NerdWallet has rounded up some of our best information on starting a business, including structuring and naming your company, creating a solid plan and much more. We’ll help you do your homework and get started on the right foot.
Anyone who has ever had the unenviable task of cleaning up a house for sale after the death of the owner knows just how important this job is. Junk removal can be as simple as hauling away unwanted stuff to the dump, or it can be as complicated as separating out the trash from the treasures and handling the actual sale of the goods.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
Investment: Opening a brewery can mean high startup costs, depending on the size of your operation. The costs include brewing equipment, construction on a building to get it fit for your brewery, permits, licenses and insurance.
Two of the biggest problems of operating a retail store are the overhead of having a storefront and the risk and cost of carrying inventory. With a virtual consignment store you eliminate both of these problems! You could take it one step further and have your suppliers drop ship the goods for you.
Companies and non-profits spend a lot of money on meetings, and even when they have in-house staff they will often hire a meeting planner service. They are particularly likely to hire a meeting planner when they are planning a meeting in a distant city. To get going in this business take advantage of any contacts you have, approach local associations and businesses, and build up a strong online-presence.
Some people have no time. They may have a job that requires lots of travel or an executive position that has them working around the clock. But you can make their life easier offering personal concierge services!
Gardening is really big. Many people like to do their own gardening but they can use a little bit of help! That’s where you come in! Maybe you specialize in flower gardens or vegetable gardens, or even something more exotic. You will need solid expertise, but you will find a clientele willing to pay for it.
Just remember that efficiency is as much the key to a successful soap-making business as artistry is—maybe more so. Get your processes down pat and stay focused on a defined target market, and you can run a soothing and successful home-based business.
Referrals and showcasing your work in an online gallery are two keys to gaining new clients. If you don’t have a lot of experience in photography but still want to pursue this business idea, try working as an assistant to a professional photographer to build up your resume.
Of course, strictly speaking, this isn’t an at-home business, as the work takes place in someone else’s home. But it can be lucrative. You just need to make sure that your cleaning skills are up to snuff, which means some cleaning practice at friends’ houses might not be a bad thing to do before launching the business.
FusionCash is an online platform that allows you to make money from taking surveys, watching videos, shopping online, completing short tasks and lots more. Sign up and immediately earn $5.00 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.
Any ideas for me? Am disabled physically/mentally …I had a side job stuffing envelopes..My boss was so thrilled with me and my partner he fired a bunch of workers as we could pull off the bulk of his work!…We got paid well when the economy went upside down we noticed our pay decreased but still made enough to pay 3 house bills. Since about 6 months ago my boss I think lost his house …I remeber his last visit he was so stressed saying he almost had 2 foreclose emergencies:(
Despite the vast number of blogs these days, blogging is still a profitable business (we do it!). Blogging provides the opportunity for multiple revenue streams at once and could potentially be very profitable. However the majority of bloggers fail to make any substantial money so you need to know what you are doing if you are going to blog for business.
As a personal chef, you would spend your time whipping up delicious meals for those who don’t have time to cook but do have money to burn. The best way to make a name for yourself as a personal chef is to offer meals that fit stringent dietary or allergy requirements.
In my book business, we had up to seven full time publicists on staff, and yet we would still hire outside publicity firms to promote our books. Most publicity work is promotion work—getting attention for businesses and their products. Most publicity firms specialize, for example one firm may specialize in promoting high tech firms in Boston, another may specialize in promoting restaurants in Providence. Many of the national publicity firms I have used were founded by somebody who had previously had experience working at a media outlet. But this business isn’t rocket science…if you are good at networking and you can get promotion for your clients then you can succeed at this business.
Business License Managed ServicesWe’ll manage the lifecycle of all your business licenses and provide ongoing support. Certificate of Good StandingA certificate of good standing is needed for expansion and financing,
Home Occupation Permit. Many city or county governments require home-based businesses to have a “Home Occupation Permit.” These permits are designed to prevent a business from adding significant traffic, noise or other environmental conditions such as dust or odors that would interfere with the surrounding homeowners’ use and enjoyment of their property. As a result, most local ordinances describe the types of home-based occupations or businesses are permitted and the limitations imposed on the operations. These restrictions often include: the amount of space that can be used within the home; the number of clients or customers that can visit the home each day; the number of vehicles that can be at the home; the modifications that can be made to the property; and, the number of employees the business can have.
