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Low key enterprise

Startups, marketing and more
didds
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Low key enterprise

#71154

Postby didds » August 1st, 2017, 9:36 am

The recent thread about renting out a motorhome prompted me to think (and without derailing and hijacking that thread...)

what low key enterprises do people here run, or are aware of? the sort of stuff that doesn't require a huge financial risk, or resource, that would bring in " a bit of extra"? And their pros and cons? Basic caveats assumed eg you have a spare room or drive space to start with!

My immediate thoughts are

* lodger - rent a room scheme. Pros : tax free to £7,500 Cons: house insurances, no deductions for any repairs etc, lodger may not be compatible.

* airbnb/B&B - pros: unlikely to have long term renters that are not compatible; cons: have to have somebody at home for checkin/checkout times and impact on own holidays etc, house insurances etc, dealing with dissatisfied customers

* park on my drive - pros limited interaction with renter; cons house insurances etc?

any other ideas? there must be plenty?

didds

redsturgeon
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Re: Low key enterprise

#71207

Postby redsturgeon » August 1st, 2017, 11:46 am

There's "storemates" renting out storage space.
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/sho ... p=50474373
And eBay I guess is something many people do as a bit of a sideline.
Also car boot sales.

It helps if you have a hobby that you enjoy that also might make a bit of cash on the side.
Dog breeding, pickle or cake making or propagating and selling plants come to mind.

My photography has earned me some money over the years.

John

didds
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Re: Low key enterprise

#71241

Postby didds » August 1st, 2017, 1:18 pm

redsturgeon wrote:And eBay I guess is something many people do as a bit of a sideline.


so do they "trade" ie actually buy stuff cheaply and hope to ebay it for more?

That's seems logical to me but Ive never thought about it really!

didds

redsturgeon
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Re: Low key enterprise

#71242

Postby redsturgeon » August 1st, 2017, 1:24 pm

didds wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:And eBay I guess is something many people do as a bit of a sideline.


so do they "trade" ie actually buy stuff cheaply and hope to ebay it for more?

That's seems logical to me but Ive never thought about it really!

didds


Yes that's precisely what many do...including some who used to post on the Fool.

Personally I use it mainly for selling stuff that is surplus to requirements but I have certainly bought stuff at my local car boot sales and at my local recycling centre that I have subsequently sold on eBay...for a three figure profit at times.

John

midnightcatprowl
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Re: Low key enterprise

#71245

Postby midnightcatprowl » August 1st, 2017, 1:47 pm

lodger - rent a room scheme. Pros : tax free to £7,500 Cons: house insurances, no deductions for any repairs etc, lodger may not be compatible.


I knew a school secretary whose husband had died and she was finding keeping up with the mortgage etc a problem. She came up with the idea of taking lodgers (her children had left home) but advertising only via a local college which specialised in mature students. The residents were mostly people trying to up-skill to get promotion at work or enter a new career and they only wanted accommodation Monday to Friday, going back to their families or homes in other areas at the weekend. She found it worked well as she did have her home to herself (or for her adult visiting children) at the weekend and in college holidays plus she was only really committed on a term by term basis.

PinkDalek
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Re: Low key enterprise

#71254

Postby PinkDalek » August 1st, 2017, 2:06 pm

midnightcatprowl wrote:
lodger - rent a room scheme. Pros : tax free to £7,500 Cons: house insurances, no deductions for any repairs etc, lodger may not be compatible.


I knew a school secretary whose husband had died and she was finding keeping up with the mortgage etc a problem. She came up with the idea of taking lodgers (her children had left home) but advertising only via a local college which specialised in mature students. The residents were mostly people trying to up-skill to get promotion at work or enter a new career and they only wanted accommodation Monday to Friday, going back to their families or homes in other areas at the weekend. She found it worked well as she did have her home to herself (or for her adult visiting children) at the weekend and in college holidays plus she was only really committed on a term by term basis.


She was no doubt aware of any issues regarding single person discount for Council Tax purposes, as briefly described here (amongst other matters), but I thought I should mention it for others who happen upon this thread:

https://www.gov.uk/rent-room-in-your-ho ... ls-and-tax

AndyPandy
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Re: Low key enterprise

#72202

Postby AndyPandy » August 4th, 2017, 11:08 pm

Seem to be quite a few dog walking services in my area. One of my colleagues is one and she claims to be paid a pittance, but her boss charges a fortune (aint that always the way...)

If you have a dog that you walk anyway, why not bring it a few friends along too.....

cons: regular commitment rain or shine. No swinging by the Dog and Duck on the way back, need a suitable vehicle and Business insurance for said vehicle.
pros: you can pay a young dog lover a pittance whilst you go to the Dog and Duck

redsturgeon
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Re: Low key enterprise

#72226

Postby redsturgeon » August 5th, 2017, 8:55 am

My friend is convinced that the best place to put security locks is at the foot of the door about six inches from the bottom. He is thinking of setting up a low key enterprise to provide this service.

