creating a small business | steps to owning your own business

Americans purchase on average 6.5 billion greeting cards each year. While sales are estimated between $7 and $8 billion annually, according to the Greeting Card Association, many of these cards are now purchased in big box stores, such as Target and Walmart. Those living in small towns often don’t have access to these types of stores, at least not in their immediate vicinity. Providing the people of your town with a place to not only purchase cards but gifts as well is a prime retail opportunity. The variety and diversity of products you can carry are endless, which allows you the freedom to play around with your inventory until you find that special mix of products for your small town business.
Many people give up on their faulty laptops, mobile phones, or cameras without even looking into the cause of their malfunctions. If you have the skills to fix them, consider pursuing this side business idea of refurbishing and reselling used electronics in your free time.
On top of just the skill and experience components to being a successful online coach, this side business idea is all about building a community around the help you’re offering and fostering trust with members. Plus, your community members will learn from each other along the way. Creating the space for that community can be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or choosing a community-building platform like Ning.com that has even more capabilities like using your own custom URL, having internal forums, customized designs, and more.
Ask the bank if you will need to present certain documentation to open the account, such as your certificate of formation or business license. Banks in Texas may vary in terms of what they require for opening an account.
Nyla and Noelle – Run your own fashion empire from home. Clothing is the hottest new trend in social selling, and you can get in on the ground floor. We are a boutique clothing and jewelry direct sales company. Our fun and fashionable clothing is offered only through our Curators who sell socially from in-home parties, local events, and online through social media. Our Curators purchase a POP box of inventory to get started. After receiving their POP box our Curators choose every style and color of clothing they receive from our always rotating selections. We offer many truly boutique styles from BOHO chic, western chic, casual basics, dressy clothes, and high-end boutique items. We offer sizes S-3XL. Our Curators enjoy a generous profit margin. 
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it’ll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
How do you make money as a product reviewer? By cashing in on affiliate marketing links from products you review. Even if you give a product a negative review, you could mention a product that you prefer as an alternative and give an affiliate link to that product. Of course, books are an obvious product to review and that has helped propel Amazon into being the largest affiliate marketer on the web, despite their skimpy, circa 4%, commission levels.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, here’s a list of the 45 best places you can learn to code for free. Once you command a knowledge of HTML, Ruby, Python, Javascript, or CSS, you can start a freelance business as a side business idea to build your portfolio while you still hold onto your full-time job. Listen to my podcast interview with Laurence Bradford about her journey to become a freelance web developer, too. And over time, you’ll build more relationships, have more experience and eventually take this side business idea over to becoming a full-time source of income.
This is one of the most popular small businesses because everyone wants a house cleaner. The work is repetitive. But if you can show up on time and do a good job consistently (I find many the work of many cleaners deteriorates after the first few weeks), you will build a healthy clientele. And if you can charge enough so that you can delegate, you can grow this into a large business.
Dog walking is the perfect side business for anyone who has a few hours to kill during the day. Once you get a few clients, you simply need to pick up their dogs and take them on long, leisurely walks that will tire them out and keep them in shape. Bonus: Walking dogs may help you in your quest to stay fit as well.
What could be easier? You sit in the chair and watch the dog chase its tail! OK so there’s a little more work to it than that, but still this is not the toughest job in the world–especially if you like animals! I am surprised to hear how much money people will pay for pet sitters if they believe their pets are being really well cared for.
To avoid any confusion, I want to make it clear first that virtual assistant work is not always non-phone, but it can be. Virtual assistants tend to do a little bit of everything, just depending on their skills/expertise. So if you are good at various non-phone tasks (social media marketing/moderation, writing, graphic design, research etc.), then you may be able to do work for some of the companies below putting those non-phone skills to work. I also want to make clear that even when you do phone work as a virtual assistant, lots of times it can be arranged so you’re making the calls during times of day when it’s convenient for you.
Be willing to evolve. Being prepared for change is a fundamental way to save time and money and prevent a massive marketing failure. Don’t be scared to try a new angle if you find, over time, that your original strategy isn’t working.
