Tag: Businesses

The Most Profitable Home-Based Businesses #financial #markets #today

#home based business

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The Most Profitable Home-Based Businesses

When art major Melissa Schmechel graduated from Smith College in 2004, she chose to cut her teeth at two small shops in San Francisco. But she also had grander entrepreneurial designs.

“I saw small studios and letter-press printers make it work on their own,” says Schmechel. “I felt like there was a big enough market out there.”

Skills honed, the entrepreneurial 26-year-old launched her own graphic design shop, Darling Design, out of her apartment last year. She figures that an office lease would have cost an extra $1,000 per month. Sure, the home office can get a bit crowded–Schmechel shares the cramped three-bedroom rental with two roommates–but she’s happy she did it. “I couldn’t have started the business without doing it in my house,” she says.

In Pictures: The 10 Most Profitable Home-Based Businesses

Schmechel charges $50 an hour to spruce up brochures, business cards, catalogs, case studies and occasionally Web sites. Her tools of the trade include a computer and basic printer. (For high-end printing, she heads to Kinko’s.) Additional overhead: a mere $10 per month for a Web site hosting service. Initial marketing amounted to posting an ad on Craigslist. Darling Design’s first-year profits. about $50,000, she says.

Who needs a nasty commute when you can make a decent buck but a few feet from your kitchen? Over half of all U.S. businesses are now based out of an owner’s home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With the economy shedding jobs, the ranks of the self-employed may well keep swelling. Plenty more entrepreneurs may look to eliminate rent and fuel costs to pinch pennies.

With the help of Sageworks, a Raleigh, N.C.-based private-company data provider, Forbes.com has assembled a list of the 10 most profitable businesses–on a pretax basis–that could be run out of a home. The data were drawn from eight years worth of financial statements (nearly an entire business cycle) for tens of thousands of privately held U.S. companies with annual revenues under $1 million and bucketed by Internal Revenue Service classifications. Average pretax profits ranged from 8% to 14%.

We included only industries for which Sageworks had data from at least 35 companies, and we eliminated categories too broad to be meaningful. One big caveat: The data have an inherent positive survivorship bias, as some companies captured in earlier years may have failed along the way.

Facilitators–from brokerages to consultancies–nabbed five of the 10 spots; creators, such as specialty design shops, earned three; and repair outfits rounded out the rest. To be sure, not all will fare equally (or well) in the economic downturn.

Case in point: securities and commodities brokers, who stand atop the list with an average pretax margin of 14%. While confidence in the markets is shaken and competition from E*Trade and Charles Schwab is stiff, trusted brokers able to develop a book of business by giving financial advice (not simply executing trades) can still do well. All it takes is a computer, a speedy Internet hookup and some trading software from the likes of Automatic Data Processing. Typical commissions: 2% to 3% of the value of each trade.

To get started, first you’ll need approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Required paperwork includes a business plan, a trial balance sheet and monthly projections of income and expenses. Registration fee: about $5,000, depending on the types of securities you deal with. If you haven’t already bagged your broker’s license, get ready to pass a series of exams, including the six-hour Series 7 Exam and perhaps the Series 63 or 66. One caveat: You can only take these exams after working for several months at a registered firm–and all of your employees must pass the same tests.

Consulting is good work, if you can get it. Consultants give guidance to companies looking for help with everything from marketing to environmental remediation–and for that they clock an average 10% operating margin. Many consultants can easily work from home when they’re not with clients on site, and most charge on a per-project basis rather than by the hour. Two big challenges: marketing and pricing the service. For more on the first, check out “Twelve Innovative Marketing Techniques “; for more on pricing, try “How To Figure Out Your Daily Rate .”

If you’d rather create than facilitate, learn how to code. Software is a very scalable business–simply write a program once and sell lots of copies. But it’s a hits business, too. Consider that the most expensive applications for the Apple iPhone typically sell for around $10–of which the programmer might get 70%–but most are free.

Techies can hedge their bets by doing some trouble-shooting work, too. On the service side, “the margins can be high because you’re not competing with global operators,” says Avron Barr, principal at Aldo Ventures, a software technology consulting firm in Aptos, Calif. Taken together, the “software publishing” bucket–which the IRS takes to mean both coders and help-desk types–boasts an average 14% pretax margin.

