start small | basics of starting a business

Do you have investments or savings? If so, consider using a portion to fund your business. You should never invest all your savings into a business due to the risk of failure. In addition, you should never invest money put aside for emergency savings (experts recommend having three to six months of income put aside for this purpose), or money you will need over the next few years for various obligations.
If you speak like James Earl Jones or Scarlett Johansson, quite a number of digital publishers (including game developers, animated film-makers, and training video producers) pay good money for voice talent and the time investment isn’t too intensive—making this a great side business idea. You can find these publishers looking for voice-over artists on sites like PeoplePerHour, Freelancer and Upwork, as well as their calls for talent directly on their websites or through voiceover agents. If you do pursue this as a side business idea, be prepared to invest for the long-haul as it can be a very competitive industry.
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.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer as a side business idea can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out these tips to a successful personal training business by the American Fitness Professionals and this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. Finally, I’d recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
A real estate appraisal business can be operated from home, on a part-time basis, making for a fun side business idea if you have the credentials to back it up. A perfect option if you want to keep your day job while earning a little extra on the side. You won’t need a college degree to start in on this business idea, but you’ll need bankable appraiser credentials (including relevant training and professional licenses), strong knowledge of the sector, and a growing network of industry players including mortgage brokers, real estate agents, banks, and fellow appraisers that’ll want to utilize your services.
If you’ve always wanted to publish your own book as a side business idea, there never been a better time than now. That’s because access to self-publishing tools and marketplaces has never been easier and more affordable. This eBook writer currently earns up to a couple of thousand bucks each month from six ebooks she published; while you can reportedly demand around $1000 per eBook project serving as a ghostwriter. My good friend, Caroline Beaton used freelance writing as her side business idea to eventually go from secretary to self-employed, while focusing on her own personal development and looking inward to discover what she’s truly passionate about.
After completing all of the above steps, you are officially in business. Review information from Michigan Business One Stop and from Michigan State University Extension for direction as you move further along in your journey of business ownership.
Hey, great list! LaunchScore estimates the earnings potential of 800+ business types in 750 U.S. cities. Unlike most lists, LaunchScore provides a custom earnings estimate that takes into account the market conditions in each city.
#39 – Book in a Box – This company has virtual posts for various positions that pay $20 per hour. The company occasionally looks for editors, book jacket designers, and proofreaders so you have to keep tabs on the company site to see if there are any openings.
One of my friend’s mothers who had performed as a Radio City Rockette, founded a highly successful dance studio for young girls. She was successful enough to rent large commercial space, but this is a business you may want to start in your home.
Reservation Sales Team Members are paid a base pay of $9.00 per hour + incentives. Incentives are based on your ability to meet sales metrics and other performance goals, and can range in amount, up to $2.00 per hour through the iEarn incentive program.
Userlytics hires people to provide feedback on websites, applications, prototypes, concepts and more. To apply, register for an account, and then wait for an invite to complete an assignment. Once you’ve completed your assignment, you’ll be paid $10 per task via PayPal.
Generally, no specific expertise or certificate is necessary to open a company. However, a certificate and experience — and license — may be necessary to operate or sell specific services to the public. Check with the Secretary of State to learn the legal requirements to offer a specialized product or service in your State.
Fancy yourself a poet? You can earn $300 for every poem you write that this greeting card company publishes—not a bad side business idea if you’ve got a way with words and aren’t afraid of rejection on poems that aren’t a good fit.
As an ABC Fundraising® distributor you will have the opportunity to offer a large variety of unique and highly profitable fundraisers including The Entertainment® Card, with up to 75% Profit! and Spinners® with up to 97% Profit! We are constantly adding new unique fundraisers to our catalog which always come with bonus Scratch & Help® cards or Spinners® to increase your client’s profit to the HIGHEST in the fundraising industry!
Hilton’s Customer Care Coordinators provide world-class customer service to support our Hilton Honors members with any need they may have. As the perfect fit for this role, you’ll have excellent communication skills, demonstrate positivity and patience, and most of all, personify an excellent customer service mentality.
Sykes hires agents to work from home throughout the United States and Canada. The company encourages you to “join the team of 6,000 agents across North America who accept inbound calls routed virtually to their homes.” Apply to work for the company here.
#48 – Stitch Fix – If you are a fashionista with a creative eye, try Stitch Fix a company that allows you to share fashion tips with clients on the site. For work at home stylist, Stitch Fix offers a $16+ an hour pay. As a requirement, you must be 18 years of age or more and be ready to attend their off-site training before starting the job.
The antique market is not as lively as it used to be. But there’s still money to be had from the industry if you love rare old stuff and possess the skill of restoring them to their former glory. To start an antique refurbishing business at home, you’ll likely need a few thousand dollars to build out a basic workshop and stock it with all of the right treatments and materials in order to truly excel with this side business idea. Start small by borrowing around what you can, and learning the basics of the trade as a side hustle before investing in a ton of equipment.
