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Auto & Transportation

Car Storage

Got empty garage space? Keep room for this business.

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Business At A Glance

Car Storage

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Car storage is big business, especially in the northern climate areasof the United States and Canada. And the first step to establishing acar storage business is to secure low-cost indoor storage space, suchas a vacant warehouse or manufacturing building. The next step is tosimply market the business, and this is best accomplished by joiningautomotive clubs and associations and attending the clubs’ meetings andsocial functions to network for business.

Current automotive storagerates are in the range of $40 to $80 per month. Be sure your storagespaces are heated and in good repair, as this will be vitally importantto the success of the business. And, of course, be sure to obtaininsurance for the business, as it will be a necessity, and a greatmarketing tool.

The Market

Your customers will be people who need to store their cars in a safe environment for short or extended periods of time.

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Auto & Transportation

Self Service Car Wash Business Opportunity

Set up a spot where clients can wash their own cars and watch the profits flow in.

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Business At A Glance

  • Business: Self Service Car Wash
  • Start-up Costs: Medium
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? No

Business Overview

When most people think of a car wash, they tend to think of an exterior-conveyor wash. There are other types of washes, though,including self-service car washes. Most self-service car washes are coin-operated brush-and-hose combinations that the driver uses to dispense soap, wash the card and rinse it off.

The Market

The self-service car wash patron is typically a renter. Since they don’t own a home and may have little space to wash a car where they live, a professional facility is a necessity.

They’re also a bit more cost-conscious than those who frequent full-service or exterior-conveyor washes, and tend to have slightly lower incomes.
Men tend to use self-serves more than women, according to industry research.

Needed Equipment

You need the wash unit, vacuums and water systems for your car wash.

Related: Car Wash Business Plan

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Auto & Transportation

Courier Service Business Opportunity

Help get things from one place to another with a courier service.

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Business At A Glance

  • Business: Courier Service
  • Online Business? No
  • Basic Needs:
    • Transport vehicle
    • Stock room
    • Logbook
    • Website.

Business Overview

Start a courier service specialising in envelopes, small packages or large shipments, or combine all package types and sizes to maximise profit potential.

The least expensive way to get started in the courier industry is to subcontract your services to an established courier company, meaning that you supply the transportation and yourself to pickup and deliver parcels. But this option also leaves you with the lowest profit potential and ability to grow the business.

Related: The Courier Guy: Steven Gleisner

A better option is to start your own courier service outright, and hire other owner/operators on a revenue-sharing basis to make deliveries, while you concentrate on marketing, managing and building the business.

In addition to suitable transportation, depending on the types of parcels you will be delivering, you will also need to invest in a courier’s license, a two-way radio system and moving dollies.

Every municipality has its own regulations for issuing courier’s licenses to both drivers and courier companies, so you’ll need to take a trip to city hall or a transportation office to make inquiries about obtaining a license. Courier rates vary by size, weight and parcel destination.

Competition in the courier industry is stiff,but providing great customer service and reliability will go a long way toward ensuring long-term success.

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Auto & Transportation

Kids’ Taxi Service

Kids need to get places too, and Mom and Dad can’t always take them. This is where you come in.

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Business At A Glance

Kids’ Taxi Service

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Kids these days have schedules just about as hectic as theirparents–school, soccer practice, Little League, ballet lessons,orthodontist appointments, after-school care–it can leave workingparents with no time to work in between all these drop-off and pick-upassignments. But if you’re a kid-lover who likes to be on the go, youcan save the day with a kids’ taxi service. You’ll transport Babs andJunior to wherever they need to be, leaving parents free to win thebread. With nearly 16 million families with children under age 18 andboth parents in the workforce, this is a business with plenty ofpotential.

The advantages to the kids’ taxi service are that you’llforge relationships with the kids you drive on a routine basis, and youget the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping your clients’ lives runmore smoothly. You’ll need nerves of steel; you can’t be distracted bygiggling or minor wars in the back of the van or by imminent carsickness up front. At the same time you’ll need to love kids andunderstand their need to be treated as people rather than parcels.You’ll also need a good sense of logistics to figure out how to get twodifferent passengers to opposite ends of town for appointments at thesame time.

The Market

Your clients will be the working parents in your area, plus asmattering of stay-at-home moms who don’t drive or have access to acar. Introduce yourself and leave fliers at day-care and after-schoolcenters, community centers, public libraries, pediatric and orthodonticoffices, grade-school offices, and kid-oriented facilities like dance,gymnastics and karate studios. Get your company written up in localpublications and run ads in your local newspaper. Donate one free monthof service to a charity auction–this is terrific publicity.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a reliable van with seating for six or more, adequateinsurance, and a cellular phone to keep mom and dad apprised of trafficor other scheduling delays or changes. You should also be certified inpediatric first aid and CPR.

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