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Independent Record Label

Take your passion for music and start an indie record label for your favorite artists.

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Business At A Glance

Independent Record Label

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

If you’ve always wanted to be in the music business, but you can’t singa note and your instrumental talents are limited, take heart. You cando the Dick Clark thing as head of your own record (or more properlynowadays, CD) label. According to the Recording Industry Association ofAmerica, music influences every culture on our planet to the tune of$38 billion annually, with the U.S. recording industry accounting for afull one-third of the world market.

As a recording whiz, you’ll locatetalent, choose the songs, style and format for your first album, thendo everything the Capitol Records execs would do–rent a studio, hirean engineer and producer, have the tracks mixed and mastered, arrangefor cover art, and have your CDs pressed. You’ll also be theadvertising and marketing department, working with distributors,getting your band gigs on the road, and making sure your CDs andposters are displayed in stores.

Then you’ll turn around and do thewhole thing over again with your next album. The advantages to thisbusiness are that it has a definite cachet and sounds not onlyglamorous but way cool. If everything goes right, you can make asizable amount of money, and, of course, you get to be in the music bizevery working day. This is entrepreneurship of the first order–you’llneed to be a major go-getter, willing and able to carry out everyaspect of getting your CDs from gleam-in-your-eye to on-the-chartsreality. You should have a good working knowledge of how the musicbusiness operates. And you’ll need the innate ability to recognizetalent when you hear it and to know what will appeal to a significantlistening audience.

The Market

As with the book-publishing industry, you generally don’t sell directlyto the ultimate consumer, the person who pops that CD into his playerand cranks up the sound on a sunny afternoon.

Therefore, you’ll need towork out a deal with distributors. Some smaller record labels do selldirectly to listeners at flea markets and swap meets and through mailorder. And even if you go through a distributor, you can sell directlyto music stores as you canvass your territory, making sure they’recarrying your album.

Needed Equipment

You’ll rent the recording studios and hire out production, mixing,mastering and pressing, so all you really need are your own abilitiesand plenty of chutzpah.

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Media & Publishing

Proofreader

Take your crusade against bad grammar and spelling to a career as a proofreader.

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Business At A Glance

Proofreader

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

The written word makes the world go round. It’s what businesses,associations and organizations of every description use to educatetheir target audiences, potential clients and existing customers.

Theproblem is that most people view any sort of writing assignment withthe sort of dread reserved for high school civics term papers, and ifthey do manage to crank out written material, their grammar andspelling may be less than perfect. We’ve all been to restaurants wherethere are glaring typos in the menus, or received brochures with myriadspelling mistakes. That’s where you come in. If you’re an all-star atspelling, punctuation and grammar, starting a business as a proofreadercould be the business for you.

You can proof direct-mail pieces, annualreports, product information pamphlets, press released, grantproposals, mail order catalogs, marketing materials, menus and more.The advantages to this business are that you’re always working onsomething different, each project gets wrapped up fairly quickly andthere’s no time for tedium.

The Market

Your clients can come from all walks of life, including businesses andnonprofit organizations.

Solicit projects by networking in professionaland trade organizations’especially in fields where you already haveexperience’and by asking for work and/or references from present orformer colleagues and employers. Establish relationships with graphicdesigners, public relations agencies, and printers who can refer theirclients to you.

Needed Equipment

All that’s really necessary is a computer, a laser printer and a faxmachine. You should also have a good word-processing software, and areference library including a heavy-duty dictionary, thesaurus,encyclopedia and style guides.

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Media & Publishing

Stock Watch Publication

Use writing and stock market know-how to develop your own publication.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Stock Watch Publication

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

Do you have a publishing background andadvertising sales experience? If so, you can put it to good use bystarting a business that publishes a weekly stock watch report. Thestock watch publication can be distributed free of charge throughoutthe community and feature information and articles on world stockmarkets, publicly-traded companies and, of course, stock tips.

Theinformation featured in the publication can be provided by localinvestment brokers and financial planners. Revenues can be earned byselling advertising space in the publication to stockbrokers, realestate agents, investment advisors and banks to promote their financialproducts and services.

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Media & Publishing

Puzzle and Game Books

Combine fun and local advertising by starting a puzzle and game book publication.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Puzzle and Game Books

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

Here is a great home based desktoppublishing business to activate in any community. Sudoku, trivia,crossword puzzles and word search games are hot, and starting abusiness that creates puzzles and game books combined with couponsfeaturing discounts on products and services provided by localmerchants has the potential to make you rich.

The booklets could besold locally through participating retailers that have advertisementsand discount coupons featured in the book. Additionally, as a method todrive sales and interest in the game booklets, consider establishing analliance with a local charity, wherein a portion of the revenuesgenerated by book sales goes back to support community charity programs.

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