You're on the road to success - Congratulations! You bought this report because you want information on starting a business, part-time at first, without investing a lot of money, yet one that will quickly be a money-maker. You'll find a number of them here.
In each one we give the basic concept of the business, what product or service it provides to your customers, and how it is operated, and (if any are necessary) what equipment or facilities or help will be needed.
But whatever business you choose, remember that no business can succeed without your effort. remember that determination and hard work are the mother and father of success. If you supply those, and use the information we supply, you can't miss. Good luck!
Lease a computer printer and a video camera and a monitor screen that produces large-size, high contrast portraits of customers in 30 seconds, while they wait. You will find this a sure-fire crowd attracter, as the printer chatters away. Set up in a crowded resort are. Charge at least $4 a picture, framed in a simple mat, almost all of which is gross profit. Net cost of all materials, about 8 cents.
Rent a small multilith printing machine and a badge sealing machine, and using self-adhesive Presstype for typesetting, design and set cut sayings for the badges. Sell as a custom service, making slogans to order, or make a wide range of far-out sayings in bulk quantities and sell them to local gift and novelty shops for resale.
It requires very little capital and accepts goods for sale from members of the public and sells these items for them on a commission basis. You might try a wide variety of items at first, to see what sells best and most regularly.
Relatively inexpensive materials with a good sense of color and style and a reasonable ability with carpentry tools, will build a large custom-framing business, since people who spend money on art won't skimp on the frames either, if they want a good-looking result.
Be the source of supplies for do-it-yourselfers. Working only Saturdays and Sundays, when they do, you rent out power tools, such as circular saws, jigsaws, reciprocating saws, gasoline chain saws, electric drills, electric planers, belt and orbital sanders, routers, paint sprayers, wallpaper-removal steamers, staple guns, pumps, home cleaning machines, Roto-tillers, and other equipment for daily fees. Operate out of your garage.
Using local ads, or your own contacts, line up 10 to 20 local entertainers, magicians, comics, puppeteers and other talents, and supply them for parties, club meetings and other functions. Have a list of films you can also supply for the same, or other groups, which they can project themselves, if they wish, or you will supply an operator.
Everyone loves to go to a party, and nowadays some smart operators make a mint running them for everybody who wants to attend. You can too! Hire a hall and a band, plan to set up a bar (if you can get a temporary liquor permit), and promote the hell out of it with ads, handbills, bumper stickers and lamp-post posters. Special parties aimed at a particular group do best, such as singles, or under-thirties, or over-forties. This idea is especially good in college towns.
Make money on your unused space (and maybe the power tools you've already paid for!) Turn your basement into a woodworking center, your spare bedroom into a photo darkroom, and your garage into a pottery workshop with a wheel and a small kiln. Rent the space and equipment by the hour, expand into more hobbies as time and money permit, and charge additional fees for instruction in any of those fields you're good at.
One of the troubles most people find is that their babysitter is always busy just the night they want to go out. You set up a service, finding good reliable teenage girls and boys, middle-aged or older women, and act as a go-between, providing sitters whenever your customers want them, collecting the fees, and paying the sitters. Advertise your service, and handbills house-to-house locally being a good way.
Are you an expert at something that you do at home for fun? Then make it pay off for you! If you're a gourmet cook, give cooking lessons in the haut cuisine. If you're an accomplished painter in oils or water-color, offer a portrait-painting service. If you're a skilled carpenter, design and make custom cabinets to order. Almost any hobby you're good at can be turned to making a profit if you think about it carefully, and decide who could use your expertise - as a consultant in that field, if nothing else. All you really have to do to get started is to place an ad!
Get money from both ends in this sweetheart deal. Publish the weekly paper with classified ads from the public offering stuff for sale, arranged according to category, and charge the people for their ads (some operators let them pay only if and when they sell, but in that case charge them a percentage of the selling price, 5% for smaller items, 2% or 3% for automobiles), and then sell the newspaper (suggest price is 25 cents) as well, through local newsstands and by subscription (in the mail). Once you have a fairly decent circulation, local merchants will also pay you for display ads, because they know people really read buy and swap newspapers religiously cover-to-cover.
Quality is essential, and speed is generally also required, although you can charge a premium for rush service. If you already have an elaborate dark-room set-up in your home, so much the better, but if not it can be fitted in anywhere you have room, the basement being ideal, since windows are not a requirement. You must be able not only to develop and print every normal size of film from 35 mm to 8" x 10" but handle enlargements up to a minimum of 30" x 40", and preferably 5" 8*" or more, and do copying both of opaque material and slides. An ability to offer retouching, restoration and coloring as well is helpful, even if you have to send that specialized work out.
