steps to starting a business | starting my own small business

Not to be confused with hoarding, this business idea takes a lot of time, patience, and passion. If you have an eye for good art, it’s easy to get in on the ground level by visiting the studio department at your local university—though don’t expect to get rich overnight with this side business idea. Many art students are more than happy to sell their work for a bargain, and in as little as a few years, there’s a chance that piece you bought for a couple hundred bucks may be worth well into the thousands. Beware though, this business idea will take a whole lot of patience (and storage space for all that art).
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.
We suggest you have a look at a free PDF online called “The Benefits of Doing Business in Illinois” published by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute back in 2014. As you’ll see, the regulatory environment can be very startup-friendly.
Employed techies planning to earn some extra side income can leverage their software and hardware skills by offering home-based computer repair services as a business idea that engages their passion. If this rings a bell, you can start with a modest one-man tech team before envisioning a scaled-up operation as massive as Geek Squad. Remember, you can provide home service locally as a starting point to this business idea, as well as offer remote support through online messaging and video calling services before making your way into a retail setting.
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.
Though we already suggested a wine bar/coffee shop combo above, the clientele you’ll attract for that small town business idea versus this one is significantly different. Think first dates and book clubs versus Super Bowl Sunday and Monday Night Football. Speaking of which, special events for sports games can drum up major business. Opening a successful sports bar in a sports-centric town can be a great investment. But if you miscalculate the interests of your town, it can also be disastrous. So make sure you know the personality of the community going into this venture.
Luckily, marketing is a lot easier when you’re catering to a specific audience or identity (e.g. vegans, board game lovers, photographers in your city). You can produce social media content that resonates with these people or run ads that target their interests. Taking this approach also helps you project a consistent brand because you’ll have a more specific idea of who exactly you’re talking to.
Are you an audiophile? If you have a great sound system and a large selection of music, you’ve already got what you need to hire yourself out as a DJ for various events and receptions. This is a great way to fill an afternoon or evening while also earning some cash in the process.
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.
Investment: The startup costs should be low; you’ll need to create a website and promote your business. If you don’t already have the required skills and experience, you may need to take some training or courses.
It’s also important to pay your regular debts in a timely fashion. If you get a reputation for stalling on a debt, you could find it difficult to form business relationships in the future. Plus, if you stay current on your debts and pay them as you incur them, it will help you avoid being overwhelmed by cash flow problems if several debts come due simultaneously.
Secure start-up costs. Most businesses require capital to start. Money is typically required to purchase supplies and equipment, as well as keep the business operational for the period before your business becomes profitable. The first place to look for financing is yourself.[1].
Even after you create your company’s name, do not omit these identifying letters on marketing materials, advertisements, or business transactions.[4] Doing so may lead to unintended consequences.[5] For example, if you leave “LLC” out of your name while doing business, a judge may find that you entered into a business deal as an individual, and not as an LLC.[6] If this happens, you may be found personally liable and may not receive the limited liability shield you anticipated.[7]
More and more health-conscious and time-strapped Americans are looking for quick food on the go that is healthier than the soda and chips you usually find in vending machines. This has spawned a whole new industry of wellness-oriented, specialized vending companies that offer franchisees the chance to own and service vending machines with better foods and beverages.
With many of the business ideas we’ll explore in this post, you may not be shipping your products, but you still need to cover the cost of shipping. Consider your shipping costs and how they will vary in the different countries you want to serve.
Hold a party and invite people who can spread the word for you. It doesn’t need to be pricey––purchase the food and drink from bulk discount stores and get family and friends to help with catering (you can give them a product or service in return).
Photography can be very competitive and having a specialty, such as boudoir, can help attract customers and justify higher fees. The market for this tends to be brides and young wives buying pictures as a gift for their husband.
To avoid any confusion, I want to make it clear first that virtual assistant work is not always non-phone, but it can be. Virtual assistants tend to do a little bit of everything, just depending on their skills/expertise. So if you are good at various non-phone tasks (social media marketing/moderation, writing, graphic design, research etc.), then you may be able to do work for some of the companies below putting those non-phone skills to work. I also want to make clear that even when you do phone work as a virtual assistant, lots of times it can be arranged so you’re making the calls during times of day when it’s convenient for you.

