starting a business checklist | steps to start a company

This is good specialized business with a specific, clearly defined market to target. Until you have started to gain momentum you might want to find someone you can rent a horse trailer from on an as-needed basis. Then buy your own trailer after you start to build your customer base.
Luckily, there are tons of ways to start businesses and make money with a side hustle while still leading a well-rounded, meaningful life. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to quit your day job and grow your side business idea into an empowering self-employed career.
You will also want to define your marketing message. In other words, what will you say to convince customers to choose your product? Here, you want to focus on your Unique Selling Point (also known as USP). This is the unique advantage your product has to solve your customers problem. For example, you may be lower cost, faster, or higher quality than your peers.
Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).
Protect your LLC by writing an operating agreement. Unless you are a solo member LLC, in which case you do not need an operating agreement, it may be wise to write one in order to protect your LLC. Although most states do not require you to register an operating agreement, you may want to consider doing so. In almost all cases, you can choose the operational rules for your LLC. However, if you do not have an operating agreement, the “default” rules in place in your state will govern in the event of a disagreement. [18] Your operating agreement can help you do the following:
We’ve all heard countless pieces of advice on how to make a good impression during a job interview. It is certainly important to show up on time, freshly groomed, appropriately dressed, and ready to impress. Equally important is smiling, not interrupting, providing thoughtful answers, and maintaining good eye contact. In addition, we must not forget critical elements for success like researching the company, giving a firm handshake, keeping mobile devices stored away and of course, following up with a time-honored staple, the thank you note.
Home health care services typically provide seniors with a wide range of assistance, including help with managing illnesses or injuries, administering medicine and treatment, and helping with basic daily tasks. A background in medicine, physical therapy, nursing or social work is a major plus, and it helps to have a high number of seniors living in your area.
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.
Another flexible non-phone option in the educational field is test scoring. There are a few reputable companies that do hire home-based workers to score everything from standardized tests to essays. Before you apply, you should know that ETS and Pearson (listed below) do require that you have certain qualifications and/or past teaching experience before they’ll let you become a scorer. WriteScore on the other hand requires just a two-year college degree.
Pinch those pennies. Plan to keep purchases of office equipment and overheads to a minimum when starting up. You do not need amazing office premises, the latest in office chairs and pricey artwork on the walls. A broom cupboard in the best address can be sufficient if you can artfully steer clients to the local coffee shop for meetings every time (meet them in the foyer). Many a business start-up has failed by purchasing the expensive gizmos instead of focusing on the business itself.
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!
Someone wise once said that to qualify as a small town there is a prerequisite that it must have an ice cream shop. Ok, maybe we made that up. But regardless, if it’s not true, it should be. Opening an ice cream shop in a small town is a business idea guaranteed to draw a crowd. Knowing your product, being familiar with the most popular ice cream flavors, and having a willingness to work nights and weekends are all important factors to take into account. Just remember, this business comes with the challenges of seasonality. So, as we recommended boutique fitness businesses as great for cold weather climates, we are recommending ice cream shops for areas that are warmer. Find the perfect town with the perfect weather and this small town business idea is a no-brainer.
Blooms Today, an industry leader providing flowers and gifts, is seeking aggressive, competitive sales leaders to join our team of remote inside sales representatives. This independent contractor position (1099) is commissioned sales with all inbound calls. With our performance-based pay plan, higher conversions lead to additional earnings – giving our sales team control of their income. Everything you sell has a compensation value! Average hourly earnings are between $15-$24. For more information and to see if this is a good fit for you — please complete our online application and submit your resume by going to https://www.bloomstoday.com/apply/contractor.php.
Proofread Anywhere offers a free introductory workshop. One mom tried this out because she desperately needed a flexible schedule, and now she makes up to $1,200 a month picking and choosing when she works — from home.
Our talented Reservation Sales Specialists serve as the first point of contact for our hotel brands. This is a challenging, yet rewarding role, so we’re looking for Team Members with excellent communication skills, a persuasive sales ability, and a world-class customer service mentality.
The benefits of practicing open innovation are many and have been written about at length. Over the years, I’ve sung its praises. Of course, many industries have been putting the principles of open innovation into practice for a long time, like the toy industry. That’s where the concept of licensing as a business model — which is predicated on open innovation — first sparked my interest.
The selling costs are remarkably low on the Etsy website. But you will be competing with some awesome looking crafts, so make sure you create some great stuff that is highly distinctive. Then take perfect photographs and write up snappy descriptions. Try to build a following by developing a related line of goods
Thankyou For this great article and tips to help online business owners. I myself work at home online and set my own hours. It a great feeling to be your own boss and make money and a living online 🙂
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.
The local bank or investment advisory service may decide to add a touch of class and the feel of quiet success to their office by adding art to its walls, but which paintings should they buy? That’s where you come in, the expert art buyer. You could offer your services to private art buyers as well. Where do you start? You could simply start with one recommendation for one painting for a friend’s empty wall space.
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.
Some firms outsource their customer service operations and many of these companies accept home-based contractors. You can start by signing up on freelancing sites such as Upwork to test the waters with this business idea first. If you’re already a CSR specialist with management skills, then you can form and lead a virtual team online and engage clients as a bona fide customer service company or, provide customer service training to such teams as well as individuals.
I also recommend FlexJobs. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,  along with a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the website. FlexJobs guarantees that every single job is 100% legitimate.
You’ll need experience grooming pets or be willing to train. Past experience working with animals is recommended. Licenses and permits may also be required, depending on your location. As with other pet businesses, getting the proper insurance is recommended.
Evaluate your talents. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between talents and things you enjoy. Just because you enjoy something does not mean you can turn it into a business. Think about your skills, or the hobbies that you do better than anyone else. Your business can also be based off of a professional skill you’ve developed or been educated in.
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.
Working Solutions hires independent contractor home-agents to provide sales, technical support and customer service. Home agents can put their experience to work and enjoy the freedom of working when they want, where they want. They select highly educated, experienced professionals with product knowledge, certifications and industry experience to match our clients’ business needs. They never charge any fees. Home-agents earn anywhere from $8.00 -$20.00 per hour, depending on the program.
Chances are you’ve probably watched a couple of youtube videos online. And if you haven’t you’ve definitely watched TV. With that said, have you ever thought about how much video you consume? Now imagine if you were paid for all the videos or TV shows you watched. Well you can!
Wedding photographers command premium rates. After all, you are capturing one of a couple’s most important life moments, making it a very lucrative side business idea. Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 – $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it’s realistic that this side business idea could quickly blossom into becoming a full-time endeavor with the right happy clientele base that’s willing to refer you to their friends and family. Check out the Complete Wedding Photography Experience over on CreativeLive to get up to speed on everything you need to launch a successful wedding photography business.
WineShop At Home – Frequently recognized at international wine competitions, our wines are deliciously different, wonderfully one-of-a-kind and exclusive to us. WineShop At Home Independent Wine Consultants earn an income by marketing our artisan wines through in-home Wine Tastings and they have FUN doing so. Tasting & learning about wine with friends, what’s not to love? Come for the Taste and Stay for the Lifestyle with us! Three Business Kits to choose from starting at $79. Contact Shelley Whitmarsh-Beal, Director of Field Development @ Shelley@wineshopathome.com for more info.
If you like this info, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more of it! You can also get my list of 15 work at home companies hiring RIGHT NOW if you subscribe to our FREE twice-weekly newsletter.

Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ’s, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Check out one of my most talented friends, Jory Mackay, for an example of someone who’s doing a great job of positioning himself as a premium service-provider with his freelance writing side business idea. Then when you’re ready to start cold emailing potential clients, pick up my free downloadable freelance proposal template and get started today.
Please invest 2 minutes of your time to watch the business startup Dubai video below. It spells out how you can benefit. Or if you prefer to read, then feel free to skip the video and go straight to the text below:
Current market trends in Dubai offer plenty of opportunities for foreign investors to tap into imports and export of commodities, as well as taking advantage of the growing tourist traffic of the city for an almost unlimited number of potential clients and customers going your way.
Connect and Sell – Read Review – This job involves connecting calls, so you’re not actually having to talk to anyone. Pay is around $9 hourly. They may pay weekly via Paypal. Job is also very rarely open, but when it is, it’s listed under “Phone Administrative Support.”
Twice I have heard Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams beer, talk about how he started his business. I find this to be a tough business. First you need a brew master with deep expertise. Then you have to get your beer taste to be very distinctive and very pleasing. You need consistent quality. You need to stand out versus the many other small brewers, build a clientele, and arrange for transportation. Nonetheless the market is huge and because of the success of micro-breweries, established beer distributors are increasingly willing to take on smaller labels.
Some might start out as employees or apprentices for other businesses and then gradually build up the skills and experience before they set out on their own. But with the right idea and determination, they can make their dreams of having their own small business come true.
The Give & Grow Shopify app makes it easy to partner with charitable organizations and incorporate your mission into your business. You can set it up to donate a specific amount or a percentage of sales, or ask your customers to add a donation at checkout.
Yes, you can make a lot of money with a simple ice cream shop! Perfect your ice cream before you start, find a good busy location without a crazy rent and consider starting with a smaller footprint to minimize your overhead. I’ll have an ice cream sundae please—with everything on it!
I am happy to read and share these ideas from your blog. For ideas and more of business references, you can try businessmentals. Some of the tools they offer is: Business Start-Up Checklist which could be pretty useful for new entrepreneurs.

