how to start your own small business | i own my own business

Fiverr is a great place for first-time freelancers who might not have tons of experience and want to build up a portfolio of their work. You’ll be able to complete simple tasks ranging from logo design, to creating animations, or even drawing a company logo on your forehead. While this side business idea likely won’t be growing into a million dollar startup for you, it can still be a platform for funding your next big business idea. Want to learn more about Fiverr’s history and how to get the most out of selling on the platform? Listen to my interview with Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman.
Software drives businesses today. This is a fact not lost on individuals and companies attempting to earn a profit, make a name for themselves, or simply get things done. As a result, the job outlook for software developers will be much sunnier than prospects for many other occupations—creating massive opportunities for this business idea well into  the future. In fact, it won’t take you long to find a good-paying software development project as a side business idea on sites like Upwork, Guru.com, and Freelancer. LinkedIn also recently launched their brand new freelancing platform, ProFinder which has a dedicated section just for hiring talented software developers.
You’ve probably noticed that most companies nowadays offer ways to for their customers to contact them instantly via live chat support. Many of these chat support agents do work from home. Below is a list of the companies I’ve reviewed on this site that have occasion openings for work at home chat agents.
#20 – InstaEdu is an online company hiring work at home tutors to teach online students different school topics. Payment is usually $20 per hour made using PayPal. Teaching sessions take place through Skype, text message, video chats or even whiteboards.
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:
Companies these days are expanding their office boundaries to incorporate the idea of working from home. These companies offer employees flexible working hours, better pay and freedom from office walls. Even though the internet is flooded with many online jobs, there are some that offer better pay. Here is a list of companies that pay $16 per hour or more to work from home. If this pay isn’t enough, I suggest this list of companies that $20 per hour or more.
There’s a huge growing market for mobile phone accessories, and plenty of handmade sellers are raking in 6 and sometimes 7 figures from their phone case businesses. You can get your own phone case business up and running as a side business idea in a matter of days with turnkey solutions from Case Escape, my previous company, and you can now get ready-to-go kits that’ll give you everything you need to start a phone case business. Once you’re up and running, you can sell cases on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Fancy. During our first year of selling phone cases as a side business idea on our Etsy store, we made around $60,000 in revenue from that selling channel alone—not to mention additional sales from fairs, trade shows, promotional products vendors, parties, events and other online marketplaces. From there, the sales only continued growing and we graduated from side business idea to full-time company that I ran with my best friend for multiple years.
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.
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.
This is a good steady service business. To get started you don’t have to handle every single brand or every single repair. You can study manufacturer’s repair guides or watch instructional videos to get going.
Wouldn’t it be cool to have your own miniature golf course! Now that’s the type of golf I think I could handle! Having a well-designed course is nice but what really matters here is the location. You need to be on a highly visible road, a vacation area is a plus, and ideally your competition is a good distance away.

