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Maintenance

Pool-Cleaning Service

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

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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

Waterproofing Service

Help protect your clients’ property from the elements with a waterproofing service.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Waterproofing 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

Starting a waterproofing service forresidential homes means that you can specialize in one or twoparticular types of waterproofing, such as concrete foundations orsolariums. Or, the service can focus on waterproofing solutions ingeneral for residential homes.

Waterproofing services can be promotedand marketed to both residential homeowners and property managementcompanies by employing traditional advertising and marketing mediumsand methods. The service can also be offered to renovation andconstruction companies on a subcontract basis.

The key to success inthis type of repair business is to have a good working knowledge ofconstruction practices and the ability to properly assess water ingressproblems. As this type of repair business is highly specialized, trueprofessionals will have no problem in creating a business income thatcan easily surpass $100,000 per year. A great additional revenue sourcefor the service is to also become an exclusive agent representingmanufacturers” waterproofing products. Many of these types ofspecialized waterproofing products can be used in your business, aswell as sold to architects, contractors, and the general public.

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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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