If your business will have employees, you will, at a minimum, need to purchase workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. You may also need other types of coverage depending on your location and industry, but most small businesses are advised to purchase general liability (GL) insurance, or a business owner's policy. GL covers property damage, bodily injury and personal injury to yourself or a third party.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
You can start an auto repair shop from the comforts of your home if you have a garage and the right tools. On the other hand, if you don't have the space to open a business from home but do have the tools, you could open a mobile auto repair shop where you travel to the location of the vehicle in need of repair. There is also the option to start your own car wash and detailing shop. You don't need to have any mechanic skills, just a keen eye for detail and a love for getting your hands dirty. This is a very rewarding business that can become extremely profitable with the right promotion.
If you want to clear some space out in your house and have a big stack of books you’ve been holding onto for too long, you can make money selling your books and textbooks online. Stores like Half Priced Books and others will give you cents on the dollar for each of your current books while you can check what your book is worth by simply entering the ISBN number on Book Scouter.
Teaching and tutoring English as a second language is a great way to make money online, not to mention open some doors for you to travel the world if you'd like. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, as long as you’re a native speaker and have the ability to teach, there are people in countries such as Hong Kong or the UAE who are willing to pay upwards of $25/hr for you to tutor them English via Skype. Check out Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co for remote english tutoring jobs or sign up on a specialized site like VerbalPlanet or Chegg Tutors.
Talk about an easy business to start - a vehicle and a good driving record and you're good to go. We're all familiar with the "big names" in the delivery industry, but that doesn't mean that there's no room for the little guy (or gal). If you can deliver things quickly and efficiently in your local area at a reasonable price, this may be a good business idea for you.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
SmartBiz offers borrowers easy business loans with rates between 7.5% and 11%—among the lowest of the providers we reviewed. However, there is also a one-time origination fee of 2% to 4% that is due from the borrower, but because of the long terms offered, it does not significantly impact your APR. With an APR of 7.5% to 11%, you can expect a daily interest cost of $2.05 to $3.00 for every $10,000 you borrow.
Now, if you don’t know people who might want your coaching services, there are a number of online tools and communities that make it incredibly easy to find clients and teach, on just about any topic area you can think of. Community driven platforms like Savvy.is, Clarity.fm, and Coach.me provide you with a network of potential clients to interact with, as well an integrated payment solution.
Use current resources in new ways. Like most young companies, we encountered a cash flow crunch at PC Care Support. We had about 50 employees, and we wanted to protect everyone’s jobs. We looked at all of our departments and all of our employees’ skill sets to see where we could generate revenue. A few employees in the tech support department stepped up and offered to develop software for other customers. Then a few in the marketing department offered to develop websites. We added website and software development to our suite of services and landed a contract with Nationwide Insurance, taking the company from negative cash flow to 15% net profit per month in three months. This got investors interested in our company, and it enabled us to have the cash we needed to get back to our core services.
Although Kabbage provides all of its borrowers with monthly payments, it also states a minimum credit score requirement, unlike Fundbox. If you cannot qualify for Kabbage because of bad credit, consider evaluating bad credit business loans instead. Although the higher borrowing limit and longer terms of Kabbage exceed what Fundbox offers, you can get more capital with a lender like OnDeck.
People are increasingly conscientious about the way they look, and with that comes the need for tailored clothing. One size does not fit all, and businessmen and women, in particular, want to look the part when they go into the office every day. The custom clothing industry is still relatively untapped, so starting a business now will offer you a significant potential for growth in the future. In addition to having their pieces delivered directly to their homes, you can offer customization of:
The terms of an OnDeck Capital loan make it appealing to business owners who need funding for a large project or planned expenditure. Unlike Fundbox, OnDeck offers borrowers terms from three to 36 months, instead of selecting either 12 or 24 weeks. The $500,000 loan limit is the same as LoanBuilder, and the only option that offers a higher loan amount is BlueVine’s invoice factoring facility.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
Although SmartBiz offers the easiest SBA loan process we have come across, it can still take up to 30 days to get funded and has higher minimum requirements than other loans. For a larger loan up to $500,000 and funding as soon as the next day, consider applying with OnDeck instead. If your business needs fast funding for a smaller amount, then Fundbox may also be a better alternative.
If you enjoy writing, find a topic you’re passionate about and start a website dedicated to covering that topic and anything else interesting you want to talk about. All you need is a computer, some time, and some energy to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. And blog hosting can cost less than $12 per month.
Instead of spending hours playing with accounting software, dreaming up potential expense and income categories, and creating fancy reports with no data, spend that time generating revenue. As long as you record everything you do now, creating a more formal system later will be fairly easy. It will also be more fun, because then you'll have real data to enter.
"Your product is built by people," Zawadski said. "Identifying your founding team, understanding what gaps exist, and [determining] how and when you will address them should be top priority. Figuring out how the team will work together ... is equally important. Defining roles and responsibility, division of labor, how to give feedback or how to work together when not everyone is in the same room will save you a lot of headaches down the line."
Find your niche partners, collaborators, and champions: As you’re creating your course, look for notable people who are also creating content in the space. Look att how their businesses operate and incorporate that into your own plan. You can also reach out to any influencers and make them affiliates for your own course. This way, they’ll be incentivized to share your content with their own audiences (which can be a major way to generate your first sales—it helps if you're using one of the best CRMs for small business—and start building your own community!)
How many email newsletters are you bombarded with every single day? There’s a reason for that. Marketing to an actively interested group of email subscribers is one of the best ways to make money online. There have even been million-dollar businesses built from simple email newsletters like TheSkimm, or Mister Spoils. Each newsletter targets a specific type of user with interesting, daily content, while also partnering with relevant companies and affiliates to bring in extra money. If this seems daunting, it’s not. Tools like MailChimp, ConvertKit, HubSpot and AWeber make it easier than ever to get started with email marketing. And another great option to consider (with the largest free plan available) is SendPulse, with their ability to send up to 15,000 emails per month to 2,500 subscribers, and then affordable plans starting at under $10/month as you grow from there.
This process will be very different for service-focused entrepreneurs, but no less important. You have several skills that people are willing to pay you for right now, but those skills can be hard to quantify. How can you establish yourself and your abilities? You might consider creating a portfolio of your work -- create a website to show your artwork if you’re an artist, writing if you’re a writer or design if you’re a designer.