Need a Business Idea? Here Are 55.

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This article is an excerpt from the original article found in the Read More link – please follow for full article.

This article has been excerpted from 55 Surefire Home Based Businesses You Can Start for Under $5,000 and other great resource books published by Entrepreneur Press.

Today, tens of thousands of people are considering starting their own business, and for good reasons. On average, people can expect to have two and three careers during their work life. Those leaving one career often think about their second or third career move being one they can run out of their own home. The good news: Starting a home-based business is within the reach of almost anyone who wants to take a risk and work hard, as are a plethora of other low-cost ideas.

1. ACCOUNTANT
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Create a flier outlining your services. Before you do that, you need to know what those services will be. Do you want to simply do bookkeeping for a small business? A more involved level of accounting would be to work up balance sheets, income statements, and other financial reports on a monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis, depending on the needs of the business. Other specializations can include tax accounting, a huge area of potential work. 

2. BICYCLE REPAIR

In many parts of the country, this business tends to be seasonal, but you can find ways around that. Rent a storage unit and offer to store people’s bicycles over the winter after you do a tune-up and any needed repairs on them. If you want to cater to the Lance Armstrong wannabes, you can have business all year round. These road race riders are training through snow, sleet and dark of night. Some of them work on their own bicycles, but many of them don’t, so you can get their business all year. And if you keep Saturday shop hours, you can be sure you will have a group of enthusiasts coming by to talk all things cycling.

3. BOAT CLEANING
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Boats that are hauled out of the water for the winter or even just for mid-season repairs will need the hull cleaned. And depending on the type of boat, it is a good time to give a major cleaning everything else too–the decks, the sleeping quarters, the head, and the holds. Start by approaching homes that have a boat sitting in the yard. Or you could market your services to the marina to contract you to do the boat cleaning it offers to customers.

4. BUSINESS PLAN SERVICE
Has expansion possibilities

Offer a soup-to-nuts business plan, including market research, the business plan narrative and the financial statements. Plan your fee around the main one that the client will want and offer the others as add-on services. You can give clients an electronic file and allow them to take it from there, or you can keep the business plan on file and offer the service of tweaking it whenever necessary. Have business plan samples to show clients–and make sure to include your own!

Read This: Write Your Business Plan by The Staff at Entrepreneur Media | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

5. RIDE-SHARING DRIVER

Getting paid to drive during your free time is a great way to make extra money. It won’t likely replace a full-time paycheck but can be a lucrative extra revenue stream. According to Nerd Wallet, here is a break down of the income you can expect: “To make an annual income of $50,000, the average Uber driver needs to provide 60.21 rides each week, while those working for Lyft need to give 83.76 rides a week, and Sidecar drivers would have had to provide 72.03 rides in a week.”

6. CLEANING SERVICE

There are many directions you can take this business. If you want to work during hours when no one else does, you can focus on office clients. You can focus on retail businesses and keep your customers clumped into one or two blocks. Restaurants are in great need of daily thorough cleaning and can be a great source of steady clients. Perhaps you would be more interested in house cleaning. Many times with cleaning services you don’t have to spend lots of money on advertising or marketing because your customers will come by word of mouth.

Read This: Start Your Own Cleaning Service by Entrepreneur Press and Jacquelyn Lynn | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

7. CHILDREN’S PARTY PLANNER
The children’s birthday party business is a multiple-million dollar industry, with the average American spending $500 per party. The book Start Your Own Kid-Focused Business tells you everything you need to know to get your own kid biz off the ground: from insurance costs to food and beverage selection to arranging unforgettable entertainment that gets lots of smiles and lots of referrals from happy customers.  

8. CONSULTANT
Has expansion possibilities

To be a consultant, you need to have expertise in something so you can market yourself as an advisor to others looking to work in that area. Perhaps you managed several large warehouses in your career with a drugstore company, you did all the marketing for many years for a large shoe manufacturer or you set up a chain of beauty supply shops or take-out restaurants. You can use this experience to help others do similar things without making the same mistakes that you made along the way. A good calendar app will likely come in handy as time tracking is crucial to accurate billing.

Read This: Start Your Own Consulting Business by Entrepreneur Press and Eileen F. Sandlin | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

9. DOG WALKING
Experience, training, or licensing may be needed

Dog walkers take pooches out for their daily constitutional one or more times a day, either individually or in small groups. In some cities across the United States, like New York, dog walking alone can be a booming business. But it’s actually more common for dog walkers to offer additional services, including playing with and feeding pets, bringing in newspapers and mail, and turning lights on and off.

