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Cheap Man's Guide To Starting Home Business

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Vince G, CSN MFT:
Its good that there has been a business board put up.  A lot of people around here over the years wanted  to start a business but they did not how to get started.  Well, I'm going to let you folks know how I started my business for less than $50 dollars.

Office Equipment:
Having a desk is essential to storing client's files and you must have a proper workspace.  Generally desk range from 50-100 dollars but I didn't have the money to spare so what I did instead is go to a Miracle Mart (Goodwill) and bought 2 small file cabinets for 15 dollars.  I then went to Home Depot and purchased a large unfinished wooden board.  Then I spaced out the file cabinets and put the board on top and that was it.  I had a large work space and had plenty of space to store client's files.  I also got an old thermal fax machine for 5 dollars which I still use to this day and a office chair for 10 dollars.  Don't be too fucking arrogant not to go to a Salvation Army or Goodwill to get your stuff.  You'll be surprised to know that a lot of rich people go to these same places to get stuff as well.     

The Business Name:
A lot of people think that its not important but its actually one of the most important things to decide.  Your name for your business should be clear and evident to a person to know what you do from simply hearing the name.  Its best for your business name to end with the word health, fitness, nutrition, personal training, etc.  A lot of people use their last name for part of the business name which is good but a unique name would give the business an appearance of being a major player.  Be sure to also check your business name under domain names and buy the domain itself immediately for marketing purposes.  You don't want to pick a name only to have the web domain name already being used.  That's what happenned to me and I had to wait over a year to finally purpose the rights to from the Arab Community and it wasn't cheap.

Business Cards:
You can make them at home on your computer however that's only if you have a laser printer.  Inkjet printers have a tendency for the ink to smear.  Business cards are thrown away by the majority of people so don't spend a lot of money having them made.  The importance of business cards are no different from a flyer, its just advertising.  I got my first cards from because they give you 250 cards for free.  Their advertising is on the back as a small price however like I said before, you should treat cards like an ad or flyer.

Office Software:
You can get OpenOffice for free on the internet which will give you a word procesor, spreadsheet, database, and HTML editor.  The GIMP is also free as well which will give you an advanced paint & graphics program.

Most hosting companies have free pre-designed templates so use them.  Use the HTML editor on the OpenOffice software to put your own information about your business on there.  Its good to have a merchant account to take credit cards but for now you can set up a paypal account and go from there
to put up pay links on your site.

Thats how I got started.  Part 2 will go over what to sell

Def a cool thread vince!

240 is Back:
DO NOT pay $4,000 for your company's website.  Even if you don't come to me for a site, do your research and get a deal.

DO use consistent branding/logo on your site, business cards, flyers, etc

DO save receipts. I made a killing by paying taxes this year :)  You can deduct just about everything

DO trade/barter with others. I get window tinting, haircuts, gym memberships, and a lot of other things for free by trading skills

DO keep useful supplies for you job in your car. Being Johnny "on-the-spot" is great for your reputation.

DO make friends and value your repeat customers.  ALL of my business comes from personal referrals from happy clients. You DO NOT NEED to spend hundreds on ads if you do things right.

Vince G, CSN MFT:
Now that you have got all the supplies and everything you need.  Its time to discuss what to sell:

Now first off, if you are a national competitor and close to turning pro, the business that you should be into is personal training, nutritional consulting, and autograph pictures.  Your physique will carry much weight in obtaining clients and will provide you with the money needed compete in shows.  Avoid selling nutritional supplements, exercise equipment, and general fitness goods.  Why is that to be avoided???  Its simply because you are in the position of having a fitness company sponsor you at anytime and if you are selling supplements, most likely the company will think that you are already under an agreement and will simply go to someone else.  Now if you secure a sponsorship deal, you can easily get discounted wholesale to sell their products and merchandise.  This will not only give you extra money but will help extend the longivity of your agreement.  Guy Grundy is a good example of this.  He has been out of bodybuilding for some time yet he is still sponsored by Kaizen to this day mainly because he also sells the products on his website.

For the amatuer unknown bodybuilder, the products you can provide is personal training, nutritional consulting and supplement sales.  Start with personal training first because its the easiest way to make some quick cash.  Then after establishing a client base, then start selling supplements and other general fitness goods.  Have two separate websites, one for your personal training website and one for your supplements.  That way when you become a nationally recognized competitor, you can attract possible sponsors.

Now how do you get supplements at a wholesale price???  There are a number of places you can get started in selling supplements and all that needs to be done is to call the companies directly.  That's the easy part however you have to talk with some money as well.  You'll need at least 2,000 to 5,000 dollars to really talk soup.  Even though most companies have minimum orders of 300 dollars, you are not going to get the best prices.  The more money you're willing to put out, the better deal you can get.  Don't forget about sites like and DPS Nutrition.  Generally they have tons of overstock and need to get rid of the extra product.  You can simply swoop in and purchase these products at practically the same price they got from the manufacturer.  I do this on occasion and it works pretty well.

Now although you have a website, the best way to sell products is to sell locally.  The best place to sell items is to sell them in unexpected markets.  I'm sure you have heard about me selling supplements at flea markets.  It may be cheesy but I have an overall advantage being the only person at the venue to sell nutritional supplements because everyone else is selling antiques, old tires etc.  If you want to sell a lot of supplements, you have to go where the people are and lots of people go to the flea markets.    Another advantage of selling at a flea market is that the majority of payments are in cash because most vendors only accept cash.  Even with that, I still have my laptop with high speed axxcess to my credit card terminal to take all forms of credit and have a manual imprinter to use as well in the event that its down.  I simply take their driver's license info for security purposes.  The best products to sell at flea markets is the ones that have been on TV commericals because people know the products.  The biggest seller I've had is actually creatine but also products such as coral calcium, noni juice, fat burners, growth hormone stimulants, DHEA and absolutely don't forget to sell some yohimbe because the hottest word right now is alternatives to Viagra.  Even if a person declines buying from you, give them a business card and offer free shipping on their first order when they place an order on your website.  Shipping locally is much cheaper via USPS and it entices the buyer to buy more stuff which should more than make up for it.

Remember this is only one of many techiques but the main idea behind this is the best way to compete against the competition is to NOT COMPETE AGAINST THE COMPETITION.  Out-pricing only loses money and negative badmouthing makes you look bad.  The key is to establish a territory and make the potential feel that buying from you is the best.  Use the locally owned, locally operated, homegrown motto because people have a general distrust for big business...USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.   

Part 3 will cover nude posing for colleges and university art classes

It pains me to say this, but not a bad write up Vince :)


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