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Guide and Tips to Start a Food Truck Business

Most food truck businesses start out with a dream and an idea, but that will get you only so far. Your biggest initial expense will be the actual food truck. You may be able to find a used truck suitable for your business for around $25,000, but most experts say you should expect to spend about $80,000 on a truck. You can, of course, easily spend much more. Expenses for truck retrofitting and altering need to be considered in your budget. Food cart or trailer options are less. If you choose a franchise option, you can likely get around this part of the investment at first. You may also find leasing options available.

Other startup costs to consider include:

  • Permits, licensing and insurance (business and vehicle): $500 – $1,000
  • Inventory (food and supplies): $1,000+
  • Payment processing: hardware, processing agreement, mobile data plan: $400+
  • Commissary fees (professional kitchen rental for prep work): varies ($400+ per month)
  • Truck appearance: paint, wraps, lighting and such (varies)
  • Propane and or generator costs: fuel (varies)

Unless you already have startup funds, acquiring funding may be your biggest challenge. Your first goal should be to put together a bulletproof business plan. Youꞌll also have more success if you have good personal and business credit. Most truck financing options will require good credit, a down payment and possibly even collateral. If you already own a restaurant with a successful history, you should be able to acquire funding and decent rates.

If traditional financing is not an option for you, youꞌll have to get creative to cover startup costs. But you may have to start out small. Here are some ways to start your business with minimal funding:

  1. Talk with someone who already owns a food truck and negotiate a lease or a rental agreement.
  2. Start with a low-cost, used cart or trailer.
  3. Start selling at a farmers market, art fair booth or pop-up.
  4. Talk to a successful restaurant owner about running a food truck for the ownerꞌs business.
  5. If your truck idea includes providing a public service or a benefit to your community, you may be able to obtain sponsors.
  6. If you are already contracted with a payment processor, you may qualify for a processing advance loan. This type of loan is paid back by fees added to your regular processing fees.

These are the things that actual food truck owners say are their biggest challenges.

Time ─ Some think food truck workers just work a few hours a day. That is far from the truth. You have to consider shopping time, prep work, marketing, event booking, cleaning, truck maintenance, accounting and tax obligations, and more. Most say it has to be a labor of love, with an emphasis on labor. You may have to work holidays and weekends ─ and you may need to work every day.

Competition and Market ─ Some may say food truck owners help each other out; others say it is cut-throat competitive. Some report that events may have long waiting lists. A city can support only so many taco trucks or coffee carts. You’ll want to carefully research your market to increase your chance of success.

Ordinances and Zoning ─ Many find, after they get into business, that they are limited by where they can park and for how long they can park. And every area is different. So, if you travel, you’ll need to know what the rules are in the areas you intend to sell in. Some events, parks and recreation centers may have their own rules and charge you for parking and selling in their space.

While researching this topic, we found quite a few helpful tips and ideas. Here are a few.

  • If you plan to have your truck parked in one specific spot on a regular basis, see if you can negotiate with local businesses to use their power, either by paying them directly or by trade. Some, for example, offer a certain number of free meals in exchange for using their power. This can greatly save you in propane and generator use.
  • Post your social media information on your truck and regularly post to your social media pages, especially if your truck moves around. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are good platforms to start with and they are all free.
  • You may save money at first by hiring a crew to work in your truck. It makes mathematical sense to pay someone $10 an hour to work in your truck rather than giving up your $30-an-hour job. Especially if you are choosing a franchise option.
  • Work on a food truck for a few days or weeks. By doing this you can learn the pace and process. And it may help you decide if it is the right type of business for you or not.
  • Though not as fun as creating your own product, you may be able to save money by purchasing prepared food items to avoid commissary costs. For example, by buying in bulk from your local Costco or Samꞌs Club.
  • Some have found success by operating a mobile-catering business rather than a traditional food truck business. You can better plan your hours, you know how many youꞌll be serving and you know how much youꞌll be paid. You can also charge a deposit, and you should.
  • Negotiate with a local restaurant about using their facilities instead of a costly commissary.
  • You may benefit from selling during nonstandard meal times, such as late at night near entertainment venues.
  • Find a good mentor. Consult with someone who has been successful in your industry and learn as much as you can from them.