The nasty economy could put some coin in cobblers’ coffers, as consumers look to fix up furniture, appliances and leather goods rather than shell out for the new stuff. According to Sageworks, the average pretax margin of firms under the “Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance” classification is 10%.

Maintenance work from the comfort of your garage or basement is challenging on two fronts: overall set-up (equipment, ventilation) and finding clients. Take shoe repair. Ben Roush, a cobbler in Omaha, Neb. says that used finishing machines (with the proper buffering and sanding devices) go for $10,000; stitchers, $1200; and hydraulic presses for adding glue, $300. Some repair work requires more electrical power, too: 220 volts versus the typical 110 volt capacity in most houses.

One warning about working from home: The walls may start closing in. “I’m looking to move into a studio space for part of the week,” says Schmechel. “It was really great at first to work from home, but each day, I find it harder and harder psychologically to do it.” For an unvarnished look at home entrepreneurship, check out “The Highs And Horrors Of Home-Based Businesses .”





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SBS – Help for Businesses #small #business #advice

#small business services

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NYC Business Solutions

NYC Business Solutions is at the forefront of the Agency’s effort to provide direct assistance to business owners throughout the five boroughs. Mayor Bloomberg launched NYC Business Solutions in 2004, to ensure that the City’s more the 200,000 small businesses have easy access to free, quick, and reliable information on a range of critical business issues.

We’ll work with you if you have a new business or if you have been in business for years. We’ll answer your questions, help you develop a business plan, secure financing, and access City benefits. We’ll support your expansion by working with you to locate available space, identify money-saving incentive programs, access procurement opportunities, and recruit qualified employees.

Businesses can access NYC Business Solutions at locations in each of the five boroughs. by going to 311 Online. Visit NYC Business Solutions to see how we can help you start, operate and expand your business in New York City.

Learn about and apply for FastTrac NewVenture or FastTrac GrowthVenture : Hands-on intensive business courses to help entrepreneurs and existing businesses hone the skills needed to start, manage or grow a successful business in the changing economy. Visit NYC.gov/FastTrac to find out more.

NYC Business Acceleration

NYC Business Acceleration can help you cut the red tape, making it easier and faster for you to open and expand, operate within the City’s rules and regulations, and recover from disasters. Business Acceleration provides a variety of services to help your business including free one-on-one client management, plan reviews, consultations with inspectors, and inspections from City agencies including Buildings, Fire, Health and Mental Hygiene and Environmental Protection. Contact an NYC Business Acceleration Client Manager today to learn how we can help you.

NYC Business helps businesses identify their City, County, State, and Federal requirements to start, operate, and expand in New York City. Visit NYC.gov/Business to learn more.

Business Owner’s Bill of Rights

SBS encourages Business Owners to view the Business Owner’s Bill of Rights so they are aware of their rights while conducting business with the City. Business Owners are encouraged to display this Bill of Rights in their place of Business.





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Government grants for small businesses #business #jobs

#government grants for small businesses

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Mr Mark Brennan commenced in his role as the Australian Small Business Commissioner on 2 January 2013.

Dr Craig Latham commenced in his role as Deputy Small Business Commissioner on 21 May 2013.

The role of the Australian Small Business Commissioner is to represent small business interests and concerns to the Australian Government.

There are Small Business Commissioners in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia.

If you are in a business dispute, Dispute Support can assist you to find the right dispute resolution service

A good understanding of your dispute will help you to make informed decisions about the best way to try to resolve the dispute.

Tips from the Australian Small Business Commissioner to help you build strong business relationships and avoid disputes

Find out about dispute resolution services available in your state or territory.

There are publications available to assist you to understand, manage and prevent disputes.

It is difficult to know where to begin when starting your own business. It’s important to consider whether you really understand what’s involved and that you are aware of your tax and legal obligations.

Are you are thinking about expanding your business? Here are some suggestions that could help you grow your business.

Once you decide to sell or pass on your business, you need to consider how much your business is worth, the best time to sell and whether you should make use of a broker or other professionals to maximise selling opportunities.

There are resources available to assist you with starting and growing your business.

The family business sector accounts for 70% of all businesses in Australia.

