For those readers who prefer a business where there is no personal contact with the buying public, the same plan can be adapted to their own likes and dislikes by hiring agents to do the canvassing. An idea of this kind with such definite money making possibilities, an idea that is new to this country, is surely going to attract many agents. An advertisement in your local newspaper would bring in scores of applications to handle routes in exclusive territory. Hiring agents would perhaps be the best way to make even more money per week than the Australian originator did, because it allows the promoter to cover much more territory. Even though your percentage of profit will be much lower per sale, as the agents will have to have a generous commission, the huge volume of sales that crews of salesmen would bring in, would more than make up for this, and perhaps surpass the originator's profit by far! Such a no-canvassing plan would allow the promoter much more time to create new selling schemes, to make more profitable source of supply contacts and more working capital to buy in larger quantities.
In considering this plan, remember that everyone must use the merchandise being offered. Even though there are many different kinds of routes, such as egg routes, dry cleaning routes, bakery routes, milk routes, fish routes, produce routes, ice routes, paper routes, magazine routes, Fuller brush routes, spring water routes, etc., so far there are no routes offering this particular item. It's simple enough and rather startling enough to catch on with the housewives of the nation! It did in Australia!
The "Soap King" is the story of a man who being out of work and looking for same way of making an honest living decided on the "soap way" to attain his purpose. Not meeting with much success trying to sell various articles from door to door he sat down in the park one afternoon trying to figure out what people wanted that was a necessity, which was fairly heavy to carry and which was cheap and within the reach of everybody. While sitting there he noticed the women going to and from the business section of the town loaded with parcels. One middle aged lady came and sat beside him to rest. She complained to him of having to carry heavy parcels. As she put her open worked carrying bag down he noticed she had a large bar of a well known brand of soap in it.
After talking to her for awhile, he asked her if a person knocked at her door offering the same large bar of soap at the same price, would she buy from him.
"Of course I would", she replied.
Here is the opportunity, the one idea, he had been searching for. After getting the lady's address and bidding her good afternoon, he went straight to the nearest wholesale grocery store and asked them if they would sell him a case of soap at wholesale price. This they readily did. The soap he bought was a well known brand and contained forty-eight bars to the box.
He opened the box at the store and carried half of them to his home, asking the firm's permission to leave the balance until he called for it. He soon returned, bringing a hand-case with him in which to carry the balance of the soap.
This man started to sell his soap With his next door neighbor, selling at the same price as the store. He sold his first bar here, making one cent profit. He tried the next house and here the lady told him she had that morning purchased a bar at the store. She asked him to call again the following week. He went into the next house and sold a bar there. This lady asked him if he had another certain brand and he told her he would have it the next time he called.
Within one hour he had sold the forty-eight bars and was back again at the wholesale grocery for another box. He again sold this box, going further afield. For the afternoon he had made a profit of ninety-six cents, gained ninety-six customers with a promise of others. That night while lying in bed, he thought this soap is heavy and I have got to find a way to carry it about, otherwise I may have to give it up and try something else.
He managed to fix up a makeshift truck out of the chassis of an old baby carriage and some pieces of lumber and set off for the wholesale store again, this time buying six boxes of soap…five of the brand he had already started to sell, and one of another well known brand. He placed one box on the cart, the other five cases the firm agreed to deliver to his home.
He started to sell again where he had finished the day before, and in less than forty-five minutes sold the forty-eight bars. In some homes he sold two and three bars. Before the end of the day he had sold the six boxes. The following day he bought eight cases, four of each brand. By the end of the week he had sold thirty boxes, making a profit or $14.40. He had put in plenty of hard work and was determined to buy the soap direct from the manufacturer in ton lots. This he did, and in some cases got as much as 33-1/3% discount and the soap delivered to his home.
His profits began to creep up to the $30.00 a week mark. Within the first three months one soap company was making for him a first class soap, wrapped with each bar was a dish cloth of the open work type with his own name on the wrapper. On this bar he made a profit of five cents and he was selling around five hundred bars a week.
