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There is a big money business that can be started for next to nothing, with

low risk, that involves giving away special cards. These cards are DISCOUNT

CARDS, wallet-sized cards that allow the bearer to receive discounts at

participating businesses. These businesses pay to have their advertisement

on the card. They profit from the increased exposure and from gaining new

customers who come in for the discount and become return customers.

The card-holders benefit from the discounts they can receive.

And YOU benefit from the profitable advertising you sell!


This is a relatively simple business to explain. Here's an overview:

1) Design your card.

2) Figure your expenses and set your ad prices.

3) Contact businesses that frequently use discounts or coupons (potential advertisers for

You) either in person or by mail, with an information package.

4) Gather the ads (and the money!) and print them together on wallet-sized cards.

5) Distribute the cards to the public.

That's all there is to it. Of course, there are more details you need to

know, and those will be covered in this report.

This business works especially well if there is a college in your town, or any large number of people who either vacation there or move to town, but it can be run

successfully in any area. The best part (besides the money) is that you

can run this business from your kitchen table! Here's exactly what you

need to do to make great profits in the discount card business.


First, think up a name for your card. A catchy name that has words like

DISCOUNT, SAVER, MONEY, BUCKS, BIG, FREE or other dollar-saving words will

stick in people's minds. If you (or a friend) have artistic ability,

design a logo, either with your card's name, or a picture conveying the

money-saving feature of the card.


Next, design how your card will look. It should fit easily into a wallet,

so stick to credit card size. On the front, your logo should appear, along

with, at most, six ads, in three columns of two. The back should be

divided into, at most, twenty ad spaces, again in three columns (7 on the

sides, 6 in the middle). This might sound like a lot, but they will be

readable. Don't forget to put your business name, address and phone on the

front or back, at the bottom of the card.

You should also put together a poster with your logo and information about

the card. Leave space for a list of locations where the card can be

obtained, and for a list of the advertising businesses. This poster will

be inexpensive for your printer to produce, and can be produced on your

computer, if you have one, reducing your expenses even further.


Now figure your costs. The major cost to you will be printing, so check

with a number of printers for price quotes. You will want a one or two

color glossy card, with price quotes for quantities for 1,000 - 10,000

cards. Find out at what quantities significant price breaks occur. This

can help determine exactly how many cards you want to produce and

distribute. This number will be important when it comes to contacting

your advertisers.

Don't be put off by how much the cards will cost! You won't have to

worry about laying out a lot of money for the production of the cards,

because you should require that advertisers pay at least half of their

advertising price at the time they decide to advertise, the remainder when

cards are distributed. Some businesses will prefer to pay 100% upfront,

which is just fine! You shouldn't deal with businesses that won't pay

anything upfront, unless you have some desire to deal with collection



You should be thinking about how to distribute these cards. If there is

a college in your town, here's a few ideas. Contact the admissions

department at the college, explain your discount card, and see if they

would consider putting a card into the orientation materials each incoming

student gets. Also, find out places where you may put a stack of cards

for students to take. Prime locations are cafeterias and dining halls,

snack bars, libraries and any other places where students group.

For the general public, great distribution spots are similar to the college

spots. Restaurants, grocery stores, theaters, apartment buildings, anywhere

where there are large groups of people. Don't forget that you can give a

good supply to each advertiser, to give free to their customers. All you

need to do is a few good, persuasive phone calls, and your distribution will

be taken care of easily. Stress to the person you're speaking with that

making the cards available to their customers will be good business for them,

even if they don't advertise on the card, because their customers will

appreciate being given these discounts and will look upon the business as

their friend for doing so.

Now that you have your printing quotes, determine how much you can charge for

advertising. Estimate what your phone, advertising, driving and postage

expenses will be. Lump these all together and you have an idea of what your

costs will be. Now, multiply that figure by five. Divide that figure by the

total number of advertisers you will have on your card. The number you end

up with is the average price you could charge per ad. Does this sound

reasonable, considering the number of cards you'll be distributing? If so,

it should make a good starting point.

For example, if you are planning to distribute 8,000 cards with 26

advertisers, and your estimated expenses will be $1200, the formula is

($1,200 x 5)/26, or $230.77 average ad price ($28.85 per thousand), and your

profit would be $4,800. Considering the benefits the advertiser will get

from the cards (they will be kept and used for a long time, usually 3 to 6

months, and 5,000 people will be exposed to their ad repeatedly over that

period of time), this will probably be reasonable. You need to consider the

economy in your area, the size of your area, and any competition you might

have, as this can effect what you may be able to charge.

When you decide how much to charge for ads, here are a few things to keep

in mind. Ads on the front of the card should be much higher priced than on

the back, and, as a result, should be slightly larger. On the back, you can

set two different ad rates by putting using "boxed ads." An ad with a black

box around it will be noticed more than one without, so it can be slightly

higher. A good example of ad prices corresponding to the above average ad

price would be $200 for a plain ad on the back of the card, $230 for a boxed

ad on the back, and $260 for an ad on the front of the card.

Now's the time to contact potential advertisers. Here's a short list of the

types of businesses that will be most likely to take advantage of your

service: Restaurants, particularly fast-food and snack establishments +

Theaters + Printers + Dry cleaners + Oil change and auto parts businesses

+ Travel agencies + Clothing stores + Hair salons + Formalwear stores

This is not a complete list, but it should give you an idea of the types

of businesses you need to contact.