This is the kind of business that might grow out of a
conversation over a couple of beers at your favorite tavern.
Imagine for a moment this scenario: Someone suggests that the
owner should sponsor a summer picnic or softball game. The
question then comes up as how to advertise it, and someone
suggests bumper stickers. And the basics of a very lucrative
business are set in motion.
As you consider this idea for a source of income, your first
decision will be whether to first line up the people willing to
« wear » the bumper stickers on their cars, or the business owners
who will want to advertise in this manner.
A good friend of ours started such a business several years ago,
and he found it easier to sell the business owner by telling him
that 100 to 200 people were all set and willing to wear his
bumper sticker advertisement, because such people were known to
be in the area.
All this boils down to a recommendation that you talk to your
friends, neighbors and co-workers first. Get as many of them as
you can to agree to « wear » a bumper sticker. You might offer to
pay $10 for three months, or $5 for six weeks. With inducement of
money just to put a bumper sticker on their cars or trucks, you
won’t have too many turndowns. One person we know runs an ad in
his weekly shopper newspaper, advertising the fact that he pays
money just for « wearing » a bumper sticker. And of course, don’t
overlook the pulling power of all the bulletin boards in your
This is an ideal business for constant free publicity writeups in
your local newspapers, plus interviews on radio and TV talk
shows. At first, you’ll want as many people as possible to « wear »
bumper sticker ads. What you’ll want to stress in any publicity
write-ups or media interviews is the fact that you’ve got the
« vehicles for exposure » lined up and organized so that any
potential advertiser needs only to give you a call, and you can
launch his advertising program immediately.
Next, you check w a number of printers and determine the cost to
to have bumper stickers made to order. Generally, you should be
able to get a thousand bumper stickers for $100 or less. Whatever
the cost, this initial outlay should be absorbed by your charge
to the advertiser.
So let’s suppose you’ve got 100 people lined up to « wear » one of
these bumper stickers on their cars for six weeks. Figure the
bumper stickers will cost $100. Now, the problem of what to
charge the advertiser.
You should always charge on a « per-car » basis, i.e., on a basis
of circulation, as newspapers do. So, you charge $5 per car per
week, with 100 cars. This comes out to $500 per week, or $3,000
total for six weeks, from the advertiser. Subtract $100 for
getting the bumper stickers made, add $500 as payment for the
cars « wearing » the bumper stickers, and you would end up with a
profit picture of $2,400 for those six weeks.
In the beginning, you should be the one calling potential
advertisers and doing all the selling. Once you’ve got your first
program organized and running smoothly, your next step is a
natural multiplication of your efforts. Run an ad in your local
paper for commission sales people. Brief them on the basics and
get them out on the street selling advertisers for you.
The best time to launch a business of this kind is during the
fair weather seasons, or just in advance of general political
elections in your area. Once established, however, the business
can, and should sustain itself year round.
The selling « keys » to this kind of advertising are basically the
same as those enumerated for « word of mouth » advertising. You’ve
got people all over town spreading the word–talking about the
advertiser. And these people are saturating the area with the
advertiser’s name and message wherever they go.
It’s easy! It’s simple! and it works! Compared with other, more
traditional advertising methods, bumper stickers advertising is
very low in cost.
One of the tricks of the trade is in using short, snappy, even
humorous slogans or telegram styled messages. For instance:
Anderson’s Cafe—6th and Main—That’s where I’m going—How
about you? Another idea is to make the lettering on the bumper
stickers luminous to the headlights of the cars following. Most
important, be sure to make your lettering easy to read, and the
message easy to comprehend at one glance.
Actually, you could start at the front of the yellow pages in
your phone book and probably never run out of places ready to be
sold on your -plan of bumper sticker advertising. Some of the
more traditional places to sell this kind of advertising include:
Taverns Pizza Houses
Physical Fitness Clubs Political Campaigns
Radio & TV Station Movie Theaters
Travel Agencies Trade Schools
Auto Repair Shops Insurance Companies
Flea Markets Newspapers
Appliance Repair Sporting Goods
Special Local Events
The important thing is to always be creative in your selling
efforts. Always show the prospect how his business can grow from
advertising in this manner, you propose, and how your method is
more positive, more responsive, and lower in cost than the more
Remember, too, the more clever or « catchy » the message on the
bumper sticker, the more it will make people talk and respond.
For ideas along these lines, go back to the yellow pages of your
telephone book and read all those short, crispy one-liners.
Remember also that advertising is a form of « brainwashing » and
the more people see the message the stronger that message is
imprinted in their minds. Therefore, when they need or are in the
market for the services or product offered by the advertiser,
they’ll quickly refer to the strongest, easiest to recall
advertising message in their minds. And that, of course, means
that if the prospect sees a specific advertising message on the
bumpers of the cars in front of him day after day, when he’s
ready to buy, that particular advertiser will be the one he will
You can expand this business to include magnetic sign on the
sides of cars, saddle-back signs on the back of cars, and even
signs in the yards in residential neighborhoods. As I’ve
explained in this report, line up your « method of exposure, »
determine your costs and then go after the advertisers. It can be
a very easy way to achieve real wealth and independence for