Make this a newsstand book, as well as offering it, with small ads, by mail order. List all the possible jobs people can get part-time, especially angling it at college kids on vacation, teachers after school hours, housewives with time on their hands, and moonlighters looking for part-time second jobs.
Take kids on Saturday and Sunday outings. Ten kids each day, to zoos, farms, theaters, children's shows and sports events. A small micro-bus (rented and, or eventually bought) can be used to travel in. Many parents are delighted to have weekend days to themselves, even though it costs them some dough.
Teach whatever you know. Your trade, profession, cooking skills, a second language, woodworking, chess, photography, knitting, karate, bridge, auto repair, etc. People will pay for good lessons in these useful and enjoyable skills.
You buy or (at first) rent, a heavy-duty machine, and do the cleaning and waxing of fine, hardwood floors. If the floors are in very bad condition, machine sand them and them completely refinish them with modern super-durable polyurethane finishes.
This is sort of a "boarding house" for kids while their parent go away for a week-end or two-week vacation. Requires a large house, and preferably, a large yard or grounds, swings, slides, and facilities useful for kids. Must be done very responsibly and carefully. Also, don't take very young children (less than 9 or 10 say) because they may require too much dressing, feeding, etc.
Write a booklet about something people really want to know about, print a few hundred copies, and place some small ads. You'd be surprised how much money you can make. Sell modern copies of out-of-print uncopyrighted material or books. Or sell something unusual you make at home, providing that it is something really useful to your prospective customers. Or sell some of your ideas such as #2 badges, #37 genealogy, and others.
The secret of this is not just selling one or two copies of each original (although on a 300-page original manuscript, that can add up too), but using one of the latest high-speed high-quality mass-production Xeroxes so that you can compete with the guys operating those quick printing services, by turning out 100 or 200 resumes, letters, or circulars just as fast, and probably a great deal faster, for the same (or potentially less if you want to be competitive) money as they charge. This way you have two kinds of work, giving you twice as many customers, and twice the profit opportunity, and with the right location, a chance to clean up.
If you want to offer even more services, and have the space in your shop, as well as the potential customers, you can offer Xerox reductions (New York Times-size page down to 8-1/2"x11"), and Xerox copies in full-color, which are remarkably good. The color machine will also make color copies directly from 35 mm. color slides in one quick step.
Of course, you can consider using other brands of xerographic copiers, such as IBM, Kodak, Savin, Canon, Minolta or others, but although you may theoretically save money, make sure of their service policies, and that they have field servicemen in your locality, or you may find yourself stuck with a copier on the fritz for a week, which could ruin your business.
For big city papers some distance from your town. When an event occurs in your area you write the story for those papers (they have correspondents in many big places but not in most small towns or isolated areas) and they pay you for it. This is known as being a "stringer". If you're good with a camera, take photos to accompany the story.
Use either a panel truck or a camper body on a pick-up truck chassis. Go to public park areas and campgrounds selling charcoal, paper plates, water-melon, ice cream, eggs, milk, bread, insect repellent, sunglasses, newspapers, etc.
Even in affluent America, not everyone has a car, and even those who do often prefer to leave long trips to a professional bus driver. and although there are bus tours offered to some familiar places, there are still so many interesting, even exciting, places people would like to go to, if they were offered the chance. Here's where you come in. You must be creative about it, and study all the six-State areas around your hometown, to discover some original and different places to travel to on day trips which will "turn on" your prospective customers, and get them to sign up.
The rest is easy. You get competitive quotes (from commercial bus companies) for a quality bus to do the round-trip, with a suitable stopover at the destination point (enough to do the sights, shop and maybe eat as well). Then you figure you tour price per person so you can make a profit even if the bus is only half full or so. Then you have a safety margin - and if you sell every seat you will do very well indeed.
Then all you have to do is sell. You put little ads in your local papers, paste up flyers wherever you can (supermarkets are good), contact local travel agents (of course you give them a percentage on what they sell for you), local hotel clerks, etc., and you also contact women's clubs, religious groups, fraternal societies, factory social organizations, and so on (they may take a whole bus, or even two, and you give them a special price, naturally).
For dogs or cats or both. People will pay high fees to ensure high-quality care of the animal they love. Separate kennels for each animal are essential. Good food and adequate care and attention must be assured also. You can hire responsible teenagers to help you. Advertise with posters in pet shops, veterinarians' offices; and if they're cheaply available, get the mailing lists of local ASPCA groups and other animal welfare groups, as well as membership lists of dog and cat clubs.
