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Idea Cafe's Biz Book Review

Turn Your Talents Into Profits:
100 + Terrific Ideas for Starting a Microbusiness

by: Darcy Sanders and Martha M. Bullen

Book Briefs
Paperback, 287 pages
1998, Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster

Price: $9.60 at

Who Should Order Up this Book?
This book caters to anyone looking for a way to earn money from home on a part-time basis. It's not about finding work-at-home opportunities. Rather, it's about starting a small business "on-the-side" that will earn you some bucks, but won't break the bank or the family. So if you're looking to supplement your existing income or fulfill your dreams of being self-employed, you'll savor every home-business idea and tip this biz book brews up!

The Meat & Potatoes
Microbusiness is the key ingredient (and topic du jour) in this book. In coining this new biz term, the authors explain, "Microbusinesses have low start-up costs, are home-based, can be run by one person, offer flexible hours, and tend to be personally fulfilling as well as profitable." It's all about inspiring you to take your skills, interests, and talents and putting them to work in a home-based microbusiness. Easy as pie!

To jumpstart you in your quest for part-time entrepreneurship, Turn Your Talents into Profits forks over more than 100 ideas for owning your own home-based microbusiness. Do you have a knack for crafts, a neat-nick reputation, or a love for animals? No matter what makes your boat float, most likely, you'll find a niche idea in this beefy book.

The multitude of ideas are grouped into six sections. Each section features a "What You Need to Know to Get Started" pep talk that boasts tips, info and resources for beginners. When it comes to discussing the ideas themselves, you get a page full of general background info and then a "Top Tip" and "Going Rate" for that particular idea. Very good fare!

Here's a sample plate of the sections and a few of the ideas they explore.

Section 1 -- Arts and Crafts Businesses
Express yourself! Be a mural painter, fabric artist, porch furniture maker, quilt or doll dress designer, or craft kits seller. (And there's lots more!)

Section 2 -- Business Services
Service those businesses around you! Be an internet web designer, bookkeeping service, answering service, grant writer, proofreader, technical writer, or freelance publicist. (Just the tip of the iceberg.)

Section 3 -- Personal Services
Get up close & personal! Be a massage therapist, personal trainer, geneaologist, house childproofer, party planner, or professional organizer. (Plus others.)

Section 4 -- Educational and Entertainment Services
\Feed the mind! Be a tutor, music teacher, baby-sitter for local hotels, puppeteer, or songsmith. (Just a sampling of these smart and fun ideas.)

Section 5 -- House and Garden
Reap what you sow! Be a landlord, interior designer, chocalatier (sounds yummy!), dog trainer, pot pourri concoctor, or gardening teacher. (Other ideas flourish here.)

Section 6 -- Buying & Selling
Short, but sweet. Consider home party sales, a gift-buying service, hosting garage sales, plus a few more.

The final course is a listing of organizations and associations dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs in all of the above areas. Plus a helpful bibliography with other savvy resources for entrepreneurs at heart.

Overall Taste
This info really hits the spot for part-time home businesses. Not only did we think the majority of the ideas innovative, the brief backgrounds and specs on each idea are light fare, yet very filling. We felt it would whet the whistle of many a working mom or dad, retiree, student, or American dreamer looking for a money-making opportunity in the world of small business.

rule for small business

Idea Cafe's Rating:
(five light bulbs is our top rating)

I'll Take It!

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