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From Zero To Start-Up In Thirty

8 Businesses you can start this month

After working for a bank as a repossessor, Russell Kreiss was ready for a new business experience. "I wanted to be my own boss and run a small business in a relaxed and friendly environment," says Kreiss, who had another big requirement: a low-investment business he could start in less than 30 days.

When Kreiss visited downtown Sacramento, California, five years ago, he discovered the perfect opportunity. Three blocks from the state capitol, Kreiss opened Taking Care of Business, a 1,000-square-foot postal, shipping and business service center. Here, downtown workers can drop off their clothes for dry cleaning or laundry; buy legal forms, office supplies or small gifts; copy, fax or shred documents; or buy a coffee and a sweet roll.

To set up his store, Kreiss purchased a computer, cash register, printer and other equipment from a shipping business that was closing its doors. He developed marketing flyers and advertised in the Yellow Pages and local newspapers. His best results came from mailing discount coupons to neighboring businesses.

"It was an easy business to start," explains Kreiss, whose initial investment was under $25,000. "I considered all the services working people need. I started with the most obvious ones, and added others as I went along." Today, Taking Care of Business grosses close to $100,000 a year.

You, too, can start a business in less than 30 days and without a major investment. There are plenty of opportunities in the postal, shipping and business services industry. Or, you might like to select one of the seven other businesses profiled here:

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This article was originally published in the September 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: From Zero To Start-Up In Thirty.

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