Summary:  My name is Robert.  By nature I’m pretty quiet and even shy.  The idea of starting my own Sideline was pretty petrifying – I grew up in a very reclusive family, and have generally not be a joiner.  I’m a good student in college, majoring in environmental sciences.  I was intrigued from the Sideline List of Possibilities about starting my own home furnace filter repair service:  easy to do, minimal contact with people, environmentally friendly, potentially good money.  And I have time on my hands since school comes easy to me.

After reading Betty’s Sideline story about Garage Cleaning, and    photos.demandstudios.com-getty-article-77-194-98955962_XS  how she put cards in neighbor’s screen doors announcing her service I decided to do the same.  My pitch was saying that for $15 every 3 months you can breath easy knowing your household air isn’t full of bad dust as a result of a dirty furnace filter.  And I mentioned the furnace would function better.  Like Betty I offered a free filter to my first 4 customers who would refer me to at least 3 of their neighbors.   I had 10 voice mail messages within 2 days of leaving the note.  So I randomly picked among the 10, came over with filter in hand, and changed out the filter within a minute.  Here was the surprise:  it was fun talking to the homeowners who were amazed and thankful – especially when they saw how dirty were their filters.  People just don’t know!

My business was off and running.  Within a month I had 16 clients, but realized I was stuck because they wouldn’t need me again for another 3 months, so I had to repeat my card thing to 10 different neighborhoods and that kept me busy, just replacing bad filters with free new ones for the volunteer marketing helpers.  Revenue wise I bought filters for $4 each, and charged $15 per install, leaving the bad filter in their trash cans.  For nearby neighbors I could do 6 installs in an hour.  I averaged 4, with prescheduled email acknowledgments.  So my numbers looked like this:      th

Numbers: 16 installs per month at $15 each I grossed $240.  Subtracting $4 per filter I netted $180 the first month for about 2 hours of install.  Technically I made $90/hour not counting the marketing time I hoped to have a kid help me do starting soon.

I love doing this Sideline, except for the marketing.  I can get help with that using our approach, and for not much money.  I believe that within 3 months I can have 20 clients a week and if I net $11 per client that works out to about $220 a week for 3 hours of replacement work or $70 per hour.  Could I double or triple my business?  I think so, so long as I can keep it part-time, hopefully under 8 hours of time per week.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Student Sidelines 

You have Successfully Subscribed!