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Retail Business

Maternity Clothing

Moms-to-be don’t want to give up looking good. Cash in on this strong demographic.

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Business At A Glance

Maternity Clothing

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

Celebrity moms like Cindy Crawford and Kelly Ripa aren’t the only oneswho know that muumuu-style maternity clothes are so last century.

Today, pregnant women are all about celebrating their style and lookingsexy. From high-end maternity designers like Liz Lange and A Pea in thePod to midpriced maternity wear newcomers The Gap and Old Navy,clothing designers are on to the potential of this growing market.Withmore than 4 million babies born annually, it’s easy to see why thematernity clothing market is buzzing Assuming the average expectantmother purchases only five new maternity garments while pregnant addsup to a whopping 20 million maternity garments sold each year in theUnites States alone.

There are a few ways to cash in on this very largeand lucrative market. The first is to design, manufacture and sell thematernity clothing, and the second is to purchase maternity clothing ona wholesale basis and resell the clothing for a profit. While bothoptions are viable in terms of generating profits for the business, thefirst option has the potential to generate more sales and profits aswell as providing more options for the operator in terms of marketingmethods. Profit potential will vary, however, markups of 100 percentare not uncommon in this industry.

Needed Equipment

It depends on your focus. If you’re going to create the clothingyourself, you’ll need a sewing machine and other tools of the trade.Once the orders start pouring in, you may want to contract with amanufacturer. If you will just be selling them, you’ll need storage andtransportation. For both, you’ll need a computer to keep track oforders, accounts and contacts.

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Retail Business

Scaffolding Rentals

Take business to new heights with scaffolding rentals.

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Business At A Glance

Scaffolding Rentals

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

Almost every building and home service tradeneeds to rent scaffolding at some point in the course of operatingtheir business.

To start this type of business you purchase new orsecondhand scaffolding, design a brochure and price list, anddistribute the brochure to local home service companies and contractorsin your community. Providing a free delivery and pickup service forscaffold rentals will get the telephone ringing and scaffold rentalorders coming in.

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Retail Business

Consignment Clothing Store

The low-cost way to start a clothing store–sell items on consignment.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Consignment Clothing Store

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

The resale field is hot these days, with over 15,000 shops across thecountry and an industry association growth rate of 15 percent per year.So if you’ve got an eye for fashion, design and quality, and great buysmake your heart soar, then a consignment clothing shop or kids’consignment shop could be the business for you.

If you go thechildren’s route, you can specialize in toys or clothing, or both.You’ll take clean, well-cared-for garments or toys and display andmerchandise them for their owners, splitting the profits when you makea sale. Clothing consignors sell mostly women’s garments–along withaccessories like costume jewelry, belts and handbags–but men’sclothing is becoming increasingly popular as a resale item as well.

Because you’re taking the items on consignment, you don’t pay anythingfor your inventory until it’s sold, which makes this business ideal forthe startup entrepreneur. You price garments and other goodies, thenhave the owner pick them up if they don’t sell within a given period oftime. The advantages to this business are that it’s creative, yourstartup costs are small compared to most retail operations, and you getthe satisfaction of helping your customers get great buys for littlemoney.

The key to a successful consignment shop is an atmosphere that’sclean, fresh and fashionable, so you’ll need a flair for display andmerchandising. You should also have a good eye for current fashions andquality and the ability to properly price your merchandise so thatshoppers get the discount they expect and you and your consignees makea profit. To complement all this, you’ll need excellent people skills.

The Market

Your customers will be people interested in the type of merchandiseyou’ve got for sale–basically the same people who shop at regularretail outlets. The trick is to attract their attention and sell themon the benefits of shopping with you.

Besides routine advertisingmethods like local radio and newspaper ads, you can host fashion showsfor local women’s groups and hand out fliers in front of your shop. Ifyou’re located near a business district, you can also deliver yourfliers to offices in the area. And don’t forget ads–perhaps withget-acquainted coupons–in your local Pennysaver-type publication.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a shop and the display furnishings to put in it–glasscases for jewelry, clothes racks, hangers and tables or shelves. You’llalso need sales tickets and tags, shopping bags and a cash register. Acomputer with an inkjet printer and retail operation software will be abig help but aren’t necessary for starters if you can’t afford them.

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Retail Business

Janitorial Supplies

You can clean up by selling janitorial supplies.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Janitorial Supplies

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

Every year companies, government agencies,organizations, educational institutions, and associations spendbillions of dollars on janitorial and sanitation supplies such ascleaners, paper products, disposal bags, and janitorial equipment.Starting a janitorial supply business to secure a piece of this verybig and financially lucrative pie is not difficult to do. Like manywholesale or middleperson businesses, the key to success is to get outand talk to potential customers.

This is a competitive industry andwaiting for business to come to you is simply waiting to go out ofbusiness. Deal with more than one manufacturer in order to negotiateand secure good pricing. Traditionally, profit margins in the industryare tight and usually products are sold for no more than 10 to 20percent over costs, so it is critical to build high volume repeatcustomer accounts.

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