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Start Your Own Business - Ideas and Resources

Stop making your employers rich off your hard work.  Find out what you do best, what you enjoy, or what you've already done and know how to do, or take a few cheap or free classes and start working for yourself.  Yes, it can be hard work to start out and a learning experience, but it can be well worth it.  Even if you were to make less money than you previously did, you would have freedom and satisfaction, although there's no reason you can't earn more in time once you work out the kinks.  

If you can, start out with no employees and just use your name and social security number as your business as a sole proprietor - this eliminates a lot of paperwork, costs, and complications.  You can still use a  "fictitious name" the same way you would a company name and remain an individual, just register this name with your state.  

Also, find out if you need a vendor's license if selling products and find out if your city government requires any permits.  They often don't if working out of your home and not serving a large number of customers or doing warehouse-size shipping.  There may be other laws or regulations pertinent to your business area so just do a little research.  For online activities you will need access to a computer, sometimes an inexpensive digital camera or scanner (look for cheap ones on eBay or Craigslist or estate sales, etc.), and some basic office supplies.

When you must hire employees, consider getting an inexpensive payroll service to handle all the payroll and tax aspects like Paychex, but shop around.  Click the headline links below to explore these prospective businesses further.

Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation Business

Childcare / Daycare or Nanny Business

Cleaning Business -- Office or House - Consider using only "green,"  all-natural, hypoallergenic, and organic cleaning products. These are both healthier for you and will be a selling point with all the concern with sick building syndrome lately and the health effects of chemicals in traditional cleaning products.

Flipping - Buying antiques, vintage or retro items, old books, collectibles or popular new items like electronics cheap such as at thrift shops, estate sales, garage sales, and online, and sell them for more on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, etc. (avoid selling old kids toys due to safety laws or do a little research on the item you have)

Food Concession Business

Freelancing - Many legitimate freelancing sites exist with good paying contract opportunities, both short-term and long-term.  These also should not charge a fee.  Some specify rates and work needed, others expect you to bid to get the work (usually low paying so avoid, but still legitimate usually), others have competitions (like Freelancer.com or Prizes.org - ) so no guarantee you will win, but those who are good often do.  Projects include clerical, design, administrative, data entry, writing, programming,

Sell Digital and Printable Products with e-Junkie or Sell Self-Published eBooks - E-junkie charges a small fee starting at $5 per month and they take care of everything.  This is a fraction of what other companies charge to sell your digital products and downloadable printable products.  You can create your own children's games, how-to pamphlets, and other printed documents to sell using Word or Powerpoint or Adobe, or design logos, make printable invitations, record your own music, sell your photographs, or make your own movies to sell, etc.  E-junkie takes care of processing the payment and sending the product by email to the customer.  Once you create and upload your product, all you have to do is advertise and promote it.  E-junkie even does that in their store.  You can also submit your products to Google and Amazon, and some other sites may now be allowing sales of digital products at little or no cost so look around.  Sites like Kindle Direct, etc. also allow you to publish your own eBooks (such as children's books or cookbooks or how to books, etc.) free or cheap when layout and advertising to real bookstores is involved, although typically much less expensive than attempting to enter the traditional publishing market.

Sell Products Using a Dropshipper - Be sure they don't ask for money to join or give "free trials" or its a scam.  With a dropshipper you sell products that the dropshipper is selling often at wholesale prices (for example, InFashionWholesale), but you don't have to store the inventory or handling shipping.  You just mark up the price and advertise their products on eBay or a free store you make or your own web site, etc., and when someone places an order and pays you, then you place the order for the customer and the dropshipper makes it look like it came from you.  Here's just one example of a dropshipper who sells electronics, but many more exist so search and explore dropshippers on Google until you find one you like.  Also, make sure they have plenty in stock (and giving you a free storefront is always a bonus but hard to find) so you won't run into the problem of people ordering and then the product not being available.  Drop Shipping Review

Sell Your Own Homemade Products - Find something you love to make and are good at that you think others would enjoy or need, is unique, or great as a gift such as custom jewelry, pottery, knitted baby blankets, fragrant candles, soaps, home decor, bird houses, Christmas ornaments or decorations, invitations, pillows, flower arrangements, paintings, decorated photo albums or picture frames, greeting cards, etc.  You can sell them on Craigslist, eBay, etsy.com, Artfire, 1000products, and the like, on your own web site, or rent a booth at a local flea market or craft shop. Sometimes local stores will feature items made by locals and sell on consignment, so ask around. 10 Best Selling Crafts

Taxi or Limousine Service - If you live not too far from a large city, an airport, or bus and train stations, often the areas are underserved by taxis and limousines and the demand is high, also in some rural areas.  Limousines can be needed by corporate clients, at airports, for weddings or proms, and other formal events, and taxis can be needed by tourists or the elderly who no longer drive, etc.  There has been a growing demand in recent years, even with rising prices and the cost of fuel.  Click the link above to read the perspective of one person who went into this business.

The Game Crafter - Create Your Own Board Games & Sell Them

Vending Machine Business

Writing and Blogging - Join Blogger for free and start your own blog about a topic of interest, or start posting pages of articles you write on your web site you create for free or cheap, and then make money with Adsense advertising on your pages.  They provide you with the code you need to drop in, and every time someone clicks on an ad you make money.  It may start out as a few cents per click, but people with numerous pages over time have more people bidding higher prices for their advertising space and clicks can be $2 or more each, with monthly profit possible in the thousands of $ with work,  many pages added, and promoting by exchanging links with other related sites and submitting your new pages to the major search engines like Google and Bing.  You can also write independently as a contractor for a site like Textbroker or search freelance job sites.  This may start out as low pay, but is good experience and can build up as your rating improves if you're a good writer.

And there are many more possibilities -- be creative.  Like car repair or machinery repair if you're mechanically inclined, car washing and detailing, house painting (go with the no-VOC paint for health reasons) and handyman services, be a personal assistant, give lessons such as art,  computers, guitar, piano, or other instruments, tutor students, be an event planner, cater parties, decorate cakes, prepare resumes and cover letters, be a personal shopper or deliver groceries to the elderly or disabled, rent extra rooms to boarders, recycle metals, and much more!

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