how to open a small business | what do i need to start a small business

One thing that most small towns have in common is grass, lots, and lots of grass. Since small towns tend to be in rural areas, more residents are likely to have lawns and larger gardens. That means people will be on the hunt for lawn and gardening services. A few of the benefits to starting a business such as this in a small town is its predictability, reliability, and scalability. Once you begin finding customers, as long as you have quality services that are reasonably priced, you’re likely to keep the same customers for years. You’ll also be able to predict the repeat services that customers will need. Not only does grass need to be cut repeatedly, but lawns need to be fertilized and treated for weeds and bugs on a regular basis. Lawn care is also an ideal small town business idea that will scale well. You can start off by offering a few services such as lawn and shrubbery care, but can later expand to offering landscaping services as well.
Every business needs help with their Internet marketing. And now I see even the smallest businesses hiring specialists for individual aspects of digital marketing. For example, they may hire one expert for pay-for-click search engine advertising, another for Facebook marketing and still another for SEO for their website. So, you could focus on one aspect of digital marketing, or you could be a generalist.
If you have a talent for helping people look their best, and know how to mesmerize with eyeliners and turn heads with lipsticks, consider using your beauty skills to pursue this easily profitable side business idea. For under $2000, you can start your own make-up artist business which can make for the foundation of a potentially lucrative side business idea that turns a profit largely by referrals and word-of-mouth from your happy customers.
There is a huge market and a big opportunity selling promotional material. Your best market will be mid to larger sized businesses, who are willing to spend some money to both promote their business to their customers or to use promotional items as incentives and rewards for their employees. Basically, you are reselling the product lines for other companies. I would suggest you have a good diversity of lines to increase your chances of getting your foot in the door, to increase your chances of holding your prospects’ attention and to increase your income. T-shirts, pens, hats, jackets: there are all kinds of promotional items you can sell.
If keeping your home organized comes naturally and you enjoy helping other people, consider becoming a professional organizer as a side business idea. As the need for baby boomers to start downsizing grows, you can use your organizing and decluttering skills to start making an industry standard $50-125 an hour with very little startup costs and some free expert advice from Jen Kilbourne. Believe it or not, pro organizers don’t just work with hoarders. More and more people are hiring professional organizers in order stop wasting time and money due to the stress of everyday disorganization. What’s even better, is that you can take this on as a side business idea during the nights and weekends when your clients will be at home.
Translator’s Town – Read Review – Open worldwide. Pay rate varies — this is more of a project bidding site similar to oDesk or Elance. Pay is handled between you and the person you’re doing translations for.
With new digital ad options abounding, developing a well thought out advertising program is more complex than ever! Hence, businesses are even more dependent upon third parties such as ad agencies to solve their marketing riddle and bring customers to their door. To get going as an ad agency you will need some broad marketing acumen. However, today no-one can be expected to be an expert in all aspects of marketing, so you’ll also need some contacts to bring in particular expertise when you need it.
Where there are homes, there will be children and where there are children there will be tears over math and grammar. Though the internet abounds with online tutoring services, nothing can ever replace the benefits of having an in-person teacher. In addition to being a great business idea for small towns, tutoring can also be a profitable business for both yourself and those working for you. If you are looking to hire employees, we recommend starting with a few tutors that specialize in math, reading, writing, and science. Don’t attempt to hire tutors that brand themselves as a jack of all subjects, those individuals are few and far between and most likely would be too expensive for you to employ from the start. Instead, look for tutors that specialize in one subject and have previous tutoring or teaching experience.
Potential challenges: It’s a seasonal type of business, as wedding bookings are likely to slow down in the winter — though this depends on where you live. As a result, you may need to get creative when it comes to stretching your earnings throughout the year.