7 Business Ideas Poised for Success

 Women’s health platform

Aspiring women entrepreneurs looking to make a difference are now in a better position than ever to launch businesses that help other women. An online store that focuses on women’s health needs, or another platform that connects women with important resources and products, could be a great framework for a successful and meaningful business.

Box subscription services

Box subscription services are popping up everywhere in the food, beauty and even pet product sectors, ready to deliver goods right to your door each month. One of the consumer perks is the idea that these subscription boxes are carefully curated just for them based on their likes and interests, and each month, the boxes’ contents are a surprise.

Health clubs for millennials

Health and fitness services are being rebranded to become trendier and more sociable. Opening a health club or gym targeted specifically to millennials could be a great way to capitalize on the fitness trend, especially if you focus on creating a strong, fun and engaging social media presence to really connect with young members and potential customers.

Software training

If you’re proficient in a highly specialized software, you can get paid to pass your knowledge on to amateurs and professionals looking to expand their skill sets. Technical manuals are available for programs like QuickBooks and Final Cut Pro, but these are often expensive and difficult for the average user to get through. Schedule small group workshops or private sessions, and charge by the hour for a full tutorial of the program. The best part about this gig is that it can be done part time.

Food truck

Want to start a food business? A truck is a much less expensive investment than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and according to Mobi Munchfounder Josh Tang, the failure rate for food trucks is just 10 to 20 percent (as opposed to 60 to 90 percent for restaurants). With the right equipment and some great recipes, you can have your mobile eatery up and running in no time.

Freelancing

Companies are increasingly turning to freelance and contract workers to fill the skill gaps in their staff. It’s not hard to imagine that you could build a whole company around providing freelance services of one sort or another. Some freelance gigs pay by the project and others pay hourly, and the rates can vary greatly. But as you gain more experience, your earning potential will soar.

Translation services

There’s no denying the global marketplace is growing. All that cross-cultural communication is creating an increasing need for translators. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the hiring of interpreters and translators is projected to grow by 46 percent by 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. This means it’s a big business opportunity for entrepreneurs who can bring foreign-language speakers together with businesses in need.

How to build an alliance against

 Public-company managers are quick to bemoan the pressures they face to emphasize short-term financial performance at the expense of long-term value creation. Depending on the day, they point the finger at a range of culprits, including market pressure, economic uncertainty, and investors. But it’s time managers took a harder look at themselves and the tools they have to build alliances against the corrosive effects of corporate short-termism.

It is true that short-term investors and their proxies, sell-side analysts, are the most visible participants on quarterly earnings calls and in contacting companies for the insights upon which they trade. The pace and volume of those trades may often dominate a company’s daily trading activity. But it’s worth recalling that short-term investors are usually a minority of a company’s shareholders. Overall, they own only around 25 percent of shares held by US companies (Exhibit 1). In fact, seven in ten shares of US companies are owned by longer-term investors: individuals, index funds, and more sophisticated long-term investors.

As prior McKinsey analysis has shown, this last group, also known asintrinsic investors, has an outsize influence on a company’s share price over time. With their deep understanding of a company’s intrinsic value and their willingness to make large investments, they often see even bad news, in the short term, as an opportunity to increase their holdings of a company whose strategy and management they support. That gives companies more room than many managers realize to make decisions that create long-term value—even at the risk of short-term volatility. This also benefits all long-term shareholders by keeping share prices in line with a company’s intrinsic value and preventing prices from falling too far out of line, relative to the company’s peers.

Executives need to understand intrinsic investors better. To begin an ongoing dialogue, McKinsey and the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program1convened a group of public-company CFOs and intrinsic investors in late 2014 to discuss their mutual interests. The following year, as discussions continued, we also surveyed and interviewed intrinsic investors, with an average holding period of six years. Our interpretation of these discussions and survey results does not necessarily reflect the views of every participant. But the consensus of the group was that all public-company CEOs, CFOs, and corporate boards should be doing what they can to attract and retain a critical mass of intrinsic investors in order to blunt the effects of short-termism and best support a strategy of long-term value creation.

