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Business Services

Copy Sales

With the growing popularity of running businesses or working at home, a copy center can offer a range of services for people who lack office equipment.

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Business At A Glance

Copy Sales
Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

The popularity of operating a business or working from home has catapulted a copy center into one of the hottest business startups available for the new millennium simply due to the fact that most people working from home lack the resources to purchase this type of office equipment, or can justify the expense for the limited use.

Copy centers typically provide customers with a wide range of services, including black-and-white photocopying, digital color copying, a fax transmission service, laminating, booklet and report binding, mail box rentals, courier and shipping options, and small-run print jobs of business cards, fliers, and business presentations.

The key requirement for success in this business is unquestionably location. The copy center must be located in a highly visible area with excellent parking facilities and/or lots of walk-by foot traffic. As a method to reduce startup costs–since this type of equipment is extremely expensive–you may want to consider purchasing secondhand equipment or lease new equipment.

The Market

People who need office supplies or quick office-related jobs done

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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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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

Expense Reduction Consultant

If you have an eye for efficiency and cost-cutting, you could help businesses improve their bottom line.

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Business At A Glance

Expense Reduction 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

Calling all business managers, controllersand operations managers. You can profit from your business and budgetmanagement skills and experiences by starting your own expensereduction consulting service. Expense reduction consultants provideclients with services such as controlling long-term product and servicecosts and developing expense reduction strategies to suit individualclient needs.

The objective of the expense reduction consultant is touncover costs associated with doing business that can be reduced oreliminated while still maintaining the efficiency of the business interms of operations, customer service and profitability. Potentialclients will largely be small- to midsize businesses, but you can alsotarget your marketing efforts toward professionals, nonprofitassociations and privately-run institutions.

Additionally, many ofthese consulting services will specialize in a particular type ofbusiness or industry such as fixed location retailing or manufacturing.Get started by developing an expense reduction manual. The manualshould be representative of the type of business of industry you’lltarget and include an index of categories you’ll analyze, such asbusiness location, employees and communications. The purpose of themanual is to act as a road map to guide you through each client’sbusiness.

You can then tailor the manual to a specific client’sbusiness and enter subcategories for each business component that youanalyze. Expense reduction consultants present each client with anextensive written report at the end of their investigation. This reporttypically outlines the consultant’s suggestions in terms of reducingcosts, including relevant supporting data and statistics.

Fees for theservice vary. Some consultants prefer to charge an hourly rate, whileother prefer to charge a percentage based on the amount of money theycan save a client. The percentage can range from 10 to 50 percent ofthe first year’s saving. Marketing the service can be as easy asjoining business associations to network with small business owners.

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Business Services

Store Directory Boards

Love maps and floor plans? Create store directory boards.

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Business At A Glance

Store Directory Boards
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

Large retailers, office buildings, malls, and sports complexes all use directory boards to show visitors where they are, where items can be found, and where the various departments are located. Manufacturing store and office directory boards is a very artistic process, simply because the requirements for each location varies. This means that in most cases you do not have to compete against mass-produced directory boards. However, this is still a very competitive segment of the manufacturing and sign industry, so be sure to take a unique and innovative approach to the manufacturing process and appearance of the finished product. Recently, some companies have been selling and installing electronic directory boards for free into high-traffic locations. Of course, the catch is that the boards also feature advertising, which is sold to local businesses that serve the community. This may be a route to consider.

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