You should check with a professional to be sure, but I’ve read that you can file for an LLC in any state (regardless of where you live). Therefore, it would be excessive to file in more than one state.
This is a good solid little business but the income just from mail boxes is probably not going to set the world on fire. However, by the nature of this business you have a captive audience that you can try to sell just about anything else to. Often people combine mailbox rentals with shipping services for example.
I recently met a woman who earned quite a bit of money as a very part-time chef. Once a week, she would go to someone’s house and prepare a homemade meal for their family, then do all the dishes and cleanup work. This gives the family plenty of together time, while putting some cash in the woman’s pocket. If you love to cook, this can be a great opportunity, but you may have to put a lot of effort into searching for clients.
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C Corp: The main difference here is that C Corps may have an unlimited number of shareholders from all over the world, and the corporation itself is required to pay taxes. Learn more about how to form a Corporation in California.
One of my friends with a background in manufacturing started a business removing waste from building sites and then he progressed into the demolition of industrial buildings. Like other construction related services, one of the keys to success is very carefully bidding for your work. You also need to make sure you get paid–general contractors can be highly successful one minute and then short on money to pay bills the next.
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.
Who says you need technology in order to start? Some people even enter paralysis from just not starting just because there is not enough technology or the technology they currently have is not as updated.
Many small business owners cover their start-up costs entirely through loans, with the expectation that they will begin paying back the loans with the profits from their new business. New businesses can take months or years to generate a profit, however, and loan payments can really become a millstone around the neck of a fledgling operation.
Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies—which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don’t Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is a viable side business idea for you.
By submitting one application, you will be considered for any of the Work At Home positions offered. Discuss your preferences with the Recruiter who contacts you! *Please note: These are NOT “freelance”, contracted, or independent contractor positions. Yo…
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.
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Start planning ahead. Where do you hope to see your business in 6 months? What about 3 years down the road? Life is full of surprises and there’s plenty that you can’t plan for, but setting realistic goals is still an important practice.
If you do the gardening or greenhouse ideas, you could also branch out to farmers’ markets where you could sell the produce from your gardening efforts as well. People love supporting local growers and the quality of product at a farmers’ market is much higher than supermarket fare.
Being practical is extremely important when you are toying with the idea of starting a business. You need a steady source of income before you can set up your business, so it’s advisable to hold onto your current job. By retaining your present job, you will be more secure when you need to take risks.
From there, you need to learn which tools, resources, and feedback communities you can use to accelerate the pace at which you’re able to launch. Check out these 101 essential tools and resources I use to launch profitable side hustle businesses.
Elderly people often need help with basic functions like laundry, grocery shopping and getting to and from appointments. You can offer your services as a home care provider to help them take care of some of those tasks on a regular basis.
If you have that drive and experience, however, being a restaurateur can be a successful endeavor and a great business for a small town. Just be aware that as glamorous as it might seem from the outside, one-quarter of all restaurants will fail within the first year. We don’t say this to discourage you; it’s just good to know what you’re up against. Doing your market research prior to opening, and investing in technology such as a restaurant POS system, can help you ensure your business stays open and on top.
Textbroker – Read Review – Open to US and some other countries. Pay depends on your star rating when you apply. Pay ranges between a seventh of a cent per word and five cents per word at the highest level. Pay is weekly via Paypal provided you have at least $10 in your account.
The traditional 9-5 job in an office is becoming increasingly obsolete, Fast Company reports. Not only are more people in the corporate world doing more from home, thanks to the internet, but side gigs are on the rise. More than a third of us — nearly 54 million people did some freelance work in the past year. That represents a growth of 700,000 more freelancers than the previous year. According to FlexJobs, there are more opportunities opening for full-time remote work, even for those at the executive level. Brie Reynolds, director of online content at FlexJobs, told the magazine: “Professionals who’ve spent years honing their skills and experience don’t need to sacrifice their hard work in order to find better work-life balance.” Analyzing listings from more than 40,000 companies in the FlexJobs database indicates that companies ranging from Dell and UnitedHealth Group to Xerox, SAP, and Salesforce were among the top 25 employers with the most available remote jobs. Although health care, technology, and education are the most well-represented industries, there are also openings in finance, hospitality, and research.
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.

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