Read This: Start Your Own Pet Business and More by Entrepreneur Press and Eileen F. Sandlin | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

10. EBAY ASSISTANT

Do you have items lurking around your household that you could sell on eBay? Figure out your asking price and decide whether to auction it or put it in your eBay store. Then decide if you want a minimum bid and how long you want the auction to last. You will want to establish a PayPal account to use for transactions. The eBay website provides all the information you need to know to get up and running with an eBay business. Chatbots are offering creative new ways to help businesses with these functions.

Read This: eBay Business All-in-One For Dummies by Marsha Collier | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble 

From Editorial Services to Household Organizer

11. EDITORIAL SERVICES
Has expansion possibilities

Here are some of the editorial services you can provide from the quiet of your own home:

  • Copyediting. This is where fact checking takes place, and where grammatical, stylistic and typographical errors are caught.
  • Proofreading. This is the last stop for a “finished” piece. The proofreader makes sure the copyediting changes have been properly made and no new errors are created in the process.
  • Indexing. There are indexing courses available and you can get indexing software.
  • Developmental editing. A developmental editor works with a manuscript on big-picture things like organization and content issues.
  • Book doctoring. This is an editorial service provided for manuscripts written by experts. They create a manuscript as best they can and then a book doctor puts it into publishable shape.
  • Ghostwriting. As a ghost writer, you actually do the research and write the book and someone else’s name is attached as the author.
  • Copywriting. Also known as business writing, this is writing that promotes a product or a service.
  • Book writing. Do you have expertise in something professional, such as accounting or interior decorating? Or personally, like knitting? Why not write a book about it?
  • Magazine article writing. Magazines and newspapers are a great way to get your writing published before tackling the daunting task of writing a whole book.
  • Web page content provider. Providing content for a web site is a good way to make some money writing.

Read This: Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business and More by Entrepreneur Press and George Sheldon | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

12. ELECTRONICS REPAIR
Has expansion possibilities

This business is similar to the computer repair business, but you will take on all sorts of electronic equipment besides just computers. With smaller electronics, you will need to be prepared to have customers bring their repair projects to you, as you would have difficulty recovering the cost of driving around picking up broken equipment and returning it. You may also want to encourage people to give you their old electronics so you can use them for parts.

13. EVENT PLANNING
Has expansion possibilities

One of the first things you need to do is visit every potential event location with which you plan to work. Work with the marketing manager to tour each site and learn what is available at each location. Start a database that will allow you to sort venues by varying features, such as the number of people each site holds, AV equipment available on site, if you will need to arrange for rental chairs, etc. Then when you are beginning to plan an event with a client, you can find out what the key parameters are for the event and easily pull up the three or four sites that meet the basic criteria. and engagement parties, etc.

Read This: Start Your Own Event Planning Business by The Staff at Entrepreneur Media and Cheryl Kimball | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

14. EXPERT WITNESS SERVICE
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

One way to make money in this field is by being an expert witness yourself. If you have expertise that could be useful in legal cases, you can market yourself to attorneys to act as an expert witness. Another way to be active in the expert witness field is to play a sort of matchmaker, matching attorneys up with expert witnesses for their cases–either for the defense or for the prosecution. Expert witnesses for big money cases can be expected to fly anywhere to testify. There’s no reason your database of witnesses can’t be from all parts of the country.

15. FINANCIAL PLANNER
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

To start, you should go through the certification process so that you can label yourself a CFP (Certified Financial Planner). Your certificate shows that you have expertise and credibility, and this differentiation will help people choose you as their financial planner.

16. FLEA MARKET
Has expansion possibilities

People love to spend weekends rummaging through tables full of other people’s unwanted items, looking for treasures. Make sure to change your layout and put new stuff out for sale often. You want people to come back time and again to see what’s new. You don’t even have to have that much new stuff to make things look new. Just moving an item from a table to the top of a bookshelf might get it noticed, even though the item has been in your inventory since you first started having sales.

Read This: Flea Market America: The Complete Guide to Flea Enterprise by Cree McCree | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

17. GOLF COACH
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Let the local public courses know about your coaching business. Cultivate relationships with the staff and encourage them to recommend you as a coach. Another place to look for customers is in the corporate world. Golfing is a game that business people use to develop relationships outside the office. You do need to be a better than average golfer to develop a reputation as a golf coach. You also need to be a good teacher, know how to be motivational and be willing to work with many different types of people.

