starting your own business | guide to starting a small business

The real estate market is on the rebound (for today) and people are buying and selling properties in many locations across the U.S. That means a lot of opportunities for professionals who know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspect of real estate to build up a stable of clients as a side business idea, especially if you begin to scale your sales hiring and build a team of reps working to help you close more deals. If you consider yourself an expert in the subject, it won’t be a walk in the park (hehe), but you can earn significant additional side income as a home-based consultant.
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.
Although TeleTech offers many customer service jobs at call centers across the U.S., the company also hires at-home workers. Just look for the listings with “work from home” or “Remote” under “Location.”
Getting started in the sport fishing charter business may not be as expensive and difficult as you think. Unless you are going into particularly rough waters you don’t need to start with a large cabin boat. Furthermore, you can finance much of your purchase. And if your fishing skills are a little weak, hire a boat hand with some strong local fishing knowledge. In the right location, you can charge some serious money in this 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.
6. Create a sell sheet and, if need be, a short video. A sell sheet is essentially a one-page advertisement. They are frequently used to showcase new products. A good sell sheet will actually do the selling for you. It’s difficult to convey the benefit of some products statically though, which is why filming a short video may assist you (or, sometimes, be essential). 
Busy people could often use some help with their day-to-day tasks. Starting an errand service means you can charge people to take care of things like grocery shopping, dry cleaning and other odd jobs.
Similar to a handyman service, a cleaning service is also a solid business idea for small towns. That is if you are looking to forgo a storefront. Though it’s becoming increasingly popular these days for customers looking for cleaning services to use larger companies or startups, often services such as these either haven’t expanded into rural areas or don’t have contract workers willing to travel to more remote towns. This might be frustrating for those seeking a sparkling kitchen, but it’s a massive business opportunity for you! It’s also one of the easiest businesses to start with very little, if any, overhead.
If you can rent a truck or a trailer, you’re all set to start a hauling service. Help people get rid of all that junk that’s been piling up in the attic, the basement, the garage and out in the backyard.
People are always searching for one-of-a-kind venues for meetings, parties and weddings. Why not earn some extra money off the space you already have by renting it out for events as a side business idea? If you own a unique venue, like a studio, warehouse or boat, UK-based company Tagvenue will connect you with clients looking for somewhere special to host their event. Not a bad low-effort side business idea.
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.