Family Business Australia’s top ten tips for surviving a family business.

Family Business Australia’s best practice principles for family business.

Read case studies from family businesses.

Find out about upcoming events and training tailored for family businesses

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about starting, growing and exiting a business.

Planning should always be the first step in developing a business.

Checklists that contain a series of questions to guide you through the various stages of setting up your business including before you start, when you start, when you buy and when you run your business.

Links to help guide your business.

View news articles from the Australian Small Business Commissioner.

Find out about upcoming small business events that Commissioner and his Office are involved in.

Keep up to date with the Commissioner’s newsletter.

View submissions and reports by the Office of the Australian Small Business Commissioner

The latest small business news from across the Australian Government, including ACCC, ASIC, ATO and business.gov.au

View blog posts from the Australian Small Business Commissioner.

View series of related blog posts.

Top 5 FAQs

Easy way to stay up to date

Support





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OnPay – Online Payroll Service for Small Businesses #business #plan #writer

#small business payroll

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Contact us today and your first month is free.
No long-term contract and no set up fees.

Starting at $39.95/Month!

includes your first 10 employees 1
unlimited pay runs
state and federal payment processing and filings 1
unlimited phone, email and chat support
Get Started

1 Additional employees are $1.00 more per month.
Includes first state. Additional state and local filings may be subject to additional charges.

Payroll has never been easier

OnPay delivers a simple, modern and
affordable solution for payroll.

Your first month is free!

Online Payroll Service

Processing payroll for your small business has never been easier or more affordable. OnPay combines the latest internet technologies to give you a simple yet robust alternative to high priced, traditional payroll services.

Unlimited pay runs.
Run payroll as often as you like for the same low monthly fee. 1

Create checks or direct deposits within minutes.
1: Enter your hours.
2: Review your totals.
3: Print your checks.

Tax filings and payments done for you.
We process your payroll tax forms and payments for you.

Transparent pricing that is easy to understand!

Payroll for only per month
Add $8.00 per month for direct deposit

  • Unlimited pay runs
  • Payroll tax filings and deposits are done for you*
  • Local check printing
  • Pay employees and/or contractors

*Price includes 1 state. Each additional state is $10/month.
If you are subject to local taxes there may be additional fees.

At work or on the go

Process payroll anywhere, anytime!

Today’s business leader is savvy, mobile and certainly busy. OnPay offers you the flexibility to access your account 24/7.
At work or on the go, OnPay has you covered.

Features include,

  • Touchscreen compatibility
  • Easily navigable
  • Access to payroll history
  • View and edit employee information
  • Enter hours, calculate, review, and submit pay runs
  • and much, much more.

* Compatible with any modern desktop or mobile browser.





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Businesses You Can Start For Under $5, 000 #home #based #business #ideas

#low cost business ideas

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Businesses You Can Start For Under $5,000

Eight years ago, Texas resident Cynthia Ivie, a 43-year-old sales rep for Newsweek. struck out for Chicago with no more than a business idea and a 1989 Toyota Corolla packed with clothes, books, a vacuum cleaner, a stereo and a cocker spaniel named Buckley. Ivie’s big moneymaking idea: organizing the apartments and offices of busy people.

Today, Ivie’s company, White Space, offers “clutter control” services to hundreds of clients across the country, many of them recently relocated by big companies like the Walt Disney Co. and Exelon. White Space now has five full-time and eight part-time employees; Ivie expects revenues to top $1 million in 2007. “I knew the business would take off if I could survive long enough,” she says. “I had a lot of gumption–and probably a little naivet that kept me going.”

Gumption, naivet and very little cash. Ivie couldn’t afford a cellphone, so she bought a pager and a voicemail system for $200–”I knew where every pay phone in Chicago was,” she claims–and scraped together another $1,000 for brochures and business cards. For six months, she slept on a futon mattress in her friend’s basement. Eventually, she moved into her own home office, outfitted with two hand-me-down computers ($107) and two desks made out of hollow-core doors laid across cheap file cabinets ($20) from Office Depot. Total startup costs: around $1,500, including gas.

There are plenty of Ivies out there. And a lot them didn’t have–or need–gobs of green to launch their businesses.

