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10 No-Work Wonders

[ 0 ] Jun. 1, 2009 | SBO Editor

Looking to start a business where you can work flexible hours from home? Technology and the Internet have made it possible to establish a global enterprise right from your kitchen table. We’ve rounded up 10 fun, quick and easy moneymakers you can start right away.

1. Online Auction Business: You can start an online auction business in less than an hour with your home computer. Visit www.ebay.com and learn how you can make money by listing items you no longer need or care about and cash in with the more than two million auctions that close on ebay each day.

There are a number of auction websites cranking out millions of dollars a year for online auction entrepreneurs. You can even start a specialty auction business and focus on just one item or type of item, say movie collectibles or bird houses, yo-yos, etc. Go online and research resources and purchase these goods at wholesale rates and start making money! We have interviewed eBay powersellers who are making $150,000 a month with their online auction businesses. Why not you?

Sinclair has written eBay Business The Smart Way: Maximize Your Profits On The Web’s #1 Auction Site (AMACOM, $24.95). In the book he presents a comprehensive strategy, plus savvy tips, for selling on eBay as a full-time, money-making enterprise. Starting with the minimal investment required, he illuminates the benefits of building a business on eBay.

If you have treasures lying around, or if you have access to wholesale goods, you can get in on this mega-profit bandwagon. Log onto www.ebay.com and register with a user name and email address and enjoy the show.

2. Online Affiliations: More than $5 million a year is made in the online affiliation business. You can make money while hanging out if you just set up the right online affiliation programs through your website. If you can attract enough visitors to your site and if they’ll then purchase goods on sites that you have links to, you will pick up a percentage of each item sold. We were reading recently of a gentleman who makes as much as $3,500 a day through his online affiliation programs. He won’t identify himself, however. Perhaps he doesn’t want to take calls from people who want to learn how it’s done and/or he is not reporting his full income.

You can start an online affiliation business by doing a search online for companies that offer these programs. Two big ones are amazon.com and musiciansfriend.com. Check them out. The more affiliation programs you are linked with, the more money you can potentially make.

Also, consider starting a blog (check out Google’s www.blogger.com), and sell ads on your blog via Google’s AdSense program.

3. Mail Order: It is very easy to start a mail-order business right from your kitchen table with $100 or less. All you need is a product to sell, place some ads, establish a website and start raking in the money.

4. Seasonal Services: Regular readers of this magazine know we are high on service businesses that save clients time, energy and offer them a lot of freedom and convenience. Seasonal services are those that you run for as little as three months a year.

Philip Bregstone, the founder of the company and creator of the “Biz-in-a-Box” concept for Dr. Glass, supported himself through Syracuse University by washing windows in his hometown of Potomac, Maryland.

“It just so happened that there were a certain number of sports stars, Patrick Ewing and Sugar Ray Leonard, who lived in the neighborhoods where I was washing windows, so they started using me,” he said.

Bregstone has become known as “Dr. Glass” and now helps entrepreneurs launch their own profitable window-washing venture.

For the past decade, Dr. Glass has helped start more than 150 businesses around the world. Most of these operations are now flourishing, allowing each proprietor to earn a good living as a home-based business owner/operator.

According to the company, “Using our system, a minister, a concert pianist, a food service manager, a travel industry director, an industrial management consultant, and an architect, among others, are now running successful high-end window-washing businesses [some full-time, some part-time].”

The market keeps expanding with new home construction. There’s longevity as windows will always need washing. Once established, it’s easy to profit from sub-contractors, leaving you even more time for other pursuits. Satisfaction is built in. You provide a tangible quality service, work with your hands outdoors, finish a task and get paid the same day.

This is a seasonal business in most climates. You can have from two to four months a year to turn your attention to other endeavors. When we first interviewed Bregstone, he was proud to tell us that he earned a six-figure income with this seasonal business. It was then that he decided to help others do the same and created his business opportunity package.

Repeat business ensures a solid customer base and an ongoing revenue stream. Transition time is built in. You can start part-time and work up to a full-time income. Firefighters, musicians, etc., choose to keep this as a lucrative part-time add-on, says Bregstone.

By purchasing the system, even first-time entrepreneurs are set for success. “They receive step-by-step details on our special residential system; all the equipment you need and where to get it [and what it’s for]; basic window-washing techniques; and how to organize the typical job,” says Dr. Glass.
For more information, visit www.docglass.com

5. Website Empire: With a website, you have a global marketplace at your fingertips. One click can send your products or services around the world. There are many ways to establish a site of your own. The important thing is to keep visitors coming back to your website. The Dummies series of books has several on web design and promotion. Do a Google search on how to set up your own website. Add this essential and powerful tool to your current small business. Even a nice home page will help you establish a web presence.

6. Buy An Existing Business: Our website at www.sbomag.com has a listing of more than 150 business opportunities packages that you can purchase. It is an instant way of starting your own business. The companies offering such “turnkey” opportunities have done all of the work for you. You buy their business idea and concept. Unlike a franchise, you don’t have to adhere to any strict guidelines; in fact, you can call the business anything you like. Check out the listing. There is something for every interest and budget.

7. Computer Tech Support: The popularity of the Geek Squad at big box store Best Buy is growing. But there are parts of the country that don’t have access to computer fixit tech support people. If you live in such a region, and are savvy with computers and tech stuff in general, consider launching your own computer tech support service.

8. Your Dream Business: A very wise woman once said, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” This is what all entrepreneurs need to do: find something they enjoy and are passionate about and then figure out a way to make money with this interest or hobby. We recently profiled, for example, a guy in Florida
who always loved yo-yos. Today he makes more than $1 million a year selling the little fun objects he loves so much. Find your passion and get paid for it!

9. Fast-Food Businesses: We love to eat and there are hundreds of different food businesses that you can purchase as a franchise. A franchise is a proven way or system of doing business. The franchisor “packages” the business in a format that one purchases and pays royalties to the company for the right to use the name, signage, uniforms, products, menu, marketing and ad tools, etc. Not everyone is cut out to be a franchisee as you must adhere to the codes, standards and practices of the franchise operation. Franchisees may not experiment with the menu choices or operational systems. Visit www.franchise.org, the official website of the International Franchise Association for information on franchising and for a list of their members.

10. Your Invention: The American Inventor television show proves that there is a lot of interest in creating and marketing an American Dream product. If you have thought of something but have been holding back, make this year the one you get off the couch and start creating your future. Check out nolo.com for the many valuable books they have on inventors and inventing. The Inventor’s Notebook is highly recommended! •

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Category: Magazine, Start Your Own Business, Start Your Own Business Summer 2009