ways to start a business | what you need to start a small business

From personal experience as a freelance content marketer, I can vouch for the profitability in this industry. I grew my side hustle into a $160,000/yr business before quitting my day job to pursue this business idea full-time; all you need is the right skills and experience to back it up. With startups, established brands, and even notable influencers needing to build credibility and grow their brands, professionals who can serve up compelling content enjoy a huge demand for their services. And, since brands will always need high quality content to bring in new customers, your skills will always remain an asset to invest in—especially since the nature of creating a content marketing strategy is an ever-evolving one. Start by tapping into your existing network with this business idea and begin tracking down local small business owners who could benefit from your marketing tactics, do a bang up job, ask for referrals and grow from there to the point where you’re doing blogger outreach and spreading out to a wider market.
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.
Smartphones have become indispensable for both business and personal use. But have you ever tried to get one fixed? Repairing a broken phone can cost as much as it does to buy one. Smartphone-repair services are starting to crop up around the country. If you have a knack for fixing broken screens and solving smartphone tech problems, then opening up a more affordable smartphone repair shop or service might be the way to go.
Invest in your home based business. Before you get started, there are often investments you’ll have to make in your business infrastructure. This varies based on the type of business you’re running. For example, if you’re running a printing business from home, you’ll need to buy a professional printer and paper for it. If you’re running an online business, it may be wise to upgrade your computer and internet speed. The time spent waiting for pages to load can add up and hurt your productivity.
It may seem like all of the good business ideas or the best small ideas have been taken, but they are not. Most successful small business ideas come from individuals who work for someone and they believe they can do better.
If you need financial assistance, a commercial loan through a bank is a good starting point, although these are often difficult to secure. If you are unable to take out a bank loan, you can apply for a small business loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an alternative lender. 
Though not the cheapest of business ideas on this list, it’s one that can be extremely lucrative as well as appeal to the widest range of patrons in a small town. A successful bowling alley can become the center of a town’s social life. Besides the obvious bowling revenue stream, food and drink (especially alcoholic beverages), can also help you pull in the big bucks. Small town bowling alleys can also be rented out for additional income. Like all businesses, large and small, having a quality business plan for your bowling alley is incredibly important.
Where there are homes, there will be children and where there are children there will be tears over math and grammar. Though the internet abounds with online tutoring services, nothing can ever replace the benefits of having an in-person teacher. In addition to being a great business idea for small towns, tutoring can also be a profitable business for both yourself and those working for you. If you are looking to hire employees, we recommend starting with a few tutors that specialize in math, reading, writing, and science. Don’t attempt to hire tutors that brand themselves as a jack of all subjects, those individuals are few and far between and most likely would be too expensive for you to employ from the start. Instead, look for tutors that specialize in one subject and have previous tutoring or teaching experience.
Obtain a Sales Tax License. Some sales are not taxed; some sales are taxed. Regardless if you make taxable or nontaxable sales, it is best to have a sales tax license. It legitimizes your business. Also, this license allows you to make purchases for resale without paying sales tax to the vendor. Get your sales tax license from the Michigan Department of Treasury.
Digital products like music, courses, and templates are unique on this list of ideas. Unlike the others, they’re not tangible products. There aren’t recurring manufacturing or shipping costs to worry about so your margins can remain high.
So, you have the entrepreneurial spirit but not a lot of tech know-how? Despite all of the high-tech startups that have popped up in recent years, there are still plenty of small business options out there that don’t require you to know the difference between CSS and QR codes. Below are low tech business ideas you can start this year.
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.
If you love pets, this home-based business could be a good fit. You can either care for pets in your own home or care for your clients’ pets in their homes. You’ll need to be reliable and have a flexible schedule to meet the needs of your clients.

