Category Archives: Home Biz Ideas

Learning about Second income ideas for supplemental income and help lower debts and survive today’s high costs of living.

Explore a Cart & Kiosk Business

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Micro Business Ideas with Carts & Kiosks

micro business cart and kiosks
micro business with cart and kiosks

Despite this global pandemic, and now a vaccine coming out, we can still explore owning a business even with the decline to our economy, and current Covid-19 pandemic. One such operation to explore, is the Kiosk and Cart business. They can be highly lucrative ventures.

Location is the major key to the success, of this particular business venture. You can buy new or used, rent or lease a cart, or kiosk, and can even have it custom-built.

In the past, you could operate your little shop at a variety of locations such as in a mall, or sporting and entertainment events, flea markets, busy downtown streets, tourist spots, or near a location where workers gather, for meals or snacks, and other creative outlets limited only by your imagination, and your local city/town hall policies.

Researching the Mobile Cart & Kiosks Business Model

Today, we must take safety into consideration therefore requiring you, the owner, to design your little shop, to include social distancing, maybe use display cases with a cover for products, offer masks and paper gloves next to your hand sanitizer. Include a friendly ‘reminder‘ sign about safety for all. Respect for others, and their safety, shows them your own attention to the importance of everybody’s health, not just sales.

The Kiosk/Cart business venture is much less expensive to enter than the traditional retail store. You can start out part time and if business is slow at one location you can pick up and move to another (with a Cart business) busy street. Upfront investment for a kiosk or a cart can range from just $2,000 to $10,000 and is part of a fore cast $12 billion industry, and expected market growth by 2025.

The Kiosk/Cart business venture is not a new type of business. We have seen them at theme parks, festivals, annual exhibitions with rides and food courts, our corner newspaper stand. I remember my beloved library ‘book mobile’ out in the suburbs. Maybe governments can help closed and bankrupt business owners re-start with this type of business?

Key Points to Observe

  • Make sure you have a Business plan.
  • Research for required licenses or permits at your local city/town hall. Speak to somebody in your local business development center. They exist to help with new businesses.
  • Ensure you can handle working with the public.
  • Research your location prior to setting up shop. Observe the amount of foot traffic. High or medium-high traffic is best.
  • Offer a special 1-hour price special for down times (less traffic hour)
  • Design your Kiosk/Cart for eye appeal. AVOID clutter.
  • Focus on providing outstanding customer service, and a unique retail experience.
  • Do NOT compete with larger retail stores.
  • Set your cart or kiosk shop near complementary stores. Stores that will drive traffic to you and NOT steal traffic. You’re looking to ‘share‘.
  • Kiosks can be found in malls, and will require rent, and may include a percentage of your retail sales but also already provide an existing stand for your specifications whereas a cart is mobile.
  • Both types, cart or kiosk will provide the owner with the opportunity to sell a variety of goods from crafts, wholesale items, or from larger retail stores.
  • Entering this business also offers flexibility and the opportunity to work seasonal times. Offer items for a limited time such as from Christmas through to Fathers day.
  • Review carefully any lease you may have to sign, and all rules and regulations if in a mall. Seek out a lawyer for legal advice, if necessary.

You will need patience to commit to your cart/kiosk store post for long hours (especially if outdoors), have an excellent knowledge of retail and business management, and a flair for designing attention-grabbing displays, a cash register, credit or bank card processor with card tap function, a part-time assistant, dress professionally, comfortable seating, and a mat to protect your feet. Sounds almost like equipment for a trade show. 🙂 I’d suggest a radio too!

Digital products at Peace & Tea Designs

Kiosk Business Ideas

One idea from Becky and Deb, of Save Your Town, offer business and community ideas about how to revive and save their towns. They are a pair that have fantastic ideas for entrepreneurs, and communities. I’m a fan, can you tell? They’re also willing to work with others to help, and they openly share their ten years of knowledge online with articles, podcasts and videos. Visit their site, and Youtube video’s, check them out!

