For the Man of General Business Experience
THE TRAVELING STORE—Money is being made on every main road of the country from Canada to Florida and from New York to California by what may be called "traveling stores" (the Good Humor man as an example).
The variety of merchandise that can be sold along the main roads is limitless. The ten items which perhaps offer the best possibilities for profit are books, automobile paints and accessories, novelties, toys for children, souvenirs of the locality (like pine needle cushions in Maine), cold drinks, potato chips, ice cream, and foods of various kinds.
An automobile loaded with books which can be purchased from any of the remainder book houses in New York at prices ranging from 10 to 15 cents a copy, can be readily disposed of at a substantial profit by a couple of weeks of traveling up and down the countryside, visiting summer camps, summer colonies, farm houses, etc.
If you have an automobile and would like to devote three months a year to this pleasant work, investigate prices of books by writing to The American News Co., 131 Varick St., New York City, for new books, and to the following companies for remainder bargains:
Arden Book Company, 257 Fourth Avenue, New York City.
Another example of the traveling store is the one that loads up with a supply of automobile paints, parks his car in a prominent place where there is considerable traffic, and waits for business. That is, he waits until some passerby is attracted to his highly-colored posters. Then he proceeds to sell his wares, calling attention to the different colored paints on the separate panels of his car. He tells the prospective buyer how long the paint has been on and asks him to judge for himself whether it is good paint or not.
This work is not only profitable and pleasant. It also affords one a good time by way of travel and a good deal of unexpected adventure.
SELLING THRIFT—One of the most profitable things that one can do in spare time is to sell building and loan stock to friends and even strangers. It is a very dignified activity. It is easy to sell, and appeals to the man who wants to save his money and later have it for his own use. He does not have to die, as in the case of life insurance, to beat it.
Practically everybody is interested in saving money, and few will be bored by your telling them how they can do it, especially when you point out the advantages that it has over life insurance or an ordinary savings account in the local bank.
The easiest and best prospective for building and loan stock is a man who has a young son. It should be easy to sell him a $2,000 certificate, which costs about $10 a month, and which will mature just when money is needed for his son's college education or for entering business.
Investigate your local building and loan association. If there is no such organization in your town it would pay you to consider organizing one in your own community.
SELLING INSURANCE—Among the many advantages of the life insurance business are the following: It can be sold in spare time; only a short period of preparation is required; no cash capital; cumulative returns through renewals; geographical freedom; and personal development.
In life insurance, as in any other walk of life, the most difficult thing is the beginning. To overcome this difficulty, the up-to date life insurance company prepares an educational course, which explains briefly the principles underlying the business and suggests successful means of approach, presentation and close. In addition to this, companies are prepared to cooperate with the new man or woman to the end of working with them and demonstrating sales methods until they are prepared to work independently.
It will pay to investigate the possibilities that this form of part time activity offer.
The Economics of Life Insurance, S. S. Huebner. D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1937.
Selling Life Insurance, J. A. Stevenson. Harper & Bros., New York City, 1922.
A TIP FOR A CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEE—If you are a civil service employee you know how envious most people are of your position because of the security that goes with it.
Thousands of applicants appear for each examination, and it is those thousands who will want to be advised and instructed on the best way of passing the examination with a high rank.
There are, of course, a great many mail order courses which purport to show people how to pass Civil Service examinations.
Most of them are based on the old correspondence school "question and answers idea" and are padded and elaborately gotten up to justify a very high fee. A mail order course on any of the various Civil Service subjects, when stripped of all the "bunk" can be gotten up cheaply on typewritten sheets directing the student about where and what to study. It is not necessary to correct papers and answer questions. All that is essential is to advise the students what the requirements are, what to study, and nothing else.
In that way, it should be easy for a Civil Service employee to get up an inexpensive typewritten course on the subject-matter required, and to sell these suggestions for one-quarter of the price of the correspondence school course.
Advertise the fact that you are a Civil Service employee, tell them how you prepared for the examination and how you went about making application, etc.
