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Looking for Business Ideas?

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  • Looking for Business Ideas?

    Hey brothers and sisters. Of course with the time off from the department, I have been looking for something to fill my time and get a little extra money from. While doing this I would love to be my own boss so I have been looking for some business ideas. So far I have thought of Pressure washing houses, decks, etc. CLeaning out peoples garages, attics, etc. I have also been lookin into frachises down the road a bit. Big - small, I don't care. it is something to look into. I would love to hear of some ideas everyone might have. I would appreciate hearing from you.

  • #2
    Don't get a job driving an ice cream truck.It's sort of like being a cabbie but you don't make any money even during the hot season,unless you can catch a park full of sports fans.
    Maybe a cab driver,or check with Two Men and a Truck,or that PODs storage,to see if they want to expand in your area.I tried TM& AT a couple years ago and was turned down but recently I noticed in Paducah,they are opening a franchise.They are supposed to help with financing and training employees at first,then wishing you the best of luck while keeping you advised of new company policies.
    I've heard the story of a bookstore owner that looked around for an area that didn't have a bookstore for two miles and opened shop so whatever you do,you might locate in an area like that.
    Hope this helps some.Just because my off duty jobs fell flat doesn't mean everyone's will.


    • #3

      I am not sure what size of population your department serves, but a great idea I had a few months ago that would fit perfectly with your job and schedule would be a Fixed Asset Documentation Company.

      You would in essence go around with a digital camera and video camera and carefully document the possessions and assets of both businesses and homeowners.

      Your regular job would give you major credibility in this line of work. The perfect question to ask potential customers is "Imagine this, okay so your house just burned down, I want you to tell me the contents of living room without looking. What brand was your TV? How much did you pay for your couch?, etc." You will be shocked and they will too, when the miss a huge proportion of their possessions by trying to just remember off the top of their heads.

      The potential for a business like this went through the roof with Hurricane Katrina. No one could tell what they owned or what it was worth, or provide proof of having owned it. Most mortgage companies require you to have homeowners insurance, and most homeowners insurances require you to be able to provide proof and documentation of your assets when you file a claim for a loss. People are afraid of loss due to natural disasters, terrorism, crime, etc. This really is great for incidents besides fire; including divorce, company mergers, theft, etc.

      The work flow of the business would be as follows:

      Homeowner/business calls you and sets up an appointment on your day off.

      You arrive at the residence or place of business and begin by documenting the property that the location is at. Terrain features, parking, landscaping, etc. Followed by documenting the external features of the buildings on the property. Take photos, video, and also write an inventory and map of the location.

      Now you go in with a representative of the household or business, and you do a walk-through marking each item in the buildings with a numbered sticky dot, which corresponds with that item on your paper inventory list. The homeowner or business owner tells you what that item is, purchase price, estimated value, etc. And you record all the information possible about that item including make, model, serial number etc.

      Once the walk-through is complete you have a building full of possessions and assets covered in numbered dots. You now walk through with your camera and take a picture of each item. The photos and items now correspond on your list. They pair up precisely, information matches the photos.

      Then you do a video walkthrough of the interior. Showing entire rooms, noting the date and time, and perform a narration as you go along.
      perform a walk through.

      Make sure you haven't missed anything. Do equipment outside, cars, other items of value, etc.

      Pack up your gear. Remove all your sticky dots. Kiss your client good-bye and head back to the lab.

      Back at home, in your warm house, with your beer. You can now proceed to create a portfolio of the assets at the location. Create a digital list of items, upload all of the photos, burn the video to DVD etc. ***If the client has documents that they want digitized for protection you could also scan all of those for them, so that they are protected. (Car titles, mortgage papers, etc)

      You can now send all this package to the client for their safe keeping in a safe deposit box etc. For additional money they could pay to have you store the portfolio digitally in a database, that you could pull up if they want additional copies, or when disaster strikes, you can forward they docket onto the claims manager at their insurance, lawyer, bank, etc.

      Charge an appropriate sum for this. Estimate your time spent on it and offer a flat rate based on an average household. Pocket a stack of $100's for a job, and only do one or two on your days off. You could have a nice supplemental income.

      Drop a business card whenever you can and it will spread via word of mouth. Not only is it beneficial to the customer but it is a job that goes hand in hand with your career anyways. Husband/Wife/Kids can help out too.

      Just my idea.


      • #4
        Thanks FeedtheFlame, awesome idea. Something that I will definetely look into. Looks like you put a lot of work into that business. I would love to pick you head about that idea. Not that you didn't already tell me pretty much everything I need to know. I appreciate it


        • #5
          I apolgize for the multitude of incorrectly spelled words as I raced to type that out. You are more than welcome to run with it. I found bigger fish to fry otherwise I wouldn't have just thrown it out there.

          I ran a couple of different scenarios for setting up the business. Each had a different price range that could have gone with them.

          The most expensive I ever made the startup costs was around $10,000. Which when you consider it, really isn't a bad number since you can usually put a pretty smile on and borrow that from family members. Or just do a personal line of credit and make smallish payments on it each month.

          The 10K figure was done with purchasing a brand new top of the line digital SLR still camera, professional video camera, a laptop, file server, website, a company polo shirt, licensing and business fees, and doing some hefty marketing to get the thing off the ground.

          You can try and just get by with your standard digital camera, and your jvc camcorder, but if you have a pretty big population around you and you want to look professional I would go with some top of the line stuff.

          I looked at it this way when I thought about starting up: I could probably use the stuff from work to take pictures of family life and record opening christmas presents etc, so why not sell the lower grade stuff I had and put that towards the business.

          Or find another Brother/Sister who's new to the job and wants some side work and go in 50/50 on it.

          My 10K estimate was very generous too. I mean you don't need to run the kind of marketing I was talking about. You could probably order 5000 customized door hangers for like $250 bucks and just go out and place them on people's front doors with a short description of your services and a link to your website.

          On the low side I would say 5.5K-6.5K. Its not hard to corner the market since so few people do this line of work. Plus you could get in big with corportations to document their properties and facilities, and they always have more than one location.


          • #6
            The beauty of the idea to me, was the fact that it required money up front, but that there weren't a ton of costs related to purchasing supplies or other necessities. I hate the prospect of managing inventory or having to constantly re-order stuff like you have to do in some lines of work.

            I mean granted... You have to purchase supplies like blank DVD's, mailing supplies, video tapes, whatever, but the cost of those and the quantity you would need is minimal. It is a time investment business. But since you have time obviously available , it fits that rather well.


            • #7
              My fire science instructors went halves on a training company. They o things like HAZWOPER training for industry, confined space rescuer for fd's, hazmat training, rope rescue training, and inspecting the county jail monthly. not to busy but it is easy if you do it on a regular basis at your FD.
              It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.


              • #8
                any other cool unique business ideas. lower start up cost if possible.


                • #9
                  Still looking for some sweet business plan that I never would have thought of without your guy's help. I have been racking my brain for months now


                  • #10
                    A couple of our guys started a CPR/ First Aid training service. They go into offices, schools, factories, etc... and seem to do pretty well.


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