Indeed, there are myriad ways to preserve precious cash while starting and building a business. Our special report, called “Small Business On The Cheap ,” offers plenty of helpful tips–from slashing marketing costs and telecom bills to cutting health care bills and travel expenses.

Like Ivie, fledgling entrepreneurs can save a bundle by selling services rather than products. “It’s really hard to start any product-based business for under $5,000,” says Richard Stim, co-author of Whoops! I’m in Business: A Crash Course In Business Basics with Lisa Guerin. In general, he says, there is less overhead for service-based businesses, which don’t require large outlays for equipment and inventory.

The best services to choose from are those that people don’t want to do themselves. Think yard work or preparing legal documents. Educational services such as teaching yoga, ballroom dancing or how to take the SATs are attractive, too. Better, still, if you can help people avoid or solve a problem–say, by inspecting homes for water quality or environmental safety.

There are some startup costs, of course. But when it comes to service businesses, the nice thing is that many don’t require expensive technology, save for maybe a computer and an Internet connection. If you want to start a child-care facility, for instance, you’ll want to spend a few dollars on toys and perhaps some childproof locks.

In some cases, as with child-care providers or real estate agents, you may need a state license or other certifications to set up shop. Child-care licenses run up to $100, depending on the state; you’ll also have to be certified in first aid and CPR (maybe $50 all in) and you’ll need some liability insurance (say, $450 per year).

A service startup’s biggest expense is probably marketing, be it printing brochures and business cards or placing ads in local newspapers. (Check out VistaPrint, which specializes in low-volume runs for smaller shops.) Setting up a blog can be a cheap way to get your message out, and it’s a lot less expensive than maintaining a Web site.

The best–and cheapest–advertising, however, is word of mouth. Offering free initial consultation meetings is a good way to get people talking. When Ivie landed in Chicago, she sent postcards to 30 local business people, promising three hours of organization services for free. “People snapped it up, tried the services, liked them, referred me to other people and the business started to grow,” she says.

In smaller markets, getting on friendly terms with the competition also can be good for business. If one piano teacher has too many students, she might sluice the spillover to you.

Whatever you do, though, remember to be patient. “If you’re looking to get rich quick, forget about it,” says Stim. “Instead, try to make a profit, enjoy what you’re doing and make it something that can keep going and going.”





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Small to Large Businesses For Sale In The UK #business #lists

#business for sale

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“Happy Sellers” Testimonials – VIEW MORE

We have been delighted with the results from our pubs for sale/tenancy advertising campaign on Daltons. We have carried out lots of good quality interviews from Daltons enquiries and have signed up 2 new licensees already.

Daltons has been and continues to be at the centre of our marketing campaign and has proved itself time and time again as the most successful business for sale online advertising marketplace we use.

John Hatt,Director at Business Partnership

Thank you so much Daltons, I ve now sold my retail shop business. It was the best 400 I ve ever spent.

We have been long time advertisers with Daltons Business and the website has always generated a very good response for us.





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The Most Profitable Types of Small Businesses #business #lawyers

#most successful small businesses

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The Most Profitable Types of Small Businesses

If you re aiming for a lucrative business idea, it may be time to brush up on your number-crunching skills.

Accounting services topped the list of the top 15 small-business sectors by net profit margin over the last 12 months, according to Sageworks. a financial information company. The list was compiled using a database of more than 1,000 financial statements from private companies with less than $10 million in annual revenues.

The Sageworks data found that accounting led the pack in delivering the best profit margins, but service-based businesses in health care and real estate dominated the rest of the list.

Sageworks analyst Jenna Weaver notes that a lot of these service sectors are consistently at the top of the most profitable list. Service-based industries often have very healthy bottom lines, she says. Their overhead and equipment costs are often relatively low, and much of the time, it doesn t take a lot of upfront investment to get started.

Weaver adds: Often times, in cases like consulting, accounting, and legal services, you can get started right inside of your house, without even worrying about renting a space.

Check out the top 15 industries with the best net profit margins during the 12-month period ending July 31, 2014. For aspiring entrepreneurs, this may be the best place to start when considering new business ideas. (Note: Net profit margin has been adjusted to exclude taxes and include owner compensation in excess of their market-rate salaries.)

