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Home-Based 100

[ 4 ] Apr. 30, 2012 | SBO Editor

Make a fortune right at home without huge startup costs. You can launch a dream biz for $100 or less!

How do you come up with a great idea for your home-based small business? What type of interests or skills do I have that could translate into running a small business? Do you love holidays and gift giving? You could start a personal shopping service or launch a gift basket business. Do you love children? How about a day care center? Use your imagination. No one can tell you what business you can best start and run. That’s up to you. What types of businesses are needed in your community? Is there an errand service? Could your neighborhood use one? Are there businesses that would use your errand service? Are residential customers a possibility? Could you start a food delivery service, delivering meals-to-go from already established restaurants that don’t have the time or the inclination to deliver their own fare? You could start a business providing this service. Ask yourself: what is needed in this region and could I do it? Find a niche and fill it. Here are a few guidelines to help you get started:

PICK A BUSINESS YOU WILL LOVE: In searching for the right business to start make sure you choose something that you love to do. You will be spending a lot of time making the business work, so you must enjoy what you do.

MAKE A LIST OF HOBBIES, TALENTS & INTERESTS: In researching the type of business you’d love to start, make a series of lists of what you’re interested in and see what you’re good at.

CHECK OUT ZONING RULES: Communities have really relaxed their rules on residential and commercial zoning now that so many people are working from home. But if your home-based business means that you’ll have to have huge trucks delivering goods, then beware, your neighbors might not like it and might turn you in to the local authorities. You will not be able to set up a restaurant at home or a dry cleaning business or a commercial parking lot right on your front lawn. To find out about local zoning laws, call your town office and county clerk’s office.

REGISTER YOUR COMPANY: Take a trip down to your county clerk’s office and register your name. You will receive a Business Index number and can then use that Business Index number to open a business checking account.

ESTABLISH A PROFESSIONAL IMAGE: Most of your customers might never see your home office, so impress them with your professionalism and attention to detail by selecting a good-looking stationery system consisting of high-grade letterhead and business cards. Get a separate phone line so no one answers the phone and just says, “Hello,” which could turn off potential customers. Get a fax machine, an answering or voice mail and you are in business!

CHECK OUT YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE: Examine your insurance policy to see if you need to beef up your liability insurance or add on any other type of coverage. There are many add-ons to consider, including business interruption insurance, business property insurance, disability insurance, non-owned auto insurance, product liability and much more.

GENERATING BUSINESS: Print up a flier, get involved in local clubs and other networking opportunities, send out a press kit to local newspapers, prepare a direct mail piece, try and place yourself as a guest—an expert—on local TV or cable, investigate advertising, become active in local civic groups and associations, offer to give a speech at a local club or gathering, send out discount coupons, send out holiday greeting cards, teach a class at adult education, attend trade shows as a guest or exhibitor.

ACCOUNTING FOR SUCCESS: Even though you might not plan to do your own taxes—and we do endorse the notion that you visit a professional accountant for tax assistance—it’s a good idea to get a grip on basic accounting principles and bookkeeping skills.

Check out our Home-Based 100.

1. PET SITTING: Do you love animals? This could be a business dream come true. There are plenty of people out there who don’t want to leave their precious pets alone during the day. Or, maybe there is an individual who travels a great deal for the job he or she holds and would prefer to leave their pet in their own home or in yours.

2. JUNK REMOVAL: Many landfills across the U.S. are closing, and giving way to recycling centers. It’s a great thing, but it has made it more difficult to get rid of a lot of junk. You can start a business removing items from people’s homes and yards that they can’t get rid of themselves. Maybe your customers have no way to haul their stuff to the dump; maybe it is too heavy for their car, etc. You do the research.

3. DIRECT SELLING: We don’t usually feature multi-marketing businesses in this magazine because our readers don’t consider it having a business of their own, but it is something you might want to consider. Direct selling means that you sell your products directly to the customer without a store or shop. It’s the Fuller Brush or the Avon-type way of earning extra money.

4. KEEPSAKE/CD-Roms/ALBUMS: You meet with your clients to review their photos, letters, keepsakes and mementos. You organize them into photo albums, scrapbooks or a DVD. If you are organized and have a bit of a flair for putting things together, this could be the perfect business for you. Charge by the hour or by the project.

