Choose an adventure really carefully. One that people will easily pay good money for. At least informally ask lots of people for their feedback on a suggested adventure before you put any money into marketing it. Then when you do offer your first trip, make it incredible! On your first few trips it is more important to build a great experience and a great reputation, then to make a lot of money right out of the gate. You can start as a personal trainer at a local gym. Then try going out on your own. Being known for a particular expertise can help.
Then someday you can open your own gym. Maybe even franchise it and go global! There is something special about the first edition of a rare book and people will spend big money to find the exact book they want. And then there is the shop itself, a rare book shop is such as wonderful antidote to our way-too-busy Internet world. Yes, you can make money with rare books but this is a profession that I suggest you ease your way into gradually, getting very comfortable with market demand and pricing, before investing in inventory.
Business Planning for Authors. Getting started in the sport fishing charter business may not be as expensive and difficult as you think. Furthermore, you can finance much of your purchase. And if your fishing skills are a little weak, hire a boat hand with some strong local fishing knowledge. In the right location, you can charge some serious money in this business. Parents and grandparents are only willing to buy their kids so many computer games! What they would really prefer to be buying are beautifully hand crafted vintage toys that the kids can use their own imaginations to play with!
Hand crafting takes time, so carefully figure out what interesting toys you can bring to market at a reasonable price. I love wine bars! There is even a successful wine bar in the small village on Cape Cod where my summer house is. How did it become successful? The owners found a location near the center of the village but at a low rent. They started with a very limited food menu but eventually expanded it to become a full-service restaurant.
They also offer live music on most nights. Beware that many customers expect truly exceptional wines at a wine bar. If you start a wine bar, you better have quality products.
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Remodel your own basement, put together a website with the before and after photos, and hang out your shingle! I published a book by Don Dwyer who was the king of the carpet cleaners—having made many millions building a gigantic carpet cleaning business franchise system. Promote the fact that people will get to go home with a finished project! A neat bonus of attending a craft class is that not only do you learn how to do something new, but also that you get to go home with something tangible—your finished craft project!
People are often willing to take a craft class if you can market it in an appealing way. And focusing on what the finished project will look like is one way to get people excited about signing up! She was successful enough to rent large commercial space, but this is a business you may want to start in your home. Are Home Businesses Legal? The market for daycare is gigantic! Of course, you can start in your home or in the workplace. Safety and licensing are essential for this business.
You can quickly build a steady income and a valuable business. While you may first think of wedding planners or reunion organizers, there are many, many types of event planners out there. Some may specialize in parties for young kids, others in large corporate events. Think carefully of a specialty that you could do well in and meet participants in that field, before you open shop.
How to Promote Your Events Online. Business and consumer-oriented websites alike are rushing to post more and more content related to their business space, to try to attract traffic from search engines and to position themselves in the minds of potential customers.
- Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers.
- The Welfare State in Post-Industrial Society: A Global Perspective.
- Growing grapes under glass.
- Oliver Twist - Texte abrégé (Classique t. 1184) (French Edition).
- Error (Forbidden).
- The 100 Best Businesses to Start When You Don't Want to Work Hard Anymore.
- College Prep 101.
Some businesses will require that you have expertise in their industry to write for them, but others will consider buying articles from you, as long as they are well researched and well written. For most people, successful investing will involve selecting mutual funds or ETFs, not individual stocks or bonds. Study hard for this profession and you can do a tremendous service for people by helping them protect and growth their hard-earned money. Gardening is really big. Many people like to do their own gardening but they can use a little bit of help! Maybe you specialize in flower gardens or vegetable gardens, or even something more exotic.
You will need solid expertise, but you will find a clientele willing to pay for it. One of the challenges of running a home bakery will be finding customers. That basically means going out and selling your products to stores, restaurants, cafeterias, caterers or anyone else. You may want to canvas potential resellers even before you decide what products you plan to be baking.
This is a good solid business. Everyone needs their house inspected before they buy it. Network with real estate agents. Become known for being a meticulous home inspector. Leave you clients with a thorough, detailed report. There is a big difference between mowing a lawn and performing a full landscaping service. At the highest end are landscape designers, who design elaborate and unique landscape changes for your property. Focus on high-end projects to make this business even more profitable. Sometimes these are full-service firms that not only do the design but also perform the work.
