starting a business for dummies | what do i need to open a small business

Capital Expenditures. Also known as capital expenses, these are the one-time costs of buying assets such as inventory, property, vehicles or equipment as well as making upfront payments for security deposits. These start-up assets don’t usually qualify for deduction, but some can be written off through depreciation at tax time.
Starting a business takes much effort, but this effort could bring you huge rewards. For this article, the author assumes that you have already researched your business idea, obtained the funding and decided to actually start your business.
Don’t just hire the first person to come along with the basic qualifications you need. Look for someone with motivation, creativity and the right kind of personality to make it in your industry and fit in with your business. Then, once you’ve found that person, treat them well, engage them and make sure that you create the environment that they will thrive and give their all in.
Just because you don’t have the hustle and bustle of the big city breathing down your neck, doesn’t mean small town residents don’t have aches and pains and plenty of stress. If you’re a people person that likes working with their hands and meeting new people, this could be a great career and business idea for a small town. Massage therapy does, however, require a significant amount of training, so it’s not a business you’re going to be able to open in the next few weeks unless you are already a licensed massage therapist. There are, however, a variety of schools and programs you can enroll in to become licensed. Once your training is complete, being a massage therapist allows you to set your own hours, work when and where you like, and develop a strong repeat customer base.
Figure out if you need additional insurance. Visit with your local insurance agent to determine if you are in need of any special insurance for your home based business. When you start a home based business, you immediately start exposing yourself, your family and your home to variety of risks and you want to make sure you are covered before it is too late.[4]
I see this as an arbitrage opportunity. You finance your fitness rental equipment as one package at a low rate, and then you rent it out to your clientele at a much higher rate, providing them a service they can afford. Nice for everyone! My experience in the rental business is you need to pay careful attention to what happens at the end of the rental period—is the equipment still rentable? Is it sellable? And what happens when the equipment breaks down? Work out these details and this could be a solid and very scalable business.
Travelers with pets are particularly likely to want someone to come to their home or look after their dogs or cats. You can offer this service to people you know and let your client base grow out from there.
Assess your financing needs. While starting a business from home can be more affordable than starting a traditional business, you will still need money to get started. As you form your home business idea, think about how much money you will need to buy inventory, buy your production equipment, or cover any other initial costs. If you don’t have a lot in savings, you can also get a business loan to get started, but this would mean qualifying for and then subsequently being responsible for a loan, which can be difficult for a new business. Consider your financing options carefully as you set up your home business.
One of my business school classmates started a concert promotion business while still an undergrad at Harvard, and even as a student he was making a fortune at it. He started with lesser known groups and smaller venues, and within a couple years he was booking some of the largest venues in greater Boston. He also enjoyed partying with the rock stars!
Once you start servicing someone’s aquarium regularly they will come to trust you and view you as an expert, so you will be a in a great position to sell them new fish, new accessories or perhaps once they have seen the pictures or a video—that big new aquarium!
Colorado doesn’t issue general business licenses, but there are a number of scenarios that do call for special permits, licenses and taxes on a local, state and federal level. Here are the best resources for each:
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.
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.
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.
This makes perfect sense. With how many business ideas already exist out in the world, it can be difficult to come up with the right side business idea you should be spending your time on. Especially if you’re looking for the kind of home business idea that’ll afford you immense lifestyle flexibility.
If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers as a side business idea? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. See this quick checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business from the Work At Home Mom. Whitney over at Rookiemoms also has a cool story to share about a stay-at-home mom making $40/hr helping kids out with homework and turning it into a profitable side business idea.
For many people in suburban areas, cleaning up pet yard waste is a real hassle – it’s disgusting, for one. Instead of cleaning it up themselves, they might hire someone to do it regularly, two to three times a week. There are several such services in our area, actually.
Listed below are links to basic federal tax information for people who are starting a business, as well as information to assist in making basic business decisions. The list should not be construed as all-inclusive. Other steps may be appropriate for your specific type of business.
