Potential challenges: It’s a seasonal type of business, as wedding bookings are likely to slow down in the winter — though this depends on where you live. As a result, you may need to get creative when it comes to stretching your earnings throughout the year.
Your target market. Who are you selling to? Don’t be afraid to get mega-specific here. Age, gender, location, income level — all of it’s relevant, and the more specifically you can define your market, the more effectively you’ll be able to sell to them.
Starting a small business is without a doubt a large undertaking, but it is fortunately something that can be attained by anybody with a good idea, a strong work ethic, and a good set of resources. Starting a business involves thinking of a business concept, writing a business plan, understanding the financial side, and finally marketing and launching.
I met Wally Amos who made a blockbuster success out of famous Amos cookies, which he launched after a career as a Hollywood talent agent. Wally eventually lost control of his company to outside investors. However, he came back again with still another cookie line. Everyone loves a fancy cookie and it’s an easy food to both differentiate and to charge a premium for.
You’ve gotten the logistical stuff out of the way — now it’s time to start building your brand. There are tons of places where you can assert your brand image, but a couple major ones are your business logo and website.
A lot of business people are good at producing their product or delivering their service, but less good about keeping careful accounting records. That’s where you come in. You may visit a small business every week or two, pay bills, send out invoices and keep accounting records.
#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.
People with wood burning stoves and fireplaces need wood to burn and they love to have it delivered, all cut up into bite-sized pieces! They don’t want to have to carry logs around, they don’t want to get their nice car dirty and they don’t want to split up logs.
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.
This is a good solid business. Everyone needs their house inspected before they buy it. Network with real estate agents. Become known for being a meticulous home inspector. Leave you clients with a thorough, detailed report.
Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, Lynda and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.
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.
To be clear, providing care for the elderly often requires a broader set of credentials (as it should) so this business idea isn’t one most people can get started with this weekend. These credentials may include licenses, training certificates, business permits, and tax forms depending on which state you wish to operate, the level of care you intend to provide, and whether you plan on running a formal business or just hiring yourself out as an independent worker as a side business idea. If you’re already giving unpaid care to an elderly relative or friend, you may want to review Medicaid provisions for some compensation. In all cases, you need genuine affection for the elderly, a lot of common sense, and good knowledge of first aid, CPR, and elderly care basics to excel with this side business idea.
I will tell you a secret. You can make a lot of money from a non-profit business. You can pay yourself a good salary and reasonable expenses. And you can even sell the enterprise. Better yet, you can create an organization that will really help others. I strongly suggest you approach running a non-profit with the same discipline that you would a profit-making business, and almost all of the how-to videos on BusinessTown.com apply to non-profits as well.
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.
Needle – Read Review – Open to US and possibly other countries. Note this company used to pay you in cash, but now they are points only, although you can redeem your points for Visa gift cards. Extra money only.
CloudSource, the work-at-home division of Sutherland Global Services, employs customer service consultants from all 48 contiguous states to support industry leaders in the cable/Internet service, retail, software, and gaming console industries. While all CloudSource positions are customer service in nature, some are more heavily focused on sales and/or technical support. Inbound calls only, paid training, ongoing support and growth opportunities exist … All from the comforts of your own home.
While insurance can reduce this liability somewhat, it’s worth it to consider forming a corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC). These business structures will shield owners from personal liability, but there are more rules and requirements associated with them.
If you don’t generally need an office beyond your home, but may occasionally need meeting space, there are often places that can address those needs. A quick Google search on “business meeting rentals [your city/state]” will deliver plenty of rental options in your area.
Create a business plan. A business plan helps to define what you think you need to launch your business, large or small. It summarizes the sense of your business in a single document. It also creates a map for investors, bankers, and other interested parties to use when determining how they can best help you and to help them decide whether or not your business is viable. Your business plan should consist of the elements outlined in the steps below.
Follow the naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) require additional paperwork and may require a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency (e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc.)
Crowd Content – Read Review – Open to US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Pay ranges from 1.2 cents to 7.6 cents per word. Pay is every second Friday via Paypal provided you’ve reached the $10 cash out threshold.
I recently met a woman who earned quite a bit of money as a very part-time chef. Once a week, she would go to someone’s house and prepare a homemade meal for their family, then do all the dishes and cleanup work. This gives the family plenty of together time, while putting some cash in the woman’s pocket. If you love to cook, this can be a great opportunity, but you may have to put a lot of effort into searching for clients.
It may seem like all of the good business ideas or the best small ideas have been taken, but they are not. Most successful small business ideas come from individuals who work for someone and they believe they can do better.
As a web developer, you’ll build incredibly valuable skills that are in extremely high demand. You can get up to speed on building websites in as little as a few months with inexpensive or free online education programs like Treehouse, the Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy and Codecademy.
Stay focused on central goals. This may sound contradictory to what we just discussed, but it’s not. The point here is to avoid chasing after every marketing idea that comes into fashion. It’s better to invest a significant amount of time and money into one or two stellar marketing ideas than to spread yourself too thin.
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.
When I set out to start in on a new business idea, I always make sure it aligns with both my core competencies and my interests. It starts with learning how to discover your strengths as an entrepreneur, and it’s how I make sure I’ll be engaged, even when the going gets rough. I learned this the hard way when I decided to start a freelance business a few years ago to offer my freelance content marketing services.