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Fun & Easy Gold Mines

[ 0 ] Oct. 1, 2008 | SBO Editor

Time-starved parents need help and that’s why businesses that cater to children are really booming. Take your pick:

1. DAY CARE: You might have to be licensed to set up a day care center in your home so do some checking first. You’ll probably want to be heavily insured and bonded to protect yourself from liability. Purchase toys, art tables, come up with activities, love to be with kids and you’ll be on to a moneymaker.

2. LESSONS: Teach kids when parents don’t have the time. You can have a kite day at the beach and sell kites to all who arrive empty-handed.

3. CHILD ID & FIND SERVICE: Child Shield, U.S.A. has a package that begins at $499. Call 800-488-2445.

4. SUPPLY CAPS & SHIRTS: You can be the supplier for local teams, community clubs, civic groups, school events and more. You’ll buy the shirts, caps, whatever, at rock-bottom wholesale prices, have them embroidered or monogrammed with the group’s name and sell them at a nice profit. You’ll need a resale license to wholesale.

5. KEEPSAKE DISPLAYS: Start a business as sentimental as shoe bronzing, but this is modern. Take a treasured item, such as the child’s first sneaker, baseball, baton, etc.

6. SCRAPBOOKS: Take family photographs and postcards, letters, ribbons, bows and other memories of special events, and moments in the lives of your clients’ families. You’ll present the scrapbooks to the families and collect your fee for putting together these wonderful memories.

7. ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIGS: You will arrive at the home where the “dig” will take place one day in advance to plant your fossils and fake dinosaur bones in a pre-determined spot by the homeowner. Return the next day with your safari suit and get kids to dig up the fossils with brushes and small shovels you distribute. The kids can keep the tools for an extra fee.

8. INFLATABLES: You take your inflatable to parties and events. Rent it out or charge for the kids to use it for 10 minutes. There are several great companies that manufacture and sell those fun inflatables. Turn to page 68 and see our Business Opportunity section for a listing of inflatable companies.

9. INTERIOR DESIGN FOR KIDS: Start an interior design business that specializes in creating themed rooms for children and for babies. Nursery setups are a natural add-on to this business. Make over a room in your own home or do one for a friend.

10. KIDPROOF HOMES: Is there bleach under the sink or other harmful chemicals within reach of the children? Could a child fall down a staircase or from a deck? These are the types of situations you’ll be looking to uncover as you help parents childproof their homes from potential disaster. You can generate additional income by offering to fix what’s wrong and to install special locks, clamps, etc.

11. DANCE CLASS: Find some teachers who can organize dance classes. Book a space. Start thinking about where you are going to host your recital. Attend one in your region.

12. PARTIES FOR KIDS: Plan parties for children. Buy the party fare and drop it off, or you can also provide the cake, the entertainment and even be on hand to supervise these events.

13. SPECIAL EVENTS VIDEOS: Take your video camera and start a business recording special events around town for your neighbors and business associates. Your jobs could range from a school picnic, a special town club event, a marathon, a local bands’ gig, you-name-it.

14. PARTY ENTERTAINING: Start your own entertainment business. You will be hired to perform at parties or be the agent and book the talent. You’ll need a rapport with people and a good costume: gorilla, historian, clown, etc.

15. TREASURE HUNTS: Create a personalized map of the site—which must be done in advance of the planned treasure hunt day. You’ll plant tokens, charms, toys and candies in a treasure chest. Arrive dressed in full pirate regalia on the day of the treasure hunt armed with maps for each of the kids present. Yes, “x” will mark the spot of the buried treasure.

16. LATCH KEY PROGRAM: You’ll offer activities and perhaps a snack to tide the kids over until their parents pick them up. This business is only run a few hours a day and if you have a dozen kids and charge $50 per kid per week, that translates to $600 a week. You can tie this in with the taxi service and really pull down a bundle.

17. EXERCISE CLASS: Kids are getting bigger. Offer fun exercise classes for kids and their friends. Hold classes in clients’ homes. You don’t have to be licensed to be an instructor in many states, but check with the county clerk’s office to see what your state’s regulations are.

18. KID TAXI SERVICE: You can establish your own shuttle/taxi service for entire teams or individuals. Charge by the ride and you can set a minimum. Check into your insurance to make sure you will be fully covered.

19. ART CLASS: If you don’t want to host this service in your own home, check with the local church or fire department and see if you can use their facility once a week for your class.

20. THEATER GROUP: There are plenty of budding stars in your community; they just don’t know it yet. You can start by hosting two plays a year and have the kids rehearse, make costumes, design sets and programs, and sell tickets. You charge a fee per child and pocket a tidy profit while the kids and their proud parents have a ball.

21. PHOTOGRAPHY: Start your own photography business. You can photograph birthdays, outdoor events, school picnics, sports competitions and more. Advertise and show your portfolio to generate clients.

22. MUSIC LESSONS: Play an instrument? You can teach the lessons at the kid’s home and charge by the lesson, which will probably last from 30 to 40 minutes. You can sell books to the kids and have them rent the instruments from a local music store that will provide you with a commission for each student brought to them.

23. PERSONALIZED PRODUCTS: Put the child’s name on an item and it will sell. You’ll need to hook up with suppliers, so turn to your phone book.

24. COACH A TEAM: There are probably teams in town that could be playing and having a ball, but there aren’t enough coaches to go around. You can be the coach and take a fee for your work from the busy parents who can’t step in when junior calls!

25. PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB: Start a photo club. You’ll be meeting with children once a week to go on a photo outing such as to a park, a beach or some other public place. You’ll help the kids make photo albums of their work based on a theme they’ve chosen.

Category: Magazine, Start Your Own Business, Start Your Own Business Fall 2008