Selling and installing key control systems for hotels and other commercial businesses has a lot going for it. You are selling the latest technology, there is a strong service component, and your target market is businesses that can afford to spend a lot of money for this valuable service. For example, with a key control system a company can limit the hours that some employees may access their facility and if they let go an employee they can just de-activate their card, rather than having to call a locksmith to redo every lock.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be approached by major brands, gear companies, and other relevant businesses that sell products or services related to the type of content you share on Instagram—creating multiple potential side business ideas that’ll come to you. If you have the right marketing skills and hundreds of thousands of followers, you can easily charge anywhere between $500 to $5,000 per post (or more)—which makes for a very profitable side business idea. Check out this fashion Instagrammer on ThePennyHoarder, making a significant income from brand sponsorships. Once you get some traction, to cut down on the amount of time you spend uploading images, you can make your entire workflow more efficient by posting photos from your Mac or PC.
I love Gene Mahon’s blog about Nantucket. Great photos and well presented. Overtime he has built up a good advertising base. Like any blog it takes time, energy, consistency and patience to build a following. But if you enjoy taking pictures, attending events and meeting people, a local blog can be a lot of fun.
Generally, no specific expertise or certificate is necessary to open a company. However, a certificate and experience — and license — may be necessary to operate or sell specific services to the public. Check with the Secretary of State to learn the legal requirements to offer a specialized product or service in your State.
Transcribe Anywhere offers a free introductory mini-course so you can see if this is the best route for you. We spoke to a mom who works part time and banks about $2,000 a month as a transcriptionist.
So, you start out with some stunning jewelry designs but how do you turn it into a business? One of my friends’ sisters turned her jewelry hobby into a full-time job by selling her products to a few local jewelry stores. Another woman I know built her business into a much larger enterprise…all built around a strong unifying theme. That’s the key here, success will come a lot easier if you build a distinctive overall brand, and ideally have closely matched collections within the brand.
These businesses have been around forever, and I have hired temp workers through them from time to time, typically for simple packing or assembly type work. Historically your success would be largely dependent upon how successful you were at making sales calls on companies that hire temporary help. But today you can also bring sales leads to you through online marketing.
Define your goals. Do you want financial independence, eventually selling your business to the highest bidder? Do you want something small and sustainable, that you love doing and from which you want to derive a steady income? These are the things that are good to know very early on.
Tax Calculation: Tiered based on taxable gross receipts. LLCs with between $150,000 and $1 million in gross recipes pay $150. If you form an LLC during the second half of the year, your first year’s CAT is $75.
Create a business plan for your home based business. This is the blueprint for your business. It may also help you think of things that had not crossed your mind about your business and help you determine what kind of start up costs you are looking at. At minimum, a business plan should include the following:
#43 – Testing Time is a business opened to a global audience looking for an opportunity to share their opinions and get paid $50 per study made. You must have access to a Skype account and work a minimum of 90 minutes. The payment takes almost a week to process.
Many families with kids, including single-parents, have very limited time resources, creating a demand for part-time child care providers (and a business idea opportunity for you). If you love kids and have some spare time, you can earn plenty of side income by looking after children while their parents are away. Just be sure to identify the particular age group you’re comfortable caring for and you’re all set after any necessary certifications. Establishing a home-based daycare center capable of servicing six or more kids is also a lucrative way to really expand upon this business idea if you have the right environment for it.
Today people don’t just change jobs, they change careers. And many people changing careers want to get help from someone who can help them find their dream job—that could be you. You could get up to speed in this field by reading a number of books, and by finding some standardized tests to help analyze your clients’ skills and desires. I once published a book that just listed and described career counseling services in the Boston area.
This is a business you could start in a couple hours with literally zero investment. In the public library on the resort island of Nantucket, I watched a man create a flyer for his walking tour business on a free public access computer. Then he went outside and posted the newly created flyer on the public bulletin board. A few hours later he greeted his customers as they gathered on the advertised street corner, collected their money, and then took them on the walking tour. Not sure how to set up your walking tour? Get a history or even a self-walking tour guide at the public library.
If you tell people you run a lawn-cutting service they might laugh at you, but so what! You can make a lot of money cutting lawns! You can start with one lawn and a second-hand lawn mower, and grow your business into riding mowers, full landscaping services, fancy trucks and trailers, and lots of happy customers! Click here to see the sample marketing plan I wrote for a lawn service business.
