own my own business | first steps to opening a business

Think back to all the times you’ve called a company for help or typed questions into an online help box. The people you dealt with could have been working at home, which gives you some idea of the kind of work you might be doing.
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.
I would recommend that you hyper specialize if you are starting an e-commerce business. Why? Because many e-commerce websites have very deep pockets and patient investors and are willing to sell products for razor thin margins (i.e. Amazon) or even at a loss to build market share. That being said if you can show some solid revenue in this business, and especially if you have repeat customers, you will have a business that is worth a lot of money even before it is profitable.
red rock traditions  believes that family traditions can help families be stronger, feel anchored and valued. Shop by product or by tradition, categories such as Connections, Holidays & Celebrations, and Faith. Home parties are the best venue to showcase the products, which can earn you up to 30 percent on customer purchases. A starter kit costs just $135 (plus shipping and tax) and comes with everything you need to get your business off the ground quickly including business supplies, demonstration pieces, and full access to training tutorials. Contact us today: jason.prichard@redrocktraditions.com
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.
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.
S Corp: S Corps require a much more formal structure than LLCs. They’re made up of a board of directors, corporate officers, and up to 100 U.S. shareholders. However, like LLCs, S Corps aren’t subject to double taxation — all of the profits are claimed on the shareholders’ personal taxes.
Like drinking beer? Why not try making it yourself as your side business idea? With enough patience and skill you might end up brewing something that others are willing to pay to drink. Pick up an easy-to-use starter kit from Mr. Beer online, invest the time it’ll take to perfect your craft, make a unique brew and start shopping it around to friends & family to see what they think of this side business idea.
You will, of course, need to spend extra hours and work harder. But the transition from being an employee to a business owner will be far smoother as you won’t have additional expenses to worry about.
How will you create your product? Is it a service that you are offering, or if it’s more complex— software, a physical product like a toy or a toaster — how will it get built? Define the process, from sourcing raw materials to assembly to completion, packaging, warehousing, and shipping. Will you need additional people? Will there be unions involved? All of these things must be taken into account.

Dog walking is the perfect side business for anyone who has a few hours to kill during the day. Once you get a few clients, you simply need to pick up their dogs and take them on long, leisurely walks that will tire them out and keep them in shape. Bonus: Walking dogs may help you in your quest to stay fit as well.
Freelance writing is one of the most flexible of the non-phone options, and it’s an easy field to break into without any experience at all! This is also an industry that can pay well, especially if you forgo content sites (such as the ones below) and work on finding private clients that will agree to the rates you set. The content sites don’t pay that well, but they can still help you get valuable writing experience and earn a weekly paycheck.
Invest in your home based business. Before you get started, there are often investments you’ll have to make in your business infrastructure. This varies based on the type of business you’re running. For example, if you’re running a printing business from home, you’ll need to buy a professional printer and paper for it. If you’re running an online business, it may be wise to upgrade your computer and internet speed. The time spent waiting for pages to load can add up and hurt your productivity.
So, you have the entrepreneurial spirit but not a lot of tech know-how? Despite all of the high-tech startups that have popped up in recent years, there are still plenty of small business options out there that don’t require you to know the difference between CSS and QR codes. Below are low tech business ideas you can start this year.
Bridal consulting/wedding planning seems like a lot of fun to get into, but it is also a lot of work, stressful at times and competitive. Nonetheless an established bridal consultant can earn very good money.
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.
To get started in fence installation I would first offer fence repair services. I think a lot people like me first try to repair their aging fence a few times before totally replacing it. This is a good niche business.
Be sure to contact your local municipality about zoning laws. Some types of small businesses cannot be ran out of a home, and it is important to ensure your business is operating within its proper zone.
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.
Words of Worth – Read Review – Open to US, Canada, and possibly other countries. Pay rates are not listed on the website, but it will vary depending on the assignment. Get paid once a month via bank transfer.