5. PASTRY PROFITS: You can turn a recipe you’ve refined into a hot moneymaker. We know of one elementary school teacher who perfected a dessert. He offered the dessert to catering companies. They loved it and were soon ordering them by the dozen for the weddings and other events they catered. He soon had to move out of his own kitchen and rented a bakery at night to produce his tasty treats.

6. CLOSET RENOVATION: You can make anywhere from $100 to $1500 remodeling closets. You’ll have to brush up on some of the new organizer systems that are available, and if you have a knack for installing things, you’ll be good at fixing up closets and giving people more of that everyone wants: more closet space. You don’t have to be a design genius.

7. SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICE: You help individuals set up accounts at Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and you maintain them.

8. CART VENDING: If you live in a busy area—near a bunch of outlets, for example—build a small cart and start selling. Sell lemonade, fruit salad, cookies, sunglasses, suntan lotion, but start selling. If you live en route to a busy beach sell your goods to drivers sitting in traffic. Sell vegetables from the roadside. Sell ski wax. This is a four-season business.

9. HORSE BOARDING: Some areas across the United States are known as “horse country.” If you live in or near a region that qualifies, you might consider building a stable on your property and renting it out to people who own horses but who don’t have anywhere to keep them.

10. TOOL RENTAL: Do you have a basement full of tools that you are not suing all the time? If you do, why not start a business renting them to people who need them for a limited time and limited use?

11. GARAGE CLEANING: Just about every garage in the United States could use a cleaning. Some need a complete overhaul. You can offer this service to homeowners in your community and by the time you get all the garages cleaned and straightened up, it will be time to start all over again.

12. PET PHOTOGRAPHER: If you like animals and enjoy taking pictures, consider starting a business in which you photograph people’s pets. Ask local pet shops if you can display a flier offering your service.

13. RESIDENTIAL CLEANING SER-VICE: It is not uncommon to hear that people start this business and make $60,000 in six months. They then start farming out the cleaning jobs to employees and sit back and just book the jobs. You can do it, too.

14. ASSEMBLY SERVICE: Along the same track as business number 21, but this one has you assembling items such as bookshelves, armoires, dressers and just about anything else that people buy from stores that needs to be assembled. Most people are too frustrated to read directions. This is where you come in and offer your services.

15. TEACH YOUR CRAFT: Do you engage in a hobby or craft that people have told you they would love to learn? Then why don’t you start offering classes or lessons in this hobby craft? Do you make quilts, do stained glass or build small sailboats? There is probably a market to teach this service.

16. HOWDY NEIGHBOR SERVICE: Is your area booming with new homeowners? Consider a welcoming service. You make your money from all of the local merchants who pay you to include them in your “get to know the neighborhood” package. You drop in or make appointments with new neighbors and tell them where the local video rental store is, whether or not the local deli delivers, the location of the best pizza place, and how late the bank stays open on a Friday night.

17. NEWSLETTER: You don’t have to be a genius to even a great writer to start your own newsletter. To newsletter readers, it is much more important to digest the information that’s in the newsletter rather than analyze the writing style. For example, choose something you’re interested in as you’ll have more fun this way.

18. CAPTURE SPECIAL EVENTS: Do you enjoy making videos of special gatherings for your family and friends? Why not get paid for it? Take your video camera and start a business recording special events around town for your neighbors and business associates.

19. BICYCLE REPAIR: You can turn your love of bicycling into a moneymaking enterprise by advertising that you repair bikes. This type of business can translate into any hobby or love. If you ski, you can offer to wax and repair skis, you can refurbish rollerblades, fix or shape surfboards, etc.

20. VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE: You can set up a vintage clothing store in your backyard or attic. Check with the local zoning board and make sure this is all right in your neighborhood. Some towns require that you get a permit to do this occasionally.

21. AQUARIUM MAINTENANCE: When people buy tropical fish and put the fish in that gleaming fish tank with the special lighting and that cute little plastic skin diver, it really does look great. But, who wants to maintain the beauty of the tank on a regular basis. This is where tropical fish maintenance entrepreneurs come in handy. There are fish that can be selected for a tank that require little care and tenderness. You can learn these breeds and select them for your clients. Of course, we don’t advocate this business unless you are really concerned about the little fish. You’ll need to drop by once or twice a week, clean out the tank and feed the fish.

