what to do to start a business | what it takes to start a business

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Enjoy baking and have a bit of an artistic touch? Learn how to decorate cakes and make them for special events. Sell your creations online via Craigslist or your local neighborhood Facebook page, or at local farmers markets. Many people are willing to pay others to create custom cakes for birthday parties and special events.
Follow the naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) require additional paperwork and may require a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency (e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc.)
Come up with an executive summary. The first part of a business plan is the executive summary. Once you’ve developed the other parts, describe the overall business concept, how it will be monetized, how much funding you will need, where it stands currently, including its legal standing, people involved and a brief history, and anything else that makes your business look like a winning proposition.
Many business and non-profit associations are too small to hire a full-time administrator but still have a lot of administrative work to be done. Some of the business groups I belong to, such as local chapter of The Young President’s Organization and The Harvard Business School Association of Boston, have hired an association management service which is typically a single individual or in one case a mother/daughter team. For these businesses, the management service processes membership dues and event payments, fields questions about events, arranges logistics for events, and attends events and welcomes members. Payment is usually on a monthly retainer basis.
Are you an extrovert that loves meeting new people? Selling insurance products—particularly life insurance—may be a great way to bring in some extra cash and build residual income in your spare time. Selling life insurance on the side could quickly generate a consistent $1,000 – $2,000 per month depending on how much time you invest in this side business idea. To get started you’ll likely want to take an online course to brush up on the subject matter, and then pass a state licensing exam. The biggest challenge you’ll face as a new agent is generating sales beyond just helping out friends and family. From there, it’s all about networking and lead generation to grow this one. Learn more about this side business idea with this getting started in life insurance guide from the team over at NoExam.
Beware of business propositions that seem to offer “something for nothing.” They probably involve taking something from somebody—usually you. There are innumerable variations, some more polished than others. Examples include pyramid schemes[4] and advance-fee fraud.[5]
You might notice these trucks at specials events like fares and parades, but I think you would do better trying to find steadier income and more consistent clientele, at office parks or other city locations where workers are congregated.
How do you make money as a product reviewer? By cashing in on affiliate marketing links from products you review. Even if you give a product a negative review, you could mention a product that you prefer as an alternative and give an affiliate link to that product. Of course, books are an obvious product to review and that has helped propel Amazon into being the largest affiliate marketer on the web, despite their skimpy, circa 4%, commission levels.
#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.
Craft beer is popular today, as are local, independently-owned businesses. If you’re passionate about beer, consider starting a microbrewery that offers unique flavors and quality products. You can experiment with different brewing techniques and conduct taste tests. You’ll also save startup money by opting for a smaller business rather than a large brewery or chain. Choose a lively location and plan your venture.
Override state default rules: each state has laws that automatically govern LLCs in that state unless an operating agreement says otherwise. However, these default rules do not always fit your situation. Therefore, you should write an operating agreement that sets your specific rules for the inner workings of your LLC. [21]
Using your skills for profit is a common trend with all of the best side business ideas. If you’re an expert at something, there’s likely an audience of people online who would be willing to pay to become an expert in your field—just like you. If you want to take your skills and turn them into an online course that teaches others how to get the same results you’ve achieved in your life, career, or business, start with How to Create an Awesome Online Course on Udemy, where instructor Miguel Hernandez covers how he makes over $90,000/yr teaching online. You’ll learn from more than 8 hours of video instruction.
I also recommend FlexJobs. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,  along with a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the website. FlexJobs guarantees that every single job is 100% legitimate.

#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.
peach® is a force for good. We are a clothing and accessory brand with a goal to elevate your everyday! Peach does this in three ways: 1) We offer versatile athleisure for the gym, work, and play in premium active fabrics. 2) Essential basic layering pieces and intimate apparel. 3) Exciting accessories from under-discovered female entrepreneurs. We also offer women like you the opportunity for entrepreneurship — to build your own business through a creative, exciting, and flexible career that fits into and elevates your everyday! As a company, we are deeply committed to our mission which is to be a force for good for women. To help her thrive, to inspire her to feel strong and beautiful, and to ELEVATE HER EVERYDAY! For more info, please contact daryl@bepeachstrong.com.
There are a lot of building maintenance services that don’t require an electrician or a plumber and can be done by someone with basic handyman skills. You could provide that service for commercial, industrial or multi-family housing units. You could also have highly skilled people such as plumbers and electricians on call too.
Make sure your strategy is measurable. You need to have a method in place for measuring the tangible results of your marketing efforts. We’re not just talking about the number of clicks, views or likes you’re getting — if your strategy isn’t generating sales, it’s all for nothing.
Now we come to crunch time — assigning specific dollar amounts to your lists. This process is always going to be a best guess, but be realistic and use past experience, research and advice from other entrepreneurs to guide your cost estimates. Organizations such as SCORE and your local Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Development Center can provide free and valuable advice about how to calculate your start-up costs.
In the past, I’ve discussed how it’s a good idea to spend your spare time dabbling in entrepreneurship: It fills your time with something that you choose (and thus you enjoy) and sets up a potential long-term revenue stream. I also discussed how I got a side business going myself.
It’s amazing how you can have a business even if you are not working with technology. This shows that as long as you have the will to be of service to people, then you can create a business out of it.
Yes, you can turn your car into a money-maker by driving for Uber and Lyft, but there are other ways to convert mileage into money as a clever side business idea. One way is to do vehicle advertising, a potential side income source of anywhere between $100 to $600 per month. Whether you own a compact sedan or a full-sized bus, your vehicle’s exterior space is prime real estate for ads. Check Wrapify, carvertise, and similar sites for more details about getting started with this business idea and for being paired up with local advertisers.
Hire professional designers. If you do decide to get a website, make sure it looks professional. Designers may cost more initially, but a well presented and trustworthy site is essential. It needs to look professional and work with ease. If you are including money transactions, invest in security encryption and check that your money transfer companies are sound and reliable.
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.
This article was shared on the Serious Small Business group on LinkedIn by one of our members. The LinkedIn group is sponsored by Serious Small Business Magazine and is a perfect fit to a current topic the group is exploring.
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.
Create a budget, dividing it into sections that list your pre-launch startup expenses and your post-launch operating costs. The budget should include the direct costs to make your product and the overhead costs to run the business. It also should show a break-even point and the profit potential. Create a first-year budget and a three-year budget. It often takes more than one year for a business to become profitable and pay back its initial startup costs.
Think about how you can zero in on a specific audience for your products and how the business you build can serve them. If you already have a sizeable audience (a blog, a YouTube channel, or an Instagram account), maybe you can even find a way to base your business off of that existing audience.
Fascinated by interior design? Have a huge collection of interior design materials around? Many people are quite happy to hire someone to help them decorate their home, and that’s especially true of those who want a magazine-caliber style yet don’t have an eye for design at all.
This is a business you could start in a couple hours with literally zero investment. In the public library on the resort island of Nantucket, I watched a man create a flyer for his walking tour business on a free public access computer. Then he went outside and posted the newly created flyer on the public bulletin board. A few hours later he greeted his customers as they gathered on the advertised street corner, collected their money, and then took them on the walking tour. Not sure how to set up your walking tour? Get a history or even a self-walking tour guide at the public library.

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