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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.
All those phone calls you get from non-profits looking for donations…the majority of those calls aren’t from the non-profits themselves, they are from fund-raising firms. Yes, you could put together a phone solicitation service for non-profits, but fundraising is increasingly turning to inbound marketing. You could develop strategic inbound marketing plans and/or execute these plans for your customers.
Investment: You can keep your startup costs lower by operating from your home and starting with part-time hours. Costs may include educational supplies such as toys and books, furniture such as cribs and mats, outdoor playground equipment, cleaning supplies and insurance.
If you’re a crafty and creative person, then you could join Etsy, launch your own eCommerce site, or roadside stand where you can sell anything from hand-printed shirts, furniture, jewelry, natural soaps, or organic food.
I find that a lot of people want a turn-key business – one that doesn’t require a lot of capital to start and maintain. Unfortunately, the majority of the businesses listed here either require significant start-up costs because in a lot of them you need liability insurance, licenses, money to buy the inventory to start the business, and or a physical location in order to operate.
Mystery Shopping: You will be required to dine or shop at restaurants or retail outlets as an ordinary patron and then give a verbal or written report to owners or managers on customer service and food quality. Other mystery shopping opportunities are reviewing the quality of care at hospitals or reporting on the service from collection agency representatives. In addition, you may be asked to do undercover surveillance of staff (if theft is suspected). Some states view mystery shoppers as private investigators, in which case you will need a license.
People are always searching for one-of-a-kind venues for meetings, parties and weddings. Why not earn some extra money off the space you already have by renting it out for events as a side business idea? If you own a unique venue, like a studio, warehouse or boat, UK-based company Tagvenue will connect you with clients looking for somewhere special to host their event. Not a bad low-effort side business idea.
Steve Gillman is a freelance writer, author of, “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and the creator of Every Way To Make Money. Of the more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is (so far) his favorite.
Cigar shops can bring in decent and steady revenue. Better yet the profit margins are good, so you can be very profitable without hitting sky high sales levels. This is a relatively easy business without too many headaches. But choose your location carefully…then roll out your wooden Indian!
This is one of the more difficult business on this list. But if you really want to do it, you can! First, it will take about 3-5 years to grow your grapes. Secondly, you need the right climate. Third, selling what you produce is like a whole separate business. However, people do like to visit and buy wine from local wineries. And I have seen some wineries that are initially producing just a small amount of wine themselves, jumpstart their business and supplement their sales by reselling wine from other vineyards.
Companies are increasingly turning to freelance and contract workers to fill the skill gaps in their staff. It’s not hard to imagine that you could build a whole company around providing freelance services of one sort or another. Some freelance gigs pay by the project and others pay hourly, and the rates can vary greatly. But as you gain more experience, your earning potential will soar.
This is not my favorite business on this list but I feel compelled to list it because it is so popular. So why is it not my favorite? It tends be very competitive, hard work and relatively low profits. So, if you do go into this business I would do everything possible to differentiate your business and to be able to charge premium pricing.
Weddings, house parties, kids’ parties and funerals present opportunities to makeup consultants, too. Networking is critical, as are a keen sense of organization and, of course, an eye for beauty. It’s also important to keep up with—or stay ahead of—fashion trends.
There could be some investment necessary in equipment, and the biggest challenge might be getting your hands on the antiques you plan to refurbish. (Hint: Get to know some auctioneers.) Once you’ve turned a few pieces around, take some high-quality photographs for promotional purposes and go from there.
Yes, you can make a lot of money with a simple ice cream shop! Perfect your ice cream before you start, find a good busy location without a crazy rent and consider starting with a smaller footprint to minimize your overhead. I’ll have an ice cream sundae please—with everything on it!
Product Distributor: The initial challenge will be finding a product to distribute. Look at local handcrafts, research magazines or fairs. Use parent organizations, direct mail, pamphlets, newsletters and a website to promote and sell your product.
Select a business based on your education, field knowledge, and experience. Do not jump into business as it is in demand. Make a proper business plan and study all legal and commercial aspects before jumping into any unknown venture.
The popular myth these days is that anybody with a smartphone can be a photographer. The truth, however, is that professional photography can be a cutthroat business, with demanding clients and fierce competition. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing as a profession for those who have a passion for it.
A Personal Concierge is detail oriented, home-based professional that offers corporate and individual assistance by completing such tasks such as arranging meetings, planning corporate events, purchasing gifts or tickets, making reservations, and paying bills. The services that you can provide are endless, and all depend on your specific niche and experience.
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!
This is a nice and interesting post, Holly. Great work on this one. After reading this, it has broaden my perspective with regards to being a work-at-home entrepreneur. And it is good to know that this is not just applicabble to women, but also, applicable for men. Cheers!
This last year has been a big increase in the popularity of photo sharing applications such as Snapchat and Instagram. With the popularity of the selfie, these applications are going to be popular for a while longer. However there is still plenty of room for a new unique photo sharing application. If you have a unique idea for a photo sharing app then it could go big.
It used to be that if you had a product to sell, you also had to have a storefront and all the costs associated with it. These days, you can sell anything to anyone anywhere in the world. Whether you’re marketing the organic honey from your backyard apiary, or selling personalized linens that you embroider yourself, you can find a market for your products online.
But even if you are selling on consignment you need to get a healthy markup. You want about 15 percent of the sales price if you are selling high-priced items like cars or boats, and more like 50 percent if you are selling less expensive items like children’s clothing.
I see two routes to success in this business: 1) Focus on artists with well- established followings that you are comfortable that you can sell or 2) Take on less well-known artists on a consignment basis, meaning you don’t actually buy the painting from the artist until the day you sell it. This can be a finicky business–people’s tastes can change and a gallery that is successful one year can find itself struggling enough. So, keep your overhead manageable and watch for changing trends.
For this reason, consider testing out your dishes on a smaller scale first, at a local farmer’s market or a food festival. You can get feedback from customers on your product before investing in a mobile operation.