You can find all the advice you need in an online scrap metal discussion forum. How big can you grow a business like this? Stephen Greer went to Hong Kong with almost nothing after college and built a scrap metal recycling business worth $250 million, according to his book, ” Starting from Scrap: An Entrepreneurial Success Story.”
People love to be organized but often they never find the time to make it happen. And a lot of people just aren’t very good at it either. You can help people organize their house. And in the process, you can make them feel more organized about their life! What a great service!
Great list here! Some are very out of the box great ideas. I did find great success working from home myself. All I do is refer people to our services from home. When customers pay their electric or wireless bill, I get a check.
You no longer have to be involved in the real estate business as much as real estate agents were in the past. There’s so much data online about houses being sold, that you can basically do a mix-and-match. Have people coming to you with their requirements, do the search, and take a small commission of the deal.
If you already have a website that’s driving in targeted traffic, a great way to make passive income from the content you’re already creating as an easy side business idea, is through affiliate marketing. ShareASale, Rakuten, Clickbank, and Skimlinks are a few of the best affiliate networks and tools that can help you make money from the content you already produce, thus amplifying your side business idea income. Check out this extensive list by Justine Grey, covering the 59 Best Affiliate Programs for Business Bloggers to get some inspiration on how other bloggers are growing affiliate blogs from side business idea to full-time company.
But if you get the green light to do it, starting a catering service is a relatively low-overhead way to create a new business. It’s a lot of work, but if you enjoy cooking, it could turn into a lucrative and fulfilling career. To get started with minimal investment, you could first cook in your customers’ homes and use their dishes. Also, a narrow specialization on a particular type of cuisine or event may help you attract clientele as you work develop a strong customer base.
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.)
This article will explore some of the obvious—and not-so-obvious—rules and regulations that are frequently imposed on home or online businesses. It will also touch on considerations that are specific to operating a commercial enterprise in a residential area, such as zoning restrictions.
In Boston one of the very best high skyscraper restaurant locations was taken over by a banquet facility company. The owner of this business grew up in the restaurant business but decided to build his own business exclusively around banquets. A banquet facility is an interesting alternative to the difficult restaurant business. You get to match your labor and food costs closely to your income. And by having a dedicated space and a tightly focused business you should be able to execute well.
These are just a few examples of great home-business ideas you may want to consider. Remember that starting your own home business requires an organized and self-efficient individual. If that sounds like you, go for it-you’ll be working from home in no time.
There are many drop-ship product suppliers online. Some provide a variety of products, or, if you’re going to specialize in one product or product line, you can locate a manufacturer that drop-ships. Just do your research and be sure you’ve found a reputable company.
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.
My friend’s wife earned an advanced degree in nutrition, put out her shingle, and tried some marketing, but her business progressed very slowly. Then she teamed up with a local gym and her business took off.
Teaching piano (or guitar or violin or singing) lessons out of your house is a well-established way for stay-at-home spouses to make a little extra cash. If Lois Griffin can do it, so can any musically minded entrepreneur.
The market for music teaching is there, and your instrument is your specialty. The key is to develop reasonable but firm policies on pricing and cancellations and to, if possible, make your home the venue for providing lessons, rather than traveling to visit students.
Have you cracked the code for landing higher paying jobs at the drop of a hat? If you have a knack for helping your friends or co-workers navigate the process of finding their dream job, nailing an interview, negotiating a better salary or getting a raise at their current day job, other people would be willing to pay for your help too—making this a great side business idea that doesn’t take too much time. Get started by sharing your advice on a personal blog and becoming a career coach on platforms like The Muse and Coach Me where there’s already an existing audience of people looking to make a move in their careers. From there, keep your focus on helping people get real results, building case studies to support this side business idea, and eventually charging for the results you’re delivering clients.