One idea these two ladies shared in their newsletter, was pop-up shops. Using little ‘sheds‘ converted into stores, and located in areas for the public. Again, location is key for success. Further add-on of this idea due to this pandemic, these little pop-up business’ can be easily set up, to include social distancing between them. Maybe add a little area roped off, to extend distancing, near the entrance and help keep customers apart. I hope that makes sense. How would you feel about seeing a set up of tiny stores, in your area? Would you contact your local mayor and suggest such an idea?

fancy business #Kiosks social distancing

Business Closures & Financial Struggles

I believe that all levels of government, should pay attention. They could learn to keep their ears open to suggestions from their citizens, and hear offers and ideas that could help and/or get inspiration, in the recovery of businesses, and our local community economies.

Canadians can look around their communities, and they see the fallout from this pandemic. Many small businesses were forced to close. They were considered as non-essential, and forced into financial hardships. Sure, there were government assistance cheques but did these last as long as the forced shut-downs? This pandemic affected businesses, and national economies, around the world. Changed our lives.

Canadians are asking questions, ‘why did only the big box stores get a free pass?’ The government should really consider having small business owners NOT be forced to fully pay for their business costs, power, equipment rentals, water, waste, insurance, etc. I’d suggest require half payments. They were forced to close for an event not in their control. Literally, an act of God. This type of financial assistance could help revive business and kickstart our economy.

If they were forced into bankruptcy, these small businesses should not suffer further financial hardships, paying debts. If the Canadian government can forgive corporation debts then why not do the same, for small business owners?

non-essential business closures -covid-19 pandemic

Recovering to our New Normal

The pandemic delivered a major blow for society in many areas, and I don’t believe it will be the last one. Contamination is going on all around us, in almost all four directions from industries of all manner. This is an experience we can all learn from, and now set down an improved Emergency preparation plan, for any future (related) event that hits our society.

A government that assists in rebuilding tattered small local businesses recover from the shut-downs, may be able to redeem themselves for incurring such hardships. A second area of focus for small mobile cart, and kiosk business owners, and staff, is security. Maybe the government can have a kiosk for Police officers to be near by? deter ideas of robbing these small business stands.

For now, supporting our local small business owners, to enter an outdoor cart or kiosk business venture, may help towards building a return, to our near former economy. It won’t be perfect, and will have obstacles, such as inclement weather conditions, available spaces to host tiny stores, and people who are anti-mask and anti-vac, all to keep safety measures alive but we can learn to adapt.

All new changes have new learning curves but a work-around is always found. We are an intelligent species and up for a challenge, yes?

Learning in Motion

ways to sell in #Mobile food business and other types of business

Extra Learning Resources

16 Money-Making Mobile Business Ideas

23 Mobile Business Ideas

How to Start a Vending Cart Business

10 Best POS Systems for Small Businesses

Types of POS Systems

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to Share with others! and leave comments. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. I hope you visit again for more informative articles coming soon. Stay safe!

Article(C)2021 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business, health, science, technology, society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.

jobs and gigs

Jobs vs Covid-19

Our world has been turned upside down with this virus, Covid-19. It is a highly infectious disease that attacks our respiratory system, and affects everybody differently with a range of symptoms that can be mild, or create complications leading to death. No one person gets affected the same.

Employment is required to provide shelter, food, and luxury items such as mobile and landline telephone, cable or satellite services, and internet access, to name a few. It’s not just for self but family and loved ones too including our pet named, Boo.

Employee’s of these particular businesses forced to close their doors and not considered essential has left many people without employment, and receiving unemployment benefits is a short term program. So, what is one to do for on-going financial security?

