Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Millions of people all over the world collect stamps as a hobby, and the number is growing every day.

It is indeed an exciting and rewarding hobby, and it can also be extremely profitable.

The price of stamps vary with supply and demand due to the number of collectors increasing. The price of stamps is steadily rising, as the supply of stamps diminishes and more people want to acquire them.

Most people start a collection for the pleasure and education just like any other hobby, but this hobby offers a financial reward as well, as collections experience a steady increase over the years.

It is possible to start your own business if you are experienced, and already have a good size collection. For information about becoming a dealer, write to the

American Stamp Dealer's Association
147 W 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036.


Some people very early in life collect stamps, it often begins as a gift of a small package of stamps given to a child, and the child becomes a collector for life. As the collection grows, some tools become essential:

Stamp album


Magnifying glass and tongs
They can be obtained from a stationary store or your local stamp dealer.

You can find albums at any price, starting from about $5.00 to the most expensive one at about $200.00.

Stamps Should always be handled carefully, because the condition is a very important factor to determine the price of resale value.

The various grades of stamps are: mint, very fine, fine, good and poor.

Specimen in outstanding condition often sell at many times their catalog value, which is the reason not to mishandle any stamp, which could drastically reduce their value.

If you want to know if you have valuable stamps in your collection and are really serious about persuing this hobby, you can buy the Scot's Standard Postage Stamp catalog which lists every stamp in the world. This is a three volume encyclopedia and is the complete reference. You can also consult it at your local library if you don't want to go into the expense for the time being.

To start your collection, ask everybody you know to save you stamps they get from different countries, also go through old letters and small boxes hidden in your attic, chances are that you will be surprised to see how much you can find. Other cheap sources of supply are flea markets and garage sales. Start swapping when you have doubles. There are many philatelic clubs all over the country and it would be very advisable for a serious collector to belong to one. This way you will become educated in this field and learn everything you can before you spend money on your collection. Stamp clubs also provide their members with possibilities to exchange and sell your stamps.

You should also read as much as you can about stamps by subscribing to a philatelic magazine.


Stamps are like any other commodity, you can always go to a dealer who will offer you the current wholesale value of your stamps, but you can do much better by selling to other stamp collectors by advertising in magazines and newspapers specialized in stamp collecting.

Check several current issues of those magazines, it will enable you to compare the ads with what you have to offer.

If you want to buy stamps as an investment, try to buy few moderately expensive stamps a year. Always buy quality instead of quantity, and diversify, do not invest heavily in a single area.

It is our opinion that stamp collecting is one of the best ways--and safest--to keep up with inflation.


As more and more women are relieved from time consuming housekeeping chores, thanks to the modern equipment and appliances that we have, they are finding time to cultivate other activities. On the other hand,,, many families have grown to the point where extra income is needed to make ends meet.

This report is provided as a means of earning some pretty good money, right from the comfort of the home. Most women have the skills necessary to make any of these plans work successfully - using the sewing machine.. Look over these plans very carefully; at least one could be the one that you've been looking for.


MENDING SERVICE. Any women with good sewing ability can earn substantial money in most communities with this plan. Single men and women who live alone are good prospective customers for this service. They usually don't have the time, let alone the skill, to bring their clothing up to standard, and will welcome your services.

To reach these people, all you have to do is place a small classified ad in your local newspaper something like this:

MENDING, PATCHING, general clothing
repairs at very reasonable rates.
Guaranteed, quality work. (phone number here).

Do good work and you will keep busy. Word of mouth advertising will bring you lots more business. Your rates should be established according to the condition of the clothing, and the amount of work to be done.. Set your rates so you can average at least $7.00 per hour or more. $100.00 per week should be easy to earn.


MANUFACTURE CURTAINS AND DRAPES. This type of specialized sewing is not too common, and your chance for success using this plan is outstanding. Your best bet is to offer custom work, at prices about the same as "stock" curtains and drapes. To contact prospective customers place a small ad something like this:

at reasonable prices. Best Selections
of material - all work guaranteed.
Free estimates.
(your phone number here)

Contact a wholesale fabric distributor to obtain material samples. Most will give them to you free; others may charge a small deposit for them. Because you will be buying the material from them, most will offer the samples free of charge. Be sure to select a wide variety of samples, in all price ranges.. Almost all drapery and drapery hardware manufacturers also sell or give away instruction booklets on how to measure material needs and hang draperies.

Your earnings will be unlimited. Mildred started offering custom drapes, and worked about 5 hours each day at the beginning. Inside of two years her husband quit his job to become her installer - and stayed busy. Her policy was to obtain prices on standard drapes from several stores in the area, and then offer a better quality in custom drapes at the same price. It didn't take long for the word to get out,, and she soon manufacturing all the drapes for several housing contractors in her area. She now nets as much as $500.00 per week.


MANUFACTURE RUGS. Any heavy material, such as canvas or burlap can be used as a backing for rugs,,. On this material you simply draw a pattern that you wish to create, or use transfer patterns which are available at most supply houses. You then wind your yarn around a guide and stitch the material. You will discover that with a little practice you can complete even the most delicate pattern on your rugs.

Each finished rug can be an original creation, and you will have a ready market for them. Your best bet is to offer consignment to gift shops, furniture stores and perhaps appliance stores in your area. Offer them a commission of 30% on each sale that they made. Rugs of this type command a fair market price, and your mark-up will be excellent. The average small throw rug should sell for about $12.00 and even allowing a 30% commission will still give you about 6 to 1 mark-up.

Also consider selling your crafts at the local flea markets and swap meets. One gal in San Jose is averaging about $200.00 a week in sales at the flea market. A lot of her customers are back time and time again - they like the quality. Do good work and you can enjoy the same type of success.


LETTERS AND EMBLEMS. In many areas it is almost impossible for schools and sports teams to find letters and emblems for their uniforms and sweaters. If you are interested in this plan you should first contact the sporting goods stores in your area. Offer to contract them to provide the letters and emblems for all the uniforms that they sell. Most stores will be more than glad to contract with a local source of supply, as they must nearly always order everything from out of town. Although this plan is seasonal, once you become established, all future business will be automatic, and could amount to several thousand dollars a year.

If you own one of the new "wonder" sewing machines that can do jobs like this practically automatically, this may be for you!


CUSTOM SEWING FOR SPECIAL WOMEN. Stout and very tall women, plus super-small women, ar considered hard to fit. If you have dress making abilities, you can build a profitable business very quickly, with a minimum of effort.

Your first step will be to make a study of the type and materials that will make dresses and skirts more presentable for stout, tall and super small women. If you can come up with a wardrobe plan for each customer that presents good taste and style, at a reasonable price, you are in! Keep them well-dressed and happy with your work and word of mouth alone will give you dreamed possible.

This is a specialized sewing field, and the demand is already established. Clothing stores can't handle this type of business,because the "dress factories" do not set up for anything except "standard-fit" sizes. You have a wide open field.

Assembling a good variety of specialty sized patterns is important. If you don't know how to fit properly, visit your local library and find out about books and manuals that can teach you. There are many.


STUFFED TOYS. Make a visit to any toy outlet in your area and count the large numbers of stuffed toys - especially around Christmas time.. To manufacture these pretties does not require any special skills, other than the use of a sewing machine.

You simply cut out and sew together patterns, such as dolls, pandas, teddy bears and others. Stuff them and you are in business. You can take orders and sell direct to the stores in your area, in quantity lots, or offer them on consignment... Also consider flea markets and swap meets. A good price is paid for good work, and if you have a little imagination, you can create YOUR ORIGINALS. Large stuffed toys can sell for such as $120.00 - and that's mostly profit - as your cost for materials will be very small.


SPECIALTY PRODUCTS. One of the most overlooked items to come off the sewing machine is the apron. Come up with a dozen designs and offer them "imprinted" with the personal name of someone - to order. A few samples left on consignment in stores will bring home the bacon. Also consider "custom" made towels, face cloths, pan holders, scarves and you name it... The material cost is very low, and the time involved is minute. Place a few samples with gift shops and offer them at 30% commission. The bucks will be pouring in. Let your imagination run wild with these products. It could blossom into a full time venture for you overnight!


REPAIR & ZIPPER SERVICE FOR DRY CLEANERS. If you live in a city and know how to install zippers, make suit repairs, turn collars and cuffs, etc.,your authorized dry cleaners may be in need of your services. Many of these stores have calls for repairs, but not often enough to employ a full-time seamstress. Comb the stores that you could service without too much driving around,, and make up a sensible price schedule. Business cards and order blanks should be left for them to call you if a pickup is ready.

In general your skills will be important, but your business will grow and be profitable because you develop a clientele that comes back to you because they are satisfied, and you know (or learn) what you have to change, how to estimate and how to buy well (to make a reasonable commission on goods).

Repeat business is always more valuable than new customers. New customers are harder to find and advertising is more expensive then "keeping in touch."

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Method 1: Dip a piece of common string in alcohol or kerosene and squeeze dry or as dry as it will get without dripping. This string should then be placed on the already marked glass and tied tight. Light the string and let it burn off. Immediately, while the glass is still hot, plunge it into cold water. Be sure the container of water is large enough to let the glass go completely under as well as your arm up to the elbow, so as to deaden the vibration when you strike the glass. Strike the glass with your other hand outside the line of cutting using a stick of wood and hitting a sharp stroke. This quick, sharp stroke will break the glass where it has been weakened by the burning string into a clean cut as if done by a regular glass cutter. This method may be used to cut bottles in any shape and to make vases and to perform many such cuttings on glass.

