Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No
We live in a mobile society. The average American moves about once every two years--but nobody likes the nitty-gritty of it. Even worse, in today's two-income families, nobody has the time to do all this work. But if you've got a penchant for boxing things up and you're organized and efficient, you can ease the process with a packing/unpacking service. You can supply packing materials as well as muscle and, if you're doing the packing, you'll neatly and carefully label everything so your customers can easily locate items at the other end of the line. The advantages to this business are that you can start on a shoestring, part-time if you like, you're always on the move yourself, and you get a peek at lots of different residences and lifestyles. For this business, you'll need to be organized, efficient and fairly detail-oriented. You should have the people skills to deal with customers in a stressful situation (what move isn't stressful?) and enough experience to know how to safely pack items that can potentially spill, ooze or break.
Your clients will be homeowners, apartment renters and businesses who are moving in or out. Post fliers at apartment and condominium complexes, office complex leasing offices, laundromats, supermarkets, and ask moving truck rental firms like U-Haul and professional moving companies to refer you--be sure to give them supplies of your business cards. You might consider paying them a small commission or finder's fee for referrals. Introduce yourself to real estate, rental and insurance agents and give them your cards as well.
This is truly a shoestring start-up. All you really need is yourself. If you like--and it's a nice touch--you can also provide packing boxes and materials, but if you do, be sure to figure these costs into your price.