Summary: Collect remaining merchandise from garage sales and sell it on eBay
Detailed Description: For the girl who loves to spend time on the internet, this little business can be one of the more profitable there is! On any given Saturday, your daughter can grab a digital camera and the newspaper and wait for lunch to be over. Then, she can hit the trail of garage sales in the community. By lunchtime, the rush of bargain hunters has come and gone, and the people trying to sel their old stuff are getting tired of sitting outside. They will take almost any offer for whatever they have left. Your child can buy it for next to nothing! She then snaps a picture of it, sets up an online auction (eBay or one of the many others), and lets the bidding begin! There are several ways to make a profit, from selling the merchandise for more than she paid for it to keeping the purchase price low but raising the price for shipping and handling. She can put hundreds of auctions up and make much of her profit from the shipping and handling charges!
Start-Up Costs: $200
Materials Needed: A decent digital camera and enough money to buy some "stuff"
Potential Income: $50 to $500 per day!
Suggested Marketing Strategy: The details described previously are basically all the marketing strategy your young entrepreneur needs. However, an additional suggestion would be for her to approach people before they have a garage sale and tell them they could avoid the hassle and hard work of having a sale by letting her place all their best stuff on an Internet auction. Instead of setting up and advertising their sale, they have your future millionaire come to their house, take pictures of what they want to sell, and launch the auction. Then she shares the revenues with the sellers!
Business Title: Movie Mogul
Summary: Convert Old VHS tapes to DVDs
Detailed Description: All of us adults have boxes of old VHS tapes that are slowly deteriorating in the attic, basement or extra closet. Getting them converted to digital is important if we want to keep them for our children and our grandchildren to enjoy. But who has the time and the know-how to do that? Well, with two minutes of training, your child does! Now, inexpensive and easy-to-use DVD converting machines are for sale in any electronics store. Your young entrepreneur can buy one of these machines, plug it in, and start copying and converting. The potential coustomer base is huge! The work is easy and is idea for a child who may not be interested in a more people-oriented, sales business. This task can be done privately at home, and except for dropping off the new DVDs and getting the check, there is no need to chat. Fun, easy and profitable!
Start-up costs: About $150-200 for a good recording unit
Materials Needed: Business cards and a VHS/DVD converter
Potential Income: $5 to $25 per DVD burned
Suggested Marketing Strategy: The people who are most worried about the slow deterioration of their old tapes are those with children and grandchildren. So the best source of leads is going to be other parents like you. Have your child pass out her business cards to parents after school at the parent pick-up area, and watch the phone start ringing! If your daughter offers to do some free copying for the school principal, that satisfied customer may allow her to send home a flyer with the children - especially if she offers to give part of her profits to the school.
Business Title: Rent-a-Friend
Summary: Provide companionship to older people
Detailed Description: The idea of paying for friendship might seem odd to some, but it is actually a very popular service that is both gratifying and economically rewarding. Because of distance, time constraints, or other logistics, people whose elderly parents are either in nursing homes or living alone cannot always visit them as often as they would like, and a regularly scheduled visit from a kind teen is a godsend. A sympathetic young person who will sit and read a good book, play a game of chess, or just talk about the day's events can be the highlight of a lonely person's day. This is a kinder, gentler way of offering an elderly sitter service, but without the responsibility of any medical or personal care. A good business for a sensitive and compassionate young person.
Start-up Costs: $25
Potential Income: $10-$25 an hour
Suggested Marketing Strategy: Due to the nature of this business, it is best to utilize the human network rather than relying on a fancy marketing program. Your son or daughter can visit a local nursing home, speak to the activities director, and ask to put a notice on the facility's newsletter, which is sent out to the residents' families. She could also let her church know that she would like to offer her services - people often use local churches for social services resources. If coordinated, your daughter may have several clients at the same nursing home whom she could visit in an afternoon.
While this is a somewhat atypical business for a young entrepreneur, it is very much needed, and families are extremely grateful to a caring young person who brings some light into their relative's life. Further, unlike some of the other businesses outlined here, the relationship your child could have with an elderly person will have a profound emotional impact on him or her for years to come.
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