This is one of the most popular small businesses because everyone wants a house cleaner. The work is repetitive. But if you can show up on time and do a good job consistently I find many the work of many cleaners deteriorates after the first few weeks , you will build a healthy clientele. And if you can charge enough so that you can delegate, you can grow this into a large business. This seems like a fun and easy business and it can be very rewarding. However, it is very competitive and can be hard to break into.
Interior design is also increasingly sophisticated, with software design simulation and specialized educational backgrounds becoming more common. With the wide array of digital marketing options to consider, not to mention traditional options, local businesses increasingly need outside help to develop and execute the best marketing strategy. To get going in this field you will need to be familiar with the most popular online and offline marketing venues, and be comfortable selling your services to local business people.
Even in this digital age, there remains a huge market for independent sales reps who sell the products for a number of different companies to other businesses. Refusing to accept that I had no musical talent, my parents took me to many music teachers over the years, from a home based piano teacher to school based trumpet teachers. If you are patient with young students or talented enough to work with more experienced musicians, this could be a very satisfying way to make some good money.
If you love animals, pet sitting is the perfect business idea for you. What could be easier? You sit in the chair and watch the dog chase its tail! I am surprised to hear how much money people will pay for pet sitters if they believe their pets are being really well cared for. Doing photography for groups typically at their location is one way to get going. There is a huge market and a big opportunity selling promotional material. Your best market will be mid to larger sized businesses, who are willing to spend some money to both promote their business to their customers or to use promotional items as incentives and rewards for their employees.
Basically, you are reselling the product lines for other companies. T-shirts, pens, hats, jackets: Do you have an extra room in your house or condo? You could rent it out by the day like the Airbnb model, or you could rent it by the week, or you could rent it by the month. Then maybe you could use the income to help subsidize your expenses as you start another business!
While there are all kinds of training that corporations will pay for, I am focusing on sales training because the demand is so widespread. It is an absolutely critical function, even for small businesses. And then you could take your finished product and go show it off to potential customers! One-on-one sports coaching is the obvious play here. But you could set up sports clinics or sports camps. You could build up a business based on your expertise in a particular sport or you could offer more general fitness training for athletes of many sports.
Often sports coaches get started with a part time job coaching a school sports team, which then leads to private coaching work. Being a virtual assistant not only gives you the flexibility of working from home, but often you get to set your own hours. Virtual assistant work is frequently part time, so it could be a way to get some income coming in while you develop a plan for another business. She had a steady clientele and they made some really cool art! You may already have an art specialty that you want to teach to others. Or you may find that you are better off learning the basics of a new art skill and teaching that, or offering a survey course covering a number of art skills—most of the market will likely be beginners anyway.
You can begin this business slowly, part time, out of your house. To succeed at car resale, you need to find a great source of used cars at a good price. Sources to buy cars include: You can also watch for bargain priced cars being advertised by individuals, but you need to snap up the best deals before someone else does. Focus on just a couple cars at a time, so that you can try to keep your overhead low by operating out of your house, and keep your profits up by choosing your cars carefully. And many people changing careers want to get help from someone who can help them find their dream job—that could be you.
I once published a book that just listed and described career counseling services in the Boston area. Cooking classes have become much more than just a way to instruct people in cooking. They have become more of a social event where for example, couples enjoy a cooking class together, get to meet some other people, enjoy sampling the food they cook, perhaps try some fine wine, and have a great experience. So carefully define whether you are selling the expertise, the experience, or both, and build your business model accordingly. I would only recommend trading a collectible that you really love!
If you are dealing with your favorite collectible, the work will be more enjoyable, it will be easier to increase your expertise, and you will be much more likely to be successful. The online options today allow you to specialize much more deeply than in the past because you can reach a global market. So, within your favorite collectible space, find a particular niche or two and focus sharply on it. A lot of people make some really neat crafts. But to be able to make money at it, you also need to be able to price your products reasonably—and allow yourself enough money to bring your product to market.
That being said, there are more markets than ever for your products! In addition to local retailers and craft fairs, you can sell them online, on your own website, or through third party sites like Etsy or EBay. I like anything that is custom because it allows you to distinguish yourself with great customer service, and provides some upside for pricing.
