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Marketing is crucial to business yet it can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task. The key is to understand your target audience and find a way to get in front of them. It doesn’t have to start with all the bells and whistles, but rather a targeted and streamlined approach to start building your business in a scalable way.
I couldn’t believe it when I first heard how expensive window treatments were! But now I understand, they add a lot to the appearance of a house, and to the utility of particular room. There are lots of reasons why this is a great business. It is a combination of sales and service, especially if you are doing the installation. And people like to see the textures and colors you have to offer in person. You can start this business on a mobile basis with low overhead, calling on customers at their homes and eventually open up your own storefront.
Having been on television and done many videos, I can appreciate that makeup consulting isn’t just for women! With the Internet leading to more and more video production, makeup consulting is becoming more important than ever!
KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC’s largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.
All right, pick your jaw off the floor-I’ll tell you how this happens. You’re probably all too aware of those obnoxious video ads on YouTube that are shown before the video that you really want to watch. YouTube makes a ton of revenue from these video ad rolls, and when a user has a large enough subscriber base, he or she is invited to join YouTube’s partnership program, allowing the user to grab a piece of the advertising pie.

Don’t forget good ‘ol lawncare or landscaping. As we become more and more acquainted to the air-conditioned lifestyle more people are going to want to pay someone to do landscaping. If you like to sweat this one may be for you.
This is one of the more difficult business on this list. But if you really want to do it, you can! First, it will take about 3-5 years to grow your grapes. Secondly, you need the right climate. Third, selling what you produce is like a whole separate business. However, people do like to visit and buy wine from local wineries. And I have seen some wineries that are initially producing just a small amount of wine themselves, jumpstart their business and supplement their sales by reselling wine from other vineyards.
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A furniture maker’s advice? Don’t be afraid to be a businessperson as well as a craftsperson. Charge more than you think your furniture is worth, and remember that craftsmanship and business savvy are not at all mutually exclusive.
Do you play a musical instrument well enough to teach it to others? How about taking your skills at producing music or sound design and teaching others as a service-based business idea based on your experience? Private music instructors in all disciplines charge upwards of $20-100/hr (or more depending upon skill and experience), and you don’t necessarily have to do them in person, either. This makes for a great side business idea that can channel your passion for music into profits.
If you know a second (or third) language, you can make a living at home translating documents. It’s a global marketplace, and even the best translation software can’t understand linguistic nuance. Median salary: $43,300.
“The massage therapy business has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last decade, tripling in volume. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, it should grow by an additional 20% through 2016, meaning this home business has strong potential for growth. And, because all in-home massage services are necessarily local in nature, it’s work that can’t be outsourced to another country.”
Carpets make your home warm and cozy. But they also tend to gather dust, grime, stains, allergens and bugs over time. You can tap into this opportunity by launching a carpet cleaning side business idea or serving as an independent contract cleaner in your free time. Either way, you’ll need to invest in proper equipment such as vacuum cleaners, carpet brushes, and cleaning chemicals in order to launch this business idea. Look into the possibility of renting equipment for a full weekend and lining up 5-10 clients to service, to offset your rental costs. If you turn a healthy profit, you’ll eventually be able to invest in owning your own equipment and increase your margins, thus going from side hustle to serious business.
If you’ve got business expertise already, you can help other entrepreneurs launch and maintain their own businesses by offering your services as a business plan consultant and writer. Help your clients figure out their ideas, goals and finances for their businesses and put them all in one organized business roadmap. You can also help conduct market research for your clients, so they can determine how successful their businesses can really be, or if they need to make changes or go in another direction before wrapping up their business plans.
A poor content writer whose mother tongue is not English, and can write in a very shallow manner might cost $5 a piece (which is about $5 an hour); A superb writer who wrote for serious magazines and journals can charge up to $1,000 per piece; a published author who hasn’t written for any top-notch magazines can charge $30-$50 a piece (which translates to approximately $20 an hour).
Not everyone wants to find a babysitter by responding to a hand-scribbled note on the bulletin board at the local coffee shop. That’s where you come in. Set up a babysitting service that includes vetting your sitters and giving your customers confidence that they are dealing with safe and dependable service providers!
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Tree services charge a lot of money for their services and one reason is that this can be dangerous work. A tenant of mine was injured working for his own tree service. So, think safety first. Don’t take on a job that is over your head–or don’t be afraid to ask someone more experienced to help when you need it. You can also rent lift trucks and other specialized equipment when you need it.
A lot of people don’t want to leave their bowser at the busy kennel along with all the other dogs. They are willing to pay a premium and even drive a distance to a place where they believe their dog will be pampered.
