Good Business Ideas for Stay-At-Home Moms

Stay-at-Home Mom Business IdeasIf you’re a stay-at-home mom and want to make some money on the side or start your own business, there are numerous business models out there that can be started with a relatively low investment and can manage on the side while you focus on raising your family. If you can find a way to provide value to your community in even a small way, you might start earning more than you expected and decide to make it a full-time endeavor.

Before we start, we need to point out that it’s important to find your own niche. This will be determined by your individual life experience, certain skills you possess or interests/values you have that others may lack. If you are willing to honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses, this will bring you closer to the business model that best suits your passion, skills, and budget.

There are countless good business ideas for stay-at-home moms, here are just a few to get your creative juices flowing:  

Hair Care Product Business

The market for hair care products is huge – especially among women. A hair care business that is geared towards ladies in which you offer a variety of quality products is flexible and relatively easy to manage. This is a low-stress business because you can obtain the products through a supplier, and all you need to worry about is marketing them to your circle of influence. This is the type of business that can easily be run out of a home office, and Facebook is a great platform to grow your clientele. This can be done for free with a Facebook fan page and regular social activity on the site, or for cheap with Facebook paid advertising. There are other social media platforms such as Pinterest that can also be leveraged to build your business.

Handmade Gifts/Wrapping Business

If you specialize in a craft like knitting and know how to make unique gifts, you can start your own gift business and charge higher rates than factory-made gifts because they’re personalized. This is a great business idea for stay-at-home moms because you can use your passion to make a profit. You can start by selling your products online, and when you have more capital to invest, you may want to open a retail store or just sell products to friends and family out of your home.  

You can also offer gift-wrapping services as a good add-on business.  Gift-wrapping is a skill that cannot be outsourced to someone on the other side of the world – people will always need their gifts wrapped by someone locally. This is a very marketable skill and the demand is year-round because people have birthdays all the time, and sales will spike during the holiday season.

Mom & Pop Groceries Business

If you have extra space in your home or garage and there is a demand for groceries in your neighborhood, you can start your own small grocery store from home. Before going this route, you will need to check out the local zoning regulations and make sure you are on the right side of the law. With this type of business, you are not trying to compete with the large grocery store chains on inventory or even price. Instead, you are offering friends and neighbors a convenient option to pick up things they need on a regular basis without having to make a trip to the big stores. Another possible way to go with this idea is to start a dollar store. If you have some capital to invest, there are dollar store franchising opportunities that can allow you to get into this lucrative niche market.

Freelance Writing Business

Do you love to write but never thought you could make any money doing it? Think again. There is a whole digital world out there that has an insatiable demand for quality content. Freelance writing can be done entirely from your home office, and there are literally millions of potential clients you could write for. Think about all the organizations out there that have websites, blogs, email newsletters, social media posts, and other types of content. Many of these organizations don’t have the time to write all that themselves, and they need someone they can trust to handle it for them.

Freelance writing is a great business idea for a stay-at-home mom because all you really need is a blog or website, a writing portfolio to show clients and an effective marketing strategy. Your initial investment is minimal, and you could be writing for clients within a matter of days or weeks. Getting started as a freelance writer can be a bit of a challenge, and it is wise to invest in some good training to accelerate your success. The course we recommend is called the New Freelance Writer Starter Pack. This course teaches you everything you need to know about not only freelance writing, but how to land clients on Upwork, one of the world’s top freelancing sites. If you are thinking of going this direction, this course is definitely worth checking out.

There are many great business ideas for stay-at-home-moms that you can start from your home or at least allow you to stay close to home. They may not make you rich, but they can provide a steady flow of income to make your family’s financial situation more comfortable.

 

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Good Business Ideas for Young Adults

Young Adult Businesses What are some good business ideas for young adults who have little to no business experience/start-up capital, but wish to try their hand at business? Franchising is probably beyond your reach at the moment. However, there are a number of community-based businesses you could start with a low investment that could give you the capital necessary to branch out and build a bigger business. If you have a few thousand dollars saved up, that should be enough to get started with something that can give you invaluable entrepreneurial experience, and the chance to make a decent income in the process.

