20 Hobbies That Make Money

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The ideal work-at-home business would involve doing something you enjoy or that you find challenging. In compiling lists of ways to make money, I noticed that a lot of home-based businesses began as hobbies.

Hobbies that make money — or have the potential to do so — are especially attractive to stay-at-home moms, college students, senior citizens (retirees), and anyone else looking to make extra money in their spare time.

After doing a little research on the ways entrepreneurs are making money, I came up with the following list of hobbies that can and often do make money.

Visit this website* for more ideas and techniques for turning your hobby into a business.

List of Money Making Hobbies

  1. Photography [How to sell your photos online*]
  2. Jewelry designing and marketing; Starting an online store*
  3. Making and selling crafts*
  4. Selling hand-made items on Etsy
  5. Cookie business (Don’t eat all your profits!)
  6. Candle business*
  7. Soap business
  8. Creating spa and beauty products*
  9. Beekeeping*
  10. Greeting card business
  11. Starting an art business
  12. Video game business
  13. Knitting and crocheting*
  14. Flea market business [Learn success strategies: 9-lesson video series and e-book*]
  15. Woodworking [Download woodworking plans, diagrams, videos, and apps*]
  16. Social media business: (Making money on Instagram)
  17. Make Candy Bouquets for Fun and Profit*
  18. Seven hobby farm ideas:
    1. Aquaponics
    2. Growing mushrooms
    3. Growing grapes
    4. Raising swans
    5. Raising quails
    6. Raising chickens
    7. Raising boer goats
  19. Baking business [Check out these mouth-watering recipes!]*
  20. Writing from home: writing blogs, articles, web content, ads

Freelance Writing Riches*

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post on work at home/self employed business ideas, entrepreneurial strategies, and business startup tools and resources.

Keep in mind that all business ideas involve an element of risk, and that it’s always advisable to consult with a CPA or other experienced tax professional when setting up a business and preparing your tax returns.

Stay tuned to this blog for more lists of small business ideas, marketing strategies, and success principles.

–Joel
Blogger, entrepreneur, online marketer

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*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the products, services, business  manuals, membership websites, online courses, and other entrepreneurial resources featured on this blog. Unless otherwise noted, I do not endorse specific digital products or services.

How to Start a Gift Basket Business From Home

Start Your Own Gift Basket Business

 

Even thought I’ve never personally started or owned a gift basket business, I like the concept of it and believe it has a lot of potential as a viable home-based business.

Here are a few compelling reasons why this business idea appeals to me — and why it may be a great home-based business for entrepreneurs on a limited budget.

  •  Gift basket services provide a valuable solution to many people’s gift-giving problems.
  • Consumer demand: While the demand for high-quality, reasonably priced gift baskets will vary from one location to the next, the availability of a gift basket service can be a real “life saver” for people who need either a last-minute gift or a personalized gift.
  • Almost everyone enjoys receiving a basketful of edible, drinkable, or otherwise useful gifts that are geared to their tastes, gender, a milestone, a special occasion, a holiday, a celebration, or even a personal hardship. Gift baskets make people feel special, supported, and appreciated. It can be the perfect way to acknowledge someone, provided it’s customized and appropriate to their situation, needs, and personal preferences.
  • Gift baskets are versatile and can be used for almost any occasion. Some examples include birthdays, Hanukkah, graduation, Easter gift baskets, Purim, Thanksgiving gift baskets, baby gift baskets, new mom gift baskets, pregnancy gift baskets, get well gift baskets, valentine gift baskets, corporate/executive gift baskets, retirement gifts, thank you gift baskets, Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day gift baskets, housewarming gift baskets, Wedding gift baskets, and condolence/sympathy gift baskets.
  • The startup costs for starting a gift basket business from home are relatively low
  • The complexity of running a gift basket business is less than many other home-based business ideas.
  • There’s an element of fun and satisfaction in preparing custom gift baskets that you know will be appreciated by both your customer and the person they’re buying the gift basket for.

Two of the main challenges of starting a successful gift basket business — whether it’s from home or rented office space — is effectively marketing your business and establishing a reputation as a company that provides quality products, great customer service, and prompt delivery.

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While you will be competing against well-known national gift-basket websites and mail-order companies, you can carve a niche for yourself by being unique, competitively priced, locally based, and/or distinctively branded. There are dozens of ways you can stand out from the competition — even the large, well-established companies.

