How to Build a Million Dollar Business With 20¢

By Kathy Zucker

Marketing is one of the biggest challenges small businesses face. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to how much you can spend on an ad campaign. Many people turn to Facebook advertising as a way to get the word out about their business, but what about when you physically meet potential customers? One of the most effective ways to keep your brand fresh in people’s memories is to give them a product they will keep and use. has a wide selection of items that you can brand with your company logo, but with a minimum quantity of 250 plus setup fees, you are looking at spending several hundred dollars for even the cheapest items plus a lead time of at least three weeks. So how can you create a professional-looking branded product for almost no money? By keeping your eyes open.

Branded bubbles typically cost around $2 each, so how was I able to create a professional-quality product for a fraction of the price? By scouring local bargain bins.

As a work-at-home mother of three young children, I do my grocery shopping and Target runs right after school dropoff. The best time to snag bargains is Thursday mornings – store employees stock shelves on Wednesday nights in anticipation of weekend crowds. When I see an amazing item I can use for an upcoming event, I scoop the entire shelf into my shopping cart, generating puzzled stares from store customers and employees. My local A&P was selling America’s Choice bubbles for 5¢ each – the amazing Jenifer Semenza (@jenifernyc1) designed a gorgeous label printed on a color laser printer on appropriately-sized labels. ships incredibly quickly – I received these labels within two days of placing my order, and I did NOT pay for expedited shipping.

The total cost to create 50 bottles of branded bubbles? $10.

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kathyzucker_roundKathy Zucker, CEO of Metro Moms Network, mother of three young children and New York Life Keep Good Going Shorty Award winner and judge, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. Read her MomCondoLiving blog, follow her on Twitter (@KathyZucker), friend her on Facebook and watch her on Youtube.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Kathy

    I think the principle is good, think smarter…. however, with my social justice hat so firmly placed upon my head I would find it hard to carry out this example without being plagued with “If I pay 5c what are the workers who produce the product getting?”.

    : ) Cathy

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