how to set up a small business | small business startup help

For example, if you are streaming video as part of your business, you are justified in buying faster internet. However, if you are mainly using the internet for browsing and email, there is no reason for you to get a higher speed internet package.
Yes, you can make a lot of money with a simple ice cream shop! Perfect your ice cream before you start, find a good busy location without a crazy rent and consider starting with a smaller footprint to minimize your overhead. I’ll have an ice cream sundae please—with everything on it!
A small business typically doesn’t hire a full-time HR person until it reaches about 50 people in size. Until it reaches that size a company might contract for an HR person one or two days a week through a human resources service. One of my friends with experience in HR built up a good business on this model. It helps if you are a good networker or are comfortable approaching small business owners to sell them your service.
If you do the gardening or greenhouse ideas, you could also branch out to farmers’ markets where you could sell the produce from your gardening efforts as well. People love supporting local growers and the quality of product at a farmers’ market is much higher than supermarket fare.
To estimate your start-up costs, begin by creating two lists — one of things you’ll treat as expenses, one for your assets. Don’t forget to consider items such as brochures, business cards and website development costs or any security deposits you need to make. Consider whether you need the help of a consultant, tax adviser or lawyer to get started. Next, categorize these items as essential or optional — do you really need to spend money on these before you start making any kind of income?
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make a solid side business idea work, not to mention opening doors for you to travel the world if you’d like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to teach them English via Skype. Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co often have remote english tutoring jobs posted, check back frequently. Then once you land that remote job, you’ll need somewhere more professional than your dining room table to meet with students—check out this post about how to find places to work remotely and you’ll officially graduate this side business idea into a full-time endeavor for yourself.
As part of your marketing, you can share the impact that your customers are having by supporting your business, such as a blog post covering your work in the community or a real-time impact calculator on your website.
A money broker is basically someone who arranges short-term loans to people. A common variant on this is “pay-day lending” where businesses lend money to people who are typically looking for funds to hold them over to the next paycheck. These are usually storefront locations, closely regulated and not allowed in all states. This can be a solid business, but the regulatory climate is shifting against these businesses, so evaluate the risk of future regulatory changes, before hanging out your shingle.
Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, Lynda and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.
The first step toward starting any successful California business is planning. Launching a business without a business plan is like shooting a major Hollywood production without a screenplay — it’s bound to go haywire. Among the things you’ll cover in your business plan are:
Car washing or detailing services don’t always need to involve lots of complicated equipment or business acumen. You can set up a simple location where you provide services to customers or you can even travel to clients with your detailing supplies.
While many social enterprises offer their own original products, you can also take any of the business ideas above and partner with a non-profit, or execute that social good with your own hands, as long as you’re transparent about how it works.
Many online sellers try to bake their shipping costs into their retail price so that they can offer free shipping, or at least a reasonable flat rate. Others focus on encouraging shoppers to add more items to their cart with conditional free shipping (e.g. free shipping on orders over $50) to maximize their profit.
There are a variety of print-on-demand platforms you can work with, many of which can be integrated with your Shopify store for seamless order fulfillment. However, be sure to always order a sample of your product (often offered at a discount) to make sure your custom products look good.
Starting any business has a price, so you need to determine how you’re going to cover those costs. Do you have the means to fund your startup, or will you need to borrow money? If you’re planning to leave your current job to focus on your business, do you have some money put away to support yourself until you start making a profit?
The majority of us don’t have the luxury of being able to quit our day jobs to pursue starting a business idea today, without having to worry about how we’re going to meet our financial obligations moving forward with no immediate income.
Luckily, marketing is a lot easier when you’re catering to a specific audience or identity (e.g. vegans, board game lovers, photographers in your city). You can produce social media content that resonates with these people or run ads that target their interests. Taking this approach also helps you project a consistent brand because you’ll have a more specific idea of who exactly you’re talking to.
#48 – Stitch Fix – If you are a fashionista with a creative eye, try Stitch Fix a company that allows you to share fashion tips with clients on the site. For work at home stylist, Stitch Fix offers a $16+ an hour pay. As a requirement, you must be 18 years of age or more and be ready to attend their off-site training before starting the job.
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.
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.
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.
Though certainly not for everyone, recycling the containers from products left strewn around on the ground can become a surprisingly decent side business idea if you put in the time. Attending events like street fairs and outdoor concerts can be a great starting place. Put on a clean shirt, jeans, apply your sunscreen, grab a cheap pick-up tool like this one, sturdy plastic bags, and you can sell them for upwards of $4.00/pound on eBay.
Valentine’s day. Birthdays. Weddings. The list goes on and on—throughout the course of a year, there are dozens of occasions when people need to order flowers. What’s more is that once you’re up to speed with this business idea, your costs can stay relatively low if you know where to source your flowers, and typical margins are in the neighborhood of 300% (or more) on cut flowers which makes this a particularly profitable side business idea in the right geographic area. Check out this amazing interview with floral designer, Sara Tedford of Ladybird Poppy to hear about how her floral design company started out as a side business idea of doing weddings and events for her friends and family.
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.