For more insights (and free email tips) on the gift basket business, visit this website.*

Gift Basket Ideas

While you can’t be “all things to all people,” you can offer specialty products, unique combinations of gift items, and food baskets that appeal to specific groups. Here are a couple dozen popular (and specialty) items that are often searched for online by gift basket customers

  1. Chocolate
  2. Cookies
  3. Coffee
  4. Tea
  5. Fruit
  6. Cheese
  7. Candy
  8. Popcorn
  9. Nuts
  10. Meat, sausage
  11. Seafood
  12. Vegan gift baskets
  13. Kosher gift baskets
  14. Healthy gift baskets
  15. Sugar-free gift baskets
  16. Gluten-free gift basket
  17. Organic gift baskets
  18. Candle gift baskets
  19. Spa products
  20. Bath gift baskets
  21. Relaxation gift basket
  22. Beach gift baskets
  23. Golf gift baskets
  24. High end gift baskets
  25. Local gift baskets (some customers prefer buying local)
  26. Vermont gift baskets

So with some basic supplies, a good marketing strategy, and the determination to succeed in your own home-based business, you can start creating, promoting, and selling customized gift baskets, candy bouquets, crafts, spa products, and much more. All it takes is a little knowledge, a bit of creativity, and the mental focus to create a plan and follow though with it!

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Info on Starting a Home-based Business

Thanks for checking out my latest thoughts on starting a business, being your own boss, and finding legitimate ways to generate additional income from home. If you found this blog post to be helpful, inspirational, or useful, please follow, like, link to, or recommend this blog to others.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

–Joel

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*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of the e-books, business startup manuals, courses, marketing tools, software, websites, and other products and services featured on this blog.

How to Start a Cleaning Business

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Starting a cleaning business is one of the most popular ideas among people looking for ways to make money, generate a steady income, and be their own boss. Although it’s not exactly a “glamorous business,” there is almost always a high demand for cleaning services — both residential and commercial. Nearly everyone needs their businesses or homes cleaned on a regular basis, and most people are willing to pay for it.

Two other reasons so many people consider starting a cleaning business are the relatively low startup costs and the fact that you generally do not need college degrees, professional certification, or specialized training.

That being said, I believe successful business owners always look for ways to expand their knowledge, discover more efficient ways of doing things, and learn how to implement cost-effective marketing strategies. Although a general business education would be helpful in running a cleaning business, it’s not a prerequisite for starting a profitable cleaning business. If you are considering starting any kind of cleaning business, it does help to have some sort of business background or at least work experience in small business management, customer service, human resources, bookkeeping, accounting, and/or marketing.

Other requirements for being able to launch and operate a profitable cleaning service include a strong work ethic, problem-solving abilities, and tenacity. If you’re the kind of person who gives up easily, doesn’t get along well with people, or loses their patience when things don’t go smoothly, then a cleaning business may not be the right type of business for you. Although it can be both profitable and personally satisfying, owning a cleaning business is definitely not easy; I have yet to discover any legitimate, feasible business idea that doesn’t involve planning, hard work, and commitment.

If you do possess people skills, business management experience, and organizational skills needed to succeed in this kind of business, then a cleaning business may be an affordable and practical way to become your own boss.

Whether you decide to start a specialized cleaning service or multi-faceted cleaning business, there are quite a few different options to choose from:

  • Carpet cleaning
  • Commercial cleaning (janitorial services/office cleaning)
  • Window cleaning
  • Home cleaning (residential house cleaning /housekeeping services)
  • Rain gutter cleaning
  • Foreclosure cleaning business, which may include junk hauling
  • Parking lot cleaning
  • Pressure wash cleaning
  • Roof cleaning
  • Drain cleaning
  • Construction cleaning
  • Boat cleaning
  • Vehicle cleaning: cars, trucks, RVs, etc.
  • Swimming pool cleaning

Like any business, one of the secrets to success is to identify a need — especially one that’s not being adequately served in your community or target market — and fill it to the best of your ability. To be competitive and generate repeat business and referrals, it’s also necessary to continually focus on customer satisfaction, quality improvement, marketing, your bottom line, and plans for future growth.

