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Category Archives: Business

6 Business Ideas for Sports Lovers

Sports camp organizer

Organizing a sports camp is one great way to start a business revolving around any sport you love. A camp could focus on any level of competition and last just one day or as long as several weeks.

To boost your camp’s profile, be sure to bring in experts, like coaches and athletes, to offer attendees experienced insights into their respective games. Retaining a local athletic personality’s endorsement can also be a huge marketing benefit.

Sports photography/videographry

Parents of school-aged children on sports teams want lasting records of their kid scoring the winning goal or hitting a home run. Most times, the best they can get is a blurry action shot on their smartphone or digital camera. As a sports photographer, you can work with amateur teams to capture stunning photos of each player and sell them to proud parents. Knowledge of the game and a good single-lens reflex (SLR) camera are essential for this business. Photography retailer DigitalRevoffers tips for beginners.

In addition, game footage is a much sought after skill for coaches and media outlets alike. If you’re a skilled videographer, consider freelancing; teams require gameday film to prepare and local media often reports on high school sports.

Sports bar

If you’ve ever had an interest in the restaurant business, a sports bar is the perfect idea for you. Provide a place for your fellow sports lovers to enjoy the game while you serve them a cold beer and their favorite game-day appetizers. This will take a considerable amount of startup capital, so it might be a good idea to go in on this venture with a business partner.

Sports memorabilia seller

Make a living collecting autographed jerseys, equipment and photos of major league athletes and selling them via online marketplaces like eBay. You’ll have to do a bit of traveling to track down the players people want, but once you have the autographs, mega-fans will pay thousands of dollars to own a piece of pro sports history.

PR for athletes

Professional and college-level players frequently make sports headlines with their athletic abilities, but they all have lives outside the game. Many athletes are also entrepreneurs and/or philanthropists, and it takes a greatpublic relations agent to make sure their personal brands are well-known, both on and off the field. If you’ve got an arsenal of media contacts and a go-getter personality, you can launch an independent sports PR firm.

Personal training

In addition to a good diet, athletes also need to follow a strict workout regimen to stay at the top of their game, especially in the off-season. If you want the chance to work with sports players, consider becoming a certified personal trainer. Build up a reputation with local clients, then start advertising to teams.

7 Part Time Business Ideas

Tutoring service

Whether you’re an academic or you have a special skill (like computer expertise or fluency in another language), it might be time to get into the tutoring business. First, figure out your target audience of students — for example, are you looking to help high school students with math, or teach computer skills to adults? Once you know whom you’re looking to reach, start advertising your services. If your students are happy with the results, ask them to refer friends or other organizations that can use your help, and build up a clientele from there.

Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist

Beauty school isn’t a prerequisite for launching a successful hair or makeup business. For those who can create masterpieces with a teasing comb and some hairspray, you only need a good reputation and client trust. Since beauty professionals often build their business through client referrals, Businessweek recommends working on friends and family for free or at a discounted rate at first. Once you have a solid customer base, you can offer competitive rates for updos and makeup for weddings, proms and other special events.

Pet Care

Are you good with animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you’re available to watch their pets while the owners go on vacation or a weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of an individual rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn’t be too difficult. If you can’t commit to lodging animals in your home, consider starting a dog-walking, waste-cleanup or pet-grooming business.

Disc Jockey

While the term “disc jockey” might be a little outdated in the age of streaming music, there’s no question that event entertainment is still in high demand. With your music collection, mixing software and your laptop, you can get people out on the dance floor at weddings and birthday parties, or simply provide background music at more casual events. DJ equipment is a big investment, but plenty of companies offer daily rentals of speakers, subwoofers and other accessories that you can use until you can save up enough to buy your own.