Here are five good business ideas for young adults that have a fairly low barrier to entry:

Car Washing/Detailing Business

Car washing is big business, and if you could become the premier car washing business in your community, you could eventually branch out into an automotive franchise or another related business. Cars are an integral component of American society, and everything that has to do with cars can be turned into a profitable business.

People need their cars washed efficiently (and for a low price) and this is one of those services that will always be in demand. If you could start a mobile car washing and/or detailing service or open up your own space where you can wash cars, you could gather enough money in your first several months to start growing and branching out. This is one of the most practical businesses for a young adult because it doesn’t require a lot of expertise – only hard work.

Delivery Business

If you have a driver’s license and a reliable vehicle, you can provide deliveries for everything from ice blocks to newspapers with your own delivery business (based on your community’ individual needs). Local delivery is a thriving business if you know how to take advantage of the unique needs of your community – especially if you know your way around your town and can deliver goods efficiently. You could even start a delivery business on your bicycle until you save enough money for a vehicle.

Computer Repair Business

If you’re a computer science or IT major, or you know a lot about fixing computers, you can start a computer repair service in your community. This is one of those services that is hard to outsource because people want their computers fixed immediately, and they often need someone to look at it in-person.  

The vast majority of American households now own a desktop or laptop computer, and the potential for business is nearly unlimited. You can also expand to retail by refurbishing old computers and reselling them on sites like eBay.

Pet Sitting Business

Pet sitting is a unique business model for young adults who know how to take care of pets and love spending time with animals. This business is popular in upscale communities where people can afford to pay for pet sitting while they’re on vacation. When well-off individuals people travel for business or leave for a vacation, they often hire a pet sitting service to take care of their pets. Services include walking, feeding and watching over animals. This is service is focused on a narrow “niche” market, but if you establish yourself among those you need this service, your business can quickly become profitable.

Tour Guide Business

If you have an extroverted personality and know your way around the historic sites in your city, you could start a tour/city guide business and offer tours to newcomers. Tours don’t have to be conservative, meaning they don’t always have to show the “standard” sites in your city – You could steal ideas from unique touring businesses such as the “Abandoned Warehouse” tours in Berlin, as long as you can find something interesting in your area that tourists would enjoy. City tours can bring in a lot of income, especially if you live in a large metropolitan area that attracts a lot of tourists.

These are just a few good business ideas for young adults to get their feet wet in the entrepreneurial world. If none of these fit your passion, there are countless other business opportunities out there. The important thing is to find something you enjoy doing, then see if there is a way to get other people to pay you to do it. If you have those two ingredients, chances are you have a viable business.

 

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Good Business Ideas for Small Towns

Small Town Business IdeasThere are many opportunities for starting a business in a small town that take advantage of the lack of competition, especially in areas that have to do with property maintenance, pets, and tourism. You can start these businesses with a relatively low investment and branch out when you have more money. There are also many opportunities for franchising in small towns, especially food and beverage-related businesses and businesses in the automotive industry.

Here are four good business ideas that work well in small towns:

Bed & Breakfast/Hostel

If you live in a scenic area with tourist potential, you can open your own “Bed & Breakfast” and offer accommodation to incoming tourists. You can also charge more than the market average if there are fewer accommodation options in the area. The same applies if you can provide guests a unique experience – such as if you live on a ranch where you have extra rooms and can offer options like hiking and horseback riding.  

In many rural areas, you can charge around $80-100 a night, which could significantly improve your financial situation if you have more rooms and charge for extras like horseback riding, renting bikes/cars and shooting ranges. This is also a fairly low-maintenance job that can be managed by someone who is on-site already. If you know how to effectively market your service on websites like Airbnb, this could become a great side business that could provide the capital to open other businesses, such as a hotel or restaurant.

Landscaping Business

Landscaping (e.g., lawn care, tree removal, tree care, plant maintenance, etc.) is always an in-demand business, especially in small towns where landscape maintenance is a necessity. This is also one of those great business ideas for small towns that young adults could start because there is not a lot of start-up capital required to purchase the equipment. This business will require hard work, however, and you will need to pound the pavement in the beginning to build your clientele.