If you are offering pizza delivery you don’t need a storefront at all. You could just get an inexpensive industrial quality space, as long as it is convenient to your customers. Lure your first customers in with juicy offers. Then try to keep them with great quality. But beware that a lot of pizza delivery sales even to repeat customers involve some kind of discount or special offer.
If you’re still not having any luck with the jobs I’ve shared above – check out FlexJobs. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,  along with a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the website. FlexJobs guarantees that every single job is hand-screened for legitimacy. This is a great way to search for legitimate work at home jobs without the hassle of dealing with scams.
This is a specialized niche of the fencing business, but so differentiated that it is basically a totally separate, non-competitive business—and that’s the best kind of niche to find! Your market is dog owners, and probably the owners of some types or dogs, or maybe multiple dogs, are much more likely to be customers than others, which means that you can really target your marketing!
There is one trend that has been sweeping the country for the better part of two decades: health food. Though what is considered healthy food has shifted and changed frequently over this period of time, the general concept of eating healthier to live longer and look your best is not going anywhere. One facet of this trend that has scientifically proven benefits is eating organic food. People eat organic for a variety of reason, but living in rural areas and small towns can often make it difficult to find fresh organic produce and food. Global sales of health food are expected to reach $1 trillion by 2017. Whether or not you consider yourself a health nut, that’s a hard number to ignore. Research also shows that consumers are willing to spend more for healthy food. So if access to allergen-free and organic food is limited in your area, consider going the organic route. Small town business idea, large town business idea, a health food store is a good idea wherever you reside.
Needle – Read Review – Open to US and possibly other countries. Note this company used to pay you in cash, but now they are points only, although you can redeem your points for Visa gift cards. Extra money only.
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.
This is like a simplified version of a flower delivery service, but without an inventory that is constantly becoming obsolete! Plus, balloons suggest fun and light-hearted cheerfulness, perfect for many occasions!
What could be easier? You sit in the chair and watch the dog chase its tail! OK so there’s a little more work to it than that, but still this is not the toughest job in the world–especially if you like animals! I am surprised to hear how much money people will pay for pet sitters if they believe their pets are being really well cared for.
Secure start-up costs. Most businesses require capital to start. Money is typically required to purchase supplies and equipment, as well as keep the business operational for the period before your business becomes profitable. The first place to look for financing is yourself.[1].
#29 – 10UP is a web development company that gives employees the chance to work remotely. There are seasonal openings for web designers, developers, and engineers. Employees get roughly $20 per hour pay equivalent to 85k monthly salary.
Though not the cheapest of business ideas on this list, it’s one that can be extremely lucrative as well as appeal to the widest range of patrons in a small town. A successful bowling alley can become the center of a town’s social life. Besides the obvious bowling revenue stream, food and drink (especially alcoholic beverages), can also help you pull in the big bucks. Small town bowling alleys can also be rented out for additional income. Like all businesses, large and small, having a quality business plan for your bowling alley is incredibly important.
Your county or city will require a business license. The form takes minutes to fill out. Use your EIN instead of your Social Security number to identify your business (for privacy reasons if nothing else).
Ask the bank if you will need to present certain documentation to open the account, such as your certificate of formation or business license. Banks in Texas may vary in terms of what they require for opening an account.
Pet Businesses are a $60 billion industry in the United States, so it just plain makes sense that a small town has at least one pet grooming or boarding facility or a combination of the two. The pet industry is also one that shows no signs of slowing down. In 1988, 56 percent of households in the United States owned a pet, in 2016 that percentage jumped to 65. This means that there are almost 80 million households in the U.S. with at least one pet.
When I was running my book publishing company I developed a series of books called the Everything series and I negotiated a deal to buy the “everything.com” domain from a company controlled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for over $100,000. The market for good domain names isn’t going away and you can make money trading these names, but I would be careful in putting too much money into names that are “almost” great names.
What is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or business that agrees to send and receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC. Such papers include service of process of legal action (if you are sued) and state filings.

