first steps to starting a business | getting a small business started

Who will lead, and who will follow? Define your organization, from the receptionist up to the CEO, and what part each plays in both function and financials. Knowing your organizational structure will better help you plan your operating costs, and fine-tune how much capital you will need to function effectively.
Listed below are links to basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business, as well as information to assist in making basic business decisions. The list should not be construed as all-inclusive. Other steps may be appropriate for your specific type of business.
The market for daycare is gigantic! Of course, you can start in your home or in the workplace. Corporations may consider providing you with free space if you provide day care for their employees’ kids. Safety and licensing are essential for this business. You can quickly build a steady income and a valuable business.
Toluna is a survey and product testing site where you can earn points for participation. Most surveys and questionnaires take 15 – 20 minutes and members earn anywhere from 15 – 20,000 points depending on the length. Points can be redeemed for sweepstakes tickets for gadgets or getaways, vouchers for stores like Amazon, even cash. Payments are made via PayPal and check.
More and more health-conscious and time-strapped Americans are looking for quick food on the go that is healthier than the soda and chips you usually find in vending machines. This has spawned a whole new industry of wellness-oriented, specialized vending companies that offer franchisees the chance to own and service vending machines with better foods and beverages.
Investment: Depending on where you live and the services offered, you may need to obtain a business license or be registered with your state. The startup costs could run high if you need to purchase tools and a work truck.
Everyone wants their small business to be successful, with multiple locations, lots of employees and loads of revenue, but you have to learn to walk before you can run. Don’t spread yourself too thin or take on too many expenses at the beginning, especially if your income might take a while to catch up to your ambitions.
Words of Worth – Read Review – Open to US, Canada, and possibly other countries. Pay rates are not listed on the website, but it will vary depending on the assignment. Get paid once a month via bank transfer.
EA Help hires remote-based workers to assist their clients with administration and task project management. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience as an executive assistant, project manager, or similar role.
CashCrate is an online platform where you can start earning money by completing offers, taking surveys, watching videos, and shopping online using their site. I’ve played around on the site a little bit, and you’ll want to make sure that you read all of the fine print on each and every offer. Many offers require an email address, which means you’ll receive offers from them and other marketers. Tasks pay out anywhere from a few cents to $30.00 or more, and you’ll receive $1 for signing up for an account. Payments are made via check or PayPal.
The majority of us don’t have the luxury of being able to quit our day jobs to pursue starting a business idea today, without having to worry about how we’re going to meet our financial obligations moving forward with no immediate income.
From personal experience as a freelance content marketer, I can vouch for the profitability in this industry. I grew my side hustle into a $160,000/yr business before quitting my day job to pursue this business idea full-time; all you need is the right skills and experience to back it up. With startups, established brands, and even notable influencers needing to build credibility and grow their brands, professionals who can serve up compelling content enjoy a huge demand for their services. And, since brands will always need high quality content to bring in new customers, your skills will always remain an asset to invest in—especially since the nature of creating a content marketing strategy is an ever-evolving one. Start by tapping into your existing network with this business idea and begin tracking down local small business owners who could benefit from your marketing tactics, do a bang up job, ask for referrals and grow from there to the point where you’re doing blogger outreach and spreading out to a wider market.
Also be sure to create an “at-will” relationship with your employees. Employers can terminate at-will employees for any reason, which is essential if an employee isn’t working out. There are many ways to make it clear that the employment relationship is at-will, including in employee handbooks and through offer letters. Don’t make any promises to employees about the length or terms of their employment, as these could become binding on you later.
CyberEdit, Inc. offers highly-educated editing, resume writing, and technical writing services. Hires Freelance Resume Writers & Essay Editors from Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton. Compensation ranges from $15.00 – $35.00 per hour.
Many states allow people to start an in-home daycare with minimal licensing and paperwork. If you love children and have plenty of time and space at home, this is a perfect business to get into. All you need is a safe room or two for children to play in, some toys and activities, and a whole lot of patience.
Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on this side business idea with relatively little work on your part (most of the time). It’ll take some hustling and the willingness to be flexible with your schedule, as you’ll be responsible for collecting rent checks, managing repairs and improvements, and simply being on call for emergencies. But, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors that have a large enough portfolio, so there’s definitely merit to this business idea.
Utilize the tools at your disposal. There are so many fantastic free resources out there to make marketing easier for small-business owners. You can find tools for monitoring your social media, crafting professional emails, calculating ROI and much, much more — all you have to do is seek them out. Marketing a business is a full-time job, but if you’re stuck doing it on your own for now, using services like these can make the task more manageable.
Early childhood learning seems to be the rage. Even many games have an educational bent. With such high interest this is a competitive space, so you need to specialize. Perhaps specialize in children with learning disabilities, slow learners, creative play, or “gifted” kids.
Potential challenges: You are responsible for the safety of children, and you should plan for accidents to happen — that’s why insurance is crucial. This can also be a stressful business to operate, so the ability to handle or cope with stress is vital.
I’m not as excited about the profit potential from podcasting as some other people are. It just seems to me that everyone is doing it and people generally expect podcasts to be free. But if you develop a strong enough following you can sell advertising or sponsorships for your podcast, then you can build a decent business.
#3 – Arise is a renowned company that contracts work at home customer service agents in the U.S. Their pay depends on the kind of client you are assigned to work with, but usually, ranges from $10-$20 per hour. The great thing about this job is flexibility. You can work as much as you want.
Nothing beats playing your favorite game. But getting paid for coaching a sports team and staying close to the action is the next best thing. Not only will you learn new skills, you’ll earn money getting your team into shape with this side business idea. The median pay for sports coaches clocks in at $30,400 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expect to have only a slice of that if you’re signing up for part-time coaching as a side business idea only.
One of the primary amenities that small towns tend to lack is decent shopping. And we don’t just mean a large shopping mall. Often, those living in smaller towns and communities have to drive significant mileage just for basic clothing necessities. That’s why starting a clothing boutique will not only put you on the map but will make you a popular destination for most residents in the vicinity. You’ll pretty much be the mall substitute for all things teen-related. Just make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. But they’ll let you know if you don’t!
Keep learning, and be adaptable to change. Find buddies, mentors, local business-related organizations, Internet forums, and wikis to discuss the daily details of running a small business. It’s much easier for everyone to perform their core businesses well and prosper when they don’t waste time and energy “reinventing the wheel” on housekeeping.
As a web developer, you’ll build incredibly valuable skills that are in extremely high demand. You can get up to speed on building websites in as little as a few months with inexpensive or free online education programs like Treehouse, the Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy and Codecademy.
With many print-on-demand services, you’re paying per-product, so the base price per unit will be more expensive than if you were to order in bulk. But the advantage is that if a certain t-shirt design doesn’t sell, you haven’t actually paid for the item yet (only the design if you outsourced it).

If you own the business entirely by yourself and plan to be responsible for all debts and obligations, you can register for a sole proprietorship. Alternatively, a partnership, as its name implies, means that two or more people are held personally liable as business owners.
Driving for one of the two globally expanding app-centric taxi alternative services, Uber or Lyft can still be a fairly lucrative way to earn money as a side business idea on nights and weekends—working only when you want. But before you dive head first into this side business idea, do your homework and calculate the costs of extra gas, mileage, tires, wear & tear and usage on your vehicle—it’s not a guaranteed business idea that’ll turn a huge profit every weekend.
Yes, you can make a lot of money with a simple ice cream shop! Perfect your ice cream before you start, find a good busy location without a crazy rent and consider starting with a smaller footprint to minimize your overhead. I’ll have an ice cream sundae please—with everything on it!
Are you an audiophile? If you have a great sound system and a large selection of music, you’ve already got what you need to hire yourself out as a DJ for various events and receptions. This is a great way to fill an afternoon or evening while also earning some cash in the process.
You require money to start your business, but how much do you really need? Without a clear idea you run the risk of coming up with an unrealistic valuation of your business, which will put off investors and get your loan application rejected.
