how to run your own business | how to start a successful small business

Nearly everyone owns a smartphone these days, and accidents happen — just think of how many cracked iPhone screens you’ve seen. A smartphone repair business can save people the hassle and expense of having to buy a new phone.
From the inside looking out, I want to see the world as clearly as possible. And so do a lot of homeowners and particularly office managers. Now that creates a demand for window cleaners to step into this business idea, especially if you can land a contract cleaning windows for an office building. If you want to try it out as a side business idea, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start a window-washing business at home.
The best business to start is one where customers want your product or service at a price that enables you to make a profit. Ideally, new customers are easy to attract and there are few competitors. Finally, it should be a business in which you have experience (or can be trained) and enjoy the work.
Read through our comparison guide to learn more about each business structure. Make sure you fully understand the taxes, management, and level of liability tied up with your chosen structure before registering it with the state.
Define your management and financial structure: the operating agreement should define how your LLC is going to be run and how the finances will work – including who will share in the profits and what will happen in the event of a disagreement. If you do not have an operating agreement, you and your partners will have a much more difficult time resolving financial or management disagreements. [20]
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.
#28 – ShowMojo is dedicated to streamlining the real estate business with solutions to home owners and managers. The company currently is hiring particular work at home positions to help with scheduling and showing process of rentals. Posts such as sales manager, call center manager and automation expert pay about $20 an hour.
Referrals and showcasing your work in an online gallery are two keys to gaining new clients. If you don’t have a lot of experience in photography but still want to pursue this business idea, try working as an assistant to a professional photographer to build up your resume.
Finally, it’s time to master the primary skill that will ensure the continual success and growth of your business: marketing. Marketing is quite literally an art, so it’s impossible to distill it down to a few bullet points. Regardless, here are a few things you’ll definitely need to do in order to design a successful marketing strategy:
If you have a way with words and know how to make the keyword-friendly, beautifully designed, SEO-optimized landing pages, why not charge other companies for your services and turn it into a money-making side business idea? Even a short landing page is worth a couple hundred bucks in most cases, and so much more if you know how to pitch your prospects well. If you want to get started with your business idea of becoming a landing page specialist or freelance copywriter, check out Len Smith and Sean Kaye’s awesome course on Udemy, Copywriting Secrets: How to Write Copy That Sells.
There are at least three teenage entrepreneurs who’ve already earned astonishing amounts of money by launching hand-made jewelry business ideas: M3 Girl Designs’ Maddie Bradshaw, Bella Weems of Origami Owl, and the girl behind DesignedByLei. With the industry set to shine in the near term via a brisk annual growth rate of 5-6%, the market is ripe for new entrants to this business idea who can offer sparkling new takes on how to craft appealing handmade goods.
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.
Create a business plan for your home based business. This is the blueprint for your business. It may also help you think of things that had not crossed your mind about your business and help you determine what kind of start up costs you are looking at. At minimum, a business plan should include the following:
Healthy Hands Cooking provides stay-at-home moms with a passion for nutrition and kids, the chance to make a healthy income while making a difference in kids’ lives. Keep 100% of your income, empower kids in your community with vital, healthy living skills, and LOVE WHAT YOU DO!
If you can’t market a product or service in Illinois then you might want to re-think things a bit. Illinois is truly one of the biggest cultural melting pots in America, so it has plenty of niche consumer populations. The challenge is not getting lost and in over your budget’s head.
But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you’ll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp.
Wines For Humanity hosts wine events and does in-home wine tastings to raise money for various charities in 14 states (over $3.5 million contributed so far!). Our organization is rapidly growing because we offer people a great opportunity to make a nice monthly income while also helping people in need. Below are just some of the benefits to joining our company: 1) Very flexible job! Determine your own work schedule. 2) Make $500 a month by just doing one event or tasting a week. The more events you do, the more you make. 3) 50% off of every single award-winning wine in our selection. 4) Great incentive and bonus structure to earn as much as you want. 5) Receive a 17% commission on everything you promote. Contact ajsteinhart@winesforhumanity.com for more details.
Find out what legal steps you need to take, such as getting a local business permit, obtaining a state license, passing health department requirements, incorporating, getting a sales tax license or buying liability insurance.
Large corporations often contract smaller companies to provide phone and online customer service, and these smaller companies specifically hire home workers. Typically you’ll spend the day on the phone in front of your computer and will answer calls or respond to questions online.
The major benefit of becoming a foreign corporation is that it allows your company to operate as one entity in many jurisdictions. For example, if you originally incorporate your LLC the State of Delaware, you can file your existing domestic LLC as a foreign corporation in other states.
What meaningless junk content Captain Obvious! What did you do, walk down the main street of any small town and make a list of the businesses along the way and then write a cookie cutter useless paragraph about each one?
Lack of funds, should not deter you from pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams. With confidence in your idea and a clear vision of how you are going to execute it, you can do it. Once you have that covered, getting the funds to support your dream may not be as difficult as it seems.
Want to start a food business? A truck is a much less expensive investment than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and according to Mobi Munch founder Josh Tang, the failure rate for food trucks is just 10 to 20 percent (as opposed to 60 to 90 percent for restaurants). With the right equipment and some great recipes, you can have your mobile eatery up and running in no time.
It might surprise you, but opening a flower shop is a fairly inexpensive business idea and great for small towns. That is, less expensive than say a restaurant or a car wash. According to openaflowershop.com, starting a flower shop has relatively few costs compared to other retail businesses. One of the only costs you will be faced with is the purchase of a cooler to keep your product (aka pretty flowers) fresh and cool.
Digital products like music, courses, and templates are unique on this list of ideas. Unlike the others, they’re not tangible products. There aren’t recurring manufacturing or shipping costs to worry about so your margins can remain high.
A few years ago, I overheard a conversation in a gym about a fellow who was planning on starting an Irish pub, of which there are close to million (well almost a million) in Boston, but then changed his mind and opened a pub focusing on craft beers. It was wildly successful! In addition to being a unique idea at the time, he also chose an excellent location and developed a solid food menu. Unless your overhead is extremely low, you are probably going to need to serve food to make a go of this business, so yes you can be extremely successful–but it is no small undertaking.
Beware of people who ask for money before giving you business. Trade leads to prosperity through mutual gain,[3] so a business should be willing to pay you to work for it. (A franchise store or home-sales business may have legitimate start-up costs, but they should reflect a reasonable cost of getting you started in the business so the managers would make money through your success, rather than just by getting you in.)