Our research indicates that four initiatives seem to resonate with intrinsic investors and could prove useful for managers eager to achieve this goal. They include pursuing long-term value creation even at the expense of short-term earnings, proactively structuring investor communications, resisting artificial efforts to meet earnings targets, and rethinking management’s approach to quarterly earnings calls.

The Negative Facets Of Pay Day Loans

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Online payday loans might be a complicated factor to discover occasionally. There are plenty of people that have lots of misunderstandings about payday cash loans and what exactly is linked to them. There is no need to become unclear about payday cash loans any further, go through this post and make clear your misunderstandings.

When evaluating a pay day loan, do not decide on the initial business you see. Rather, assess several rates that you can. Although some firms will undoubtedly charge about 10 or 15 %, other individuals may charge you 20 or perhaps 25 %. Do your research and discover the least expensive company.

At times, folks experience sizeable abrupt expenditures that need paying back. Consequently, payday cash loans might be the only option. Provided you can get by without having getting a pay day loan, then that is generally best, but often scenarios call for severe actions to recover. Ask people you realize effectively if they are happy to offer you the cash initial.

Constantly know whenever you can concerning the pay day loan firm. Even though you may feel you may have no choices, never ever obtain that loan unless you comprehend its terminology. The more you understand the business, the more unlikely you will end up to gain access to trouble.

The easiest method to work with a payday advance is to spend it in full at the earliest opportunity. The costs, curiosity, and also other costs associated with these financial loans could cause substantial financial debt, that is certainly nearly impossible to pay off. So when you can pay out your loan off of, undertake it and you should not extend it.

When there may be a great deal of documentation involved, you don’t ought to behave like the common client. Will not think twice to require to talk with a supervisor to enable you to make a deal greater conditions. Most businesses are normally available to quitting a bit of their profits to help make funds.

If you need a pay day loan, but have got a a low credit score background, you really should think about a no-fax bank loan. This type of financial loan is the same as some other payday advance, except that you simply will not be required to fax in virtually any paperwork for authorization. Financing where no papers come to mind signifies no credit score verify, and much better odds that you are authorized.

If you need a payday loan, but have got a poor credit historical past, you may want to think about a no-fax financial loan. These kinds of bank loan can be like any other payday loan, although you simply will not be required to fax in any files for approval. That loan where by no files come to mind means no credit examine, and better odds that you will be accredited.

Apply for your payday advance first thing within the day time. Many financial institutions have a strict quota on the quantity of payday cash loans they can offer on any working day. Once the quota is strike, they near up go shopping, and also you are out of luck. Get there early to avoid this.

Examine your credit report before you decide to search for a payday loan. Shoppers by using a healthful credit score will be able to find more beneficial interest rates and regards to settlement. If your credit history is within bad condition, you will probably spend interest rates which can be increased, and you can not qualify for a prolonged personal loan term.

Payday loans recently become very popular. There are numerous alternatives, so it will be an intelligent thought to compare and contrast prices and conditions from 4 to 5 diverse creditors before, you choose your loan. Read through all the disclosures for each and every financial loan that, you are interested in. Make sure that you clearly comprehend the interest levels, as well as any service fees that can be incurred.

Be wary of affiliates, because they get a percentage for providing you with an competitive sales hype so that you can say yes to use funds. It may well demonstrate that they run from a condition once the loan company these are attaching one to functions beyond the land. You will probably find yourself trapped in a binding agreement that is priced at you more than you had in the beginning considered.

Now you are aware that a payday advance provides you with a valuable remedy sometimes. Getting very good credit score isn’t a requirement and often you can acquire this personal loan rapidly. Take the information and facts you possess learned on this page and use it to get the cash you have to relieve your economic burden.

