Believe it or not, it is possible to actually reach a woman named Peggy (and not a man with a Russian accent) when you call customer service. That’s because of the homeshore movement, which is trying to hire more independent contractors to work from home on customer service issues. If you’ve got a phone line and an internet connection, you can work from home as a call center rep. Median salary: $30,460.
While most corporate companies have their own research teams, a score of newly launched startups and smaller companies tend to outsource their research work to independent researchers in the same field, on a contractual basis. As a result, you could set up a business around independent research yourself or with another person, where, unless you wish to opt for rental space, your only investment will be your time. If you’re working with another person or with someone junior to you however, then you may have to set aside an amount for their salaries as well.
When it comes time to officially form your business, we highly recommend seeking professional help. Using an online filing service is an inexpensive alternative to consulting with a lawyer, and many of them offer other necessary services at low rates when you form your business with them.
We all have something that we are good at, so why not try to sell your services in the form of a private lesson: a very low risk start-up. You might find teaching the lesson to be the easiest part. Along the way you’ll gain valuable marketing and sales experience in your search for clients and practice skills like negotiation and client management.
This site is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I am a fit and frisky 56 y.o. single dad working 2 jobs, with an unquenchable thirst for learning new things. I’ve been surreptitiously studying the New Thought writers (from Atkinson to Proctor right up to some of the really sharp, young people creating YouTube videos). I think I’m getting a grip on the self-motivation and metaphysics of the whole thing, but am too scattered to decide exactly what kind of business to start! many of your 27 ideas I have some familiarity with (one of my old army buddies got me in to Bombardier Transport in early 2011 for 3 months to help meet a deadline on some tech pubs…it was a lot of fun! I was told I’m a natural, but could not find any more jobs in that sector….Oy Gevalt). Anyway, thank you so much for this site! I can give you a progress report every few months or so (including showing you how any websites I may be creating are doing). Happy New Year!
You can make good money on eBay or other online marketplaces. I met a high school student, for example, who made enough money to pay off a good chunk of his college tuition with an eBay enterprise. However, while an eBay business seems very simple, there are also plenty of people who have gotten tripped up in the process, made key mistakes, and had a rough go of it.
Dog walking is the perfect side business for anyone who has a few hours to kill during the day. Once you get a few clients, you simply need to pick up their dogs and take them on long, leisurely walks that will tire them out and keep them in shape. Bonus: Walking dogs may help you in your quest to stay fit as well.
I’ve always wanted to start my own business, and I think I have a solid idea for a company. The thing is, I read your column mentioning the high rate of failure among startups — the ones we never hear about — and I’m debating with myself over taking the plunge. How do you know if you’re really ready to run your own company? — Thinking It Over
I’m not getting up on that high ladder anymore! That’s why I spend $200 to have a service clean my gutters twice a year. Considering that even one person can clean several houses a day, you can see that it’s very good money potential. Try really hard to geographically concentrate your gutter cleaning each day. This could be a great weekend business.
Packaging your skills and knowledge into a downloadable eBook that delivers value to those seeking to learn a skill, advance in their careers, or start their own businesses, makes for a strong value proposition if you target the right audience. Check out Leslie Samuel’s great guide to selling eBooks online and start building your strategy around this side  business idea. This class with Tara Gentile on CreativeLive will also show you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Put in some serious work with your eBook, build an audience and you’ll have a platform to pitch traditional publishers on landing a book deal—then you can write one of the best business books and really build your personal brand.
As you develop this business further, the sky is the limit. You could expand not only into additional tests, but also into college admissions counseling. One of my classmates from business school offered test prep and college counseling with a single complete package being priced at $50,000! I met a woman at one of the co-share centers at which I worked who previously worked as a college counselor and had been successful enough in her college testing and admissions counseling service to add several full-time employees. Granted she had previous experience as a college admissions officer and co-authored a book about college admissions, but if you can read a book you could get up to speed on this process too!
Consider building a Shopify store. Shopify is a system built for ecommerce. With some basic web knowledge, you can set up a good-looking store very quickly, with a low-cost investment and with no coding needed. Shopify has a 30-day free trial too, so you can get started without spending a dime.
You’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to open a business bank account and file your business taxes next April. Your EIN is a bit like your business’ social security number: it’s a unique number that identifies your business and helps you file important paperwork. Every business needs one, whether you’ll have employees or not.
The first step toward starting any successful California business is planning. Launching a business without a business plan is like shooting a major Hollywood production without a screenplay — it’s bound to go haywire. Among the things you’ll cover in your business plan are:
A web developer is someone who knows how to build a website from the bottom up. In order to do this, you need to learn coding, which will take time and hard work. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, it can pay quite well.
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.
Sometimes I’d do a little touchup work, such as a new wood trim or a coat of paint, occasionally I would contract out an engine repair, and always I would clean them the boats. Like any trading business, you need to find out what sells easily and at what price, and what you want to stay away from. Brand name outboards, specifically Boston Whalers, sold well for me. Sailboats, on the other hand, took forever to move.
To get going in this business, I might offer a couple, very basic “starter packages,” where for one price you get a client up and running. I’d tend to keep the price low, “over deliver,” and make the client happy – then try to build a long term relationship, offering a fixed package of services for an annual subscription or monthly price.
Just head out to your local cafe, set up a small sign saying that in exchange for a coffee all you need is 10 minutes of someone’s time, and spend the whole day talking to people. All you really need are some concept photos, even a simple slideshow, and then talk to as many people as you’d like to gather valuable information.

Build your list by creating a lead magnet. ($10) An eBook is as low-cost as you get when it comes to lead magnets. You can easily find someone to create a great-looking design for you for $10 or less. Total cost so far: $107
An exclusive distributor, on the other hand, typically has much higher gross profit margins and may sell goods to wholesalers as well as directly to retailers or end industrial users. Sometimes the exclusive distributor imports a foreign product.
Evaluate your competition; if their market share or product offering is too strong and stable, then you will have a very hard time breaking into the market. No one will want to buy an equally priced or more expensive version of a perfectly good product or service which already exists.
We all wear clothes (at least some of the time). Which, of course, makes the business idea of cleaning soiled laundry an obvious hit. In fact, the self-service laundromat industry in the US is worth more than $3 billion, with many related businesses such as a mobile app laundry service, a real rolling mobile laundry service, and home laundry pickup & delivery services springing up each year. Here’s one way you can cash in on the trend as a side business idea.
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!
Unfortunately it’s impossible to know what type of licenses will be required for your specific business until some extensive research is done. Requirements vary depending on many factors – city, county, whether or not it’s a home-based business, the purpose of the business, etc. My company CorpNet does offer this research. Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation at 888.449.2638.
Zumba has become popular in the country specially for the moms at home. It’s one way where mothers can socialize with other mothers, release their stresses, and also a way to stay fit. If you are good at dancing, you can make a good source of income for only about 2 hours teaching zumba or other dance.
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.
All of these ideas require some background in the area, but they are an ideal way to use your already-acquired skills in a work-from home business. And even if you do not already have the necessary training, there is nothing keeping you from getting certified in order to start your home-based business. If you do not currently have enough money to get the certification you need I would recommend saving a little each month until you have enough to pay cash. If that is not an option or you are desperate to get out of the grind, then you can check personal and student loan rates from various banks at SimpleTuition.com or learn more about Peer to Peer borrowing in my Lending Club review.