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One Hour Photo Lab

Do you enjoy seeing a finished product? Consider film development with a one hour photo lab.

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Business At A Glance

One Hour Photo Lab

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

Business Overview

In spite of the increasing popularity ofdigital imaging, print or negative photography will be around for manyyears to come. A good income can still be earned by starting andoperating a one-hour photo lab.

Of course the resourceful entrepreneurwill also provide customers with digital imaging services in additionto traditional film development services. Like any retail business,location will be a major consideration.

Good operating locations for aone-hour photo lab include stand-alone kiosks in malls, smallstorefronts in strip plazas, and kiosks within existing retail storessuch as grocery stores and pharmacies.

One-hour photo lab equipment iseasy to operate and most distributors of this equipment will includesome training when new or used photo lab equipment is purchased.

Thetitle of the business suggests that all film developing is completed inone hour or less. However, this is inaccurate as it is best to givecustomers film development options.

The faster they want their filmdeveloped the higher the costs. There are also incentives that you canoffer to secure new and repeat business such as two prints for theprice of one, a free roll of film with each three rolls developed, anda free 8-inch by 10-inch blowup of one picture per roll of filmdeveloped.

Also to increase revenues, be sure to establish drop-off andpick-up satellite locations. Satellite locations simply mean thatcustomers can drop off their film at various locations throughout thecommunity and pick up their photos at a later date.

You simply drive tothese location daily and pick up the film to be developed and drop itoff the next day when you return to pick up film again.

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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

Telephone Answering Service

Give callers a live person to talk to with an answering service.

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Business At A Glance

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

Business Overview

The only talents needed to start a home based telephone answering service are a pleasant telephone manner and excellent communication skills. Business owners, professionals and sales consultants are all starting to realize that customers want the personalized service of talking to a live person when they call a business, not a prerecorded message. Many business owners are turning to forwarding their calls to a telephone answering service after normal business hours, on weekends, during lunch breaks and when no one is available to take incoming calls.

Services provided by a telephone answering service include: answering incoming calls, answering basic customer questions, forwarding messages and often additional office services, such as sending and receiving faxes and e-mails. Rates are based on the number of services provided for clients, and standard nonbusiness-hour telephone answering rates start at about $200 per month. Securing 10 to 15 clients for the service could easily generate business revenues in the range of $3,000 to $5,000 per month.

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Business Services

Commercial Cleaning

Commercial cleaning is a huge industry always in demand. Learn how you can get started.

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Business At A Glance

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

Business Overview

A dirty establishment is a sure way to lose customers. But who in an office or store has the time–or the inclination–to get in there with the cleanser and scrubby sponge? The answer is nobody. But if you like making the world sparkle and you’re not afraid of elbow or any other kind of grease, then you can lather up a good living with a commercial cleaning service.

You can take the usual route to squeaky-cleanness with familiar products, or you can go green and use only environmentally healthy products. The advantages to this business are that you can start on a shoestring and, provided you’re not one of those rare cleaning-challenged people who leave things more streaked after a good mop-up than before, you don’t need any special skills, background or experience.

Another plus is that this is an ideal part-time startup business because offices and stores want you to work after hours, leaving you plenty of time to maintain your present job until you get established. To shine at commercial cleaning, all you need is a steady supply of good old-fashioned elbow grease coupled with a knowledge of cleaning products and how to use them–especially if you’re going green. (Janitorial supply houses are good sources for both materials and advice.)

The Market

Your clients can be small businesses–everything from doctors’ offices to insurance agencies to companies in strip centers and office parks–as well as retail shops. Large corporations are not your best bet because you’ll need several crews to cover the whole place every night or so, but with smaller firms, you can contract to do one or more a night over the course of a week.

Visit prospective clients and give them your fliers and business cards or start a direct-mail campaign, perhaps offering an introductory discount. If you’re cleaning green, be sure to stress the benefits of your service and products over your competitors’.

Needed Equipment

Your tools will include a good commercial-grade vacuum cleaner (for shoestring startups you can use your home model, but it probably won’t hold up for long), a floor buffer, rubber gloves, a mop, a bucket, sponges and rags, a squeegee, a supply of garbage bags and your cleaning products.

You’ll need a reliable vehicle to cart everything around in, and you should be bonded because companies will entrust the keys to their kingdoms to you.

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