running your own business | first steps to opening a business

Being practical is extremely important when you are toying with the idea of starting a business. You need a steady source of income before you can set up your business, so it’s advisable to hold onto your current job. By retaining your present job, you will be more secure when you need to take risks.
Short tasks are often just extra money and rewards, but it’s something a lot of people do to fill in the gaps between other types of work from home jobs. The tasks available will vary from site to site.
Yes, you can start your own clothing line with just a few items, be successful and have a lot of fun along the way! Look at Ralph Lauren who started by selling a couple neck ties and then built that into a multi-billion-dollar empire. Contract out the manufacturing which is the really hard part of the work. Then focus on developing eye-stopping designs and talking it up with potential re-sellers, or sell the items yourself online!
If you play your cards right, certain types of businesses will pay you to promote their products and encourage sales. If you’re interested in learning more, check out affiliate marketing programs such as Amazon Associates, Commission Junction, LinkShare, and ShareASale.
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.
If you love to write, create a blog and turn it into a business. If your site gets a lot of traffic, you can earn money via direct advertising, or through affiliate marketing, where you’d promote someone else’s product or service and earn commissions based on sales.
Competition isn’t just about the goods or services themselves. It is also about your social and environmental credibility. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the need to show that your business is concerned with labor conditions and isn’t damaging the environment. Certification endorsements from reputable organizations, such as labels and stars, can reassure customers that your product or service is more aligned with their values than one lacking the certification.
Figure out if you can make this business profitable. How much will people pay for your services? Can you make a good income off this? Many people see astronomical numbers in their future until they take the time to determine their profits. Be sure to consider how much time you can reasonably commit to your business and how much profit you can get back for your time and investment money. In some cases, a great business idea in theory can in reality be unprofitable.
The best way to hold onto your competitive edge is to protect your trade secrets. A trade secret is that information that isn’t known to others that gives you a competitive advantage in the market. There are many kinds of trade secrets, and trade secrets receive legal protection as long as their owners take steps to keep them secret. Those steps could be anything from marking confidential documents to requiring partners and employees to sign nondisclosure agreements.
If keeping your home organized comes naturally and you enjoy helping other people, consider becoming a professional organizer as a side business idea. As the need for baby boomers to start downsizing grows, you can use your organizing and decluttering skills to start making an industry standard $50-125 an hour with very little startup costs and some free expert advice from Jen Kilbourne. Believe it or not, pro organizers don’t just work with hoarders. More and more people are hiring professional organizers in order stop wasting time and money due to the stress of everyday disorganization. What’s even better, is that you can take this on as a side business idea during the nights and weekends when your clients will be at home.
Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Yuletide, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, 4th of July, Mother’s Day. There are a ton of traditional holidays that count as solid reasons to explore the side business idea of crafting and selling seasonal decorations. After all, people and businesses pay good money for them. In fact, total sales of Christmas trees in the U.S. alone amounted to a whopping $1.04 billion in 2014. And you still have holiday lights, nativity scenes, crafted hangings, baskets, wreaths, and other decorations to cover, making this a potentially year-round seasonal side business idea.
While, it’s nice to do business with a handshake, there’s no substitute for a well-written contract. Indeed, many contracts are not valid unless they are in written form. The exact number of this type of contract varies between states, but here are a few common examples:
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You’ll need experience grooming pets or be willing to train. Past experience working with animals is recommended. Licenses and permits may also be required, depending on your location. As with other pet businesses, getting the proper insurance is recommended.
Launch your business. When you have everything ready, launch your business or website and take your first customers. These can be friends or family to start with. Keep in mind, you will not know everything about your business from the start. Entrepreneurs learn as they go!
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.
If you think that starting a gym in a tiny town is a bad idea, think again. Just as the physical body comes in many different shapes and sizes, so do gyms and exercise studios. Though fitness businesses are great small town business opportunities, they are especially lucrative for locations where the weather is colder more months out of the year than not. It’s also worth mentioning that the boutique fitness trend is red-hot at the moment and shows no signs of dying down. The appeal of massive gyms with rows and rows of weights and cardio equipment is losing popularity. Meaning, there is no better time than now to capitalize on the boutique fitness trend.
