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Private Investigator

Get paid to use your nosy nature as a private investigator.

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Business At A Glance

Private Investigator

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

As a private investigator, you’ll delve into the secrets of people’slives and solve mysteries, but you’ll spend far more time on the phoneand at your computer than any fictional private eye ever does, and oddsare you’ll never be involved in high-speed chases or shootouts with badguys. Instead, you’ll perform background checks on prospectiveemployees, tenants, business partners and marriage mates; do skiptraces (missing-persons searches) on parents who owe child support orpeople who’ve left town owing money, investigate insurance claims, andnose out evidence for lawsuits. You can specialize in any of theseactivities, or in finding lost loves, children abducted by noncustodialparents, or corporate fraud. If you’re a computer whiz, you canspecialize in hacker crimes and advise companies in online security.

The advantages to this business are that it’s creative, challenging,glamorous if not conventionally exciting, and reuniting people withloved ones or finding criminals who can be brought to justice can bevery rewarding. You’ll need dogged self-motivation, and you’ll requirehigh levels of creativity and intuition to guide you to new andinnovative ways of obtaining information when normal channels fail. Youshould also have A-plus people skills, the ability to sift truth fromprevarication, and a healthy dose of self-confidence–you’ll deal withall sorts of characters, and not all of them will want to talk to youor tell you the real story.

The Market

Your clients can be attorneys who handle criminal or civil cases,insurance companies, apartment complexes, corporations and privateparties with a variety of mysteries to solve. Solicit all of theseentities, except individuals, by sending your sales letter and brochurein a direct-mail campaign, then following up with phone calls. The bestway to reach individuals is through an ad in the Yellow Pages. You canalso develop clients by networking among professional and civic groupsand giving talks or seminars.

Needed Equipment

In most states, you’ll need a private investigator’s license, whichrequires you to have experience in a similar field–law enforcement inthe public or military sector, collections, claims adjusting, sometimesinvestigative journalism, or of course a background in a privateinvestigative agency. To set up your office and get going, you’ll needa computer with a laser or inkjet printer, the usual office software,internet access, and a fax machine.You should also have a camera or avideo camera, a tape recorder, and a pocket organizer or notebook forkeeping track of expenses, which you’ll bill to your clients.

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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

Independent Sales Consultant

Years of sales experience could make you a great sales consultant.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Independent Sales Consultant

Startup Costs: $50,000 – $100,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Some of the highest earning professionals inany industry are independent sales consultants working on a freelancebasis for clients. Freelance sales consultants represent companies thatsell products and services ranging from manufactured goods to homeimprovement services, and just about everything in between.

Securingclients to represent is easy, simply because freelance salesconsultants generally supply all the tools of the trade such astransportation, communications requirements, and computer equipmentthat may be needed to acquire customers and conduct business–not tomention the fact that many freelance sales consultants also generatetheir own sales leads.

Or, put differently, clients have little, ifanything, to lose by having freelance sales consultants representingtheir business. Remuneration for products or services sold is always byway of commission, which will range between 10 and 25 percent of thetotal sales value.

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Business Services

Community Delivery Service

Like cruising around your community? Why not start a local delivery service?

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Community Delivery 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

Equipped with nothing more than a cell phone to handle incoming and outgoing customer calls, coupled with reliable transportation, you can offer clients in your community fast and convenient delivery and/or pickup services for dry cleaning, spirits, fast foods, medications, event tickets, groceries, pet foods, flowers or just about anything else imaginable.

The business is also easily expanded simply by putting your marketing and management skills to work. Concentrate on promoting your services and securing new customers, while hiring subcontracted drivers with their own automobiles to handle the pickups and deliveries on a revenue-split basis.

Maximize the efficiency of the operation by installing two-way radios in each vehicle linked to a central dispatcher, thereby limiting downtime and nonproductive travel time. In addition to advertising with promotional fliers, in the newspapers, and via direct-mail coupons, also be sure to strike deals with restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores and other retailers to handle their delivery services.

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