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Packing/Unpacking Service

Do the packing and unpacking work that clients don’t have time to do themselves.

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Business At A Glance

Packing/Unpacking Service

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

Business Overview

We live in a mobile society. The average American moves about onceevery two years–but nobody likes the nitty-gritty of it. Even worse,in today’s two-income families, nobody has the time to do all thiswork.

But if you’ve got a penchant for boxing things up and you’reorganized and efficient, you can ease the process with apacking/unpacking service.

You can supply packing materials as well asmuscle and, if you’re doing the packing, you’ll neatly and carefullylabel everything so your customers can easily locate items at the otherend of the line.

The advantages to this business are that you can starton a shoestring, part-time if you like, you’re always on the moveyourself, and you get a peek at lots of different residences andlifestyles.

For this business, you’ll need to be organized, efficientand fairly detail-oriented. You should have the people skills to dealwith customers in a stressful situation (what move isn’t stressful?)and enough experience to know how to safely pack items that canpotentially spill, ooze or break.

The Market

Your clients will be homeowners, apartment renters and businesses whoare moving in or out. Post fliers at apartment and condominiumcomplexes, office complex leasing offices, laundromats, supermarkets,and ask moving truck rental firms like U-Haul and professional movingcompanies to refer you–be sure to give them supplies of your businesscards.

You might consider paying them a small commission or finder’sfee for referrals. Introduce yourself to real estate, rental andinsurance agents and give them your cards as well.

Needed Equipment

This is truly a shoestring start-up. All you really need is yourself.If you like–and it’s a nice touch–you can also provide packing boxesand materials, but if you do, be sure to figure these costs into yourprice.

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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

Employee Trainer

Help whip a business into shape by becoming an employee trainer.

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Business At A Glance

Employee Trainer

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

Business Overview

If you’re a born teacher and motivator, then you’ll get inspired as anemployee trainer. You’ll give specialized sessions on your area ofexpertise, which can be anything from language or math skills togetting the most from company employees or their customers throughleadership, self-motivation or sales motivation.

This is a hot newfield, and growing hotter. The most popular training topics includecustomer service and creative problem-solving, but they can alsoencompass internal communications and even math or reading 101. Theadvantages to this business are that startup costs are minimal, it’screative, and when you communicate new ideas and techniques and seethem take root in someone else’s mind, it’s fulfilling.

You’ll need notonly a knowledge of the topic you’re teaching, but also the innatetalents of a good instructor: the ability to explain your subjectclearly and make it interesting, and to inspire. You’ll also needexcellent sales and marketing skills to merchandise your services.

The Market

Your customers will depend on the topics of your workshops or seminars.Just about any business could benefit from a course on customerrelations or marketing techniques, but if your subject is advancedspreadsheet software, you’ll be wasting your time targeting, forinstance, companies with an employee base of telemarketers.

Direct-mailbrochures or letters of introduction to prospective companies, thenfollow up with phone calls. Network among professional and civicorganizations in your community. Give seminars and workshops at localcolleges and give talks at business associations. Write articles forbusiness publications. Place an ad in your local Yellow Pages.

Needed Equipment

You should have the businessperson’s basics–a computer with a laserprinter, a fax machine and the usual software–and you may want toinvest in a copier so you can run off materials for your students.

Anddepending on your subject matter and your personal style, you may wanta dry-erase easel, board and markers.

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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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