Many people would love to have a beautiful slideshow to commemorate the passing of a loved one, an anniversary, or a special birthday. With a computer and some select software, you could quickly turn anyone’s pictures into a beautiful, custom slideshow, and profit handsomely for your time and effort.
Decide how to accept payment. You will need to do something to get payment from your clients or customers. You can get something like a Square, which is great for small businesses since it requires the minimum amount of paperwork and the fees are minimal. However, if you feel uncomfortable with technology, you can inquire about a more traditional merchant account.
You having a great idea and you want to translate it into opening a business. There is one big caveat, you are short on cash. And for most aspiring entrepreneurs, getting hold of the much-needed capital is usually the biggest challenge.
Several of my friends have done this both as a side business and a main business. The ones doing it as a side business have actually done better. I think that is partly because they have waited patiently for better deals to buy.
Convergys hires home-based call agents to provide customer service support. This company offers paid training, hourly wages, as well as benefits like, paid time off, 401k retirement plan, life insurance, medical, dental, and vision. Convergys only hires home-based agents in the US.
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!
For this reason, consider testing out your dishes on a smaller scale first, at a local farmer’s market or a food festival. You can get feedback from customers on your product before investing in a mobile operation.
I love wine bars! There is even a successful wine bar in the small village on Cape Cod where my summer house is. How did it become successful? The owners found a location near the center of the village but at a low rent. They started with a very limited food menu but eventually expanded it to become a full-service restaurant. They also offer live music on most nights. Beware that many customers expect truly exceptional wines at a wine bar.
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it’ll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.
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  1. Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter have changed the way entrepreneurs are raising money to fund their new businesses. Whether you want to sell a new software tool or set up an organic noodle bar, you can get people to invest in your business.
    10. Move on to your next great idea. Licensing is a numbers game. You have to keep getting up to bat to land a home run. When a company rejects your submission, you must inquire why. You may be able to redesign your product to meet their needs. When you approach a company that rejected you with your second idea, you’re a professional. They’ll respect you for it.
    Running a business can be overwhelming, and you’re probably not going to be able to do it all on your own. That’s where third-party vendors come in. Companies in every industry from HR to business phone systems exist to partner with you and help you run your business better.
    You’ve probably noticed that most companies nowadays offer ways to for their customers to contact them instantly via live chat support. Many of these chat support agents do work from home. Below is a list of the companies I’ve reviewed on this site that have occasion openings for work at home chat agents.
    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.
    Nothing beats teaching more novice learners about your passion, hobby, or craft as a business idea (that’s a common theme here). Explore dozens of DIY portals (such as DIY.org, DIY Network, Instructables and Mahalo) to get business ideas on how to earn a healthy side income just by showing others how to do the things you love. You can also sift through the countless ad-supported YouTube channels that teach just about anything from guitar strumming to 3D printing.
    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.

