This article shows you how to make money using your pickup truck or van. You do not need any special skills or knowledge. You can learn what you need by working on the job. Let's say you already have most of the required equipment and supplies. Then you can start business as soon as you satisfy all the government and insurance requirements.
Here are the requirements for these four business ideas:
- Be in good health and enjoy physical activity
- Have a pickup truck or van
- Set up a home office with basic office equipment and supplies
- Possess or acquire basic handyman type equipment and supplies
- Possess or acquire protective gear, such as heavy-duty gloves and boots
- Determine if you are allowed to operate a home based business
- Determine and satisfy any governmental and insurance requirements
- Determination location of local dumpsites, fees charged for dumping, restrictions on materials allowed to be dumped, and rules for hauling trash
Getting these jobs usually is just a question of becoming known to potential customers, being qualified to do the work, and quoting the right price for the job.
Keep your startup and operating costs and expenses to a bare minimum. You want to start showing a cash profit as soon as possible.
Do not meet with customers in your home. The increased traffic may upset your neighbors and violate zoning rules.
Solicit customers by placing classified ads in your local newspaper or the local craigslist.org website. Describe the service or services you are offering in plain language. Include a telephone number or e-mail address where customers can reach you. You may also want to include a tentative hourly rate.
Common job procedures
When discussing a job with a customer, you need the following questions answered:
- Are you willing and able to provide the desired service?
- Will you need to bring a helper?
- Can you and the customer agree on an hourly rate or a fixed fee for the job?
- When and where will the job be performed?
Note: If this is a large or difficult job, you probably want to inspect the job location before quoting an hourly rate or a fixed fee for the job.
If you need to purchase any materials for the job, the customer should pay for this upfront. Any cost of materials will be in addition to your bid for labor and minor expenses, such as dump fees.
You need to agree with the customer on the various details of the service required. For example, are there any extra services that the customer desires or expects? You do not want to argue over being paid because the customer is not satisfied with your services. To avoid arguments, write down all important details on a standard job bid form. Then both you and the customer should sign it.
After completing the job, gather up your tools and equipment. Tidy up any areas that need it. Collect your agreed upon fee from the customer. Haul any trash or rubbish to a dumpsite.
Business Idea 1 – Clearing out foundations and garages
Homeowners or tenants pay you to remove trash and other unwanted items from their basements and / or garages. (As a related activity, you could make money by refurbishing and selling some of the items you haul away.)
Upon arriving at the job site, you should have the customer indicate which items are to be hauled away. Also, are any retained items to be moved to a different location? You might want to use a pad of sticky notes to write down any instructions. Place each note on the affected item.
Carry the trash out and put in your vehicle. Use a wide shovel to put small items into trash bags for easier handling. Perform any additional services required or that seem appropriate. (An example would be knocking down any cobwebs and sweeping up the floor.)
Business Idea 2 – Doing seasonal jobs
Homeowners or tenants pay you to do various types of seasonal jobs. These jobs could include the following:
- Clearing ice and snow off doorsteps, sidewalks, and driveways
- Cultivating gardens
- Pruning shrubs and small trees
- Raking leaves
- Removal weeds
Upon arriving at the job site, you need the customer to point out the various locations to be worked on, what needs to be done, and how should it be done. For example, when clearing snow and ice off sidewalls, where should the snow and ice be placed? When cultivating gardens, what plants are considered to be weeds? When pruning shrubs and small trees, how far back should the limbs be cut off? When raking leaves, should they be placed in leaf bags or just a big pile? When removing weeds, are there any other plants mixed in with the weeds that should be protected?
After performing your work, place any rubbish in your vehicle. Use a wide shovel to put small items into trash bags for easier handling. Perform any additional services required or that seem appropriate. (An example would be raking up any rubbish and sweeping off the sidewalk.)
Business Idea 3 – Washing windows
Washing windows is an easy way to make money. Your main problem is getting customers. You should try to sign up business owners for a long-term contract. You might offer them a free washing job to show how worthwhile (and sometimes inexpensive) your services are.
Upon arriving at the job site, have the customer show you the outside (and any inside) windows to be washed.
If there are any hardened lumps of mud or some other substance on a window surface, you will have to remove them with a plastic scraper before washing the window.
Mix a suitable window cleaning solution in a pail of water. Use a combination cleaning sponge and squeegee (or other professional tools) on a long handle to wash the windows. Wipe off the window with the squeegee, wiping the squeegee blade with a lint-free rag after every pass.
Perform any additional services required or that seem appropriate. (An example would be cleaning up any water spills and wiping off the windowsill with a lint-free rag.)
Business Idea 4 – Working as a "slave" for a day
This idea has a clever twist, which is offering to be a "slave" for a day. This means that you can make money by doing almost any task that the customer desires. For example, you could do any of the tasks shown above. Other tasks might include cleaning up an attic, moving furniture, or digging up a lawn for a garden plot.
You may be able to get a write up in a local newspaper because of the unusual nature of your services.
Upon arriving at the job site, have the customer describe the various tasks desired. However, you want to avoid any dangerous tasks. You do not want to make money from a job if it might result in getting injured or disabled.
Complete all the tasks that you can perform safely. Perform any additional services required or that seem appropriate. (See above business ideas for examples.)