The telephone is truly a remarkable invention. It is probably
the world's greatest time-saver. It plays an important and
necessary role in almost every business, no matter how large or
The telephone can also become your "business partner". By
realizing its capabilities and potential, the efficient use of
this little device can help assist anyone in operating a
profitable business. A business that can help the goal of most
Americans: financial independence. All that is required are
knowledge, persistence, patience and of course, a telephone.
Previous experience in the use of a phone for business purposes
is helpful but not necessary. There are no age limits for
starting such a business. Sex or race is not a barrier. Location
is unimportant, as long as you have a phone.. Your home can be
your "office" if you wish and you are your own boss. And in most
instances, you can name your own working hours.
There are two methods for charging for your telephone services -
by "subscription" and by working on a commission". Rates to
charge are not given because wages vary from place to place and
change time to time.
The first group of possibilities for earning is by signing up
"subscribers". You then establish a weekly, monthly, or yearly
rate for your services. If there already are similar services in
your community, you should charge slightly less than your
competition when first starting your business. If no such service
exists, compute your rates by including your time, amount of work
involved and expenses, which will consist mainly of the cost of
out-going phone calls. Many will be happy to pay handsomely for
"WAKE-UP " SERVICE. Some find if difficult to get out of bed and
ready for work when the alarm clock rings. An unusual service is
to phone these subscribers at a pre-arranged time each work day
morning. If they must walk to another part of their home to
answer the phone, they are certain to become fully awake. A good
method to get such a service started is by advertising that you
will offer a free weeks trail of service for such sleepy heads.
"REMINDER" SERVICE. Busy homemakers as well as overworked
executives are fearful of forgetting important dates such as
birthdays, anniversaries, business appointments, etc. By making
notes on an ordinary calendar, you can phone several days in
advance to remind them of the important occasion. Some
subscribers will want to be listed for only 10 or 15 calls a
year, while some businesses will have a 100 or more such dates.
Your rates should be based on the number of "reminder" calls for
a given period.
SERVICE FOR SHUT-INS.
Some concerned persons wish to keep
informed as to the health and condition of relatives, friends and
neighbors. These are generally those people that live alone and
may be ill, invalids, senior citizens and such. You will be
required to phone these people at pre-arranged times (usually
once or twice a day), to check if all is well. If there is some
of emergency or no response to your call, you should immediately
notify the subscriber. There are those that will pay a good price
for such service simply for their own "peace of mind".
BABY SITTING SERVICE.
This is a matter of providing a baby-sitter on a moments notice.
To get a list of available baby sitters, place small signs on
bulletin boards in local high schools and colleges and keep this
list of names handy.. Advertise this service in local newspapers
to get subscribers. When calls come in, send the nearest baby
sitter. The employer pays for the sitter's time and generally,
the cost of transportation.
Advertise throughout your community for part-time office help
such as secretaries, typists, file clerks, etc., by placing signs
on bulletin boards. Charge a small subscription fee for specified
period- usually 6 months or 1 year. Then contact prospective
employers by phone or by sending notices announcing your service.
When you receive calls for part-time office helpers, it is then a
matter of checking your list and finding the qualified workers to
fill the part-time job requirements.
There are some women that are required to attend
social and business functions, but may not have an escort to
accompany them. To reach these subscribers, run ads in local
newspapers and business publications such as "Escorts available
for all occasions". To get a list of available escorts, run
"Escorts wanted" classified ads. Establish a realistic hourly
rate of pay for escorts, which should include their incidental
BUSINESS MEN'S "SHOPPING SERVICE".
Most busy executives do not have the time to do their personal
shopping. They are in need of someone to do their buying for
them, such gifts for their wife, family, secretary, business
associates, etc. You can provide such a service. First, you will
be required to spend some time visiting some of the most popular
stores and shops in your area.. Make a list of items available
that will make suitable gifts. Locate stores that provide free
delivery service. (Or use a delivery service). Many larger
department stores have a "shopping service", which you should use
as much as possible for additional suggestions. and help.. In
addition to charging a subscription fee, you can also send a
monthly bill "services rendered", which is a small percentage of
sales of items purchased.
EMPLOYMENT SERVICE FOR STUDENTS.
Many high school and college students need part-time jobs after
school hours and on weekends. Charge these subscribers a
monthly or quarterly fee. There are also businesses and some home
owners who have need for part-time workers. Your duty will be to
fill the needs of employers by sending the most qualified
students for the jobs. To locate interested students, place signs
on college and high school bulletin boards. To announce your
service to prospective employers, run classified ads in local
newspapers, and phone or mail circulars to various businesses.
"CAR POOL" SERVICE. Many would rather pay a private car owner
than take public transportation. Your job is simply a matter of
matching "riders" with "drivers" going in the same general
direction. Subscribers in this case pay you a one-time fee to
locate suitable transportation for them. Other details are worked
out between rider and driver. Place notices on bulletin boards
and run classified ads for both "Drivers Wanted" and "Riders
Wanted". Also advertise in company's house organs, newsletters,
trade journals, etc.
HOME OWNER'S "VACATION SERVICE"
While away from home for extended periods, many property owners
will gladly pay someone to water their lawn, flowers and
shrubbery. Mow grass, sweep sidewalks, remove newspapers, collect
mail, etc. Announce that your provide this service for a small
fee on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For workers, place signs
on bulletin boards in high schools, colleges, YMCA, YWCA,
TELEPHONE ANSWERING SERVICE.
Operating a lucrative telephone answering service requires 7-day
a week, around the clock attention. It could also require
employing additional help and the installation of a switchboard,
which can be leased for a modest monthly amount from the
telephone company. Subscribers to such a service contact the phone
company and make arrangements to have all calls automatically
transferred to your number, in the event there is no response to
their business or residence phone. Most subscribers will consist
of professional people such as physicians, dentists, attorneys,
business executives, etc. However, there will also be
emergency-type service people such as electricians, plumbers,
contractors, carpenters, heating unit specialists and service
repair people of all types. While away from their telephone,
subscribers will call you telling where they intend to be and can
be reached. Thus, in case of an emergency, you will be able to
locate them to relay messages. Successful business people
realize the necessity of a telephone answering service and will
readily pay substantial amounts for good, courteous,
conscientious service. By getting several hundred subscribers,
almost anyone can make a good living from this type of operation,
as well as paying above-average salaries to 3 or 4 additional
full-time employees. Subscription rates can be based on the
number of calls anticipated per month or a flat fee. Check with
competitive answering services in your vicinity for current
rates. This type of service is best advertised in local
newspapers and trade publications. Also by direct mail
announcements to independent and self-employed professional
PET "TRANSPORT" SERVICE.
Many pet owners do not have time to take their pets to various
places for medical purposes, grooming, etc.
First, locate pet-lovers who have time and a vehicle at their
disposal. Pay them on a "per mile" basis similar to a taxi cab.
For pet owners that require this service, charge a fee, collect a
commission from veterinarians, pet hospitals, grooming services,
HOW TO WORK ON A "COMMISSION" BASIS
Using a telephone to earn money by working on a commission basis
can also be profitable. However, a firm agreement must be reached
in advance to the exact amount of commission you can expect -
based either on a percentage basis or flat fee. To advertise any
of these services, unless stated otherwise, use newspaper
classified ads and/ or notice placed on bulletin boards
throughout your community. Following are a number of good
Almost every business has outstanding debts. If you can convince
debtors by phone that they should pay their bills, you can
receive nice commissions. Some firms allow as much
as 1/3 commission. Almost any company will be interested in your
plan,,, since most will be happy to pay you a fee and receive
some payment, than nothing at all.
APPLIANCE REPAIR SERVICE..
Contact local repair shops in your community and tell them you
will "list" them free of charge for a commission on all business
you send them. For those that are agreeable to your terms, find
out which type of repair work they specialize in, such as TV
sets, washers, etc. will call you and you can refer them to the
proper repair shop. The store owner gets the extra business; you
receive a commission, and it doesn't cost the customer anything
extra. If pickup and deliver service is required, this should be
added to the customer's bill by the store owner.
