Wednesday, May 14, 2014

the Mathematics of Giving my Business Cards Out to People in the Streets of Manhattan

This is an excerpt from a post on LinkedIn:

Katherine - yes there are many people like yourself and I often think how much they are missing when they do the avoidance thing - I have to try and give a card to about 10 to 100 people sometimes before a person takes one but sometimes everyone takes one it is really an interesting sort of test or experiment sometimes - I remember after September 11 and then there was a heightened alert where Bin Laden claimed that he was going to ruin the financial system of the U.S. and so the police with helmets and machine guns were posted near the CitiCorp building at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue - well that had been one of a number of spots that I spent a great deal of time at since the subway to and from Queens has an entrance/exit right there so I was there on one of those days and with a few of those guys and their helmets and their machine guns right there about 4 feet away - every single person no matter whether or not they would normally take a card ----- took a card - why? probably they felt compelled to do so with the authority of the police right there! - no one wanted to dare get out of line - ------during the same period it was extra difficult to give out cards because everyone was otherwise afraid!

Irena - I understand how difficult it would be for most people - when I first met my wife who was a teacher in High School here in New York - she was interested in creating a gift basket business and together with her and a special gift basket that she had designed -we did a beautiful post card and she would give it to some of the teachers and she got some business - but one day we were going into a specific neighborhood and I asked - since it was close to home - if she was interested in handing out he post cards with me on a corner under an elevated train stop - and well she came with me to meet the challenge - but after I started to give out my cards pretty quickly I looked up and saw that my wife (Antonia) was not able to even give out one card - It turns out that this young lady who had stood in front of countless college and then high school classes for many year now - with many of the students towering over her to say the least - was actually frozen with some type of fear - which I till this day still do not understand -

any way - back to where the question of money comes in -

for my very first ever colored picture business card I paid in 1992 a whopping $250.00 for a total of 3,000 business cards - that comes to $.083333333 per card

from that point on I have produced them in 50,000 quantities and the prices hovers around 1.2 cents each -

but at $.49 each (at today's current first class mail rate) that comes to $1,862,000.00 in today's postal environment - saved - not counting an envelope and letter paper for each of 3.8 million cards and then the typing and mailing list costs -

no sir re bob ---- nothing beats the direct hand it to them method - even the internet - and finding a niche - that is definitely easy - I hand my cards out to people who will take them - people who are open and most often kind and generous enough to extend their hand and say thank you for whatever it is that I am giving them - that is the niche market that I am focused on - :-)

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