Small business ideas for starters

Today, tens of thousands of people are considering starting a home based or small business, and for good reasons. On average, people can expect to have two and three careers during their work life. Those leaving one career often think about their second or third career move being to their own home. People who have been part of the traditional nine-to-five work force and are on the verge of retiring from that life are thinking of what to do next. The good news: Starting a small business is within the reach of almost anyone who wants to take a risk and work hard.

Two million or less to start up

BUSINESS PLAN SERVICE
Has expansion possibilities

Offer a soup-to-nuts business plan, including market research, the business plan narrative and the financial statements. Plan your fee around the main one that the client will want and offer the others as add-on services. You can give clients an electronic file and allow them to take it from there, or you can keep the business plan on file and offer the service of tweaking it whenever necessary. Have business plan samples to show clients–and make sure to include your own!

CLEANING SERVICE

There are many directions you can take this business. If you want to work during hours when no one else does, you can focus on office clients. You can focus on retail businesses and keep your customers clumped into one or two blocks. Restaurants are in great need of daily thorough cleaning and can be a great source of steady clients. Perhaps you would be more interested in house cleaning. Many times with cleaning services you don’t have to spend lots of money on advertising or marketing because your customers will come by word of mouth.

COMPUTER REPAIR
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Study the main types of software that system users will want–word processing, photo manipulation software, mail merge, spreadsheet, design and especially security software. Investigate all the components–monitor types in all their varieties; keyboards, from wired to ergonomic to wireless; mouse types; as well as peripheral components like printers and scanners. Become completely familiar with all the ISPs (internet service providers) available in the market area you plan to cover. Establish yourself as the guru who can meet the needs of the personal computer user, the small business or a larger corporation.

DOG BREEDER

Experience, training, or licensing may be needed

Pets are phenomenally catching up in the Uganda. While many people are willing to adopt from animal shelters, others are looking for a specific breed. Purebred dogs are more popular than ever and can command large sums of money. But becoming a dog breeder is serious business catering to savvy consumers with high expectations of their pet purchases. You will need to establish yourself as a conscientious breeder who cares about the health and welfare of the animals you bring into the world.

EDITORIAL SERVICES
Has expansion possibilities

Here are some of the editorial services you can provide from the quiet of your own home:
Copyediting. This is where fact checking takes place, and where grammatical, stylistic and typographical errors are caught.
Proofreading. This is the last stop for a “finished” piece. The proofreader makes sure the copyediting changes have been properly made and no new errors are created in the process.
Indexing. There are indexing courses available and you can get indexing software.
Developmental editing. A developmental editor works with a manuscript on big-picture things like organization and content issues.
Book doctoring. This is an editorial service provided for manuscripts written by experts. They create a manuscript as best they can and then a book doctor puts it into publishable shape.
Ghost Writing. As a ghost writer, you actually do the research and write the book and someone else’s name is attached as the author.
Copywriting. Also known as business writing, this is writing that promotes a product or a service.
Book writing. Do you have an expertise in something professional, such as accounting or interior decorating? Or personally, like knitting? Why not write a book about it?
Magazine article writing. Magazines and newspapers are a great way to get your writing published before tackling the daunting task of writing a whole book.
Web page content provider. Providing content for a web site is a good way to make some money writing.

ELECTRONICS REPAIR
Has expansion possibilities

This business is similar to the computer repair business, but you will take on all sorts of electronic equipment besides just computers. With smaller electronics, you will need to be prepared to have customers bring their repair projects to you, as you would have difficulty recovering the cost of driving around picking up broken equipment and returning it. You may also want to encourage people to give you their old electronics so you can use them for parts.

EVENT PLANNING
Has expansion possibilities

One of the first things you need to do is visit every potential event location with which you plan to work. Work with the marketing manager to tour each site and learn what is available at each location. Start a database that will allow you to sort venues by varying features–the number of people each site holds, if there is AV equipment available on site, will you need to arrange for rental chairs, etc. Then when you are beginning to plan an event with a client, you can find out what the key parameters are for the event and easily pull up the three or four sites that meet the basic criteria. and engagement parties, etc.
FINANCIAL PLANNER
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

To start, you should go through the certification process so that you can label yourself a CFP (Certified Financial Planner). Your certificate shows that you have expertise and credibility, and this differentiation will help people choose you as their financial planner.

