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Business Plan Consultant

Use your entrepreneurial experience to help aspiring business owners through the planning process.

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Business At A Glance

Business Plan Consultant
Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Entrepreneurship is in, with more and more Americans starting their own businesses. But to get the most from a startup–from knowing where you’re headed to obtaining financing to planning that perfect marketing campaign–the small-business newbie needs a business plan, but most people don’t know how to write one. If you’ve got business experience, you know how to pen a business plan and you like working with other people to make their dreams reality, then you can write your own success story as a business plan consultant.

You’ll work with startup companies seeking financing or investors, or who simply want a business plan to use as a guide. You’ll also work with established companies that are looking for new or additional financing, want to franchise, or want to form a merger or acquisition with another firm. The advantages to this business are that you can work at home, you’ll always be working on a different and interesting type of business, you get to exercise your creativity and your business skills, and you get the excitement and satisfaction of helping in the birth of a new and potentially lucrative business entity.

You’ll need a solid grounding in business basics from finances to marketing and in the mechanics of a good business plan. You’ll also need good business writing skills, the ability to manipulate figures and super communication skills. You’ll need to work closely with your clients to interpret their ideas and produce plans custom-made for their businesses instead of boilerplates that go nowhere.

The Market

Your customers will be new businesses of all descriptions as well as up-and-running firms seeking new direction or financing. Target their owners by networking among bankers, venture capitalists, attorneys specializing in business affairs, accountants, and at your local chamber of commerce. You should also introduce yourself to the staff at small-business incubators and other SOHO assistance centers. Place ads in your local Yellow Pages and don’t forget to network among friends and associates. Get yourself written up in–and write articles for–the business section of your local paper. Give talks at professional and civic organizations. Teach courses at community colleges and alternative learning centers.

Needed Equipment

A computer system with the usual office software, a laser printer and a fax machine are all must-haves, as is special business-plan-writing software or some other spreadsheet software for working out financials.

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Business Services

Errand Service Business Opportunity

Help busy people get through the day by providing an errand service.

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running-errands-for-people

Business At A Glance

  • Business: Errand Service
  • Start-up Costs: Minimum
  • Home Based: Can be operated from home.
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Let’s face it; today’s busy lifestyles mean that a lot working people just don’t have time for even the simplest of errands, such as taking the family pet to the veterinarian for a routine checkup, buying AuntSue a birthday present, or picking up the kids after school.

Which is great news if you’re a multi-tasker looking to start your own simple,inexpensive, yet potentially very profitable business. An errand service can be operated with nothing more than a cell phone and reliable transportation.

Land clients by networking and by creating a simple marketing brochure explaining the services you provide along with your contact information.
Related: Start A Small Business, Become Self–Employed

The brochures can be pinned to community bulletin boards, hand-delivered to homes and businesses and distributed with the local newspaper.

A few promotional items such as pens and memo pads emblazoned with your company logo, name and telephone number given out to potential customers will go a long way as a daily reminder of your fast, reliable and affordable errand services.

This is the kind of business where growth is fuelled by referrals, so customer service and satisfaction are the most important goals.

The Market

Busy individuals who need a little help getting their day to day errands done. You can also market your services to small business owners.

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Business Services

Expert Witness Service

Compile a group of experts in their fields to serve as expert witnesses in legal cases.

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Business At A Glance

Expert Witness Service

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Starting an expert witness for hire serviceis a unique and interesting business opportunity for the innovativeentrepreneur to tackle. The idea is you represent expert witnesses thatcan be retained by lawyers to give professional testimony in court orlegal proceedings.

These expert witnesses could include medicaldoctors, gun and ammunition experts, transportation and automobileexperts, private investigators or just about any other type ofprofessional that can be deemed an expert in their career or industry.

The service would work very much like an employment agency, but withextremely high security measures in place to protect both clients andthe expert witnesses. You can set presentation appointments withlawyers to introduce them to your service and discuss their needs interms of experts needed to testify at trails.

In exchange for providingthe service, you would charge clients a commission based on the amountof money received for providing expert testimony. This is the type ofbusiness that will take very careful planning in order to establish.Partnering with a lawyer may be a consideration.

However, the effortand expense to properly research and establish this business could bewell rewarded financially, as expert witnesses can receive as much asfive figures in some situations to provide professional testimony.

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Business Services

Virtual Human Resources Consultant

Help companies too small to have and HR department on hand as a virtual HR consultant.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Virtual Human Resources Consultant
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

In our enlightened–and lawsuit-mad–world, businesses must tread carefully to make certain they don’t accidentally step on employees’ toes. This causes problems for small and midsized companies that don’t have the time, the staff or the expertise to deal with all those complex and constantly changing human resources issues.

If you’re a human resources expert, you can solve these problems by offering your expertise as a virtual human resources service. You’ll do it all, from writing employee handbooks to handling personnel forms to setting up and administering 401(k) programs. The advantages to this business are that you can work at home and the field is recession-proof. The worse things get financially, the greater a company’s tendency to outsource–and since this is work that can’t legally be ignored, you’ll always be in demand. You’ll need a solid up-to-date knowledge of human resources issues and how to handle them, an aptitude for accounting and record-keeping, and the sales skills to sell your services to your clients.

The Market

Your customers will be small and midsized businesses that either have no human resources departments or might prefer to downsize and outsource to you. Direct-mail your brochure and sales letters to these firms, then follow up with phone calls. Network among professional and civic organizations in your area. Write articles for the business section of local publications. Give talks to business groups. Introduce yourself to bankers, accountants, attorneys specializing in small business, insurance agents–anybody who deals with small and start-up businesses and can give you referrals.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a good computer setup with a laser printer, a fax machine and the usual office software. You’ll want to have a stock of personnel forms, files and other record-keeping materials, reference manuals, and filing cabinets and handy storage space.

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