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Archive for the ‘Start-up’ Category

5 No Cost Businesses to Start

Would you like to start a business to bring in some additional money, but don’t have extra money for start up costs?

Below are 5 ideas for no cost business start ups with suggestions on how to get started and what the business involves.

Word-of-mouth advertising works best for many of these services.  Ask clients for a reference to show future clients.


1. Day Care Before and After School.

The majority of parents are working, whether it is a single parent family or a two parent family. School hours rarely match the parent’s hours of work.

You need to provide supervision for school age children before school starts, then escort them to school each morning.  At the end of the school day you need to pick them up from school and bring them back to your home where parents can pick them up.  You need to be near enough to a school that you can walk.

A recreation room or specific area where students can play is ideal.  You could pick up a few used toys, games or puzzles from a garage sale, if you don’t already have them.  Having a space where children can drop their backpacks and lunch boxes on the way in and out or your house avoids a lot of confusion.  After school, if students have access to a playground, they can use up some pent up energy before bringing them home.  School aged children usually find it easier to amuse themselves than younger children.  You may ask the parents to ensure children have breakfast before arriving in the morning and to provide an afternoon snack in their lunch box.  Alternatively, you can charge accordingly so you can provide snacks. Often juice and toast are offered in the morning and juice and a snack in the afternoon.  This extra service means a lot to busy parents and they are willing to pay extra for it.

The parent should advise the school that you are authorized to bring and pick up their child from school.  Some schools require photo ID be on record.

Compare prices of other similar services in your neighborhood. Advertise at local mailbox locations, or at the school, if permitted.


2. House Care Taking.

Vacationing is an annual activity for most families.  Having someone take care of their property or simply providing a watchful eye, can ease these families concerns while they are away.

Some people may require a police check to confirm that you are reputable.  They need to know that their possessions will be treated with respect and more importantly that they will be there when they arrive home.

Duties may vary from conducting a walk through of the property each week to check for such things as the heating working during cold weather, no water leaks, or sump pumps working and may include collecting mail, snow shoveling, lawn moving or gardening.

Keep a log so that you can show the family on return the kind and amount of supervision or maintenance that you have provided.

Compare prices of similar services.  If you have a car, you are able to provide a wider geographic range of service.  Advertise in local newspapers, post offices or by flyers put in mailboxes.  Word-of-mouth is best for these services.  Ask clients for a reference to show future clients.


3. Animal Care Taking.

Almost every family has a pet. Almost every family has parents working full time and perhaps children who are in school.  Someone needs to take care of these animals.

Be specific about the kind of animal you will care for.  Will you take dogs for walks? Will be spend time petting a cat?  Are you willing to care for fish, turtles, snakes or monkeys?  Check local bylaws for where dogs are allowed to run free and where they may need to be kept on a leash.  Make sure to pick up any animal waste and dispose of it properly.

Keep a log so that you can show the kind and amount of supervision or maintenance that you have provided.  You may need a police check to provide these services, since you will have access to the persons home.

Compare prices of similar services in your area.  If you have a car, then you will be able to serve a larger geographical area.

Advertise in pet food stores or veterinary clinics that permit it.

4. Mystery Shopping

Mystery shoppers are hired by retail stores and survey companies to evaluate customer service.  If you like shopping and are willing to complete some standard customer service forms after you have made a purchase from the designated store, then this might be for you.

You will be asked to shop at a particular store, usually in a specific department, maybe during specific hours, and make a purchase.  After you leave the store you rate the customer service and any interaction with sales persons.

Check with large Chain Stores in your city shopping mall.  Ask their Human Resources Department if their store or chain uses mystery shoppers and who to contact.  It may be faster to call directly to the store’s country headquarters.

One of the perks of being a mystery shopper is that some stores let you keep the merchandise.


5. Tutoring

Are you a trades person, teacher or student with specific subject expertise, eg., plumbing, chemistry, English, guitar?  Then you may be able to use your skills to tutor someone who wants to acquire the skill.  Often students need extra assistance near exam time.

You may need a trades designation or a previous teaching history.  Check with local schools for students who need tutoring.  Post advertisements on school or library bulletin boards.  Ask classmates if you are in school.

Select a location to conduct the tutoring.  You may want to undergo a police check before offering tutoring services.  This will increase the confidence of potential clients, particularly if you are tutoring in your home.

Tutoring can be personally rewarding when you see a student excel under your tutelage.

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