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					                          The Business Card Holder: Profits To The People

  The Business Card Holder: Profits to the People

Andrew DiPanfilo
Opportunity World Magazine
July/August, 2008

Most entrepreneurs fall into two categories: those
naïve enough to think that every business idea has
already been thought of, overused and thrown aside,
and those who have one idea that they rally behind,
no matter who tells them not to.

Darlene Saal falls into the latter category, and her
brand new franchise, The Business Card Holder, is
one of those rare ideas that will have you slapping
your head and saying “why didn’t I think of that?” But
don’t fret yet. She’s willing to share.

Before moving into the simple genius of Saal’s
business, it’s best to take a comprehensive look at the
circumstances that led to her lucrative revelation.
“Statistics say that the typical American moves every
five years,” laughs Saal. “My husband and I tried to
single-handedly double that number.”

Saal and her husband, Mike, were no strangers to the
road, or to planes, trains or boats for that matter. Because of Mike’s job with the Department of
Defense, the Saals frequently relocated all over the world. This allowed Darlene to have a
number of interesting jobs and learning experiences, but never a long-term happy home.

“Each time you move,” says Saal, “you lose all of those familiar places that you normally go to for
various products and services. You always have the same itinerary: make new friends, get a new
dentist and make your home exactly like the last one.”

Then things changed when Saal and her family moved to Huntsville, Ala. Upon initiating their
renovations, Darlene and Mike found a cache of business cards. “What a find,” says Saal. “I
bought a business card holder and decided to save them until I needed each service. Then I
thought: every new home owner should have one of these! Not only would it be supporting local
small businesses, but it would be providing a free ‘welcome wagon’ to the new residents of the

With this ultimately straightforward concept, The Business Card Holder was born. And it would go
on to be so much more than anyone expected.

While Saal knew that she had a very unique idea on her hands, she didn’t initially know how to
approach it as a small, home-based business. Even though Saal didn’t have any professional
marketing experience, the business savvy she displayed in refining the concept behind The
Business Card Holder could rival top executives for Nike or Coca-Cola.

Saal decided to send out books with 50 business cards, the price of each insertion being only
$250 per company.

“I decided that we would pull the real estate records from the county and send the books to 250
new residents a month,” says Saal. “I’d only let one card from each industry in, so that there

                            The Business Card Holder: Profits To The People

wouldn’t be competition.”

“Statistics show that new home owners spend around $9,000 in their first year,” says Saal. “We’re
offering an extremely cost effective way for small businesses to position themselves as the best
in their category and highly increase the likelihood that that money (250 new residents x $9,000 =
$2,250,000) is spent on them.”

At $250 per monthly insertion, it didn’t take long for Saal to fill her book with the business cards of
plumbers, tree cutters, landscapers, beauticians and antique stores. “It was almost a no-brainer.
For $1,000, you could have exposure to 1,000 people over four months, all of which are going to
directly receive your business card and, more than likely, use it, because they’re new to the area.”

The response, as one would think, was absolutely incredible, and the accolades and testimonials
for Saal’s “simplistic” product began to stack up almost as high as the profits – on both sides.

“When I went to patent the business, my lawyer kept trying
to convince me that somebody had to already be doing this,”
says Saal. “He looked at the money I was making and the
simple effectiveness of the whole process, and he just
couldn’t believe that someone hadn’t thought of this before.

Sure enough, we kept looking and looking, and there was
nobody else doing it, so now we’re a patent-pending

As a soon-to-be franchisor, Saal is restricted from giving
exact estimates on profit potential. What she can do is tell
potential franchisees that it costs about $1,200 to send out
250 books per month.

When one estimates that each book contains 50 businesses’
cards, all which paid $250 for insertion, it doesn’t take a
math whiz to see what kind of income this idea is generating.

The total cost involved in purchasing the franchise is just under $10,000, which includes all you
need to get started, including three days of in-house training and your first month’s supply of

 “One of the most important things for you to understand about us as a franchise is that we leave
the running of your business completely up to you. All we ask is that you use our books and our
marketing tools,” says Saal. Always one to support small businesses, Saal admits she was
reluctant to franchise her business in the first place.

“I felt that most franchises were too controlling,” she says. “But we’ve created a disclosure
agreement that allows our franchisees to use their own talents and ingenuity. We want new ideas
so that we can create a network of franchisees all learning from each other.”

For entrepreneurs looking to get in on the ground floor of a brand new company, this may just be
the ultimate option.

“Our method is so different than regular advertising,” says Saal. “You can be the first in your area
with this idea and potentially own the entire market. You’ll have time and money at the same time.
The opportunities are endless.”

       The Business Card Holder: Profits To The People

          Contact Information

For more information about The Business Card Holder
            franchise opportunity contact:

                Darlene or Mike Saal
      Phone: (256) 683-3171 / (256) 880-6655


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