In northern states, there are also seasonal opportunities that can accompany your landscaping business, such as snow plowing. If your area gets a lot of snowfall during the winter season, plowing can provide a great source of income during the cold months. Overall, landscaping/snow removal is one of the most potentially lucrative business models for small towns, because if word goes out that you’ve done a great job, you can quickly grow your accounts and ensure you are busy all the time.

Agricultural Machinery

If you live in a small town that is surrounded by a lot of rural areas where people like to shop for agricultural machinery, you can start your own shop that sells tractors and different kinds of farm implements. There are also many large manufacturers (e.g., John Deere) that you could affiliate with and sell their equipment. If you are in an area where there is a proven demand for agricultural machinery and equipment, you could get approved for a loan to start a large commercial shop where you sell this equipment to local farmers and ranchers.

Dog Breeding

If you enjoy taking care of animals, dog breeding may be an ideal business for you. Dogs are important in small towns because people use them for security and they are also used for hunting purposes. If you live in a rural area where there are a lot of dog owners, then you know they will need to replace those dogs every decade or so. In these types of areas, dog breeding is a lucrative and sustainable business model. A great add-on to a dog breeding business is pet boarding and pet grooming.

You could start this type of business on your own, or if you have more capital to invest, you could start a pet care franchise. Going the franchise route may require a higher initial investment, but this investment also allows you to represent an established brand with a proven business model that provides ongoing support. For some entrepreneurs, these factors are critical in ensuring the success of their startup business.

 

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Five Creative Small Business Ideas with Low Competition

Good Business IdeasWhat are some creative small business ideas that most people would not think of starting and where you won’t face rigid competition? Better yet, which of those small business ideas can you start with a relatively small investment? We have a few interesting ideas that might get you thinking about something you might want to start up in 2018.

Most of these small business ideas can be implemented in small towns – they’re not just for large metropolitan areas. You can implement variations of these business models in your town and see the results you get. Since they take very little capital to get started, they do not carry the same level of risk as many other types of small businesses.

 

  1. Rent A Bicycle Business

Bicycle BusinessThe “rent a bicycle” business model is one of the easiest businesses to start because all you need is a small brick and mortar store where you can display the bicycles and service your customers. If your city is in a fairly warm climate and attracts a lot of tourists, this can generate year-round revenue. If the biking infrastructure is well-developed in your city (most cities in the country are putting in more bike lanes and paths), this model could be especially lucrative. It is also a big plus if you live near hiking trails or similar scenic routes that attract a lot of tourists.

If you invest in mountain bikes, you can charge higher rates and bill customers on an hourly basis. Consider setting up a website and marketing to people in your area to raise awareness (unless your location is already heavily trafficked and you don’t need to do marketing). This is one of the most creative small business ideas and relatively low-risk because your investment can be as low as five figures, and you may be able to recover your initial investment within a matter of months. As soon as you are cash-flow positive, you can start thinking about expanding your services to sell bikes for large manufacturers and/or opening more locations across your state.  

 

  1. Coffee Making Business

Coffee BusinessCoffee is always in demand, and if you’re passionate about brewing coffee, you can start a coffee shop in your town and even offer delivery services similar to a pizza shop. Coffee is always profitable because it’s the most consumed drink in the country. In addition, major chains like Starbucks and Caribou have conditioned consumers to pay very high prices for a cup of coffee. You could start this type of business just doing delivery out of your home, undersell the big players, and still have very profitable margins. Later, when you have the capital to invest, you can rent a small shop with some tables for people to come in and enjoy their coffee. Once you reach this point, you will be well on your way to building a lucrative business.  

 

  1. Cookie Selling Business

Cookie BusinessSimilar to coffee, cookies are loved by almost everyone, and this is one of those businesses that can be started by teenagers/young adults or older adults. If you are interested in baking cookies, you can open your own shop or even start selling cookies out of your home. It is not too hard to bake cookies, and if you have a “secret” family recipe that everybody loves, it might turn out more profitable than you imagine. If you have more capital to invest, there are also some cookie franchises you could become affiliated with.