22. DISC JOCKEY: Do you love music, parties and people? Try starting your own disc jockey service. You’ll need a good sound system and perhaps some lights to get the ball rolling. Look into a karaoke system so the partygoers can get up and sing.

23. RV & BOAT DETAILING: If you live near a trailer park, camp ground or harbor, you can establish a washing, cleaning, detailing service for RV and boat owners.

24. HERB GARDEN: You plant an herb garden for your clients. It can be indoors or outside. You supply the equipment, soil, herbs and give them a plan to keep the herbs going, or they can hire you to come back once a week to maintain the garden.

25. STEPPING STONES: If you can make concrete stepping-stones from a simple mold, you can start a lucrative business making garden paths for your clients. You can dye the concrete to have a wide variety of color offerings, too. Mix in some decorative stones or pebbles and you are really on to something.

26. POOL CLEANING: Do you live in an area with a lot of swimming pools? You could start a pool cleaning and maintenance service. Pool cleaners drop by once a week to vacuum the pool and distribute the chlorine.

27. FURNITURE REFINISHING: Even if you’ve never done this before there are scores of books out now on the topic and dozens of magazines that teach one how to refinish furniture. You can offer this as a service and do it at your place, or theirs.

28. HOT TUB MAINTENANCE: Hot tubs are still a big item when people build a new home. It takes less than 15 minutes a week to maintain a hot tub. You can start a business offering this service. It could be a great add-on to a pool cleaning business.

29. DECK BUILDING: If you are handy with carpentry, then starting a deck building specialty business could be the right one for you. Specialize in just a few styles and build some for your friends. (Let them supply the materials.) Use these “models” for your photo brochure or deck album. This will be your selling tool to generate business.

30. INSTALLATION SERVICE: You can advertise in local newspapers, put up a flier and drop into stores that sell these items and ask them if they can refer you to their customers. The store might be convinced that they will sell more items if they have a person to hook them up!

31. WEDDING PLANNER: Planning a wedding is tough for the harried bride who has enough on her mind. A wedding planner sits down with the bride and the groom and plans a wedding that they want. The wedding planner must work within a budget and should have good resources.

32. DISH RENTAL BUSINESS: Ever throw a party and not have enough dishes to go around? Or rather, dishes that matched? There are plenty of folks in that predicament, including many catering businesses, and you can start a business just renting your dishes to them. You’ll have to buy a few sets of dishes that can accommodate up to 100 place settings—or more. You’ll also have to have a van to deliver and pick up the dishes at the end of the event.

33. GIFT BASKET BIZ: The gift basket business is still booming as Americans have discovered a tried-and-true solution to the “what should I give” blues. Gift baskets aren’t just for those get-well times, either. They come in all shapes and sizes. They can be customized for a wide variety of recipients from the golfer who finally hit par to the single mom who just got a great promotion.

34. CALLIGRAPHY SERVICE/SPECIAL INVITATION MARKETING: Calligraphy is still used for special invitations and corporate events. It is available in software form for personal computers, but many prefer to hire a calligrapher that can do the job by hand. Research other special options such as using dried flowers, etc. Drop into a local art or crafts store and research the possibilities.

35. PARTIES FOR KIDS: You can start a business planning parties for children. You can buy all the party fair and drop it off, or you can also provide the cake, the entertainment and even be on hand to supervise these events. You’ll need good resources for the cake, entertainment and party goods. Advertise in local papers and at local clubs that cater to Moms.

36. BLOG FOR MONEY: If you have a knack for writing and work quickly, you can make money as a blogger. You write blogs for others, or create your own blog, and post ads on it. It is easy with blogger.com and Google’s AdSense. Check it out!

37. DRIED FLOWER WREATHS: You can gather dried flowers from your own garden and make your own wreaths from dried flowers, herbs, and ornamental grasses, hollies and pines. These could be sold at crafts fairs, flea markets or via mail order. You can also customize the wreaths to meet special needs.

