how to start a new business | what do i need to open a small business

Potential challenges: It’s a seasonal type of business, as wedding bookings are likely to slow down in the winter — though this depends on where you live. As a result, you may need to get creative when it comes to stretching your earnings throughout the year.
Many of my readers have started proofreading from their iPads, scanning legal documents for court reporters as a result of the Proofread Anywhere eCourse I recommend. You can read some of their testimonials in the comments on this post. They offer a 7-day intro course free so you can decide if that line of work is right for you before you pursue the training.
One of the easiest ways to screw up your business accounting and possibly run afoul of the IRS is to commingle personal and business funds (and transactions). Using a business account for all business transactions eliminates that possibility.
Private school and private colleges and universities can cost a bloody fortune! Yet by carefully evaluating a family’s resources, reviewing school choices, assessing school financial aid offerings, and by exploring outside scholarships, a talented financial aid consultant could help a student attend a school that was previously viewed as completely unaffordable. To get going in this field, you will want to do extensive research, and then either help your own kids or perhaps those of friends, to get some experience under your belt, before seeking out the general public.
Local: If you live in Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet) or the Lane County Transit District (LTD), you will need to file and pay for transportation taxes. Learn more about mass transit payroll/excise tax from the Department of Revenue.
Most home based businesses do not succeed. That is just the truth of the matter. There are a few new home based businesses every year that are really successful, however. All you can do is work hard and try your best.
Successfully starting a small business requires answering as many questions as possible before you open your doors rather than tackling problems after you’ve already launched. Researching the marketplace, writing a business plan and securing adequate capital are the basic steps to take when you start any small business.
Ghostwriting pays pretty well, and if you’re talented at researching and creating great content within a certain subject domain, you can quickly build a roster of high-paying clientele with this business idea. Ghostwriters like Jeff Haden have created very lucrative careers for themselves by writing for business executives and CEO’s—and Jeff also started his ghostwriting career as a side business idea outside of his full-time job as a factory manager. Listen to his interview with me on The Side Hustle Project (podcast) right here.
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.
College counsellors come in all shapes and sizes. Their primary duty is to help guide students through an important period in their lives. Some counselors focus on admissions, career advice, financial aid, athletics, extracurricular activities, and other concerns. There are institutions looking out for part-time college counselors, making this a fantastic side business idea, or you can even start your own practice and charge anywhere from $25-$100+ per hour for your consultative services if you’re well-versed on the subject.
All of these are excellent ideas, and really go to show that you don’t need some groundbreaking new idea to start a business. Just pick one of these ideas that appeals to you and put yourself out there, and you’re already ahead of all the other people who are still in the “thinking about starting a business” phase (a phase that never ends for most people).
SimplyFun – Would you like to play for a living? You can be part of a meaningful movement and earn generous incentives by promoting SimplyFun’s mission of play-based learning. Enjoy a flexible schedule while earning 25-42% commissions, plus bonuses and rewards. Our thorough training program and starter kit provide everything you need to launch your business. Plus, now is the perfect time to join SimplyFun as we continue to grow from our best year ever. Thanks to our innovative approach to direct selling and a talented sales force, we doubled our sales in 2017. You can be part of this continued success by selling award-winning, thoughtfully designed games that teach useful, real-world skills to children of all ages. Ready? Game On.
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. One of my friends built up a successful import/export business while still in college.
Shutterstock – Read Review – May be open worldwide. This popular stock photo company has occasional openings for remote image reviewers, where you determine which submitted photos should make it onto the Shutterstock website. Pay and other details are under wraps — workers are required to sign an NDA, so it’s hard to find many details online.
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Udacity continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making it a great business idea to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
There are many scams out there that will promise you tons of money and financial stability from home. Do not fall for these ploys. The best home-based business is the one you start with your own mind, heart and hands.
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!
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Cambly is an online, foreign language, tutoring platform that lets individuals practice their language skills with a native speaker. Online tutors make 17 cents per minute ($10.20 per hour) talking to paying Cambly users. To get started, you must be a native English or Spanish speaker; you must have a webcam and Internet connection. Payments are made via PayPal.

Potential customers need to be able to Google you and investigate your business. They need to have digital payment options. They need contact forms and blog-content in some cases to see what your brand is all about.
#49 – ETS is a testing company that pays you to score various tests for different educational institutions. The pay can go up to $20 per hour depending on the tests. Payment is twice a month via check and is tax deductible.
On top of just the skill and experience components to being a successful online coach, this side business idea is all about building a community around the help you’re offering and fostering trust with members. Plus, your community members will learn from each other along the way. Creating the space for that community can be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or choosing a community-building platform like Ning.com that has even more capabilities like using your own custom URL, having internal forums, customized designs, and more.
If your area of expertise is public relations or you want to try and make money writing from home, there are opportunities out there that could be right for you. Learn about virtual PR firms as well as how to earn income as a blogger, writer, or editor.
All you need is one dog to walk and you’ve broken into this business. And at the same time, I have seen people build this into a big business, including to the point where they have to hire additional dog walkers. Dogs need to be walked regularly—just ask them! Woof! Woof! Yes! So, you’re guaranteed a steady income and a good business model!
Get a website. If you’re selling online, get your ecommerce in gear and either build a website, or have one built for you. It’s your storefront, so anything and everything you can do to make people want to visit, and want to stay, do it.
Don’t rule out national banks. Compare their features to those of a few local banks and see how they fare. There are some major benefits to working with a bank like Capital One, including seriously impressive security and small-business perks.
One-on-one sports coaching is the obvious play here. But you could set up sports clinics or sports camps. You could build up a business based on your expertise in a particular sport or you could offer more general fitness training for athletes of many sports. Often sports coaches get started with a part time job coaching a school sports team, which then leads to private coaching work.
Almost everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest these days, but did you know that many companies will pay people to help them manage their social media accounts — sometimes even part-time from home? To find social media jobs, you can start by contacting businesses with a social media presence and scanning sites like Upwork.com for opportunities.
Investment: You can keep your startup costs lower by operating from your home and starting with part-time hours. Costs may include educational supplies such as toys and books, furniture such as cribs and mats, outdoor playground equipment, cleaning supplies and insurance.
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.
Build your own social following and create a personal brand for yourself like Matt Nelson, founder of WeRateDogs has done (thus growing his following to more than 2.8 Million people), and countless opportunities will come your way for turning this side business idea into a full-time business.
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.
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.
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.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.
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.