Twenty years ago, Dani Johnson was living out of her car in Hawaii and was not looking forward to another day. Her cocktail waitress job was letting her pay for bits of food and some necessities. But just to get a somewhat steady meal, she had to sleep around with 7 different men. There was no way for her to get an apartment because with the deposit and first month’s rent, the cost was over $4000 dollars. On top of this dilemma, she had over $35,000 in debt.
Since the age of 8 she had been suicidal, living with rough parents who were drug addicts. Now at the age of 21, she still didn’t see any hope so one day Dani decided to end her life. At a beach she got stoned and dove into a wave, never planning to come back up for air. Under the water she heard the words, “Pick up your mat and walk!” So she got back onto the beach, picked up her mat and walked over to her car.
That night she was looking around the inside of her car and saw a weight loss program that she had previously purchased. It was then when she had an epiphany. She decided to use a payphone to call a telecommunications company to get a voice mail box which cost her $15 for one month. Then she hand made a flier advertising the weight loss program and put it near the town post office. The next day she decided to check her voice mail and discovered that she had 40 calls which translated into $4000 in sales!
Dani excitedly called the weight loss company on the US mainland but found out that she needed an address to receive the products. So she convinced a liquor shop owner to receive the products for her. That first year she sold a quarter million dollars worth of weight loss programs. The second year she was a millionaire.
How this applies to you
Now, 20 years later I think something like this could still happen. The women of today are still thinking about weight loss just like they were back then. There are some industries (esp. feminine self-help) that will always have potential. But if you wanted to sell a weight loss product and were to try the same marketing plan as Dani Johnson did, there would be some things to consider. For example, what city are you living in? Are the people there affluent? Are they health conscious? I would submit to you that if you lived in a low-scale place like Levittown, Pennsylvania USA, you wouldn’t have much success selling upscale weight loss products. But if you were selling termite and rat eradication services you’d do very well.
So this is what you can do in order to know what will sell in your area. Make a list of services or products that you can EASILY provide. For our purposes we’ll say the first one is math tutoring. Do your BEST to make professional looking fliers from Microsoft Word using different colors and impressive fonts. Print a whole stack of them out at your home or local print shop and then put them under windshield wipers at the mall. If you don’t get any responses then take the second service on your list which might be gutter cleaning. Make more fliers and distribute. Let’s say you failed with that too but had A LOT of calls in regards to your third item which is tax preparation services. Now you’ve discovered what people in your area need and probably will buy.
Taking your idea to the next level, you can start advertising on wicket signs. I’m talking about the kind that you always see next to the road before elections. If you choose to get them made professionally, you will be paying around $18 per one-sided sign for a lot of 20. However, some of you may want to make the signs yourselves in order to save money. One way to do this is to download Logo Design Studio Pro. Then try to make a simplistic, yet effective design using the software’s pre-existing templates. Print out the sign multiple times at your local copy center and give the copies a corrugated plastic backing. Stick your reinforced signs on homemade coat hanger wickets and then scout around for street intersections. Find the places that are infamous for backed up traffic and start planting your signs. Don’t forget that your signs need to have a website address and preferably a phone number. You also should research zoning laws beforehand to know your limitations.
Now that you’ve drilled down to a marketable idea and taken action on your research, it’s just a pleasant waiting game. Your customers will come to you, not vice versa. What’s also appealing is that you can provide your service to those customers quickly and easily because your background allows you to do so. The fact that there is preparation work involved shouldn’t bother you too much because the fruit of your research could translate into years of passively getting customers. And when this is happens inside a winning industry, it translates into a sustaining stream of passive income.