how to start a consulting business | basics of starting a business

If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? Take my friend, Mark Jackson’s lead with what he’s doing to build a travel consulting side business idea. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals and eventually you could spin this business idea into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make your dream trip a reality.
Colorado doesn’t issue general business licenses, but there are a number of scenarios that do call for special permits, licenses and taxes on a local, state and federal level. Here are the best resources for each:
A few years ago, I overheard a conversation in a gym about a fellow who was planning on starting an Irish pub, of which there are close to million (well almost a million) in Boston, but then changed his mind and opened a pub focusing on craft beers. It was wildly successful! In addition to being a unique idea at the time, he also chose an excellent location and developed a solid food menu. Unless your overhead is extremely low, you are probably going to need to serve food to make a go of this business, so yes you can be extremely successful–but it is no small undertaking.
If keeping your home organized comes naturally and you enjoy helping other people, consider becoming a professional organizer as a side business idea. As the need for baby boomers to start downsizing grows, you can use your organizing and decluttering skills to start making an industry standard $50-125 an hour with very little startup costs and some free expert advice from Jen Kilbourne. Believe it or not, pro organizers don’t just work with hoarders. More and more people are hiring professional organizers in order stop wasting time and money due to the stress of everyday disorganization. What’s even better, is that you can take this on as a side business idea during the nights and weekends when your clients will be at home.

Is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your LLC is available so that you can reserve your domain name. Even if you don’t plan to make a website today, you may want to buy the domain name in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
The key to get going with this business is to build relationships with schools and school music directors, who can recommend your services. Chances are a larger school isn’t going to recommend you unless you have a track record, so you will probably have to start with some very small schools. Musical instruments, especially those that are rented out, are highly financeable for low rates, so this is a business you can get into with very little money, and expand aggressively.
A neat bonus of attending a craft class is that not only do you learn how to do something new, but also that you get to go home with something tangible—your finished craft project! People are often willing to take a craft class if you can market it in an appealing way. And focusing on what the finished project will look like is one way to get people excited about signing up!
Write your business description. Describe your business more specifically, and how it fits into the market in general. If you are a corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship, state that, and why you chose to go that route. Describe your product, its big features, and why people will want it. Answer the following questions:
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.
Please Note: These business opportunities require a small investment up front, but give you all the tools and support that you’ll need to start your very own home-based business in the direct sales industry.
If you have a good eye for detail work and a lot of patience, homemade jewelry can be quite profitable. As with other items on this list, there are many opportunities to sell such items through local gift shops, craft fairs, or sites like Etsy.
We are pleased to offer our Reservations Sales Specialist positions in most of the United States. We currently hire from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. You can take this job with you just about anywhere you are relocating!
Do one thing well. Don’t try to master SEO, social media, online advertising and email campaigning all at once. Make an educated decision about where to focus your efforts based on your knowledge of your target market, and stay there.
Yes, you can start your own clothing line with just a few items, be successful and have a lot of fun along the way! Look at Ralph Lauren who started by selling a couple neck ties and then built that into a multi-billion-dollar empire. Contract out the manufacturing which is the really hard part of the work. Then focus on developing eye-stopping designs and talking it up with potential re-sellers, or sell the items yourself online!
Potential challenges: It’s a challenging business to operate. Obstacles include securing financing, choosing a location that will attract customers, picking out the right equipment and ingredients to brew beer, and obtaining the proper permits and licenses.
I also recommend FlexJobs for finding more. You can regularly search legitimate work at home jobs for data entry and other industries. FlexJobs guarantees all their job leads to be scam-free, and it’s the only membership-based jobs site I currently use and trust. Their listings are updated 5-6 times per week, and there is no shortage of listings. You can currently get 30% off a subscription using promo code AFFILPROMO.
Reserve your business name. In some states, you can register your business name when filing your articles of incorporation. However, in other states, you must separately register your name before forming your LLC.
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.
Stay focused on central goals. This may sound contradictory to what we just discussed, but it’s not. The point here is to avoid chasing after every marketing idea that comes into fashion. It’s better to invest a significant amount of time and money into one or two stellar marketing ideas than to spread yourself too thin.
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]
This is a beer lover’s dream and sounds perfect for someone who’s already brewing beer at home. However, opening a brewery isn’t easy. Consider connecting with some brewery owners for advice, tips and guidance to see if this is a path you really want to take.
#41 – Rosetta Stone is a language and translation company that hires language coaches. To secure employment, you must be fluent in numerous languages apart from American English. The pay ranges up to $17 per hour.
The first thought that comes to mind for mobile hair salon is that you save the overhead of having a storefront location. However, you are also offering a convenience for your customers. Assisted living facilities and senior citizens trying to minimize trips out of the home will especially appreciate mobile hair salon services.
Expenses. These are the costs for operations that occur during the start-up phase. They include tax-deductible costs such as travel, payroll, rent, office supplies, marketing materials, etc. They also include initial organizational costs like legal fees and state incorporation fees. Many (but not all) of these costs are tax deductible, up to $5,000 in the first year of doing business. You can deduct the remaining costs in equal instalments over a period of 180 months (starting with the month in which your business opens).
