by Wade Vick
Edward Bulwer-Lytton stated "The pen is mightier than the sword." These days, not may people use the pen to write with. More often they use typewriters or, even more frequently, computers and word processors. But make no mistake, the written word is still very powerful, and if you own a word processor you are sitting on top of one of the most powerful money-making machines ever created.
Most people use their computer to do simple tasks, such as their taxes. Or they buy a word processor so their children can write term papers and get better grades in school. Very few people realize that their computers can make them money as well as fulfilling all of these other functions. If your computer is taking up desk space but not bringing you any extra income, it's time for you to put that machine to work for you.
Of course, the logical question is "How can my computer make money for me?" Computers are extremely versatile and can be programmed to do almost anything. Many different computer functions can be incorporated into a home-based business, but one of the easiest to master is the word processor. There are dozens of word processing programs on the market, and you should be able to master one in about five or six hours of practice. And, if you don't have a computer, don't worry. You can still cash in on this great business idea. many computer companies make word processing machines which are like super typewriters, combining the functions of both typewriters and computers.
Once you are familiar with your word processor, look out! You will be ready to take on the world with your home-based, word- processing business.
WORD PROCESSING RICHES
Using your word processor to make money is easy. In fact, it's easy as finding someone who needs a document created and selling your service to them. Once you've read through the following suggestions, you will have lots of great ideas on how to use your computer to make money.
A successful company needs to keep their employees up to date on company activities (such as corporate buy outs, company recreational events, and policy changes) and trade news (such as new legislation affecting customers, competition news and manufacturer updates). The easiest and least expensive way to do all of this is through an employee newsletter.
The problem with this is most companies especially smaller ones, do not have the capital to hire a full-time writer. Many companies attempt to designate someone within the organization to write their newsletter, but this person is not a writer, in fact the one in charge of the newsletter is usually the secretary. Using nothing more than a typewriter, she tries to produce a nice- looking newsletter in a few minutes she has to spare between projects. Needless to say, the result is usually less than spectacular.
That's where you and your word processor come in. Using your computer, you can easily put together a newsletter that looks very professional--with columns, bold headlines, graphs and even pictures. Bring a sample newsletter into a business and have the manager compare it to his current newsletter (if he has one at all). Then tell him that by subscribing to your newsletter service, productivity and profit will rise for two reasons. First, because he will not be paying someone from inside the company to write the newsletter. Second, his employees will work more efficiently because they will be better informed.
Before you know it, you will have 10 to 15 companies paying you to write their newsletter, and will probably be just about all you can handle. Since each one will be paying you about $300 a month for the service, you will need to make the decision whether to continue to expand your service and hire more help, or simply relax and let the money keep rolling in.
MAIL ORDER REPORTS
Fads and trends come and go, but one thing that will always sell is information. With your word processor, you have one of the best mediums for presenting information, and you can make a bundle doing just that.
Just walk through your local book store or library and notice how many self-help, diet and how-to books there are. This should give you a feel how hungry consumers are for this type of information. Once you've read through a few of these types of books, you should know enough about the subject to write a brief five to ten page report. With the computer, you can make the report look very professional through the use of page numbers, double columns, pull quotes in the middle of the pages, and a bold catch title.
When the paper is complete, it's time for you to begin the marketing procedure. Take out an ad in the classified section of your local newspaper. Word the advertisement so that customers will be enticed to send you a check to learn more about the subject. Here are a few examples.
Tired of reading through useless diet books? TRY THE SECRETS OF CONTROLLING YOUR WEIGHT. Just send $3 to...
Plumbers charge over $100 dollars to make a house call. BE YOUR OWN PLUMBER, a new informed book, costs only $5. To order, send to...
Since printing costs will be minimal (between 25 cents and $1 per report) most of the money you collect will go directly to profit. And, since these reports are easy to produce, you can use some of that income to write and print a new report and sell it the same way. See how easy it is to make the whole thing snowball?
Here are some more subjects you can easily write brief reports and sell through the mail:
* How To Grow A Garden * Selected Mexican Recipes * Stop Smoking * How To Paint Your House * Mail-Order Marketing * Making Your Own Patio Furniture * Camping Made Easy * Easy Baking Techniques
If some of this appeal to you, think of something else. Just remember, the idea must appeal to a wide arrange of customers or you will not sell enough products to defray your production costs.
When you begin to use your computer, you will quickly see the advantages you have over a standard typewriter. You can easily check your spelling and grammar, set your margins and type face as you wish, and make universal changes throughout the document without retyping the entire thing.
Because of these extensive features, your computer saves you time and effort when typing documents, and you can pass those savings on to your customers. With your computer, you can easily input a document, proofread it, give a draft copy to the customer for approval, make changes, then print a final version--all in less time than it would take a standard typist to type a single copy.
This is one of the easiest businesses to run once you master your word processor because all you need to know is how to type, no other talents are required. If you have a modern (telephone hookup) for your computer, you can even send documents across the country or around the world just as easily as you can deliver them across the street.
Your main concern in this business is finding customers who need typing done. Here are some customer suggestions and tips on how to get in touch with them:
Writers: There are literally thousands of people in this country who enjoy writing either for a hobby or as a source of extra income. By running an ad in one of the many writers magazines (such as Writers Digest or The Writer) you will get responses from writers all across the country who want their manuscripts typed.
Professionals: Small businesses often cannot afford the luxury of a secretary. Larger businesses sometimes have large projects to type but do not wish to hire someone extra. In either case an outside typist can be a valuable service.
Students: Many high school and college students don't have the time to type their own papers even if they do have the ability to. Especially during mid-terms or finals, a typing service can really make money at a school. Post flyers in every classroom and every bulletin board you can find.
The only requirement you need to stick to in this business is accuracy. No matter who you are typing for, they will stand for less than 100 percent perfect documents. Always check, double check, then triple check your work before you send it to your clients.
COMPUTING THE POSSIBILITIES
As you can see, with a computer or word processor, you can open up a whole new world of business opportunities. If you are one of the few business people who are still operating without one, you really should look into making that big purchase. While the initial capital outlay may seem high, a little ingenuity is all it takes to make the computer pay for itself.
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