Have a knack for staying organized? If you’re a jack of all trades, you should consider working as a virtual assistant as a side business idea. You can find great gigs on Elance, Indeed, or Upwork. It can be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, develop in-demand new skills (like creating GIFs and VR videos), grow your side business idea and you’ll have the added perk of being able to start this as a home based business idea. Becoming a virtual assistant can be a particularly great side business idea if you’re hoping to travel the world while making money online as a digital nomad.
Believe it or not, this freelance bike messenger makes more money than some people glued to their office desks. You won’t rake in a whopping $50,000 as this guy does by just doing this in your free time as a side business idea only, but you’ll surely get a piece of the action. Even Uber is trying out a blueprint for a delivery service, and companies like WunWun and Amazon are stepping up their efforts to expand same-day delivery, increasing the demand for more to jump in on this business idea. If you have a decent bicycle, those pair of pedals might just earn you a healthy side hustle income.
Starting a small business is easy using our step-by-step guides. The 10 steps below will teach you how to start a business, taking you through each of the key stages of the start-up process – from evaluating your business idea and choosing a company name through to designing your business cards, developing a website and, finally, getting ready to launch.
MailChimp is by far one of the most popular choices, offering you enterprise-level marketing automations, along with features like analytics and data reports for free if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers.
A limited liability company (LLC) is a popular way of setting of a business because it allows the owners to limit their personal liability for actions taken by the company. While an accountant or an attorney can set up an LLC for you, it is usually pretty easy to complete the formation process yourself. Keep in mind that each state will have different rules for forming an LLC, so it is important to look at your specific state laws before proceeding.
Uber is one of the most successful businesses that just recently boomed and here’s the thing: You can make an app similar to Uber where you can offer different service. There are a lot of other businesses that can fit inside Uber’s business model.
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.
If you want to test whether there is a market for your skills, try becoming a freelancer on ODesk. Don’t focus on pricing too much, but try to work with some clients on design/programming/admin projects to get a sense of what selling services is like. It’s low risk and you can earn a few bucks.
It takes some time to grow an audience and find ways to monetize your blog, but if you love to share your point of view with the world, this can be a good way to work from home. Niche blogs are a particular area of growth in this ever-growing profession. Pay can vary widely, but the income potential is nearly limitless.
While contracts can be valid when orally made, they are much harder to prove and enforce. Make sure you get all agreements in writing — it will save you headaches down the line, and could even save your business.
How do all the pets get to doggie day care or make their appointments at the vet? Your pet taxi service! As people offer more and more services for their pets the need to transport them will continue to grow for years to come.
Generally speaking the legal barriers to entry for a grounds maintenance company are very low. You should get a county business license as well as liability insurance. Your liability insurance will run you between $400 and $700 dollars depending on where you live. Some services you may be contemplating offering will come with more stringent requirements. Sprinkler repair or low voltage lighting in many states necessitate a separate licensing procedure as well as testing along with proof of time spent working in the industry. Pest control is highly regulated in most areas as well. However, most landscapers repair irrigation and lighting and spray RoundUp with no problems and it pays very well.
Have strong English skills and exceptional grammar? You may have opportunities to work as a proofreader from home. Advertising for this can be difficult; seek out those who might actually be able to use your services and advertise directly to them.
The different ways of delivering this service are almost endless. You could set up a small office, meet clients at their homes or in coffee shops, transact your business online, or even sell your services as part of an outplacement service to companies laying people off.
As your cash flow builds, you’ll want to reinvest some of it into professional development. Luckily, they are events, tradeshows, webinars, teleconferences, online courses, books, membership sites, mastermind groups, and coaching sessions – there is something to fit every budget and every niche. By investing in yourself and your business, you gain the knowledge, information, and skills to make your event planning business a success.
Cooking classes are a hit among the urban masses because food is something that appeals to everyone. As a professional cook, you can conduct cooking classes both online and offline. For the former, you can either use a platform like YouTube and Facebook or launch your own website to serve the same purpose. For either way, the cost is a bare minimum. For the latter, you can book a studio on the days you wish to conduct the classes, which again works out to be fairly cost-effective, taking the selected number of hours and days into account.
If you have been signing-on for over 12 months and you are considering starting your own business, the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) allows you to keep your social welfare payment for 2 years (100% in the year one, reducing to 75% in the second year).
From there, you need to learn which tools, resources, and feedback communities you can use to accelerate the pace at which you’re able to launch. Check out these 101 essential tools and resources I use to launch profitable side hustle businesses.
There’s a huge growing market for mobile phone accessories, and plenty of handmade sellers are raking in 6 and sometimes 7 figures from their phone case businesses. You can get your own phone case business up and running as a side business idea in a matter of days with turnkey solutions from Case Escape, my previous company, and you can now get ready-to-go kits that’ll give you everything you need to start a phone case business. Once you’re up and running, you can sell cases on Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and Fancy. During our first year of selling phone cases as a side business idea on our Etsy store, we made around $60,000 in revenue from that selling channel alone—not to mention additional sales from fairs, trade shows, promotional products vendors, parties, events and other online marketplaces. From there, the sales only continued growing and we graduated from side business idea to full-time company that I ran with my best friend for multiple years.
This is a particularly cool business because you can start as small as you want, working as few hours as you like. Yet, if you create something that catches on, you could build a global brand – the upside is unlimited!
Shopify and Squarespace each offer a 14-day free trial of their services, which is more than enough time for you to get a basic version of your store up and running as a test. Other sites like Big Cartel allow you to use their service for free if you have fewer than five product listings.
One of my friend’s mothers who had performed as a Radio City Rockette, founded a highly successful dance studio for young girls. She was successful enough to rent large commercial space, but this is a business you may want to start in your home.
