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