Offering this kind of service online means you can set your own hours and start the business part time. Generally, this work falls into three categories: Many editors specialize in one aspect of editing, others cover them all. You may further specialize such as in technical document editing. It is no wonder that many people love to hire others to run their errands, in addition to those people who may be home-bound for health reasons.
Errands often take longer than you think, so you may be better off charging on an hourly basis. Private school and private colleges and universities can cost a bloody fortune!
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To get going in this field, you will want to do extensive research, and then either help your own kids or perhaps those of friends, to get some experience under your belt, before seeking out the general public. This could be a lot of fun, playing store merchant every now and then, when you decide to attend a flea market. There are general flea markets to attend, plus more specialized ones.
For example, being a model railroad buff, I notice the many model railroad vendors who travel to model railroad shows around the northeast, selling new or used model railroad supplies.
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You could make your own items to sell, trade used items, or sell new items that you buy wholesale. The options are endless. This is one of the most-clever businesses I have seen! Here you get to have your own art gallery with no overhead! You arrange with a restaurant or bar to host your pop up art gallery at no expense to you.
The venue benefits from selling food or drinks and the publicity your event will bring. Then you arrange the promotion. They key to this business is building your email list and social media contacts so that are able to build up a regular clientele without having to own a storefront or spend money for advertising. Like so many other fields, specialization will help get business, and it will allow you to charge much higher fees. And, as you build a track record of successfully securing grants, you will also be able to charge more. Yes, graphic design is hyper competitive.
But everyone wants a little different style. So, if you get a highly appealing design in front of your prospective audience you can be successful. Then I would use SEO techniques, social media, and every other marketing tool I could think of to drive traffic to it. How to Find a Designer for Your Logo. Try really hard to geographically concentrate your gutter cleaning each day. This could be a great weekend business.
There are all kinds of directions this business can go! You could sell hats to retailers, you could sell them online, you could sell them to event planners to liven up their parties. You could eventually even open a hats-only store! Interior room painting or wallpapering lends itself to part time work better than exterior house painting. Often a home owner wants just one room done. And you are not weather dependent—so you know you will be able to get a job done on Saturday for example, come rain or shine.
As your experience grows you can charge a lot of money for quality interior painting and wallpapering. This is a natural for part time work because many people who have the money to pay for it are working full-time jobs themselves. So, evenings and weekends could be your prime working hours. If you want to be a life coach, be ready to work on evenings and weekends. As people are demanding more fulfillment in their lives and have more options to consider, they are increasingly turning to coaches.
You can build your skills in this field by reading up on it, signing up for some life coaching yourself, or taking a course about how to teach life coaching. While you might first think of parties for kids, parties for adults is a rapidly growing field. To break into this field, I would start by offering some really attractive package deals. Then I might try to upsell additional services once the parting host became more comfortable working with me, or at least on repeat engagements.
Go on a shopping spree and get paid for it! Now that could be fun! However, if your clients like your work, they could retain you forever…and talk up your services with their friends! This is a big business with lots of opportunities. It is largely a do-it-yourself hobby, so you make money by selling supplies, expertise or services to scrap bookers. You could give courses or hold events on scrap booking.
You invite friends and acquaintances to your house, tell them all about scrapbooking, and try to sell the supplies they will need to get started. I like this idea! Instead of making the speeches and presentations yourself, you are coaching the presenters. I see this market as largely three-fold. First you have professional speakers who are making or trying to make a living giving paid presentations.
Then you have people who are regularly called upon to make speeches or presentations in connection with their business. Then you have the person who occasionally is called upon to make a speech or presentation without being paid for it, but nonetheless wants to improve their presenting skills.
This third market is the one I would suggest focusing on, to get started in this business. This is a great part time business that can pay very good money. For my kids, I hired coaches who were usually still students themselves, and had very little paid test prep experience. But I did make sure to hire test prep coaches who had scored exceedingly well themselves on the exams being targeted. This might have been one of the most fun businesses I ever had: Like any trading business, you need to find out what sells easily and at what price, and what you want to stay away from.