He was soon able to dispense with his cart and invest in a panel truck which was brightly painted with a large sign "The Soap King". From this van he retails his soap over a regular route, calling on his customers every two weeks.
He has also added to his line good grades of toilet soap such as Lux, Palm Olive, etc. Shaving creams and tooth pastes. From each tube of tooth paste he makes a profit of five cents.
He uses a sample basket from his van and he tells me that he averages ten cents a week from each customer; he serves two hundred per day and works only five days as week…so according to his figures he is making $100 per week. He has built a large storeroom in his backyard where he keeps his goods and van. All this he has built from soap and hard plugging. #164
U.S.A. . . . . PHOTO ENTERPRISES
A theater or hall would be leased for the evening and you can imagine the turn out when all of the relatives, friends and neighbors came to see their favorite boy scout go through his maneuvers on the screen. This operator made up to $1,000 on each showing and managed to arrange a different showing for a different troop once each month.
Lately I've come across information that leads me to believe that one could readily use the same plan, but substitute church activities. Putting the church in the movies is one way of helping many churches and helping yourself to profits too. Everything can be filmed. You'll find congregational scenes that will be interesting, human interest scenes, even comedy scenes in most any church.
The church calendar is bound to have events on it that can be filmed during the week days in addition to the regular Sunday activities. Church suppers, christening services for babies, candlelight services, choir rehearsals, young people's gatherings. Sunday school classes, the minister in his home, in the garden, in his study, the people on their way up the walk to the church, and the after-the-service gatherings at the church door could be taken. After some editing of all this film, and a bit of cutting too, you will be able to combine the whole series of shots into one wonderful motion picture.
From here on you'll use the same system of promotion that the other aforementioned promoter used. The church around which the motion picture has been made will naturally be the made-to-order auditorium in which to show it to an enthusiastic audience…and it would probably attract many new visitors to the church who might later on become members. There will be a full house, human nature being what it is. Members who had a part in the picture (and practically everyone will be in it) will go to see themselves and their friends (and prospects for the Church) will come along to see how their acquaintances look on the screen.
The photo-promoter will, of course, receive a fair percentage of the evenings receipts from each church. There should be many churches to work in a good size city and the plan could easily be worked along with the Boy Scout project. Both need money, always need funds, and here is a sure way for them to get a fair share of the profits from a clean venture that will not cost them a penny, and they'll not have to do any of the work. The promoter or photographer handles everything and supervises everything.
Recently a small town movie house here in California used the idea to attract more folks to the box office. A roving photographer toured the town taking moving pictures of the local citizens at play or work, or what have you. Lines formed early for the first run of this home-town film (shown along with the regular movie attraction), as local people crowded in to see how they, their neighbors and friends showed up in the film. Elderly persons and others who seldom go to movies were evident in the early groups! Think that over!
Isn't it possible that this very same idea could be adapted to many other types of businesses other than Boy Scout Troops, Churches and Movie Houses?
Why couldn't any shopkeeper, restaurant or small enterprise use the same plan, show similar pictures in their places of business. In "Discovered" you'll read about one man who tried this idea for his business and it worked. However, he used an automatic projector as a part of his window display. The kind that is projector and screen all in one. Crowds would jam his window whenever a showing was made, and of course the resulting publicity and the personality it gave his little store brought him many new customers and also kept his place in the minds of all the townsfolk! It's a clever idea if used right. #165-168
Flowers bring to mind the young lady in England who, after leaving the armed forces about a year ago, started a clever flower service on just a few shillings. It seems that she wanted to open a florist shop—and had always dreamed of owning one, but lack of capital put a stop to this ambition. Not to be put off, she had some cards printed in which she offered to supply fresh flowers weekly for the offices of firms in her town, and also hotels, restaurants, clubs and similar places. She would buy and arrange the flowers, see that they harmonized with existing decorations if necessary, supply vases and even colorful pictures, change them weekly…and all for a reasonable fee.
The service met with great success and orders came in steadily increasing numbers. Today, after twelve months work, we are told that she now has a large and profitable "flower service" and also a flourishing local florists shop.