 

  1. Gift Hamper Business

Gift Hamper BusinessIf you can create a business that specializes in the sale of hampers, you can benefit from a lot of seasonal market uptick because people exchange these all the time during Christmas/New Years and they purchase a lot for their extended families/business partners/customers, etc. There are many periods throughout the year where people purchase gifts (usually in large quantities), and if you can become the premier service in your area during those periods, you’ll make enough money to support yourself for the rest of the year. This is also one of those creative small business ideas that can be started by young adults – as long as they are creative about their packages and know how to source out individual products.

 

  1. Photography Business

Photography BusinessIf you have exceptional photography skills (or you have a friend or family member who does), you can start a profitable photography business. Some shy away from this business model because everyone has a camera in their pocket these days. That is true, but people still want professional photos for events such as weddings, birthday parties, and school pictures. One of the best aspects of this business is that all you need to get started is a camera, laptop, photo editing software and a website to promote your service. Photography businesses can be started by young adults too, and as you grow your business, you can also affiliate with large camera makers such as Canon and Nikon to sell cameras in your area.

 

These are just a handful of small business ideas to get your creative juices flowing. There are numerous additional creative business ideas you could come up with to get into the entrepreneurial game. And if you are in the U.S., experts forecast strong economic growth for 2018, so this may be the ideal time to get into business for yourself.

If you want to be in business for yourself and you’re not necessarily the creative type, a franchise business might be more suitable for you. Franchisors cost more to become affiliated with, but they also allow you to represent an established brand name and give you a proven business model. They also provide strong support, because when you become a franchise owner, their reputation depends on your success, so they have a vested interest in helping you succeed.

 

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Tax Reform and Franchises: How the New Legislation May Impact your Business

Tax ReformLast week, Congress and the President delivered what many view as a Christmas present before leaving town for vacation; the most sweeping tax reform legislation since the Reagan years. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act makes numerous changes to both individual and business tax rates, and restaurants and retail trade groups have hailed the new legislation, saying it will help businesses in their industries.

Not everyone is a fan of the new tax reform bill, however. Democrat politicians and their allies call the bill a huge tax break to the wealthy on the backs of everyone else. The reality is that the tax reform bill lowers taxes on almost everyone, though it is true that corporations are the largest beneficiaries.

So how will tax reform impact franchise businesses? Thus far, there is not a clear answer to this question. This is a complicated piece of legislation, and there are a lot of moving parts. For this reason, it will take several months before we know the full impact it will have on the franchising industry.

Here is a list of some of the major highlights of the tax reform legislation, and what these changes might mean to small businesses:

Reduction in the Corporate Tax Rate

C Corporations are the biggest winners in the tax reform bill. The legislation lowers the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, making the U.S. corporate rate competitive with most other countries. This rate cut is permanent, giving corporations a predictable tax environment for the foreseeable future. With the corporate rate now lower than tax rates for other types of business entities, you may see more franchises opting to form C Corporations, rather than Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), S Corporations, or partnerships.

Tax Cuts for “Pass Through” Entities

Currently, about 95% of all American businesses, including most franchises, are “Pass Through” entities in which the income of the entity passes through directly to the owners and is taxed at their individual rate. Examples include the entities mentioned above such as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), S Corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. Though they did not get as big a break as C Corporations, “Pass Through” entities were not left out. These types of entities will have their tax bill lowered by 20%.

Increased Equipment Expensing and Bonus Depreciation

One area of the tax reform bill that directly affects many franchise owners is the ability to expense up to $1 million annually for qualified equipment, up from $500,000, with the phaseout threshold raised from $2 million to $2.5 million. Bonus depreciation is also raised from 50% to 100%, meaning businesses are now able to deduct 100% of the cost of eligible property the year it is placed into service, rather than depreciate it over a period of years. These changes provide incentives for franchisees to upgrade more of their equipment during a time when it is increasingly important to automate their systems.

Overall Economic Impact

Perhaps the most significant potential benefit for franchisees and other business owners provided by tax reform is its impact on the overall economy. In the second and third quarters of 2017, the U.S. economy experienced two consecutive quarters of economic growth in excess of 3% of GDP. This was the first time this occurred since 2014. This level of growth has already created hundreds of thousands of new jobs, providing more disposable income for consumers. If tax reform goes as planned, growth could exceed 4% or even 5% of GDP in 2018 and in subsequent years. If this occurs, franchisees across the board will be boosted, and we could see thousands of new entrepreneurs taking advantage of the favorable conditions and getting into the franchise game.

