Small Business Ideas and How to Start One
Whether you’re looking to just make some extra side cash, or you’re trying to replace your full time income, I promise there is something here for you. As a long time entrepreneur and the owner of a small business, I'm here to encourage and educate you as you find your own path!
How to start your business:
Figuring out what you want
The first step is to simply think about what you are good at. If you need to, ask your best friend or partner, and I’m sure they’ll come back with a list of things you are great at that you may not even think twice about. It could be something that comes so naturally to you, that you don’t recognize it like the people around you might.
Do you have a camera and enjoy taking photos? Do you have a knack for design? Maybe you’ve always enjoyed writing, or you’re a crafter. You may think some things are more of a hobby, but almost, and I mean ALMOST anything can be turned into a business venture as long as you are willing to put a little bit of time and effort into it.
Once you’ve pin-pointed what you’re good at and what you enjoy, it's time to figure out what type of business you are ready to start. Do you just need something to support and add to your income, that you can work on the side? Do you need a bit of a creative outlet? Or are you looking for an entire career change to replace your full time income?
You may need to be willing to put in long hours at the beginning before you get to a place where you can leave your 9 to 5. And don’t think those long hours will go away either! Owning your own business is WORK. But it’s rewarding and worth it, in my opinion.
I cannot stress this enough when I say THE most important part of getting your business or side gig started is branding. Repeat after me, “branding is everything”. This is so much more than just creating a logo. People want to know the human behind a product or service that they are purchasing. They want to know who they’re supporting.
You’re going to need a why, a background story, and a mission. Define your ideal customer and how to speak to them. Then you can develop your name, and visual things like your logo, colors, and fonts. And of course, some mood boards and images that will help everything feel cohesive. I like to call this my branding kit and am excited to offer ways to help you do this in future! (Pro-tip: Canva is amazing and makes this so easy!)
Instagram, to stay relevant and to post daily updates and more personable things so that my followers know me. I use Facebook to stay connected with my existing customers who follow, to share company news and media, and to keep locals informed of pop-ups or other events we may have. Pinterest is one of the larger drivers of traffic over to my website. I use it primarily to link to our weekly blogs or straight to our products.
If you have a large following on Instagram already, and you are going to start a photography business for example, you can simply use that platform you already have, and slowly transition that to show your work. This may be the only form of social media you use, but that’s okay. Be specific to your business or niche and what will help to market you best.
If you’ve read this far, and still haven’t thought of what type of business you could see yourself starting, here are some of my favorite ideas!
Freelance Content Writer
If you are all about organization, this could be for you. It’s almost a perfect scenario because you can work full time for one employer, or as a freelancer, but either way you can do this all from home. It can be all encompassing, where you do a little bit of everything that’s included in marketing services, or you can be more focused on one or two things. Email management, blog management, graphic design, or even customer service are a few of the areas that so many businesses need assistance with.
Social Media Specialist
You don’t have to be a graphic designer in order to be able to create content for social media. It helps if you know the current trends, and what will keep someone’s social media relevant. It’s also important to have some experience or knowledge of SEO, which will help boost website traffic.
With a blog, you can easily make money through affiliate marketing, ads, and sponsored posts. This is something that can begin as a side gig, and then eventually replace your full time income. Keep in mind, if you’re not looking to start your own, you can still make money ghostwriting someone else’s blog.
There are tons of resources out there to learn the tricks of proofreading. It will help if you already catch mistakes and little details from a mile away, but there is still more to be trained on. You can freelance for publishing houses, authors, magazines, etc. The options are endless.
You don’t have to be THE expert in a particular area to be a good consultant. It does help if you have experience, so that you can give the proper advice. Small businesses all around are in need of these services in some way or another. Maybe you’ve always worked in sales for larger corporations, and you’ve been successful. You may just be perfect at sales consulting for a small business. There is also a need for marketing, IT, or business strategy consultants, just to name a few.
Product Based Businesses:
Selling a craft on Etsy, at a local market, and/or creating a Shopify website
You would be surprised sometimes what kind of things people will buy online because they aren’t the crafty type. This is where you come in. If you already enjoy creating and making things, why not make a good side income off of it? Etsy, for example, is known for its unique and custom craft goods that also offer a personal, human touch. Some items that are selling well are things like stickers, personalized mugs, and polymer clay earrings. Let’s not forget wedding items like invitations, decor, and bachelor/bachelorette party favors.
Create a boutique reselling clothing on Poshmark or Instagram
If you’re looking for something with almost NO start up costs, reselling clothing is a great start for you. Whether you’re reselling clothing that you already have and have kept in great shape, or you’re going to start thrifting for pieces specifically to resell them, you will only be spending money on the initial cost of the item.
It’s as simple as creating a separate Instagram page or even a story highlight on your personal page. Since you already have followers who are like minded, you’re sure to find people who will want to purchase from you. Poshmark is a great app for this as well!
Do you have any advice for those looking to start a business? Be sure to share them in the comments! As always, make sure you’re hanging out with us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for new and exciting content. Don’t forget to subscribe here for emails so that you get all of our first-to-know updates on sales, launches, events, and more!