opening a small business | make your own company

If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers as a side business idea? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. See this quick checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business from the Work At Home Mom. Whitney over at Rookiemoms also has a cool story to share about a stay-at-home mom making $40/hr helping kids out with homework and turning it into a profitable side business idea.
Check with your Secretary of State or Department of State official website. In Oklahoma the name of the company shall contain either the words “limited liability company” or “limited company”, or the abbreviations LLC, LC, L.L.C., or L.C. The word “limited” may be abbreviated as Ltd., and the cord company may be abbreviated as Co. (OK Title 18, Section 2008).
Skilled at creating blankets and sweaters? There’s a huge market for these types of items – even better, you can usually make them in your spare time whenever you have it. As always, local shops and sites like Etsy are great venues to sell such items.
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.
Keep learning, and be adaptable to change. Find buddies, mentors, local business-related organizations, Internet forums, and wikis to discuss the daily details of running a small business. It’s much easier for everyone to perform their core businesses well and prosper when they don’t waste time and energy “reinventing the wheel” on housekeeping.
The Give & Grow Shopify app makes it easy to partner with charitable organizations and incorporate your mission into your business. You can set it up to donate a specific amount or a percentage of sales, or ask your customers to add a donation at checkout.
Think about the areas that you are either weak in, or have little knowledge of. Finding partners compatible with your personality who can fill in your knowledge or skill gaps is an excellent way to ensure your business has the resources you need to succeed.
Coming up with a good idea isn’t a static process; it involves a lot of trial and error. The best way I’ve found to generate ideas is to write and write often. Make lists every day of things that you might enjoy, and try to figure out how you could make money doing them. To help, here’s a list of 50 business ideas you can begin building as you continue plugging away at your 9-to-5.
Once you’ve established yourself in any number of freelance verticals online, spending your time focusing just on doing inside sales (booking freelance contracts with high-value clients) and then subcontracting your work out to other freelancers can help significantly grow your client list, and revenue generating possibilities with this business idea.
ABC Fundraising –  Earn up to $5,000 per month or more! Work from home setting up fundraisers for schools, churches, and non-profit organizations. Since 1993 ABC Fundraising has helped over 50,000 groups, raise over 50 million dollars, and we want to help you start a new career today. Recently one of our distributors earned $7,200 by simply setting up a school-wide fundraiser with our flagship fundraising product. Get a FREE information kit now and sign up for our free online webinar to learn more about this exciting business opportunity.
You could find some space on a busy street, perhaps in a resort area, and equip it with arcade games. But I would try instead renting a cool collection of arcade games for parties. The overhead is less, you could start out with just a few games, and you know how much money you will be making before you go to work!
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).
Team members will complete assessments along the way to ensure their success on the job. After training, you will gain realistic, practical experience with supportive coaching and feedback to meet daily customer service and sales goals
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. One of my friends built up a successful import/export business while still in college.
Obtain more information about federal and state licensing requirements by clicking the links under Federal Licenses and Permits and State Licenses and Permits, respectively, on the Business Licenses and Permits page [source: SBA].
But you aren’t driving to your potential new employer and going in for a traditional interview. You’ve applied for a virtual position and thus will be participating in a virtual interview. Well, this presents an entirely different scenario now, doesn’t it? How do you make a great impression virtually? Read these tips to ace your virtual interview.
To avoid any confusion, I want to make it clear first that virtual assistant work is not always non-phone, but it can be. Virtual assistants tend to do a little bit of everything, just depending on their skills/expertise. So if you are good at various non-phone tasks (social media marketing/moderation, writing, graphic design, research etc.), then you may be able to do work for some of the companies below putting those non-phone skills to work. I also want to make clear that even when you do phone work as a virtual assistant, lots of times it can be arranged so you’re making the calls during times of day when it’s convenient for you.
One of my business school classmates started a concert promotion business while still an undergrad at Harvard, and even as a student he was making a fortune at it. He started with lesser known groups and smaller venues, and within a couple years he was booking some of the largest venues in greater Boston. He also enjoyed partying with the rock stars!
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!
It doesn’t happen overnight, but licensing a foreign product for sale domestically, can be a lucrative business idea that (at times) leads to a big payoff down the road. Invest intelligently, sell a product you believe in, and you can reap the rewards for years to come.
Reservation Sales Team Members are paid a base pay of $9.00 per hour + incentives. Incentives are based on your ability to meet sales metrics and other performance goals, and can range in amount, up to $2.00 per hour through the iEarn incentive program.
It’s not exactly a way to make consistent great money, but housesitting—exactly what it sounds like—is a fantastically easy business idea that can fund your ability to live in exciting locales around the world (or your city) without paying a dime in rent. Did I mention it’s a way to travel and live rent free? Here’s a list of four great websites from the legendary Nomadic Matt, to start your housesitting side business idea search.
