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Entertainment & Events

In-Store Demonstration Service

Do you know how to hold a crowd’s attention? Create in-store demonstrations.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

In-Store Demonstration Service

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

Business Overview

If you’ve got a flair for demonstrations, people skills and the gift oforganization, then an in-store demonstration service might be thebusiness for you. You’ll contract with food brokers and other suppliersand manufacturers to show off their products via your own on-call,personally trained demonstrators.

People are more likely to purchasegrocery products after tasting them, and customers of other types ofgoods can also be enticed by something they can see in action, feel,hear or smell, all of which makes the demonstration business valuableto brokers and manufacturers as well as store owners. You can startsmall and grow big–some demonstration companies manage as many as2,000 to 20,000 demonstrators in several states.

You’ll probably startoff by doing the demos yourself and hire others as your company grows.The advantages to this business are that you’re always on the go sothere’s no time to get bored, you can work from home, and your start-upcosts are minimal. Many owners of in-store demo businesses have abackground in the grocery industry. This is helpful but not an absolutemust. The must-haves are strong organizational skills to keep track ofyour demonstrators, their assignments and the materials they’ll need tobring to each job; and top-notch administrative skills for paying yourpeople and making sure you get paid. People skills are anothermust–you’ll be dealing with lots of personalities, from store managersto food brokers to your own demonstrators. You’ll also need a flair fordemonstrating products and for teaching others how to do the same.

The Market

Yourbest clients will be supermarkets and warehouse superstores like Costcoand Sam’s Club, but you can also sell your services to departmentstores. Offer free demos to supermarket managers. Once they see howwell you do, they can connect you with food distributors andmanufacturers or hire you themselves–some stores offer demos of theirown recipe ideas. You can also contact distributors and manufacturerson your own–if you’ve got access to a computer or a typewriter, makeup a letter describing your services and requesting an appointment,then follow up with a phone call. And don’t forget companies other thangrocers–lots of products lend themselves to demonstrations.

Needed Equipment

You’ll eventually need a computer with a laser printer and a faxmachine, but to start with, you don’t really need anything but a phoneand a car to get to your demo sites. You can hire your staff asindependent contractors or as employees, depending on the laws in yourstate. This can be a sticky area as far as the IRS is concerned, so besure to check with an accountant when you reach the hiring stage.
Sincedemonstrators supply their own equipment, you’ll need an electricfrying pan or griddle for serving those hot tidbits, a card table onwhich to operate, and a wastebasket for used paper napkins andtoothpicks.

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Entertainment & Events

Murder Mystery Parties

Have a flair for the dramatic? Host murder mystery parties.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Murder Mystery Parties

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

Business Overview

Whodunit murder mystery parties are hugely popular and the basis for afun and exciting part-time business opportunity that can be kicked offfor peanuts, yet has the potential to earn excellent profits. If youhave writing aspirations and a creative flair, you can write the storyand murder mystery party scripts; if you do, be sure to try to includeyour clients in the script’their likenesses, personalities, and names.If you are not a wordsmith, you can use a popular mystery theme orstory as the basis of the mystery, or you can even purchase murdermystery scripts online. Rates for mystery dinner party services startat $25 per person plus the cost of a catered dinner, specialty propsand location rentals if the party is not held at the client’s location.

The Market

Clients can include individuals wanting to host an interesting dinnerparty for family and friends, corporations seeking fun social functionsfor employees or customers, and event planners searching for anextraordinary and unique experience for their clients.

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Entertainment & Events

Disc Jockey Service

Bring a reception or other celebration to life by supplying the music.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Disc Jockey Service

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

One of the best part-time entertainmentbusinesses that can be started is a disc jockey service, as not onlyare disc jockey services in high demand, but the business can also beinitiated on less than a $10,000 investment and the monthly operatingoverheads are virtually nonexistent. There are basically fouringredients required to start and operate a successful disc jockeyservice:

  1. An excellent and varied music selection.
  2. Suitable DJequipment and reliable transportation.
  3. A talent for public speakingand an outgoing personality.
  4. Good marketing skills. Potentialclients for a disc jockey service can include event planners, weddingplanners, tour operators, nightclub owners, and the individual consumerseeking to secure disc jockey services for a celebration or event.Potential income range is $200 to $400 per night.

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Entertainment & Events

Recording Studio

Record sound–and profits–with your own studio.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Recording Studio

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

Business Overview

The investment required to start a soundrecording studio is gigantic. However, the profits that the businesscan potentially generate are even larger. Starting a sound recordingstudio is much easier than it was at one time, simply because of theadvancement in technology.

Many recording studios that specialize invoiceovers for radio advertising, CD recording and DVD recording areeven homebased operations. Any one who doesn’t have experience in therecording industry is well advised to stay clear of this particularbusiness opportunity’-unless the business is approached or establishedas a joint venture enterprise with a person or company that hasexperience in the industry, but lacks the financial backing or businessexperience to ensure the enterprise succeeds. A recording studio canpotentially exceed $100,000 per year in profit after wages, expensesand taxes.

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