small business owner | how to get your business started

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.
If you have a good eye for detail work and a lot of patience, homemade jewelry can be quite profitable. As with other items on this list, there are many opportunities to sell such items through local gift shops, craft fairs, or sites like Etsy.
The first thought that comes to mind for mobile hair salon is that you save the overhead of having a storefront location. However, you are also offering a convenience for your customers. Assisted living facilities and senior citizens trying to minimize trips out of the home will especially appreciate mobile hair salon services.
I’ve rented boats and bicycles and this can be a decent business. For canoes, you don’t need a waterfront location. You can rent canoes from a highly-trafficked location on the side of the road, and then provide roof racks for your customers’ cars.
Countless small businesses start out their web presence using a WordPress hosted website (myself included) before needing to upgrade to other solutions for various reasons. Many of them will pay several hundreds of dollars for someone to get their business idea set up online. If you have the patience to learn how to do it yourself, it’s an extremely valuable skill and can be turned into a very lucrative side business idea—especially if you sign up for affiliate programs with companies like Kinsta, who offer high quality managed WordPress hosting plans that allow you to collect fees from the clients you refer their way.
This section includes legitimate word of mouth marketing and paid online survey sites, explains what mystery shopping is all about, lists great websites to swap items or services and tells you how to channel your inner Judge Judy.
Selling a business is a complex and emotionally taxing process involving many hours of data gathering, meetings, information exchange, financial questions, legal questions and intense negotiations.   Every day, small business owners make mistakes w…
Rather than replacing sofas and chairs, many people prefer to save money and just replace the fabric, often changing colors in the process. This is a great service business—you can’t be underpriced by Amazon. Furthermore, not only will your customers come to you for more business at some point, but you bet that next time they are entertaining in their living room that your new fabric covering work will come up in the conversation! Eventually you may want to consider offering complete re-upholstering services.
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? Take my friend, Mark Jackson’s lead with what he’s doing to build a travel consulting side business idea. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals and eventually you could spin this business idea into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make your dream trip a reality.
Convergys hires home-based call agents to provide customer service support. This company offers paid training, hourly wages, as well as benefits like, paid time off, 401k retirement plan, life insurance, medical, dental, and vision. Convergys only hires home-based agents in the US.
If you want to maintain full control over your business, seeking an angel investor may not be the right route, since oftentimes they’ll want partial control of the company. If you don’t have any high-value assets you can part with, selling assets to fund your business wouldn’t be the right fit for you.
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.
Companies are increasingly turning to freelance and contract workers to fill the skill gaps in their staff. It’s not hard to imagine that you could build a whole company around providing freelance services of one sort or another. Some freelance gigs pay by the project and others pay hourly, and the rates can vary greatly. But as you gain more experience, your earning potential will soar.
This is similar to the banquet facility business but built around a facility that is ideal for weddings. People will pay a lot of money for a wedding venue that excites them! You could provide the catering and related services yourself, allow customers to bring their own caterers or require your customers work with a particular caterer that you chose.
As I’ve already covered with TeeSpring, the T-shirt retailing business is worth millions of dollars. But what if you want to do the manufacturing side of things? T-shirt printing turns out to be quite a rewarding business idea for many each year, but can quickly consume much of your side business idea time—so know what you’re getting into before diving in. This multi-billion dollar industry counts big corporate factories as well as home-based part-time entrepreneurs.
Let’s go flying and get paid for it! You can finance your plane and contract out most of the work, including getting help to get your company certified to fly. This is a service business and those little touches can make a difference in keeping customers coming back.
Investment: It requires a low upfront investment — if you don’t require training. You’ll likely only need to purchase some parts and tools to get started and you can operate the business from your home.
Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Alamo, Enterprise, and National Car Rental services hires home-based customer service reps, escalation support reps, reservation and sales reps, and bilingual reservation and sales reps.
For many people, working from home on the side or full time can be an attractive option, whether they’re trying to make a few extra bucks or start a new career. However, starting a home based business, like starting any other business, requires a large amount of planning and personal commitment. You’ll have to plan out your strategy, work out all the little details, and then put in the work to make it happen. Luckily, by using your home as your business space, you avoid some of the costs and hassles associated with classic businesses, like renting commercial space and meeting certain permit requirements.
NerdWallet’s interactive small-business loans tool allows you to find financing that meets your individual goals. Enter the age of your business, your credit score, the amount of money you need and how you’ll use it. The list of lenders is based on factors including trustworthiness and user experience.
While contracts can be valid when orally made, they are much harder to prove and enforce. Make sure you get all agreements in writing — it will save you headaches down the line, and could even save your business.