If you have the right touch, this business can be a goldmine, and very personally rewarding. One of my business school classmates changed into this career later in life and did very well, specializing in putting together highly talented teams for well financed startups, and early stage ventures. The typical head hunter makes endless cold calls–but at the higher end firms networking is much more important.
The closest I came to knitting was repairing rips in the sails on my boat, but there a are a lot of people who want to knit and crochet—and you can show them how! You could start with a class at your house or perhaps at a local knitting store. Maybe offer an entry level course at the local adult ed program to get going.
The key to get going with this business is to build relationships with schools and school music directors, who can recommend your services. Chances are a larger school isn’t going to recommend you unless you have a track record, so you will probably have to start with some very small schools. Musical instruments, especially those that are rented out, are highly financeable for low rates, so this is a business you can get into with very little money, and expand aggressively.
How will you create your product? Is it a service that you are offering, or if it’s more complex— software, a physical product like a toy or a toaster — how will it get built? Define the process, from sourcing raw materials to assembly to completion, packaging, warehousing, and shipping. Will you need additional people? Will there be unions involved? All of these things must be taken into account.
Finding a legitimate work at home typing job is a full time career! You search high and low and all you find is people asking you for money that you’re trying to make, not give away! Well I’d like to share my story of how I secured my very first and only legitimate work from home typing job. I’m sure after you read it, it will help you secure one too!
Yes, you can turn your car into a money-maker by driving for Uber and Lyft, but there are other ways to convert mileage into money as a clever side business idea. One way is to do vehicle advertising, a potential side income source of anywhere between $100 to $600 per month. Whether you own a compact sedan or a full-sized bus, your vehicle’s exterior space is prime real estate for ads. Check Wrapify, carvertise, and similar sites for more details about getting started with this business idea and for being paired up with local advertisers.
Websites aren’t too dissimilar to stocks. Many are junk, but some can generate value for you, making it a strong potential business idea if you have an eye for spotting the diamond in the rough That’s why, like stocks, they are bought and sold all the time. You can buy and sell websites as a side business  idea in the hope of generating future earnings based on their user traffic, current revenue intake, domain name, or some other factors that might be a hidden cash cow everyone else has overlooked. Interested? Check out marketplaces like Flippa and Flipping Enterprises to learn more.
Consider a home equity loan. If you have a home, looking to get a home equity loan can be a wise idea, since these loans are typically easily approved (since your home acts as collateral), and interest rates are typically lower.
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).
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?”
Keep in mind, I’m only talking about setting yourself up to do business: I’m not talking about writing a business plan (although if that’s what you want to do, here’s a comprehensive guide to writing a business plan), sourcing financing, developing a marketing plan, etc.
Virtual assistants can offer a variety of different online services to businesses and professionals, including email organization and communication, social media scheduling and bookkeeping. So you can start a virtual assistant business even if your experience in those areas comes from working for other companies.
People will pay a lot of money to get their dog trained and you can provide the service. To get going you can read a book or take a dog training class yourself. This business would also be a great source of clients for dog walking services, if you want to expand your dog services empire!
3. Select a relatively simple idea to focus on first. The process I am laying out here is a test in and of itself. Without spending very much time or money, you can determine if your idea is worth pursuing further. That said, I highly recommend selecting a simple idea to focus on first. Complex ideas require more time, money, and work. Can you describe how your idea will solve a problem quickly and easily? Can it be manufactured using existing technologies? Will you be able to create an initial prototype inexpensively? Does it have a wow factor? Does it have mass appeal? Licensing an idea is all about risk reduction. You need to make it as easy as possible for a potential licensee to say, “Yes, that fits in perfectly, we need that product.”
The Hartford offers a wide range of work from home positions including customer claims specialist, national account underwriter, and sales. When performing your job search, look for the designation: remote worker option – YES – to tell which positions allow you to work-at-home.
One of the easiest ways to screw up your business accounting and possibly run afoul of the IRS is to commingle personal and business funds (and transactions). Using a business account for all business transactions eliminates that possibility.
A mobile pet grooming business offers a convenient service to customers. Instead of having to drag their pets to get groomed, you can bring the salon right to their doorsteps — and you can charge more for this convenience.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to monetize something you love via a niche website as a side business idea. That of course, is easier said than done, something not intended for the faint of heart. Prepare to invest a lot of your time, but if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it.
Write your business description. Describe your business more specifically, and how it fits into the market in general. If you are a corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship, state that, and why you chose to go that route. Describe your product, its big features, and why people will want it. Answer the following questions:
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.
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.
A job search should be pretty simple. To acquire a job, the employers looking to hire someone like you have to know you exist, be aware of your skills and know how to contact you. But in reality we all know it’s not that simple especially when it comes to work from home job searches. Learn how to make this process simple.
I mean come on, who wouldn’t be interested in this side business idea? Getting paid to take care of a cute pup sounds like a dream. The prevalence of unattended pets is another side effect of busy life, creating job business ideas and opportunities for people with time, patience, and affection to spare. Just check out DogVacay and Rover to see what I mean. Would the payout be worth it if you try? One person in New York earns $3,300 a month just pet-sitting for busy animal lovers as his side business idea.
While you can find terrific resources online about family history, it takes someone to patiently piece it all together—that’s where you come in as the family history writer. Do your research carefully, put it together in a snappy-looking package, be patient in answering customers’ questions, and you could grow this business nicely.
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  1. To estimate your start-up costs, begin by creating two lists — one of things you’ll treat as expenses, one for your assets. Don’t forget to consider items such as brochures, business cards and website development costs or any security deposits you need to make. Consider whether you need the help of a consultant, tax adviser or lawyer to get started. Next, categorize these items as essential or optional — do you really need to spend money on these before you start making any kind of income?
    Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.
    But that was 2007, and quite a bit has changed since then. Where a side business was once a novel idea, it has since become much more mainstream. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, freelancers now make up around 15% of the workforce, compared to only 7% in 1995. And the trend isn’t expected to stop here. The BLS reports that freelancers and self-employed individuals may comprise 20% of the workforce by 2020.
    Another popular (mostly) non-phone job is online academic tutoring. This is often done via chat over the computer rather than by phone, but different companies will handle the communication in different ways, so you may want to double-check how you’re communicating with the students prior to applying.
    If your area of expertise is public relations or you want to try and make money writing from home, there are opportunities out there that could be right for you. Learn about virtual PR firms as well as how to earn income as a blogger, writer, or editor.

