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How Tiny Houses Can Help Your Business

The Milarepa Center is a Buddhist retreat in Barnet, Vermont.

In 2009 and 2010 the Center raised $17,000 to put towards their own tiny house on their property.

On their website it says that there are two people living in it and it’s been used for a retreat.

They’re planning to build and use more little homes so that their teachers have a place to stay. And it seems to be very cost effective so far.

Here’s a screen shot plus a video slide show of Milarepa’s new little cabin. I hope to bring you more pictures soon…

Milarepa Center's Tiny House Project

If you want to help support Milarepa Center’s tiny house project, they are hoping you can make a small donation if you’re willing/able. But this also brings up another interesting point…

Making Use of Tiny Houses with Your Business

If you have your own business, how can you make use of a small separate structure?

Here are just a few ways that I can think of and please share your own ideas in the comments.

  • they attract a lot of attention for your business, if positioned right

Little houses (especially ones that are built on trailers) can attract plenty of attention to an event, service, business, charity, or other organization.

  • it’s one of the most cost effective ways you can create high quality housing

If you run a business where you bring in experts, teachers, students, or clients they are a super cost effective way of providing long term housing for your operation. They cost as little as $17,000 to build.

  • they are a great way to generate long term income

If you’re able to rent the house you build, you can turn some of your money, materials, and labor into a long-term residual income. I know, easier said than done but I’m sure you know of someone who has done something of that sort.

So how would you utilize a tiny house

for your life/organization/business?

Share in the COMMENTS…

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Mark Frost
    January 15, 2011, 10:51 am

    Alex, when I retire someday ( within the next 16 years) ;I plan on opening a very small coffee house on a trailer. The idea is to provide a good atmosphere for people to come and have coffee and maybe a light lunch. The fact that the coffee house will be very small, it will attract a certain client base, then if the response is good, the business could be expanded to a slightly larger venue. This way, the costs of starting a business will be minimal. If the coffee house was not successful, then I will use the trailer as a cottage for all the family to enjoy and the investment is not lost.

    The good thing is that I can start building the coffee house / trailer in the near future, then take my time to locate the perfect location to set up shop and do something that I always wanted to do.


    Mark Frost.

  • Davidrc
    January 15, 2011, 11:07 am

    Already working toward setting up a couple for rentals, my county doesn’t really have restrictions or building codes. Have to build to MY standards and I can be tough on the poor schlep (me) who has to build where I hold sway.

  • January 15, 2011, 12:40 pm

    Mark, I really like your idea. You can also easily find places where it will be successful. For example in my town there’s a few farmer’s markets that are really popular during the weekend. And the rental slots are minimal I hear.

    I think that’s a great way to start a business nowadays. At least where I live it is.

    Please keep me updated on your progress. I hope that you start soon… You never know, it could turn out to do well enough.

  • January 15, 2011, 12:42 pm

    Haha, David. Can’t wait to hear about your progress too. Owning a couple of tiny but inexpensive to build rentals sure would be nice.

  • Mark Frost
    January 15, 2011, 5:02 pm

    Alex, interesting you mentioned the farmer’s market; my intention is to find an organic farm and set the coffee house trailer near the farm. i would build my lunch menu around ingredients that were in season with produce from the farm. That way it keeps the food within a very tight radius…..well except for the coffee and that would need to be a “fair trade” product.
    The coffee house design would probably be loosely based on a Jay Shafer design, something that would me rustic and inline with the rural setting.


    Mark Frost.

  • January 16, 2011, 8:56 am

    Love the coffee house idea…

    Great thing about tiny/mobile shops- (I talked about this with Jay Shafer in an interview that will be our next episode of “Tiny Yellow House” TV on youtube) is that if the economic status of a certain community dries up, or demand for your business or product drops, you can simple drive elsewhere!

    Good post Alex- sending you more info on the summer tiny house/shelter workshop in Massachusetts asap

  • Karen Buckley
    March 31, 2011, 7:29 am

    Hi Mark and Alex and all,

    Wow, I’m excited to hear that other people are thinking like I am. I am a roadside flower vendor. I am planning on building a tiny house (when I get my funds and my schedule organized) to use as a roadside flower vendor but I am going to make it a “tiny florist shoppe”!. I do arrangements also, but have only had mostly just loose flowers in buckets. I want to put a refrigerator in there and running water and a toilet and a work table. I tried a location for a couple of months and am now in the process of changing my permit to a better (I hope) location. All of the things everyone mentioned are the reasons why I want to build a little cottage type tiny house to use as my “tiny florist shoppe”. If it doesn’t work out, I can always use it to travel and live in as an extra bedroom or for art shows in case I ever make any of my art stuff. Thanks for all the great ideas!

  • Karen Buckley
    March 31, 2011, 7:32 am

    Ps, I forgot to check the box to be notified of follow up comments via email. So, I just did and I hope I get notified!

  • March 31, 2011, 10:49 am

    Hi Karen – I checked out your website and some of your art – pretty cool! I hope you come back and let us know if what you end up doing, we’d all love to see/hear how it works out.

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