A lot of people don’t want to leave their bowser at the busy kennel along with all the other dogs. They are willing to pay a premium and even drive a distance to a place where they believe their dog will be pampered.
You’ll find this statement on the iQor website: “You’ve got energy, enthusiasm, drive and determination. We’ve got benefits, flexible schedules, and a career path that rewards performance with growth and opportunity.” Is that you?
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.
Yes, I had a couple golf lessons–but you’d never know it to watch me play! I don’t think I had the right personality for this sport–relaxing and being patient isn’t my thing! But if you have some talent at this challenging game, you can charge some good money and bring your gift to others. Golf is an excellent lifetime sport and people are willing to pay to try to master it!
There is a huge market and a big opportunity selling promotional material. Your best market will be mid to larger sized businesses, who are willing to spend some money to both promote their business to their customers or to use promotional items as incentives and rewards for their employees. Basically, you are reselling the product lines for other companies. I would suggest you have a good diversity of lines to increase your chances of getting your foot in the door, to increase your chances of holding your prospects’ attention and to increase your income. T-shirts, pens, hats, jackets: there are all kinds of promotional items you can sell.
Some local businesses don’t want to go through all of the necessary steps to do their inbound marketing themselves. They would rather have you just do it all for them and deliver leads to their doorstep. If you go into this business I would suggest that you consider building your expertise for a particular industry, instead of a particular location, as the results for a particular industry are more likely to be repeatable.
For most people, successful investing will involve selecting mutual funds or ETFs, not individual stocks or bonds. That means to become a financial planner you don’t need to be a Wall Street wizard. You will need to understand the basics of investing (such as the importance of being diversified and understanding and respecting your client’s risk profile!) but this is very learnable. Study hard for this profession and you can do a tremendous service for people by helping them protect and growth their hard-earned money.
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.
When I was promoting my job search books I started to put up advertisements on bulletin boards around local colleges. Then, seeing my advertisements people who were running bulletin board services called me, and I hired them to do the work for me instead. You can either offer your services putting up notices for clients on public bulletin boards, or you can get more sophisticated and develop proprietary bulletin boards that you get local businesses or organizations to agree to display for you. For example, you could list tourist attractions and post the bulletin board at local hotels.
One additional thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your coffee shop design appeals to both a mid-day and a post-work crowd. Nothing says small town charm like a simple, relaxed business layout. Opting for a design concept that is genuine and modest will suit most customers and provide that small town ambiance patrons crave.
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.
The question I’m asked the most (by far) when I meet and speak with fellow entrepreneurs is, “How do I know which business idea is best for me?” This one is always quickly followed by, “How do I start on this side business idea while I’m still working my full-time job?”
A business idea that looks good on paper may not be that attractive when you actually get into it. An expert’s opinion may help you look at things from a different perspective and gain more knowledge that you may lack.
Keep in mind that the only way for a business startup in UAE to start without taking a UAE national acting as your partner is to locate your business in one of the Free Zones. This is not practical for businesses that must be in city markets like restaurants and retail stores. Also, businesses that work with the government have to be registered with a local sponsor.
When you get an account with a School, Church or Youth Group etc., that account is yours to keep! You can make money year after year with just 1 account. The amount of money you earn as a distributor will be based on the amount of time and effort you put in as well as your natural ability as a sales person. ABC Fundraising® makes no guarantees as to how much money you will earn.
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.
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.
A lot of people don’t know how or don’t want to go through the trouble of recycling large items like computers. So you could offer the service of picking up those items for a fee and taking them to the proper recycling outlets.
When my Rolex needed repair, I was determined to save some money so I went to an independent repair service. I visited his shop in Ft. Lauderdale and it was a relatively large operation with half a dozen technicians or so serving not just the local community, but shipping watches back and forth all over. Then there is my father’s grandfather clock which I just arranged to have shipped to me. Just to have it shipped, I needed an expert clock service to take it apart, and then on the receiving end I needed another expert service to put it back together. You get the point…there’s lots of demand here!
