Small Business Idea – Low Voltage Outdoor Electrical Wiring Installations

How To Start A Business Doing Low-Voltage Outdoor Electrical Wiring Installation.

Outdoor wiring business idea

Description of Job

• Install low-voltage landscaping and driveway lighting.

• Install specialized low-voltage illuminated street numbers, poolside light- ing, and deck lighting.

The Need

Nighttime lighting can serve security, safety, and decorative interests. Many homeowners like to show off their landscaping by night with subtle lighting. In other areas, a bit of light helps demarcate driveway edges or winding pathways.

Challenges

The biggest challenge to installers of outdoor lighting is avoiding excess. Poor design wastes energy and creates “lighting trespass” that bothers neigh- bors, dangerous glare that can affect pedestrians and drivers, and “lighting pollu-

tion” that washes out the view of the dark night sky. As an installer, you need to work closely with your client and tour the prop-

erty to design the best system. You may need to work with a licensed electrician in some localities, espe-

cially if you are asked to include high-voltage outdoor area lighting and motion detectors for security.

Know the Territory

This is a job that can be accomplished by anyone with a small amount of land- scaping and simple home improvement skills.

In most jurisdictions, use of low-voltage systems does not require the involvement of a licensed electrician; if your client’s home does not have a proper exterior outlet or access to an indoor outlet, you will have to engage an electrician to have one installed.

Plug-in lighting systems attach to an outdoor grounded outlet with fault- interruption protection or to an indoor outlet. A transformer reduces line voltage to safer 12-volt power.

Another alternative is the use of solar-powered lamps that use batteries that are recharged by sunlight each day and require no wires to interconnect them.

Consult web sites, catalogs, and home supply stores to learn about available systems and techniques. Contact manufacturers or distributors for samples, cata- logs, and photographs of lamps and accessories.

How to Get Started

Advertise in community centers and garden centers. Some hardware stores or home centers may permit you to advertise your installation services in return for an agreement to purchase lights and supplies there.

Send brochures and letters to landscapers, pool installers, and contractors asking them to recommend your services to their clients; you may want to offer a bonus or commission for business they refer your way. Ask satisfied customers to advise their friends, offering them a bonus or discount.

Up-front Expenses

For most jobs, you’ll need a power trenching tool; this device can be a single- purpose unit or one that attaches to other equipment, such as a rototiller or a trac- tor. Short runs may be possible with hand digging.

You’ll also need some basic hand tools, shovels, and hole diggers.

Other expenses include creation of a portfolio of samples of available sys- tems and advertising and promotion.

How Much to Charge

You can charge a flat rate for your services based on the number of lamps and the length and complexity of the wiring involved, or you can quote an hourly rate. Add the cost of any lights, wire, transformers, and accessories; you should be able to purchase equipment at wholesale or discounted rates and resell them to your client at retail prices.

Legal and Insurance Issues

Special notes: Some municipalities have ordinances aimed at reducing light pollution, and some subdivisions may have regulations that limit outdoor light- ing. Some localities may require a licensed electrician’s involvement or an elec- trical inspection.

➀ Legal ➁ Legal ➂ Legal ➃ Accounting ➄ Insurance

Small Business Idea – Garden Tilling Service

Description of Job

• Using a power rototiller or similar equipment, turn over a garden patch at the start of a season to prepare it for planting.

• Mix fertilizer, lime, or other garden chemicals into the soil.

• Cut down plants at the end of the season and compost the greens or haul them away.

• Turn over the earth at the end of the growing season to prepare it for the winter.

The Need and Demand for the Service

Garden tiling

Have rototiller, will travel. Many homeowners love to grow their own little patch of tomatoes, green beans, onions, and flowers. They look great and taste better than anything they’ll find in the supermarket. (So what if the tomatoes end up costing them several dollars apiece or if the massive zucchini squash quickly outpace their ability to eat them, give them away, or use them as doorstops?)

For many gardeners, the most difficult part of the process is tilling the earth: breaking it up to a depth of six inches to a foot to allow easy planting and faster growth. Doing it by hand is a major chore, and purchasing a power tiller does not make sense for the casual gardener.

Your appeal is that you will bring a heavy, commercial rototiller or small tractor to their property and make quick work of a job that is beyond their abili- ties, interest, or equipment.

Challenges faced by the business owner

This is a seasonal job, with most of the work coming in the spring; jobs in the fall will be less common. You’ll need to amortize the cost of the machine and trailer over a fairly short period of time.

Things You Should Know About The Business

Tillers come in front-tine, mid-tine, and rear-tine designs; in general, rear-tine machines are the most powerful, and front-tine devices are more maneuverable. Mid-tine tillers claim to balance power and maneuverability. Spend the time to research (and test, if possible) various designs to find the one that suits your needs best.