  2. Luckily, there are tons of ways to start businesses and make money with a side hustle while still leading a well-rounded, meaningful life. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to quit your day job and grow your side business idea into an empowering self-employed career.
    Investment: Startup costs will depend on the type of services you provide. The upfront costs should be lower if the business is nonmedical and assists seniors with basic daily tasks, although training and licensing may still be required.
    Consider the space required for your business. If you’re planning on doing any sort of manufacturing, product storage, or shipping, you will likely need more than a desk to work on. Think about how much space you have in your home for these activities. Will you be displacing other family members with your business activities? Consider your space requirements and your home’s ability to meet those requirements before moving forward.
    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.
    File your “Articles of Incorporation.” To form your LLC, you must prepare and file “articles of organization” with the secretary of state in the state where you plan to do business. While most states use the term “articles of organization” to refer to the basic document required to create an LLC, some states call it a “certificate of formation” or “certificate of organization.” [15]
    The answers range from original instrumental beats to stock photos that can be licensed to other creators, to information products and templates that help people level up their skills in a particular field.
    In some situations, Hilton’s VoIP phone service may not be available for some Work from Home agents, due to their internet connectivity. In the event your internet connection does not support Hilton’s VoIP phone service, we require you to provide home phone service and a dial pad with corded headset to take reservations calls.
    Framing services are everywhere and often they are franchised operations with prime retail locations. But you don’t have to be. You could try this service online. Or you could try this service on a mobile basis, going to your customers’ homes. Or you could get that storefront.
    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.
    Build a trusting customer base. By adjusting to your customers’ needs and consistently providing good services or products, you get the best form of free advertising: word of mouth recommendations. Your customers will recommend you to their friends if they are truly satisfied with your work, and your business will grow accordingly. You’ll have get some customers coming back for repeat service and build up a consistent revenue pipeline.

  3. As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What’s more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Upwork, which makes this a high-demand side business idea.
    Where there are homes, there will be children and where there are children there will be tears over math and grammar. Though the internet abounds with online tutoring services, nothing can ever replace the benefits of having an in-person teacher. In addition to being a great business idea for small towns, tutoring can also be a profitable business for both yourself and those working for you. If you are looking to hire employees, we recommend starting with a few tutors that specialize in math, reading, writing, and science. Don’t attempt to hire tutors that brand themselves as a jack of all subjects, those individuals are few and far between and most likely would be too expensive for you to employ from the start. Instead, look for tutors that specialize in one subject and have previous tutoring or teaching experience.
    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!
    Health and fitness services are being rebranded to become trendier and more sociable. Opening a health club or gym targeted specifically to millennials could be a great way to capitalize on the fitness trend, especially if you focus on creating a strong, fun and engaging social media presence to really connect with young members and potential customers.
    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.
    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.
    The next step in your journey involves choosing a business structure and registering it with the state of Colorado. Registering your business as an official entity is the only way to protect your personal assets and achieve total legal compliance.

  4. But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you’ll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp.
    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).

  5. #47 – CrowdSource hires individuals to complete various tasks ranging from marketing, profile verification, writing and text editing. Freelancers receive payment after completing various tasks. Payment ranges from $15 for simple tasks to $30 per hour for more complex tasks.
    Young Living – Financial freedom through healthy living! We are a 22-year-old corporation doing a billion in annual sales, the trendsetter in wellness products. We do business in almost every country with headquarters in 13 Countries. We have hundreds of thousands of satisfied clients who have experienced life change in the areas of health, wellness and financial abundance which has led to one of the highest client loyalty rates in the industry. We offer personalized mentoring, business, leadership, personal development, and product training. Because we work hard to set you up and to help you succeed, we are only looking for people who are serious about becoming financially independent through working from home part-time. If you are a team player, self-motivated, dependable and ready to begin earning a substantial income part-time right away, contact Leslie Morris at (916)572-2531, lesliejmorrisyl@gmail.com or lesliemorris.babystepseo.com/.
    Tired of chasing after paid blogging gigs? Start your writing business by starting a blog! We have a quick and easy tutorial right here — plus you can grab hosting for as little as $2.95 a month with Bluehost.
    I find the car wash business highly attractive and even considered opening one at one point. You have a regular clientele, in many areas the competition isn’t too intense, and there is lots of room to upsell more expensive services like detailing. If I was going to go into this business, I might consider starting with a smaller facility in a smaller market, and really learning the business before going for a larger facility, in a more competitive marketplace.
    Even Rapunzel needed a trim now and them. It’s one service, that regardless of your age, most people need a few (if not a few dozen) times a year. If you’re currently calculating the average number of women in your town and multiplying it by three, thinking that is the amount of business you will drum up yearly, you’re thinking too narrowly. Opening your own hair salon has a variety of additional services that go far beyond haircuts. Think coloring, nails, and makeup, just to name a few. And remember, men tend to get their hair cut at least once a month. And, if you’re covering up that gray, every six weeks sounds about right. Quality cuts, depending on your geographic area and the experience of the stylist can go for around $100. Just make sure you have a solid business plan before opening up your small town shop.
    This is a good steady service business. To get started you don’t have to handle every single brand or every single repair. You can study manufacturer’s repair guides or watch instructional videos to get going.
    I met Wally Amos who made a blockbuster success out of famous Amos cookies, which he launched after a career as a Hollywood talent agent. Wally eventually lost control of his company to outside investors. However, he came back again with still another cookie line. Everyone loves a fancy cookie and it’s an easy food to both differentiate and to charge a premium for.