Brand name outboards, specifically Boston Whalers, sold well for me. Sailboats, on the other hand, took forever to move. People have discovered that they can make so much money at yard sales that they turn it into a regular business, including buying additional merchandise such as at flea markets or online specifically to sell at their yard sales.
One town that I vacation in decided that too many people were turning yard sales into a business, and passed an ordinance limiting how many yard sales you were legally allowed to conduct. This is of course another indicator that yard sales can be highly lucrative! You will need some expertise to get going in antique refurbishment, but some skills can be learned fairly easily, such as stripping off old paint or varnish, and refinishing. I would suggest you get started refurbishing antiques for others. Eventually, you may want to buy antiques on spec and refurbish them to resell for a profit, but get to know the market before you start laying out cash for antiques.
Everyone knows legal proceedings take forever, can be very expensive, and the outcomes can be uncertain. I became involved in litigation with a service vendor and it looked like we had no alternative but to go to court. However, our opposing attorneys agreed to hire an arbitrator and we ended up with a much better result, with much less time and agony. A great business—and a great service for individuals and businesses. You will need to develop your expertise before you target museums and bigger institutions.
On the high end are the museums. For example, in Boston the Museum of Fine Arts performs art restoration services for other institutions. Then there are the serious individual collectors. The local bank or investment advisory service may decide to add a touch of class and the feel of quiet success to their office by adding art to its walls, but which paintings should they buy? You could offer your services to private art buyers as well. Where do you start? Netting for railings, cabinet door catches, safety coverings for electric outlets, door locks…there are lots of safety elements that need to be changed to make houses safe for babies and toddlers.
Do your research carefully and make sure you are not missing any safety elements. For this business, you can set up service stations or other local business as your agents, giving them a percentage of the rental fees. Vacation areas and being near bike trails are great places for bike rentals. My book publishing business often bought books from packagers. What is a packager? Typically, a book packager would sell to a publisher a completed manuscript with the pages already laid out, and a book cover all ready to go.
For example, we bought a book about chess, boxed with a small chess set, from a book packager. A lot of business people are good at producing their product or delivering their service, but less good about keeping careful accounting records. You may visit a small business every week or two, pay bills, send out invoices and keep accounting records. Photography can be very competitive and having a specialty, such as boudoir, can help attract customers and justify higher fees. The market for this tends to be brides and young wives buying pictures as a gift for their husband.
My father was a business broker for a number of years. The type of business he most frequently brokered was coin-operated laundromats. When you are dealing with the smaller businesses such as single location laundromats, you will need to achieve a reasonably good volume of transactions to make decent money.
There is solid demand for this business—and no wonder installing carpet including stretching it out to fit just right—is harder than it looks! Demand comes not just from homeowners but also from commercial businesses. You can land installation work from carpet retailers, from online business service directories, or from advertising on places like Craigslist.
A catering service may be a large business serving meals to armies of people at special events. Or it may be a single person business serving dinner to just a few people. Specialization can help build your business. For example, here in New England some caterers specialize in clambakes. One of my friends sold off his large family business that made industrial goods, and then embarked on a new career as an artisan furniture maker. He studied furniture making in a full-time study program and focused on very high wood furniture. He would display his furniture at shows and promote open studio nights.
Clients were wealthy individuals and some high-end boutique hotels. With never having painted a house, I opened a house painting business during a summer vacation from college. I hired a few school teachers to do most of the work, and we quickly all figured out what it takes to do a good house painting job. In a word a good house painting job requires: Until it reaches that size a company might contract for an HR person one or two days a week through a human resources service. One of my friends with experience in HR built up a good business on this model.
It helps if you are a good networker or are comfortable approaching small business owners to sell them your service. Like it or not, people tend to judge you instantly on that first impression! If you have a good sense of dress and appearance, this could be a good niche business for you! An irrigation service installs and services underground sprinkler systems at homes and businesses.
- Sous les toits (French Edition).
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- Aspettando Mondi Incantati 2011 (Italian Edition).
I use a one-person irrigation service at one house and have a larger landscaping service handle the irrigation at another house. The big work comes when you install a new system. With the Internet leading to more and more video production, makeup consulting is becoming more important than ever! I started two different map businesses while in college, both of which I later sold. One was a street map of a local resort area, which I sold to retailers and also sold advertising on the back side of.
