how to make your own company | what do i need to open a small business

Wouldn’t you enjoy making kids smile and laugh? What a great way to earn some good money, especially at kids’ birthdays and Bar and Bat mitzvahs! Business will be heavily focused on weekends, so you can hold onto your day job as you build your clientele. I met a professional clown who told me that he charged $200 an hour…for that price I’ll put the clown suit on right now!
Anyone can sell goods on Amazon, provided you have products to sell (or buy low, then resell). If you’re the type to hit all the local garage sales each weekend, there’s all sorts of valuable things that can be resold online as a side business idea. If you want to step your Amazon selling game up, check out this detailed guide to Amazon and eBay retail arbitrage on Entrepreneur featuring an interview with Julie Becker and several drop-shippers who’ve grown this home based business idea from side business idea into a lucrative money-maker.
LLC: LLCs are the most popular business structure because they offer the protection of a corporation without the double taxation or extra paperwork. California allows SMLLCs (single-member LLCs), so you can form one even if you’re the only member of your company. Read our guide to more about how to form an LLC in California.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it will be easy, though: Starting a business requires a lot of time, effort and hard work, and perhaps unsurprisingly, many would-be entrepreneurs end up failing. But if your company survives, the rewards of entrepreneurship are well worth the obstacles you’ll face on the road to success. 
This side business idea isn’t for most, but consider Kia Silverbrock who has been granted over 4,665 US Patents in his lifetime (so far). You don’t have to invent the wheel to make good money from your patented concepts—just make sure that your idea can be produced affordably, or it will never stand up against a lawsuit in the future.
Lyft is a smartphone app where you can make money using your car to drive others around town. Drivers get a portion of ride fees from passengers. The money is deposited into your account each week, or you can cash out instantly with Express Pay. According to their website, if you were to drive 10 hours per week in Austin, Texas you’d earn $160!
Too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to run their business venture out of their personal bank account. It’s super important to create a separate bank account for your business, primarily because it isolates your professional financials and makes them easier to manage and track.
EatWith is a great way to test the waters as a chef for your side business idea, and if you have enough rave reviews you might be able to turn your knife skills into a full-time endeavor where you’re leveraging your network to book catering events. This side business idea is built heavily upon getting happy referrals, so be sure to over-deliver for your first customers, and ask if they know anyone else who could be in need of your catering services.
One of my friends sold off his large family business that made industrial goods, and then embarked on a new career as an artisan furniture maker. He studied furniture making in a full-time study program and focused on very high wood furniture. He would display his furniture at shows and promote open studio nights. Clients were wealthy individuals and some high-end boutique hotels.
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.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer as a side business idea can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out these tips to a successful personal training business by the American Fitness Professionals and this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. Finally, I’d recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
Are you the one all your friends call when their sink is clogged or their roof is leaking? Are you looking to start your own business but not thrilled about having a brick-and-mortar location? A home improvement business might be just the small town business idea you’re looking for. When small towns lack a basic handyman, residents must book appointments days, if not weeks in advance to have a larger service visit their home. That’s not so convenient if your toilet has been clogged for three days. As long as you are qualified, have the experience, and know your way around a tool shed, starting a handyman business is fairly straightforward and requires little overhead.
Maybe this is an obvious choice for a small town business opportunity, but sometimes the obvious answers are the most overlooked. Though a grocery store might not sound like the sexiest business choice, it is one of our most practical recommendations and one that your whole town is guaranteed to need. Like many small town business ideas, there are many directions you can take this business in. Perhaps your town already has a local grocery store, in that case, opening a specialty food shop might be the right call. If your town already has that as well, what about a wine or cheese shop? Though you might be thinking, “how much wine or cheese can one small town consume?” Remember, when serving a small community, options are limited, which can open up an opportunity for you to serve residents in more ways than one. Consider opening a wine and cheese shop combination. Just make sure not to bite off more than you can chew. Being a few things to a few people is ok, but don’t try to be everything to everyone.
Find resources. Depending on the structure and size of your LLC, writing an operating agreement can be difficult. As mentioned above, you should hire an attorney to look over your document for best results. However, your state may have other resources for LLC members, such as form operating agreements or copies of the default rules.
Have a knack for staying organized? If you’re a jack of all trades, you should consider working as a virtual assistant as a side business idea. You can find great gigs on Elance, Indeed, or Upwork. It can be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, develop in-demand new skills (like creating GIFs and VR videos), grow your side business idea and you’ll have the added perk of being able to start this as a home based business idea. Becoming a virtual assistant can be a particularly great side business idea if you’re hoping to travel the world while making money online as a digital nomad.
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!
Chances are you’ve probably watched a couple of youtube videos online. And if you haven’t you’ve definitely watched TV. With that said, have you ever thought about how much video you consume? Now imagine if you were paid for all the videos or TV shows you watched. Well you can!
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.
Marketing a business can also include building a brand, setting up a professional website, driving traffic to your site with search engine optimization, and using a promotional strategy, among other tactics.

Resources I recommend for learning more about this industry include 21 Days to a VA Biz and The Bootstrap VA. Note that both of these books focus on starting your own virtual assisting business rather than working for a company (such as the ones above). For more in-depth training, you can enroll in the 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success eCourse. It will teach you exactly how to start your own VA business, what you need, what to charge, and also where to find clients.
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Evaluate your talents. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between talents and things you enjoy. Just because you enjoy something does not mean you can turn it into a business. Think about your skills, or the hobbies that you do better than anyone else. Your business can also be based off of a professional skill you’ve developed or been educated in.
