Postcard Marketing - Work from Home
So you want to be a SBO?
Being a small business owner is hard work but it can be fun and profitable too. The best part of a home business is that you can often operate it when it's convenient for you. My friend and I started a side business just for kicks and to make some extra housewife money. It was so easy and fun - really anyone could do it.
If you are skilled at graphics and like to socialize - you are in business!
Yep! I started a small business designing, printing and mailing postcards. I do not have the graphic know how so I got in touch with another mom in my neighborhood who did. After I explained my plan, she knew right away it was a great opportunity and jumped on board.
If you have a small business and you want it to be successful, you have got to have something to offer to your potential client. I did have something great to offer at a reasonable price and we had customers lined up at the door, month 1.
I offered to mail a postcard to only new residents in my county for local business's each month. This idea sold well because I was able to convince our clients that "new residents" were the cream of the crop. The people who already lived here - know where they are! I explained how we would keep our costs down by only mailing to owner occupied homes within a certain price bracket.
New residents are the very people who NEED to know where these places are. I told potential clients that if I were them, I would offer a sweet special coupon for to new residents and they have the chance to gain a customer for life.
We called our mailers the "Welcome Deck". Each new resident got a packet of beautiful, colored postcards with special welcomes from businesses in our community! The beauty of the deal was - we included all the postcards into one gorgeous deck of cards and mailed them in clear, resealable envelopes. One round of mail a month. The most time consuming part was stuffing envelopes and our kids loved helping with that!
My friend and I decided to call our business "Grapevine Marketing." We got involved in our local Chamber of Commerce. We went to meetings, luncheons and had so much fun while our kids were at school. I loved the luncheons and that is where you can meet and greet a lot of people. Be prepared to do things like introduce yourself and your small business in front of a crowd.
We enjoyed so many benefits being involved in our community. We sponsored my daughter's local softball team and were involved in any event possible.
What You Need to Get Started
One thing I liked about this small business was that it took very little money to start up. I bought a good printer and honestly, postage was my biggest expense. You don't want to buy anything you do not need - keep your overhead as low as possible and the profit in your pocket. I told my clients right off the bat - we operate from home because it cuts costs for everyone. I know you don't want to pay extra so I can have a pretty office, right?
You will need:
- a color printer
- good graphic and design skills
- post card stock
- clear envelopes
- new addresses
Some of these things can be changed or worked around according to choice. You could have the clients design and email you their postcard or offer to design them for a fee. Many of our clients had their own designs and it was just a matter of emailing it to us. Mandy and I also would make deals, for example, that we would only include one hair salon in the deck.
Local restaurants love to be included in these type of mailers. We charged them 100 dollars per month to be included in our Welcome Deck. They had to sign up for 3 months and pay in advance. Never print a postcard on a promise! You only print, when you have your money or it could be lost. Ink and time are expensive.
This idea is continually great because people are constantly moving. Every single month you have buyers and sellers. Fresh meat.
Now you can see why clients were totally into this idea. We mailed new residents special offers and pointed the people who most needed direction - RIGHT TO THE CUSTOMER! They knew the postcards were effective when the client brought it in for their special offer.
How to get new addresses.
When a new home is purchased the sale is most often closed at a title company. When property changes hands there is almost always a conveyance deed that will be recorded in your county. In the State of Missouri, each time property is transferred they record a deed called a "Certificate of Value." It states random crap and the figure usually represents the sale price of the home.
I went to my county's tax assessment office. I was very polite and I requested this information. I found out that they already had a list of all the new addresses each month just waiting there for me. Free!
I am certain that the level of cooperation that you will receive from your land records office will be highly dependant upon your attitude. I caution you to be as nice as possible because the people that work in the recorder of deeds office's don't generally get paid to help you out.
Explain what you are trying to do as it only helps them to know the best way to supply you with the information you want. Your best bet is to ask your local recorder of deeds office or the tax assessors. Most of the time this is a list they already compile for one reason or another. Ask and you shall receive!
Simple and Smart!Click thumbnail to view full-size
How to Market
I made up little booklets with examples of our product. The booklet explained how the service worked and why it was a winning deal. My partner would call local companies and tell them a little about our idea and set up a meeting for me.
I would dress professionally and drop off a packet of info and allow them to ask me any questions or discuss packages. I didn't have to lay on a hard sell to anyone because I knew I was offering them a fantastic opportunity and so did they. It was fun, I met lots of people and it seemed like I was always coming home with presents from companies around here or going to parties and mixers. I also had the advantage of knowing so many people in my community!
I made some good money and this business could have been done in so many ways. When the economy dropped off and everything started closing we chose to close up shop too, completely since neither of us were really depending on that kind of income.
This was super fun for a stay at home mom to incorporate into her day. It's a great opportunity for the right people and every single neighborhood in the world can use a service like this one! I hope someone else can use this information to make some extra bucks and have some fun too!
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." ~Dale Carnegie