business to follow along such lines because the amount of orders on hand tell them that they are doing a $100,000 a year business!
14 people now work for this clever family. Driftwood is the principal item that is used in manufacturing many of the novelties. This kind of wood is hard as iron, sea-bleached and curiously etched by the elements. The shop is closed for the day when the surf is full of such wood!
SHOE SHINE SHOWMANSHIP—130
Another hardware and paint shop offers an attractive service that costs the proprietor nothing and does a great deal toward holding his customers year after year. This man will allow any contractor-customer the convenience of a "community" office and bulletin board, both located in the rear of his store. The contractor use this office at any time without charge. While the bulletin board serves as a sort of communication medium through which the businessmen communicate with each other. These customers wouldn't think of taking their trade to another store. They like the "atmosphere" of the place and the "extra" service that the dealer provides.
PARENTS BY PROXY—133
Among their duties are: taking the children to moving picture shows, visits to the dentist, concerts, children's skating parties, playing tennis, roller skating with them and other other various children's recreational duties. In short, almost anything and everything is done for a price.
Simple classified advertisements worded to catch the better-class families' eyes should start something like this humming in a very short while. As long as the parents are willing to pay the fee, no duty should be too large or too small.
RAILROAD STATION AND GAS STATION—134
With his knowledge of railroads and engines he built a railroad of his own on the filling station lot. The running gear of an old engine was purchased, a threshing-machine boiler was salvaged, other odd parts purchased and he finally constructed a locomotive to run on the 500 feet of narrow-gauge track. He graded the roadbed and laid the ties himself. The "line" included several switches and an engine house.
One can rest assured this novel railroad station on the filling station lot soon attracted more customers than the man ever hoped to get in a whole life-time of ordinary gasoline selling. Filling stations offer opportunities galore for "something different" on the premises.
A New York man thought many would like to have churches, business buildings, etc., "pigeon-proofed". A sticky composition he designed kept the pigeons away. This process was applied on every ledge where a pigeon could possibly alight. The pigeon got his feet tangled up in the composition and soon learned to stay away from that particular building.
The St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City was one of the first imposing buildings to be "pigeon-proofed". Since then the man has pigeon-proofed hundreds of buildings and apartment houses.
What the purchaser DIDN'T know is that this mahogany was obtained from a near-by furniture factory. They sold all of their waste cuttings to the father-son clique for 40¢ a sackful.
Just another shining example of how "waste" can be turned into profit. The father and son have sold more than 7,000 of their novelties. And a sackful of "waste" mahogany at 40¢ per sack made quite a few of these treasured novelties, proving that "overhead" and material cost can be cut to a minimum simply by looking around for "waste" material.
Painted gourd Bird Houses was another man's specialty, however, things weren't going so well until someone suggested he carve a catch phrase on the little houses. That did the trick. A typical phrase over the bird house was, "To let—for a song." The sales spurted to an all-time high. All of which proves a seemingly flop can be turned into a profitable enterprise when a little thinking enters the picture.
Some ideas for "better bird houses": a curtained bird house, with bird bath built in the front porch, tiny shutters, flower boxes, imitation birds attached somewhere on the bird house…or the brain-child of the Chicago bird house builder who attached a little piece of metal in front of the bird house to act as a mirror. Birds are known to primp and preen before a mirror even as humans do. More birds were enticed to his particular bird house than any other. Naturally, the idea paid off in the large number of bird houses he has sold.
It's surprising what a little basement shop can turn out. A man out of work designed a toy walking duck. His handicraft not only brought employment for himself but for others too. He employs a staff of women turning out the toys and four salesmen on the road selling them.
Another man, past the age where he could find employment, decided to make employment for himself by turning out more than 1,000 bird houses for wrens, bluebirds, robins and other birds. He charged anywhere from 35¢ to $5.00 for each house. The plans for the houses were secured from the Audubon Society.
Relative to the father and son mahogany windmill business; a firm selling just such novelties, toys, puzzles, magic tricks, building sets, etc., found a mailing list company that would compile for them names of fathers with sons of school age. They had a reason for their unusual request. Instead of trying to interest the youth only, the letter was addressed to both father and son. This different direct mail approach proved to be a gold mine. Orders for their novelties poured in by the thousands as the result of making an appeal to father AND son. Where the novelty concerned a female member of the family, the letter was addressed to mother and daughter…Mary Jones and daughter. This idea certainly isn't overworked. Why so few people use the different methods to positive success will always remain a mystery. The unusual in anything is sure to be outstanding and will therefore command greater attention than the usual methods.
What about a portable soda-fountain bar? You've seen the various trays and portable bars that are being sold today for those wanting something that will conveniently serve the stronger types of drinks and doubtless you've heard about movie stars having their own soda fountains in their homes. Surely, the general public should be ready for a little "tray" or tiny folding "bar" that would dispense soda fountain drinks. Arranged conveniently in the "tray" or "bar" one could put ice cream, syrups, nuts, marshmallow, sauces, cherries, soda fountain glasses, sundae dishes, spoons, straws, napkins, menus and so on. Compartments for all these could be included in the equipment.