Adjust strategies and products as necessary. Respond to your customers. You should set up a system or survey where your customers can rate their experience with you and your business. Be sure to strive for perfect ratings. Any criticisms you see consistently mean that you should change that aspect of your business.
Any moron can open a graphics program and push some pixels around, but that doesn’t make them a designer. The tool does not come with the knowledge. The fundamental skills that are required to do a good job take years to hone. This isn’t something you start and are good at over night. And if it takes years of work to get good at, and hours or days of work to arrive at a good product you should not be selling it for $5.
I mean come on, who wouldn’t be interested in this side business idea? Getting paid to take care of a cute pup sounds like a dream. The prevalence of unattended pets is another side effect of busy life, creating job business ideas and opportunities for people with time, patience, and affection to spare. Just check out DogVacay and Rover to see what I mean. Would the payout be worth it if you try? One person in New York earns $3,300 a month just pet-sitting for busy animal lovers as his side business idea.
A scrapbooking business can take many forms, from planning scrapbook events to scrapbook instruction to making the books themselves. There’s a digital element, too, for those who know how to make beautiful physical books out of digital photos.
Believe it or not there’s a treasure trove of valuable items being thrown away by big box stores around the world. Electronics stores toss out everything from printer cartridges to tablets, and if you’ve got the stomach for rummaging around in dumpsters you can easily earn a bit (more than you ever thought possible) with this side business idea.
From the inside looking out, I want to see the world as clearly as possible. And so do a lot of homeowners and particularly office managers. Now that creates a demand for window cleaners to step into this business idea, especially if you can land a contract cleaning windows for an office building. If you want to try it out as a side business idea, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start a window-washing business at home.
Wedding planning could be good fit for someone who has experience in party planning, event coordination or hospitality. Strong organizational and communication skills, the ability to work weekends and patience are necessary.
If you love to write, create a blog and turn it into a business. If your site gets a lot of traffic, you can earn money via direct advertising, or through affiliate marketing, where you’d promote someone else’s product or service and earn commissions based on sales.
I recently started working as a dance instructor from home and it has been wonderful! I have never thought that this would be my job. My advice is – always follow your dreams. Hard work pays off eventually!
If you love to cook on a grand scale, why not start a catering business out of your home? How much you make depends on the scale of the assignments you take, and your ability to correctly decide how much your materials will cost. But this is also an industry where you can start small and work you way up to bigger gigs—and profits.
Online Post Office: Believe it or not, your business will not be 100% digital. There’s a very good chance you will need to send paper statements, invoices, presentations or more to your clients and vendors. Instead of venturing out to the post office every day, it might be worth investing in a postal scale so that you can weigh your packages from home. Online services, like Stamps.com, allow you to also print out the exact postage you need, making a visit to the post office unnecessary. You can evenschedule pickups with the United States Postal Service at your home.
Before the bank grants a mortgage, they will require a real estate appraisal. So, this is a great, steady income business with the only overhead being your scooter to get you to your homes to be appraised.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he’s running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
If you’re up on the current styles, and can actually cut hair or do makeup, then you can start your own salon right from your home. If that’s not an option, you can always always turn to YouTube and start a beauty channel where you share hair and makeup tips.
The key to get going with this business is to build relationships with schools and school music directors, who can recommend your services. Chances are a larger school isn’t going to recommend you unless you have a track record, so you will probably have to start with some very small schools. Musical instruments, especially those that are rented out, are highly financeable for low rates, so this is a business you can get into with very little money, and expand aggressively.
Internet Speed: You probably already have an internet service provider for recreational use, but now that you’ll be relying on that connection to do business, you might want to look into an upgrade. This is especially important if you live with other people who might be using the internet when you are trying to work. Connection speeds can range anywhere from 1.5 Mbps to 20 Mbps. With a 1.5 Mbps connection speed, it takes about two minutes to download a large presentation; with a 20 Mbps connection, it’ll take roughly 10 seconds to download the same file.