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Telephone Answering Service

Give callers a live person to talk to with an answering service.

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Business At A Glance

Telephone Answering Service
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

The only talents needed to start a home based telephone answering service are a pleasant telephone manner and excellent communication skills. Business owners, professionals and sales consultants are all starting to realize that customers want the personalized service of talking to a live person when they call a business, not a prerecorded message. Many business owners are turning to forwarding their calls to a telephone answering service after normal business hours, on weekends, during lunch breaks and when no one is available to take incoming calls.

Services provided by a telephone answering service include: answering incoming calls, answering basic customer questions, forwarding messages and often additional office services, such as sending and receiving faxes and e-mails. Rates are based on the number of services provided for clients, and standard nonbusiness-hour telephone answering rates start at about $200 per month. Securing 10 to 15 clients for the service could easily generate business revenues in the range of $3,000 to $5,000 per month.

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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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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

Logo Design

Find a niche for your knack for graphic design–logo design.

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Business At A Glance

Logo Design

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

Business Overview

Great logos help to build and maintain instant brand recognition andconsumer awareness by visually linking the logo to the business,product, or service it represents. If you have a creative flair andartistic abilities, you can put them to good use by starting a logodesign service.

You will need a computer, digital camera, printer, anddesign software to get started. But outside of these expenditures,start-up costs are minimal, as are the ongoing fixed overheads tooperate the business because you can work from home and the majority ofjobs can be serviced using e-mail and fax.

Fees for designing logosvary greatly, from as low as $75 to literally thousands. The betterknown you become for your incredible design work and logos thatperfectly describe what they represent, and the more well-known yourcustomers are, the higher your fees will go.

The Market

Market your talents to business owners and professionals, productdevelopers, profit and nonprofit organizations, government agencies,and basically anyone else in need of product, service, or personalbranding through repetitive use of logo.

Needed Equipment

Computer, digital camera, printer, and design software.

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Business Services

Dry Cleaning Delivery

Make people’s lives a little easier by delivering their dry cleaning.

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Business At A Glance

Dry Cleaning Delivery

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Here’s the problem: You’ve got half a dozen good suits to wear to theoffice. Five are lying dirty at the bottom of your laundry hamper, andyou’ve just dribbled mustard all down the front of the sixth. If onlythere were time to run out to the dry cleaner and then more time topick up the suits afterward.

The solution: a dry-cleaning pickup anddelivery service. If you’ve got good organizational skills, you likebeing on the run and hope to earn good money, then this might be justthe business for you. You’ll contract with dry-cleaning establishmentsto service your customers’ clothes.

Then you’ll pick up the dirtiesfrom homes and offices, take them in for cleaning, pick them up afterservicing and return them to their rightful owners. You can arrangeregular biweekly stops, picking up fresh dirties as you drop off yourlast visit’s load of now-clean garments, and you can have customerscall for emergency pickups.

The advantages to this business are thatyou can work from home, and you’re always on the go, so you’re notsitting around waiting for activity. You’ll need organizational andlogistical skills as well as good sales and marketing techniques toconvince dry cleaners and customers to use your company.

The Market

Your customers will be busy business and residential people who don’twant to spend their time trotting to and from the cleaners. Businessesmake excellent targets because people at work are generally on-site (ortheir secretaries or other employees are) and easily accessible.

Youmight also target military bases if there are any in your area–peoplein the uniformed services always need clean, pressed clothes and are agood source of revenue. Be sure to check with base authorities first tomake sure you’ll be granted access. Direct mail brochures to prospectsin the neighborhoods you plan to service–target middle- andupper-income areas where people can afford your service.

Deliver yourbrochures to businesses–particularly large office complexes where youcan hit a lot of customers in one stop–and explain the advantages ofusing your company. Stop in often, even if you don’t get requests forbusiness right away. Sooner or later, people will start piling on theclothes.

Needed Equipment

A van equipped to carry hanging garments without squashing them orslinging them onto the floor is a must. You’ll also need a cellularphone or pager so customers can quickly contact you.

Invest in cotton,vinyl or canvas laundry bags imprinted with your logo to leave withcustomers–it gives them the cachet of having ‘their own service’ andencourages them to put in garments for you to pick up.

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