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Ad Agency

Use your creativity to come up with knock-out ad campaigns for clients.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

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

Business Overview

Like many other industries in our baby boomer-driven economy, the fieldof advertising is experiencing a major downsize. Where clients used toturn to the Madison Avenue-type majors on “the Coasts,” they’re nowlooking to smaller, friendlier, more specialized agencies in smallercities–why not make one of them yours?

If you love turning a cleverphrase and marrying it with smart graphics, the thrill of the chase forthe elusive client, all combined with savvy marketing, then this is thebusiness for you. A one-person ad agency is a lot more fun than thegiant conglomerate size. You get to wear all the hats from copywriterto graphic designer to media buyer. (If your skills don’t run towriting or designing, you can outsource and give another small-businessperson the business.) But keep in mind that your clients will rely onyou to know it all. You’ll not only create those winning ads but placethem in the proper media spots and negotiate good rates. The advantagesto this business are that it’s creative and keeps you on your mentaltoes.

The disadvantages are that you’ll usually be rushing to meetdeadlines, you’ll occasionally have to juggle your own artisticsensibilities with your clients’ desires, and just as for DarrinStevens, the competition can be fierce. While a background in the fieldis not a must, you’ll find the going far easier if you have experienceat an ad agency, public relations firm, or even in the sales orproduction department of a magazine or newspaper.

If you don’t have anysort of advertising background, consider specializing in a field whereyou do know the ropes–say writing ads for boat-sales brokers andboating publications if you’re a boating fanatic.

The Market

You’re not likely to wind up with the Nabisco or Kodak accounts, butonce you eliminate corporate monoliths, your clients can be just aboutany business or organization you choose to go after. It’s wise to startoff with a field you know. If you’ve been in the business already, youmight go with the same types of clients. If your prior experience is onthe minimalist side, try specializing in your own interest zone, likeboating or gardening. Or try going after a certain business type likerestaurants or boutiques. How will you nab these special businesses?

  • Network in your community.
  • Place ads in publications catering to yourchosen field of interest.
  • Send direct-mail pieces featuring yourcreative talents to the companies you’re targeting.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a high-end computer with a Zip or other external drive, theusual office software, desktop-publishing software, a laser printer, atop-quality color printer, a scanner and a fax machine.

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Advertising

Transit Advertising

The profits will roll in when you start operating and marketing a transit advertising program.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

  • Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time
  • Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Like many advertising service contracts,operating and marketing a transit advertising program is generallyawarded by the transit commission or agency that operates the transitservice on a tendered basis.

Typically, the tenders renew every fewyears and the decision to award the contract to one particular serviceprovider is made on the basis of reliability, revenue generation andperformance record.

This type of advertising service contract can beextremely difficult to acquire. However, for the successful biddingcontractor the financial rewards can be outstanding as transitadvertising is some of the most sought-after advertising media bycompanies, agencies and merchants.

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Advertising

T-Shirts in a Can

Capitalize on the novelty factor by designing T-shirts in a can for gifts, retail or wholesale.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

  • 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

Designing novelty T-shirts and the can theshirt will be sold in is a very interesting business opportunity to getrolling. The T-shirts can feature jokes, images or messages based on avariety of themes from political humor to children’s cartooncaricatures.

Once the silk-screening is completed, the T-shirts can bepackaged in tin cans that have a slot in the top to serve a secondfunction of a piggy bank. T-shirts in a can make a terrific noveltygift and can be sold to retailers on a wholesale basis or directly toconsumers via a sales kiosk or the internet.

Furthermore, to keepinitial startup costs to a minimum, the silk-screening aspect of thebusiness can be contracted to a local silk-screener as opposed topurchasing the equipment. In addition to selling T-shirts in a can,larger sweatshirts can also be printed with humorous messages andpackaged in larger, one-gallon paint cans.

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Advertising

Independent Listing Agent

If you have telemarketing skills, here’s a low-cost business venture that calls prospective home buyers.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

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

Business Overview

Here is a very inexpensive businessenterprise that anyone with a phone book and telephone can start.Working as an independent listing agent for real estate professionalsmeans that you cold call or telemarket for various real estate agents.

Starting at ‘A’ in the telephone book and calling people inanticipation that they are now or will be soon considering listingtheir homes for sale is all that is required in terms of jobdescription for this business. Once you have established that a personmay be interested in listing their home for sale, you simply turn thisinformation over to a real estate agent to complete the negotiations.

For every confirmed listing the real estate agent receives as a resultof you initiating the procedure, the agent would pay you $250. Forevery property sold that was listed via your service, the real estateagent would pay you an additional $500. It would only take 30 listingsand sales in order to generate an income of more than $20,000 per year.

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