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Advertising Doesn't Pay?

Jake never had an education. But he sure knew how to make a great Hot Dog.

His canvas-roofed stand had stood at the side of the highway for three years, and most of his customers came by every day to buy his wonderful food.

He didn't make a great living. Just enough to live on and send his son to college.

One day, a customer suggested he put a sign at the side of the road to attract more business from passing traffic.

Made from bits of re-claimed wood, Jake proudly put his new hand painted sign out the very next day....

Jake's Famous Hot Dogs -The Tastiest In Town'

And business picked up immediately.

Then he tidied up his stand and replaced the canvas roof with something more permanent. Business got even better.

So he placed another sign on the other side of the road, and business really took off.

He ordered extra buns and hot dogs to keep up with the orders, and hired an assistant.

Business continued to grow when he printed up some hand bills and handed them out to the local factory workers.

Well, pretty soon Jake was finding it really difficult to cope with all the extra business. What with 4 stands, a staff of 10 and accountants to pay for, he decided to bring his son back from college to help him out.

"Junior is a clever boy" Jake said to a customer "And his business degree will be a great help to the business".

So Junior joined the business .

He spent 12 months examining the business from every angle and made lots of changes.

"Pa, have you seen this printer's bill? We don't need all these hand bills. Business is booming".

"And why do we spend so much on personalized napkins? Our customers already know where we are"

"Well, Junior must know what he's doing", thought Jake. "After all he's been to college".

With Junior's expertise in business studies he soon cut down the staff from 10 to 6.

Business began to slow down quite a bit, but Junior explained to his Pa that the reduced costs would more than make up for the reduction in trade.

"It's known in business circles as streamlining" he said.

"Well, he must know what he's doing" thought Jake "he's an educated boy".

When business began to slow even further Junior said "Pa, those roadside signs aren't very attractive are they? Why don't we replace them with something a bit more classy with a logo on it and a price list? And we should give a wider choice. Our customers must be fed up with Hot Dogs. Let's go up-market."

"Gee" thought Jake "I'm so proud of that boy. He's so clever."

But one day, business was so slow that Jake finally questioned Junior's methods.

"But Pa, it's not MY fault. Don't you read the papers? I think there's a recession coming on. The NASDAQ and the Dow Jones are slowing down. We have to cut back."

"Well" thought Jake "I can't read, but he must know what he's talking about. He's been to college."

So Jake stopped advertising to save money. And reduced his bread supplies to cut back on wastage.

But business dropped off even more.

Then Junior advised closing down the other 3 stands to protect the 'Parent Company' from the impending economic down-turn.

Business got even worse. And when the roadside signs collapsed he saved more money by not replacing them.

Soon afterwards, business was so bad, Jake was forced to close his remaining stand.

He sent Junior back to college to study International Commerce.

And as he waved him off at the station he said "You know Junior, education is a wonderful thing. If it hadn't been for you I would never have seen that recession coming!"

Copyright 2003 by Joe Robson * All rights reserved

Joe Robson is co-author of 'Make Your Words SELL' with Ken Evoy. Joe and Tom Glander own The Newbie Club which is bulging with unique NET and PC Newbie tutorials and eBooks. CLICK ON OVER to and look at their very professional Affiliate Program. It's BIG! Joe's Copywriting site is at


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