Caricaturist

No festival or county fair would be complete without a caricature artist to draw fun, unique souvenirs for visitors to take home. With online tutorials like Learn-To-Draw.com, you can learn caricature techniques and begin building a portfolio to display for potential customers. Then, check your town or county’s website for local events that have booths available to rent. Charge by the portrait at these types of events. (Depending on how quickly you can draw, the earning potential is huge.) And once you earn a reputation, you can offer a flat rate to be hired at school functions, weddings or children’s birthday parties.

Craft/Jewelry Vendor

Do you have a knack for knitting, jewelry making or creating other small crafts? If you can produce a large quantity of items in a short amount of time, consider selling your goods to the public. Online storefronts like Etsy are a safe place to start, since you can display photos of sample products and fill orders for them as they come in. However, if you have a large amount of inventory stored up, consider selling your work at a local craft fair or other community event.

Personal Trainer

Turn your passion for fitness into a lucrative, part-time job by becoming a personal trainer. Most clients schedule their gym time around work, so it’s the perfect gig to have in addition to your day job. You’ll have to put in time and money to get certified, but organizations like the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America offer online certification programs that you can complete at your own pace. Once you’re a certified trainer, you can look for openings at local gyms or work one-on-one with clients at their homes.

7 Ways to Identify a Great Business Ideas

Does it solve a problem?

Entrepreneur and co-founder of the Web design school The Starter League Mike McGee thinks the best business ideas are those that solve a problem in some way.

“If there is a problem that affects you, your friends, family, co-workers, etc., then the chances are high that it affects people you don’t know as well,” McGee said.

Will people will pay for it?

It’s paying customers who validate an idea and determine which ones have the greatest chance for success, said Wil Schroter, co-founder and CEO of Fundable.

“An idea is just an idea until you have a paying customer attached to it,” Schroter said. “Anyone can discredit a simple idea, but no one can discredit paying customers.”

What’s your price point?

Charlie Harary, founder and partner of investment firm H3 & Co., said that while there are many ways to solve problems, great business ideas do it in a way that is less expensive than what the market will endure.

“Once you have determined that you are solving a legitimate problem in a scalable way, you need to determine not only the value that it delivers to the world, but what people would pay for that value,” Harary said. “Once you determine the price, then you can assess if your solution is businessworthy or not.”

Are you passionate enough about it?

Your business will likely take up all of your time, so make sure you’re passionate enough about it to make it successful.

“Since starting a business requires an inordinate amount of time, energy and patience, ideally, the idea will be one that you are passionate about, as well as one that you have skills or experience [in],” said Melissa Bradley, executive-in-residence and director of entrepreneurship and innovation at theKogod School of Business at American University.

Have you tested your idea?

You won’t know if your business is viable until you test it on strangers.

“Test it — not just with friends who will be too polite to tell the truth, but with honest people who would make up your ideal target audience, and then listen to the feedback,” said Lisa McCartney, chief “PLYTer” at educational math board game company PLYT. “

“If your target sample is saying [your idea] is fantastic and [asking] where can they get it, you know that you’re onto something, but if they are less than enthusiastic, it’s probably not as good an idea as you thought.”

How will you market your business?

Many entrepreneurs think about the problems their business will solve but not about how they intend to market their business to their target customers. Jesse Lipson, corporate vice president and general manager at cloud company Citrix Cloud Services, said that your marketing strategy can determine if your business idea is a good one.

“If you have a solid go-to market strategy and a decent product, you’ll probably be successful,” Lipson said. “But if you have a great product without any idea how to reach your potential customers, then it’s going to be really tough to make it successful. Thinking through that as early as possible is really key.”

Are you being realistic about your goals?

As excited as you may be about a new business idea, it’s important to stay grounded and be realistic about it. Thomas J. Gravina — chairman, co-founder and CEO of cloud services companyEvolve IP — said you shouldn’t have a “Field of Dreams” mentality when starting your business.

“Just because you have a vision and decide to build it does not mean the rest will follow,” Gravina said. “While you may have an idea that is original, revolutionary or ahead of its time, there should be a real, solid market opportunity to ensure it is successful. Any new business case or new endeavor has to have a viable market that you believe you can sell now — not theoretically or on the premise that there is a future for this market.”

