setting up a business | having your own business

I love wine bars! There is even a successful wine bar in the small village on Cape Cod where my summer house is. How did it become successful? The owners found a location near the center of the village but at a low rent. They started with a very limited food menu but eventually expanded it to become a full-service restaurant. They also offer live music on most nights. Beware that many customers expect truly exceptional wines at a wine bar.
I already know what you’re thinking when you read that title, ‘Here comes another one of those get rich quick scams. I don’t blame you. Most titles that begin the way tend to lead to some ebook or sales page. But what I’m about to reveal to you is totally legitimate and involves nothing more than speaking your mind. No I haven’t lost mine! Just be patient.
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.
If you have that drive and experience, however, being a restaurateur can be a successful endeavor and a great business for a small town. Just be aware that as glamorous as it might seem from the outside, one-quarter of all restaurants will fail within the first year. We don’t say this to discourage you; it’s just good to know what you’re up against. Doing your market research prior to opening, and investing in technology such as a restaurant POS system, can help you ensure your business stays open and on top.
Apparently you have to be seen to be appreciated by your coworkers, so, if it’s possible, you might want to get out of the house and show up at the office once in a while. (Plus, you might start feeling a little lonely — and lose a little too much sleep.)
Like to grow vegetables? Focus in on one vegetable and sell the excess to grocery stores and at farmers’ markets. My father does this with tomatoes and earns some solid extra money during the summer months. You can do really well, though, if you can grow things inside during the winter – February fresh tomatoes can sell quite well.
Needle – Read Review – Open to US and possibly other countries. Note this company used to pay you in cash, but now they are points only, although you can redeem your points for Visa gift cards. Extra money only.
Great list. I would also add private chef/cook. If you live near a metropolitan area with highly paid, but very busy professionals, there is a great need for people to prepare home-cooked meals for them.
Work at home transferring data from one source to another. Most of these companies do not require past experience, although with few exceptions the pay may not be enough to consider it a stable income. Before you begin applying to any of the companies below (many of which sadly are almost never hiring), you might want to read the post I wrote about data entry jobs from home. It explains what your expectations should be prior to pursuing a career in this industry.
You’ve probably noticed that most companies nowadays offer ways to for their customers to contact them instantly via live chat support. Many of these chat support agents do work from home. Below is a list of the companies I’ve reviewed on this site that have occasion openings for work at home chat agents.
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.
Too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to run their business venture out of their personal bank account. It’s super important to create a separate bank account for your business, primarily because it isolates your professional financials and makes them easier to manage and track.
Potential challenges: You will likely run into serious competition from repair shops and phone provider service programs, such as AppleCare. You can lower these risks by offering your services at a lower cost.
Do you have investments or savings? If so, consider using a portion to fund your business. You should never invest all your savings into a business due to the risk of failure. In addition, you should never invest money put aside for emergency savings (experts recommend having three to six months of income put aside for this purpose), or money you will need over the next few years for various obligations.
Local: Many cities and counties also require registration or licensing for individuals and firms conducting business within their jurisdiction. To learn about your requirements in this area, consult your local county clerks and city clerks. You can also search by keyword and zip code here.
Alternatively, if your business is more oriented toward the “in person” experience, traditional marketing may be just as important. For example, if you’re starting a landscaping business, focus on getting the word out to neighbors before starting a website
Wouldn’t you enjoy making kids smile and laugh? What a great way to earn some good money, especially at kids’ birthdays and Bar and Bat mitzvahs! Business will be heavily focused on weekends, so you can hold onto your day job as you build your clientele. I met a professional clown who told me that he charged $200 an hour…for that price I’ll put the clown suit on right now!
This is very competitive. Just a few feet away from me in the co-share space I am working in currently, several young people started an Internet based food service, but gave up after a few months. But there is a huge demand for food delivery both from restaurants and grocery stores, and you just might be able to make a go of it!
If you are in a climate that consistently gets a lot of snow each year, then this could be a good business. But if the snowfall is inconsistent, you could get stuck with having a nice new snowplow and truck, but no business.

Keep learning, and be adaptable to change. Find buddies, mentors, local business-related organizations, Internet forums, and wikis to discuss the daily details of running a small business. It’s much easier for everyone to perform their core businesses well and prosper when they don’t waste time and energy “reinventing the wheel” on housekeeping.
Every town, big or small, needs (and deserves) a few good restaurants. Your local pizza castle won’t suffice for all occasions and events. But much like owning a bakery, opening a restaurant is not something to go into halfheartedly. You need to have the passion, the drive, and the obsession of both a great entrepreneur and a chef (or at least a hard-core foodie).
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.
Create a logo that can help people easily identify your brand, and be consistent in using it across all of your platforms, including your all-important company website. Use social media to spread the word about your new business, perhaps as a promotional tool to offer coupons and discounts to followers once you launch. Be sure to also keep these digital assets up to date with relevant, interesting content about your business and industry.
If you have the experience working for a company that does home repairs or contracting work, then you can fairly easily start your own contracting business where you offer various services to homeowners.
The Give & Grow Shopify app makes it easy to partner with charitable organizations and incorporate your mission into your business. You can set it up to donate a specific amount or a percentage of sales, or ask your customers to add a donation at checkout.
