If you are moved by the entrepreneurial spirit, you may think you're ready to get out there and start a business. Entrepreneurship comes with dreams of financial independence, location independence, and the ability to set your own schedule and be your own boss.
These are great dreams, and can be some of the perks of owning your own business, but before you can make the big bucks you need a business idea with the legs to get off the ground. Here are some businesses you can start on your own and can grow as you gain experience.
One of the easiest businesses to start is online freelancing. You can do it with the computer you already own, and you do not need any expensive equipment or licenses to get started. In fact, you do not even need to file as a business in your state to start working as a sole proprietor.
To start, look at your own skill set and consider what other people may be willing to pay for. If you are a great writer, know how to build websites, or can create and edit videos, there are unlimited opportunities for work around the web. If you do not have any connections to potential clients, look to Upwork and Fiverr to get started.
People in offices get hungry, and most companies do not care to take the time or expense of installing a vending machine. If you are willing to invest in vending machines, you can call around to local office building managers and companies to find places to install them.
You can often install the machines for free, or for a small fee to the property owner, and you keep all of the profits from the vending machines. This business can scale to grow throughout your city and the surrounding region. If it grows enough, you can hire people to restock the machines while you sit in the office counting your profits.
Tax season means big money for companies like H&R Block, TurboTax, and thousands of independent tax preparers around the country. If you want your slice of the pie, you will need to become licensed in tax preparation according to your state’s guidelines in addition to meeting IRS guidelines.
Once you are certified, you can start either a franchise or independent tax preparation business. Expect to be very busy from mid-January to mid-April every year, but outside of that, you get plenty of flexibility with your schedule.
Many tax businesses also offer bookkeeping, payroll, and business consulting services to supplement their incomes from tax season.
If you know your way around a hard drive, the millions of Americans who know little more about their computer than where the on button is located may be willing to pay you to help them out when their computers break down.
Computer repair services include virus removal, general maintenance for speed improvements, and occasional hardware improvements and repairs, like adding RAM or a second hard drive. If you know how to do a lot with computers, but not everything, you can always learn more through YouTube videos and online tutorials.
While episodes of Hoarders are a worst-case scenario, millions of Americans are living with cluttered homes full of junk and no real organizations. If you are well organized and have good people skills, you can turn your knack for keeping a clean home into a profitable venture.
You can market your services to people in your area with an hourly rate or charge a flat fee for each project depending on the scope. Get ready to help people de-clutter and put things away, but also be sensitive and respectful to people’s attachment to their possessions.
The Bottom Line
Starting a business can be intimidating, but the process is actually very simple. Starting as a sole proprietor means you can work as yourself under your own name. You can also start a Limited Liability Company, or LLC, for a low cost in many states.
Always act professional, track your finances, and be ready to pay your own small business taxes when tax time comes around. It's a lot easier than you might realize, and many small businesses can be started on the side while you are still working a regular day job.