Adjust strategies and products as necessary. Respond to your customers. You should set up a system or survey where your customers can rate their experience with you and your business. Be sure to strive for perfect ratings. Any criticisms you see consistently mean that you should change that aspect of your business.
But even if you don’t need an EIN, get one anyway: It’s free, takes minutes, and you can keep your Social Security number private and reduce the chance of identity theft, because if you don’t have an EIN, your SSN identifies your business for tax purposes.
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.
Though we already suggested a wine bar/coffee shop combo above, the clientele you’ll attract for that small town business idea versus this one is significantly different. Think first dates and book clubs versus Super Bowl Sunday and Monday Night Football. Speaking of which, special events for sports games can drum up major business. Opening a successful sports bar in a sports-centric town can be a great investment. But if you miscalculate the interests of your town, it can also be disastrous. So make sure you know the personality of the community going into this venture.
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!
Everyone knows legal proceedings take forever, can be very expensive, and the outcomes can be uncertain. I became involved in litigation with a service vendor and it looked like we had no alternative but to go to court. However, our opposing attorneys agreed to hire an arbitrator and we ended up with a much better result, with much less time and agony. A great business—and a great service for individuals and businesses.
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.
Humanatic – Read Review – Similar to Callsource, this is another company that has you analyzing recorded phone conversations. Pays very little — so little in fact that most people just do this as a side egg. You can get paid once a week via Paypal.
While, it’s nice to do business with a handshake, there’s no substitute for a well-written contract. Indeed, many contracts are not valid unless they are in written form. The exact number of this type of contract varies between states, but here are a few common examples:
If you are in a climate that consistently gets a lot of snow each year, then this could be a good business. But if the snowfall is inconsistent, you could get stuck with having a nice new snowplow and truck, but no business.
We’ve all heard countless pieces of advice on how to make a good impression during a job interview. It is certainly important to show up on time, freshly groomed, appropriately dressed, and ready to impress. Equally important is smiling, not interrupting, providing thoughtful answers, and maintaining good eye contact. In addition, we must not forget critical elements for success like researching the company, giving a firm handshake, keeping mobile devices stored away and of course, following up with a time-honored staple, the thank you note.
Investment: A wedding-planning business can be operated out of your home, so expect low startup costs. You’ll likely need to create a website and spend some money on marketing. Some training may be required if you lack experience.
Elderly people often need help with basic functions like laundry, grocery shopping and getting to and from appointments. You can offer your services as a home care provider to help them take care of some of those tasks on a regular basis.
If you’re adept at woodworking and have some basic equipment, it’s easy to get into business making deck furniture. It only requires a few items – a saw, a drill, a sander – and some creativity and passion for working with wood. If you have the tools or just want to turn your hobby into a business, this may be a great small business idea for you. In addition to creating new items, you could also focus on repairing existing wooden furniture or woodwork.
As people are demanding more fulfillment in their lives and have more options to consider, they are increasingly turning to coaches. You can build your skills in this field by reading up on it, signing up for some life coaching yourself, or taking a course about how to teach life coaching.
Fashion, style, and grooming continue to be a lucrative side business idea that can be done in your hours outside of work. If you know how to mend clothes, then you have a growing market of budget-conscious and/or personalization-obsessed customers. Entrepreneur says you need around two thousand dollars to start a decent side business idea in this niche but there’s no harm in starting smaller and growing from there, as long as you can make magic with needle and thread.
Most home based businesses do not succeed. That is just the truth of the matter. There are a few new home based businesses every year that are really successful, however. All you can do is work hard and try your best.
This is a nice little niche business with a strong personal service element and a market that’s not just looking for the cheapest product. Netting for railings, cabinet door catches, safety coverings for electric outlets, door locks…there are lots of safety elements that need to be changed to make houses safe for babies and toddlers. Do your research carefully and make sure you are not missing any safety elements.
I need funds for state filing and office equipment. I am also a paraplegic so my mobility is very limited but a home-based business would be ideal for me. Does anyone have any specific suggestions for me to raise funds for this. I need about $3500.
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. 
The Square is a card swiping device which connects with a smartphone or tablet and turns that device into a sort of cash register. You may have encountered this device in the businesses you frequent, as they are becoming common at coffee shops, restaurants, street food stands and other businesses (look for a postage-stamp sized plastic square plugged into a tablet or phone).
Many of my readers have started proofreading from their iPads, scanning legal documents for court reporters as a result of the Proofread Anywhere eCourse I recommend. You can read some of their testimonials in the comments on this post. They offer a 7-day intro course free so you can decide if that line of work is right for you before you pursue the training.
Fancy yourself a poet? You can earn $300 for every poem you write that this greeting card company publishes—not a bad side business idea if you’ve got a way with words and aren’t afraid of rejection on poems that aren’t a good fit.
I love working for TTEC@home. I get to interact with and help others from the comfort of my own home. (Have you ever been in Houston traffic rush hour? That says it all!) Plus, they have some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. They aren’t just here to draw a paycheck. They truly care about their co-workers. I work many miles from the brick and mortar buildings, but I have a sense of security that my coworkers have my back and I’m not alone.
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.
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.
Potential challenges: It’s a challenging business to operate. Obstacles include securing financing, choosing a location that will attract customers, picking out the right equipment and ingredients to brew beer, and obtaining the proper permits and licenses.