Credit: Sageworks, a financial information company (www.sageworks.com )

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Free Advertising for Small Businesses – Dex Media #sba #loan

#free business advertising

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Free Advertising for Small Businesses

The Top Ten List

Free Listings for Establishing Your Presence in the Digital World

It is a popular and widely accepted benchmark that small businesses should spend between five to ten percent of their sales revenue in promoting and advertising their business each year. For their advertising dollars, owners aim at a mix of the highest quality leads and the most leads possible. However, with limited budgets, small business owners are also looking for good opportunities to promote their business for free.

Are you an SMB owner or manager looking for free advertising or an inexpensive way to establish your presence on the Internet? The following list contains the top ten companies (in my opinion) that will provide you with a free business listing in the digital space. These listings will appear on the Internet, whether people are searching on PCs, smartphones, or tablets. All for a favorite price – free!

It is easy to get started, and does not take much time to complete. Each site will take about 10 to 20 minutes to upload your data, if you have all of your personal contact information available (including your business email and business phone number).

In addition to this top ten list, there are four important things to know about free listings:

  1. Accurate Data: If you have a business phone, your business (most likely) already has some sort of data on these sites. You should claim your listing to ensure that your listing (or business profile page) has accurate, up-to-date data.
  2. Your Reputation: Your free listing or business profile page may contain ratings and reviews of your products or services from your customers. You should monitor the ratings and reviews that appear on these sites so that you can engage with your customers. These ratings and reviews might be visible only on these websites and not available on the search engines, such as Google. Again, not all ratings and reviews are visible through search engines, but your potential customers may see them. These sites provide you, as the business owner, an opportunity to respond to both the positive and negative feedback.
  3. Consistency: This list of Top Ten sites will help you ensure the consistency of your company s data across the Internet. Data aggregators and search engines may gather, pass and display erroneous information if customers or consumer users provide incorrect data for your business. By claiming your free listings on these Top Ten sites, you ensure that your data is accurate and consistent on other sites and other digital platforms as well.
  4. Getting More: Some argue that a business listing is not properly defined as an “advertisement,” since it simply contains basic company data. However, at many of these top ten sites, you can add more than just your basic listing for free. For no cost, you can add photos of your business, additional text describing your company, and blog posts. Regardless of whether you call this information a listing or an advertisement, you should get more from these top ten sites by adding as much information as possible about your company.

And finally, search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing have historically aggregated data from these top ten sites, including ratings and reviews. More recently, search engines are allowing SMBs to enter the data directly. Consequently, I recommend that small businesses add their business listing to at least these three top search engines.

I hope that you find this information helpful, and would welcome and appreciate your feedback. In addition, please feel free to use the comments to recommend any additional sites that I may have overlooked.

While we re on the subject of FREE

Check out these FREE tools to spy on your competition !

Originally posted on December 29, 2012.

Updated on May 29, 2015.





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8 Businesses You Can Start with Your Kids #sba #business #plan

#business ideas for kids

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8 Businesses You Can Start with Your Kids

It may be easy to underestimate someone who s not old enough to drive a car or vote, but many kids today have a strong work ethic and are willing to be creative to achieve success. The knowledge, passion and skills they ve acquired, both in school and through their daily interaction with technology, make them perfect candidates for entrepreneurship.

Starting a business has a host of benefits for a young mind. A child or teen can learn the importance of financial responsibility, how to build professional relationships and how to be independent. But depending on their age, they likely won t be able to get a business off the ground by themselves.

If you ve always wanted to start a business yourself, why not take the opportunity to encourage your young entrepreneur and launch a company together? Here are a few ideas for businesses you can start with your children. [See Related Story:9 Amazing (Very) Young Entrepreneurs]

Tutoring

If your teen excels in a specific subject or has exceptional grades, encourage him or her to assist those in need of help through tutoring services. Your child can get paid for his or her knowledge and time spent helping others learn a skill or subject matter. This type of business is scalable, and live videoconferencing and electronic payments can bring your child s skills online as well.

Social media consultant

Kids are absorbing tons of social media knowledge at a young age. They re becoming YouTube and Instagram stars with millions of followers for just being themselves. This could be invaluable knowledge for small businesses in your area. Encourage your child to apply his or her understanding of social platforms to consult for local shops and restaurants.

