starting a business checklist | how to open a new business

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#51 – Brighten Communications contracts telemarketers based in U.S. and pays up to $18 per hour. As an independent contractor for the company, you require a landline phone to carry all the business calls as well as a long-distance phone service.
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Similar to selling on Amazon, eBay is a place to make money selling just about anything you can think of as a side business idea, with the added excitement of using the auction selling model to sometimes get way more than you expected for that antique baseball card you picked up at a local street fair. To turn your eBay selling into a legitimate business idea, look for opportunities where you can buy in-demand products at a discount—and later sell them for a profit.
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.
Local: If you live in Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet) or the Lane County Transit District (LTD), you will need to file and pay for transportation taxes. Learn more about mass transit payroll/excise tax from the Department of Revenue.
You can start as a personal trainer at a local gym. Then try going out on your own. Being known for a particular expertise can help. Then someday you can open your own gym. Maybe even franchise it and go global!
It’s not the sort of side business idea that’s covered in glory, but someone needs to make sure all the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone with the domain expertise to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. Majo Jacinto in his Udemy course provides an in-depth foundational understanding of how to prepare tax returns (and stay current with ever-changing laws) that’ll certify you with tax prep skills in as little as a few hours of training and practice.  Then once tax season rolls around you’ll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this side business idea, according to CNBC.
Join Shark Tank’s Daymond John, MailChimp’s Ben Chestnut, Drybar’s Alli Webb, Boxed’s Chieh Huang, Harry’s Jeff Raider, and hundreds of scrappy and trailblazing entrepreneurs at this year’s Grow Your Company Conference in New Orleans, May 30-June 1. To learn more and to register visit Growco Conference.
This is one of the most-clever businesses I have seen! Here you get to have your own art gallery with no overhead! You arrange with a restaurant or bar to host your pop up art gallery at no expense to you. The venue benefits from selling food or drinks and the publicity your event will bring. The paintings or other art you obtain on consignment so you don’t lay out any cash for that either. Then you arrange the promotion. They key to this business is building your email list and social media contacts so that are able to build up a regular clientele without having to own a storefront or spend money for advertising.
My wife is quite handy with a sewing machine and often hems and modifies our children’s clothes. She could easily take this a step further and offer her services to others, doing basic garment repair and modification for a small price on lazy evenings.
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.
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.
Not everyone wants to tell people that their business is porta potties! That’s OK, you can make good money doing this business. The key is being willing to go out and sell your services to prospective organizations. Once you line up a customer your chance of landing repeat business is huge.
Every company needs content for their website to attract search engine traffic and develop a bond with their customers and potential customers. Hence the market for creating web-friendly content has exploded with both large firms and independent content marketers helping to fill the need. Specializing in the needs of a particular industry can help jump-start your business, but many companies are willing to hire content marketers who are good researchers and can write well, even if they lack specific industry expertise.
Create a business plan for your home based business. This is the blueprint for your business. It may also help you think of things that had not crossed your mind about your business and help you determine what kind of start up costs you are looking at. At minimum, a business plan should include the following:
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.
Enter either the name of your city and state or your ZIP code under the Find Licenses and Permits section. Select the type of business from the drop down list. If you don’t see your business type listed on the list, select General Licensing.
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.
When I used to work at CreativeLive, I regularly paid $250-$500 (or even much more depending upon audience size) per episode for 90 seconds worth of advertisements on relevant podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show, the #1 business podcast right now from the 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss. The podcast has even helped Tim launch his latest New York Times bestseller, Tools of Titans to a wider readership.
The best business to start is one where customers want your product or service at a price that enables you to make a profit. Ideally, new customers are easy to attract and there are few competitors. Finally, it should be a business in which you have experience (or can be trained) and enjoy the work.
Young Living – Financial freedom through healthy living! We are a 22-year-old corporation doing a billion in annual sales, the trendsetter in wellness products. We do business in almost every country with headquarters in 13 Countries. We have hundreds of thousands of satisfied clients who have experienced life change in the areas of health, wellness and financial abundance which has led to one of the highest client loyalty rates in the industry. We offer personalized mentoring, business, leadership, personal development, and product training. Because we work hard to set you up and to help you succeed, we are only looking for people who are serious about becoming financially independent through working from home part-time. If you are a team player, self-motivated, dependable and ready to begin earning a substantial income part-time right away, contact Leslie Morris at (916)572-2531, lesliejmorrisyl@gmail.com or lesliemorris.babystepseo.com/.
#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 California Small Business Development Center is a great resource if you need a little assistance coming up with funding opportunities. They’ve got dozens of locations across the state where you can go to discuss potential funding approaches for your business based on all the criteria above (and more).
One of the primary amenities that small towns tend to lack is decent shopping. And we don’t just mean a large shopping mall. Often, those living in smaller towns and communities have to drive significant mileage just for basic clothing necessities. That’s why starting a clothing boutique will not only put you on the map but will make you a popular destination for most residents in the vicinity. You’ll pretty much be the mall substitute for all things teen-related. Just make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. But they’ll let you know if you don’t!
By starting small, you ensure that you can survive the inevitable hiccups associated with running a small business. Those entrepreneurs who begin with modest operations can recover and learn from their mistakes without taking on a lot of debt. Starting small will help your small business grow into a successful enterprise.
Employed techies planning to earn some extra side income can leverage their software and hardware skills by offering home-based computer repair services as a business idea that engages their passion. If this rings a bell, you can start with a modest one-man tech team before envisioning a scaled-up operation as massive as Geek Squad. Remember, you can provide home service locally as a starting point to this business idea, as well as offer remote support through online messaging and video calling services before making your way into a retail setting.
On top of just the skill and experience components to being a successful online coach, this side business idea is all about building a community around the help you’re offering and fostering trust with members. Plus, your community members will learn from each other along the way. Creating the space for that community can be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or choosing a community-building platform like Ning.com that has even more capabilities like using your own custom URL, having internal forums, customized designs, and more.

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.
One thing that most small towns have in common is grass, lots, and lots of grass. Since small towns tend to be in rural areas, more residents are likely to have lawns and larger gardens. That means people will be on the hunt for lawn and gardening services. A few of the benefits to starting a business such as this in a small town is its predictability, reliability, and scalability. Once you begin finding customers, as long as you have quality services that are reasonably priced, you’re likely to keep the same customers for years. You’ll also be able to predict the repeat services that customers will need. Not only does grass need to be cut repeatedly, but lawns need to be fertilized and treated for weeds and bugs on a regular basis. Lawn care is also an ideal small town business idea that will scale well. You can start off by offering a few services such as lawn and shrubbery care, but can later expand to offering landscaping services as well.
Any business that does not require a storefront would be suitable for a home business. That is, any type of professional service, small-scale manufacturing, or something like that would be great. However, a restaurant or auto-parts store would not make a good home business.
This is a big business with lots of opportunities. It is largely a do-it-yourself hobby, so you make money by selling supplies, expertise or services to scrap bookers. You could give courses or hold events on scrap booking. A common way to break into this business is to hold “scrapbooking” parties. You invite friends and acquaintances to your house, tell them all about scrapbooking, and try to sell the supplies they will need to get started.