One of the best ways to keep a grocery budget—and a waistline—in check is to do meal planning. But for some, this kind of planning is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. A meal planner could put together a list of a week’s recipes, along with a grocery list, for a harried but budget-conscious shopper.
If you own a camera, starting a freelance portrait photography business could be a very natural way to turn your skills and passions into a profitable business idea. Start with doing free shoots for friends and family to build up a strong online portfolio, get familiar with your gear and the editing process, then you’ll be able to get paid for photographing professional head shots and celebratory family moments as your side business idea. Get started by checking out this men’s portrait photography class that regularly broadcasts for free on CreativeLive. Plus, once you have all the photography gear, you can earn a little extra side income by renting it out when you’re not using it through online marketplaces like Fat Lama.
This is an especially good idea for stay-at-home-parents who need to bring in some money. You’re already staying home with your kids: why not invite a few others to the party? Licensing for in-home daycare varies from state to state, but you will want to make sure you comply with your local regulations. Median salary: $19,300.
A lot of car owners simply don’t have time to personally care for their vehicles, much less make them sparkle. With simple equipment such as car shampoo, polishing wax, tire black, sponges, a pail and a sturdy hose, you can start earning a decent side income by making cars look fresh in your free time after work and on weekends. Not bad for an easy business idea that’ll keep you outdoors and moving your body on the weekends.
That same study also revealed that more than 50 million Americans work independently as freelancers. With considerable overlap in the Venn diagram of home-based workers and entrepreneurs, the numbers show that starting a home-based business isn’t a just trend. It’s part of the new reality of the American workforce.
Forget about business cards (at least at first) or trying to get travel agencies to recommend your guide service. If you know an area well, you simply sign up with a website like Vayable.com and let them find your customers for a cut of the revenue.
Because I am just a little bit techie, I get asked to video record weddings all the time. If video or photography are up your alley, starting a wedding photography business could be a great idea for you. If doing weddings aren’t your thing, there are other ways you can make money as a photographer as well.
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.
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.
You love dogs? You’re good at taking care of them? You want to open a dog-boarding business? Just make sure you’re prepared. Sure, it’s a great opportunity, and it’s totally doable—with some planning. Make sure you know your local zoning laws and, perhaps more importantly, make sure your neighbors would be OK with some extra noise and activity around your place.
Grant writing is essential for nonprofit companies looking to gather much-needed funds. Learn all you need to know about grant writing and start taking clients! You’ll be earning a living while doing good work by helping nonprofits bring in the money they need.
You have an eye for clothes and know what styles look best on what body types. So turn your passion for fashion into a business by becoming a personal stylist/shopper. You’ll feel good about making others look great.
One of my friends took over her father’s dry cleaning business that over a lifetime he had built into a dozen stores. This is really hard work. Every item has to be handled many times. Customers can be demanding. And it is competitive. But if you are willing to work hard, you can make a very solid income.
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.
I really like the idea of the outdoor deck business. I envision beautiful wood, wonderfully stained and maybe an attractive awning or roof. Outdoor furniture could be beautifully made out of wood too!
Much like the first point, once the time is right this process will help you to decentralize control and make handing over the reigns easier (so you can focus on growth). Sales and marketing, finance, HR and administration are all separate sectors to be cognizant of.
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.
What’s your favorite color and scent of soap? Wouldn’t it be fun to play around with variations to be make it even better? And then you could take your finished product and go show it off to potential customers!
Instead, at least for now, forget branding and unique selling propositions and all the business-identity stuff. And don’t worry about finding the perfect URL or website design or promotional literature. You’re putting those carts way before your business horse, too.
Blogging isn’t just a fun online activity to feed our narcissistic tendencies-it’s also a clever internet business idea. A quality blog with a loyal audience can earn decent dough by partnering with advertisers, whether through Google AdWords, affiliate partners, or through sponsored blog posts.
Planning vacations has become much easier for individuals in recent years thanks to lots of new online tools. But companies and large groups still often need help when planning and organizing travel arrangements. So if that’s something you enjoy, you can offer your services to clients.
You can provide full service grooming without any overhead by visiting pets at their homes. Or you can have a store front with full service grooming. Or you can provide a do-it-yourself pet grooming facility. Location matters. One do-it-yourself pet grooming facility was highly successful with a location on a busy road, but another location they had on a secondary road, just off the center of town, did not work out.
I believe that every business, even a lemonade stand, should have a business plan. But many people either hesitate to create a plan or don’t know how to do it. That’s where you come in. But remember your big value added is to help your clients learn how to develop a framework for making critical strategic decisions for their business, not just to create a nice-looking document.
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Sometimes these are full-service firms that not only do the design but also perform the work. The closer your expertise and confidence allow you to get towards high-end landscape design, the higher an income you will be able to command.
Bob’s Rent-A-Bike was my first business which I started when I was 19 years old. For this business, you can set up service stations or other local business as your agents, giving them a percentage of the rental fees. Vacation areas and being near bike trails are great places for bike rentals.
Interested entrepreneurs can either open a franchise from an existing vending machine business or sell vending-machine friendly products to help stock up schools and offices with healthier, affordable snacks.
Perhaps most importantly, though, would-be eBay moguls need to specialize. Just throwing junk online won’t work. Sellers need to know what they want to sell and how they’re going to market it to their audiences. Again, competition is fierce, so research, preparation and strategy are critical. (For reference, eBay itself provides an extensive guide to selling on the site.)
If you’re a native English speaker, you’re in luck-there are tons of foreigners looking to practice their English skills, and you can help them simply by engaging in conversation. Even foreigners with years of English lessons often are looking to develop their conversation skills. Meet at a coffee shop or even offer Skype sessions. No teaching experience required (although time in a classroom would provide a major advantage).
Working at home can prevent you from developing workplace relationships and doing face-to-face networking for new clients. Push yourself to get out of the house regularly for lunch or meet with prospective clients or colleagues for coffee. And go to industry conferences. At the very least, make it a point from time to time to make a phone call instead of zapping off an email or text.
I’ve been around boats almost since I could walk so I forget that some people need to be educated in how to run a powerboat or captain a sailboat. Now taking a boat for a spin and introducing someone to the pleasures of boating…how fun!