50 GREAT BUSINESSES TO START FOR UNDER $500
There are some of you out there that will scoff, "What kind of business can really start with $500?" Well, consider the fifty we present here.
When most of us here phrases like "Start a new business" or "start-up costs," our minds picture figures with a lot of zeros in them. While it is true that most businesses do require several thousand dollars to start up, there are certainly some that don't. They exist; it's just a matter of focusing in on them. The businesses listed here range from computers to consulting, from accounting to auto repair, and many more. All can be operated from your home, eliminating the need for expensive formal office space. They are quite diverse; the one thing they have in common is that they can be started for $500--and sometimes less.
As you are thinking about what kind of business to operate, consider where you live, your job skills, hobbies, the equipment you own, the needs of your community, and certainly, the work you enjoy doing.
Some people operate small manufacturing businesses out of their garage or basement while others set up service-oriented businesses in their kitchen or truck; some have discovered the lucrative field of importing goods, and others have tucked mail order companies into spare rooms, since they don't need a store front but only a mail box and space for inventory for this type of business.
Naturally, you shouldn't expect these ventures to make you millions, but if you take them seriously enough you'll be able to do well at them. Some of these businesses might be better suited for a part-time endeavor, while others (with a little luck and a lot of hard work) will allow you to devote yourself to them full-time.
And who knows? Maybe they will make you millions. In any case, here are fifty opportunities.
ACCOUNTING. The "simplified" tax code has the public more confused than ever. If you are an accountant for a company, you can earn excellent part-time profits by offering tax consultation and tax preparation in your community. If you're not trained as an accountant, you can receive education from various sources including: H&R Block, 1-800-7taxlaw; National Tax Training, Monsey, NY 10952 (their home study course costs$175.75); Federated Tax Service, 2021 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago, IL 60618 (free info). For other information about this business, write: National Association of Accountants, Small Business Advisory, 10 Tarragon Drive, P.O. Box 433, Montvale, NJ 17645. Resources: Startup Guides Available Here
BUSINESS CONSULTING. Consulting is a fast growing small business, and potentially one of the most profitable. If you have worked in a particular field for many years, and feel that you have some expertise, that you can share with other businesses, you can demand respectable fees for that knowledge. Consider starting a newsletter. Advertise via direct mail to potential business customers. Explain your background, what you have to offer, and, most important, how your knowledge can increase their profits or efficiency. get more information from: Consulting Opportunities Journal, published by Consultants National Resource Center, 500 Kaetzel Road, Gapland, MD 21736. Resources: "Getting Started In Consulting"
JUDGEMENT RECOVERY. Every day hundreds of courts award thousands of judicial judgments in civil cases throughout the nation. Some are small claim judgments for a few hundred dollars. Others are civil judgments amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Only about twenty percent of these judgments are ever paid by the losing party. You can earn a substantial income by helping plaintiffs collect on these judgements. National Judgement has a program offering complete training and tools to get you started. It is absolutely worth their membership fee just for the training and certification. You can reach them by mail at: National Judgment Network Post Office Box 1061 Theodore, AL 36590 Resources: National Judgement Network
COMPUTER CONSULTING. As the computer pervades almost every aspect of our daily lives, people need to become computer literate--or at least know how to work things. If you have basic computer knowledge as well as specific expertise with popular software (Word Perfect, Lotus 1-2-3. etc.), individuals and other businesses will find your help worth paying for. You can have clients come to your home, but they might feel more comfortable if you came to their offices or homes to work on their particular machines. Of course if you consult for business, you must go to them. Advertise in the Yellow Pages or send direct mail queries to various business offices that you know use computers. Check your local computer dealers and ask about businesses that have just bought computer systems--you KNOW they'll need help, and the dealer usually isn't interested in helping customers work the things once they've made the sale. In fact, you might be able to enter into a deal with the computer dealer in which he recommends you as a consultant. For further reading: The Computer Consultant, Schueler Communications, Inc., 208 N. Townsend Street, Syracuse, NY 13203.
