A lot of small businesses need help getting the word out about their company. Often, they will drive around the neighborhood putting fliers in mailboxes. But this can be time-consuming, especially because they usually have to do something to keep the fliers from flying away, such as taping them to a mailbox or putting them in a plastic bag with a small stone.
Another common method is to put fliers under windshield wipers, nail posters to stakes that are stuck in the ground alongside busy roads, or attach them to lampposts or telephone poles. Whatever method a business is using to distribute fliers, you can do that for them and save them a lot of work.
— Don’t necessarily need car, tools
— Flexible hours
— You may have to distribute fliers for objectionable businesses (e.g. strip clubs or fortune tellers). But you can always refuse a job.
— A lot of walking may be involved.
How to get started:
NOTE: Before you start your business, you should read the page on this website entitled “things to think about before you get started.” After you have taken the preliminary steps for starting any business, you can take the specific steps outlined below.
The first thing to do is get together a list of businesses that might need your services. A good way to do this is by collecting all of the fliers that come to your mailbox or door. You can also walk, ride your bicycle or drive around your community and look for signs attached to stakes in the ground, lampposts or telephone poles. These fliers and signs are for small businesses that are trying to get the word out about the services or products they offer.
Use the contact information on the flier or sign to get into contact with the owner of business. Tell him or her that you will help distribute their fliers or put up their posters.
Obviously, if you do not drive (or can’t depend on your parents to drive you), you want to stick to your immediate neighborhood.
How much to charge:
At the very least, you want to cover your expenses. If you have created a business plan for your business (which hopefully you have), you know how much your expenses will be for the amount of business you expect to do.
Let’s say you have figured out that there are 200 houses in the area that you are able to cover in your brochure distribution business. And let’s further say that you have decided that your method of distribution will be putting the brochures inside plastic bags, weighting them down with rocks, and throwing the rocks from your bicycle.
Assuming you can find a place where you can pick up rocks off the ground, your only substantial cost will be the price of the 200 bags. Perhaps you want to add in the cost of water to make sure you keep hydrated as you walk or ride around the neighborhood. But you don’t want to just cover costs — you want to make a profit, too.
When you decide how much extra to add on to your price, start with a base of $4.25/hour — that is the youth minimum wage. Expect to make that much after covering your costs. So if you plan to deliver 200 brochures for a client, at a cost of $4.97 for a package of 200 bags and $3.28 for a 24-pack of water (both prices current at War-Mart, at the time of this writing), your costs would be $8.25. If it takes you three hours to stuff and deliver all the bags, you need to charge $21 to make $4.25/hour for the job.
HINT: Round numbers often work against you, as it may seem to customers that it represents a random mark-up in costs so you can make more money. You may want to rate — or “mark up” — your price to generate a little more profit, but rather than jumping to a round number like $25, raise it to $24.95. Pricing just below a round number is a time-honored way of suggesting to consumers that they are getting a little bit of a discount.
Taking it to the next level:
Once you have done a few jobs and feel that you are ready to expand, here are some steps you can take:
- Create your own brochure and post it around town (at coffee shops, etc.) soliciting business
- Create a poster for your business and attach it to lampposts our stakes in the ground
- Create a website and start spreading the word through social media posts and ads
- Create a car magnet advertising your business and attach to the side of your parents car (or your own). Be sure the phone number is prominent enough for other drivers to see from several feet away.
- Take on partners. Be sure to read the section on this website about written agreements to determine whether that is advisable.