  2. Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 Million in 2009) there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as your side business idea. But beware: some experts doubt the long-term viability of this business idea, so you shouldn’t quit your day job just to put all your effort into this one without some successes already in the bag. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names. Imagine owning desirable domain names for the next decade’s most innovative companies.
    Not only is Airbnb a great way to make money by renting out your spare bedroom or living room couch as a legitimate home-based business idea, but you also have the benefit of meeting new people and making new friends if that’s your kind of thing. You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb side business idea, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you’re on call whenever you have a guest and you’ll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, you can take this business idea to the next level by offering your guests add-on and personalized experiences for an extra charge. Take Lauren Gheysens’ Airbnb-based side business idea, Royal Day Out in London, England for example—where she gives visiting tourists a local’s only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
    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:
    About Us: WorkAtHomeCareers.com provides no cost pre-screened work at home jobs. However this site is supported by advertisements. We strongly encourage you to do your research for any work at home opportunity or product that requires a fee. We’ve made this very easy with our work at home scam page.
    #6 – ACD Direct is a call center company that provides work-at-home jobs, which involves answering calls from pledge campaigns organized by Non-profit organizations. They pay rate range from $0.25-0.30 per minute, which translates to $18 per hour.

  3. 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.
    Another popular (mostly) non-phone job is online academic tutoring. This is often done via chat over the computer rather than by phone, but different companies will handle the communication in different ways, so you may want to double-check how you’re communicating with the students prior to applying.
    If you can rent a truck or a trailer, you’re all set to start a hauling service. Help people get rid of all that junk that’s been piling up in the attic, the basement, the garage and out in the backyard.
    I like this idea! Instead of making the speeches and presentations yourself, you are coaching the presenters. I see this market as largely three-fold. First you have professional speakers who are making or trying to make a living giving paid presentations. Then you have people who are regularly called upon to make speeches or presentations in connection with their business. Then you have the person who occasionally is called upon to make a speech or presentation without being paid for it, but nonetheless wants to improve their presenting skills. This third market is the one I would suggest focusing on, to get started in this business.
    #11- TranscribeMe,  a company that pays up to $20 per hour for an audio transcription. As a requirement, you must pass their short transcription test for you to be shortlisted for transcription projects. TranscribeMe pays weekly via PayPal for every completed order.
    The best way to hold onto your competitive edge is to protect your trade secrets. A trade secret is that information that isn’t known to others that gives you a competitive advantage in the market. There are many kinds of trade secrets, and trade secrets receive legal protection as long as their owners take steps to keep them secret. Those steps could be anything from marking confidential documents to requiring partners and employees to sign nondisclosure agreements.
    Television repair is not a dying business. Consumers don’t want to throw out their TVs at the first time of trouble. Furthermore, if you start this business you may want to expand into related businesses such as servicing computer monitors.
    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.
    Launch your product or your service. When the product is all built, packaged, coded, online, and ready to sell, or when your services are fully worked out and ready to go, hold a special event to launch your business. Send out a press release, announce it to the world. Tweet it, Facebook it, let the word resound to all corners of your market—you have a new business!

  4. **** REMOTE WORK @ HOME AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE CLAIMS ADJUDICATION**** Automotive Industry Representatives Looking for a great automotive opportunity Attention Service Writers, Automotive Technicians, Automotive Claim and Warranty representatives. Do you…
    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.
    This is a good solid service business. But it is competitive, you need to have fully qualified service providers, and you need to look into licensing. No matter how good a service you run, when you deal with the elderly especially there is always legal risk. You can mitigate the risk by incorporating, by getting insurance and by being sure your staff follows accepted medical protocols.
    We’re all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work as a side business idea? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel—even influencers have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs and CareerBuilder and most employers on these websites are conditioned to working with people who operate these services as their side business idea.
    Editing and proofreading are flexible, non-phone jobs that are often home-based. You might make a great editor if you have excellent grammar/spelling skills, can read/scan documents quickly, and you can spot mistakes in text that others miss.