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.
It can be helpful to have people who are bright and creative join you for a casual brainstorming session. Start with a simple question like: “What shall we do?” The idea is not to create a business plan, just to generate potential ideas. Many of the ideas will be duds, and there will be quite a few ordinary ones, but a few may emerge that have real potential.
Not everyone wants to tell people that their business is porta potties! That’s OK, you can make good money doing this business. The key is being willing to go out and sell your services to prospective organizations. Once you line up a customer your chance of landing repeat business is huge.

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  1. Naturally, it helps if you already have an online audience you can tap for listening to your regular podcast (like I did), but that hasn’t stopped thousands of people from building successful side business ideas into lucrative podcasts—including Alex Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media who teaches how to use storytelling and launch a podcast. You can also check out this class from podcaster and entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, about how to make money podcasting as a side business idea, which regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive.
    You can provide full service grooming without any overhead by visiting pets at their homes. Or you can have a store front with full service grooming. Or you can provide a do-it-yourself pet grooming facility. Location matters. One do-it-yourself pet grooming facility was highly successful with a location on a busy road, but another location they had on a secondary road, just off the center of town, did not work out.
    Yoga is getting ever more popular, which means yoga instructors are more in demand than ever—making this another physically rewarding side business idea. Link up with a local yoga studio to teach nightly classes or offer personalized yoga in-home at a higher rate to pursue this kind of emotional and physical balance with others, during your free time while helping your bank balance, too.
    In my book business, we had up to seven full time publicists on staff, and yet we would still hire outside publicity firms to promote our books. Most publicity work is promotion work—getting attention for businesses and their products. Most publicity firms specialize, for example one firm may specialize in promoting high tech firms in Boston, another may specialize in promoting restaurants in Providence. Many of the national publicity firms I have used were founded by somebody who had previously had experience working at a media outlet. But this business isn’t rocket science…if you are good at networking and you can get promotion for your clients then you can succeed at this business.
    Purchasing and installing a stair lift is a major decision for a mobility impaired customer. Offering excellent service including carefully presenting the best alternatives and being quickly available for follow-up service can help make your stair lift business stand out from the competition and build positive word of mouth.
    A merchant account is a contract under which an acquiring bank extends a line of credit to a merchant, who wishes to accept payment card transactions of a particular card association brand. Previously, without such a contract, one could not accept payments by any of the major credit card brands. However, the Square has changed that, so don’t feel locked in or limited to this option. Do your research.
    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.
    Local: Many cities and counties also require permits or licensing for individuals and firms conducting business within their jurisdiction. To learn about your requirements in this area, consult your local county clerks and city clerks. You can also search by keyword and zip code here.
    I like this idea! Instead of making the speeches and presentations yourself, you are coaching the presenters. I see this market as largely three-fold. First you have professional speakers who are making or trying to make a living giving paid presentations. Then you have people who are regularly called upon to make speeches or presentations in connection with their business. Then you have the person who occasionally is called upon to make a speech or presentation without being paid for it, but nonetheless wants to improve their presenting skills. This third market is the one I would suggest focusing on, to get started in this business.
    As you may know the big job sites are not specialized in work at home jobs. The at home jobs listed there are usually mixed in with regular jobs and the thousands of home based business opportunities which tend to require a fee. 

  2. While many social enterprises offer their own original products, you can also take any of the business ideas above and partner with a non-profit, or execute that social good with your own hands, as long as you’re transparent about how it works.
    It may be too late to change your Free Zone then. Or it may happen that certain offices allow only 1 visa that too only for investor and not for the employees. So do not proceed until all aspects of the office are confirmed.
    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.
    Fancy Hands hires remote-based workers to complete customer service requests like making phone calls on behalf of people, scheduling appointments, tracking down the best price, finding hotels, and data entry.
    With this business, you could focus on providing PC training to employees at smaller to mid-sized companies that are too small to have their own IT departments. Or you could offer classes to individuals.
    VoiceLog is a company that offers third party verification (TPV) services. They hire work-at-home positions for live operators – independent contractors, TPV Agents with multiple foreign languages available. Live operators make $8.50 per hour where TPV agents are compensated per call. Can work as little as 3 hours per shift.
    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.

  3. You have a brilliant idea that you know will definitely work, but what about your competition? Will it be difficult for a rival to copy your idea and repackage it in a better way? A potential investor will ask you this when you approach them for funding. It’s very important to understand the market you operate in and your competition.
    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.

