how to start your own business from home | guide to starting a business

Healthy Hands Cooking provides stay-at-home moms with a passion for nutrition and kids, the chance to make a healthy income while making a difference in kids’ lives. Keep 100% of your income, empower kids in your community with vital, healthy living skills, and LOVE WHAT YOU DO!
If you have experience with marketing, SEO or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results as your side business idea. Businesses of all sizes are in constant need of bringing in more customers, which is where you come in with your business idea. Start by pitching some of these small business marketing ideas by Brian Downard and you’ll be sure to impress the first set of clients you begin working with in your area.
In his days as a commercial banker, my father financed a number of health clubs, and they all complained about the same issue: it was relatively easy to sign up new members but hard to retain them, as customers tired of exercising after just a few sessions. This is a business that you can make millions at with even a single location, but it is also a business that is riskier than it may first appear. I would suggest starting with a very small location, perhaps even a members-only key-card accessible location with no employees on site, and learn the ins and outs of the business before getting too carried away. And of course, there is all kind of potential for specialization in this field.
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.
If your business provides a service, you may also want to consider professional liability insurance. It covers you if you do something wrong or neglect to do something you should have done while operating your business. Learn more about the types of insurance policies your business might need here.
If your business will have employees, you will, at minimum, need to purchase workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. You may also need other types of coverage depending on your location and industry, but most small businesses are advised to purchase general liability (GL) insurance, or a business owner’s policy. GL covers property damage, bodily injury, and personal injury to yourself or a third party.
Thanks to a combination of technology and third party suppliers, it’s easier than ever to build a business and start making sales without getting caught up in sourcing products and managing inventory.
In the past, I’ve discussed how it’s a good idea to spend your spare time dabbling in entrepreneurship: It fills your time with something that you choose (and thus you enjoy) and sets up a potential long-term revenue stream. I also discussed how I got a side business going myself.
Survey Savvy is an online survey site where you’ll get earn money for sharing your opinions with companies. Most surveys pay out between $1.00 to $20.00 depending on the length and topic of the survey. Once your account has reached $1.00 in rewards, you can request payment via check. Survey Savvy has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
You need to start out with a good location and you need to do some marketing to get going. This business may also end up being more work than you envision. Something will often need repair, every guest will seem to have a special request, and there will frequently be some renovation or upgrade project you will want to work on. But if you like meeting and entertaining new people, and have lots of energy, this can be good solid business.
When making a website keep in mind that simplicity and clarity are key. A simple design that clearly states what you do, how you do it, and what you charge is most effective. When making your website, remember to emphasize why your business is the best solution to a clients problem.
Potential challenges: Don’t expect to quit your day job right away. You’ll likely need a ton of traffic and followers to earn anything significant, and building up your fanbase will likely take some time.
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.
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.
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.
While contracts can be valid when orally made, they are much harder to prove and enforce. Make sure you get all agreements in writing — it will save you headaches down the line, and could even save your business.
Short tasks are often just extra money and rewards, but it’s something a lot of people do to fill in the gaps between other types of work from home jobs. The tasks available will vary from site to site.
If you’re passionate about the business world or able to influence and encourage others in your own unique way, you may want to consider marketing your services as a business or life coach. Use your passion and expertise to give advice and suggest actionable steps people can take to improve their professional and personal lives.

Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be approached by major brands, gear companies, and other relevant businesses that sell products or services related to the type of content you share on Instagram—creating multiple potential side business ideas that’ll come to you. If you have the right marketing skills and hundreds of thousands of followers, you can easily charge anywhere between $500 to $5,000 per post (or more)—which makes for a very profitable side business idea. Check out this fashion Instagrammer on ThePennyHoarder, making a significant income from brand sponsorships. Once you get some traction, to cut down on the amount of time you spend uploading images, you can make your entire workflow more efficient by posting photos from your Mac or PC.
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.
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.
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.
That’s why I’m a huge advocate of always starting a side business while working full-time, so that you can test your way into your new product or service, get feedback, validate the business idea, and start generating income before you quit your job. If you can master the art of scaling a side business idea while keeping your day job, you’ll have no trouble succeeding once you’re fully self-employed.
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.
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Yes, there might be fewer people in a small town, or fewer stores and shops, but that doesn’t mean that babies don’t grow out of their onesies, people don’t buy new furniture and kids don’t move off to college. In our capitalist society, fewer people doesn’t always mean less stuff. So opening a second-hand store or thrift shop is a great way to help the people of your town recycle unwanted items while giving those that might not have as much a less expensive shopping option. One reason why opening a thrift store in a small town is a great idea, is that much of the merchandise you sell you will receive via donations. This does present logistics to think about regarding how to regulate and keep track of inventory, but it also means that even though you sell items for less than a traditional store, you’ll never owe money to a middleman or manufacturer. Cha-ching!
Intrep Sales Partners hires U.S. home-based sales consultants for appointment setting, lead generation, list acquisition, script development, admin support and database management. Has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
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?
Resource Recommendation: If you could use some help with this step, a business license service is a great solution. They’ll determine everything required of your business on a federal, state and local level, get the forms for you and even provide filing instructions.
With many of the business ideas we’ll explore in this post, you may not be shipping your products, but you still need to cover the cost of shipping. Consider your shipping costs and how they will vary in the different countries you want to serve.
If you can rent a truck or a trailer, you’re all set to start a hauling service. Help people get rid of all that junk that’s been piling up in the attic, the basement, the garage and out in the backyard.
With the wide array of digital marketing options to consider, not to mention traditional options, local businesses increasingly need outside help to develop and execute the best marketing strategy. To get going in this field you will need to be familiar with the most popular online and offline marketing venues, and be comfortable selling your services to local business people.
Another option is to open a franchise of an established company. The concept, brand following and business model are already in place; all you need is a good location and the means to fund your operation.
If you’re good with words, you might be able to find some work as an online freelancer. A variety of publications need online content in the form of stories, product or service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and skill, you could easily be the one to create them. Fortunately, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started.
Tired of chasing after paid blogging gigs? Start your writing business by starting a blog! We have a quick and easy tutorial right here — plus you can grab hosting for as little as $2.95 a month with Bluehost.
Coming up with a great business idea is just the beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur. There are many more steps that you need to take before you can get started. Fleshing out your business idea is one of them, and it’s very critical to the success of your venture.
I learned a lot about resume writing as my book publishing company became the leading seller of resume books in the US. Resumes are not obsolete, even if you don’t always use one when applying for a position online, recruiters expect you to bring a resume to the interview. With the Internet, you can help write resumes and cover letters for anyone in the world. If you can write succinctly, you can write a good resume.
If you don’t generally need an office beyond your home, but may occasionally need meeting space, there are often places that can address those needs. A quick Google search on “business meeting rentals [your city/state]” will deliver plenty of rental options in your area.
#50 – Snuggle Buddies – You can become a professional cuddle and make anywhere from $40-$80 per hour. All you have to do is cuddle someone or hold someone’s hands. Yes, that’s right, a professional cuddler.
The day spa business is hot as more and more overworked people seek rejuvenation for their tired bodies. I would pull first time customers in with very sweet deals, then try to tie them in with a membership model, such as so many day spa visits per month for one flat rate. Building out a day spa can be expensive and will usually cost more than you budget, so with your first spa I wouldn’t get too carried away with remodeling. Instead make the spa nice, but not lavish, and then offer great service.
It sounds too good to be true—getting paid to represent your favorite brands at events across the nation. But, if you have a friendly and outgoing personality (a growing social media following helps too), you can forge a potentially paid relationship as a brand ambassador with companies who want to reach other people within your community with this  side business idea. As a Brand Ambassador, you do anything from demoing the latest technology, to passing out free swag at music festivals, to going on nationwide tours, to pumping people up as a mascot, and more. Depending upon the gig, you can expect to earn anywhere from $18-$100/hr. You can get started as early as this weekend by joining the Brand Ambassador Facebook group for your nearest major city (e.g. join the “Brand Ambassadors of Seattle” group if you live in/near Seattle). Once you’ve been approved to the group, you’ll get access to daily job postings from big brands and agencies with opportunities in your area. All you need to do is submit your resume and headshot to apply. For a step-by-step guide on how to get hired for the best gigs and the highest pay rates, I recommend checking out The Brand Ambassador Blueprint.
Most people, even those many won’t admit it, love moving their bodies. It’s also a great workout. If at some point in your life, you had to hang your dancing shoes for a more sensible office job, there’s nothing stopping you from earning money with this side business idea as a passion project around your day job. Part-time dance instructors get a fraction of the pie that their full-time peers enjoy, but it can add up to hundreds each week if you’re consistent—making for a great side business idea to those with the skills and drive.
If you want to start a small business, write down your plan for accomplishing your goal in a business plan that includes a description of your business, how it fits into the market, and an operational plan describing how you will deliver your product or service and all of the costs involved. Secure your start-up costs, taking out a small loan if you need to, then find a space to set up your business, market your company, and launch your product or service!
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like The Windy City and snow. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Initial Outfitters – Whether you are looking for extra income, more time with the girls, or you want to make a difference in the lives of others, Initial Outfitters can be just that & more for you. You set your own hours to achieve your own income goals and dreams, so you never have to miss the big {or little} moments in your life! Our boutique-style line of personalized jewelry and gifts appeals to women of all styles and ages, and is sold exclusively by our Independent Outfitters … women just like you! Through our partnership with Charlie’s Lunch Ministries, we now annually fund 19 Charlie’s Lunchrooms around the world, feeding over 1,300 children physically and spiritually. Join us for as little as $99 and Make a Living that Makes a Difference! For more information, contact us: InitalOutfitters.com or via email info@initialoutfitters.com.

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