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.

How to Start a Rental Guest House

a Guest Cottage

The idea of entering and starting a ‘cottage/guest house‘ rental side business, can operate with success, if done with great marketing and management.

A search online having to do with cottage rentals, you will find quite a few listings about such places. Such an endeavor can provide an extra source of income. Where do we start?

2nd Income Trends

A trend in the housing and rental industry was recommending to have a ‘guest‘ house built on your property. One could use it for their elderly parent or as a rental income.

You will need to do research into local municipal by- laws, zoning laws and regulations about providing such accommodations. Applications and fee’s can be found at the local municipal city hall office. Also, one must get a business license to operate such accommodations.

Cottage/Guest house short-term rentals have been an ongoing popular operation and source of income, for many years. Those who are able to afford buying their guest house may live in their own primary residence or have a second cottage for personal use.

It does take money to begin this project but the long term pay off can be quite rewarding. A successful operation can bring repeat business, continuous bookings, a good reputation and sense of prestige. A family could poor their money together to have one built, get it successfully listed for repeat rentals, and then build another.

Required Skills and Knowledge

Operating a rental business does require knowledge in the hospitality and tourism industry, local Landlords Act along with business management skills.

It is IMPORTANT to have these skills, and I do recommend at least taking a course in these areas. A business plan will help you keep ‘direction‘ and ‘overview‘ of maintaining the following skills ;

  • business
  • marketing skills will help you learn to promote, advertise
  • know your competition
  • financial skills will help you stay in operation
  • business law will help you be aware of rights and responsibilities ,as an owner and for the customer/tenant.
  • Paper work is involved with this business, as all businesses do have to provide for tax reporting.

The owner of a cottage or guest house will have some steps to follow once skills and knowledge are gained. A first step is having the property, for a cottage or guest house, and figuring out, how to set it up their occupancy rates.

second income rental
earn with second income property

A Peek into a Part of this Type of Operation

If it’s a two to three bedroom, one can offer a occupancy of three to six people, if functioning as a ‘cottage‘. This is done if you have bunk beds in the bedrooms and/or pull out beds. Furniture would have to be sturdy and removal of ‘personal‘ items done. Keep it to bare necessities as the ‘guests‘ will bring their own. Just think how a hotel room provides for their guests.

A method to deliver keys for the guest(s) would be required. Some may have a ‘lock-box‘ on site, a key pad lock may also be used or just go out and meet them in person, to deliver the keys. A major consideration and requirement for any business, is insurance.

Liability and Equipment for Safety

Do shop around and meet with insurance agencies who can provide for ‘vacation‘ or ‘rental‘ accommodation businesses, and they provide a good pricing range. Insurance protects you, your property and customers.

Hotels have computerized programs which help them with their booking schedules. As a small owner/operator of your guest house or cottage, you can also find computer software programs to help you with your own booking schedules.

One can also offer to add the traditional method, of signing a guest book upon arrival and departure, if you’d like to add sense of ‘vintage‘ to your operations.

gypsy wagon rental
gypsy wagon beach rental

Promotion for Building Awareness

The advertising and promotion of your cottage or guest house will create awareness and bring customers. This can be done with attending trade shows related to the tourism and hospitality industry, registering with ‘vacation‘ or ‘rental‘ agencies, creating your own website with option to ‘book‘ a time schedule. Check on how to get on tourism sites, partner with local hotels.

Excellent photographs will be needed since these will help provide prospective customers with an idea of what they will find. This is also a good time to share available local sights and amenities, available activities and resources (boat, canoe, etc.). It’s suggested with your advertising, that it be done on international, national and regional sites to build and gain a wider awareness of your service(s).

Live in Action

Extra Reading

How to Start a Bed and Breakfast in Ontario

CMHC- Dealing With Problems

Brian’s Backyard Tiny Guest House


Owning a cottage or guest house can provide an interesting and rewarding experience. You can eventually hire and allow a property manager to oversee this small venture once able to afford the extra costs of hiring.

This area of business would be considered part of the real estate industry and why it’s popular. It can provide a source of supplemental or eventual full time income, and improve your quality of living. It will take patience to learn all that’s involved along with the costs to acquire such a property but as mentioned, the long term benefits can be rewarding.

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share with your Friends. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form and recommend a topic of your own interest, for the next Post! 

AIC|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.


How can I support my Family?

how to, support family, home biz, side job, extra money
work at home and earn

The cost of living in Canada, has risen to points of being seemingly near unattainable, to enjoy a quality life.

People struggle to put food on the table, pay rent, car payments, bus fare, daycare, etc. Costs for supporting a family may be more! due to meeting needs for other members, besides just ourselves. Stress sets in and that daily nagging question, how can I support my family?

Today, many families have dual incomes where both parents work, and share financial responsibilities of managing the bills. Some families will have the ‘main‘ breadwinner role,  and brings home a higher pay, and their spouse may work only part-time hours, to bring extra monies, to help reduce the financial stress, gain possible savings and still provide, a parental presence for their children.

payhip digital services platform
ayhip – sell digital products

Where to begin?

A business will flourish, when it meets a ‘need‘. We look around and figure, all the needs are being met, shoe store, clothing store, grocery store, etc., and we find that we are unable to compete with them, but, not all services are met.

A few steps to begin;

  • Examine your own skills, write them down.
  • Examine your spouses skills, write them down.
  • What do you enjoy doing most? Write them down.
  • What does your spouse enjoy most? Write them down.
  • Write down a list of all your bills, add them all up for the monthly total.
  • How much extra money would help make life easier?
  • Can you sell one of your skills, as a service, to others?

Design a Service Business

Success, in selling your services can be found, by learning to ‘market‘, to a larger group of people, interested in your service skills, and who will become your clients. This can be done with a good ‘promotion‘ campaign, of your services whether on simple bulletin boards, online at Craigslist, using classified ads, or simple but attractive flyers. Friends can also help with simply passing the word along about your services.

Let’s examine a sample ad and outcome;’

sample ad

A client looking for a light housekeeper may be thrilled and call immediately but require your services only twice a week and expect you done within 2 hours, every Tuesday and Thursday. This adds up to $60.00 per day, ($30.00 per hour x2 = $60.00 per day). $60.00 x 2 = $120.00 per week earnings.

Let’s say, another client also calls, and again, may require the same schedule of 2 hours, but 1 hour on Mondays and Wednesdays. 1 client ($30.00 x 2 days) =$60.00, a week or with 2 (clients), same math,you are earning an extra $120.00 per week, x 4 weeks (one month) = $480.00.

Setting your own Schedule

Providing this type of ‘service’ can also be set up, to suit your own schedule. Let’s examine the following sample ‘day planner’ set for working mornings only, 4 days a week, with 4 clients ;

a weekly work planner schedule

The numbers will vary when holidays are involved but if required by clients, you can ask for a higher price and it’s very important, to know your local labour laws. Do not under sell your services or self worth. Success can be found in selling ONE service and finding a few ‘clients’ who want your service.

 Reputation Management and Safety

A major concern with clients will be, TRUST.  Nobody wants theft or destruction of their goods and/or property.  Police will be called and charges laid. It may be important to consider working with a trusted partner to protect your own innocence, in the event the client files ‘false’ allegations, so they don’t have to pay you. It does happen. Always good to stay safe.

Additional steps you can take towards building trust is to apply to be bondable. This is when you apply to an insurance agent for a ‘bond’. It guarantees you are safe and trustworthy to your clients or employer.

Yes, payments are required, and it’s best to do research and ‘comparison’ shopping with your insurance agent or other related financial advisor, so you can get the best protection, and price.

A last note about applying to be bondable. You can easily lose it with the following:

  • a criminal record
  • poor credit/tax history
  • delinquent payment accounts

The other step is to provide a Criminal background report. It is not a guarantee but one way to prove you’re at least not a criminal. Lastly, you can ask clients if they’d like to give out Reference letters to others who may be interested in your services. A gold trophy indeed.

Work is Available, look in the Mirror and see You

One sample job has been used but there are many other ‘service‘ jobs that you can offer depending upon your skills. Watch the slide show!  You may just want to work part time at the corner store , and still offer your own skills, as another part-time job too.

The scheduling will be in your hands, how much you want to earn, how many days you want to work, how many clients will you need. It’s important to keep to your schedule or lose your clients, and ‘business’ reputation. Do a little research ahead of time about ‘business’ development and management skills.

