no cost business start ups | small scale industry ideas

I am 3 years away from full retirement but would love to do it earlier and get out of the rat race and learn new skills. I have plent of office experience and working wiith numbers and pc’s. Can anyone give me an estimate of the cost of the online schools for certificates in medical billing? I looked at some of your links to the schools and I know I can ask them for info, but woud like to get an idea of the cost before I have someone contacting me without knowing first if I can afford to pursue this. I am very interested and thank you for wanting to help others.
If you had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers as a side business idea? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. See this quick checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business from the Work At Home Mom. Whitney over at Rookiemoms also has a cool story to share about a stay-at-home mom making $40/hr helping kids out with homework and turning it into a profitable side business idea.
While this is a long list of business ideas—I have carefully pruned it for you. I started out with an initial list that was more than twice as long…and ruthlessly chopped off the weaker business ideas that I didn’t want you to consider starting.
Health and Safety Permits – Similar to professional and trade organizations that require licenses, you may also need health or safety permits in order to legally operate your business. Checking with your state’s environmental protection agency is a good place to start.
The first thing you must do when setting up a home business is set aside a specific space in your home where you will work. Maybe it’s a spare bedroom or den; maybe it’s an alcove off your living room, or maybe it’s the workbench in the garage. It might even just be a desk.
Self-Employed Taxes: As a home-based business owner, you are more than likely self-employed as well, and that can easily complicate the filing of your annual tax returns. The IRS offers a comprehensive overview of what self-employed workers need to know when preparing their taxes.
We started and eBay business selling our old stuff when she moved from California, just before we were married. We didn’t intend that it would become a full-time occupation, but it’s been a worthwhile business so far.
The best form of marketing is through your current customers. While this may seem obvious, most of us just don’t do it. We may feel uncomfortable asking existing customers for referrals or we may not realize how powerful a marketing asset this can be. But if you don’t try you won’t reap the benefits. And it’s actually quite simple to do, if you know how to present your products or services with certainty, and can go a long way towards building your business.
Share in the comments if I’m missing any of  your picks for the best side business ideas that you can start while working full-time! Bonus points if you’ve already gotten started on one of these business idea, and share the link to your website.
Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.
How can you expect to grow your business if you’re busy scheduling calls or checking email all day? That, or, buried in the books, subtracting and adding cells into a spreadsheet for half the week? Running your business shouldn’t be like running in a hamster wheel.
But be wary. Food service—even a delivery service, which is the most likely scenario for home bakers, as opposed to setting up a storefront—comes with built-in risks. Prepare yourself, and read up on your local insurance requirements. And don’t be afraid to start out by making just one or two really great treats. Consistency is more important than variety in the baking business.
With many websites getting the majority of their traffic from search engine results, it is no wonder that the demand is huge for SEO specialists. Sure, the days of playing “black hat” tricks on search engines are long gone, but there are many legitimate levers you can pull to help bring web pages to the first page of search engine results.
People get into this business thinking it is a totally passive way to make money and then they find out—they actually have to do some work! Heavily used washing machines and dryers can break down, and the laundromat will need to be cleaned constantly. That being said people need clean clothes so this is a classic steady income business!
Investment: You can keep your startup costs lower by operating from your home and starting with part-time hours. Costs may include educational supplies such as toys and books, furniture such as cribs and mats, outdoor playground equipment, cleaning supplies and insurance.
Most people, even those many won’t admit it, love moving their bodies. It’s also a great workout. If at some point in your life, you had to hang your dancing shoes for a more sensible office job, there’s nothing stopping you from earning money with this side business idea as a passion project around your day job. Part-time dance instructors get a fraction of the pie that their full-time peers enjoy, but it can add up to hundreds each week if you’re consistent—making for a great side business idea to those with the skills and drive.
A personal concierge handles everything from managing schedules to running errands like taking clients to the airport or their dog to the vet. In a nutshell, it’s being someone’s personal assistant. But, depending on the market, it can make you some serious bank.
Car flipping can be a fun way to turn your love for cars into a quick side business idea if you have the capital and a stomach for the inherent risk. Buying and selling cars is similar to other “buy low, sell high” business models, but the profit potential per hour invested can be very high. According to Jeremy Fisher at 3HourFlip.com, the trick is to learn how to make car deals come to you, so you can minimize your time invested and maximize your profit on each flip with this side business idea.
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!
Rather than replacing sofas and chairs, many people prefer to save money and just replace the fabric, often changing colors in the process. This is a great service business—you can’t be underpriced by Amazon. Furthermore, not only will your customers come to you for more business at some point, but you bet that next time they are entertaining in their living room that your new fabric covering work will come up in the conversation! Eventually you may want to consider offering complete re-upholstering services.
E-books have made self-publishing a real income-generating option for writers who previously may have had trouble partnering with big-name publishers. If you have in-depth knowledge about a specific topic, crafting a well-written, informative e-book and selling it online can be a great way to supplement your regular income.
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.
For most people, successful investing will involve selecting mutual funds or ETFs, not individual stocks or bonds. That means to become a financial planner you don’t need to be a Wall Street wizard. You will need to understand the basics of investing (such as the importance of being diversified and understanding and respecting your client’s risk profile!) but this is very learnable. Study hard for this profession and you can do a tremendous service for people by helping them protect and growth their hard-earned money.
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If you think you have a reasonably good ability to judge which early stage businesses have the best chances to succeed then this is the business for you! However, the odds against any particular venture backed business succeeding are low, so you need to spread your bets widely, especially if you are betting on very early stage companies. To get started you may first want to invest with a group of angel investors, typically plucking down $25k or $50k for each company you invest in.
One of my friend’s mothers offered art lessons in her home after school. She had a steady clientele and they made some really cool art! You may already have an art specialty that you want to teach to others. Or you may find that you are better off learning the basics of a new art skill and teaching that, or offering a survey course covering a number of art skills—most of the market will likely be beginners anyway.
Early childhood learning seems to be the rage. Even many games have an educational bent. With such high interest this is a competitive space, so you need to specialize. Perhaps specialize in children with learning disabilities, slow learners, creative play, or “gifted” kids.
Employed techies planning to earn some extra side income can leverage their software and hardware skills by offering home-based computer repair services as a business idea that engages their passion. If this rings a bell, you can start with a modest one-man tech team before envisioning a scaled-up operation as massive as Geek Squad. Remember, you can provide home service locally as a starting point to this business idea, as well as offer remote support through online messaging and video calling services before making your way into a retail setting.
Becoming a massage therapist requires proper training and licensing, but if you’re looking for a great career to pursue that you can also turn into a home-based business, massage therapy might be the right choice for you. And with a massage therapy business, you have options: You can either invite clients into your home for appointments, or make house calls for massages.

Potential challenges: You’re responsible for the safety and well-being of people, so getting the proper insurance and setting up the right legal structure is a must. It can be a stressful business to run, with long hours and frequent travel required.
What makes drop shipping so attractive is exactly what lands it on this list; there are no big startup costs or expensive investments in inventory. You can sell products online, collect payment, pay suppliers, and let them send out the products — even using your company logo if you like.
Home Occupation Permit – Your home is more than likely in a residential area and not in a business or retail zone. In order to conduct business in a residential zone, you will need a permit from your local or state government permitting it. Your local zoning board can answer your questions regarding requirements for permits. Not all home-based businesses will require a business permit, but it is always best to check.
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