Category Archives: Business plan

Small Business Ideas: How to Live the American Dream of Owning a Business

Starting a small business is an exciting time in a person’s life. The business owner gets to become the boss, can come and go as he or she pleases, and has the final say in all business decisions. It is this sort of independence, free will, and self-determination that truly personifies the great American dream.

 Before Starting a New Business

Before starting a new business, the prospective business owner should visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website for comprehensive information on starting, managing, and expanding a small business. Other information includes how to formulate a business plan and how to obtain SBA loans.

Turning Hobbies and Interests into a Small Business

Many successful small business owners have started a business based on their hobbies and interests. These may include sewing pillows and clothing; opening an antique or thrift shop; making birdhouses; starting an automotive shop; or arts such as pottery and painting.

Small Business Ideas

Many other small business ideas have provided small business owners with independence and financial security. It still takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but given time and patience, the business owner can reap the benefits of owning a small business. Other small business ideas include:

  • HVAC. For the HVAC professional who has been in the business for 8-10 years, starting an HVAC business may be lucrative. HVAC is a recession-proof industry – all homes and businesses must run their HVAC systems year-round, and problems must be fixed by someone. This same principle applies to electricians and plumbers.
  • Lawn Care and Landscaping Services. Lawn care and landscaping is another recession-proof industry. The grass, weeds, and bushes never stop growing – and somebody has to trim them to keep property values up and everything looking tidy.
  • Pest Control Services. Pests such as roaches, ants, spiders, rats, and mice invariably invade homes around the world. The first line of defense is a pest control service, who sprays away those uninvited guests.
  • Consulting or Freelancing Business. This can include a graphic design business, accounting business, technical writing business, training business, and much more. The small business owner can either hire a staff and start a full-blown consulting business, or go solo and freelance for journals, magazines, news media, and the internet.
  • Handyman. Handyman services are particularly in demand among the elderly who may not be able to perform minor household repairs on their own. These services include painting, window repair, fixing leaks, and much more. A more apt title for this business idea would be “Handyperson,” since more women are choosing this business opportunity.
  • Janitorial and Maid Services. Janitors and maids provide a valuable service to everyone: keeping things clean. So long as there are homes and businesses, there will always be a need for janitors and maids; hence the reason this is a great idea for a small business.
  • Hair Care Professionals. Everyone has at least a little hair on their heads, or perhaps just want a new look. Thus, there will always be a need for talented hair care professionals. Some have opened up hair salons in their homes, and have reaped the benefits of making money from home.

These are just a few of the hundreds of small business ideas available to those who would like to own their small piece of the American dream. Though small business owners must overcome some challenges along the way, owning a small business can be very rewarding at the same time.

Why Have a Small Business Website?: Websites Are Cost-Effective Small Business Solutions

For the small business owner, having a URL on a business card is vital for establishing credibility with new clients and a low cost way to promote the company brand and products. Customers and new clients now expect to find in-depth information on a company website.

When starting a small business, website development must be part of the business plan. In fact, many businesses start as a website first to test the markets before investing in commercial real estate.

A Small Business Website Lends Credibility

Like a good business card, a professional-looking website creates a favourable impression of the company whose name is on it. A well designed website will give users the information they need to feel confidence in the company. For example, a website can offer company history or biographies of the owner and key employees in much more detail than could be conveyed in a conversation.

Small Business Advertising on the Web

There are over 250 million Internet users in North America alone and more than half of them use the Internet to research and makes purchases online. A website is lends itself to a national market that can allow a small business to expand beyond geographic boundaries that may not provide a big enough market in which to succeed.

A Small Business Strategy for Customer Service

A website is always open. Customers can visit the site any time of the day or night, any day of the year. A small business owner can use a website to answer customer questions instantly. By visiting the website, the customer can find out all the products and services offered that they may not have been aware of.

A Cost-Effective Business Idea

Setting up a small business website is easier than ever. For simple sites that give information and contact information only, a website can be maintained in-house for as low as $10 per month. There are many turn-key site and applications where a business owner merely selects a design template and enters the content.

Even websites with simple e-commerce capabilities to allow customers to purchase goods online, can be set up inexpensively and quickly with minimum technical knowledge using any of several applications available.

More complex applications will no doubt require the services of a designer and programmer to set and maintain customized applications.

Having a company website is no longer an option. The small business owner must include a website in any marketing strategy proposed.