first steps to starting a business | starting a new company

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!
One of my friend’s mothers offered art lessons in her home after school. She had a steady clientele and they made some really cool art! You may already have an art specialty that you want to teach to others. Or you may find that you are better off learning the basics of a new art skill and teaching that, or offering a survey course covering a number of art skills—most of the market will likely be beginners anyway.
It should go without saying that entrepreneurs wear many hats — but “attorney” shouldn’t be one of them. While you will have to get acquainted with the laws and regulations that will impact your business, sometimes it’s important to leave the details to the professionals. Give your business the best chance at success: contact a small business attorney in your area for help. 
Your marketing plan. What’s your marketing budget? Where will you focus your efforts? Social media, email campaigns, online ads? If you’ve done enough research on your target market, you’ll know where to find them. Just like your milestones, your marketing efforts are bound to evolve — but you still need to establish an initial strategy.
Now we come to crunch time — assigning specific dollar amounts to your lists. This process is always going to be a best guess, but be realistic and use past experience, research and advice from other entrepreneurs to guide your cost estimates. Organizations such as SCORE and your local Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Development Center can provide free and valuable advice about how to calculate your start-up costs.
With all my experience in book publishing I am not going to tell you that this is an easy business, especially with the domination of players like Amazon. But if you pick a defensible niche, keep your overhead low, you could develop a decent business.
Getting started in the sport fishing charter business may not be as expensive and difficult as you think. Unless you are going into particularly rough waters you don’t need to start with a large cabin boat. Furthermore, you can finance much of your purchase. And if your fishing skills are a little weak, hire a boat hand with some strong local fishing knowledge. In the right location, you can charge some serious money in this business.
But that was 2007, and quite a bit has changed since then. Where a side business was once a novel idea, it has since become much more mainstream. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, freelancers now make up around 15% of the workforce, compared to only 7% in 1995. And the trend isn’t expected to stop here. The BLS reports that freelancers and self-employed individuals may comprise 20% of the workforce by 2020.
Visit the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration to learn what goes into a business plan and how to write one. You will need to provide an overview of your product or service, an analysis of your marketplace, a marketing plan and financial figures. Look for a SCORE chapter in your area so you can get free advice from retired executives on the first draft of your plan. You can also ask business friends and associates for advice.

Survey Savvy is an online survey site where you’ll get earn money for sharing your opinions with companies. Most surveys pay out between $1.00 to $20.00 depending on the length and topic of the survey. Once your account has reached $1.00 in rewards, you can request payment via check. Survey Savvy has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
There’s a huge growing market for mobile phone accessories, and plenty of handmade sellers are raking in 6 and sometimes 7 figures from their phone case businesses. You can get your own phone case business up and running as a side business idea in a matter of days with turnkey solutions from Case Escape, my previous company, and you can now get ready-to-go kits that’ll give you everything you need to start a phone case business. Once you’re up and running, you can sell cases on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Fancy. During our first year of selling phone cases as a side business idea on our Etsy store, we made around $60,000 in revenue from that selling channel alone—not to mention additional sales from fairs, trade shows, promotional products vendors, parties, events and other online marketplaces. From there, the sales only continued growing and we graduated from side business idea to full-time company that I ran with my best friend for multiple years.
Hilton Reservations and Customer Care (HRCC) is on a path to revolutionize human hospitality in a digital world, the same way we defined hospitality from its early beginnings. We are a global team dedicated to delivering personalized solutions that inspire a passion for travel with the goal of creating a lasting impression with every Hilton guest with whom we interact.
#12 – Rev is a transcription company that requires you to work as much or little as you want. As a qualification, you need to pass the skill test for you to access the transcription assignments. The pay ranges between $24-$39 per audio hour made every week through PayPal.
Before you hit the ground running with your Colorado business, you need to have a business plan prepared. A well-crafted business plan is crucial for securing funding and tracking the progress of your business.
