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Shopping Mall Play Centers

Few kids love a long day of shopping. Give parents some much-needed relief with a play center.

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Business At A Glance

Shopping Mall Play Centers

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Millions of parents go to shopping mallsevery day, usually with their children in tow. While shopping can be aterrific family outing, sometimes a break from the children whileshopping can also be a pleasant experience. Starting a shopping mallplay center business can fill a couple of demands. The first, ofcourse, gives parents a fantastic place to drop off their childrenwhile shopping, the second is that the business can be built into asuccessful and profitable venture, which is exactly what you want tohear if starting this type of business is a consideration for you.Establishing a children’s play center in a mall will take carefulplanning, especially for legal and liability issues. However, there isa real potential to generate a six-figure yearly income from a shoppingmall play center for the owner-operator of the business enterprise.

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Children

Cloth Diaper Service

People still use cloth diapers and they still need them cleaned.

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Business At A Glance

Cloth Diaper Service
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Lots of parents would like an alternative to the environmentally questionable disposable diaper, but don’t have the time or inclination to deal with cloth diapers. You can be the solution to their problem. A baby can go through as many as 4,000 diapers before being fully toilet-trained, and this fact of life creates an outstanding business opportunity.

Depending on your startup budget, there are two methods of pursuing this venture. In the first, you offer complete service–you supply, deliver, pick up and clean the cloth diapers. The second startup method is to simply deliver and pick up the diapers, and have an established commercial laundry clean them. If startup capital is not a problem, the first option will definitely leave more profits for you.

To market a cloth diaper service, try to obtain a list of new baby births from local hospitals. You should also try to partner with other businesses targeting new parents–doulas, midwives, Lamaze classes or infant product stores. Once you’ve compiled a list of potential clients, simply drop off or mail a marketing presentation to parents outlining the benefits of your service, why cloth diapers are preferable to disposable, and how they can contact you. Include one free diaper so they can try it out. Once you get going, word-of-mouth will help you out tremendously.

The Market

Your customers are new parents who are concerned about the environment.

Needed Equipment

For delivery, you’ll need a large vehicle or van. You’ll need a large supply of diapers and you may want to offer delivery of other necessary items (diaper pins, etc.). If you’ll be cleaning the diapers yourself, you’ll need a large, commercial-grade washer and dryer.

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Children

Pinata Sales

Add an element of fun and color to people’s celebrations with pinatas.

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Business At A Glance

Pinata Sales

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

Business Overview

What a great business and concept’-homebased, unique, low overhead, minimal startup costs, virtually nocompetition and no limitations on business growth and expansion.Thousands of children’s parties take place every day, and tapping intothis very lucrative market is easy. Simply develop samples of yourproducts and start knocking on doors. I will guarantee that you willfind little resistance to your product, and chances are the biggestbusiness challenge you will face is trying to keep up with the demandfor the piñatas. I suggest that you strictly focus on the wholesalemarket and establish accounts with retail children’s stores, partyplanners, and e-tailers. Try to get your product into as manymail-order catalogs as possible. Requirements: There are very fewrequirements in terms of qualifications to start and run this business.

The largest would be your creative ability in both manufacturing thepiñatas and how you will market the product. Of course, there arealways the safety concerns, so be sure to place prizes inside thatcannot harm, spoil or create potential liability for you. Start-upcosts: It should cost you less than $100 to develop your samples andpossibly another $200 to begin marketing your products. This is theultimate quick return on investment business. Profit potential: Afteran exhaustive search I finally found a piñata for sale in a children’sretail store (in excess of 30 telephone calls and an hour’s drive). Thepiñata retailed for $80 and was based on a birthday sports theme. Uponreturning home and careful examination, I determined that it wouldrequire about an hour to make the piñata, and $5 worth of materials.Inside this particular piñata was hard candy and a toy prize, maybeanother $2 to $3 worth. Even at $25 per hour, the total cost tomanufacture this product would be in the $30 range. This still allowsfor a 30 percent markup on your material costs and labor, while theretailer can maintain a 100 percent markup. Now you see why there willbe no problem in establishing wholesale accounts with retailers.

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Children

Custom Play Sets

Get paid to make children’s playground dreams come true.

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Business At A Glance

Custom Play Sets
Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

The demand for custom designed and constructed children’s play sets started to boom a few years ago, and these play sets still continue to be a hot seller today. In order to compete for market share in this industry, you will need some very elaborate play set designs and very ingenious marketing strategies. The higher-end multistation play centers seem to be the most popular, thus commanding the largest retail dollar. This may indeed create your niche.

You can design and manufacture a smaller, more compact and affordable version of the large play sets to promote and market. Home and garden trade shows are probably the best bet, in terms of marketing the play sets. Displaying unique and interesting products at trade shows can generate substantial sales leads and interest in the products. Requirements: The main requirements to launching this type of business endeavor are as follows: design abilities, manufacturing equipment, skilled staff and adequate transportation. Likewise, you will also have to commit a large amount of time to researching the market and consumer buying habits and trends prior to starting the business. Profit Potential: This type of specialized manufacturing business can generate profits greater than $100,000 per year, providing the business and market have been properly researched and established.

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