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  1. Fancy Hands – Read Review – US only. Pay is per task and I’ve seen where some people claim they make anywhere from $2 to $10 an hour just depending on what tasks they choose. Pay is every other week on Tuesdays via Dwolla.
    Are you the one all your friends call when their sink is clogged or their roof is leaking? Are you looking to start your own business but not thrilled about having a brick-and-mortar location? A home improvement business might be just the small town business idea you’re looking for. When small towns lack a basic handyman, residents must book appointments days, if not weeks in advance to have a larger service visit their home. That’s not so convenient if your toilet has been clogged for three days. As long as you are qualified, have the experience, and know your way around a tool shed, starting a handyman business is fairly straightforward and requires little overhead.
    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!
    Similar to wedding coordinators, event planners work with clients to plan and organize the various aspects of their events. You can work with an even bigger array of clients by being open to the types of events you’ll work on.
    Also be sure to create an “at-will” relationship with your employees. Employers can terminate at-will employees for any reason, which is essential if an employee isn’t working out. There are many ways to make it clear that the employment relationship is at-will, including in employee handbooks and through offer letters. Don’t make any promises to employees about the length or terms of their employment, as these could become binding on you later.
    User-friendly, fast, secure, tons of automation, easier forecasting, more efficient marketing budgets…the benefits are near endless, which is why this startup resource is indispensable. Check out our guide to Business Accounting Software and sync whichever you choose with your fresh new business bank account.
    #45 – CyberEdit, Inc. offers highly advanced services in resume writing, technical writing, and text editing. It hires competent freelance essay writers with remuneration ranging from $15-30 per hour.
    These are just some of the many side business opportunities that have grown more common in the past few years. However, there are many more out there already, in addition to some that are yet to be discovered.
    Believe it or not, this freelance bike messenger makes more money than some people glued to their office desks. You won’t rake in a whopping $50,000 as this guy does by just doing this in your free time as a side business idea only, but you’ll surely get a piece of the action. Even Uber is trying out a blueprint for a delivery service, and companies like WunWun and Amazon are stepping up their efforts to expand same-day delivery, increasing the demand for more to jump in on this business idea. If you have a decent bicycle, those pair of pedals might just earn you a healthy side hustle income.

  2. Women For Hire, the leading women’s and diversity career recruitment specialist, offers comprehensive products and services exclusively for top employers in every field that support and enhance your company’s commitment to diversity.
    Note that many of these ideas could have been listed in more than the single category I placed them in. But I thought it would easier and more interesting for you, if I only listed each business once.
    Profit is, after all, the ultimate goal of any successful small business. You should examine your business’ expenses (rent, materials, employee compensation, etc.) and then figure out how much you will need to sell to cover those costs and start generating a profit. This is known as a break-even analysis.
    In the US, the coast guard has redefined their mission to be rescuing people not rescuing boats, so this has further increased the market for tow boat operators to respond to disabled recreational boaters and bring their boat back to port. Running around on the ocean with a high-powered tow boat seems like a pretty fun way to make a living to me!
    If you like this info, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more of it! You can also get my list of 15 work at home companies hiring RIGHT NOW if you subscribe to our FREE twice-weekly newsletter.
    If you tell people you run a lawn-cutting service they might laugh at you, but so what! You can make a lot of money cutting lawns! You can start with one lawn and a second-hand lawn mower, and grow your business into riding mowers, full landscaping services, fancy trucks and trailers, and lots of happy customers! Click here to see the sample marketing plan I wrote for a lawn service business.
    If you do the gardening or greenhouse ideas, you could also branch out to farmers’ markets where you could sell the produce from your gardening efforts as well. People love supporting local growers and the quality of product at a farmers’ market is much higher than supermarket fare.
    red rock traditions  believes that family traditions can help families be stronger, feel anchored and valued. Shop by product or by tradition, categories such as Connections, Holidays & Celebrations, and Faith. Home parties are the best venue to showcase the products, which can earn you up to 30 percent on customer purchases. A starter kit costs just $135 (plus shipping and tax) and comes with everything you need to get your business off the ground quickly including business supplies, demonstration pieces, and full access to training tutorials. Contact us today: jason.prichard@redrocktraditions.com
    Reynolds & Reynolds – Read Review – This is another company with occasional call analyst positions open. US only. Low pay — starting at around $7 or $8 hourly. You can get paid bi-weekly via direct deposit to your bank account.