John

Itsallaguess
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Re: Low key enterprise

#72232

Postby Itsallaguess » August 5th, 2017, 9:37 am

redsturgeon wrote:
My friend is convinced that the best place to put security locks is at the foot of the door about six inches from the bottom.

He is thinking of setting up a low key enterprise to provide this service.


Isn't such a business venture likely to see the rapid growth of others entering the market with the same idea?

You know, due to the lack of 'high barriers to entry'?

I'll get our coats, should I?

:O)

Itsallaguess

melonfool
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Re: Low key enterprise

#84265

Postby melonfool » September 28th, 2017, 5:05 pm

Mon-Fri lodgers are great, there is a whole website dedicated to finding them. I've had four in the past and they've always been self-limiting as they are usually in transit between jobs or relationships or something, so gaps in between. Never had any issue with insurance, informed insurer and mortgage co, neither had a problem nor made any charge.

There is £1k tax relief now for 'small entrepreneurs' which covers income generated by ebay sales etc.

Dog walking - I used to dog sit, have the dogs at my house overnight, or just for the day. For a day I got £8, pre tax, per dog. It was self-employed income so my accountant claimed an allowance for cleaning etc. As I did it via an agency I didn't need my own insurance, but you would do - you'd need to have public liability I think, and maybe professional indemnity. You would need to really like dogs to do it - they are a PITA, shaking mud everywhere, peeing on the carpet, being sick out of the blue, whining all night, some are really difficult. I had a mini daschie once that honestly never shut up. And I *like* dogs but you forget when you see them all cute and doe-eyed in photos that actually they can be horrors.

If I think of any good, easy money spinner - I shall keep it to myself ;)

Mel

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Re: Low key enterprise

#84503

Postby midnightcatprowl » September 29th, 2017, 1:34 pm

A good money spinner has got to be doing anything that other people really hate doing or find very difficult to do. For example many people quite enjoy painting their living room but a significant proportion of those hate the preparation of the woodwork etc. There are a couple of people in my town who offer their services as 'the preparation man' or similar titles. They are doing it full time on a self-employed basis but if you were good at that sort of thing you could probably build up a little side business just in your own immediate locality. Many people like or need to ride their bike but dislike the maintenance or find it physically difficult to do the maintenance. There are firms with vans who offer regular maintenance (tyres, oil chain, adjust seat, what have you) but again you could probably build up a small number of local clients and just look after them.

I have neighbours who are retired. I think they have an adequate income but she loves baking (and is a superb cake maker) so she occasionally does catering for some sort of event and, on a local basis, a number of us know we can ask her to bake a cake which we'll buy from her. I've got one in my freezer at the moment (I can cook and like to cook but I'm useless at cakes) ready for a Macmillan coffee morning at the weekend. Her husband has a great interest in vintage bikes, if a bike interests him he buys it rusted and possibly with no chain and past it tyres, he restores it and eventually sells it on eBay at a considerable profit. So they are both doing something they enjoy but making a useful extra income out of it.

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Re: Low key enterprise

#85844

Postby gryffron » October 4th, 2017, 10:43 pm

Computer training.

Friend of mine is a long term computer fanatic. No formal training, just a long term enthusiast. He started computer training at home for the elderly, or anyone who needed it. Sort out problems. Flushing viruses. New installations. Or just long term improvement training. He started just doing a few evenings. Now it is his full time job. He's beating customers off with a stick.

Anyone who is reasonably tech competent, with a LOT of patience, could do it.

Griff

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Re: Low key enterprise

#85902

Postby Watis » October 5th, 2017, 9:03 am

gryffron wrote:Computer training.

Friend of mine is a long term computer fanatic. No formal training, just a long term enthusiast. He started computer training at home for the elderly, or anyone who needed it. Sort out problems. Flushing viruses. New installations. Or just long term improvement training. He started just doing a few evenings. Now it is his full time job. He's beating customers off with a stick.

Anyone who is reasonably tech competent, with a LOT of patience, could do it.

Griff


That's interesting to hear. Does he have things like insurance? A DBS check if he's working with vulnerable adults - you mention the elderly?

What sort of stick works best?

Watis

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Re: Low key enterprise

#86094

Postby gryffron » October 5th, 2017, 6:30 pm

Insurance. Usual self employed professional liability. Pretty cheap.

Not aware of DBS checks. I'd never heard of them. I'm not sure any of his clients would be considered especially "vulnerable". Not any more so than anyone over 65 could be considered vulnerable. Would you need a DBS check to just visit someone in their home? He is not classified as a carer. All his clients are private - not govt.

He's rushed off his feet. I keep telling him he's too cheap (@ £20ph). :lol:

Gryff

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Re: Low key enterprise

#86216

Postby Watis » October 6th, 2017, 8:39 am

gryffron wrote:Insurance. Usual self employed professional liability. Pretty cheap.