Public notaries primarily serve as validators of, and impartial witnesses in public legal documents, especially those related to affidavits, oaths, deeds, estates, special-powers-of-attorney, and business agreements. Depending on the state, a full-time notary public earns an average annual salary of $36,000, which makes it a great business idea to do as a side hustle as you bring in money through other ways. If you want to get started with this business idea, here are the requirements and steps you need to consider in the US.
You have a passion, and you’d like to make it your profession. No matter how enthusiastic you are about your small business, though, it won’t be successful unless you have a plan in place for how you’re going to start and run it.
Ask the bank if you will need to present certain documentation to open the account, such as your certificate of formation or business license. Banks in Texas may vary in terms of what they require for opening an account.
 Xerox – Read Review – It’s not uncommon to find data entry work from home jobs posted on Xerox. Type in “work from home data entry” on their careers page to see these listings. As with so many other data entry jobs, it may be location-based work.
This is one of the most popular small businesses in the world! And no wonder! Everyone needs to have it done and many people don’t like to do it! It is also a business that can be challenging to get your employees to consistently do a fantastic job. That’s why this business is particularly well-suited for both solo entrepreneurs and an entrepreneur who runs one single crew of cleaners.
An irrigation service installs and services underground sprinkler systems at homes and businesses. I use a one-person irrigation service at one house and have a larger landscaping service handle the irrigation at another house. The big work comes when you install a new system. But an existing system needs service every year including being “blown out” and turned on, and always there are sprinkler heads that need to be adjusted or replaced.
I’m not getting up on that high ladder anymore! That’s why I spend $200 to have a service clean my gutters twice a year. Considering that even one person can clean several houses a day, you can see that it’s very good money potential. Try really hard to geographically concentrate your gutter cleaning each day. This could be a great weekend business.
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The IRS treats all multi-member LLCs as partnerships, unless they choose to be taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp. Therefore, most multi-member LLCs are required to report their income to the IRS using a Form 1065 Partnership Return.
From the inside looking out, I want to see the world as clearly as possible. And so do a lot of homeowners and particularly office managers. Now that creates a demand for window cleaners to step into this business idea, especially if you can land a contract cleaning windows for an office building. If you want to try it out as a side business idea, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start a window-washing business at home.
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.
State: The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration website offers all the information you need to know about state business taxes and special permits and licenses. The Governer’s Office CalGold Permit Assistance Tool is also a great way to find out what taxes and licenses apply to your business.
Wouldn’t you enjoy making kids smile and laugh? What a great way to earn some good money, especially at kids’ birthdays and Bar and Bat mitzvahs! Business will be heavily focused on weekends, so you can hold onto your day job as you build your clientele. I met a professional clown who told me that he charged $200 an hour…for that price I’ll put the clown suit on right now!

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.
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.
All those phone calls you get from non-profits looking for donations…the majority of those calls aren’t from the non-profits themselves, they are from fund-raising firms. Yes, you could put together a phone solicitation service for non-profits, but fundraising is increasingly turning to inbound marketing. You could develop strategic inbound marketing plans and/or execute these plans for your customers.
Arise Virtual Solutions contracts with thousands of small businesses run by someone like you! These small businesses provide sales, customer service, and technical support from home, for Fortune 500  companies such as Intuit TurboTax and Carnival. We also have a great opportunity available with the nation’s largest video, high-speed internet, and phone provider! To get started visit AriseWorkFromHome.com and click the orange Register Now button.
The market for website developers is huge and highly competitive. If you lack highly specialized coding skills, I would suggest you consider trying to break into this space by offering flat fee rates to develop new or re-launched websites for smaller businesses or organizations and limit your development work to one platform, such as WordPress.
Lots of businesses try to save money by hiring people as independent contractors rather than full-time employees. The IRS will impose large penalties on businesses that do not withhold and pay taxes for workers that it considers full-time employees rather than independent contractors. Here are some things the IRS will look at to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or a full-time employee:
If you can rent a truck or a trailer, you’re all set to start a hauling service. Help people get rid of all that junk that’s been piling up in the attic, the basement, the garage and out in the backyard.
Being a wedding specialist works well for top-notch players, but being a generalist also has its benefits. Event and party planners leverage their network of service providers to cover not only weddings, but also seminars, corporate events, birthdays, baptisms, concerts, conferences, holiday parties, and other events, making it a relatively diverse business idea. Here are some tips if you want to run a part-time event planning business at home as a side business idea. And here’s a very honest look into the upside and downside of the trade.
Potential challenges: It’s a challenging business to operate. Obstacles include securing financing, choosing a location that will attract customers, picking out the right equipment and ingredients to brew beer, and obtaining the proper permits and licenses.