start my own business ideas | first steps in starting a small business

This could be a lot of fun, playing store merchant every now and then, when you decide to attend a flea market. There are general flea markets to attend, plus more specialized ones. For example, being a model railroad buff, I notice the many model railroad vendors who travel to model railroad shows around the northeast, selling new or used model railroad supplies. You could make your own items to sell, trade used items, or sell new items that you buy wholesale. The options are endless.
Understand the needs of your market. Listen to what people say and what they need in the area. If something they mention is an interest of yours and you are good at it, you should definitely try it. This applies locally just as well as it does online. Every good business idea fulfills a need in the market.
Assess your financing needs. While starting a business from home can be more affordable than starting a traditional business, you will still need money to get started. As you form your home business idea, think about how much money you will need to buy inventory, buy your production equipment, or cover any other initial costs. If you don’t have a lot in savings, you can also get a business loan to get started, but this would mean qualifying for and then subsequently being responsible for a loan, which can be difficult for a new business. Consider your financing options carefully as you set up your home business.
Next it’s time to choose a structure for your business and get it registered in California. This is a huge step and it’s important to understand the implications of each business structure before settling on one, so we’ll take a brief look at each.
Do you see eye to eye on the big picture? Arguments about the details are a given, and are important for getting things right. But not seeing eye to eye on the big picture, the real purpose of your business, can cause a split that may be irreparable. Be sure your team cares about the and buys into the purpose as much as you do.
Naturally, it helps if you already have an online audience you can tap for listening to your regular podcast (like I did), but that hasn’t stopped thousands of people from building successful side business ideas into lucrative podcasts—including Alex Blumberg, founder of Gimlet Media who teaches how to use storytelling and launch a podcast. You can also check out this class from podcaster and entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, about how to make money podcasting as a side business idea, which regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive.
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I would only recommend trading a collectible that you really love! If you are dealing with your favorite collectible, the work will be more enjoyable, it will be easier to increase your expertise, and you will be much more likely to be successful. The online options today allow you to specialize much more deeply than in the past because you can reach a global market. So, within your favorite collectible space, find a particular niche or two and focus sharply on it.
Set up your home office. To work effectively, you’ll need to have a dedicated business space within your home. If you work locally, this is also your commercial space. You’ll need to create an area separate from family members, pets, and other distractions.[5] If possible, separate this area as much as possible from the rest of your home. The physical separation will help create mental separation between your home life and work life and also make the tax deduction for a home-based office less subjective.
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.
Want to be sure if your business idea is indeed unique? Run a test and find out. A pilot will give you the confidence you need to take your idea to the next level and mitigate risk. You can start on a small scale by giving away some freebies to a few people in your target audience group to see how they respond.
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).
I invested in a friend’s prefab home construction once and lost all of my investment when a huge downturn hit the real estate market. Nonetheless this is a powerful business concept. By doing much of the house construction process in a fully equipped, controllable environment, the building process can be much more efficient. Furthermore, by using prebuilt modules, a builder can still construct a gorgeous customized house. You can get involved in this business by building the prefab homes or modules yourself, or as a housing contractor using prefab modules.
Despite Instagram’s growing popularity, not all brands know what they’re doing on the app. If you have a background in social media and marketing and a passion for photography and Instagram, starting a consulting business that focuses on the popular photo app can be a great way to make money while helping other businesses improve their content and thrive.
Many elderly people need assistance with a wide variety of simple household tasks – cleaning, laundry, and so forth. Many adult children of elderly people are quite willing to hire someone to help out their parents.
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Or you could focus more on building up your own social media accounts and eventually build your business as a social media influencer who earns an income from posting about various brands and promotions.
Extra Cash & Rewards (my sister’s site) has a great list of sites that pay you fast. They’re only good for extra money, but they are reputable companies. Don’t forget to sign up to get the weekly FREE extra cash newsletter here as well.
But even if you don’t need an EIN, get one anyway: It’s free, takes minutes, and you can keep your Social Security number private and reduce the chance of identity theft, because if you don’t have an EIN, your SSN identifies your business for tax purposes.
S Corporation: If you’re looking for a more formal structure, an S-corp might be right for you. You’ll be allowed up to 100 shareholders and required to have a board of directors and corporate officers. You also won’t face corporate taxation — all profit/loss will be claimed on the shareholders’ personal tax returns.
