U.S.A. . . . . NIGHT SHOWMANSHIP
A darkened window, illuminated by a clever lighting device, is reported by a midwestern storekeeper to have created a great amount of interest among passers by. Window shoppers, reading the sign over the window, which says, "You can see this window by simply pressing the button", actually show their curiosity by doing just that. In fact, they are said to have stood in line to press the button, which flooded the display with light as long as the button was held down!
This form of showmanship adds personality to the windows of the store. The window shopper! particularly the leisurely type of night window shopper, out for a stroll with lots of time, is a mighty important prospect for a storekeeper to make his appeal to in some manner. #149
U.S.A. . . . . HANDWRITTEN CIRCULARS
A tearoom in an Ohio town advertises chicken dinners once a week by the post card method, but instead of typing each card, uses the longhand style of writing the advertising message.
The owner found that she had some spare time on her hands one day and so decided to try writing out all of the advertising cards. Her first message "Remember Thursday is Maid's day out. Why not dine at the Marigold Tearoom? Chicken Dinner $1.00" attracted many new customers on ALL days of the week. The same idea worked for a small flower shop who mailed out a handwritten message to business men at their office addresses. One man placed a $42 order for flowers as a result of this personal penny postal.
One executive receiving the personalized card, told the dealer that it was the cleverest bit of advertising he'd seen in a long time!
HANDWRITING does personalize things, no doubt about it. It might even pay to hire a girl to write out all of your advertising messages. Short letters or postal messages shouldn't take too long to turn out if mass production methods are used by the writer. It is simply a form of addressing envelopes and the girls doing this type of work get to be so fast at it that they can address almost as many per hour as a typist could.
There might be room for a direct mail service that would specialize in sending out personalized handwritten advertising to small businessmen's mailing lists for a fee. #150
U.S.A. . . . . WHITE POTATO CHIPS
Why not then a different chip or a "Carrot Chip"? Fried in oil the same way as a potato chip and salted, these colorful chips make a big hit with the gourmet. At least one operator has had success with this particular food product (see "Discovered"). The attractive orange color and the slight sweetness lend a new and distinctive taste.
Snow-white potato chips is the latest food trick. The secret is that the potato slices are dunked in hot water before frying. Out go the acids and sugars that streak the ordinary chips browns.
No doubt a nice little enterprise could be built into a big thing by concentrating on these two novel food products…carrot chips and snow-white potato chips. #151
She established this enterprise or service in a town in Australia and would make her rounds every evening taking orders for the following day. Or, in some cases, accepted instructions and orders early the next morning. The women drop by on the way to work for a minute or two. She says that she enjoys the work and really earns a good living at it.
Another woman handles a similar service for those living outside of London, England. She gets her shopping instructions by mail. Her clients usually want things that can only be obtained in a big city (at a reasonable price). This service is a boon to busy housewives with children who can't arrange to go to the big city to do their shopping. This sort of shopping service should appeal to the rural section or small town section surrounding any large American city. Both of these services could be operated by man and wife partnerships. The husband doing some of the shopping or making the deliveries at the end of the day; the wife handling the promotional end of the enterprise, making the contacts, shopping, etc. The telephone would help out too.
Here in the United States a housewife in Minnesota decided to use the family station wagon for a neighborhood delivery service. She'll accept all kinds of orders from the neighborhood's housewives. She makes one trip per day. During the summer months, and after school, her twelve year old daughter helps out by taking all phone orders as they come in.
As soon as the retail shops heard about her shopping service, they too decided to avail themselves of her service and many special jobs were pushed her way. The enterprise has grown so fast that this woman is now thinking about taking on a helper together with another station wagon. #152
Still it has been proved in England that beavers can be bred in captivity. In fact, they've been bred very successfully throughout England. England has specialized in a beaver commonly known as the Nutria beaver, a somewhat smaller beaver with a round tail instead of a flat one.
One breeder in England sells the progeny as breeding stock, the pelts to the London Skin Merchants and the skins to the textile trade. The latter market is a particularly interesting proposition. It seems that there are firms in England who use these skins (not the pelts) by cutting them into strips 6 x ½ inch and using them in their machines for spinning all silks and fine materials. Twenty-five years of investigation has not produced anything which will stand up to the work half as well as this type of skin, for which good prices are paid. There might be a similar market here in America, as yet untouched.
