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Paralegal

If you can decipher legal jargon, consider becoming a paralegal.

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Business At A Glance

Paralegal

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 always wanted to be a lawyer, then this could be the businessfor you. As a paralegal, you can’t give legal advice or defend anybodyin a murder trial, but you can complete simple documents and forms forindividuals and attorneys, then take those papers down to thecourthouse and file them.

You’ll help lawyers with small practices bytaking over the work that would be done by legions of assistants in alarge law firm, and you’ll lend aid to individuals with matters likeevictions and simple divorces so they don’t have to pay those highattorneys’ fees.

The advantages to this business are that you get thecharge of life in the law lane without the slavish hours you’d find ina corporate firm, and you have the satisfaction of helping your clientsthrough the maze of the legal system.

You’ll need a strong backgroundin all matters paralegal; good communication skills; and excellentgrammatical, punctuation and spelling abilities–no judge (or client)is going to be impressed by a mistake-riddled document. In addition,you should have terrific organizational skills and be a good timemanager so you can pump out those documents in plenty of time for courtdates and filings.

The Market

Your clients can be individuals and attorneys with small firms in needof assistance. Your best bet for getting business from legal eagles isto send sales letters and brochures, then follow up with phone calls.

Join local legal associations and network in professional and civicgroups. To attract private clients, place ads in the Yellow Pages andlocal newspapers and get yourself written up in your local newspaper.

Needed Equipment

In some states, you’ll need a paralegal certificate or liabilityinsurance–check with your local business licensing agency ordepartment of corporations to find out.

You’ll need a computer with alaser printer, a fax machine, the usual suite software and specialsoftware for completing routine documents like wills, evictions anddivorces.

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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

Locksmith

Help people in their time of need–when they’re locked out.

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Business At A Glance

Locksmith

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

Working as a locksmith on a mobile basis,from home, or from a retail storefront, you can offer customers a widerange of locksmithing services ranging from key cutting, installing newpassage sets, emergency entries, sales of locks, safes, and relatedequipment and installation.

In the United States there are more than30,000 locksmiths, of which 50 percent are self-employed and reportingearnings in excess of $50,000 per year after expenses. Needless to say,the time and money invested in locksmith training is money well spent.

In both the United States and Canada, locksmiths are required to belicensed and bonded, but all states and provinces have their owntraining and licensing requirements. You can contact the associationslisted below to inquire about training and licensing requirements inyour area.

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Business Services

Dry Cleaning Delivery

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

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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.

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