#18 – LeapForce hires independent contractors to assess search engines with a weekly pay of $13-$16 per hour. Posts are only open to those living in the United States, Canada, Norway, Brazil, Denmark, and Norway. You are required to pass a two-part evaluation exam before becoming Leap Force contractor.
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.
This is like a simplified version of a flower delivery service, but without an inventory that is constantly becoming obsolete! Plus, balloons suggest fun and light-hearted cheerfulness, perfect for many occasions!
Think of some of the biggest success stories in recent times, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney; Bill Gates and Paul Allen; Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; and Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In every case, the partnership brought out the best in both sides of the equation.
There are all kinds of directions this business can go! You could sell hats to retailers, you could sell them online, you could sell them to event planners to liven up their parties. You could eventually even open a hats-only store!
Asurion is hiring full-time bilingual Customer Retention Experts. In this role, you will handle service cancellation requests, primarily inbound telephone calls. Your goal is to ensure the needs of the customer are addressed, service is delivered and the customer is kept updated on the status of their request. If you’re fluent in English and Spanish and have great customer service skills, we want to talk to you! We offer a competitive salary with a bilingual premium plus benefits. Apply today!
Many families with kids, including single-parents, have very limited time resources, creating a demand for part-time child care providers (and a business idea opportunity for you). If you love kids and have some spare time, you can earn plenty of side income by looking after children while their parents are away. Just be sure to identify the particular age group you’re comfortable caring for and you’re all set after any necessary certifications. Establishing a home-based daycare center capable of servicing six or more kids is also a lucrative way to really expand upon this business idea if you have the right environment for it.
If you don’t mind parading yourself around in public places as a side business idea, and enjoy a little attention, then working as a human billboard can pay a surprising amount of dividends. Renting out your beard, for example can earn you as much as $5 a day while having a brand logo tattooed on your shaven head for five years could pay as much as $7,000—though this type of earning opportunity is admittedly rare. This business idea is definitely not for the faint of heart, and is a little extreme for me, but nonetheless it’s been done as a side hustle for many people. You can start by holding a placard or wearing a sandwich board. If you think this is a good side business idea, you can go all the way and turn it into a full on small business idea with enough hard work—plus you won’t have to deal with all the issues other more complex businesses have to constantly think about (like reducing churn).

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.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he’s running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
Español: crear una microempresa, Deutsch: Eine kleine Firma gründen, Português: Abrir uma Pequena Empresa, Italiano: Avviare una Piccola Impresa, Русский: открыть предприятие малого бизнеса, 中文: 开创一份小事业, Français: créer son entreprise, Bahasa Indonesia: Memulai Bisnis Kecil, Čeština: Jak založit malou společnost, Nederlands: Een klein bedrijf starten, العربية: بدء مشروع تجاري صغير, ไทย: เริ่มต้นธุรกิจเล็ก ๆ, हिन्दी: छोटा कारोबार शुरु करें, Tiếng Việt: Bắt đầu một Công việc Kinh doanh nhỏ, 日本語: 小規模事業を始める, 한국어: 소규모 창업하는 법
Come up with an executive summary. The first part of a business plan is the executive summary. Once you’ve developed the other parts, describe the overall business concept, how it will be monetized, how much funding you will need, where it stands currently, including its legal standing, people involved and a brief history, and anything else that makes your business look like a winning proposition.
A catering service may be a large business serving meals to armies of people at special events. Or it may be a single person business serving dinner to just a few people. Specialization can help build your business. For example, here in New England some caterers specialize in clambakes.
There is a big difference between mowing a lawn and performing a full landscaping service. At the highest end are landscape designers, who design elaborate and unique landscape changes for your property.
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.
When you’re searching for B2B partners, you’ll have to choose very carefully. These companies will have access to vital and potentially sensitive business data, so it’s critical to find someone you can trust. In our guide to choosing business partners, our expert sources recommended asking potential vendors about their experience in your industry, their track record with existing clients, and what kind of growth they’ve helped other clients achieve.
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.
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.