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Beauty & Personal Care

Image Consultant

Use your keen eye to help people look their best.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Image Consultant

Startup Costs: $50,000 – $100,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

As an image consultant, you’ll give clients–men as well aswomen–beauty makeovers to help them land better jobs, find a mate,shine at their weddings or just feel better about themselves.

You’llcoach them on the right wardrobe style for the image they want toproject and even weed out closets or go on shopping expeditions. You’llalso give hair and makeup advice, color-consulting, and instructionsfor self-confidence. You can also work with corporate clients byrecommending new employee uniform styles, or by teaching multiculturaletiquette or body-language basics for better sales and customerrelations.

Or you can work with clients facing the media spotlight tohelp them look and act their best. The advantages to the imageconsulting business are that you can work at home, you can start parttime with low costs, and it’s creative and satisfying–when you helpsomeone achieve a better job or media success or just feel good aboutthemselves, it can be heady stuff.

As an image consultant, you’ll needan innate sense of style and up-to-the-second knowledge of fashion,hair and makeup trends–and how to apply that makeup–in personal andcorporate settings. You’ll also want to know the latest trends andconventions in big- and small-business conduct.

Since you’re dealingwith people on one of the most personal levels, you’ll need the abilityto point out negative traits and suggest changes without hurting theirfeelings. And last but definitely not least, you’ll have to be awalking advertisement of your own advice. This is apractice-what-you-preach business–you’ll have to look polished,professional and dressed for success on all public occasions.

The Market

Your clients can be individuals who want to look sharp for a big socialoccasion, are looking for a new or better job, or have decided it’stime to turn over a whole new leaf. Your clients can also becorporations who may hire you to train groups of executives oremployees or to give the company dress code a facelift.

Place ads inlocal publications and offer coupons in direct-mail coupon books.Network in professional and civic organizations. Introduce yourself towedding consultants, caterers and event planners, who can refer you totheir clients. Give workshops and seminars for private and corporateclients.

You should also target public relations agents who may refertheir clients to you. Send PR people your brochure, then follow up witha phone call to cement your service in their minds.

Needed Equipment

All you really need to get started are mirrors, makeup, color swatches,and fashion books and magazines. You may want to purchase, eitherduring startup or after your business gets going, computer softwarethat gives your clients a virtual beauty makeover before they take theactual hair-cutting plunge.

If you plan on going the corporate route,you may also want to invest in a video camera and VCR so clients canjudge their before-and-after speech and body language performances. Insome states, you need a cosmetology license to work on clients’ skin,so if you plan to offer makeup services be sure to check with yourstate board of cosmetology.

If you can’t apply makeup to your clientsyourself, you can supervise while they do their own.

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Beauty & Personal Care

Manicure/Pedicure Salon

Get your feet wet with a pedicure and manicure salon.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Manicure/Pedicure Salon

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Calling all pedicurists that are tired ofworking for someone else; the time is now to take control of yourfinancial future and start creating profits for yourself by launchingyour own pedicure service business. A pedicure service is a greatbusiness to start and manage from a homebased location, while operatingthe service on a mobile basis.

In terms of gaining clients for theservice, seek out unusual opportunities’go to people who can’t come toyou. Clients can include busy professionals, residents of nursing andretirement homes, long-term hospital patients, and just about anyoneelse looking for a terrific in-home or office pedicure service.

Providing your clients with exceptional service will guarantee you avery comfortable income and repeat clientele for many years to come.Potential income range is $25 to $40 per hour, plus the potential tosell foot care products.

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Beauty & Personal Care

Saunas

You want a hot business? It doesn’t get much hotter than this.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Saunas

Startup Costs: $50,000 – $100,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Designing, manufacturing, and wholesalingcustom-built you-assemble sauna kits is a fantastic business venture toset in motion. You can design, manufacture, and package the saunascomplete with assembly instructions for delivery all around the world.Parts such as the heater boxes are available on a wholesale basis.

Additionally, milling your own cedar boards for the sauna constructioncan be an effective method in keeping manufacturing costs to a minimum.In addition to establishing accounts with national retailers to stockand sell the sauna kits, you can also sell the sauna kits directly toconsumers by displaying the saunas at home and garden trade shows,Internet malls, and by setting up a sauna display on weekends in busycommunity malls.

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Beauty & Personal Care

Massage Therapist

If you love working with your hands, consider a massage therapy business.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Massage Therapist

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get frustrated, frazzled andstressed out. But if you’ve got that healing touch–you can knead awaytense muscles and calm jagged nerves–then you can make the dreams ofrelaxation a reality with a mobile massage service. You’ll drive tohomes or offices; bring in your massage chair or table, soothing oilsand restful music; and give your clients 7- to 20-minute on-sitetreatments.

You can even–with permission from the properauthorities–set up on the beach, at shopping malls and at airports.The advantages to this business are that your start-up costs areminimal and you get the glow of satisfaction from making the world–atleast temporarily–a more relaxing place for your clients. You’ll needto have a background in massage therapy, an affinity and empathy forpeople, and a restful nature.

The Market

Your clients can be overworked executives and home officeentrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, and athletes who’ve overdone theaerobics workout and even sports rehabilitation clinics. Send salesletters and brochures to the human resources departments or health andsafety coordinators of large corporations and small-business owners inyour area.

Leave fliers or brochures at health clubs and spas; swim,running and biking clubs; fitness centers; athletic shoe and clothingshops; vitamin and nutrition shops; and with chiropractors who canrefer you to their patients. Give seminars to professional and civicgroups and volunteer yourself as a guest on a local radio chat show.Get yourself written up in local publications. Donate a few sessions toa charity fundraiser in exchange for publicity.

Needed Equipment

Some states require massage therapists to be licensed–check with theAmerican Massage Therapy Association to find out if yours is one ofthem. You’ll need a portable massage table or chair, a selection ofscented candles and oils, a stack of clean towels, and a CD or cassetteplayer plus some relaxing music to pop into it.

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