how to start a retail business | best way to start a small business

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.
Manage your running costs. Keep a close eye on your running costs and keep them in line with your projections. Whenever you see something spent wastefully—like electricity, phone plans, stationery, packaging—look around and estimate how much you really need, and minimize or remove the cost in every way possible. Think frugally when you start up, including renting items instead of purchasing them and using pre-paid plans for services your business needs instead of locking yourself into long-term contracts.
It’s hard especially for really small companies to hire someone dependable and that they can trust, to do their cleaning at night in the office alone. That’s why if you are willing to work hard and be dependable, you can make good money at this. I met a fellow who earned an excellent living cleaning offices, and he only worked 4-5 hours a night, and had no employees.
People will pay a lot of money to get their dog trained and you can provide the service. To get going you can read a book or take a dog training class yourself. This business would also be a great source of clients for dog walking services, if you want to expand your dog services empire!
This step can be as simple or as time consuming as you want it to be. All you’re really doing is establishing your brand’s finances through two components: your dedicated business bank account and your accounting software. Once that’s in order, your books are building on autopilot, all clean and tidy in one place.
Define your goals. Do you want financial independence, eventually selling your business to the highest bidder? Do you want something small and sustainable, that you love doing and from which you want to derive a steady income? These are the things that are good to know very early on.
Adjust strategies and products as necessary. Respond to your customers. You should set up a system or survey where your customers can rate their experience with you and your business. Be sure to strive for perfect ratings. Any criticisms you see consistently mean that you should change that aspect of your business.
It’s easier than ever to find a trend and turn it into a full-on entrepreneurial venture. Channel your passions and skills to leverage a professional opportunity in the new year. Here are 12 great business ideas for 2018.
Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on this side business idea with relatively little work on your part (most of the time). It’ll take some hustling and the willingness to be flexible with your schedule, as you’ll be responsible for collecting rent checks, managing repairs and improvements, and simply being on call for emergencies. But, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors that have a large enough portfolio, so there’s definitely merit to this business idea.
Instead, at least for now, forget branding and unique selling propositions and all the business-identity stuff. And don’t worry about finding the perfect URL or website design or promotional literature. You’re putting those carts way before your business horse, too.
This side business idea isn’t for most, but consider Kia Silverbrock who has been granted over 4,665 US Patents in his lifetime (so far). You don’t have to invent the wheel to make good money from your patented concepts—just make sure that your idea can be produced affordably, or it will never stand up against a lawsuit in the future.
Food trucks and food carts are booming! And no wonder! They allow you to get into the food service business with a lot less overhead than a restaurant, and increasingly people are willing to buy more gourmet fare from food trucks.
Though not the cheapest of business ideas on this list, it’s one that can be extremely lucrative as well as appeal to the widest range of patrons in a small town. A successful bowling alley can become the center of a town’s social life. Besides the obvious bowling revenue stream, food and drink (especially alcoholic beverages), can also help you pull in the big bucks. Small town bowling alleys can also be rented out for additional income. Like all businesses, large and small, having a quality business plan for your bowling alley is incredibly important.
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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.
You have a passion, and you’d like to make it your profession. No matter how enthusiastic you are about your small business, though, it won’t be successful unless you have a plan in place for how you’re going to start and run it.
Nice article, very informative. Please share any IT (eg: IT Services) related business ideas. I am also one of them who just thinks, instead of doing something :). But looking forward to start something soon.
Create a logo that can help people easily identify your brand, and be consistent in using it across all of your platforms, including your all-important company website. Use social media to spread the word about your new business, perhaps as a promotional tool to offer coupons and discounts to followers once you launch. Be sure to also keep these digital assets up to date with relevant, interesting content about your business and industry.
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.
There will also be some restrictions based on things like your location, business size/type and the amount of funding you’re seeking. Before diving into crowdfunding, microloans, social lending or any of the other options, make sure you fully understand their implications. We discuss all of these funding methods and more in our guide to financing a new business.
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.