  4. Profit is, after all, the ultimate goal of any successful small business. You should examine your business’ expenses (rent, materials, employee compensation, etc.) and then figure out how much you will need to sell to cover those costs and start generating a profit. This is known as a break-even analysis.
    Discover your inner publicist. You might truly believe in your product or service, but in order for it to be successful, everyone else must believe in it too. If you’re new to advertising and marketing or you dislike doing the sales pitch, now is the time to overcome such feelings and put on the publicist persona. You need to develop an excellent short pitch to convince people they need your product or service, one that reflects the value, purpose and potential of what your business is offering. Write down this pitch in many ways until you find one that you feel satisfied says it all and is something you can say readily. Then practice it like crazy!
    It doesn’t matter how long or detailed your plan is, as long as it covers a few essential points. Most successful small businesses will need to have a break-even analysis, a profit-loss forecast and a cash-flow analysis. A cash-flow analysis is especially important since you could be selling your products like hotcakes, but if you won’t be paid for six months, you could still run out of money and have to close your doors.
    Consider a home equity loan. If you have a home, looking to get a home equity loan can be a wise idea, since these loans are typically easily approved (since your home acts as collateral), and interest rates are typically lower.
    Figure out if you need additional insurance. Visit with your local insurance agent to determine if you are in need of any special insurance for your home based business. When you start a home based business, you immediately start exposing yourself, your family and your home to variety of risks and you want to make sure you are covered before it is too late.[4]
    A large proportion of homeowners and small businesses have lawns to tend to. Many turn to independent providers of yard work services to take care of their lawn care woes. To start and sustain a yard work services side business idea, you need training, equipment, and a growing network of customers. In the U.S., a full-time landscaping and groundskeeping worker reportedly earns a median wage of around $25,000, while those working on this as a side business idea largely during evenings and weekends can expect to make substantially less.

  5. Team members will complete assessments along the way to ensure their success on the job. After training, you will gain realistic, practical experience with supportive coaching and feedback to meet daily customer service and sales goals
    Have you been spending hours upon hours searching through job boards for a legit work at home typing or data entry job but keep running into jokers asking you for money to work for them? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? After all that’s usually how a job works. Well if you’re fed up with the scam artist lying to you, you should read the following article to discover companies ready to hire you for typing and data entry. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you a dime. And to help you further, I’ll also reveal a way to make money at home that will pay you more than you’ve ever earned with a job if you’re interested.
    Amazon MTurk – Read Amazon Mechanical Turk Review – This is more short task work than an actual work from home job, and may be good for only extra money. Once you are signed in, you can search for “data entry” to see the data entry short tasks that might be posted.
    Set up a dedicated phone line and internet service. Almost all businesses will require contact with customers over the phone. In order to ensure that your line will be free when customers call, you’ll have to get a dedicated phone line for business use. You should also sign up for voicemail rather than using an answering machine. This sounds more professional to customers.[7] You should also add an internet connection that is fast enough for your business purposes while still remaining affordable.
    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.
    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.
    Counted amongst the most valuable tech giants, Amazon is also a massive global market where virtually anyone can cash in on the rising tide of eCommerce if you have the right business idea. But, like everything else that involves money, you have to do quite a bit of work to earn it. In this case, you need to do tons of research (looking for generic products such as clocks, key chains and mugs to attach your brand to) as well as developing a sensible inside sales strategy that’ll help you generate profits from your private label side business idea. For an incredible deep dive on how  to launch this kind of business idea, check out how digital marketer Neil Patel recently did this as a public experiment right here on his blog.
    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.

  6. Write the marketing plan. Your operational plan describes how you will produce your product, and your marketing plan describes how you will sell your product. When you create your marketing plan, try to answer the question of how you will make your product known to potential customers.
    Yes, even the PowerPoint presentation requires outside consulting every now and then—especially if it’s not your forte. I know I would happily outsource the visual layout of my presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches and lectures. Tobias Schelle of 24Slides is living proof that you can turn your skills at slideshow presentation design into a legit side business idea—and potentially earn up to $20 a slide for your time and talents.
    Hi, I am Sandeep Chauhan, now I am trying to start a small business. I am from Delhi(India). But I can share my knowledge in Delhi for whom people who are interested in visiting in Delhi’s Historical Places.
    When I was promoting my job search books I started to put up advertisements on bulletin boards around local colleges. Then, seeing my advertisements people who were running bulletin board services called me, and I hired them to do the work for me instead. You can either offer your services putting up notices for clients on public bulletin boards, or you can get more sophisticated and develop proprietary bulletin boards that you get local businesses or organizations to agree to display for you. For example, you could list tourist attractions and post the bulletin board at local hotels.
    Have some extra space in your home? Turn that extra bedroom into a “bed and breakfast” room. If you live near any sort of tourist destination, you can try your hand at renting out a room through Airbnb or CouchSurfing.com. You may also find paid hosting opportunities in your community: Sign up to host exchange students, visiting professors to a nearby college, or hospital patients receiving long-term treatment.
    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!
    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 hate being locked out! And I hate how much money I have to pay a locksmith! Let alone how much I have to pay to have locks changed or a better lock system installed! Wouldn’t it be nice to be receiving this money instead of paying it out? Not only is there a constant need for this service, but with more elaborate door systems there is more room for upselling your customers—wouldn’t it be cool to have a keyless lock system?
    Early childhood learning seems to be the rage. Even many games have an educational bent. With such high interest this is a competitive space, so you need to specialize. Perhaps specialize in children with learning disabilities, slow learners, creative play, or “gifted” kids.

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