We have a problem! The majority of us don't make enough money to pay our bills. Mortgages, rent, food, gas prices, everything we need to live are getting more expensive every day. There's downsizing, off shoring and bankruptcies throwing a lot of us out of jobs. What can we do to survive?
Is today the best day in our life to start a business? The answer is absolutely yes! Full time, part-time or moonlighting, doesn't matter as long as you take the necessary steps to become a business warrior, and reach the financial stability you need in your life.
I have helped new entrepreneurs launch their businesses for over 40 years, and the one question that seems to pop up a lot is "I Have Nothing To Sell!" My answer has always been the same, Sell Yourself. Everyone has a business niche they can be proud of. You just have to sit down and think about what you know, what your hobbies are, how your personality can work for you in helping others. Ask yourself, "What can I do to benefit others?"
Are you a hard worker? Can you fix things? Are you good with children? Are you good with the elderly? Are you a good driver and own a car?
Job #1: Handyman (woman)
It is extremely rare in today's environment to find a family where someone is home everyday to do the chores, to fix the little things that go wrong, to organize the closets or garage. Wouldn't it be great to find someone who at a reasonable cost can help do all those little things around the house you just don't have the time for? Can you pull some weeds, clean up and rearrange the backyard and patio, clean up and rearrange the garage so that the second car can finally get in, put new screws in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets so that they finally close properly? Can this be a business? The answer is yes. You've found yourself a great little business, and based on the sampling of people I talked to in my neighborhood, you will be as busy as you want to be.
Job #2: Temporary Service Provider
Things happen everyday where working family members get caught up in a project, are stuck in traffic, must attend an unexpected meeting and need to call a friend or neighbor to pick up the kid, take grandma to the doctors for a check-up or to the market to get something she needs, get dinner from the Chinese restaurant down the street before the family gets home, take the boy (or girl) to baseball practice or dance school. How many times can someone ask a family member, friend or neighbor to help out? Wouldn't it be great if I could call someone I trust, who lives in the area, that for a reasonable price will do these temporary chores so that I don't need to bother my family or friends all the time? Can this be a business? The answer is yes. I know someone that washes cars at night and early in the morning for people who are too busy to get to a carwash and need the car cleaned when they finally get home or before they leave in the morning. He makes a good living, and his entire inventory is a battery operated hand vacuum, a bucket, a couple of soft sponges, several soft drying cloths and a few cleaning agents.
Job #3: House Sitter
This is a great part-time job for a single person, someone who lives with relatives or rents a room or small apartment where they can leave for several days at a time and not have to worry about maintaining their own living area.
People need to go on business trips, trade shows or events or take vacations. Some people own weekend homes. In almost every case, they don't want to leave their homes empty for several days even if they have security. Who will water the plants? Who will be there when an important delivery is made? Who will feed the fish or other household pet? The answer is you!
You get paid for living in a variety of nice houses and get paid to do so. This is a job, so don't invite your friends over or have a party. You will not last long as a house sitter if you don't follow the rules.
Job #4: Tutor
Almost every kid from first grade to college is lacking in one or more subjects, and for one reason or another, the teacher is just not getting through or the kid is just not getting it. Are you really good at math, history, English, Spanish or any other subject or subjects that kids need to know? Do you work well with children? Are you patient? If the answers are yes, you will have parents banging on your door to help their kids learn what you know.
This is only a sampling of business ideas that can be started for very little money and still make you a nice living. If you take the time to think about it, you will come up with many more, and one of them will be right for you. Much has been said about starting a business on the "net", and believe me that is absolutely true. The opportunities are amazing, and it will be the "stuff" of several articles I will be writing in the future. This article is for those individuals where hands on businesses may be the best way to go. Families need help in their everyday lives, and the opportunities to start and succeed in a business that offers them benefits that will make their lives better and easier are there for the taking.
In any business where trust is an issue, put together a nice portfolio that includes your DMV record, letters of recommendation from your priest or minister, any documentation you have from attending CPR or Heimlich classes and testimonials from happy clients. The more documentation you can provide prospective clients, the better your chances of building a very nice business.