steps to starting a business | i want to open a business

Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).
Having been on television and done many videos, I can appreciate that makeup consulting isn’t just for women! With the Internet leading to more and more video production, makeup consulting is becoming more important than ever!
What’s your favorite color and scent of soap? Wouldn’t it be fun to play around with variations to be make it even better? And then you could take your finished product and go show it off to potential customers!
If you own a camera, starting a freelance portrait photography business could be a very natural way to turn your skills and passions into a profitable business idea. Start with doing free shoots for friends and family to build up a strong online portfolio, get familiar with your gear and the editing process, then you’ll be able to get paid for photographing professional head shots and celebratory family moments as your side business idea. Get started by checking out this men’s portrait photography class that regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive.
Consider your talents, experience, and knowledge when selecting a concept. If you have a particular skill set or talent, consider how these resources can be applied to meeting some sort of market demand. Combining skill and knowledge with a market demand increases your odds of having a successful business idea.
There is one trend that has been sweeping the country for the better part of two decades: health food. Though what is considered healthy food has shifted and changed frequently over this period of time, the general concept of eating healthier to live longer and look your best is not going anywhere. One facet of this trend that has scientifically proven benefits is eating organic food. People eat organic for a variety of reason, but living in rural areas and small towns can often make it difficult to find fresh organic produce and food. Global sales of health food are expected to reach $1 trillion by 2017. Whether or not you consider yourself a health nut, that’s a hard number to ignore. Research also shows that consumers are willing to spend more for healthy food. So if access to allergen-free and organic food is limited in your area, consider going the organic route. Small town business idea, large town business idea, a health food store is a good idea wherever you reside.
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).
Reynolds & Reynolds – Read Review – This is another company with occasional call analyst positions open. US only. Low pay — starting at around $7 or $8 hourly. You can get paid bi-weekly via direct deposit to your bank account.
Yoga is getting ever more popular, which means yoga instructors are more in demand than ever—making this another physically rewarding side business idea. Link up with a local yoga studio to teach nightly classes or offer personalized yoga in-home at a higher rate to pursue this kind of emotional and physical balance with others, during your free time while helping your bank balance, too.
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.
You could run this as a seasonal camp during the summer. But I find it’s tougher to make lots of money at seasonal businesses, so instead I would first consider offering a creative arts day camp after school or on weekends. I suggest doing surveys to find out what age groups of kids and what specific art activities have the most appeal.
Don’t rule out national banks. Compare their features to those of a few local banks and see how they fare. There are some major benefits to working with a bank like Capital One, including seriously impressive security and small-business perks.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
Nothing beats teaching more novice learners about your passion, hobby, or craft as a business idea (that’s a common theme here). Explore dozens of DIY portals (such as DIY.org, DIY Network, Instructables and Mahalo) to get business ideas on how to earn a healthy side income just by showing others how to do the things you love. You can also sift through the countless ad-supported YouTube channels that teach just about anything from guitar strumming to 3D printing.
#16 – SpectraMedi is an online company that offers multiple part-time and full-time positions for Medical Billers and Transcriptionists. Since the position requires certification, the salary is much more than $16 per hour.
When I was promoting my job search books I started to put up advertisements on bulletin boards around local colleges. Then, seeing my advertisements people who were running bulletin board services called me, and I hired them to do the work for me instead. You can either offer your services putting up notices for clients on public bulletin boards, or you can get more sophisticated and develop proprietary bulletin boards that you get local businesses or organizations to agree to display for you. For example, you could list tourist attractions and post the bulletin board at local hotels.
A few years ago, I overheard a conversation in a gym about a fellow who was planning on starting an Irish pub, of which there are close to million (well almost a million) in Boston, but then changed his mind and opened a pub focusing on craft beers. It was wildly successful! In addition to being a unique idea at the time, he also chose an excellent location and developed a solid food menu. Unless your overhead is extremely low, you are probably going to need to serve food to make a go of this business, so yes you can be extremely successful–but it is no small undertaking.
Ghostwriting pays pretty well, and if you’re talented at researching and creating great content within a certain subject domain, you can quickly build a roster of high-paying clientele with this business idea. Ghostwriters like Jeff Haden have created very lucrative careers for themselves by writing for business executives and CEO’s—and Jeff also started his ghostwriting career as a side business idea outside of his full-time job as a factory manager. Listen to his interview with me on The Side Hustle Project (podcast) right here.
