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Prototype Design

Engineering, vision, artistic talent, this is what prototype design is all about.

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Business At A Glance

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

Business Overview

Do you want to start a truly unique manufacturing business that has unlimited potential for growth and profits? If so, perhaps starting a business that designs and constructs manufacturing prototypes is the right enterprise for you. Designing and building prototypes is a highly specialized business that requires a great deal of construction knowledge, ability to work with various mediums, and all required equipment necessary for building a host of various products.

The following steps can be taken to establish and market this type of new business enterprise:
  1. Decide if the business will focus on designing and building manufacturing prototypes in general or cater to a more specified segment of the manufacturing industry, such as mall kiosks.
  2. Design a complete marketing and promotional package including highlights of experience, capabilities, and specialized equipment and know-how.
  3. Join manufacturing and business associations.
  4. Acquire membership lists of the associations and initiate a direct mail and introduction telephone call campaign utilizing the newly designed promotional package.
  5. List your company in manufacturing directories and trade-related publications. Following these five easy steps will place you in front of your potential market for this type of business venture.

    Generally, clients will want an estimate for their projects prior to awarding the contract, and this can be extremely difficult given the nature of prototype design. However, this is one of the few industries that allows for a certain percentage of gray area, in terms of a cost estimate. The objective is to always enter into the contract with a clear and concise estimate that includes a scope of work, product details, manufacturing time lines, and the potential pitfalls associated with the client’s project

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Business Services

Errand Service Business Opportunity

Help busy people get through the day by providing an errand service.

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Business At A Glance

  • Business: Errand Service
  • Start-up Costs: Minimum
  • Home Based: Can be operated from home.
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Let’s face it; today’s busy lifestyles mean that a lot working people just don’t have time for even the simplest of errands, such as taking the family pet to the veterinarian for a routine checkup, buying AuntSue a birthday present, or picking up the kids after school.

Which is great news if you’re a multi-tasker looking to start your own simple,inexpensive, yet potentially very profitable business. An errand service can be operated with nothing more than a cell phone and reliable transportation.

Land clients by networking and by creating a simple marketing brochure explaining the services you provide along with your contact information.
Related: Start A Small Business, Become Self–Employed

The brochures can be pinned to community bulletin boards, hand-delivered to homes and businesses and distributed with the local newspaper.

A few promotional items such as pens and memo pads emblazoned with your company logo, name and telephone number given out to potential customers will go a long way as a daily reminder of your fast, reliable and affordable errand services.

This is the kind of business where growth is fuelled by referrals, so customer service and satisfaction are the most important goals.

The Market

Busy individuals who need a little help getting their day to day errands done. You can also market your services to small business owners.

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Business Services

Freight Broker

Match shippers and transportation services as a freight broker.

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Business At A Glance

Freight Broker

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

Business Overview

Trucking plays a major role in the nation’s economy–according to theAmerican Trucking Association, those big wheels generated $346 billionin gross revenues in the most recently calculated year, employed morethan 9.5 million people and hauled 6.5 billion tons of freight.

And 77percent of all American communities rely on trucks as their sole sourceof freight delivery. If you’ve got experience in the industry, youprobably also know that it’s the freight broker who keeps those trucksrolling by arranging for delivery of consignments large and small.

Ifyou love the song of the open road but you don’t want to be on theroad, then a freight brokerage may be just the business for you. As afreight broker, you’ll work with manufacturers, wholesalers anddistributors who need to get their products across town or across thecountry with the help of trucking companies.

You can specialize in LTL(less than a truckload) cargoes or in containerized ones. Theadvantages to this business are that you can work from home and it’s anindustry that’s unlikely to disappear–transportation will always be anecessity.

A background in the transportation industry is importantbecause you’ll need not only hands-on experience, but also contacts inthe field. If you lack this experience, work for another freightbrokerage until you learn the tricks of the trade.

You’ll also needexcellent organizational and time-management skills and the ability toget things moving quickly.

The Market

Your customers can be manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors ofany types of goods and materials. You can also target companies thatexhibit at trade shows or conventions and need booths and displaymaterials moved to various sites.

Place ads in trade magazines and onimport/export Internet sites. Send sales letters and brochures tomailing lists of prospective companies. Ask for referrals fromsatisfied customers and industry contacts.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need to be licensed by the Office of Motor Carriers (a divisionof the Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation),and you’ll be required to carry a $10,000 surety bond or trust.

Thenyou’ll want a computer with the usual office software, a laser orinkjet printer, and a fax machine.

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Business Services

Survey Service

Gather the data businesses need to succeed.

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Business At A Glance

Survey Service
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

Starting a home based telephone survey service is a terrific new business venture to set in motion. A few of the best aspects about starting this type of business include
  • Homebased business opportunity with very flexible operating hours
  • Growth industry, proven and stable, and no previous experience or special skills requirements
  • Low initial startup investment and minimal monthly operating overheads
Once established, referrals and repeat business should drive the marketing. However, gaining clients to establish the business can be as easy as developing a direct-mail marketing program and distributing a marketing package to potential clients. The marketing package should include the various benefits that clients receive with you service, as well as a complete description of the service.

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