A similar idea is covered quite thoroughly in "Discovered—505 Odd Enterprises" but I believe the English girl has added a couple of new features to the American idea when she included pictures and vases in with the unusual plan of operation! Hotels, restaurants, stores, etc. are a few additional markets that other operators could consider seriously when starting into this field.
I believe it is a service with a future because there just isn't anything better than flowers for producing a bright, cheerful, happy atmosphere…that will help to take away the business monotony and dinginess of the average office. Personal canvassing doesn't seam to be necessary as printed cards break the ice and make the contacts. However, personal visits could be used as a "follow-up" to the mailed or distributed circulars or cards.
A formula just received from England could produce a product, I believe, that would help to establish any type of flower business, simply by giving it away free as a sort of premium, or something "extra" to the customer.
I refer to "flower life" (or any other suitable name) that helps to increase the life of the cut flower. Said to double the life of all cut flowers. Simple formula consists of nothing else but saltpetre. This chemical can be procured cheaply and only 1½ ozs. is necessary for each package. Can be put up in small envelopes about the size of a seed packet. A small pinch added to a vase full of water will do the trick.
Here's an added thought. Why not a part time (at the start) flower shop in the home that specializes only in one thing… "Wedding Bouquets". Enlarged colored photographs of different kinds of wedding bouquets could be used as your form of advertising, allowing the prospect the chance to leaf through your file of photos until a selection is made, then delivery can be made. Names of prospective brides or bridegrooms could be obtained from newspapers or newspaper clippings. #169
U.S.A. . . . . NEW PICTURES
These aren't ordinary dolls that can be played with and perhaps eventually destroyed by an over enthusiastic child. Instead, the doll is put under glass and framed just like a picture. Hung on the wall, the effect is quite startling.
In "Discovered" I covered an unusual enterprise being operated by another woman. She too made a living "framing dolls". In both cases actual full size dolls were enclosed in frames. In order to get the dolls into the picture frames, the frames had to be fairly thick in depth and the dolls themselves had to have the reverse sides flattened or cut down (the side that would be unseen when framed). The finished job, nevertheless, has the appearance of a "living" picture, something different from the ordinary run of framed pictures.
Getting back to Florence and her project, this handicapped shut-in receives baby's curls (3 inch lengths) from proud parents all over the United States. They mail them to her and she skillfully arranges each curl so that it peaks out from under the doll's bonnet (which also holds the curls in place) and the result is that the curls appear to be growing out from under the bonnet and flowing down onto the doll's shoulders. She makes the dolls dainty and attractive, using blue, yellow or pink laces.
The dolls aren't too large as her finished picture only measures 6 by 6 inches. However, if some of my readers find this idea meets with approval in their own community, larger sizes could be created so as to give the customer a greater selection and the profit would be greater, of course. It's a clever way to preserve the baby's hair indefinitely and I can't picture any parent not falling for this idea.
Both mentioned young women have made successes out of such creations. It shouldn't be difficult for any man and wife partnership to acquire what little skill is necessary to turn them out. The husband can handle the promotion, advertising and mail order end, while the wife can make the dolls, etc.
I wouldn't be surprised if some fortunate couple, one of these days, comes up with a fair sized fortune, using this idea on a large scale! A few firms have made fortunes dealing in "sentiment in bronze". You've seen those bronze baby shoes in all the stores and in many advertisements. Anyone can have their baby's shoes preserved in bronze. One man and wife partnership, in Ohio, built up a business doing just this, and nothing else, and in 16 years built it up to the extent that their sales are close to one million dollars a year and they now employ 140 people. Lately they've started to bronze other items, such as children's toys and other sentimental objects.
Now do you believe that there is the basis for a fortune contained in the idea I am giving you on this page? #170-171
The large orders that he has had to fill and the earnings that have doubled, prove that sailors really do love their ships! Why hasn't this idea been worked by one of the many, many photographers in this country? #172
By calling up the restaurant one can ascertain what is on the menu and order over the phone. Or, I suppose menus could be delivered to all homes in the near vicinity (covering a whole week) and the interested customer could pick out his complete meal from the menu and order it via the phone. Meals are delivered in special containers, ready to eat, or ready to heat if too cool. Meals will be delivered at whatever time is specified.