And "Resources: Start Your Own Computer Consulting Business", Larry Butler, Bob Cancelosi and Grady Searcy
COMPUTER PROGRAMMING. No software package right now out of the box is going to work for a business exactly the way they want it to, so custom computer programming is often needed. Your programming ability can create a custom applications for retailers and other businesses. If this idea interests you but you don't know programming, a home study course available from International Correspondence Schools, 925 Oak St., Scranton, PA 18508-9989. Resources: "Learn Computer Programming"
CLOWNING. This business is no laughing matter. decent profits can be earned from doing your funny business at children's parties and schools. Contact nursery schools, pre-kindergarten classes, and day care centers and offer your services. The schools may not be able to pay much, so birthday parties are probably your best bet. Advertise on community bulletin boards and in local shopper papers. Two publications worth getting are: Creative Clowning, Java Publishing Co.,6510 Lenham Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918 ($16.95); and Start A Clowning Business by Donna Huff, 203 State Rd.,Sellersville, PA 18960 ($5). Resources: Beginner Clowning
DJ SERVICE. Good disk jockeys are still in demand for large parties of all kinds: birthdays, anniversaries, small weddings, office parties, dances, etc. You'll need a large selection of popular dance tunes that covers a wide variety of tastes and styles, and quality sound equipment that is both portable and powerful enough to project throughout a large auditorium. You might consider staging your own dance weekends at a resort, charging per couple. Place ads Yellow Pages for this service. Resources: Startup Guides
GARAGE SALE ORGANIZER. Sure you can make some money with your own garage sale, but you can make much more by becoming a professional. You can organize and run garage sales for dozens of households in your town. Your sales pitch is that you know what sells and what doesn't, how to price objects, how to attract customers and what to serve (such as free coffee). As the organizer, you can either charge a flat fee for your services or accept a percentage of the total take. But you must insist that you run the show, and that your decisions on pricing and display are not questioned. Look for The Garage Sale Book, $7.95 from E.A. Morgan Publishing Co., Dept IO-10, P.O. Box 1375, Huntington, NY 11743-1375. Or How To Profit from Garage Sales, $5.95 ppd. from Income Opportunities Booklets, P.O. Box 40, Vernon, NJ 074672. Resources: "Garage Sale Businesses"
HAULING, LIGHT. If you have a pickup truck, there are numerous tasks you can undertake for customers: hauling trash, dirt, appliances, lumber, etc. Advertise your services on bulletin boards and in the local Pennysaver. Suggested reading: How To Earn $15 to $50 an Hour and More with a Pickup Truck or Van by Don Lilly; available from Darian Books, 4909 W. Joyce Circle, Glendale AZ 85308; $14.45 ppd. Resources: How To Start a Hauling Business
HOUSE SITTING SERVICE. When families stayed put, it used to be possible for some member of the family to feed the pets, water the plants, and take in the mail on those rare occasions when someone was absent from home. But in today's mobile society, a homeowner will often have no family member living in the same town and won't even know the neighbors. So the need for house-sitters keeps growing. You can provide that service, either as a sitter yourself, or as a manager of a group of house sitters. For a comprehensive manual on how to start and operate this business, write for How to Run A House-sitting Business by Jane Poston, 1708 E. (th St. Tucson, az 85719; $36. Resources: Startup Guides
LAUNDRY SERVICE. There are many services you can provide for the modern single or couple, both of whom work, and laundry is one of them. You'll need a large capacity, heavy duty washing machine and the inclination to wash, dry and fold clothes all day. But substantial profits are there for the taking. this service might be perfect in an apartment building where the tenants must share washers and dryers. The apartment dwellers (most of who dread doing the laundry anyway) will pay for the coin-operated machine PLUS your fee. As and added service, you can offer to take clients suits, dresses, and coats to be dry cleaned, and deliver them when done. Resources: Startup Guides
AEROBIC INSTRUCTION. There is no end in sight to America's penchant for fitness. If your finished basement is large enough, you can hold exercise and fitness classes for men and women in your community. If you don't have the space, see about leasing space at local YMCA, YWCA or other such facility. Study nutrition and offer a complete package of nutrition and exercise guidance. To find out about aerobics certification, contact the Aerobics and Fitness Association, 15250 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 310, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403. Resources: Become An Aerobics Instructor
MUSIC INSTRUCTION. Whether or not rock and roll is to thank, today's kids are interested in music as much as ever. And they'll always need lessons in piano, guitar, clarinet, etc. Schools usually provide some basic instructions, but instrument-specific, one-on-one instruction is always necessary. Your proficiency with a particular instrument and provide your home-based business. If your instrument is a popular enough lessons to keep you busy practically all day every day. Advertise everywhere: school and community bulletin boards, local shopper papers, and Yellow Pages. Resources: Become a Music Instructor
APARTMENT RENTAL LIST. Put your home computer to use and become an apartment broker finding renters for empty apartments. Allow the apartment owner to list his rental free; your profits come from the renter who pays you for finding the space. Add a printer to your computer and you can publish a local paper of available rentals. On the flip side, you can also be an apartment locator. Students and other individuals looking for apartments can come to your for help. Apartment buildings and homes with rooms to let will gladly place their names what you. Resources: Startup Guides
ROOMMATE SERVICE. The growing number of unmarried Americans has led to the development of this matchup industry that is easily run from one's home. You'll find roommates for people who prefer not to live alone or can't afford to. The high cost of rents and mortgages, the soaring divorce rate, and the inability of salaries to keep pace with inflation are sending more and more singles in search of roommates. For assistance in starting this type of business, contact: Roommate Referral, 8139 S. I-35, Oklahoma City, OK 73149. Resources: Help Roomates Find Each Other
ANSWERING SERVICE. When you install an extra phone line (or several depending on the size of your business) in your home, busy people can have their calls call-forward to you. You take the messages for them. the only caveat with this business is that you have to be home ALL the time (or at least during the hours that you establish) to answer the phone. A booklet entitled How to Start Your Own Telephoning Answering Service is available for $5 from E.A. Morgan Publishing Co., Dept IO-10, P.O. Box 1375. Huntington, NY 11743-1375. a newsletter called The Message is available from the Association of Telephone Answering Services, 29 W. 57th ST.,New York, NY 10019. Resources: "Start An Answering Service"
BABY-SITTING. The old standby is still a money-maker--even more so, in fact, because mothers are busier than ever. A more lucrative angle to baby-sitting is to become a baby sitter broker. You advertise the service in various locations, then have a number of baby sitters on call. That way, parents can always be assured of getting a sitter when they need one. As a broker, you take 10 percent of what the sitter earns. For more information: The Complete Baby-sitting Handbook, by Elizabeth James and Carol Barkin, Julian Messner, 1230 Avenue of the Americans, New York, NY 10020. Resources: Earn Money in Baby-Sitting
BED AND BREAKFAST/HOMESTAYS. Turn your home into a welcome haven for travelers and tourists. Unlike full fledged B&Bs' homestays usually have one or two rooms available for paying guest. For young couples struggling to pay off mortgage, or for retired couples interested in a part-time business, homestays allow home owners to turn extra rooms into extra dollars. Of course, not every home will make a good bed and breakfast homestay. Nor all people cut out for being a B&B host/owner. A prospective host/owner should enjoy meeting all kinds of people, like to cook, enjoy entertaining visitors, keep the house clean and neat, and live in an area that is attractive to visitors. You can obtain more information from: National Bed and Breakfast Association, P.O. box 332, Norwalk, CT 06853; American Bed and Breakfast Association, P.O. Box 23294, Washington, DC 20026. Resources: Startup Guides
CALLIGRAPHY SERVICE. If you already know how to do calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing, there's a market for you talents among those needing special invitations, personalized greeting cards, diplomas, and certifications. You'll need calligraphy pens or markers, available from any art supply store. The business cards you have printed up should be done,, of course, in calligraphy--it is as once a advertisement for your business and demonstration of your skills. If you don't know how to do calligraphy, you can learn from the publication, Calligraphy For Fun & Profit, available for $9 from E.A. Morgan Publishing Co., P.O. Box 1375, Huntington, NY 11743. Resources: Become a Calligrapher
CHAUFFEUR/LIMOUSINE SERVICE. Everybody wants to go in style to weddings, concerts, business meetings, even funerals. And what better way to go than a fully equipped, chauffeur-driven limousine? In the style-conscious 1990s, when image is everything, more and more people are doing it to propose marriage, celebrate an anniversary, close a business deal, or go to the theater. You as a limo provider and/or driver can cash in to the tune of $40 to $125 an hour on each car. Check with your State Department of Motor Vehicle Licensing for special license requirements. How To Start and Operate Your Own Limousine Service is available for $5.95 ppd. from Income Opportunities Booklets, P.O. Box 40, Vernon, NJ 07462. Resources: Startup Guides
CHILD DAY CARE CENTER. Today, when more and more mothers are working outside the home, the need for quality child care keeps increasing. It is a service that can be operated by mothers of any age--or even a retired couple. Home care providers are often regulated just as day care centers are. Call and talk with the local agency of family and children services; they can advice you on the licensing or registration requirements you will be expected to follow. These requirements cover such things as how many children you may have in your care, how much space you need for each child, and appropriate meals and snacks. They also offer classes in child care and development that you may want or may be required to attend. By registering with family and children services and following their recommendations, you can gain added credibility with your new clients. While planning a home day care service, you should do your own survey of what day care options are currently available in your area. Charge by the day or week. Rates run between $150 and $200 per month per child. Be certain of insurance regulations and your personal liability. A recommended book is SO You Want To Open A Profitable Day Care Center--by Patricia Gallagher, P.O. Box 555, Worcester, PA 19490 ($12.95). Resources: How To Start a Successful Daycare Business
GROCERY DELIVERY. There aren't many grocery stores or supermarkets that deliver groceries to customers anymore, but with the increasing number of two-income families and the increasing demand on leisure time, grocery delivery is once gain needed. So why don't you take up the slack? Here's how you might work it; arrange with a supermarket to buy groceries at a discount (because you're buying in quantity), and deliver them to your customers. During its first week in business, a company called Grocery Express in Memphis, Tennessee, Made seventy six deliveries--$2,600 worth of groceries, of which they kept 10 percent. Resources: Startup Guides
HOME HAIRSTYLIST. The elderly and otherwise homebound can always get a visiting nurse, but it's difficult to find a hairdresser who will make house calls. There's your opportunity if you have hairstyling skills. In the privacy of a hospital room or their home, your customers can get cuts, colors, shampoos, perms, maybe even manicures. if you want to think big, you can run an entire network of home hairstylists; licensed hairdressers and cosmetologists might agree to work for you on an "on-call" basis. Resources: Starting a Hairstyling Business
PARTY PLANNER. Be a professional party thrower for individuals and businesses. Find the right location, arrange the entertainment, provide the food and decorations--the whole works. For supplies, contact: Part Time Inc.,395 94th Avenue, N.W., Minneapolis, MN 55433. Resources: Become a Party Planner
RESUME'WRITING. Before anyone embarks on a job search--whether he is a veteran in the work force or a college graduate--he'll need a resume'. Since resume' play such an important role in a job hunt, they demand special attention. Writing designing (choosing paper, typeface, and format), and producing them may be a job that you have a knack for doing. You may have heard about resume' writing services, but never knew how they alone could sustain a business. This service, though, is something that is always in demand, can easily branch out into other forms of typing services, and requires little overhead and start-up capital. Two good books on the subject are: The Resume' Catalog: 200 Damn Good Examples by Yana Parker, Ten Speed Press, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707 ($10.95): Resumes' That Work by Tom Cowan, New American Library, 1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. Resources: Your Own Resume Writing Service
VIDEOGRAPHY SERVICE. With your camcorder you can produce "mini-movies" of weddings, baptisms, bar mitzvah, family picnics, and birthday parties. Other ideas include video inventory for insurance purposes and video yearbooks for high schools and colleges. You may need more than one camera (and more than one operator) and some editing equipment for professional results. One book on the subject: How To Make Money with Your Video Camera by Ted Schwarz; Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. BOARDING PETS. When their owners go off on vacation, dogs,cats, birds and other pets require looking after. You'll have to have the proper facilities to care for them, of course, plus a genuine love for animals. You may get more information from: American Boarding Kennel Association, 4575 Galley Road, Suite 400 A, Colorado Springs, CO 80915. Resources: Making Money With Your Video Camera
DOG GROOMING. Pet lovers who want to keep their pooches in tip-top form will be your customers. Contact: National Dog Groomers Association of American, Box 101, Clark, PA 16113. It publishes Groomers Voice and has a licensing committee. Resources: Startup Guides
APARTMENT/HOUSE CLEANING. Start your own maid service for apartment buildings or home residences. House cleaning is one business that doesn't require special training. Most women and men have been doing it in their own homes for years. Today, even teenagers are providing single and team-cleaning services in their after school hours and during summer vacation. Put a listing in the Yellow Pages or in the local shopper paper, put up notices on community bulletin boards. If your service is thorough and reliable, you'll acquire new customers through word-of-mouth. Be sure to spell out to your clients exactly what duties you will and will not perform. A manual called Operate Your Own Maid Service is available for $31.95 ppd.. from Hanneke Wasserman Ent.,Dept IO-10, 9070 Kimberly Blvd.,#205, Boca Raton, FL 33434. Resources: What You Should Know Before Starting a Cleaning Service
AUTO TUNE-UPS. Many times, specializing in a single service can really bring in the customers. Turn your garage into a business that just performs auto tune-ups. Be careful of local zoning laws, however. If you don't have adequate space in your garage, consider a mobile auto fix-up service (since many cars may not be in running condition to come to you anyway). You can perform tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotation, and replacement, fluid changes, and even auto cleaning, all from a well equipped van. A home study course in Automotive Servicing is available from NRI Schools, McGraw-Hill Continuing Education Center, 3939 Wisconsin Ave.,Washington, DC 20016. Resources: Startup Guides
BICYCLE REPAIR. If you like working with your hands, don't mind getting dirty, and have an interest in getting paid while you learn mechanical skill, then bicycle business is where you can take a ride on the road to good part-time profits. Part-time mechanics command $25 per hour for their labor. It is not uncommon for the twenty-hour per week bicycle business to earn over $20,000 per year. And the great thing about it is you can start immediately, purchase the necessary tools, and acquire the skills as you go along. Plus, because bicycle riding is becoming increasing popular with the young and the old alike, ace mechanics will be in demand for the next century. If you are a mechanically inclined or have a good working knowledge of bicycles, then you're all set. Make yourself know to the schools and bike clubs. If you need to learn how to repair bicycles, a manual A Bicycle Repair Business System is available from: Bicycle repair of America, P.O. Box 24106, Minneapolis, MN 55424. Resources: Starting a Bicycle Repair Business
CARPET CLEANING. This type of business for which the demand will never lessen. With the right kind of equipment you can "clean up" so to speak. Quality equipment is available from Von Schrader Co., 1600 Junction Avenue, Racine, WI 53403, With it you can clean carpets, walls and furniture. Resources: Startup Guides
CHIMNEY SWEEP. Fireplaces and wood stoves are more popular than ever, which means there's opportunity in cleaning chimneys. In your advertising, stress that dirty fireplaces are a serious fire hazard as creosote builds up inside the chimney can combust. For supplies, contact: Copperfield Chimney Supply, 1-800-247-3305. Or write to: National Chimney Sweep Guild, P.O. Box 1078, Merrimack, NH 03050. Resources: Become a Chimney Sweep
DRIVEWAY FINISHER. Many home owners like to have their driveways resealed and recoated with blacktop every year or every other year. But it's a messy, time-consuming task. Hence, an opportunity for you. You'll need a pickup in which to carry your tools, blacktop, and sealer which you can probably get at discount if you buy quantity. Ads in local papers and Yellow Pages probably work best. Resources: Startup Guides
FURNITURE REFINISHING/REPAIR. rockers with loose spindles, tables with wobbly legs... they can all come into your home workshop in sad condition and leave in tip-top shape. Also, people like to buy furniture from these so-called naked furniture shops with the hopes of saving some money by finishing it themselves; often, however, they never get around to it or chicken out. Perhaps you can even affiliate yourself with a naked furniture shop who will refer customers to you as a finisher. Resources: Furniture Repair Startup Guide
HOUSE PAINTER. House painting is a chore most home owners need, sooner or later, but often dread. You can paint the houses yourself, but it might be more profitable to organize a group of painters to work for you. You find the clients through local advertising and hire students to do the work. LANDSCAPING. Commercial sites as well as residential homes are in need of this service. Seed lawns, plant trees, arrange shrubs, plants, rocks, and more for a healthy fee. Some periodicals that may be of interest include: Landscape and Irrigation, P.O. Box 156, Encino, CA 91426; Western Road, Suite 250, Santa Ana, CA 92705. A related business is just lawn service in which you cut, lime, fertilize, and water lawns for a circuit of customers. Charge them by the season or per visit. Resources: Starting a House Painting Business
LOCKSMITH. In this security conscious day and age, a good locksmith is always in demand. And today, locksmiths are usually well versed in mathematics and basic electronics because of the many new types of locks being introduced. Without a full line equipment required to handle a wide variety of jobs, you will be limiting your total income potential. The more you invest in quality equipment, the more different jobs you can handle. Equipment and a locksmithing course are available from Foley-Belsaw Locksmiths, 6301 Equitable Rd., Kansas City, MO 64120. One report worth looking at is: How To Start your Own Mobile Locksmithing Service from E.A. Morgan Publishing Co., P.O. Box 1375, Huntington, NY 11743; $7.00. Resources: How To Become a Locksmith
SMALL ENGINE REPAIR. Fix small engines for lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws, go-carts--anything that utilizes a small gasoline engine. If you have knowledge about small engines (or are willing to learn) you could turn that interest into extra income. The secret is to find small gas engines, buy them cheap, and resell them at a profit. Where can you find small gas engines for five dollars or less? Check out the local flea market, or ask the trash haulers to set aside lawn mowers, edgers, anything with a small gas engine for you. Pay them up to $5 a shot, depending on the condition of the items. You can learn more about small engine repair from Foley-Belsaw Institute, 6301 Equitable Rd, Kansas City, MO 64120. Resources: Learning About Small Engines
UPHOLSTERY REPAIR. Rather than buy new sofas, chairs, loveseats, couches, and ottomans, people would prefer to have someone like you reupholster them. The numbers practicing this skill seem to be dwindling, so there's a real opportunity there. As apart of your services, consider the making of slip covers for the furniture. For upholstery training and tools, contact: Foley-Belsaw Institute of Upholstery, 6301 Equitable Rd.,Kansas City, MO 64120. Resources: Upholster Repair For the Beginner
ADVERTISING COPYWRITER. If you are clever with words and have a good sense of salesmanship, there are many small businesses in your community which can use your services. You can write newspaper ads, brochures, radio ads, catalogs, and more. For more ideas, look for a copy of the 1990 Writer's Market, Writers Digest Books, F&W Publications, 1507 Dana Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45207. Resources: Startup Guides
COURIER SERVICE. Deliver messages and packages for various businesses within your town. If you have a car, you can even offer to deliver parcels to neighboring towns and cities. How To Start and Operate Your Own Delivery Service is available for $5.95 ppd. from Income Opportunities Booklets, P.O. Box 40, Vernon, NJ 07462. Resources: How to Start a Courier Service