7 Ways You’ll Know Your Business Idea Stinks

So you think you have a great idea for a business? You might want to think again. While entrepreneurs are best known for the businesses that make them money, they often go through a series of bad ideas before settling on one that works.

But how can you tell if the business you’ve been building in your mind will be a total flop? While there’s no set criteria for judging business ideas, there are several indicators that your scheme might be a waste of time and money.

Here are 7 ways you’ll know your business idea stinks.

Someone tells you it stinks

The most sure-fire way to know that your business idea stinks is if someone tells you your business idea stinks. Of course, not everyone you talk to will be qualified to give you that kind of critical feedback.

If you’re looking for a negative opinion that you can trust, find an expert or two in the field you’re pursuing and ask them, point blank, what they think of your idea. That’s the approach taken by Dan Fendel, a serial entrepreneur whose latest project is a boating safety company, Float Plan One.

In an email to Business News Daily, Fendel said that— in exchange for a free lunch— the experts he contacts will typically offer candid opinions about his business ideas.

“People love to be respected as experts and, to be frank, they love to shoot down things because they know what you don’t,” Fendel said. “And when you encourage that — which means getting past their natural “not-wanting-to-offend-you-by-telling-you-your-baby-is-ugly” politeness — it is a good thing, because it saves you going down a dead-end street, spending lots of money and effort along the way.”

No one’s buying what you’re selling

Experts aren’t the only ones whose opinions you should solicit about your business idea. Friends, family members and even strangers can also provide valuable feedback that may help you fine-tune your idea or decide to scrap it altogether.

When telling people about your idea, you should ask them, first and foremost, whether they’d be willing to pay for the goods or services you plan on offering through your business. If the only one willing to buy what you’re selling is your mother, your idea for a business probably isn’t a good one.

“Every entrepreneur is enthusiastic about their idea, that’s the nature of entrepreneurship,” said Mike Poller, president of Poller & Jordan Advertising in Miami. “However, success is measured in dollars, investors and customers. Once your idea has convinced people to put their money where their mouth is, then you can know if it truly is a good idea.”

If you’re not excited by the idea…

While outside opinions about your latest business scheme can certainly help you decide whether or not to follow through on your idea, there’s only one person who can tell you with real certainty whether your idea is worth pursuing: you.

As the person responsible for seeing a business idea through to fruition, you are the best gauge of whether an idea is worthwhile, or not worth the trouble. One way to make that decision is to ask yourself a simple question: do you feel passionately about your idea?

“If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, then why should anyone else be?” said Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of the global marketing firm Mavens & Moguls, in an email. “There’s a lot of noise in every category, so if you don’t have a unique story to tell and a new approach or idea that excites you, then go no further.”

No one is willing to help you 

Few entrepreneurs launch businesses without asking for (and receiving) outside help. Whether that help comes from investors, industry experts or simply friends and family members, having some support is crucial for new businesses.

However, if you can’t seem to find the support you need to get your business off the ground, that might be a sign that your idea isn’t very good.

“If you ask one person for help— and it’s a good idea— you’ll get the name of someone who can help you. If you don’t have a good idea, you don’t get help,” said Billy Bauer, marketing director for Royce Leather, a New Jersey-based luxury leather goods company.

It’s too cool 

Hipster boutiques and organic, gluten-free juice bars might be all the rage right now, but if your idea for a business is tied to passing trends, it could be a total flop.

“Ask yourself if [your business idea] is a fad,” said Gary Tuch, co-founder of Professor Egghead Science Academy. “Fads are not good business ideas. Many people get hyped about the cool new thing and try to get in on it. Once something is cool, you are too late.”

It isn’t scalable

How big is the business you want to start? If the answer to that question is anything other than “small,” you might want to head back to the drawing board. While some businesses are bigger than others, the most successful businesses can start out relatively small and grow bigger over time.

