A terrific full- or part-time opportunity exists in an awning manufacturing business for entrepreneurs with good marketing skills and design and mechanical abilities. Providing you have the workshop space and zoning permits, you can even manufacture awnings right from a homebased location. There are basically two types of awnings: residential and commercial. Residential awnings are generally constructed from an aluminum or steel frame and covered with a canvas or vinyl fabric shell. Often residential awnings are mechanical, meaning that they can be manually or electrically extended and retracted to suit weather conditions and the user's needs. Commercial awnings are also constructed using an aluminum or steel frame and covered with a canvas or vinyl fabric shell. Most are stationary, and many also act as signage for the business or office and are often electrically backlit to illuminate the sign at night. Skills required for this business include welding of both aluminum and steel pipe, commercial sewing, basic electrical knowledge, and good design skills. Of course much of the manufacturing work can be completed by employees or subcontractors. Equipment requirements will include a suitable workspace, transportation capable of moving large awnings, a welder and welding supplies, power hand tools, a chop-off saw, and pipe-bending machinery. In addition to sales and installations of awnings, you can also increase revenues and profits by offering clients additional services, such as awning cleaning and repairs. web resource: www.thebluebook.com Directory service listing manufacturers and distributors of awning manufacturing equipment and supplies.