Looking for ways to tart your own business? Here are five EASY business ideas I’ve never seen — but I’m convinced there’s a need.
(1) Virtual assistant publicity
When I published my book, Making the Big Move, I needed to spread the word. But the logistics were daunting. For example, I wanted to send a press release to several hundred radio stations and newspapers. It is possible to subscribe to a database but you also need to set up software to send a thousand or so faxes. Apparently it’s not that hard But it takes time and knowledge.
Many authors and business owners need services to implement publicity. They can write a press release (although a VA who can write, too, would be a gold mine). What they need is someone to make the phone calls and send the faxes and get the names of the right people. And a sharp VA might also be able to set up bookstore signings for authors, for a fee.
(2) Virtual assistant authors
When an author creates a book proposal, her task isn’t over. She has to send out query letters by the handful. An author can craft a query letter but once again the logistics can be defeating. A virtual assistant who knows how to set up letters, include SASEs and call ahead to see if there’s been a name change now that’s worthwhile! A VA can help with query letters or work with a writing coach who will be her alliance partner.
Today’s self-published author needs to edit her own book, set up the pages so they read easily, add images as needed, and format the book for a self-publishing venue, such as Amazon’s kindle readers or CreateSpace. If you can do any of these things, you will find takers!
(3) Community introduction service
When people consider moving to a new place, they want to learn everything they can! They turn to real estate agents. But if they aren’t ready to buy a house, they won’t get helpful information about the community. Depending on the agent you choose, you may or may not get information directly relative to your lifestyle. You can offer a private service to show people around your town or community, customizing tours to fit individual or group interests. Charge a flat rate (and be sure you’ve got licenses and insurance if you’re driving people around).
(4) Home Concierge
This idea isn’t new but it will be new to some parts of the world. Professionals who make hundreds of dollars an hour don’t want to stay home to wait for a package or delivery. Newly transferred executives may want to get to the office not stay home to let someone in to turn on utilities. Almost everyone needs a pet-sitter or dog-walker sometimes. You may be able to expand to running errands. (Make sure you’re licensed and bonded! And choose clients with care.)
(5) Homemaking/Gardening Educator
As people retire or downsize, they often decide they’ll do more of their own cooking, weeding and cleaning. But if they’re professionals, they’ve probably paid someone to do these jobs often for years. Sometimes they want to hire more services. But sometimes they want to learn to do it themselves. How do you care for a hardwood floor? How do you make simple meals without burning own the kitchen? Why aren’t my tomatoes growing? A great service, offered through classes, in-person tutoring or even an online service.
MORE SKILLS: These ideas call for more skill but you (or your teenager) may be ready.
Can you hook up a DVD player to a television set and still record on video? Or can you just hook up a DVD player? Even today, many people buy a DVD player, then return their movies because they can’t figure out how to hook everything up!
Can you edit a video? Even better!
Do you like to play with techie stuff? Learn audacity.com (a free program) and edit audios and podcasts.