Local: California issues general business licenses by city, so you’ll need to check in with your local Chamber of Commerce to find out the application process. They’ll also be able to let you know about any other local requirements you may be missing!
#12 – Rev is a transcription company that requires you to work as much or little as you want. As a qualification, you need to pass the skill test for you to access the transcription assignments. The pay ranges between $24-$39 per audio hour made every week through PayPal.
Someone out there is remodeling their kitchen and needs to know which shade of granite will match best with mahogany flooring. That someone will often be happy to pay you for your advice, especially if you’re the kind of person that subscribes to websites like Contemporist and you have the motivation to turn this business idea into a money-making enterprise.
But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you’ll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp.
Werewolves, step-brothers, and tentacles—the demand is high. As odd as it may sound, if you’ve got the imagination (and a clever pseudonym), you can make upwards of $5,000 a month writing erotic fiction in your free time as a side business idea.
Large corporations often contract smaller companies to provide phone and online customer service, and these smaller companies specifically hire home workers. Typically you’ll spend the day on the phone in front of your computer and will answer calls or respond to questions online.
Wouldn’t you enjoy making kids smile and laugh? What a great way to earn some good money, especially at kids’ birthdays and Bar and Bat mitzvahs! Business will be heavily focused on weekends, so you can hold onto your day job as you build your clientele. I met a professional clown who told me that he charged $200 an hour…for that price I’ll put the clown suit on right now!
In most cases, these firms offer a team of experts to plan out your company registration from scratch — this includes the strategies you need to follow in order to smoothly set up your business, itemizing potential costs, offering licensing and location options, coming up with solutions for potential business hurdles, and so on.
Television repair is not a dying business. Consumers don’t want to throw out their TVs at the first time of trouble. Furthermore, if you start this business you may want to expand into related businesses such as servicing computer monitors.
There are at least three teenage entrepreneurs who’ve already earned astonishing amounts of money by launching hand-made jewelry business ideas: M3 Girl Designs’ Maddie Bradshaw, Bella Weems of Origami Owl, and the girl behind DesignedByLei. With the industry set to shine in the near term via a brisk annual growth rate of 5-6%, the market is ripe for new entrants to this business idea who can offer sparkling new takes on how to craft appealing handmade goods.
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.
A neat bonus of attending a craft class is that not only do you learn how to do something new, but also that you get to go home with something tangible—your finished craft project! People are often willing to take a craft class if you can market it in an appealing way. And focusing on what the finished project will look like is one way to get people excited about signing up!
Color matters. The colors you choose to represent your business will have a major impact on customers’ initial impressions. Yellow feels joyful, blue feels serene — what colors capture the essence of your company?
Clients who need some help picking out outfits or creating a budget for their purchases may be interested in the services of a personal shopper. Starting this type of service mainly just requires an interest in shopping and some fashion sense.
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.
Some people have no time. They may have a job that requires lots of travel or an executive position that has them working around the clock. But you can make their life easier offering personal concierge services!
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.
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!
When I used to work at CreativeLive, I regularly paid $250-$500 (or even much more depending upon audience size) per episode for 90 seconds worth of advertisements on relevant podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show, the #1 business podcast right now from the 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss. The podcast has even helped Tim launch his latest New York Times bestseller, Tools of Titans to a wider readership.
One of my friends with a background in manufacturing started a business removing waste from building sites and then he progressed into the demolition of industrial buildings. Like other construction related services, one of the keys to success is very carefully bidding for your work. You also need to make sure you get paid–general contractors can be highly successful one minute and then short on money to pay bills the next.
Choose a unique name for your LLC. Choose a name that complies with your state laws and properly represents your business. While there is no exact formula for choosing the best name, you should choose something that is: [2]
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!
A lot of car owners simply don’t have time to personally care for their vehicles, much less make them sparkle. With simple equipment such as car shampoo, polishing wax, tire black, sponges, a pail and a sturdy hose, you can start earning a decent side income by making cars look fresh in your free time after work and on weekends. Not bad for an easy business idea that’ll keep you outdoors and moving your body on the weekends.
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.
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.
Everyone wants to feel special now and then. If you can create the right setting, you could make your customers feel great and be happy to pay top dollar for a sophisticated beverage! Get everything just so–the name, the furniture, the wall coverings, servers’ attire, the lighting, and the background music. If you get all the details right, this could be a really fun and highly profitable endeavor.
As a Convergys agent, you take customer calls and provide other services for large corporations. The company has clients in industries like automotive, communications and media, financial services and many more.
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.
#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.
Note that many of these ideas could have been listed in more than the single category I placed them in. But I thought it would easier and more interesting for you, if I only listed each business once.
#3 – Arise is a renowned company that contracts work at home customer service agents in the U.S. Their pay depends on the kind of client you are assigned to work with, but usually, ranges from $10-$20 per hour. The great thing about this job is flexibility. You can work as much as you want.
#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.
Call Center QA is always hiring Telephone Mystery Shoppers from the United States. Work from home making calls and completing short online forms. Flex hours and great pay. No upfront costs or background checks. Payout via PayPal within 24 – 48 hours. We have employed and paid thousands of people across the United States. Member of the Better Business Bureau.
Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).
Many ultra-busy professionals appreciate having someone who can check and answer their email, organize task lists for them, update their calendars, and other administrative tasks, with minimal interaction. The best part is that you can provide this service from home with a good Internet connection.

Join the Conversation

5 Comments

  1.  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.
    A growing senior population means higher demand for home health care services. The 65-and-older population will grow to 98 million by the year 2060, more than twice the number in 2014, according to the Administration for Community Living.
    You should check with a professional to be sure, but I’ve read that you can file for an LLC in any state (regardless of where you live). Therefore, it would be excessive to file in more than one state.
    #48 – Stitch Fix – If you are a fashionista with a creative eye, try Stitch Fix a company that allows you to share fashion tips with clients on the site. For work at home stylist, Stitch Fix offers a $16+ an hour pay. As a requirement, you must be 18 years of age or more and be ready to attend their off-site training before starting the job.
    As you know, many people opt to contact companies via email rather than by chat or phone. Because of this, some companies do hire for work at home email support. These jobs are a little hard to find, I come across very few when I’m researching work at home job leads. You can read this blog post for everything I’ve been able to find about these jobs.

  2. There is something special about the first edition of a rare book and people will spend big money to find the exact book they want. And then there is the shop itself, a rare book shop is such as wonderful antidote to our way-too-busy Internet world. Yes, you can make money with rare books but this is a profession that I suggest you ease your way into gradually, getting very comfortable with market demand and pricing, before investing in inventory.
    Come up with an executive summary. The first part of a business plan is the executive summary. Once you’ve developed the other parts, describe the overall business concept, how it will be monetized, how much funding you will need, where it stands currently, including its legal standing, people involved and a brief history, and anything else that makes your business look like a winning proposition.
    If you can create a regular audience for your podcast on a specific topic, this is a great way to get sponsors and fund this side business idea. My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is actually my current side business idea, and because I had an existing audience here on my blog at the time I launched the show, I was able to broker a $5,000 sponsorship from Freshbooks to place ads on the first ten episodes before I even got started.

