Some folks view “job” as a four-letter word. Instead, they have big dreams of replacing the 9-5 and working for themselves.
The trouble is that most people can’t afford to suddenly stop their day job and start their own business.
That’s what helped give birth to the concept of side hustles and gigs. (These have been around forever, but only recently been given the title of ‘side hustle’).
If you’re not ready to leave your 9-5 but want to start a side gig, then this just might be for you! Thanks to Entrepreneur for first covering this story.
This is about how one man found an amazing niche market and built it into a half-million per year business.
Doing what, exactly?
Check it out:
The idea is to start a vacation relief service for independent business owners (vendors).
Six-Figures at 19
When I was 19, I worked for Sara Lee Bread. Every day, I saw independent operators delivering Arnold/BrownBerry Bread for Bimbo Bakeries.
One day, I asked one of the drivers to train me for free and I would do a good job running his route. Since these entrepreneurs invest so much money in buying into the business, they are very leery of letting anyone operate their business.
It takes a lot of trust.
He trained me and I did a good job for him several times. He then told others in his warehouse about my business and services.
Two months after getting trained, I had a full work schedule for two years. I had independent operators beating my door down trying to get me to cover their routes.
The business model was beautiful. I used their trucks, their computers and all of their equipment. The only expense I had was the ink and paper to print the invoices to charge them.
I charged the drivers a little over half of what their sales were (my fee was 60 percent of their take home pay). My invoices to them were in the neighborhood of $1,800 a week.
By four months in, I had to hire two employees to help me handle the work load.
How you can start
This is a business I started from scratch, built to $500,000 a year and sold in 2011.
I focused on one company but there are many companies that use independent operators, including mega companies such as Amazon and FedEx. You can start a vacation relief service for any of these companies for almost no money.
Identify the company you want to start your vacation relief service for.
Research the independent operator based vendor companies where you live. Figure out what appeals to you the most.
Talk to the independent operators each morning as they deliver and build a relationship.
Trust is huge in getting them to hire you. Offer to train with them and cover their route for free if you have to and demonstrate your skills.
Get trained and run some routes.
If you show up each day and do good work, word will spread very fast. Some of these independent operators have not gone on vacation in years because they don’t trust anyone to run their business.
Expand to other warehouses and grow.
You can start in one warehouse and then put flyers for your services in the other warehouses all over your state.
You can read more about this business model at Entrepreneur.