The horsepower of the engine varies; the larger the engine, the more power- ful the churning of the earth and the movement of the wheels. Some designs use the rotating tines themselves to move the machine forward; many commercial designs apply power to a set of wheels that help pull the heavy device forward while the tines concentrate on breaking the earth.

Many lawn tractors with a power takeoff can be adapted to add a tiller; they may have sufficient horsepower to do the job, but may not be as maneuverable as a special-purpose tiller.

How to Get Started with the Garden Tilling Business

Post flyers and ads at garden centers and community centers. Place ads in news- papers and shopping guides.

Ask satisfied customers to recommend your services to others; offer a bonus or discount for new business they refer your way.

Up-front Expenses for the Business

Commercial-grade rototillers cost in the range of $500 to $1,000 or more. Lighter-weight and less capable units intended for casual gardeners sell for as lit- tle as $300.

You may be able to find a reconditioned used machine through a dealer or pri- vate seller; either way, you will need a reliable source of parts and maintenance.

Other up-front costs include a trailer and hitch and a vehicle capable of pulling the tiller from place to place; you may be able to use a ramp and open- bed of a pickup truck to transport the device.

You’ll also need to pay for advertising and promotion.

How Much to Charge

Charge an hourly rate, taking into account the cost of the equipment, wear and tear, gasoline, and your travel time to the site. Add a surcharge for especially dis- tant travel and for especially difficult access to the property. Add the cost of fer- tilizer, lime, or other garden chemicals tilled into the ground.

Legal and Insurance Issues

➀ Legal ➁ Legal ➂ Legal 4 Accounting ➄ Insurance

How To Brainstorm A Business Idea

how to brainstorm a business idea

Taking The Mystery Out Of Business Ideas

There is nothing mysterious about staring a business. You just need to take it one step at a time. If you follow the process, you will find yourself coming up with a business concept in no time.

Carry It Forward

If you have a business idea that you think might work you need to do is explore it further. You need to consider how practical it is, discuss it with friends and family to see if it’ll work. Just doing initial market research in a very simple manner can give you the kind of impetus motivation to start with your business. 

More than one million businesses are started in the United States of America every year. Even more do not see the light of day because people with ideas do not act on them.

Good business ideas work in tough economic conditions

While starting out of business in difficult economic conditions might present a few more hurdles, if the product is good, it is in demand and you can see a way of marketing it successfully, you can beat the odds. 

Eager investors are difficult to in difficult economic conditions. However, your business idea is likely to get more noticed when not many other businesses are starting out. 

People are still looking to spend money on what they need and want. The crucial aspect is to do proper market research to determine the feasibility of your business.

how to decide an idea for a business

Starting from a scratch is not your only option.

Many people feel that in order to start the business they need to come out with a business idea that is unique. This is not necessarily true. Unless you have an exceptionally original idea, you need not come up with a brand-new concept. You can always innovate and improve an existing business product or service. That works well for millions of businesses.

The best way to analyze and come up with a business idea is to probably analyze your own personality. If you want to start with a business, the odds are that you want to end up doing something that you like something and are good at. So to begin with, explore your own skills or qualities, hobbies and interests.

  1. Explore your qualities. 
  2. Explore your skills. 
  3. Explore your hobbies and interest. 
  4. Explore your motivation. 
  5. Explore what you would not like to do. 
  6. Explore your reasons for starting a business. 
  7. Explore what you want from your life as an entrepreneur.

Take a sheet of paper and write down…

  • All the things that you like to do
  • All the positive aspects of yourself such as your skills, as well as the things that you’re interested in such as hobbies and creative pastimes.

On one side of the paper, write down… 

  • All the things that you like to do such as fixing things around the house, working with children, working with computers, reading etc. 
  • Don’t start thinking in terms of starting a business just yet. Just write them down as they come to your mind.

On the other side of paper and write down

  • Things that you do not like such as having to meet with people, traveling a lot, having to work long hours, working late nights etc.
More deciders…
  1. Investigate what what motivates you. Is it making more money, spending more time with children or being the master of your own destiny.
  2. Explore your hobbies and interests as the best and most enjoyable business ideas often come through this side of your personality. People have made successful businesses out of cooking, woodworking, painting, photography, writing and anything that personally gratifying.
    Imagine doing what you love for a living. However, a word of caution at this point. It is easy to get carried away by wanting to do what you love most, and completely ignoring the practical side. Remember that once you develop a hobby into a business, you need to think about it in financial terms as well.\
  3. Explore what you seek from your life as an entrepreneur. For example if you want more a relaxed lifestyle, really want to spend more time with your family you will choose a business accordingly. However if you want to create a branded name at national and international level, then you might be choosing a very different model of business.

Once you have all this information written down all together, you will probably see a pattern emerge which will give you some insight into the kinds of businesses that you can start.

Checklist For Exploring Yourself For A Business Idea

These are the questions that you can start asking yourself in order to learn things about your own personality and interests. Don’t over think the exercise and write the first things that come to mind.