With regard to breeding, this has been found comparatively simple; the stock bred in England has been found to be quite hardy, and the quality of skins good. Litters range from four to eight, with an average of two litters a year. Average price of the stock in England is now about $80.00 per breeding pair.
I'd say that there should be immense possibilities for similar beaver farms in this country. Government pamphlets on the subject would be of great help in making your plans for such a venture.
There are other unusual types of wild game that can be brought under control and possibly raised for profit.
A man in Nebraska started raising wild game as a hobby some five years ago and today has 2,800 pheasants and several hundred Canadian geese and wild mallards.
A chap in a little town in Michigan is raising such unusual game as squirrel, deer, opossum, and raccoon with success.
Bob, who lives in a small New York town, started raising ring-necked pheasants in 1939 and today his business is successful, some 2,000 being shipped out each year. He sells almost all of his stock to two Gun Clubs in that state.
As I mentioned in "Discovered", there is mighty big money in the raising of quail if you can master its secrets. William has a quail farm in Virginia producing about 7,000 of these birds each year. The secret of his success, according to William, is that he does not hatch his quail eggs under bantam hens as some raisers do, but instead hatches them in electric incubators. He proved that these bantam hens were carrying a disease that killed the quail. #153-155
It's a sort of "Human Lost and Found Service" and works from a central point in Budapest.
If one happens to get separated from his party in coming out of a theater, or in the crowd at some other big event and he wants to know where to contact them, perhaps not knowing just where the gang was headed…he simply calls up this unique service and asks if there is any message for him, or else he leaves a message himself. If his friends have already called this service, well and good, if not, they'll know where he is when they do call in. It works out extremely well if you happen to lose your girl friend or forget on which street corner you were supposed to meet her…or it starts to rain, etc., and you can't make the appointment on time. Or if you are to meet friends and accidentally get the wrong address and go to the wrong theater, restaurant, hotel, etc. You can soon put an end to the waiting by calling this service.
The fact that most people in Budapest are aware that such a service exists makes them quick to make use of its facilities.
Another service is offered that might be copied over here and is called the "Conference Line". By prearrangement the ladies of Budapest can hold long and regular telephone parties with their friends, some four, five or six different ladies all hooked on to the same line. The clever arrangement allows them to all take an active part in the conversation. The "conference" service is also used by business firms, lawyers, etc. in the same manner.
By having such calls put through to a private office switchboard in the office of the "Conference Service" and then plugging all parties on to or into one line in some manner, perhaps with the use of a booster or loud speaker system tied-in some way with a group of telephone mouthpieces or receivers, the service could be handled very satisfactorily. Advice would probably be available from the local telephone company or from experienced telephone repairmen or electricians.
Representative of the enterprise that is STILL present in Hungary, despite everything, is the unusual "Arizona Nightclub" with a revolving dance floor of glass. An elaborate set-up that as yet has not been duplicated in this country.
Herman, a New Yorker, has another unusual type of telephone service in which he rents, not office space, desk space or mail service, but telephone space or service, call it what you may! Out-of-town firms who have no New York office, yet want a telephone listing in the New York directory, place their firm under one of Herman's telephone numbers and have all of their inquiries, orders and appointments handled by this office.
The odd service forwards all telephone messages on to the subscriber via mail, phone or wire.
This service reminds me of the popular address service now being worked successfully in New York City, using such famous addresses as Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue, and well known skyscraper building addresses.
The telephone can play an important part in many an unusual and profitable enterprise. For example, take the case of one New Yorker who started an odd telephone service some eight years ago. Folks laughed at him when he made the start, because they thought the average person could get the same information, that this man was to offer by phone, out of the newspapers. You see, his plan was to provide a service whereby anyone could call up his number and find out what was playing at any theater in New York City. There are 700 theaters in the city.
His service was to provide information that would tell the caller where certain pictures were now playing, what minute each feature started, what the coming attraction was, etc. The most valuable part of the service, I believe, was the part where you could find the picture you were searching for. In other words, if you had your mind set on a certain exceptional picture, or one to your own special liking, but you weren't sure if it were playing in your own district, or if you knew it wasn't playing there and were willing to go out of your way to a theater that was showing it, then this telephone service would prove of value.
