A Thousand In One

New ideas for small and homebased businesses.
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This story appears in the September 1997 issue of Startups. Subscribe »

You can create countless brilliant fiber-optic signs all for the price of one with the Neon Design A-Sign kit, which can be changed over and over again.

Creating a sign is quick and easy. Simply place the Neon Light Pegs into the perforated, opaque design panel. The panel's straight center perforation and layout template serve to guide you in creating perfectly spaced and uniform designs. To change the sign, simply remove the Neon Light Pegs and the design surface reforms itself to begin anew.

The 16-by-32-inch design panel comes with a hanging kit for window, wall or counter display. Included are 1,000 Neon Light Pegs in two colors of your choice. The pegs come in eight brilliant colors. You may order additional pegs in packs of 500 for $24.95/pack. Retail price: $435 (plus $14.95 S&H).

From Neon Design A-Sign, Laguna Niguel, CA. To order, call (888) NEON-DAS.

More Than Monkey Business

If bringing laughter and joy to others at parties and special events is your "cup of punch," Party Animals, a full-service entertainment franchise, may be the business for you. You'll be able to offer your clients an array of services for their special occasions: cuddly, costumed performers, face painting, magic tricks, balloon artistry, magicians, jugglers and caricature artists.

Party Animals' ongoing training and support includes training at its corporate headquarters, manuals with audio and videotapes and monthly literature updates. Start-up inventory and supplies include 10 costumes, face-painting kits, balloon pumps, magic supplies, business cards, stationery, a scheduling book and various Party Animals specialty items such as T-shirts, mugs, pens and totebags.

Franchise prices range from $11,700 to $19,700, depending on the number of residents in your exclusive territory. Monthly fees are the greater of $200 or 6 percent of monthly gross receipts.

From Party Animals, Atlanta, GA. For more information, call (404) 256-0062.

Popular products to sell at your retail location

Worry-Free Spending

Your customers no longer have to experience cardiac arrest when they receive their monthly credit-card bills and bank statements: Cover Charge takes the "guestimating" out of monitoring credit-card spending.

Cover Charge paper envelopes are designed to fit perfectly over credit cards and ATM cards. The face of each envelope allows the user to keep a written record of charges and withdrawals. Because they have to remove their cards from the Cover Charge envelopes to use them, your customers will be encouraged to keep track of their spending and withdrawing as they go. No more over-withdrawing and no more embarrassing moments due to credit cards unexpectedly being "maxed out."

Wholesale price: $3.50/25 envelopes. Suggested retail price: $6/25 envelopes. Minimum order: 12 packages of 25 envelopes. Samples available upon request.

From Cover Charge U.S.A., Souderton, PA. To order, call (215) 721-7159.

A New Spin On Fun

Offer early Christmas shoppers a great stocking stuffer: AstroJax, a multi-award-winning toy, has been described as a combination of a yo-yo, a lasso and juggling balls. But unlike these, it requires little or no skill.

The AstroJax is composed of three weighted foam balls on a nylon cord. Two of the balls are permanently attached, one to each end of the cord, while the third ball serves as a pivot point that slides up and down the cord. Just hold one of the ends and, with a gentle bouncing of the wrist, the opposite-end ball will orbit and revolve around the center ball.

In motion, AstroJax resembles a twirling baton on a string. A glow-in-the-dark model is also available for evening funseekers.

Wholesale price: $3.50. Suggested retail price: $6.95. Minimum order: one box of 35. Product box also serves as a display case.

From New Toy Classics, San Francisco, CA. To order, call (415) 673-6382.

Edition: December 2016

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