Method 2: Here is a method that rarely fails to break the glass clean in the place you want it broke. First, scratch the glass with the corner of a file or sharp graver. Have a piece of wire bent to the desired shape you want to cut the glass. Heat the wire red hot and lay it upon the scratch. Sink the glass into cold water just deep enough to come on a level with the wire, not quite covering it. The glass will break clean.

HOW TO CUT GLASS WITH SCISSORS: To do this you must place the glass under water completely, then with a pair of ordinary scissors, proceed to cut the glass as you would paper or cloth. This method is, of course, not as smooth as job as the methods described above. The edges will not be as smooth, but for getting a piece of glass down to size and where the edges are not needed to be smooth, this method is satisfactory.

HOW TO DRILL GLASS: Get a piece of steel wire and file to shape of drill. This must be tempered as follows: Heat the end of the drill on a flame until it is dull red, then place it in metallic mercury. This drill, tempered in this manner will bore through glass as easily as through soft metal. When using in glass, always use oil of turpentine with a little camphor added to lubricate the drill. As you drill, be careful not to drill clear through from one side as you will break the glass this way. Drill partly, or almost through, then start from the opposite side and finish the hole. Or, if you cannot do this, as when you are drilling bottles, etc.. fill this bottle with water or place the glass in water. CAUTION: When you make the drill, do not make the cutting edges so sharp or too acute. The drill will cut slowly but you will have better holes with less breakage.

BONUS: Rainbow colors for bottles, vases, etc: Use floating art colors obtainable from most paint stores. Take a pail and fill it with water and drop a few drops of several different colors on top of the water. Now, take any article you wish colored and dip down through the colors, slowly back and forth. You now have a rainbow colored article. You can color bottles, vases, and many articles this way.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Build and sell attractive standard model and custom birdhouses and bird feeders that are scientifically designed for specific species.

This business requires a wood shop and basic woodworking tools, paint, some basic knowledge of carpentry and birds, but not much else. It can be a very pleasant and uncomplicated but highly rewarding business.

To be effective, you need to know something about the birds in your area -- when they nest, what size houses, entry holes, whether one or more nest in the same area, and of course, how high off the ground they must be mounted.

If you aren't qualified bird-watchers don't worry - you can only build one type of birdhouse at a time anyway and you can find out all you need to know about the bird's nesting needs at your local library.

As you learn new bird house patterns, you can study up on the birds -- one species at a time. When your houses are ready to sell, you will be able to tell your customers all about that particular bird, what it eats, needs, where to place and how to take care of the birds and their birdhouse.

You can start with a single pattern or blueprint. These are available from many sources (some are listed below), which will be for one bird species. You are free to alter the patterns and colors so long as you maintain the basics -- keep the entries large enough for the target bird, but too small for predators.

Provide cleverly disguised trap doors for cleaning, different styles of perches and roofs and of course, a variety of color combinations and/or designs.

There are enough variables to allow you to make your own style of birdhouse for any species and still retain the required features.

Check with the local lumbar yards to find the best quality and prices on materials. You cannot used some types of treated lumbar due to its odor or even toxicity of the birds at close quarters, but you can use a silicone sealer like Thompson's (to prevent rapid weathering).

Let the lumbar yard know you can use odd-sized pieces (which should be considerably cheaper) and many kinds of scraps. A variety of woods will serve you nicely -- then you can offer a variety of birdhouse models.

Arrange your working area to have separate places for sawing/sanding and painting operations. Experiment with building, assembling, painting and decorating techniques.

Make jigs and patterns for cutting out and fitting the pieces as close to assembly line fashion as possible. Cut out or buy stencils for decorative patterns (Dover has some nice, inexpensive ones - see Business Sources).

Build your birdhouses with hinged roofs or panels so they can be opened and cleaned each season - birdhouses that are not cleaned are seldom used again.

Commercially available, assembly line (most are put together with unfinished wood and staples) birdhouses and feeders start at about $5 each, but they are very poor quality at that price.

They are made with obvious scraps, some of which will not hold up outside (e.g. inside grade plywood and paneling) - and unpainted or treated.

You can get a much better price with attractive scientifically designed and well colorfully decorated.

Commercial birdhouses seldom specify the type bird they are designed for -- or how high it should be mounted. The reason is simple: they don't want to limit their sales!

You should start with the understanding that you cannot build and sell birdhouses as cheap as the discount stores. You can, however, offer better ones at nearly their price -- and make good money.

Since your bird houses are scientifically built for a particular species of bird, you should provide a little info sheet with each house. tell a little about the bird, its habits and history, and how to get results with the bird house.

This info sheet should be no more than one standard sheet -- perhaps an 8 x 11 sheet folded to make two inside pages, each 8 x 5 1/2. The cover could have a title and silhouette of the bird, the back, plain. You can have a little booklets printed inexpensively (see Business Sources section).

Since you need to find out a little about the bird anyway to build the correct birdhouse, you already have most of the information. This little gimmick alone can help you get a dollar or two more for each birdhouse!

You can market your birdhouses and feeders through ads, bulletin boards and posters that feed stores or pet shops allow you to post. You can sell them at flea markets, at a stand along the road, or advertise them in the paper.

Check with real estate agent for a vacant store and arrange to rent a show window until the store is leased.

Set up a display there for your birdhouses and have a sign that tells people where they can get them.

Take pictures, make up a scrapbook of your different models, add prices and offer to wholesale them to pet shops and stores, or arrange to place them on consignment.

You can even advertise in bird watcher.

If you want to be different or expand your business, offer do-ityourself kits with assembly, directions and all the parts, nails, hinges, glue, stencils and possibly even paint.

These could be sold for about half the cost of a completed bird house. Your instructions would be included in a plastic bag, along with the same little info booklet mentioned above.

Other possible variations are to paint the birdhouses in patterns to match each other, or the customer's home; selling mounting and/or squirrel guards and other intruder accessories; mounting them, and custom designs (if you are artistically inclined, otherwise fancy stencils).

About the only problem area in this business would be to build too many birdhouses for unpopular birds (like sparrows).

If this is a consideration,it might be a good idea to build several models and see which ones sell best before going into mass production of any one model.


DOVER PUBLICATIONS, 31 E. 2nd St.,Mineola, NY 11501, 516/294-7000. Discount books, including reference books (birdhouse patterns), stencil decorations and many types of bird books.

PUBLISHERS CENTRAL BUREAU, Box 1197, Newark, NJ 07102. Discount books, including reference.

MARSH FARMS, Box 7, Garden Grove, CA 92642. Birds, equipment and instructions books.

ZPS, Box 581, Libertyville, IL 60048-2556. Business card, letterhead stationery, etc. Will print your camera-ready logo or design, even whole card.

QUILL CORPORATION, 100 Schelter Rd., Lincolnshire, IL 60917-4700. Office supplies.

IVEY PRINTING, Box 761, Meridan, TX 76665. Write for price list.

SWEDCO, Box 29, Mooresville, NC 28115. Three line rubber stamps. Write for free catalog.

NEBS, 500 Main St.,Groton, MA 04171, 800/225-6380. Office supplies.

WALTER DRAKE, 4119 Drake Bldg.,Colorado Springs, CO 80940. Short run business cards and other stationery products. No choice of color or style, but good quality.

OLYMPIA PRINTING, 1282 Monomoy, Aurora, IL 60506. Business cards and letterhead. Write for price list.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Well built and tastefully appointed hand made doll houses often sell for $400 or more, especially if they are to scale, realistic looking, well-decorated and nicely furnished.

Materials used to build and furnish high quality doll houses are not necessarily expensive. The real expenses is in the apparent hours of labor and high degree expertise required for their construction.

However, many "expert" doll house craftsmen have no more training or background than a normal wood-workers or wood hobbyists. If you have ever built a model airplane or car, you can probably produce doll houses that will command a good prices. All it takes is a little attention to detail, practice and a few tricks of the trade.

Basically, building doll houses involves selecting and cutting out (according to plans) 1/8" to 1/4" paneling for walls, a little stronger plywood for the bottom floor, and thin panelling with a simulated overlay for the roof.

Cut out the required windows, doors and spaces for stairways. For efficiency, you will probably cut out several parts from the same basic plan at a time.

Check these parts often to make sure they fit properly. Most walls and floors should be decorated before they are permanently installed or you may not be able to get them to apply the desired coatings or linings.

Although you will develop your own procedures, it's wise to follow the plan instructions explicitly for the first few models. Remember that although you can substitute materials freely, some substitutions may require different applications from the plans, so be careful!

If you want to try one without a plan (a commercial plan is recommended, at least for the first effort), you'll need a sheet of plywood (or plain 3/8" paneling), some ice cream sticks or tongue depressors, glue, nails (brads), a few pins and screw eyes, a coping or jig saw, plus other normal shop tools. Get wallpaper and linoleum (or contact shelf paper )remnants from the hardware store and fabric scraps from an upholstery shop or yard goods store.

Much of the fun building doll houses is the ingenious and often, unique methods craftsmen come up with to create really amazing effects for doors, windows, roofs, outside and inside decor. Your total material cost could be as low as $200 including furniture. Of course, the cost can be much higher with veneer walls, silk rugs and fancy furnishings.