  5. Employment Options offers work-at-home jobs for citizens receiving SSDI and/or SSI disability benefits in 47 states. Their services are free as part of a national return to work program. The jobs they have with leading national employers are for various skill levels and are Customer Service or Tech Support based with opportunities to specialize in Billing & Coding, Information Technology, Nursing, Case Management, Concierge, Sales, Reservations, Travel and more. They also offer onsite community positions as well. Simply apply on their website to get started and their staff will follow-up within two business days.
    Form a business entity. You’ll need to decide what type of business entity you want to be, for tax purposes and hopefully to eventually attract investors. You will do this after you’ve decided whether you will need money from others either in equity or loans and with the advice of your legal and accounting experts. It is one of the last steps taken before you actually spend money or ask someone for money. Most people are familiar with corporations, LLCs, etc., but for the vast majority of small business owners, you will need to form one of the following[2]:
    You will need some expertise to get going in antique refurbishment, but some skills can be learned fairly easily, such as stripping off old paint or varnish, and refinishing. I would suggest you get started refurbishing antiques for others. Eventually, you may want to buy antiques on spec and refurbish them to resell for a profit, but get to know the market before you start laying out cash for antiques.
    Tax Calculation: Tiered based on taxable gross receipts. LLCs with between $150,000 and $1 million in gross recipes pay $150. If you form an LLC during the second half of the year, your first year’s CAT is $75.
    As a TTEC@Home associate, you’ll use our technology to support and assist customers with a variety of customer service and technical needs. This could include helping customers over the phone, via chat, or on social media. Best of all, you can do it all while wearing your slippers or flip flops! (To get started, you’ll need internet access and a home phone. Bunny slippers are optional.)
    I love wine bars! There is even a successful wine bar in the small village on Cape Cod where my summer house is. How did it become successful? The owners found a location near the center of the village but at a low rent. They started with a very limited food menu but eventually expanded it to become a full-service restaurant. They also offer live music on most nights. Beware that many customers expect truly exceptional wines at a wine bar.
    If you have ever lived in a small town and entertained houseguests, you’ve probably often wished that your town had a bed and breakfast. Though small towns with a tourism industry will often have historical inns or at least a motel or two, towns that aren’t exactly Plymouth, MA or Williamsburg, VA often go without. That means no place for the in-laws to stay or guests for a family reunion or wedding. Opening a small inn or bed and breakfast can help fill a need in your area. If you’re worried about being able to keep your rooms booked, go small. Bed and breakfast owners tend to live in the same homes they manage, often converting their larger homes into B&Bs. This is a great idea for those who have recently become empty nesters with too many rooms to fill. If you’re later in life and looking for business ideas for small towns, this concept is a great one to explore.
    If you can save up as much of the start-up capital yourself before you open your doors, you will help ensure that loans won’t sink your new business. Remember, also, that there’s an outside chance that a lender will call a loan or add unfavorable terms if your business isn’t as successful as you initially planned. If you provide as much of the start-up money as possible, it will lessen the odds of a nasty surprise like this hindering your business.

  6. To succeed at car resale, you need to find a great source of used cars at a good price. Sources to buy cars include: car dealer auctions, bankruptcy auctions, new car dealers selling older cars they don’t want on their lot, government car auctions, and rental car agencies. You can also watch for bargain priced cars being advertised by individuals, but you need to snap up the best deals before someone else does. Focus on just a couple cars at a time, so that you can try to keep your overhead low by operating out of your house, and keep your profits up by choosing your cars carefully.
    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.
    It might slip your mind as something you’ll “get around to” eventually, but purchasing the right insurance for your business is an important step that should happen before you officially launch. Dealing with incidents like property damage, theft or even a customer lawsuit can be costly, and you need to be sure that you’re properly protected.
    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.

  7. It might surprise you, but opening a flower shop is a fairly inexpensive business idea and great for small towns. That is, less expensive than say a restaurant or a car wash. According to openaflowershop.com, starting a flower shop has relatively few costs compared to other retail businesses. One of the only costs you will be faced with is the purchase of a cooler to keep your product (aka pretty flowers) fresh and cool.
    #9 – Blue Zebra Appointment hires appointment setters to work from home in the USA and Canada residents. It is a cold calling work from home company that pays employees up to $25 per hour, depending on their level of expertise and experience.
    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
    Even small businesses need all kinds of insurance and you can help them by getting them the coverage that will help save their business on a rainy day. To succeed in this business, you need to be outgoing and network well. But you also need to come across with a smart, consultative sell, not a hard-core pitch. It will take some time to build a corporate insurance brokerage, but this kind of business offers both high income potential and the possibility of someday selling it for a high multiple of earnings.
    Your county or city will require a business license. The form takes minutes to fill out. Use your EIN instead of your Social Security number to identify your business (for privacy reasons if nothing else).

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