  3. 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.
    Liveops is a virtual call center company. They hire at-home agents to perform inbound and outbound calls for customer service, customer acquisition, customer retention, revenue maximization, political, disaster relief, incident response, and fundraising.
    It seems that just about every business I’ve been involved in hires home-based editors, who work on a freelance basis and set their own hours. Generally, this work falls into three categories: 1) Developmental editing or making highly substantive changes; 2) Copy editing or wording and grammar improvements; 3) Proof reading. Many editors specialize in one aspect of editing, others cover them all. You may further specialize such as in technical document editing.
    You could run this as a seasonal camp during the summer. But I find it’s tougher to make lots of money at seasonal businesses, so instead I would first consider offering a creative arts day camp after school or on weekends. I suggest doing surveys to find out what age groups of kids and what specific art activities have the most appeal.
    Earning money on GigWalk is similar to working on Task Rabbit—not a bad side business idea if you’ve got the free time. You get to choose from an amusingly diverse range of jobs from taking snapshots of restaurant menus to counting the items arrayed on supermarket racks. It won’t make you rich though, with payouts tending to congregate in the lower half of their $3-to-$100 range. But, if you’re looking for a steady little side business idea, it can’t hurt doing a strange but fun errand and getting a tip at the end. When you’re bored or a little short on cash, you can access GigWalk anytime, anywhere via their mobile app. Meanwhile, all the jobs specifically vetted for you will be within reach (ideally, just a brisk walk away).
    To succeed at car resale, you need to find a great source of used cars at a good price. Sources to buy cars include: car dealer auctions, bankruptcy auctions, new car dealers selling older cars they don’t want on their lot, government car auctions, and rental car agencies. You can also watch for bargain priced cars being advertised by individuals, but you need to snap up the best deals before someone else does. Focus on just a couple cars at a time, so that you can try to keep your overhead low by operating out of your house, and keep your profits up by choosing your cars carefully.
    You can work from home giving your expert advice on various topics to people who need it. If you can prove your expertise in a certain field, then you may qualify to do this work, although for some it’s just extra money here and there. This is often non-phone because you may be able to give your advice via email or chat.
    Nothing beats playing your favorite game. But getting paid for coaching a sports team and staying close to the action is the next best thing. Not only will you learn new skills, you’ll earn money getting your team into shape with this side business idea. The median pay for sports coaches clocks in at $30,400 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expect to have only a slice of that if you’re signing up for part-time coaching as a side business idea only.

  4. 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.
    If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, here’s a list of the 45 best places you can learn to code for free. Once you command a knowledge of HTML, Ruby, Python, Javascript, or CSS, you can start a freelance business as a side business idea to build your portfolio while you still hold onto your full-time job. Listen to my podcast interview with Laurence Bradford about her journey to become a freelance web developer, too. And over time, you’ll build more relationships, have more experience and eventually take this side business idea over to becoming a full-time source of income.

  5. While, it’s nice to do business with a handshake, there’s no substitute for a well-written contract. Indeed, many contracts are not valid unless they are in written form. The exact number of this type of contract varies between states, but here are a few common examples:
    Know your target market. We already discussed this briefly in Step 1, but it’s worth drilling in. If you don’t know who you’re selling to — specifically — there’s no way you’ll be able to market to them successfully.
    There are aspects of your business that you can always salvage if you try a different product or approach. The brand you invest time into creating and the followers you amass on social media or in your email list can be assets you repurpose for your next business idea.
    If you want to broaden your services and earn more, you can opt to make the entire house look neat and clean with this side business idea. House cleaning services cover carpets, floors, lawns, garages, windows, walls, and roofs, requiring a whole range of cleaning tools. You can hire maids and janitors to do the actual cleaning while you handle sales, administrative and customer service tasks. Or, you can start small by actually getting your hands dirty as a contractor, learning on the job before launching your own cleaning operations with the help of cleaning business management tools like Swept. Beyond that, I’d recommend checking out Cleaning Zoom’s ultimate guide to starting a cleaning business if you plan on taking this business idea seriously.
    This is very competitive. Just a few feet away from me in the co-share space I am working in currently, several young people started an Internet based food service, but gave up after a few months. But there is a huge demand for food delivery both from restaurants and grocery stores, and you just might be able to make a go of it!
    If you are tired of your current job and are looking for full time work, or if you just want to work a few hours a week, this is the perfect business for you. Earn anywhere from $500 to $5000 per month or more!
    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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *