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Recreation

Children’s Toys

Never grew out of playing with toys? Make a business of it.

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Business At A Glance

Children’s Toys
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

A few years ago, I spent five days at a home and garden show promoting my home renovation service and generating sales leads. Beside my booth was a gentleman selling wind-up flying toy helicopters that he had imported from China.

Not exactly the type of product you’d expect to see at a home improvement trade show. I remember asking him at the beginning of the show how long he had been doing this; he replied that he’d been traveling the home show circuit to various cities around the country for two years selling only the wind-up toy helicopters.

At that time, I couldn’t understand how he could make a living selling $10 toys at trade shows when the booth rent alone was more than $150 per day, including the additional cost to travel from show to show. By the end of the first day, I learned a valuable lesson from this innovative entrepreneur in terms of marketing and promotion–he sold more than 500 toy helicopters.

He told me the cost to purchase the toy helicopters was $2.25 each and the cost to be at the show for the day including travel and accommodations was an additional $300 dollars, bringing his total to $2.85 for each helicopter. In one day–by himself–he had netted more than $3,500 after expenses. By the end of the five-day show, he sold more than 2,000 toy helicopters.

The secret to his success? Simple. He had a unique and uncomplicated product in an environment that had no competition for his product–and was surrounded by items that retailed for 100 times more than his did. More important was his ability to demonstrate his product and grab the attention of the show’s audience. Imagine being two or three aisles away and seeing flying helicopters overhead. Human nature says you have no choice but to see what all the commotion is about.

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Recreation

River Rafting

This new business idea may be waiting just around the river bend.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

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

Business Overview

White-water river rafting is a low-cost, mini adventure trip that almost anyone can participate in. White-water rafting excursions can be advertised to the general public as well as schools, corporations, and clubs to gain customers.

There is no marketing magic here. This is a good business and a fun adventure that does not require a lot of arm twisting to get people excited about paying you to go rafting. With that being said, you will still want to separate yourself from any competition and seek your niche in the marketplace.

Needed Equipment

You and your employees that will be operating either the paddle-style rafts or motorized-style rafts will be required to get a license, which is commonly referred to as a river guide certificate.

Likewise, all employees will need certification in first aid and river rescue techniques. You will also be required to carry a substantial amount of liability insurance. All of these certification courses are widely offered by outdoor instruction and certification companies.
Additional information about these companies can usually be obtained from local police and fire departments. In terms of equipment, there are generally two types of river rafts used in this business venture. The first is a motorized inflatable raft, and the second is, an inflatable paddle raft. All boats and passengers have to be equipped with safety gear such as life vests and helmets.

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Recreation

Pedal Boat Rentals

Pedal your way to success with this company.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Pedal Boat Rentals
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

A fleet of ten pedal boats can generate as much as $30,000 in rental revenue in a single three-month season. Considering the business can be operated by one person and is relatively inexpensive to launch, that is an excellent return on investment. To establish a pedal boat rental business you will need a waterfront location to operate from.

The location can be independent or in partnership with an existing business such as a marina. The business can be supported by walk-in traffic as well as two-for-one coupons that can be issued for use on slower mid-week periods. Extra income can be acquired by adding a small catering cart that sells soft drinks and popcorn. This business venture may not make you wealthy, but it can generate a good income and definitely will be a relaxing work environment.

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Recreation

Rowboat Rentals

Row, row, row your biz gently down the cash flow stream.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Rowboat Rentals
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Here is a great little business that can be started for peanuts and operated on weekends and holidays on a part-time basis. Secondhand good quality rowboats can be purchased for as little as $500 each, yet the same rowboats can be rented for as much as $10 per hour to fishermen and sightseers.

With that kind of return on investment, it will not take long to get back your initial start-up costs and reap a healthy profit. Obviously the business has one main requirement in order to be operated: water. If the business is established within close proximity to a river or lake, the boats can be rented from a marina location, beach, or even right from a riverbank. A rowboat rental business also requires that you carry liability insurance and the boats are outfitted with safety equipment such as life vests, paddles, and a whistle.

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