Believe it or not, bulletin boards actually work as traffic builders for just about any small business. They serve to enhance the community relations image of a business, and the space required to locate a bulletin board can be written off as a tax deduction when listed as advertising or public relations expense.
People use these "business provided" bulletin boards to advertise things they want to sell, home-based businesses, and whatever they might want to trade for or buy. Then, they come back, sometimes morning, noon, and evening everyday, to check on them, or to see who else as an announcement posted. Each time they come into the business owner's store or shop, they may not feel an obligation to buy something, but of course the business owner has another opportunity to sell them something.
Just about anybody can organize a route of bulletin boards; charge the advertisers a small monthly fee; keep them up-to-date and neat, (which will make the business owner happy) and make some really easy money in the whole process.
The first step is to contact as many businesses in your area as possible. Grocery stores, drugstores, barber shops, beauty salons, service stations, quick print shops, rental shops, mobile home parks, shopping centers, apartment complexes that have foyers or recreation rooms - and the list goes on endlessly.
Sell them the idea of allowing you to install and maintain a bulletin board service for them. Emphasize the community service, the tax write-off, and the fact that you'll keep it neat. When you get ten or more signed to allow you to install a bulletin board, you're ready to start making your bulletin boards.
The best plan (and of course the most economical) is to make your own. Cut a piece of corkboard 3 feet by 4 feet, mount a 3/4 by 1 inch frame around the edge, and cover this frame with a 3-foot by 4-foot piece of plastic. Mount the plastic with hinges at the top and a hasp at the bottom. On the back of the corkboard, install a couple of hocks for hanging it, and you're ready to go.
Make up a sign - you can even type it out and use it as another bulletin board announcement - something like this:
CITY-WIDE BULLETIN BOARD SERVICES!
Your announcement or advertisement displayed
here for only $5 per month! For more information,
Put your sign or announcement on each of your bulletin boards, lock them up, and install them in all your locations. Ten such signs with only 50 announcements per bulletin board should bring you an easy $500 per month.
When you put an announcement from the same person up on more than one board, charge them $5 per month for each announcement on each bulletin board. And one other thing: The date the "run of display" ends should be marked on each announcement you put up on each of your bulletin boards.
In all likelihood, you'll have people waiting for space on your bulletin boards. Keeping records should be very simple and easy. Start with a loose leaf notebook, blank paper and a couple of packages of 3 by 5 cards. In your notebook, write down the date, the amount of money received and the number of announcements on display, and the contract expiration date. On the 3 by 5 cards, write the name, address, phone number and expiration date of each contract, and the location(s) of the bulletin board(s) that particular announcement is on. Arrange the cards in chronological order according to expiration date, and file them in a storage box.
Once you get rolling, you shouldn't have to service your bulletin boards more than once a week, and as more people see them, more businesses will want you to put one in their business location, and more people will want to display an announcement. It is a simple, easy and a real money-maker for you.
This kind of business is what the newspapers like to write about, and the TV stations like to carry as news of what people in their areas are doing as entrepreneurs. So take the feature editors out to lunch, make friends with them, and push for all the free publicity you can get.
That's the plan. It's simple, easy, and depending upon the population density of your area, it could very well be the very thing you've been looking for to supply you an extra income. It demands little investment, not much of your time, and without any special training or education. But, as with any business venture, it takes ACTION on your part. You must get out there and set it up, and work at making it a success for you! It's really up to you, and we wish you success in it.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor.