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Viable Business Opportunities and Start Up Ideas
General Comments about Start-Up Ideas - Cleaning - Maintenance - Facilities Management - Organizing


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How to Start a Business

Assessing your own Abilities
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Some Initial Thoughts about a Start-up
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The Business Plan
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Creating an Internet Presence
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Different Forms of Incorporation and where you can Incorporate

Why you should Incorporate
The Advantages of Incorporation and The Forms of Incorporation

Where to Incorporate
The State Agencies

 The State Agencies for Incorporation
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The Technical Business Skills and Tools

Accounting Systems Cash Management and Financial Analysis
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Marketing Tools and Utilities for Business Ventures on and off the Internet
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Making your Product known to the Public: Product Propagation and Public Relations 
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Good Tools for Expanding your Internet Presence
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Affiliate Marketing on the Internet: Tools and Information
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Establishing sensible Internal Regulations and Company Policies
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Some Ideas for New Business Ventures

Viable Business Opportunities
General Comments about Start-ups - Cleaning, Maintenance, Facilities Management, Organizing

More viable Business Ideas
Various Kinds of Business Consulting, Coaching, Mentoring - Sports, Personal Training and Lifestyle Consulting - Fitness Bootcamps

More good Business Ideas
The Bed and Breakfast Business - Debt/Credit Counselor and Financial Counselor - Certified Financial Planner

- Becoming an Image Consultant

Franchising Opportunities to become an Entrepreneur
How to evaluate a Franchise Opportunity. Some basic Rules.

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Questions, Resources and Links

Frequently Asked Questions
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If you want to know how other people see the problems about starting a business look here at the sites where we have linked to forums and information sites

Resources for Starting your Business
This page is for the small things: Like where do I get a rubber stamp? Who sells good office furniture? Which computer is right for me?....and many more

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Viable Business Opportunities and Start Up Ideas

You can invent a new product, that revolutionizes the way people think, or write a software program that changes the way computers work. But, it is more likely, that you start a much more mundane business. It is not that we do not believe, the above can be done, it is being done almost daily. Though, the basic problem, making that spectacular, or any other business venture, work and survive as a start up, is almost always the same. So don't dismiss our rather ordinary attempts to enter the business world, you might actually learn something from it!

Starting a business is always a difficult and time consuming task. Although, in these days of the dominance of the Internet, people want to make us believe, that it is only a question of you wanting "it" enough, and then it will happen. Reality though, is somewhat different!


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Besides a certain knowledge of a subject, you require tenacity, hard work and a very minimum of other resources, usually meaning some finance, combined with almost boundless energy. You also need a lot of luck to succeed, as well as the ability to absorb adverse decisions or rejection by others, almost effortlessly. It looks, as if it were, an almost impossible task!

Yet, in this country like nowhere else, with the most recent exception, maybe, of China, people have started new ventures in large numbers. It is the combination of the lure of independence, the gathering of wealth, personal risk taking, some elements of creativity and the will to want something of their own that makes people take the most important step, to start their own venture.

The problem is the choice of the business. Some people have a clear idea from the start. They sell something, they know from an industry or business sector they have intimate knowledge of, and have worked in, before contemplated to venture out on their own. Others, don't have that possibility, and start their venture completely from scratch. Again, others maybe come out of retirement, or an economic lay-off and just want to start something new, something they have never tried. The motivations are as varied as the people who try!

Even though, economically challenging times bring their own difficulties, one of their advantages is that companies try to look for ways to lower costs and save money. Consequently, many tasks and services that used to be jealously guarded and performed inside the company, suddenly become available to outsiders, as these areas are no longer seen to be essential to the core of the business. That gives new opportunities to start-up's. Often, the people starting these support ventures, were the very people the company laid-off. It is like a periodical cleansing of existing business, as they refocus on the "core of their business".