How to Start a Cleaning Business

If you need information on how to start a cleaning business, obtain lucrative office cleaning contracts, and price your cleaning contracts, then the following information/training package* will help you learn what you need to know to get started and hit the ground running!

Find out today how to effectively start, manage, and grow your own cleaning business.

starting-a-cleaning-businessThis cleaning business startup kit* includes ten audio tutorial lessons that teach you how to grow your cleaning business, how to present your cleaning proposal to prospective clients, how to get free advertising, and what kinds of people you should talk to for referrals. The kit also features a janitorial software package that enables you to generate invoices, purchase orders, business plans, marketing plans, and price quotes.

The benefit of ordering the Ultimate Cleaning Business Package* is that it provides you with tools, techniques, and forms you need to get started correctly and on the right foot. You don’t have “reinvent the wheel” or make avoidable mistakes on your way to building a profitable cleaning business.

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Thanks for checking out my latest blog post on business ideas and tools for entrepreneurs. I invite you to “follow” this blog if you’d like to be notified of future blog posts.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

–Joel

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*I am a compensated affiliate of the cleaning business startup kit referenced in this blog post.

250 Ideas For Self Employment

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If you’re out of work, not meeting your financial goals, or frustrated with your present job, self employment is an option that may be worth considering. Self employment can either serve as an income supplement or an income replacement — depending on your objectives, your skills, your motivation, and the demand for your products or services.

Starting Your Own Business

Below are articles, business guides, software, and websites that offer helpful ideas and proven methods for launching and succeeding in your own business:

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Starting an Internet Business

I started making extra money as a freelance writer and entrepreneur back in 1993, when the Internet was in its infancy. My first freelance jobs involved writing articles for local business journals (the print versions). It took me a few years before I began to grasp the Internet’s immense potential as a communication tool, a marketing vehicle, and a place to conduct business.

Twenty-five years later, the Internet has taken on a life of its own and is a driving force in the business world, the media, and in people’s personal lives. The existence and growth of the Internet has also spawned a new generation of business opportunities — many of which can be launched and operated from your own home.

The good news is that there are countless ways to make money online. The obstacle for many entrepreneurs is that it’s difficult to sort through the choices and determine what opportunities are viable, realistic, legitimate, and potentially profitable.

In addition to a sound business idea, you’ll also need a well thought-out marketing plan, a moderate amount of initiative, and the ability to persist until you succeed! Being goal oriented is also one of the cornerstones of home business success.

Not knowing where to begin or how to create an Internet presence are among the obstacles preventing many people from taking that all-important first step. Fortunately, you do not have to waste time, energy, and money “reinventing the wheel.” (It’s already been invented, refined, and successfully put into action by thousands of e-commerce business owners.)

For example: If you’ve been looking for ways to start your own online store, Shopify* can provide you with the tools, the software, and the marketing strategies to make it happen. [Try it for free!*]

In addition to helping you create your own professional e-commerce website, Shopify can help you sell your products on social media sales channels, like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

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FAQ: What is Shopify*? It’s an integrated e-commerce platform for managing products, customer orders, sales channels, analytics, and much more. It can help you streamline, centralize, and effectively manage everything (in your online business) from product marketing and customer payments to secure online checkout and shipping.

Find out how you can accept credit card payments online, fulfill orders in a single step, monitor sales (and sales growth), keep track of your inventory, and create your own customized business website and blog. Once you’ve accomplished that, you’re off and running! Start your 14-day free trial today! *

Why just dream about starting your own business? While it’s true that planning, visualizing, and refining your ideas are vital aspects of launching a viable business and making money online… only implementation (taking action and following through), will make it happen!

Hundreds of Business Ideas for Entrepreneurs

The following list of 250 business ideas is intended to help you come up with viable ideas for starting your own part-time or full-time business. (The list consists mostly of service-oriented business ideas, but also includes product-based self employment ideas.)

Your decision of what business to start (or whether to start a business at all) depends on a lot of variables, such as your professional skills, your level of motivation, experience, talents, personal contacts, existing reputation, market conditions, competitive factors, your financial resources, tolerance for risk, salesmanship abilities, people skills, willingness to persist, motivation to improve, and — last, but not least — your work ethic.

