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November 2, 2006, 08:59 AM
it comes back to what YOU want to do.

So, let's take a look at this thing.

It's taking longer than you thought it would. You have a distribution problem. Possible solutions:

Outsource this or hire other people to do it. Problem: COST.

IF you do let others (think high school kids, maybe clubs or athletes) deliver these, you have to pay them...which frees up your time to get more ads into the thing to cover your added distribution costs.

Since it is a start-up, you don't have any ideas how many advertisers you already have will sign back up with you. That is an important thing, because retention of advertisers will mean you have to do less and less as time goes on.

You could reduce the number of homes delivered too, but you'll be hard pressed to retain any of the current 5k ads for pert near the same price.

IF they are offering a coupon, then they will know the effectiveness of your ad delivery service very quickly...and you don't have enough time under your belt to offer any stats or show the effectiveness of this advertising methods. Which makes the initial sell even tougher...especially if you reduce the number of homes.

My advice is to do a cost analysis or profit analysis sheet.

How much time is needed to deliver the 5k?
What is the cost of delivery? And you and family have time value, but would a "club" at school do this for a flat fee of say, 250.00...and if a club has 10 members, each member only has to do 500 or a one or two day effort.

In order to make up that 250 (just a figure, could be more) how many more ads would you have to include to make up the difference?

How much time will it take to get those?

IF you were to get a bigger group, say like the Soccer TEAM, with a couple of dozen members to deliver the flyers, it could be done in ONE day...and perhaps allow you to INCREASE distribution area and increase your ads cost and their perceived value.

WHERE are your advertisers currently using? A half page ad in one of those coupon booklets that comes via US Postal Service runs several hundred dollars, is your delivery more targeted and how does it compare with other advertising opportunities?

Sit down. Take a deep breath. Grab a few pieces of paper and start scribbling on them.

What did this first RUN teach you? COULD it be profitable IF.__________ and if so, then what would it take to do _________

whatever that might be.

How good are you at getting advertisers? Can you get MORE and MORE to fill up the bag to allow you to buy distribution?

Well, there are more questions than answers for you...I think it is great you started something and found out some things, like the time it takes to deliver.

There is a lady here in Akron named Ceil Bush, who started something very similar to what you do many years ago...today, her Gold Clipper Magazine is a huge success and she's branched out across the area {www.goldclipper.com }...but her first year (or two as I recall) was pretty much month to month and mouth to mouth...AH, as is often the story of success.

But Bea, only YOU know what you want from this thing? If it is just about dollars and income, I think there might be a more profitable type of "hotsheet" for you to consider, delivering those same ads, in a different format, to places where there is a "trapped audience"... only instead of one at a time, deliver 100-250 and do it in just a few hours a week.

As Phil would say, TWIST and turn what you are doing and try to see how different or profitable you could make it.

Gordon the ADVICE giver (and remember advice is like noses, almost everyone has one) Alexander

PS. GOOD ON YOU for doing a project, the lessons you'll learn will be invaluable to your future efforts.

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