Common areas of Business, which People Start

Type of Start-Up Usual Reason for Start-Up Risks and Opportunities
Consultant Unless you are a group and start as a partnership, you will be a single proprietor. Like the two categories below, they are often the result of lay-off's. Almost every fired CEO/CFO becomes a consultant! Some of the major risks are that you will be dependent on your old employer and his whims. Finding new clients is often difficult but has to be the key for future success. Other problems are being a sole consultant and hence a "lone fighter". See our small write-up on these risks. The entry costs are usually low, since the only items you need are a computer, a corner of your home as an office, a phone and a fax.
Manufacturing Agent This is often attractive to regional salesmen who have been laid-off. Companies usually need manufacturing agents so that they are represented close to the market place. Most medium and small companies cannot cover this country with their own sales force. Even large companies resort to employing manufacturers agents with local knowledge to be represented, where the decisions are made. Manufacturers agents have usually a fixed guaranteed territory and are paid a small percentage (anywhere between 1 and 10% of the sales price) for all sales in this territory. They are responsible for their own infrastructure. Entry costs are generally low since you need an office (can be in-house), a phone, a fax and a computer.
Technology Repair and Maintenance Specialist Often selected by former employees of companies after economic downscaling of companies. Employing these "consultants" as sub-contractors is advantageous for companies since they save themselves pension and healthcare costs. This is often started as part of being a manufacturers representative. But it can also be started as a stand-alone. It is common in the oil extraction and production industry but has taken hold everywhere and in most technology fields. Manufacturers are often not interested in repairs on products where repair is not only feasible, but ecologically desirable. If someone has the technical know-how, it is a lucrative business sector. The costs of entry can be substantial, since there maybe some special tools and testing instruments needed. Though often, some of these instruments can be acquired at relatively low costs on the second hand market. The key is again to diversify away from your original employer and widen your circle of clients.
Writer, Public Relations, advertising personnel with various skills Again, these start ups are often the result of lay-off's. Technical writers and PR departments are often the early victims of company cost cuts, the same as internal advertising groups Many companies require technical or other writers that create manuals, product descriptions, instructions or spare parts descriptions. Often this job is done outside the company, since the creative element is not well catered for within the strict organization of some companies.
Training Coach or Mentor Many "fired" or retired human resources managers end up as training coaches, mentors or even motivational speakers. No other country produces as many of the latter as we here in the USA. If you have a skill which you can turn into a genuine training format that is wanted by the public or a niche market, then you have a marketable commodity. The same is true, if you want to act as a mentor, transferring specific skills to your pupil. It is important though that you have your skills well defined with a program of how you are going to transfer them.
Cleaning, Facilities Maintenance and Facilities Management, Lawn Care, Handyman Good start-up with the ability to grow regionally. Therefore the larger the urban area where you start, the greater your growth prospects.

Total facilities maintenance will naturally be far more complicated than the cleaning only process. But it is an area to grow into.

Your largest risk will be to grow too fast and thus lose control over a people intensive activity. The general quality of employees will be low and they will require good supervision and training. Building up an excellent middle management will be the key, because they will be the people on the spot (i.e. on the individual client sites). A good drug detection and control program for employees is a must have in this activity.
Customer Service and Call Centers Outsourcing call centers and customer service has for many large and medium sized corporations become a necessary cost saving measure. It is also a good starting place for new business ventures. If you have already worked in customer service, starting that side of the business should not be too difficult. Especially if you can take over clients from existing company accounts.

Starting a call center may be more challenging, unless again, you are taking over existing accounts. But like in all the situation, where you start with the accounts of your former employer, you have to expand and find new clients. because otherwise, when the corporation reorganizes again and moves the customer service back inside the company, you will stay there "naked" without any business!

Nightly restocking in Retail Facilities (food, clothing, sports etc) You will provide the manpower, your client will provide the goods and facilities you have to restock. Trust between your client and your crew is probably the key, since you are dealing with valued items. This is heavy physical work and usually you and your crew have to be bonded. It is not yet common, but the demand for this service is increasing.
Security Security Services are nowadays asked in many areas. Whether it is a policeman outside a bar, or the security control of an old peoples home and their staff or a private home, security issues are present everywhere. People with some security background, such as retired police, obviously offer immediate credibility which an outsider, establishing a start-up would have to establish first.
Transport and Courier Services Although, the large courier services like FEDEX, DHL or UPS dominate many market segments, there are still niches, where the individual courier is required. This maybe local, nationwide or international. Blood, organs, important papers, art, paintings, jewelry and many other items are still being sent by trusted individual courier. Unless, you have previous contacts, as a start up, you will probably go into the local market. The medical field (lab analysis work, blood) is often a good starting point. The same applies for lawyers and real estate agents (important papers). You need a car, bicycle/motorcycle, a GPS and a mobile phone

This list is by no means exhaustive. But it shows ten areas which companies, nowadays, outsource, in order to save costs. There are others and we are sure there will be more to come.


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Areas with low Cost Business Entry


Cleaning, Facilities Maintenance and to some extent Facilities Management, were some of the first areas of business outsourced in companies. Whether your client is a whole office building, or just one single tenant in an office complex, they all provide you with an opportunity to enter this business area.