INTERIOR DECORATOR
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Market your talents to building contractors. People purchasing new homes can often be overwhelmed with the choices and possibilities in home decorating. Design some questionnaires for each major element and each major room in the house. Find out how the homeowner will use the home–are there children? Pets? Does the woman of the house wear high heels? Do the home’s residents neglect to remove shoes? How will each room be used? Where might task lighting and ambient lighting be most appropriate?

JEWELRY MAKING
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

There are many different ways of getting into the jewelry business and many different types of materials with which you can work. Working in metal will probably require the most in the way of specific tools. You need to be able to heat the metal to manipulate it, and you need metalworking tools to cut and engrave it. But there are many other materials that you can work with to make jewelry–glass, plastic, beads, feathers, even wood, to name just a few.

MARKETING COPY WRITER
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

If you can write copy that gets people excited about purchasing what your client has to sell, you can make good money in this business. Unless you are highly experienced from working in the copywriting field, take a course. There are online courses or classes at community colleges and universities that can give you a leg up in getting savvy at writing copy for brochures, catalogs, advertising and, of course, marketing copy for the web.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Your job, in the case of rental units, will be to make sure the property is running smoothly. For seasonal properties, you will most likely spend your management time making sure the property is ready for seasonal visits and well-maintained when no one is around. If the owners go away for six weeks in the winter, the property manager makes regular checks on the property. You will be the contact number if the security system operator needs to contact someone about a breach in security.

APPLIANCE REPAIR
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Every household has a number of appliances, large and small. You can work on your own or on contract with appliance stores to cover their warranty service calls–or, best of all, you can do some of each. Plan to start slow and build your customer base on recommendations and referrals based on work well done. Consider developing relationships with contractors to be the go-to person to install appliances in newly constructed houses.

FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Despite the proliferation of the internet, print media is here to stay for the foreseeable future! Fliers, newsletters, magazines, information sheets, letters and advertisements are just a few of the types of print media that business hire freelancers to create for them. Websites and online advertising need graphic design services as well. Even if your expertise is only in design, offer the works for potential clients, including the editorial creation and the printing and even mailing of the final piece. You can line up regular freelancers for those parts of the job you can’t do.

HAIRSTYLIST
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Hairstyling is a popular business that can be quite lucrative. Generally a home based hairstylist business is likely to be started by someone who has already has a cosmetology career and wants a change. If you already have your cosmetology training and license, and loads of experience under your belt working in a hairstyling salon, you probably have a following that will follow you right home without any hesitation.

MOVING SERVICE

Lots of people who are moving want to hire someone to do the heavy lifting for them. You can leave the large-scale, long-distance moving to the big moving companies. Your work can be the local, moving-across-town or to the town-next-door jobs. These are the ones that people start off thinking perhaps they could do themselves, and it will be your job to convince them otherwise. Your signs around town will tempt them to let you take care of that part of the move, while they are busy taking care of those other 500 items on their list.

PHOTOGRAPHER
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Making money as a photographer can be done in a number of different ways. You can specialize in one area, the most common being weddings. There are niches you can explore for photography: portraits of people and their pets, families, and homes; photographs of holiday events, birthday parties or Christmas cards; the possibilities are endless.

RUG CLEANING

You will need to learn how to work with all kinds of carpet fabrics, from synthetic to wool carpets. Decide whether you will take on valuable antique carpets and family heirlooms; if so, you will want to get specialized training in how to handle these carpets and the specialized ways of cleaning them. Learn how to get tough stains and odors out of carpets–such as dog and cat odors–and your services will be in great demand.

DAYCARE

Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Perhaps you love children. Perhaps you have children of your own and the idea of taking care of a few more for part of the day appeals to you. Child-care needs continue to soar in the major towns in Uganda. Many people prefer the option of their child being cared for in a home environment while they are at work, opposed to a more institutional-like setting. These things mean that a homebased childcare business can get off and running immediately.

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