start small | how to own my own business

Gardening is big and growing. And it is a business that is less likely to move totally online than many other businesses. You could start out with a supply center, expanding over time to add some plants to sell, and then, eventually vertically integrate with your own plant nursery. You could also expand into providing onsite services.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, here’s a list of the 45 best places you can learn to code for free. Once you command a knowledge of HTML, Ruby, Python, Javascript, or CSS, you can start a freelance business as a side business idea to build your portfolio while you still hold onto your full-time job. Listen to my podcast interview with Laurence Bradford about her journey to become a freelance web developer, too. And over time, you’ll build more relationships, have more experience and eventually take this side business idea over to becoming a full-time source of income.
We all wear clothes (at least some of the time). Which, of course, makes the business idea of cleaning soiled laundry an obvious hit. In fact, the self-service laundromat industry in the US is worth more than $3 billion, with many related businesses such as a mobile app laundry service, a real rolling mobile laundry service, and home laundry pickup & delivery services springing up each year. Here’s one way you can cash in on the trend as a side business idea.
No, babysitting isn’t just for teenagers and college students. Quite on the contrary, if you call yourself an Au Pair instead, you can make some pretty good side money working nights and weekends with this business idea if you don’t mind the often odd hours.
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.
This is one of the most popular small businesses because everyone wants a house cleaner. The work is repetitive. But if you can show up on time and do a good job consistently (I find many the work of many cleaners deteriorates after the first few weeks), you will build a healthy clientele. And if you can charge enough so that you can delegate, you can grow this into a large business.
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.
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.
7. File a well-written provisional patent application. You can license an idea with a provisional patent application alone. I know because I see it happen week in and week out at my company inventRight. Most patent applications are written in such a way that they can be easily worked around. To write intellectual property that has value, you need to outthink your competition. You should try to steal your idea from yourself, in other words. Filing a well-written provisional patent application, which is inexpensive to do, establishes enough perceived ownership to get you in the game. (To be clear, I’m referring to simple product ideas. Big ideas require a wall of intellectual property.)
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like The Windy City and snow. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.
Enter: The Side Hustle. I’ve created an entire podcast to talk about the side hustle, featuring interviews with the world’s top entrepreneurs right here on—The Side Hustle Project. Listen to my episode about How to Find a Profitable Business Idea right here…
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.
If you keep your money hidden in the attic or earning close to nothing in a savings account, you might want to consider putting it to better use through smarter investing as your side business idea. Sure, there are plenty dangers to look out for, but most personal finance experts will advise you to start learning about the stock market if you want to grow your wealth, and to avoid jumping too heavily into trends like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without proper understanding.
Wouldn’t it be fun to make a gift-basket overflowing with a bunch of carefully selected and really attractive items? Of course, it would! You could have a lot of satisfaction putting together distinctive gift baskets that will delight your customers and bring in sales!
Spending a leisurely afternoon in a swimming pool can be a lot of fun. But cleaning it can be a pain in the neck. Hence, most pool owners hire people to do the cleaning for them. If you need extra cash and don’t mind getting physical, then pool cleaning is a viable side business idea for you.
All you need to start your own cleaning business is a stockpile of cleaning supplies and access to clients, which you can gain through word of mouth, flyers or classified ads if you don’t want to set up your own website.
Team members will complete assessments along the way to ensure their success on the job. After training, you will gain realistic, practical experience with supportive coaching and feedback to meet daily customer service and sales goals
Tired of chasing after paid blogging gigs? Start your writing business by starting a blog! We have a quick and easy tutorial right here — plus you can grab hosting for as little as $2.95 a month with Bluehost.
#50 – Snuggle Buddies – You can become a professional cuddle and make anywhere from $40-$80 per hour. All you have to do is cuddle someone or hold someone’s hands. Yes, that’s right, a professional cuddler.
Get your personal credit in the best shape possible. Start by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com to get free copies of your three personal credit reports. If you apply for a business loan or credit card, lenders will evaluate your personal credit. Follow the steps required by Experian, Equifax or TransUnion, outlined on their websites, to challenge any incorrect information on your credit reports.
You could dream up your own product to make with your 3D printer. But instead I would tend to create products for other people, and not even finished products, but prototypes. I would develop a specialty within prototypes, such as for a particular industry.
Very informative post. Even having a huge capital upfront to start a business does not guarantee the success of that business. So these are great tips to start with nothing and step by step make things happen. Thanks for sharing.
The next crucial step in the life of your business is learning proper financial management. Opening a business bank account is an important step for any new business, whether you’re a single-member LLC or a large-scale corporation. Either way, your personal and professional finances should never intermingle.
A merchant account is a contract under which an acquiring bank extends a line of credit to a merchant, who wishes to accept payment card transactions of a particular card association brand. Previously, without such a contract, one could not accept payments by any of the major credit card brands. However, the Square has changed that, so don’t feel locked in or limited to this option. Do your research.
I love being part of TTEC@Home because the setting is both personal and professional and I don’t have to commute in traffic or poor weather. I have an office environment that I created, designed, and nestle into. And TTEC provides strong support, ongoing training, benefits, company perks, and advancement opportunities.
Starting any business has a price, so you need to determine how you’re going to cover those costs. Do you have the means to fund your startup, or will you need to borrow money? If you’re planning to leave your current job to focus on your business, do you have some money put away to support yourself until you start making a profit?

Yes, you can learn how to repair smartphones. You can buy parts (you should inventory more common ones) and you can watch videos on YouTube that show you how to make repairs. I have been to a small shop in Cambridge that specializes just in fixing casing and glass on smartphones. You can make good money but it will take some patience to get going. A storefront, even a small one on a secondary street or second floor of an office building, will help make your business seem more established.
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.
Guest interactive murder mystery productions are very popular and no wonder–they are a lot of fun. You could do this on your own, renting a public venue and all that. But instead I would recommend that you partner up with a local business, such as an inn or restaurant, which could use an event like this to promote their business.
Washing windows for retail stores is about as simple as it gets. Just get your cleaning supplies and knock on the doors of retail stores, asking if they want their windows cleaned. If you get some takers you could arrange to make it into a regular service.