Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Community-Based Coupon Books
  • Start-up cost: RM1,000-RM5,000
  • Potential earnings: RM15,000-RM30,000
  • Typical fees: Ad rates vary (but generally start at RM300-RM500 per ad); plus, you can sell the books to the public for an average cover price of RM29.95
  • Advertising: Yellow Pages, community newspapers, local radio
  • Qualifications: Ability to relate to both businesses and the public, one-on-one
  • Equipment needed: Computer, software, printer
  • Staff required: Yes
  • Handicapped opportunity: Yes
  • Hidden costs: Phone and mileage for ad sales reps
  • Lowdown: You’ll be providing a useful service for both the businesses and the public. Businesses offer discounts to attract customers; you are aiding them in their marketing strategies by publicizing these discounts. You will sell advertising space in your coupon books, produce them with a printer, and then sell them to consumers through the mail. If you enjoy people and are good at presenting your "product," you will find that many customers in your community are receptive to receiving discounts from businesses they know and respect. The best part is, your revenue is collected from both sides (the advertiser and the buyer)—so you have a double stream of income.
  • Start-Up: It requires a lot of legwork to get a business like this started, but the end-product—an inexpensively printed booklet—is your major cost. Perhaps you can strike a deal with a local printer, offering a percentage of the take. Or, shell out the RM1,000-RM5,000 in your first six months of start-up—if you sell enough ads and begin to generate simultaneous interest from the public, you’ll make enough to cover printing (and still have quite a bit left over).
  • Bottom-Line Advice: You’re creating a business enterprise out of almost nothing as you develop and sell your coupon book. This is truly a business that depends on hard work. Many individuals find a deep sense of satisfaction in knowing that they have provided a useful community service while making a profit at the same time. However, gathering enough coupon commitments from businesses is difficult: selling has its discouraging days. This is an enterprise for people with a lot of determination and a great deal of free time to successfully promote the book to the public.

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