Just How To Make Certain Your Company Can Do Well Against The Competitors

Businesses have to continue to be competing. They will want to ensure they can do nearly as much as or perhaps more than competing companies to be able to make sure they receive the work from their particular clientele. Business owners who want to continue to be ahead of the game will wish to make certain they obtain added training for their own personnel. This will have a substantial quantity of advantages for the staff members and also for the organization. Business people who acquire scientific molding training for their particular workers ensure their knowledge is actually completely current.

Employees who go through further instruction are going to be a lot more knowledgeable, happier with their jobs, as well as better able to work with their particular colleagues. The additional knowledge they achieve can make it easier for them to do their own job and can enable them to work more rapidly together with a lesser number of difficulties. They’re furthermore going to value the added training as it shows they are valued by the organization. When they understand more concerning the jobs and the tasks associated with molding, they can also work better with their own coworkers because they’re going to all know what each other has to do and also might help in case any person needs it.

Following the scientific molding seminars, business owners can notice many advantages too. The employees can know just what to achieve in order to improve productivity, minimize outages from issues with the machine, as well as reduce the quantity of waste matter that is produced. This all adds up to a great deal as well as allows the company to take on a lot more jobs. It in addition enables them to complete tasks more rapidly and also with much better accuracy, which suggests their clientele are going to return to them again and again, and also stay away from going to competitive organizations for their jobs.

All round, scientific molding classes can be incredibly helpful for employees and also business owners. It enables the corporations to remain competitive and also to continue to undertake much more work. The more educated the staff members are, the better the company can operate. If you want to understand more with regards to the added benefits or even sign up for additional coaching for your staff members, have a look at the injection molding training right now. There are programs to suit any schedule, therefore you are going to be sure to find just what you’ll require.

learn Precisely How To Start Getting Ready For Your Retirement

Though retirement may seem like it’s far away, it’s never actually too far for somebody to begin planning as well as preparing. It really is essential for an individual to start saving early on so they can make certain they are going to have sufficient money to be able to retire. Only saving, nonetheless, may not be plenty of for a person to live comfortably when they do plan to retire. Rather, they could wish to begin to invest their money.

An individual might check here to be able to learn much more concerning precisely why they should get started investing their cash and also how valuable it may be. They can also obtain the tips they are going to need to be able to start investing their particular money and also to make sure they’re going to be able to meet their particular financial targets. By getting started early on, an individual might make use of their own savings and also their particular investments to be able to make sure they’ll have the funds they are going to need to have to retire on time, or even early on, as well as live comfortably. It’s crucial for an individual to get these guidelines right now to allow them to start to save and to invest their particular cash properly so it is going to grow as much as is feasible by the time they may be all set to stop working.

In case you want to learn much more regarding just how to save as well as invest your money, make sure you read my response right now and begin putting money aside now.

Why Promotional Items Are Usually Much Better Than Local Newspaper Ads

If you’re who owns a brand new small business, then your best thing you are able to perform for your business is to showcase it. Occasionally that is not putting in an advertisement in the newspaper or perhaps a spot on the radio. It can be as easy as obtaining a New Zealand Supplier for Promotional products. You could think to yourself that you will reach out to more people having a classified advertisement. It’s correct, it could be seen by simply more and more people, but it will additionally be put in the recycling bin the very next day not to ever be considered yet again. A good thing that can be done for your firm is to set something tangible in the hands of your buyers along with potential clients.

If you possess a coffee house, think about a reusable coffee mug. A laptop shop shall do great with mouse pads and also flash drives. You need something which help keep your company name close and also particular. Consider writing instruments along with pencils. Refrigerator magnets are usually outstanding as are frisbees (particularly when relevant to university students). They are the kinds of promotional items which will be unforgettable and not cast out with the waste. Handful of will remember the manufacturer that’s given away on the curb with the recycling, but a majority of will recall the model on your freezer.

Producing Money From Property is Simpler

If you are searching regarding a means to make a modest extra income right away, there are a number associated with items which can be done without having a great deal of effort. Take a look around your home. Consider whether you will find things that you are not using. In the event that these things continue to be in good condition, it may be very easy to sell all of them. The actual internet is a very useful resource in terms of advertising things that have to be distributed.