Many small businesses in your community could use a very basic web presence to tell others about their business. Quite often, these businesses don’t have a large budget for such things. That’s where you come in – get a bunch of clients from the local community by beating the pavement, create sites for them, and maintain them for a small fee. Get enough businesses and you have a nice side business of your own that doesn’t require a ton of maintenance time.
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.
If you don’t mind parading yourself around in public places as a side business idea, and enjoy a little attention, then working as a human billboard can pay a surprising amount of dividends. Renting out your beard, for example can earn you as much as $5 a day while having a brand logo tattooed on your shaven head for five years could pay as much as $7,000—though this type of earning opportunity is admittedly rare. This business idea is definitely not for the faint of heart, and is a little extreme for me, but nonetheless it’s been done as a side hustle for many people. You can start by holding a placard or wearing a sandwich board. If you think this is a good side business idea, you can go all the way and turn it into a full on small business idea with enough hard work—plus you won’t have to deal with all the issues other more complex businesses have to constantly think about (like reducing churn).
Check into legal barriers for your business. Some areas have certain rules and regulations for home based businesses, and you need to check into those at your town’s city hall before investing much time or money in your business. Some areas just make home based business owners carry a business license and nothing else. Not knowing about these regulations can be devastating to your business.[3]
Go on a shopping spree and get paid for it! Now that could be fun! But this work will also take some patience, such as getting to know your customers’ preferences and returning merchandise that your customer didn’t like as much as you did. However, if your clients like your work, they could retain you forever…and talk up your services with their friends!
What a great business. It’s like an apartment building without people, without running water, without heat and without electricity! In other words, money flowing in without the headaches! And with today’s sophisticated lock and security systems, you may be able to operate this business without any staff onsite.
If you think you might want to work from home, this section is a great place to start.  Take the work at home assessment to get a better idea of whether home-based employment is the right choice for you, and find answers to common questions about working from home.
Cambly is an online, foreign language, tutoring platform that lets individuals practice their language skills with a native speaker. Online tutors make 17 cents per minute ($10.20 per hour) talking to paying Cambly users. To get started, you must be a native English or Spanish speaker; you must have a webcam and Internet connection. Payments are made via PayPal.
Bring in a professional. We highly recommend hiring a professional to design your business logo. It’s worth investing a little money to make sure you end up with a quality design that leaves a lasting impression.
There’s no denying the global marketplace is growing. All that cross-cultural communication is creating an increasing need for translators. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the hiring of interpreters and translators is projected to grow by 46 percent by 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. This means it’s a big business opportunity for entrepreneurs who can bring foreign-language speakers together with businesses in need.
Some firms outsource their customer service operations and many of these companies accept home-based contractors. You can start by signing up on freelancing sites such as Upwork to test the waters with this business idea first. If you’re already a CSR specialist with management skills, then you can form and lead a virtual team online and engage clients as a bona fide customer service company or, provide customer service training to such teams as well as individuals.
You could sell or repair drones, or you could provide one of an unlimited number of drone services. You could provide drone photography or video-taping such as of sporting events, you could offer drones for parties, you could offer drones to inspect infrastructure. There is almost no limit to what you can do with drones!
If you can make anything from clothing to candles, you can work on creating those items in your home or workshop and then travel to different craft fairs in your community or around the world to sell them.
The market for website developers is huge and highly competitive. If you lack highly specialized coding skills, I would suggest you consider trying to break into this space by offering flat fee rates to develop new or re-launched websites for smaller businesses or organizations and limit your development work to one platform, such as WordPress.
Employment Options offers work-at-home jobs for citizens receiving SSDI and/or SSI disability benefits in 47 states. Their services are free as part of a national return to work program. The jobs they have with leading national employers are for various skill levels and are Customer Service or Tech Support based with opportunities to specialize in Billing & Coding, Information Technology, Nursing, Case Management, Concierge, Sales, Reservations, Travel and more. They also offer onsite community positions as well. Simply apply on their website to get started and their staff will follow-up within two business days.
