Dennis Shirshikov is a small business finance writer here at Fit Small Business. Before joining the team, he worked with firms like Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners. He then earned his master’s with a focus in Financial Risk Modeling and spent much of his career working in the startup space as a consultant and as a founder. When not working with small businesses, Dennis also teaches Economics at Queens College.

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.
Tasks like naming the business and creating a logo are obvious, but what about the less-heralded, equally important steps? Whether it's determining your business structure or crafting a detailed marketing strategy, the workload can quickly pile up. Rather than spinning your wheels and guessing at where to start, follow this 10-step checklist to transform your business from a lightbulb above your head to a real entity.
Sign up for a reputable affiliate network: Aside from Amazon, there are dozens of large reputable affiliate networks, such as Share-A-Sale, Clickbank, and Skimlinks, that specialize in connecting you with merchants who are looking for affiliates to sell their products. They charge relatively low commission fees for the privilege of connecting you with merchants, and the merchants on these sites tend to offer much higher commission percentages or set dollar amount payouts.

I’ve looked into this myself when I have had time and still researching when I have time but thought I would share what I’ve learned so far. The requirements for selling food/baked goods vary from state to state, where I live most edible items that are being sold need to be first baked/cooked in a professional kitchen. The key is to search requirements for selling baked goods in (your state).
The restaurant chef is not the only person that has a say on what goes on the menu. High-end restaurants often find themselves indecisive when it comes to the food they want to serve, especially as seasons change. A menu planning business is a very low-cost idea, but is perfect for those who love to work with food without any direct involvement in preparing or serving it. Many places are willing to hire a consultant to design their seasonal menus, so visit local restaurants and make them aware of your culinary skill set.

As angel investor and tech-company founder Tim Berry wrote on Entrepreneur, "You can probably cover everything you need to convey in 20 to 30 pages of text plus another 10 pages of appendices for monthly projections, management resumes and other details. If you've got a plan that's more than 40 pages long, you're probably not summarizing very well."
As you start regularly putting out content, you’ll hopefully start to build a bit of an audience. But to start seeing real money from YouTube you need to market your videos elsewhere. Share your channel on Twitter and Facebook. Distribute videos anywhere else you can think of. Also, interact with comments and build a community around the videos you’re making so people will share it with their friends.
If you love baking and are able to keep your hand out of the proverbial cookie jar, making gourmet cookies is a great side hustle with plenty of long-term potential. Start by learning how to execute unique and tasty gourmet cookie recipes, then seal the deal by creating or purchasing professional-looking packaging. Sell your cookies online or to people in your local community.

We compiled SmartBiz reviews from our own website and from around the web and determined that it generally has positive ratings. Positive SmartBiz reviews noted the simple process for applying for an SBA loan and appreciated the help received from SmartBiz staff. The few negative SmartBiz reviews were from borrowers who did not receive approval for funding.


So there they are - fifteen ideas for inexpensive, easy businesses that almost anyone can start. What else do you need to turn one of these ideas into a successful business? The kind of people skills that will allow you to attract and build a regular clientele. But I'm guessing that you have these, or you wouldn't be thinking of starting a business in the first place.


If you know the ins and outs of search engines and have technical skills in platforms like Google Ads and Google Analytics, becoming an SEO consultant can be a lucrative option for you. Many small business owners don't realize how much of an impact search engine optimization (SEO) can have on their business. Start your online consulting business by educating those business owners on the power of SEO to help transform their websites and increase their conversion rates.
All great ideas! Not sure if you left multi-level marketing off on purpose, but I’ve recently started taking a nutritional supplement called Thrive, and due to the amazing results (tons of energy, great sleep, calming of aches and pains, etc.) I’ve started working as a promoter. There is absolutely no requirement to pay anything to sign up, you don’t even have to stock the product, it is a cloud-based business where the customers order online and receive the product directly from the company. If you get two people to sign up with autoship, you get your product free. Even if you pay for the product it is only about $5 a day, less than a cup of coffee in the U.S. So far I’ve been really impressed.
However, this only further illuminates the exponential rise of online business today. Considering that the internet is still largely in its infancy, as the modern conveniences give way to near-instant delivery of products via drones, 3D printing and other means, and as virtual and augmented reality help to improve the online shopping experience, nearly all our commerce will eventually be conducted through online channels rather than offline channels.