“Launch small,” said Danny Halarewich, co-founder and CEO of LemonStand, an e-commerce platform for online retailers, who went on to say that businesses need to start small to account for the inevitable tweaks that will have to be made as the business evolves.

Brahm Kiran Singh, founder of CoachPal, a tutoring service for engineering students in India, also emphasized the importance of scalability in assessing business ideas.

“There should be a large number of target clients and it should be easy to scale to them,” Singh said in an email. “A restaurant business is not as scalable as a SAAS business.”

It’s nice, but not necessary

Sure, you may have invented a new product or come up with a different solution to an age-old problem, but that doesn’t mean you should start a business. Businesses with staying power can’t just offer something new, they must offer something people actually need.

“Innovation has to be useful,” said Conrad Bayer, CEO and co-founder of Tellwise, a cloud-based sales and communication platform. “It’s an area where entrepreneurs often make mistakes. They confuse novelty and utility. Just because it’s new doesn’t make it useful.”

Marc Meyer, a serial software entrepreneur and professor of entrepreneurship at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business, is of a similar opinion, saying in an email that a good business idea is one that offers a “must- have” type of solution, not just something “nice to have.”

7 Low Cost Business Ideas

Starting a business is quite the financial undertaking. There is a lot to consider, and lack of money can sometimes be a deterrent for would-be entrepreneurs. For those who are dreaming big but are on a small budget, here are a few low-cost businesses to inspire that entrepreneurial passion.

Social media and the 24-hour news cycle have created the perfect storm of opportunity for creative professionals like writers and graphic designers, who can use their talents to create high-quality, shareable content for businesses and media outlets. Thanks to a growing part-time economy of freelance and contract workers, it’s easier than ever to market yourself as a professional freelancer.

If you’re a highly organized, detail-oriented individual who loves putting parties together, you might have the right personality to launch an event-planning business. Working for weddings, birthday parties and class reunions, event planners make it easy for others to host an exciting party. LinkedIn, cold calling and planning a few pro-bono events will help give you the proper experience. This will also help you build up a solid database of vendors and contacts so you can help your clients orchestrate the event of their dreams.

Parents are busy with job responsibilities and driving their children from one activity to the next. So most working parents have very little time left to take care of personal errands like grocery shopping, making returns at the mall or mailing packages. The right, driven individual can take care of these time-consuming errands for clients and free up their days for the important things in life. Account for travel expenses when determining your rates, which can be hourly or by the task.

For the musically gifted, offering lessons to others who want to learn an instrument can be a great source of extra income. Unless you’re teaching piano, students can likely bring their own instruments to your home for hour-long lessons. Stock up on sheet music or songbooks in varying genres and aimed at various skill levels so you can offer a wide selection for your potential clients. Voice lessons can also bring in a lot of money if you market yourself to local high school and community theater groups.

Larger firms can hire an agency or full-time staff member to run their Facebook and Twitter accounts and blogs, but small businesses often have to take care of their own social media marketing. With so many other responsibilities, business owners may be too busy or overwhelmed to spend time coming up with a great social media strategy. As a consultant, you can help them determine the best tactics, posting schedules and content for their target audience. As their follower counts grow, so will your business.

Etsy is a popular online marketplace that hosts thousands of at-home retailers and larger productions, like the highly-rated Wildflower + co., selling jewelry, patches and DIY merchandise. Starting an Etsy shop is incredibly affordable. It’s free to join the site and start a shop, though business owners should be aware there are three selling fees: the listing, transaction and payment-processing fees.

What are you passionate about? Yoga? Baking? Web design? If you know something inside and out, you can help others enrich their lives by offering virtual classes. Create downloadable instructional packets and videos, or schedule real-time Skype lessons with clients. Another option for aspiring educators is to start a virtual or home-based tutoring service.