Years ago, my grandmother freelanced articles for national magazines typically about life on “Olde Cape Cod.” Today there are still some freelance writing opportunities at traditional publications, but the big opportunity is online in content marketing. Business and consumer-oriented websites alike are rushing to post more and more content related to their business space, to try to attract traffic from search engines and to position themselves in the minds of potential customers. Some businesses will require that you have expertise in their industry to write for them, but others will consider buying articles from you, as long as they are well researched and well written.
Another popular (mostly) non-phone job is online academic tutoring. This is often done via chat over the computer rather than by phone, but different companies will handle the communication in different ways, so you may want to double-check how you’re communicating with the students prior to applying.
Many people would love to have a beautiful slideshow to commemorate the passing of a loved one, an anniversary, or a special birthday. With a computer and some select software, you could quickly turn anyone’s pictures into a beautiful, custom slideshow, and profit handsomely for your time and effort.
Now that you’ve officially formed your business, it’s time to take all the necessary precautions to make sure you’re fully compliant with the federal, state and local government. Here are the best places to find out about each:
One of my friends sold off his large family business that made industrial goods, and then embarked on a new career as an artisan furniture maker. He studied furniture making in a full-time study program and focused on very high wood furniture. He would display his furniture at shows and promote open studio nights. Clients were wealthy individuals and some high-end boutique hotels.
Obtain an required business licenses. License requirements will vary according to your state, or even according to the county where you plan to do business. Contact your county clerk’s office to determine if any licenses or permits are required for your type of business.
After you register your business, you may need to get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. While this is not required for sole proprietorships with no employees, you may want to apply for one anyway to keep your personal and business taxes separate, or simply to save yourself the trouble later on if you decide to hire someone else. The IRS has provided a checklist to determine whether you will require an EIN to run your business. If you do need an EIN, you can register online for free.
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.
Price your products too low and shoppers might assume they’re low quality. Price them too high, and you might scare some customers off. In any case, you’ll need to find a sweet spot that also lets you factor in the cost to acquire customers and offer discounts, especially if you plan on paying for ads.
You would think that in this day and age of electronic communication that messengers were something of the past—but no messenger services are still vibrant. In larger cities bicycle courier services are popular and in smaller cities local messenger services rely exclusively on cars.
Many small businesses in your community could use a very basic web presence to tell others about their business. Quite often, these businesses don’t have a large budget for such things. That’s where you come in – get a bunch of clients from the local community by beating the pavement, create sites for them, and maintain them for a small fee. Get enough businesses and you have a nice side business of your own that doesn’t require a ton of maintenance time.
Resource Recommendation: Since this step can have such serious repercussions if it’s not done correctly, we highly recommend investing a few minutes to read through our business structure comparison guide before deciding on one. Then, when it comes time to officially form your business, you can either do so on your own or use an online incorporation service. Take a look at our top 7 incorporation services for an in-depth discussion of our favorite providers!
Join Shark Tank’s Daymond John, MailChimp’s Ben Chestnut, Drybar’s Alli Webb, Boxed’s Chieh Huang, Harry’s Jeff Raider, and hundreds of scrappy and trailblazing entrepreneurs at this year’s Grow Your Company Conference in New Orleans, May 30-June 1. To learn more and to register visit Growco Conference.
With many print-on-demand services, you’re paying per-product, so the base price per unit will be more expensive than if you were to order in bulk. But the advantage is that if a certain t-shirt design doesn’t sell, you haven’t actually paid for the item yet (only the design if you outsourced it).
ABC Fundraising –  Earn up to $5,000 per month or more! Work from home setting up fundraisers for schools, churches, and non-profit organizations. Since 1993 ABC Fundraising has helped over 50,000 groups, raise over 50 million dollars, and we want to help you start a new career today. Recently one of our distributors earned $7,200 by simply setting up a school-wide fundraiser with our flagship fundraising product. Get a FREE information kit now and sign up for our free online webinar to learn more about this exciting business opportunity.
Like birthdays, marriages happen all the time. Which means you can treat weddings as a recurring fountain of business opportunities: wedding dresses and coats, jewelers, food caterers, venue providers, photographers and videographers, performers, flower shops, travel agencies, souvenir crafts, and a host of other ventures. Now imagine if you can form a network of these service providers so you can offer engaged couples a range of hassle-free wedding packages as a turnkey business idea. The process is certainly fun (and time-consuming), but as a side business idea, the pay can be pretty great.
Motivational speakers can earn a lot of money for even a short presentation. But you need to be awesome! And you need to market yourself. I’ve hired motivational speakers for large group business retreats, and I can tell you that once you start giving stand-out presentations that word of mouth travels quickly!
Resource Recommendation: If you could use some help with this step, a business license service is a great solution. They’ll determine everything required of your business on a federal, state and local level, get the forms for you and even provide filing instructions.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to monetize something you love via a niche website as a side business idea. That of course, is easier said than done, something not intended for the faint of heart. Prepare to invest a lot of your time, but if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it.
To open up a bank account for your business, you’ll need to obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number). You’ll use your EIN in place of your social security number so that this account is completely separate from your personal finances.