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Business Services

Utility Auditing Service

Help clients save money by auditing their utility use and bills.

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Business At A Glance

Utility Auditing Service
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.

Business Overview

For businesses that use large amounts of utilities, fees can be truly outrageous, especially when you realize that companies routinely pay thousands–even millions–of dollars for incorrectly billed phone, water, gas and electric services. Meters get read improperly, amounts miscalculated, or the wrong data entered. And because most accounts payable people have neither the time nor the understanding to interpret the jumble of taxes and charges at the bottom of each bill, all this money gets unnecessarily paid out over and over again.

But if you’re a detail-oriented person who likes getting to the bottom of financial matters, you can save the day as a utility and phone bill auditor. You’ll not only check for billing errors but also analyze clients’ usage patterns and pinpoint areas for savings, and recommend discounts and alternative services that can save money. The advantages to this business are that you can start part time with low costs, you won’t have much competition, and it’s recession-proof. It’s also a good sell to potential clients because they don’t pay you anything unless you find refundable errors or ways to save money–your fee is a portion of the refund or savings they get from your expertise.

You’ll need a clear understanding of how phone and utility service billings work–from tariffs to taxes to customer, energy and fuel charges. And since you’ll make at least part of your money by recommending discounts or alternative companies, you should have up-to-the-second knowledge of the various suppliers available in your area and their rates and discounts or other perks. And you should have the financial creativity to design and recommend money-saving alternatives for your clients.

The Market

Your clients can be businesses of all sizes and descriptions, but your best bet will be to aim for high energy consumers like hospitals, hotels, restaurants, schools and other institutions, dry cleaners, coin laundries, and 24-hour supermarkets. Direct-mail sales letters and brochures to these companies, then follow up with phone calls. You can also send brochures to business consultants, accountants and others who can refer you to their clients. Network among professional and civic organizations and write articles for local publications.

Needed Equipment

About all you need to get started is a computer with a laser printer, the usual office software and a good calculator.

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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

Independent Sales Consultant

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

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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?

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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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