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Line Painting

It’s a simple concept, but someone needs to do it–painting and repainting lines.

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Business At A Glance

Line Painting

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

Help give your fellow humans the directions they need by starting aline-painting service. Line painting is needed in parking lots todelineate spaces, show handicap zones, directions, and reserved parkingareas. Line painting is also needed for sports fields and runningtracks, temporary marking for special events, and for interior usessuch as marking zones and directions in warehouses and factories. Inall, an initial investment of less than $10,000 will get you started.This is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to earn in excess of $25per hour on a full- or part-time basis. Line painting is also an easyskill to learn and the service is always in demand.

The Market

Customers include commercial property owners, property managers,developers, and warehouse owners, as well as sports field and runningtrack contractors, paving contractors, sports clubs, and schools.

Needed Equipment

Walk-behind paint-striping machines for both pavement- and turf-markingare available at a relatively modest cost, in the range of $1,500 to$5,000, along with reusable stencils for marking. You will also need atruck or trailer to move the equipment from job site to job site and apower washer or blower to clean surfaces before applying traffic paint.

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Maintenance

Home Maintenance and Repair

Keep clients’ homes in tip-top shape with a home maintenance and repair business.

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Business At A Glance

Home Maintenance and Repair

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’re the type who can (and likes to) do just about anything around the house–mend a leaky faucet, nail down those sagging shingles, paint a wall, unstick a sticking door, repair a broken cabinet or build a garbage can enclosure, then this might be just the business for you.
You’ll be on-call in your neighborhood for all those jobs that aren’t quite big enough to hire an expensive contractor but are beyond the homeowner’s expertise or time constraints. This is a business with room for growth: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans spent nearly $43 million on home maintenance and repairs in a single recent year. The advantages to this business are that you can work from home, you can start on a shoestring, you’re always doing something different, and it’s gratifying. People are delighted when you can save them money by doing the job yourself and appreciative of skills that they don’t possess. You’ll need a variety of home-repairs skills–everything from minor plumbing to minor electrical to painting and carpentry. You’ll want people skills because you’ll be dealing with a variety of personalities on their home turf, and a good sense of logistics to help you determine which jobs to schedule in what order.

The Market

Your customers will be mostly homeowners, but you can also target owners or managers of small apartment buildings or condominium complexes who don’t have a maintenance person on staff, and small shopkeepers and real estate agents who may need help with a vacant property. Deliver fliers detailing your services to potential customers by tucking them under doormats or making them into door hangers. (Don’t place them in mailboxes–the U.S. Postal Service gets very upset about this.) Place ads in your local newspaper and in your neighborhood Yellow Pages. For small-business commercial customers, hand-deliver fliers or brochures and explain your services. You may not get any takers the first time you visit, but don’t get discouraged. A repeat visit or two can often seal a deal.

Needed Equipment

In some states, you’ll need a contractor’s license, so be sure to check with your local contractor’s board or commerce department before you start. You’ll want to be bonded. And you’ll need the handyperson’s stock-in-trade: hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, grip vises, flashlights, a cordless saw, a stepstool and ladder, and paint brushes and rollers. You should also have a pager so customers can reach you during the day and a pickup truck for making house calls.

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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

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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