This is the kind of business that might grow out of a conversation over a couple of beers at your favorite tavern. Imagine for a moment this scenario: Someone suggests that the owner should sponsor a summer picnic or softball game. The question then comes up as to how to advertise it, and someone suggests bumper stickers. And the basics of a very lucrative business are set in motion.
As you consider this idea for a source of income, your first decision will be whether to first line up people willing to "wear" the bumper stickers on their cars, or the business owners who will want to advertise in this manner.
A good friend of ours started such a business several years ago, and he found it easier to sell the business owner by telling him that 100 to 200 people were all set and willing to wear his bumper sticker advertisement, because such people were known to be in the area.
All this boils down to a recommendation that you talk to your friends, neighbors and co-workers first. Get as many of them as you can to agree to "wear" a bumper sticker. You might offer to pay them $10 for three months, or $5 for six weeks . With inducement of money just to put a bumper sticker on their cars or trucks, you won't have too many turndowns. One person we know runs an ad in his weekly shopper newspaper, advertising the fact that he pays money just for "wearing" a bumper sticker. And of course, don't overlook the pulling power of all the bulletin boards in your area businesses.
This is an ideal business for constant free publicity write-ups in your local newspapers, plus interviews on radio and TV talk shows. At first, you'll want as many people as possible to "wear" bumper sticker ads. What you'll want to stress in any publicity write-ups or media interviews is the fact that you've got the "vehicles for exposure" lined up and organized so that any potential advertiser needs only to give you a call, and you can launch his advertising program immediately.
Next, you check with a number of printers and determine the cost to have bumper stickers made to order. Generally, you should be able to get a thousand bumper stickers for $100 or less. Whatever the cost, this initial outlay should be absorbed by your charge to the advertiser.
So let's suppose you've got 100 people lined up to "wear" one of these bumper stickers on their cars for six weeks. Figure the bumper stickers will cost $100. Now, the problem of what to charge the advertiser.
You should always charge on a "per car" basis, i.e., on a basis of circulation, as newspapers do. So, you could charge $5 per car per week, with 100 cars. This comes out to $500 per week, or $3,000 total over six weeks, from the advertiser. Subtract $100 for getting the bumper stickers made, and $500 as payment for the cars "wearing" the bumper stickers, and you would end up with a profit picture of $2,400 for those six weeks.
In the beginning, you should be the one calling on potential advertisers and doing all the selling. Once you've got your first program organized and running smoothly, your next step is a natural multiplication of your efforts. Run an ad in your local paper for commission sales people. Brief them on the basics and get them out on the street selling advertisers for you.
The best time to launch a business of this kind is during the fair weather seasons, or just in advance of general political elections in your area. Once established, however, the business can, and should sustain itself year round.
The selling "keys" to this kind of advertising are basically the same as those enumerated for "word of mouth" advertising. You've got people all over town spreading the word - talking about the advertiser. And these people are saturating the area with the advertiser's name and message wherever they go.
It's easy! It's simple! And it works! Compared with other, more traditional advertising methods, bumper sticker advertising is very low in cost.
One of the tricks of the trade is in using short, snappy, even humorous slogans or telegram styled messages. For instance: Anderson's Cafe - 6th and Main - That's where I'm going - How about you? Another idea is to make the lettering on the bumper stickers luminous to the headlights of the cars following. Most important, be sure to make your lettering easy to read, and the message easy to comprehend at one glance.
Actually, you could start at the front of the yellow pages in your phone book and probably never run out of places ready to be sold on your plan of bumper sticker advertising. Some of the more traditional places to sell this kind of advertising include:
Taverns Pizza Houses
Flea Markets Physical Fitness Clubs
Political Campaigns Newspapers
Radio & TV Stations Insurance Companies
Appliance Repair Travel Agencies
Movie Theaters Sporting Goods
Auto Repair Shops Trade Schools
Special Local Events
The important thing is to always be creative in your selling efforts. Always show the prospect how his business can grow from advertising in the manner you propose, and how your method is more positive, more responsive, and lower in cost than the more traditional advertising.
Remember, too, the more clever or "catchy" the message on the bumper sticker, the more it will make people talk and respond. For ideas along these lines, go back to the yellow pages of your telephone book and read all those short, crispy one-liners .
Remember also that advertising is a form of "brainwashing" and the more people see the message, the stronger that message is imprinted in their minds. Therefore, when they need or are in the market for the services or product offered by the advertiser, they'll quickly refer to the strongest, easiest-to-recall advertising message in their minds. And that, of course, means that if the prospect sees a specific advertising message on the bumpers of the cars in front of him day after day, when he's ready to buy, that particular advertiser will be the one he will patronize.
You can expand this business to include magnetic signs on the sides of cars, saddle-back signs on the back of cars, and even signs in the yards in residential neighborhoods. As I've explained in this report, line up your "method of exposure," determine your costs and then go after the advertisers. It can be a very easy way to achieve real wealth and independence for yourself!