Depending on the type of business you’re in, your business structure, whether you’re hiring local Illinoisans, and where you set up shop, syncing with the tax code can happen as easily as hockey melded with Chicago.
Every company needs content for their website to attract search engine traffic and develop a bond with their customers and potential customers. Hence the market for creating web-friendly content has exploded with both large firms and independent content marketers helping to fill the need. Specializing in the needs of a particular industry can help jump-start your business, but many companies are willing to hire content marketers who are good researchers and can write well, even if they lack specific industry expertise.

7 Replies to “how to open a small business | what do i need to start a small business”

  1. In most cases, these firms offer a team of experts to plan out your company registration from scratch — this includes the strategies you need to follow in order to smoothly set up your business, itemizing potential costs, offering licensing and location options, coming up with solutions for potential business hurdles, and so on.
    One of the easiest ways to screw up your business accounting and possibly run afoul of the IRS is to commingle personal and business funds (and transactions). Using a business account for all business transactions eliminates that possibility.
    #7 – Contract world is a recruitment company for businesses such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Shopping Network and more. The pay ranges from $11-$16 per hour with deposits made directly twice a month. Requirements include a dedicated phone line, high-speed internet connection, and a web camera.
    One of my business school classmates started a concert promotion business while still an undergrad at Harvard, and even as a student he was making a fortune at it. He started with lesser known groups and smaller venues, and within a couple years he was booking some of the largest venues in greater Boston. He also enjoyed partying with the rock stars!
    Or you could focus more on building up your own social media accounts and eventually build your business as a social media influencer who earns an income from posting about various brands and promotions.
    The Richland Group is a dynamic, growing, and fast-paced organization whose employees work from home. Our employees thrive in situations that require flexibility, adaptability, and speed. Successful employees are constantly seeking to learn and improve, ab…
    Products can be swapped in and out fairly easily (especially when you’re not stuck with stock). Your store can be redesigned. Your prices can be adjusted. You can switch to a better supplier. And you can validate all of these decisions based on the dozens of signals you have at your disposal (traffic, how much time people are spending on your site, reviews, abandoned carts, etc.).
    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.
    Many families with kids, including single-parents, have very limited time resources, creating a demand for part-time child care providers (and a business idea opportunity for you). If you love kids and have some spare time, you can earn plenty of side income by looking after children while their parents are away. Just be sure to identify the particular age group you’re comfortable caring for and you’re all set after any necessary certifications. Establishing a home-based daycare center capable of servicing six or more kids is also a lucrative way to really expand upon this business idea if you have the right environment for it.

  2. All you need is one dog to walk and you’ve broken into this business. And at the same time, I have seen people build this into a big business, including to the point where they have to hire additional dog walkers. Dogs need to be walked regularly—just ask them! Woof! Woof! Yes! So, you’re guaranteed a steady income and a good business model!
    I love being part of TTEC@Home because the setting is both personal and professional and I don’t have to commute in traffic or poor weather. I have an office environment that I created, designed, and nestle into. And TTEC provides strong support, ongoing training, benefits, company perks, and advancement opportunities.
    Cover the financials. The financial statements translate your marketing and operational plans into numbers — profits and cash flow. They identify how much money you will need and how much you might make. Since this is the most dynamic part of your plan, and perhaps the most important for long-term stability, you should update this monthly for the first year, quarterly for the second year, and then annually after that.
    Marketing a business can also include building a brand, setting up a professional website, driving traffic to your site with search engine optimization, and using a promotional strategy, among other tactics.
    A lot of people make some really neat crafts. But to be able to make money at it, you also need to be able to price your products reasonably—and allow yourself enough money to bring your product to market. That being said, there are more markets than ever for your products! In addition to local retailers and craft fairs, you can sell them online, on your own website, or through third party sites like Etsy or EBay.
    Protect your LLC by writing an operating agreement. Unless you are a solo member LLC, in which case you do not need an operating agreement, it may be wise to write one in order to protect your LLC. Although most states do not require you to register an operating agreement, you may want to consider doing so. In almost all cases, you can choose the operational rules for your LLC. However, if you do not have an operating agreement, the “default” rules in place in your state will govern in the event of a disagreement. [18] Your operating agreement can help you do the following:

  3. Most home based businesses do not succeed. That is just the truth of the matter. There are a few new home based businesses every year that are really successful, however. All you can do is work hard and try your best.
    If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative side business idea. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you’re ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.
    Start planning ahead. Where do you hope to see your business in 6 months? What about 3 years down the road? Life is full of surprises and there’s plenty that you can’t plan for, but setting realistic goals is still an important practice.
    A merchant account is a contract under which an acquiring bank extends a line of credit to a merchant, who wishes to accept payment card transactions of a particular card association brand. Previously, without such a contract, one could not accept payments by any of the major credit card brands. However, the Square has changed that, so don’t feel locked in or limited to this option. Do your research.
    When my Rolex needed repair, I was determined to save some money so I went to an independent repair service. I visited his shop in Ft. Lauderdale and it was a relatively large operation with half a dozen technicians or so serving not just the local community, but shipping watches back and forth all over. Then there is my father’s grandfather clock which I just arranged to have shipped to me. Just to have it shipped, I needed an expert clock service to take it apart, and then on the receiving end I needed another expert service to put it back together. You get the point…there’s lots of demand here!