Doll house patterns are available from many sources - your public library probably has several books on the subject; discount book sellers offer a wide selection of books, plans and suggestions.

Decorations and furnishings can also be obtained from a variety of sources (several are listed under BUSINESS SOURCES). Subscribe to one or more trade magazines to learn and stay abreast of additional sources for materials, building and marketing techniques.

The first "trick" is to build your doll houses to the scale of the furniture that you intend to use! This is much easier (and smarter) than building one haphazardly or to a standard for which the furniture is hard to get or even unavailable.

This would mean trying to cut little pieces of furniture down or enlarge them to fit a non-standard scale doll house.

Unless you are equipped to build doll house furniture from scratch to the described scale, stay with the standard scales!

To find the scale of the furniture, measure the height of a table and compare that a similar table in your own home.

If the doll house table is 2-1/2" tall and it equates to yours that is 30 inches (2-1/2 feet), that's a one inch to one foot (or twelve to one) scale. An inch or difference ON YOUR TABLE is not bad. The same procedure works on your house scale. If your doorway opening is 32 by 80 inches ( 2-2/3 by 6-1/2 feet), then the same size opening in the doll house would be 2-2/3 by 6-1/2 inches. The one foot equals one inch is a widely accepted scale. You can use any scale you want, however, even metric.

A good tip for furniture is to buy imported doll house furniture cheap and refinish it even though it's new (SMC has a nice selection of inexpensive "imported furniture" see BUSINESS SOURCES). Buy a $1.30 chair, and sand and give it a coat of good polyurethane to make it into a $6.95 (retail) chair instead of the suggested retail of $3.95.

Much imported doll house furniture is mass produced by children or untrained workers. It is poorly sanded and lightly coated with varnish or other inexpensive finish (even shoe polish!). Their materials and tools are often poor quality and the finishes usually look and feel rough. Their wood, however, is usually excellent (good wood is cheap overseas.

With some fine sandpaper and steel wool, smooth the finish until looks and feels hand crafted. If the stain and finish is really bad, remove it with BIX (at your hardware store), re-stain and refinish it.

This process needn't take long, especially if you do several at once. Give your wooden furniture one or more coats of quality vanish, polyurethane or liquid resin. Spray is fine a dust free area (some overseas furniture markers spray out in the open with cars going by).

Check the upholstery for fit and quality. Replace if it doesn't look nice or go with your "decor" or treat it. Trim loose threads and glue any loose corners. A few moments with piece of doll house furniture can triple it's value. It can also make the difference between a $40 and a $400 doll house!

Market your doll houses wholesale through craft shops (usually on consignment), toy or department stores, and/or do your own advertising and sell from your "factory."

If you retail, two things will help immensely: a catalog and a nice display. Take good (professional quality) color pictures of each of your creations from several angles. Use professional backgrounds and lighting to present them in their best possible light.

If you can't afford to have a catalog printed, make up a scrapbook of your work to show both the quality and the variety that you produce. Add comments and prices to make it into your catalog. List various options and prices for each. For example, modifying the layout, adding a room or porch, changing the type of roof.

Next, make arrangements to display your doll houses. This can be a corner of a room in your house or shop or rented display window (check with real estate agents for windows in unoccupied stores). Pictures and advertisements are nice, but you just can't beat the real thing. The closer your doll house display is to where little girls can see them, the better!

You can sometimes arrange with local businesses to feature a display (the bank, bowling alley) for a week at a time. As a local craftsman of note, these businesses will often co-operate, especially if you're good. You get exposure; they have an added attraction for their customers at no cost.

Unless you live in a big city it would probably not pay to advertise continually in newspaper except around Christmas. Of course, if you could get the names and addresses of parents with little girls in the 3 to 10 age brackets, you could mail out brochures with pictures to their parents.

One way to obtain such a list is to offer a doll house as a prize. Contestants fill out coupons with their name and address to enter (which becomes your mailing list). Take part in community affairs to meet potential buyers. Operate a booth at the county fair, give out free balloons at the parade and come up with doll house variations that the local paper will cover (perhaps a model of a prominent local house).

Be sure to have several completed models on hand or at least ready to finish in time for Christmas. This should be your best season. Don't overlook the possibility of building (or finishing) custom doll houses.

For example, a shape something like the family home, painted and decorated to match (these would start at $400!). With 4 or 5 different basic patterns, you could make minor adjustments to come up with quite a few totally different models.

One of your secrets is that you keep all patterns, jigs, molds and simply change outer materials to get different effects.

For example, all of your roofs will be similar, but some can be finished in painted sandpaper or cut out thin panel wood for asphalt shingles and tile. You can probably imprint some wood paneling with brick design, spray it a light color, then roll it with reddish brown to look like brick. Similar designs inscribed on light wood would look like patio and walkway tile.

There is simply no end to interesting effects that can be realized from your imagination and a little experimenting.

The best advice from this point is to remember that the more patience and care you take in building each doll house, the more enjoyment some little girl will receive.

If this is your motivation, you will undoubtedly be a successful doll house and doll furniture builder. Even so, keep accurate records and always try to work out procedures to enable you to produce sections of the doll houses assembly line fashion. This helps avoid mistakes, speeds construction and increase your profits.


SPECIALTY MERCHANDISE CO., 9401 De Soto Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311, 818-998-2712. Nice selection of imported, inexpensive doll furniture, 1" : 1" scale, plus other imported merchandise. Membership required (costs about $500, but can be paid in installments).

COLLECTOR COMMUNICATIONS CORP., 170 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010, 212/989-8700. Publishes DOLLS, bi-monthly magazine for doll collectors, plus MINIATURE COLLECTOR, magazine about furnishings and decor for doll houses.

JACQUELINE'S, Box 23464, Oakland, CA 94263-0464. Doll house plans and furnishings. 70 page color catalog - $2.

DOLL HOUSE FACTORY OUTLET, 325 Division St., Boonton, NJ 07005, 201/335-5501. Doll houses, kits and accessories.

INTERNATIONAL DOLL MAKERS ASSOCIATION, 3364 Pine Creek Dr., San Jose, CA 95132. Association of doll makers and collectors.

HOBBY HOUSE PRESS, INC., 900 Frederick St., Cumberland, MN 21502. Publishes DOLL READER, trade magazine for doll dealers.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN DOLL ARTISTS, 5630 Clarksville Highway, Joelton, IN 37080. Association of doll makers and collectors.

DOVER PUBLICATIONS, 31 East 2nd St., Mineloa, NY 11051. Discount books, stencils, patterns; excellent source for ideas and decor accessories. Recommend this one highly!

QUILL CORPORATION, 100 Schelter Rd., Lincolnshire, IL 60917-4700, 312/634-4800. Office supplies.

NEBS, 100 Main St.,Groton, MA 04171, 800/225-6380. Office supplies.

IVEY PRINTING, Box 761, Meridan, TX 76665. Low-cost printing.. Write for price list.

ZPS, Box 581, Libertyville, IL 60048-2556. Business cards (raise print - $11.50 per K) and letterhead stationery. Will print your copy ready logo or design, even whole card.

WALTER DRAKE & SONS, INC., 4119 Drake Bldg., Colorado Springs, CO 80940. Short run business cards, stationery, etc. Good quality but little choice of style or color. Can be difficult to deal with (they are a "short-order" mail order house).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How To Make It In Herbs and Spices Business

Grow, process (if necessary) and sell fresh, preserved and dried herbs (seeds, parts, plants). Examples are dill, basil, cumin, celery seed and cilantro (coriander).

It is surprising that with so many gardeners and the high prices of herbs on the shelves of the supermarkets, that many more haven't gotten into the lucrative field of herb growing and processing.

When you in the store for herbs and spices, they are usually expensive -- $2.00 per ounce and up. Still many still grow wild! Bay leaves for example are available free by the bushel on bay trees that grow all over the south.

Herbs and spices have been around for centuries -- they were used in ancient times to mask "funny" tastes in meats that could not be refrigerated, "people odor" before deodorants were invented and of course, to add a little variety to the same foods eaten day after day, because all that was available was what was in season.

Spices were discovered and brought in by caravans to liven up otherwise drab diets and making living "up close" more tolerable. Winters in the European areas were limited to foods that wood keep; potatoes, salted meats, turnips -- but nothing green or fresh! When spring came, everyone welcomed the new vigor they found in such "magic" plants as spinach, celery, and various "greens."

We now know they were replenishing their supplies of vitamins (especially) and minerals that were missing from their winter diets -- but they only knew that by eating certain plants, or drinking their juices or "wonder elixirs" they felt better!

We also know a healthy patient recovers from most any aliment better than a frail one -- but in those days, "magic" plants were sometimes given credit for healing all sorts of things: even broken bones (boneset)!

In the 18th and 19th centuries (before refrigeration), there was a thriving trade in HERBS to rejuvenate, cleanse the blood and cure just about anything.. To this day, the difference between herbs and species is mainly that spices can be dried for long, overland camel caravan trips; while herbs are fresh and ready use!

To be successful in the herb and spice business, grow things that do well in your area -- that you adequate facilities and room for. Of course, you can expand the list of possibilities with a greenhouse and various climate control devices, plus soil manipulation. At the least you will probably need a small greenhouse (or hot frame) to start your plants and perhaps a screened area for growing and/or drying that is secure from insects and other pests.

