Every person working a 9-to-5 job with a small capital may eventually come across this dilemma: I want to start a business but have no ideas. Perhaps you got your tax return or a bonus check, and want to put that money to good use - but what should you do?
We live in a world where opportunities are everywhere. The problem is that when you have that many options, it may be difficult to narrow them down just to one.
To make things easier for you, we will help you with some small business ideas so that you may embark on the perfect professional journey.
Note: If you need all the tools to start and run your freelance business, try Bonsai. Bonsai has proposal, contract, invoice templates, an expense tracker and a business bank account, all in one place. Try a 14-day free trial today.
Most people cannot find any good ideas simply because they cannot get into the mindset of the entrepreneur. Sometimes, finding the footpath can help you reach your goal.
What are your strengths and specialties in life? What exactly drives you to do the things you do? Are there any things that give you joy? It will be much easier to commit to your work if there is passion somewhere around the foundation.
Why do you want to start a business? What will your purpose be? No matter your reason for leaving your 9-to-5 job and flying solo, you need to get to the roots of what you to do.
Perhaps you want to simplify the life of people by bringing a creative product. Or maybe you want to help others while making your life better. By knowing your purpose, it will be easier for you to reach your goal.
Before you even begin setting up your business, you need to gather your thoughts. What are some good ideas for starting a business? Here are some tips on how to brainstorm through them.
They say that passion is able to move mountains, so if you are planning to start your own business, you may want to make a list of things you feel strongly about.
Passion drives creativity and a desire to get involved. Plus, if you are leaving your 9-to-5 job to be your own boss, you may as well do something that you are passionate about. You know that saying, if a person loves their work, they aren't working a single day in their life.
You have your passions down, but that is not always enough. For you to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to consider your hobbies and skills as well.
What are the things that you are particularly good at? What do you find yourself doing during your free time? For example, if you make jewelry crafts, it might be a good incentive to open an online store. Perhaps you do web design on the side. Maybe you could start a web design business.
Trends are a good place to go for inspiration. What are the most popular online businesses nowadays? What do they have to offer for potential customers? Is it something that you could offer as well? Look within the trends, and see how you can fit them against your hobbies and passions.
You have an "Idea Bank" at this point that is full of potential plans for your first business. Now, you need to narrow down the ideas. Create documents to keep yourself organized, and see which one on your list is most likely to bring profit in the future.
There are a ton of businesses to start for tax write-offs.
Indeed, you want your business to solve current issues. However, you should make sure to keep future aspects in mind as well.
Nowadays, things may change pretty fast, so you'll want your idea to be adaptable to the future as well. While it's impossible to know for certain what the future will bring, you should look at past trends and see how they evolved.
In the beginning, brainstorming alone can help bring out what you want to do. However, it can also be a good idea to ask your friends and family. They may have good ideas for different businesses that you may not have even thought about.
So, you now have a pool of business ideas that seem to be popular in your area. To continue on your entrepreneurial journey, you need to test those ideas. Here is what you can do.
Take the top three best business ideas from you and compare them all side to side. Think about which one speaks with you the most. Write down some rough details on the ideas and how you'd plan to follow them further.
Compare all the details and create a pros and cons list. Does the business have any potential? How likely are you to hit a wall in the future with this idea? Choose the one that you feel best about pursuing.
You have your first business idea, so now it is time to create an outline of the service or product that you are planning to offer.
How will the product fit on the market? Are there many businesses out there providing the same services? To start a business, you must know exactly what you have to offer.
If you are starting your own business, you are probably in it for the money - so, you must determine how you are planning to make a profit. What will the prices be?
What distribution channels are you going to use? Do you have a certain marketing strategy in mind to drive sales your way? Think about all of these aspects.
When in doubt, you can always rely on your family and friends for feedback. Ask them what idea sounds best in their eyes. When you come up with the idea on your own, you may be subjective and choose something that you like to do.
However, they will be more objective about what people need you to do. This way, you will be sure that your small business will actually drive clients your way.
When you start a business, you have to make sure that it is actually a viable one. Think about your local culture - how likely is it to be successful, based on the people that you have around? Ask some experts about your idea, such as local entrepreneurs, bankers, accountants, lawyers, and so on.
If you are going to start a business, you should make sure that it's legal. The black economy task force is heavily punished, so you need to ensure that you meet all the legal requirements. Check if you need a business license to operate in your area based on the idea that you have in mind.
When looking up new business ideas, there are certain things that you should do - and certain things that you shouldn't do. Here are some things to avoid if you plan on running a successful business.
Plagiarism is never ok, especially when you are planning a business startup. Indeed, you may look into different small businesses for inspiration, but you should not outright copy what you see.
Not only will this make you seem like an unreliable and uninteresting copycat, but it can also make another business venture file a lawsuit against you.
Indeed, you should not take ages going through different business ideas, but you should not rush into things either.
You must feel confident that the business structure you have in mind is the right thing to do. After all, if you choose wrong because of an impulse, it might end up affecting you in the future.
You should keep your eyes on trends, and you should definitely use their pattern in order to create a business model. However, following the trend precisely may not get you too far.
Trends come and go, and keeping up with something interesting yet fleeting may be bad for business. This is why you should go for a "timeless" idea that helps you remain on top.
As a business owner, you may be afraid to be yourself - to be unique with the kind of product that you have to offer. That being said, great business ideas usually do not follow the crowds.