Learning Presentation – Visit link 🙂

More presentations from Gin

Reading Resources


CBDC Business Plan

How to Use Daily Planners Effectively

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments! or share with your Friends who may find this article helpful. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form and request a topic of your own interest for an upcoming Post.

AIC| 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 🙂


Discover a Career as a Manufacturer Representative

travel across the glove manufacturer rep
Manufacturer Rep Jetsetting Career

The world of scheduling meetings between Buyers and Sellers from your own home office from around the world, can prove an interesting career choice. This can be quite an exciting and potentially high earning self-employment opportunity.

A few steps are needed to enter the world as a Sales representative negotiating business agreements for the passage of goods and/or services.

Explore a world of business travel, negotiations, Foreign dignitaries and governments, trade shows, transport of goods and more. Do you have the energy to enter a career representing businesses?

Who is the Manufacturer Representative?

A Manufacturers’ agent or representative will need to be a highly energized and positive self-starter. As an Import or Export agent you will be required to represent at least two or more manufacturers and will operate on a commission basis. They help set up business between Exporters and Importers (Buyers and Sellers) of goods and/or services.

Small to medium sized manufacturing companies advertise for manufacturing reps as a alternative to an in-house sales person or staff. Manufacturers are looking for a person to help sell their products whether national or international.

Products are exported and imported around the world and range from sunglasses, shoes, raw materials, machines, electronic equipment or parts, textiles, industrial compounds, all sold to either wholesalers or large retail stores across the country or around the world.

contract negotiations
negotiating agent agreements

Basic Start-up Needs and Duties

Basic start up equipment needed will be transportation, answering service, voicemail, office and mobile telephone, laptop computer, business cards, brochures and enough cash to cover initial expenses incurred to enter this business opportunity if planning to be Independent. Applying for a small business loan that includes costs for equipment, office and travel costs would be included.

The basic steps involved with this business are ;

  • Product, decide on the products you are confident and knowledgeable about, as if you were employed with the company (or least research and build your knowledge). Set yourself up to become a Specialist with the product(s). Take on complementary products but never
  • competing products.
  • Bank, open a bank account for every business transaction that will occur.
  • Introduction, send a letter introducing yourself and your services to a prospective manufacturer. Schedule and accept invitations, to meet if necessary (incurred expense). Bring your Sole AgencyAgreement for review and negotiation of terms – for payment and commission rate, scheduled payments (monthly, quarterly, bi-annual), assigned territory, responsibility of packing, shipping, forwarding, advertising, duration of contract, option to renew contract, improved rate of commission after one year, termination clause, compensation for unreasonable termination, method of payment, supply of adequate promotional literature. Settle these important points before heading out to making sales and contacts.
  • Sample, request a few samples, for presentations purposes at your meeting, or sent by mail. A sample will help you become familiar with their products.
  • Meeting, discuss price of items (c.i.f. quotation, CIF , Cost, Insurance and Freight) and request any available in-house leaflets, brochures or labels.
  • Locate Buyers, locate through Overseas Trade board or similar institution. Also, ask your Banker if they can help as they may have branches in the particular country you are seeking to make sales who may know of prospective customers for you.
  • Vital Sources of Information, write to your Trade Commission, Embassy, Consulates, Association of Manufacturers, Bank, Chambers of Commerce, Business management Associations. They will all assist or direct you to someone who can help you find Buyers and Manufacturers as they would see this as a economic boon to their own country.
transport goods logistics
logistics of transporting goods

A Career with Sellers and Buyers

The business of import and export is very competitive. If you ensure that you can compete in terms of quality, delivery and price then you will be assured of entry with a particular buyers market. You will have to work with your manufacturer to discuss lowest price possible
and top quality is always sent to the buyers.

I highly recommend that further in depth research be done in this business opportunity to ensure your own success. I have only touched the surface of the possibilities and written it in a easy as possible format.

Learning in Motion

Further Learning Resources

How to Become a Sales Representative

Manufacturers Representatives and Independent Sales Representative Network

47+ SAMPLE Agency Agreements

Average Manufacturer’s Representative Salary

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and Share your own observations or experiences. Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form to request a post, on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by RSS feed.

An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Find articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.