Not only can you market plants and seeds as individual items, but there is also a lucrative market in blends of herbs and spices. Fortunes have been made with these!

Once you establish a market,make agreements to buy from other growers (even out of state) at wholesale rates of course to enable you to offer a well rounded selection to your customers.

You can also buy or compile booklets on herbs and spices (their history, uses, reputed therapeutic properties and folk lore) that can enhance your sales and profits.

To get started, the first thing to do is some HOMEWORK.

Get several books from the library,local (new, used, half price) bookstores, and mail order (see Business Sources). Find out which plants will do well in your situation by studying their climate, soil and sunlight needs and estimate the market that might be created.

When you decide which ones you would like to try, Learn something of their background (history, medicinal value, folklore, etc.). This is very important in herb farming - people may not be interested in the history of a turnip,,, but mints once used to "clean" eating boards (no dishes) for royalty might catch the fancy of a customer or two.

Make arrangements with a local printer or desk publisher to make nice (and unique) labels for your jars, bundles and packets. Have little folders of information on the more interesting ones -- this will help raise the price. When you ship packages of herbs or species, always include some of this type of literature -- these are some of your more profitable sales, and you want them to order again!

Some indoor herbs, such as basil are notorious for attracting while flies, a perennial greenhouse pest. They don't do all that much damage (unless they are really bad), but they are a nuisance and extremely difficult to eradicate.

One way to help control them is to keep herbs that attract pets away from each other as much as possible; another is to move the plants to an outside location where the wind help control the size of the colony.

When confronted with a plant pest fungal problem find out exactly what the problem is -- then tale immediate steps to correct it. Too many gardeners and greenhouse growers waste their time, money and plants (to say nothing of needless building of immunities) by erroneous or "too late" treatments.

There are numerous chemical insecticides and fungicides that can help -- and many non-chemical (organic) techniques as well.

Rotating crops, picking off pests and introducing natural controls, such as milky spore disease (Japanese beetle, lady-bugs, praying mantis, lizards, (geckos) or frogs and washing with insecticidal soap sprays are considered "natural," controls, Reuter Laboratories specialize in "natural pesticides, which are sold under the trade name "Attack".

It may become necessary to decide whether your herb garden will be "normal" organic. In most cases, organically grown herbs are more in demand and bring higher prices.

Your decision may be influenced by the type and number of pests in your area, your luck in controlling them, demand. If you use toxins, be very careful for your own safety, and be informed to protect your prospective customers!

Tip: One of the more effective controls for white flies is malathion, which is usually can be sold or eaten a week later (check the label for accurate instructions).

Some experts tell use that when mixed with some city waters will break down into harmless (to the bugs) solution in as little as 15 minutes! It still smells like it is working for hours, but it isn't. You can either check on your local water situation or apply malathion fast and in small mixed doses.

Toxic chemicals are rated by a factor called LD. The "acute oral LD factor" indicates how much it takes at the indicated strength to kill 50% of orally dosed specimen (those who eat the treated leaves).

There is also a dermal LD rating that concerns the effect on the nose, throat, eyes and skin (through absorption). The low numbers are more toxic : LD 1 to 50 is highly toxic; LD 500 and above is only slightly toxic.

Most chemical pesticides available today are designed to breakdown into harmless compounds within a week or so, but there are also "hard chemicals" (DDT, Deldrin, Aldrin, Heptachlor, Endrin, Lindane and Chlordane) that remain toxic up to twenty years.

These chemicals normally used only by licensed professionals for things like termite control (where "safe" chemicals would be ineffective). Many growers use some forms of "soft" pesticides (Sevin, Diazinon, Pyrenthins and Malathionn that are effective against pests, but usually not harmful to humans in the plants or are not eaten within 7 to 10 days after the treatment.

When it comes to chemicals there is one cardinal rule: READ THE LABEL!

For an outdoor herb garden in areas where small animals, grasshoppers or too much sun might be a problem, consider erecting a simple shade house.

Some gardeners combine a green house and shade house by constructing a simple enclosure of treated wood, painted metal or plastic, covering it with shade cloth AND 4 to 6 mil plastic for the greenhouse and pulling the plastic back to reveal the shade cloth for a shade house.

A quonset frame can be used, or a corral constructed of landscape timbers spaced 8 feet apart and connected with treated (or painted) 2 by 4s. Stretch the shade cloth over the frame and apply the plastic -- there is your combination shade/green house!

Note that within a shade house, you will need a means of pollination.

If all else fails, use a water color brush to "tickle" the flowers every few days. Herbs generally do not need fertilizing. In most cases, a good compost and a little processed (purified) manure is fine.

If you need an easy way to apply fertilizers on a large scale, consider a syphon attachment on your watering hose. Hyponex makes one that works fine and costs about $10 (retail).

Although it would be worthless as a learning aid for growing herbs, Culpepper's Complete Herbal (See Bookseller, Sources) is a copy of a 17th century book outlining the uses and powers of the various herbs.

This, and others that tell about their "magical" powers are no longer considered factual, but nonetheless, fascinating -- they will help create interest in your herbs!

Marketing your herbs profitably is a matter of finding those with a need (gourmet restaurants and cooks), and coming up with something that is different and interesting.

Check with small stores, health and gift shops. Ask them to try your products -- even if it is on consignment. Ordinarily, you can offer a special introductory price to entice shop keepers to try them.

Exposure of both your name and herbs is what you are after at this early stage. Work with a printer to have a display package to show off your products to their best advantage. A poster with a tray of products underneath would be a nice window display.

Meanwhile, advertise (radio, cable TV spots, newspaper ads) in your market area and write some "news release" items for the local paper to help introduce yourself and your products.

Herbs and their accompanying folklore lend themselves well to this approach. Of course, your little articles will also mention where one can get such interesting things!

Put magnetic signs on your car and call on as many retailers and restaurants as you can to establish a wholesale route.

Leave samples of your best products with the large, gourmet cooks. When building a route, it is necessary to keep calling on prospective customers -- even when they haven't bought anything. This tends to prove your reliability (why buy from an out of town supplier and pay freight if they can get the same quality delivered?).

Remember that some retailers have been "burned" is the past by those who SAY they are reliable. Since very little actual space and weight is needed for herb delivery, your family car (with signs, of course) will do nicely as your first delivery van.

Tip: offer a plan to place and periodically replace, live, growing plants such as basil to restaurants. This will allow them to advertise that they use fresh herbs!


PENN HERB, 605 N. Second, Philadelphia, PA 19123. Wholesale herb seeds. Catalog and samples - $1.

JUDE HERBS, Box 563, Huntington Station, New York, NY 11746. Catalog - $1.

NICHOLS GARDEN NURSERY, 1190 North Pacific Highway, Albany, OR 97321-4598. 503/926-8406. Specializes in herbs and rare seeds; full line of supplies, mixtures, information on the general subject of herb gardening.

FOLKLORE HERB CO.,2388 W 4th Ave., Vancouver, BC Canada V61 1P1. Herb seeds, lk herbs, sanctuary seeds, teas, oils, etc. Free catalog.

BOTANIC GARDEN SEED CO, 9 Wyckoff St.,Brooklyn, NY 11201. Wholesale herb and wildflower seeds.

BEAR MEADOW FARM, 23 Wall St.,North Adams, MA 01247. Herbs, health foods and related supplies.

BUSINESS OF HERBS, Box 5591, Madison, VA 22727. Magazine for herb growers.

CAPRILANDS HERB FARM, Silver ST., Coventry, CT 06328, Herbs, health foods and related supplies (for growers & retailers).

HERB QUARTERLY, Box 275, Newlane, VT 05345. Magazine for herb growers.

NATIONAL AGRICULTURE LIBRARY, 10301 Baltimore Rd.,Beltsville, MD 20705. Free list of over 200 sources of information on organic gardening and farming.

CONSUMER INFORMATION CENTER, Box 100, Pueblo, CO 81002. Write for list of pamphlets. No. 538R, Herbs - Magic or Toxic is free.

ABLE BOX CO., 1269 McCarter Highway, Newark, NJ 07102. Boxes and cartons.

KOLE INDUSTRIES, INC.,P.O. Box 520152, Miami, FL 33142. Manufacturers boxes, cartons and bags (some for mail order dealers).

JONES WEST, P.O. Box 1084, Rohnert Park, CA 94928. 707/795-8522. Manufactures plastic zip-lock bags, 20 sizes, 2 x 2" to 12 x 15".

DOVER PUBLICATIONS, INC.,31 East 2nd St.,Mineola, NY 11051. Discount books, clip art, stencils, etc.

QUILL CORPORATION, 100 Schelter Rd.,Lincolnshire, IL 60917-4700, 312/634--4800. Office supplies.

EDWARD HAMILTON BOOKDEALER, Falls Village, CT 06031-0358. Specializes in discount books - references, novel, histories, special subject.

ZPS, Box 581, Libertyville, IL 60048-2556. Business cards (raised print - $11.50 per K) and letterhead stationery. Will print your copy ready logo or design, even whole card.

WALTER DRAKE, 4119 Drake Bldg.,Colorado Springs, CO 80940. Short run business cards.

