Victor Morris recalls the day he was shopping at a Menard's when
a woman stopped to read the wood-refinishing advertisement on his
minivan.Another prospective client, he thought. But the call never
Morris figured the woman never wrote his phone number down and,
instead, looked up wood refinishers in the phone book when she got
home "and called the guy with the bigger more expensive ad."
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It was a situation that would be repeated time
and again as he attempted to build his business.
"I was getting noticed, but I wasn't getting the calls,"
he said, noting how his competitors always seemed to be well-booked
for business while he was not.
"I spent lots of dollars and came up with lots of ideas on
how to keep up with my competitors," he said. "But after
three years , I saw that nothing seemed to stabilize my business."
Then the light went on. Morris realized that if he could have given
that woman in the Menard's parking lot his business card, he might
have received her business.
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"I thought if I could make my business cards
more accessible, that would be good for business," Morris said,
"But I certainly couldn't afford to have somebody standing
next to my van handing out business cards."
No need to have someone standing there. Morris went and invented
the Vehicle Pocket, a plastic case that can be attached to the side
of a vehicle or to anything such as a business door or display.
The case, manufactured for Morris by a Wisconsin firm, holds about
100 business cards. The device will protect the cards from rain
and snow, according to Morris. While it's also easy to remove, Morris
He believes he has a winner of a product on his hands. It's patented
and is busy marketing the product to potential distribution sites.
"We feel very strongly that the potential for this product,
even national potential, is tremendous," he said.
"I feel you transform your vehicle from a billboard into a
sales representative with this feature," Morris said of Vehicle
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"We want to make our product affordable to
everyone. We feel it's a good growth tool for small business. It
gives them an added sales advantage." The Vehicle Pockets kit
includes the business card case and adhesive plus adhesive signs
that say, in large letters, "Business Cards, Please Take One"
in a black-lettered version with white background.