steps to opening a business | how to get your business started

If you have the experience working for a company that does home repairs or contracting work, then you can fairly easily start your own contracting business where you offer various services to homeowners.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it will be easy, though: Starting a business requires a lot of time, effort and hard work, and perhaps unsurprisingly, many would-be entrepreneurs end up failing. But if your company survives, the rewards of entrepreneurship are well worth the obstacles you’ll face on the road to success. 
With nearly 100,000 different custom extensions both free and paid available in Google Chrome’s marketplace, there’s a huge opportunity for creating a useful extension for people to use while browsing the web as a low effort business idea. One of my favorite Chrome extensions, Yet Another Mail Merge, which enables you to send bulk customized emails from within Gmail, gives you 50 free credits to send emails and gives you the chance to upgrade to a paid account to unlock more sending—a great upsell for the people who are getting value from the extension. Even free Chrome extensions like SVRF Tabs by SVRF, which replaces your new tab with stunning VR and 360º images, have the potential to bring in new users and eventually drive revenue for the startup’s core business. Another fun example from a friend of mine, Kathleen Garvin, is Hide images with NOPE, a Chrome extension that hides images on the web pages you’re browsing—to help eliminate distractions and keep you from seeing images (like those of certain politicians) that you may want to hide. This side business idea is particularly great because it also allows you to showcase your development skills—which can be put to work as an adjacent side business idea on a freelance basis alongside the Chrome extensions you launch.
While contracts can be valid when orally made, they are much harder to prove and enforce. Make sure you get all agreements in writing — it will save you headaches down the line, and could even save your business.
Smart Locating – Sometimes advertising data entry jobs at home on Craigslist. The listings typically say you need to be able to meet in-person first. This company operates from Texas, so you will likely need to be near one of their locations there so you can have a face-to-face interview.
2. Invent for the market. There are many ways of coming up with new ideas. Many inventors focus on solving a problem or meeting a need. I like to look for sleeping dinosaurs. By that I mean, products that have remained relatively unchanged for decades. For example, I created a profitable business by adding personality to guitar picks. The easiest ideas to license are those that make simple improvements to existing products. So, where can you locate opportunities for innovation?
Depending on the type of business you’re in, your business structure, whether you’re hiring local Illinoisans, and where you set up shop, syncing with the tax code can happen as easily as hockey melded with Chicago.
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you’ll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
Crowd Content – Read Review – Open to US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Pay ranges from 1.2 cents to 7.6 cents per word. Pay is every second Friday via Paypal provided you’ve reached the $10 cash out threshold.
LLC: LLCs are the most popular business structure because they offer the protection of a corporation without the double taxation or extra paperwork. California allows SMLLCs (single-member LLCs), so you can form one even if you’re the only member of your company. Read our guide to more about how to form an LLC in California.
Focus Forward – Read Review – US only, experience needed. Pay is $10 per 15 minutes of sound transcribed, or higher if you are transcribing foreign languages. Get paid bi-monthly with check or direct deposit.
I already know what you’re thinking when you read that title, ‘Here comes another one of those get rich quick scams. I don’t blame you. Most titles that begin the way tend to lead to some ebook or sales page. But what I’m about to reveal to you is totally legitimate and involves nothing more than speaking your mind. No I haven’t lost mine! Just be patient.
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.
I’m not as excited about the profit potential from podcasting as some other people are. It just seems to me that everyone is doing it and people generally expect podcasts to be free. But if you develop a strong enough following you can sell advertising or sponsorships for your podcast, then you can build a decent business.
Instead of spending hours playing with accounting software, dreaming up potential expense and income categories, and creating fancy reports with no data, spend that time generating revenue. As long as you record everything you do now, creating a more formal system later will be fairly easy. It will also be more fun, because then you’ll have real data to enter.
Resource Recommendation: If you could use some help with this step, a business license service is a great solution. They’ll determine everything required of your business on a federal, state and local level, get the forms for you and even provide filing instructions.
Needing to tweak the ideas. Perhaps the product needs to be a different color, texture or size. Maybe your services need to be broader, narrower or more detailed. This is the time to attend to anything that crops up during your testing and development phases. You’ll know innately when something needs tweaking to make it better or to make it less like a competitor’s stale offerings.
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
Take the time to develop your skills at either making your own music, or becoming a pro at mixing, and your side business idea of dj-ing local events could turn into a much bigger endeavor. Though you’ll first need to command a solid knowledge of sound design, mixing and music production before expecting to land your first gig with this business idea, as developing an entirely new skill set is not for the faint of heart.
Utilize the tools at your disposal. There are so many fantastic free resources out there to make marketing easier for small-business owners. You can find tools for monitoring your social media, crafting professional emails, calculating ROI and much, much more — all you have to do is seek them out. Marketing a business is a full-time job, but if you’re stuck doing it on your own for now, using services like these can make the task more manageable.
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.
#31 – SitePen – For tech enthusiasts looking for a remote work experience, SitePen is hiring JavaScript engineers, web developers, project managers, software engineers. These positions pay $80k annual which rounds up to $20 an hour.
Do you have investments or savings? If so, consider using a portion to fund your business. You should never invest all your savings into a business due to the risk of failure. In addition, you should never invest money put aside for emergency savings (experts recommend having three to six months of income put aside for this purpose), or money you will need over the next few years for various obligations.