By Home Business Publications, 1993.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


If you have a garage or work building and are willing to learn a craft, upholstering, re-upholstering and/or furniture refinishing would make an excellent home business. The investment is comparatively small and there is always a market for these skills and the products they yield.

if you do not already know how to upholster or refinish wood, the first priority is to learn how. If you are experienced, you can begin with small projects and work your way up to the more complex and better paying jobs.

In the case of a husband and wife, one could specialize in each to provide a complete service! Learning these crafts starts with reading, then practicing. If possible, get a job working in the field to learn direct from the professionals. Otherwise, there are schools, courses and hundreds of books covering every possible aspect of furniture upholstery and refinishing.

During your preparation, you may decide to specialize --modern, antiques or just chairs and sofas for example. When you are ready for customers, have a sign made and place an ad that announces your services (be specific). Put signs on your car or truck too, so people can see them when you pick up or deliver furniture.

When you bring in jobs that are badly in need of repair, take "before" pictures of them -- to compare with "after" pictures when they are finished.

Post the best of these in a photo album to show prospective customers and for possible future use in ads or brochures (you may need well contrasting black and white photos for these.) Arrange your album with good examples of each major type of work that you do and include a short (no more than 3 line) title and explanation for each. This way, if you are busy, customers can browse through them while waiting.

These pictures will not only show what fine work you do-- they will also suggest other jobs to the customer. Use a good camera for these pictures (hire a photographer if necessary), so the pictures will accomplish their mission.

Plan your shop according to the work you are going to do in it. You will need more room to refinish tables, stands to do smaller items and a dust free section for the application of wood finishes. Upholstering takes less room, but the area must be safe from mice and moths -- especially your storage areas.

When operating a business like this, you will be asked to recommend finishes, fabrics and methods. As a professional, you are often in a better position to answer these questions than your customers, but be careful not to routinely recommend those things that bring you the most profit. remember that they may also ask someone else! It is OK, however, to point out things that are easier (therefore, cheaper) to work with.

You will find that in the long run, honestly really is the best policy!

Pricing in a business like this is very difficult, and you have to give estimates on most of our work. If you see the cost is going well over your estimate, give the customer a call before proceeding.

The rule here is "never surprise a customer with bad news." If the cost is slightly more, and your "estimate" was pretty firm just absorb the cost as the price of a "lesson" in how to estimate. Your pricing of course, will be based on the cost of materials,labor and utilities plus your profit.

Note that labor and profit are two entirely different categories.

Labor is the amount you would have to pay someone to do the job;

profit is your "override" on the labor plus your profit on the materials (usually 25-40%).

A fully qualified upholster or furniture refinisher should not earn less than $10 (gross) per hour -- and in some areas, $25 per hour may not be out of line for top quality work. When making your estimates, add a little "padding" (perhaps 5%) to cover unforseen costs. Always figure your estimates and prices with good quality materials -- when you use lower quality materials, usually to save money, let it be your customer's decision.

The fastest way to learn if you want to get into the furniture refinishing or upholstery business to redo some of your own.

Take a chair or table, set up a practice area and try your skill. Use BIX finish remover (available at most hardware stores) to remove paint ( a second coat will also remove the stain), clean thoroughly, sand and apply the new finish.

The secret is not to get in a hurry! Let the wood dry between operations; take the extra few minutes for a first class sanding job; wait another day for the finish to dry enough for the next cost, and go over the surface with fine steel wool (if recommended) and wipe thoroughly between coats.

In a business, you will have several pieces in different stages of completion, so the temptation to rush will not be so great. Another way to help expedite your "education" is to hire an experienced helper -- for both the assistance and "lessons."

In addition to your signs, have a good quality 3 or 4 line rubber stamp made to custom print your own invoices and even business cards.

If funds are scare, get some duplicate ticket books at the local stationery store and stamp your name on each original ticket to get "custom printed" invoices.

As long as your business is not too professional, you can place 3 x 5 cards with your name and services on supermarket bulletin boards. Keep an ad in the local paper, but change it a little every so often (like a new special every month), to help stimulate interest. When you are ready for more business, put an ad in the yellow pages.

Whenever business lags, you can always contact rental agencies (both real estate and furniture) to either buy used (but good quality only) furniture that needs repair, or to do their repair work. The profits will be lower, but low profits are better than NO profits.

Also, bear in mind that refinishing and re-upholstering other people's furniture is not your only option.

You can also buy things to restore -- from auctions, garage sales, foreclosures (business furniture is a whole new market!) and from individuals who answer your "will buy" ads. The item you buy to refinish must bring at least double its cost PLUS a fair return for your labor and materials to restore it.

For this reason, buy only high quality or antique furniture, so you will "have something" when it is completed.

One possible pitfall in the refinishing and upholstery business is unpaid bills. People sometimes really want to have a couch recovered and visualize how nice it would look with a nice, quality (expensive)fabric.

Trouble is, while the couch is being covered they spot a new item at half what they owe on the old couch -- and buy it!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Operate a potato chip shop in a busy location

Operate a French type hot dog stand

Sell popcorn coated with 20 different flavors

Offer a casserole delivery service

Run a take-out food store with a new specialty

Run a homemakers' cooperative, selling assorted edibles

Supply restaurants with your own specialty

Operate a home-cooked meal delivery service

Operate a box-lunch service for offices

Cater hor d'oeuvres for special occasions

Operate health food cafeterias in schools

Cater exotic desserts

Make wedding cakes

Operate a homemade soup shop

Bake cookies

Sell homemade pastries or any other delicacy you are good at baking

Run a fruitcake business

Bake and sell traditional goodies for festive occasions of the year

Specialize in the candy apple business

Sell crepes suzettes and/or American-style pancakes in a busy location

Merchandise Christmas candied fruits

Run a homemade candy stand

Operate a frystick snack shop

Merchandise maple syrup

Manufacture new and uniquely-flavored cough drops

Sell home-canned goods

Dehydrate surplus produce

Produce and bottle fresh juice and sell to restaurants

Make lollipops of all shapes and sizes

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Even though personal computers have been around for several years, the market is still growing in many areas. With some imagination and initiative, you can join the thousands of entrepreneurs who are using computers to make money in such businesses as word processing, bookkeeping, desktop publishing, and computer training or sales.

Don't despair if you don't have a computer, or even if you don't know much about them. Today's computer equipment is relatively inexpensive, making computer-related businesses among the least expensive to start.

The software you can use as the basis of a business is generally easy to learn and use. With some software, you can go from novice to expert in just a few weeks, if you make an effort to learn and spend time practicing.

Here are eight ways you can profit from computers. Don't be afraid to adapt each idea to fit your preferences and the needs of the people in your area. In particular, you may want to incorporate several of these services into one business, possibly increasing your profit potential.


Typing reports, papers, dissertations, letters, and other documents for students, writers, and businesses is a common way to make money with a computer. Indeed, word processing is just a high-tech version of the old-fashioned typing service.

The difference is that word processing allows you to turn better-looking documents in less time than a typewriter. Further good word processing programs let you include headlines, footnotes, and special symbols in documents with little hassle. This flexibility increases the value of your service to potential clients.

College campuses are always good places to get customers for a word processing business. If you live near one, prepare attractive flyers to post on bulletin boards around campus. It may also pay to take out a small ad in the campus paper. Stress fast service, since students are notorious for waiting until the last minute to finish assigned papers.

If there is not a college nearby, try advertising in the classified section of the newspaper and mailing flyers to businesses. Small companies may be particularly good customers for word processing service because they may not have secretaries on staff. Larger companies may use you for overflow work or for long projects in which the finished copy must be perfect.

Rates vary depending on where you live; check with other typists to see what they charge. It should be no problem in most places to get $1 per double-spaced page. Be sure to charge extra for footnotes, headlines, or other special formats, since these take more time to type.


Because its capabilities are so amazing and useful, this new technology promises to grow by leaps and bounds within the next several years. With desktop publishing software, and a laser printer to produce flyers, brochures, booklets, books and nearly any other material that needs to be designed and typeset. The documents that you produce are "camera-ready," meaning that they are ready to be printed up with no additional typesetting, layout or paste-up.

As a desktop publisher, you can offer both graphic design and typesetting services at a very competitive price (much lower than customers would pay for a separate graphic designer and typesetter). Even better, if you are a writer ( or can associate with one) you can produce complete documents, from idea to finished piece.

Desktop publishing is one of the more expensive computer businesses to start. A good laser printer may run $2,000 or more, and desktop publishing software, including a full range of graphics and typestyles, may cost up to $1,000. If you're starting on a tight budget, you can probably put off buying the laser printer. Just work out an arrangement with a print shop or some other business that has a laser printer in which you may print out your finished documents.

Because desktop publishing is more involved than word processing, it's more difficult to set prices. The best way is to charge by the job, basing your fee on an hourly rate. When a potential client comes to you, estimate how many hours the work will take, and then quote a package price for the job. (Most customers prefer a package price to paying you an hourly rate, since they can budget in advance how much the project will cost.)

Businesses, charitable organizations, professional, and anyone else who needs high-quality printed pieces are potential customers for a desktop publishing business. Print shops don't offer graphic design and typesetting may be willing to steer clients who need these services to you. Direct mail solicitations also may be effective in promoting your services, especially if you include some impressive samples of what you do.