Swagbucks is an online platform where you can earn points called SB, which can be redeemed for gift cards and coupons. You can easily earn SB points by watching videos, playing games, answering questions, shopping online, and even surfing the web using their toolbar. Refer your friends, and you’ll earn even more SB points. Your SB points can be traded in for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Starbucks, PayPal, and Walmart. Swagbucks also gives you a $5 bonus for signing up! Swagbucks which is part of Prodege, LLC has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau.
If you’re proficient in a highly specialized software, you can get paid to pass your knowledge on to amateurs and professionals looking to expand their skill sets. Technical manuals are available for programs like QuickBooks and Final Cut Pro, but these are often expensive and difficult for the average user to get through. Schedule small group workshops or private sessions, and charge by the hour for a full tutorial of the program. The best thing about this gig is that it can be done part time.
Here in Australia you will need a “responsible service of alcohol” certificate, this may just blow your $100 budget but not by much. The others look like they would meet the under $100 startup benchmark. So to anyone complaining that they can’t afford to start their own business they have no excuse. However, the amount of TIME that needs to be invested in running a business is substantial.
Do I need to tell my mortgage lender? Residential mortgages usually prohibit using the property for a business, so you need to check the terms of your mortgage and if necessary, ask for consent from the lender. Breaching your mortgage could risk the loan being terminated and being repayable immediately.
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.
Then don’t sell YOUR product or skills for $5. Other people, your competitors, are allowed to do whatever they want. If someone makes a product and markets it for $5, while you make a product that YOU consider to be much more valued and market it for $100, the consumer still has the power of deciding what they would rather spend their money on. I’ve worked in the culinary industry for 10+ years and the saying I’ve always heard is that if you can’t handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Anyone can tell you if something tastes good or bad, but that doesn’t mean they can create high quality meals like I can. That being said…
Wedding photographers command premium rates. After all, you are capturing one of a couple’s most important life moments, making it a very lucrative side business idea. Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 – $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it’s realistic that this side business idea could quickly blossom into becoming a full-time endeavor with the right happy clientele base that’s willing to refer you to their friends and family. Check out the Complete Wedding Photography Experience over on CreativeLive to get up to speed on everything you need to launch a successful wedding photography business.
Yoga is getting ever more popular, which means yoga instructors are more in demand than ever—making this another physically rewarding side business idea. Link up with a local yoga studio to teach nightly classes or offer personalized yoga in-home at a higher rate to pursue this kind of emotional and physical balance with others, during your free time while helping your bank balance, too.
Relative to the earnings you need and the risk you are willing to take with your money. If you want long term “safe” investment and earn for a nice 5% annually, then you’ll be needing x 20 of what you want to annually earn as your starting capital. If you aim to become a day trading and risk your capital, you could aim for X,XXX % in profit annually, and then you need a much smaller starting point.
The other option for online sales is to simply become the eBay middleman. Millions of vendors sell their wares on the online auction house. If you can find an inexpensive source for (legally!) saleable merchandise, you can get into business.
Thanks for all the great ideas. Persistence is key for any business to succeed. Additional business is vegetable farming in case you have a bit of a backyard. I sell the vegetables to nearby shop/green grocers in the neighborhood. This enables me to use most of my salary for other purposes since my daily recurrent expenses are taken care of.
For help with questions like these, tap the experts at SCORE, a nonprofit that offers free business advice. The U.S. Small Business Administration is another source of help in getting you up to speed on permits and more. AARP’s small business center also includes articles and advice.
There’s more to writing than just being a freelance writer or creating content for blog. Juggernauts like Amazon and Apple are involved in the book publishing field where authors are raking big bucks for composing everything from instructional books to cookbooks to Sci-fi adventures.
We’re all guilty of spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest sometimes, so why not get paid to put your expertise to work as a side business idea? Lots of companies, especially startups or those in retail and travel—even influencers have heavy social media presences and are constantly in need of people to help build their brands online. You can find these types of opportunities on sites like Flexjobs and CareerBuilder and most employers on these websites are conditioned to working with people who operate these services as their side business idea.
Maybe you’re looking to supplement your full-time income with a side business. Or perhaps you’re finished with the 9-to-5 and ready to be your own boss. In either case, coming up with a killer small-business idea is the first step on the path to entrepreneurship.
Adam received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University. He worked for a local newspaper and freelanced for several publications after graduating college. He can be reached by email, or follow him on Twitter.
Mashable is a global, multi-platform media and entertainment company. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe.
Turning your favorite craft or hobby into a revenue-generating business idea easily counts among the most fulfilling experiences anyone can have. Just take a look at what Jacob Huss of Soteria Designs is doing wit his hobby of hand-building furniture and wood jewelry. With more and more people demanding a higher degree of personalization in just about anything they own or use, count yourself lucky if your craft happens to be the creation of custom furniture. Not only is the real estate sector regaining its footing, the number of style-conscious customers is also on the rise, creating plenty of room for growth into this business idea.
Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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