Shoestring Startups

Succces Stories

Lynn Kerrigan

Newsletter Know-How/

The Culinary Sleuth

Annual sales: $25,000

Start-up cost: $1,000

Year started: 1995

Number of subscribers: 1,500

Success secrets: "Running a successful newsletter business takes patience (it usually takes two years to show a profit), constant creative marketing and, most of all, a darn good product."

Greg Eberly

Designer Greens

Annual sales: $200,000

Start-up cost: $100

Year started: 1980

Number of clients: 75

Success secrets: "To run an office plant service, you need a solid background in indoor horticulture; knowledge of product sources and your target market; an aggressive yet pleasant demeanor; a commitment to excellence; and business savvy."

Medical Transcriptionist

If you have a bit more start-up cash, here's another business you can launch.

Managed-care health plans have forced doctors, dentists, chiropractors and other medical service providers to outsource tasks once performed by office personnel. Transcription of medical records and reports is one such task. In addition to being a quick and accurate typist, an independent medical transcriptionist should have a few years' experience working in the field and must be familiar with medical terminology.

Start-Up Cost: $5,000

Steve Epner

BSW Consulting

Annual sales: $750,000

Start-up cost: $5,000

Number of clients: Several hundred

Year started: 1976

Success secrets: Says computer consultant Epner, "You need to have faith in yourself and what you're doing; a strong self-image; and, if you have a family, make sure they're behind you."

Contact Sources

BSW Consulting Inc., 1050 N.Lindenberg Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132, (314)991-8505.

Designer Greens, P.O. Box 11949, Palm Desert, CA 92255,

Sierra Judgement Recovery, (530)577-0926,

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This article was originally published in the April 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Shoestring Startups.

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