Many business people love running their businesses but hate the financial record keeping necessary for smooth day-to-day operation. But failure to keep careful records can cause problems at tax time and whenever else a clear financial picture of the business is needed. If you have experience in bookkeeping or accounting, helping business people to keep their books can be an excellent way to make money with your computer.

With spread sheet software like Symphony or Lotus 1-2-3, you can keep detailed records of clients books, take care of billing, prepare balance sheets and financial reports, and keep the client aware of his or her financial standing. (Clients will really be impressed if you use graphic software like Harvard Graphics to prepare charts and graphs that show the financial status of their business.)

Base fees on the size of the business and the amount of time you need each month working with the client's books. You may want to charge additional fees for extra services such as preparing tax forms, financial statements, and balance sheets.

Small businesses--especially retail stores, with their need to keep inventory--are prime markets for a computerized bookkeeping service. The soft-sell approach works best when promoting this type of business. Clients want to feel that their finances are in the hands of someone who is conservative and trustworthy, not a pushy promoter.


Most businesses can benefit from having one or more personal computers, but very few managers have the time to research fully the hardware and software available when making choices. If you know computers, you can provide a valuable service as a consultant, helping clients avoid costly and frustrating mistakes.

Consultants begin by taking the time to learn about a client's business. Thoroughly interview the manager or owner to find out what he or she expects a computer system to do. Observe employees to see what they do and how they might benefit from specific types of equipment or software.

When you've arrived at a recommendation, write a report and meet with your client to discuss it. After changes have been made to suit your customers, you can assist further by recommending low-cost sources of equipment, and setting up equipment once it is purchased.

Consultants typically charge per day. Even if this fee is over $100, emphasize to potential clients that your good advice can be worth many times what it costs, since you can suggest cost saving and efficiency-improving purchases.


Computer trainers teach people how to use specific types of equipment and software. For examples, when a company begins using a new word processing system, its employees must be taught to use it. A computer trainer conducts these training sessions, either one-on-one or with an entire group.

The most effective trainers are good listeners as well as talkers. Before training employees, ask them about other software packages they've used and what they intend to do with the new package. After all, there's no point in spending two hours telling someone how to do "mail-merge" with a word processor if they never have need for that feature.

Begin by specializing in only a few popular software packages that you know well. Prepare a mailer listing your areas of expertise.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Edward Bulwer-Lytton stated "The pen is mightier than the sword." These days, not may people use the pen to write with. More often they use typewriters or, even more frequently, computers and word processors. But make no mistake, the written word is still very powerful, and if you own a word processor you are sitting on top of one of the most powerful money-making machines ever created.

Most people use their computer to do simple tasks, such as their taxes. Or they buy a word processor so their children can write term papers and get better grades in school. Very few people realize that their computers can make them money as well as fulfilling all of these other functions. If your computer is taking up desk space but not bringing you any extra income, it's time for you to put that machine to work for you.

Of course, the logical question is "How can my computer make money for me?" Computers are extremely versatile and can be programmed to do almost anything. Many different computer functions can be incorporated into a home-based business, but one of the easiest to master is the word processor. There are dozens of word processing programs on the market, and you should be able to master one in about five or six hours of practice. And,if you don't have a computer, don't worry. You can still cash in on this great business idea. many computer companies make word processing machines which are like super typewriters, combining the functions of both typewriters and computers.

Once you are familiar with your word processor, look out! You will be ready to take on the world with your home-based, word-processing business.


Using your word processor to make money is easy. In fact, it's easy as finding someone who needs a document created and selling your service to them. Once you've read through the following suggestions, you will have lots of great ideas on how to use your computer to make money.


A successful company needs to keep their employees up to date on company activities (such as corporate buy outs, company recreational events, and policy changes) and trade news (such as new legislation affecting customers, competition news and manufacturer updates). The easiest and least expensive way to do all of this is through an employee newsletter.

The problem with this is most companies especially smaller ones, do not have the capital to hire a full-time writer. Many companies attempt to designate someone within the organization to write their newsletter, but this person is not a writer, in fact the one in charge of the newsletter is usually the secretary. Using nothing more than a typewriter, she tries to produce a nice-looking newsletter in a few minutes she has to spare between projects. Needless to say, the result is usually less than spectacular.

That's where you and your word processor come in. Using your computer, you can easily put together a newsletter that looks very professional--with columns, bold headlines, graphs and even pictures. Bring a sample newsletter into a business and have the manager compare it to his current newsletter (if he has one at all). Then tell him that by subscribing to your newsletter service, productivity and profit will rise for two reasons. First, because he will not be paying someone from inside the company to write the newsletter. Second, his employees will work more efficiently because they will be better informed.

Before you know it, you will have 10 to 15 companies paying you to write their newsletter, and will probably be just about all you can handle. Since each one will be paying you about $300 a month for the service, you will need to make the decision whether to continue to expand your service and hire more help, or simply relax and let the money keep rolling in.


Fads and trends come and go, but one thing that will always sell is information. With your word processor, you have one of the best mediums for presenting information, and you can make a bundle doing just that.

Just walk through your local book store or library and notice how many self-help, diet and how-to books there are. This should give you a feel how hungry consumers are for this type of information. Once you've read through a few of these types of books, you should know enough about the subject to write a brief five to ten page report. With the computer, you can make the report look very professional through the use of page numbers, double columns, pull quotes in the middle of the pages, and a bold catch title.

When the paper is complete, it's time for you to begin the marketing procedure. Take out an ad in the classified section of your local newspaper. Word the advertisement so that customers will be enticed to send you a check to learn more about the subject. Here are a few examples.

Tired of reading through useless diet books? TRY THE SECRETS OF CONTROLLING YOUR WEIGHT. Just send $3 to...

Plumbers charge over $100 dollars to make a house call. BE YOUR OWN PLUMBER, a new informed book, costs only $5. To order, send to...

Since printing costs will be minimal (between 25 cents and $1 per report) most of the money you collect will go directly to profit. And, since these reports are easy to produce, you can use some of that income to write and print a new report and sell it the same way. See how easy it is to make the whole thing snowball?

Here are some more subjects you can easily write brief reports and sell through the mail:

How To Grow A Garden

Selected Mexican Recipes

Stop Smoking

How To Paint Your House

Mail-Order Marketing

Making Your Own Patio Furniture

Camping Made Easy

Easy Baking Techniques
If some of this appeal to you, think of something else. Just remember, the idea must appeal to a wide arrange of customers or you will not sell enough products to defray your production costs.


When you begin to use your computer, you will quickly see the advantages you have over a standard typewriter. You can easily check your spelling and grammar, set your margins and type face as you wish, and make universal changes throughout the document without retyping the entire thing.

Because of these extensive features, your computer saves you time and effort when typing documents, and you can pass those savings on to your customers. With your computer, you can easily input a document, proofread it, give a draft copy to the customer for approval, make changes, then print a final version--all in less time than it would take a standard typist to type a single copy.

This is one of the easiest businesses to run once you master your word processor because all you need to know is how to type, no other talents are required. If you have a modern (telephone hookup) for your computer, you can even send documents across the country or around the world just as easily as you can deliver them across the street.

Your main concern in this business is finding customers who need typing done. Here are some customer suggestions and tips on how to get in touch with them:

Writers: There are literally thousands of people in this country who enjoy writing either for a hobby or as a source of extra income. By running an ad in one of the many writers magazines (such as Writers Digest or The Writer) you will get responses from writers all across the country who want their manuscripts typed.

Professionals: Small businesses often cannot afford the luxury of a secretary. Larger businesses sometimes have large projects to type but do not wish to hire someone extra. In either case an outside typist can be a valuable service.

Students: Many high school and college students don't have the time to type their own papers even if they do have the ability to. Especially during mid-terms or finals, a typing service can really make money at a school. Post flyers in every classroom and every bulletin board you can find.

The only requirement you need to stick to in this business is accuracy. No matter who you are typing for, they will stand for less than 100 percent perfect documents. Always check, double check, then triple check your work before you send it to your clients.


As you can see, with a computer or word processor, you can open up a whole new world of business opportunities. If you are one of the few business people who are still operating without one, you really should look into making that big purchase. While the initial capital outlay may seem high, a little ingenuity is all it takes to make the computer pay for itself.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


If you're involved in any type of business where you sell products or services, you should know that you need to sell more than one product to be successful. Of course, there have been exceptions, like the Pet Rock, but those are few and far between. You see, if you only sell one product, you need to find those prospective customers that want that one product.

Add a second product, and you've opened the door to customers who want it, but not your first product. Add a third, and you have more prospects, and so on.

You can present your products or services through separate ads or flyers, but it's really more efficient and professional to have a CATALOG.

That way, your customer can see all you have to offer in one place, instead of one ad here, another there.

Having a catalog will increase the orders you receive, since your customers have more choices and you can show them everything in one mailing.

If you're thinking of putting together even an eight page catalog, call your local printer and ask for a price. Get a quote on 1,000, since you'll want to have enough. My best printer would charge $150, which would be 15 cents per catalog. Then, you have the mailing cost, which would be 52 cents.

You're now up to 67 cents per catalog. Add in the cost of getting the name to send the catalog to, and you could be over a dollar per catalog. That means over $1,000 to print and send out all your catalogs!