38. ORGANIZING KITCHENS: You take on this task that apartment dwellers and homeowners don’t want to face.

39. BIRDHOUSE BUILDING: If you can build birdhouses, start turning them out and sell them at local fairs and flea markets. Make sure you investigate what types of birds like what types of houses. Some birds prefer a small entry hole for their doorway and others like a larger one. Some don’t like certain colors.

40. FLEA MARKET ENTREPRENEUR: Do you have goods to sell? Then you can become a flea market entrepreneur. You’ll need to research locations in your region where you can set up shop and sell your wares.

41. LAWN SERVICE: Cutting lawns is something that every homeowner must do. You can start a business offering this service. If there is lot of competition in your region, offer a discounted price for new customers.

42. BEDS FOR PETS: If you are handy and can build, you can create fun beds for pets that resemble couches, carriages, and sports cars.

43. SERVICES FOR SENIORS: There are plenty of senior citizens outs there who could use some help in getting chores done, answering mail, helping out with seasonal duties around the house and much, much more. You can start a senior service business where you help them do all of these things.

44. COLLECTIBLES DEALER: Do you love old things and love collecting? Old toys, Barbie dolls, Mickey Mouse watches, snow globes, lunch boxes are all valued collectible items and dealers will pay a tidy sum to have these goods in their collections. We recently saw an ad for Ty Beanie Babies. Collectors looking for the one or two they don’t have will pay a fortune to complete their set.

45. FLOWERS TO GO: If you live on a street on which harried executives travel on their way home, consider growing flowers and selling them right from your front yard. It’s an easy-start business and once you reel in a few customers it will attract more and more. You should have some attractive wrap handy to wrap up the flowers, to.

46. PERENNIAL GARDENS: If you have a flair for gardening and if you are good at design, start a perennial garden business. You visit the home of your clients and design a perennial border for them. You purchase the plants—or transplant them from your own divided perennial garden—and actually dig and plant the garden. There are many design books available that can help you get started.

47. COMPUTER TUTOR: If you have a knack for working on your computer, then you might want to start a business that enables you to earn money while helping folks learn how to operate a computer. Take out a few ads in local newspapers or distribute fliers.

48. HOMETOWN GUIDE: If your hometown features some unique historical monument or water mill or windmill, or if your town is steeped in history that others would find fascinating, then why don’t you put together a tour and offer it as an option whenever tourists come to town. You can dress up like a character from that period.

49. BUY A PRODUCT WHOLESALE & SELL: There are thousands of possibilities online. Find something you love like a yoyo or a gadget and start selling at fairs, mail order, etc.

50. KIDPROOF HOMES: You can set up a business in which you go into homes and conducting a troubleshooting session for parents who have young kids and babies. Are the outlets exposed? Is there bleach under the sink or other harmful chemicals within reach of the children? Could a child fall down a staircase or from a deck? These are the types of situations you’ll be looking to uncover as you help parents childproof their home from potential disaster. You’ll need to brush up on what things to look for, so talk to a lot of parents and find out what steps they’ve taken to make their homes a safe haven for their kids.

51. MEDITATION GARDENS: Create a calming space in your own backyard such as a fountain or other water feature, bench, flowers, etc. Photograph it and use it to get gigs.

52. PERSONAL SHOPPER: Do you like to go shopping? Can you imagine how much fun it would be to get paid to do this?!?! You can, as a personal shopper. Lots of busy executives and harried single parents don’t have the time to shop for themselves or for others.

53. GARAGE SALE: It is possible to host a garage sale every weekend. You don’t have to come up with all of the merchandise, you can sell things on consignment or buy up the contents of homes for sale and then resell them at a profit. You’ll need to advertise your mega garage sale to generate a steady flow of customers. Try to come up with unique items to display such as a horse from a carousel.

54. HOME DELIVERY SERVICE: Home delivery is predicted to be one of the hottest business opportunities of the decade and beyond. People are lazy and pressed for time. The population is getting older and more consumers want stuff delivered right to their doorstep. We’re referring to prescriptions, grocery goods, hardware, lumber yard, etc. You’ll need to tie-in with stores and shops in your region that don’t deliver.

55. HOME INVENTORY BIZ: The horrible storms and tornadoes have taught homeowners the importance of keeping a good inventory log of all possessions. This audit is necessary in case of fire, storm, mudslides, robbery, etc. Insurance companies want to see documentation before they start writing their checks to help homeowners recover from tragic losses. You can do this by hand, or with the help of a laptop computer.

