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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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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

Mobile Office Service

Create an office-like environment for clients in temporary locations, like trade shows.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Mobile Office Service

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

Business Overview

Though the target market for a mobile officeservice is generally limited to individuals and companies taking partin trade shows, seminars and business conventions, this market is stillgigantic, creating an outstanding business opportunity forentrepreneurs to start a mobile office service.

A mobile office servicecan be designed to conveniently fit into a display booth that can beset up at trade shows and business conventions, and the servicesoffered to clients can include high speed photocopying, sign making,typing services, internet, e-mail and faxing.

Furthermore, to generateadditional revenue for the business, office products and stationerysupplies can be sold to trade show exhibitors that have run low or outof needed supplies to complete the show.

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Business Services

Executive Recruiter

Match execs with the companies who want them most.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Executive Recruiter

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

If you’ve got sales and people skills in big supply, then this could bethe business for you. As an executive recruiter, you’ll match jobcandidates with potential corporate employers. Sometimes you’ll startwith an executive looking for a new position; on other occasions acompany with a slot to fill will initiate the search.

While anemployment agency generally works with lower-echelon prospects,executive recruiters–as the name implies–concentrate their efforts onhigher-level posts, filling management, and professional and technicalspots. You can specialize in a particular industry or you can be ageneralist.

And there’s plenty of work–according to the U.S. Bureau ofLabor Statistics, nearly 2 million executive, administrative,managerial, professional specialty and technical support employeesactively sought new jobs in one recent year. And in executive search,these people are just the tip of the iceberg–most of your successescome from recruiting those already happily employed.

The advantages tothis business are that you can work at home or anyplace else where youcan access the telephone, your startup costs are low, and you get thesatisfaction, when everything goes right, of delivering matches made incorporate heaven.

You’ll need A+ people skills, coupled with thebusiness acumen to assess a candidate’s skills and level of experienceagainst the requirements of the position. You have to be a stellarsalesperson because you are, after all, selling–candidates tocompanies and vice versa. If you specialize in a particular industry,you’ll also need up-to-the-nanosecond knowledge of its trends andtechnology.

And last but definitely not least, you’ll need thesalesperson’s thick skin–you’ll have to do a lot of trolling forclients, and you’ll net a lot of ‘no thanks’ along the way.

The Market

Depending on whether you specialize and in what industry, your clientscan be anything from a five-star hotel desiring an executive chef to anoil company looking for a petroleum geologist to a software companydesperately seeking a CEO. Look through trade and business publicationsfor companies advertising for, then call to offer your services.

Direct-mail brochures to clients in your specialty, then follow up withphone calls. Network at trade shows and professional organizations andwith present and former colleagues. Establish relationships with otherexecutive recruiters–often they’ll have a client for whom you have theideal candidate, or vice versa, and you can share the placement fee.

Needed Equipment

You don’t need special licenses or permits to be an executiverecruiter, but an employment agency does, so take care that you don’tmislabel yourself. Some states prohibit meeting candidates or clientcompanies in a home setting, so check into this before you launch yourhome office. (You’ll conduct the vast majority of your business byphone anyway.)

You’ll need the basic office setup–a computer, a laserprinter, a fax machine and the usual office software–plus a databaseprogram for tracking clients and candidates and plenty of filing spacefor the hundreds of resumes you’ll have on tap. And you’ll want one ofthose nifty telemarketer’s headsets so your ear doesn’t go numb fromhours spent jammed against the earpiece.

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