how to run a small business | first steps in starting a small business

Do you have an extra room in your house or condo? You could rent it out by the day like the Airbnb model, or you could rent it by the week, or you could rent it by the month. Then maybe you could use the income to help subsidize your expenses as you start another business!
With the rise of online craft marketplaces like Etsy, people with decent artisanal skills like sewing and woodworking have an always-open market to sell their products as a side business idea. If you’ve always wanted to design and make clothes by hand, then you can start turning those fashion ideas into real, hand-sewn garments and earn a little bit with this side business idea while you sleep and customers from around the world browse your Etsy & Amazon stores.
Keep in mind, I’m only talking about setting yourself up to do business: I’m not talking about writing a business plan (although if that’s what you want to do, here’s a comprehensive guide to writing a business plan), sourcing financing, developing a marketing plan, etc.
Regardless of the business idea you choose for your small town, proper planning is essential to the success of the business. And since owning a small business is both a major lifestyle and time commitment, make sure your choice is one you see bringing you both profit and joy for the foreseeable future.
If you’re proficient in a highly specialized software, you can get paid to pass your knowledge on to amateurs and professionals looking to expand their skill sets. Technical manuals are available for programs like QuickBooks and Final Cut Pro, but these are often expensive and difficult for the average user to get through. Schedule small group workshops or private sessions, and charge by the hour for a full tutorial of the program. The best thing about this gig is that it can be done part time.
I learned what works in business. And I learned what doesn’t work. I learned what are good businesses and what are not. I have also learned that you don’t need lots of money or experience to start most businesses.
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.
When you need professional help to launch, expand or relocate your business in New Jersey, we are your “one-stop” resource for everything you need. Make one call to the NJ Business Action Center (BAC).
Choose a unique name for your LLC. Choose a name that complies with your state laws and properly represents your business. While there is no exact formula for choosing the best name, you should choose something that is: [2]
Nyla and Noelle – Run your own fashion empire from home. Clothing is the hottest new trend in social selling, and you can get in on the ground floor. We are a boutique clothing and jewelry direct sales company. Our fun and fashionable clothing is offered only through our Curators who sell socially from in-home parties, local events, and online through social media. Our Curators purchase a POP box of inventory to get started. After receiving their POP box our Curators choose every style and color of clothing they receive from our always rotating selections. We offer many truly boutique styles from BOHO chic, western chic, casual basics, dressy clothes, and high-end boutique items. We offer sizes S-3XL. Our Curators enjoy a generous profit margin. 
“Many of us want to start our own businesses. Public space is filled with reports of new ventures. But the reporting on entrepreneurship is heavily skewed in one particular direction: towards people who have started new kinds of businesses, pioneers who have pushed the boundaries of commerce by creating a wholly original offering, usually through the help of an innovative piece of technology…”
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.
To be clear, providing care for the elderly often requires a broader set of credentials (as it should) so this business idea isn’t one most people can get started with this weekend. These credentials may include licenses, training certificates, business permits, and tax forms depending on which state you wish to operate, the level of care you intend to provide, and whether you plan on running a formal business or just hiring yourself out as an independent worker as a side business idea. If you’re already giving unpaid care to an elderly relative or friend, you may want to review Medicaid provisions for some compensation. In all cases, you need genuine affection for the elderly, a lot of common sense, and good knowledge of first aid, CPR, and elderly care basics to excel with this side business idea.