So many people are utilizing their blog abilities in order to make some extra cash. If you have a post that a person could be curious about reading, just discuss it all. It really is surprising to know of how much cash can be created by merely doing a standard blog. If you are one who likes making crafts, just sell these on the internet. Many people are searching for homemade products however they don’t have the time or perhaps talent to be able to generate all of them.

Additionally it is a good idea to answer research on the internet. Frequently, you possibly can make a few extra dollars just by providing your view. Trading stocks is another fantastic way to make a lot of money without the need of doing lots of work. Nevertheless, it is important to be mindful along with the method that you commit. Spend some time to see this website and browse their explanation on the way to create extra cash from home.

If You Own a Corporation, You Will Be Needing a Good Lawyer

The corporate environment doesn’t be effective without needing to involve some type of legal advice. There’s definitely constantly an excuse to need a legal professional. Maybe it’s as elementary as to ensure your corporation does not breach any laws although undertaking their business. They may have to safeguard themselves from very angry clients that sense they’ve been offended somehow. Probably your enterprise really wants to expand and this needs a lawyer or attorney to ensure the real estate package closes properly. A profitable business requires a legal professional to assist understand other locations of financing, taxation, real estate and employee problems. To make certain your company keeps in a risk-free area, it will likely be required to make use of a business for instance maynard cooper and gale pc.

Just about all lawyers usually are not good quality in fact it is recommended that you guarantee the lawyer or attorney you decide to signify your organization is appreciated inside the law community. A law firm for example maynard cooper could have a superb standing with an impressive track record. You can rest assured that your particular company will be in great hands it doesn’t matter what the kind of business regulation you’re looking for by using a firm that is certainly recognized to manage its clientele and provide the best suggestions and law companies. Consequently whether you are in need of litigation assistance, arranging a corporate merger or require assistance figuring out an international industry scenario use an attorney that you understand are equipped for all of the matters at hand. There is absolutely no alternative to a lawyer who are able to manage their client.

7 Business Ideas For Pet Lovers

Were you one of those kids who always dreamed of working with animals when you grew up? If you never made it to vet school, you can still make a living working with your favorite four-legged friends. If you love your pet but aren’t sure how to turn that passion into a business, here are eight great business ideas for animal lovers.

Want a ready-made business concept that lets you work with dogs on a daily basis? Consider becoming a franchisee of a top-rated pet care company likeCamp Bow Wow, Dogtopia or K-9 Resorts. These doggy boarding facilities allow you oversee the care of dogs while their humans are at work or on vacation. While boarding and daycare make up the bulk of revenues, some franchises let you offer additional services like pet grooming to generate more income. Professional training is provided for franchisees, so your customers can rest assured that they’re leaving their pooches in good hands.

Don’t want to open a brick-and-mortar location, or spend the money to invest in a franchise? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you’re available to watch their pets in your own home. People often feel more comfortable leaving their pets in the care of an individual rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn’t be too difficult. Some states require a pet care certification to board animals in your home, so be sure to check and comply with your local ordinances before officially opening for business. Being certified can also put pet owners’ minds at ease about leaving their animals in your care. Visit the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters for more information on turning pet sitting into a career.

Anyone with a love of dogs and a whole lot of patience can work toward becoming a dog trainer. There are currently no official state requirements to work as a trainer, so a basic education can start with reading books on the subject and getting some hands-on practice at local obedience classes with professionals. It’s also possible to apply to become a puppy trainer at a local pet store chain to help build credibility. According to the Animal Humane Society, the job of most professional trainers to teach dog owners how to train their pets, so great people skills are a must. For more information on becoming a trainer and acquiring the necessary skills to work as a professional, visit the Association of Pet Dog Trainers or the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors websites.

Know of some great pet products that aren’t carried by your local pet supply store? Open up your own retail shop and sell high-quality items made by small-scale manufacturers. Many small business owners would be thrilled to offer you a wholesale discount for carrying their products, and your customers would feel good about supporting local businesses.