 

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Buying a Subway Franchise? Why You May Want to Reconsider

SubwayIn 2010, Subway overtook McDonald’s to become the world’s largest fast-food franchise chain. Subway now has around 25,000 locations worldwide, about 10,000 more than its closest competitor McDonald’s. So being the number one fast food chain in the world, and the fact that they are well-branded and make good, healthy food, why wouldn’t you want to buy a Subway franchise?

Here’s the problem. Being number one can be a double-edged sword. Yes, they are the best-known sandwich shop in the world and most locations are busy during a typical day, but to become #1, they have bordered on cannibalizing themselves. Here is an example of what I mean.

In the town close to where I live, there is a population of roughly 25,000 people. In that town, they have four Subways. And in one particular area, there is a Subway inside of a Walmart, and another standalone Subway just down the street. This type of situation is typical – most medium-sized towns have multiple Subway locations, more than is needed to support the demand.

Market Competition Eating Away at Margins

Another problem when you are the world’s #1 fast food chain is everyone is gunning for you. Subway really came into their own in the late 1980s, and from that time until just a few years ago, they had expanded rapidly. However, for the first time in years, the number of Subway locations declined in 2016.

One of the major problems Subway is having is heavy competition from the likes of Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mike’s, Firehouse Subs, and Which Which. Because consumers have so many other choices out there, Subway has seen customer traffic plummet by 25% over the past five years. This, combined with rising minimum wages in many areas of the country has resulted in much slimmer profit margins.

How bad is the problem for Subway? Just the other day, the New York Post reported that Subway is in the midst of a franchisee revolt over their upcoming $5 foot-long promotion. For the past several years, Subway has run their $5 foot-long promotion for the first two months of the year. The company believes they need to keep this promotion going to compete with McDonald’s, which has its own 2-items for $5 menu, and even a 2-items for $3 menu.

Many franchisees, however, do not see it that way. More than 400 Subway franchisees signed a petition protesting the $5 foot-long deal that is scheduled to start in January. They contend that the national promotion has “decimated” franchisees and left many of them “unprofitable and even insolvent.”

So what is the solution to Subway’s woes? Many franchisees say they need to be much bolder with their menu. As a consumer and occasional Subway customer, I tend to agree with this. Subway is way too conservative with its menu offerings, and they haven’t done nearly enough to introduce newer and more exciting food choices in recent years. This, I believe, has earned them a reputation of being kind of bland. Yes, Subway is a “safe” choice for lunch or dinner, but they don’t really have much on the menu that makes people want to come in and give them a try.

Should You Buy a Subway Franchise?

So is it a good idea to get into a Subway franchise? Well, maybe. They are still a very well-established brand, and a lot of their locations are profitable. If you have the capital to invest, they might be worth the risk with the thinking that the company will “right the ship” in the near future and profits will rise again. In fact, if you believe this and you have the money, now might be a great time to grab a franchise or three at a bargain price. There are, however, many potentially better ways to direct your capital.

These days, there are numerous franchise opportunities not just for fast food, but in many other industries as well. And some have great profit potential with much lower barriers to entry. For example, you could start a senior care or cleaning franchise for far less capital than a food franchise, with the same (or better) profit potential.

Which franchise is right for you? The answer to this question is different for everybody. For some, a Subway franchise might be the right fight. Others might want to get into automotive, children’s services, or something else. The important thing is to find out what type of business you think you would like to be in and speak with someone who can help you find what you are looking for.

At National Franchise Business Solutions, we have access to over 600 franchise brands across a wide range of industries. Through a multi-step process, we provide free, unlimited consulting to match candidates with the business model that best suits your passion, skills, and budget. If you are looking for a franchise business to get into in the New Year, we invite you to contact us and let us help you find the business that fits you best.

 

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10 Good Business Ideas to Start from Home

Good Business IdeasThere is nothing like having a successful home-based business. I’ve been working out of my home for years, and you can’t beat the freedom and flexibility this type of lifestyle offers. Another major benefit is the tax write offs. Operating a business from home opens the door to numerous tax deductions you could never take advantage of as a standard employee. Many people find the work-from-home lifestyle attractive, but they have difficulty finding a good business idea they can operate out of a home office.

