The global economy is relatively stagnant, so there’s no reason to avoid starting a new business if the conditions are right. Whether you’re the entrepreneurial type or looking for a career change, plenty of worthwhile options exist. Luckily, some services are virtually immune to the ups and downs of a volatile economy.
Office cleaning companies and landscaping services tend to flourish in the hands of hard-working owners. Likewise, transportation fleets, tutoring companies, and vacation rental businesses can perform well in almost any financial environment. Here are details about several small companies that lend themselves to independent owners who want to start small and gradually expand operations over several years.
Manager of a Small Transportation Fleet
If you start a transport firm from the ground up, be prepared to wear several hats during the first year or two of operations. Those tackling this challenge usually study for the CDL (commercial driver’s license) exam to step behind the wheel during a driver shortage. No matter your current level of driving skill, taking and passing the CDL test is a must. Keep in mind that there are numerous endorsements and classes, all of which are geared to the type of work your company does and the kind of vehicles you use.
Be sure to learn about all the specific requirements for acquiring a valid CDL before starting a transport company. Other than filling in for the occasional late or no-show driver, be ready to perform all the duties of a fleet manager, even if you start with one truck and expand slowly. Fortunately, the position is scalable, so there’s no need to purchase a dozen trucks on day one. Transport services are in high demand with the recent explosion of e-commerce. It’s up to you to select a niche, like long-haul shipping, medical transport, hazardous materials, local deliveries, or refrigerated goods.
While the initial investment for starting a transport fleet can be substantial, most owners realize that one of the toughest parts of the business is dealing with fuel prices and multiple legal requirements of maintaining and operating a commercial vehicle fleet. Remember to get all necessary licenses, purchase high-quality vehicles, build relationships with local merchants, create commonsense maintenance schedules, use a reliable tracking system, and invest in targeted marketing campaigns to win new customers.
Office Cleaning Service
There’s consistent, year-round demand for commercial cleaning services, particularly in large urban areas. It can take several months to build a customer base, but the startup costs are relatively low, which makes the venture affordable for individuals with limited financial resources. The best part of the industry is that many clients prefer to sign long-term contracts and will not change service providers unless they become unhappy with the results.
That means people who devote themselves to delivering high-quality cleaning services can build a steady income stream for the long haul. However, the work can be physically challenging for those who are not in good shape, and the industry is competitive. But, if you can handle the hard work and are willing to invest in advertising, it’s possible to turn the business into a full-time career.
Landscaping is an excellent side business, but diligent individuals can make it work as a year-round enterprise, provided they live in a region where the winters aren’t too long or harsh. Gardeners and outdoor landscape designers can express their artistic instincts and earn money at the same time, which is a rarity in most jobs. On the upside, if clients are happy with your work, you’ll likely get long-term contracts. Be ready for unpredictable weather interruptions and a relatively high up-front cost for equipment when getting started. Do research on garden design, soil characteristics, and the most popular plants and trees.
Featured Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash