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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

Expert Witness Service

Compile a group of experts in their fields to serve as expert witnesses in legal cases.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Expert Witness 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 an expert witness for hire serviceis a unique and interesting business opportunity for the innovativeentrepreneur to tackle. The idea is you represent expert witnesses thatcan be retained by lawyers to give professional testimony in court orlegal proceedings.

These expert witnesses could include medicaldoctors, gun and ammunition experts, transportation and automobileexperts, private investigators or just about any other type ofprofessional that can be deemed an expert in their career or industry.

The service would work very much like an employment agency, but withextremely high security measures in place to protect both clients andthe expert witnesses. You can set presentation appointments withlawyers to introduce them to your service and discuss their needs interms of experts needed to testify at trails.

In exchange for providingthe service, you would charge clients a commission based on the amountof money received for providing expert testimony. This is the type ofbusiness that will take very careful planning in order to establish.Partnering with a lawyer may be a consideration.

However, the effortand expense to properly research and establish this business could bewell rewarded financially, as expert witnesses can receive as much asfive figures in some situations to provide professional testimony.

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Business Services

Virtual Human Resources Consultant

Help companies too small to have and HR department on hand as a virtual HR consultant.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Virtual Human Resources 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 our enlightened–and lawsuit-mad–world, businesses must tread carefully to make certain they don’t accidentally step on employees’ toes. This causes problems for small and midsized companies that don’t have the time, the staff or the expertise to deal with all those complex and constantly changing human resources issues.

If you’re a human resources expert, you can solve these problems by offering your expertise as a virtual human resources service. You’ll do it all, from writing employee handbooks to handling personnel forms to setting up and administering 401(k) programs. The advantages to this business are that you can work at home and the field is recession-proof. The worse things get financially, the greater a company’s tendency to outsource–and since this is work that can’t legally be ignored, you’ll always be in demand. You’ll need a solid up-to-date knowledge of human resources issues and how to handle them, an aptitude for accounting and record-keeping, and the sales skills to sell your services to your clients.

The Market

Your customers will be small and midsized businesses that either have no human resources departments or might prefer to downsize and outsource to you. Direct-mail your brochure and sales letters to these firms, then follow up with phone calls. Network among professional and civic organizations in your area. Write articles for the business section of local publications. Give talks to business groups. Introduce yourself to bankers, accountants, attorneys specializing in small business, insurance agents–anybody who deals with small and start-up businesses and can give you referrals.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a good computer setup with a laser printer, a fax machine and the usual office software. You’ll want to have a stock of personnel forms, files and other record-keeping materials, reference manuals, and filing cabinets and handy storage space.

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