  1. 5 things that you like to do or are good at.
  2. 5 things that you do not like to do or are not good at.
  3. 5 things, products or services that would make your personal life better.
  4. 5 things, products or services that could make your business life better.
  5. When people ask you what you do, what’s your answer?
  6. List 5 things you enjoy about your work.
  7. List 5 things you do not like about your work.
  8. What people tell you they like most about you?
  9. What do people dislike the most about you?
  10. Apart from every occupation what other skills do you have?
  11. Apart from earning more money, what else do you want out of your life?

15 Questions To Ask

  1. How good is the business idea, is it a real need for it?
  2. What problems, difficulties or requirements of the consumer is your is supposed to fulfill?
  3. Is your business concept and original one or an adaptation or a combination of the 2?
  4. What short-term gains can you anticipate?
  5. What are the risk factors involved and are these acceptable risks?
  6. What long-range benefits can you expect?
  7. Have you checked the idea for fault and limitations?
  8. What are the potential problems with the business idea and how can they be solved?
  9. How simple or complex is the implementation of the business idea going to be?
  10. Can you work out other radiations of the business idea?
  11. Are there alternative business ideas?
  12. Does your business idea have a natural marketplace, do you have to create a new demand, how much will a customer pay for it?
  13. Is there competition for your business idea?
  14. What are the potential user resistance and difficulties that your business could face?
  15. How soon can the idea be put into operation?

These are just some of the questions that may apply to your business idea. Depending upon the industry there could be several more. The bottom line is that you have to investigate all pros and cons of a business idea.

brainstorming an idea for a business

Turn A Hobby Into A Business Idea

Imagine doing what you love all the time and then making money while doing it. Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? If it sounds like a dream, you should know that it doesn’t have to be just a fantasy in your mind.

Many people have turned activities they love into successful businesses. Cooking, babysitting, opening a restaurant, a photo studio, home repairs, selling gadgets, you name it and businesses have stemmed from what people love to do the most.

The trick lies in being able to target a customer base effectively. From paintings, artwork, antique furniture, clothes, new designs in jewelry, new recipes and food, everything sells. 

If you have a hobby for gardening, you can send your organically grown vegetables to the local restaurants or people. You can have a nice small greenhouse in your backyard where people can come and buy organic vegetables from every Sunday.

If you like collecting antiques, you can make a business out of selling those collectibles online through popular bidding sites such as eBay. People even make money selling rare and old comics and baseball cards online. The possibilities of starting a business are endless and that’s what makes it so wonderful.

Get Inspired From Existing Businesses

You do not always need to reinvent the wheel. Just a better way for a new way of doing things may be sufficient to give you a business edge.

Existing businesses can be motivational and inspiring. You can put a new twist to things by creating a product that is not new, but better and different. This will not only give you a niche but also give you a huge advantage over competitors.

Look existing businesses and see how you can modernize them to suit the newer generation. For example, by creating a homemade line of all natural cosmetics. You can target the eco-friendly and reserved women customers who do not enjoy wearing or shopping for makeup otherwise.

Just as you can modernise business ideas, you can go the other way and work retro! A good example is of a company who is doing extremely well in making bags and satchels of the 18th century design. The difference is that these bags are available in attractive colours and designs. 

By smart marketing you can take a product that was popular many years ago and make it  hip and stylish for the contemporary customer. People are making good money by selling antique furniture, wooden toys, trunks, etc.

Any business that is related to nostalgia can also be made to work beautifully.

Art and craft is one such field where nostalgia and old traditions work extremely well. Traditional art forms have a special spot with many customers and can be a great business model.

Food business is another example where people constantly innovate based on existing businesses. They come up with new recipes or go back to traditional cooking. Many people have taken to cooking with organic ingredients to become health food providers. Restaurants that offer health food are big hit with customers.

Researching The Business Idea And Persevering

Coming up with a great business idea is the first step, researching it to ensure that it will be a financial success is the second.

Researching a business idea  can be as simple as asking your friends and family a few questions. You can take a more extensive approach by approaching members of your community or finding people to take surveys at malls and coffee shops.

If you do decide to approach other people, make sure they fit the profile of your target customer. Otherwise you risk getting disinterested replies which could make you think that your product is not in demand.

Try to discover if the demand for the product or your business idea is short-term or long-term. While you can make profit from a short-term business idea, you will need to make sure that the expense involved in starting up is recovered just as quickly.

When you discuss your business idea with other people, do not get discouraged quickly if you get negative answers. In fact the negative responses should be given careful attention  because they could be addressing genuine problems with your idea. You just need to ensure you are asking the right target audience.

After you have set your business idea in motion, remember that you need perseverance. Perseverance is one of the greatest requirements for success in a small business. Almost all businesses take time to become successes. Till then you have to sustain it your passion and motivation. You have to keep going back to your ‘list of business goals’ and remind yourself why your started the business in the first place.