Your launch and first sales are only the beginning of your task as an entrepreneur. In order to make a profit and stay afloat, you always need to be growing your business. It’s going to take time and effort, but you’ll get out of your business what you put into it.
My name is Bob Adams. I have started dozens of businesses and made millions of dollars. I also have an MBA from Harvard Business School. I have run not just lots of businesses, but also many types of businesses, including a number of very small businesses that I ran before going to business school.
Thanks to a combination of technology and third party suppliers, it’s easier than ever to build a business and start making sales without getting caught up in sourcing products and managing inventory.
Have you ever run into a work at home typist ad? They read like this: “Home Typist Needed now!” Boy, don’t they always seems so promising? You can’t help think to yourself, is this really it? Can I finally find a free home typist job?
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you’ll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
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.
Focus Forward – Read Review – US only, experience needed. Pay is $10 per 15 minutes of sound transcribed, or higher if you are transcribing foreign languages. Get paid bi-monthly with check or direct deposit.
Car flipping can be a fun way to turn your love for cars into a quick side business idea if you have the capital and a stomach for the inherent risk. Buying and selling cars is similar to other “buy low, sell high” business models, but the profit potential per hour invested can be very high. According to Jeremy Fisher at 3HourFlip.com, the trick is to learn how to make car deals come to you, so you can minimize your time invested and maximize your profit on each flip with this side business idea.
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.
That’s why I’m a huge advocate of always starting a side business while working full-time, so that you can test your way into your new product or service, get feedback, validate the business idea, and start generating income before you quit your job. If you can master the art of scaling a side business idea while keeping your day job, you’ll have no trouble succeeding once you’re fully self-employed.
Resources I recommend for learning more about this industry include 21 Days to a VA Biz and The Bootstrap VA. Note that both of these books focus on starting your own virtual assisting business rather than working for a company (such as the ones above). For more in-depth training, you can enroll in the 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success eCourse. It will teach you exactly how to start your own VA business, what you need, what to charge, and also where to find clients.
Believe it or not, some people have such a difficult time with dating, that they don’t even want to participate in the online (or app-based) component of it. If you’re a smooth talker, why not leverage that skill into becoming a paid match maker as a side business idea? People are paying.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be approached by major brands, gear companies, and other relevant businesses that sell products or services related to the type of content you share on Instagram—creating multiple potential side business ideas that’ll come to you. If you have the right marketing skills and hundreds of thousands of followers, you can easily charge anywhere between $500 to $5,000 per post (or more)—which makes for a very profitable side business idea. Check out this fashion Instagrammer on ThePennyHoarder, making a significant income from brand sponsorships. Once you get some traction, to cut down on the amount of time you spend uploading images, you can make your entire workflow more efficient by posting photos from your Mac or PC.
There are all kinds of directions this business can go! You could sell hats to retailers, you could sell them online, you could sell them to event planners to liven up their parties. You could eventually even open a hats-only store!
Think about the areas that you are either weak in, or have little knowledge of. Finding partners compatible with your personality who can fill in your knowledge or skill gaps is an excellent way to ensure your business has the resources you need to succeed.
You would think that you get your electrical contractor license and the money would rain on you forever more! I have been shocked with the prices some electricians have tried to charge me. Then again, I called back a more reasonably priced electrician who had done some work for me a couple years ago and he told me he went out of business for lack of work. This goes to remind you that in any business there is always some risk.
9. Practice win-win negotiation strategy. Familiarize yourself with basic clauses and what to expect first. Remember: You’re forging a partnership. Focus on getting to a term sheet first. Don’t bring your attorney in too soon. Be a team player. More here.
Federal: The Small Business Association website has tons of helpful information on federal tax requirements and federal licenses and permits. The business taxes page on the IRS website is also an excellent resource.
The staff at ABC Fundraising® is very friendly and will always help with any question you have. The products are always shipped on time. Anyone looking to make extra money and wants to help local organizations/schools, this is a must.
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.
Fancy yourself a poet? You can earn $300 for every poem you write that this greeting card company publishes—not a bad side business idea if you’ve got a way with words and aren’t afraid of rejection on poems that aren’t a good fit.
Many families with kids, including single-parents, have very limited time resources, creating a demand for part-time child care providers (and a business idea opportunity for you). If you love kids and have some spare time, you can earn plenty of side income by looking after children while their parents are away. Just be sure to identify the particular age group you’re comfortable caring for and you’re all set after any necessary certifications. Establishing a home-based daycare center capable of servicing six or more kids is also a lucrative way to really expand upon this business idea if you have the right environment for it.
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.
If you’re excellent at crafting amazing resumes that ultimately result in people getting the job, consider marketing those services. Most of your work will revolve around writing, editing, designing, and proofreading, so you will need few supplies outside of your computer and basic software to get started.
I love Gene Mahon’s blog about Nantucket. Great photos and well presented. Overtime he has built up a good advertising base. Like any blog it takes time, energy, consistency and patience to build a following. But if you enjoy taking pictures, attending events and meeting people, a local blog can be a lot of fun.
For example, you may have worked with electronics as an employee for many years. You may have noticed a demand in your community for a particular form of electrical work, and combining your experience with the market demand can allow you to attract customers.
In most cases, these firms offer a team of experts to plan out your company registration from scratch — this includes the strategies you need to follow in order to smoothly set up your business, itemizing potential costs, offering licensing and location options, coming up with solutions for potential business hurdles, and so on.
Survey Savvy is an online survey site where you’ll get earn money for sharing your opinions with companies. Most surveys pay out between $1.00 to $20.00 depending on the length and topic of the survey. Once your account has reached $1.00 in rewards, you can request payment via check. Survey Savvy has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
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.
Willing to mow lawns and trim bushes and trees? Many people are quite happy to pay for such services, and the demand is persistent: Nature just keeps growing… and growing… and growing. Not only is this a great side business for a fit adult, it’s also a great way for a teenager to get a small business started.
If you want to find a profitable online course idea in the next 3 days, join my free online course Find a Profitable Business Idea today. It’ll walk you step-by-step through the process I’ve used to generate more than $15,000 in online course sales in a single week. Then once you’re ready to start teaching your own online course, I recommend using Teachable, the easiest and most affordable platform to use for creating, hosting and selling your online courses. They also have a ton of free educational resources about how to get started with creating an online course (yes, even as a side business idea) when you sign up right here.
LiveWorld – Read Review – Open worldwide. Most people start out making between $8 and $10 hourly. The exact amount is dependent on your location. Get paid every two weeks with either a mailed check or direct deposit. Note the job is not always posted on their website.
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.
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.
While insurance can reduce this liability somewhat, it’s worth it to consider forming a corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC). These business structures will shield owners from personal liability, but there are more rules and requirements associated with them.
6. Create a sell sheet and, if need be, a short video. A sell sheet is essentially a one-page advertisement. They are frequently used to showcase new products. A good sell sheet will actually do the selling for you. It’s difficult to convey the benefit of some products statically though, which is why filming a short video may assist you (or, sometimes, be essential).
The big drawback to most retail ventures is that they are competing head to head with bigger retailers, as well as online sellers, who may sell brand name goods for lower prices than you can buy them for. Well a resale shop takes all that competition away. Choose your specialty carefully. Sporting goods and vintage clothing are good bets to consider.
In that case, you buy the building and hire a management company to handle the day-to-day hassles. I once tried to sell one of my online businesses to a 40-year old real estate billionaire who started out his business with just a couple multi-family homes.