This same enterprising idea is put into practice by two London women. They've called their English project the "Dial And Dine" establishment and use this "Dial And Dine" phrase in their advertising. It's a very good title.
The "Cooked Food Shop" or "Cooked Food Delivery Service" is said to have been a popular idea in Canada for some time. Any busy neighborhood in this country should be ideal for a similar shop. One Veteran and his wife started a "Fish & Chips" Service in their own home, displaying attractive advertising posters in many of the hometown stores and service stations. Here one can either bring his own platter to their home and pick up the order or possibly have it delivered. The fish is said to be beautifully prepared and accompanied with heaping mounds of French-fried potatoes and generous helpings of cole slaw. The couple are said to be prospering and quite happy with their new enterprise. #173-174
U.S.A. . . . . FUNNY SELLING
The market for such boards is to be found among the many interior decorators, builders and contractors. They use them as unusual and attractive wall paneling for rumpus rooms, restaurants, stores, offices, etc. Many homes have dens and other special rooms lined with the rustic boarding.
Another example of picking up a waste product and finding a use for it. However, in this case it is more like finding a new use for a worn out product rather than a waste product. But there is a great deal of profit there, nevertheless, if this idea were carried out on a nation-wide scale. Perhaps one of my readers will start the only lumber yard in the United States specializing in antiqued, weathered, unusual and rustic boards! #175
U.S.A. . . . . PHOTOS
Business has been so good that William has had to hire a staff of artists. He sells these masterpieces for $3.50. The customer sends in a good photograph of himself and the artist does the rest. If the customer wants an especially good job, he mentions the color of his hair and eyes.
For those readers who are interested in this idea but do not care to hire artists on a big scale, the business could be operated in a different fashion. In the formula booklet that accompanies this book the reader will find a photo transferring formula that will come in handy. This will show a process in which a person's photograph can be transferred to almost any object. However this formula is slightly different because it shows one how a transparent type of photograph can be printed on another item, such as a tie. The fact that the photo would be slightly transparent, allowing the color and texture of the tie to show through, would tend to give the illusion that the photograph was a part of the tie material. Furthermore, the tie colors would improve the appearance of the photograph as they would blend into it. Just sticking or photographing a regular black and white photograph on a tie wouldn't look well, it would clash with the rest of the tie. A slightly transparent photo would allow the tie colors to color the photograph, and the result should be as attractive as a hand-painted caricature. Anyone should be able to master the photographic technique of producing personalized ties.
Painting old shoes used to be Mrs. Portland's hobby, but now she has turned it into a profitable enterprise. Retouched shoes are worn as sport wear and for the beach by her many women customers.
Joan, who lives in the state of Missouri, picks up old antique trunks, gives them a coat of white enamel, then paints little pink flowers, gilt leaves and other quaint designs all over the outside. The result, a beautiful chest that can be lined with chintz and used as a trousseau chest, hope chest, or what have you.
Her advertisements in the classified section of the local newspaper bring in enough work to keep her constantly busy. And her customers are walking advertisements too. Lately she's been making a lot of "layette" trunks. It seems that there is no end to the use to which such old-fashioned, painted trunks can be put.
Sometimes she turns them into toy chests for parents who want a convenient and attractive receptacle in which to place all of the children's toys, etc. On this type of trunk she paints, or stencil paints fairy tale characters of animals. Decals of such figures could be used in place of stencils or actually painting the designs or figures…that is…if you are not particularly talented in painting or sketching. Decals of just about every object and design you can think of are available at a reasonable price and ready to transfer easily to any object, simply by wetting decal, pressing and rubbing it until the transfer is made. There are many different types each with a different transferring process, but you get the idea, I'm sure.
