how to start a small online business | how to get your business started

As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Without people cleaning up everybody else’s junk, the world would be a lot messier than it already is. This business idea might not be glamorous, but you get to make the world a cleaner place while earning extra side income. To start, you’ll likely need a sturdy second-hand truck and standard equipment like shovels, wheelbarrows, sledgehammers, rakes, and garbage cans to launch the foundation of this side business idea.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it will be easy, though: Starting a business requires a lot of time, effort and hard work, and perhaps unsurprisingly, many would-be entrepreneurs end up failing. But if your company survives, the rewards of entrepreneurship are well worth the obstacles you’ll face on the road to success. 
A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties and what you need to sustain it. A full guide to writing your plan can be found here, and when you’re ready to put pen to paper, these free templates can help.
Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.
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If you want to maintain full control over your business, seeking an angel investor may not be the right route, since oftentimes they’ll want partial control of the company. If you don’t have any high-value assets you can part with, selling assets to fund your business wouldn’t be the right fit for you.
The selling costs are remarkably low on the Etsy website. But you will be competing with some awesome looking crafts, so make sure you create some great stuff that is highly distinctive. Then take perfect photographs and write up snappy descriptions. Try to build a following by developing a related line of goods
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.
Generally, no specific expertise or certificate is necessary to open a company. However, a certificate and experience — and license — may be necessary to operate or sell specific services to the public. Check with the Secretary of State to learn the legal requirements to offer a specialized product or service in your State.
Understand your audience. Who are you selling to? Where are they? What qualities do they find appealing/off-putting? The answers to these questions should influence both your marketing content and the platforms you’re advertising on. Even the most brilliant campaign can flop if it’s broadcast in the wrong places.
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.
#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.
This section includes legitimate word of mouth marketing and paid online survey sites, explains what mystery shopping is all about, lists great websites to swap items or services and tells you how to channel your inner Judge Judy.
#41 – Rosetta Stone is a language and translation company that hires language coaches. To secure employment, you must be fluent in numerous languages apart from American English. The pay ranges up to $17 per hour.
Everyone wants videos for their website, and corporations and non-profits are willing to pay good money for high quality service. This is a local business because you need to be onsite with your camera.
8. Approach companies that manufacture similar products professionally. Some companies that embrace open innovation outline their submission processes on their websites. Others rely on third party software and forms. For many years I called to get in, which is still very doable. These days you can also use LinkedIn! Companies that manufacture similar products are your potential licensees.
This is similar to the banquet facility business but built around a facility that is ideal for weddings. People will pay a lot of money for a wedding venue that excites them! You could provide the catering and related services yourself, allow customers to bring their own caterers or require your customers work with a particular caterer that you chose.
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.
Great idea list. As stated earlier, these may seem like “no brainer” ideas, but not all small towns have every single business stated. And, when someone has an idea, but doesn’t know if it is a good one, it is reassuring to see it listed! Sometimes, that is the push a person needs to take that leap! Thank you!
CyberEdit, Inc. offers highly-educated editing, resume writing, and technical writing services. Hires Freelance Resume Writers & Essay Editors from Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and Princeton. Compensation ranges from $15.00 – $35.00 per hour.
I’m not as excited about the profit potential from podcasting as some other people are. It just seems to me that everyone is doing it and people generally expect podcasts to be free. But if you develop a strong enough following you can sell advertising or sponsorships for your podcast, then you can build a decent business.
Is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your LLC is available so that you can reserve your domain name. Even if you don’t plan to make a website today, you may want to buy the domain name in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
Uber is an on-demand job where you can make money using your car to drive others around town. Uber is an easy and flexible way to earn extra money. The more you drive — the more you’ll make. Get paid weekly. Sign up to become a driver today.
