start a company | small business startup help

Find out what legal steps you need to take, such as getting a local business permit, obtaining a state license, passing health department requirements, incorporating, getting a sales tax license or buying liability insurance.
Do you think too many aspiring entrepreneurs are trying to create the next big mobile/web app these days? Seems like there are tons of proven/simpler businesses that may be more suited for beginner entrepreneurs like the ones you’ve mentioned in this post!
If you can’t market a product or service in Illinois then you might want to re-think things a bit. Illinois is truly one of the biggest cultural melting pots in America, so it has plenty of niche consumer populations. The challenge is not getting lost and in over your budget’s head.
Talk to the vendors and suppliers who will sell you materials and equipment, and the retailers or other distribution providers who will help sell your product. Explain your business concept to them and get advice regarding what they’ve seen in the marketplace you need to address.
Marketing a business can also include building a brand, setting up a professional website, driving traffic to your site with search engine optimization, and using a promotional strategy, among other tactics.
Beware of people who ask for money before giving you business. Trade leads to prosperity through mutual gain,[3] so a business should be willing to pay you to work for it. (A franchise store or home-sales business may have legitimate start-up costs, but they should reflect a reasonable cost of getting you started in the business so the managers would make money through your success, rather than just by getting you in.)
PlaytestCloud is looking for gamers on Android and iOS to be paid for playing unreleased games! We receive a variety of games to test and match testers to games they would enjoy. Sign up with all required demographic info and after a qualification test you’ll get a playtest within a few days. We’ll send you a survey and game to test and want to hear what you think of the game as you play. All in all, it shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to do one test. Reward is usually between $5 – $9 USD and paid via PayPal.
If you can create a regular audience for your podcast on a specific topic, this is a great way to get sponsors and fund this side business idea. My podcast, The Side Hustle Project is actually my current side business idea, and because I had an existing audience here on my blog at the time I launched the show, I was able to broker a $5,000 sponsorship from Freshbooks to place ads on the first ten episodes before I even got started.
Like it or not, people tend to judge you instantly on that first impression! That’s why so many executives and business owners consider hiring an image consultant. If you have a good sense of dress and appearance, this could be a good niche business for you!
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.
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]
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. One of my friends built up a successful import/export business while still in college.
A real estate appraisal business can be operated from home, on a part-time basis, making for a fun side business idea if you have the credentials to back it up. A perfect option if you want to keep your day job while earning a little extra on the side. You won’t need a college degree to start in on this business idea, but you’ll need bankable appraiser credentials (including relevant training and professional licenses), strong knowledge of the sector, and a growing network of industry players including mortgage brokers, real estate agents, banks, and fellow appraisers that’ll want to utilize your services.
Dog walking is the perfect side business for anyone who has a few hours to kill during the day. Once you get a few clients, you simply need to pick up their dogs and take them on long, leisurely walks that will tire them out and keep them in shape. Bonus: Walking dogs may help you in your quest to stay fit as well.
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Hilton’s virtual training program allows you the flexibility and control to select training sessions from our daily offerings that work best for you on a day-to-day basis. Please see below for more details:
 The staff at ABC Fundraising® is very friendly and will always help with any question you have. The products are always shipped on time. Anyone looking to make extra money and wants to help local organizations/schools, this is a must.
There is a huge market and a big opportunity selling promotional material. Your best market will be mid to larger sized businesses, who are willing to spend some money to both promote their business to their customers or to use promotional items as incentives and rewards for their employees. Basically, you are reselling the product lines for other companies. I would suggest you have a good diversity of lines to increase your chances of getting your foot in the door, to increase your chances of holding your prospects’ attention and to increase your income. T-shirts, pens, hats, jackets: there are all kinds of promotional items you can sell.
Is your business idea really unique? What value will it generate? Is it something your target audience really wants? Or is it something you think they’d want? Getting answers to these questions is important to determine whether or not your idea works.
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.
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.

Everyone knows legal proceedings take forever, can be very expensive, and the outcomes can be uncertain. I became involved in litigation with a service vendor and it looked like we had no alternative but to go to court. However, our opposing attorneys agreed to hire an arbitrator and we ended up with a much better result, with much less time and agony. A great business—and a great service for individuals and businesses.
Companies are increasingly turning to freelance and contract workers to fill the skill gaps in their staff. It’s not hard to imagine that you could build a whole company around providing freelance services of one sort or another. Some freelance gigs pay by the project and others pay hourly, and the rates can vary greatly. But as you gain more experience, your earning potential will soar.
Reservation Sales Team Members are paid a base pay of $9.00 per hour + incentives. Incentives are based on your ability to meet sales metrics and other performance goals, and can range in amount, up to $2.00 per hour through the iEarn incentive program.
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Profit is, after all, the ultimate goal of any successful small business. You should examine your business’ expenses (rent, materials, employee compensation, etc.) and then figure out how much you will need to sell to cover those costs and start generating a profit. This is known as a break-even analysis.
College counsellors come in all shapes and sizes. Their primary duty is to help guide students through an important period in their lives. Some counselors focus on admissions, career advice, financial aid, athletics, extracurricular activities, and other concerns. There are institutions looking out for part-time college counselors, making this a fantastic side business idea, or you can even start your own practice and charge anywhere from $25-$100+ per hour for your consultative services if you’re well-versed on the subject.
One of our strongest selling books at my book publishing company was “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands?” Traveling business people and others want to know how to fit in with foreign cultures. With a little bit a research or overseas exposure you could offer basic courses and consulting, and then you could provide more in-depth expertise as you build your knowledge overtime.
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.
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.
Even in the Internet age, there is something about physically going to a weight loss center that helps bring commitment and seriousness to the weight loss process. The business models vary from a mixture of fees to just making money from selling prepackaged food. You want to make sure your customers not just lose some weight but also feel great about themselves, because then they will also feel great about you and your business, and become raving fans.
I find the car wash business highly attractive and even considered opening one at one point. You have a regular clientele, in many areas the competition isn’t too intense, and there is lots of room to upsell more expensive services like detailing. If I was going to go into this business, I might consider starting with a smaller facility in a smaller market, and really learning the business before going for a larger facility, in a more competitive marketplace.
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If you have ever lived in a small town and entertained houseguests, you’ve probably often wished that your town had a bed and breakfast. Though small towns with a tourism industry will often have historical inns or at least a motel or two, towns that aren’t exactly Plymouth, MA or Williamsburg, VA often go without. That means no place for the in-laws to stay or guests for a family reunion or wedding. Opening a small inn or bed and breakfast can help fill a need in your area. If you’re worried about being able to keep your rooms booked, go small. Bed and breakfast owners tend to live in the same homes they manage, often converting their larger homes into B&Bs. This is a great idea for those who have recently become empty nesters with too many rooms to fill. If you’re later in life and looking for business ideas for small towns, this concept is a great one to explore.
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.