The other was a tourist map of the island of Nantucket which I sold at retail. Today with everyone using navigation systems, I would be less excited about putting together a street map. But a fun illustrated map showing local business sponsors still makes for a viable business model. You would think that in this day and age of electronic communication that messengers were something of the past—but no messenger services are still vibrant.
In larger cities bicycle courier services are popular and in smaller cities local messenger services rely exclusively on cars. The first thought that comes to mind for mobile hair salon is that you save the overhead of having a storefront location. However, you are also offering a convenience for your customers.
Special offers and product promotions
Assisted living facilities and senior citizens trying to minimize trips out of the home will especially appreciate mobile hair salon services. Getting ready for a child is a special time and having a nursery all set up is a wonderful way to get ready. You can really have fun developing striking nursery designs for your clients and make good money by bringing it all together for them. With this business, you could focus on providing PC training to employees at smaller to mid-sized companies that are too small to have their own IT departments.
Or you could offer classes to individuals. How do all the pets get to doggie day care or make their appointments at the vet? Your pet taxi service! As people offer more and more services for their pets the need to transport them will continue to grow for years to come. In my book business, we had up to seven full time publicists on staff, and yet we would still hire outside publicity firms to promote our books.
Most publicity work is promotion work—getting attention for businesses and their products. Most publicity firms specialize, for example one firm may specialize in promoting high tech firms in Boston, another may specialize in promoting restaurants in Providence. Many of the national publicity firms I have used were founded by somebody who had previously had experience working at a media outlet.
Yes, you can learn how to repair smartphones. You can buy parts you should inventory more common ones and you can watch videos on YouTube that show you how to make repairs. I have been to a small shop in Cambridge that specializes just in fixing casing and glass on smartphones. You can make good money but it will take some patience to get going. A storefront, even a small one on a secondary street or second floor of an office building, will help make your business seem more established. Purchasing and installing a stair lift is a major decision for a mobility impaired customer.
Offering excellent service including carefully presenting the best alternatives and being quickly available for follow-up service can help make your stair lift business stand out from the competition and build positive word of mouth. I like the vintage clothing business because you are not competing head to head with all the retailers and online sites selling new goods. Furthermore, you can have high margins. I would look to at least double my money on any vintage clothing that I buy, and I would try to pay for items with store credit not cash, as much as possible.
What is affiliate marketing? You provide links on your website or blog to an affiliate marketing service that sells a third-party product or company that sells their own product. The largest affiliate marketer is Amazon whose commissions are in the It sounds like an easy way to make money and some people have made a lot of money on it…but many more people have been disappointed by their results.
It is very hard to get your website and blog visitors to buy things! You could make a lot of money building and selling apps. However be ready to face a ruthless competition. Today, just a few years later, selling Apps is more competitive. In fact, there are large marketing firms that exclusively focus on marketing apps. Nonetheless, there is still money to be made in making and selling apps. Every company needs content for their website to attract search engine traffic and develop a bond with their customers and potential customers.
Hence the market for creating web-friendly content has exploded with both large firms and independent content marketers helping to fill the need. Specializing in the needs of a particular industry can help jump-start your business, but many companies are willing to hire content marketers who are good researchers and can write well, even if they lack specific industry expertise. A dropship business means that you are selling physical goods that you have other companies ship out.
For example, you may create a website selling desk lamps. You would take the order from the customer on your website and then you would have the order shipped out by the supplier. Drop shopping differs from affiliate marketing in that the customer stays on your website to complete the order. Furthermore, you process the order and then ask the drop shipper to fulfil the order.
Affiliate marketing on the other hand, is more of a marketing service—providing traffic to the website of the company that provides the product. Drop shipping may have higher upside but if you are just getting started I would recommend that you keep things simple and start with affiliate marketing. I think providing eBay selling and shipping services is a great, high-demand service business. This is a very different business than what I would call eBay trading where you buy and sell products on eBay.
A trading business can have high potential but it also has higher risks and may take longer to make money at. Having built one of the largest independent book publishers in the US, I can tell you that book publishing is not the easy road to riches that so many people think it is. Furthermore, I believe getting really rich publishing your own eBook can even be harder. For one the competition is insane…you will be competing with everybody and their mother, including people who are literally giving away their product.
