technology business ideas | the best small businesses to start

While it demands creativity, patience and expertise, makeup consulting is a business idea that requires relatively little formal training. There’s a market for customers who just want to spice up their personal looks as well as an opportunity to work with theatrical productions and other organizations that use stage makeup.
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Tax Preparation: This is seasonal work and you will have to consider other accounting or bookkeeping options for continuous income. Check to see what educational qualifications you need for tax preparation (depending on what state you reside in) and register with the IRS.
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.
When my book publishing business grew to the point when we needed forklifts, I was shocked by how expensive they were. So, we went to a used industrial equipment dealer and bought all of our forklifts there. Selling industrial equipment allows for specialization and it also allows for you to build up long-term relationships with customers. Furthermore, you can have add-on sales such as maintenance, supplies and repairs.
If you live in a bustling area, chances are local businesses could use a local courier service. Unlike the big name services, you can offer more flexible pick-up and drop off times, which can be a godsend to many small businesses. According to About.com, half of couriers earn in the $17,000 to $27,000 range.
Believe it or not, some people have such a difficult time with dating, that they don’t even want to participate in the online (or app-based) component of it. If you’re a smooth talker, why not leverage that skill into becoming a paid match maker as a side business idea? People are paying.
Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.
Search “tax preparation no experience” on job websites like Indeed.com. You’ll find plenty of companies willing to train you for jobs preparing tax returns (at least during tax season). Once you have a season under your belt, it’s time to strike out on your own.
We all love the moment in Antiques Roadshow when the owner learns how much their heirloom is worth. Becoming an antiques appraiser will allow you to live that moment every day. This does require a background education in the subject and access to an excellent reference library.
Online businesses are becoming increasingly more dependent on content to delight and attract website visitors. However, not everyone is a born writer, which is why businesses are always looking for freelance writers and editors to help craft and polish quality online content. Often businesses are happy to work with remote freelance writers, which means you can potentially work from anywhere in the world! If you’re a knowledgeable wordsmith, freelance copywriting can be a great home-business idea.
But the obstacles to success are not as difficult when you start a home-based business. You can even start without quitting your job–as a “moonlight entrepreneur.” You don’t need a high level of sales to start with because your start-up costs are small. You can then take the time to build up sales. There is less to lose and more to gain. And you will have lots of company: according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of all small businesses are home-based.
Typically, they are getting ad revenue through an ad-serving platform. The ad-serving platform may keep around 35 percent of the revenue. Furthermore, the ad rates that advertising space is sold for on blogs through ad servers tends to be very low. So a blog may be a good way to show off your creativity, but less a good way to try to earn even a part-time income.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.
A great advantage of moonlighting is that your job can provide not only the capital for starting the business but also ongoing income and fringe benefits during the early days of getting your business started. So if you are working, it is a good idea not to quit your job. Unfortunately, many times this approach is discarded because:
It’s not very engaging, or mentally stimulating, but online surveys do pay out (a little), believe it or not. Just don’t expect to make bank with this side business idea—I recommend combining it with another source of side income from this list of my best business ideas, and turning to surveys in your downtime when you need a little extra income.
Online platforms like eBay and Etsy have made it simple to start a business selling vintage clothing and similar goods. You can shop for those items online, scour thrift stores, or just sell items you already own.
Having the knack to put on a good fete is only the beginning of building a party-planning business. You need excellent organizational and client-management skills as well as a willingness to market yourself and your services to everyone you know.
Party Planner/Co-ordinator: Take the stress off clients by offering to plan and co-ordinate their parties, including invitations, entertainment and catering. You will need to build up a good list of resources, so do your research first to get all the contacts. You may need extra help at short notice as your business grows, so have a back-up plan. You will need to be well organized and disciplined. This article, The Secret To Becoming A Successful Party Planner, has many tips about succeeding as a party planner.
If you’ve got a streak of contracting experience under your belt, you may want to consider starting a handyman service. Your assignments may vary dramatically, from installing a kitchen counter faucet to refinishing an outdoor deck. If a variety of projects sounds exciting to you, consider a future as a for-hire handyman!
As a PR agency you work with businesses to promote their latest products and represent them as a business. With many niche businesses these days, you could start a PR agency focusing specifically on a specific business niche. Operating in only one niche would allow you to specialise in that niche and know exactly what the market wants.
If you love kids—really, really love kids—starting a home-based day-care center could be a viable option. Just make sure you do your homework regarding zoning laws, background checks and other regulations.
This is a great time for a concierge business or errand business startup. In many areas where there is significant development in the luxury market (residential and commercial), you will find increasing opportunity for concierge service providers. I remember my first job as a residential concierge, which helped me start a concierge business from home. The knowledge I acquired while employed by an established concierge business set the groundwork for my long-term career as a concierge business entrepreneur and author.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
If you can craft anything, anything at all, have any sort of design qualities or experience, or just some creativity and a working set of arms and legs, you can create things and sell them. There are so many online market places that you can sell in, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, to name a few… so many product to create, from wearable art (a nicer term for clothing), through craftsmanship of things like pots and jars, through genuine art – painting sculpting etc.
Private school and private colleges and universities can cost a bloody fortune! Yet by carefully evaluating a family’s resources, reviewing school choices, assessing school financial aid offerings, and by exploring outside scholarships, a talented financial aid consultant could help a student attend a school that was previously viewed as completely unaffordable. To get going in this field, you will want to do extensive research, and then either help your own kids or perhaps those of friends, to get some experience under your belt, before seeking out the general public.
The old saying about one person’s trash being another person’s treasure is the mantra of the antiques refurbishing business. This is a great opportunity to turn a hobby into a business. But don’t confuse your hobby interest and your business interest.
Great ideas! I’ve been thinking about starting a home-based business for years but I just never stopped long enough to actually start and I didn’t know what kind of business to pursue. Now I’m ready to get started and you gave me some really good ideas. I really appreciate the links to more information on how to get started in several of these business opportunities. I will definitely look into them.