Lower your Bills

One of the first tasks, is to take a look at all expenses, and reduce these costs :

  • can you lower your service bills to more basic costs?
  • can you suspend your services?
  • evaluate your food needs and trim groceries. Set up meal plans to most basic following national healthy diet standards.
  • food insecurity and shortages are being faced by many people and families. Search online and learn how you can extend your food stuffs with preserving methods such as dehydrating fruits and meat, freezing pre-cooked meals, and/or canning.
  • Purchase dry food stuffs. Beans and lentils, soup bouillon cubes, or powder packages, and powdered milk or eggs. Search online or check around for stores that carry dehydrated foods, and you may just find a jackpot, such as Bulk Barn.
  • Vehicle costs may not be negotiable but call and check if they’re open to negotiating lowering the cost by $50.00, and offer to repay this amount after a year. $50.00 x 12 = $600.00. It’s a temporary savings for extra funds but also one cost that will be due in full by year’s end. So, you must keep that in mind. They may say no altogether and you will have to decide to keep or forego the vehicle. This idea may be applied to rents or mortgages but again, check with your bank or landlord. These may require new ‘agreements/contracts’ and make sure to read the fine print so no extra charges are being applied since money gouging can be reported.

build food security

Finding regular employment is the next step. One can always join the workers at the ‘essential’ businesses allowed by Ontario in areas such as:

  • food and convenience stores
  • food manufacturers and processors
  • packaging and delivery
  • liquor stores
  • health suppliers for human and pet consumption
  • gas suppliers and related services for ground and air
  • pharmacies and pharmaceuticals
  • food preparation, delivery and take-out
  • hotels, motels and rental units, residential and students
  • maintenance, repair, sanitation and security services for residential and commercial buildings
  • office and business suppliers
  • IT and communications services
  • safety equipment suppliers/manufacturers/distribution chain
  • transportation, taxi’s, delivery truck fleets, rail, air, and marine providing delivery of essential services
  • warehousing and storage of essential service products
  • truck stops and tow operators
  • business support providers for upkeep of transportation, etc.
  • agricultural services, harvest, processing, manufacture and distribution of foods for human and pet consumption.
  • business support providers for safety of primary food supply chain (livestock auctions, feed mills, farm equipment and feed suppliers, food terminals/warehouses, animal slaughter plants, and grain elevators)
  • veterinary pet care providers, and related animal health and welfare services
  • waste management services
  • construction services
  • financial services, bank and credit union, insurance, payroll support, and pensions
  • business suppliers that support global continuity of mining products, processing, manufacturers, oil and gas
  • environmental management/monitoring, spill emergency response, and related support services
  • infrastructure and safety government services, sewage, fire, police, water treatment, electrical grid, courts, and related support services
  • newspapers, radio and telecommunication providers and support services
  • medical research and support services
  • LTC homes and related services, medical devices, equipment, etc.
  • health providers, dental, hospital, mental health, optometrists, etc.
  • non-profit organizations for homeless, food banks, shelters, and related services providing food, shelter, protection, disabled, and economically disadvantaged
  • Other : mail and courier services, legal services, laundromats, funeral service providers, security services (security guards), temporary staff services, childcare for essential workers, home childcare for less than six children, cheque cashing businesses

A problem with finding employment with some of these ‘essential’ service providers that’s been in the news, is that they have Covid-19 ‘outbreaks‘. It seems that the more people working together in such close proximity raises the risk factors of getting infected. Secondly, there may be a huge pay difference as some of these ‘essential‘ businesses only offer minimum wage. Nobody wants to bring the virus home yet having a job with regular pay is needed, for our most basic needs, shelter, safety and food with the current high costs of living.

Creating Self-employment

One fix does exist but will require additional effort on your part. Take a minimum wage job and include a side hustle aka a part-time Gig. This will bring in extra monies to help maintain your current quality of living, or at least help with household bills. Exploring alternative self- employment ideas can help such as providing your own services that may be similar or complementary, to the existing essential services. A few other home business ideas and side hustles to consider:

