What Businesses Can You Operate in Your Basement
I recommend that you watch the 2006 film The Prestige by director Christopher Nolan and featuring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. The film is about warring stage magicians in 19th century London. It features the final acting performance of the late David Bowie. In the film, Bowie portrays inventor Nikola Tesla. In one scene as Tesla, Bowie remarked that society only tolerates one or two changes at a time; society is not capable of tolerating a complete structure upheaval overnight. That quote reminds me of how the coronavirus pandemic has caused a complete upheaval of societal structure overnight in March 2020. Life is very hard for everyone now. And when life changes, we must adapt. Starting a basement business may be the answer.
I don’t have to tell you that the business world is suffering post-pandemic. From the smallest sole proprietorship to the biggest global corporations, the business world has economically suffered due to social distancing, lockdowns, and public fear of the coronavirus. The concept of doing business is not extinct; the problem is that the concept of doing business is evolving in unknown ways.
I am not trying to scare you off. It is just that you should fully understand what you are getting yourself into.
About 20% of new businesses fail within the first 24 months of operations. Another 45% of new businesses fail after a decade. Just 25% of new businesses survive after 15 years.
Basement Business Reality
Look at it another way – the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that almost 775,000 new businesses launched in 2019.
So, about 155,000 of those businesses will fail by 2021. And with the global economic crisis caused by the pandemic, that number may be higher.
If you want to launch a basement business, then I applaud such ambition. Just be realistic about it. (More on that later).
Here are some ideas to help you get started on your basement business venture.
Wholesale or Retail Auto Parts
Did you know that the market for used cars is skyrocketing after the onslaught of the pandemic?
After June 2020, the value of a used car increased by over 16%. Over 1.2 million used vehicles were sold in June 2020. That is a 22% spike from the previous year.
Americans are buying fewer new cars than ever before because of the pandemic.
People are tightening their budgets. Sacrificing money to maintain a new car in the COVID-19 era is a non-starter to many people now.
If you are a gear head, former mechanic, or understand cars innately, make this situation work for you.
Start a basement business selling auto parts wholesale or retail. Facilitate the sourcing and delivery of auto parts to used car dealerships.
Develop a neighborhood network. Advertise yourself as the go-to person for people who need help buying a used car.
While people may not be able to get new cars now, many still don’t want to buy a lemon either. Develop a basement business that locally markets itself as the go-to business for auto parts.
No one wants to buy a money pit used car and spend a fortune rebuilding it or write it off as a loss. Market yourself locally as someone who can help people find the used car, and auto parts, they need.
Car Wrap Advertising
Have you ever seen those gaudy vehicles that are completed covered in car wrap advertising? That is called car wrapping.
It is basically wrapping your car in an advertising wrap, sponsored by a local business like it’s a mobile billboard.
A third-party business may get requests from businesses for car wrap drivers.
This could be a radio station, restaurant, supermarket, political campaign, and so on. The third-party business then posts an ad looking for car wrap drivers.
Car wrap opportunities are limited. Such opportunities are plentiful in large urban centers with large populations.
To apply, you will need to have a good driving record, car insurance, and a roadworthy vehicle.
The car wrap advertiser will send you the car wrap, at no cost, with instructions on how to apply and remove it from your vehicle.
Then, just start driving and make big money! (No, not really).
To make substantial money, you will have to apply for a large-scale and long-running advertising campaign. Then, you must drive many hours in high-population areas to make sure as many eyes as possible see your car wrap.
You are not paid according to how many hours you drive. You will be paid according to how many people respond to the context of your car wrap advertising.
Car Wrapping Basement Office
Keep in mind you will be responsible to pay for your own gas, insurance, and vehicle maintenance. So, any car wrapping profit must be adjusted to account for out-of-pocket costs.
Be wary of car wrapping scams. Any company that requests an up-front payment, charges you for the car wrap, or contacts you specifically with get-rich-quick ambitions is a scam.
Expect to make $500 monthly with car wrap advertising. Unless you drive 30-miles daily or more, you won’t make much money.
You can make this endeavor a basement business by using a home office for research and logistics. Get a map of your city.
Study local population centers and develop routes to drive where you are statistically certain to have as eyes as possible on your vehicle.
Develop an event calendar of local city and state events and consider coinciding advertising routes.
Use a basement office, research, and population logistics to augments your chances of increasing the average $500 monthly payment.
The average car wrapping advertising campaign lasts 3-months to a year, depending on the campaign.
Here are some reputable car wrap advertising companies to contact:
Increase your earnings by driving as a deliverer, Uber, or Lyft while driving a car wrapping campaign.
Basement Business Expectations
You can create a home-based basement office as a tax accountant, florist, or as a licensed dentist.
What you do with a home business is up to you. Just be realistic about it. Study your preferred business market, supply and demand, and network for clientele.
In this economic environment, leave nothing to chance. You won’t succeed by opening a basement office for its own sake.
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Allen Francis is a full-time writer, prolific comic book investor and author of The Casual’s Guide: Why You Should Get Into Comic Book Investing. Allen holds a BA degree from Marymount Manhattan College. Before becoming a writer Allen was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including saving and investing in your own small business.