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Freight Broker

Match shippers and transportation services as a freight broker.

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Business At A Glance

Freight Broker

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

Business Overview

Trucking plays a major role in the nation’s economy–according to theAmerican Trucking Association, those big wheels generated $346 billionin gross revenues in the most recently calculated year, employed morethan 9.5 million people and hauled 6.5 billion tons of freight.

And 77percent of all American communities rely on trucks as their sole sourceof freight delivery. If you’ve got experience in the industry, youprobably also know that it’s the freight broker who keeps those trucksrolling by arranging for delivery of consignments large and small.

Ifyou love the song of the open road but you don’t want to be on theroad, then a freight brokerage may be just the business for you. As afreight broker, you’ll work with manufacturers, wholesalers anddistributors who need to get their products across town or across thecountry with the help of trucking companies.

You can specialize in LTL(less than a truckload) cargoes or in containerized ones. Theadvantages to this business are that you can work from home and it’s anindustry that’s unlikely to disappear–transportation will always be anecessity.

A background in the transportation industry is importantbecause you’ll need not only hands-on experience, but also contacts inthe field. If you lack this experience, work for another freightbrokerage until you learn the tricks of the trade.

You’ll also needexcellent organizational and time-management skills and the ability toget things moving quickly.

The Market

Your customers can be manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors ofany types of goods and materials. You can also target companies thatexhibit at trade shows or conventions and need booths and displaymaterials moved to various sites.

Place ads in trade magazines and onimport/export Internet sites. Send sales letters and brochures tomailing lists of prospective companies. Ask for referrals fromsatisfied customers and industry contacts.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need to be licensed by the Office of Motor Carriers (a divisionof the Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation),and you’ll be required to carry a $10,000 surety bond or trust.

Thenyou’ll want a computer with the usual office software, a laser orinkjet printer, and a fax machine.

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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

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 Tours

Virtual tours can make a hotel or for-sale home much more appealing. Give customers an edge by designing these tours for them.

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Business At A Glance

Virtual Tours
Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Producing virtual tours for clients who are seeking the ultimate marketing tool for their websites is not only an incredible business opportunity, but the business also has the potential to generate profits far in excess of $100,000 per year. Virtual tours can range from a hotel that gives potential guests a tour of their facility, accommodations and amenities via their website to real estate brokers that broadcast house tours of properties they have listed for sale and posted on their websites. To get started, you’ll need specialized software, a computer and a digital camcorder, not to mention production and editing skills to produce the finished product. Marketing the service can be as easy as creating a few sample virtual tours and posting the tours on your own website for potential clients to view, as well as hiring a direct sales force to solicit business.

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