As you embark on your new side business or “side hustle,” remember that you are only limited by your own imagination and skillset. Don’t be afraid to be creative, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed.
From your morning coffee to your kid’s birthday cake, neighborhood bakeries can fill a vast number of small-town needs. Though owning and operating a bakery is hard work, if it’s your life-long dream to produce pastries for the masses, it’s a business idea that can be incredibly rewarding. Employing youth from your town is also a great way to give back and stay connected to your community. If you’re a newbie to owning a business in a small town, doing research on opening a successful bakery is extremely important. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with how to price baked goods.
One-on-one sports coaching is the obvious play here. But you could set up sports clinics or sports camps. You could build up a business based on your expertise in a particular sport or you could offer more general fitness training for athletes of many sports. Often sports coaches get started with a part time job coaching a school sports team, which then leads to private coaching work.
Potential challenges: Starting a food business can be complicated, as you’ll have to deal with permitting requirements and health department regulations. Other obstacles include securing a desirable location and fierce competition, although these factors may depend on your local market.
I receive at least 2 emails a day asking me for my expert opinion on a given company or website. Is so and so a legitimate company? Should I pay $49.95 to work with DataEntryBlahBlah.com? Honestly I’m not that much of an expert. I just know how to do a little research. If you’re currently thinking about joining a work at home company and a fee is one of the requirements, put your wallet or purse down. Before you make a decision that you might regret, watch the video we created. By the end of watching this video, you’ll never question whether or a not a company is a scam. You’ll know with certainty if it is!
You also will need to file certain forms to fulfill your federal and state income tax obligations. The forms you need are determined by your business structure. A complete list of the forms each type of entity will need can be found on the SBA website. You can also find state-specific tax obligations there. Some businesses may also require federal or state licenses and permits in order to operate. You can use the SBA’s database to search for licensing requirements by state and business type.
Social media managers and moderators are in charge of managing forums and social media platforms for businesses and/or people who need the help. You’ll be expected to do things like respond to comments, delete inappropriate comments, lock threads on forums when appropriate, etc.
With many websites getting the majority of their traffic from search engine results, it is no wonder that the demand is huge for SEO specialists. Sure, the days of playing “black hat” tricks on search engines are long gone, but there are many legitimate levers you can pull to help bring web pages to the first page of search engine results.
I invested in a friend’s prefab home construction once and lost all of my investment when a huge downturn hit the real estate market. Nonetheless this is a powerful business concept. By doing much of the house construction process in a fully equipped, controllable environment, the building process can be much more efficient. Furthermore, by using prebuilt modules, a builder can still construct a gorgeous customized house. You can get involved in this business by building the prefab homes or modules yourself, or as a housing contractor using prefab modules.
Many gymnasiums will trade membership and often a bit more for a person willing and able to teach an exercise class. You can also find people who don’t want to go to a gym and train them at home as a personal trainer. If you’re in good shape, this is a great opportunity to earn some extra money, plus it can often lead to additional income with one-on-one instruction opportunities.
Acceleration Partners hires for a wide variety of affiliate marketing jobs. Candidates must reside within a reasonable driving distance of one of their key hub regions: Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, or Santa Barbara/Los Angeles. These remote, full-time positions come with benefits and lots of perks.
Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.
Obtain an required business licenses. License requirements will vary according to your state, or even according to the county where you plan to do business. Contact your county clerk’s office to determine if any licenses or permits are required for your type of business.
Since many of the products you can dropship are commodities and will be unbranded, your business will be competing with others through marketing and quality customer service. In other words, it often boils down to whether you can sell a product better than the competition.
I think providing eBay selling and shipping services is a great, high-demand service business. This is a very different business than what I would call eBay trading where you buy and sell products on eBay. A trading business can have high potential but it also has higher risks and may take longer to make money at.
Start doing your research on various business bank accounts. Local options, like Banc of California, and national banks, like Capital One, both have their perks. Read some reviews, make some calls, and figure out which one is right for you. Feel free to start off your research with our favorite business bank accounts.
Want to start a food business? A truck is a much less expensive investment than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and according to Mobi Munch founder 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.

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