56. JEWELRY OF THE MONTH CLUB: Start a jewelry-making business and offer a piece each month to your customers who sign up for a yearly subscription. Sell at flea markets, fairs, community centers and online. Consider other “product of the month” businesses too.

57. BLIND CLEANING: Almost every American home has at least one blind hanging in the window and we’ll guarantee you that about 100% of all of those homeowners hate cleaning those blinds. You can establish a business in which you clean mini and micro blinds for your customers. You can take the blinds home or clean them on the premises. Charge by the blind or charge by the hour.

58. ASTROLOGICAL CHARTS: You can use your home computer (along with the appropriate software) to prepare astrological charts for your clients. They might want their charts done for their friends, too, of course, and you can build a nice clientele via positive word of mouth. Advertise in the local newspaper.

59. WEED REMOVAL: That’s it. Just weeds, okay, and maybe some vines, too. You advertise in local papers.

60. COMPUTER BIZ WIZ: If you are great with a computer, consider starting a business in which you help small business owners and residential customers set up computers and perform tasks. You could compile mailing lists for them, set up their bookkeeping and accounting systems and help homeowners install software systems for their kids.

61. BALLOON DELIVERY SERVICE: Every-one loves balloons and they are gaining on flowers in terms of items to be delivered to home or to office. Balloons are festive and fun and you don’t need to be an artist to learn how to arrange them. Blow them up or purchase a helium tank. Take out an ad.

62. VIDEO TO DVD SERVICE: Everyone has old VHS tapes around. You take them and transfer to DVDs. There are transfer machines available for around $200 or less.

63. MEAL DELIVERY: You purchase sandwiches at a local deli and resell them at the roadside or at a busy intersection or in a corporate or industrial park. Some meal delivery businesses started out on a shoestring and have grown into franchised ventures with vans and uniforms and the works. You can also make arrangements with several local restaurants and deliver their dinners or lunches to corporations or to individuals who are too busy to cook at night.

64. SPECIAL EFFECT DECORATING: You don’t need to be a master artist to learn the tricks of special effects decorating. Look at the wide variety of stencil kits available on the marketplace today. Marbleizing is hot, too. Practice your skills and photograph the results. Use this as a portfolio to get jobs.

65. FAMILY TREES: Do you enjoy history? Do you like to do research? Then you can start a business tracing family histories? Advertise your service in a local newspaper or even in a regional magazine. There are software programs on the market that can help you trace family histories by plugging in a few items. You interview your client, get the answers to the right questions and tap out a fortune with your home computer.

66. CHILD CARE CENTER: You care for children during the day while their parents are at work or otherwise occupied. You can start a day care center right in your own home. You’ll need to purchase small chairs, a table, toys, games and outdoor play items. Maybe you already have a lot of this stuff because you have small children of your own. There are about 75,000 daycare centers in the United States that are licensed. The price charged for each child ranges from $45 to $200 a week. You’ll only need a half-dozen kids to make this a high-profit venture. Most states require that one has a license to run a day care center. There are several steps involved in getting a license. Call your local State Department of Health and Human Resources to determine the correct office that regulates child care in your state. Call that office and ask for a copy of regulations governing child care centers.

67. SEWING ENTREPRENEUR: If you have a knack for taking up a hem or altering a jacket, it might not be a big deal for you. But for millions of Americans these tasks are a hassle and they would gladly pay whatever it costs to get these jobs done. You can get paid for these services. If you can make slipcovers and drapes, that’s a super bonus business opportunity for you.

68. MAIL ORDER: To start a mail-order business, you need to find a product or series of products to offer for sale. Then you place ads to advertise these goods or have them placed in someone’s catalog. Sit back and wait for the orders to roll in. There are a wide variety of sources for wholesale mail-order products. You’ll need to get a “resale number” in order to purchase goods wholesale.

69. COMMERCIAL CLEANING: You can start a weekends-only business cleaning offices. Most offices are closed during the weekends so you will be able to get in and do a good job. There is a wide variety of potential businesses that could hire you.

70. GARDEN SHEDS: If you are handy with tools and can create a few basic shed designs, you can offer them to your clients. Master a few different types of sheds. Make sure you check out local zoning codes.

71. INTERIOR DESIGN FOR KIDS: You can establish an interior design business that specializes in creating great themed rooms for children and for babies. Nursery set-ups are a natural add-on to this business. There are so many themes from which to choose, parents to be can get overwhelmed. Do the research of what’s available and create a brochure.

72. POWER WASHING: It’s not hard to use and master power washers, but everyone seems to need them and dread having to find a place to rent them and get to know how to use them. You can buy one and use it for a wide variety of services for your clients.

73. COSTUME EMPIRE: If you are handy at sewing and have some good ideas, you can start a business creating costumes for children and for adults. Costumes are big all during the year, not just at Halloween time. Kids wear costumes all the time, or wish they could.

74. BOOKKEEPING FOR SMALL BUS-INISSES: If you are handy with numbers and can master some of the accounting software programs available, you can start a business offering bookkeeping and accounting services to small business owners who don’t have the time nor the inclination to set this type of system up for themselves.

75. LANDSCAPE DESIGN: If you are good with that computer, check out the various landscape and garden design programs available on CD-ROM. You can use these to help start and run a landscape design business for your clients. You don’t have to be the one to do all the planting, either, as you can farm that out to another business.

76. BACKYARD PONDS AND WATER GAR-DENS: These are increasingly in demand. Homeowners want to have this type of sanctuary in their yard. They love the sound of water splashing over rocks and would love the idea of having some fish in the backyard, too. These ponds are very easy to build today.

77. MAKE AND SELL A FOOD PRODUCT: Do you make sauce or salad dressing that people tell you, you should market? Then do it?! Investigate with local health officials if you can produce your recipe at home. You might need a food handler’s license. Find out what information you must include on a label.

78. KAYAK/CANOE RENTAL: If you live near a lake, pond, protected bay or gentle stream, you could make some nice cash renting your kayaks and canoes to your customers. Offer to drop off and pick up the canoes and kayaks and make sure your customers sign an agreement releasing you from all liability should any accidents occur.

79. PERSONAL ASSISTANT: If you are good, and we mean really good, with details and you are very much a perfectionist about the jobs you do, you can start a business hiring yourself out as a personal assistant to your clients. You will do everything from problem solving, to writing letters to handling the caterer, the gardener and special events for your clients.

80. ERRAND SERVICE: Charge by the hour to perform a wide variety of errands for your clients. You can market your services to moms, single parents, grandparents, seniors, etc.

81. MARKET YOUR ARTS AND OR CRAFTS: If you make jewelry, art, photography, distress furniture, make baskets, etc., figure out how you can paid to do it. There are several books on the market available that can help you learn how to market your arts and crafts. Sell them at fairs or sell directly to stores or even to catalog owners.

82. KITCHEN DESIGN: Get out your computer, purchase some new software CD-ROMs and learn how to dazzle your clients with your new ideas in kitchen design. Local hardware stores or lumberyards that sell kitchen cabinets, etc., might want to suggest that their shoppers contact you for ideas.

83. BED & BREAKFAST BIZ: Do you have an extra room or two that you could rent out? Congratulations, you’re in the bed and breakfast business. This is a great business you can start without too much hassle. You don’t necessarily have to provide a private bath, but it is a nice touch. You should call your insurance company and ask them to review your policy.

84. CAR DETAILING: Americans spend more and more on their cars, and they are willing to spend an extra $50 to $150 a month to have the car hand washed and waxed. You can start this service with very little money. Spend a day in an auto products store and learn what products are available and learn how to use them. If you are tidy and detail oriented by nature, this business is a natural for you.

85. PLANT SERVICE: Do you have a green thumb? Are you lucky with plants? Then consider starting a plant service. This business is similar to a pet sitting business. You’ll care for plants when folks are away on business trips or on vacations. You can care for the plants in their home or yours. You can also start a plant business just geared to commercial customers.

86. PARTY PLANNER: If you enjoy people and parties, then this could be a great business for you to start. Do you have great organizational skills? Then you are one step closer to launching your own party planning service. You get to throw great parties spending other people’s money. You’ll have to develop a very good file of resources for music, catering, places to hold events, florists, invitation printing, and any other aspect of hosting an event.

