starting a small business | what small business can i start

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.
Resource Recommendation: There is so much more to be said about small-business marketing than what we’ve mentioned here. To learn more about the points we discussed and many other topics, head over to our definitive guide!
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Udacity continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making it a great business idea to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
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).
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.
A money broker is basically someone who arranges short-term loans to people. A common variant on this is “pay-day lending” where businesses lend money to people who are typically looking for funds to hold them over to the next paycheck. These are usually storefront locations, closely regulated and not allowed in all states. This can be a solid business, but the regulatory climate is shifting against these businesses, so evaluate the risk of future regulatory changes, before hanging out your shingle.
Find resources. Depending on the structure and size of your LLC, writing an operating agreement can be difficult. As mentioned above, you should hire an attorney to look over your document for best results. However, your state may have other resources for LLC members, such as form operating agreements or copies of the default rules.
Even in the Internet age a lot of people enjoy going to flea markets. To succeed in this business, you first need to be able to sell space to vendors. Then right from the first event you need to bring in enough visitors, so that your vendors are happy, and will come back again and again.
When you think of your neighborhood coffee shop and bar, you might not think of the same establishment. But if your town is small enough, and clientele scarce, merging these two business ideas might be just what the mayor ordered.
Most small businesses are sole proprietorships or partnerships. While these types of businesses are nice and easy to form, they also expose their owners to liability for business debts and judgments. Creditors and judgment holders can come after the owners’ personal assets, like savings accounts and homes, once the business’ money is depleted.
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.
This article is Part 2 of a 2-part series focusing on selling a business. While sales of businesses are strong, it is estimated that well over a majority of the businesses listed for sale do not close! The first step is to understand how much time an…
Have some extra space in your home? Turn that extra bedroom into a “bed and breakfast” room. If you live near any sort of tourist destination, you can try your hand at renting out a room through Airbnb or CouchSurfing.com. You may also find paid hosting opportunities in your community: Sign up to host exchange students, visiting professors to a nearby college, or hospital patients receiving long-term treatment.
Valentine’s day. Birthdays. Weddings. The list goes on and on—throughout the course of a year, there are dozens of occasions when people need to order flowers. What’s more is that once you’re up to speed with this business idea, your costs can stay relatively low if you know where to source your flowers, and typical margins are in the neighborhood of 300% (or more) on cut flowers which makes this a particularly profitable side business idea in the right geographic area. Check out this amazing interview with floral designer, Sara Tedford of Ladybird Poppy to hear about how her floral design company started out as a side business idea of doing weddings and events for her friends and family.
Choose your partners wisely. When choosing the person or people you’re going to build the business with, be careful. Even if someone is your best friend, it doesn’t mean that you will partner well in a business operation. Start it with a reliable person. Things to consider when choosing your co-leaders and support cast include:
I hate being locked out! And I hate how much money I have to pay a locksmith! Let alone how much I have to pay to have locks changed or a better lock system installed! Wouldn’t it be nice to be receiving this money instead of paying it out? Not only is there a constant need for this service, but with more elaborate door systems there is more room for upselling your customers—wouldn’t it be cool to have a keyless lock system?
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.
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.
Find out what legal steps you need to take, such as getting a local business permit, obtaining a state license, passing health department requirements, incorporating, getting a sales tax license or buying liability insurance.
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:
With the wide array of digital marketing options to consider, not to mention traditional options, local businesses increasingly need outside help to develop and execute the best marketing strategy. To get going in this field you will need to be familiar with the most popular online and offline marketing venues, and be comfortable selling your services to local business people.
Potential challenges: You’re responsible for the safety and well-being of people, so getting the proper insurance and setting up the right legal structure is a must. It can be a stressful business to run, with long hours and frequent travel required.

