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Personal Concierge

Help your client with tasks they’re too busy to do on their own.

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Business At A Glance

Personal Concierge

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

According to a recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,there are nearly 16 million two-income families in this country. Andwhen everybody’s out in the workplace, no one’s left at home to takecare of all those little things that take up so much of a day–thingslike finding a dinosaur birthday cake for a kid’s party, tracking downa service to reweave slacks, running the car to the shop, standing inline at the post office, or making hotel and dinner reservations forvisiting guests.

If you like being on the go and in the know, doingsomething different every day, then this could be the business for you.You can specialize in helping corporate clients and denizens of officecomplexes, or you can concentrate on the homeowner who’s not at home.Or if you live in an area where there’s lots of entertainment, youmight specialize in obtaining event tickets.

The advantages to apersonal concierge business are that your days will always bringsomething new and different, and you get the satisfaction of helpingpeople’s lives run more smoothly and easily. You’ll need a strongorganizational sense, loads of get-up-and-go, and you’ll have to be amaster or mistress of multitasking.

You should have goodtime-management skills and the ability to track down even the mostoddball requests. You should have a good source of contacts andresources in a variety of industries and occupations and the peopleskills to build new ones on a daily basis. And last but definitely notleast, you need to be obsessive in fulfilling your clients’ requests.

The Market

Your clients can be private parties and businesses–anybody who needsan extra head, pair of arms and legs to accomplish the tasks theyhaven’t got time for. Direct-mail your brochures to people in targetedneighborhoods, those with enough discretionary income to afford yourservices.

Send brochures to the human resources departments andexecutives’ desks of large corporations and hand-deliver them to smallcompanies located in office complexes and parks. Place ads in localpublications and be sure to send press releases or write articles aboutyour service–it’s still novel enough that it’s likely to get publicity.

Needed Equipment

To get going, you’ll need a computer with an inkjet printer, the usualsoftware, a fax machine, internet access, and your little black book ofcontacts and sources. You may also want to invest in an electronic dataservice so customers can pay by phone.

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Business Services

Errand Service Business Opportunity

Help busy people get through the day by providing an errand service.

Entrepreneur

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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

Freight Broker

Match shippers and transportation services as a freight broker.

Entrepreneur

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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

Survey Service

Gather the data businesses need to succeed.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Survey 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 a home based telephone survey service is a terrific new business venture to set in motion. A few of the best aspects about starting this type of business include
  • Homebased business opportunity with very flexible operating hours
  • Growth industry, proven and stable, and no previous experience or special skills requirements
  • Low initial startup investment and minimal monthly operating overheads
Once established, referrals and repeat business should drive the marketing. However, gaining clients to establish the business can be as easy as developing a direct-mail marketing program and distributing a marketing package to potential clients. The marketing package should include the various benefits that clients receive with you service, as well as a complete description of the service.

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