how to run a small business | opening up your own business

When my Rolex needed repair, I was determined to save some money so I went to an independent repair service. I visited his shop in Ft. Lauderdale and it was a relatively large operation with half a dozen technicians or so serving not just the local community, but shipping watches back and forth all over. Then there is my father’s grandfather clock which I just arranged to have shipped to me. Just to have it shipped, I needed an expert clock service to take it apart, and then on the receiving end I needed another expert service to put it back together. You get the point…there’s lots of demand here!
It doesn’t happen overnight, but licensing a foreign product for sale domestically, can be a lucrative business idea that (at times) leads to a big payoff down the road. Invest intelligently, sell a product you believe in, and you can reap the rewards for years to come.
You can power wash houses, commercial buildings, driveways, patios, motor vehicles and more. You will need to be registered, probably have to post a bond, and there may be environmental issues because of the water usage. This is a business you will want to learn carefully. But the upside is that there are many potential markets for your services.
PlaytestCloud is looking for gamers on Android and iOS to be paid for playing unreleased games! We receive a variety of games to test and match testers to games they would enjoy. Sign up with all required demographic info and after a qualification test you’ll get a playtest within a few days. We’ll send you a survey and game to test and want to hear what you think of the game as you play. All in all, it shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to do one test. Reward is usually between $5 – $9 USD and paid via PayPal.
People who own fish, lizards, snakes or any other animals that live in tanks or aquariums are likely to need some maintenance services at some point. If that’s the type of work you enjoy, you can provide those services in people’s homes or place of business.
Gardening is big and growing. And it is a business that is less likely to move totally online than many other businesses. You could start out with a supply center, expanding over time to add some plants to sell, and then, eventually vertically integrate with your own plant nursery. You could also expand into providing onsite services.
Many small companies and startups now outsource jobs that aren’t part of their core business (such as HR, admin, and accounting), which makes this skill set a great opportunity for starting a side business idea that engages your number prowess. Because companies always need to track their cash flow, freelance accountants and bookkeepers can really benefit from the increasing demand for part-time help.
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.
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.
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.
Events like family reunions and large parties are often full of busywork that many people simply don’t want to tackle. That can be the perfect place for you to step in and take charge of the planning and coordination. And thanks to the Internet, it is now easier than ever to market your event planning services.
Create a working name. You could even do this before you have an idea for the business, and if the name is good, you may find it helps you define your business idea. As your plan grows, and things begin to take shape, the perfect name may come to you, but don’t let that hinder you in the early phases. Create a name that you can use while you plan and don’t hesitate to change it later.
A catering service may be a large business serving meals to armies of people at special events. Or it may be a single person business serving dinner to just a few people. Specialization can help build your business. For example, here in New England some caterers specialize in clambakes.
Not to be confused with hoarding, this business idea takes a lot of time, patience, and passion. If you have an eye for good art, it’s easy to get in on the ground level by visiting the studio department at your local university—though don’t expect to get rich overnight with this side business idea. Many art students are more than happy to sell their work for a bargain, and in as little as a few years, there’s a chance that piece you bought for a couple hundred bucks may be worth well into the thousands. Beware though, this business idea will take a whole lot of patience (and storage space for all that art).
Federal: The Small Business Association website has tons of helpful information on federal tax requirements and federal licenses and permits. The business taxes page on the IRS website is also an excellent resource.
Another flexible non-phone option in the educational field is test scoring. There are a few reputable companies that do hire home-based workers to score everything from standardized tests to essays. Before you apply, you should know that ETS and Pearson (listed below) do require that you have certain qualifications and/or past teaching experience before they’ll let you become a scorer. WriteScore on the other hand requires just a two-year college degree.
Many gymnasiums will trade membership and often a bit more for a person willing and able to teach an exercise class. You can also find people who don’t want to go to a gym and train them at home as a personal trainer. If you’re in good shape, this is a great opportunity to earn some extra money, plus it can often lead to additional income with one-on-one instruction opportunities.
According to the Innovation Benchmark report published by PwC this year, open innovation has become the most popular operating model around the globe. That’s the conclusion reached by a survey of over 1,200 executives in 44 countries. More collaborative forms of innovation, including open innovation, design thinking, and co-creation, have outpaced traditional R&D. I’m not surprised.
If you’re still not having any luck with the jobs I’ve shared above – check out FlexJobs. The company has a 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 hand-screened for legitimacy. This is a great way to search for legitimate work at home jobs without the hassle of dealing with scams.
A photographer, for example, can service a local event while selling prints online through their Instagram account. Coupling your service-based business with physical products can give you another source of income that isn’t directly tied to your time.

