how to create a small business | first steps to opening a business

Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ’s, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Check out one of my most talented friends, Jory Mackay, for an example of someone who’s doing a great job of positioning himself as a premium service-provider with his freelance writing side business idea. Then when you’re ready to start cold emailing potential clients, pick up my free downloadable freelance proposal template and get started today.
Busy schedules can stress people out. It can also disrupt family life to the point that busy parents and homework-laden kids barely have time to prepare decent dinners and weekend meals. Hence, the surprising demand for part-time family chefs as a business idea. If cooking healthy and delicious meals is your thing, then this lucrative side  business idea can supplement your regular income by helping feed busy homes. Hear Gaby Dalkin’s story of going from side business idea to full-time blogger while she was a part-time personal chef right here on my podcast.
I had ideas for clever and novel consumer products that I wanted to bring to market. Why not try to license them? I applied the same process to bring a much a more complex idea (that required nearly two dozen patents and defending said intellectual property in federal court) for the labeling industry to market.
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.
The traditional model of entrepreneurship that continues to be taught today is to write a business plan, raise capital, source manufacturing, develop marketing materials, and fulfill and distribute orders — to do it all yourself. Clearly though, not everyone has the time, financial resources, experience, or even the desire to start and run a business. And what about those who have many ideas for new products? Not every idea needs to become a business.
Let me be clear. This is not my first choice of businesses to go into, even if you are experienced in the food business. Restaurants are very risky. You need a great location, good build-out which can cost a lot of money, great food and a talented and dependable staff. Furthermore, customers can be fickle-they may love your restaurant one day and then tire of it the next. Restaurant staffing is notoriously difficult. So, while the failure rate for restaurants is high, many that survive become highly profitable.
ClickWorker is an online platform where you can get paid for writing, translating, researching and collecting data. To get started create an account, fill out your profile, complete a qualification assessment, then bid on jobs. Payments are made by SEPA bank account transfers, and via PayPal once your account reaches $1.00, and your tax information has been completed. ClickWorker’s clients include Groupon, Tennis Point, Honda, PayPal among others.
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.
A dropship business means that you are selling physical goods that you have other companies ship out. For example, you may create a website selling desk lamps. You would take the order from the customer on your website and then you would have the order shipped out by the supplier. Drop shopping differs from affiliate marketing in that the customer stays on your website to complete the order. Furthermore, you process the order and then ask the drop shipper to fulfil the order. Affiliate marketing on the other hand, is more of a marketing service–providing traffic to the website of the company that provides the product. Drop shipping may have higher upside but if you are just getting started I would recommend that you keep things simple and start with affiliate marketing.
There’s something magical about a cupcake that says fun and silliness and makes you feel good! You can cash in on that feeling and make others happy. But if you are specializing in cupcakes, people expect them to be excellent! And if you want to be remembered, they should be world class awesome!
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.
Smartphones have become indispensable for both business and personal use. But have you ever tried to get one fixed? Repairing a broken phone can cost as much as it does to buy one. Smartphone-repair services are starting to crop up around the country. If you have a knack for fixing broken screens and solving smartphone tech problems, then opening up a more affordable smartphone repair shop or service might be the way to go.
You might be great at this if you know your way around social media networks and forums, have ever been in an admin position for either your own business pages/accounts or moderated for a forum, and you know how to be helpful and polite, but also firm when a situation calls for it.
Box subscription services are popping up everywhere in the food, beauty and even pet product sectors, ready to deliver goods right to your door each month. One of the consumer perks is the idea that these subscription boxes are carefully curated just for them based on their likes and interests, and each month, the boxes’ contents are a surprise.
Great idea list. As stated earlier, these may seem like “no brainer” ideas, but not all small towns have every single business stated. And, when someone has an idea, but doesn’t know if it is a good one, it is reassuring to see it listed! Sometimes, that is the push a person needs to take that leap! Thank you!
As adults, we certainly know how different we feel the morning after a restful night of sleep: basically like superheroes. Our children need the right amount of sleep for their bodies too, but the signs that they’re not getting the quality sleep they need can be very different than adults….
Before you do any estimating, it’s important to understand how start-up costs are categorized. All start-up costs (meaning costs in the period before you start generating income) include two kinds of spending: expenses and capital expenditures.
Hack the Hood is a non-profit that introduces low-income youth of color to careers in tech by hiring and training them to build websites for small businesses in their own communities. Participants learn coding, design, and 21st century workplace skills, while gaining valuable leadership and entrepreneurship experience.
Now that you’ve got the financial foundation laid, it’s time to start building on it. There are tons of funding opportunities out there — especially in California — but not every approach is right for every business. When choosing a primary funding method, consider:
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.)
Tell Wut is a survey site where you can win prizes and earn rewards for sharing your opinion. Most surveys award 5 to 15 points per survey, but you can also earn points by referring friends (25 points), creating an account (100 points) and providing your information (100 points). Points can be redeemed for Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Visa, and various other gift cards. Tell Wut has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.
You can make a room in your house into a photography studio, but you’ve got to get out to promote your services or do some clever marketing. Doing photography for groups (typically at their location) is one way to get going. Another is to develop a specialty (such as children’s portraits).
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.
In the past, I’ve discussed how it’s a good idea to spend your spare time dabbling in entrepreneurship: It fills your time with something that you choose (and thus you enjoy) and sets up a potential long-term revenue stream. I also discussed how I got a side business going myself.

