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Apartment Prep Service

Use your talent for handiwork to start an apartment prep service business.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Apartment Prep Service

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

Business Overview

When tenants vacate apartments, they usually fail to clean up after themselves. Even the tidiest tenant can leave a trail of normal wear and tear–carpets that need cleaning, nail holes to be filled and walls to be painted. And apartment managers and other assorted landlords rarely have the time or the inclination to handle the tasks.
But if you like transforming shabby to shiny and you’re not afraid of a little elbow grease, then you can answer an apartment manager’s prayers with an apartment prep service. You’ll scrub bathrooms, kitchens and baseboards, wax floors and shampoo carpets. You’ll toss out junk, patch holes, paint, and replace cracked windows, broken towel bars and off-track closet doors. The advantages to this business are that you can start on a shoestring, you often find interesting treasures among the former tenant’s trash, it’s recession- and trend-proof, and if you like the glow of accomplishment that comes from putting in a good day’s physical labor, then you’ll have a long and satisfying career. It’s also gratifying–landlords and managers faced with a tenant mess are always appreciative when you come in to save the day. You’ll need experience in patching and painting, plus a few other fix-it skills like replacing mirrors or doors, and the ability to do a sparkling cleaning job in a relatively short time. You’ll also need a sense of logistics to take you from one job to another efficiently.

The Market

Your clients can be managers or owners of large or small apartment complexes, individual landlords who own rental properties, and real estate agents charged with managing rental properties or selling vacant ones. Send your brochure to apartment managers or owners and realtors, and follow up with a phone call. Or stop in and introduce yourself–this works even better. If you don’t get a job immediately, check back. Persistence pays off.You can target individual landlords by calling ‘for rent’ ads in the newspaper and asking if you can send them a brochure and card for future reference.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a caddy of cleaning supplies, a vacuum cleaner, carpet shampooer, mop, broom and dustpan, rolls of rags or paper towels, scrub brushes and sponges, rubber gloves, rolls of garbage bags, a stepstool or a small ladder, flea spray, a general-purpose bug spray, and carpet deodorizer.You’ll also want paint brushes, rollers and trays, putty knives, spackle, window putty, a glass knife, and a caddy of tools like hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches. And you’ll want a cell phone so clients can get in touch with you quickly.

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Home Products & Services

Housing Tours

If you enjoy giving tours, this is the right business for you.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Housing Tours

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Homes featured on the home tour can include historical interest, celebrity homes, homes that were once lived in by a famous personality, homes of heritage interest, technologically advanced homes, and homes that have had a checkered past, such as the location of a murder. Starting this type of tour business is very easy and inexpensive to do.
 
Clients can include local residents, tourists, organizations, and school students. Additionally, for the really innovative entrepreneur, the business could go virtual and offer clients a glimpse of these homes over the Internet via a specially designed Web site. Mainly this is the type of business that would really be of interest to tourists, so be sure to establish contacts and alliances with hotels, motels, and restaurants throughout your community. The profitability will greatly vary as to the popularity of the house tours and the frequencies the home tours are operated. However, a mere 200 clients per week paying an average of $10 for the tour each will create business revenues in excess of $100,000 per year.

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Home Products & Services

Used Furniture Store

If you’re good at recognizing bargains, put your discerning eye to use with a used furniture store.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Used Furniture Store

Startup Costs: $50,000 – $100,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Purchasing secondhand furniture at auction sales, garage sales and from classified advertisements and estate sales is the starting point for opening a used furniture store, or reselling secondhand furniture right from your home. There are a great number of benefits to starting a business that sells secondhand furniture:
  • No special skills or equipment requirements
  • Relatively low initial startup and monthly operating costs
  • Great profit potential, as used furniture can be marked up by 100 percent or more
  • Very little in the way of government regulations beyond a business license
  • Proven stable and profitable retail industry

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Home Products & Services

Furniture Upholstery Service

Give furniture another chance by re-upholstering it.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

Business At A Glance

Furniture Upholstery 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

In spite of the fact that we live in a disposable society, furniture upholstery and recovering is not a dying art. Actually, the opposite is true, especially for the upholstery service that specializes in recovering antique furniture. The largest drawback for starting an upholstery service is experience.
 
Furniture upholstery isn’t an easy trade to learn and this business opportunity is best left tackled by an experienced upholsterer or seamstress. An upholstery service can be operated from a home based workshop or as a joint venture with an established business such as an antiques repair and refinishing service. Providing automotive, RV and boat upholstery services can generate additional income for a furniture upholstery business. Income potential is $40 per hour or more.

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