Sometimes, Amazon has virtual (or “work-from-home”) positions available to qualified individuals who live in some areas. So if you aren’t near a physical Amazon location, or just want to see if there are virtual opportunities in your area, you’re in the right place.
Stitch Fix – Read Review – Open to US only, specific states. You can work for Stitch Fix as a work at home stylist, putting together clothing subscription boxes for their clients. Should be non-phone, paying around $15 hourly.
I’ve been around boats almost since I could walk so I forget that some people need to be educated in how to run a powerboat or captain a sailboat. Now taking a boat for a spin and introducing someone to the pleasures of boating…how fun!
Turning your favorite craft or hobby into a revenue-generating business idea easily counts among the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have. Just take a look at what Jacob Huss of Soteria Designs is doing wit his hobby of hand-building furniture and wood jewelry. With more and more people demanding a higher degree of personalization in just about anything they own or use, count yourself lucky if your craft happens to be the creation of custom furniture. Not only is the real estate sector regaining its footing, the number of style-conscious customers is also on the rise, creating plenty of room for growth into this business idea.
From there, you need to learn which tools, resources, and feedback communities you can use to accelerate the pace at which you’re able to launch. Check out these 101 essential tools and resources I use to launch profitable side hustle businesses.
Choose a registered agent. In addition to filing the articles of incorporation, you will also need to choose someone to be the LLC’s “registered agent” for service of process. In most states, the registered agent can be either a domestic entity or a foreign entity that is registered to do business in the state or an individual resident of the state. Typically, one of the partners of the LLC will act as the agent .
You should have some decent equipment that makes your audience happy but that could mean different levels of investment for different audiences. Are you going to be playing for large event venues or for junior high school birthday parties? I know a fellow who started a successful mobile DJ business even before he was old enough to have a driver’s license. He would either have a friend give him and his equipment a ride to his gigs, or he would get a taxi.
In his days as a commercial banker, my father financed a number of health clubs, and they all complained about the same issue: it was relatively easy to sign up new members but hard to retain them, as customers tired of exercising after just a few sessions. This is a business that you can make millions at with even a single location, but it is also a business that is riskier than it may first appear. I would suggest starting with a very small location, perhaps even a members-only key-card accessible location with no employees on site, and learn the ins and outs of the business before getting too carried away. And of course, there is all kind of potential for specialization in this field.
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.
Potential challenges: There are plenty of wedding photographers out there already, so you need a good business plan to stand out from the competition. It may also be seasonally dependent, with higher demand in warmer months.
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.
If you already have a website that’s driving in targeted traffic, a great way to make passive income from the content you’re already creating as an easy side business idea, is through affiliate marketing. ShareASale, Rakuten, Clickbank, and Skimlinks are a few of the best affiliate networks and tools that can help you make money from the content you already produce, thus amplifying your side business idea income. Check out this extensive list by Justine Grey, covering the 59 Best Affiliate Programs for Business Bloggers to get some inspiration on how other bloggers are growing affiliate blogs from side business idea to full-time company.
If that isn’t enough, you can expand your services to include pet grooming as an extra side business idea. To do that, you’ll need to have relevant training, an operating license depending on your location, and pet grooming equipment. According to PayScale, pet groomers have an average salary range of $17,600 to $48,500. Not bad as a side business  idea if you can find a way to get in most of your clients on the weekends.
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.
A neat bonus of attending a craft class is that not only do you learn how to do something new, but also that you get to go home with something tangible—your finished craft project! People are often willing to take a craft class if you can market it in an appealing way. And focusing on what the finished project will look like is one way to get people excited about signing up!
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.