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.
Keep in mind that the only way for a business startup in UAE to start without taking a UAE national acting as your partner is to locate your business in one of the Free Zones. This is not practical for businesses that must be in city markets like restaurants and retail stores. Also, businesses that work with the government have to be registered with a local sponsor.
There are a variety of print-on-demand platforms you can work with, many of which can be integrated with your Shopify store for seamless order fulfillment. However, be sure to always order a sample of your product (often offered at a discount) to make sure your custom products look good.
Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.
For help with this step, a Business License Service is a good resource too. They determine everything required on federal, state, county, and municipal levels, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions.
In his days as a commercial banker, my father financed a number of health clubs, and they all complained about the same issue: it was relatively easy to sign up new members but hard to retain them, as customers tired of exercising after just a few sessions. This is a business that you can make millions at with even a single location, but it is also a business that is riskier than it may first appear. I would suggest starting with a very small location, perhaps even a members-only key-card accessible location with no employees on site, and learn the ins and outs of the business before getting too carried away. And of course, there is all kind of potential for specialization in this field.
Think about how you can zero in on a specific audience for your products and how the business you build can serve them. If you already have a sizeable audience (a blog, a YouTube channel, or an Instagram account), maybe you can even find a way to base your business off of that existing audience.

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.
I first learned about TTEC from the university I was attending. I thought it would be a great idea to get a job working from home while going to school. When I first started working for the company, I was a seasonal agent. This grew into a permanent agent position. TTEC has enabled me to earn a degree, provide support to my family, gain skills in communication and technology, and meet great people from different parts of the world. What a wonderful company to work for! Every day is a great day here at TTEC!
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.
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.
Build a trusting customer base. By adjusting to your customers’ needs and consistently providing good services or products, you get the best form of free advertising: word of mouth recommendations. Your customers will recommend you to their friends if they are truly satisfied with your work, and your business will grow accordingly. You’ll have get some customers coming back for repeat service and build up a consistent revenue pipeline.
State: The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration website offers all the information you need to know about state business taxes and special permits and licenses. The Governer’s Office CalGold Permit Assistance Tool is also a great way to find out what taxes and licenses apply to your business.
If you want to maintain full control over your business, seeking an angel investor may not be the right route, since oftentimes they’ll want partial control of the company. If you don’t have any high-value assets you can part with, selling assets to fund your business wouldn’t be the right fit for you.
There is a huge upside potential rebuilding auto parts, like transmissions. However, I have friends who have gone into this business and it can take years to nail down your production process, develop your customer base and start to reap the big money.
Fusion Cash is an online platform that allows you to make money from taking surveys, watching videos, shopping, completing short tasks, and much more. Sign up and immediately earn $5.00 just for joining. Most offers pay between .25 to $30 per offer, and payments are made via PayPal, check, or direct deposit once your account reaches a $25 threshold. Some offers do require a credit card number, so if you don’t feel comfortable giving out that information, just stick to the offers which display the No CC icon. Fusion Cash is a member of the Better Business Bureau.
Framing services are everywhere and often they are franchised operations with prime retail locations. But you don’t have to be. You could try this service online. Or you could try this service on a mobile basis, going to your customers’ homes. Or you could get that storefront.
DogVacay lets pet lovers make extra money dog sitting a pooch or cat from the neighborhood. Once vetted, set a price and have fun for the weekend or even during the week, schedule permitting, with a loving pet. DogVacay also offers insurance, 24-hour support and other services that makes pet sitting easy and fun.
I think providing eBay selling and shipping services is a great, high-demand service business. This is a very different business than what I would call eBay trading where you buy and sell products on eBay. A trading business can have high potential but it also has higher risks and may take longer to make money at.
Have strong English skills and exceptional grammar? You may have opportunities to work as a proofreader from home. Advertising for this can be difficult; seek out those who might actually be able to use your services and advertise directly to them.
There will also be some restrictions based on things like your location, business size/type and the amount of funding you’re seeking. Before diving into crowdfunding, microloans, social lending or any of the other options, make sure you fully understand their implications. We discuss all of these funding methods and more in our guide to financing a new business.