Have more than the minimum. You may determine it will take $50,000 to start your business, and that’s fine. You get your $50,000, buy your desks and printers and raw materials, and then then the second month arrives, and you’re still in production, and the rent is due, and your employees want to be paid, and all the bills hit at once. When this happens, your only likely recourse will be to pack it in. If you can, try to have the reserves for a year of no income.
Determine who your competition is by looking at companies that offer the same product, service or benefit you do. Visit their stores and websites and buy their products, if possible. Talk to potential customers about what they want from a company or product like yours, and what they think of your competitors. Look at the pricing in your marketplace to help guide you as you make your financial projections. Examine where your competitors are selling and advertising. Create a demographic profile of your best target customer using age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital or parental status and other characteristics.
I believe that every business, even a lemonade stand, should have a business plan. But many people either hesitate to create a plan or don’t know how to do it. That’s where you come in. But remember your big value added is to help your clients learn how to develop a framework for making critical strategic decisions for their business, not just to create a nice-looking document.
Sole Proprietorship: The least formal structure of all — if you’re doing business on your own, you’re automatically seen as a sole proprietorship. There’s no need to file anything with the state, except perhaps a DBA (if you want to operate under a name aside from your own legal name). The main problem with this structure is that there’s nothing shielding you from business liability.
If you’re excellent at crafting amazing resumes that ultimately result in people getting the job, consider marketing those services. Most of your work will revolve around writing, editing, designing, and proofreading, so you will need few supplies outside of your computer and basic software to get started.
If you have a good eye for detail work and a lot of patience, homemade jewelry can be quite profitable. As with other items on this list, there are many opportunities to sell such items through local gift shops, craft fairs, or sites like Etsy.
For most people, successful investing will involve selecting mutual funds or ETFs, not individual stocks or bonds. That means to become a financial planner you don’t need to be a Wall Street wizard. You will need to understand the basics of investing (such as the importance of being diversified and understanding and respecting your client’s risk profile!) but this is very learnable. Study hard for this profession and you can do a tremendous service for people by helping them protect and growth their hard-earned money.
Are you an audiophile? If you have a great sound system and a large selection of music, you’ve already got what you need to hire yourself out as a DJ for various events and receptions. This is a great way to fill an afternoon or evening while also earning some cash in the process.
Visit the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration to learn what goes into a business plan and how to write one. You will need to provide an overview of your product or service, an analysis of your marketplace, a marketing plan and financial figures. Look for a SCORE chapter in your area so you can get free advice from retired executives on the first draft of your plan. You can also ask business friends and associates for advice.
After you register your business, you may need to get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. While this is not required for sole proprietorships with no employees, you may want to apply for one anyway to keep your personal and business taxes separate, or simply to save yourself the trouble later on if you decide to hire someone else. The IRS has provided a checklist to determine whether you will require an EIN to run your business. If you do need an EIN, you can register online for free.
People with wood burning stoves and fireplaces need wood to burn and they love to have it delivered, all cut up into bite-sized pieces! They don’t want to have to carry logs around, they don’t want to get their nice car dirty and they don’t want to split up logs.
While there are all kinds of training that corporations will pay for, I am focusing on sales training because the demand is so widespread. It is an absolutely critical function, even for small businesses. If you don’t have great contacts at larger companies I would suggest you target smaller firms, such as those with sales forces of 6 to 20 people. Small enough so that everyone isn’t trying to sell them training, but large enough that they are likely to be willing to pay for it.
I love being a part of TTEC@home because of the flexibility of the schedule. There are way more benefits to working from home than most people realize. I save money on transportation and clothing. I save time. I have a tax write-off. And I have less anxiety. The bonus of working with TTEC is that I’ve met some great people and have learned new skills.
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.
Many gymnasiums will trade membership and often a bit more for a person willing and able to teach an exercise class. You can also find people who don’t want to go to a gym and train them at home as a personal trainer. If you’re in good shape, this is a great opportunity to earn some extra money, plus it can often lead to additional income with one-on-one instruction opportunities.
