Goody Bag

C'mon, kids. Reach in. We've got 10 great businesses to start right now.

The business world is abuzz about knowledge. From knowledge workers to knowledge management, it seems what you know does matter after all. Knowing what to do and when to do it separates the doers from the wanna-bes-especially when it comes to starting businesses. That's why we've identified these 10 great ones to start now.

Kiosks/Carts

With rental prices for stores with doors on the rise, carts and kiosks have become the fastest way to profits in the retail realm.

"It's a lot cheaper to do this kind of business," says Waly Rizza, who got his start selling sunglasses from carts at the Irvine Spectrum in Southern California six years ago. He parlayed his $25,000 investment (borrowed from his older brother) into $180,000 in sales the first year-and $1.5 million in projected sales for 2001.

Today, Waly and his younger brother and partner, Ali, 21, have nine carts in seven locations that sell sunglasses, jewelry, body art and cigars, and they are always on the prowl at trade shows for new products to sell. "That's what carts do best-capitalize on trends," the 27-year-old Waly explains.

Rizza & Associates Inc. leases its carts, paying a monthly fee plus a percentage of sales to the management of the venues where the carts are located. Other retailers purchase carts, which sell for anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000, according to All A Cart Manufacturing Inc., a Columbus, Ohio-based provider. A key to the success of carts or kiosks is knowing your price point. Waly's suggestion: "Don't sell anything for over $50. This is a low-priced, high-volume business."

For more on starting a kiosk or cart business, check out Deals On Wheels.

Personal Trainer

If you've got fitness smarts and can motivate others, think about becoming a personal trainer. According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, this industry reaped $10.6 billion in 1999. Dale Huff, 32, and Ellie Zografakis, 27, of St. Louis tapped this lucrative industry in 1997 by founding Nutriformance, a combination personal fitness and nutritional counseling business. The pair started out by contracting with stores that sold exercise equipment; that got them into the homes of people receptive to personal training. "Word-of-mouth spread, and our business took off," Huff says.

Last summer, the team opened a 4,000-square-foot fitness facility that employs 22 people. "We'd been the ghosts behind the scenes working in people's homes," Huff explains. "The facility has given us more visibility." And more earning potential. Nutriformance expects to take in about $1 million this year.

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This article was originally published in the May 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Goody Bag.

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