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The best name you can come up with is one that your customers would like and remember - I am not a customer nor have been a customer of this type of business thus I could not provide you a name. However, I can give you some ideas.
Why not Ronnie & (your name)'s Wood Lettering & Design. Nothing better then telling your customers or potential customers what you actually do through your business name. John's used cars is better than PHA Industries - you know what john does but could not even guess what PHA does.
Or, get out in your community (I assume this is a locally based business) and talk to other people about your business then ask them what they think you should call it - they are your target market - they would provide the best insight.
Or, take a $100 or so and run an ad in your local paper asking for input on your business name. Desribe the business and ask people to send you name ideas via email, your facebook page or set up a simple website that collects that information. You could even offer the winner a free letter design or something. Not only will this help you with a name that your customers will remember - but it will also easily help you promote your business in your community.
Find out what your comppetition is doing and charging. See if you can get your hands on their reports. Or, call some of the places you want to visit and report on - ask them what they would want to see in a report. As far as costs - you just have to play around with your numbers until you get someone to bite.
Why not just call some places - tell them you are thinking about getting into the business and see if they will give you any information - like would they use your service, how much they would pay for it and what they would want to see in a report. Don't try to sell them - just tell them the truth and that you are trying to develop your business model - they will understand and probably a few of them would even be willing to hep you out.
OK - you seem to have your demographics down. Do know this. Let's say that you take a mortgage on a $100,000 piece of property. If is in not your primary home, the lender will require you to put down some 30% to 40% in equity. This would leave you, say $60,000 on a mortgage. But, as an investment property, they will only finance that for 120 months. This would leave you with a monthly payment of around $637. Then, you would still have to escrow for the taxes and insurance - probably around another $150 to $200 per month depending on which state you live in and if the property is in the city or not.
Thus, in order for you to just break even, you would have to rent the place anywhere between $785 and $837 - plus, you have to take in to account that there will be some months that the place in not rented - thus, you will still have to find a way to make the monthly payments to the bank.
The reason I bring this up is that you also have to ensure that your blue collar market can afford to pay your needed rent. If other places in the area are being rented for $400 or $500 per month - nobody will rent your place as it is just too expensive.
That is the financial side of it.
Great program - when does it end (or when do you have to get your submission in by)?You are more then welcome to submit this program to our grant section on our website - free to do and we would be glad to help you promote the competition. - http://www.businessmoneytoday.com/contact/submit-grant.php
There are classes at your local community college or local university - you would have to see what they charge. H&R block also provides classes but most are for continuing eduation.
Have you checked your local library for books and materials related to preparing taxes or, my best suggestion, contact one of those franchise tax perparers that pop up all over during tax time and try to get hired on - they mostly just walk through a software program that asks simple questions and you fill in the desired amounts / information. This way you can learn the industry and make a little money in the mean time.