State: If you plan to be an employer within the coming fiscal quarter, you will need to file for a Business Identification Number (BIN). Log into the Oregon Business Registry, click Start, then Get BIN. Follow the prompts from there. If you do not plan to be an employer or do your own payroll, you do not need a BIN unless you are otherwise required to have one. Learn more about payroll basics from the Department of Revenue..
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.
Potential challenges: Depending on your location, you may need to get licensed. You may also face heavy competition from other local sitters and companies such as Rover, which connects dog owners to sitters and walkers. You’re also responsible for the safety and well-being of the furry ones.
Busy schedules can stress people out. It can also disrupt family life to the point that busy parents and homework-laden kids barely have time to prepare decent dinners and weekend meals. Hence, the surprising demand for part-time family chefs as a business idea. If cooking healthy and delicious meals is your thing, then this lucrative side  business idea can supplement your regular income by helping feed busy homes. Hear Gaby Dalkin’s story of going from side business idea to full-time blogger while she was a part-time personal chef right here on my podcast.
This is basically an employment temp service, but you may be “leasing out” employees for longer stints of time. The advantage to the customer is that they don’t have to get involved in sourcing, screening and qualifying candidates, and importantly, they are not responsible for employment taxes, withholding and reporting. To succeed at this business, you need a strong ability to sell your services and place employees. This can be a “messy” business with employees coming and going, tax filing requirements, and customers to please. However, the upside is unlimited, some employee leasing firms have grown into mammoth enterprises!
You might notice these trucks at specials events like fares and parades, but I think you would do better trying to find steadier income and more consistent clientele, at office parks or other city locations where workers are congregated.

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.
If you have something you’re skilled at and very passionate about, you can turn that winning combination into offering your services with one-on-one online coaching as a solid side business idea. Just be sure to implement your own opportunity management system so you don’t get caught up working with clients that you can’t measurably help. Elmira Strange will give you a step-by-step plan for putting your skills and experience to work by developing an online coaching business—even as a side business idea in the time around your full-time job—so be sure to check out her course on Udemy for a jump start on this side business idea.
#8 – Pleio – Read Review– is a call service company that seeks to hire workers who can call patients and remind them to take their medications. The process of hiring involves undergoing a screening process, taking a test and doing a mock call. Pay is $15-$20 per hour.
Obviously some of these small business ideas have more earning potential than others, but what they all share in common are relatively low barriers to entry and the flexibility to work at them for a limited amount of time per week. I also tried to focus on side business ideas that have some sort of online component to them, since that’s what I love most.
The market for daycare is gigantic! Of course, you can start in your home or in the workplace. Corporations may consider providing you with free space if you provide day care for their employees’ kids. Safety and licensing are essential for this business. You can quickly build a steady income and a valuable business.
The traditional 9-5 job in an office is becoming increasingly obsolete, Fast Company reports. Not only are more people in the corporate world doing more from home, thanks to the internet, but side gigs are on the rise. More than a third of us — nearly 54 million people did some freelance work in the past year. That represents a growth of 700,000 more freelancers than the previous year. According to FlexJobs, there are more opportunities opening for full-time remote work, even for those at the executive level. Brie Reynolds, director of online content at FlexJobs, told the magazine: “Professionals who’ve spent years honing their skills and experience don’t need to sacrifice their hard work in order to find better work-life balance.” Analyzing listings from more than 40,000 companies in the FlexJobs database indicates that companies ranging from Dell and UnitedHealth Group to Xerox, SAP, and Salesforce were among the top 25 employers with the most available remote jobs. Although health care, technology, and education are the most well-represented industries, there are also openings in finance, hospitality, and research.
#43 – Testing Time is a business opened to a global audience looking for an opportunity to share their opinions and get paid $50 per study made. You must have access to a Skype account and work a minimum of 90 minutes. The payment takes almost a week to process.
Start doing your research on various business bank accounts. Local options, like Banc of California, and national banks, like Capital One, both have their perks. Read some reviews, make some calls, and figure out which one is right for you. Feel free to start off your research with our favorite business bank accounts.
#47 – CrowdSource hires individuals to complete various tasks ranging from marketing, profile verification, writing and text editing. Freelancers receive payment after completing various tasks. Payment ranges from $15 for simple tasks to $30 per hour for more complex tasks.
You will also want to define your marketing message. In other words, what will you say to convince customers to choose your product? Here, you want to focus on your Unique Selling Point (also known as USP). This is the unique advantage your product has to solve your customers problem. For example, you may be lower cost, faster, or higher quality than your peers.
