From the June 1997 issue of Startups

New ideas for small and homebased businesses.

Mark Your Spot

Are you one of those people who's always late because, once again, you've misplaced your keys? Being "organizationally challenged" can be particularly daunting to those starting up a business. Introducing Quick Find Markers, which can take the frustration out of filing and lead you on the right path towards organization.

If you've ever misfiled a folder and wasted valuable time searching for it, Quick Find Markers are your solution. Each time you pull a file, hang a brightly-colored plastic Quick Find Marker on the file frame rail at that exact spot. Designed for a variety of filing systems, their bright colors make coding by department, date or subject a cinch.

Quick Find Markers sell for $3.88 per pack of eight. Prices decrease with additional orders. Available in yellow, blue, red, green, or an assortment of all four.

From Quill Corporation, Lincolnshire, IL. To order, call (800) 789-1331.

A Golden Solution

If you want to delve into a glittering new enterprise, here's your golden opportunity. From automotive accessories to other personalized items, gold plating can be a lucrative and flexible part-time business.

The Gold Plating Specialist Inc., a manufacturer and seller of gold- and chrome-plating systems, can provide you with a portable gold-plating system that conveniently fits into a carrying case, or a tank system that can be set up in an existing business--or even in your own garage.

The Gold Plating Specialist Inc. offers systems ranging from the portable Premiere Series Gold/Chrome Plating System (which can plate 65 different metals), to The Gold Wheel Master (a tank system which includes enough solution to plate approximately 150 chrome or stainless steel wheels).

The Gold Plating Specialist Inc. offers the portable Premiere Series Gold/Chrome Plating System for $2,995, and The Gold Wheel Master for $15,000.

From The Gold Plating Specialist Inc., San Diego, CA. To order, call (800) 676-7771. --Orith Goldberg

Sticky Situations

In a child's daily life, a change in routine can be unsettling; most children like to know exactly what tomorrow will bring. The imminent arrival of a new sibling, for example, can turn these tomorrows upside down. To ease their children's apprehensions, introduce your customers to "My Mommy's Having a Baby"--an interactive communication tool used to re-instill a child's sense of familiarity during this often difficult time.

"My Mommy's Having a Baby" seeks to prepare a child for what each day will bring while mom is in the hospital. It consists of three dry-erase marker boards, one dry-erase marker, and more than 60 reusable press-and-peel graphics. The child can then place the graphics on the boards, which divide the child's day into four time periods. For children ages 3 and up.

Wholesale price: $4 each. Suggested retail price: $7.95 each. Minimum order: one case of 12 units.

From Leeko Industries Inc., New York, NY. To order, call (800) 938-1915.

Buffer Zone

Our society is one which spends inordinate amounts of time talking on the telephone, for both business and pleasure. But for many, this can result in a big "pain in the ear." If your customers are tired of sore, tender ears, introduce them to the Ear Buff, a soft, padded foam cushion that acts as a buffer between your ear and that hard telephone receiver.

Appealing to business executives and teenagers alike, the Ear Buff features a "peel n' stick" strip of adhesive that attaches the cushion securely to the receiver of most telephones. The cushion consists of a half-inch layer of foam with holes in the center, which allow sounds to reach your ear. Once attached, it not only pampers the ear, but also greatly reduces annoying background noise.

The Ear Buff is available in teal, raspberry, royal blue and black. Wholesale price: $1.90 each. Suggested retail price: $4.95 each. Minimum order: one case of 12 units.

From North American Products Co., Glendora, CA. To order, call (800) 993-2728.