Make it easy for people on a budget to find a good meal and you'll tap a ready and willing market. Marc Kravitz, 31, formed Spirit of '76 Publishing in 1999 to produce $18 and Under: The Guide to Reasonable Dining and Entertainment in Philadelphia. "A lot of guides give descriptions that are basically paid advertising," Kravitz says. "My book consists of objective reviews."
The Philadelphia guide, updated annually, fits in a pocket, retails for $9.95 and is sold in local bookstores and on the Internet. Kravitz also markets versions with customized covers to companies as alternatives to traditional giveaways or gift premiums. With about $15,000 in start-up capital, Kravitz says he broke even his first year and expects to turn a profit in 2000. He's considering his expansion options, which include the possibility of taking $18 and Under to other cities.