Liveops is a virtual call center company. They hire at-home agents to perform inbound and outbound calls for customer service, customer acquisition, customer retention, revenue maximization, political, disaster relief, incident response, and fundraising.
You should have some decent equipment that makes your audience happy but that could mean different levels of investment for different audiences. Are you going to be playing for large event venues or for junior high school birthday parties? I know a fellow who started a successful mobile DJ business even before he was old enough to have a driver’s license. He would either have a friend give him and his equipment a ride to his gigs, or he would get a taxi.
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.
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.
College counsellors come in all shapes and sizes. Their primary duty is to help guide students through an important period in their lives. Some counselors focus on admissions, career advice, financial aid, athletics, extracurricular activities, and other concerns. There are institutions looking out for part-time college counselors, making this a fantastic side business idea, or you can even start your own practice and charge anywhere from $25-$100+ per hour for your consultative services if you’re well-versed on the subject.
Figure out if you can make this business profitable. How much will people pay for your services? Can you make a good income off this? Many people see astronomical numbers in their future until they take the time to determine their profits. Be sure to consider how much time you can reasonably commit to your business and how much profit you can get back for your time and investment money. In some cases, a great business idea in theory can in reality be unprofitable.
This seems like a fun and easy business and it can be very rewarding. However, it is very competitive and can be hard to break into. Interior design is also increasingly sophisticated, with software design simulation and specialized educational backgrounds becoming more common.
Even in the Internet age, there is something about physically going to a weight loss center that helps bring commitment and seriousness to the weight loss process. The business models vary from a mixture of fees to just making money from selling prepackaged food. You want to make sure your customers not just lose some weight but also feel great about themselves, because then they will also feel great about you and your business, and become raving fans.
I see two routes to success in this business: 1) Focus on artists with well- established followings that you are comfortable that you can sell or 2) Take on less well-known artists on a consignment basis, meaning you don’t actually buy the painting from the artist until the day you sell it. This can be a finicky business–people’s tastes can change and a gallery that is successful one year can find itself struggling enough. So, keep your overhead manageable and watch for changing trends.
There’s a lot to consider and plan before you launch, and it’s important to prepare yourself for the journey ahead. If you think you’re ready to start your first business, here’s a step-by-step overview of what you need to do to make it happen.
I’m not going up in one of these balloons–but I know plenty of people who have, and have had a fabulous experience! This is a good vacation area business, but it could also be a good gift for special occasions. Nail down all of the licensing and safety requirements, and this could be fun business that quickly builds by word-of-mouth.
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.
Yes, even the PowerPoint presentation requires outside consulting every now and then—especially if it’s not your forte. I know I would happily outsource the visual layout of my presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches and lectures. Tobias Schelle of 24Slides is living proof that you can turn your skills at slideshow presentation design into a legit side business idea—and potentially earn up to $20 a slide for your time and talents.
A new FlexJobs survey Top 100 Companies to Watch for Telecommuting and Remote Jobs in 2016. says writer, engineer, marketing manager, adjunct faculty and software developer are among the most common work from home opportunities. Since 2005 there has been a 103% growth in the number of telecommuters in the USA. People who telecommuted in both 2014 and 2015 said that they telecommuted 22 percent more in 2015.

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