ideas on how to start a business | online businesses with low startup costs

Peer to peer lending:  Peer to peer lending means that instead of depositing your money in a bank, giving you small-time interest in comparison to the interest earned by the bank (which is lending it), you’ll lend it directly to either private clients or small businesses that need financing. Returns in companies like Zopa have been well over the 5% mark for the last few years. To learn more about these alternative investments click here.
Steve Gillman is a freelance writer, author of, “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and the creator of Every Way To Make Money. Of the more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is (so far) his favorite.
Smartphones have become indispensable for both business and personal use. But have you ever tried to get one fixed? Repairing a broken phone can cost as much as it does to buy one. Smartphone-repair services are starting to crop up around the country. If you have a knack for fixing broken screens and solving smartphone tech problems, then opening up a more affordable smartphone repair shop or service might be the way to go.
Some claim a lot of people are interested in the idea of blogging as a business. May somebody please explain if this is a viable home based business, and how much can you realistically bring in based on an hourly rate… bottom line after all you have to put into it!?
While licensing requirements for massage therapy can vary from state to state, the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork can help any budding masseuse fulfill their local requirements. Massage therapists can either work out of their own home or make house calls with a portable massage table. Median salary: $34,900.
A catering service may be a large business serving meals to armies of people at special events. Or it may be a single person business serving dinner to just a few people. Specialization can help build your business. For example, here in New England some caterers specialize in clambakes.
If you plan to operate a business in an area that is zoned “residential,” you need to become familiar with the zoning ordinances. Certain business activities are prohibited completely in residential areas. For example, operating a website design company is likely to be permitted, but an auto repair shop may be prohibited.
Take the time to develop your skills at either making your own music, or becoming a pro at mixing, and your side business idea of dj-ing local events could turn into a much bigger endeavor. Though you’ll first need to command a solid knowledge of sound design, mixing and music production before expecting to land your first gig with this business idea, as developing an entirely new skill set is not for the faint of heart.
Creating beautiful flower arrangements can be a fun activity for anyone with an eye for design and a love of plants. And you can turn that activity into a career by selling flower arrangements and other plants that you create in your home.
There are many website owners that simple do not have time for their website anymore and just leave them until the hosting runs out. If these websites have consistent traffic they could be potentially profitable. You could start a business selling websites for website owners and taking a commission for the sales.
This usually entails starting a business from home, and like all great business ideas, it begins by filling a need. Even if you are going to sell something find an underserved segment and provide the best service possible.
The dreams of working at home and being your own boss (or ruling your own world, perhaps) are very much alive and go hand-in-hand in the modern workforce. It is now possible to start almost any kind of business from home immediately, albeit with varying degrees of investment and experience.

