Image by: Public Domain Pictures
By Dexter Lunde
If you’re itching to get out from under your boss’s thumb and you’ve been saving up money to get out on your own, here are a couple ideas which may get you headed in the right direction. Check out my list of ideas for small businesses for 2014.
#1) Yard Work & Landscaping
Yard work may seem like small potatoes but think about it this way: plenty of businesses need to maintain their properties and keep them in pristine condition. That’s where you and your team can come in.
The key to making money in this field is to think big and think outside the box. Most landscapers will do general stuff (cut the grass, etc.) and if your clients don’t have a green thumb, their yards reflect on that. Why not offer the things that they want: planting, weeding, and even snow shoveling, putting up & taking down holiday decorations, etc.
#2) Online Stores
It’s happening more now than ever: more people are shopping online for their basic needs as well as for specialty items. While specialty items used to be the only thing people used to buy from online stores, people are now buying services (like grocery shopping services) and their daily needs from online stores now as well.
All you need to open an online store is a website, the right business licenses, and the right e-commerce software. You can sell homemade products or products from niche suppliers. You can even sell a service. Online catering services are getting pretty big right now as well.
If you’re not big into creating your own website, you can join a marketplace. Look into your local marketplace services as well as places like Etsy.
#3) Computer Maintenance
Computer maintenance is a great business to get into. Everyone has a smartphone, tablet, laptop (and sometimes a desktop as well). Let’s not forget the fact that every member of their family has one as well. There are some great opportunities in this field for you if you have a background in technology.
You could offer services as “mundane” as installing software, cleaning-up desktops, and hooking up external devices to building custom computers for gamers.
No, I don’t mean that you should own a landfill. What I mean is that regular people don’t normally know what to do with all of their electronics after they’re done with them. This could be a potential money maker for you if you have the right know-how and contacts. Think of offering services for items like ink cartridges, old electronics and scrap metal.
The catch is that you’re going to need a great ad campaign and marketing plan for this business.
#5) Personal Assistant, Planner, and/or Organizer
If you’re really good at keeping things clean & organized and if you’re always the one who’s on time for an event, why not do all of those things for a living? Americans have a lot of stuff and we make a lot of plans. More often than not, they’re unable to keep all of those things under control and handled (I know that I have my share of problems sometimes).
You could offer services like organizing a home, planning events, or you could be someone’s personal assistant. If you’re an incredibly organized person, your options are almost endless if you’ve got the gusto and creativity to match.
In fact, the internet makes it even easier. Google lets people connect and sync their schedules, task lists, contacts, and calendars online so you can even be a virtual assistant if you’ve got a computer and reliable internet access.
Franchises are a bit different and have different rules and contracts, but they are an option. Look in your community to see if you could use something unique in the neighborhood to spice things up. Have tons of Mexican and Chinese restaurants in town? Think of something different? Perhaps a drive-thru coffee stand or a pastry shop?
If you’re bilingual, you’re already a shoe in for some jobs. While most companies can’t afford to keep a translator on staff, you could create your own translating business and work as a contractor or for hire for projects and events.
Remember that you can also look for freelancing translating jobs online. You can either translate over the phone or translate a paper into a different language. Sometimes publishers are even looking for translators to share their products with different countries: books, textbooks, brochures, pamphlets, etc.
Now it’s your turn. Do you own your own business? What made you decide to go out on your own? Do you have any advice for new business owners? What about franchises; have you had any experience with one?