Worse news to come... you won't get rich from an eight page catalog. If you really intend on making it in your own business, you'd better offer at least 20 related products or services (or a combination). That way, you can hit a specific group of people and have a good chance of getting a decent return. But if an eight page catalog would cost over $1,000 to print and mail, think about a 20 page catalog! Printing alone would be $375 or more!

You can reduce your printing and postage costs significantly by having your catalog printed on a web press on newsprint. The only problem with that is, you need to print a higher quantity to make it worthwhile. Figure on at least 10,000. There's an easier, less expensive way to do this...


A 5 1/4" 360K IBM-compatible disk will hold around a 70 page catalog, if you do it right! 70 PAGES!!! The higher storage disks will, of course, hold more! Your customer will receive your disk catalog, put it into their computer, and will be able to view full descriptions of your products and services on their screen. They'll even be able to print out an order form!

Right away, let's look at costs. For a 360K 3 1/2" disk catalog, the disk will cost 10 cents. Look at Computer Shopper for disk sources that run clearance sale on low-density disk. Although with today's computers a 360K 3 1/2" disk may seem like a dinosaur, at 10 Cents, the bargain may still serve its purpose.

One cost that was not figured in is storage. If you have a lot of catalog sprinte (especially if you had 10,000 or more newsprint catalogs), you're going to have to put them somewhere. With a disk catalog, you can copy them as you need them. No need to have 1,000 made up in advance, unless you really want to!

Also, keep in mind the storage capacity of the disk. If you wanted a 68 page printed catalog, whew, it would break you, unless you have pretty deep pockets. A dime will get you one on disk.

Finally, consider this... you have 10,000 of your fantastic catalog printed. You start mailing them. All of a sudden, you discover you have to change the price of one of your products. Or, the source for a product dries up. Or, you want to add a new product or service. TOO BAD! You're stuck with the catalogs the way they are. With a disk catalog, NO PROBLEM! You make the change on your master copy, and all subsequent catalogs are instantly up-to-date.

See the advantages? You can sell your products just as well with a disk catalog as with a printed one. In fact, people will keep your catalog around longer, due to it's uniqueness (disk catalogs are just starting to be used). So, how can you get your own high-powered order-pulling disk catalog?

Well, two ways... you can make one yourself, or you can have an expert put one together for you, saving you the time and effort. I'll explain how it's done, and then you can make the choice.

First, you need to write your product/service descriptions. Use any word processor that can save documents as "ASCII" files. These are plain text files that can be written and read by most word processors, or directly from DOS (by typing "TYPE (ASCII filename)"). You'll want to apply all the principles of successful marketing copy writing in your descriptions.

Center them around the benefits the customer will receive from your product or service. Don't list features, list how the customer's life will be better because of the features. Don't worry about length, you have plenty of room on your disk! Also, you aren't constrained by how many words will fit on the page, because your catalog will be viewed on the screen, and will only be printed if the customer desires to do so. Save each of your descriptions as a separate ASCII file.

After you have your descriptions typed and saved, you can assemble your catalog on disk. You will need some sort of program to let your customers choose which product they want to read about, and to display and print it. The best programs I have found, which I use on my disk catalog (and on this report disk) are "MooMenu" (a menuing program) and "See" (a text file viewing and printing program). These programs are public domain (they are free to copy and use), and they work together extremely well. Another option is to use the program "Writer's Dream," a shareware program designed for producing books on disk. I'll use the MooMenu and See programs for the example to follow.

First, you need to make a menu of your products and services. This is the "table of contents" the reader uses. With MooMenu, you construct your menu with your word processor. For each menu selection, you start with a letter, then the name. For example, "A. The Super Widget." Then, on the next line, you would type an execution command that would dir ect your text viewer program to display the appropriate text file. For example, "SEE WIDGET.TXT". This command will not appear on screen with the menu. Do this for all your catalog items. You will have plenty of room on your screen, so you should plan out an attractive heading that shows the name of your catalog, the issue or date information, and your business name and address.

Now, create your order form in the same fashion. Type it on the screen in your word processor and save it as an ASCII file. Don't forget to put your name and address, as well as any ordering and shipping information you'll need from your customer, on the form.

If you have more products or services than will fit on a single screen, you will need to create a second sub-menu that will be called from your first menu. For example, your second menu screen might be called "MENU2.MOO".

You would put a selection on your menu, such as "More Products & Services".

The next menu command line you'd type would be "MOO MENU2.MOO". The MOO at the start of that command tells the MooMenu program that you want it to display a new menu. The second menu functions like the first.

The customer inserts the disk, types "go" and presses return (like you did, with this disk). The menu then appears. The reader can either press the letter corresponding to the item they wish to read, or they can move the onscreen cursor with the arrow keys to the item they are interested in. If they would like to print the description, they can press "p" while the description is loaded and it will print. To leave the description and return to the menu, they would press the escape key. It's fairly simple and requires little or no instructions to the reader.

Assembling your catalog on disk doesn't require a bunch of glue, cutting, pasting, typesetting, printing, or any other of the hard-work jobs that traditional publishing requires. All you have to do is copy your description files onto a disk, as well as your menu file(s), an dyour menuing and display ing/printing programs. I'm able to fit the MooMenu and See programs on a 360K disk and still have room for around 70 pages of text, so you shouldn't run into any space limitations. Then, produce a label for the disk, either from a professional printer or a laser or dot matrix printer (I do mine on a laser printer and they come out beautifully!). That's it!

You've now reached the production/distribution stage. Copy your disks, label them, and send them out! Here are some money-saving ideas that will help your cash flow:

+ Try with all your might to keep your shipping weight under one ounce.

It's easy to do that with a 5 1/4" disk, as the disk, sleeve, a cardboard stiffener (a 5" x 5" square of stiff cardboard that protects the disk) and a lightweight envelope weigh just a hair under one ounce, in general.

Shop around for the right envelope. I use 6" x 9" white 24# catalog envelopes. 3 1/2" disks will automatically cost 52 cents to mail, due to their weight.

+ Don't use disk mailers. They're heavy and expensive. You can send your disk in a regular envelope if you use a cardboard stiffener. Mark on the outside of the envelope in the largest print possible, "HAND CANCEL ONLY - DISK ENCLOSED - DO NOT BEND!" I feed my envelopes through my laser printer, which prints my return address and the hand canceling phrase in large white on black letters along the bottom of the envelope. I've only had one damaged disk the whole time I've been doing this! See, it's cheaper in the long run to send another out, than to spend five times as much on the mailer itself, and at least twice the postage, on every single disk mailed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Making Fortune

To make oneself independent should be the first great aim of life.How do one attain this? To answer to this question is plain ; being such an amount of money, safely
invested, as will produce an income equal to the necessaries of life. In other words, to be able to live without labor. If one could always be sure to be able to save even something, or enough to keep him from falling a charge either upon public or private charity, there would be no need of an independence. But, as all know, such cannot be guaranteed to any one.

While the fortune, then, is an indefinable amount, the independence is a fixed sum dependent upon the price of necessaries, and the country in which it is required. In some latitudes this amount is very small, while in others it is no immaterial sum. It may be assumed that the interest of five thousand dollars invested at six per cent, would accomplish this object. If, then, the desires and wants are no more, then the individual has an independence, and a fortune too. But the ever-living
desire of gain, even when this sum is obtained, will spur on its possessor to further accumulation as a general rule. If,however, he has others dependent upon him for support who cannot earn themselves, he must have as many independencies as there are individuals to support.

There is no able-bodied person, of sound mind, who cannot in this country gain an independence from labor. For all he has to do is to lay aside of what he receives,
all that is not required for the necessaries of life ; and by looking at the tables at the back of this book he will find that small earnings per day will soon mount up to this standard, and even more. Penuriousness or meanness is not recommended ; but on the contrary, will prevent one making the most money with his opportunities. A just and proper economy is the true line, and any one can determine this for himself. No one feels so happy as when he is pursuing a legitimate business, is out of debt, and has some money at interest. From that moment he lives in a new world, is more respected, has more substantial friends, and wields a greater influence
among his peers. Not only that, but his very independence of circumstances makes his services in any department of life more valuable, and he can command more money for them, and can hence accumulate faster.

But let one be behind hand, or in debt, or in trouble, or on the anxious seat as to how he will make ends meet to support himself and his family he is in the power of
any one who has any transactions with him. He becomes the suppliant for everything;
and cannot, from the nature of things, get as much for what he gives as though the reverse were the case. An independence, then, should be the first thing aimed at, either by male or female; and every nerve and sinew should be strained, and every
expenditure scrutinized, till this end shall have been attained. Self-denial should be exercised in everything, remembering always that such a course is not only respectable, but in the end will make you more friends,and more happiness from the beginning to the end of life.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Can You Really Make Money Online?

Many people have asked themselves if they could really make money with information they get online? I am telling you that yes, you can make money depending on how well you work hard and research stuff you find online. sure tenure by law. Watch politicians. With the economy is near collapse:Property in danger,banking industry in shamble, and politicians fight over who would bring change, ordinary people need to start thinking of other ways to make money apart from the 9-5 job shift.
If you have a dollar, or work for one, you are interested in the contents of this post. You have looked at the title, and it excites your cupidity if it does not please your fancy. But you say to yourself Will it teach me how to make money ? If the directions are followed, it will. Will it show me how to keep it ? It will. It
will do more than that it will show you how to make money with money. We have much knowledge which we do not use to advantage, and you may not apply the principles here laid down ; if so, you will probably be no better off by its reading.

