how to start your own small business | setting up your own business

The best way to hold onto your competitive edge is to protect your trade secrets. A trade secret is that information that isn’t known to others that gives you a competitive advantage in the market. There are many kinds of trade secrets, and trade secrets receive legal protection as long as their owners take steps to keep them secret. Those steps could be anything from marking confidential documents to requiring partners and employees to sign nondisclosure agreements.
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Maybe you’re looking to supplement your full-time income with a side business. Or perhaps you’re finished with the 9-to-5 and ready to be your own boss. In either case, coming up with a killer small-business idea is the first step on the path to entrepreneurship.
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.
Now that you’ve got the financial foundation laid, it’s time to start building on it. There are tons of funding opportunities out there — especially in California — but not every approach is right for every business. When choosing a primary funding method, consider:
Potential challenges: Starting a food business can be complicated, as you’ll have to deal with permitting requirements and health department regulations. Other obstacles include securing a desirable location and fierce competition, although these factors may depend on your local market.
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.
The Square is a card swiping device which connects with a smartphone or tablet and turns that device into a sort of cash register. You may have encountered this device in the businesses you frequent, as they are becoming common at coffee shops, restaurants, street food stands and other businesses (look for a postage-stamp sized plastic square plugged into a tablet or phone).
Not to be confused with hoarding, this business idea takes a lot of time, patience, and passion. If you have an eye for good art, it’s easy to get in on the ground level by visiting the studio department at your local university—though don’t expect to get rich overnight with this side business idea. Many art students are more than happy to sell their work for a bargain, and in as little as a few years, there’s a chance that piece you bought for a couple hundred bucks may be worth well into the thousands. Beware though, this business idea will take a whole lot of patience (and storage space for all that art).
As I’ve already covered with TeeSpring, the T-shirt retailing business is worth millions of dollars. But what if you want to do the manufacturing side of things? T-shirt printing turns out to be quite a rewarding business idea for many each year, but can quickly consume much of your side business idea time—so know what you’re getting into before diving in. This multi-billion dollar industry counts big corporate factories as well as home-based part-time entrepreneurs.
I hate being locked out! And I hate how much money I have to pay a locksmith! Let alone how much I have to pay to have locks changed or a better lock system installed! Wouldn’t it be nice to be receiving this money instead of paying it out? Not only is there a constant need for this service, but with more elaborate door systems there is more room for upselling your customers—wouldn’t it be cool to have a keyless lock system?
If you play your cards right, certain types of businesses will pay you to promote their products and encourage sales. If you’re interested in learning more, check out affiliate marketing programs such as Amazon Associates, Commission Junction, LinkShare, and ShareASale.
I think providing eBay selling and shipping services is a great, high-demand service business. This is a very different business than what I would call eBay trading where you buy and sell products on eBay. A trading business can have high potential but it also has higher risks and may take longer to make money at.
With the rise of online craft marketplaces like Etsy, people with decent artisanal skills like sewing and woodworking have an always-open market to sell their products as a side business idea. If you’ve always wanted to design and make clothes by hand, then you can start turning those fashion ideas into real, hand-sewn garments and earn a little bit with this side business idea while you sleep and customers from around the world browse your Etsy & Amazon stores.
#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.
The market for daycare is gigantic! Of course, you can start in your home or in the workplace. Corporations may consider providing you with free space if you provide day care for their employees’ kids. Safety and licensing are essential for this business. You can quickly build a steady income and a valuable business.
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…
To become an officially recognized business entity, you must register with the government. Corporations will need an “articles of incorporation” document, which includes your business name, business purpose, corporate structure, stock details and other information about your company. Otherwise, you will just need to register your business name, which can be your legal name, a fictitious “Doing Business As” name (if you are the sole proprietor), or the name you’ve come up with for your company. You may also want to take steps to trademark your business name for extra legal protection.
The first step toward starting any successful California business is planning. Launching a business without a business plan is like shooting a major Hollywood production without a screenplay — it’s bound to go haywire. Among the things you’ll cover in your business plan are:
When my Rolex needed repair, I was determined to save some money so I went to an independent repair service. I visited his shop in Ft. Lauderdale and it was a relatively large operation with half a dozen technicians or so serving not just the local community, but shipping watches back and forth all over. Then there is my father’s grandfather clock which I just arranged to have shipped to me. Just to have it shipped, I needed an expert clock service to take it apart, and then on the receiving end I needed another expert service to put it back together. You get the point…there’s lots of demand here!
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.
I first learned about TTEC from the university I was attending. I thought it would be a great idea to get a job working from home while going to school. When I first started working for the company, I was a seasonal agent. This grew into a permanent agent position. TTEC has enabled me to earn a degree, provide support to my family, gain skills in communication and technology, and meet great people from different parts of the world. What a wonderful company to work for! Every day is a great day here at TTEC!
ClickWorker is an online platform where you can get paid for writing, translating, researching and collecting data. To get started create an account, fill out your profile, complete a qualification assessment, then bid on jobs. Payments are made by SEPA bank account transfers, and via PayPal once your account reaches $1.00, and your tax information has been completed. ClickWorker’s clients include Groupon, Tennis Point, Honda, PayPal among others.
Utilize the tools at your disposal. There are so many fantastic free resources out there to make marketing easier for small-business owners. You can find tools for monitoring your social media, crafting professional emails, calculating ROI and much, much more — all you have to do is seek them out. Marketing a business is a full-time job, but if you’re stuck doing it on your own for now, using services like these can make the task more manageable.
Interior room painting or wallpapering lends itself to part time work better than exterior house painting. Often a home owner wants just one room done. And you are not weather dependent—so you know you will be able to get a job done on Saturday for example, come rain or shine. As your experience grows you can charge a lot of money for quality interior painting and wallpapering.
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you’ll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
Even small businesses need all kinds of insurance and you can help them by getting them the coverage that will help save their business on a rainy day. To succeed in this business, you need to be outgoing and network well. But you also need to come across with a smart, consultative sell, not a hard-core pitch. It will take some time to build a corporate insurance brokerage, but this kind of business offers both high income potential and the possibility of someday selling it for a high multiple of earnings.
Enjoy baking and have a bit of an artistic touch? Learn how to decorate cakes and make them for special events. Sell your creations online via Craigslist or your local neighborhood Facebook page, or at local farmers markets. Many people are willing to pay others to create custom cakes for birthday parties and special events.

