Retirement Business Idea #4: How to start a healthy meals business

Healthy mealsMore and more of us want to eat healthier and get in better shape. The demand for health products has been huge for years and the trend continues to rise as more and more of us become more concerned about our weight and wellbeing.

How Do You Start a Healthy Meal Business?

The way it tends to work is that customers will sign up for your healthy meals delivery service usually on a weekly or monthly basis. The reason most companies prefer to sign up customers on a monthly basis is because this sets a commitment and they know how much food they’ll need ahead of time, as well as what their running costs are likely to be. How flexible you are in this area is entirely up to you.

Every day, you’ll deliver fresh, healthy meals to the customer’s home or place of work. You’ll also provide a menu each week for customers to choose their meal options for the following week.

Who Is This Business Right For?

This is a great business for someone who loves cooking and all things healthy. The more enthusiastic you are about spreading your company’s message and ethos about healthy eating and wellbeing, the better your success will be.

Of course, great cooking skills are essential, as is being highly organized and people-friendly. Organization will be crucial in your day-to-day management such as scheduling delivery times and routes, as well as organizing the cooking side of things.

Being confident and people-friendly will also help as this will help you gain new customers and keep old ones happy. If you’re doing the deliveries yourself, there may be a lot of interaction between you and your customers.

What about the Legalities?

Different areas will require different things, but if you're in the US you’ll want to check with your local county office to ensure you meet all their requirements. Wherever you are in the world, you'll need to make sure you don't fall foul of food hygiene standards - there will be special rules and regulations to do with food handling and preparation. These may vary depending on whether you start from your home kitchen or from business premises.

If you love cooking and healthy eating, this may be the perfect business for you. With an upward trend in our drive to be thinner, healthier and happier – a healthy meals delivery service fits right in.

Retirement Business Idea #3: How to start a green housekeeping business

#3The demand for housecleaning has been on an upward trend for years. As more and more households now have two working parents, the need for extra help within the house is often necessary.

And now there’s a trend that’s growing even faster – green housecleaning. As more of us are becoming aware of the dangers of using toxic chemicals in our home environment - as well as the conscious drive to take better care of the planet, we’re aiming to be a little more “green” when it comes to cleaning.

This is where the green housecleaning business model comes into play. By starting your own green cleaning business, you’ll set yourself apart from the general cleaning companies and you’ll target a niche customer base – those that want green housecleaning services.

How Do You Get Started?

The first step is to find an area where the demand for green housecleaning is evident. Your customers will tend to have disposable income and have an interest in all things green, such as recycling and hybrid cars. It’s important to identify who your key customers will be and whether or not they're in your current locality. If not, then you’ll want to target a different area.

The next step is to take care of all the paper work. A housecleaning service is not difficult to start but you’ll want to ensure your business is registered (if you're in the US) and that you have the necessary insurance to cover yourself as much as possible.

If you’re going to start as a one-man/woman operation, you won’t need to worry about hiring employees just yet. But if you’re starting out with employees, you’ll need to advertise to hire the right people and ensure that you have the correct insurance to cover your employees.

You’ll also want to ensure that your business really is “green.” All of the items you use from your cleaning products to your car should aim to be environmentally friendly. Your potential customers will be interested to know just how green your credentials are, so be prepared to tell them.

Finally, you’ll need to find customers. Good marketing is the key to success for any business. You can start small by printing and sending out flyers in the local area. A small ad in the local paper may also be relevant for this type of business. And don’t forget the internet - even local customers may use the net to find you.

Ensure you have a user-friendly website that represents your business in the best light possible.

Green housecleaning is a growing trend that looks to increase in the future. If you like the idea of starting your own housecleaning service, this may be a great option as you’ll have a tight, targeted market with plenty of disposable income. You’ll also feel great for helping others and the planet at the same time.

Retirement Business Idea #2: How to start a garden service business

#2Do you love gardening and being outdoors? If so, starting a gardening service may be ideal for you.

What Does a Garden Service Business Do?

A garden service can provide a variety of services – from grass cutting and weeding to full garden design and planning. The services you provide will be up to you, your areas of expertise and the amount of energy you have. However, it’s a good idea to decide ahead of time just what you’ll be providing.

Start by writing a list of the services you feel able to offer. Do you have experience with garden design and a great eye for detail? If so, you may want to help people plan and design their dream garden. Be aware that potential customers may ask about your qualifications and ask for samples of gardens you have previously designed. 

If design isn’t quite right for you, you may want to simply offer maintenance and/or planting services. In this case, you may advise clients about certain plants, and help them choose new plants and then plant them and care for them. Or you may simply want to offer light maintenance on existing gardens such as scheduled grass cutting and weeding. Again, the services you provide are entirely up to you.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’re going to get started as a one-person business then you simply need all the relevant equipment. Of course, you’ll have good knowledge about gardening and plants. If you’ve never taken a formal course that’s usually fine; you can always brush up on your skills as necessary with a home-study course or by studying gardening books.

Once you have all your equipment, you need to ensure you’re meeting all the legal business requirements. If you're in the US, your local county office can advise you and help with this step.  If you're in the UK, you can just go ahead and get started!

How Do I Find Clients?

This is a business that will largely depend on word of mouth. If your customers are happy with your services, they will likely recommend you to their family and friends. Ensuring you do a great job is the important thing!