Landscaping

As long as houses come with lawns and outdoor maintenance, there will be a need for landscapers.The simplicity of the job, from mowing the lawn to trimming trees, means it can open doors to college degrees in the field, which can lead to jobs with theme parks or college campuses.

Babysitting or dog walking

Technology has brought traditional job choices for teens into the modern age. Sites like SitterCity. Care.com and Rover.com have made it easy for people to hire and pay child or pet sitters. Encourage your child to gain some experience by babysitting for family members or neighbors. After they ve gotten some experience, they can set up an online account to allow them to truly grow their business in an accessible way.

Etsy shop owner

Sites like Etsy have transformed the way crafters bring their talent to the world. They no longer have to rely on fairs and events to show off their creations; instead, they can sell their products online to customers around the world. If your child has a knack for crafting and creativity, Etsy may offer a great business opportunity. Etsy has a comprehensive guide on fees and owning your own business, along with guidelines for minors.

Cooking and baking

Bringing your child s passion for cooking or baking to the world can prove to be fruitful. There are competition shows on Food Network dedicated to the skills of young teens, as well as Shark Tank entrepreneurs who have used their baking skills to satiate the palates of people (and dogs!). Depending on your home state s regulations, it could be fairly simple for you and your child to start a home catering or bakery business.

Nonprofit organization

Your child s business doesn t necessarily need to check off the for-profit box. If you and your child are passionate about a social cause, starting a nonprofit charity may be a great start. There are hundreds of ways to raise money to profit those in need. Sit down and have a conversation about how to raise money for the cause. It is also a great opportunity to teach your child about the 501(c)(3) tax exemption and how it works.

Secondhand store

Public interest in upcycling and recycling clothing and other items has led to the success of stores such as ReStore and vintage clothing shops. Collect unwanted items from neighbors, friends and family members, restore items to better quality, and sell them for fair prices. It s a great way to be green and make some money from previously unwanted items.

Whatever new opportunity you and your child choose, this is a great time to teach the importance of work-life balance, responsibility and the importance of taxes. Encourage young entrepreneurs to try their best and seek success with their new business. Even if it doesn t turn out as planned, you can show them that adversity is a part of life, and that failure is an opportunity to retool an idea or open a door to a new opportunity.

Shannon Gausepohl graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a degree in journalism. She has worked at a newspaper and in the public relations field, and is currently a staff writer at Business News Daily. Shannon is a zealous bookworm, has her blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, and loves her Blue Heeler mix, Tucker.

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  • 20 Cheap Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time #boston #business #journal

    #low cost business ideas

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    20 Cheap Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time

    If you’re thinking of starting up your own business, but don’t want to make a huge investment, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of 20 cheap startup business ideas that won’t break the bank, and you can work on in your spare time.

    1. Sales Consultant

    Avon, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, and Tupperware all enlist the help of local sales representatives to get the word out to shoppers about their products. If you’re comfortable talking to people about a product, this business idea could be for you. To start, Avon costs just $5 to register, Pampered Chef is $80; both Tupperware and Mary Kay cost $100 to start with each company.

    Beverly Kemner of Pottstown, Pa. sees being an Avon representative as a way to earn money to supplement her income and has been running her part-time business for about four years. To get started, she paid $5 to register with Avon.

    “I could do it out of my own home on my own time,” she says. “They give you everything you need to start the first campaign. I think it’s perfect for this economy.”

    Kemner says the harder you work at building your customer base, the more sales you make, and that flexibility appealed to Kemner, who suffers from a chronic illness. “You do the best when you can put the time in to it,” she says. “You need to give it a little bit of time, but it’s not as time-demanding as some other (businesses).”

    2. Lawn care

    This is a seasonal job that can be lucrative if marketed to time-crunched homeowners who have better things to do on their days off than mow their lawns. It is a good job for someone who likes to be outdoors, and can be started inexpensively with fliers, business cards and a lawnmower. Also, it’s a business that you can easily scale into a bigger operation.

    3. Homemade gourmet foods

    A love of cooking turned into a full-time business for Nancy Neal of Melbourne, Fla. She makes jams, jellies and spreads right in her home kitchen, now has about 50 products including soup mixes at her Nancy’s Pantry Corner in a variety of markets.