For this reason, consider testing out your dishes on a smaller scale first, at a local farmer’s market or a food festival. You can get feedback from customers on your product before investing in a mobile operation.
India Hicks – Featured in Forbes, InStyle, Yahoo, and Business Insider, India Hicks is a social selling company that sells high-end handbags, clothing, accessories, beauty and fine fragrances designed by India and her team. Become an India Hicks Ambassador for as little as $99. Ambassadors earn up to 30 percent commission on sales. Ambassadors also earn 10 percent product credit every month they are active.
An irrigation service installs and services underground sprinkler systems at homes and businesses. I use a one-person irrigation service at one house and have a larger landscaping service handle the irrigation at another house. The big work comes when you install a new system. But an existing system needs service every year including being “blown out” and turned on, and always there are sprinkler heads that need to be adjusted or replaced.
It should go without saying, but it’s important to pay what you owe — especially when dealing with the IRS. The IRS can impose harsh penalties and even come after a business owner’s personal assets if the owner doesn’t remit payroll taxes on time.
Who will lead, and who will follow? Define your organization, from the receptionist up to the CEO, and what part each plays in both function and financials. Knowing your organizational structure will better help you plan your operating costs, and fine-tune how much capital you will need to function effectively.
There’s a lot of money out there in grants, but writing grant proposals can take a lot of time, especially if you are not experienced at it. Like so many other fields, specialization will help get business, and it will allow you to charge much higher fees. And, as you build a track record of successfully securing grants, you will also be able to charge more.
#51 – Brighten Communications contracts telemarketers based in U.S. and pays up to $18 per hour. As an independent contractor for the company, you require a landline phone to carry all the business calls as well as a long-distance phone service.
LLC (Limited Liability Company): Again, this is the most popular business structure because it offers the protection of a corporation without the double taxation or intensive legal upkeep. LLCs also get more versatile taxation options. If your company includes two members or more, you can choose to be treated as a partnership or corporation, while single-member LLCs can opt to be taxed as a sole proprietorship.
A lot of car owners simply don’t have time to personally care for their vehicles, much less make them sparkle. With simple equipment such as car shampoo, polishing wax, tire black, sponges, a pail and a sturdy hose, you can start earning a decent side income by making cars look fresh in your free time after work and on weekends. Not bad for an easy business idea that’ll keep you outdoors and moving your body on the weekends.
As a Convergys agent, you take customer calls and provide other services for large corporations. The company has clients in industries like automotive, communications and media, financial services and many more.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but licensing a foreign product for sale domestically, can be a lucrative business idea that (at times) leads to a big payoff down the road. Invest intelligently, sell a product you believe in, and you can reap the rewards for years to come.
Thanks to technology, there are more opportunities than ever to buy and resell products for extra money. Plenty of people buy local and in-demand products at a discount and resell them on eBay for profit.
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Someone wise once said that to qualify as a small town there is a prerequisite that it must have an ice cream shop. Ok, maybe we made that up. But regardless, if it’s not true, it should be. Opening an ice cream shop in a small town is a business idea guaranteed to draw a crowd. Knowing your product, being familiar with the most popular ice cream flavors, and having a willingness to work nights and weekends are all important factors to take into account. Just remember, this business comes with the challenges of seasonality. So, as we recommended boutique fitness businesses as great for cold weather climates, we are recommending ice cream shops for areas that are warmer. Find the perfect town with the perfect weather and this small town business idea is a no-brainer.
Once you’ve gotten a better idea of what business planning entails, we highly recommend checking out some software solutions. Taking advantage of business planning software is the most efficient way to create a beautiful, thorough business plan.
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:
This side business idea isn’t for most, but consider Kia Silverbrock who has been granted over 4,665 US Patents in his lifetime (so far). You don’t have to invent the wheel to make good money from your patented concepts—just make sure that your idea can be produced affordably, or it will never stand up against a lawsuit in the future.
#39 – Book in a Box – This company has virtual posts for various positions that pay $20 per hour. The company occasionally looks for editors, book jacket designers, and proofreaders so you have to keep tabs on the company site to see if there are any openings.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he’s running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
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.