NerdWallet’s interactive small-business loans tool allows you to find financing that meets your individual goals. Enter the age of your business, your credit score, the amount of money you need and how you’ll use it. The list of lenders is based on factors including trustworthiness and user experience.
There are several loan programs aimed at helping first-time entrepreneurs set up their business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) operates the loan programs offered by the U.S. government. To qualify for the loan, your business must meet some criteria such as your business must operate in the United States, your business must qualify as a small business according to SBA guidelines, you must operate for profit and you should have a good credit score.
peach® is a force for good. We are a clothing and accessory brand with a goal to elevate your everyday! Peach does this in three ways: 1) We offer versatile athleisure for the gym, work, and play in premium active fabrics. 2) Essential basic layering pieces and intimate apparel. 3) Exciting accessories from under-discovered female entrepreneurs. We also offer women like you the opportunity for entrepreneurship — to build your own business through a creative, exciting, and flexible career that fits into and elevates your everyday! As a company, we are deeply committed to our mission which is to be a force for good for women. To help her thrive, to inspire her to feel strong and beautiful, and to ELEVATE HER EVERYDAY! For more info, please contact daryl@bepeachstrong.com.
Open a bank account for your LLC. You will need to have your EIN prior to opening an account. Consult your bank of choice about the options on your account that will be best suited to your business needs.
Amazon mTurk – Read Review – Open worldwide, but you can’t get paid in cash unless you’re in the US — you have to opt for money in your Amazon account. Pay varies depending on the tasks you choose. Payments are made via bank transfer or you can get money to spend on Amazon instead.
Sole Proprietorship: The least formal structure of all — if you’re doing business on your own, you’re automatically seen as a sole proprietorship. There’s no need to file anything with the state, except perhaps a DBA (if you want to operate under a name aside from your own legal name). The main problem with this structure is that there’s nothing shielding you from business liability.
The market for website developers is huge and highly competitive. If you lack highly specialized coding skills, I would suggest you consider trying to break into this space by offering flat fee rates to develop new or re-launched websites for smaller businesses or organizations and limit your development work to one platform, such as WordPress.
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.
When you think of your neighborhood coffee shop and bar, you might not think of the same establishment. But if your town is small enough, and clientele scarce, merging these two business ideas might be just what the mayor ordered.
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.
How do you make money as a product reviewer? By cashing in on affiliate marketing links from products you review. Even if you give a product a negative review, you could mention a product that you prefer as an alternative and give an affiliate link to that product. Of course, books are an obvious product to review and that has helped propel Amazon into being the largest affiliate marketer on the web, despite their skimpy, circa 4%, commission levels.
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.
Someone wise once said that to qualify as a small town there is a prerequisite that it must have an ice cream shop. Ok, maybe we made that up. But regardless, if it’s not true, it should be. Opening an ice cream shop in a small town is a business idea guaranteed to draw a crowd. Knowing your product, being familiar with the most popular ice cream flavors, and having a willingness to work nights and weekends are all important factors to take into account. Just remember, this business comes with the challenges of seasonality. So, as we recommended boutique fitness businesses as great for cold weather climates, we are recommending ice cream shops for areas that are warmer. Find the perfect town with the perfect weather and this small town business idea is a no-brainer.
Gabbyville – If you’re a bright, articulate individual with exemplary administrative, customer service, or receptionist experience and wish to join our talented, dedicated team of virtual receptionists, we’d like to hear from you. We are hiring full-time employees. Hours are between 8am – 8pm EST (M-F). This remote position is W2 with ADP benefits, and requires a laptop/desktop w/ Windows 8 or 10. Job requirements our ideal candidate will possess the following: Previous experience in the travel and hospitality industry preferred, strong communication skills, proficient computer skills, neutral accent, and a GREAT ATTITUDE is a plus! With flexible work schedules, competitive compensation and amazing growth opportunities, we invite you to bring your skills and expertise to our team. Please send your resume to career@gabbyville.com.
We know that a company’s success starts with its employees. We also know that an individual’s success starts with the right career opportunity. As a Best of Staffing ® Client and Talent leader, Aerotek’s people-focused approach yields competitive advantage…
I’ve been around boats almost since I could walk so I forget that some people need to be educated in how to run a powerboat or captain a sailboat. Now taking a boat for a spin and introducing someone to the pleasures of boating…how fun!
Part of the reason is that I often want a great breakfast later in the day and yet I frequently can’t find a convenient place to go. Also, breakfast foods cost little money, allowing for higher markups. And breakfasts are easier to prepare than gourmet dinners. Also, this kind of restaurant would potentially be busy for many hours during the day.
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.
Obtain an required business licenses. License requirements will vary according to your state, or even according to the county where you plan to do business. Contact your county clerk’s office to determine if any licenses or permits are required for your type of business.
Yes, you can compete with the Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts of the world! However, these chains have raised the bar, so your coffee or tea must be not just good, but awesome! Your ambiance better be good too. Your location needs to be good as well. Plus, you need to be distinctive. One way to stand out is to compliment your world class beverages with some fabulous foods. So yes, you can compete, but you’ve gotta be firing on all cylinders in this competitive space!
This is similar to the banquet facility business but built around a facility that is ideal for weddings. People will pay a lot of money for a wedding venue that excites them! You could provide the catering and related services yourself, allow customers to bring their own caterers or require your customers work with a particular caterer that you chose.
It’s clear by now that we’re major proponents of leveraging modern software when starting a business, and marketing is no exception. There are hundreds of programs out there designed to help entrepreneurs like you market their budding businesses, from ROI calculators to social media management tools.
Even though I don’t drink alcahol I do think that the coffieshop/bar idea is a great one. Too many business owners are too stuck in ther old way to think out of the box. And when you think of it, bistros change their menus three times a day and it has worked for them for years.
June 6, 2017 | Mark Thomas | Not having a local grocery is an all too often experience in rural communities. Understanding the reasons is key to developing strategies to overcome this crippling blow to the economic vitality and longevity in small town America.
#44 – User Testing employs home-based workers to carry out tests on various websites. To qualify as a tester, potential testers must undertake and pass a sample test. Successful testers earn up to $15 per 20 minutes. This translates to more than $45 per hour.
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!
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.
Choosing the path of entrepreneurship, and working on your side business idea, is without a doubt riskier than being content with holding a 9-5 job. It requires way more sacrifice. However, once you’re reaping the lifestyle benefits of being your own boss and hustling your way into making significantly more money with your business idea than you ever could at your day job, the hard work will have all been worth it. So, let’s talk business ideas.
Now that you’ve got your financial foundation set up, it’s time to get some money rolling in. Colorado is said to have the strongest economy in the U.S., so there are tons of funding opportunities are there — but not all of them are right for every new business.
Television repair is not a dying business. Consumers don’t want to throw out their TVs at the first time of trouble. Furthermore, if you start this business you may want to expand into related businesses such as servicing computer monitors.
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:

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