Furthermore, it is increasingly hard to get attention for books in the media, and it is hard to convert website visitors into book buyers. But hard is not impossible, and you could publish that rare book that makes a lot of money. Several of the book authors I published earned over a million dollars, and that was just from their royalties. I would recommend that you hyper specialize if you are starting an e-commerce business.
Because many e-commerce websites have very deep pockets and patient investors and are willing to sell products for razor thin margins i. Amazon or even at a loss to build market share.
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That being said if you can show some solid revenue in this business, and especially if you have repeat customers, you will have a business that is worth a lot of money even before it is profitable. Not only is a fashion blog fun to create, but it is the kind of blog that you have one of the best chances of monetizing. Every business needs help with their Internet marketing.
And now I see even the smallest businesses hiring specialists for individual aspects of digital marketing. For example, they may hire one expert for pay-for-click search engine advertising, another for Facebook marketing and still another for SEO for their website. So, you could focus on one aspect of digital marketing, or you could be a generalist. Knowing how powerful the reach of the Internet is for research, companies are very willing to outsource their research efforts to independent Internet researchers. Of course, the more specialized and experienced you are the more ability you will have to both land jobs and to charge premium pricing.
They would rather have you just do it all for them and deliver leads to their doorstep. If you go into this business I would suggest that you consider building your expertise for a particular industry, instead of a particular location, as the results for a particular industry are more likely to be repeatable. Great photos and well presented. Overtime he has built up a good advertising base. Like any blog it takes time, energy, consistency and patience to build a following.
But if you enjoy taking pictures, attending events and meeting people, a local blog can be a lot of fun. Nowadays, it is easier for small gaming studios or individuals to compete with big established firms. The biggest gaming companies spend millions developing their latest offerings and lots more money promoting them. A recent college grad we hired had just launched her own game, and was getting hundreds of thousands of downloads.
It just seems to me that everyone is doing it and people generally expect podcasts to be free. But if you develop a strong enough following you can sell advertising or sponsorships for your podcast, then you can build a decent business. How do you make money as a product reviewer? By cashing in on affiliate marketing links from products you review. Even if you give a product a negative review, you could mention a product that you prefer as an alternative and give an affiliate link to that product.
I learned a lot about resume writing as my book publishing company became the leading seller of resume books in the US. With the Internet, you can help write resumes and cover letters for anyone in the world. If you can write succinctly, you can write a good resume. The selling costs are remarkably low on the Etsy website. But you will be competing with some awesome looking crafts, so make sure you create some great stuff that is highly distinctive.
Then take perfect photographs and write up snappy descriptions. Try to build a following by developing a related line of goods. With many websites getting the majority of their traffic from search engine results, it is no wonder that the demand is huge for SEO specialists. If your social media postings develop a large enough, or a specialized enough, following you may be able to earn money as a social media influencer.
There are social media influencer platforms you can get listed on, and there are advertising companies hired specifically to promote company brands via social media influencers. A lot of businesses delegate their social media efforts. Companies large and small need to be posting regularly to social media or they will be left behind. Many companies outsource this work to social media specialists. This is a great business because you will receive ongoing work and a recurring revenue stream.
And the work is easy enough that over time you can delegate the day to day posting work and build a social media agency empire! User interface and user experience matters big time on your website! You can earn an advanced degree in this field, you can read books about it or you can learn it on your own. Two of the biggest problems of operating a retail store are the overhead of having a storefront and the risk and cost of carrying inventory. With a virtual consignment store you eliminate both of these problems!
You could take it one step further and have your suppliers drop ship the goods for you. The market for website developers is huge and highly competitive. If you lack highly specialized coding skills, I would suggest you consider trying to break into this space by offering flat fee rates to develop new or re-launched websites for smaller businesses or organizations and limit your development work to one platform, such as WordPress.
With new digital ad options abounding, developing a well thought out advertising program is more complex than ever! Hence, businesses are even more dependent upon third parties such as ad agencies to solve their marketing riddle and bring customers to their door.
