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Direct-Mail Service

Help businesses get their message across by providing a direct-mail service.

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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.
  • Franchises Available? Yes
  • Online Operation? No

Business Overview

With a direct-mail coupon service, you’ll sell local businesses onplacing coupon ads in your publications, then mail them out to localresidents. Everybody benefits, including you! With the new plethora ofsmall businesses these days, direct-mail couponing is positioned forsuccess.

Entrepreneurs can advertise in a medium where results can bemeasured quickly and easily–the more coupons customers bring in, thebetter the campaign. And coupons generate more sales than other typesof ads.

People respond to ads where they have to take action, even ifit’s something as simple as clipping along a dotted line. Theadvantages to this business are legion for the extrovert. You get totalk to all kinds of people in all sorts of fields, and you do it allday long. You can feel good about helping people improve theirbusinesses and their revenues while at the same time aiding theconsumer with savings. Since you’ll visit customers at their businesslocations, you can be homebased.

To succeed in this business, youshould have a sales background–or at least a sales personality. Italso helps to have a background working with the printing, graphics andmailing industries. You’ll outsource all of this work, but you’ll needto know the basics to get the best prices and timeliest turnout.

The Market

Your customers will be community businesses. Those with mass appeallike restaurants, auto service shops and general interest retail storeswill benefit best from your services, but you can also target walk-inclinics, general dentists, hair stylists, carpet-cleaning services,child-care services–get creative and make up your own list! How willyou sell these people on your company? In the best tradition of thesales representative, by walking into their places of business andintroducing yourself and your service.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a computer and inkjet or laser printer and the usual officesoftware so you can invoice customers, and a fax machine so they cansend last-minute changes to their ads, and you’ll need a vehicle forzipping around town on your rounds. Since you’ll be out-of-pocket alot, you should also consider a cellular phone or pager so customerscan reach you easily.

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Promotional Wear

From hats to golf shirts, promotional wear continues to be popular with businesses.

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

Promotional wear such as hats, jackets andgolf shirts emblazoned with corporate and business logos have becomevery popular for corporations to purchase and resell or give to valuedemployees and clients as an appreciation gift. Starting a business thatsells promotional clothing is very easy to initiate.

Not only can thegarments be purchased on a wholesale basis, but you can also enlist theservices of local silk-screeners and embroiderers to carry outcustomizing the clothing for your clients, thus greatly reducing thestartup investment needed to get the business rolling.

Gaining clientscan be as easy as arranging appointments with business owners topresent samples of the promotional wear along with reasons why thesetypes of promotional items will benefit their business. They can evenpotentially increase business revenues and profits (great advertisingand brand name recognition).

Once established, a business that retailspromotional wear can be very profitable, especially when you considerproduct markups of 50 percent or more aren’t uncommon in the industry.

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Litter Cans

You can clean up with a business selling advertising space on litter and recycling cans placed in highly trafficked areas.

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? Yes

Business Overview

Purchasing 200 commercial-grade litter cansand securing high-traffic indoor and outdoor locations for the littercans to be installed can potentially generate advertising revenues of$6,000 per month.

For this very unique advertising business to succeed,the following two aspects must be considered. First, secure highlyvisible locations to install the litter cans such as in front of retailstores, inside malls, and inside community and recreation centers.Additionally, the property or business owners must agree to maintainthe litter cans in exchange for a portion of the advertising revenuesgenerated.

Next, aggressively market the advertising service to localcompanies who want to participate in a highly effective advertisingcampaign that costs only $30 per month.

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Public Relations Agency

Don’t settle for just doing PR for companies–start your own agency.

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

Public relations professionals work with media types–magazines andnewspaper editors and radio and TV producers–to get their clients’stories in the news. Because there’s an awful lot of media hype outthere, and there are only so many stories the media can–or wantsto–cover in an edition, PR people work hard to come up with new anglesto attract attention and present their clients in a positive light.

Public relations agencies also provide their clients with materialslike press kits, annual reports, speeches and brochures–all the toolsthat go toward making that company, celebrity or celebrity-hopeful lookgood. If you like exercising your creative abilities, making thosemental stretches, and staying on top of trends and issues while blowingyour clients’ horns, then this is the business for you. The publicrelations agency’s advantages are that you get to use that creativityto the max, you’re always on your mental toes, and you deal with avariety of interesting people all day. And you can work from your home.A degree or certificate in public relations is a plus but not anabsolute necessity.

You’ll need top-notch written and verbalskills–you’ll have to write catchy, pertinent press releases andstories for magazines and newspapers as well as be able to convinceeditors and producers to use your material instead of somebody else’s.You should be familiar with the types of stories various publicationsand TV programs (from the local news to those late-night talk shows)are looking for and the deadlines they work under, and you’ll need theconfidence to deal with all these stressed-out types on their own terms.

The Market

Your clients can be just about any business, professional individual orcelebrity you care to go after–including nonprofit organizations andgovernment entities. As a newbie, you might want to specialize incertain types of businesses or professions, say doctors, writers,bioengineering firms or trendy software companies. And of course,companies in the industries you already know are always promisingprospects.

The best way to nab new clients is by networking and throughpersonal contacts. Call in favors from everybody you know in anyrelated fields. Start your own public relations campaign bydirect-mailing brochures to prospects. Volunteer yourself as a guest ona local radio chat show.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a computer system with the usual office software, a laser printer, a color printer, a scanner and a fax machine.

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