Businesses To Start For Under $500

COMPUTER CONSULTING. As the computer pervades almost every aspect of our daily lives, people need to become computer literate–or at least know how to work things. If you have basic computer knowledge as well as specific expertise with popular software (Word Perfect, Lotus 1-2-3. etc.), individuals and other businesses will find your help worth paying for. You can have clients come to your home, but they might feel more comfortable if you came to their offices or homes to work on their particular machines. Of course if you consult for business, you must go to them. Advertise in the Yellow Pages or send direct mail queries to various business offices that you know use computers. Check your local computer dealers and ask about businesses that have just bought computer systems–you KNOW they’ll need help, and the dealer usually isn’t interested in helping customers work the things once they’ve made the sale. In fact, you might be able to enter into a deal with the computer dealer in which he recommends you as a consultant. For further reading: The Computer Consultant, Schueler Communications, Inc., 208 N. Townsend Street, Syracuse, NY 13203.

COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. No software package right now out of the box is going to work for a business exactly the way they want it to, so custom computer programming is often needed. Your programming ability can create a custom applications for retailers and other businesses. If this idea interests you but you don’t know programming, a home study course available from International Correspondence Schools, 925 Oak St., Scranton, PA 18508-9989.

CLOWNING. This business is no laughing matter. decent profits can be earned from doing your funny business at children?s parties and schools. Contact nursery schools, pre-kindergarten classes, and day care centers and offer your services. The schools may not be able to pay much, so birthday parties are probably your best bet. Advertise on community bulletin boards and in local shopper papers. Two publications worth getting are: Creative Clowning, Java Publishing Co.,6510 Lenham Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918 ($16.95); and Start A Clowning Business by Donna Huff, 203 State Rd.,Sellersville, PA 18960 ($5).

DJ SERVICE. Good disk jockeys are still in demand for large parties of all kinds: birthdays, anniversaries, small weddings, office parties, dances, etc. You’ll need a large selection of popular dance tunes that covers a wide variety of tastes and styles, and quality sound equipment that is both portable and powerful enough to project throughout a large auditorium. You might consider staging your own dance weekends at a resort, charging per couple. Place ads Yellow Pages for this service.

GARAGE SALE ORGANIZER. Sure you can make some money with your own garage sale, but you can make much more by becoming a professional. You can organize and run garage sales for dozens of households in your town. Your sales pitch is that you know what sells and what doesn’t, how to price objects, how to attract customers and what to serve (such as free coffee). As the organizer, you can either charge a flat fee for your services or accept a percentage of the total take. But you must insist that you run the show, and that your decisions on pricing and display are not questioned. Look for The Garage Sale Book, $7.95 from E.A. Morgan Publishing Co., Dept IO-10, P.O. Box 1375, Huntington, NY 11743-1375. Or How To Profit from Garage Sales, $5.95 ppd. from Income Opportunities Booklets, P.O. Box 40, Vernon, NJ 074672.

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