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Personal Concierge

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

Entrepreneur

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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

Showroom Props

Help customers stage the perfect show by renting the right props.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Showroom Props
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

Many retailers use props for store displays as opposed to the real product. Using props enables the retailer to keep costs down when establishing or updating a showroom. It also reduces the financial loss in the event of damage or theft of the showroom displays. There are two options in terms of initiating a business that sells showroom props to retailers: The first option is to design and manufacture the props; the second is to purchase the props in bulk on a wholesale basis from established manufacturers and add a profit percentage for resale. While both options are viable, the second option is far less costly to start and operate. However, the profit potential is also greatly reduced for the second option of operating. Careful research and planning will indicate the preferred method for starting the business for you.

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Business Services

Resume Writer

Know the secrets to creating the perfect resume? Try writing them for your clients.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Resume Writer
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

What’s the first thing a person needs (besides persistence and thick skin) when they go job-hunting? A really good resume. That, plus a good cover letter, is what separates the wheat from the chaff when prospective employers pore through paper piles of hopeful applicants. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how to write a winning resume. If you have a flair for the written word and a way with people, you can come to the rescue with a resume service.

You’ll interview your clients to find out where they’ve been, what they’ve done and where their talents lie, then design and write a resume that showcases them from both business and personal viewpoints. In addition to resume writing, you can add other services like writing cover letters, providing career counseling or interview rehearsals. The advantages to this business are that you can work at home, you can start part time, you meet lots of interesting people in all avenues of life, and you get the satisfaction of helping people better themselves and their lives.

You’ll need a solid knowledge of what makes a good resume in terms of both format and content–and then a copywriter’s creativity for making each one stand out from the crowd. You must have excellent grammar, punctuation and spelling skills and tiptop people talents. (One reason people have a hard time writing their own resumes is that they can’t see what’s special in their own backgrounds–drawing this out will be your job.) Understand that you’ll have your clients’ career and financial future, at least in part, in your hands; with this business comes a lot of responsibility.

The Market

Your clients can be just anybody who wants a job, whether or not they’re currently employed or in what capacity. College students are a terrific target market–when they near graduation, they have to go to work somewhere–and those at the sophomore and junior level need resumes to land internships. Graduate students also make good sources of business. Beyond the student zone, you can target mid- and upper-level management and professional types as well as empty-nest or suddenly single moms.

Target the college market by placing fliers on bulletin boards all over campus or by mailing brochures to lists you can rent from the school. Offer a finder’s fee to clients who refer other business. Nab business clients by networking in local professional and civic organizations, introducing yourself to the staff at local business incubators, unemployment offices and disability retraining facilities.
Post fliers on public library bulletin boards and at copy centers. Give seminars and workshops–always a good source of clients–and place ads in the Yellow Pages and in local newspapers.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a computer with a laser printer, a fax machine, a copier and word-processing software. Because you’ll be interviewing clients you should also have a comfortable setting in which to work with them, either in your home or in a public setting.

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