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The health and beauty market seems impossibly overcroweded, and many who have flopped - no pun intended- would be eager to advise stearing clear of it. However, we've heard of two enterprising large ladies who have made it by finding an untapped market. How? By running a fitness programme especially for Extra-Large Ladis.

Believe us when we say that in order to qualify for their programme, you have to be BIG!

Our two enterprising ladies started the whole thing almost by accident. Together, they had planned to take a fitness course at their local fitness centre, but found the instructor to be 'thin' and very agile! Dignity and egos were bound to be at stake, so they started their own and named it LADIES at LARGE.

Their business has been booming ever since and is now in the process of formulating franchises for other parts of the country.

Could you start such a centre in your own local area? It could really go with a SPLASH!



Another unusual idea which I heard about some time ago, concerned a young man who lost his job when the firm he worked for closed down.

Not being the sort of person to 'cry over spilt milk' or to mope around, he drove out into the countryside: began to reflect on his situation and how best to resolve his enforced unemployment.

He had no special skills or education, and whilst he thought, he regretted not having trained to acquire a skill for something when he had the chance. However, that kind of thinking was not going to help him now - so what should he do, he asked himself?

After three hours an idea struck was so simple he just couldn't believe it. There must be a snag he thought! However, the more he thought about it, the more excited he became.

The following day he got up early, put on his best clothes, polished his shoes until they shone like glass. At 9.30 sharp he started out by calling at every small retail shop in his local area asking if there was any single item which the proprietor might like to sell in quantity. There was alway at least one item. In one shop it was a baby's carry cot, in another, it was a clock radio, in another, it was a crystal decanter, and so on.

He compiled a list of these items and selected a few that he thought might be easiest to sell. When he had finished listing his selection, he went back to the retailers and struck a deal for 10% discount. In every case, his proposal was accepted.

The next stage was to get a photographer friend to visit these shops to photograph the items on his list. That done, he took the photos, together with his product descriptions, to a printer who did everything from artwork and typesetting to finished print.

The result was a beautifully produced small catalogue of attractive needed items, in which he had to increase the price by 20%. He now had a normal business operating profit of 30% - remember the 10% from the retailer - if only he could drum up enough orders.

He distributed his catalogue to every household in his local area.By using a local address, and phone number, he received a tremendous response and dozens of sales within his first two weeks.

You see, many people hate shopping, and very few have the time to browse, or to spot the local bargain. Those same useful products contained within a nice little catalogue seem very appealing when a prospect is relaxing in his or her comfortable chair at home...All that's needed is a phone call, and the following day the product arrives.

What a nice way to shop and the extra 20% is hardly worth considering as far as the customer is concerned. You could also print catalogues off your own computer printer at home and save money that way also. You could put a catalogue in a small clear plastic bag with an order form asking the customer to leave outside their door for collection by you a day or two later.

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