Every year, hundreds of millions of documents are notarized in the United States: wills, mortgages, citizenship forms, handgun applications. While for decades, this has all been done in person, there is a budding crop of sites that allow notaries to take their services online. If you’re already a notary, you can sell your services online. Or, if you want to get started, check out the National Notary’s checklist for becoming a certified notary.
Although a bicycle repair service can be seasonal, there are opportunities to tap into multiple markets so that you can have an income year round. For cyclists who just use their bikes to go to and from work, offer general repairs and maybe storage facilities during the winter months. If you want to attract cycling fanatics, you can offer year-round repair services. A Saturday shop in the right location is the perfect way to gather a bit of a crowd that will surely spend hours discussing their common passion.
Anyone considering a drop shipping business should seriously consider leveraging Amazon.com to grow their business and learn more about becoming a profitable Amazon seller, because Amazon is an established marketplace that people already trust and has an existing customer base. Eventually, you should also consider having your own online store as well.

If you're thinking about starting a business, you likely already have an idea of what you want to sell, or at least the market you want to enter. Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders are doing and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don't (or deliver the same thing, but faster and cheaper), you've got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.


Walk around your neighborhood or town and I’m sure you’ll see tons of great local businesses with terrible design. However, with increasingly easy-to-use tools like Adobe Illustrator, Venngage, Stencil, and Visme, just about anyone with a creative mindset and a good amount of motivation can start making money online by being a graphic designer for local companies.
Understand the kind of business for which you are writing the plan. Are you starting up a new business, or are you expanding an existing business? Most of the approach to writing a business plan for both of these will be the same, but there may be a few crucial differences. With an existing business, you will have a much clearer idea of your market, sales, marketing and so on. You can include solid supporting evidence with your business plan. With a startup, these elements might be more speculative.[3]
My goal is to start a low cost business in my area by specializing in personalization of products however there are many online businesses and local ones that corner the market. I am able to make posters by drawing designs and basic images however this business charges a lot for creating them will cause me to lose money when the competitor’s fees are $40.00 for a small poster and $100.00 for a billboard. I discovered crafts, sewing, and redesigning products process is my strenght however weakness is having time to create these items in bulk in a timely manner.I think a business coach may be able to help me decide what avenue to take to narrow down goals owning a business before acheiving a Business and Marketing Degree in July 2017.

Having your house cleaned by someone else is no longer only for the rich and all you need to start this business is some basic cleaning supplies. With everyone getting busier all the time, more people than ever are willing to pay to get the benefits of a cleaner home and more free time to do things they consider to be more important. Residential cleaning services are normally provided on a once-a-month or once-a-week basis. If you're an organized person who can build a clientele, you could do extremely well if you start a cleaning business.
Used-car salesmen unfortunately have some nasty stereotypes to live down, but you don’t need a tacky blazer or a fast-talking sales pitch to make money buying and reselling cars. People throw away perfectly good (or certainly good enough) cars all the time for all sorts of trivial issues. If you know a little something about servicing a car and can make one shine for a Craigslist ad, you could take advantage of massive opportunities to buy used cars and resell them for major profit.
Become an Amazon Associate and then use Keyword planner to find an in-demand niche: With more than a million different products to choose from and up to 10% commission the sales you drive, Amazon’s affiliate program is a great place to get started. Browse their available products and see what connects with you. Or take it a step further and use Google’s Keyword Planner to quickly check how many people are searching for a specific term. With affiliate marketing, the more relevant traffic you can pull in, the more you’ll make off your site.

One way to get started might be to focus on children’s parities, which can be a bit simpler and less stressful to plan than adult get-togethers. Go further into specialization by following kid trends and offering superhero or Frozen parties. Remember that you’ll be competing not just with other party planners but with local restaurants and facilities, so excellent networking skills and a personal touch to your services will be important.