In larger cities with a lot of pet owners in apartment buildings, dog-walking is a great part-time business opportunity. City dwellers don’t have yards for their dogs to play in, and if they work long and/or irregular hours, they may not always have time to take their energetic pup for his daily walk. In addition to creating a website with information on your business, put up flyers in your building and see if any of your neighbors would be willing to entrust this task to you for a small fee. It’s important to educate yourself on not only the local dog walking market but also proper animal care and handling. Dogtec offers a four-day training workshop to become a certified professional dog walker.

This business idea requires a working knowledge of animal health and anatomy, as well as training and some patience. Unsure of where to start? Gain experience bathing your own pet, then look into an educational program that properly trains you in the basics of dog grooming. From there, you can get some hands-on experience by working for an independent groomer or national pet store chain, until you feel confident enough to go out on your own. For more information on becoming a professional pet groomer, visitpetMD.

The trend of healthy eating and recognizing the ingredients within food doesn’t stop at humans, people are generally more cognizant of what their pets are eating as well. If you’ve been making your own for a long time, capitalize on your talents, otherwise there are recipes for homemade treats online. They don’t require a lot of time or effort to make, and the ingredients for many of them are probably already in your kitchen. Experiment with different recipes and let your dog be the official taste tester. Once you’ve found a winner or two, you can bake them in bulk, package them and sell them online. List the ingredients on your website and packaging so pet owners can feel confident that your product is right for their dogs.

7 Killer Business Ideas

Whether you’ve lost a loved one, buried a family pet or had a near-death experience, death is simply a fact of life. And, as it turns out, the business of death can be quite lucrative.

From afterlife preparations to unique burial methods and memorials, it turns out that there are more businesses related to death than you might expect. Here are 10 businesses that are cashing in on the dearly departed.

Just because you’re no longer alive doesn’t mean your tattoos can’t live on. The National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA) hosts a website called Save My Ink, which is dedicaed to preserving tattoos of the deceased and leaving them in the care of their next of kin.

The tattoo preservation community isn’t just for the recently deceased; the living are so interested in the process that NAPSA is retooling to offer their services directly through funeral homes. The move comes just in time, as Americans are getting record number of tattoos. Will the future homes of millennials be commonly decorated with the ink once worn by their loved ones?

You’ve heard the expression, “There’s no use crying over spilled milk,” but what’s the consensus on spilled blood? If the idea of mopping up gore makes your eyes water (or worse), don’t worry: There’s a business you can call to tidy up even the bloodiest of messes.

Baxter Restoration, a cleaning and reconstruction company in Orlando, Florida, does something your average maid won’t: It cleans up after the Grim Reaper. Whether it’s a crime scene, the aftermath of a suicide or the remains of an exploded meth lab, Baxter will disinfect, decontaminate and leave things looking less macabre.

Industry insiders refer to such sluicing down of blood and brains as “biohazard” cleanup. And while this unusual service makes some people squirm, it’s reassuring to know that there’s someone you can call to perform this most unpleasant of chores.

Leaving behind a hefty inheritance for family members to squabble over is a nice gesture. But what if you want to bequeath something more meaningful than money? There’s an app for that.

Your Last Will is an iPhone app developed by former video game publisher and entrepreneur Wolfgang Gabler. The app lets users prepare for the afterlife by recording a short video with a final message for those they’ll one day leave behind. Whatever your final words are, the app lets you record them in a 5-minute video, which is then uploaded to the company’s servers.

Your Last Will then generates a QR code for you to share with a trusted confidant who can sign in to your account after your demise and distribute your video to friends, family, archenemies, old flings and whomever else you choose to haunt. You can even make your will public and inspire (or sadden) the entire Internet.

A company that lets you send messages from beyond the grave is one thing, but a business that facilitates the sending of messages directly from your grave is quite another.

Invented and patented by Robert Barrows, president of an advertising and public relations firm in California, the “video-enhanced grave marker” is a tombstone for the modern age. Embedded with a remote-controlled video screen, this high-tech memorial caters to those unwilling to go quietly into the hereafter.

