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Maintenance

Carpet and Upholstery Service

This maintenance business is in constant demand.

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Business At A Glance

Carpet and 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

Here’s how it happens–the kids get a little carried away with the Kool-Aid, dad tracks in dirt from the garden, and the dog doesn’t quite make it to the backyard for his morning romp. And all of a sudden, the battle of the dirt transforms that pretty beige carpet into one ugly mud puddle.
Those rentable carpet shampooers down at the supermarket don’t really do a professional job and the in-laws are coming to visit in a week. And now that you look, your sofas have somebody’s chocolate fingerprints on them plus a nice film of smoke from the time you burned the burgers under the kitchen broiler. If you like putting the spring back in a carpet’s fibers and making dingy upholstered furniture clean and bright, you can save the day–and clean up profits in the process–with a carpet and upholstery cleaning service. All you need to get started is some experience with carpet- and upholstery-cleaning machines and the basic skills to operate them safely and effectively, plus the marketing know-how to make your own spot in the field.

The Market

Your customers can come from both residential and commercial sectors. Apartment and rental property owners and managers make good target markets because people are always moving in and out, and even the tidiest tenant leaves carpeting in need of cleaning. You can also target real estate agents who may have vacant or lived-in properties that need a good shampoo to put their best feet forward. Visit these businesspeople and leave your card or brochure, call and introduce yourself and your services, or initiate a direct-mail campaign. Advertise to residences through coupon mailers, offering specials like a discount for one room if you do two or more.

Needed Equipment

As a carpet/upholstery cleaner, you’ll need a good steam, rotary or dry-cleaning system, a commercial-grade vacuum cleaner, and of course, lots of shampoos, stain removers and stain guards, along with a sturdy vehicle to cart it all around in. You can also invest in a polo or good-quality T-shirt with your company name on it to lend a professional image.

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Maintenance

Hardwood Floor Sanding

You’ll always cover your tracks with a hardwood floor sanding business.

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Business At A Glance

Hardwood Floor Sanding

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

Many do-it-yourself homeowners are more than happy to stain hardwood floors. However, when it comes to sanding new hardwood floors or sanding off old finishes and scratches from old hardwood floors, that’s another story entirely.
 
Let’s face it, sanding hardwood floors can be a backbreaking task, not to mention the fact that it requires a certain amount of experience, skill, and ability to sand the floors correctly. Perhaps these are good reasons for starting your own hardwood floor sanding service. As previously mentioned, there is a skill requirement that must be taken into account. However, with practice on your own hardwood floors, this skill can definitely be learned in a relatively short period of time. To keep start-up costs to a minimum you can rent the required floor sanding equipment as needed, until the business is profitable and established. Generally, floor sanding is billed on a per square foot basis, so you will want to check current rates in your local area. Successfully marketing a hardwood floor sanding service can be achieved by promoting your service to the end user or by subcontracting your services to local construction and renovation companies. Once the business is established, the owner-operator of this type of specialty construction service should have no problems in creating a yearly income in the range of $40,000 to $50,000.

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Maintenance

House Painting

Get out your old painting jeans and ladder to start a house painting business.

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Business At A Glance

House Painting

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

Business Overview

One of the hallmarks of a well-kept home or prosperous business is afresh, professional coat of paint. But most people hate painting–ittakes a lot of time and skill to do the job right–plus you have tospread drop cloths over everything, climb around on ladders orscaffolding, and hope you don’t get paint in your hair.

But if you likepainting–you love the transformation as a dingy room or buildingbecomes clean and new–and you’ve got the talent and experience todeliver a first-class job, then this could be the business for you. Theadvantages to this business are that you can work from a home base,your startup costs can be relatively low, and if you like the feelingof accomplishment that comes from a good day’s physical labor, it canbe both rewarding and lucrative. You’ll need experience in paintinginteriors and exteriors and in working with different types of paintsand primers. You’ll also need some people skills in dealing withvarious personalities and the ability to estimate a job and come out onthe winning end.

The Market

Your targets will be homeowners, apartment buildings and condominiumcomplexes, businesses large and small, interior designers, and realestate agents who may need help with a vacant property. You may want tospecialize in certain types of painting–homeowners and interiordesigners will go for decorative treatments like sponge-painting, fauxaging or stenciling–or, if you live in a historic area, you canspecialize in ‘painted ladies,’ those glorious, gaudy Victorians,Colonial homes, or whatever suits your neighborhood.

Using authentichistoric colors for antique homes is very popular these days, so youcan offer color consultation and expertise as part of your historicalservice. To sell to this type of client, send brochures to historichome associations or introduce yourself to homeowners and contractors.To target other types of prospects, send brochures; leave fliers onhomeowners’ doorsteps; and network with interior designers, contractorsand real estate agents. You can also place ads in local papers. If youspecialize in decorative-painting techniques, get your company writtenup in local publications, give talks to local groups and volunteeryourself as a guest on a local radio chat show.

Needed Equipment

You can start off with a couple sizes of ladders, an assortment ofbrushes, rollers and paint trays and perhaps a sprayer and a breathingmask. As you grow, you can branch out to heavy-duty sprayers andcompressors and a set of scaffolding. You’ll also need a pickup truckto carry you and your equipment to jobs.

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Maintenance

Rubbish Removal

Being a trash man may not sound glamorous, but there’s plenty of money to be made hauling junk.

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Business At A Glance

Rubbish Removal

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

It isn’t pretty, but trash could put you on the road to riches. Rubbishremoval is charged by the hour, truckload, or by a quote beforeremoving the junk. If you can offer home and business owners fast andconvenient rubbish removal services at competitive prices,word-of-mouth advertising will generate more work than you can handle.

Be sure to build alliances with people who can refer your business totheir customers and clients; these referral brokers include real estateagents, residential and commercial cleaners, and home service companiessuch as carpet cleaners, contractors, and property managers. If you’relooking for a low-cost business start-up that requires little in theway of skills or experience, a rubbish removal service is one of thebetter choices. After expenses and dumping fees, you should have noproblem earning in the range of $25 to $40 per hour.

The Market

Anyone who needs large amounts of trash removed from their property including homeowners, construction sites and businesses.

Needed Equipment

A secondhand truck or trailer, shovels, rakes, and a few garbage cans are all you need to start a rubbish removal service.

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