Yes, you can learn how to repair smartphones. You can buy parts (you should inventory more common ones) and you can watch videos on YouTube that show you how to make repairs. I have been to a small shop in Cambridge that specializes just in fixing casing and glass on smartphones. You can make good money but it will take some patience to get going. A storefront, even a small one on a secondary street or second floor of an office building, will help make your business seem more established.
On the other hand, if you want to market your own t-shirts you might have more upside potential but the downside is greater too! The brothers who started “Life is Good” t-shirt business for example, lived out of their van for several years until their business finally gained momentum.
I’ve been getting so much feedback with great business ideas from my community and in the comments, so I frequently add to this post. If you have side hustle ideas you’d like to share (or personal experience with a side hustle of your own), please add to them in the comments below!
A lot of business people are good at producing their product or delivering their service, but less good about keeping careful accounting records. That’s where you come in. You may visit a small business every week or two, pay bills, send out invoices and keep accounting records.
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.
DogVacay lets pet lovers make extra money dog sitting a pooch or cat from the neighborhood. Once vetted, set a price and have fun for the weekend or even during the week, schedule permitting, with a loving pet. DogVacay also offers insurance, 24-hour support and other services that makes pet sitting easy and fun.
#6 – ACD Direct is a call center company that provides work-at-home jobs, which involves answering calls from pledge campaigns organized by Non-profit organizations. They pay rate range from $0.25-0.30 per minute, which translates to $18 per hour.
This is one of the more difficult business on this list. But if you really want to do it, you can! First, it will take about 3-5 years to grow your grapes. Secondly, you need the right climate. Third, selling what you produce is like a whole separate business. However, people do like to visit and buy wine from local wineries. And I have seen some wineries that are initially producing just a small amount of wine themselves, jumpstart their business and supplement their sales by reselling wine from other vineyards.
Instead of spending hours playing with accounting software, dreaming up potential expense and income categories, and creating fancy reports with no data, spend that time generating revenue. As long as you record everything you do now, creating a more formal system later will be fairly easy. It will also be more fun, because then you’ll have real data to enter.
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.
As a translator, you would be converting one language into another language via either spoken word, written word, or audio. This is a work from home job many people are able to do from that can additionally be very, very flexible and of course non-phone.
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.
You might be great at this if you know your way around social media networks and forums, have ever been in an admin position for either your own business pages/accounts or moderated for a forum, and you know how to be helpful and polite, but also firm when a situation calls for it.
Two of the biggest problems of operating a retail store are the overhead of having a storefront and the risk and cost of carrying inventory. With a virtual consignment store you eliminate both of these problems! You could take it one step further and have your suppliers drop ship the goods for you.
Now that you’ve officially formed your business, it’s time to take all the necessary precautions to make sure you’re fully compliant with the federal, state and local government. Here are the best places to find out about each:
While having a formal background in graphic design is absolutely going to be helpful, it’s also relatively easy to learn the foundations of graphic design on your own. An increasingly easy-to-use Adobe Illustrator and even more easily accessible tools like Stencil and Visme are making it so that just about anyone with two opposable thumbs, a bit of creativity, and motivation can earn a side income doing things like designing (and selling) images like these motivational quotes that can be printed onto posters and sold on platforms like Etsy. Or you can find a local startup, small business owner, or photographer who could benefit from some extra help designing or altering images.
Yes! One of the most unique and exciting benefits we offer is the Team Member and Family Travel Program, which provides reduced hotel room rates at many of our hotels for you and your family. Hilton Reservations & Customer Care Team Members also enjoy:

Transcribe Anywhere offers a free introductory mini-course so you can see if this is the best route for you. We spoke to a mom who works part time and banks about $2,000 a month as a transcriptionist.
If you need financial assistance, a commercial loan through a bank is a good starting point, although these are often difficult to secure. If you are unable to take out a bank loan, you can apply for a small business loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an alternative lender. 
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If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer as a side business idea can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out these tips to a successful personal training business by the American Fitness Professionals and this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. Finally, I’d recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.

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