There are a lot of building maintenance services that don’t require an electrician or a plumber and can be done by someone with basic handyman skills. You could provide that service for commercial, industrial or multi-family housing units. You could also have highly skilled people such as plumbers and electricians on call too.
Offline, it’s a bit more difficult to set up broker deals, simply because the tracking is harder. Traditionally, the most common area for this would be real estate, where it’s common that an agent gets a commission, and agents use sub-brokers who work with them.
My book publishing business often bought books from packagers. What is a packager? Typically, a book packager would sell to a publisher a completed manuscript with the pages already laid out, and a book cover all ready to go. Book packagers tended to sell more complex book projects, such as books that were heavily illustrated or books that were “packaged” with another component. For example, we bought a book about chess, boxed with a small chess set, from a book packager.
Because a home-based or online business operates with the goal generating revenue by selling goods or services to the public, most of the rules designed to guard the public and collect tax revenue apply. This includes obtaining an array of business licenses, permits, and zoning approvals, as well as incorporating or forming an LLC to operate your business legally, protect your personal assets, avoid fines and penalties, and boost your business credibility.
It’s a good idea to add an insurance rider to your homeowner’s or renter’s policy in case a delivery person or client tumbles on your steps. Home-business owners typically get little or no coverage from their standard homeowner’s policy.
If I missed any good ones, please share your best side  business ideas in the comments below! If you’re ready to start a business while you’re still working full-time, join my free course, Find a Profitable Business Idea.
Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them. It is one of the most popular independent small business publications on the web.
My 8 yr old daughter was diagnosed with Apraxia of speech, Regulation Disorder of Sensory Processing, ADHD and possible Autism. I want to open a small local shop that offers the tools needed to help children like her or even children with learning disabilities. It would sell weighted blankets, learning games and activities and so on. Some would be made by hand, others bought and sold in shop. Is this do able? There are no shops around it’s all online. Thoughts please.
The big drawback to most retail ventures is that they are competing head to head with bigger retailers, as well as online sellers, who may sell brand name goods for lower prices than you can buy them for. Well a resale shop takes all that competition away. Choose your specialty carefully. Sporting goods and vintage clothing are good bets to consider.
I love wine bars! There is even a successful wine bar in the small village on Cape Cod where my summer house is. How did it become successful? The owners found a location near the center of the village but at a low rent. They started with a very limited food menu but eventually expanded it to become a full-service restaurant. They also offer live music on most nights. Beware that many customers expect truly exceptional wines at a wine bar.
Decluttr is an online platform where you can sell CDs, DVDs, and video games. Just enter the item’s barcode on the site to get a quote. Decide which items you’d like to sell (must be between 10 – 500) and send them in using a pre-paid shipping label. Once items are received, Music Magpie will send you a check.
Cigar shops can bring in decent and steady revenue. Better yet the profit margins are good, so you can be very profitable without hitting sky high sales levels. This is a relatively easy business without too many headaches. But choose your location carefully…then roll out your wooden Indian!
Whao! Mr Bob, really am blown away. You know, people say nothing comes free, but you have generously broken that law with all these ideas you freely give. I can’t but say that i am grateful. Particular about idea number 4,6 & 7. I read your article on how to make money by blogging and really , freely giving out all those steps is very generous of you sir becausei know poeple who sell almost every informatiomn they have. The first time i heard about blogging was around 3months ago while discussing with a friend about my first christian book, but your article has really openned me to a whole new world around blogging. I really don’t know how else to show my appreciate because you have freely given me keys to financial independence and i will surely come back to share my testimonies. Thank you somuch sir, your latter will be far greater than your past
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.
You should have some decent equipment that makes your audience happy but that could mean different levels of investment for different audiences. Are you going to be playing for large event venues or for junior high school birthday parties? I know a fellow who started a successful mobile DJ business even before he was old enough to have a driver’s license. He would either have a friend give him and his equipment a ride to his gigs, or he would get a taxi.
Having a specialized skill set can help, especially in some businesses, but even without many skills it’s worth trying something when the risk is so low. My wife and I knew nothing about putting websites online, but grew our internet publishing business to six figures within a few years, starting with less than $100.
Whether you’re making onesies and quilts for sale online or at local markets or doing repairs and alterations for locals with ill-fitting clothes, your sewing machine could be your ticket to a work-from-home business.
Many small companies simply don’t have the time or staff to properly run their billing operations. That’s where entrepreneurs who want to offer invoicing, bookkeeping, human resources and other clerical services to business owners on a contractual or part-time basis come in. With just a laptop and a few clients, you can get the ball rolling from home.
I guess we should start with the one that I am MOST familiar with.  I have been making a full-time living blogging for almost 10 years now, and it isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, but it can definitely make you some money.
If you’re not sure where to find a mentor, SCORE is a great place to start. SCORE mentors are free — just visit www.SCORE.org to find a face-to-face mentor near you or a mentor to contact via email or Skype.
Social trading: Social trading is a sub-set of Forex trading. Some companies figured out some people just want to make money without all the hassle of actually choosing their investment. So what they did is simple. You can choose who to follow, and whatever he does, your account will do (obviously the amount invested will depend on you). Zulutrade is a really nice option. A stand up company.
Art collectors love to have catalogs of their work both to show off to their friends and to use as potential sales tools. It’s surprising how little some people know about the art they have. If you have photography and research skills, put them to work in this business. It can be surprisingly lucrative.
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.
Many small companies and startups now outsource jobs that aren’t part of their core business (such as HR, admin, and accounting), which makes this skill set a great opportunity for starting a side business idea that engages your number prowess. Because companies always need to track their cash flow, freelance accountants and bookkeepers can really benefit from the increasing demand for part-time help.
As you might imagine, publicists need to network heavily, both in reaching out to potential clients and in getting to know members of the media. You’ll need a Website, a good pricing structure and a thick skin—reporters can be famously surly—but publicity is a generally low-overhead business that can produce quick and impressive returns.
With the byzantine complexity of modern medical billing practices, there is a definite need for patient advocates. These individuals take the time to track down hospital billing paperwork and potentially argue with insurance companies. Considering the fact that many of those who need to hire advocates are either ailing or grieving, this is a very necessary service.
It’s no longer taboo for people to ditch the daily 9-to-5 grind and start their own business. In fact, it’s beyond easy starting a business for almost nothing these days. But, what businesses are guaranteed to make a million dollars?

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