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.
CashCrate is an online platform where you can start earning money by completing offers, taking surveys, watching videos, and shopping online using their site. Tasks pay out anywhere from a few cents to $30.00 or more. You’ll also receive $1 for just signing up for an account. Payments are made via check or PayPal.
This is a small business idea where you just need the skill to repair a household appliance. You may keep repairman mobile to provide services at different places. Good marketing skill can make this business successful.
This is very competitive. Just a few feet away from me in the co-share space I am working in currently, several young people started an Internet based food service, but gave up after a few months. But there is a huge demand for food delivery both from restaurants and grocery stores, and you just might be able to make a go of it!
Unique presents create a great gift and are in growing demand. You could create custom hand-made gift baskets for customers and provide individual gift baskets for every customer. Once again convenience is what customers are willing to pay for.
Cooking classes have become much more than just a way to instruct people in cooking. They have become more of a social event where for example, couples enjoy a cooking class together, get to meet some other people, enjoy sampling the food they cook, perhaps try some fine wine, and have a great experience. So carefully define whether you are selling the expertise, the experience, or both, and build your business model accordingly.
College counsellors come in all shapes and sizes. Their primary duty is to help guide students through an important period in their lives. Some counselors focus on admissions, career advice, financial aid, athletics, extracurricular activities, and other concerns. There are institutions looking out for part-time college counselors, making this a fantastic side business idea, or you can even start your own practice and charge anywhere from $25-$100+ per hour for your consultative services if you’re well-versed on the subject.
Do you have an extra room in your house or condo? You could rent it out by the day like the Airbnb model, or you could rent it by the week, or you could rent it by the month. Then maybe you could use the income to help subsidize your expenses as you start another business!
Are you a culinary wizard? Then share your expertise on a micro-consulting platform like Skillshare or Zeqr. These sites allow you to create instructional courses for free and earn an income when individuals consume your content. See this post for 12 different platforms to try out.
Wedding photographers command premium rates. After all, you are capturing one of a couple’s most important life moments, making it a very lucrative side business idea. Many professional wedding photographers charge between $2,500 – $10,000 (or more) to shoot a wedding, so it’s realistic that this side business idea could quickly blossom into becoming a full-time endeavor with the right happy clientele base that’s willing to refer you to their friends and family. Check out the Complete Wedding Photography Experience over on CreativeLive to get up to speed on everything you need to launch a successful wedding photography business.
While most direct sales and internet business opportunities have a small startup fee, there are a few that do not. Each company allows you to set up shop online for FREE. Then for each item that is sold through your shop, you’ll earn a specified commission.
Competition to get into top universities is as tough as it has ever been, so nervous parents are willing to pay handsomely for tutoring for their kids. You need an area of expertise—math, and specifically SAT math preparation, is always a favorite—but almost any subject will work. If you know how to market yourself locally, you can take advantage of parental paranoia and make money by tutoring right in your own home, or at a local library or coffee shop. Just make sure to do your homework on your local market in order to set prices and know which areas of expertise are most desired by parents in your area.
If you speak like James Earl Jones or Scarlett Johansson, quite a number of digital publishers (including game developers, animated film-makers, and training video producers) pay good money for voice talent and the time investment isn’t too intensive—making this a great side business idea. You can find these publishers looking for voice-over artists on sites like PeoplePerHour, Freelancer and Upwork, as well as their calls for talent directly on their websites or through voiceover agents. If you do pursue this as a side business idea, be prepared to invest for the long-haul as it can be a very competitive industry.

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