6 Business Ideas for Artists

Art dealer

Imagine making a living finding beautiful works of art and selling them to art enthusiasts. If you have the money to rent space in a high-traffic area, you can open your own art gallery and assist fellow artists get their work noticed. As with any business, building your reputation and niche can be an uphill battle: You’ll need expert networking and marketing skills to get the word out. Use social media to your advantage to show your work and meet people in the business to build your contacts. Once you establish a good client base, you’ll be rubbing elbows with some of your city’s most prominent artists at your gallery parties and exhibits.

Art teacher

Were you an award-winning artist your tenure as a student? Maybe you were a successful TA in college. Or maybe you create amazing works of art through painting, sculpting and other mediums. Teach classes and impart your wisdom to aspiring artists or novices who just want to learn. This idea is best suited to a part-time business, but you can still make good money offering hour-long classes at local craft stores, community centers or your home. Make sure you have a user-friendly website to display your work and entice potential students.

Custom airbrushing

Whether you work on cars, murals or clothing, there’s a wide range of possibilities for an airbrushing artist. You’ll need to purchase some equipment to get started, like an air compressor, stencil materials, and of course, paints and airbrushes. Airbrushing can be done in a well-ventilated storefront, kiosk or even at home in your garage on a freelance or project basis. You can also create and sell airbrushed paintings online or at local events.

Caricature artist

No festival or county fair would be complete without a caricaturist to draw fun, unique souvenirs for visitors to take home. With online tutorials like Learn-To-Draw.com, you can learn caricature techniques and begin building a portfolio to display for potential customers. Then check your town or county’s website for local events that have booths available to rent. You can charge by the portrait at these types of events—depending on how quickly you can draw, the earning potential is huge. There are also opportunities to do your work at weddings, Project Graduation parties, fundraisers and a number of community activities. Once you earn a reputation, you can offer a flat rate to be hired.

Tattoo artist

Some artists use paper as their canvas. Why not use the human body as yours? Working in a tattoo studio can be a lucrative career path for talented artists, but it will require some time and education. Wikihow notes that you need to be state certified by completing an apprenticeship with an experienced tattoo artist and taking tattooing courses. Once you’re certified, referrals from satisfied customers will be your biggest source of business.

Graphic designer

Graphic design runs the gamut, and you can especially succeed as a small business or a freelancer. According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, graphic artists create images for posters, advertisements, packages, and other printed matter, as well as information visualizations; graphics for newspapers and magazines. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about one-third of graphic designers are self-employed, so you can work from home on eye-catching visual projects for brands and individuals. AIGA also provides information on how to land your first design job.

7 Holiday Business Ideas

Music/caroling coordination

The holiday season means music is constantly in the air. Whether its events with live music or neighborhood caroling trips, organizing and scheduling that kind of musical manpower is a tall order. A business that helps plan and schedule caroling trips, or one that maintains a team of musicians specifically available for hire for holiday parties could be a useful — and profitable — venture for celebrations everywhere.

Baked goods

Pies, cookies, fruitcakes and gingerbread are all staples of the holiday season. If your kitchen is constantly filled with the smell of freshly baked desserts during the holidays, why not get paid for it by packaging and selling them? People love giving and receiving candies and baked goods during the holidays, so you’re sure to have a huge demand.

Santa Claus appearances

Taking children to the mall to see Santa may be free, but parents will pay big bucks for a home visit from Kris Kringle (or perhaps Mrs. Claus, if you’re a woman). If you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of time on Christmas Eve — or buying/renting a Santa suit — you could make arrangements to drop by the homes of friends and neighbors with young children and personally deliver a few gifts. Want to take this business past the holiday season? Try being the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy.

Personal shopper

Many people stress over what to buy their friends and family members for the holidays. As a personal gift shopper, you could help your clients find the perfect gifts at the best prices. Meet with them to discuss their budget and gift recipients, and then research gifts at various price points for the individuals on their list. You can offer pickup and delivery of in-store purchases for an additional charge.