MANAGING CHARITY BAZAARS—Bazaars are usually conducted under the auspices of hospitals, societies, or churches, but it takes an experienced manager to make a success of such affairs.
Invariably, the organization undertaking such an affair will welcome the assistance of some capable and experienced bazaar manager, and be willing to pay him a percentage of the receipts (usually 15 per cent).
Members of the organization sponsoring the bazaar are always willing to work as a committee to assist in such matters as decorations, programs, the securing of materials to be sold, the selling of tickets, etc.
The essentials necessary to a successful bazaar, in brief, are the selection of a suitable place—such as a church lawn, or a lot adjoining a store on the main street of the town; an array of Japanese lanterns, and attractive booths. Then comes the assigning of various committees to solicit materials from the grocery, clothing, and other stores; the printing of a program with sold advertising space; the procuring of a musical program, either as a donation or for a small fee.
Every town could keep an experienced charity bazaar promoter busy during spare moments. If your town has no such personality, here is a golden opportunity.
The following books will prove of inestimable value in helping in a great many ways if you are not sure of yourself in this kind of activity:
Money-Making Entertainments for Church and Charity. By Mary
Dawson. Published by David McKay, Philadelphia, Pa. This
book lists 150 ways in which entertainments can be arranged.
COMMUNITY AUCTIONS—The prevalence of auctions in the larger cities attests to the profitableness of this business, and points the way to opportunities for regular monthly community auctions in the smaller towns.
Anything that is in the nature of a spectacle or affords some entertainment will attract he public in small towns. And when at an auction, how many can resist the impulse to bid? This eventually leads to buying, especially when the article offered looks like a big bargain.
If this idea appeals to you, begin making plans for a regular monthly auction in your town. Here is the procedure: Secure an empty lot in the business street. The lot may adjoin some business house that will be glad to loan it for auction purposes because of the sales advantages inherent in having a large crowd near the business house.
If you can procure a storm shed for storage purposes near or on the lot, so much the better.
Then spend a few dollars for printing posters, announcing the auction. Tack these up around the country side. Get your local editor interested to announce the auction as a news item, by contracting for some paid advertising a few days preceding the sale.
Announce that everybody can bring in things to be sold; live stock, furniture, produce, clothing, reserves, anything, in fact, that can be sold. On the day or evening of the auction, offer these to the highest bidder.
You should charge a commission of 10 to 15 per cent for only such things as can be sold. There should be no charge for things that are not sold.
This same auction idea can be carried out as a means of raising funds for church, hospital or charitable institutions. In this case, merchandise auctioned can be either purchased at reduced rates or collected in the form of contributions.
The enterprising manager of such auctions in addition to earning a substantial monthly income will at the same time be performing a public service.
START A MEDICAL INSURANCE BUREAU—Here is a proposition that is a bit more difficult than most of the suggestions thus far made for spare time money making, but if you can succeed the rewards will be so much the greater.
First, call on a reliable doctor in your town and sell him the idea of the practicability of his consenting to an agreement whereby he will undertake to attend about 500 families for $2.50 per month. Inasmuch as hardly 25 families will require the doctor's services and call on him in a month, almost any doctor will gladly accept your proposition.
Next have some membership certificates printed under such title as "The Doctor's Insurance Bureau," and go among the working people of your community selling them membership at $1 a month, which entitles them to a doctor's services for the entire family, regardless of the number of times the doctor has to be called.
Most of the poorer families will join your Bureau, for a doctor bill is a terror to a poor family. To have this worry off their minds at $1 a month would be a great relief to them.
You must explain, of course, that the doctor will not agree to include in this service any expensive operations. It is unlikely that anyone would expect the doctor to take such a risk for only $1 a month.
It is very important that a neat and effective folder be made up setting forth the idea of your service in clear and simple English. These folders you can distribute among your prospective members, either before or simultaneous with your personal visit.
In a few months' time you should be able to get at least 500 members. This means that you would collect $500 each month, and after paying the doctor $250 there would still remain $250 for yourself.
