how to start a home business | how to get a small business started

Investment: Depending on where you live and the services offered, you may need to obtain a business license or be registered with your state. The startup costs could run high if you need to purchase tools and a work truck.
Market your business. To bring in more customers, you’ll have to market your business. This includes advertising, establishing a strong social media presence, and other activities designed to draw in customers. Your type of advertising should vary based on the type of customer you are trying to attract. If you’re working locally, advertise on local radio stations or in the newspaper. If you work online, sign up for Google AdWords or advertise your business on relevant websites.
Once you start servicing someone’s aquarium regularly they will come to trust you and view you as an expert, so you will be a in a great position to sell them new fish, new accessories or perhaps once they have seen the pictures or a video—that big new aquarium!
To become an officially recognized business entity, you must register with the government. Corporations will need an “articles of incorporation” document, which includes your business name, business purpose, corporate structure, stock details and other information about your company. Otherwise, you will just need to register your business name, which can be your legal name, a fictitious “Doing Business As” name (if you are the sole proprietor), or the name you’ve come up with for your company. You may also want to take steps to trademark your business name for extra legal protection.
This is one of the most popular small businesses because everyone wants a house cleaner. The work is repetitive. But if you can show up on time and do a good job consistently (I find many the work of many cleaners deteriorates after the first few weeks), you will build a healthy clientele. And if you can charge enough so that you can delegate, you can grow this into a large business.
S Corp: S Corps require a much more formal structure than LLCs. They’re made up of a board of directors, corporate officers, and up to 100 U.S. shareholders. However, like LLCs, S Corps aren’t subject to double taxation — all of the profits are claimed on the shareholders’ personal taxes.
You can put a big sign on top of your truck or pull it around on a trailer. This is particularly powerful for local businesses because you can offer pinpoint marketing—driving around the same business block for example. You could also offer a service to hire people to agree to have a commercial sign mounted on their cars as they drive around town doing their usual thing. For example, a Boston radio station arranged to have hundreds of small VWs to be painted with their logos, paying each car owner a monthly stipend. How big can this business go? Well CNN/Turner Broadcasting founder Ted Turner made his initial money in the billboard business!
This is a great business and I can’t tell you how many times I have used pest control services for my residences as well as commercial locations. The rates vary hugely from one locale to the next, so carefully survey nearby markets to determine which market may be the best opportunity for you.
Share in the comments if I’m missing any of  your picks for the best side business ideas that you can start while working full-time! Bonus points if you’ve already gotten started on one of these business idea, and share the link to your website.
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.
Form a business entity. You’ll need to decide what type of business entity you want to be, for tax purposes and hopefully to eventually attract investors. You will do this after you’ve decided whether you will need money from others either in equity or loans and with the advice of your legal and accounting experts. It is one of the last steps taken before you actually spend money or ask someone for money. Most people are familiar with corporations, LLCs, etc., but for the vast majority of small business owners, you will need to form one of the following[2]:
Of course, you can try your hand at building homes and other large endeavors or you can specialize in smaller projects. Maybe driveways? Patios? Outside waterfalls? Closet renovations? There is no limit to what you can do, but to be highly successful or to build a scalable business I suggest you carefully find a highly profitable niche.

Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he’s running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Alamo, Enterprise, and National Car Rental services hires home-based customer service reps, escalation support reps, reservation and sales reps, and bilingual reservation and sales reps.
What a great business. It’s like an apartment building without people, without running water, without heat and without electricity! In other words, money flowing in without the headaches! And with today’s sophisticated lock and security systems, you may be able to operate this business without any staff onsite.
Your marketing plan. What’s your marketing budget? Where will you focus your efforts? Social media, email campaigns, online ads? If you’ve done enough research on your target market, you’ll know where to find them. Just like your milestones, your marketing efforts are bound to evolve — but you still need to establish an initial strategy.
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.
Some might start out as employees or apprentices for other businesses and then gradually build up the skills and experience before they set out on their own. But with the right idea and determination, they can make their dreams of having their own small business come true.
If you are offering pizza delivery you don’t need a storefront at all. You could just get an inexpensive industrial quality space, as long as it is convenient to your customers. Lure your first customers in with juicy offers. Then try to keep them with great quality. But beware that a lot of pizza delivery sales even to repeat customers involve some kind of discount or special offer.
Come up with a pricing model. Start by checking out your competitors. Know how much are they selling a similar product for. Can you add something to it (add value) to make yours different and hence make it a more enticing price?
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.
Thanks to sites like TaskRabbit, plenty of people have learned to pick up work doing a variety of side jobs that other people just don’t have time to do. Common tasks can include anything from picking up dry cleaning to making dinner or assembling Ikea furniture.
I started two different map businesses while in college, both of which I later sold. One was a street map of a local resort area, which I sold to retailers and also sold advertising on the back side of. The other was a tourist map of the island of Nantucket which I sold at retail. Today with everyone using navigation systems, I would be less excited about putting together a street map. But a fun illustrated map showing local business sponsors still makes for a viable business model.