Knitted winter items

Knitting might seem like an activity reserved for grandmothers, but handmade scarves, hats and sweaters are popular during the holidays. Wholesale yarn is relatively inexpensive, and depending on how quickly you can knit, you’ll be able to build up your inventory and spend more time marketing your store. Don’t know how to knit or crochet? Sites like KnittingHelp.com are readily available to teach you.

Gift baskets

Themed baskets are a popular gift choice for the holidays, but many ready-made baskets from retailers are expensive, and people don’t often have the time to purchase individual items and create their own baskets. If you have some great ideas for a basket — cooking products, desserts, movies, bath products, etc. — you can make and sell them as holiday gifts. Arrange items in a decorative basket, wrap it in plastic and put a festive holiday bow on it.

Holiday-card design

If you’re good with Photoshop, you can design and print beautiful, personalized holiday cards for families to send out this year. Offering to create other customized stationery items — such as event invitations, thank-you cards and envelopes.

5 Business Ideas for Fashion Fanatics

Only a select few will ever make it to the runway, but plenty of fashionable startup opportunities await. They all take hard work and a great eye for fashion, but most have very small startup budgets. Here are five startup ideas for the entrepreneurial fashionista.

Putting on a fashion show is no easy feat. Fashion event producers works with designers and models to help put together a show, and may even help coach runway models.

“You would help the designer with runway show casting and have an understanding of how clothes should be portrayed on the body and how the models should carry themselves,” said Kerry Bannigan, founder of Nolcha, a New York-based fashion event production company.

While startup costs are minimal – you won’t need employees or even an office – you will need to do some heavy self-promotion. Relationships and referrals are key for this type of work, Bannigan said. Business cards and a user-friendly website showing an online portfolio are a mus,t as well as a printed portfolio. Networking through industry websites is also essential, she said.

Before you embark on this career, you should understand fashion shows, have the ability to work with the creative-minded people and be flexible enough to deal with diverse personalities, Bannigan said. Income potential is based on the number of clients you have and how big they are.

This business is ideal for someone with a corporate background who wants to make a move into fashion. A fashion business coach helps guide design firms in all aspects of running their business – from growth plans to everyday tasks such as invoice collection and bookkeeping . It also can involve coaching the creative designer on how to perform and interact in different business settings, Bannigan said.

Startup costs for a fashion coaching business are minimal, but earning potential is significant.

“Research consultancy services with established businesses can make six-figure salaries with constant clientele,” Bannigan said.

It might be hard to believe, but influential websites such as the Sartorialist and Racked debuted as small fashion blogs. They’ve since come into their own as industry thought leaders, and they sell lots of advertising.

Not too much investment is needed in a fashion blog – website development and hosting can be quite inexpensive – but it will require lots of legwork. Whether you’re stalking the city streets in search of fashionable photo ops or following the moves of leading designers, you’ll need to be tracking changing trends at every moment.

On the plus side, a fashion blog can be a complement to your existing job, said Angie Wojak, director of career services at the School of Visual Arts.

“You can start a blog on your own while looking for job, and it doesn’t take a big outlay of cash,” Wojak said.

Photo stylists work with photographers to scout shoot locations, get clothing to shoots, buy furniture and accessories and generally make sure the photo shoot goes as planned. It requires a good sense of fashion, an understanding of fashion history, and the smarts to know where to source your products, according to Sara Petitt, coordinator of the fabric styling program at the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York.

Successful photo stylists can come from any background. They usually make their mark by doing a good job and gaining business through word of mouth. Photo stylists can be paid hourly or by the project.

Do you love to talk your favorite designer brands up to friends and family? Are you always searching for the latest fashion news and sample sales? If so, you might consider starting your own fashion public relations business. Fashion PR is a difficult field to break into, but with the right skill set and connections, you can help designers and other fashion businesses get noticed by the media and fashionistas.

