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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

Trim Carpenter

Help people put the finishing touches on their homes and businesses.

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Business At A Glance

Trim Carpenter

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

The home improvement industry is red-hot in North America and shows nosigns of cooling off anytime soon, which is great news forentrepreneurs with basic carpentry skills, especially if those skillsare utilized in starting a trim service. Trim carpenters installinterior windowsills and doorsills, jambs, and casings, as well asbaseboard trim and ceiling crown molding.

They trim out built-ins likefireplaces, bookcases, and wall niches. For home exteriors, trimcarpenters trim out windows, doors, fascia and bargeboards, as well asadd decorative trim and gingerbread molding. Rates vary depending onthe type of trim being installed, stain or paint requirements, and thetotal footage installed. Call around to other trim services in yourarea to find out about current rates.

The Market

In addition to installing trim directly for homeowners, you can alsosubcontract your services to general contractors, new-home builders,renovation contractors, kitchen and bath installers, flooringinstallers, and painters.

Needed Equipment

Fortunately, equipment requirements are minimal to get started’acompound miter saw, air compressor, nail gun, ladders, suitabletransportation, and basic hand tools.

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Maintenance

Fabric Restoration

Are you great at cleaning and mending? Try out fabric restoration.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Fabric Restoration

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Fabric restoration is big business for both residential and commercial applications, mainly because, if you stop to think about it, fabric covers just about everything in the home and office. Working from a well-equipped van on a mobile basis, you can repair and restore torn, cracked, faded, stained and burned fabrics like leather, suede, vinyl, cloth, plastic, carpet and velour.
Market your fabric restoration services through traditional advertising mediums like the Yellow Pages and classified ads and build working relationships with other businesses that have the potential to utilize your services on a regular basis. These businesses include hotels, motels, movie theaters, hospitals, carpet cleaners, furniture stores, boat dealerships, car and recreational vehicle dealerships, bus and limousine companies and restaurants. There is quite a bit of learning to be done, which makes starting a franchise operation a good choice because training is provided. At the same time, entrepreneurs with handyperson skills can master the trade on their own through trial and error and practice, practice and more practice.

The Market

Motels, hotels, movie theaters, hospitals, carpet cleaners, furniture stores, boat dealerships, car and recreational dealerships, bus and limousine companies and restaurants.

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Maintenance

Fence Repairs

Help complete the perfect picture by fixing the white picket fence.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Fence 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

Fences are very easy to repair, and securing work for a fence repair service is even easier. Design a standard fence repair estimate form, leaving a blank area for the description of the repair to be completed.
 
Once you have printed 50 or so of these estimate forms, simply start driving around your community in search of fences that are in need of repairs. The completed fence repair estimate can be left attached to the homeowner’s mailbox with a business card and brief cover letter explaining your fence repair service. Aim to close 25 percent of the fence estimates that you complete, and I will guarantee that you can make more than $25,000 per year repairing fences, which is not bad for a business that can be started for less than $1,000.

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