Creative Money Projects


What I am calling money projects might also be referred to as "creative marketing arrangements." The basic idea is that you make money helping other businesses make money, and you do so in a way that gets you in and out of the process in a relatively short time. That's why I use the word "project." You don't have to commit to working for years or even months to do these deals.

To explain I will describe a a real deal which I read about years ago. The numbers may be recalled incorrectly (although I tend to mess up other details more than numbers), but the basic principles will be clear. It was a deal done by a marketer who was helping a chain of furniture stores. The owner wanted a creative way to sell more chairs and couches. Our marketer had the idea that people buying these things--and especially the furniture meant for relaxing on--might also want to get some exercise. He suggested that a health club membership could be given away with any chair or couch bought. The owner of the stores liked the idea.

Next, our marketer approached the owner of a large chain of health clubs. It normally cost $200 for a six-month membership, but the marketer paid just 75 cents each and bought 5,000 memberships. You might wonder why the owner of the health clubs would accept this deal, but there is a good reason--an it isn't the $3,750 in cash he got up front. You see, he had space was available in his clubs, which meant there would be little additional cost to add the new members, but--and this is the important point--some of these new members would enroll again at the full price after their six months were done.

Next our marketer went back to the owner of the furniture stores and sold him the 5,000 memberships for $3 each. The promotion he suggested involved giving away a health club membership to anyone who bought any piece of furniture. The furniture store owner could afford this at $3 each, and could honestly say that the retail value of the gift was $200. The marketer pocketed a profit of $11,250 ($2.25 profit times 5,000 memberships) for making this happen.

Money projects like this can be done relatively quickly. This one took a few weeks, and everyone was happy. Sales went up sharply in the furniture stores. Many customers never used their health club memberships, or used them rarely (not surprising), but about 10% actually paid their $200 dues in full after the first six months. Those 500 memberships generated $10,000 of revenue the health club chain wouldn't have otherwise had, in addition to the original $3,750. They also undoubtedly had future renewals beyond that.

Now, consider what it took to make the $11,000 or so that the marketer made for himself. If you had thought of it, you would have had to find a health club business that waned more customers, and convince a furniture store owner to buy $200 memberships for $3. That doesn't sound impossible, does it?

This is just one example of many possibilities for creative money projects.

How Much Can You Make?

There is no way to say what you can make. It quite obviously depends on your level of creativity, motivation, skills and the types of deals you find or create.

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Let's look at what makes these deals work. Items that can be bought cheap but have a high perceived value are a start. Low incremental costs for additional customers helps too. A health club operating below capacity has to pay only bit more for water usage and wear-and-tear on the equipment when they get a new customer. A complementary or universally valued product is needed too. Giving away free tickets to a dog-racing track might not have worked.

With these principles in mind, here's an idea for a small deal. You buy a thousand tickets good for any movie from a struggling local movie theater for 50 cents each. They have little additional cost for each of these customers since the seats are not filling up. Also, they might average $4 or so at the concession stand from each customer. You investment is $500.

Now you approach the owner of a chain of restaurants in the same town as the theater. You offer to sell the whole 1,000 tickets to him for $1,750, or $1.75 each. At that price he can afford to give a ticket away with any meal purchase. A few hundred more spent for advertising and he has a great promotion that boosts sales.

What do you make for this creative marketing money project? Only $1,250. It is a small deal, after all. On the other hand, it is a way to get some experience doing deals like this, it may have taken you less than a week, and you only risked $500.

By the way, if you really want to reduce your risk, you can make all the arrangements before spending any of your own money. Get the theater owner to agree, talk to the restaurant owner, and only then buy the tickets. Of course if you don;t already have the tickets the restaurant owner might think to call the theater and buy them himself for less.

Qualifications / Requirements


First Steps

Consider how much money you can risk on a project and start looking for opportunities.

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