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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

Mirror Installations

Can you see yourself being successful? All you have to do is look into a mirror.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Mirror Installations

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

Mirrors are required for just about everyresidential and commercial washroom application, and a mirror sales andinstallation business can easily be operated from a home garage. Allthat is required is a truck with a basic glass rack, a few tools andthe ability to cut glass (or hire an assistant who can cut the glass).

The current rate to install bathroom mirrors is in the range of $5 to$7 per square foot, while the wholesale cost of the mirror is only $2per square foot. Your math skills do not have to be good to know thatleaves around $4 per square foot just for installing the mirror.
Forexample, if the average installation job is four mirrors with anaverage size of nine-square feet per mirror, then this would leave youand a helper $150 for installing the mirrors, which would take about anhour to do. Once you have established the business, you can begin tomarket the services to commercial and residential constructioncompanies, and it should not take long to build up a solid customerbase.

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Maintenance

Miniblind Cleaning Service

Put your attention to detail to work when cleaning miniblinds.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Miniblind Cleaning Service

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

Almost everybody’s got at least one set of miniblinds in their homes oroffices–and everybody who has them also has a major problem with thedust and grime that sticks to blind surfaces and defies soap and water.You wash one side and dirt drips to the other. Tackle that side and youwind up with globby streaks on your first side.

But you can conquerdirt and prove that grime doesn’t pay with a miniblind cleaningservice. You’ll roll to customers’ homes with your ultrasonic cleaningsystem on board and give each miniblind a maxi shine. The advantages tothis business are that you’re always on the go so there’s no time toget bored in one place and there’s plenty of room for growth. You’llneed experience or training in ultrasonic miniblind cleaning, which youusually receive when you purchase your machine, and the marketingskills to reach customers who may not be aware that systems like yoursexist.

The Market

Your customers can be both residential and commercial. Tackle them byplacing ads, perhaps with a discount for the first set of blinds, incoupon mailers or with a direct-mail campaign. You can visit smallbusinesses directly, leaving your flier and business card, and placeads in the Yellow Pages and your local newspaper.

Needed Equipment

Your major piece of equipment, of course, is the ultrasonic machine,but you’ll also need the cleaning solutions that go with it and areliable utility vehicle like a van to transport it and you around town.

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Maintenance

Small Engine Repair

Use engineering experience to rev-up a plan for this small business idea.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Small Engine Repair

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

Mechanically inclined entrepreneurs have theopportunity to make fantastic full- or part-time cash repairing outdoorpower equipment and small engines, right from a fully equippedhomebased workshop, or from a small commercial storefront. Even if youdo not have previous small-engine repair experience, there are numerousschools offering in-class and correspondence small-engine repairtraining, such as the one listed below.

The list of equipment you canrepair is almost unlimited: lawn mowers, outboard motors, gas trimmers,lawn tractors, snowmobiles, snow blowers, leaf blowers, and chainsawsare only the tip of the iceberg. There are additional revenue sourcesas well. The first is to establish a certified-warranty repair depotfor outdoor power-equipment manufacturers. The second is to buysecondhand outdoor power equipment in need of repairs at dirt-cheapprices, fix it, and sell it for a profit right from your shop. And thethird additional revenue source is to rent outdoor power equipment andtools to local homeowners and contractors. Combine the three with therepair side of the business and you could easily generate in excess of$100,000 per year in sales.

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