In an article on PR Couture, entrepreneur Jonathan Leger writes that there are several key components to success as a fashion PR professional. You must first be able to create a strong brand for your clients to differentiate them from other designers. You must also know how to work with fashion editors to get magazine placements, and with models and celebrities to get your clients’ work in the public eye. You should also have a keen understanding of media trends and be able to prove the value of your work.

7 Business Ideas for Couples

If you and your partner have made the decision to start a business together, you can choose from plenty of startups that are well suited for a two-person team. As with any partnership, these business ideas work best when you each take on roles that best fit your skills and strengths. An entrepreneurial relationship, like all business ventures, is truly a labor of love.

For those foodies who also love to travel together, consider opening up shop as a food truck vendor. Whether its music festivals, block parties, or private events, food trucks are a great way to make some extra money while traveling and meeting new, interesting people. For many food truck vendors, the freedom of the open road and the appeal of their favorite activities has led them to strike out on their own; doing exactly that with the person you love might just be the best way to see the world together.

Crafty couples who share a passion for DIY projects can launch a successful e-commerce business on platforms like Etsy or Zibbet. One of you can handle marketing; the other can handle customer service, and both of you can work together to fill your orders. Not only does e-commerce represent a money-making opportunity, it also offers you and your partner a chance to be creative together; what’s better than having fun while turning a profit?

If you’re the type of couple that goes running and hits the gym together, launching a fitness business could be right for you. Whether you’re interested in personal training or class instruction, you can become certified through organizations like the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and begin taking on clients. If you both specialize in the same area, you can double the number of sessions or classes you book. Alternatively, if one of you is a personal trainer and the other teaches a class, you can expand your client base through your service variety.

For working parents with long hours, cleaning the house can quickly fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Offer your weekends and evenings to these families, for everything from light housework like vacuuming and dusting to heavy-duty chores like cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. With you and your partner working as a team, you’ll be able to get these tasks done twice as quickly.

Do you and your partner love animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you’re available to watch their pets while the owners go on a vacation or weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of a trusted homeowner rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn’t be too difficult. Offering two caretakers also means more individualized attention for your clients’ pets, which can be a great selling point.

SAT prep and subject-help tutoring are just as in-demand as ever for students across the country. With strong teaching skills, a wealth of knowledge and great personalities, you and your partner can make extra money educating local students in your home. While self-employed tutors are usually solopreneurs, this business can be even more lucrative for a couple if both of you can tutor. Otherwise, one of you can do the actual tutoring, while the other focuses on marketing and spreading the word.

Are you and your partner master gardeners? Do you love spending time improving your yard and growing your own veggies? Take your talents on the road and help others do the same! If you have green-thumb, there are plenty of homeowners willing to pay for your advice on what crops to grow and where; help turn a hum-drum backyard garden into a real Eden. Beyond gardening, you can help homeowners create a more environmentally friendly backyard, by helping them install rain gardens, rain barrels, and compost piles. These types of services are becoming more and more popular as people increasingly become conscientious about their environmental footprint.

7 Unique Food Business

These 7 businesses have succeeded because of their off-the-beaten-path approach and delicious delicacies.

Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love, and Philly pizza jointRosa’s Fresh Pizza truly lives up to its hometown’s name. The restaurant is decorated with a wall of colorful sticky notes worth $1 (or one slice), which feeds its homeless visitors.

“One day, a customer asked to buy forward a slice for a homeless person,” Mason Wartman, the owner of the shop, said in a video for the Ellen DeGeneres show. He then purchased sticky notes, which now cover the wall of the restaurant. “Then a homeless person takes a sticky note and trades it in for a slice of pizza.”

According to the video, Rosa’s feeds approximately 40 homeless persons a day. Visit for a slice of pizza and the gift of giving back. If you’re not in the Philly area but still wish to help out, the restaurant has set up a donation page.