TYPING/WORD PROCESSING SERVICE. Students, businesses, legal professionals, writers and many others need reports, papers, documents, and manuscripts professionally typed. Of course it's much easier to provide this service if you have a good word processor, small changes can easily be done without having to retype the entire document. Post ads on school bulletin boards, and send direct mail flyers to doctors, lawyers, and other businesses. Resources: Earning Money As A Transcriptionist
BAIT SHOP. Do you live near a well-stocked lake, river, bay or stream? Fisherman will need bait, lures, line and other equipment. You don't have to offer all of that, of course. Just posting a sign telling fishermen you have good bait worms will bring in the profits. Resources: Startup Guides
BRONZING KEEPSAKES. What mother wouldn't want a bronzed remembrance of her child's babyhood? Bronzed baby shoes have long been cherished memento adorning mantelpieces and curio shelves. You can find customers by checking registration lists at day care centers and preschools; these kids have outgrown their first pair of shoes which are ready for bronzing. You can obtain materials and instructions from these companies: Nicholas Bronze Supply, 10555 U.S. Highway 98, Dept W488, Sebring, FL 33870; or United Bronze, Rumford, RI 02916. Resources: Learn How
FIREWOOD SALES/DELIVERY. Provide seasoned firewood by the cord or by the fraction of the cord to a growing number of buyers. One angle is to buy cords of seasoned wood, then cut it in fireplace-size logs and sell fractions of the cord to a route of clients. Tell them you can bring a fresh supply of firewood every week (or however long the wood happens to last) for a set price. You can charge for each delivery, or offer a special deal to provide wood for the whole winter. Resources: Startup Guides
FRAME MAKING. Make frames of all kinds for customers paintings, reprints, and posters. Stock a wide variety of wood and metal frames in your garage or finished basement. You will need framing skills and tools, as well as glass cutting skills. For added profits, you can sell posters and prints of various kinds. Resources: Framing Baiscs
GIFT BASKETS. This is one of the hottest product-oriented home businesses around. You don't have to make the wicker baskets yourself (check your Yellow Pages for a supplier), but it is up to your taste and imagination to fill them with tempting goodies. Create baskets for all occasions--birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, births, Mother's and Father's Day, Valentine's Day--or no occasion at all; "I Miss You" gift basket. Find suppliers who will sell the items in quantity for the best price. Put a variety of food items in the basket along with small gifts appropriate to the occasion: satin hearts for Valentine's Day; a rattle, baby birth (gift baskets don't always have to contain food) champagne for anniversaries, etc. Resources: Success With Gift Baskets
STAINED GLASS. Customers will pay a premium for well-executed stained glass. Many local stained glass shops offer lessons, and once you become proficient at it, you can create stained glass ornaments, gifts, even windows. A three-year program is sponsored by the Stained Glass Association of America, 8821 Bridgeport Way S.W., Tacoma, WA 98499, Attention Chairman, Education Department. Resources: Startup Guides
CATERING. Quality catering is more in demand than ever before. Your culinary skill can bring in lots of profits. Home study courses are available from: International Correspondence Schools, School of Catering, Oak and Pawnee Streets, Scranton, PA 18518; and NRI Schools, McGraw-Hill Continuing Education Center, 3939 Wisconsin Ave., Washington, DC 20016. Resources: Your Own Catering Business
LUNCH DELIVERY. Make specialty and conventional sandwiches for delivery to hungry office workers. Create a menu of what you're prepared to offer for lunches and distribute them to every office possible in your area--you'll be surprised at the great number of orders you'll get, so prepared. You may even need help in making the lunches. If you don't want to make the lunches yourself, another angle deals with area restaurants and deli's to provide the food--you will deliver fresh and hot. Your menu will consist of these restaurants various house specialties. The restaurants, because you're buying in quantity will give you a discount on the food; you mark it up for your profits. Resources: Meal Delivery