how do i start my own business | first steps in starting a small business

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.
A limited partnership, which is composed of a few general partners, who are liable for problems with the business, and a few limited partners, who are only liable for the amount in which they invest in the business. All share profits and losses.
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.
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.
How will you create your product? Is it a service that you are offering, or if it’s more complex— software, a physical product like a toy or a toaster — how will it get built? Define the process, from sourcing raw materials to assembly to completion, packaging, warehousing, and shipping. Will you need additional people? Will there be unions involved? All of these things must be taken into account.
Working Solutions hires independent contractor home-agents to provide sales, technical support and customer service. Home agents can put their experience to work and enjoy the freedom of working when they want, where they want. They select highly educated, experienced professionals with product knowledge, certifications and industry experience to match our clients’ business needs. They never charge any fees. Home-agents earn anywhere from $8.00 -$20.00 per hour, depending on the program.
Every company needs content for their website to attract search engine traffic and develop a bond with their customers and potential customers. Hence the market for creating web-friendly content has exploded with both large firms and independent content marketers helping to fill the need. Specializing in the needs of a particular industry can help jump-start your business, but many companies are willing to hire content marketers who are good researchers and can write well, even if they lack specific industry expertise.
#37 – Humana – This well-known company hires Customer Service Specialists by responding to questions and providing guidance to internal and external customers. You can make anywhere from $15-$18 per hour.
Assess your financing needs. While starting a business from home can be more affordable than starting a traditional business, you will still need money to get started. As you form your home business idea, think about how much money you will need to buy inventory, buy your production equipment, or cover any other initial costs. If you don’t have a lot in savings, you can also get a business loan to get started, but this would mean qualifying for and then subsequently being responsible for a loan, which can be difficult for a new business. Consider your financing options carefully as you set up your home business.

A neat bonus of attending a craft class is that not only do you learn how to do something new, but also that you get to go home with something tangible—your finished craft project! People are often willing to take a craft class if you can market it in an appealing way. And focusing on what the finished project will look like is one way to get people excited about signing up!
Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them. It is one of the most popular independent small business publications on the web.
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.
Enjoy baking and have a bit of an artistic touch? Learn how to decorate cakes and make them for special events. Sell your creations online via Craigslist or your local neighborhood Facebook page, or at local farmers markets. Many people are willing to pay others to create custom cakes for birthday parties and special events.
#49 – ETS is a testing company that pays you to score various tests for different educational institutions. The pay can go up to $20 per hour depending on the tests. Payment is twice a month via check and is tax deductible.
One thing that most small towns have in common is grass, lots, and lots of grass. Since small towns tend to be in rural areas, more residents are likely to have lawns and larger gardens. That means people will be on the hunt for lawn and gardening services. A few of the benefits to starting a business such as this in a small town is its predictability, reliability, and scalability. Once you begin finding customers, as long as you have quality services that are reasonably priced, you’re likely to keep the same customers for years. You’ll also be able to predict the repeat services that customers will need. Not only does grass need to be cut repeatedly, but lawns need to be fertilized and treated for weeds and bugs on a regular basis. Lawn care is also an ideal small town business idea that will scale well. You can start off by offering a few services such as lawn and shrubbery care, but can later expand to offering landscaping services as well.
Though this might seem like a very niche market for a small town business, the reality is that the vaping industry (and community) is currently exploding in the U.S. To give you a sense of how big the vaping market is, Quartz reported that Yelp has 10,591 “vape shops” currently listed in their database. That’s a huge number, especially considering that the rate of traditional smoking continues to steadily decline. Depending on where you are in the country, however, due to state regulations, opening a vape shop will be easier in some states than in others. So make sure to check out your state’s laws before pursuing this business idea. Resources such as VapeMentors can also help guide you when getting your business up and running.
This is another heavily regulated business and it’s competitive. But companies that need security need it on an on-going basis and typically they need more than one person. That means every assignment you get can be an annuity stream as long as you service the customer well.
You will need the following information to apply for an EIN: the name of your LLC, the name and social security number of the owner or managing member of the LLC, the business address, the country of incorporation (United States or a foreign country), the number of members in the LLC, and information about what types of services your business supplies.
