steps to opening a business | what you need to start a small business

Listen to my interview with serial entrepreneur and investor, Michele Romanow about how she built an app that earned $500,000 in 3 months (as a side business idea outside of her day job) and how she eventually sold the company to Groupon. It’s seriously incredible.
If you have a good eye for detail work and a lot of patience, homemade jewelry can be quite profitable. As with other items on this list, there are many opportunities to sell such items through local gift shops, craft fairs, or sites like Etsy.
With many print-on-demand services, you’re paying per-product, so the base price per unit will be more expensive than if you were to order in bulk. But the advantage is that if a certain t-shirt design doesn’t sell, you haven’t actually paid for the item yet (only the design if you outsourced it).
One thing that most small towns have in common is grass, lots, and lots of grass. Since small towns tend to be in rural areas, more residents are likely to have lawns and larger gardens. That means people will be on the hunt for lawn and gardening services. A few of the benefits to starting a business such as this in a small town is its predictability, reliability, and scalability. Once you begin finding customers, as long as you have quality services that are reasonably priced, you’re likely to keep the same customers for years. You’ll also be able to predict the repeat services that customers will need. Not only does grass need to be cut repeatedly, but lawns need to be fertilized and treated for weeds and bugs on a regular basis. Lawn care is also an ideal small town business idea that will scale well. You can start off by offering a few services such as lawn and shrubbery care, but can later expand to offering landscaping services as well.
Shutterstock – Read Review – May be open worldwide. This popular stock photo company has occasional openings for remote image reviewers, where you determine which submitted photos should make it onto the Shutterstock website. Pay and other details are under wraps — workers are required to sign an NDA, so it’s hard to find many details online.
Rather than replacing sofas and chairs, many people prefer to save money and just replace the fabric, often changing colors in the process. This is a great service business—you can’t be underpriced by Amazon. Furthermore, not only will your customers come to you for more business at some point, but you bet that next time they are entertaining in their living room that your new fabric covering work will come up in the conversation! Eventually you may want to consider offering complete re-upholstering services.
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.”
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like The Windy City and snow. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
This is another heavily regulated business and it’s competitive. But companies that need security need it on an on-going basis and typically they need more than one person. That means every assignment you get can be an annuity stream as long as you service the customer well.
Americans purchase on average 6.5 billion greeting cards each year. While sales are estimated between $7 and $8 billion annually, according to the Greeting Card Association, many of these cards are now purchased in big box stores, such as Target and Walmart. Those living in small towns often don’t have access to these types of stores, at least not in their immediate vicinity. Providing the people of your town with a place to not only purchase cards but gifts as well is a prime retail opportunity. The variety and diversity of products you can carry are endless, which allows you the freedom to play around with your inventory until you find that special mix of products for your small town business.
RaesWear – Reach your financial goals selling products all women love! RaesWear sells luxurious, hands-free athleisure clothing that allows women to exercise, run errands, push strollers, or go out on the town without the worry of arm bands, fanny packs, or purses! With a patented product, you won’t worry about competition from imitators and the market is ripe to grow your business as this is the fastest growing apparel segment in the United States. Join now, earn up to 30% commissions, and have an opportunity be a Founding Member of our growing organization. Contact us today – leigh@raeswear.com.
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.
There are many ways to gain a competitive edge over other businesses in your industry: you could have a better product, a more efficient manufacturing or distribution process, a more convenient location, better customer service, or a better understanding of the changing marketplace.
What is affiliate marketing? You provide links on your website or blog to an affiliate marketing service that sells a third-party product or company that sells their own product. The largest affiliate marketer is Amazon whose commissions are in the 4-4.5% range. Then there are the affiliate marketing services like Click Bank and ShareASale, which offer thousands of products, some of which have commissions as high as 70%. It sounds like an easy way to make money and some people have made a lot of money on it…but many more people have been disappointed by their results. It is very hard to get your website and blog visitors to buy things!
While many social enterprises offer their own original products, you can also take any of the business ideas above and partner with a non-profit, or execute that social good with your own hands, as long as you’re transparent about how it works.
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.
As with any business, marketing is what unlocks your success. It’s not enough to know that there’s demand for your products—you need to figure out ways to reach the people that are most likely to buy them. You need to get the right visitors to discover your products.
Around here we focus our efforts on valuable ongoing education, exploring the newest software solutions for new businesses, and sharing insight from fellow change-makers, ambitious creatives, and innovators. Sound good?
#50 – Snuggle Buddies – You can become a professional cuddle and make anywhere from $40-$80 per hour. All you have to do is cuddle someone or hold someone’s hands. Yes, that’s right, a professional cuddler.

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.
 Xerox – Read Review – It’s not uncommon to find data entry work from home jobs posted on Xerox. Type in “work from home data entry” on their careers page to see these listings. As with so many other data entry jobs, it may be location-based work.
What is a Statutory Agent? A statutory agent, also known as a registered agent, is a person or business that agrees to send and receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC. Such papers include service of process of legal action (if you are sued) and state filings.
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.