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Maintenance

Pool-Cleaning Service

Help keep pools sparkling clean with a pool-cleaning service.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Pool-Cleaning Service

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

Business Overview

Swimming pools can be a haven on a hot day, a source of pride forhomeowners, and a necessity for apartment and condominium complexes andhotels and motels. But keeping them pristine is not a job for theuninitiated or those with no time, and besides being unsightly, a dirtypool can be costly.

Business owners whose pools don’t meet local healthdepartment standards can be fined or have their watering holes closeddown, which can cost not only money, but also customers. But if youlike working outdoors with the sun on your back and the sound of waterat your feet, then you can banish the pool pH blues with apool-cleaning service.

You’ll make weekly rounds, checking andadjusting chemical levels, maintaining pumps, skimmers, filters andother equipment, and doing routine cleaning. In addition to pools, youcan service spas and hot tubs, too. The advantages to this business arethat you can start part-time if you like with a minimal investment; youget to work outdoors; and pool cleaners have a sort of mystique in oursocial consciousness. You’ll need a good working knowledge ofpool-cleaning techniques and supplies, from pH levels to chlorinetablets and beyond. You’ll also need the physical strength tomanipulate poles and skimmers through the drag created by water all dayand the motivation to work quickly and efficiently.

The Market

Your clients will most likely be homeowners and owners of apartment andcondominium complexes and hotels and motels, but you can also targetschools and health clubs. Establish relationships with pool supplystores and pool builders in your area, leave a batch of your businesscards and ask them to refer you to their customers.

The best way tosell to businesses is to introduce yourself to the manager (ormaintenance manager if it’s a large facility) and leave your businesscard and flier. If you don’t get an immediate offer–which you probablywon’t–check back or call to remind them that you’re available. Forhomeowners, purchase a mailing list of pool owners in your area orcheck with your county tax assessor’s office–it may have a list ofpool owners on file. Then send a brochure or flier–you can offer anintroductory discount or a free pool checkup.

Needed Equipment

In some states, you need to be certified to clean pools used by thepublic–be sure to check with your local health department. You’ll needpoles, hoses, skimmers, chemicals and test kits, and a pickup truck ortrailer to carry them around in. And don’t forget your sunscreen and ahat!

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Maintenance

Pest and Critter Control

If you don’t get grossed out by creepy crawlies, help people get rid of them.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Pest and Critter Control

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

You can cash in on the booming pestmanagement and critter control industry by starting your ownpest-control service. You’ll be in good company, considering that thereare an estimated 65,000 people working in the pest-control industry inthe United States.

Specialize in ridding homes, offices, and commercialbuildings of pesky insects such as termites, roaches, spiders, ants,and bees. Or concentrate on ridding your clients’ properties of largercritters such as squirrels, snakes, rats, mice, and raccoons. For themore ecologically-minded client, some services even provide livecatch-and-release services for the removal of raccoons, snakes, skunks,and squirrels. In short, pest-control services locate, identify,destroy, catch, control, or repel pests by applying chemicals, settingtraps, installing physical barriers, or by manual removal techniques.Keep in mind that laws in both Canada and the United States requiretraining and licensing before you can offer customers pest-controlservices, especially those involving the application of pesticides.

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Maintenance

Power Tool Rentals

Start fixing up your business by buying quality power tools and setting up rental rates.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Power Tool Rentals

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

Simply start by purchasing good-qualitycommercial-grade power tools, design an information brochure listingtool descriptions, and indicate day and weekly rental rates. The rentalprice list can be distributed to local construction and renovationcompanies. Your advantage over the competition is that you canadvertise that you guarantee free delivery of the rental tool (if instock) to the job site in one hour. The entire business can beconducted right from a delivery truck with the assistance of a cellularphone for incoming rental inquiries.

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Maintenance

Window And Door Repair Service

Help clients keep their windows and doors is good working order.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Window And Door Repair Service

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

Business Overview

The target market for a window and doorrepair service is owners of older homes that have wooden sash doors andwindows. The reason to target these homes for this type of business isdue to the fact that old wooden windows and doors require yearlymaintenance, such as new putty, paint, and removal and installation ofstorm windows. The demand for this type of repair service will alwaysbe strong, as many of these homeowners would not consider replacing thewindows and doors because the heritage value the wooden doors andwindows add to the home’s appearance. Potential income range is $20 to$35 per hour.

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