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6 Comments

  1. You will, of course, need to spend extra hours and work harder. But the transition from being an employee to a business owner will be far smoother as you won’t have additional expenses to worry about.
    Be willing to evolve. If you come to find that your initial marketing plan just isn’t working, it’s time to do some more research and reevaluate your approach. Don’t just keep pouring time and money into a strategy that isn’t getting results.
    The closest I came to knitting was repairing rips in the sails on my boat, but there a are a lot of people who want to knit and crochet—and you can show them how! You could start with a class at your house or perhaps at a local knitting store. Maybe offer an entry level course at the local adult ed program to get going.
    Stella & Dot – Run your own fashion social selling business. Stella & Dot is so much more than a fashion brand – we are inspired by, and created for, strong women just like you! We designed a smart, stylish business that works when you do. Plus, Stella & Dot is more than just a company – it’s a community. At Stella & Dot, success is defined by your happiness. It’s your business, your pace, your way.
    The key to get going with this business is to build relationships with schools and school music directors, who can recommend your services. Chances are a larger school isn’t going to recommend you unless you have a track record, so you will probably have to start with some very small schools. Musical instruments, especially those that are rented out, are highly financeable for low rates, so this is a business you can get into with very little money, and expand aggressively.

  2. Not only is a fashion blog fun to create, but it is the kind of blog that you have one of the best chances of monetizing. If you can develop a significant following you may be able to earn money as a paid “influencer” for brands. Creating a successful blog can take a long time so make sure it’s something that you enjoy doing.
    To succeed at this business, I would carefully perfect a few interesting smoothies drinks. Then I would search hard for a location with very high foot traffic location. I would much rather have a tiny location with lots of traffic and high rent per square foot, than a much larger location with the same total rent but less traffic.
    Time Etc. hires part-time virtual assistants. If you have experience as a personal assistant, executive assistant, secretary, or admin assistant and can work for at least three hours per week – Time Etc. wants you. Pay ranges from $11 to $16 per hour, depending on your experience.
    Companies large and small need to be posting regularly to social media or they will be left behind. Many companies outsource this work to social media specialists. This is a great business because you will receive ongoing work and a recurring revenue stream. And the work is easy enough that over time you can delegate the day to day posting work and build a social media agency empire!
    You will, of course, need to spend extra hours and work harder. But the transition from being an employee to a business owner will be far smoother as you won’t have additional expenses to worry about.

  3. #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.
    C Corporation: C-corps are organized in the same manner as S-corps, but there’s no limit to the number of shareholders you can have. A C-corp is the only structure that faces double taxation, meaning the business and the shareholders are both required to pay taxes on the profits.
    Even in this digital age, there remains a huge market for independent sales reps who sell the products for a number of different companies to other businesses. You will typically work on a commission basis which means income will start slowly, but established manufacturer’s reps can make a lot of money over the years.
    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.
    Put together parties for your friends and get paid for it! Sign me up! For starters, you should have a strong following on social media. Then if you have a knack for promoting, see if a nightclub will pay you to help boost their attendance.
    LLCs are considered “pass-through” entities and do not ordinarily pay income tax directly. Nevertheless, some states require certain LLCs to report income for informational purposes. Ohio requires multi-member LLCs to report income and withhold income from members residing out of state.
    Any business that does not require a storefront would be suitable for a home business. That is, any type of professional service, small-scale manufacturing, or something like that would be great. However, a restaurant or auto-parts store would not make a good home business.