An irrigation service installs and services underground sprinkler systems at homes and businesses. I use a one-person irrigation service at one house and have a larger landscaping service handle the irrigation at another house. The big work comes when you install a new system. But an existing system needs service every year including being “blown out” and turned on, and always there are sprinkler heads that need to be adjusted or replaced.
Interested entrepreneurs can either open a franchise from an existing vending machine business or sell vending-machine friendly products to help stock up schools and offices with healthier, affordable snacks.
A mobile pet grooming business offers a convenient service to customers. Instead of having to drag their pets to get groomed, you can bring the salon right to their doorsteps — and you can charge more for this convenience.
Reserve your business name. In some states, you can register your business name when filing your articles of incorporation. However, in other states, you must separately register your name before forming your LLC.
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.
A lot of people don’t want to leave their bowser at the busy kennel along with all the other dogs. They are willing to pay a premium and even drive a distance to a place where they believe their dog will be pampered.
Banks levy varying charges. For a business startup, these can amount to a substantial sum for a bank-dependent operation. Always confirm the requirements and charges beforehand. Do not choose a bank based on only the reputation.
If you buy a franchise, they may come with back-office support to help you run your business, including with money transactions. If you’re running the business on your own, you could use a service like Paypal to conduct any transactions.
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.
#5 – NexRep (review) hires sales and customer service agents to work from home. Your job description comprises of taking inbound and outbound calls. The pay is up to $25 per hour and commissioned based.
Le-Vel – Join Le-Vel for FREE today! You have the potential to earn $660 on your first $800 in qualified sales, with no monthly sales quotas and no start-up costs! As a Le-Vel Independent Brand Promoter, you get a free website and back office. Earned commissions are paid weekly, with no need to carry inventory. My husband and I are full time with Le-Vel. We have three children in 3 different schools, with three different schedules, so having a mobile-based business is key to our success! I love that we can work from anywhere, and not miss a thing with our family! Le-Vel uses premium grade ingredients. In this instant gratification society we live in, the high impact results are exactly what people are looking for! I’d love to connect with you. Call/text me at 715-495-8432. Click here to get your Free Le-Vel account set up! Independent Brand Promoter LV-931685-DL.

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  1. My friend’s wife earned an advanced degree in nutrition, put out her shingle, and tried some marketing, but her business progressed very slowly. Then she teamed up with a local gym and her business took off.
    Convergys hires home-based call agents to provide customer service support. This company offers paid training, hourly wages, as well as benefits like, paid time off, 401k retirement plan, life insurance, medical, dental, and vision. Convergys only hires home-based agents in the US.
    Being a wedding specialist works well for top-notch players, but being a generalist also has its benefits. Event and party planners leverage their network of service providers to cover not only weddings, but also seminars, corporate events, birthdays, baptisms, concerts, conferences, holiday parties, and other events, making it a relatively diverse business idea. Here are some tips if you want to run a part-time event planning business at home as a side business idea. And here’s a very honest look into the upside and downside of the trade.
    While the barriers to entry for a retail shop can be very high, one way to keep costs down and limit your time investment while you keep your full-time job, is to set up a weekend popup shop as a side business idea. More of whatever it is you’re selling—donuts, clothing, antique baseball cards, or anything else—will stay in your pockets instead of going to pay for operating expenses such as rent or utilities by choosing to pursue retail as a side business idea with a short-term rental. This guide from Shopify will give you a step-by-step process for getting your popup shop off the ground.

  2. Edit Fast is a company that offers editing, proofreading, writing, and indexing services. Edit Fast hires work from home Freelance Writers, Editors, and Proofreaders. Editors bid on projects and Edit Fast charges the client an additional fee.
    If keeping your home organized comes naturally and you enjoy helping other people, consider becoming a professional organizer as a side business idea. As the need for baby boomers to start downsizing grows, you can use your organizing and decluttering skills to start making an industry standard $50-125 an hour with very little startup costs and some free expert advice from Jen Kilbourne. Believe it or not, pro organizers don’t just work with hoarders. More and more people are hiring professional organizers in order stop wasting time and money due to the stress of everyday disorganization. What’s even better, is that you can take this on as a side business idea during the nights and weekends when your clients will be at home.