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.
MetroParent is looking for talented, experienced freelance writers to write on parenting issues, kids, tweens, family travel and the like. Payment ranges from $30 – $350 depending on the complexity of topic and number of sources required to do the story justice.
My father spent year after year remodeling our basement—and I’m glad he did because that’s where I located my model railroad! However, a lot of homeowners aren’t willing to invest the huge amount of time it takes a novice to remodel their basement—that’s where you come in! Remodel your own basement, put together a website with the before and after photos, and hang out your shingle!
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.
Yes, you can compete with the Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts of the world! However, these chains have raised the bar, so your coffee or tea must be not just good, but awesome! Your ambiance better be good too. Your location needs to be good as well. Plus, you need to be distinctive. One way to stand out is to compliment your world class beverages with some fabulous foods. So yes, you can compete, but you’ve gotta be firing on all cylinders in this competitive space!
 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.
The business ideas we’ve covered might be easier to run when it comes to logistics, but that doesn’t make them easy. There are at least three things you should keep in mind as you consider your options, no matter what you decide to start.
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.
Each year, thousands of LLCs are fined or unknowingly dissolved for missing an important state filing, such as an annual report. When this happens, LLC owners risk loss of limited liability protection. A registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines and submitting reports on your behalf.
Asurion is hiring full-time bilingual Customer Retention Experts. In this role, you will handle service cancellation requests, primarily inbound telephone calls. Your goal is to ensure the needs of the customer are addressed, service is delivered and the customer is kept updated on the status of their request. If you’re fluent in English and Spanish and have great customer service skills, we want to talk to you! We offer a competitive salary with a bilingual premium plus benefits. Apply today!
DogVacay lets pet lovers make extra money dog sitting a pooch or cat from the neighborhood. Once vetted, set a price and have fun for the weekend or even during the week, schedule permitting, with a loving pet. DogVacay also offers insurance, 24-hour support and other services that makes pet sitting easy and fun.
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.
1. Study the market. When a product idea dawns on you, first you must situate it. I recommend searching through Google Images and Google Shopping. Do similar products exist? Study them carefully. What benefits do they offer? Consider your point of difference. Does it offer a benefit consumers truly need or want? Read Amazon product reviews for further insight. Search for prior art as well. (Your goal is to understand the history of innovation as it relates to your concept, not to prove it’s never been thought of before.) If you find your idea in a patent but not on the market, do further research. What happened?
Not everyone wants to find a babysitter by responding to a hand-scribbled note on the bulletin board at the local coffee shop. That’s where you come in. Set up a babysitting service that includes vetting your sitters and giving your customers confidence that they are dealing with safe and dependable service providers!
Focus on your strengths, skills and experience. You can perform at a higher level earlier on if there’s less of a learning curve. And starting a business that you have passion for gives you a better shot at success and lowers the chances of burnout. A detailed business plan will help, too.
This is one of the most popular small businesses because everyone wants a house cleaner. The work is repetitive. But if you can show up on time and do a good job consistently (I find many the work of many cleaners deteriorates after the first few weeks), you will build a healthy clientele. And if you can charge enough so that you can delegate, you can grow this into a large business.
#37 – Humana – This well-known company hires Customer Service Specialists by responding to questions and providing guidance to internal and external customers. You can make anywhere from $15-$18 per hour.

Are you an extrovert that loves meeting new people? Selling insurance products—particularly life insurance—may be a great way to bring in some extra cash and build residual income in your spare time. Selling life insurance on the side could quickly generate a consistent $1,000 – $2,000 per month depending on how much time you invest in this side business idea. To get started you’ll likely want to take an online course to brush up on the subject matter, and then pass a state licensing exam. The biggest challenge you’ll face as a new agent is generating sales beyond just helping out friends and family. From there, it’s all about networking and lead generation to grow this one. Learn more about this side business idea with this getting started in life insurance guide from the team over at NoExam.
The traditional model of entrepreneurship that continues to be taught today is to write a business plan, raise capital, source manufacturing, develop marketing materials, and fulfill and distribute orders — to do it all yourself. Clearly though, not everyone has the time, financial resources, experience, or even the desire to start and run a business. And what about those who have many ideas for new products? Not every idea needs to become a business.
Sometimes these are full-service firms that not only do the design but also perform the work. The closer your expertise and confidence allow you to get towards high-end landscape design, the higher an income you will be able to command.
My friend’s wife earned an advanced degree in nutrition, put out her shingle, and tried some marketing, but her business progressed very slowly. Then she teamed up with a local gym and her business took off.

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