Children usually outgrow their clothes rather than wearing them out. So many families have such clothing left around. You collect it, paying nothing or as little as possible. Then you resell it; you can do the selling by ads, handbills or through your church or community groups.
This requires only a moderate amount of space and a small investment in equipment. Properly done, it needs only a small amount of your time yet can make you a good profit. You can obtain your beginning stock from the large wholesale dealers. You can sell direct to consumers (the hobbyists) or to stores in your area.
All you need is a simple-to-operate machine that engraves lettering in various types onto sheets of plastic of many colors, finishes and sizes. Perfect for signs for merchants, banks, doctors, dentists, schools and colleges, private front doors, and many other uses.
Seasonal, but if you have the time in the few weeks before Christmas, can be a good money maker. Find a vacant storefront or lot, or space inside a larger building, where people pass by. But be sure to order a supply of trees enough in advance. And if you own country land that is not being used, consider growing the trees yourself. Your first crop can be ready in four years, with steady crops from then on.
Manufacture them in your basement. The materials needed are cheap. And the finished stamps can be sold to many people, storeowners, offices, individuals. You can market them by mail and through local merchants.
With urban living, the back-to-nature movement is growing and camping is becoming very popular. Rent out tents, sleeping bags, portable propane stoves, chairs, etc. Demand identification from customers and reliable security (keeping one of their credit cards is good).
Each customer is sold a special tag to put on his or her key ring. It says "Drop in any mailbox" and has the address of a post office box that you rent (Don't use your home address for the same reason your customers shouldn't have their home address on their keys - dishonest people finding the keys will come prowling around). You assign each customer's tag a code number from a list that you keep. When someone's keys arrive at your post office box, you return them to him, for another fee.
With a knowledge of cars, plus the proper test equipment (for checking the engine, transmission, brakes, font-end alignment, and chassis), you go with your customer to check out the used car he is thinking of buying. Advertise your service next to the ads offering used cars for sale. After a while you will get to know people in this field and you can pick up more money by acting as a middleman in sales between private individuals.
This may sound contradictory but it isn't. Supermarkets aren't the only ones who use loss leaders. A good mail-order idea is offering a cute item (worth much more) for $1 in women's magazines, giving prompt delivery and including with it stuffers (ads with order blanks) for half a dozen more expensive items. The repeat business on the other items makes the $1 offer profitable.
You rent everything needed for a baby's care - stroller, playpen, high chair, etc. When the customer's baby outgrows them you rent to the next couple. Of course, you must advertise, and also send direct mail pieces to all couples with new births (get their names from hospitals and newspapers and list brokers).
You rent out everything needed for a party: tables, chairs, punch bowls, table cloths, cutlery, and napkins. You can also supply waitresses and bartenders, finding them through agencies that supply temporary help such as Manpower. But if you can find good workers yourself, you can save the agency fee and make more money.
In your basement (or wherever you can fit it) build a large and elaborate miniature slot car racing track (with a least 6 or 8 slots). Local kids, and often adults, pay you by the hour to race, using either your cars or theirs. To boost interest you can hold monthly contests with trophies.
You line up the specialists in fixing almost anything, and take care of getting them customers by delivering handbills to homes and placing ads in supermarkets and local papers. They pay you 5% of every job refer to them, which can soon add up.
You seek out the records in public or university libraries, county courthouses and elsewhere, as necessary, for a sliding fee, depending on the size of family, difficulties in getting information, geographic dispersion, and other factors.
There are hundreds of opportunities in the service arena offering low-cost start-ups and high profit returns. Almost all can be run from home.
If you have a garage or work building and are willing to learn a craft, upholstering, re-upholstering and/or furniture refinishing would make an excellent home business.
Order 5,000 3 x 6 commission circulars from your printer selling $1.00 items that you earn 50% commission on every order you receive. Have your name printed on them - it will save you hours of stamping time.
I would say the most frequently asked question from beginners about opening their own business is "What should I sell?" I then proceed to ask them, "What interests and hobbies do you have?" Most don't know how to answer that question because they ...
People are always interested in saving money. If you can develop a product or service that will help them save, you are almost guaranteed success.
Garage sales are like any other form of business. To get the most money out of your garage sale, you have to know what you are doing. You have to be acquainted with the market, advertise for business, offer competitive prices and quality merchandise.
A few years ago it would have been foolish to even consider a sign business unless you were well qualified to hand paint letters and illustrations.
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