As people are demanding more fulfillment in their lives and have more options to consider, they are increasingly turning to coaches. You can build your skills in this field by reading up on it, signing up for some life coaching yourself, or taking a course about how to teach life coaching.
Kaeser & Blair – Promotional Products Business Ownership Program is the perfect business opportunity for today’s stay-at-home mom. With a minimal start-up cost, K&B makes it easier than ever to work at your own pace, create your own schedule and capitalize on an industry that does over $21 billion of sales each year. As a K&B business owner, you are your own boss and in complete control of both your hours and earnings. You have the ability to work as much—or as little—as you choose, and reap the benefits. Part-time business owners earn up to $20,000 annually, and full-time business owners make as much as $185,000. The possibilities truly are endless. Learn more about the risk-free opportunity with Kaeser & Blair here. here.
Helping clients design and decorate their homes can be a fun business opportunity for design-oriented entrepreneurs. And though there are some online tools that can help with those processes, it isn’t as necessary as a keen eye for design.
#7 – Contract world is a recruitment company for businesses such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Shopping Network and more. The pay ranges from $11-$16 per hour with deposits made directly twice a month. Requirements include a dedicated phone line, high-speed internet connection, and a web camera.
Business startup Dubai has always been encouraged in Dubai. No wonder Dubai is starting to attract the eye of business investors since it started to show its economic stability to the international market.
This is a boom or bust business. One relative went into this business out of college and just couldn’t get any momentum going. Whereas a friend of mine who had sold his retail store business has quickly become hugely successful at commercial real estate. My friend is highly charismatic, he could carry on a conversation with a tree, and he is always meeting new people. He also worked for an established broker for a year or so before going on his own, which is a typical path in this business. While it can be difficult to build momentum initially, the potential upside is much higher than selling residential real estate.
Even in this digital age, there remains a huge market for independent sales reps who sell the products for a number of different companies to other businesses. You will typically work on a commission basis which means income will start slowly, but established manufacturer’s reps can make a lot of money over the years.
Motivational speakers can earn a lot of money for even a short presentation. But you need to be awesome! And you need to market yourself. I’ve hired motivational speakers for large group business retreats, and I can tell you that once you start giving stand-out presentations that word of mouth travels quickly!
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.
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.
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.
Food trucks and food carts are booming! And no wonder! They allow you to get into the food service business with a lot less overhead than a restaurant, and increasingly people are willing to buy more gourmet fare from food trucks.
Most states require LLCs to file an annual or biennial report. These reports typically include basic information about your business and involve a filing fee. Indiana requires LLCs to file a biennial report, also known as a business entitiy report, with the Indiana Secretary of State.
If I missed any good ones, please share your best side  business ideas in the comments below! If you’re ready to start a business while you’re still working full-time, join my free course, Find a Profitable Business Idea.
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.
Like to grow vegetables? Focus in on one vegetable and sell the excess to grocery stores and at farmers’ markets. My father does this with tomatoes and earns some solid extra money during the summer months. You can do really well, though, if you can grow things inside during the winter – February fresh tomatoes can sell quite well.
There are lots of graphic designers out there but not so many people specializing in logos. Yet in the age of the Internet, a good-looking logo is more important than ever! Most businesses don’t give enough thought to their logo and end up with a weak result. You can help them create a great logo–one that can help define their business and bring them customers!
Choose an adventure really carefully. One that people will easily pay good money for. “Focus group” it. At least informally ask lots of people for their feedback on a suggested adventure before you put any money into marketing it. Then when you do offer your first trip, make it incredible! Research it carefully and surpass people’s expectations. On your first few trips it is more important to build a great experience and a great reputation, then to make a lot of money right out of the gate.
The manager-managed LLC, where only designated members (or even outsiders) are given the responsibility of running the LLC.[12] While this is a less common structure than the member-managed LLC, it can be useful when some members only want to be passive investors.[13] In addition, this structure may be advantageous if you have some members that are not particularly skilled in managing, or when your ownership is too large or diverse to allow for everyone to manage.[14]
Tell Wut is a survey site where you can win prizes and earn rewards for sharing your opinion. Most surveys award 5 to 15 points per survey, but you can also earn points by referring friends (25 points), creating an account (100 points) and providing your information (100 points). Points can be redeemed for Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Visa, and various other gift cards. Tell Wut has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Like birthdays, marriages happen all the time. Which means you can treat weddings as a recurring fountain of business opportunities: wedding dresses and coats, jewelers, food caterers, venue providers, photographers and videographers, performers, flower shops, travel agencies, souvenir crafts, and a host of other ventures. Now imagine if you can form a network of these service providers so you can offer engaged couples a range of hassle-free wedding packages as a turnkey business idea. The process is certainly fun (and time-consuming), but as a side business idea, the pay can be pretty great.
Interested entrepreneurs can either open a franchise from an existing vending machine business or sell vending-machine friendly products to help stock up schools and offices with healthier, affordable snacks.

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While this is a long list of business ideas—I have carefully pruned it for you. I started out with an initial list that was more than twice as long…and ruthlessly chopped off the weaker business ideas that I didn’t want you to consider starting.