2018 is shaping up to be a great year for the U.S. economy, and that means more opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to get into a good home-based business. There are countless good business ideas to start from home. Here are 10 that are easy to get into and can help you make money right away:

Driving for Uber or Lyft

I know what you’re thinking – hauling passengers around town in your car all day is the furthest thing from your dream job. I get it. But consider the benefits of being an Uber or Lyft driver. There is an extremely low barrier to entry (as in, all you need is an acceptable vehicle, insurance, decent driving record, and clean criminal history), there is almost zero cost to get started, you can work whenever you want, and you can earn cash immediately. Though it might not be a good business idea for the long-term, it is a great side business you can start to earn steady income while you are working on your true passion.

Senior Care Provider

As a work-from-home elder care provider, you can make daily house calls to seniors in your community to check up on them, do light housekeeping, cook meals, help them shop for groceries, or just provide general companionship. With the Baby Boomers retiring and 10,000 of them turning 65 every day, the market for clients is virtually limitless. If you are on a limited budget, you can start this as a personal service you provide and charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 to $25 per hour, depending on your location. If you have some capital to invest and really want to go big with this, consider partnering with an established and reputable senior care franchise brand.

Home Inspector

The U.S. housing market is heating up again in most areas of the country. And one critical step in the home-buying process is the home inspection. This makes it one of the best business ideas to start from home in 2018. Requirements to become an inspector vary by state, and if you have a background in real estate or construction, this is a major plus. Of course, it is also helpful to know others in the real estate industry as this is where your clients will come from.

Home Stager

Another way to capitalize on the thriving real estate market is as a home stager. If you have an eye for design and enjoy decorating the insides of homes, this could be a great business for you. A background as an interior decorator is extremely helpful, and as with the home inspection business, knowing people in the real estate world will be highly beneficial in building your clientele.

Handyman

Homeowners have continuous needs for small repairs around the house. And since many in the construction industry are too busy these days to take on smaller jobs, this provides a perfect opening for a handyman business. If you are handy around your own house, you may have what it takes to make it with this type of home business. All you need to get started is a good set of tools and perhaps a van or large pickup truck to keep them in. What makes this a really good business idea is the ability to market your services right out of the gate on sites like Craigslist and Takl. There are also handyman franchise opportunities for those who want a complete business plan with comprehensive guidance and support.

Bookkeeper/Tax Preparer

There are millions of small businesses these days, with new ones starting every day. One thing they all need is a bookkeeper. Many try to do this themselves, but they soon find out that this is a task that is far better outsourced to a professional. If you have a background in accounting, becoming a bookkeeper and tax preparer for small businesses is a good home-based business idea that you can quickly build a steady income with. You can use Craigslist to start building your clientele – just email local businesses that are advertising their services there and put your own ad there. This strategy alone should get you some new clients.

Personal Organizer

Are you one of those “Type A” personalities that loves to organize rooms and closets just for fun? If so, why not offer your services to your friends and neighbors and get paid to do what you love? People are overwhelmed these days, and many cannot find time to keep their homes organized. Become a provider by listing your services on Craigslist and Takl and you’ll be in business.

Graphic Designer

Businesses have a constant need for graphic designers to create logos, infographics, and other visual elements for their online and offline marketing campaigns. If you are the creative type, graphic design is a good business idea that you can start from home and market your services through freelance sites such as Upwork.

Web Developer

As of the end of 2017, nearly half of all businesses still don’t have a website. This provides a massive opportunity for someone with the technical skills to capitalize. Keep in mind also that web design is only the beginning of the web development opportunity. Once their site is live, they need content, search engine optimization (SEO), videos, social media pages, and a mobile web presence to truly establish a digital footprint. You can help businesses with these and many other services, and make a very nice living doing so.

Copywriter

Think about all the content that is out there these days – from traditional TV and radio ads to magazine ads to direct response sales letters to countless forms of digital content. Someone has to create all that content, and if a business does not have an in-house writer, then they need to look for a quality copywriter to do the job for them. There are numerous ways you can enter the freelance copywriting world. One course I really like is the New Freelance Writer Starter Pack. For an investment of around $500, you get everything you need to develop the skills and start landing clients with your new home-based writing business. If you have always loved to write but never thought you could get paid to do it, this might be the home-based business idea for you.

