Advice on a few business ideas i have been thinking about

Discussion in 'Business Ideas' started by Mikey29, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Mikey29

    Mikey29
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    Babysitter Agency: This idea isn't anything new but there are some questions (which I have searched high and low on the internet for with no luck). There are always people looking for babysitters in my area. So I was thinking about starting a agency for babysitters. I was thinking about hiring qualified babysitters. I would do background checks, check driving records, fingerprint, reference check and more. I would also have them CPR and first aid certified. I would charge them(the parent or caregiver) a fee such as $11-$12 an hour and take a portion and give them other portion to the sitter.

    Possible Issue: Getting the sitter to stay with the company; they might decide to take the middleman out and just deal with the parents directly. I was thinking about something like earning hours for sick pay or something to entice them to stay.

    I have been searching for information regarding this kind of business but not much luck.

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    Niche Retail Store

    I was thinking about a niche retail store in my area. I was thinking about electronics but that can get pricey and with a local Wal-Mart it might be difficult to compete in this area. I was thinking about a gift card store. I was thinking about buying bulks of gift cards for a discount; enough of a discount to pass this along to the customer. I would think that with high gas prices selling gas gift cards at a discount would look pretty good to the customer.
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    Create a Coupon Book

    I was thinking about contacting manufacturers to get permission to place their coupon in the book. Eventually when I get enough manufacturers for the coupon book, I would have the books printed and work out a deal with the newspapers distributor to place book in Sunday newspaper.

    ____________

    Feedback and advice is very much appreciated, thank you in advance. :)
     
  2. rangrage

    rangrage
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    Wow Mikey, I must say you have a very busy mind there... some pretty good ideas :)

    I particularly like the baby sitting agency idea, I think since you have already identified that there is a market demand for this service it will take off very quickly.

    You could have a written mandate with your staff which can state that if they resign from your company they are not allowed to work for any clients which you have for a period of two years or something along those lines, and you can also have the customer (parents) sign a similar mandate for your services as well. For a more detailed example I would suggest that you have a look at a real estate agents sole mandate, you would get some good examples there.

    Do share with us which business idea you decide to pursue, best of luck. :)
     
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  3. NormanAvila

    NormanAvila
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    I also like the babysitter agency idea, especially because you say there is a demand. Of course, as you say, the problem could be that they'd avoid the middleman.

    You could:
    - have both parties sign contracts
    - have all babysitters sign that they won't work in this field for 3-4-5 years if they quit and that if they use any of your business ideas etc. they would respond legally for their actions and consequences
    - try to assign one babysitter to a minimum amount of families (so that no babysitter is aware of your entire clientele)

    Of course what rangrage said is also useful, I agree to that as well.

    Best luck with your business!
     
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  4. DeniseTaylor

    DeniseTaylor
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    "Create a Coupon Book

    I was thinking about contacting manufacturers to get permission to place their coupon in the book. Eventually when I get enough manufacturers for the coupon book, I would have the books printed and work out a deal with the newspapers distributor to place book in Sunday newspaper. "

    I like this idea.

    Talk to local businesses, like restaurants and entertainment venues. Get their permission to be included in the book, then sell the books to local residents. It's like Val Pak coupons, but to include dining and entertainment. Plus, businesses don't pay to be in the book, it's the user who pays for the coupons. Say, $25 per book, to save $100s. People will buy them.

    I've seen Boy Scout groups sell these as fund raisers, so I know it works.

    That's another idea - offer the books to fundraising groups. You would make a % while others do the sales.
     
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  5. MarkTaylor

    MarkTaylor
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    Hi Mikey,

    Thanks for your post. I think it's useful to get feedback like this on new business ideas.

    I am a born optimist so I tend to think all reasonable ideas can work if they are done properly. In each of these cases, I would ask you to consider if you are able to create a Unique Selling Point - ie something that will make you stand out from the competition. For example, with the baby sitting service, could you equip your sitters with a small range of books and games, that show that they will actually engage with the children rather than passively 'sit' them?

    I have pasted some notes below on the MAIR model - a tool I've found very useful for thinking through new business ideas - hope this helps.

    Best wishes,

    Mark.

    The basic idea is that you explore four 'interactive variables': Motivation, Abilities, Ideas and Resources. Clearly, each has a critical role to play in its own right:



    Motivation: I guess that's what separates thinkers and dreamers for actors and doers... The willingness to really go out and work hard, often under conditions of little short term reward and lots of uncertainty, seems to be one of the hallmarks of successful entrepreneurs.

    Abilities: We could start a whole separate thread on this - what are the key abilities that make a successful entrepreneur - no doubt a mix of both hard and soft skills.

    Ideas: Arguably, these need to be clearly rooted in a market need to be valid, although, there are some business that seem to be product-led rather than market-led... fashion, any Apple product, the Rubik's cube...

    Resources: Entrepreneurs are kind of hamstrung until they get resources behind them. I guess we automatically think of cash here, but skills, knowledge and contacts can make a lot of difference to.

    ...but you also need to think about how these factors interact - a good idea is of limited value, without the motivation and resources to turn it into a business and this is where the final components of the MAIR model come into play: Planning and Organisation! Arguably, this is the real job of the entrepreneur. Bringing all the factors together to create something that didn't exist before, and may just change the world!
     
  6. BNB

    BNB
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    Biggest challenge with the baby sitter business is liability. What if something bad happens while your employee is there? You may want to inquire about insurance costs prior to even considering this route.
     
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  7. mhorner

    mhorner
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    I like the baby sitting idea because it probably will have low start up cost. Now, my cynical point. If you have no experience with baby sitting, and it isn't something that you can do yourself, then you might want to REALLY think about getting into it. You have to look at your financial situation and decide do you need to make money now or are you willing to possibly make money later. I currently own/manage a maid service. It was low start up cost, but because I can't physically do the house cleaning myself, we had to hire employees. After paying the employees, banking fees, lead fees, advertising and some equipment cost, there is no money going into my pocket. Your employees will be where your money goes to and it could be awhile before you can have money in your pocket. Now if at first you can do the baby sitting, then while you grow the business, you'll have some money before you have to start paying employees.
     
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