Do you see eye to eye on the big picture? Arguments about the details are a given, and are important for getting things right. But not seeing eye to eye on the big picture, the real purpose of your business, can cause a split that may be irreparable. Be sure your team cares about the and buys into the purpose as much as you do.
Great idea list. As stated earlier, these may seem like “no brainer” ideas, but not all small towns have every single business stated. And, when someone has an idea, but doesn’t know if it is a good one, it is reassuring to see it listed! Sometimes, that is the push a person needs to take that leap! Thank you!
Arranging for shipping, especially overseas, is complex and the rates can vary widely, even for nearby truck shipments. A shipping or freight forwarding service can find the best shipper for you, arrange the paperwork and a lot more. This can be a great business, with long term customers and steady work, but it can take a while to build up a large clientele.
A money broker is basically someone who arranges short-term loans to people. A common variant on this is “pay-day lending” where businesses lend money to people who are typically looking for funds to hold them over to the next paycheck. These are usually storefront locations, closely regulated and not allowed in all states. This can be a solid business, but the regulatory climate is shifting against these businesses, so evaluate the risk of future regulatory changes, before hanging out your shingle.
Appen Butler Hill hires search engine evaluators to provide feedback on Internet search results. This part-time telecommuting opportunity is open to both US and International residents. Average pay is $14 an hour.
This is a business you could start in a couple hours with literally zero investment. In the public library on the resort island of Nantucket, I watched a man create a flyer for his walking tour business on a free public access computer. Then he went outside and posted the newly created flyer on the public bulletin board. A few hours later he greeted his customers as they gathered on the advertised street corner, collected their money, and then took them on the walking tour. Not sure how to set up your walking tour? Get a history or even a self-walking tour guide at the public library.
This is not my favorite business on this list but I feel compelled to list it because it is so popular. So why is it not my favorite? It tends be very competitive, hard work and relatively low profits. So, if you do go into this business I would do everything possible to differentiate your business and to be able to charge premium pricing.
Not only is Airbnb a great way to make money by renting out your spare bedroom or living room couch as a legitimate home-based business idea, but you also have the benefit of meeting new people and making new friends if that’s your kind of thing. You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb side business idea, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you’re on call whenever you have a guest and you’ll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, you can take this business idea to the next level by offering your guests add-on and personalized experiences for an extra charge. Take Lauren Gheysens’ Airbnb-based side business idea, Royal Day Out in London, England for example—where she gives visiting tourists a local’s only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Companies and non-profits spend a lot of money on meetings, and even when they have in-house staff they will often hire a meeting planner service. They are particularly likely to hire a meeting planner when they are planning a meeting in a distant city. To get going in this business take advantage of any contacts you have, approach local associations and businesses, and build up a strong online-presence.
I like the vintage clothing business because you are not competing head to head with all the retailers and online sites selling new goods. Furthermore, you can have high margins. I would look to at least double my money on any vintage clothing that I buy, and I would try to pay for items with store credit not cash, as much as possible.
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.
The holidays do bring cheer, but when winter comes, so does the snow. Thick, traffic-hindering piles of it. Snow can be fun for a while but somebody has to get rid of it for our lifestyles to continue onward. Make extra money with this side business idea from home by offering snow and ice removal services.
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.
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.
Those who have lost loved ones or need to move and sell many of their possessions often need help setting up estate sales. If you have some knowledge about antiques and selling used items, you may be able to offer your services in this capacity.
Many small business owners cover their start-up costs entirely through loans, with the expectation that they will begin paying back the loans with the profits from their new business. New businesses can take months or years to generate a profit, however, and loan payments can really become a millstone around the neck of a fledgling operation.
This is a nice little niche business with a strong personal service element and a market that’s not just looking for the cheapest product. Netting for railings, cabinet door catches, safety coverings for electric outlets, door locks…there are lots of safety elements that need to be changed to make houses safe for babies and toddlers. Do your research carefully and make sure you are not missing any safety elements.
From your morning coffee to your kid’s birthday cake, neighborhood bakeries can fill a vast number of small-town needs. Though owning and operating a bakery is hard work, if it’s your life-long dream to produce pastries for the masses, it’s a business idea that can be incredibly rewarding. Employing youth from your town is also a great way to give back and stay connected to your community. If you’re a newbie to owning a business in a small town, doing research on opening a successful bakery is extremely important. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with how to price baked goods.
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.
Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter have changed the way entrepreneurs are raising money to fund their new businesses. Whether you want to sell a new software tool or set up an organic noodle bar, you can get people to invest in your business.
Mechanical Turk operates much like TaskRabbit and GigWalk: it’s a corner online where Amazon gathers tasks to be done, people willing to do them, and people willing to pay for them. On Mechanical Turk, you get to do the oddest jobs you can imagine as an online business idea, made possible by a parallel online universe that runs on hits, visits, surveys, reviews, pins, likes, CPCs, reads, and other metrics. But don’t get too ambitious. The small sums being paid out to human Mechanical Turk users rarely add up to anything seriously substantial, even if you invest most of your spare time into it. It’s a better opportunity for internationally-based people with internet access and lower costs of living than in the US. Here’s one person’s account of his former life as a Mechanical Turk talking through how he got started with this business idea and what the experience was really like.
Have strong English skills and exceptional grammar? You may have opportunities to work as a proofreader from home. Advertising for this can be difficult; seek out those who might actually be able to use your services and advertise directly to them.