Maps serve a purpose. People use them for directions. They trust them and depend on them to get them where they want to go. It tells them where the local attractions are, and other places if interest, particularly among tourists - the people who use maps the most.
Considering the credibility and the power of maps as a printed medium, it takes an entrepreneur 2 seconds to realize that there's money in maps...as an advertising vehicle.
You can design your city map to be as large as 28" x 40" which can be printed by commercial print houses with large format presses. Or you can use the 11"x 17" format and bring it to your neighborhood quick printer.
What you're going to make a map of is as critical as deciding about how you're going to do it. These are the two questions that will make the foundation of your business.
Big cities are very seldom a great market for City Maps. However, if you break them apart and make maps for selected business districts, even down to selected neighborhoods, the taking is plenty.
Focus on dense retail districts. Target those with neighboring restaurant rows, historical spots or other tourist attractions.
Purchase reprint rights of already existing maps as this would prove significantly easier and more cost efficient than producing one yourself.
"Cartoon" maps may be visually entertaining, but they are seldom useful. You will probably attract more advertisers if you can equate your advertising rates with potential use.
Advertisers position advertising blocks on the outer edge of the map area. Depending of the size of your map and the paper you plan to print it on, you can have as many or as few "blocks" to offer for advertising. Encourage your advertisers to buy more than 1 block of advertising. This will not only make your map look more exclusive, but it will also make your selling task much easier.
Ordinary pine cones, of any size, can be made to look almost exactly like tiny owls simply by adding "eyes" which can be purchased at any hobby or craft shop.
There are hundreds of opportunities in the service arena offering low-cost start-ups and high profit returns. Almost all can be run from home.
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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.
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A few years ago it would have been foolish to even consider a sign business unless you were well qualified to hand paint letters and illustrations.
People are always interested in saving money. If you can develop a product or service that will help them save, you are almost guaranteed success.
Garage sales are like any other form of business. To get the most money out of your garage sale, you have to know what you are doing. You have to be acquainted with the market, advertise for business, offer competitive prices and quality merchandise.
Order 5,000 3 x 6 commission circulars from your printer selling $1.00 items that you earn 50% commission on every order you receive. Have your name printed on them - it will save you hours of stamping time.
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