The "bar" might be the portable kind with legs that fold, ready to set up in any room. People could have a lot of fun watching the host make the concoctions, and some super-sundaes could be turned out to contain about everything. One could make a fortune in no time at all if one could only sell just a mere fraction of the number of regular portable trays or bars that have already been sold.
SELLING THE ALPHABET—141
A little investigation proved that none of the sporting goods stores in the city had the facilities to cut out lettering and place on baseball, basketball or football uniforms. However, a little shop in the city did the work, but the woman who ran it did not specialize in any particular felt work. She had a little talk with the proprietor of the shop, and the woman was willing to turn this felt work over to the widow. So a sewing machine was installed, an assortment of felt purchased, the necessary shears, razor blades, etc., assembled, and the widow was open for patronage.
The only experience she had in this work was when she cut a few pennants for friends at college. But this was enough to start the business.
The sporting goods stores readily agreed to cooperate with her, they to send their letter cutting business to her. Some of the stores preferred to deal direct, thereby making a small margin of profit on the deal
Her peak business was just about the time baseball season started. But swimming suits, basketball, football, and sweater emblems contributed to a well-rounded yearly profit.
This idea could be worked in any city where a letter-cutting service isn't available.
A CHILDREN'S RESTAURANT—142
The success of this side-line children's restaurant was in the manner this man prepared the food. Each dish soothed the most fickle appetite. Attractive borders of little silhouette children in various attitudes of play adorned the little folk's Menus. The menus were very simply decorated by merely pasting on them stickers obtained from the neighborhood novelty shop.
No problem was encountered in the preparation of food for the children, as many of the selections were the same as those appearing on the grown folk's menu, but named differently. Naturally, the children's dishes were much smaller portions than the regular menu.
He varied this profitable children's venture by catering to children's parties, contacting the churches and schools to increase the number of his very young customers, and by arranging special rates as an added attraction to the youngsters (and probably their parents!) in patronizing his restaurant.
Kids love to "eat out" and a party in a restaurant is a mighty big event in their lives! Restaurant proprietors should give this idea a trial. There's room for one in every city.
CATS AND CATNIP INC.—143
Perhaps the man that specializes in such items as "Mousie Housie", a complete playground for cats, realized this. Anyhow he employs 10 men who make a variety of things for cats. There's the catnip-scented mouse which kitty paws at, only to watch the mouse snap back . . . in and out of the "Mousie Housie". Even a "Kitty Bed" made out of imitation hollow log is made and sold by this man.
In many localities this market has never been tapped. At first though it may even seem scatter-brained…but not to the folks who own cats. They'll buy anything that will amuse their pets.
SERVICE ON WHEELS—144
That's precisely what one gasoline station owner did for his patrons. He equipped his help with roller skates. They were experts, on wheels, as good attendants.
In no time the gas tank was filled, water and oil checked, and the windshield cleaned. The busy man was quite satisfied with this service, because he patronized this particular station repeatedly.
Various eye-catching novelties can also be used to make the motorist stop and investigate. A prehistoric dinosaur "sculptured" in used oil cans was a successful eye-catching idea used by another service station.
A service station in the middle west makes their place remembered by having a fancy drinking fountain for dogs. Dog lovers drive out of their way to patronize this roadside station!
While on the subject of gasoline stations the story about a California gas station operator might be of interest to anyone going into this line. It seems that this dealer personally visited some 1,600 residents of his particular neighborhood. His friendly little chat was just that, nothing else. Later on he followed these visits up with a form letter mailed to each home. As a result he boosted his sales from a total of practically nothing to over 10,000 gallons of gas sold per month! This man didn't believe in doing the same things his competition was doing.
There is only ONE breeder that is known to specialize in teaching his parrots to repeat various slogans and even talk different languages. This same man will take parrots who already can talk and give them an added "course" in parroting human expressions.
It is little known but certain crows can be taught to talk. The very unusualness of a crow talking ought to spur an ambitious person into raising and training these odd pets. They would no doubt command a nice price at the market.
While on the subject of birds, an old couple in a southern state conduct a boarding house for these pets. People who take vacations or those who are called out of town for weeks at a time leave their pets with the couple. As many as 200 birds are boarded at one time.
Perhaps one of the most startling "bird" stories is that of the boy with Asthma and heart trouble, too ill to continue in school, who bought a pair of blooded parrakeets for $20 and started into business for himself! That was four years ago and today at the young age of 21 he owns the largest aviary in his state and is worth about $5,000!
WAGON WHEEL NOVELTIES—146
This man would take the wheel apart, remove all spokes, test each piece of wood, dress it off with a sander where the wood began to show signs of rotting, and finally reassemble all the pieces.
For a center table he used one heavy wheel with a four-inch rim and two large hubs, one of which is sawed in half, leaving the spokes all on one side. He would then cut the spokes of both hubs to about eight inches in length, fitting the full hub and two half hubs together. The end without spokes was used to support the surface of the table. The end with spokes was used as the base. The full hub went between the two and its spokes served as a center shelf. A circular piece of plate glass was used for the surface of the table.
This sort of work would necessarily require a knowledge of woodcraft, but among the readers there should be many men who know how to use tools. Pioneer novelties for the home and yard will always be items that sell quickly and for which there is a steady demand!
Note: To account for inflation, multiply prices by 8 to 10.