open my own business | first steps to opening a business

Resource Recommendation: There is so much more to be said about small-business marketing than what we’ve mentioned here. To learn more about the points we discussed and many other topics, head over to our definitive guide!
Tell Wut is a survey site where you can win prizes and earn rewards for sharing your opinion. Most surveys award 5 to 15 points per survey, but you can also earn points by referring friends (25 points), creating an account (100 points) and providing your information (100 points). Points can be redeemed for Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Visa, and various other gift cards. Tell Wut has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Decide how to accept payment. You will need to do something to get payment from your clients or customers. You can get something like a Square, which is great for small businesses since it requires the minimum amount of paperwork and the fees are minimal. However, if you feel uncomfortable with technology, you can inquire about a more traditional merchant account.
Smart Locating – Sometimes advertising data entry jobs at home on Craigslist. The listings typically say you need to be able to meet in-person first. This company operates from Texas, so you will likely need to be near one of their locations there so you can have a face-to-face interview.

Live in an area with plenty of snowfall during the winter? If so, you could easily start a snowplow business by investing in a plow attachment for your pickup truck or Jeep. If you want to start smaller, you could even build your business by clearing driveways and walkways with a shovel or a snowblower.
Current market trends in Dubai offer plenty of opportunities for foreign investors to tap into imports and export of commodities, as well as taking advantage of the growing tourist traffic of the city for an almost unlimited number of potential clients and customers going your way.
Swagbucks is an online platform where you can earn points called SB, which can be redeemed for gift cards and coupons. You can easily earn SB points by watching videos, playing games, answering questions, shopping online, and even surfing the web using their toolbar. Refer your friends, and you’ll earn even more SB points. Your SB points can be traded in for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Starbucks, PayPal, and Walmart.
Gardening is big and growing. And it is a business that is less likely to move totally online than many other businesses. You could start out with a supply center, expanding over time to add some plants to sell, and then, eventually vertically integrate with your own plant nursery. You could also expand into providing onsite services.
I would only recommend trading a collectible that you really love! If you are dealing with your favorite collectible, the work will be more enjoyable, it will be easier to increase your expertise, and you will be much more likely to be successful. The online options today allow you to specialize much more deeply than in the past because you can reach a global market. So, within your favorite collectible space, find a particular niche or two and focus sharply on it.
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.
If you’re artistically inclined or know your way around a camera, you can dropship using a print-on-demand business model to let others physically own a piece of your work. Just be sure you have the rights to the content you want to print, unless you’re using public domain assets that you can freely monetize.
Many elderly people need assistance with a wide variety of simple household tasks – cleaning, laundry, and so forth. Many adult children of elderly people are quite willing to hire someone to help out their parents.
Proofread Anywhere offers a free introductory workshop. One mom tried this out because she desperately needed a flexible schedule, and now she makes up to $1,200 a month picking and choosing when she works — from home.
Even in the Internet age a lot of people enjoy going to flea markets. To succeed in this business, you first need to be able to sell space to vendors. Then right from the first event you need to bring in enough visitors, so that your vendors are happy, and will come back again and again.
As adults, we certainly know how different we feel the morning after a restful night of sleep: basically like superheroes. Our children need the right amount of sleep for their bodies too, but the signs that they’re not getting the quality sleep they need can be very different than adults….
The antique market is not as lively as it used to be. But there’s still money to be had from the industry if you love rare old stuff and possess the skill of restoring them to their former glory. To start an antique refurbishing business at home, you’ll likely need a few thousand dollars to build out a basic workshop and stock it with all of the right treatments and materials in order to truly excel with this side business idea. Start small by borrowing around what you can, and learning the basics of the trade as a side hustle before investing in a ton of equipment.