If you want to bring it on to the next level you can take the Real Estate Broker License Examination. You just need to learn first the ins and outs of the real estate business before you can actually dive in to the game.
It’s a great way to achieve freedom in your life. Not only does copywriting allow you to work remotely, but it also allows you to control your schedule. Plus, learning the skill itself will help you in many areas of online business (i.e. building a blog, affiliate marketing, etc. – when you can write in a compelling way, all of these become much easier!)
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Event planning involves organizing events such as family reunions, weddings, corporate parties and anniversary celebrations. Event planning requires organizational skills and attention to detail, to effectively manage all aspects of an event and to make it memorable for guests.
Listen to my interview with serial entrepreneur and investor, Michele Romanow about how she built an app that earned $500,000 in 3 months (as a side business idea outside of her day job) and how she eventually sold the company to Groupon. It’s seriously incredible.
It gives you a place to deliver your content, allows your community members to interact with each other, allows you to limit access to qualified members, and also allows you to moderate and control the group.
If you want to start your own business, first come up with a unique idea for a product or service that you think people would pay for. Then, look for funding by talking with your bank, looking for local investors, or approaching family and friends for start-up money. Next, set yourself up to work in an appropriate space, and buy whatever equipment your business needs. Finally, create a website for your business, find ways to advertise to your target customers, and network, network, network!
Another place to consider for wholesale clothing is fashion shows such as the Dallas Market Center Fashion Show or the Atlanta Apparel Market Fashion Show. They are places where you can see all the latest trends as well as talk with and buy directly from the suppliers.
Don’t just hire the first person to come along with the basic qualifications you need. Look for someone with motivation, creativity and the right kind of personality to make it in your industry and fit in with your business. Then, once you’ve found that person, treat them well, engage them and make sure that you create the environment that they will thrive and give their all in.
While any form of education is priceless in its ideal, it can still be priced for a good value. Developing and running an online course for students interested in learning a subject is a profitable feat. While some online-course providers may offer the course for free on their own personalised websites, most usually tie up with other digital content companies, which provide them with the tools to carry out their lessons. In this too, the maximum cost you will incurred would be the minimum amount you pay for your domain name and hosting space, or to the digital content company in question for them to feature your course on their platform.
If you don’t choose a business structure like a corporation or LLC, you’ll automatically be considered a sole proprietor (or partnership) by the IRS. However, operating as a sole proprietor, your personal assets are at risk. If your company is ever sued, the court can seize your personal assets if your business doesn’t have enough to cover its debts. Both the corporation and LLC separate you and your assets from the business, and provide other tax benefits.
Social media is the best way to promote your business on the cheap. Beyond that, it really depends on what your business is. Roadside advertisements are a great way to attract consumers, but not particularly effective if you are a wholesale company. The first step is to identify your clients, and figure out the best way to reach them, for consumers, the best ways are social media, road side adds, TV commercials, and good customer service has been shown to get more word of mouth. For a wholesale or investment business, the best ways to promote vary greatly, so just identify your clientele and think about how other businesses advertise to them. Also, never be afraid to self promote.
Several of my friends have done this both as a side business and a main business. The ones doing it as a side business have actually done better. I think that is partly because they have waited patiently for better deals to buy.
Specialized pet services. You’ve seen pet tricks online – sometimes they garner hundreds of thousands of viewers. Someone has to teach those cuties how to run obstacle courses, whistle pop tunes and roll over and over and over. If you can do any of these things, make a video showing other pet owners how to do it and market it online.
Prem Ganapathy, one of India’s richest entrepreneurs, had begun his business by selling idlis and dosas from a hand-cart opposite Vashi station, which he rented for Rs 150 a month. And while the hand-cart has been replaced by a chain of luxury restaurants across the world, it was the reason for his eminent success today. Food trucks offer the same kind of potential to those looking to get into low-cost-high-returns business, considering their growing appeal among the urban masses today. Bengaluru even had an all-women food-truck company, 7 Sin, which has been doing exceedingly well since. As for the initial costs, the only thing that those looking into this have to wager on, is to rent a sturdy food-truck for a nominal fee and to pay the salary of a driver, who is required to drive it through all the popular hot-spots in the respective cities.
This is one of those businesses that not everyone wants to do, so the profits tend to be above average. Furthermore, you don’t have to collect just by telephone. You can send emails, mail letters and more. Make sure you know all the legal restrictions before you start!
People on your email list are not only more likely to be customers, but you can use the power of email to help nurture a lead by regularly sending them quality content through something like a newsletter.
You could dream up your own product to make with your 3D printer. But instead I would tend to create products for other people, and not even finished products, but prototypes. I would develop a specialty within prototypes, such as for a particular industry.
This is a great part time business that can pay very good money. For my kids, I hired coaches who were usually still students themselves, and had very little paid test prep experience. But I did make sure to hire test prep coaches who had scored exceedingly well themselves on the exams being targeted. You don’t have to be good at every subject. Just find one exam that you can study up on and excel at, and that’s all you need to become a great test prep coach!
Read through our comparison guide to learn more about each business structure. Make sure you fully understand the taxes, management, and level of liability tied up with your chosen structure before registering it with the state.
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.
“I started off with very little. Like Rs 2,000. But as my business proceeded, I was able to invest in other things like Zomato, custom boxes, and cake boards,” says Charulata, who is up to her elbows in cake considering the non-stop online orders coming her way.
Home buyers today are getting increasingly used to seeing vacant homes set up with staged furniture. And if you are choosing furniture specifically for the purpose of making a house look great, you can both increase the likelihood that the house will sell quickly, and that it will sell for a higher price. Stage some rooms in your own house, take pictures, and then get customers by networking with real estate brokers.