Well now it is the second half of the week, as we head towards the end of our short week. I wanted to address the idea today of small businesses. So many people that I get to coach and work with come to me for this very subject. What can I do to start my own small business? How can I move my life from working this job I hate to starting and running my own business, or being self-employed?
I want to say, I’m an expert at this. I should be; I have moved out of a job and into a business plan of my own so many times I’ve lost count. We all have the toughest time coming up with a business idea, but even more challenging is starting a business idea from the beginning with no money. So let me give you some ideas on how to start something small from inside your home, with low cost to get it going.
1. Selling things on eBay. I have mentioned this before once this week, but also in weeks past. You could start a store front on eBay to auction off things that you have no need of in your home. Spend the spare time you have shopping for deals at places like flea markets and garage sales. Then put those items on eBay for sale. Another place that you could list them is Craigslist. You can start this store all from your home and it cost nothing to get started with either of them. As you grow this business you could eventually start your own web page with a store front once you find a product line.
2. Start a virtual assistant business. You could become a personal assistant to several business people who need someone to do certain tasks, but really do not need a full time employee to do this. For a set fee you could sell your services of typing up documents, putting together projects. Even take this to the level of a bookkeeper for them. There are many things that people hire assistants for and they look for small self-employed people to do it for them.
3. Mow lawns, clean cars or other similar jobs. I worked in these fields myself. I started with mobile car washing providing people with a service of bringing the car wash to them, at home or office. You could get started for very little money and build as you go. I started mowing lawns by using a low-dollar machine and doing one to two lawns for my friends and neighbors.
4. Consulting. There are so many ways that you can be a consultant these days. You can do anything from being a budget consultant helping people start keeping better track of the money they make, to helping them keep on track to get out of debt.
5. Sales. Many times when I was low on funds I made a habit of getting to know business owners. With a small amount of knowledge about their product or service I could always get them referrals, but as a friend I worked a deal for larger sales or service contracts to get paid a commission to introduce them to their new clients and customers.
6. Provide personal home services. You can do anything from a house cleaning service to picking up dry cleaning, to watering their lawns and flowers. You can walk their dogs or house- or pet-sit for them while they are away. There are so many things that you could provide as a service around your regular day job.
7. Window washer. Ever heard the term I don’t do windows. Well many people have started building larger homes with larger windows. They do not have the time or the desire to get a ladder out and climb up to clean those big windows, but you could do that.
8. Provide a breakfast or food delivery service. How many people would like to have one of those hot breakfast sandwiches for their morning break two hours after getting to work, but do not have the time to drive out to the fast food place to get it on a short break. Well provide a service to take orders and deliver them.
9. Blog writing or ghost writing. Ghost writing has become popular over the past few years. People actually hire people to do the research, and write their reports, blogs, books for them. They get paid for the service of doing all that, and the author gets to do all the publicity work to cover the topic.
10. Decorator. Years ago I used to say just “interior designer” but I’m not just talking about making your house look good. I’m thinking about things like putting up and taking down Christmas decorations for people. The owners of some of those big display homes have it all labeled and pay someone to set it all up at Christmas time. They also pay to have it taken down at the end of season.
These are just ten ways I’ve thought of quickly for you to start making money on the side from your regular job. While starting here you could develop this into a totally different business later. If you go back in history you will see many long-standing companies started out making one product or another and today they are providing something entirely different. So use one of these ideas or create your own. Bottom line, if you want to eventually control your own business you have to start somewhere. While you many have a great idea later it helps to have the history of a business, and the money to expand as you find new ideas.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time for you to live the life you always wanted, to love what you do and those you share life with. Let us help you become a RockStar in your world
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