Tutor.com is a company that offers tutoring services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To become an at-home tutor, you must fill out an application and pass an extensive screening process. Tutors can work anywhere from 5 to 30 hours per week. Offers competitive pay rates.
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.
First Editing only hires experienced editors but offers full-time and year-round work in various editing capacities, such as copy editing, business editing, proofreading services, book editing, thesis editing and much more.
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.
Get an accountant. You’ll want someone who can deftly handle your financials, but even if you feel you can handle your own books, you’ll still need someone who understands the tax side of running a business. Taxes with businesses can get complicated, so you’ll need (at a minimum) a tax advisor. Again, no matter how much of your finances they’re handling, this should be someone trustworthy.
You’ll find this statement on the iQor website: “You’ve got energy, enthusiasm, drive and determination. We’ve got benefits, flexible schedules, and a career path that rewards performance with growth and opportunity.” Is that you?
We offer you the opportunity to earn extra income from home (teleworking) and also to decide your own participation schedule. At this job, you will be performing various tasks such as data entry, performing email response, reviews, surveys and other online…
Spending a leisurely afternoon in a swimming pool can be a lot of fun. But cleaning it can be a pain in the neck. Hence, most pool owners hire people to do the cleaning for them. If you need extra cash and don’t mind getting physical, then pool cleaning is a viable side business idea for you.
As a TTEC@Home associate, you’ll use our technology to support and assist customers with a variety of customer service and technical needs. This could include helping customers over the phone, via chat, or on social media. Best of all, you can do it all while wearing your slippers or flip flops! (To get started, you’ll need internet access and a home phone. Bunny slippers are optional.)
Running a business can be overwhelming, and you’re probably not going to be able to do it all on your own. That’s where third-party vendors come in. Companies in every industry from HR to business phone systems exist to partner with you and help you run your business better.
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.
Apply for an employee identification number (EIN). An EIN is an assigned number for IRS purposes, similar to a social security number. EINs are used for small business and corporations to account for employee tax withholdings.[16] However, an EIN is not required if you do not have any employees and you are a solo member LLC. If this is the case, you can simply use your Social Security number instead. Another option, aside from hiring employees and applying for an EIN, is to hire only independent contractors. Independent contractors are not considered employees and therefore no EIN will be required. If you do plan on hiring employees, you can apply for an EIN by:
Where there are homes, there will be children and where there are children there will be tears over math and grammar. Though the internet abounds with online tutoring services, nothing can ever replace the benefits of having an in-person teacher. In addition to being a great business idea for small towns, tutoring can also be a profitable business for both yourself and those working for you. If you are looking to hire employees, we recommend starting with a few tutors that specialize in math, reading, writing, and science. Don’t attempt to hire tutors that brand themselves as a jack of all subjects, those individuals are few and far between and most likely would be too expensive for you to employ from the start. Instead, look for tutors that specialize in one subject and have previous tutoring or teaching experience.
The best way to hold onto your competitive edge is to protect your trade secrets. A trade secret is that information that isn’t known to others that gives you a competitive advantage in the market. There are many kinds of trade secrets, and trade secrets receive legal protection as long as their owners take steps to keep them secret. Those steps could be anything from marking confidential documents to requiring partners and employees to sign nondisclosure agreements.
In his days as a commercial banker, my father financed a number of health clubs, and they all complained about the same issue: it was relatively easy to sign up new members but hard to retain them, as customers tired of exercising after just a few sessions. This is a business that you can make millions at with even a single location, but it is also a business that is riskier than it may first appear. I would suggest starting with a very small location, perhaps even a members-only key-card accessible location with no employees on site, and learn the ins and outs of the business before getting too carried away. And of course, there is all kind of potential for specialization in this field.
Contrary to popular wisdom, real estate prices don’t always go up and catching the trends can tremendously amplify your success in this market. One of my business school classmates caught the trend just right in the Houston commercial real estate market, and then did the same in Boston. Another business school classmate took advantage of the huge 2008 real estate sell-off by scooping up thousands of homes in particularly hard-hit areas like Las Vegas with his hedge fund. The safest way to buy real estate is to make sure that your cash flows from current rents will justify the minimum return you need, then you can look at any appreciation as pure gravy!