  4. Even small businesses need all kinds of insurance and you can help them by getting them the coverage that will help save their business on a rainy day. To succeed in this business, you need to be outgoing and network well. But you also need to come across with a smart, consultative sell, not a hard-core pitch. It will take some time to build a corporate insurance brokerage, but this kind of business offers both high income potential and the possibility of someday selling it for a high multiple of earnings.
    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.
    You can get started by opening a center at home. You set the age group of children to accept, how many kids to care for at a given time, and the hours of operation, although this will depend on the needs of your clients.
    Needing to increase the size of your premises. This happens more often than expected. Once the stock starts piling up, you may find it ends up in your living room, bedroom and the garden shed. Think rental of storage premises if needed.
    Similar to wedding coordinators, event planners work with clients to plan and organize the various aspects of their events. You can work with an even bigger array of clients by being open to the types of events you’ll work on.
    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.
    I love Gene Mahon’s blog about Nantucket. Great photos and well presented. Overtime he has built up a good advertising base. Like any blog it takes time, energy, consistency and patience to build a following. But if you enjoy taking pictures, attending events and meeting people, a local blog can be a lot of fun.
    Chances are you’ve probably watched a couple of youtube videos online. And if you haven’t you’ve definitely watched TV. With that said, have you ever thought about how much video you consume? Now imagine if you were paid for all the videos or TV shows you watched. Well you can!
    Sole Proprietorship: Consider this the path of least resistance, but know that it comes at a price. If you’re operating without any partners and haven’t registered a formal business structure, you’ll automatically be classified as a sole proprietor and have no liability protection whatsoever. No need to file articles of incorporation/organization, but you might benefit from filing a DBA.
    Hilton’s virtual training program allows you the flexibility and control to select training sessions from our daily offerings that work best for you on a day-to-day basis. Please see below for more details:

  5. Before you hit the ground running with your Colorado business, you need to have a business plan prepared. A well-crafted business plan is crucial for securing funding and tracking the progress of your business.
    Totspot is a mom-to-mom mobile marketplace for buying and selling gently used or new children’s clothing.  Totspot users can list clothing items for sale in less than one minute, and all transactions are handled in-app.  Totspot then notifies the seller when their item is purchased.
    Data entry clerks come from all different backgrounds including, data entry, telemarketing, customer service, sales, clerical, secretary, administrative assistant, warehouse, inventory, receptionist, call center, part-time, retail fields & more…
    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.
    What price do you intend to sell your product or service for? How much will it cost you to produce? Work out a rough estimate for net profit—factoring in fixed costs like rent, energy, employees, etc.
    Every business needs help with their Internet marketing. And now I see even the smallest businesses hiring specialists for individual aspects of digital marketing. For example, they may hire one expert for pay-for-click search engine advertising, another for Facebook marketing and still another for SEO for their website. So, you could focus on one aspect of digital marketing, or you could be a generalist.

  6. This is a business you could start in a couple hours with literally zero investment. In the public library on the resort island of Nantucket, I watched a man create a flyer for his walking tour business on a free public access computer. Then he went outside and posted the newly created flyer on the public bulletin board. A few hours later he greeted his customers as they gathered on the advertised street corner, collected their money, and then took them on the walking tour. Not sure how to set up your walking tour? Get a history or even a self-walking tour guide at the public library.
    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.
    Needing to tweak the ideas. Perhaps the product needs to be a different color, texture or size. Maybe your services need to be broader, narrower or more detailed. This is the time to attend to anything that crops up during your testing and development phases. You’ll know innately when something needs tweaking to make it better or to make it less like a competitor’s stale offerings.
    What price do you intend to sell your product or service for? How much will it cost you to produce? Work out a rough estimate for net profit—factoring in fixed costs like rent, energy, employees, etc.
    Turning your favorite craft or hobby into a revenue-generating business idea easily counts among the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have. Just take a look at what Jacob Huss of Soteria Designs is doing wit his hobby of hand-building furniture and wood jewelry. With more and more people demanding a higher degree of personalization in just about anything they own or use, count yourself lucky if your craft happens to be the creation of custom furniture. Not only is the real estate sector regaining its footing, the number of style-conscious customers is also on the rise, creating plenty of room for growth into this business idea.
    Cover your startup costs. How are you going to finance your business initially? The bank, venture capitalists, angel investors, Small Business Administration (SBA), your own savings: these are all viable options. When you start a business, be realistic. You will probably not roll out of the gate making 100 percent of whatever you project, so you need to have enough ready reserve to fund things until you are really up and running. One of the surest roads to failure is under-capitalization.
    This is a specialized niche of the fencing business, but so differentiated that it is basically a totally separate, non-competitive business—and that’s the best kind of niche to find! Your market is dog owners, and probably the owners of some types or dogs, or maybe multiple dogs, are much more likely to be customers than others, which means that you can really target your marketing!

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