Childproofing Service

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Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No

If you could see the average home from a baby's point of view, you could find all sorts of trouble to get into--electrical outlets and cords, poisons in cupboards, interesting plants to eat and more. Since most of us adults don't go around on our hands and knees, we don't see these potential hazards--or realize other home dangers like scalding water or reachable plastic bags. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, each year between 20 percent and 25 percent of all children sustain an injury severe enough to require medical attention, missed school and/or bed rest. And with nearly 4 million births in one recent year, there are plenty of babies around. You can avert catastrophes with a baby-proofing service. You'll tour homes, installing safety latches, catches and other safety devices and alerting parents to potential hazards like poisonous plants and other materials. The advantages to this business are that you can work from a home base, you can start out part time, and you'll provide a needed, appreciated service. You'll need a strong knowledge of what kind of trouble babies and small children can get into and how to avert it. You'll need good people skills to work with parents, some of whom may be on the overanxious side. And you'll need the confidence to install child-proofing latches and other safety devices while mom, dad and assorted grandparents are hovering over your shoulder.

The Market

Your customers will consist mostly of parents and grandparents of babies and toddlers, but you might also target businesses that find babies on board--look for ones that have children's play areas set up in a corner so toddlers can play while mom, for instance, shops or visits the doctor. Place ads in local papers and get yourself written up in local publications. Send brochures to pediatricians. Introduce yourself to business owners and leave brochures. Go on a local radio chat show to talk about baby-proofing.

Needed Equipment

You'll need basic tools like screwdrivers, wrenches and a cordless drill, as well as a tidy supply of baby-proofing devices. And since this is a business that hits about as close to customers' homes and hearts as possible, you'll want to be sure to carry liability insurance.

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