  4. #29 – 10UP is a web development company that gives employees the chance to work remotely. There are seasonal openings for web designers, developers, and engineers. Employees get roughly $20 per hour pay equivalent to 85k monthly salary.
    This is basically an employment temp service, but you may be “leasing out” employees for longer stints of time. The advantage to the customer is that they don’t have to get involved in sourcing, screening and qualifying candidates, and importantly, they are not responsible for employment taxes, withholding and reporting. To succeed at this business, you need a strong ability to sell your services and place employees. This can be a “messy” business with employees coming and going, tax filing requirements, and customers to please. However, the upside is unlimited, some employee leasing firms have grown into mammoth enterprises!
    Competition isn’t just about the goods or services themselves. It is also about your social and environmental credibility. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the need to show that your business is concerned with labor conditions and isn’t damaging the environment. Certification endorsements from reputable organizations, such as labels and stars, can reassure customers that your product or service is more aligned with their values than one lacking the certification.

  5. 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 had a knack for standardized tests and had no trouble acing the SAT, ACT or other college exams, why not start tutoring high schoolers as a side business idea? Parents of all economic backgrounds are more than willing to shell out upwards of $100/hr to the right tutor, if it means their son or daughter will get admitted to the college or university of their choice. See this quick checklist for starting an SAT tutoring business from the Work At Home Mom. Whitney over at Rookiemoms also has a cool story to share about a stay-at-home mom making $40/hr helping kids out with homework and turning it into a profitable side business idea.
    Pet grooming and boarding are also businesses where convenience and distance matter, making them perfect ideas for rural businesses. No one wants to drive two towns over to drop their pet off for a trim, nor drive back to pick them up. Since most small towns don’t have a pet specialty chain such as a Petco, businesses can also capitalize on the lack of a major pet store where owners would usually purchase food, toys, and clothing for their pets. If you plan your business well, you can become the one-stop shop for all things furry. And that translates to big profits.
    #46 – Crawford Media Services hires independent contractors to carry out metadata writing, SE optimization, and tagging. However, most of their projects are seasonal or occasional. Pay can go up to $18 per hour depending on the task.

  6. What a great business. It’s like an apartment building without people, without running water, without heat and without electricity! In other words, money flowing in without the headaches! And with today’s sophisticated lock and security systems, you may be able to operate this business without any staff onsite.
    A lot of people make some really neat crafts. But to be able to make money at it, you also need to be able to price your products reasonably—and allow yourself enough money to bring your product to market. That being said, there are more markets than ever for your products! In addition to local retailers and craft fairs, you can sell them online, on your own website, or through third party sites like Etsy or EBay.
    Who can be a Registered Agent? The registered agent must be a resident of Indiana or a corporation authorized to transact business in Indiana. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.
    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.
    For help with this step, a Business License Service is a good resource too. They determine everything required on federal, state, county, and municipal levels, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions.
    Finding a legitimate work at home typing job is a full time career! You search high and low and all you find is people asking you for money that you’re trying to make, not give away! Well I’d like to share my story of how I secured my very first and only legitimate work from home typing job. I’m sure after you read it, it will help you secure one too!
    The big problem for many of us is that working a full-time job makes it too exhausting to even consider trying to find an alternative outlet. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs struggled with this when they wanted to start a business for the first time while they still had a day job.
    Since many of the products you can dropship are commodities and will be unbranded, your business will be competing with others through marketing and quality customer service. In other words, it often boils down to whether you can sell a product better than the competition.

  7. 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.
    Utilize the tools at your disposal. There are so many fantastic free resources out there to make marketing easier for small-business owners. You can find tools for monitoring your social media, crafting professional emails, calculating ROI and much, much more — all you have to do is seek them out. Marketing a business is a full-time job, but if you’re stuck doing it on your own for now, using services like these can make the task more manageable.
    If you’re thinking about starting a business, you likely already have an idea of what you want to sell, or at least the market you want to enter. Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders are doing, and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don’t (or deliver the same thing, but faster and cheaper), you’ve got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.
    If you have ever lived in a small town and entertained houseguests, you’ve probably often wished that your town had a bed and breakfast. Though small towns with a tourism industry will often have historical inns or at least a motel or two, towns that aren’t exactly Plymouth, MA or Williamsburg, VA often go without. That means no place for the in-laws to stay or guests for a family reunion or wedding. Opening a small inn or bed and breakfast can help fill a need in your area. If you’re worried about being able to keep your rooms booked, go small. Bed and breakfast owners tend to live in the same homes they manage, often converting their larger homes into B&Bs. This is a great idea for those who have recently become empty nesters with too many rooms to fill. If you’re later in life and looking for business ideas for small towns, this concept is a great one to explore.

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