My father spent year after year remodeling our basement—and I’m glad he did because that’s where I located my model railroad! However, a lot of homeowners aren’t willing to invest the huge amount of time it takes a novice to remodel their basement—that’s where you come in! Remodel your own basement, put together a website with the before and after photos, and hang out your shingle!
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.
This article is Part 1 of a 2-part series focusing on selling a business. Sales of business are strong! In recent years, privately owned business account for almost 70% of these transactions. Most business owners do not have prior experience selling …
There are aspects of your business that you can always salvage if you try a different product or approach. The brand you invest time into creating and the followers you amass on social media or in your email list can be assets you repurpose for your next business idea.
Decide how to accept payment. You will need to do something to get payment from your clients or customers. You can get something like a Square, which is great for small businesses since it requires the minimum amount of paperwork and the fees are minimal. However, if you feel uncomfortable with technology, you can inquire about a more traditional merchant account.
Food trucks and food carts are booming! And no wonder! They allow you to get into the food service business with a lot less overhead than a restaurant, and increasingly people are willing to buy more gourmet fare from food trucks.
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.
Interior room painting or wallpapering lends itself to part time work better than exterior house painting. Often a home owner wants just one room done. And you are not weather dependent—so you know you will be able to get a job done on Saturday for example, come rain or shine. As your experience grows you can charge a lot of money for quality interior painting and wallpapering.
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.
If you have the right touch, this business can be a goldmine, and very personally rewarding. One of my business school classmates changed into this career later in life and did very well, specializing in putting together highly talented teams for well financed startups, and early stage ventures. The typical head hunter makes endless cold calls–but at the higher end firms networking is much more important.
A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties and what you need to sustain it. A full guide to writing your plan can be found here, and when you’re ready to put pen to paper, these free templates can help.
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.”
Get a post office box for your business. This is especially important if you have business cards or will be regularly corresponding through the mail. The simple fact of the matter is that PO boxes look more professional than using your home address.
The real estate market is on the rebound (for today) and people are buying and selling properties in many locations across the U.S. That means a lot of opportunities for professionals who know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspect of real estate to build up a stable of clients as a side business idea, especially if you begin to scale your sales hiring and build a team of reps working to help you close more deals. If you consider yourself an expert in the subject, it won’t be a walk in the park (hehe), but you can earn significant additional side income as a home-based consultant.
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.
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. One of my friends built up a successful import/export business while still in college.
Maybe you’re looking to supplement your full-time income with a side business. Or perhaps you’re finished with the 9-to-5 and ready to be your own boss. In either case, coming up with a killer small-business idea is the first step on the path to entrepreneurship.
If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income as a side business idea is to sign a freelance contract to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows. Just be sure to brush up on all the right business slang and industry jargon that’s pervasive in the online marketing world before you launch unprepared into this side business idea.
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.
Shutterstock – Read Review – May be open worldwide. This popular stock photo company has occasional openings for remote image reviewers, where you determine which submitted photos should make it onto the Shutterstock website. Pay and other details are under wraps — workers are required to sign an NDA, so it’s hard to find many details online.
You still need to come up with a solid idea, build a brand, do marketing, and provide customer service. But you won’t have to keep a stack of products in your living room or ship every order yourself.
Many online sellers try to bake their shipping costs into their retail price so that they can offer free shipping, or at least a reasonable flat rate. Others focus on encouraging shoppers to add more items to their cart with conditional free shipping (e.g. free shipping on orders over $50) to maximize their profit.
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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.
In the US, the coast guard has redefined their mission to be rescuing people not rescuing boats, so this has further increased the market for tow boat operators to respond to disabled recreational boaters and bring their boat back to port. Running around on the ocean with a high-powered tow boat seems like a pretty fun way to make a living to me!
Opening up a taco or food truck might not have been first on your list of ideas for a successful small town business, but depending on the location of your town, the seasonality of its residents, and the weather, starting a food truck business can be a great investment. Many small towns have vibrant communities, and often these include outdoor activities such as sporting events, festivals, and markets. Having the ability the drive your business to where the crowds are means major cash in your pocket. Food trucks also have the added benefit that they can be rented for special events. So for a small town that might lack a proper catering service, being able to hire a food truck for your son’s bar mitzvah or daughter’s quinceanera is a perfect local option.
2. Invent for the market. There are many ways of coming up with new ideas. Many inventors focus on solving a problem or meeting a need. I like to look for sleeping dinosaurs. By that I mean, products that have remained relatively unchanged for decades. For example, I created a profitable business by adding personality to guitar picks. The easiest ideas to license are those that make simple improvements to existing products. So, where can you locate opportunities for innovation?
If you’re able to build up your own online network or audience related to a specific topic, you can start working with different brands as an affiliate and earn a portion of each sale you send their way.
Start part time and build this business carefully! Only buy items you are confident that you can sell relatively quickly for a good mark-up, and avoid getting stuck with slow moving inventory. To really succeed, develop deep expertise in a specialty and build a loyal customer base.
Helping clients design and decorate their homes can be a fun business opportunity for design-oriented entrepreneurs. And though there are some online tools that can help with those processes, it isn’t as necessary as a keen eye for design.
On the other hand, if you want to market your own t-shirts you might have more upside potential but the downside is greater too! The brothers who started “Life is Good” t-shirt business for example, lived out of their van for several years until their business finally gained momentum.
Wedding photographers command premium rates. After all, you are capturing one of a couple’s most important life moments, making it a very lucrative side business idea. Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 – $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it’s realistic that this side business idea could quickly blossom into becoming a full-time endeavor with the right happy clientele base that’s willing to refer you to their friends and family. Check out the Complete Wedding Photography Experience over on CreativeLive to get up to speed on everything you need to launch a successful wedding photography business.
If you’re good with words, you might be able to find some work as an online freelancer. A variety of publications need online content in the form of stories, product or service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and skill, you could easily be the one to create them. Fortunately, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started.
That’s why I’m a huge advocate of always starting a side business while working full-time, so that you can test your way into your new product or service, get feedback, validate the business idea, and start generating income before you quit your job. If you can master the art of scaling a side business idea while keeping your day job, you’ll have no trouble succeeding once you’re fully self-employed.
Resource Recommendation: Once you’ve taken this first step, it’s time to start thinking about managing your finances going forward. If you’re not ready to hire an accountant, there are a bunch of reputable accounting software programs out there. We run through some of the best options in our top accounting software ranking.
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.
One of my friends and his wife liked having a nanny so much that they kept her to help out around the house even after the kids went off to boarding school. This same friend told me they went through 23 nannies in 22 years! No wonder there is a demand for nanny services! This business is all about trust. If you don’t have successful placements under your belt, you can build trust other ways. Show off your background, describe your thorough vetting process, and have a very professional looking website and marketing materials.
Check with your Secretary of State or Department of State official website. In Oklahoma the name of the company shall contain either the words “limited liability company” or “limited company”, or the abbreviations LLC, LC, L.L.C., or L.C. The word “limited” may be abbreviated as Ltd., and the cord company may be abbreviated as Co. (OK Title 18, Section 2008).
If you are offering pizza delivery you don’t need a storefront at all. You could just get an inexpensive industrial quality space, as long as it is convenient to your customers. Lure your first customers in with juicy offers. Then try to keep them with great quality. But beware that a lot of pizza delivery sales even to repeat customers involve some kind of discount or special offer.
Investment: Opening a brewery can mean high startup costs, depending on the size of your operation. The costs include brewing equipment, construction on a building to get it fit for your brewery, permits, licenses and insurance.
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.