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Plants & Agriculture

Farm Equipment Broker

Do you know the ins and outs of tractors? If so, a farm equipment broker job may be right for you.

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Business At A Glance

Farm Equipment Broker

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

International connections can really pay off, especially if you’re planning to start a farm equipment brokerage business. Your international connection will not only assist in the marketing of the equipment overseas but also in locating discounted farm equipment for North American purchasers.
The market for good, quality used farm equipment such as tractors and hay combines is huge worldwide. Selling just one piece of equipment per week can generate business revenues of $200,000 per year and more. The key to success in this business is to build and maintain vital contacts and alliances with farm equipment dealers and other brokers of farm equipment, as well as to seek international opportunities with booming economies.
The investment needed to start a business as a farm equipment broker will vary based on factors such as initial advertising budget, business location, and overall operating expenses. However, an initial investment of $25,000 to $40,000 is suitable to get the business venture set in motion.
As a way to minimize startup costs, the business can initially be operated from a homebased office and market only local farm equipment to local potential purchasers. As a rule of thumb, farm equipment brokers charge a 10 percent commission of the total value of the farm equipment that was successfully sold.
There are however, exceptions to the rule. The commission rate will often be higher on lower valued farm equipment, and lower on very expensive farm equipment. Keep in mind that even if a piece of equipment isn’t sold, the broker is still responsible for the costs associated with attempting to market the equipment, unless a prior agreement has been established with the equipment owner, which is rarely done.

The Market

Farmers who need to lease farming equipment

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Plants & Agriculture

Yard Maintenance

Know the secret to keeping the perfect yard? Share it with the world.

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Business At A Glance

Yard Maintenance

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

Offer clients a host of yard and property cleanup and maintenance services by starting a general yard maintenance service. Cut grass, provide rubbish removal, trim trees and hedges, and offer lawn aeration and garden tilling. Concentrate your marketing efforts on securing customers who are prepared to sign up for regular service, and offer financial incentives to persuade them to do so. On average, you should have no problem charging in the range of $15 to $30 per hour.

The Market

Providing you offer great service, and because yard maintenance can be hard work, there should be no shortage of homeowners prepared to part with a few dollars per month to have their yards professionally maintained and kept in tiptop condition. If you will be operating in northern climates, offer leaf raking in the fall and snow clearing and de-icing services in the winter for a year-round operation.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a truck to transport your equipment from one client’s house to another, but assuming you already own a truck, most of the equipment needed to operate a yard maintenance service is relatively inexpensive; to keep start-up costs to a minimum, equipment such as mowers, tillers, leaf blowers, and weed eaters can be purchased secondhand or rented on an as-needed basis until you have earned enough to buy them.

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Plants & Agriculture

Garden Arbors

Garden arbors offer the perfect match for the gardener who seeks a little whimsy.

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Business At A Glance

Garden Arbors

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

Garden arbors have become a very popularlandscape feature that thousands of homeowners are opting to include intheir gardens. This creates a terrific business opportunity for theinnovative entrepreneur to capitalize on by starting a homebasedbusiness that manufactures and sells garden arbors. If you have theability, you can design your own trademark arbors.

Or, if you arelacking in design talent, plans are readily available at most buildingcenters for constructing garden arbors. Only a small workshop space andbasic tools will be required for this endeavor. Establishing allianceswith architects and landscape designers will enable you to capture thecustom made-to-order arbor market. Or you can opt to create standardarbors that can be sold to building centers wholesale. Do not overlookthe power of the Internet in terms of marketing the arbors, as this isthe type of home improvement product that is not readily available inevery community, so some people will seek out the product via the Web.

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Plants & Agriculture

Greenhouses

If love plants and flowers but lack the green thumb, greenhouses may be for you.

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Business At A Glance

Greenhouses

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

In the past decade greenhouses have become as very hot home improvement product and project. As the baby boomer generation slips into retirement they are looking for ways to keep busy, physically fit, and enjoy life. Greenhouse hobby gardening provides them with exactly what they are seeking. There are various approaches that can be taken for starting a greenhouse installation business.
 
These approaches include:
  • Designing, building, selling, and installing greenhouses.
  • Designing and selling U-Install-It greenhouse kits.
  • Selling and installing greenhouses for existing manufacturers. Profit potential range is $20,000 per year part-time and $50,000+ per year full-time.

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