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Hardwood Floor Refinishing

Don’t worry about heavy flooring supplies–refinish the hardwood floor that’s already there.

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Business At A Glance

Hardwood Floor Refinishing

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

Fifty or 60 years ago, if you had hardwood floors it meant that you couldn’t afford carpeting, and everyone who had the funds put heavy pile over those burnished boards.
Nowadays, hardwood floors are valued for the beauty and warmth they add to a room. Homebuyers who find an older house with original hardwood floors count themselves lucky, and owners of new homes often request that the builder install wood flooring. But after years of wear and tear–even when buried beneath carpeting–those gorgeous floors can look downright dingy. If you like working with wood, restoring ugly ducklings to their rightful titles of flooring beauties, then a hardwood floor refinishing business might be for you. The advantages to this business are that you can work from home, you can start part time with relatively low costs, and you get the deep-down glow that comes from giving new life to fine wood. Hardwood floor refinishing is an art–you should know how to read wood, whether it’s healthy or not, suffering from moisture or dryness, and how it lives in the home it’s in. You’ll need a good working knowledge and solid skills with your equipment and materials, including polyurethanes, varnishes and stains.

The Market

Your customers will be home and apartment owners, remodeling contractors and interior designers. You can generally figure that homes and apartments built prior to the late 1950s will have hardwood floors–target neighborhoods of these homes and leave fliers on doorsteps or as door hangers. Send fliers to interior designers and contractors, then follow up with phone calls to reinforce your company in their minds. Leave cards or fliers at neighborhood hardware or home improvement stores (larger warehouse-type centers don’t usually allow this). Get your company written up in the real estate or home section of your local newspaper. Network in your community.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a drum floor sander, an edger, a buffer with steel wool pads, and a reliable vehicle like a pickup truck to get you and your equipment to jobs.

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Sandblasting Service

Help erase the sands of time by blasting it with more sand.

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Business At A Glance

Sandblasting 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

There are two approaches that can be takenwhen considering starting a sandblasting service. The first approach isto operate a sandblasting service from a fixed location. The secondapproach is to purchase a van and operate the service on a mobilebasis. The second option is less costly to establish.

Operating amobile sandblasting service will also enable access to a larger varietyof sandblasting work. The cost to purchase basic sandblasting equipmentis minimal, and the required equipment is generally available atindustrial supply centers. There are many different types ofsandblasting work that can be secured in every community.

However, inthe spirit of being unique and in an attempt to limit competition andseek a niche, pinpoint one particular sandblasting specialty, such asheadstone sandblasting. It is a common practice for headstones to beinstalled in cemeteries while the person they are intended for is stillalive. When the appropriate time arrives, the headstone is completedwith the date sandblasted into the headstone at the cemetery. Thebusiness is best marketed by visiting all the monument companies inyour community and offering this type of mobile sandblasting work.Current rates are in the range of $30 to $60 per headstone and each onerequires one to two hours to complete.

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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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Litter Pickup

Help keep your area clean with a litter pickup service.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Litter Pickup

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

Business Overview

If you are looking for an easy service to sell that requires no specialskills or experience, yet still has excellent income potential and astart-up investment of only a few hundred dollars, then a litter pickupservice might be just what you’ve been searching for. Armed with only arake, shovel, garbage can, and a pair of gloves, you can be cleaning uplitter for paying customers in your community.

Ideally, these customerswill be retailers, professionals, and other business owners who need toproject a good business image. Having litter in and around theirbusinesses in parking lots, lawns, flowerbeds, and sidewalks isobviously not the image they want to project. Create a detailedpromotional flier outlining services and litter pickup fees anddistribute it to retailers, service providers and professionals withstorefronts and parking lots. In exchange for a flat monthly fee, visitcustomers’ business locations daily to pick up any litter lying inclose proximity to their shops’sidewalks, entranceways, flowerbeds,lawns and parking lots’and in no time you will be well on your way tobuilding a profitable business.

The Market

Retailers and other business owners who want to project a good business image.

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