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In the early stages of a startup, there’s comfort in doing the things we know how to do–looking for office space, for example, or setting up accounting software or starting to build our products. While doing these things feels like progress, unfortunately, it’s the exact opposite–it’s burning limited time and money on things that are completely unrelated to initially proving you may have a viable business.
Because I am just a little bit techie, I get asked to video record weddings all the time. If video or photography are up your alley, starting a wedding photography business could be a great idea for you. If doing weddings aren’t your thing, there are other ways you can make money as a photographer as well.
Twice I have heard Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams beer, talk about how he started his business. I find this to be a tough business. First you need a brew master with deep expertise. Then you have to get your beer taste to be very distinctive and very pleasing. You need consistent quality. You need to stand out versus the many other small brewers, build a clientele, and arrange for transportation. Nonetheless the market is huge and because of the success of micro-breweries, established beer distributors are increasingly willing to take on smaller labels.
A few years of office experience is expected, and workers take jobs on a long-term contract basis for customers. They communicate via phone, fax or internet services and sometimes may not meet the client in person…
This is good specialized business with a specific, clearly defined market to target. Until you have started to gain momentum you might want to find someone you can rent a horse trailer from on an as-needed basis. Then buy your own trailer after you start to build your customer base.
Are you considered an expert in your field? Do you like to assist others in achieving their goals? Then act as an advisor to others who are in need of your skill and expertise. This post tells you how to get started in three easy steps!
Web designers are incredibly valuable for technology companies—which is why becoming a freelance web designer is a top side business idea today. Web design is all about mastering the art of creating a beautiful, value-driven experience for the people using a website or app. There are always new websites popping up in need of professional web design, and foundational books like HTML & CSS: Design and Build Websites by acclaimed web designer Jon Duckett and Don’t Make Me Think by user experience legend Steve Krug will get you started down the right path to quickly determining whether or not becoming a web designer is a viable side business idea for you.
Another option is cleaning offices. One friend in Boston built a highly successful cleaning business focusing on small businesses. They trusted him with access to their businesses at night and were willing to pay him a hefty premium. He worked just 4 or 5 hours a night and made a very healthy living.
You could try to do this business online…but of course the issue is getting people the right size. You could even send several sizes if they are not sure of their size. Or you could have a storefront. You don’t need a fancy location or expensive buildout. There is a formal wear rental facility near me that has been very successful for decades, and the storefront looks like it was last remodeled about 50 years ago.
That same study also revealed that more than 50 million Americans work independently as freelancers. With considerable overlap in the Venn diagram of home-based workers and entrepreneurs, the numbers show that starting a home-based business isn’t a just trend. It’s part of the new reality of the American workforce.
Enter: The Side Hustle. I’ve created an entire podcast to talk about the side hustle, featuring interviews with the world’s top entrepreneurs right here on—The Side Hustle Project. Listen to my episode about How to Find a Profitable Business Idea right here…
Build your own social following and create a personal brand for yourself like Matt Nelson, founder of WeRateDogs has done (thus growing his following to more than 2.8 Million people), and countless opportunities will come your way for turning this side business idea into a full-time business.
Here’s an example of someone who picked the right home business, using the power of online marketing: Operating out of her home, Ming Friedman imports fine linen tablecloths and sells them to party rental firms. Ming doesn’t need a store, a warehouse, factory or marketing organization. She has her products manufactured in China, uses her garage for storage, has a terrific website for marketing and hires FedEx for shipping. Ming operates her business full-time, but this is an example of the kind of business that can be operated either full time or as a moonlight operation.
Home health care services typically provide seniors with a wide range of assistance, including help with managing illnesses or injuries, administering medicine and treatment, and helping with basic daily tasks. A background in medicine, physical therapy, nursing or social work is a major plus, and it helps to have a high number of seniors living in your area.
We don’t manufacture as much in America as we used to, but the phrase “American made” still means a lot to some people. Artisanal items are also popular, making now a great time to start a furniture-making business. This might not be the easiest idea to start from scratch, but if you already own the equipment you need, you can start producing pieces to sell at fairs and online on sites such as Etsy.
If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income as a side business idea is to sign a freelance contract to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows. Just be sure to brush up on all the right business slang and industry jargon that’s pervasive in the online marketing world before you launch unprepared into this side business idea.
Can you find the needle in the haystack? If so, becoming an online internet researcher may be the perfect home-based business for you. Every day companies, writers, and marketers need research done, and they are willing to pay you good money for your hard work.
Whether you know web design, how how to handle content management system, write (as suggested above), use excel well, give legal advice, do accounting work, it doesn’t matter. You can provide your service for $5 on websites like Fiverr. There’s a lot going on there, more and more clients are coming to this marketplace, and they all need different things.
When I used to work at CreativeLive, I regularly paid $250-$500 (or even much more depending upon audience size) per episode for 90 seconds worth of advertisements on relevant podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show, the #1 business podcast right now from the 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss. The podcast has even helped Tim launch his latest New York Times bestseller, Tools of Titans to a wider readership.
Good ideas, I like numbers 2, 3, and 6 personally. I think in addition to persistence and determination, creating a successful home-based business also takes courage. It can be a scary proposition to quit your day job to go it alone. I always admire people who make this move, and I think that in general they are all the more happy for it. There is not doubt, though, that you have to go for it 100% in order to make it happen!
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.
Pet grooming is becoming more popular as owners want to keep their pets looking their best. You could operate a mobile pet grooming business or from a stationary location. Despite the initial set-up costs, a pet grooming business would have relatively low operating costs and could allow for a good profit margin.
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If you buy a franchise, they may come with back-office support to help you run your business, including with money transactions. If you’re running the business on your own, you could use a service like Paypal to conduct any transactions.