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.
Read through our comparison guide to learn more about each business structure. Make sure you fully understand the taxes, management, and level of liability tied up with your chosen structure before registering it with the state.
Companies large and small need to be posting regularly to social media or they will be left behind. Many companies outsource this work to social media specialists. This is a great business because you will receive ongoing work and a recurring revenue stream. And the work is easy enough that over time you can delegate the day to day posting work and build a social media agency empire!
If you buy a franchise, they may come with back-office support to help you run your business, including with money transactions. If you’re running the business on your own, you could use a service like Paypal to conduct any transactions.
Instead, at least for now, forget branding and unique selling propositions and all the business-identity stuff. And don’t worry about finding the perfect URL or website design or promotional literature. You’re putting those carts way before your business horse, too.
Mobile tech is now a must-have for almost any business, but finding ways to go mobile is a challenge for many business owners. If you can provide affordable mobile solutions to businesses that need them, you’ll find mobile consulting a rich business opportunity.
One of my friend’s mothers offered art lessons in her home after school. She had a steady clientele and they made some really cool art! You may already have an art specialty that you want to teach to others. Or you may find that you are better off learning the basics of a new art skill and teaching that, or offering a survey course covering a number of art skills—most of the market will likely be beginners anyway.
As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Without people cleaning up everybody else’s junk, the world would be a lot messier than it already is. This business idea might not be glamorous, but you get to make the world a cleaner place while earning extra side income. To start, you’ll likely need a sturdy second-hand truck and standard equipment like shovels, wheelbarrows, sledgehammers, rakes, and garbage cans to launch the foundation of this side business idea.
If you have a fondness for taking pictures of smiling families or laughing children blowing bubbles, consider becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like Unsplash, ShutterStock and iStockPhoto as a side business idea. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
1. Study the market. When a product idea dawns on you, first you must situate it. I recommend searching through Google Images and Google Shopping. Do similar products exist? Study them carefully. What benefits do they offer? Consider your point of difference. Does it offer a benefit consumers truly need or want? Read Amazon product reviews for further insight. Search for prior art as well. (Your goal is to understand the history of innovation as it relates to your concept, not to prove it’s never been thought of before.) If you find your idea in a patent but not on the market, do further research. What happened?
Evaluate your talents. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between talents and things you enjoy. Just because you enjoy something does not mean you can turn it into a business. Think about your skills, or the hobbies that you do better than anyone else. Your business can also be based off of a professional skill you’ve developed or been educated in.
The big problem for many of us is that working a full-time job makes it too exhausting to even consider trying to find an alternative outlet. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs struggled with this when they wanted to start a business for the first time while they still had a day job.
A money broker is basically someone who arranges short-term loans to people. A common variant on this is “pay-day lending” where businesses lend money to people who are typically looking for funds to hold them over to the next paycheck. These are usually storefront locations, closely regulated and not allowed in all states. This can be a solid business, but the regulatory climate is shifting against these businesses, so evaluate the risk of future regulatory changes, before hanging out your shingle.
I will tell you a secret. You can make a lot of money from a non-profit business. You can pay yourself a good salary and reasonable expenses. And you can even sell the enterprise. Better yet, you can create an organization that will really help others. I strongly suggest you approach running a non-profit with the same discipline that you would a profit-making business, and almost all of the how-to videos on BusinessTown.com apply to non-profits as well.
When I set out to start in on a new business idea, I always make sure it aligns with both my core competencies and my interests. It starts with learning how to discover your strengths as an entrepreneur, and it’s how I make sure I’ll be engaged, even when the going gets rough. I learned this the hard way when I decided to start a freelance business a few years ago to offer my freelance content marketing services.
You should have some decent equipment that makes your audience happy but that could mean different levels of investment for different audiences. Are you going to be playing for large event venues or for junior high school birthday parties? I know a fellow who started a successful mobile DJ business even before he was old enough to have a driver’s license. He would either have a friend give him and his equipment a ride to his gigs, or he would get a taxi.
Nothing beats teaching more novice learners about your passion, hobby, or craft as a business idea (that’s a common theme here). Explore dozens of DIY portals (such as DIY.org, DIY Network, Instructables and Mahalo) to get business ideas on how to earn a healthy side income just by showing others how to do the things you love. You can also sift through the countless ad-supported YouTube channels that teach just about anything from guitar strumming to 3D printing.
A limited partnership, which is composed of a few general partners, who are liable for problems with the business, and a few limited partners, who are only liable for the amount in which they invest in the business. All share profits and losses.
You can provide full service grooming without any overhead by visiting pets at their homes. Or you can have a store front with full service grooming. Or you can provide a do-it-yourself pet grooming facility. Location matters. One do-it-yourself pet grooming facility was highly successful with a location on a busy road, but another location they had on a secondary road, just off the center of town, did not work out.
The holidays do bring cheer, but when winter comes, so does the snow. Thick, traffic-hindering piles of it. Snow can be fun for a while but somebody has to get rid of it for our lifestyles to continue onward. Make extra money with this side business idea from home by offering snow and ice removal services.
#8 – Pleio – Read Review– is a call service company that seeks to hire workers who can call patients and remind them to take their medications. The process of hiring involves undergoing a screening process, taking a test and doing a mock call. Pay is $15-$20 per hour.
Competition isn’t just about the goods or services themselves. It is also about your social and environmental credibility. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the need to show that your business is concerned with labor conditions and isn’t damaging the environment. Certification endorsements from reputable organizations, such as labels and stars, can reassure customers that your product or service is more aligned with their values than one lacking the certification.
Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.
Think back to all the times you’ve called a company for help or typed questions into an online help box. The people you dealt with could have been working at home, which gives you some idea of the kind of work you might be doing.
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Live in an area with plenty of snowfall during the winter? If so, you could easily start a snowplow business by investing in a plow attachment for your pickup truck or Jeep. If you want to start smaller, you could even build your business by clearing driveways and walkways with a shovel or a snowblower.
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.
I had ideas for clever and novel consumer products that I wanted to bring to market. Why not try to license them? I applied the same process to bring a much a more complex idea (that required nearly two dozen patents and defending said intellectual property in federal court) for the labeling industry to market.
Potential challenges: Depending on your location, you may need to get licensed. You may also face heavy competition from other local sitters and companies such as Rover, which connects dog owners to sitters and walkers. You’re also responsible for the safety and well-being of the furry ones.
Some might start out as employees or apprentices for other businesses and then gradually build up the skills and experience before they set out on their own. But with the right idea and determination, they can make their dreams of having their own small business come true.
Home buyers today are getting increasingly used to seeing vacant homes set up with staged furniture. And if you are choosing furniture specifically for the purpose of making a house look great, you can both increase the likelihood that the house will sell quickly, and that it will sell for a higher price. Stage some rooms in your own house, take pictures, and then get customers by networking with real estate brokers.