87. CHIMNEY SWEEP: Do you know how to clean a chimney? If you do, it’s money in the bank. If you don’t, you can learn. The equipment is available at hardware stores and home centers. You’ll need a long brush with a telescopic handle, gloves and a few other items. Wood burning stoves are experiencing a great rise in popularity and sales.

88. VENDING VENTURES: Look into the possibility of running your own vending machine empire. Candy, soda, fruit, juice, clothing, cosmetics, condoms, you name it. You’ll have to find some good spots to place your vending machines. Most vending entrepreneurs must share a bit of their profits with the owner of the establishment in which you are placing the vending machine.

89. MOVE-IN SERVICE: How many times have you or someone you know moved into an apartment to find the refrigerator in need of cleaning, the stove quite unkempt, the bathroom grout full of mildew, the walls in need of a paint job, etc. Well, you can make some money by starting a move-in service. You get everything ready for the folks before they move.

90. FIREWOOD DELIVERY: A few years ago, we interviewed three firewood delivery entrepreneurs who worked weekends only. They bought their wood a few counties away where it was cheap and tripled the price to sell it locally. They made profits of up to 400% on a cord of wood in some locations.

91. ANTIQUE CENTER: Yes, you buy antiques and collectible items and set them up on display right in your home. On weekends, or even every day, if you live in a well-trafficked location, you invite the buying public in to tour the room(s) in which you feature these items for sale.

92. HOLIDAY DECORATING: There are plenty of homeowners and business owners who just don’t have the time, the inclination or the design know-how to decorate their homes and businesses for the holiday season. This is especially true for the winter season, but you could expand this business into a four-season enterprise. You’ll be handling holiday lights (and purchasing them at wholesale rates and selling them at a whopping profit).

93. LIGHTING DESIGN: Whether you start this business for residential or commercial clients, you’ll be installing lights in backyards, walkways, lampposts, security lights, decorative lights around pools and gardens, etc. You buy the goods wholesale and then resell them to your clients for a profit.

94. PARTY ENTERTAINING: If you are a natural entertainer, consider starting your own entertainment business. You will be hired to perform at parties. Parties for kids, for civic groups, for corporate sponsors, for town celebrations, etc. You’ll need a good rapport with people. Think of the various personas you could create: gorilla, historian, clown, etc.

95. WOOD CUTTING SERVICE: If you have a good jigsaw, a router, a good circular saw and a miter box or mitering tool, you could start a part-time business cutting wood or other items for your customers. How about those louver bi-fold doors that someone bought. They were just a hair too wide, but couldn’t be hung on Sunday, because the lumberyard was closed.

96. CAR BUYING SERVICE: You interview your clients to determine what their needs are and then begin searching for their perfect car. You can establish relationships with a couple of car dealers so that they will help you get good deals for your clients. They’ll know you’ll keep customers coming to them if they offer good rates for your client.

97. CRAFTS CO-OP: Do you have the space to invite 50 or 100 crafts people to set up tables and sell their wares? If you do, and your property is zoned to accept the amount of cars this type of sale can attract, you have the makings of an exciting crafts fair. You don’t sell anything but table or booth space. The crafts people are happy to pay for space and will fork over about $10 or $15 a day.

98. ART GALLERY: You can set up your very own art gallery right in your home. Hang the art of local artists on your walls and host a party once a month to show the work to potential buyers. There are plenty of folks out there who are making art but who have no place show their work.

99. WINDOW WASHING: Window washing is a business that, while you don’t actually work at home, you do run the business from home (sending out fliers, making calls to place ads, calling customers to get business). There is almost no one out there that doesn’t refer to the task of window washing as a disagreeable necessity. You come to the rescue and make some good bucks for it.

100. HANDYMAN: Are you handy around the house? Wouldn’t it be nice to get paid for it?! There are probably plenty of folks right in your own town who would love to avail themselves of your handyman services. You might think it’s simple to install a light socket, put up molding, change a doorknob, patch a screen, repair a broken door hinge or put up some bookshelves, but most people do not.                           •

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Category: Get Rich at Home, Get Rich At Home 2012, Magazine

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