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: $300 to $600

Potential earnings: $25,000 - $250,000+

How to Find Clients: Using the Department of Commerce STAT-US service, you can download daily to your fax machine new Products Wanted listings.

Equipment needed: Desk, phone, fax, personal computer

You find overseas firms seeking the products and services of your country. This is easy to do because most countries and states have publications listing Products Wanted by other countries around the world. You contact the overseas firm seeking the product or service and tell them you can supply it once you know the quantity and specifications for the item. Then you contact a domestic supplier and tell them you have a potential order from an overseas firm or government and need a price quotation. Once you have the quote you send it to the overseas buyer, after adding a suitable commission for yourself. Your typical commission will be in the 10 percent range for small orders. As the dollar amount of the order rises, your commission percentage will decrease. If the overseas buyer agrees to the quote you give him or her, you are sent a Letter of Credit covering the amount of the sale. Using this, you arrange with a freight forward to have the order shipped. Your commission comes directly from the Letter of Credit. So there are no bounced checks, no chasing after people for payment!

Excerpted with permission from "199 Great Home Businesses You Can Start (and Succeed In) for Under $1,000" by Tyler G. Hicks. Published by Prima Publishing. For more on this and 198 other great businesses you can start, Buy the book nowor ask for it at your favorite bookstore. You can also call (800) 632-8676

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