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If you’re one of those people who can’t help but flip through bridal magazines and think about various wedding arrangements in your daydreams, wedding planning might be the perfect thing for you. A great way to get started is to develop a website or blog on the topic, get to know people online, and promote your services at local wedding venues and throughout the community.
Everyone wants their small business to be successful, with multiple locations, lots of employees and loads of revenue, but you have to learn to walk before you can run. Don’t spread yourself too thin or take on too many expenses at the beginning, especially if your income might take a while to catch up to your ambitions.
Another important step in planning a business startup in Dubai is to determine the most suitable location for the business. Setting up a profit-based enterprise in the city wouldn’t do you much good despite the growing economy if you’re customers or clients can’t reach you.
Large corporations often contract smaller companies to provide phone and online customer service, and these smaller companies specifically hire home workers. Typically you’ll spend the day on the phone in front of your computer and will answer calls or respond to questions online.
If you’re artistically inclined or know your way around a camera, you can dropship using a print-on-demand business model to let others physically own a piece of your work. Just be sure you have the rights to the content you want to print, unless you’re using public domain assets that you can freely monetize.

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  1. 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.”
    If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income as a side business idea is to sign a freelance contract to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows. Just be sure to brush up on all the right business slang and industry jargon that’s pervasive in the online marketing world before you launch unprepared into this side business idea.
    If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? Take my friend, Mark Jackson’s lead with what he’s doing to build a travel consulting side business idea. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals and eventually you could spin this business idea into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make your dream trip a reality.
    Welcome to Texas! Sole proprietorships and partnerships can move easily. Usually all that is required is to file an assumed name certificate or d/b/a (“doing business as”) in Texas. Moving an entity, such as a corporation or a limited liability c…
    As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Without people cleaning up everybody else’s junk, the world would be a lot messier than it already is. This business idea might not be glamorous, but you get to make the world a cleaner place while earning extra side income. To start, you’ll likely need a sturdy second-hand truck and standard equipment like shovels, wheelbarrows, sledgehammers, rakes, and garbage cans to launch the foundation of this side business idea.
    Have strong English skills and exceptional grammar? You may have opportunities to work as a proofreader from home. Advertising for this can be difficult; seek out those who might actually be able to use your services and advertise directly to them.

  2. Humanatic – Read Review – Similar to Callsource, this is another company that has you analyzing recorded phone conversations. Pays very little — so little in fact that most people just do this as a side egg. You can get paid once a week via Paypal.
    Adjust strategies and products as necessary. Respond to your customers. You should set up a system or survey where your customers can rate their experience with you and your business. Be sure to strive for perfect ratings. Any criticisms you see consistently mean that you should change that aspect of your business.
    Determine who your competition is by looking at companies that offer the same product, service or benefit you do. Visit their stores and websites and buy their products, if possible. Talk to potential customers about what they want from a company or product like yours, and what they think of your competitors. Look at the pricing in your marketplace to help guide you as you make your financial projections. Examine where your competitors are selling and advertising. Create a demographic profile of your best target customer using age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital or parental status and other characteristics.
    Decide how to accept payment. You will need to do something to get payment from your clients or customers. You can get something like a Square, which is great for small businesses since it requires the minimum amount of paperwork and the fees are minimal. However, if you feel uncomfortable with technology, you can inquire about a more traditional merchant account.
    State: The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration website offers all the information you need to know about state business taxes and special permits and licenses. The Governer’s Office CalGold Permit Assistance Tool is also a great way to find out what taxes and licenses apply to your business.
    You can succeed with a specialty food store but it is tricky. You must be ruthless in your research, in both what the market can support, and which competitors currently have overlapping offerings. I would also look at what specialty food stores have succeeded in nearby markets.
    Needle – Read Review – Open to US and possibly other countries. Note this company used to pay you in cash, but now they are points only, although you can redeem your points for Visa gift cards. Extra money only.
    Choosing the path of entrepreneurship, and working on your side business idea, is without a doubt riskier than being content with holding a 9-5 job. It requires way more sacrifice. However, once you’re reaping the lifestyle benefits of being your own boss and hustling your way into making significantly more money with your business idea than you ever could at your day job, the hard work will have all been worth it. So, let’s talk business ideas.
    Believe it or not, this freelance bike messenger makes more money than some people glued to their office desks. You won’t rake in a whopping $50,000 as this guy does by just doing this in your free time as a side business idea only, but you’ll surely get a piece of the action. Even Uber is trying out a blueprint for a delivery service, and companies like WunWun and Amazon are stepping up their efforts to expand same-day delivery, increasing the demand for more to jump in on this business idea. If you have a decent bicycle, those pair of pedals might just earn you a healthy side hustle income.

  3. I loved to collect stamps and coins when I was a kid. In Boston, the dealers’ stores were all side by side on Bromfield street. Today some coin and stamp dealers still have retail locations but many others work primarily online. This is a great business to start part-time and then consider going full-time later on. Or is it just a hobby with the potential for making a lot of money? American President Franklin D Roosevelt would spend many enjoyable hours alone with his stamp collection.
    With the rise of online craft marketplaces like Etsy, people with decent artisanal skills like sewing and woodworking have an always-open market to sell their products as a side business idea. If you’ve always wanted to design and make clothes by hand, then you can start turning those fashion ideas into real, hand-sewn garments and earn a little bit with this side business idea while you sleep and customers from around the world browse your Etsy & Amazon stores.
    After completing all of the above steps, you are officially in business. Review information from Michigan Business One Stop and from Michigan State University Extension for direction as you move further along in your journey of business ownership.

