opening a small business | how to create my own business

It should go without saying that entrepreneurs wear many hats — but “attorney” shouldn’t be one of them. While you will have to get acquainted with the laws and regulations that will impact your business, sometimes it’s important to leave the details to the professionals. Give your business the best chance at success: contact a small business attorney in your area for help. 
As you embark on your new side business or “side hustle,” remember that you are only limited by your own imagination and skillset. Don’t be afraid to be creative, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed.
I learned a lot about resume writing as my book publishing company became the leading seller of resume books in the US. Resumes are not obsolete, even if you don’t always use one when applying for a position online, recruiters expect you to bring a resume to the interview. With the Internet, you can help write resumes and cover letters for anyone in the world. If you can write succinctly, you can write a good resume.
Note that many of these ideas could have been listed in more than the single category I placed them in. But I thought it would easier and more interesting for you, if I only listed each business once.
I love being a part of TTEC@home because of the flexibility of the schedule. There are way more benefits to working from home than most people realize. I save money on transportation and clothing. I save time. I have a tax write-off. And I have less anxiety. The bonus of working with TTEC is that I’ve met some great people and have learned new skills.

The local bank or investment advisory service may decide to add a touch of class and the feel of quiet success to their office by adding art to its walls, but which paintings should they buy? That’s where you come in, the expert art buyer. You could offer your services to private art buyers as well. Where do you start? You could simply start with one recommendation for one painting for a friend’s empty wall space.
Federal: The federal licenses and permits page on the Small Business Association’s website outlines all the business activities that call for special permission from the federal government, and directs you to the proper agencies. They also have a decent article on business taxes, but the best place to learn about this is on the IRS website.
Prudential hires work-at-home financial services associates, customer solutions reps, and customer relationship specialists. Prudential offers a comprehensive benefits package for full-time employees.
Events like family reunions and large parties are often full of busywork that many people simply don’t want to tackle. That can be the perfect place for you to step in and take charge of the planning and coordination. And thanks to the Internet, it is now easier than ever to market your event planning services.
An irrigation service installs and services underground sprinkler systems at homes and businesses. I use a one-person irrigation service at one house and have a larger landscaping service handle the irrigation at another house. The big work comes when you install a new system. But an existing system needs service every year including being “blown out” and turned on, and always there are sprinkler heads that need to be adjusted or replaced.
This is similar to the banquet facility business but built around a facility that is ideal for weddings. People will pay a lot of money for a wedding venue that excites them! You could provide the catering and related services yourself, allow customers to bring their own caterers or require your customers work with a particular caterer that you chose.
Potential challenges: There are plenty of wedding photographers out there already, so you need a good business plan to stand out from the competition. It may also be seasonally dependent, with higher demand in warmer months.
If you have the right touch, this business can be a goldmine, and very personally rewarding. One of my business school classmates changed into this career later in life and did very well, specializing in putting together highly talented teams for well financed startups, and early stage ventures. The typical head hunter makes endless cold calls–but at the higher end firms networking is much more important.
Many online sellers try to bake their shipping costs into their retail price so that they can offer free shipping, or at least a reasonable flat rate. Others focus on encouraging shoppers to add more items to their cart with conditional free shipping (e.g. free shipping on orders over $50) to maximize their profit.
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!
Yes, graphic design is hyper competitive. But everyone wants a little different style. So, if you get a highly appealing design in front of your prospective audience you can be successful. For this business, I would go crazy having a fabulous looking website with a totally “kickass” front page! Then I would use SEO techniques, social media, and every other marketing tool I could think of to drive traffic to it.
Software drives businesses today. This is a fact not lost on individuals and companies attempting to earn a profit, make a name for themselves, or simply get things done. As a result, the job outlook for software developers will be much sunnier than prospects for many other occupations—creating massive opportunities for this business idea well into  the future. In fact, it won’t take you long to find a good-paying software development project as a side business idea on sites like Upwork, Guru.com, and Freelancer. LinkedIn also recently launched their brand new freelancing platform, ProFinder which has a dedicated section just for hiring talented software developers.
Referrals and showcasing your work in an online gallery are two keys to gaining new clients. If you don’t have a lot of experience in photography but still want to pursue this business idea, try working as an assistant to a professional photographer to build up your resume.
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.
A merchant account is a contract under which an acquiring bank extends a line of credit to a merchant, who wishes to accept payment card transactions of a particular card association brand. Previously, without such a contract, one could not accept payments by any of the major credit card brands. However, the Square has changed that, so don’t feel locked in or limited to this option. Do your research.
The biggest gaming companies spend millions developing their latest offerings and lots more money promoting them. Can you compete? Yes, you can. A recent college grad we hired had just launched her own game, and was getting hundreds of thousands of downloads. Sure, it’s a whole additional level to get people to start paying for your games, but it can be done.
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.
I would recommend that you hyper specialize if you are starting an e-commerce business. Why? Because many e-commerce websites have very deep pockets and patient investors and are willing to sell products for razor thin margins (i.e. Amazon) or even at a loss to build market share. That being said if you can show some solid revenue in this business, and especially if you have repeat customers, you will have a business that is worth a lot of money even before it is profitable.
Kids are your future customers, so gaining their loyalty now isn’t a bad idea. According to Common Sense Media, three-quarters of kids have access to a mobile device. This spells a big business opportunity for anyone who can create products or design apps just for kids. And, if they also happen to be educational or promote good health, you’ll win their parents over, too.
Arranging for shipping, especially overseas, is complex and the rates can vary widely, even for nearby truck shipments. A shipping or freight forwarding service can find the best shipper for you, arrange the paperwork and a lot more. This can be a great business, with long term customers and steady work, but it can take a while to build up a large clientele.
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.
Your marketing plan. What’s your marketing budget? Where will you focus your efforts? Social media, email campaigns, online ads? If you’ve done enough research on your target market, you’ll know where to find them. Just like your milestones, your marketing efforts are bound to evolve — but you still need to establish an initial strategy.
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What is affiliate marketing? You provide links on your website or blog to an affiliate marketing service that sells a third-party product or company that sells their own product. The largest affiliate marketer is Amazon whose commissions are in the 4-4.5% range. Then there are the affiliate marketing services like Click Bank and ShareASale, which offer thousands of products, some of which have commissions as high as 70%. It sounds like an easy way to make money and some people have made a lot of money on it…but many more people have been disappointed by their results. It is very hard to get your website and blog visitors to buy things!
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