There is one trend that has been sweeping the country for the better part of two decades: health food. Though what is considered healthy food has shifted and changed frequently over this period of time, the general concept of eating healthier to live longer and look your best is not going anywhere. One facet of this trend that has scientifically proven benefits is eating organic food. People eat organic for a variety of reason, but living in rural areas and small towns can often make it difficult to find fresh organic produce and food. Global sales of health food are expected to reach $1 trillion by 2017. Whether or not you consider yourself a health nut, that’s a hard number to ignore. Research also shows that consumers are willing to spend more for healthy food. So if access to allergen-free and organic food is limited in your area, consider going the organic route. Small town business idea, large town business idea, a health food store is a good idea wherever you reside.
You should also consider home owners’ associations in your neighborhood and consider the potential impact of your business on neighbors, especially if the business will increase traffic or noise in the neighborhood.
A catering service may be a large business serving meals to armies of people at special events. Or it may be a single person business serving dinner to just a few people. Specialization can help build your business. For example, here in New England some caterers specialize in clambakes.
Similar to wedding coordinators, event planners work with clients to plan and organize the various aspects of their events. You can work with an even bigger array of clients by being open to the types of events you’ll work on.
Toluna is a survey and product testing site where you can earn points for participation. Most surveys and questionnaires take 15 – 20 minutes and members earn anywhere from 15 – 20,000 points depending on the length. Points can be redeemed for sweepstakes tickets for gadgets or getaways, vouchers for stores like Amazon, even cash. Payments are made via PayPal and check.
To open up a bank account for your business, you’ll need to obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number). You’ll use your EIN in place of your social security number so that this account is completely separate from your personal finances.
#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.
Selling a business is a complex and emotionally taxing process involving many hours of data gathering, meetings, information exchange, financial questions, legal questions and intense negotiations.   Every day, small business owners make mistakes w…
#15 – 3 Play Media relies solely on home-based transcriptionist to transcribe audio files. Just like most transcription companies, you must pass the skill test before accessing audio assignments. The company prefers you to use a foot pedal or transcription software. The job pays up to $25 per hour.
Investment: Startup costs will depend on the type of services you provide. The upfront costs should be lower if the business is nonmedical and assists seniors with basic daily tasks, although training and licensing may still be required.
Even after you create your company’s name, do not omit these identifying letters on marketing materials, advertisements, or business transactions.[4] Doing so may lead to unintended consequences.[5] For example, if you leave “LLC” out of your name while doing business, a judge may find that you entered into a business deal as an individual, and not as an LLC.[6] If this happens, you may be found personally liable and may not receive the limited liability shield you anticipated.[7]
Figure out if you need additional insurance. Visit with your local insurance agent to determine if you are in need of any special insurance for your home based business. When you start a home based business, you immediately start exposing yourself, your family and your home to variety of risks and you want to make sure you are covered before it is too late.[4]
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.
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.
You still need to come up with a solid idea, build a brand, do marketing, and provide customer service. But you won’t have to keep a stack of products in your living room or ship every order yourself.
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.
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.
Whether a small town is in North Dakota, Upstate New York, or South Florida, one thing is for sure: people prefer shiny modes of transportation to muddy, rusty wrecks. It’s just how human nature works. You pay your car payment every month, so your vehicle might as well shine! If there isn’t a car wash in your town already or at least one in the next town over, opening a cash wash might be your perfect small town business opportunity. One thing to think about before getting started: location, location, location. Nail this stage of the planning and you’ll make the rest of your ride significantly easier.
