If you’re looking for a business that you can, literally, start from nothing, then you might want to consider starting a flyer delivery service.
Flyer distribution is big business. After all, if there wasn’t a lot of money to be made, newspapers and the Postal Service would quickly discontinue this service.
Of course, you will never be able to compete with their advanced distribution networks, but you may find that there are services you can provide that they cannot. For example, the flyers that they deliver are always bundled with several others. Your small service can easily deliver exclusively to the home-owner’s front door. You can also offer smaller, more concentrated distributions and custom services.
Having said that, your best opportunity to make money in this billion-dollar industry is to take a lesson from the big boys and deliver more than one flyer to each household. Establish routes throughout the city by dividing the territory up and concentrating on one area per week. Bundle several (non-competing) flyers in plastic bags with door-hanger holes.
If you charge five cents per flyer delivered, and you have 10 flyers per bag, you’ll be making $.50 gross for each drop off. After you pay your overhead, which includes your carrier’s wages, you should have enough left over to make a tidy profit.
You will succeed in this business through your exceptional organizational skills and by being flexible and offering services that the bigger organizations wouldn’t bother with. Not every business likes to have their flyers delivered with the usual junk mail, or in a newspaper with 20 other leaflets. Besides, having a flyer delivered right to their customer’s front door is very appealing.
The hardest part will be getting your first few accounts. Walk around and visit some local businesses. Hand out your business card and give them a quick rundown of the services you can provide. You might also want to take note of any flyers that arrive at your door, in the post, or in your newspaper and contact that company to see if they’d be interested in trying your service. If they’re already advertising with flyers, you stand a good chance of landing a job or two.
Lastly, make sure that you hire honest and reliable carriers. This is not as easy as it sounds. Take your time and make sure you hire the right people. You should also make it a policy to do random spot checks throughout the day to ensure every flyer gets delivered. Some of your customers will ask you what measures you have in place to prevent non-delivery by unscrupulous carriers.