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Dry Cleaning Delivery

Make people’s lives a little easier by delivering their dry cleaning.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Dry Cleaning Delivery

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

Business Overview

Here’s the problem: You’ve got half a dozen good suits to wear to theoffice. Five are lying dirty at the bottom of your laundry hamper, andyou’ve just dribbled mustard all down the front of the sixth. If onlythere were time to run out to the dry cleaner and then more time topick up the suits afterward.

The solution: a dry-cleaning pickup anddelivery service. If you’ve got good organizational skills, you likebeing on the run and hope to earn good money, then this might be justthe business for you. You’ll contract with dry-cleaning establishmentsto service your customers’ clothes.

Then you’ll pick up the dirtiesfrom homes and offices, take them in for cleaning, pick them up afterservicing and return them to their rightful owners. You can arrangeregular biweekly stops, picking up fresh dirties as you drop off yourlast visit’s load of now-clean garments, and you can have customerscall for emergency pickups.

The advantages to this business are thatyou can work from home, and you’re always on the go, so you’re notsitting around waiting for activity. You’ll need organizational andlogistical skills as well as good sales and marketing techniques toconvince dry cleaners and customers to use your company.

The Market

Your customers will be busy business and residential people who don’twant to spend their time trotting to and from the cleaners. Businessesmake excellent targets because people at work are generally on-site (ortheir secretaries or other employees are) and easily accessible.

Youmight also target military bases if there are any in your area–peoplein the uniformed services always need clean, pressed clothes and are agood source of revenue. Be sure to check with base authorities first tomake sure you’ll be granted access. Direct mail brochures to prospectsin the neighborhoods you plan to service–target middle- andupper-income areas where people can afford your service.

Deliver yourbrochures to businesses–particularly large office complexes where youcan hit a lot of customers in one stop–and explain the advantages ofusing your company. Stop in often, even if you don’t get requests forbusiness right away. Sooner or later, people will start piling on theclothes.

Needed Equipment

A van equipped to carry hanging garments without squashing them orslinging them onto the floor is a must. You’ll also need a cellularphone or pager so customers can quickly contact you.

Invest in cotton,vinyl or canvas laundry bags imprinted with your logo to leave withcustomers–it gives them the cachet of having ‘their own service’ andencourages them to put in garments for you to pick up.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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Business Services

Errand Service Business Opportunity

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

Entrepreneur

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errands-business

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

Showroom Props

Help customers stage the perfect show by renting the right props.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Showroom Props
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

Many retailers use props for store displays as opposed to the real product. Using props enables the retailer to keep costs down when establishing or updating a showroom. It also reduces the financial loss in the event of damage or theft of the showroom displays. There are two options in terms of initiating a business that sells showroom props to retailers: The first option is to design and manufacture the props; the second is to purchase the props in bulk on a wholesale basis from established manufacturers and add a profit percentage for resale. While both options are viable, the second option is far less costly to start and operate. However, the profit potential is also greatly reduced for the second option of operating. Careful research and planning will indicate the preferred method for starting the business for you.

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Business Services

Resume Writer

Know the secrets to creating the perfect resume? Try writing them for your clients.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Resume Writer
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

What’s the first thing a person needs (besides persistence and thick skin) when they go job-hunting? A really good resume. That, plus a good cover letter, is what separates the wheat from the chaff when prospective employers pore through paper piles of hopeful applicants. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how to write a winning resume. If you have a flair for the written word and a way with people, you can come to the rescue with a resume service.

You’ll interview your clients to find out where they’ve been, what they’ve done and where their talents lie, then design and write a resume that showcases them from both business and personal viewpoints. In addition to resume writing, you can add other services like writing cover letters, providing career counseling or interview rehearsals. The advantages to this business are that you can work at home, you can start part time, you meet lots of interesting people in all avenues of life, and you get the satisfaction of helping people better themselves and their lives.

You’ll need a solid knowledge of what makes a good resume in terms of both format and content–and then a copywriter’s creativity for making each one stand out from the crowd. You must have excellent grammar, punctuation and spelling skills and tiptop people talents. (One reason people have a hard time writing their own resumes is that they can’t see what’s special in their own backgrounds–drawing this out will be your job.) Understand that you’ll have your clients’ career and financial future, at least in part, in your hands; with this business comes a lot of responsibility.

The Market

Your clients can be just anybody who wants a job, whether or not they’re currently employed or in what capacity. College students are a terrific target market–when they near graduation, they have to go to work somewhere–and those at the sophomore and junior level need resumes to land internships. Graduate students also make good sources of business. Beyond the student zone, you can target mid- and upper-level management and professional types as well as empty-nest or suddenly single moms.

Target the college market by placing fliers on bulletin boards all over campus or by mailing brochures to lists you can rent from the school. Offer a finder’s fee to clients who refer other business. Nab business clients by networking in local professional and civic organizations, introducing yourself to the staff at local business incubators, unemployment offices and disability retraining facilities.
Post fliers on public library bulletin boards and at copy centers. Give seminars and workshops–always a good source of clients–and place ads in the Yellow Pages and in local newspapers.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a computer with a laser printer, a fax machine, a copier and word-processing software. Because you’ll be interviewing clients you should also have a comfortable setting in which to work with them, either in your home or in a public setting.

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