Since the growth of subscription services, items for dogs (made by the humans obsessed with them) have gotten really popular. The Farmer’s Dog is a subscription service which delivers healthy farm-to-dog bowl dishes carefully formulated for your dog’s breed.

Answer a questionnaire about their breed (mixed or otherwise) weight, activity level, current dog food, and The Farmer’s Dog suggests the perfect combination of healthy ingredients, all of which are sourced from restaurant suppliers and human food purveyors. According to the site, the dog food is never frozen and delivered days after it is cooked. Furthermore, the recipes are tested on humans, for a happier and healthier pup.

If basic, store-bought ice cream isn’t unique enough for you, Mix ‘n’ Match Creamery will likely meet expectations. Mix ‘n’ Match Creamery is an Oregon-based ice cream parlor that serves liquid nitrogen ice cream, and every order is custom, so you can have any flavor you want.

According to the company’s website, the liquid nitrogen “freezes everything so fast that ice crystals don’t form,” making its ice cream extra smooth and creamy. Customers choose a base — premium milk, nonfat sugar-free milk, or vegan coconut milk — then from more than 30 different flavors like caramel, cheesecake, coffee, gingerbread, and mint. From there, customers can choose from dozens of different mix-ins like almonds, bacon, cereal and chocolate chips. Mix ‘n’ Match makes the ice cream right there in front of you, with a blast of liquid nitrogen.

Opaque, a restaurant in California, promises to change your view of going out to eat by wining and dining you in the dark. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like—you eat your meal in a pitch black dining room.

When you arrive at Opaque, customers look through the menu in a lighted lounge and order food. The restaurant’s staff will then check coats and bags, and lead you to your seat. According to the restaurant’s website, Opaque is staffed by blind and visually impaired servers who have been specially trained to serve food in the dark.

Dining in the dark may seem like a strange concept, but according to Opaque’s website, it’s all about having a more in-depth sensory experience with your food. Opaque has multiple locations in California.

The food truck trend has hit its stride. Popular trucks in major cities have long lines of eager customers waiting outside on their lunch breaks. But Drive Change, a hybrid profit/nonprofit organization, is taking food trucks to a new, socially-responsible level by giving back to the community.

The organization hires, trains and mentors formerly incarcerated young adults, and the food trucks serve as a form of transitional employment with the ultimate goal of preparing these young people to go back to school or start full-time employment.

Drive Change currently operates only one food truck, located in New York and called Snowday. It farm-fresh foods prepared in their kitchen in Brooklyn and served at the truck. Drive Change plans to open more food trucks in the future, and each truck “employs and empowers 24 young people per year.” All food truck sales go back into the organization’s re-entry program to help more former inmates get on the right track.

Back to the Roots was started by two college students who were inspired by something they learned in a class: You can grow mushrooms using recycled coffee grounds. Co-founders Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez wrote of their experience, “After watching hours of how-to videos and turning our fraternity kitchen into a big science experiment, we eventually decided to give up our corporate job offers to instead become full-time mushroom farmers.”

In an effort to get people more connected with their food, Back to the Roots created an easy, 10-day grow-your-own organic-mushroom kit. Their organic mushroom farm comes in a small box (the mushrooms grow right out of the box) and simply requires watering twice a day.

The company also sells a “garden in a can” product that makes growing organic herbs at home even easier, a self-sufficient water-garden aquarium (the fish feed the plants and the plants keep the water clean), and ready-to-eat organic cereals.

Do you love cheese? Bet you don’t like it as much as Sarah “The Cheese Lady” Kaufmann, who makes her living as a traveling cheese sculptor.

She creates cheddar-cheese carvings for grocery stores, sporting events, festivals, photo shoots, and any other business or event that needs a giant hunk of cheese. Kaufmann has carved everything from a scene of the first moon landing to the Chicago skyline.

Though she makes most of her money carving cheese, Kaufmann also hosts seminars, where she informs audiences about the art and traditions of cheese making.