When I came home after work last Wednesday night I discovered a note taped to my front door. I’ve scanned it in and posted it to the right. Basically this guy is putting up notices that they’re going to be coming by the following day to repaint the numbers on the curb. I LOVE this idea!
- It’s easy. Just fill out the flyer and hang it outside – they take care of everything else.
- No risk. If they are going to paint your address and then come around asking for payment, you can always refuse if you think they did a bad job.
- It’s cheap. His flyer was printed up on half a sheet of paper, so it probably cost him no more than $0.10 for two flyers – plus the half-inch of masking tape. The advertising costs are bare-bones. The materials amount to a few stencils and some spray paint.
- It’s quick. I’m guessing with a proper stencil and some paint, you could whip out a curb address number in about a minute or so.
- It’s a cash business. I didn’t see anything there about their tax ID number.
- Slick advertising. They appeal to your sense of safety and security (helping the police, fire department, et cetera find you quickly) and your sense of community (suggesting it is more effective when the whole neighborhood joins in).
But, why stop there? I bet you could make even MORE money if you took this entire enterprise further:
- Volume is key. Having as many houses on a single street is probably optimal. So, putting a little extra polish on these flyers could probably help a lot. Invest in better paper and use a paper cutter rather than scissors. Anything to help score a few more houses per street.
- Price is key. I have to wonder how many people are paying for this service. What’s the optimal price point? I’m guessing for $10.00 you might be able to capture a lot more homes on a given street than the $20.00 they’re suggesting.
- Look important. I’m always getting official looking junk mail – sometimes I even open it. I’d say use bond paper, a decent home printer or your local printer, print something up that implies you are affiliated with the city or county. Have an address, phone number, and website ready.
- Location, location, location. If I were running such a business I would do a little homework. I would find a well kept neighborhood with a Home Owner’s Association – some area that probably has a vested interest in maintaining the upkeep around their homes.
- Look really important. If I were doing this, my letterhead would say I was with the “Home Owner’s Association Maintenance Co-Operative of Contra Costa County.” I’d send out letters a week ahead saying that a person’s street has been scheduled for yearly curbside maintenance, that the HOAMCOCCC was going to through the following week to paint the numbers on an entire street a uniform color and returning the following day to collect payment.
Why in the world did I go to law school? What a colossal waste of time! I could probably more per hour stenciling sidewalks than I do as an attorney. I’m half tempted to give it a shot anyhow. :)
Anyhow, this just goes to show no matter how bad things are, someone has thought of a way to make money.