WINDOW WASHING SERVICE.
While it must be done several times a year, many find window
washing a disagreeable task. Charge a fee, based on the number of
windows to be washed. Also collect from the window washing
"HOUSE CLEANING" SERVICE.
Many home-owners and apartment dwellers will welcome help at
"house cleaning" time. Charge a flat fee for the amount of work
that must be done. Make arrangements with firms that provide
workers for washing windows, cleaning carpets, washing walls,
painting, etc. and collect a commission from all those you send
Planning a large banquet or party is time consuming.. Last minute
details can be extremely hectic, Most hostesses and/or hosts will
welcome expert help. You can earn two ways by being of
assistance. First, familiarize yourself will all services that
may be needed by such social events. This includes places where
you can rent chairs, dinnerware, silver, table decorations,
linens, etc. Also,, where you can find attendants such as
bartenders, waiters, musicians, etc. Also sources of catered
meals, beverages, flowers, ice, entertainment, etc. By making a
complete list, you will be able to provide a full service without
leaving your phone. Collect a flat fee from the party-givers,
based on the number of guests. Also collect a commission on all
sales from firms that you recommend help cater the affair.
SELL PRODUCTS BY PHONE.
Many firms need phone salespeople to help sell items such as
books,, magazines & newspapers subscriptions, encyclopedias,
subscriptions to record clubs, etc. Most pay above
average commissions. Some pay on a "per sale" basis; others pay a
flat fee for making appointments for their salesmen to call on
prospective customers, plus a commission on every sale. Watch for
classified ads in newspapers and magazines under "HELP WANTED".
Also contact local firms that may be interested in using your
SELL SERVICES BY PHONE.
Similar to above, but generally you can offer your services to
local firms that sell "big ticket" items that home-owners would
be interested in, such as roofing, painting, landscaping, water
purification, insurance, remodeling and decorating services, etc.
Since such services are so technical in nature, you will usually
be paid a fee for each appointment you arrange for the salesmen,
plus receive a commission on the final sale.
HOTEL/MOTEL RESERVATION SERVICE..
When a large convention comes to town, it is often difficult for
many travelers to find accommodations. Contact hotels and motels
in your area and explain that when they have an "overflow" of
guests, they should contact you. By keeping in touch with as many
hotels and motels as possible, you can reroute these quests to
other available accommodations. Your commissions are collected
from those establishments to which you send guests to fill their
vacancies. "GIFT WRAPPING" SERVICE. While some stores provide a
gift-wrap service, many do not. This is an ideal service at
Christmas time, but also handy for other holidays and special
occasions... To advertise this service,, have a neat signs
printed giving your phone number.., and distribute all businesses
that do not gift wrap. Then locate several persons interested in
earning extra money wrapping gifts. You provide pick-up and
delivery service and charge a fee, depending upon size of package
and quantity. Pay your "wrappers" a commission for work done and
you keep the rest.
SOLICIT FUNDS FOR CHARITIES.
Worthwhile charities need help in obtaining donations. Contact
churches and such local organizations and offer your services for
a commission on all such "pledges" you obtain.
SOLICIT FUNDS FOR POLITICAL GROUPS.
Political candidates are always looking for fund-raisers. Contact
local political organizations and/or candidates and explain that
you will help raise money on a commission basis.
TAKE TELEPHONE SURVEYS.
In larger cities, firms such as newspapers, radio & television
stations, advertising agencies, etc. Occasionally need help in
taking public opinion polls. Contact them and state that you are
available when needed. Also look in your Yellow Pages under
"SURVEY REPORTS". "HOUSING" SERVICE. By finding homes for
tenants, you perform a valuable service for both landlords and
tenants. Advertise that you have listings available for houses,
apartments, flats, rooms, etc. You can either charge a one-time
fee for finding accommodations or work on a commission. To get a
list of available housing, contact apartment building operators,
real estate agencies, guest houses. etc. Also watch "FOR RENT"
classified ads. In some instances you will also be able to
collect a commission from the property owner or landlord for
suitable tenants that you locate.