Not aware of DBS checks. I'd never heard of them. I'm not sure any of his clients would be considered especially "vulnerable". Not any more so than anyone over 65 could be considered vulnerable. Would you need a DBS check to just visit someone in their home? He is not classified as a carer. All his clients are private - not govt.

He's rushed off his feet. I keep telling him he's too cheap (@ £20ph). :lol:

Gryff


DBS checks replaced the old CRB checks.

A quick Google suggests that many elderly - and not so elderly - people may fall into the 'vulnerable adult' category. It's rather less clear whether someone providing IT services to these people would need a DBS check.

I thought the going rate was £30 an hour. Would people pay that much, do you think?

Watis

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Re: Low key enterprise

#86272

Postby melonfool » October 6th, 2017, 11:55 am

Watis wrote:
gryffron wrote:Insurance. Usual self employed professional liability. Pretty cheap.

Not aware of DBS checks. I'd never heard of them. I'm not sure any of his clients would be considered especially "vulnerable". Not any more so than anyone over 65 could be considered vulnerable. Would you need a DBS check to just visit someone in their home? He is not classified as a carer. All his clients are private - not govt.

He's rushed off his feet. I keep telling him he's too cheap (@ £20ph). :lol:

Gryff


DBS checks replaced the old CRB checks.

A quick Google suggests that many elderly - and not so elderly - people may fall into the 'vulnerable adult' category. It's rather less clear whether someone providing IT services to these people would need a DBS check.

I thought the going rate was £30 an hour. Would people pay that much, do you think?

Watis


I don't think individuals can get DBS checks anyway. If I ask a plumber to come and fix a tap he doesn't need a DBS check (I am not vulnerable, well, not in that way....but the example holds). I think it's only when working through institutions.

He could increase his marketability by doing a 'disclosure Scotland' (online, costs £25) and carrying the certificate about. Then he could put on his ads etc 'confirmation of no criminal convictions provided on request' or something. But it doesn't sound like he needs the business!

I think last time I had a PC fixed it was c£30ph, but with a min £80 charge.

Mel

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Re: Low key enterprise

#86280

Postby midnightcatprowl » October 6th, 2017, 12:44 pm

many elderly - and not so elderly - people may fall into the 'vulnerable adult' category. It's rather less clear whether someone providing IT services to these people would need a DBS check.


I'm 67 and as vulnerable as a black mamba. N.B. I'm actually really nice as long as you are nice to me BUT...

Seriously if someone is still sufficiently mentally alert to wish to learn new skills then they are capable of deciding whether they want to let someone into their home or want to attend classes run by a particular person. Most of us routinely let people into our homes or speak to them on the doorstep e.g. gas engineers, electricians, people doing painting and decorating, delivery drivers, postal workers and most of us also speak to our neighbours. None of these people come with a DBS check. When older people do become vulnerable when is when they stop learning and stop wanting to deal with new equipment or try out new skills.

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Re: Low key enterprise

#86282

Postby Watis » October 6th, 2017, 12:56 pm

I suspect that Mel is correct in that DBS checks are for use by institutions rather than individuals. Like the old CRB check, they appear to be there to protect the institution as much as the vulnerable.

midnightcatprowl makes a good point too, although her definition of 'vulnerable' differs somewhat from the official version thrown up by my Googling!

Watis

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Re: Low key enterprise

#86284

Postby Itsallaguess » October 6th, 2017, 1:01 pm

melonfool wrote:
He could increase his marketability by doing a 'disclosure Scotland' (online, costs £25) and carrying the certificate about.

Then he could put on his ads etc 'confirmation of no criminal convictions provided on request' or something


I sometimes think it's funny how we've tied ourselves in knots over this side of things.

Whilst I acknowledge that the underlying process is meant to provide confidence to the public, I think I'd actually be put off if someone who thought they had to put 'confirmation of no criminal convictions provided on request' on their stationary....

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: Low key enterprise

#86286

Postby melonfool » October 6th, 2017, 1:11 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:
melonfool wrote:
He could increase his marketability by doing a 'disclosure Scotland' (online, costs £25) and carrying the certificate about.

Then he could put on his ads etc 'confirmation of no criminal convictions provided on request' or something


I sometimes think it's funny how we've tied ourselves in knots over this side of things.

Whilst I acknowledge that the underlying process is meant to provide confidence to the public, I think I'd actually be put off if someone who thought they had to put 'confirmation of no criminal convictions provided on request' on their stationary....

Cheers,

Itsallaguess


Or even their stationery? ;)

You do see it though, on all sorts of companies.

DBS (/CRB) checks are very misunderstood. I have recently had to tell a client that they are breaking at least two laws by insisting all staff are DBS checked, possibly three. Their response is to splutter "but, but they have KEYS!". Hmm...well "HAVING KEYS" is not an excepted role under the statute so.......you're getting the checks illegally (and I'm amazed the umbrella body is doing them but they will obviously do anything for money).

Mel


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