Luck” can also be a factor in business and personal success, but you’ve probably heard the often-repeated quote about the relationship between work and luck. The quote has been attributed to everyone from movie producer Samuel Goldwyn to former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson: “The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”

 List of 250+ Self Employment Ideas

Some of the more popular business ideas that people are now pursuing or researching include the following self employment options:

  1. Cleaning business: house cleaning, housekeeping, office cleaning, janitorial
  2. Photography [How to sell stock photographs online*]
  3. Catering business
  4. Consulting business: List of specialties.
  5. Landscaping business
  6. Lawn care business [Lawn business Success Course*]
  7. Dog walking business [Training available for starting a successful pet business*]
  8. Online business (Create your own online store with Shopify*)
  9. Real estate business (Visit my blog on writing real estate marketing letters)
  10. Academic tutoring services [Tutor jobs online*]
  11. Private or group music lessons: guitar, piano, singing
  12. Foreign language translation services [How to get started*]
  13. Construction business [Resource: Project management documents*]
  14. Jewelry sales/jewelry making [Sell online, at a retail outlet, or at flea markets*]
  15. Vending machine business
  16. Cupcake business
  17. Painting business (interior and exterior house painting)
  18. Retail sales [Make in-person sales with a mobile device and a Shopify card reader*]
  19. Food businesses: restaurants, food trucks, Italian ice cart, hot dog carts
  20. Recycling business
  21. Clothing business: [How to start your own clothing line*]
  22. Transportation
  23. Carpet cleaning
  24. Trucking
  25. Party planning business [Resource: Event planning toolkit*]
  26. Pet sitting business [Training available for pet-business entrepreneurs.*]
  27. Home health care business
  28. Courier business
  29. Bookkeeping services
  30. Daycare/childcare services
  31. Wedding planning
  32. Computer repair
  33. IT consulting
  34. Web design and/or graphic design business
  35. Handyman business [Book and video* provide helpful tips]
  36. Greeting card business
  37. Craft business [How to turn your hobby into a business*]
  38. Pressure washing
  39. Baking, bakery or cake business
  40. Repo business
  41. Credit repair business
  42. Fashion business [Get your business up and running]*
  43. Limo business (limousine service)
  44. Marketing/advertising agency and/or freelance copywriting*
  45. Social media marketing services [Learn to use Instagram like a pro*]
  46. Pizza shop
  47. Gym/fitness business [Related idea: running a fitness boot camp!]*
  48. Shoe business [Online wholesale directory*]
  49. Bar business
  50. Pool hall business [Pool hall business plan*]
  51. Wholesale business
  52. eBay business [wholesale and dropship directory]*
  53. Pest control business [Download 6-module course*]
  54. Bail bonds business
  55. Medical transportation [More info here*]
  56. Tax preparation
  57. Cell phone business [How to buy and sell cell phones*]
  58. Gift basket business [How-to Videos, Guides, Templates, Supplier Lists*]
  59. Cookie business
  60. Manufacturing
  61. Laundry business
  62. Delivery service
  63. Car rental business
  64. Car detailing
  65. DJ business
  66. Scrap metal business
  67. Junk removal business
  68. Concierge services
  69. Boutique business  [Shopify* is trusted by more than 243,000 stores *]
  70. Party rental
  71. Dog boarding/kennel
  72. Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance
  73. Plumbing services
  74. Magazine publishing
  75. Medical supply business
  76. Medical billing business
  77. Lingerie business
  78. Life coaching [coaching certification program*]
  79. Career counseling [Course: career planning and development coaching]*
  80. Background check business
  81. Agriculture: Raising boer goats*|Growing mushrooms*|Aquaponics*
  82. Greenhouse business
  83. Coffee shop and/or coffee roasting business
  84. Check cashing service
  85. Hotel business
  86. Hot dog cart business
  87. Printing business
  88. Candle sales/candle making [How to make and sell candles*]
  89. Travel agency
  90. Storage business (storage unit rental/self storage)
  91. Event planning [How to succeed in this business.*]
  92. Mail order business
  93. Dropship business [Tools and tips for getting started cheaply]*
  94. Security services or consulting (residential, commercial, personal security, etc)
  95. Dog training
  96. Dog grooming
  97. Laundromat business (coin laundry business)
  98. Senior care business
  99. Real estate investment business
  100. Property management business
  101. Fast food business
  102. Furniture business
  103. Massage business/massage therapy
  104. Fundraising business
  105. Resale business [Tips on buying/selling thrift store items]*
  106. Sewing business
  107. Consignment business
  108. Spa business
  109. Web hosting business
  110. Home staging business