If you have a knack for connecting with people and the willingness to take on some risk, a commission-based freelance sales role could be a great side business idea for you. Many startups seek part-time and commission-only salespeople, especially when they’re just getting started, which means you’ll often be able to make this a home based business idea. Develop your sales strategies, become an inside sales rep and perfect your cold calling skills on the side in your free time for nothing but commission, negotiate a little equity and you could profit big time if you’re pitching a solid product and the startup succeeds. Start your sales education with the acclaimed books, Secrets of a Master Closer and To Sell is Human by famed bestselling author Daniel Pink and you’ll be well on your way to getting this side business idea off the ground.
Expenses. These are the costs for operations that occur during the start-up phase. They include tax-deductible costs such as travel, payroll, rent, office supplies, marketing materials, etc. They also include initial organizational costs like legal fees and state incorporation fees. Many (but not all) of these costs are tax deductible, up to $5,000 in the first year of doing business. You can deduct the remaining costs in equal instalments over a period of 180 months (starting with the month in which your business opens).
Follow the naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) require additional paperwork and may require a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency (e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc.)
Like recycling, this side business idea requires the willingness to get your hands a little dirty. If you enjoy working outdoors, then you can make a pretty good side income cleaning up litter outside retail, office and industrial properties—especially for businesses that have large parking lots that need regular cleaning. Property management companies need their properties maintained litter free and you can do so with an on-foot service using inexpensive equipment like this cheap pick-up tool and a broom. Charge for your time at $35 – $50 per hour and bill your clients the same contract price each month. For even more on how to get started with a litter removal side business idea, check out Cleanlots.
#2 – Working Solutions – Read review – is a company that offers diverse services including telemarketing, remote agents, and CRM solutions. Successful applicants/Agents receive free training and can work from any location. Payment is per project and can reach up to $30 per hour.
File your “Articles of Incorporation.” To form your LLC, you must prepare and file “articles of organization” with the secretary of state in the state where you plan to do business. While most states use the term “articles of organization” to refer to the basic document required to create an LLC, some states call it a “certificate of formation” or “certificate of organization.” [15]
When I set out to start in on a new business idea, I always make sure it aligns with both my core competencies and my interests. It starts with learning how to discover your strengths as an entrepreneur, and it’s how I make sure I’ll be engaged, even when the going gets rough. I learned this the hard way when I decided to start a freelance business a few years ago to offer my freelance content marketing services.
If you’ve always wanted to publish your own book as a side business idea, there never been a better time than now. That’s because access to self-publishing tools and marketplaces has never been easier and more affordable. This eBook writer currently earns up to a couple of thousand bucks each month from six ebooks she published; while you can reportedly demand around $1000 per eBook project serving as a ghostwriter. My good friend, Caroline Beaton used freelance writing as her side business idea to eventually go from secretary to self-employed, while focusing on her own personal development and looking inward to discover what she’s truly passionate about.
Focus Forward – Read Review – US only, experience needed. Pay is $10 per 15 minutes of sound transcribed, or higher if you are transcribing foreign languages. Get paid bi-monthly with check or direct deposit.
My wife is quite handy with a sewing machine and often hems and modifies our children’s clothes. She could easily take this a step further and offer her services to others, doing basic garment repair and modification for a small price on lazy evenings.
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Mechanical Turk operates much like TaskRabbit and GigWalk: it’s a corner online where Amazon gathers tasks to be done, people willing to do them, and people willing to pay for them. On Mechanical Turk, you get to do the oddest jobs you can imagine as an online business idea, made possible by a parallel online universe that runs on hits, visits, surveys, reviews, pins, likes, CPCs, reads, and other metrics. But don’t get too ambitious. The small sums being paid out to human Mechanical Turk users rarely add up to anything seriously substantial, even if you invest most of your spare time into it. It’s a better opportunity for internationally-based people with internet access and lower costs of living than in the US. Here’s one person’s account of his former life as a Mechanical Turk talking through how he got started with  this business idea and what the experience was really like.

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  1. 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.
