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Apartment Prep Service

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

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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

Glass Block Installations

Specialize with your construction skills as a glass block installer.

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Business At A Glance

Glass Block Installations

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

Business Overview

Glass block is back in vogue for two reasons. The first: having glass block windows installed is a cost-effective way to beautify your home and add real designer flair. The second reason is that installing glass block into basement window areas is a great way to let the light shine in, and a the same time burglar proof windows. Starting your own glass block installation service does not require a lot in terms of investment or expertise. Almost all home improvement centers will now make up glass block on a custom order basis to fit any size opening. However, the installation techniques still do require some experience, but this can be self-taught starting with your home, or a friend or relative’s home. One thing is for sure; it does not appear as though glass block windows will be falling from popularity any time soon.

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Home Products & Services

Piano Tuning Service

Keep your business on perfect pitch by providing a piano tuning service.

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Business At A Glance

Piano Tuning 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

Pianos are everywhere and they all need to be tuned and maintained on a regular basis in order to work and sound perfect. The main requirement is you have to know how to tune and maintain various types of pianos. Providing you have this skill and a few hundred dollars, you’re in business as a professional piano tuner. A piano tuning service can be operated right from your vehicle with the aid of a cellular telephone. Operating a piano tuning service is perfect for the person seeking a good part-time income to supplement an existing one. Contacting local music stores and music schools to promote your service will be the fastest way to earn business via referral and word-of-mouth advertising.

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Home Products & Services

Chimney Repairs

A damaged chimney can be the source of unwanted fires or carbon monoxide intrusion. Keep people safe with a chimney repair service.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Chimney Repairs

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

Business Overview

Providing you have basic masonry skills and experience, starting a chimney repair service can be a very profitable business to own and operate. Brick and stone chimneys all require maintenance in order to stay structurally sound and perform to their design specifications.
 
The best types of chimney repairs to focus on are repairing or replacing damaged rain pots, rebuilding crowns, installing new base and counter flashing, and repointing and sealing brick and stone chimneys. The tools and equipment necessary for repairing chimneys are also very basic and include ladders, roof jacks, stone chisels, and a few hand tools. Providing you already have a vehicle, the business can easily be started for less than $1,000. Chimney repair services can be marketed to homeowners by designing and distributing door hangers and fliers describing your service.

Or you can work as a subcontractor providing roofing companies and home renovation contractors with chimney repair services for their clients. The raw and manufactured materials required for chimney repairs are extremely inexpensive and available at most building centers. Visiting used building material yards can supply you with all the old and various colored bricks that will occasionally be required to replace broken or missing bricks while repairing profitable business to operate. There should be no problem in maintaining a billing rate of $50 per hour to provide chimney repairs, as well as a markup of at least 50 percent on all the material required for the chimney repair.

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