    With never having painted a house, I opened a house painting business during a summer vacation from college. I hired a few school teachers to do most of the work, and we quickly all figured out what it takes to do a good house painting job. In a word a good house painting job requires: preparation–sanding and cleaning the surface carefully so the paint will adhere well and look good.
    Young professionals or people who haven’t job hunted in years often look for assistance when compiling their resumes. You can offer some assistance and feedback to clients working on things like resumes and cover letters.
    Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to monetize something you love via a niche website as a side business idea. That of course, is easier said than done, something not intended for the faint of heart. Prepare to invest a lot of your time, but if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it.
    Kaeser & Blair – Promotional Products Business Ownership Program is the perfect business opportunity for today’s stay-at-home mom. With a minimal start-up cost, K&B makes it easier than ever to work at your own pace, create your own schedule and capitalize on an industry that does over $21 billion of sales each year. As a K&B business owner, you are your own boss and in complete control of both your hours and earnings. You have the ability to work as much—or as little—as you choose, and reap the benefits. Part-time business owners earn up to $20,000 annually, and full-time business owners make as much as $185,000. The possibilities truly are endless. Learn more about the risk-free opportunity with Kaeser & Blair here. here.

  3. Do one thing well. Don’t try to master SEO, social media, online advertising and email campaigning all at once. Make an educated decision about where to focus your efforts based on your knowledge of your target market, and stay there.
    Once you’ve established yourself in any number of freelance verticals online, spending your time focusing just on doing inside sales (booking freelance contracts with high-value clients) and then subcontracting your work out to other freelancers can help significantly grow your client list, and revenue generating possibilities with this business idea.
    One of my friends took over her father’s dry cleaning business that over a lifetime he had built into a dozen stores. This is really hard work. Every item has to be handled many times. Customers can be demanding. And it is competitive. But if you are willing to work hard, you can make a very solid income.
    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.
    Purchasing and installing a stair lift is a major decision for a mobility impaired customer. Offering excellent service including carefully presenting the best alternatives and being quickly available for follow-up service can help make your stair lift business stand out from the competition and build positive word of mouth.

  4. If your business provides a service, you may also want to consider professional liability insurance. It covers you if you do something wrong or neglect to do something you should have done while operating your business. Learn more about the types of insurance policies your business might need here.
    People have discovered that they can make so much money at yard sales that they turn it into a regular business, including buying additional merchandise such as at flea markets or online specifically to sell at their yard sales. One town that I vacation in decided that too many people were turning yard sales into a business, and passed an ordinance limiting how many yard sales you were legally allowed to conduct. This is of course another indicator that yard sales can be highly lucrative!
    There are all kinds of directions this business can go! You could sell hats to retailers, you could sell them online, you could sell them to event planners to liven up their parties. You could eventually even open a hats-only store!
    Intrep Sales Partners hires U.S. home-based sales consultants for appointment setting, lead generation, list acquisition, script development, admin support and database management. Has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
    To succeed at this business, I would carefully perfect a few interesting smoothies drinks. Then I would search hard for a location with very high foot traffic location. I would much rather have a tiny location with lots of traffic and high rent per square foot, than a much larger location with the same total rent but less traffic.
    I cringe at the thought of “wasting” any time running errands. It is no wonder that many people love to hire others to run their errands, in addition to those people who may be home-bound for health reasons. Errands often take longer than you think, so you may be better off charging on an hourly basis.
    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.
    Sole Proprietorship: Consider this the path of least resistance, but know that it comes at a price. If you’re operating without any partners and haven’t registered a formal business structure, you’ll automatically be classified as a sole proprietor and have no liability protection whatsoever. No need to file articles of incorporation/organization, but you might benefit from filing a DBA.
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