1.Â This is something almost anyone can do, and you can make a little extra cash.
Get a few small boxes, Â about the size of a child’s shoebox. (empty tissue boxes with the top cut out work well too) Wrap the boxes in gift wrap or fabric. Then put a roll of toilet tissue, two bottles of water, a couple candy bars or snack bars, and a pen and small memo pad inside. Get the “We’ve moved” kit from the post office, and make up a small list with the phone numbers and addresses of the utility companies, churches, schools, favorite restaurants, and other local places that every person new to an area might need.Â Â Arrange everything in one of the boxes, and tie it up in cello with an attractive bow.Â Â Now, visit apartment managers, realty offices, etc… Tell them you will make these gift “Welcome” boxes for them to give to new renters, new home buyers, etc… You can sell these for around $5 to $15 each depending on how much you put inside.Â Â Your cost is just a couple dollars, especially if you buy on sale.
Start with just a few and with things you have on hand. That way, you can start a business without any up-front expense. Re-invest the money you make from your first few sales to buy more “ingredients” for the next batch of boxes.
Many local businesses will be glad to give you discount coupons or little gift items to get their business known to new people in the area.
2.Â Homework Club
If you live near a middle school, establish a homework club. These slightly older children need some after school supervision if their parents work, and would be able to complete most of their homework after school so their evenings with their family would be free. When they go home alone after school, they seldom work on homework. Arrange to have the child or children arrive at your home straight from school. Feed them a snack, and get them started on their homework. You would need to provide an environment where each student could work, and be able to provide occasional help with difficult problems. After one or two hours, the children would leave or the parents would pick them up. Your fees would be similar to child care rates, and you could build in a bonus for yourself based on the studentâ€™s grades. Maybe $10.00 for every B and $25.00 for every A.
Promote your business by visiting the schools in your area and asking teachers to tell the parents of students that are getting poor grades.
As a parent, I had difficulty establishing and maintaining a specific homework time and environment for my kids, and would have loved to have a service that taught them the skills and provided a proper environment for homework.
3.Â Make Velcro Hair bows for babies and pets.
Most babies and many short haired pets have hair too fine or short to tie a bow. Purchase the small Velcro dots or strips. Make little bows and “pretties” and glue them to a small square or dot of Velcro. Put them in a small plastic bag, make an appropriate bag topper. Take a selection to beauty salons that specialize in children’s hair cuts, and to dog groomers. Offer to sell them at a “wholesale” price. Suggest that they have a small basket of the bows available for their customers to purchase.
I recommend that the bow is attached to the “loopy” side of the Velcro. That way, the hook side is always away from the babies or pet’s head.
4.Â This one is a little “out there”, but clever, and would work great for a teen looking for a little extra spending money.
There is a regular business here doing this and they call their business “Doody Calls”. Contact neighbors with dogs, and offer to come over to their home once a week (or more or less often) and clean up the dog poop from their yard. Take a shovel (or use theirs) a plastic bag, and disposable gloves. Do the clean up, leave the plastic bag in their garbage can, collect your fee and go on to the next house.
Try to get several clients in the same neighborhood on the same day if you want to make the best use of your time. Most yards could be completely cleaned in under 1/2 hour, so $5 would seem quite reasonable, and you could easily make $20 to $50 in a day.