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In-Store Demonstration Service

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

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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.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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Entertainment & Events

Proposal Writer

Here’s a homebased business that may write you a big commission check.

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Business At A Glance

Proposal Writer

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

Each year government agencies on the federal, state, and local levelsput thousands of RFPs (requests for proposals) out for bid. Theproposals can range from building government buildings to supplyingcomputer equipment for government offices, and just about anything inbetween. Though many of these proposals can be very lucrative for thecompany or individual that successfully bids for the contract, manysmall- to medium-sized contractors simply do not complete the proposaland bid forms.

The bidding process is extremely involved and usuallyrequires technical drawings, action plans and contingencyplans–business owners and management have neither the time norabilities to complete them. A proposal writer compiles and completesthe proposal documents on behalf of the contractor. It’s as simple asthat. Proposal writers charge fees based on the amount of time it willtake to complete the proposal, typically in the range of $30 to $40 perhour. Some proposal writers even charge a commission on the value ofthe contract should their client be awarded. Furthermore, most proposalwriters specialize in an area of expertise such as nonperishable goods,construction, services, maintenance or nonprofit. A proposal writermust have access to a wide range of research resources and in mostcases a technical writing ability.

Needed Equipment

Equipment required for the service is basic and only includes standard office and computer equipment.

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Entertainment & Events

Comedy Club

People can always use a laugh. Keep them smiling by giving comedians an outlet for their material.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Comedy Club

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

Business Overview

Comedy clubs are a very popularentertainment venue, and there are a few approaches that can be takenin terms of starting a comedy club. The first and most costly option isto open a comedy club from a fixed location. The second and cheaperoption is to establish a mobile comedy troop and book performances forthe troop across the country for nightclub engagements, seminarperformances, weddings, universities, colleges, and many other specialoccasion events. Regardless of which approach is employed to establishthe business, comedy clubs and acts are extremely popular as more andmore people are seeking to reduce stress in their lives through humor.

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Entertainment & Events

Wedding Photographer

Capture those special moments with your love for photography.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Wedding Photographer

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

There are a number of different approachesthat can be taken when starting a wedding photography business. Thefirst option is to be the wedding photographer, and the second optionis to start an agency representing wedding photographers.

If you choosethe second option, a Web site could be established that would listwedding photographers from across North America along with samples oftheir photography work. Anyone seeking a wedding photographer wouldsimply log onto the Web site and search the index for photographers intheir area. Revenues for the Web site can be generated by charging thephotographers a yearly fee to be listed on the site, and the site couldgenerate substantial advertising revenue from related businesses suchas wedding planners, caterers, and formalwear rental companies seekingadditional exposure.

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