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Small Business Home >> Home Business Opportunities >>

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 or small.

The telephone can also become your "business partner". By realizing its capabilities and potential, the efficient use of this little device can help assist anyone in operating a profitable business. A business that can help the goal of most

Americans: financial independence. All that is required are knowledge, persistence, patience and of course, a telephone. Previous experience in the use of a phone for business purposes is helpful but not necessary. There are no age limits for starting such a business. Sex or race is not a barrier. Location is unimportant, as long as you have a phone.. Your home can be your "office" if you wish and you are your own boss. And in most instances, you can name your own working hours.

There are two methods for charging for your telephone services - by "subscription" and by working on a commission". Rates to charge are not given because wages vary from place to place and change time to time.

The first group of possibilities for earning is by signing up "subscribers". You then establish a weekly, monthly, or yearly rate for your services. If there already are similar services in your community, you should charge slightly less than your competition when first starting your business. If no such service exists, compute your rates by including your time, amount of work involved and expenses, which will consist mainly of the cost of out-going phone calls. Many will be happy to pay handsomely for 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.

SECRETARIAL POOL.

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.

ESCORT SERVICE.

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 good suggestions.

COLLECTION AGENCY.

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 service.

"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.

CATERING SERVICE.

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".

TRAVEL SERVICE.

The job of a travel agency is to provide assistance by making travel arrangements for individuals, couples, families and tours. Duties require making to and from travel reservations with airlines, buses, trains, steamships, etc., as well as accommodations. In addition to receiving substantial commissions, travel agencies also receive worthwhile benefits in the form of discount travel fares, reduced rates or free accommodations, etc. Investigate how other travel agencies operate in order to establish pricing structure for the various services you will offer.

"HANDY-MAN" SERVICE.

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.

"ERRAND" SERVICE.

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.

"PLANT-SITTING" SERVICE.

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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