Choosing the right franchiseThis is just a sampling of the numerous good business ideas you can start from home. There are countless other business models out there, and there is no “one size fits all” model that suits everyone. The best place to start is by honestly evaluating your own passions, skills, and budget. Once you are clear on what you really want, then you will be ready to start looking at which home-based business ideas might be right for you.

 

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What are the Best Small Business Opportunities for 2018?

Today is the last day of November, and we are just a month away from starting another year. This week, it was reported that the GDP grew at a rate of 3.3% in the Third Quarter, and signs are pointing to continued economic recovery in the year ahead. For aspiring entrepreneurs, this may be the ideal time to start a new business and capitalize on the current state of economic growth. And with all the business opportunities available in 2018, there are a lot of options to choose from.

When someone asks, “what are the best small business opportunities for 2018?”, this is a very difficult question to answer. Everyone’s circumstance is different, and what might be an ideal business for one person might be a disaster for someone else. Before going further, you need to evaluate your own skills, passion, budget, family commitment, and other factors to see which potential businesses might be right for you. Because there are literally thousands of opportunities out there, and knowing your unique skillset will help you narrow down the choices.

In this article, I’m going to highlight 8 business opportunities that are hot right now and I believe will continue to gain strength in the coming years. Some of these are franchise businesses, while others are businesses you can start on your own. Franchise business opportunities are best suited for someone who has more capital to invest (or can gain access to more capital), and someone who wants an established blueprint and recognizable brand to partner with. For those who are more independent-minded and/or are on a limited budget, a non-franchise business model might be more appropriate.

So without further ado, here are 8 small business opportunities for 2018 and beyond:

Software Application Development

Are you a tech person? Do you have the ability to develop software? If you have these skills, the sky is the limit. Everyone is looking for the “easy” button; e.g., one-click automation that can accomplish tasks and solve problems. Demand for apps has skyrocketed since Apple came out with the first smartphone in 2007, and there is no sign of this industry slowing down. Creating apps is one of the most lucrative businesses out there. If you have the skills, this is a no-brainer. Even if you don’t have the skills, you can always outsource the work and oversee a very profitable business.

Senior Care

Each day, 10,000 Americans turn 65. This fact is creating enormous opportunities for those who want to serve our growing senior population. One thing is certain about the Baby Boom generation; they do not intend to go quietly into retirement. They are determined to stay fit and remain active, and the last place they want to end up in is a nursing home. To keep living in their house, however, they might need someone to come by and help them with certain tasks; such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, etc. In other cases, they might also need skilled nursing care at home. This is where you come in. Senior care is one of those businesses that hits the “sweet spot” of being both highly profitable and a great service for the community. And since you can operate out of a small to moderate-sized office, the overhead is far less than many other business models.

Facility Support Services

Cleaning, building repair and maintenance, security, moving, and other building support services are in high demand right now, with exponential growth projected until at least the middle of the 2020s. If you have a background in this industry and you have the organizational skills to put together a strong sales and fulfillment team, this might be the business for you.

Mobile Repair Services

We have an increasingly mobile society, and more and more consumers want someone to come to them to deliver essential services. This provides a strong opportunity to enter the mobile repair market. This could mean a handyman business (there are some franchise brands that focus on this niche), mobile mechanic, or other similar services. With apps like Takl out there, you can become a mobile service provider just by registering, providing a valid ID, and clearing a background check.

Food Trucks

Fast food on wheels used to be primarily the domain of hot dog and ice cream vendors. That is no longer the case. Today, there are numerous types of food trucks that are thriving out there. One of the benefits to this business model is you eliminate the cost of maintaining a set location. And once you have the truck up and running, you can adjust locations and find just the right places to reach your target market.

Children’s Services

Parents have always been willing to invest in the well-being on their kids. Today, there are several ways an entrepreneur can help them accomplish that. Children’s services encompass a wide variety of business models. Some of the most popular include day care/early childhood education, tutoring essential skills such as math, reading, and English, health and fitness for kids, summer camps, and many others.