With this business, you could focus on providing PC training to employees at smaller to mid-sized companies that are too small to have their own IT departments. Or you could offer classes to individuals.
People will pay a lot of money to get their dog trained and you can provide the service. To get going you can read a book or take a dog training class yourself. This business would also be a great source of clients for dog walking services, if you want to expand your dog services empire!
If you don’t mind parading yourself around in public places as a side business idea, and enjoy a little attention, then working as a human billboard can pay a surprising amount of dividends. Renting out your beard, for example can earn you as much as $5 a day while having a brand logo tattooed on your shaven head for five years could pay as much as $7,000—though this type of earning opportunity is admittedly rare. This business idea is definitely not for the faint of heart, and is a little extreme for me, but nonetheless it’s been done as a side hustle for many people. You can start by holding a placard or wearing a sandwich board. If you think this is a good side business idea, you can go all the way and turn it into a full on small business idea with enough hard work—plus you won’t have to deal with all the issues other more complex businesses have to constantly think about (like reducing churn).
There is solid demand for this business—and no wonder installing carpet including stretching it out to fit just right—is harder than it looks! Demand comes not just from homeowners but also from commercial businesses. You can land installation work from carpet retailers, from online business service directories, or from advertising on places like Craigslist.
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.
red rock traditions  believes that family traditions can help families be stronger, feel anchored and valued. Shop by product or by tradition, categories such as Connections, Holidays & Celebrations, and Faith. Home parties are the best venue to showcase the products, which can earn you up to 30 percent on customer purchases. A starter kit costs just $135 (plus shipping and tax) and comes with everything you need to get your business off the ground quickly including business supplies, demonstration pieces, and full access to training tutorials. Contact us today: jason.prichard@redrocktraditions.com
Now that you’ve officially formed your business, it’s time to take all the necessary precautions to make sure you’re fully compliant with the federal, state and local government. Here are the best places to find out about each:
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.
Everyone (even kids and retirees) need to have some level of technical know-how to stay competitive and appreciate the marvels of the digital age. Just observe how learning sites like Codecademy, Treehouse, and Udacity continue to grow and you’ll understand the urgency of getting computer training for our generation (thus making it a great business idea to train others if you already have the skills). If you’re a techie, you can cash in on this need by offering lessons and tutorials within your neighborhood or across cyberspace through portals like YouTube or Udemy as a side business idea. You can even set up your own tutorial site with an interface for online payments.
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.
I hate being locked out! And I hate how much money I have to pay a locksmith! Let alone how much I have to pay to have locks changed or a better lock system installed! Wouldn’t it be nice to be receiving this money instead of paying it out? Not only is there a constant need for this service, but with more elaborate door systems there is more room for upselling your customers—wouldn’t it be cool to have a keyless lock system?
Virtual Office Temps offers professional business services: clerical support, administration, creativity, management, sales support and personal services. Apply to be a home-based virtual assistant and make $10 – $35 per hour based on the project.
User-friendly, fast, secure, tons of automation, easier forecasting, more efficient marketing budgets…the benefits are near endless, which is why this startup resource is indispensable. Check out our guide to Business Accounting Software and sync whichever you choose with your fresh new business bank account.
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.
Before the bank grants a mortgage, they will require a real estate appraisal. So, this is a great, steady income business with the only overhead being your scooter to get you to your homes to be appraised.
This is a good steady service business. To get started you don’t have to handle every single brand or every single repair. You can study manufacturer’s repair guides or watch instructional videos to get going.
If your business will have employees, you will, at minimum, need to purchase workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. You may also need other types of coverage depending on your location and industry, but most small businesses are advised to purchase general liability (GL) insurance, or a business owner’s policy. GL covers property damage, bodily injury, and personal injury to yourself or a third party.
If you love baking and are able to keep your hand out of the proverbial cookie jar, making gourmet cookies is a great side hustle with plenty of long-term potential. Start by learning how to execute unique and tasty gourmet cookie recipes, then seal the deal by creating or purchasing professional-looking packaging. Sell your cookies online or to people in your local community.
Do not go ahead with sponsorship until both sides have agreed on what to expect from each other and a written agreement is drawn up and attested in the local court. Do not rely only on verbal understanding.
Pinch those pennies. Plan to keep purchases of office equipment and overheads to a minimum when starting up. You do not need amazing office premises, the latest in office chairs and pricey artwork on the walls. A broom cupboard in the best address can be sufficient if you can artfully steer clients to the local coffee shop for meetings every time (meet them in the foyer). Many a business start-up has failed by purchasing the expensive gizmos instead of focusing on the business itself.
To become an officially recognized business entity, you must register with the government. Corporations will need an “articles of incorporation” document, which includes your business name, business purpose, corporate structure, stock details and other information about your company. Otherwise, you will just need to register your business name, which can be your legal name, a fictitious “Doing Business As” name (if you are the sole proprietor), or the name you’ve come up with for your company. You may also want to take steps to trademark your business name for extra legal protection.
Some people have no time. They may have a job that requires lots of travel or an executive position that has them working around the clock. But you can make their life easier offering personal concierge services!
Spending a leisurely afternoon in a swimming pool can be a lot of fun. But cleaning it can be a pain in the neck. Hence, most pool owners hire people to do the cleaning for them. If you need extra cash and don’t mind getting physical, then pool cleaning is a viable side business idea for you.
Busy people could often use some help with their day-to-day tasks. Starting an errand service means you can charge people to take care of things like grocery shopping, dry cleaning and other odd jobs.
Before you can register your company, you need to decide what kind of entity it is. Your business structure legally affects everything from how you file your taxes to your personal liability if something goes wrong.
Data entry clerks come from all different backgrounds including, data entry, customer service, sales, clerical, secretary, administrative assistant, warehouse, inventory, receptionist, call center, part-time, retail fields & more!…
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.
You might be great at this if you know your way around social media networks and forums, have ever been in an admin position for either your own business pages/accounts or moderated for a forum, and you know how to be helpful and polite, but also firm when a situation calls for it.
In Boston one of the very best high skyscraper restaurant locations was taken over by a banquet facility company. The owner of this business grew up in the restaurant business but decided to build his own business exclusively around banquets. A banquet facility is an interesting alternative to the difficult restaurant business. You get to match your labor and food costs closely to your income. And by having a dedicated space and a tightly focused business you should be able to execute well.
10. Move on to your next great idea. Licensing is a numbers game. You have to keep getting up to bat to land a home run. When a company rejects your submission, you must inquire why. You may be able to redesign your product to meet their needs. When you approach a company that rejected you with your second idea, you’re a professional. They’ll respect you for it.
NextWave Advocacy, LLC contracts with news junkies that are politically aware, home-based individuals who are critical thinkers to make outbound calls to educate citizens and help them participate in contacting their elected officials. No sales or fundraising calls are involved. This is not a telemarketing opportunity. The pay is $12.00 per hour with a minimum commitment of 20 hours per week.

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