One additional thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your coffee shop design appeals to both a mid-day and a post-work crowd. Nothing says small town charm like a simple, relaxed business layout. Opting for a design concept that is genuine and modest will suit most customers and provide that small town ambiance patrons crave.
Resource Recommendation: There is so much more to be said about small-business marketing than what we’ve mentioned here. To learn more about the points we discussed and many other topics, head over to our definitive guide!
Pet grooming and boarding are also businesses where convenience and distance matter, making them perfect ideas for rural businesses. No one wants to drive two towns over to drop their pet off for a trim, nor drive back to pick them up. Since most small towns don’t have a pet specialty chain such as a Petco, businesses can also capitalize on the lack of a major pet store where owners would usually purchase food, toys, and clothing for their pets. If you plan your business well, you can become the one-stop shop for all things furry. And that translates to big profits.
You’ll need experience grooming pets or be willing to train. Past experience working with animals is recommended. Licenses and permits may also be required, depending on your location. As with other pet businesses, getting the proper insurance is recommended.
I also recommend FlexJobs. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,  along with a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the website. FlexJobs guarantees that every single job is 100% legitimate.
Alice’s Table empowers women to start their own flower arranging events businesses in their communities. Alice’s Table provides the ongoing training, and support women need to launch their businesses, and connects them to a community of hosts across the country. The Alice’s Table host program prioritizes living well and working hard — giving women the opportunity to create a career for themselves that is flexible and creative, while also challenging, sustainable and inspiring. With Alice’s Table, you take home 70% of ticket sales (before the cost of flowers) and can earn up to $600 per two-hour event (depending on the size of the event). Click here to apply and mention you saw us on The Work at Home Woman.
For most people, successful investing will involve selecting mutual funds or ETFs, not individual stocks or bonds. That means to become a financial planner you don’t need to be a Wall Street wizard. You will need to understand the basics of investing (such as the importance of being diversified and understanding and respecting your client’s risk profile!) but this is very learnable. Study hard for this profession and you can do a tremendous service for people by helping them protect and growth their hard-earned money.
All you need is one dog to walk and you’ve broken into this business. And at the same time, I have seen people build this into a big business, including to the point where they have to hire additional dog walkers. Dogs need to be walked regularly—just ask them! Woof! Woof! Yes! So, you’re guaranteed a steady income and a good business model!
Connect and Sell – Read Review – This job involves connecting calls, so you’re not actually having to talk to anyone. Pay is around $9 hourly. They may pay weekly via Paypal. Job is also very rarely open, but when it is, it’s listed under “Phone Administrative Support.”
Though not the cheapest of business ideas on this list, it’s one that can be extremely lucrative as well as appeal to the widest range of patrons in a small town. A successful bowling alley can become the center of a town’s social life. Besides the obvious bowling revenue stream, food and drink (especially alcoholic beverages), can also help you pull in the big bucks. Small town bowling alleys can also be rented out for additional income. Like all businesses, large and small, having a quality business plan for your bowling alley is incredibly important.

Now, before you go telling us that combining after school 12-year-olds and college 21-year-olds is a terrible idea, hear us out. We’re not suggesting a full on bar, simply a coffee shop that after 4 pm also serves wine and beer. The concept behind being a coffee shop that serves alcohol is that in the post-noon hours, coffee consumption begins to taper off significantly. If you’re looking to stay open later and need the cash, filling an additional need in your small community is the perfect business idea. Now you not only have a place for business meetings and freelancers, but also happy hours and first dates.
This is not my favorite business on this list but I feel compelled to list it because it is so popular. So why is it not my favorite? It tends be very competitive, hard work and relatively low profits. So, if you do go into this business I would do everything possible to differentiate your business and to be able to charge premium pricing.
Investment: You can reduce your initial costs by starting small and part-time. Besides needing a professional camera, lighting equipment and editing software, costs may include website setup and marketing, and hiring photography assistants.
Amazon MTurk – Read Amazon Mechanical Turk Review – This is more short task work than an actual work from home job, and may be good for only extra money. Once you are signed in, you can search for “data entry” to see the data entry short tasks that might be posted.