Recently Joan was able to procure a quantity of wooden shoes from Holland. These are painted in the same manner and then sold as flower holders. Here is an item for the beginner to start out with until he is proficient enough to take on the larger trunks.
Discarded suitcases have been converted into gay carryalls for picnic lunches by another ingenious person. I've seen one and it certainly is an attractive case. Painted in the same fashion as the trunks.
All of these items could be worked into a fine project by a man wife partnership. With the aid of hired help, thousands of these objects could be painted, using spray guns and decal transfers to speed up the work. I'm sure that department store buyers in every large city would order several dozen of each. Multiply one such purchase by a hundred and you have the start of a small fortune because these chests, etc., bring large prices! #176-178
The "Address Exchange Bureau", operated by a Mr. Baggot in West Bromwich, England, has a service that might be worked into the above mentioned plans. He'll accept your mailing list of names, preferably on gummed labels or slips in exchange for his own mailing lists. On a 1,000 name exchange, he'll charge you a reasonable fee (or commission) and give you in return 840 names of his own. Same class of names and addresses, but different ones. He claims that this scheme is cheaper than advertising, for many of his clients.
I can visualize a service such as this catering to our mail-order dealers and Direct Mail Houses in this country. A go-between service such as this could supervise the exchanging of huge mailing lists and accept a "commission" or fee for bringing the two dealers or mailers together and bringing about the exchange of lists. If both lists have been used by successful dealers there is every reason to believe that the exchange of lists will be equally profitable to both dealers…and at a great saving over what either dealer would pay for the outright purchase of a list or the rental of letters. An exchange bureau for the exchange of original inquiry letters and original orders could be established just as well and on the same basis. There is a need for such a service, as I know only too well, being a mail-order publisher myself, just how difficult it is to get a sufficient quantity of good names to mail to month in and month out…and at a reasonable price. I've often wished that I knew just which dealers or companies out of the thousands of mail-order enterprises would exchange mailing lists. Not every firm will exchange, hence the need for a bureau to make the contacts and have the lists or offers on file ready for immediate exchange. #179
U.S.A. . . . . MAIL ORDER
Lately she has been using sheets of plastic which work even better for such jobs. She claims that she isn't the least bit artistic or mechanical, nevertheless she can operate her electric jigsaw which she says is much like a sewing machine to her. Some of the silhouette forms came from greeting cards, magazine illustrations and snapshots.
Many mail orders have been received, some from as far away as Switzerland. Her customers are her best advertisements as they tell many others. Tourists buy them to send back home to friends.
Patterns could be used to trace the designs onto the metal or plastic and the jig saw will do the rest.
At last report Mrs. Leslie has found business so good that she has been obliged to give up her home work shop where she has operated the business for many years, and instead work out of a small shop in the business district. #180
U.S.A. . . . . FARMING
Up in Maine Arthur grows not only four leaf clovers but five leaf clovers. In fact he grows them with leaves up to nine. So far his hobby has been most profitable as he has been able to sell many for a quarter apiece. The fact that he has a hot house in his yard enables him to raise the clovers all during the winter too.
The strangest part of this outdoor project is his seven-leaf clovers. He finds that many people ask for this particular clover because seven is supposed to be a lucky number! Perhaps there can be a new twist to the selling of four leaf clovers or the seed, as a great many of these clovers have been sold in plastic cases and the idea is not so new anymore. Why not a combination deal, offering a four leaf clover and a seven leaf clover in the same plastic case? Or just sell the seven leaf ones alone or in connection with entirely different groups of good luck charms and tokens.
Two years after Arthur started this hobby he was able to produce a plant with nothing but the lucky clovers. Several people have grown four leaf clovers. The chap down in Panama that you might have read about, has grown millions of them and sold them to people all over the world. They can be grown if you have the patience and the time to turn such an outdoor hobby into a success. Four-leaf clovers can be grown from seeds. The job is to get one of those seeds. Arthur started with just one lone four leaf clover seed. #181
This formula will make it possible for some of my readers to make beautiful plaques in plaster of Paris or metal, from photos. The idea isn't new, but I believe it is something that can be revived and the new modern plastics might also be used in the process.