A while ago, I argued the best company for me isn’t necessarily the best company for you. I still stand by that statement. But many of you have been pounding at my email door and practically twisting my arm asking me for my personal favorite legitimate work at home companies. I was apprehensive about revealing this information because I really want you guys to take action on any legitimate work at home opportunities. But after giving it some thought, it made sense for me to provide you with a few of the ones I do actively work with, to get your started. But keep in mind I still believe that you should make decisions based on what’s best for you. So with that said, check out my latest video on one of my favorite BBB listed work at home companies. I’ve been working with this company for years and have made some great money and also acquired a lot of free gadgets such as TVs, Ipods, and much more. (The gadget thing will become a lot clearer when you watch the video.) In either case this company has consistently made me money and has a good standing among work at home seekers that are smart enough to join the company and take advantage of all the ways to earn with them. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the video and will decide to join the company I’ve recommended.
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.
You could run this as a seasonal camp during the summer. But I find it’s tougher to make lots of money at seasonal businesses, so instead I would first consider offering a creative arts day camp after school or on weekends. I suggest doing surveys to find out what age groups of kids and what specific art activities have the most appeal.
#30 – Art Logic – If you are great at coding at willing to work from home, try applying for an Art Logic job online vacancy. The company occasionally hires system developers who earn $20 per hour respective of the job.
Nicole received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.
Don’t just hire the first person to come along with the basic qualifications you need. Look for someone with motivation, creativity and the right kind of personality to make it in your industry and fit in with your business. Then, once you’ve found that person, treat them well, engage them and make sure that you create the environment that they will thrive and give their all in.
You could try to do this business online…but of course the issue is getting people the right size. You could even send several sizes if they are not sure of their size. Or you could have a storefront. You don’t need a fancy location or expensive buildout. There is a formal wear rental facility near me that has been very successful for decades, and the storefront looks like it was last remodeled about 50 years ago.
We are looking for Virtual Teachers to join our team of education professionals. We deliver exceptional academic support through our student support model that provides student-centered monitoring, coaching, mentoring, and teaching. Your experience teachin…
The major benefit of becoming a foreign corporation is that it allows your company to operate as one entity in many jurisdictions. For example, if you originally incorporate your LLC in the State of Delaware, you can file your existing domestic LLC as a foreign corporation in other states.
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!
Initial Outfitters – Whether you are looking for extra income, more time with the girls, or you want to make a difference in the lives of others, Initial Outfitters can be just that & more for you. You set your own hours to achieve your own income goals and dreams, so you never have to miss the big {or little} moments in your life! Our boutique-style line of personalized jewelry and gifts appeals to women of all styles and ages, and is sold exclusively by our Independent Outfitters … women just like you! Through our partnership with Charlie’s Lunch Ministries, we now annually fund 19 Charlie’s Lunchrooms around the world, feeding over 1,300 children physically and spiritually. Join us for as little as $99 and Make a Living that Makes a Difference! For more information, contact us: InitalOutfitters.com or via email info@initialoutfitters.com.
Profit is, after all, the ultimate goal of any successful small business. You should examine your business’ expenses (rent, materials, employee compensation, etc.) and then figure out how much you will need to sell to cover those costs and start generating a profit. This is known as a break-even analysis.
It sounds too good to be true—getting paid to represent your favorite brands at events across the nation. But, if you have a friendly and outgoing personality (a growing social media following helps too), you can forge a potentially paid relationship as a brand ambassador with companies who want to reach other people within your community with this  side business idea. As a Brand Ambassador, you do anything from demoing the latest technology, to passing out free swag at music festivals, to going on nationwide tours, to pumping people up as a mascot, and more. Depending upon the gig, you can expect to earn anywhere from $18-$100/hr. You can get started as early as this weekend by joining the Brand Ambassador Facebook group for your nearest major city (e.g. join the “Brand Ambassadors of Seattle” group if you live in/near Seattle). Once you’ve been approved to the group, you’ll get access to daily job postings from big brands and agencies with opportunities in your area. All you need to do is submit your resume and headshot to apply. For a step-by-step guide on how to get hired for the best gigs and the highest pay rates, I recommend checking out The Brand Ambassador Blueprint.

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