start gig second income

  • offer dehydrating food services
  • offer canning food services
  • make large bag of cereal trail mixes for sale
  • offer two hour childcare services for six, or less children
  • rent an extra room, or garage space for temporary/seasonal storage
  • check web sites with Apps offering services such as Rover . com, Handyman . com
  • join App sites that offer coupons, and cash back for purchases
  • join a call centre for customer service, an online job
  • write articles and get paid by web sites looking for writers in topics you know
  • sell photographs to those business sectors looking for photo’s
  • make how-to videos for Youtube and include advertising
  • start your own food service business (food catering truck)
  • offer securing packages services for homes (Amazon, Wayfair, etc., packages) and deliver when home owners return home
  • house or pet sit
  • make and sell freezable meals
  • mobile-curbside pet groomer
  • join a court paper processor service delivering summons to court for legal offices
  • mobile curbside mechanic
  • offer translation services
  • offer new language classes (learn speak Italian, Arabic, Russian)
  • make and sell fresh bread from home
  • work with property managers/landlords to clean, repair, update apartments
  • offer computer repair, recovery, security service
  • become a Drone operator
  • learn and offer Drone repair services
  • join Rent-a-Friend, Rent-a-Cyber-Friend, or similar sites online but keep personal safety in mind too
  • explore becoming a Street Vendor
  • offer to sell personal safety products to families. Find a security business wholesale supplier that offers personal safety products such as personal alarms, GPS products, nanny cams. Order products at wholesale and sell at retail prices.
  • Personal Support service, offer to run errands, pick up and deliver orders, check in on elderly family members.
  • Offer to digitize family photos and make slideshows, offer them to buy flash USB memory cards (electronic data storage devices) as an extra service
  • income tax services, or bookkeeping
  • offer handwriting services for birthdays, anniversaries, etc., for business executives
  • sell small craft items on consignment with a few essential local stores

The employment news has not sounded great lately but we can take initiative and use a work-around. We just have to be okay with the idea of a minimum wage job, and a side hustle rather than concerned with our pride. It may be tough with a full or part time minimum wage job and a side hustle depending on the work output required. At least the HOURS and WHEN you do the side hustle is under your control, and to include how many gigs to reach a certain earning level. I will also highly recommend checking government INDUSTRY standards and laws which are governed by Acts. Lastly, you’ll need to set and diligently follow, a time schedule of your side hustles, and manage your available time. Keep a smile, respect confidentiality, and trust will be earned by paying customers.

Finding Comfortable

The exercise to trim your expenses to the near barest minimum will help extend what monies you have, or can earn. Hopefully, you have found that minimum threshold needed for your bills, maybe the small bills, and now got to focus on the large higher cost items such as mortgage and vehicle payments.

The second exercise to reassess your food shopping will help further reduce costs and extend food security. The bonus results are extra monies you can apply towards the costlier items that require payment. You’ll need to research your services online and see if they have lower cost service bundles, or suspend/cancel them outright. You can then calculate how much money is needed for all expenses. Wouldn’t it be cool if the government required businesses to cut prices in half? this would apply for the businesses too with their own costs, of course.

Learning to work two different types of jobs will also require you to change hats. You may find this may need taking a few moments to meditate. Close your eyes, breathe, and separate from a job requiring you to work for another, and switch your thinking to boss and delivering a service, to others. It will take practice and some take to it quickly while others struggle to find the balance but it can be done. Most of all, have faith in yourself that you got this.

Over time you’ll find your expenses manageable, and new sense of security. Strict management of your finances will be needed to keep up your new normal but you and your family will be safe with shelter, food and control of your bills. Changes to our lives with this novel virus will be our new normal but humans are adaptable too.

financial security

Today’s health scientists have made many medical advancements, and working hard, to bring a vaccine, to the people. As said earlier, we just need to give them that time, and do our best to protect ourselves, and each other with masks, social distancing, and keeping our gatherings, as small as possible. This pandemic will eventually come under control. For now, stay strong, keep faith, stay safe.

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to leave your comments and Share your new found knowledge with others. It is FREE to subscribe by email or RSS feed.

Article (C)2020 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Gins writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.


Start a Steam Cleaning Service Business

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start a steam cleaning businessHealthy air is important to all of us both at home, work, school and our world over all. Allergy sufferers can provide a good indication of the air quality. How does a steam cleaning business help to clean air?