    If you’re just getting started, the cost is cooking supplies, packaging, and basic marketing materials, and depending on where you’re going to sell your goods, either the cost to set up a website or rent a retail store.

    4. Babysitting

    Babysitting isn’t a teenager’s job anymore. If you like children, then this could be a side business for you. Network in your community and be prepared to be available for work at night and on the weekends.

    5. Cleaning services

    Where there are people, there will be a need to clean. Whether you focus on cleaning houses or go after business from companies, this cheap startup business idea will cost as much as supplies and the fliers needed to get your name out in the community. The hours for the cleaning service could dovetail nicely with a standard Monday through Friday job—businesses usually want their buildings cleaned at night and on weekends.

    6. Catering

    If you like to cook and can plan out a meal from beginning to end, this could be a side business for you. Offer party catering as well as business lunches as a way to keep business opportunities available. Build a customer base by creating relationships in your community and ask for client testimonials as a way to show potential new customers what you have done at past events. Costs would include making fliers and possibly having samples of your cooking available for tasting by future clients.

    7. Errands

    If you like helping people, you may like running errands for people in your community. Market to those in your community who don’t have a lot of time for chores or may be housebound.

    8. Handyman

    If you can fix a rain gutter, do simple electrical repairs or know how to spackel, turn those home-improvement skills into a side business. Make sure to check with your state about any possible permits or licenses needed to work.

    9. Virtual assistant

    If you like organizing things, weeding through e-mails, posting to social media and keeping people on a schedule, market those skills to small-business owners who are too busy growing their own businesses to take care of those things themselves. The costs of starting this business could include a computer and stable Internet connection to maintain contact with your clients.

    10. Consultant

    Maybe you’ve changed careers during your working life. Offer your skills to that former industry as a paid consultant. Since you worked in the industry, you already have contacts you could market to as being available for hire.

    11. Snow removal

    This seasonal business can be lucrative, but is dependent upon the weather. When looking for potential customers, think houses as well as small businesses. The costs for starting this business can be as little as the price of fliers, business cards and a shovel—or higher with more equipment.

    12. Online content production

    If you have a knack for grammar and love to write, content production for websites could be a cheap business startup for you. Cost to kick off this business includes a computer and an Internet connection. Market your skills on sites including elance.com, where potential employers look for contract workers.

    13. Pet groomer

    With the American Pet Products Association predicting Americans spent $4.11 billion in 2012 on their pets for grooming and boarding, it just goes to show people are willing to spend on their furry friends.

    You must like animals to start this business. Cost to get into this business includes permits, insurance and equipment.

    14. Pet sitting and walking

    Combine a love for animals and a love of the outdoors. Many people leave their pets at home alone most of the day while they are at work, but are willing to pay people to check on their pets and walk them during the day. Cost to start this business would be marketing materials and a reliable car to get from client to client.

    15. Delivery service

    Do you like going to different locations through the day? A courier business may be a good fit for you. Market your services to businesses.

    16. Calligrapher

    If you have good penmanship, a business addressing envelopes—like wedding invitations—could be a nostalgic business startup idea. You’ll need samples, as well as a business cards.

    17. Tutoring

    If you excel at a certain subject, you could use that skill as a private tutor for students of all ages. Adult learners also need help sometimes with their school subjects. Cost to get started would be marketing materials.

    18. Home day care

    Parents look for alternatives to big day care centers where their children are grouped with many other children. Fill that need by offering home day care. Check with your state on regulations for these start-up businesses—licensing may be required depending on the number of children you hope to have at your home.

    19. Translator

    Speak another language? That valuable skill can be turned in to a business by offering your services to businesses and government offices.

    20. Elder caregiver

    With a growing older population, this service-based business is filling an important need.

    Market to senior citizens who may not want to live in assisted-living communities, but could still benefit from help with minor day-to-day activities including light house work. Cost includes marketing materials and a reliable car.

    Looking for more business startup ideas? Check out our Startup of the Week series.

    Linda is an award-winning journalist with more than more than 22 years’ experience as a reporter, editor and blogger. Linda blogs via Contently.com .





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