How $150 From 5 Customers Turned Into $15 Million
By: Kim Klaver
This is a story about an entrepreneurial woman - an old friend of mine who 19 years ago was just another soul looking for something of her own. It all started with her first 5 customers...
"You know Kim, when I was first approached about this business, I had been looking for something of my own for a few years already. Back then, my husband was a carpenter, and I wanted to do something, too. I had started an aerobics studio, a hair salon, and then a dog grooming kennel. They all went down the tubes, and we spent most of our savings.
"One day an acquaintance stopped by to show us a little water filter gizmo you could put on sink, and said we could earn $30 for each one we sold. Since my husband remodeled kitchens sometimes, and we didn't especially like our drinking water that much, this seemed like a pretty good thing to try. We figured I could set up appointments, and if we sold one per week, we'd add $150 to our monthly income. That sounded good to us. Well, you just cannot imagine our excitement when he brought in an extra $150 that first month. Five sales!
"A few months later it got to almost $500 a month and we thought, 'This is it! We've died and gone to heaven.' I started setting up appointments for myself to show the units too. We were so giddy our friends asked us what was going on. My husband told a couple of the guys- a plumber he worked with and another contractor, and they decided to do it too. We were just so tickled to see a little income from some of THEIR sales, as well...
"It's been 19 years now, and so much has happened with our business. We've earned $15 million over these past years, and we still find it hard to believe...
"Oh and let me tell you something, Kim. If the guy who came to our house that first time had told us we'd be earning $10k/mo we'd NEVER have signed up. We'd have thrown him out for taking us for fools. We've never been much for telling big stories - we believed a couple of hundred dollars was reasonable to expect, and so we did it. It just grew from there. On some days, we still can't believe it." -as told to Kim by Sue Burdick.
Sue is very big banana in the industry today. But 19 years ago? Many would have walked right by her in their search for a 'big hitter.' After all, she just wanted a little something of her own.
It all started with a few customers in her community who had the same problem she did - the water didn't taste very good and they all could use a little more income.
She helped them solve those problems - the way she had done for herself.
This article was posted on October 11, 2006
Return to Index