Hold a party and invite people who can spread the word for you. It doesn’t need to be pricey––purchase the food and drink from bulk discount stores and get family and friends to help with catering (you can give them a product or service in return).
Pet grooming and boarding are also businesses where convenience and distance matter, making them perfect ideas for rural businesses. No one wants to drive two towns over to drop their pet off for a trim, nor drive back to pick them up. Since most small towns don’t have a pet specialty chain such as a Petco, businesses can also capitalize on the lack of a major pet store where owners would usually purchase food, toys, and clothing for their pets. If you plan your business well, you can become the one-stop shop for all things furry. And that translates to big profits.
I will tell you a secret. You can make a lot of money from a non-profit business. You can pay yourself a good salary and reasonable expenses. And you can even sell the enterprise. Better yet, you can create an organization that will really help others. I strongly suggest you approach running a non-profit with the same discipline that you would a profit-making business, and almost all of the how-to videos on BusinessTown.com apply to non-profits as well.
Apparently you have to be seen to be appreciated by your coworkers, so, if it’s possible, you might want to get out of the house and show up at the office once in a while. (Plus, you might start feeling a little lonely — and lose a little too much sleep.)
This is a great part-time business because you decide when you want to work. And except for work requiring licenses, you can decide how much work you want to contract out and how much you want to do yourself.
This is basically an employment temp service, but you may be “leasing out” employees for longer stints of time. The advantage to the customer is that they don’t have to get involved in sourcing, screening and qualifying candidates, and importantly, they are not responsible for employment taxes, withholding and reporting. To succeed at this business, you need a strong ability to sell your services and place employees. This can be a “messy” business with employees coming and going, tax filing requirements, and customers to please. However, the upside is unlimited, some employee leasing firms have grown into mammoth enterprises!
I love working for TTEC@home, I’m a single parent who moved to a new state where I had no family or friends. I started a job where I felt like I was working just to pay daycare for my four-year-old son. My son hated the daycare and I never had time to spend with him. I was referred to TTEC and I’m in love with it. Now, I put my son on the bus and log in for work. By the time I get off work, my son is almost home. It’s wonderful!
Sammi Caramela is a recent graduate of Rowan University, where she majored in writing arts and minored in journalism. She currently works as a Purch B2B staff writer while working on her first novel in her free time. Reach her by email, or check out her blog at sammisays.org.
Unless you’re planning to be your only employee, you’re going to need to hire a great team to get your company off the ground. Joe Zawadzki, CEO and founder of MediaMath, said entrepreneurs need to give the “people” element of their businesses the same attention they give their products.
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.
A limited liability company (LLC) is a popular way of setting of a business because it allows the owners to limit their personal liability for actions taken by the company. While an accountant or an attorney can set up an LLC for you, it is usually pretty easy to complete the formation process yourself. Keep in mind that each state will have different rules for forming an LLC, so it is important to look at your specific state laws before proceeding.
Shop around local banks to see what’s out there. Local banks and credit unions usually have fantastic customer support, so we’d recommend looking into some award-winning Colorado-based banks like Alpine and Bank of Colorado.
People love to be organized but often they never find the time to make it happen. And a lot of people just aren’t very good at it either. You can help people organize their house. And in the process, you can make them feel more organized about their life! What a great service!
If you can make anything from clothing to candles, you can work on creating those items in your home or workshop and then travel to different craft fairs in your community or around the world to sell them.
It seems that just about every business I’ve been involved in hires home-based editors, who work on a freelance basis and set their own hours. Generally, this work falls into three categories: 1) Developmental editing or making highly substantive changes; 2) Copy editing or wording and grammar improvements; 3) Proof reading. Many editors specialize in one aspect of editing, others cover them all. You may further specialize such as in technical document editing.
This is good specialized business with a specific, clearly defined market to target. Until you have started to gain momentum you might want to find someone you can rent a horse trailer from on an as-needed basis. Then buy your own trailer after you start to build your customer base.
One of my friends developed a great retail business with several small gift locations inside of shopping malls. She taught herself to make mouth-watering candy by practicing up in her kitchen. Most of her candy she made herself, but she did compliment her offerings with a few products she bought wholesale.
Manage your running costs. Keep a close eye on your running costs and keep them in line with your projections. Whenever you see something spent wastefully—like electricity, phone plans, stationery, packaging—look around and estimate how much you really need, and minimize or remove the cost in every way possible. Think frugally when you start up, including renting items instead of purchasing them and using pre-paid plans for services your business needs instead of locking yourself into long-term contracts.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, you might consider leveraging business planning software. There’s a ton of user-friendly programs out there that can make the planning process far simpler. If you’d like to take a look at some of the best options, head over to our top 7 business planning software tools!
Many businesses and civic institutions need individuals who can clean their offices and common areas outside of normal business hours. If you’re willing to work some nights and weekends, you can build a cleaning side business and get in shape all in one fell swoop.
#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.
In that case, you buy the building and hire a management company to handle the day-to-day hassles. I once tried to sell one of my online businesses to a 40-year old real estate billionaire who started out his business with just a couple multi-family homes.
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.

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