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Udacity continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making it a great business idea to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
Valentine’s day. Birthdays. Weddings. The list goes on and on—throughout the course of a year, there are dozens of occasions when people need to order flowers. What’s more is that once you’re up to speed with this business idea, your costs can stay relatively low if you know where to source your flowers, and typical margins are in the neighborhood of 300% (or more) on cut flowers which makes this a particularly profitable side business idea in the right geographic area. Check out this amazing interview with floral designer, Sara Tedford of Ladybird Poppy to hear about how her floral design company started out as a side business idea of doing weddings and events for her friends and family.
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.
WineShop At Home – Frequently recognized at international wine competitions, our wines are deliciously different, wonderfully one-of-a-kind and exclusive to us. WineShop At Home Independent Wine Consultants earn an income by marketing our artisan wines through in-home Wine Tastings and they have FUN doing so. Tasting & learning about wine with friends, what’s not to love? Come for the Taste and Stay for the Lifestyle with us! Three Business Kits to choose from starting at $79. Contact Shelley Whitmarsh-Beal, Director of Field Development @ Shelley@wineshopathome.com for more info.
If your mastery of another language is good enough to have the grammar and spelling down, translating is a great side business idea to set up for yourself and can even be done remotely. Flexjobs has literally hundreds of freelance, remote translator jobs available right now and if you’re looking to land more remote work on the side of your other pursuits, check out my guide—how to get a remote job (this weekend).
Obtain a Sales Tax License. Some sales are not taxed; some sales are taxed. Regardless if you make taxable or nontaxable sales, it is best to have a sales tax license. It legitimizes your business. Also, this license allows you to make purchases for resale without paying sales tax to the vendor. Get your sales tax license from the Michigan Department of Treasury.
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.
American Online Jobs is seeking individuals with experience as: Data entry clerks, data entry, telemarketing, customer service, sales, clerical, secretary, administrative assistant, warehouse, inventory, receptionist, call center, part-time, or retail fiel…
This is a good solid service business. But it is competitive, you need to have fully qualified service providers, and you need to look into licensing. No matter how good a service you run, when you deal with the elderly especially there is always legal risk. You can mitigate the risk by incorporating, by getting insurance and by being sure your staff follows accepted medical protocols.
Listen to my interview with serial entrepreneur and investor, Michele Romanow about how she built an app that earned $500,000 in 3 months (as a side business idea outside of her day job) and how she eventually sold the company to Groupon. It’s seriously incredible.
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…
C Corp: The main difference here is that C Corps may have an unlimited number of shareholders from all over the world, and the corporation itself is required to pay taxes. Learn more about how to form a Corporation in California.
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.
If you know how to play an instrument well (particularly the piano or the guitar) and have patience, you’ve got what you need to teach others how to play. Offer lessons in that instrument to others – this can also be an excellent service to barter with, too.
The IRS treats all multi-member LLCs as partnerships, unless they choose to be taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp. Therefore, most multi-member LLCs are required to report their income to the IRS using a Form 1065 Partnership Return.
Acceleration Partners hires for a wide variety of affiliate marketing jobs. Candidates must reside within a reasonable driving distance of one of their key hub regions: Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, or Santa Barbara/Los Angeles. These remote, full-time positions come with benefits and lots of perks.
Websites aren’t too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate value for you, making it a strong potential business idea if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough That’s why, like stocks, they are bought and sold all the time. You can buy and sell websites as a side business  idea in the hope of generating future earnings based on their user traffic, current revenue intake, domain name, or some other factors that might be a hidden cash cow everyone else has overlooked. Interested? Check out marketplaces like Flippa and Flipping Enterprises to learn more.
We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Join the Conversation