  3. People love to be organized but often they never find the time to make it happen. And a lot of people just aren’t very good at it either. You can help people organize their house. And in the process, you can make them feel more organized about their life! What a great service!
    Even in the Internet age, there is something about physically going to a weight loss center that helps bring commitment and seriousness to the weight loss process. The business models vary from a mixture of fees to just making money from selling prepackaged food. You want to make sure your customers not just lose some weight but also feel great about themselves, because then they will also feel great about you and your business, and become raving fans.
    Each of these ideas is very simple to start, and most can be done as a sole proprietorship at first (meaning you don’t have to file any legal documents to get started, though you will want to do that if it starts to take off). Most of these can be done at home in your spare time, and in your spare space, too.
    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.
    Nothing beats teaching more novice learners about your passion, hobby, or craft as a business idea (that’s a common theme here). Explore dozens of DIY portals (such as DIY.org, DIY Network, Instructables and Mahalo) to get business ideas on how to earn a healthy side income just by showing others how to do the things you love. You can also sift through the countless ad-supported YouTube channels that teach just about anything from guitar strumming to 3D printing.
    A lot of people make some really neat crafts. But to be able to make money at it, you also need to be able to price your products reasonably—and allow yourself enough money to bring your product to market. That being said, there are more markets than ever for your products! In addition to local retailers and craft fairs, you can sell them online, on your own website, or through third party sites like Etsy or EBay.
    Swagbucks is an online platform where you can earn points called SB, which can be redeemed for gift cards and coupons. You can easily earn SB points by watching videos, playing games, answering questions, shopping online, and even surfing the web using their toolbar. Refer your friends, and you’ll earn even more SB points. Your SB points can be traded in for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Starbucks, PayPal, and Walmart.
    Think back to all the times you’ve called a company for help or typed questions into an online help box. The people you dealt with could have been working at home, which gives you some idea of the kind of work you might be doing.
    Many gymnasiums will trade membership and often a bit more for a person willing and able to teach an exercise class. You can also find people who don’t want to go to a gym and train them at home as a personal trainer. If you’re in good shape, this is a great opportunity to earn some extra money, plus it can often lead to additional income with one-on-one instruction opportunities.

  4. Potential challenges: You will likely run into serious competition from repair shops and phone provider service programs, such as AppleCare. You can lower these risks by offering your services at a lower cost.
    Many small companies and startups now outsource jobs that aren’t part of their core business (such as HR, admin, and accounting), which makes this skill set a great opportunity for starting a side business idea that engages your number prowess. Because companies always need to track their cash flow, freelance accountants and bookkeepers can really benefit from the increasing demand for part-time help.
    If you know how to play an instrument well (particularly the piano or the guitar) and have patience, you’ve got what you need to teach others how to play. Offer lessons in that instrument to others – this can also be an excellent service to barter with, too.
    Have a talent for crafting or creating other handmade goods? From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is one of the world’s largest independent marketplaces that’s perfect for anyone who is creative and willing to sell their handmade creations. As long as you have the space, this can make for one of the best home business ideas that can be started as a side hustle with a very limited investment. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology. Then, after you’re able to build your brand and grow your own audience, you can start an eCommerce site of your own and retain a larger portion of the revenue from your product sales—making this a very lucrative potential business idea if you’re able to find an audience that loves your products.