18. HOME ENERGY AUDITOR
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

All homeowners are always on the lookout for ways to save on their utility bills. You can come to their aid by providing them with an audit of their house and giving them a breakdown of how they could accomplish real savings in heating, cooling and electrical use. You can go one step further and do the implementation and installation of some of your suggestions in their home yourself. Do a complete appliance audit, with efficiency ratings and calculations based on the age of the appliance. And don’t forget the water heater!

Read This: Toward a Zero Energy Home: A Complete Guide to Energy Self-Sufficiency at Home by David Johnston and Scott Gibson | Amazon | Indigo.ca | Barnes & Noble

Getty Images | David Sacks

19. HOME INSPECTION
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

In order to be successful, you will want to establish contacts with real estate agents who can recommend your services to customers. The home inspection field is one where you will need to do constant updating of your education and knowledge. New products are constantly coming out on the market–if you only know about decks made of wood, you will not know how to inspect and assess the new materials on the market, such as composites that are made to look like real wood. Also keep apprised of all safety updates of materials and issues with things like off-gassing, carbon monoxide production, and other chemical precautions.

Read This: Start Your Own Home Inspection Service by Entrepreneur Press | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

20. HOUSEHOLD ORGANIZER
Has expansion possibilities

You can choose either to do the organizing work or consult on the things that the homeowner could do to better organize themselves. Have a portfolio of different organizational scenarios in different rooms in the home and talk with the homeowner about the style he or she likes. Create checklists and questionnaires to understand how the family uses the home. Are the kids wildly busy with after-school activities? Or are they usually home after school and want access to their toys? Do they share rooms? All of these things will help you tailor an organizing plan and become a family’s hero.

From Import/Export to Solar Energy

21. IMPORT/EXPORT SPECIALIST
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

If you don’t already have work experience with importing and/or exporting, you will have a longer learning curve. You can start by learning the basics and hosting educational sessions to teach others what they need to know to get started in import/export. That alone would probably gain you your first couple of clients. If you keep going with educational seminars and expand your reach to outside your immediate region, you could probably develop a sufficient and ongoing customer base very quickly, but be careful not to outpace your learning curve!

Read This: Start Your Own Import/Export Business by Entrepreneur Press and Krista Turner | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

22. INTERIOR DECORATOR
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Market your talents to building contractors. People purchasing new homes can often be overwhelmed with the choices and possibilities in home decorating. Design some questionnaires for each major element and each major room in the house. Find out how the homeowner will use the home–are there children? Pets? Does the woman of the house wear high heels? Do the home’s residents neglect to remove shoes? How will each room be used? Where might task lighting and ambient lighting be most appropriate?

23. JEWELRY MAKING
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

There are many different ways of getting into the jewelry business and many different types of materials with which you can work. Working in metal will probably require the most in the way of specific tools. You need to be able to heat the metal to manipulate it, and you need metalworking tools to cut and engrave it. But there are many other materials that you can work with to make jewelry–glass, plastic, beads, feathers, even wood, to name just a few.

Read This: Start Your Own Fashion Accessories Business by Entrepreneur Press and Eileen F. Sandlin | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

24. MARKETING COPYWRITER
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

If you can write copy that gets people excited about purchasing what your client has to sell, you can make good money in this business. Unless you are highly experienced from working in the copywriting field, take a course. There are online courses or classes at community colleges and universities that can give you a leg up in getting savvy at writing copy for brochures, catalogs, advertising and, of course, marketing copy for the web.

25. NOTARY PUBLIC/JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

In most states in the U.S., a notary public is a state officer who is authorized to witness and attest to the legalities of certain documents by signature and stamping a seal. Most states require that you pass an exam and a background check. It costs very little to become a notary and your income from notary work is negligible. A justice of the peace typically performs wedding ceremonies. States have varying rules and procedures for becoming a JP and performing services. Becoming a JP and/or notary public does not cost much money. And it is not a big moneymaking venture! Many states set the fees you can charge for JP services. JPs can add additional fees, and often do, including travel and hourly rates for additional meetings such as rehearsals, other prep time and any special requests.

26. PERSONAL CONCIERGE

This business is for someone who is supremely efficient and has the ability to make things happen. People who hire you will expect things when they want them and you need to be able to come through with not only what they want, but with a personal touch and a smile on your face. The most likely clients for a personal concierge service are top executives who find themselves at the office by 7 a.m. and are there most nights until 9 p.m., leaving them very little time to do all those things that often need to be done during those very hours.