Still, folks laughed as they often do. But, they were wrong when they thought people would use the theater section of the newspapers, because they didn't. Instead, some 35,000 calls come in to this chap's service each week-day and around 70,000 on Saturday and Sunday. He now has twenty telephone operators working in his office.
The big theaters pay him as much as $150 a month, while others pay him as little as $30 a month.
The idea is a success and would probably test out well in other communities, Or it could be worked in with other telephone service ideas, if the city or town wasn't large enough to support lust one service. #156-159
In a nutshell this is the plan: Set your profit at around 25%, or as near to your normal mark-up as you can. Each customer is to join your "club" by spending on an average $4.00 per week or $208.00 each year…or more. Every customer steadily patronizing your business who averages the above amount (or any amount you set), will receive one week before Christmas (or it could be any other holiday, a birthday, vocation, etc.) a $25.00 check (or any amount you set). To receive this check your customers must have a clean slate and owe nothing on the account. This plan is said to have a very irresistible pulling power. The overage family at Christmas time or at Vacation time is usually low in funds! Such a cash gift would bring blessings to you, and might quadruple your business…possibly even do more than that!
You can call this a "plan" or a "club". You can have your advertising or your display cords point out the attractiveness in joining your Xmas Club or Xmas Refund Club or joining your Birthday Refund Plan or Vacation Refund Club, etc., etc. Call it by some appealing name. Start the customer in the operation of the plan twelve, or perhaps six months, in advance of the date for the refund check. Figure out what a few hundred new families could do for your bank account every year! Figure out what an increase of a few dollars in sales per old customer could do for your business on a yearly basis…to say nothing of the brand new customer profits.
By balancing your increased volume and gross income with the bonus you pay out every six or twelve months, you should be able to arrive at the right margin of profit, the right quantity wholesale prices that go with increased purchasing, the right bonus percentages to pay each customer…so that you enjoy the right increase in bankable yearly profits! Try it on any business.
SELLING "MENTHOLIZER" BLOTTERS
"Mentholators" can be put up 12 to a small display card, which is to be hung upon the wall, or placed in show cases in cigar stores, book stores, deportment stores, etc. Agents can leave these on consignment, therefore there would be no selling to do. The item will sell itself and the agent (or you) can collect for the cards AFTER the merchant has disposed of the twelve.
The "Mentholator" takes the shape of a blotter. You make them by simply soaking blotting paper with a mentholated solution. Blotters are then placed in glassine bags. A blotter 2 inches by 1½ inches should be just about right. You can place two to a bag and sell for around a quarter. These can be used over and over again so it is a real bargain to the smoker. You can have two strengths…one strong and one extra strong strength. All the customer has to do is simply slip the blotter into his pack of cigarettes.
The process is as follows: Dissolve ¼ oz. of Menthol (crystals) in 8 ounces of Essence of Peppermint. Shake well until the crystals are all dissolved. Keep the stock bottle well stoppered at all times, to prevent evaporation. When ready to use, take a glass container and place a layer of cotton on the bottom (¼ in. thick). Pour the menthol mixture over same until well saturated. Then place your blotter paper (printed side up if you print your name and advertising thereon) on the cotton. You can use a piece of glass to help flatten down the cotton and blotter stock. Saturation is quick and even in this manner and you are ready to put in the next blotter sheet. Cut to desired size.
You can print on the blotter: "Mentholizer. For a cool, refreshing smoke, insert this Mentholizer in your favorite pack of cigarettes. Good for 10 to 12 packs." (and your address). The display card can read: "For A Cool Smoke Mentholize Your Own Cigarettes and Save Money. Just insert a Mentholizer in your pack of cigarettes, and presto every cigarette is mentholized. No mess or fuss. Works by itself."
A similar idea could be used in another line. Why not a "bug-blotter"? Saturate with insect killing chemical. Handy for any place in the home. Kills roaches, spiders, bugs, etc. Sell 20 blotters for a dollar.
Note: To account for inflation, multiply prices by 8 to 10.