To gain your first few clients, sending flyers out locally, as well as placing a magnetic sign on your car (which has your logo and details) is an easy and inexpensive way to start.

You may also want to place an ad in your local paper. Building a relationship with a local garden nursery or garden center is a good idea as well. You can commit to buying your plants and equipment from them if, in exchange, they tell their clients about your services. Most garden centres will be okay with letting you place a flyer on their bulletin board.

If you love gardening and have a great knowledge of plants and their care, starting a garden service business may be ideal for you. This is a flexible business with a lot of potential.

Retirement Business Idea #1: How to start a kids' party organizing business

#1Do you love kids and parties? Are you super at organizing and do you have a great eye for detail? Are you enthusiastic and outgoing? Do you still have bags of energy? If so, then a kids' party organizing business may be just right for you.

Party organizing is a growing trend. Birthday parties seem to be getting more and more elaborate and this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down!

A kids' party organizer will help plan and create fun and unique parties that may range from a cowboy-themed barnyard party to an elaborate party in a castle with all the works.

How Do I Get Started?

Firstly, you’ll want to ensure that your personality is suited to this business. You’ll need to be creative as well organized. Having an outgoing personality will also help a great deal.

The next step, and a crucial one at that, is to decide who your target market will be. Parents willing to hire a party organizing service will likely have disposable income and be quite happy to spend it on their children.

You’ll also want to be clear on what type of services you’ll provide. Some party organizing services will handle everything from finding the right theme, to setting up and organizing the party, to decorating and even catering.

Offering an all-in-one service is ideal because this is probably what your customers will want – someone to plan the whole thing from start to finish without too many complications.

Write a list of what services you’ll offer. As you do your research, you’ll notice the list may be endless - from providing an ice cream van to hot air balloons! Of course, you don’t have to start at this level and many of these services can be subcontracted out. However, it’s important to know exactly what you can and can’t offer customers at the start.

What about the Legalities?

If you're in the US, you’ll want to start by registering your business. You can do this at your local county office and they'll let you know of all the requirements you need to meet. Depending on what type of services you provide, this may vary.

If in doubt, contact your local county office and they should be able to provide you with all the details.

How Do I Find Customers?

Advertising locally through banners and perhaps a small ad in the paper is a great starting point. A magnetic sign on your car with your company logo and information is another good option.

But the main way of finding new clients in this business is through word of mouth. If parents attending the party see and like what you’ve done, they’ll ask for your details and before you know it, you’ll have a full client list. Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely important in this type of business so you’ll want to do your absolute best to provide a great service.

If you love kids and parties, are highly organized and outgoing and still have the energy for it, this may be a fantastic retirement business idea to pursue.

The End of the Day Philosophy by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits

‘If your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.’
~Bill Watterson

I’ve been making my small decisions throughout the day, recently, with a simple question: How will I feel about this when today is over?

If I have a choice right now between reading social media and news articles, or writing, I know what the answer will be: at the end of the day, I’d be much happier if I’d chosen writing.

If I am faced with chips and pizza, I might be mightily tempted to eat them right now, but I know that later in the day I’ll be sorry I did. I inevitably feel bad after I eat greasy foods, though I always forget that before I eat the food.

At the end of the day, I won’t regret having spent a little time with my wife or kids, but I will regret watching videos online or wasting my time by playing games.

I won’t regret having done my workout, but I will regret sitting all day.

I’ve learned these answers through repeated observation, but you can learn your own answers by asking the question before you do anything, making a hypothesis (“I won’t regret this later”) and then seeing if you’re right by reviewing the results at the end of each day.

Have a daily review before you go to bed, even if it’s just a mental review. Were you right? Do you regret any of your choices? If so, don’t feel bad about being wrong — be happy that you’ve learned this.

Then make a better choice the next time.

What are you going to do next, after reading this? Will you be happy with that, at the end of this day?

By Leo Babauta

Too darned hot...

I don't really 'do' summer. It's definitely NOT my favourite season. Oh sure, I like the long, bright days well enough. And give me a summer breeze and a temp that's in the low seventies and I can just about cope... but when the mercury starts to climb, my life and my mood start to go in the opposite direction.

The summer heat saps my energy and my patience. While the rest of the population heads for the beach and the back garden, I'm headed indoors as fast as my energy-depleted leg muscles can carry me.

I blame my Irish ancestry for most of my heat-related challenges. My pale Irish skin burns easily and the layers of sunscreen that I have to use to protect it feel greasy and cloying. And don't get me started on the sweatiness...

I hate feeling hot and sweaty!!!!! I hate the feeling of my clothes sticking to me! And I hate the fact that I can't get a good night's sleep! We're not big on air conditioning here in the UK. Our weather probably doesn't warrant it for most of the year but, when the heat hits, we have to resort to messing about with noisy fans and open windows and the sanctuary of an air-conditioned car.

However, even though my energy for doing most things is practically non-existent at the moment, I take comfort from the fact that summer is halfway over, autumn will soon be on its way and the later months of the year are always much more fun for me. And, whilst I'm lying around on the couch, trying to keep cool, I can still use my trusty laptop and, yesterday, I felt inspired to make some social media graphics with a summery theme.

Here's a couple of them. Hope you like them (and feel free to share them on your social media sites)...