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Startup Costs: $2,000 - $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? Yes
A few years ago, I spent five days at a home and garden show promoting my home renovation service and generating sales leads. Beside my booth was a gentleman selling wind-up flying toy helicopters that he had imported from China. Not exactly the type of product you'd expect to see at a home improvement trade show. I remember asking him at the beginning of the show how long he had been doing this; he replied that he'd been traveling the home show circuit to various cities around the country for two years selling only the wind-up toy helicopters. At that time, I couldn't understand how he could make a living selling $10 toys at trade shows when the booth rent alone was more than $150 per day, including the additional cost to travel from show to show. By the end of the first day, I learned a valuable lesson from this innovative entrepreneur in terms of marketing and promotion--he sold more than 500 toy helicopters. He told me the cost to purchase the toy helicopters was $2.25 each and the cost to be at the show for the day including travel and accommodations was an additional $300 dollars, bringing his total to $2.85 for each helicopter. In one day--by himself--he had netted more than $3,500 after expenses. By the end of the five-day show, he sold more than 2,000 toy helicopters. The secret to his success? Simple. He had a unique and uncomplicated product in an environment that had no competition for his product--and was surrounded by items that retailed for 100 times more than his did. More important was his ability to demonstrate his product and grab the attention of the show's audience. Imagine being two or three aisles away and seeing flying helicopters overhead. Human nature says you have no choice but to see what all the commotion is about.
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