It’s messy, dirty work that must be meticulously done, and done by someone dependable. That means it can be a high margin business. I would start this business by taking on very small jobs and working my way up.
Anyone can sell goods on Amazon, provided you have products to sell (or buy low, then resell). If you’re the type to hit all the local garage sales each weekend, there’s all sorts of valuable things that can be resold online as a side business idea. If you want to step your Amazon selling game up, check out this detailed guide to Amazon and eBay retail arbitrage on Entrepreneur featuring an interview with Julie Becker and several drop-shippers who’ve grown this home based business idea from side business idea into a lucrative money-maker.
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.
CrowdFlower is a virtual workspace where you can earn money by completing simple tasks on your computer. Tasks include Internet research, data collection, data categorization, content creation, content moderation, surveys, etc. While I was unable to find any information on pay rates and how and payments are made, CrowdFlower does have an A rating on the Better Business Bureau website and has been featured on sites like Forbes, the LA Times, and Telecrunch.
Arise Virtual Solutions contracts with thousands of small businesses run by someone like you! These small businesses provide sales, customer service, and technical support from home, for Fortune 500  companies such as Intuit TurboTax and Carnival. We also have a great opportunity available with the nation’s largest video, high-speed internet, and phone provider! To get started visit AriseWorkFromHome.com and click the orange Register Now button.
You could dream up your own product to make with your 3D printer. But instead I would tend to create products for other people, and not even finished products, but prototypes. I would develop a specialty within prototypes, such as for a particular industry.
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.


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  1. I am currently sitting in my co-share work space and beside me sits a green potted plant about 15” in height. Every day or two, the commercial watering service person comes by and pours a little water on the plant. Once a week or so, the service person may take out his plant clippers, and trim a leaf or two. Wow! I think I could master this work! And I bet you could too!
     Xerox – Read Review – It’s not uncommon to find data entry work from home jobs posted on Xerox. Type in “work from home data entry” on their careers page to see these listings. As with so many other data entry jobs, it may be location-based work.
    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. Work F…

  2. Hey, great list! LaunchScore estimates the earnings potential of 800+ business types in 750 U.S. cities. Unlike most lists, LaunchScore provides a custom earnings estimate that takes into account the market conditions in each city.
    Hold a party and invite people who can spread the word for you. It doesn’t need to be pricey––purchase the food and drink from bulk discount stores and get family and friends to help with catering (you can give them a product or service in return).
    If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative side business idea. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you’re ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.
    Though your local community will be thrilled to have fresh flowers in their town, you will still have the struggle of competing against online delivery services. Remember, if you are the first florist the town has ever seen (or at least for a while), they are probably used to ordering online. Habits can be hard to break. The best way to compete with the online sea of flora is with reasonable prices, attention to detail and customers service, and a sprig of creativity.
    You’ll find this statement on the iQor website: “You’ve got energy, enthusiasm, drive and determination. We’ve got benefits, flexible schedules, and a career path that rewards performance with growth and opportunity.” Is that you?
    Alterations is a great steady income business, easy to start on the side. Then after you’ve begun to build a clientele, you may want to quit your day job and open a small storefront location. Begin by promoting to friends and friends of friends on social media. I would charge by the job, but carefully estimate how long each job will take you and base your job rates on your time estimates.
    With many print-on-demand services, you’re paying per-product, so the base price per unit will be more expensive than if you were to order in bulk. But the advantage is that if a certain t-shirt design doesn’t sell, you haven’t actually paid for the item yet (only the design if you outsourced it).
    The members have been asked to share how they originally got involved in their current business. The goal is to provide ideas to other members around the world who want to own their own businesses or who are involved in businesses that aren’t taking them where they want to go and are looking to make a change.
    Our Online Educational Consulting Company with multiple locations across the U.S. has a seventeen year history of success. Be a part of a growing and dynamic company. We are looking for a full-time and a part-time online Grading Assistant who pays attentio…

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