To get going as an ad agency you will need some broad marketing acumen. You can finance your plane and contract out most of the work, including getting help to get your company certified to fly. This is a service business and those little touches can make a difference in keeping customers coming back. You might like the idea of steady income from owning an apartment building but not like the hassles that come with it.
Owning an apartment building could be extremely profitable. However, it comes with a few hassles. In that case, you buy the building and hire a management company to handle the day-to-day hassles. I once tried to sell one of my online businesses to a year old real estate billionaire who started out his business with just a couple multi-family homes.
There is a huge upside potential rebuilding auto parts, like transmissions. However, I have friends who have gone into this business and it can take years to nail down your production process, develop your customer base and start to reap the big money. In Boston one of the very best high skyscraper restaurant locations was taken over by a banquet facility company. The owner of this business grew up in the restaurant business but decided to build his own business exclusively around banquets. A banquet facility is an interesting alternative to the difficult restaurant business.
You get to match your labor and food costs closely to your income. And by having a dedicated space and a tightly focused business you should be able to execute well. I find this to be a tough business. First you need a brew master with deep expertise. Then you have to get your beer taste to be very distinctive and very pleasing.
You need consistent quality. You need to stand out versus the many other small brewers, build a clientele, and arrange for transportation. Nonetheless the market is huge and because of the success of micro-breweries, established beer distributors are increasingly willing to take on smaller labels.
I find the car wash business highly attractive and even considered opening one at one point. If I was going to go into this business, I might consider starting with a smaller facility in a smaller market, and really learning the business before going for a larger facility, in a more competitive marketplace. This is a boom or bust business. Whereas a friend of mine who had sold his retail store business has quickly become hugely successful at commercial real estate. My friend is highly charismatic, he could carry on a conversation with a tree, and he is always meeting new people.
He also worked for an established broker for a year or so before going on his own, which is a typical path in this business. While it can be difficult to build momentum initially, the potential upside is much higher than selling residential real estate. One of my business school classmates started a concert promotion business while still an undergrad at Harvard, and even as a student he was making a fortune at it. He started with lesser known groups and smaller venues, and within a couple years he was booking some of the largest venues in greater Boston.
He also enjoyed partying with the rock stars! Even small businesses need all kinds of insurance and you can help them by getting them the coverage that will help save their business on a rainy day. To succeed in this business, you need to be outgoing and network well. But you also need to come across with a smart, consultative sell, not a hard-core pitch. It will take some time to build a corporate insurance brokerage, but this kind of business offers both high income potential and the possibility of someday selling it for a high multiple of earnings.
That means it can be a high margin business. I would start this business by taking on very small jobs and working my way up. The day spa business is hot as more and more overworked people seek rejuvenation for their tired bodies. I would pull first time customers in with very sweet deals, then try to tie them in with a membership model, such as so many day spa visits per month for one flat rate. Instead make the spa nice, but not lavish, and then offer great service.
One of my friends with a background in manufacturing started a business removing waste from building sites and then he progressed into the demolition of industrial buildings. Like other construction related services, one of the keys to success is very carefully bidding for your work. You also need to make sure you get paid—general contractors can be highly successful one minute and then short on money to pay bills the next. If you have the right touch, this business can be a goldmine, and very personally rewarding.
One of my business school classmates changed into this career later in life and did very well, specializing in putting together highly talented teams for well financed startups, and early stage ventures. The typical head hunter makes endless cold calls—but at the higher end firms networking is much more important. I see this as an arbitrage opportunity. You finance your fitness rental equipment as one package at a low rate, and then you rent it out to your clientele at a much higher rate, providing them a service they can afford. My experience in the rental business is you need to pay careful attention to what happens at the end of the rental period—is the equipment still rentable?
And what happens when the equipment breaks down? Work out these details and this could be a solid and very scalable business. Yes, you could put together a phone solicitation service for non-profits, but fundraising is increasingly turning to inbound marketing. In his days as a commercial banker, my father financed a number of health clubs, and they all complained about the same issue: This is a business that you can make millions at with even a single location, but it is also a business that is riskier than it may first appear.
I would suggest starting with a very small location, perhaps even a members-only key-card accessible location with no employees on site, and learn the ins and outs of the business before getting too carried away. And of course, there is all kind of potential for specialization in this field. This is a good solid service business. But it is competitive, you need to have fully qualified service providers, and you need to look into licensing.