Sseko – Run your own ethical fashion business with Sseko! You’ll fall in love with the amazing handcrafted and on-trend products. Sseko Designs uses fashion to create opportunity for women globally. We provide employment and scholarship opportunities to women in Uganda who are working to pursue their dreams and overcome poverty. We do this through a financially self-sustaining model, one that also enables us to create opportunity for women in the U.S. to earn an income: The Sseko Fellows Program. As a Sseko Fellow, you get to share the Sseko story and sell beautiful products of the highest quality. You’ll become an integral part of making dreams come true for women in Uganda while you simultaneously earn an income for yourself! We’ve got a vibrant community of women ready to welcome and mentor you as you get started… and every step of the way!
You have a passion, and you’d like to make it your profession. No matter how enthusiastic you are about your small business, though, it won’t be successful unless you have a plan in place for how you’re going to start and run it.
“Innovative companies aren’t going it alone,” the report states. “Instead, they’re pushing the boundaries of innovation both inside and outside their organizations by breaking down traditional barriers, tapping a much wider ecosystem for ideas, insights, talent, and technology, and incorporating the customer throughout the innovation process.”
Finally, it’s time to master the primary skill that will ensure the continual success and growth of your business: marketing. Marketing is quite literally an art, so it’s impossible to distill it down to a few bullet points. Regardless, here are a few things you’ll definitely need to do in order to design a successful marketing strategy:
Stitch Fix is an online, fashion subscription site that hires part time stylists to work from home. Using the Stitch Fix online styling platform, stylists curate fashion solutions for clients. Must love fashion and have the ability to work between 15 – 29 hours each week.
From the advent of rapid prototyping and crowdfunding to the widespread affordability of digital tools and technologies, the opportunities available to creative people today are fundamentally different — and enormously exciting.
Potential customers need to be able to Google you and investigate your business. They need to have digital payment options. They need contact forms and blog-content in some cases to see what your brand is all about.
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.
Do I need workers’ compensation insurance? Oregon requires almost all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance on their employees. If you employ workers in Oregon you probably need coverage. The Small Business Ombudsman also provides information and assistance to small businesses regarding workers’ compensation insurance.
Skilled at creating blankets and sweaters? There’s a huge market for these types of items – even better, you can usually make them in your spare time whenever you have it. As always, local shops and sites like Etsy are great venues to sell such items.
Wedding photographers command premium rates. After all, you are capturing one of a couple’s most important life moments, making it a very lucrative side business idea. Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 – $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it’s realistic that this side business idea could quickly blossom into becoming a full-time endeavor with the right happy clientele base that’s willing to refer you to their friends and family. Check out the Complete Wedding Photography Experience over on CreativeLive to get up to speed on everything you need to launch a successful wedding photography business.
Cass Information Systems – Data verification and data entry work. This position is location-based. If the position is open, you’ll see it under “Data Verification Clerk.” Training onsite is required before you can do the job from home.
Ensure that your chosen name is available. In order to register your LLC with the name you’ve chosen, you must search to make sure that the name is available in the state where you plan to file your LLC. To check name availability, you must look through the secretary of state’s database of registered names.
The best way to hold onto your competitive edge is to protect your trade secrets. A trade secret is that information that isn’t known to others that gives you a competitive advantage in the market. There are many kinds of trade secrets, and trade secrets receive legal protection as long as their owners take steps to keep them secret. Those steps could be anything from marking confidential documents to requiring partners and employees to sign nondisclosure agreements.
Kaeser & Blair – Promotional Products Business Ownership Program is the perfect business opportunity for today’s stay-at-home mom. With a minimal start-up cost, K&B makes it easier than ever to work at your own pace, create your own schedule and capitalize on an industry that does over $21 billion of sales each year. As a K&B business owner, you are your own boss and in complete control of both your hours and earnings. You have the ability to work as much—or as little—as you choose, and reap the benefits. Part-time business owners earn up to $20,000 annually, and full-time business owners make as much as $185,000. The possibilities truly are endless. Learn more about the risk-free opportunity with Kaeser & Blair here. here.
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.
I like anything that is custom because it allows you to distinguish yourself with great customer service, and provides some upside for pricing. Offering this kind of service online means you can set your own hours and start the business part time.
Words of Worth – Read Review – Open to US, Canada, and possibly other countries. Pay rates are not listed on the website, but it will vary depending on the assignment. Get paid once a month via bank transfer.
There are basically two businesses here and I would tend to focus on one or the other. One is providing medical help such as skilled nurses. The other is providing senior companions. Both can be great businesses with long term revenue streams and high demand.
#11- TranscribeMe,  a company that pays up to $20 per hour for an audio transcription. As a requirement, you must pass their short transcription test for you to be shortlisted for transcription projects. TranscribeMe pays weekly via PayPal for every completed order.
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 editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.