  6. Create a business plan for your home based business. This is the blueprint for your business. It may also help you think of things that had not crossed your mind about your business and help you determine what kind of start up costs you are looking at. At minimum, a business plan should include the following:
    Many ultra-busy professionals appreciate having someone who can check and answer their email, organize task lists for them, update their calendars, and other administrative tasks, with minimal interaction. The best part is that you can provide this service from home with a good Internet connection.
    One of our strongest selling books at my book publishing company was “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands?” Traveling business people and others want to know how to fit in with foreign cultures. With a little bit a research or overseas exposure you could offer basic courses and consulting, and then you could provide more in-depth expertise as you build your knowledge overtime.
    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.
    Decide whether to trademark your name. If your name is very original or creative, you also may want to consider registering it as a trademark. This can distinguish your product or service from those of competitors. Trademarking your company name also can protect you from trademark infringement by other companies.
    Protect your LLC by writing an operating agreement. Unless you are a solo member LLC, in which case you do not need an operating agreement, it may be wise to write one in order to protect your LLC. Although most states do not require you to register an operating agreement, you may want to consider doing so. In almost all cases, you can choose the operational rules for your LLC. However, if you do not have an operating agreement, the “default” rules in place in your state will govern in the event of a disagreement. [18] Your operating agreement can help you do the following:
    With nearly 100,000 different custom extensions both free and paid available in Google Chrome’s marketplace, there’s a huge opportunity for creating a useful extension for people to use while browsing the web as a low effort business idea. One of my favorite Chrome extensions, Yet Another Mail Merge, which enables you to send bulk customized emails from within Gmail, gives you 50 free credits to send emails and gives you the chance to upgrade to a paid account to unlock more sending—a great upsell for the people who are getting value from the extension. Even free Chrome extensions like SVRF Tabs by SVRF, which replaces your new tab with stunning VR and 360º images, have the potential to bring in new users and eventually drive revenue for the startup’s core business. Another fun example from a friend of mine, Kathleen Garvin, is Hide images with NOPE, a Chrome extension that hides images on the web pages you’re browsing—to help eliminate distractions and keep you from seeing images (like those of certain politicians) that you may want to hide. This side business idea is particularly great because it also allows you to showcase your development skills—which can be put to work as an adjacent side business idea on a freelance basis alongside the Chrome extensions you launch.

  7. These businesses have been around forever, and I have hired temp workers through them from time to time, typically for simple packing or assembly type work. Historically your success would be largely dependent upon how successful you were at making sales calls on companies that hire temporary help. But today you can also bring sales leads to you through online marketing.
    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.
    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.
    Choose your partners wisely. When choosing the person or people you’re going to build the business with, be careful. Even if someone is your best friend, it doesn’t mean that you will partner well in a business operation. Start it with a reliable person. Things to consider when choosing your co-leaders and support cast include:
    Think of some of the biggest success stories in recent times, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney; Bill Gates and Paul Allen; Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; and Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In every case, the partnership brought out the best in both sides of the equation.
    If you think you have a reasonably good ability to judge which early stage businesses have the best chances to succeed then this is the business for you! However, the odds against any particular venture backed business succeeding are low, so you need to spread your bets widely, especially if you are betting on very early stage companies. To get started you may first want to invest with a group of angel investors, typically plucking down $25k or $50k for each company you invest in.
    3. Select a relatively simple idea to focus on first. The process I am laying out here is a test in and of itself. Without spending very much time or money, you can determine if your idea is worth pursuing further. That said, I highly recommend selecting a simple idea to focus on first. Complex ideas require more time, money, and work. Can you describe how your idea will solve a problem quickly and easily? Can it be manufactured using existing technologies? Will you be able to create an initial prototype inexpensively? Does it have a wow factor? Does it have mass appeal? Licensing an idea is all about risk reduction. You need to make it as easy as possible for a potential licensee to say, “Yes, that fits in perfectly, we need that product.”

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