Rather than making money through subscriptions, YouTube channels are based on a traditional advertising system. Meaning the more viewers you get, the more you make. Once you’re approved for the YouTube Partner Program and can start including ads on your videos, with every 1,000 views, you will make approximately $2-$4. Which might not seem like a lot, but if you have 100 videos with 5,000 views a month each, that would be $1,000–$2,000 already. Just imagine if your videos start hitting millions of views!
Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.
If you’re adept at woodworking and have some basic equipment, it’s easy to get into business making deck furniture. It only requires a few items – a saw, a drill, a sander – and some creativity and passion for working with wood. If you have the tools or just want to turn your hobby into a business, this may be a great small business idea for you. In addition to creating new items, you could also focus on repairing existing wooden furniture or woodwork.
The vacation rental business is booming. While the mere mention of it might make you think about billion-dollar titans like AirBnB or HomeAway, there are niche businesses like Michael Joseph's InvitedHome and Joe Poulin's Luxury Retreats and many others being carved out across a variety of markets. When it comes to vacation rental homes and vacation rental management, companies are earning anywhere between 10 percent and 40 percent on the gross rental rate depending on the location and the management level.
Startups requiring significant funding upfront may want to consider an investor. Investors can provide several million dollars or more to a fledgling company, with the expectation that the backers will have a hands-on role in running your business. Alternatively, you could launch an equity crowdfunding campaign to raise smaller amounts of money from multiple backers. Crowdfunding has helped numerous companies in recent years, and there are dozens of reliable crowdfunding platforms designed for different types of business. It's not challenging to find a good option for your business should you elect to launch a crowdfunding campaign.
Put it all together. Each of these sections will be mini-essays that contribute to an overall picture of your business. You should make it look professional by putting it all together in a single document with consistent formatting, section headers, and a table of contents with page numbers. Read through it several times and check spelling and grammar. You don’t want to have mistakes in your plan, as that will reflect poorly on your preparation and organization.[9]

Blogging can potentially be a profitable home-based business, but you need to pick a niche that’s not already saturated with competitors. After you’ve figured out how to generate enough Web traffic to your blog — either through SEO, content marketing, or other means — the next hurdle is to find just the right products, services, and/or ads that your readership will respond to. In my experience, it’s often a matter of trial and error before you find the winning combination of strategies.
Now you’ve got many different options to start earning online. If you saw something that really interests you, try it out and learn more about it. If you’re really wanting to make a full-time income online, you need to be dedicated to learning how to do what you want to do. There are tons of free resources out there. You just have to search for them!
Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest way to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you organically. First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.
LoanBuilder determines your loan cost at origination, so you do not save money with early repayment. Depending on your personal and business qualifications, the amount being borrowed, and the length of the loan, the APR for your loan will range from 12% to 136%. You can expect a $10,000 loan from LoanBuilder to cost between $3.30 and $37.30 in interest per day.
This is not an enterprise for the lazy. eBay sellers need to respond to customers quickly and politely, and ship items promptly. A seller’s success is in eBay users’ hands after all; a negative seller rating can sink an eBay business before it even gets started. Sellers also need to familiarize themselves with eBay’s return policies, which tend to focus on making the overall experience better for buyers but not necessarily for sellers.
In 2017, there were almost 90 million pet dogs in the US. Which has opened up a huge opportunity to make money online as a dog watcher or sitter. Specialized sites like Rover or Care.com connect pet owners with pet walkers, sitters, and boarding houses to help look after their best friends when they’re at work or on a trip. If you’re an animal lover, you can make extra money and get to spend some quality time with a furry friend.
When you lack the luxury of time, making money on or offline can seem like an impossible task. How are you supposed to do that when you're working at a life-sucking nine-to-five job? While the stability of full-time employment might allow most to sleep well at night, it doesn't empower your creative juices to search for new income-producing strategies.
Before I talk about some of the methods for making money online, I wanted to address the role of pain versus pleasure. Every decision that we make in life is weighed on a pain-versus-pleasure scale. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure, plain and simple. However, this is also what holds us back from succeeding in any endeavor.
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