  4. Set up your home office. To work effectively, you’ll need to have a dedicated business space within your home. If you work locally, this is also your commercial space. You’ll need to create an area separate from family members, pets, and other distractions.[5] If possible, separate this area as much as possible from the rest of your home. The physical separation will help create mental separation between your home life and work life and also make the tax deduction for a home-based office less subjective.
    The major benefit of becoming a foreign corporation is that it allows your company to operate as one entity in many jurisdictions. For example, if you originally incorporate your LLC in the State of Delaware, you can file your existing domestic LLC as a foreign corporation in other states.
    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.
    Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.
    Sole Proprietorship: Consider this the path of least resistance, but know that it comes at a price. If you’re operating without any partners and haven’t registered a formal business structure, you’ll automatically be classified as a sole proprietor and have no liability protection whatsoever. No need to file articles of incorporation/organization, but you might benefit from filing a DBA.
    Yes, you can learn how to repair smartphones. You can buy parts (you should inventory more common ones) and you can watch videos on YouTube that show you how to make repairs. I have been to a small shop in Cambridge that specializes just in fixing casing and glass on smartphones. You can make good money but it will take some patience to get going. A storefront, even a small one on a secondary street or second floor of an office building, will help make your business seem more established.
    Bridal shows can be an important marketing venue for the purveyors of wedding goods and services. You could start in this business by helping vendors prepare their display spaces at various shows, and then at some point you may want to organize your own bridal shows.
    If you have a way with words and know how to make the keyword-friendly, beautifully designed, SEO-optimized landing pages, why not charge other companies for your services and turn it into a money-making side business idea? Even a short landing page is worth a couple hundred bucks in most cases, and so much more if you know how to pitch your prospects well. If you want to get started with your business idea of becoming a landing page specialist or freelance copywriter, check out Len Smith and Sean Kaye’s awesome course on Udemy, Copywriting Secrets: How to Write Copy That Sells.
    The online business ideas above covered can be combined in a variety of ways to start a business that’s uniquely yours. If the idea of sourcing, storing and shipping inventory kept you from starting a business before, begin with an inventory-free, low-investment business model and grow from there.
    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.

  5. Toluna is a survey and product testing site where you can earn points for participation. Most surveys and questionnaires take 15 – 20 minutes and members earn anywhere from 15 – 20,000 points depending on the length. Points can be redeemed for sweepstakes tickets for gadgets or getaways, vouchers for stores like Amazon, even cash. Payments are made via PayPal and check.
    When I set out to start in on a new business idea, I always make sure it aligns with both my core competencies and my interests. It starts with learning how to discover your strengths as an entrepreneur, and it’s how I make sure I’ll be engaged, even when the going gets rough. I learned this the hard way when I decided to start a freelance business a few years ago to offer my freelance content marketing services.
    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.
    We offer you the opportunity to earn extra income from home (teleworking) and also to decide your own participation schedule. At this job, you will be performing various tasks such as data entry, performing email response, reviews, surveys and other online…
    Looking for work from home jobs that don’t involve the use of a phone? Many people are — most often because of the “no background noise” requirement most phone jobs come with. Kind of hard to abide by that when you have kids and/or pets running around during the day! Fortunately, you do have lots of options!
    You also will need to file certain forms to fulfill your federal and state income tax obligations. The forms you need are determined by your business structure. A complete list of the forms each type of entity will need can be found on the SBA website. You can also find state-specific tax obligations there. Some businesses may also require federal or state licenses and permits in order to operate. You can use the SBA’s database to search for licensing requirements by state and business type.

  6. Banks levy varying charges. For a business startup, these can amount to a substantial sum for a bank-dependent operation. Always confirm the requirements and charges beforehand. Do not choose a bank based on only the reputation.
    Arranging for shipping, especially overseas, is complex and the rates can vary widely, even for nearby truck shipments. A shipping or freight forwarding service can find the best shipper for you, arrange the paperwork and a lot more. This can be a great business, with long term customers and steady work, but it can take a while to build up a large clientele.
    Reserve your business name. In some states, you can register your business name when filing your articles of incorporation. However, in other states, you must separately register your name before forming your LLC.
    Most companies that hire for search engine evaluation have multiple projects available to work on, so the exact work you do might vary. However, search engine evaluation in the traditional sense involves analyzing queries that regular people like you and me might type into Google or Bing search and then determining the best possible results to match up to that query so that users have the best experience possible using a search engine.
    #45 – CyberEdit, Inc. offers highly advanced services in resume writing, technical writing, and text editing. It hires competent freelance essay writers with remuneration ranging from $15-30 per hour.

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