People have discovered that they can make so much money at yard sales that they turn it into a regular business, including buying additional merchandise such as at flea markets or online specifically to sell at their yard sales. One town that I vacation in decided that too many people were turning yard sales into a business, and passed an ordinance limiting how many yard sales you were legally allowed to conduct. This is of course another indicator that yard sales can be highly lucrative!
Digital products like music, courses, and templates are unique on this list of ideas. Unlike the others, they’re not tangible products. There aren’t recurring manufacturing or shipping costs to worry about so your margins can remain high.
C Corporation: C-corps are organized in the same manner as S-corps, but there’s no limit to the number of shareholders you can have. A C-corp is the only structure that faces double taxation, meaning the business and the shareholders are both required to pay taxes on the profits.
Investment: It’s a lower-cost alternative to starting a brick-and-mortar restaurant, as there’s less overhead, but you can still expect to shell out a decent amount of money to purchase a truck and cooking equipment.
You can put a big sign on top of your truck or pull it around on a trailer. This is particularly powerful for local businesses because you can offer pinpoint marketing—driving around the same business block for example. You could also offer a service to hire people to agree to have a commercial sign mounted on their cars as they drive around town doing their usual thing. For example, a Boston radio station arranged to have hundreds of small VWs to be painted with their logos, paying each car owner a monthly stipend. How big can this business go? Well CNN/Turner Broadcasting founder Ted Turner made his initial money in the billboard business!
A business idea that looks good on paper may not be that attractive when you actually get into it. An expert’s opinion may help you look at things from a different perspective and gain more knowledge that you may lack.
You having a great idea and you want to translate it into opening a business. There is one big caveat, you are short on cash. And for most aspiring entrepreneurs, getting hold of the much-needed capital is usually the biggest challenge.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Women For Hire, the leading women’s and diversity career recruitment specialist, offers comprehensive products and services exclusively for top employers in every field that support and enhance your company’s commitment to diversity.
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Cooking classes have become much more than just a way to instruct people in cooking. They have become more of a social event where for example, couples enjoy a cooking class together, get to meet some other people, enjoy sampling the food they cook, perhaps try some fine wine, and have a great experience. So carefully define whether you are selling the expertise, the experience, or both, and build your business model accordingly.
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.
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 doesn’t matter how long or detailed your plan is, as long as it covers a few essential points. Most successful small businesses will need to have a break-even analysis, a profit-loss forecast and a cash-flow analysis. A cash-flow analysis is especially important since you could be selling your products like hotcakes, but if you won’t be paid for six months, you could still run out of money and have to close your doors.
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One of our strongest selling books at my book publishing company was “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands?” Traveling business people and others want to know how to fit in with foreign cultures. With a little bit a research or overseas exposure you could offer basic courses and consulting, and then you could provide more in-depth expertise as you build your knowledge overtime.
A large proportion of homeowners and small businesses have lawns to tend to. Many turn to independent providers of yard work services to take care of their lawn care woes. To start and sustain a yard work services side business idea, you need training, equipment, and a growing network of customers. In the U.S., a full-time landscaping and groundskeeping worker reportedly earns a median wage of around $25,000, while those working on this as a side business idea largely during evenings and weekends can expect to make substantially less.
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.
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.
Have a knack for staying organized? If you’re a jack of all trades, you should consider working as a virtual assistant as a side business idea. You can find great gigs on Elance, Indeed, or Upwork. It can be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, develop in-demand new skills (like creating GIFs and VR videos), grow your side business idea and you’ll have the added perk of being able to start this as a home based business idea. Becoming a virtual assistant can be a particularly great side business idea if you’re hoping to travel the world while making money online as a digital nomad.
Take Action: We hammer down on this a lot – start marketing as close to home as possible. If you only have one or two clients/users/customers, then show them as much love as you can. Shower them with incentives in return for honest feedback or perhaps a referral.
Sykes hires agents to work from home throughout the United States and Canada. The company encourages you to “join the team of 6,000 agents across North America who accept inbound calls routed virtually to their homes.” Apply to work for the company here.
I also recommend FlexJobs for finding more. You can regularly search legitimate work at home jobs for data entry and other industries. FlexJobs guarantees all their job leads to be scam-free, and it’s the only membership-based jobs site I currently use and trust. Their listings are updated 5-6 times per week, and there is no shortage of listings. You can currently get 30% off a subscription using promo code AFFILPROMO.
10. Move on to your next great idea. Licensing is a numbers game. You have to keep getting up to bat to land a home run. When a company rejects your submission, you must inquire why. You may be able to redesign your product to meet their needs. When you approach a company that rejected you with your second idea, you’re a professional. They’ll respect you for it.
Though not the cheapest of business ideas on this list, it’s one that can be extremely lucrative as well as appeal to the widest range of patrons in a small town. A successful bowling alley can become the center of a town’s social life. Besides the obvious bowling revenue stream, food and drink (especially alcoholic beverages), can also help you pull in the big bucks. Small town bowling alleys can also be rented out for additional income. Like all businesses, large and small, having a quality business plan for your bowling alley is incredibly important.
This is a great business and I can’t tell you how many times I have used pest control services for my residences as well as commercial locations. The rates vary hugely from one locale to the next, so carefully survey nearby markets to determine which market may be the best opportunity for you.
What is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or business that agrees to send and receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC. Such papers include service of process of legal action (if you are sued) and state filings.
Dogs are amazing. But, owners aren’t always at home to take them for a walk. If you’re a canine fan like I hope you are, this great side business idea can net you a regular profit by just taking some adorable pups for a stroll around the park. With pet-crazed, yet busy Americans having more pooches around, dog walking services have become a thriving industry in some U.S. cities. In fact, there’s already an app called Wag that links up dog walkers who want to exercise this business idea with the pet owners who need a helping hand.
T-shirts, hats, phone cases, hoodies, skirts, tote bags, and more become canvases for your creativity. You can think up witty slogans for developers or references that resonate with cat owners—if there’s passion and pride within a community, there’s a potential t-shirt business you can start.
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: 
Opening up a taco or food truck might not have been first on your list of ideas for a successful small town business, but depending on the location of your town, the seasonality of its residents, and the weather, starting a food truck business can be a great investment. Many small towns have vibrant communities, and often these include outdoor activities such as sporting events, festivals, and markets. Having the ability the drive your business to where the crowds are means major cash in your pocket. Food trucks also have the added benefit that they can be rented for special events. So for a small town that might lack a proper catering service, being able to hire a food truck for your son’s bar mitzvah or daughter’s quinceanera is a perfect local option.
Photography can be very competitive and having a specialty, such as boudoir, can help attract customers and justify higher fees. The market for this tends to be brides and young wives buying pictures as a gift for their husband.