As Barrows explains on his website, the invention allows people to record messages for family, friends and even complete strangers before dying. Once the person is 6 feet under, these messages are broadcast right in the cemetery. Mourners can just sit back, relax and enjoy the show!

Sure, you eat organic apples and have sworn off plastic shopping bags, but will your green lifestyle die when you do? That’s the question this next business wants you to consider before it’s too late.

The Natural Burial Company is an online retail and consulting business that sells biodegradable coffins, caskets, urns and other funeral goodies for eco-conscious mortals. The business aims to facilitate the natural burial process for those who take the whole “dust to dust” thing literally.

To that end, the company sells goods like the “Everybody” Coffin Kit, a biodegradable cork coffin that you can put together in your living room. Talk about a fun do-it-yourself project! The company’s online retail store also features a line of products for pets, including a biodegradable urn in the shape of a yarn ball for the eco-minded (but aging) feline in your life.

If you want to be cremated but aren’t sold on the idea of being hoisted onto a conveyor belt and pushed into a giant oven, then this next business is for you. Anderson McQueen Funeral Home in St. Petersburg, Florida, specializes in a new kind of cremation that utilizes water, not fire, to dispose of human bodies.

The process is known as alkali hydrolysis, or “flameless cremation.” And while it sounds less scary than its fiery cousin, the end result is much the same. In this process, the body is soaked in a tub of water and alkali for a few hours. According to the company, the process results in 75 percent fewer carbon emissions than traditional cremation, and is marketed to those looking for a greener way to go.

The process is still in the early adoption phase and is only legal in a few states. However, legislation is pending in many states that could bring this bizarre alternative into the mainstream.

Lots of people want their ashes scattered across the surface of the sea, but those looking for a unique postmortem experience may want to consider permanently joining the seafloor instead.

Decatur, Georgia-based Eternal Reefs specializes in the construction of “memorial reefs.” The company mixes human remains into concrete, artificial reefs. The reefs are then lowered to the seafloor, where they play host to local sea life and help maintain marine diversity.

The company’s “reef balls” are designed to withstand even the strongest of ocean currents, so mourners don’t have to worry that a loved one’s remains will drift into unchartered waters. Each reef also features a bronze plaque bearing the name of the deceased person it’s made from, making this memorial much like an underwater tombstone.

7 Business Ideas for Couples

It’s not easy to run a business with your spouse or significant other. But for couples who have built up a solid foundation and who know how to handle conflict with each other, small business ownership could be a step toward financial independence and even a stronger relationship.

If you and your partner have made the decision to start a business together, you can choose from plenty of startups that are well suited for a two-person team. As with any partnership, these business ideas work best when you each take on roles that best fit your skills and strengths. An entrepreneurial relationship, like all business ventures, is truly a labor of love.

Some couples constantly fight over who has to cook dinner, but for others, preparing and sharing a meal together is an enjoyable bonding activity. If you and your partner fall into the latter category — and, of course, you’re actually good cooks — you may want to consider starting your own catering business. Let the resident gourmand take care of most of the food prep, while the other serves as customer service rep and sous chef.

For those foodies who also love to travel together, consider opening up shop as a food truck vendor. Whether its music festivals, block parties, or private events, food trucks are a great way to make some extra money while traveling and meeting new, interesting people. For many food truck vendors, the freedom of the open road and the appeal of their favorite activities has led them to strike out on their own; doing exactly that with the person you love might just be the best way to see the world together.

Crafty couples who share a passion for DIY projects can launch a successful e-commerce business on platforms like Etsy or Zibbet. One of you can handle marketing; the other can handle customer service, and both of you can work together to fill your orders. Not only does e-commerce represent a money-making opportunity, it also offers you and your partner a chance to be creative together; what’s better than having fun while turning a profit?

If you’re the type of couple that goes running and hits the gym together, launching a fitness business could be right for you. Whether you’re interested in personal training or class instruction, you can become certified through organizations like the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and begin taking on clients. If you both specialize in the same area, you can double the number of sessions or classes you book. Alternatively, if one of you is a personal trainer and the other teaches a class, you can expand your client base through your service variety.