This seems like a fun and easy business and it can be very rewarding. However, it is very competitive and can be hard to break into. Interior design is also increasingly sophisticated, with software design simulation and specialized educational backgrounds becoming more common.
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.
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Next it’s time to choose a structure for your business and get it registered in California. This is a huge step and it’s important to understand the implications of each business structure before settling on one, so we’ll take a brief look at each.

Is your business idea really unique? What value will it generate? Is it something your target audience really wants? Or is it something you think they’d want? Getting answers to these questions is important to determine whether or not your idea works.
If interviewing people, do some reading on how to spot real talent beyond the certifications, degrees or lack thereof. The area an individual is educated in is not necessarily the area they are most talented in. An interviewee may have a background in accounting for example, but their experience and your assessment of them indicates they may be a better fit helping with marketing.
Do you have an extra room in your house or condo? You could rent it out by the day like the Airbnb model, or you could rent it by the week, or you could rent it by the month. Then maybe you could use the income to help subsidize your expenses as you start another business!
Despite Instagram’s growing popularity, not all brands know what they’re doing on the app. If you have a background in social media and marketing and a passion for photography and Instagram, starting a consulting business that focuses on the popular photo app can be a great way to make money while helping other businesses improve their content and thrive.
User Testing hires people to test out websites. Each assignment pays $10/$15 for 20 minutes of work. To become a tester – submit your email address and apply. Testers must take a sample test before receiving any assignments. This gig is open to the US and International residents alike who can receive payments via PayPal. Each test takes about 15 – 20 minutes.
Maybe this is an obvious choice for a small town business opportunity, but sometimes the obvious answers are the most overlooked. Though a grocery store might not sound like the sexiest business choice, it is one of our most practical recommendations and one that your whole town is guaranteed to need. Like many small town business ideas, there are many directions you can take this business in. Perhaps your town already has a local grocery store, in that case, opening a specialty food shop might be the right call. If your town already has that as well, what about a wine or cheese shop? Though you might be thinking, “how much wine or cheese can one small town consume?” Remember, when serving a small community, options are limited, which can open up an opportunity for you to serve residents in more ways than one. Consider opening a wine and cheese shop combination. Just make sure not to bite off more than you can chew. Being a few things to a few people is ok, but don’t try to be everything to everyone.
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’re adept at woodworking and have some basic equipment, it’s easy to get into business making deck furniture. It only requires a few items – a saw, a drill, a sander – and some creativity and passion for working with wood. If you have the tools or just want to turn your hobby into a business, this may be a great small business idea for you. In addition to creating new items, you could also focus on repairing existing wooden furniture or woodwork.
Obtain UIA Number. You can get your Unemployment Insurance Account (UIA) online from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You must have this account prior to hiring employees; you’ll also need this number to file your quarterly tax reports. It only takes moments.
Sign up for a bar-tending course at the local community college or adult education center, get a safety certificate if your state requires it, and then you’re ready to start serving. Usually the client will provide the booze and the glasses, you might bring a few mixing tools or even a service cart if you want to get fancy. Demand for this service will run strongest on the weekends, making it a great part time gig!
As you embark on your new side business or “side hustle,” remember that you are only limited by your own imagination and skillset. Don’t be afraid to be creative, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed.
It also might surprise you that though there are far fewer bookstores around these days, sales at bookstores that have weathered the storm are up five percent. Though it is partially due to less competition, it is also that the opportunity to reinvent bookstores for the 21st century has proved lucrative.
I am currently sitting in my co-share work space and beside me sits a green potted plant about 15” in height. Every day or two, the commercial watering service person comes by and pours a little water on the plant. Once a week or so, the service person may take out his plant clippers, and trim a leaf or two. Wow! I think I could master this work! And I bet you could too!
Everyone wants to feel special now and then. If you can create the right setting, you could make your customers feel great and be happy to pay top dollar for a sophisticated beverage! Get everything just so–the name, the furniture, the wall coverings, servers’ attire, the lighting, and the background music. If you get all the details right, this could be a really fun and highly profitable endeavor.
Federal: The federal licenses and permits page on the Small Business Association’s website outlines all the business activities that call for special permission from the federal government, and directs you to the proper agencies. They also have a decent article on business taxes, but the best place to learn about this is on the IRS website.
Your county or city will require a business license. The form takes minutes to fill out. Use your EIN instead of your Social Security number to identify your business (for privacy reasons if nothing else).
While you might first think of parties for kids, parties for adults is a rapidly growing field. To break into this field, I would start by offering some really attractive package deals. Then I might try to upsell additional services once the parting host became more comfortable working with me, or at least on repeat engagements.