Read This: Start Your Own Personal Concierge Service by Entrepreneur Press and Ciree Linsenman | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

27. PERSONAL TRAINER
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Advertise your services in places where everyone goes, like restaurants and grocery stores. Having a website is a good idea–people want some privacy in their decision-making when it comes to getting fit. They can go to your website and determine if your approach to personal training is an approach that would work for them. It is important to emphasize the safety aspect of using a personal trainer. You can help clients get fit and avoid injury.

Read This: Start Your Own Personal Training Business by The Staff of Entrepreneur Media and Cheryl Kimball | Amazon | Indigo.ca | Barnes & Noble

28. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Your job, in the case of rental units, will be to make sure the property is running smoothly. For seasonal properties, you will most likely spend your management time making sure the property is ready for seasonal visits and well-maintained when no one is around. If the owners go away for six weeks in the winter, the property manager makes regular checks on the property. You will be the contact number if the security system operator needs to contact someone about a breach in security.

29. SMALL ENGINE REPAIR
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Most community colleges offer some level of engine-repair courses. Another way to learn would be to take a part-time position at a repair shop or a rental facility where you could learn on the job, although you will want to be open about your plans. You should be prepared to work on push-behind lawn mowers, riding lawn mowers, generators, garden tools such as rototillers and edgers, chainsaws, wood chippers and snowblowers. You need to decide whether you’ll want to take on bigger jobs, such as tractors, snowmobiles and ATVs; space may be your decision-maker.

30. SOLAR ENERGY CONSULTANT
Experience, training or licensing may be needed
Has expansion possibilities

As a solar consultant, you can basically conduct a home inspection and give clients a report on their solar options for their particular home and site. This can range from full-fledged general solar installations that generate electricity to simple solar walkway lighting. You might want to start by working in a solar products company to become knowledgeable in the solar energy field. However, to be a consultant, it is often best not to be affiliated with any one company or product and be able to recommend products and options across the field of solar energy.

Read This: Solar Energy: Technologies and Project Delivery for Buildings by Andy Walker | Amazon | Indigo.ca | Barnes & Noble

From Tax Preparer to Graphic Design

31. TAX PREPARER
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Most tax preparation franchises offer courses, seminars, and training to get you ready to work for them. You will learn a lot about tax preparation while working for them before going out on your own. There is a lot of educational support out there to learn tax preparation and all its complexities. And there are lots of individuals and businesses willing to spend a few hundred dollars a year to have someone else prepare their taxes and keep watch for tax breaks or tax burdens on their behalf.

32. MUSIC LESSONS
Experience, training or licensing may be needed

Turn down the volume and listen up: your music skills can earn you between $50—$75 an hour. There are a few ways to approach running your own music biz: you can be mobile and teach in your clients’ homes, or you can run it out of your own space (a separate building or designated area of your home.) To get started, try to connect with local music schools for part-time gigs, which will allow you to see if you really like it, and also help you build a reputation with clients.

Related: 10 Essential Tips For a Long and Lucrative Music Career

Getty Images | Jetta Productions

33. UPHOLSTERING

If you have a knack for sewing, upholstery repair might be a perfect business for you. One of the best ways to learn how to upholster is to get some discarded upholstered furniture and start tearing it apart. Many books and some videos are available to help you learn this trade. Often furniture ready for upholstering will also need repairs. Have a list available of furniture repair people you can recommend to your customers. Or you can take the piece in, have repair people you work with do this work for you, and add it to the overall cost. You can also learn to do this work, especially minor repairs, yourself.

Read This: Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design by Amanda Brown | Amazon | eBooks.com | Barnes & Noble

34. USED BOOK SALES

Almost everyone has a few boxes of books stashed away in the house somewhere. Why not make a business out of them? In order to gain customers–especially repeat customers–you will need to have some regular shop hours. Make your shop known for something-a specific category (or two) of books, having some first editions for sale, all paperbacks a dollar and all hardcovers two bucks, and/or a swap program. Maps, illustrations, postcards, greeting cards and magazines are good sidelines to include in your shop.

35. WEDDING PLANNER

You will need to be up-to-date on wedding trends and fads, dress styles, color trends–almost everything under the sun! Offer your customers an ala carte menu of services, from helping pick flowers, the wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses to picking the venue and hiring the caterer. Before you open your business, shop at all the wedding shops, and even pretend you are a bride-to-be to see what kinds of services the wedding gown shop provides and how they treat potential customers. You need to know every detail of the business to give the accurate impression that you are the go-to person for anyone planning a wedding.

Read This: Start You

Source: Entrepreneur.com

More here:
Need a Business Idea? Here Are 55.

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