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
Learn about employment laws. If you plan to hire employees or contract workers as part of your home based business, you will need to know how to navigate labor laws. These include, but are not limited to, minimum wage, overtime pay, required benefits, and other fair compensation regulations. It’s best to hire legal counsel to make sure that you do not run afoul of these regulations.
The members have been asked to share how they originally got involved in their current business. The goal is to provide ideas to other members around the world who want to own their own businesses or who are involved in businesses that aren’t taking them where they want to go and are looking to make a change.
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.
With that in mind, I  put together this massive list of the 101 Best Side Business Ideas You Can Start While You’re Still Working a Full-Time Job, to help give you inspiration with proven side business ideas that can be executed on while you still keep your day job—and primary source of income.
Bob’s Rent-A-Bike was my first business which I started when I was 19 years old. For this business, you can set up service stations or other local business as your agents, giving them a percentage of the rental fees. Vacation areas and being near bike trails are great places for bike rentals.
If you want to speed up the process of building your blog, I recommend setting up quick, affordable and easy website hosting with a company like HostGator and then hiring a talented freelance designer or web developer on a high quality marketplace like Crew in order to free up more of your time to utilize on creating content, connecting with (and building) your audience. Then once you’ve been able to build a community around your blog, you’ll want to invest in really understanding your readers—so that you can give them more of what they want.
Make your pitch to partners, friends and family or silent investors if you are seeking that type of money. Use your business plan to demonstrate that you have done your homework, have objective data that shows your concept is likely to work, and can project your income and expenses with hard numbers. Bankers and investors will often want to see your business plan and budget, according to Inc. magazine.
I like sporting goods. It is a good local business. If you can go out and connect with local sports teams, you can further solidify your franchise. And you can further bolster your business still more by also selling used equipment.
Countless small businesses start out their web presence using a WordPress hosted website (myself included) before needing to upgrade to other solutions for various reasons. Many of them will pay several hundreds of dollars for someone to get their business idea set up online. If you have the patience to learn how to do it yourself, it’s an extremely valuable skill and can be turned into a very lucrative side business idea—especially if you sign up for affiliate programs with companies like Kinsta, who offer high quality managed WordPress hosting plans that allow you to collect fees from the clients you refer their way.
Products can be swapped in and out fairly easily (especially when you’re not stuck with stock). Your store can be redesigned. Your prices can be adjusted. You can switch to a better supplier. And you can validate all of these decisions based on the dozens of signals you have at your disposal (traffic, how much time people are spending on your site, reviews, abandoned carts, etc.).
I love working for TTEC@home. I get to interact with and help others from the comfort of my own home. (Have you ever been in Houston traffic rush hour? That says it all!) Plus, they have some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. They aren’t just here to draw a paycheck. They truly care about their co-workers. I work many miles from the brick and mortar buildings, but I have a sense of security that my coworkers have my back and I’m not alone.
You don’t need to have a degree in journalism to be a reporter these days (and pursue this business idea). Plus, there are many news websites that can always use a bit of help on getting local coverage. Some of them, such as The Examiner or HuffPost, will compensate contributors based on ad revenue generated per article written—a great incentive to provide compelling content to news organizations as your side business idea.
Wedding planning could be good fit for someone who has experience in party planning, event coordination or hospitality. Strong organizational and communication skills, the ability to work weekends and patience are necessary.
Englewood, CO (10) >> Englewood, CO (10) x Austin, TX (5) >> Austin, TX (5) x Leon, Guanajuato (5) >> Leon, Guanajuato (5) x Quezon City, Metro Manila (3) >> Quezon City, Metro Manila (3) x Boston, MA (1) >> Boston, MA (1) x Dallas, TX (1) >> Dallas, TX (1) x Dublin, County Dublin (1) >> Dublin, County Dublin (1) x
Now that you’ve got the legal and financial aspects of your business taken care of, it’s time to think about creating a brand. There are a number of things that affect your brand image, but two major factors are your business logo and website.
An email address is also something to consider when choosing a name. Get a professional email system (@yourcompany.com) with Google’s G Suite, which also comes with business tools for word processing and spreadsheets, all with business-grade security – Try it for free
Obviously some of these small business ideas have more earning potential than others, but what they all share in common are relatively low barriers to entry and the flexibility to work at them for a limited amount of time per week. I also tried to focus on side business ideas that have some sort of online component to them, since that’s what I love most.
Cambly is an online, foreign language, tutoring platform that lets individuals practice their language skills with a native speaker. Online tutors make 17 cents per minute ($10.20 per hour) talking to paying Cambly users. To get started, you must be a native English or Spanish speaker; you must have a webcam and Internet connection. Payments are made via PayPal.
You should check with a professional to be sure, but I’ve read that you can file for an LLC in any state (regardless of where you live). Therefore, it would be excessive to file in more than one state.
I can’t believe how busy the driving range near me is. They must have 50 driving stations. And they don’t even have a real golf course, although they do have kind of a long pitch and put course. You might think you don’t have enough money to finance a driving range. But you can lease the land and drop a store-built little shed on the property to get started.
I have seen people do very well building and renting residences for the elderly. This is a highly-regulated field and you do need to manage it carefully. Staff turnover can be sky high and “one-time” issues with residents and their families may seem endless, but there is a lot of upside here.
This is a specialized niche of the fencing business, but so differentiated that it is basically a totally separate, non-competitive business—and that’s the best kind of niche to find! Your market is dog owners, and probably the owners of some types or dogs, or maybe multiple dogs, are much more likely to be customers than others, which means that you can really target your marketing!
Gardening is really big. Many people like to do their own gardening but they can use a little bit of help! That’s where you come in! Maybe you specialize in flower gardens or vegetable gardens, or even something more exotic. You will need solid expertise, but you will find a clientele willing to pay for it.

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