  111. Home party business
  112. Locksmith business
  113. Website design
  114. Import export business
  115. Bottled water business
  116. Hair salon
  117. Call center
  118. Dump truck business
  119. House flipping
  120. Grocery delivery
  121. HVAC business
  122. Lead generation business
  123. Window washing
  124. Dog kennel
  125. Non medical home care business
  126. Stationery business
  127. Soap making business [Make bath and body products]*
  128. Paintball business
  129. Rental car business
  130. Coaching business [Life coaching certification course*]
  131. Chocolate business
  132. Popcorn business
  133. Smoothie business
  134. Matchmaking business
  135. Flea market business [Training videos and e-book available]
  136. BBQ business (barbecue food catering)
  137. eCommerce business [Create an online store with Shopify*]
  138. Franchise business
  139. Moving business
  140. Freight brokerage business [Freight Broker Boot Camp*]
  141. Logging business
  142. Remodeling business
  143. Personal chef business
  144. Bed and breakfast
  145. Beauty supply business
  146. Nursing home business
  147. Nail salon
  148. Hauling business
  149. Handbag business [Wholesale handbag directory*]
  150. Hair bow business
  151. Gas station
  152. Video game business
  153. Frozen food business
  154. Financial planning business
  155. Horse boarding
  156. Telemarketing
  157. Laser tag business
  158. Floral business (flower shop)
  159. Clothing business online [Create your online store at Shopify!*]
  160. Multi level marketing/network marketing business
  161. Referral business
  162. Decorating business
  163. Nursery business
  164. Concrete business
  165. Car wash and/or hand car wash business
  166. Staffing/recruiting business
  167. Perfume business and/or cosmetic business
  168. Powder coating business
  169. Go kart business
  170. Sign business
  171. Interior design business
  172. Bowling alley
  173. Rain gutter cleaning business
  174. PC repair business
  175. Computer consulting
  176. Beverage business
  177. Car audio business
  178. Insurance agency
  179. Tanning salon
  180. Professional organizing service [How to set up business and get customers*]
  181. Catalog business
  182. Pet store
  183. Group home business
  184. Paralegal business
  185. Dollar store
  186. Nanny business
  187. Dry cleaning
  188. Mystery shopping business
  189. Gardening business [Grow mushrooms |Vegetable gardening Grape growing]*
  190. Export business
  191. Senior home care business
  192. Mobile oil change business
  193. Fashion design business [Ideas for getting started]*
  194. Home healthcare business
  195. Liquor store
  196. Balloon business
  197. Horse business
  198. Voip business
  199. Direct sales
  200. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation [Download business guide*]
  201. T-shirt business [Free Course: How to Build an Online T-Shirt Store*]
  202. Wedding chapel business
  203. Retail clothing business [Where to buy clothes at or below wholesale*]
  204. Silk screen business
  205. Sporting goods business
  206. Security consulting
  207. Day spa business
  208. Feed store business
  209. Fishing business [Shrimp farming guide*| Tilapia farming*]
  210. Home inventory business
  211. Honey business [Guide to Starting a Honey Farm*]
  212. Hunting business
  213. Coffee cart business
  214. Boat charter business
  215. Bookstore business
  216. Beauty salon business
  217. Taxi cab business
  218. Cabinet making business
  219. Car transport business
  220. Chair massage business
  221. Knife sharpening business
  222. Psychic business
  223. Pet cremation business
  224. Pottery business
  225. Pet boarding business
  226. Pet photography business
  227. Motorcycle business
  228. Mobile dog grooming business
  229. Personal fitness training [Related info: How to start a fitness boot camp*]
  230. Dog bakery — [Step-by-step business system*]
  231. Recruitment business
  232. Animal rescue business
  233. Answering service
  234. Barber shop
  235. BPO business
  236. Business card printing
  237. Pet shop
  238. Mailing service
  239. Loan broker
  240. Skateboard business
  241. Gift shop
  242. Newspaper publishing
  243. Stained glass business
  244. Woodworking [Cheap woodworking secrets*]
  245. Electronic dog fence installation
  246. Shoe repair
  247. Appliance repair
  248. Window tinting
  249. Foreclosure cleanups
  250. Dumpster rentals
  251. Concert promoter
  252. Talent agent
  253. Freelance writer [Online training available]*
  254. Roofing [Roofing Business Blueprint*]

While this list of self employment ideas is far from all inclusive, it does cover a lot of possibilities. If you can think of any other unique ideas for starting a small business, feel free to post a comment on this blog or email me your thoughts

Pet Business Ideas:

If the idea of running a home-based pet sitting or dog walking business appeals to you, then check out the training materials, proven management techniques, and marketing strategies available in the Pet Sitting Business Startup Kit*.

