how to open a small business | ways to start a small business

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.
Take Action: We know picking a spot can be tough if it doesn’t somehow happen naturally through your personal/professional networks. If you’d like to brush up on everything that goes into making this decision, refer to our friendly guide on How to Choose the Perfect Location.
Resource Recommendation: There is so much more to be said about small-business marketing than what we’ve mentioned here. To learn more about the points we discussed and many other topics, head over to our definitive guide!
Refusing to accept that I had no musical talent, my parents took me to many music teachers over the years, from a home based piano teacher to school based trumpet teachers. If you are patient with young students or talented enough to work with more experienced musicians, this could be a very satisfying way to make some good money.
Valentine’s day. Birthdays. Weddings. The list goes on and on—throughout the course of a year, there are dozens of occasions when people need to order flowers. What’s more is that once you’re up to speed with this business idea, your costs can stay relatively low if you know where to source your flowers, and typical margins are in the neighborhood of 300% (or more) on cut flowers which makes this a particularly profitable side business idea in the right geographic area. Check out this amazing interview with floral designer, Sara Tedford of Ladybird Poppy to hear about how her floral design company started out as a side business idea of doing weddings and events for her friends and family.
Remember my earlier post about breakfast burritos? Making meals in advance is a great way to save money for yourself – but you can often prepare these for others as well and sell them for a markup. Prepare eight casseroles, for example, then sell six of them to cover your costs, and you’ve got two free dinners for your family (and maybe a bit more). You can grow this by taking orders from others and finding out what they like.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it will be easy, though: Starting a business requires a lot of time, effort and hard work, and perhaps unsurprisingly, many would-be entrepreneurs end up failing. But if your company survives, the rewards of entrepreneurship are well worth the obstacles you’ll face on the road to success. 

Have a talent for crafting or creating other handmade goods? From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is one of the world’s largest independent marketplaces that’s perfect for anyone who is creative and willing to sell their handmade creations. As long as you have the space, this can make for one of the best home business ideas that can be started as a side hustle with a very limited investment. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology. Then, after you’re able to build your brand and grow your own audience, you can start an eCommerce site of your own and retain a larger portion of the revenue from your product sales—making this a very lucrative potential business idea if you’re able to find an audience that loves your products.
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If you want to start a small business, write down your plan for accomplishing your goal in a business plan that includes a description of your business, how it fits into the market, and an operational plan describing how you will deliver your product or service and all of the costs involved. Secure your start-up costs, taking out a small loan if you need to, then find a space to set up your business, market your company, and launch your product or service!
An email address is also something to consider when choosing a name. Get a professional email system (@yourcompany.com) with Google’s G Suite, which also comes with business tools for word processing and spreadsheets, all with business-grade security – Try it for free
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!
Short tasks are often just extra money and rewards, but it’s something a lot of people do to fill in the gaps between other types of work from home jobs. The tasks available will vary from site to site.
Want to start a food business? A truck is a much less expensive investment than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and according to Mobi Munch founder Josh Tang, the failure rate for food trucks is just 10 to 20 percent (as opposed to 60 to 90 percent for restaurants). With the right equipment and some great recipes, you can have your mobile eatery up and running in no time.
While you can find terrific resources online about family history, it takes someone to patiently piece it all together—that’s where you come in as the family history writer. Do your research carefully, put it together in a snappy-looking package, be patient in answering customers’ questions, and you could grow this business nicely.
Pet grooming and boarding are also businesses where convenience and distance matter, making them perfect ideas for rural businesses. No one wants to drive two towns over to drop their pet off for a trim, nor drive back to pick them up. Since most small towns don’t have a pet specialty chain such as a Petco, businesses can also capitalize on the lack of a major pet store where owners would usually purchase food, toys, and clothing for their pets. If you plan your business well, you can become the one-stop shop for all things furry. And that translates to big profits.
If you know how to play an instrument well (particularly the piano or the guitar) and have patience, you’ve got what you need to teach others how to play. Offer lessons in that instrument to others – this can also be an excellent service to barter with, too.
Even Rapunzel needed a trim now and them. It’s one service, that regardless of your age, most people need a few (if not a few dozen) times a year. If you’re currently calculating the average number of women in your town and multiplying it by three, thinking that is the amount of business you will drum up yearly, you’re thinking too narrowly. Opening your own hair salon has a variety of additional services that go far beyond haircuts. Think coloring, nails, and makeup, just to name a few. And remember, men tend to get their hair cut at least once a month. And, if you’re covering up that gray, every six weeks sounds about right. Quality cuts, depending on your geographic area and the experience of the stylist can go for around $100. Just make sure you have a solid business plan before opening up your small town shop.
Shop around local banks to see what’s out there. Local banks and credit unions usually have fantastic customer support, so we’d recommend looking into some award-winning Colorado-based banks like Alpine and Bank of Colorado.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Naturally, it helps if you already have an online audience you can tap for listening to your regular podcast (like I did), but that hasn’t stopped thousands of people from building successful side business ideas into lucrative podcasts—including Alex Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media who teaches how to use storytelling and launch a podcast. You can also check out this class from podcaster and entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, about how to make money podcasting as a side business idea, which regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive.
To succeed at car resale, you need to find a great source of used cars at a good price. Sources to buy cars include: car dealer auctions, bankruptcy auctions, new car dealers selling older cars they don’t want on their lot, government car auctions, and rental car agencies. You can also watch for bargain priced cars being advertised by individuals, but you need to snap up the best deals before someone else does. Focus on just a couple cars at a time, so that you can try to keep your overhead low by operating out of your house, and keep your profits up by choosing your cars carefully.
If you will sell products, you need a seller’s permit. Your state department of taxation’s website has complete details, forms, etc., if you decide to apply online, but most localities have forms you can complete while you’re at their administrative offices.
This is a great part-time business because you decide when you want to work. And except for work requiring licenses, you can decide how much work you want to contract out and how much you want to do yourself.
I love working for TTEC@home, I’m a single parent who moved to a new state where I had no family or friends. I started a job where I felt like I was working just to pay daycare for my four-year-old son. My son hated the daycare and I never had time to spend with him. I was referred to TTEC and I’m in love with it. Now, I put my son on the bus and log in for work. By the time I get off work, my son is almost home. It’s wonderful!
A perfect example of this is if you make specialty cakes and, because of the extreme designs, sizes and amazing flavors, people are willing to pay you $350 per cake. However, due to the work that goes into producing such amazing cakes, you are only able to make one every week which brings your profit to $1400 a month minus the cost of your supplies.
Domain name trading has been around for the last couple decades, and while most slam-dunk names have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 Million in 2009) there’s still plenty of others that you can get your hands on for relatively cheap and broker as your side business idea. But beware: some experts doubt the long-term viability of this business idea, so you shouldn’t quit your day job just to put all your effort into this one without some successes already in the bag. To get you started, here are some tips from GoDaddy, arguably the world’s largest and most famous repository of domain names. Imagine owning desirable domain names for the next decade’s most innovative companies.
There are a variety of print-on-demand platforms you can work with, many of which can be integrated with your Shopify store for seamless order fulfillment. However, be sure to always order a sample of your product (often offered at a discount) to make sure your custom products look good.
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.
Nicole received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.
You’ve gotten the logistical stuff out of the way — now it’s time to start building your brand. There are tons of places where you can assert your brand image, but a couple major ones are your business logo and website.
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. 

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