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2010-11-18 16:07:02

Entrepreneurs -- A Perfect Start-up Business for Families: Foreclosure Cleanup

A Perfect Start-up Enterprise for Families: Foreclosure Cleanup Business

With $2.5 trillion in risky housing loans expected to reset over the next year and half, the foreclosure crisis is still in its infancy in a great many areas of the country. When homes go into foreclosure, banks and mortgage companies need small companies to clear out, cleanup, secure and maintain the interior and exterior of the empty foreclosures.

Foreclosure cleanup is a ripe business opportunity for those seeking to strike out on their own; and it's the perfect start-up business for families seeking to combine forces and start a successful business together.

Foreclosure cleaning services can offer everything from interior cleaning, to debris removal, yard maintenance, gutter cleaning and repair, to pressure washing, winterization, painting, property securing (changing locks and boarding windows and doors) to inspections, and more.

As a family, if you have one person good at administrative and recordkeeping tasks, another versed in overseeing and participating in manual labor, and a couple of hands with free time to do yard work, cleaning, and debris pickup, you have an excellent mix of talent for the start of a family-run foreclosure cleanup business.

As an added bonus, if you have an uncle or cousin skilled in minor repairs or painting, or who have locksmith skills, you have an ideal group of business participants perfectly poised to compete in this burgeoning industry.

Picture It: "Johnson Family Foreclosure Cleanup"

In your new family business, much of the work can be scheduled to take place during the weekends, when the whole family may have more time to participate. For example, if your family consists of a stay-at-home parent, he or she can answer the business phone during the day while the children are at school. The at-home parent can handle the scheduling of appointments for early evenings when the other spouse is home from work so they can both go out on estimate appointments together.

Family Businesses are Cropping Up Again

In an economy rogue with job layoffs and cutbacks, family businesses are cropping up at incredible rates. In the old days, family businesses were the norm, out of sheer necessity (i.e., farming, family stores, etc.); but over the years, families separated and started going in separate ways.

However, as economic times change, families are living together again, commuting to school and work together, economically traveling together (car trips), and starting businesses together again.

Have a Family Sit-down to Discuss Your New Business

Consider sitting down with your family this weekend and roughing out a draft business plan for your new, family-run foreclosure cleanup business. Come up with a list of services you'd like to offer, equipment needed, a business name, a timeline and a start-up budget.

Free Business Start-up Guidance

You and your family can get small business guidance by visiting websites like that of the Small Business Administration's ("SBA") at sba.gov. In the Small Business Act of 1953, Congress created the SBA, a federal organization whose primary function is to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small businesses.

A plethora of information (i.e., business plan templates, marketing strategies and ideas, financial guidance and more) is available on the SBA's website for new and established entrepreneurs.

Another invaluable resource for families starting foreclosure cleaning businesses is the Counselors of America's Small Business Owners, also known as SCORE (the Service Corp of Retired Executives). This SBA partner organization has a network of thousands of savvy volunteers, with impressive entrepreneurial backgrounds. Their primary goal is to guide new businesses to success.

With its 364 offices throughout the United States, SCORE provides mentoring, workshops, one-on-one counseling, and business guidance on all levels. Visit them online at score.org.

Plan to sit down this weekend with your family, discuss your goals for your new business. Do some online research and schedule a date by which you and your family would like to open your foreclosure cleanup doors.

Many wishes of great success in your family's new foreclosure cleaning enterprise!  

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