Ultimate Jumbers, manufacturers of high quality jumper inflatables water slides and other entertainment for kids offers these tips for starting your own business that can be operated from home on almost no money:
10 steps to starting your own business with Ultimate Jumpers Inflatable, Portable Recreational Products and related services and rentals:
- Research the competition.
By carefully researching the competition, you learn how your competitors have profited and why: they will be doing what has cash-flowed for them in the past, and you can use this knowledge to leverage and analyze your own business opportunities. While there are infinite possibilities in a competitive market, it is always good to know what your competitors are and are not doing!
- Create a marketing plan.
Decide who your target customer is, how you will approach them, what you will call yourself, how much you will spend on business cards, paperwork, websites, advertising and other necessities. Your local Chamber of Commerce is an excellent place to find good business resources: they are involved with business networking, fundraising events, charity events, and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new businesses. They can also refer you to local SCORE services, and other free resources available to entrepreneurs, including minority business assistance, women-owned business assistance, financial resources provided to new businesses through the SBA (Small Business Administration), and other community resources.
- Determine your budget.
If you need money, you may want to seek out related businesses who will profit from your activities. You may be able to make one sale that will fund the whole company in return for services; specifically, you will want to approach auto dealerships, party providers, pizza restaurants, bowling alleys, public pools, grocery stores, kids sports teams, school fundraisers, local county fair boards, advertising /specialty companies, anyone else who targets kids and their parents as customers, or who will be selling to the same businesses. Business barter organizations can also help you find printing, accounting, legal, and other business services in trade for your services.
- Create a business plan.
Once you have determined your budget and target market, you can create a business plan. This will help you get organized and project income , expenses and work load so you can lay out a solid foundation for the success of your business. Seek out partners or investors who have the skills you lack; if you are sales oriented, but not a good manager, find a partner who will keep the books and help in this area. Conversely, if you are more of a bookkeeper, find a marketing person who can close sales. There are books and guides available from the local library and the SBA to help with this process. Our advice is to lay out a solid, general plan that is neither over planned nor over-analyzed; keep in mind that strong sales and a high activity level will make up for a lot in this very profitable business (see chart below).
- Determine a business structure.
There are many to choose from: sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, LLC, Sub S Corporation, C Corporation…your tax accountant, or your local chapter of SCORE can help you determine which one is better for you. A corporation or partnership will even allow you to raise money from family, friends, relatives and whoever will listen by selling participation shares in your business. You can get more information on raising money for startups by researching exempt transactions under Regulation D Rule 504 of the SEC Federal Securities Laws and the Blue Sky Laws for your state.
- Do market research and pre-sales.
Survey local businesses to get their opinion and their take on your business plans. This step will help you better understand how to target these businesses and what they will and won’t buy; some of them may even be interested in investing or making an early purchase at a discount. Obtain contingent commitments from them to do business with you when you get going and ask them to put those promises in writing. Then, when you get going, you will start off with some great leads and the written documentation can help you raise money and attract other partners and allies.
- Be legal.
Secure your licenses and permits, if any, needed to do business. These are usually of nominal cost, but can be expensive if violated or ignored. You can get information on starting a local business from your state and local government agencies; again, the Chamber of Commerce in your area can steer you in the right direction.
- Launch your business with low overhead.
Small is the new big; you can run this business from your home, with nothing but a website, business cards, inventory, transportation, and your labor. Even some of the essentials can be rented until you get going; concentrate your limited capital on marketing opportunities and business to business networking until you are making money!
- Advertise your business.
Again, this can be very inexpensive; post to consumer and parenting group blogs, link to your website, join free networking groups online like linkedin.com and biznik.com, attend Chamber of Commerce and other local business networking events and join a barter or business exchange group to further leverage your capital by trading future services for advertising consideration. Consider that what you do IS advertising; it has the power to bring even hundreds of qualified customers to a business!
- Have fun and make money!
Here is an example showing income potential with jumper inflatable products:
Unit Rented 1 1/2 Times Per Week At Only $69.00 Per Rental
Number of units WeeklyMonthlyYearly1$103.50$414.00$4,968.005$517.50$2,070.00$24,840.0025$2,587.50$10,350.00$124,200.0050$5,175.00$20,700.00$248,400.00100$10,350.00$41,400.00$496,800.00
Unit Rented 1 1/2 Times Per Week At Only $100.00 Per Rental
Number of units WeeklyMonthlyYearly1$150.00$600.00$7,200.005$750.00$3,000.00$36,000.0025$3,750.00$15,000.00$180,000.0050$7,500.00$30,000.00$360,000.00100$15,000.00$60,000.00$720,000.00Other ideas: you may also want to do revenue sharing and lead generation. For instance, an auto dealership may want to hire you and the equipment and pay you for every auto sold that day. Use your imagination! Happy selling with Ultimate Jumpers – the highest quality, longest lasting bounce house and jumper inflatables product on the market!