By what tenure do you hold the dollar or property you have, or get that which is your due ? Nine-tenths of persons, and possibly a larger proportion, never heard this idea suggested. In other words, why is not your property mine ? Simply because we have a government, a social compact ; and one of the laws of that
government is, that what belongs to you is your own, and not some other person's. This is the fundamental law, the practice and usage of all people. Then comes
the direct: question to every one Are you interested in having what is your own ? The reply is certain. I am.

You may always know, then, when the title of your property is in danger, or when your own rights are in danger, from these signs. When you see unequal laws passed, or see one or any number of citizens deprived of legal rights, you may wisely conclude your turn will come next. You may wisely conclude, too, that when would it come? The purpose on these blog is to provide assistance through advise to its readers as to practical means of making money through many ways that have worked for other people.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Fact 1: Mail art :or business is the most ideal business to operate from home. Thousands make lucrative incomes and enjoy operating from the comfort of homes, setting their own business completely out of the "rat race" . These people will never work for a boss again. The postman brings them fat profits every day - often more than they earned in a month working for others.

A US. Government report states that many one--person mail order businesses are making profits up to $50,000 per year. The more successful mail order dealers have become Millionaires!

Fact 2:The world's easiest mail order business is Selling INFORMATION BY MAIL. Hundreds of thousands of men and women are making money in this wonderful, fantastic work.

When I say information I mean VALUABLE INFORMATION, with intrinsic value-. It could be an idea, a secret a name, an address, but something, of value it at people are willing to pay for it. What could be more profitable than selling paper and ink whereby you print information for pennies... and sell them for dollars?

Fact 3: ''"Information by Mail" is a billion dollar a year Mail Order Business with a market of over FORTY MILLION CUSTOMERS, and it is growing faster every year. We are now in an information AGE where there is an explosive demand for valuable information in all sectors of today's society.

With such statistics, it's easy to see why more and more people are entering today's most exciting; and more profitable business. Many individuals just like yourself are making more money in only a week in the Self-PUBLISHING BUSINESS than they can make in a month working for someone else.


There are two ways you can be a SELF-PUBLISHER; the hard way .. . or the easy way.

You can write your own self-published materials. You do your own research, find out what topics people will buy and the right price they are willing to pay, develop and advertise your offer or report, test the market, etc. etc.
Although this may be a more rewarding experience (especially if you love to write and want to be an author), I don't advise it. As a beginner, I mean. Once you become an expert in this business, you can write your own materials, make more money and have a lot of fun. But meanwhile ...

2. You can BUY your own self~published materials by acquiring the best-selling reports and manuals that are available in the market today, including the right to resell and reprint. That's right. You save the hassle of writing your own reports. You simply pay the full retail price, which will include the right to reprint the items you bought!

Now listen. I am not talking about the sub-standard material in the market. Be careful when you acquire an article or report for resale; You don't want to purchase incorrect or incomplete information, reports of poor reproduction quality,or information that simply has no apparent value.

To be successful, you must buy for distribution, the kind of quality material that will satisfy your customers and make them want to order from you again. One source of reports with reprint rights is: Infopreneur Box 20412 El Cajon CA 92021. The company offers a free catalog.

Once you acquire reproduction rights you can reproduce materials as you receive orders. A report of several pages in length can be reproduced for 20 to 30 cents and sold for several dollars. This generally provides a profit of 1000% an higher

When you purchase the reproduction rights you acquire the right to reproduce the copyrighted materials, which also includes the right to resell the reprint rights.

Meanwhile, let's say you have acquired the reproduction rights for top notch reports


The most important thing that you can do as a Self-Publisher is to convert your printed information into computer-readable moneymaking information!

This simple act will give you the leading edge in this business. By combining technology with the information self-publishing concept, you gain tremendous possibilities for success.

You keep your information current, accurate and easy to update. You can change, improve and add information as you gain more experience. You can include your own personal identity and unique information regarding your offer or business.

You maintain high quality printed information by using the latest technology in printing hardware and software. You have more convenient storage, faster access and better manageability in maintaining your information

When printing costs become prohibitive, say in producing a 100-page report, you can sell your information on disk. This automatically eliminates printing costs and reduces mailing costs substantially.

Since your information is stored in your computer, you can then transmit via modem, bulletin Board, electronic mail, fax, or any means of telecommunications. Shape of things to come? Nope. This is happening today. This is now a common mode in the business of transmitting (and selling) information.

Finally, with the above hi-tech facilities, you will be operating just like a big corporate publishing firm and will be perceived as one. You improve your credibility as an entrepreneur. There are now thousands of small one-person businesses operating from home, just like the big ones.

Here is a summary of the important benefits of operating your own Self-Publishing Mail Order business:

No. inventory to carry and easy to reproduce

Extremely high mark up

Easy and inexpensive to ship via First Class or UPS

Ideal as a primary offer or as follow up offer to existing buyers

Very Large market demand

By the way, you don't have to own a computer to operate your own self-publishing business. The purpose of this Guide is simply to show how much more of advantage you will have if you use a computer as a tool in making yourself-publishing business more efficient and successful. Be a self-publisher first, then computerize your information later.

Monday, September 1, 2008

How to Publish Your Disk-Based (Virtual) Book

With the high printing and distribution costs involved in the self-publishing of books, there is another alternative that is beginning to emerge and is worthy of investigation. That alternative is virtual books. They are sometimes referred to as electronic books or diskbased books.

Because of the ever-increasing use of computers in the home for business and personal use, and because of the costs mentioned above, the writing and publishing of electronic books is becoming more practical for many applications.

So, what is an electronic, or virtual book? A simple explanation would be to say that an electronic book is a computer floppy disk on which is contained a disk-reading program and a text file The actual contents of the book). Depending on the type of disk-reader used, the person reading the "book" can start at the beginning, the middle, the end, or any other place, page, chapter, section, etc.

Disk-reading programs are also called text organizers or file viewers.

Depending, again, on the type and complexity of the disk-reading program used, the author can present to the reader a table of contents or a list of topics from which the reader can select, with just a few keystrokes; and instantly access the desired material

The slow alternative to reading a long text file without a good file viewer is to scroll through the text from start to finish. At best you can jump ahead or back one page of text at a time, but you will have no capability to preselect a certain page, word, line, topic, or any other unique location.

So how is it done? Easily! The book or other work is composed on a text editor rather than a "full-blown" word processor. As the book is being written, the author includes special short commands that are "read" by the file viewer. These hidden commands enable the person reading the book to move around the book just as if he were reading a printed book.

Other commands allow the reader to pull up menus, access help windows, answer questions, mark certain selections and accomplish other tasks.

A variety of text organizers or file viewers, and text editors for composing the work, are available from computer software dealers who distribute "share ware". Share ware is a form of software marketing whereby the user is allowed to try a program before buying it. These shareware programs are copyrighted material and the user is obligated to pay for it if he used it beyond a reasonable evaluation period. The cost of "registering" or paying for these tie viewing and text editing programs ranges from $8 to $100.

This author used the $8 version of the IRIS hypertext file viewer and the MS-DOS text editor already included with DOS 5.0. That's a total cost of $8.00 to get started because IRIS cam be distributed with your electronic book "royalty free". That means you may write an electronic book using IRIS as the viewer; sell the book at any price with IRIS included so that it can be read, and not have to pay any royalty to the author of IRIS. The "SEE" file viewer, while not having as many features as IRIS, can also be used royalty free.

Here's a few reasons why publishing electronic books makes sense:

Less expensive than conventional publishing. To get the price of any printed book below $1.00 you would have to have five to ten thousand printed. The price of your test electronic book can be less than $10.00, counting the cost of purchasing a file viewer. After that, your only expense per copy is the cost of the floppy disks. Mail order supply houses sell them for as little as 19 cents apiece for 5.25" DSDD disks in lots of 500 or 1000. If you only buy 100, the cost may be 25 cents apiece.

You can edit or change the contents of your unsold books at any time! New informs lion can be added or obsolete data can be removed using the text editor. You would, of course, have to copy the edited version of your work to the other disks.

Produce only the books you need: Assemble each book only when an order comes in for that book! It only takes 2 or 3 minutes. This also solves the editing problem mentioned above. By having only a "master" book, you only have to make additions or deletions of text to one book.

If large quantities are needed for any reason, commercial disk duplication companies can turn out large numbers of your book at a very reasonable cost Still far less than conventional printing.

There are several disk-book libraries and publishers to help you find a market for your book. Dealers of share ware and retail programs are now including sections in their catalogs for disk-based books.

Mailing costs are greatly reduced. Your book on a 5.25 inch disk can be mailed alone in a 6 x 9 inch envelope for one test class stamp. It is usually more practical, however, to use a protective disk mailer, and to include associated documents with your disk. The disk mailer provides much more protection for your disk-book, but raises the weight to the next postage unit.
A short list of text editors, tie viewers, and sources is included below:

Text Organizers:

Black Magic




Text Editors:


Petit Plus




Two sources for file viewing and text editing programs are:

Infopreneur Services
3755 Avocado Blvd #110
La Mesa, CA 91941

Public Brand Software,
PRO. Box 51315
Indianapolis, IN 46251

This list of programs and sources is by no means all-inclusive and are used as examples only. The author's use of particular program is not a recommendation of one program over another.