Cleaning is not an "attractive business" and has difficulties to overcome the "bag-lady" image. This is actually quite unjustified, since it is singularly lucrative. Its advantage is that entry to the "profession" is easy. That is also its great disadvantage. Because "everyone with a broom and a vacuum cleaner" can enter the market and theoretically set itself up as a cleaner. In practice though, these "opportunists" do not last long, since they, usually, lack the persistence and hard work ethic that the job requires.

A more specialist field is cleaning industrial plants and large retail facilities. How difficult that is, depends on the industry. This is also reflected in the costs of entry. The most difficult to enter are probably food and vegetable processing plants, such as meat packers, vegetable sorters etc., because they have high risks of contamination. Some restaurants and most food and other retail stores also use outsiders to clean. Other industrial plants can be engineering, car and parts manufacturing and other plants that employ shift workers, where often the third shift is the cleaning shift.

The cleaning business is by no means without competition. But if you start well organized and well planned, you have every chance to succeed in it. The products below will help you. Select the one that you think fits your way of organizing yourself best! They are not academic instructions, but good down-to-earth outlines that will initially guide you and should generate additional ideas of how to do things.


The Cleaning and Maintenance Business


Click here to Purchase

Product ID1095-1
US$ 37.97

This is a complete home-based Starter-Kit designed to help you succeed in the office cleaning business. It contains the documents and information you need in a downloadable format. It takes the mystery out of how to get the account and how to price it right. No one spells it out for you easier than this or gives you the specific information you must have to succeed. This Instant Office Cleaning Kit gives you an amazing head start.

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL LEARN:

How to get started fast and easy
How to get business the smart way without expensive advertising.
How to organize each job to finish faster, and create more profit.
How to project a professional image and get top dollar for your service.
How much to charge. A simple formula that's right on the money.
What kind of people to hire to do the work.
A risk-free proven method of getting customers in your area.
How to get started with little or no money.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently reported that the office cleaning service industry will provide more jobs than any other area of employment in the coming years.

Would you like to get your share of this billion dollar a year market?

Click Here to Download the Kit



Click here to Purchase

Product ID16334-23

US$ 34.95

Quickly becoming the first choice for home, business and janitorial cleaning service companies,

Maid Manager Pro was developed for the busy maid service and home/office cleaning business. Now it's used world wide by cleaning services of all sizes. It's hard to stay organized in a small business, where everybody has a lot of hats to wear, and where customers expect your immediate reaction to their needs. If you don't do it, they are off to your competition.

Managing any service business, you'll need to track your customers, schedule services, watch the payments, and much more. Cleaning services are very personal, building a professional business relationship with your clients will be an important part of your business.

We believe that you should focus on growing your business rather than spending a great deal of time and energy sorting through paperwork and having to learn complicated software.

We have listened closely to maid service and janitorial companies and created a product to address their common needs. Download the free evaluation copy and take it for a test drive.

This is a great low budget solution that works.

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File your incorporation or LLC with Intuit!


House cleaning, as opposed to office cleaning business is a bit more tricky to get into. There are possibilities that are in between the two. For instance, cleaning rental units in large rental complexes after they have been vacated. Because they are empty and do not longer contain any personal items, the problems that exist in cleaning private houses do not arise in these jobs.

Having someone else enter your house and rummaging through your things, even with the well intentioned task of cleaning up, is intensely private. Because, you, the contractor, could accidentally see things that only you, as the owner of the property should see and know. This is one of the reasons why many people cannot live, or feel uncomfortable, in a house with servants (or, if the word "servants" bothers you and, you are hypocritical, you could call them "house- beautification-associates").

Because of privacy and security issues, many house owners will insist that you are bonded (meaning "insured"), if you want to clean their house. That gives them a certain element of trust into your group. They have the assurance that you do not walk off with their belongings. If the maids are your employees, you better get bonded, because, they could accidentally break something for which you will be responsible.

You can also be accused that they broke something, even if they did not. Which is more common then you might think! In any event, you will be held liable and a bond should cover any such loss.


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An amazing number of former high level business executives end up doing lawn care. We do not know, whether this is because entry into the market is relatively easy, or whether it has to to with the lack of people skills of so many former executives.

It is clearly a business that is low cost to enter. You need a decent grass cutter, some rakes, some clippers, a weed eater, maybe a trimmer, protective gloves and a pick up truck and you are in business. Then, you have to make yourself known in your church group or on a notice board of your local supermarket.

There are probably more limits to growth, then, say, in the cleaning business. But it is possible to manage several outgoing crews, as you grow your business.

In order to know the status of your clients, you need some simple good management software. Not anything complicated. The product below fits that description. Additionally, a good accounting system will help, such as those provided for by QuickBooks.




Click here to Purchase

Internet Download
Product ID 16334-6

US$ 34.95

Lawn Manager Pro is used by Lawn Service companies both large and small. It provides the means to keep current with schedules, customers, billing, etc.

As with all our programs developed here at Lazy Bayou, it's easy to use and provides the necessary information to the user that keeps up with service schedules and getting your invoices out on time.

Reports show all your accounts. invoices, service type, next service date, past due accounts, equipment maintenance schedules, etc.

Unlimited records can be added so you can keep records for your company in the years to come. This is a great program for lawn service operators of all sizes wanting to present a professional image with their billing practices.

New billing procedures including credit card processing in the latest version make it easy to keep up with your client accounts. Generate and print your invoices with a click of the mouse.

Keep up with current and overdue payments while maintaining your scheduled services, equipment maintenance and keeping your customers happy.

Download the free evaluation copy and take it for a test drive

Click here to Purchase



Offering your services as a handyman requires that you have certain skills in solving common household maintenance problems. There are areas where you require additional certifications which vary from state to state. Heating and Air Conditioning, electrical work, pest control and plumbing are often affected by that. But when you come to that, you can always subcontract to someone who has these certifications.

Naturally, there is a limit to how large you can grow and to the income you make, if you work on your own. If you start to subcontract, people, job and project control management will become paramount, since this business area is riddled with people who "pretend to know". Close supervision is a must. If you are not good at that, then you either do everything yourself, or don't touch that business at all!

Below is a product that will help you, to keep at least the administrative part of your business in order. You still need a good accounting system such as those from QuickBooks.


Click here to Purchase

Internet Download
Product ID 16334-24

US$ 34.95

Handy Man Pro is setting the mark for Handy Man business management. We've listened to our customers and have included many of their ideas and suggestions in this release.

Developed for individuals who work out of their truck, van or home garage and take on any job where they can make a buck. It's not just limited to construction type jobs, there's options for about any job a "handy person" can do. A slick new billing system that's simple and easy to use generates work orders, invoices and payment receipts that give your business a professional appearance and keep your finances in order.

We've also added Password Protection as an option at no extra cost. This will allow you to control access to Handy Man Pro and prevent unauthorized access to your client's financial records as they pertain to your business. New reports provide up-to-the-minute knowledge of your job schedules, tool and equipment maintenance schedules, open and closed work orders and other informative information that will allow you to get out from behind the desk and out on the job without worrying about a lot of paperwork. We have listened closely to our customers and have implemented many of their suggestions and ideas into this release.

Handy Man Pro will help to give your business a professional appearance with customized invoices, payment records and reports. Handy Man Pro is designed to relieve everyday management pains faced when performing these type services.

We believe that you should focus on growing your business, rather than spending a great deal of energy sorting through paperwork and having to learn complicated software.

Click here to Purchase


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The Organizing Business


The Professional Organizer is a business that suits anyone who is systematic in his/her thinking, has superb organizational skills and therefore an ordered mind set, is persuasive with clients and also knows where to physically start "interfering into someone else's personal life"! This skills required for this last idea should not be underestimated!

There is a wide area of business activity: You can

Organize someone life
organize someone's house or office, or a house moving
organize someone's business affairs or travel plans,
organize weddings, anniversaries, births, retirements, funerals and other personal social events
organize company product launches, business and private parties

In fact, the need is almost without limit! But it is a business that is not without its difficulties. Think of it: The lifelong, wealthy, successful, perpetual, egocentrical slob calls you in and asks you to organize his affairs. If you organize his life, you are changing his life. Something, he or she might have vaguely thought of when they called you in. But now comes the crunch: "Finish with 'slobism', start to live an organized life, which has restrictions and certain disciplines" and you are going to teach that to someone who only knows and likes his disorganized self! The conflict is pre programmed and, how to solve this conflict, obviously, requires your skill!

You probably think we are exaggerating, but we are not. Nevertheless, it is an interesting business and one which needs strong nerves, your calm, determination, a stoic acceptance that you might fail, in the long run, not in your business, but in individual assignments. On the other hand, you might have many success stories and people will thank you for that!

The product below will tell you more about how to start such a business and build it up.



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