steps to starting a business | best way to start a small business

Now that you’ve got the financial foundation laid, it’s time to start building on it. There are tons of funding opportunities out there — especially in California — but not every approach is right for every business. When choosing a primary funding method, consider:
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.
I started two different map businesses while in college, both of which I later sold. One was a street map of a local resort area, which I sold to retailers and also sold advertising on the back side of. The other was a tourist map of the island of Nantucket which I sold at retail. Today with everyone using navigation systems, I would be less excited about putting together a street map. But a fun illustrated map showing local business sponsors still makes for a viable business model.
Many states allow people to start an in-home daycare with minimal licensing and paperwork. If you love children and have plenty of time and space at home, this is a perfect business to get into. All you need is a safe room or two for children to play in, some toys and activities, and a whole lot of patience.
Be willing to evolve. Being prepared for change is a fundamental way to save time and money and prevent a massive marketing failure. Don’t be scared to try a new angle if you find, over time, that your original strategy isn’t working.
Skyword – Read Review – May be open worldwide. Some of their assignments pay very well, between $50 and $100. However it can take a long time for editors to review your work in order for you to get paid.
#20 – InstaEdu is an online company hiring work at home tutors to teach online students different school topics. Payment is usually $20 per hour made using PayPal. Teaching sessions take place through Skype, text message, video chats or even whiteboards.
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.
There’s a lot to consider and plan before you launch, and it’s important to prepare yourself for the journey ahead. If you think you’re ready to start your first business, here’s a step-by-step overview of what you need to do to make it happen.
If you’re passionate about the business world or able to influence and encourage others in your own unique way, you may want to consider marketing your services as a business or life coach. Use your passion and expertise to give advice and suggest actionable steps people can take to improve their professional and personal lives.
All those phone calls you get from non-profits looking for donations…the majority of those calls aren’t from the non-profits themselves, they are from fund-raising firms. Yes, you could put together a phone solicitation service for non-profits, but fundraising is increasingly turning to inbound marketing. You could develop strategic inbound marketing plans and/or execute these plans for your customers.
#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.
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.
We know that a company’s success starts with its employees. We also know that an individual’s success starts with the right career opportunity. As a Best of Staffing ® Client and Talent leader, Aerotek’s people-focused approach yields competitive advantage…
If you’re able to build up your own online network or audience related to a specific topic, you can start working with different brands as an affiliate and earn a portion of each sale you send their way.
Your target market. Who are you selling to? Don’t be afraid to get mega-specific here. Age, gender, location, income level — all of it’s relevant, and the more specifically you can define your market, the more effectively you’ll be able to sell to them.
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.