5 Comments

  1. So you want to be an entrepreneur. Maybe there’s something you’re really knowledgeable and passionate about, or perhaps you think you’ve found a way to fill a gap in the marketplace. Wherever your interests lie, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s a way to turn it into a business.
    Write your business description. Describe your business more specifically, and how it fits into the market in general. If you are a corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship, state that, and why you chose to go that route. Describe your product, its big features, and why people will want it. Answer the following questions:
    Consider your talents, experience, and knowledge when selecting a concept. If you have a particular skill set or talent, consider how these resources can be applied to meeting some sort of market demand. Combining skill and knowledge with a market demand increases your odds of having a successful business idea.
    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 is one of the most popular small businesses in the world! And no wonder! Everyone needs to have it done and many people don’t like to do it! It is also a business that can be challenging to get your employees to consistently do a fantastic job. That’s why this business is particularly well-suited for both solo entrepreneurs and an entrepreneur who runs one single crew of cleaners.
    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.
    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.
    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!

  2. Resources I recommend for learning more about this industry include 21 Days to a VA Biz and The Bootstrap VA. Note that both of these books focus on starting your own virtual assisting business rather than working for a company (such as the ones above). For more in-depth training, you can enroll in the 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success eCourse. It will teach you exactly how to start your own VA business, what you need, what to charge, and also where to find clients.
    **** REMOTE WORK @ HOME AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE CLAIMS ADJUDICATION**** Automotive Industry Representatives Looking for a great automotive opportunity Attention Service Writers, Automotive Technicians, Automotive Claim and Warranty representatives. Do you…
    Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Alamo, Enterprise, and National Car Rental services hires home-based customer service reps, escalation support reps, reservation and sales reps, and bilingual reservation and sales reps.
    Rather than replacing sofas and chairs, many people prefer to save money and just replace the fabric, often changing colors in the process. This is a great service business—you can’t be underpriced by Amazon. Furthermore, not only will your customers come to you for more business at some point, but you bet that next time they are entertaining in their living room that your new fabric covering work will come up in the conversation! Eventually you may want to consider offering complete re-upholstering services.
    Luckily, marketing is a lot easier when you’re catering to a specific audience or identity (e.g. vegans, board game lovers, photographers in your city). You can produce social media content that resonates with these people or run ads that target their interests. Taking this approach also helps you project a consistent brand because you’ll have a more specific idea of who exactly you’re talking to.
    The manager-managed LLC, where only designated members (or even outsiders) are given the responsibility of running the LLC.[12] While this is a less common structure than the member-managed LLC, it can be useful when some members only want to be passive investors.[13] In addition, this structure may be advantageous if you have some members that are not particularly skilled in managing, or when your ownership is too large or diverse to allow for everyone to manage.[14]
    Resource Recommendation: There is so much more to be said about small-business marketing than what we’ve mentioned here. To learn more about the points we discussed and many other topics, head over to our definitive guide!
    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!
    I mean come on, who wouldn’t be interested in this side business idea? Getting paid to take care of a cute pup sounds like a dream. The prevalence of unattended pets is another side effect of busy life, creating job business ideas and opportunities for people with time, patience, and affection to spare. Just check out DogVacay and Rover to see what I mean. Would the payout be worth it if you try? One person in New York earns $3,300 a month just pet-sitting for busy animal lovers as his side business idea.
    SimplyFun – Would you like to play for a living? You can be part of a meaningful movement and earn generous incentives by promoting SimplyFun’s mission of play-based learning. Enjoy a flexible schedule while earning 25-42% commissions, plus bonuses and rewards. Our thorough training program and starter kit provide everything you need to launch your business. Plus, now is the perfect time to join SimplyFun as we continue to grow from our best year ever. Thanks to our innovative approach to direct selling and a talented sales force, we doubled our sales in 2017. You can be part of this continued success by selling award-winning, thoughtfully designed games that teach useful, real-world skills to children of all ages. Ready? Game On.

  3. 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.
    There are several loan programs aimed at helping first-time entrepreneurs set up their business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) operates the loan programs offered by the U.S. government. To qualify for the loan, your business must meet some criteria such as your business must operate in the United States, your business must qualify as a small business according to SBA guidelines, you must operate for profit and you should have a good credit score.

  4. VoiceLog is a company that offers third party verification (TPV) services. They hire work-at-home positions for live operators – independent contractors, TPV Agents with multiple foreign languages available. Live operators make $8.50 per hour where TPV agents are compensated per call. Can work as little as 3 hours per shift.
    So you want to be an entrepreneur. Maybe there’s something you’re really knowledgeable and passionate about, or perhaps you think you’ve found a way to fill a gap in the marketplace. Wherever your interests lie, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s a way to turn it into a business.
    Hi, I am Sandeep Chauhan, now I am trying to start a small business. I am from Delhi(India). But I can share my knowledge in Delhi for whom people who are interested in visiting in Delhi’s Historical Places.
    Craft beer is popular today, as are local, independently-owned businesses. If you’re passionate about beer, consider starting a microbrewery that offers unique flavors and quality products. You can experiment with different brewing techniques and conduct taste tests. You’ll also save startup money by opting for a smaller business rather than a large brewery or chain. Choose a lively location and plan your venture.
    This is good specialized business with a specific, clearly defined market to target. Until you have started to gain momentum you might want to find someone you can rent a horse trailer from on an as-needed basis. Then buy your own trailer after you start to build your customer base.
    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.

  5. #18 – LeapForce hires independent contractors to assess search engines with a weekly pay of $13-$16 per hour. Posts are only open to those living in the United States, Canada, Norway, Brazil, Denmark, and Norway. You are required to pass a two-part evaluation exam before becoming Leap Force contractor.
    Thanks a lot for sharing these successful business ideas to start for small towns. Yes, every successful business needs a proper planning before to start such as business location, audience, product demand etc. and all this consider as most important things to analyse and optimize before starting any business.
    One of the easiest ways to screw up your business accounting and possibly run afoul of the IRS is to commingle personal and business funds (and transactions). Using a business account for all business transactions eliminates that possibility.
    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.
    Bob’s Rent-A-Bike was my first business which I started when I was 19 years old. For this business, you can set up service stations or other local business as your agents, giving them a percentage of the rental fees. Vacation areas and being near bike trails are great places for bike rentals.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply to Ruth Cancel reply

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