how to open a business | how can i start a small business

Hey, great list! LaunchScore estimates the earnings potential of 800+ business types in 750 U.S. cities. Unlike most lists, LaunchScore provides a custom earnings estimate that takes into account the market conditions in each city.
It’s easier than ever to find a trend and turn it into a full-on entrepreneurial venture. Channel your passions and skills to leverage a professional opportunity in the new year. Here are 12 great business ideas for 2018.
Price your products too low and shoppers might assume they’re low quality. Price them too high, and you might scare some customers off. In any case, you’ll need to find a sweet spot that also lets you factor in the cost to acquire customers and offer discounts, especially if you plan on paying for ads.
From the advent of rapid prototyping and crowdfunding to the widespread affordability of digital tools and technologies, the opportunities available to creative people today are fundamentally different — and enormously exciting.
We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Do I need workers’ compensation insurance? Oregon requires almost all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance on their employees. If you employ workers in Oregon you probably need coverage. The Small Business Ombudsman also provides information and assistance to small businesses regarding workers’ compensation insurance.
While no formal experience or training is necessary, you’ll need to be a talented, creative writer with strong interviewing skills. An editing or journalism background and strong communication skills are helpful, as is a sound marketing strategy to reach potential customers.
Companies that provide employees with uniforms often also arrange for them to be cleaned and pressed every single day. You can specialize in certain types of uniforms and/or certain types of services. For example, you could rent uniforms to companies and handle all of their cleaning and pressing needs. You could lease or sell uniforms to companies and then either provide cleaning and pressing services or not.
If you love pets, this home-based business could be a good fit. You can either care for pets in your own home or care for your clients’ pets in their homes. You’ll need to be reliable and have a flexible schedule to meet the needs of your clients.
Afraid you’ll dive into transcription, not really knowing what you’re doing? You can get the Jump-Start Your General Transcription Career eBook on Amazon for just $2.99 for a basic walk through of what general transcription involves, or you can complete general transcription training through the Transcribe Anywhere eCourse (the initial part of this course is free, so you can evaluate it to determine if it’s worth it for you). And if medical transcription is what you’re leaning toward, I recommend CareerStep for training.
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.
Start planning ahead. Where do you hope to see your business in 6 months? What about 3 years down the road? Life is full of surprises and there’s plenty that you can’t plan for, but setting realistic goals is still an important practice.
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.
Is your business idea really unique? What value will it generate? Is it something your target audience really wants? Or is it something you think they’d want? Getting answers to these questions is important to determine whether or not your idea works.
If you have a good eye for detail work and a lot of patience, homemade jewelry can be quite profitable. As with other items on this list, there are many opportunities to sell such items through local gift shops, craft fairs, or sites like Etsy.
Resource Recommendation: Since this step can have such serious repercussions if it’s not done correctly, we highly recommend investing a few minutes to read through our business structure comparison guide before deciding on one. Then, when it comes time to officially form your business, you can either do so on your own or use an online incorporation service. Take a look at our top 7 incorporation services for an in-depth discussion of our favorite providers!
It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but online surveys do pay out (a little), believe it or not. Just don’t expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.
Stay focused on central goals. This may sound contradictory to what we just discussed, but it’s not. The point here is to avoid chasing after every marketing idea that comes into fashion. It’s better to invest a significant amount of time and money into one or two stellar marketing ideas than to spread yourself too thin.
Textbroker – Read Review – Open to US and some other countries. Pay depends on your star rating when you apply. Pay ranges between a seventh of a cent per word and five cents per word at the highest level. Pay is weekly via Paypal provided you have at least $10 in your account.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be approached by major brands, gear companies, and other relevant businesses that sell products or services related to the type of content you share on Instagram—creating multiple potential side business ideas that’ll come to you. If you have the right marketing skills and hundreds of thousands of followers, you can easily charge anywhere between $500 to $5,000 per post (or more)—which makes for a very profitable side business idea. Check out this fashion Instagrammer on ThePennyHoarder, making a significant income from brand sponsorships. Once you get some traction, to cut down on the amount of time you spend uploading images, you can make your entire workflow more efficient by posting photos from your Mac or PC.
