An Idea for a Small Business You Can Start

Start-up costs range $50 to $500,000+, earnings $5,000 to $2,000,000++, skills from knowing nothing to running an airline. Bon appetit!


Start-up cost: $5,000 - $27,000

Potential earnings: $35,000 - $50,000 for a small business; up to $250,000 for a large rental business in an urban area.

Advertising: Direct mail to schools, churches, theater and musical groups; advertising in the business telephone directory, on local radio, and cable television; participation in community parades; word-of-mouth from satisfied customers; business cards and brochures. Write a special seasonal column in your local newspaper on costume-making tips for mothers. Hold community workshops or courses on how to make children's costumes.

Equipment needed: Heavy-duty sewing machine, assorted fabrics, costume boxes, storage space, changing space, sewing forms and notions, business telephone line and answering machine, record and billing system, computer with design capabilities if you design costumes, personal library of period and present-day costume books.

Costumes are worn at dances, ceremonies, parades, and to celebrate holidays and special events. Many school, community, and college theater groups need costumes for their plays and musicals, but do not have the funds to purchase costumes outright.

If you are skilled in sewing and talented in design, you may want to open your own costume sales, consulting, and rental business. You may start out of your garage or basement (with a separate outside entrance and zoning approval) and have customers come to you, or you can go to them.

Excerpted with permission from "101 Best Home-Based Businesses for Women" by Priscilla Y. Huff. Published by Prima Publishing. For more on this and 100 other great businesses you can start, Buy the book now or ask for it at your favorite bookstore. You can also call (800) 632-8676

Ideas for a Small Business You Can Start Classics