24-HOUR "EMERGENCY" SERVICE.
To operate such a service, you will need a list of professional
people who can be available around-the-clock, 7 days a week. This
will include locksmiths, car-towing services, doctors, plumbers,
electricians, TV repair personnel. building contractors, etc.
When calls come in, your job will be to contact the proper
emergency help required and send them where needed. You receive a
commission for all business you send them.
"PET SITTING" SERVICE.
Rather than place their pets in strange and unfamiliar
surroundings, many pet owners would prefer for someone to take
care of them in their own home, while they are away. Students are
ideal for this type of job. Pay them on a "per pet" basis
and charge pet owners by the day or week for services rendered.
This is similar to "plant sitting".
The job of a travel agency is to provide assistance by making
travel arrangements for individuals, couples, families and tours.
Duties require making to and from travel reservations with
airlines, buses, trains, steamships, etc., as well as
accommodations. In addition to receiving substantial commissions,
travel agencies also receive worthwhile benefits in the form of
discount travel fares, reduced rates or free accommodations, etc.
Investigate how other travel agencies operate in order to
establish pricing structure for the various services you will
Contact businesses and individuals who are available for
difficult and more strenuous jobs such as cleaning basements,
moving, lawn care, preparing gardens for planting, painting, snow
removal, small carpenter jobs, etc. Collect commissions from
those you recommend to do these jobs for your customers.
"ENTERTAINMENT" RESERVATION SERVICE.
This type of service is designed for busy people who want to
"spend a night on the town" but don't have the time to handle the
many details. You will be required to make reservations for
dinner, hotel and motel reservations, if necessary, etc. Also
obtain tickets for theater, opera, concerts, ballet, etc. Charge
customers a fee based on the amount of work involved. You can
also collect commissions from many of the businesses you send
your customers to.
Another helpful idea for busy working people,
including homemakers. First, you will need a list of those of
those available who have cars or vans to run errands, such as
picking up and delivering everything from cleaning and laundry to
young children. Contact students for these chores by placing
signs on bulletin boards in colleges and high schools. They will
be eager for such part-time work. Pay them on a hourly basis.
Charge customers a fee for time involved and/or mileage.
"HARD-TO-FIND-ITEMS" SHOPPING SERVICE.
Many will gladly pay someone else to have them "let their fingers
do the walking" in searching for difficult-to--locate items and
services. Some jobs may be impossible, but for those orders that
you can fill, you can collect a fee for time involved as well as
commissions from merchants in your community that can be of
This service provides care for house plants (and outdoor plants,
shrubbery, gardens, etc., if necessary), when people are away
from home. Again, students can do these jobs. You charge
customers a daily, weekly, or monthly fee based on the amount of
work to be done.
"BIRTHDAY GREETING" SERVICE.
Since Western Union has discounted "singing telegrams" you can do
this by phone. Voice isn't important. It's the thought that
counts! May also adaptable for holidays and other personal
occasions. Charge a one-time fee for this service.
"GROCERY SHOPPING" SERVICE.
This service is especially suitable for areas where grocery
stores no longer make deliveries. When you build up a long
customer list, suggest to store owners you receive a discount.
Again, students are ideal for making deliveries. Charge customers
a percentage of total sales as your commission.
"PERSONALIZED" SHOPPING SERVICE.
Similar to "Business Men's Shopping Service", but available to
everyone. A good way to increase business is by operating on a
BONUS TIPS: When speaking on the phone, always be courteous.
Since the person you are talking to cannot see your face or read
your lips, always speak slowly and clearly. Make calls as brief
as possible, but don't appear "abrupt". Never allow your voice to
show disappointment in not obtaining an order. Your prospective
customer may be pleased with your initial call and think of you
the next time he may be in need of your services. There are
dozens of other ways to make money with a telephone. Study the
Yellow Pages of your local directory and let your imagination
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