No matter how good a service you run, when you deal with the elderly especially there is always legal risk. You can mitigate the risk by incorporating, by getting insurance and by being sure your staff follows accepted medical protocols. It is absurd how much money you can make in liquidation! One of my friends made hundreds of millions of dollars as a partner in a firm primarily specializing in liquidating retailers. Typically, a liquidator comes into a business and buys everything that is unsecured.
You could specialize in liquidating certain types of businesses or personal estates. For this business idea, getting regular clients is key. Meal preparation services are booming and the Internet is facilitating this, making it easier to attract and service customers. Typically, these services offer just a few meal choices each day, but they vary the selection constantly. Especially if you can build up regular subscribers to your service, you can determine in advance exactly what your food needs will be, minimizing both food and labor waste.
You can put a big sign on top of your truck or pull it around on a trailer. This is particularly powerful for local businesses because you can offer pinpoint marketing—driving around the same business block for example. You could also offer a service to hire people to agree to have a commercial sign mounted on their cars as they drive around town doing their usual thing. For example, a Boston radio station arranged to have hundreds of small VWs to be painted with their logos, paying each car owner a monthly stipend.
How big can this business go? A money broker is basically someone who arranges short-term loans to people. These are usually storefront locations, closely regulated and not allowed in all states. This can be a solid business, but the regulatory climate is shifting against these businesses, so evaluate the risk of future regulatory changes, before hanging out your shingle.
The key to get going with this business is to build relationships with schools and school music directors, who can recommend your services. Musical instruments, especially those that are rented out, are highly financeable for low rates, so this is a business you can get into with very little money, and expand aggressively.
One of my friends and his wife liked having a nanny so much that they kept her to help out around the house even after the kids went off to boarding school. This same friend told me they went through 23 nannies in 22 years! No wonder there is a demand for nanny services! This business is all about trust. Show off your background, describe your thorough vetting process, and have a very professional looking website and marketing materials. The bigger market for this is companies hiring outplacement services for employees they have laid off or fired.
Companies hire outplacement services to help out their ex-employees, to show current employees that they are compassionate and to decrease the chances of wrongful termination lawsuits. It will be a lot easier to land your first assignments if you have some related experience, such as having worked in HR or at an employment agency.
The real reward in this business comes when you win an assignment to outplace hundreds or thousands of employees that are laid off in a large corporate business re-organization. Not everyone wants to tell people that their business is porta potties! The key is being willing to go out and sell your services to prospective organizations. Once you line up a customer your chance of landing repeat business is huge. Nonetheless this is a powerful business concept.
By doing much of the house construction process in a fully equipped, controllable environment, the building process can be much more efficient. Furthermore, by using prebuilt modules, a builder can still construct a gorgeous customized house. You can get involved in this business by building the prefab homes or modules yourself, or as a housing contractor using prefab modules.
One of my business school classmates caught the trend just right in the Houston commercial real estate market, and then did the same in Boston. Another business school classmate took advantage of the huge real estate sell-off by scooping up thousands of homes in particularly hard-hit areas like Las Vegas with his hedge fund.
The safest way to buy real estate is to make sure that your cash flows from current rents will justify the minimum return you need, then you can look at any appreciation as pure gravy! Several of my friends have done this both as a side business and a main business. The ones doing it as a side business have actually done better. I think that is partly because they have waited patiently for better deals to buy. This is a great part-time business because you decide when you want to work. The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership.
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Whether or not this is a good idea is another matter entirely. Changing jobs can help you climb the corporate ladder more quickly or increase your salary faster than annual raises. However, a resume full of short-term positions can work against you with wary would-be employers. Life is too short for misery. I was only 23 years old when I was handed a team of 26 engineers to manage. I had no computer science training and no prior management experience.
My only management strategy was to ask the engineers what they needed each day, and otherwise stay out of their way. I felt like a poser. Apparently it was because I listened. From then on, they went out of their way to coach me on how to be a better manager. Better yet, bring a plan to your boss for how you would change your job. Be a part of your own solution. Are you making enough money? How much is enough?