For working parents with long hours, cleaning the house can quickly fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Offer your weekends and evenings to these families, for everything from light housework like vacuuming and dusting to heavy-duty chores like cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. With you and your partner working as a team, you’ll be able to get these tasks done twice as quickly.

Do you and your partner love animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you’re available to watch their pets while the owners go on a vacation or weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of a trusted homeowner rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn’t be too difficult. Offering two caretakers also means more individualized attention for your clients’ pets, which can be a great selling point.

SAT prep and subject-help tutoring are just as in-demand as ever for students across the country. With strong teaching skills, a wealth of knowledge and great personalities, you and your partner can make extra money educating local students in your home. While self-employed tutors are usually solopreneurs, this business can be even more lucrative for a couple if both of you can tutor. Otherwise, one of you can do the actual tutoring, while the other focuses on marketing and spreading the word.

7 Green Business Ideas for Eco-Minded

Organic catering

A great way for eco-friendly foodies to share their passion for both food and the environment is to start an organic catering company. Cater local events and business luncheons with foods that are made from organic and locally grown ingredients, and offer free-range meats along with vegan, gluten-free and paleo-meal options and you’ll appeal to nature lovers and health and wellness enthusiasts alike. Be sure to keep environmental impact to a minimum by avoiding using plastic and paper goods as much as possible and composting food waste. And if you already own a catering company, switching to organic, eco-friendly foods could be a great way to boost business.

Eco-friendly beauty salon

With more and more consumers becoming aware of the foods they’re eating, the products they put on their bodies and the impact they have on the environment, it’s no surprise that people are looking for natural alternatives to their favorite beauty products. Organic and vegan beauty products — from soaps to shampoos to makeup — are popping up everywhere. A way to make this trend work for you is to open an eco-friendly beauty salon. You can start a hair salon that uses all-natural shampoos and conditioners, or a nail salon that uses environmentally friendly and vegan polishes and spa treatments. If cosmetology is your passion, start a beauty business that’s Mother Nature approved.

rganic or recycled fashion

Organic cotton, reused fabric scraps and evenplastic bottles can all be starting points for a green fashion line. You can create silk screen artwork on eco-friendly T-shirts, or design handbags and accessories made of recycled materials. Many distributors brand themselves as “organic,” “fair trade” and “eco-friendly,” so do your research on their practices to make sure you’re sourcing your fabrics from reputable organizations.

Green app developer

Want to help others help themselves go green? Build an app. From reference guides to activity trackers and games, green-app developers can create apps to help users learn more about going green and guide them toward achieving their sustainable lifestyle goals. Your app can cover green living as a whole or focus on niche areas — such as energy conservation; recycling and upcycling; eco-friendly products, and green living — at home or at work. It can be as simple as an app listing local green businesses, or something complex and interactive that users can enjoy on a day-to-day basis. You can also build educational apps to teach children about going green and help them grow up to be environmentally conscious citizens.

Sustainable event planning

Whether they’re big or small, meetings and events can generate large amounts of waste and consume high levels of energy and water. Greenevent planners can use their green expertise and event-planning skills to find eco-friendly venues, materials, accommodations and other considerations to help curb the effects that meetings and events have on the environment.

Air duct cleaning

Dust, debris and other particulates that collect in ventilation systems can make a home much less energy-efficient. Help homeowners save money, gas and electricity by cleaning out their air ducts. You may need to purchase someequipment to get started if you don’t have a portable vacuum, and a strong working knowledge of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is a must. Spring is a great time for this business: Seasonal allergy sufferers will be more than happy to pay you to remove allergens from their air ducts.

Eco-consulting

Are you an expert on green living? Help others make their lives more eco-friendly by starting an eco-consulting service. These consultants evaluate homes and offices, and offer solutions to make them more environmentally friendly. This could mean advising people on how to switch to energy-efficient appliances or simply implementing a recycling program.