Importance of Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) aka indoor environmental quality (IEQ), can be managed easily with the use of a HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) system which will provide continuous air flow, and exchange, or smaller HEPA air filtration units.  Air is exchanged and flowing therefore preventing build up, and removing dust mites, mold, viruses or fungi, which we know, are not healthy, for our respiratory systems.

Furniture, carpets and any soft surfaces, are also places that can capture dust mites, mold, viruses and fungi. Humans shed dead skin cells quite regularly, which is the food for dust mites. They have a three month life span and leave ‘droppings’ which triggers allergic reactions. These will accumulate wherever we lay and sit the most. I don’t even want to look through a microscope to imagine this scene, do you?

Home Management Dutiessteam cleaning vacuum

Home management, refers to managing our home’s needs, and includes cleaning. This  need could offer a specialized home business service, and become quite valuable, to their customers especially with the current COVID -19 pandemic. Starting a vapor steam cleaning service would contribute to delivering the needed  benefits, of maintaining healthy indoor air quality, next to the HVAC system. A service that would be greatly appreciated by both residential and commercial customers.

Place your ad on thousands of websites with BidVertiser.

First steps would be to take the time, to delve into research, and develop a detailed business plan, that will provide you with the information, to start up this specialized home service. This could also be used for starting a ‘Car Valet’ steam cleaning service, and set up as, or both, a mobile, or fixed address, service business.

Steam Cleaning Business Equipment

Use of a Vapor steam machine, is best to use for the following reasons;

Water, uses only tap water and NO detergents or harsh chemicals, safe for sensitive allergies
Low moisture, the low moisture content begins to evaporate almost immediately
Dry steam, extremely hot, sanitizes and kills dust mites, mold, viruses and fungi on contact
Surfaces, can be used to clean all sorts of surfaces, just check for heat sensitivity first

The costs, for a Vapor steam machine can be high but the potential financial benefits, to provide this service, for the customers health, is even greater. This business can be set up to offer a servicing schedule, for repeat customers, operate seasonally or periodically, full or part time, day or night hours, residential or commercial, choice to use a crew, and still work from a home office.

Disadvantages in this business may be situations such as ; with use of a crew, collecting payment upon billing, people view cleaners as low status therefore important to provide a professional image (remember Molly maid services?) . Income may be limited by the number of hours you can work in a day or night, if working alone. High importance of good time management skills should include keeping a balance for self-care, and work.

Types of Steam cleaning Equipment

Lease or rent, of a Vapor steam machine may be the best option, to use at the start of this business until there is enough funds, to buy the equipment outright. Use of the smaller home steamer does not have such high temperatures, to guarantee sanitizing, and full removal of dust mites, mold, viruses and fungi. Use of the wet/dry steam machines risk providing moisture beds for mold to take hold, as this system leaves surfaces wet, and uses detergents or chemicals.  A Vapor steam machine will only require a regular vacuuming after steaming, to remove loosened dirt and debris. Which cleaning tool would you prefer?

Other factors to consider is the possible requirement to be bonded, if providing services to commercial offices. Extra earnings can be gleaned from working with other steam cleaners (networking), and remember the importance of maintaining communications, such as with a pager (yeah, old school), an answering machine, or service, so you don’t miss prospective customers, while out delivering your steam cleaning services. It’s a business that can be started with a good business plan, determination,  and a van. Healthy air is a concern to everybody and especially at home, schools, and work especially with Covid-19 floating around.

Learning in Motion


Related Learning Resources

Steam cleaning and your home: how to use steam cleaners in all rooms in your house 

The Easiest Way to Sanitize Your Bed Sheets, According to a Laundry Expert 

14+ Business Plan Templates

I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to share your new found knowledge with others. I hope you visit again for more informative articles coming soon. Stay safe!

Article (C) 2021 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us. She is also a VEA available for Hire and includes Writing too! 🙂