Lionbridge hires social media evaluators to rate social media ads and content for quality and relevancy. Must have a smartphone, laptop, and be familiar with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
I like anything that is custom because it allows you to distinguish yourself with great customer service, and provides some upside for pricing. Offering this kind of service online means you can set your own hours and start the business part time.
Many gymnasiums will trade membership and often a bit more for a person willing and able to teach an exercise class. You can also find people who don’t want to go to a gym and train them at home as a personal trainer. If you’re in good shape, this is a great opportunity to earn some extra money, plus it can often lead to additional income with one-on-one instruction opportunities.
If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a website dedicated to covering that topic and anything else interesting you want to talk about. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. And blog hosting can cost less than $12 per month.
I see two routes to success in this business: 1) Focus on artists with well- established followings that you are comfortable that you can sell or 2) Take on less well-known artists on a consignment basis, meaning you don’t actually buy the painting from the artist until the day you sell it. This can be a finicky business–people’s tastes can change and a gallery that is successful one year can find itself struggling enough. So, keep your overhead manageable and watch for changing trends.
Potential challenges: It’s a seasonal type of business, as wedding bookings are likely to slow down in the winter — though this depends on where you live. As a result, you may need to get creative when it comes to stretching your earnings throughout the year.
A lot of people make some really neat crafts. But to be able to make money at it, you also need to be able to price your products reasonably—and allow yourself enough money to bring your product to market. That being said, there are more markets than ever for your products! In addition to local retailers and craft fairs, you can sell them online, on your own website, or through third party sites like Etsy or EBay.
Stitch Fix – Read Review – Open to US only, specific states. You can work for Stitch Fix as a work at home stylist, putting together clothing subscription boxes for their clients. Should be non-phone, paying around $15 hourly.
I’ve been getting so much feedback with great business ideas from my community and in the comments, so I frequently add to this post. If you have side hustle ideas you’d like to share (or personal experience with a side hustle of your own), please add to them in the comments below!
Many small businesses in your community could use a very basic web presence to tell others about their business. Quite often, these businesses don’t have a large budget for such things. That’s where you come in – get a bunch of clients from the local community by beating the pavement, create sites for them, and maintain them for a small fee. Get enough businesses and you have a nice side business of your own that doesn’t require a ton of maintenance time.
Another dropshipping model, print-on-demand puts inventory, shipping, and fulfillment in the hands of a third-party supplier. But unlike the dropshipping idea above, the focus here is on customizing these products with your own designs to create something original.
Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ’s, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Check out one of my most talented friends, Jory Mackay, for an example of someone who’s doing a great job of positioning himself as a premium service-provider with his freelance writing side business idea. Then when you’re ready to start cold emailing potential clients, pick up my free downloadable freelance proposal template and get started today.
Yes, even the PowerPoint presentation requires outside consulting every now and then—especially if it’s not your forte. I know I would happily outsource the visual layout of my presentation decks for work meetings, investor pitches and lectures. Tobias Schelle of 24Slides is living proof that you can turn your skills at slideshow presentation design into a legit side business idea—and potentially earn up to $20 a slide for your time and talents.
Meal preparation services are booming and the Internet is facilitating this, making it easier to attract and service customers. The market includes the elderly as well as busy working people, who don’t always want to take the time to cook. Typically, these services offer just a few meal choices each day, but they vary the selection constantly. Especially if you can build up regular subscribers to your service, you can determine in advance exactly what your food needs will be, minimizing both food and labor waste.
It sounds too good to be true—getting paid to represent your favorite brands at events across the nation. But, if you have a friendly and outgoing personality (a growing social media following helps too), you can forge a potentially paid relationship as a brand ambassador with companies who want to reach other people within your community with this  side business idea. As a Brand Ambassador, you do anything from demoing the latest technology, to passing out free swag at music festivals, to going on nationwide tours, to pumping people up as a mascot, and more. Depending upon the gig, you can expect to earn anywhere from $18-$100/hr. You can get started as early as this weekend by joining the Brand Ambassador Facebook group for your nearest major city (e.g. join the “Brand Ambassadors of Seattle” group if you live in/near Seattle). Once you’ve been approved to the group, you’ll get access to daily job postings from big brands and agencies with opportunities in your area. All you need to do is submit your resume and headshot to apply. For a step-by-step guide on how to get hired for the best gigs and the highest pay rates, I recommend checking out The Brand Ambassador Blueprint.
Open a bank account for your LLC. You will need to have your EIN prior to opening an account. Consult your bank of choice about the options on your account that will be best suited to your business needs.
It’s easier than ever to find a trend and turn it into a full-on entrepreneurial venture. Channel your passions and skills to leverage a professional opportunity in the new year. Here are 12 great business ideas for 2018.
Reservation Sales Team Members are paid a base pay of $9.00 per hour + incentives. Incentives are based on your ability to meet sales metrics and other performance goals, and can range in amount, up to $2.00 per hour through the iEarn incentive program.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, here’s a list of the 45 best places you can learn to code for free. Once you command a knowledge of HTML, Ruby, Python, Javascript, or CSS, you can start a freelance business as a side business idea to build your portfolio while you still hold onto your full-time job. Listen to my podcast interview with Laurence Bradford about her journey to become a freelance web developer, too. And over time, you’ll build more relationships, have more experience and eventually take this side business idea over to becoming a full-time source of income.
Share in the comments if I’m missing any of  your picks for the best side business ideas that you can start while working full-time! Bonus points if you’ve already gotten started on one of these business idea, and share the link to your website.
#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.
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.
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.

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