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Business Services

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.

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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.

Entrepreneur

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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

Customer Service Training

Have a knack for impeccable service? Teach companies’ employees to deliver.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Customer Service Training
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

We have all been in situations where we have been treated poorly by a food server, service manager, receptionist or product installer. The end result of such an encounter is typically a vow to never return to or refer that particular business again. Rude and poorly trained employees cost companies millions of dollars each year in potential future business and referrals.

The companies that benefit from this are the ones that take proactive measures to ensure their staff has received proper customer service and appreciation training. You can earn an incredible income by starting a consulting service that provides companies, organizations and associations with various customer service training programs that have been specifically designed to meet their individual needs and that target how to become a good, helpful and customer-appreciative employee.

To get started, decide if your instruction program will focus on one specific industry for training, such as food servers, or be a general instruction program that trains all service employees, regardless of the industry or position they work in. Once you have chosen an operating format, the next step is to design and publish an instruction manual and course description that will become the basis of the program.

This step is extremely important, as it is the foundation for the entire business venture. The manual should be designed in such a way that it is a comprehensive ‘A to Z’ program that covers all the bases in customer service and customer appreciation training and can be easily and quickly customized to meet individual client needs. The training programs can take place at client locations during nonbusiness hours in a group or one-on-one format.

A prerequisite for starting this type of business is to be a customer service specialist. While this does not mean that you must possess a specific certificate, it does mean that you must posses a great deal of customer service experience, common sense, and a creative imagination to develop role play sketches for the purpose of training.

Market the service by joining local business groups to network for clients, as well as build alliances with other types of employee training services that do not presently provide clients with customer service training options. Fees for the service will be in the range of $40 to $60 per hour, based on the average training program.

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