Not only plaques, but full busts can be made from photographs by using this clever photographic system. It would still be unusual today even though the formula is quite old, as I don't believe there have been any such photo plaques around for a good many years. Should be a sensation to be able to actually duplicate the fine features of a person's photograph likeness onto a plaque, bust or statue made out of modern plastic! Miniature types would sell best, I believe.
Here is the formula…after translation and a 6,000 mile trip:
"A piece of heavy drawing paper is soaked in warm distilled water (about 30 degrees C.) and placed on a piece of mirror-glass. There on is placed a flat wooden frame ¼ - ½ inch high. The paper should be somewhat larger than the frame, so that the ends can be folded back onto the frame and pasted with glue thereon. The insides of the frame must be coated lightly with Vaseline.
"One must prepare the following solution of gelatine: 20 grams (somewhat less than an ounce - 308.6 grains) of gelatine are soaked in distilled water. After pouring off the water the gelatine is molten on a water-bath; thereon add one cc of glycerine and two grams (30.9 grains) of sugar. This solution is poured on the drawing paper after filtering through a fine sieve, taking care that no air bubbles are formed, until the height of pouring is 5-10 m/m (1/5 - 2/5 inch). The drawing paper must be still damp when the pouring is done. One has to take care that the glass lies absolutely flat. After hardening of the gelatine the frame is taken off carefully and the drawing-paper thickly coated with the gelatine must be dried in a lukewarm, dust-free place.
"After drying the coating will still feel a little damp owing to the added glycerine. The gelatine is then sensitised through bathing in a 10% solution of Potassium Bichromate to which is added Ammonia until the solution is colored straw-yellow. Time of sensitising about 10 minutes (in the dark-room!) Yellow light suffices. Thereafter the paper is squeezed on a mirror-glass plate which must be thoroughly cleaned and then put in a not too warm, dark and dust-free place to dry, which will take 30 to 40 hours. When dry the paper is pulled off the glass, powdered slightly with mais-powder, and can then be used to print.
"Printing is done like P.O.P. paper until the copy seems very much too dark. Thereon the print is washed during 1½ — 2 days in water which is changed several times until one has got a sufficiently high gelatine relief which depends on: printing-time, washing-time and temperature of the water.
"The dry gelatine-relief must be brushed in lightly with soap water or thin oil and boxed in with cardboard. Now one can make a cast of plaster of Paris.
"Through these plaster casts one can make casts in metal, or to be modern, in plastic." #182
U.S.A. . . . . WAGON WHEEL HERBS
By using a real wagon wheel you can offer a picturesque garden box and ornament in one. Every home owner with a garden will want one, I'm sure. Any number of herbs can be grown between the spokes, a different herb for each demarcation. You can use such herbs as caraway, dill, anise, marigold, savory, basil, catnip, lavender, balm, hoarhound, samphire, pennyroyal, sage, spearmint, etc., etc. The list is long and the combinations could be attractive as they are decorative as well as useful. Every housewife needs an herb garden, handy to the kitchen. Every husband needs decorative novelties for his garden. A perfect set-up for sales and more sales. What do you think? #183
U.S.A. . . . . BEESWAX AND FEATHERS
You can also bypass ducks for the duck feathers. Did you know that? With duck feathers bringing $1.50 lb. one New Jersey lady thought it was time to get in on this sure thing.
She doesn't make a lot, but a check for $15 comes every two months from the firm that buys the feathers. She only has 50 ducks at this time. Imagine how much could be made with thousands of ducks! The ducks can have their feathers picked every two months. Three ducks will give up about one pound of feathers. And of course she sells the duck eggs for hatching purposes, 15 eggs (an average setting) bringing $3.00.
I suppose the ducks could be sold to the market each holiday season and a new crop purchased or raised from eggs. So there could be a profit from the sale of the ducks too, if one wanted to go into the regular end of this project. #184
Note: To account for inflation, multiply prices by 8 to 10.