If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a website dedicated to covering that topic and anything else interesting you want to talk about. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. And blog hosting can cost less than $12 per month.
But that was 2007, and quite a bit has changed since then. Where a side business was once a novel idea, it has since become much more mainstream. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, freelancers now make up around 15% of the workforce, compared to only 7% in 1995. And the trend isn’t expected to stop here. The BLS reports that freelancers and self-employed individuals may comprise 20% of the workforce by 2020.
However, there are plenty of reasons you might want to form a corporation, too. Let’s go over the key distinctions between each business structure so you can get an idea of what sounds like the best fit:
Car flipping can be a fun way to turn your love for cars into a quick side business idea if you have the capital and a stomach for the inherent risk. Buying and selling cars is similar to other “buy low, sell high” business models, but the profit potential per hour invested can be very high. According to Jeremy Fisher at 3HourFlip.com, the trick is to learn how to make car deals come to you, so you can minimize your time invested and maximize your profit on each flip with this side business idea.
Another way to hold onto your competitive edge is to stay proactive. If you know that your business is going to face challenges or encroachment by a competitor, don’t wait to react — plan ahead and you’ll stay ahead.
Get a post office box for your business. This is especially important if you have business cards or will be regularly corresponding through the mail. The simple fact of the matter is that PO boxes look more professional than using your home address.[8]
Every town, big or small, needs (and deserves) a few good restaurants. Your local pizza castle won’t suffice for all occasions and events. But much like owning a bakery, opening a restaurant is not something to go into halfheartedly. You need to have the passion, the drive, and the obsession of both a great entrepreneur and a chef (or at least a hard-core foodie).
Obtain a FEIN. Your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) is a tax ID assigned to you for your business. It is required to open a checking account and to facilitate other financial transactions like opening a credit account with a vendor.  Obtain your FEIN here. I like to refer to it as your business’s social security number.
Believe it or not, this freelance bike messenger makes more money than some people glued to their office desks. You won’t rake in a whopping $50,000 as this guy does by just doing this in your free time as a side business idea only, but you’ll surely get a piece of the action. Even Uber is trying out a blueprint for a delivery service, and companies like WunWun and Amazon are stepping up their efforts to expand same-day delivery, increasing the demand for more to jump in on this business idea. If you have a decent bicycle, those pair of pedals might just earn you a healthy side hustle income.
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.
College counsellors come in all shapes and sizes. Their primary duty is to help guide students through an important period in their lives. Some counselors focus on admissions, career advice, financial aid, athletics, extracurricular activities, and other concerns. There are institutions looking out for part-time college counselors, making this a fantastic side business idea, or you can even start your own practice and charge anywhere from $25-$100+ per hour for your consultative services if you’re well-versed on the subject.
Organize your business as a legal entity. When setting up for business you have several options in determining the structure of your business. The easiest is to simply act as a sole proprietorship where you, the business owner, are legally the business. In this case, you would use your SSN for tax identification purposes. However, if you plan to have partners or hire employees, you will need to organize your business as a separate entity like a corporation. Doing so will require you to incorporate your business with you state and obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS.
Yes, I had a couple golf lessons–but you’d never know it to watch me play! I don’t think I had the right personality for this sport–relaxing and being patient isn’t my thing! But if you have some talent at this challenging game, you can charge some good money and bring your gift to others. Golf is an excellent lifetime sport and people are willing to pay to try to master it!
Our Online Educational Consulting Company with multiple locations across the U.S. has a seventeen year history of success. Be a part of a growing and dynamic company. We are looking for a full-time and a part-time online Grading Assistant who pays attentio…
Have a meticulous eye for detail and love to get things gleaming clean? Auto detailing is probably a perfect side business for you. In essence, your job is to make cars sparkle inside and out – and many people are quite happy to pay well for this service.
Please invest 2 minutes of your time to watch the business startup Dubai video below. It spells out how you can benefit. Or if you prefer to read, then feel free to skip the video and go straight to the text below:
Do I need workers’ compensation insurance? Oregon requires almost all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance on their employees. If you employ workers in Oregon you probably need coverage. The Small Business Ombudsman also provides information and assistance to small businesses regarding workers’ compensation insurance.

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