Step one for getting started in this fun, potentially profitable enterprise is to download a proven plan* for marketing  managing, and building up your pet business. More details here.* If you’re trustworthy, well organized, and compassionate, then this business idea may be the perfect way to supplement your income or create a full-time business.

Other Home-Based Business Ideas to Consider

If the idea of a home-based business appeals to you, here are a few ideas, websites, and information kits* that can help you get started

  1. Home based candy bouquet business*
  2. Home based embroidery business*
  3. Knitting and crocheting business ideas*

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If you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for an income supplement or even a profitable home business idea, you’re not alone. It’s a common challenge that countless parents face every day, throughout the world.

As a work-from-home dad, myself, I can speak from experience when it comes to being a home-based entrepreneur, freelance writer, blogger, website owner, and online marketing affiliate. In my opinion, one of the best businesses to start from home — whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a college student, or a retiree — is freelance writing.

Freelance Writing Riches

There are also plenty of other work-at-home business ideas that are worth exploring — especially if you have marketable skills, experience in a particular field, knowledge that others might benefit from, an entrepreneurial mindset, a product or service for which there’s a demand, and/or a background in sales.

While you may find that searching for freelance gigs, self employment jobs, and work-at-home opportunities can be discouraging at times, your most important asset is your mindset: the ability to cultivate self confidence, determination, momentum, and the belief that you are surrounded by opportunities waiting to be discovered — opportunities that are often “hiding in plain sight.”

To quote Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”

In the Internet Age, there are countless ways to get a job, make money online, or start your own business. While there are no guarantees of success in any endeavor, the path to starting a profitable home business begins with a good idea, a proactive plan, and the determination to persist until you succeed.

Whether you’re considering being a freelance writer, a tutor, a bookkeeper, a virtual assistant, a freelance photographer, a social media marketing consultant,  event planner, or an e-commerce business owner, there are a lot of opportunities out there waiting to be identified and acted on. Why not get started today?

The internet economy is continually expanding and diversifying, and there are literally THOUSANDS of opportunities available for work-at-home entrepreneurs who know where to look. If you’re searching for self employed jobs online, begin your search here!*

A couple of my favorite inspiration quotes, which are attributed to Liam Linisong, are the following:

“A year from now, what will you wish you had done today?”

“No one can stop you but yourself!”

What Business Should I Start?

For many entrepreneurs, the first hurdle to being self employed and building their client list is not a lack of desire or a marketing strategy, but something much more fundamental: deciding what business to start.

When it comes to starting a new business, there are literally hundreds of options from which to choose. Based on my Internet research, the top-ten businesses to start are cleaning services, online businesses, photography services, a t-shirt business, consulting services, landscaping, lawn care, dog walking, construction, and real estate marketing.

Other small business ideas people are actively pursuing include event planning, tutoring, vending, operating a food truck, retail sales, jewelry, ebay businesses, trucking, interior and exterior house painting, and pet sitting . Enterprising people are doing everything from starting a gift basket business to being a home-based travel agent or starting a used car business. For those with a background in fitness, there’s always the option of setting up and running a fitness boot camp. A few other random ideas include being a professional organizer, freelance writer or freelance copywriter.

If none of those business ideas appeal to you, there are many more. I’ve created a long list of other possibilities (above) to help you identify good business startup ideas. I’ll be adding to it, periodically, so feel free to bookmark this Web page for future reference. To stay current with new ideas, you can also “follow” this blog to receive email notifications when new posts and topics are added.

Stay tuned for more small business ideas, resources, marketing strategies, and guides to starting and succeeding in your own business

Small Business Marketing Ideas

One of the biggest challenges that face many entrepreneurs is finding customers. You can be the most talented graphic designer, event planner, consultant, or handyman in town, but if you don’t have any customers, your skills and talents aren’t going to do you much good — at least not financially!

In addition to the freelancing and self employment ideas listed above, I ‘d also like to offer some basic business marketing ideas, which will hopefully help you attract and retain customers and clients (without having to spend a bundle of money).

Browse the latest Amazon Books on Marketing, Management, and Business Ideas*

Business Marketing Tools*

  • 20 free online tools for marketing and managing your business, including logo generator, slogan generator, business name generator, business card maker, profit margin calculator, and website templates.

Advertising, direct sales, and marketing can be a bit of a rocky road if you’re not sure where to begin or how to go about it, but as the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

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What is Marketing?

Marketing, which entails everything from advertising and public relations to blogging and SEO (search engine optimization), is one of the cornerstones of any successful business. The ability to generate leads, inquiries, referrals, and customers depends — to a large degree — on your willingness to create and implement a marketing plan for your business.

Marketing plans do not have to be lengthy or complicated to provide you with a practical and useful road map to customer acquisition, but should be well thought out, researched, flexible, and cost effective. A starting point to creating a small business marketing plan would be to think about and write a “SWOT” analysis, which stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.”

Two other components of a marketing plan would involve identifying your target market (demographics), listing as many feasible marketing tactics as you can think of, and pinpointing your business’s USP, which is often referred to as either a “Unique Selling Proposition,” “Unique Selling Points,” and/or “Unique Value Proposition (UVP).” Obviously, the operative word there is “unique.”

To a large degree, marketing is all about two things:

  • Offering your customers unique advantages and benefits that they can not get elsewhere
  • Being able to effectively communicate those unique advantages to as many targeted and “qualified” prospects as possible

In a nutshell, here is a handful of cost-effective and, in some cases, low-cost business marketing ideas that are worth considering.

  1. Handing out business cards, promotional flyers, brochures, inexpensive advertising specialties, door hangers, post card mailers, and coupons (if applicable and appropriate).
  2. Written business proposals: I’m a big proponent of using business proposals to solicit new clients, respond to RFPs, and to pursue corporate and government accounts. Here’s why: First of all, back in the 1990s, I worked as a proposal writer for a major IT company for five years, so I can appreciate the pivotal role that a well-written business proposal plays in the competitive bidding process. Secondly, I’m an affiliate of a company that sells proposal-writing software, templates, sample proposals, and frequently needed service contracts. They’ve been in business for 20 years and are obsessed with continually improving and fine-tuning their software products. For more information on how and why written business proposals are important (and can help you land more clients, customers, and lucrative accounts), check out their article “It’s All About Trust.”*
  3. Building up an Internet following, either through blogging, developing a social media presence, or inviting your website visitors to subscribe to your monthly newsletter, mailing list, or special announcements.
  4. Face-to-face networking can also be an extremely valuable way to connect with prospective clients and develop mutually beneficial relationships with other entrepreneurs, organizations, influencers, potential clients, and mentors. It’s old-fashioned, but it’s not going to go out of style anytime in the foreseeable future!
  5. Sending out newsworthy press releases to local media outlets, reporters, editors, bloggers, and websites. Press releases can often result in a free publicity in the form of a feature article, listing of an event, interview opportunity, or business profile in your local newspaper, regional magazine, miscellaneous websites, business blogs, podcasts, editorial pages, radio stations, and TV news and interview programs. Visibility in the media helps boost your credibility and recognition factor.

Thanks for checking out my latest small business marketing tips and self employment ideas.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

–Joel

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Business blogger, freelance writer, *compensated affiliate marketer

If you’re interested in starting a specific kind of small business, I’ve featured links to ecommerce services (Shopify*), business startup manuals, entrepreneurial membership sites, and online courses for entrepreneurs.

Important: Starting a businesses of any kind involves an element of financial risk, so it’s always wise to consult a CPA, business insurance advisor, and a business attorney when setting up, expanding, or anticipating future needs for a new or existing business.

Update: I’ve recently begun devoting more attention to the topics of personal development, human potential, and motivation in a new blog (about life) called Mastering Life Takes Time!

*Note: I am a compensated affiliate of the books, courses on starting your own business, Shopify e-commerce software, membership websites for self employed entrepreneurs, small business marketing tools, software, and other products and services featured on this blog. Unless otherwise noted, I do not personally endorse products featured in this blog.

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