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Entertainment & Events

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.

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Entertainment & Events

Reunion Organizer

Bring old classmates together by organizing reunions.

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Business At A Glance

Reunion Organizer

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

Business Overview

As a reunion organizer, you’ll be a combination event planner andprivate detective, hunting down missing members of high school andcollege classes, large families, groups and associations, then planningand organizing the bash of the decade.

To find those missing members,you’ll pore through phone directories and computer databases andcontact school and civic records departments and friends, neighbors andrelatives. Reunion-organizing is a growing field–with all those babyboomers being joined by Generation Xers just reaching high schoolreunion age, there’s no dearth of potential customers. And since justabout everybody is out in the workforce these days, no one has the timeto spend on tracking down former classmates or associates and thenattending to all the details of the event. Which leaves lots of workfor you. The advantages to this business are that you can work at home,it’s creative, challenging and rewarding–you get to help people havefun and renew old ties every time you plan a reunion. As a reunionorganizer, you’ll have to be obsessive about locating attendees, aswell as creative about ways to broaden your search. You’ll also need tobe extremely detail-oriented and organized–people will be travelingfrom all over the country to attend events you arrange and counting onyou to pull it all together.

The Market

Your customers can be the Class of X for high schools and colleges,groups and associations, and large, far-flung families. Your best betfor selling to these groups is to establish yourself in your community.Introduce yourself to and leave brochures with vendors inevent-planning industries who can refer people to you–caterers,hotels, florists, printers and photographers. Find out who’s in chargeof the reunion committees for your own high school or college class orthose of your friends and relatives, then call and introduce yourselfand your services.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a computer with the usual office software, a laser printer,a fax machine, a calendar, a planning book and a phone.

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Entertainment & Events

Dance Studio

Dance your way to profits with a studio for lessons and rehearsals.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Dance Studio

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

Business Overview

Starting a dance instruction school is a wonderful new business ventureto set in motion, as dance schools have been proven financially soundfor decades. The business can focus on dance instruction in general, oron specific dance styles such as tap or swing. If you aren’t a danceinstructor yourself, professional dance instructors can be hired on anas-needed part-time, revenue-sharing basis to conduct the instructionclasses. The innovative entrepreneur who starts and operates a danceschool can also increase revenues and profits by videotaping theinstruction classes and selling the videos by way of mail order and theinternet.

The Market

Your customers will vary depending on what type of dance studio youdecide to open. You can have a studio strictly for adults, one thatfocuses on instruction for children, or a dance studio for all ages.

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Entertainment & Events

Old-Time Radio Programs

Nostalgic productions can be brought to life with a love for acting and history.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Old-Time Radio Programs

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

History always has a way of repeatingitself, and old-time radio programs from the 1930s and ’40s are noexception to the rule, as these radio programs are once again becomingvery popular. Seek to purchase the rights or pay for the rights tore-record old-time radio programs onto cassette tapes and compactdiscs. Once complete, the tapes and compact discs can be sold toretailers on a wholesale basis, or directly to consumers via mailorder, the Internet, or even infomercials. Providing you can secure theright radio programs to re-record and that demand is high for theprograms, the profitability of the business could be outstanding as itonly costs a couple of dollars each to mass produce tapes and CDs.

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