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Business Services

Photo Inventory Service

Delve into the world of databases, organizing and inventory with a photo inventory service.

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Business At A Glance

Photo Inventory Service

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

Every year Americans suffer billions of dollars in losses due to theft,fire and natural disaster, yet most people have no record of theirpossessions.

When damages occur from theft or natural disaster and theinsurance company asks for descriptions, serial numbers and otherdetails, victims are at yet another loss.

But if you have a camera andare willing to travel around town, you can save the day with a photoinventory service. You’ll take pictures of clients’ possessions andmark them with serial numbers and the purchase price or replacementvalue so that if a burglary or disaster occurs your clients areprepared.

The advantages to this business are that you can startpart-time on a shoestring, you meet lots of people, and you provideboth a valuable service and peace of mind for your clients.

Althoughyou don’t have to be an Ansel Adams, you do need to know the basics ofgood photography. You’ll also need to know the sorts of detailsinsurance companies are interested in–when you snap a photo of thatcomputer, for instance, you’ll want to make sure the model number isvisible.

The Market

Your clients will be individuals and businesses of all types. Anexcellent way to solicit trade is by establishing relationships withinsurance agents who can refer you to their customers–be sure to leaveplenty of business cards for agents to hand out.

Introduce yourself tothe detectives in charge of property thefts in your police or sheriff’sdepartments and give them your cards as well. You can also send outbrochures in direct-mail campaigns–a good time to do this is when arash of burglaries makes the morning papers.

And don’t forgetnetworking and giving talks to professional and civic organizations.

Needed Equipment

The biggest tool of your trade will be your camera. You can go withwhatever model you already have on hand, but you may want to invest ina digital camera, a computer, photo software, and a high-quality colorprinter.

Digital models can store hundreds of pictures at a time, whichsaves on film costs and time spent changing and labeling rolls–andthere’s no developing involved.

Or you may choose to go with a videocamera. You should also have a notebook to record the details to gowith your pictures and, of course, a supply of pens and pencils.

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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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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

Protocol Consultant

Stickler for rules? Know business backwards and forwards? Become a protocol consultant.

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Business At A Glance

Protocol Consultant

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

In this age of political correctness, disputes between employees or between employees and management based on allegations of sexual harassment, racism, or other forms of abusive behavior within the office environment can bankrupt a business, morally and financially. Needless to say, the time has never been better to start a business as an office protocol consultant. The concept is very straightforward. As an office protocol consultant, you can advise clients on issues pertaining to these subjects as well as create a training program for employees and management on how to avoid, or respond to any unfavorable situations that arise in the office environment.

The demand for this type of consulting service is huge, as thousands of corporations rush to retain the services of protocol consultants as a proactive measure to ensure that they are not involved in politically or socially inappropriate situations. The protocol consultant may thus be viewed as a guardian of corporate image, morale, and financial stability. Scheduling meetings with human resources managers and networking at business and social functions is a good way to get started.

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Business Services

Paralegal

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

Entrepreneur

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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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