In a proposition of this kind you could employ a good many assistants if circumstances did not permit you to devote too much time to it. For example, you could afford to pay salesmen a commission of say much as 50 cents for each member enrolled. This would still leave you 50 cents profit per member per month.
TOWN INVESTIGATOR—This work is highly recommended to a man or woman of maturity. The work is easy and involves making investigations for mail order companies, collection agencies, advertising agencies, and food manufacturers. A food manufacturer or an advertising agency may want to make a survey and collect the opinion of the women of your town about the merits of a certain product. A mail order house may want you to obtain credit information about a new customer who has mailed in an order for some expensive product. A collection agency may want you to help collect a bill from a fellow townsman.
The procedure here is to write a letter to all mail order advertisers (you will find them in the numerous magazines); also to the leading advertising and collection agencies. Your local board of trade will help you obtain such lists.
SAVINGS BANK SOLICITOR—If there is a savings bank in your town it is undoubtedly very much interested in getting the maximum number of depositors. This is likewise true of business banks. Often a bank will be interested in employing a mature man or woman to make a house to house canvass and explain to the resident the advantages of having a savings bank account and induce them to open up a savings account. The bank may be willing to pay you a fixed amount for every depositor that you are instrumental in enrolling.
If you will scan your newspaper daily you will get many new prospects for savings accounts. When a new baby is born, when a young man becomes engaged, when he marries, when a child has a birthday-these are special occasions for the opening of a savings account.
SELLING FLOWERS—Canvassers are everlastingly calling on offices and homes with a multiplicity of items that is amazing. Seldom, if ever, does one meet a flower salesman.
This form of selling offers a rare opportunity if for no other reason than the fact that there is so little competition to be met.
There is scarcely a florist in any city who would not welcome your suggestion that he pay you a commission for all business that you bring in to him.
Go out, solicit orders for flowers from business men in offices and stores. Invariably, you will meet a business man who might forget his wife's birthday, if it were not for your reminder. Or you may come across any number of men who will place with you a standing order to send flowers daily, weekly, or only occasionally. Some people will want to send flowers to friends who are ill either at home or at the hospital. They will look upon your solicitation with gratitude.
If you are living in a small town, read your local paper for weddings, funerals, birthdays, wedding anniversaries. Call on these interested parties, or even telephone them, and you will get many orders.
MONEY MAKING WITH VENDING MACHINES—This money making idea requires some capital, and unless the reader has two or three hundred dollars to invest this proposition cannot interest him.
However, if you have some capital, and you want it to help you earn a thousand times more than you can get in the form of savings bank interest, investigate the possibilities of establishing a route of penny-in-the-slot peanut vending machines or weighing machines, and a number of others that sell anything from lead pencils to cigarettes.
Write to the various dealers in vending machines for terms and literature which will give you detailed information about this business.
Vending machines are usually placed in billiard parlors, drug and confectionery stores in the best locations available. The merchant who permits you to install one of your machines charges you nothing for placing the machine. He is usually paid 20 per cent of the gross receipts of each machine placed.
Ten machines bringing you even as little as $2.00 profit per machine would mean an income of $20 each week. You could easily cover your route in a few hours each week.
SELL ELECTRIC LIGHT BULBS—If anyone should come to your front door with a basket full of electric light bulbs, the chances are that you would likely buy at least a few of them. It is an exceptional home which does not have some electric light bulbs long ago burned out but never replaced merely because it seldom occurs to the housewife to buy new bulbs when she is out shopping.
RENEWING WINDOW SHADES—Every house or apartment that has been occupied by a tenant for any length of time will have a number of soiled window shades. A house-to-house canvass with a supply of window shades will result in some favorable sales.
Where a housewife objects to new shades on the grounds of cost and cannot go to the expense of buying new window shades, offer to paint the old ones at 20 cents each. You can easily do that by unrolling the shade, spreading it on some clean paper on the floor and painting it on the inside with any good grade of white paint. After drying for one day the shade will look like new.
Note: To account for inflation, multiply prices by 8 to 10.