WineShop At Home – Frequently recognized at international wine competitions, our wines are deliciously different, wonderfully one-of-a-kind and exclusive to us. WineShop At Home Independent Wine Consultants earn an income by marketing our artisan wines through in-home Wine Tastings and they have FUN doing so. Tasting & learning about wine with friends, what’s not to love? Come for the Taste and Stay for the Lifestyle with us! Three Business Kits to choose from starting at $79. Contact Shelley Whitmarsh-Beal, Director of Field Development @ Shelley@wineshopathome.com for more info.
For many people in suburban areas, cleaning up pet yard waste is a real hassle – it’s disgusting, for one. Instead of cleaning it up themselves, they might hire someone to do it regularly, two to three times a week. There are several such services in our area, actually.
#31 – SitePen – For tech enthusiasts looking for a remote work experience, SitePen is hiring JavaScript engineers, web developers, project managers, software engineers. These positions pay $80k annual which rounds up to $20 an hour.
Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on this side business idea with relatively little work on your part (most of the time). It’ll take some hustling and the willingness to be flexible with your schedule, as you’ll be responsible for collecting rent checks, managing repairs and improvements, and simply being on call for emergencies. But, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors that have a large enough portfolio, so there’s definitely merit to this business idea.
Stitch Fix – Read Review – Open to US only, specific states. You can work for Stitch Fix as a work at home stylist, putting together clothing subscription boxes for their clients. Should be non-phone, paying around $15 hourly.
I also recommend FlexJobs. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,  along with a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the website. FlexJobs guarantees that every single job is 100% legitimate.

Resource Recommendation: If you could use some help with this step, a business license service is a great solution. They’ll determine everything required of your business on a federal, state and local level, get the forms for you and even provide filing instructions.
Be willing to evolve. If you come to find that your initial marketing plan just isn’t working, it’s time to do some more research and reevaluate your approach. Don’t just keep pouring time and money into a strategy that isn’t getting results.
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!
If you think that starting a gym in a tiny town is a bad idea, think again. Just as the physical body comes in many different shapes and sizes, so do gyms and exercise studios. Though fitness businesses are great small town business opportunities, they are especially lucrative for locations where the weather is colder more months out of the year than not. It’s also worth mentioning that the boutique fitness trend is red-hot at the moment and shows no signs of dying down. The appeal of massive gyms with rows and rows of weights and cardio equipment is losing popularity. Meaning, there is no better time than now to capitalize on the boutique fitness trend.
People get into this business thinking it is a totally passive way to make money and then they find out—they actually have to do some work! Heavily used washing machines and dryers can break down, and the laundromat will need to be cleaned constantly. That being said people need clean clothes so this is a classic steady income business!
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.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, you likely already have an idea of what you want to sell, or at least the market you want to enter. Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders are doing, and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don’t (or deliver the same thing, but faster and cheaper), you’ve got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.
There is a huge upside potential rebuilding auto parts, like transmissions. However, I have friends who have gone into this business and it can take years to nail down your production process, develop your customer base and start to reap the big money.
By submitting one application, you will be considered for any of the Work At Home positions offered. Discuss your preferences with the Recruiter who contacts you! *Please note: These are NOT “freelance”, contracted, or independent contractor positions. Yo…
Home buyers today are getting increasingly used to seeing vacant homes set up with staged furniture. And if you are choosing furniture specifically for the purpose of making a house look great, you can both increase the likelihood that the house will sell quickly, and that it will sell for a higher price. Stage some rooms in your own house, take pictures, and then get customers by networking with real estate brokers.
Businesses, individuals and even government entities often hire translators to communicate with people in various other languages. If you are fluent in any other languages, you may be able to offer your services to different clients.
Needle – Read Review – Open to US and possibly other countries. Note this company used to pay you in cash, but now they are points only, although you can redeem your points for Visa gift cards. Extra money only.
Federal: The federal licenses and permits page on the Small Business Association’s website outlines all the business activities that call for special permission from the federal government, and directs you to the proper agencies. They also have a decent article on business taxes, but the best place to learn about this is on the IRS website.
#42 – Buffer is a corporation offering web-based social media administration solutions. The company from time to time recruits web developers, engineers, product or customer support team. Each employ works remotely and can make up to $20 per hour.
Define your team. Will you do this alone, or will you bring in one or two trusted friends to join you? This brings a lot of synergy to the table, as people bounce ideas off each other. Two people together can often create something that is greater than the sum of the two separate parts.