Online Marketing Consultant

Digital marketing is a huge part of the advertising and marketing world that most “brick and mortar” businesses need help with. From building the initial website to search engine optimization (SEO) to mobile marketing to social media promotion, there are countless ways you can help businesses cost-effectively grow their market share online. If you understand the digital marketing world (or are willing to learn) and want to make a great living helping other businesses, this could be an ideal opportunity for you.

Freelance Writer

Do you love to write but never thought anyone would pay for the words you produce? Think again! Though you may not get your best-selling novel published anytime soon (then again, even this is easier than you may think through self-publishing), you can still do very well as a freelance writer. Freelance writing is closely related to online marketing. Someone has to produce all the content that goes on websites, blogs, social media posts, email newsletters, white papers, and other places. And companies are willing to pay good money for quality content.

If you think you have the skills to enter the freelance writing world, there is an excellent course out there that will get you started. It’s called the New Freelance Writer Starter Pack, and it teaches you everything you need to know about how to become a freelance writer, and how to get clients on one of the most lucrative freelancing platforms. The investment may seem a little steep (around $500), but for a detailed blueprint on how to enter one of the most profitable online industries, it is well worth it for someone with strong writing skills.

These are just 8 of the best small business opportunities for 2018. There are countless other opportunities out there, and we will be highlighting many of them in the weeks and months ahead.

 

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Steps to Opening a Franchise: Do You Have What it Takes?

Starting a franchise business is not easy. It involves extensive research to decide which business is right for you, then in-depth planning before going live. Though the beginning stages can be rough, the rewards for perseverance are well worth it. And in our current economy, these rewards may just materialize sooner than expected.

There are two major steps that need to be taken before opening a franchise:

Evaluations

Before you decide which franchise business to choose, you need to evaluate several different areas, such as:

Personal: What is your education and professional background? What types of experiences do you think would be applicable to your new business? How would you rate your risk tolerance? Are you willing to take big risks for potentially large payoffs, or do you prefer to play it safe? Are you a “big picture” person, or are you more detail-oriented?

Family: Your family life will play a major role in the success of your business. For example, if you are single, you likely have more free time to devote to a franchise venture. On the other hand, if you have a spouse and family, you need to make sure they’re on board and buy into the vision. Otherwise, you could be in for a bumpy ride.

Business Preference: Do you prefer an established and structured business model, or do you like to go it alone? Are you willing to invest in a business plan that can accelerate your success, or would you prefer to blaze your own trail through trial and error? Franchising is a great way to start a business, but it’s not for everyone. Some individuals want more flexibility in how they run their business and/or they have less capital to invest. In such cases, starting a business from scratch might be a better option.

Market Analysis: Who will your target market be? What is the level of competition in your local market? Does this business have a good chance of succeeding in the local market?

Franchisor Track Record: Not all franchises are created equal. Some offer more support than others, and some have more successful franchisees. Speak with existing franchisees to find out the pros and cons of each franchise brand you are looking at.

Resources: Do you have the available funds to invest in the franchise you are considering? If not, can you obtain the funding through family, friends, banks, or alternative lending sources?

Due Diligence

These days, there are hundreds of franchise brands to choose from across a wide range of industries. Of course, there are numerous in traditional industries such as food and cleaning services, but there are also up and coming industries such as senior care, where you can start a business for far lower overhead and take advantage of the largest demographic shift in modern history. There are even franchises for sales professionals who want to become entrepreneurs and finally earn what they’re really worth. You can deal with each franchise brand individually, but that would take hours of back and forth with sales reps whose job it is to convince you that theirs is the best franchise opportunity.

Unless you already have your mind set on just one or two franchises or you have plenty of time to deal with numerous franchisor reps, your best bet is to work with a franchise consultant. At National Franchise Business Solutions, we have access to over 600 franchise brands from virtually every industry, and through a multi-step process, we work closely with candidates to match them with the franchisor that best suits their passion, skills, and budget. Our advice is objective, and our consulting is free and unlimited. We have no pre-set agenda, except to help put you on the path to realizing your own entrepreneurial dream.

 

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