    Sseko – Run your own ethical fashion business with Sseko! You’ll fall in love with the amazing handcrafted and on-trend products. Sseko Designs uses fashion to create opportunity for women globally. We provide employment and scholarship opportunities to women in Uganda who are working to pursue their dreams and overcome poverty. We do this through a financially self-sustaining model, one that also enables us to create opportunity for women in the U.S. to earn an income: The Sseko Fellows Program. As a Sseko Fellow, you get to share the Sseko story and sell beautiful products of the highest quality. You’ll become an integral part of making dreams come true for women in Uganda while you simultaneously earn an income for yourself! We’ve got a vibrant community of women ready to welcome and mentor you as you get started… and every step of the way!
    If you ever considered starting a business, and you just don’t know where to start, you can find all you need to know from the Michigan Business One Stop website. This is a website allows you to register your business and obtain all of the necessary permits and tax licenses to be a legal business entity in Michigan.
    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.
    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!
    #7 – Contract world is a recruitment company for businesses such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Shopping Network and more. The pay ranges from $11-$16 per hour with deposits made directly twice a month. Requirements include a dedicated phone line, high-speed internet connection, and a web camera.

  2. Pinch those pennies. Plan to keep purchases of office equipment and overheads to a minimum when starting up. You do not need amazing office premises, the latest in office chairs and pricey artwork on the walls. A broom cupboard in the best address can be sufficient if you can artfully steer clients to the local coffee shop for meetings every time (meet them in the foyer). Many a business start-up has failed by purchasing the expensive gizmos instead of focusing on the business itself.
    Craft beer is a booming business: There were 5,234 craft breweries in the U.S. as of 2016, more than double the 2,420 in operation in 2012, according to the Brewers Association. Craft brewers now hold a 12.3% market share in beer, up from just 5.7% in 2011, according to the association.
    The Oregon License Directory provides a single information source for Oregon licenses, certifications, permits and registrations. If, after searching the directory, you are unsure whether a license, certification, permit or registration is required for your business, contact the Small Business Advocate.
    Choose someone with whom you “click” and who shows that he or she understands your business. You will also want someone with experience in this area, as an inexperienced legal advisor could lead you to legal trouble or even fines and prison time.
    While you might first think of parties for kids, parties for adults is a rapidly growing field. To break into this field, I would start by offering some really attractive package deals. Then I might try to upsell additional services once the parting host became more comfortable working with me, or at least on repeat engagements.
    Around here we focus our efforts on valuable ongoing education, exploring the newest software solutions for new businesses, and sharing insight from fellow change-makers, ambitious creatives, and innovators. Sound good?
    Despite Instagram’s growing popularity, not all brands know what they’re doing on the app. If you have a background in social media and marketing and a passion for photography and Instagram, starting a consulting business that focuses on the popular photo app can be a great way to make money while helping other businesses improve their content and thrive.

  3. Do you see eye to eye on the big picture? Arguments about the details are a given, and are important for getting things right. But not seeing eye to eye on the big picture, the real purpose of your business, can cause a split that may be irreparable. Be sure your team cares about the and buys into the purpose as much as you do.
    #4 – American Express (Read review) only hires work at home customer service agents from selected U.S. States. You must be ready to work a minimum of 40 hours every work. The beginners pay is $16 per hour but as you progress you stand to earn $28 per hour.
    Have you cracked the code for landing higher paying jobs at the drop of a hat? If you have a knack for helping your friends or co-workers navigate the process of finding their dream job, nailing an interview, negotiating a better salary or getting a raise at their current day job, other people would be willing to pay for your help too—making this a great side business idea that doesn’t take too much time. Get started by sharing your advice on a personal blog and becoming a career coach on platforms like The Muse and Coach Me where there’s already an existing audience of people looking to make a move in their careers. From there, keep your focus on helping people get real results, building case studies to support this side business idea, and eventually charging for the results you’re delivering clients.
    Finding a legitimate work at home typing job is a full time career! You search high and low and all you find is people asking you for money that you’re trying to make, not give away! Well I’d like to share my story of how I secured my very first and only legitimate work from home typing job. I’m sure after you read it, it will help you secure one too!

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