  5. Smartphones have become indispensable for both business and personal use. But have you ever tried to get one fixed? Repairing a broken phone can cost as much as it does to buy one. Smartphone-repair services are starting to crop up around the country. If you have a knack for fixing broken screens and solving smartphone tech problems, then opening up a more affordable smartphone repair shop or service might be the way to go.
    You’ll need to see if any local or state permits are required and you must follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines on pet food products. You’ll need a good recipe and a selling point that will make your tasty treats stand out from competitors.
    The online business ideas above covered can be combined in a variety of ways to start a business that’s uniquely yours. If the idea of sourcing, storing and shipping inventory kept you from starting a business before, begin with an inventory-free, low-investment business model and grow from there.
    I view a café as positioned somewhere between a sandwich shop and full service gourmet restaurant. You will be cooking a lot of items but not everything, and your dining space will be simpler than a fancy dinner spot. So, you save money on buildout both in the kitchen, the equipment and the dining space. And you won’t need as expensive a chef as you would for a full-service restaurant. Furthermore, if you choose your location well you could have a good lunch business, as well as a dinner time business, and you could do fine in the late afternoon time slot too. Then of course you could offer breakfast as well and really fill in your day!
    While you may first think of wedding planners or reunion organizers, there are many, many types of event planners out there. Some may specialize in parties for young kids, others in large corporate events. Think carefully of a specialty that you could do well in and meet participants in that field, before you open shop.
    Keep it professional. It’s well-worth a small monetary investment to make sure your logo looks legit. People are much more trusting of businesses that have a professional aesthetic. It doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars, though — there are plenty of talented designers on Fiverr who’ll create your logo for as little as $5.
    Enjoy baking and have a bit of an artistic touch? Learn how to decorate cakes and make them for special events. Sell your creations online via Craigslist or your local neighborhood Facebook page, or at local farmers markets. Many people are willing to pay others to create custom cakes for birthday parties and special events.

  6. Traveling Vineyard – Pop open opportunity and get ready to change your life one cork at a time. The only real requirement of this job: being awesome. It helps if you like wine, too. Other than that, the rest is easy peasy. Maybe you’re looking for a little extra spending money. Or maybe you just need a reason to get out of the house. Your reason for becoming a rock star Wine Guide is up to you. But the opportunity is all yours—all $30 billion of it. You ready? Let’s rock this dream.
    Purchasing and installing a stair lift is a major decision for a mobility impaired customer. Offering excellent service including carefully presenting the best alternatives and being quickly available for follow-up service can help make your stair lift business stand out from the competition and build positive word of mouth.
    Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them. It is one of the most popular independent small business publications on the web.
    Every town, big or small, needs (and deserves) a few good restaurants. Your local pizza castle won’t suffice for all occasions and events. But much like owning a bakery, opening a restaurant is not something to go into halfheartedly. You need to have the passion, the drive, and the obsession of both a great entrepreneur and a chef (or at least a hard-core foodie).
    Our Online Educational Consulting Company with multiple locations across the U.S. has a seventeen year history of success. Be a part of a growing and dynamic company. We are looking for a full-time and a part-time online Grading Assistant who pays attentio…
    If you have a fondness for taking pictures of smiling families or laughing children blowing bubbles, consider becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like Unsplash, ShutterStock and iStockPhoto as a side business idea. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
    Virtual Office Temps offers professional business services: clerical support, administration, creativity, management, sales support and personal services. Apply to be a home-based virtual assistant and make $10 – $35 per hour based on the project.
    Potential customers need to be able to Google you and investigate your business. They need to have digital payment options. They need contact forms and blog-content in some cases to see what your brand is all about.
    Pink Zebra – When I found Pink Zebra I remember thinking, “Whoever thought of this company is pure genius. There is not a woman in the world that would not LOVE this product!” I was working long hours in the school system, and I had no direct sales background and wondered if Pink Zebra was something I could do. I started my own business for only $99! I was able to quit my job in two months, and I am now an Executive Manager and have seen a raise every month since! We love our team, the opportunity to work together, helping others, mentoring, and sharing Pink Zebra! We have seen so much growth with this company, and we cannot be more excited for the future!
    Another important step in planning a business startup in Dubai is to determine the most suitable location for the business. Setting up a profit-based enterprise in the city wouldn’t do you much good despite the growing economy if you’re customers or clients can’t reach you.

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