Similar to a handyman service, a cleaning service is also a solid business idea for small towns. That is if you are looking to forgo a storefront. Though it’s becoming increasingly popular these days for customers looking for cleaning services to use larger companies or startups, often services such as these either haven’t expanded into rural areas or don’t have contract workers willing to travel to more remote towns. This might be frustrating for those seeking a sparkling kitchen, but it’s a massive business opportunity for you! It’s also one of the easiest businesses to start with very little, if any, overhead.
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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.
Of course, you can try your hand at building homes and other large endeavors or you can specialize in smaller projects. Maybe driveways? Patios? Outside waterfalls? Closet renovations? There is no limit to what you can do, but to be highly successful or to build a scalable business I suggest you carefully find a highly profitable niche.
I agree that you must choose a business that your passionate about so you never feel your working rather just doing your hobby. Always start at the minimum amount of capital, buy used machines etc. some town offers some subsidies to to increase jobs in their town. Check your town’s websites – good luck!
Please invest 2 minutes of your time to watch the business startup Dubai video below. It spells out how you can benefit. Or if you prefer to read, then feel free to skip the video and go straight to the text below:
Depending on the printer you work with, you can turn your work into products such as posters or framed wall art, even greeting cards. There are plenty of digital templates and mockup generators like Place.it that you can use to showcase your products without having to print out each item and conduct your own photo shoots.
What’s your favorite color and scent of soap? Wouldn’t it be fun to play around with variations to be make it even better? And then you could take your finished product and go show it off to potential customers!
How do all the pets get to doggie day care or make their appointments at the vet? Your pet taxi service! As people offer more and more services for their pets the need to transport them will continue to grow for years to come.
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.
Before you do any estimating, it’s important to understand how start-up costs are categorized. All start-up costs (meaning costs in the period before you start generating income) include two kinds of spending: expenses and capital expenditures.
Local: Many cities and counties also require permits or licensing for individuals and firms conducting business within their jurisdiction. To learn about your requirements in this area, consult your local county clerks and city clerks. You can also search by keyword and zip code here.
Washing windows for retail stores is about as simple as it gets. Just get your cleaning supplies and knock on the doors of retail stores, asking if they want their windows cleaned. If you get some takers you could arrange to make it into a regular service.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he’s running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
A lot of people make some really neat crafts. But to be able to make money at it, you also need to be able to price your products reasonably—and allow yourself enough money to bring your product to market. That being said, there are more markets than ever for your products! In addition to local retailers and craft fairs, you can sell them online, on your own website, or through third party sites like Etsy or EBay.
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5. Capture the big benefit of your concept using a few highly impactful words. This is what I refer to as your ‘one sentence benefit statement.’ It needs to pack a punch! Your goal is to pique the receiver’s curiosity quickly. Yours should make the receiver think: “I want to know more about that.”
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.
#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.
If you’ve been searching for work from home more than a minute you know how much crap is out there. You know that everything that glitters isn’t gold! You already know that most work at home opportunities want to take your money and not help you make it! We’ve all been taught to be skeptical of work at home opportunities and to trust the BBB for insight. But have we been lied to? The answer may shock you.
Set up a dedicated phone line and internet service. Almost all businesses will require contact with customers over the phone. In order to ensure that your line will be free when customers call, you’ll have to get a dedicated phone line for business use. You should also sign up for voicemail rather than using an answering machine. This sounds more professional to customers.[7] You should also add an internet connection that is fast enough for your business purposes while still remaining affordable.

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