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Subject For those unemployed/who asked: Ideas to supplement your income or start your own business.
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Original Message EDIT: please try to read thru the entire thread bc theres so many excellent suggestions and experiences that might benefit you or someone you know wink


in a thread i had, i mentioned ive owned my own business'. ive had a lot of inquiries on what kind of business' ive owned and how to start up a business - even some with virtually little to no startup costs. in lieu of answering each/every email im tossing this thread out.

**troll all you want.....but im where im at now, bc im diligent and self sufficient.

my goal is NOT to keep the business'. i prefer the challenge of building said business' then selling it on the commercial market for profit. **when you sell the business youre selling your contracts remember that. and if youre smart.....in case youre going to open up another biz in something similar, make your sale a no compete clause in a certain mile radius.

here im going to share how you can do this, be it to supplement your income or to do it full time. being that we're in a shit economy i recommend you sticking with what job you do have if applicable, and starting off slowly to see if it takes off.

if you are computer literate and know how to use audio editing software (which you can start off using freeware and then the windows sound recorder) you can record commercials for local merchants who advertise on the radio. **listen to the radio stations. find out who is advertising. write down name/address/phone. analyze the commercial. does it suck? where can it be improved? now a radio station will charge for say 10 days advertising 1200-1800$. usually they write/produce the commercial which is included in the price. you can call these merchants and set up a meeting with the owner to discuss his advertising spot. tell him what you think is wrong. now....you go ahead and make like 4 commercials of your own. 2/15 second ones, and 2/30 second ones. be creative. be funny. add music, sound effects. burn to a cd. when you meet with the merchant you can sell your commercial to him. i was selling 4 commercials just for shitz n giggles for 50.00 each as a TRIAL. if they liked it, and renewed with the station, it was 100.00 for the next commercial set. you have to sell yourself. let the merchant know youre a consumer who listens to the radio, point out pros/cons. that a radio station may have pros, but pros dont always know what the customer wants to hear. whats funny on the receiving end, whats attractive and what will sell your product. the merchant in turn can then negotiate a lesser radio spot charge for having his own commercial thus saving him money. **this is a lot of fun to do. i still do it when im called. and it supplements your income with virtually no startup. CDs and your gas driving out to the merchant. (if you have cd labels, use them for a more professional look and use cd cases or slippers)

window washing: im serious. theres a business market for it. my kids did this. my pizza shop wasn't large, but it wasn't small. i had the front bay windows and the drive thru window. my kids charged me 20.00 to squeegee the bays/drive thru. they did in/out. the other strip mall owners hired my kids. they did this weekly. they bought a straw broom to clean the bugs from the awnings overhead lights. they ended up getting 'contracts'. when it got to big for the kids to handle - i sold the business for a profit and the kids split the money. *and i took a 5% mgmt fee. the guy who bought it from me calls me occasionally and thanks me for selling it to him. i helped him branch off into 8 towns (ok...being a business owner helped, i knew other restaurant owners, suppliers etc who i called and put his name out to in other towns but in essence he didn't need my help)

office cleaning: a former neighbor did this on the side in this little dink town i used to live in. she would clean dr's offices, small mom/pop places. she was under cutting herself. her equipment supplies were breaking down and she was losing money. i partnered with her. went on freeccyle.org a FREE (town) email list where people give away shit and request shit. no selling allowed. we got vacuum cleaners, buckets, shamwows - brooms, waxing/polisher machine, even a trashcart...etc. i turned that cleaning business into a multi town venture. getting new customers off the current ones. after one year then we sold it for a profit.

kitchen cabinets: this started out as a fluke. my ex worked for a commercial real estate developer. they built/managed apartments. when they decided to renovate the apartments the punchlist guys did the work. they were throwing away the kitchen cabinets. there was nothing wrong with them. maybe a few needed a new bottom in the sink base but......400 kitchens out of one complex alone. (they had 6 complexes so you do the math) selling them at 250.00 each. we had a waiting list for them. we advertised on craigslist and locally. then i contacted other apartments who might be doing the same. we saved them on the refuse removal. the ex picked them up in his truck or he would rent a u-haul for a day at 19.95. sometimes he would even deliver to people for a small delivery fee. **the amish here we're the biggest customers.

handyman work: people/landlords always look to save a buck. what started out as a favor to this little old lady turned into a major business. some lady i met in a dr's office. she wanted her kitchen/other rooms painted but couldn't afford to have anyone do it. my ex painted....i told her he would do it for her 3 rooms at 40 per room. she was on a fixed income. she loved the work. that pony express called every friend she had....one was to paint the exterior of a 3 story victorian home. christ.....i needed ladders, maybe scaffolding. i contacted some friends - we put our heads together. one guy welds...he went to the scrap yard and welded us some racks. he built us a scaffold. we got electric paint sprayers off freecycle. ppl talk.....word gets out. from painting, this business moved into putting up wood fences, cement foundations (got a cement mixer off freecycle - tools too), digging/replacing gas lines, electrical (ok.....i do light electrical...but i knew a guy who was licensed so i would subscontract that work to him) we did churches, business', local residents - any jobs that were to small for bigger companies they would call us. **the ghetto areas was the most profitable. you hit people up in December right before income tax time. get a contract committal. then they have the money (use your head here) this business got so huge i didn't want a staff of employees. the ex contracted out what he couldn't do....i sold this business and profited off our name.

my kids again: henry is a greedy little shit. since the age of 10 hes been mowing lawns. taking a page from my good friend JK in wv who does this for a living, henry started his own business. he made fliers and went door to door. he got his own lawn mower off freecycle. then a riding mower too, gas cans, mulcher, garden tools, weed eater, trimmer/edger, rototiller. in the winter he shovels snow/ice. he even got a snow blower.

a lot of people are conserving money - especially since last year. but you'd be surprised at the older folks who would rather pay a kid than do it themselves. so henrys customers are almost all elderly. the kids does in a neighborhood of 350 people 40 homes avg wk at 25 per house. you do the math. not bad for a 14 yr old.

catering: again this started out on a fluke. i had a neighborhood party. i made this pate' and lasagna. my friends loved it. i wouldn't share the recipe bc its my own. when they would have a gathering they would call me and ask me to make it for them - for a price....yada yada yada....talk went around, soon with minimal advertising, business' i contacted for their meetings, events the catering took off. when the business got big...i sold it. ***i also ventured in pretzel making, candies, pastries. start out on consignment in local stores, target events, flea markets, local activities. build your name.

computers: im software not hardware. (my long nails) bc im self taught/ computer literate im able to fix common problems. what started out in shit.....when did xp come out 2000/2001? remote assistance? i was able to fix ppl's computers for free over the internet while they watched. i could download into their computer any appz i needed thru messenger. ppl told me i should charge for this - virus removals, reformats (those i would do over the phone walk thrus). i didn't want to charge them. but here locally i was constantly fixing peoples computers - my 'office' looked like a junkyard.....finally i caved. i began to charge. then i began to build and sell them. people would throw away computers over a virus. whoopie doo a virus is shit. no big thing. but they didn't know that. their loss my gain. they'd call me after buying a new one. id get the old one. if i needed parts that i didn't have....pricewatch. it got to be such a big business the business competitor in town who i was friends with...bought me out.

funny shit here: stone & rock. my father taught me this. he would get creative around the house with his decorations. he would go down to the river for stone, and make ornamentals around trees, hedges. so i do that shit myself around here. my neighbors wanted to copycat. so id go down to the river or even empty lots and get the stone. id edge properties, porches, trees/shrubs.....for a price. then i stuck to new developments doing this. my name got out. lotsa calls. one kid age 19 i knew bought my business.

wood: not cutting firewood but ornamental. again going down to the river and getting wood that's fallen to the ground. id shellac it or spray paint it, etch \burn designs in them.. again this took off - local advertising, flea markets etc. sold this business. ***i also would get dead bushes from people. clear the dead leaves. spray paint them silver or gold. pot them in clay pots id get off freecycle. also a big seller.

springtime: seeds/plants are a big thing. seeds are cheap. some places charge 2.79 for one/two tomato plants. ive started seeds in my garage. when planting time comes i put the plants out on a table. they sell like hotcakes. flowers are HUGE sellers too. get the planters off freecycle. you can even get the soil too. people get rid of this stuff. **and your customers will come back every year.

cars: you would be surprised at how many people have cars they cant fix. sometimes shit is so simple. take your income tax and buy them. go to the auction. troubleshoot off the internet/forums. ive had cars given to me that all it needed was a carb rebuilt, or a rear seal leak, firewall, or (even funnier) a fuckin relay. you can put out a call on freecycle for parts. fixem then sold them.

business cards: do this one the side. go to ollies or an outlet store where the paper is cheap. come up with designs. local merchants would rather buy from another local than a corporate company. you can get a scanner/printer even the damn ink off freecycle. sometimes you might have a place a wanted a few times but for the most part you should get it.

pictures: a lot of people want duplicates of their snapshots. you can supplement your income but getting the picture paper from ollies/outlet store and printing them off copies of their pics and making cd backups for them

fliers: i got a copy machine off freecycle years ago. still works. i used to make fliers/menu's for people/business'. paper is 4.95....and if you get to know a local business you can get a discount on supplies/toner etc. *****again nice business and i sold it.

now.....this is unreal....but you'd be surprised at how many fuckin people go for this shit. i did this in NY and in wv. wakeup service. im serious.....back then we hadda pay the fuckin phone companies a lotta money...now its pay one price. advertise on message boards for your wake up service. people cant hear alarms or dont want to. but the phones they can. another successful business sold.

now......this is virtually no investment. freecycle. or put out wanted ads on free message boards for cell phones. the stores sell these phones for avg 34-60$. now you can contact the prepaid companies/vendors. they pay YOU. you give away the used phone for free but you sell them the card. bada bing. supplement your income. kids are always buying the cards and with everyones credit in the shitter they cant get contracts now. use your head......sell at flea markets, events....

laundry service: yep. you'd be surprised at how many people would PAY for you to do their laundry. freecycle for the washer/dryer if you dont have one. charge extra for starch/ironing. tailoring extra. dry cleaning...they sell that in the stores now to do at home. start out - running it out of your home. then look for space. establish the biz......sell it.

my friend in NY has a biz assoc here in pa. occasionally this guy gets in a bind and he needs a driver (no cdl) bottom line, tim calls me - guy needs a driver to pick up a load and drive/deliver it to NJ. catch.....need a truck. we make the guy pay for the rental. i call my friend lee and lee does the driving. 500$ for the trip. i get a small commission for getting the driver for the guy. put your name out there for backup driving.

towing: you can start out with a tow bar. freecycle for one, or a trailer. put your name out at local mechanic shops and insurance companies. fliers in stores/neighborhoods. police dept's even car dealers. (especially the USED ONES lol) you'll get calls. build from there. when you get enough money buy a tow truck/auction.

vendors.....they pay YOU. if you can find cheap space.....and you can especially now....call in local arcade vendors they will put their machines in your place. coke/pepsi vendors too. they pay YOU. no out of pocket.

these are just a few things here - ive done a lot more. bottom line you can own your own business and or supplement your income. you have to have patience, ingenuity and creativity. you have to be aggressive/assertive and be customer orientated.

hope this helped those who inquired and those who came into the thread.
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