Instead, they look within themselves to offer the best that they have. You should have confidence in yourself, because standing out as an individual will be what makes your customers remember you. If you do graphic design on the side, you could have a specific style of design unique to you. Express your distinct artwork when you start your graphic design business so people can begin to recognize your brand.
Even if it's your first business and you seem to constantly hit dead ends when it comes to new business ideas, you should not be very hard on yourself.
The more critical you are of yourself, the likelier you will be to hit a creative block. Be patient with yourself, and starting a business will no longer seem as challenging.
Many people think that making money means that everything has to be perfect. However, sometimes it's just better to roll your ball rather than just hold on to it forever.
Even if it seems rough around the edges at first, you may use the feedback of your customers to polish that business idea.
Starting a business may seem like a daunting task at first, but you just have to follow certain steps. Here is what you need to do, whether you are starting a virtual office business, full-time real business or a gig to bring some passive income.
Every person on their way to financial freedom may experience certain degrees of self-doubt. They'll wonder whether people will like the idea or not, if they'll actually make money, or if people will talk negatively about what they have to offer.
The best thing you should do when starting a business is to let go of your self-doubt, as it will not do you any good. Remember: not only are you not alone in this, but people are generally not that quick to judge.
Usually, once you put something out there, all the self-doubt begins to dissipate. Soon enough, you will realize you likely had nothing to worry about in the first place. Every time you do something new, it is a life challenge - and you just have to take the leap.
At this point, you already have a good idea of what you plan on doing with your business. However, you also need to do some research on the general market.
Check what the client pool is generally looking for, and see whether the other businesses are offering them what they need or not. This kind of market research will help you come up with a business structure.
When you are starting a business, you should not let things up to chance. You need a good idea of how you are planning to run this business in the future, and a business plan can help you with this.
Your business plan should contain the mission statement of your company, financial projections, overhead costs, potential pain points, and more. With a plan like this, you should be able to uncover opportunities and issues that your business may swing your way.
The IRS has a free examples of business plans you could use.
Regardless of the state, every official business owned by an entrepreneur needs some sort of legal structure. Do you want a sole proprietorship, or do you want to incorporate your business?
A C-corp or an S-corp will have numerous advantages, but perhaps an LLC might be more suitable for you. Do your research on all advantages and drawbacks of every type of legal structure.
When you start a small business, it is always a good idea to do a competitive analysis of those that had a similar business idea to yours. Are they successful, or are they doing poorly?
Is it because they are doing something wrong, or because they do not have a wide enough audience for their product? Check their social media profiles to see where they are at.
For a business to be successful, you need the consumers to know that you are out there. So, based on your business idea, you should figure out a marketing plan.
Most of the other entrepreneurs prefer going for a blog post, where they can offer relevant information in regard to the products that they offer. Others prefer social media profiles, where clients can review or tag a company, giving you exposure by word of mouth.
Think about the alternative that works best for you. For instance, with blog spots, you have to be consistent with your post. Social media, on the other hand, has the advantage that your clients will be the ones doing the marketing for you.
Every small business needs a name. The name that you choose for your business has to reflect the kind of service that you provide. When people hear your business name, they should already have a good idea of what you are offering.
It should also subtly yet efficiently reflect your goal. This way, even if it's one of your first businesses owned, the name will suggest what you can help people with.
You have a drafted idea for your business - so, to ensure that your business will take off properly, try to find and talk to potential customers. You may use your blog or social media accounts to ask about what they need and what prices they'd be willing to pay. You can start by creating an email list, where you may get your potential customers interested in your product.
When drafting a business, it is essential to organize your finances. Even if you have a low-investment idea, make sure that you have enough money to cover the start-up costs (don't worry, you can deduct start-up costs from your taxes). You should also make sure that you have your financing and accounting tools in order so that you do not accidentally mix your finances.
If this is your first online business, tools such as Bonsai can help you keep your finances in order. Bonsai Cash, for instance, can offer checking and savings accounts where you can handle invoicing, payments (from debit to credit cards) proposals, templates, and more.
Plus, you have Bonsai Tax which can help you with accounting. If this is your first time running a home business, you may not know exactly which purchase is tax-deductible and which purchase is not.
This accounting tool will take care of these matters for you so that you do not accidentally miss a deduction (or try deducting something that you shouldn't). In fact, users typically save $5,600 from their tax bill with our expense tracker.
For a business idea to become a real business, you need to let your customers know what you have to offer. You can show this prototype to your investors, potential clients, or distributors.
It can be anything from an online course or a simplified version of your product, depending on what you are selling. This should make it much easier for you to get funding or create a general idea of whether your business will be successful or not.
Some industries are more successful than others, as long as you start off with the right idea. If you have no clue where to start, here are a couple of ideas.
If you have minimal cash, here are a list of businesses to start with 5k.
The food industry will always be a good idea. If you have some mad cooking skills and a camera, you can start a channel where you post cooking tutorials. Or maybe you can run a food truck or catering business. Everyone needs to eat, so you'll likely have success.
Everybody likes fashion, so if you are into creating it, then you can make a business out of it. For instance, you may be into making resin handmade jewelry, at which point you may consider opening a website. Or perhaps you like designing cute clothes, prompting you to start a clothing line.
The beauty industry is also pretty successful - pun intended. You may enter the industry by being anything from a beauty and makeup blogger/vlogger to a style consultant or the owner of a hair salon. Basically, this business will have you make other people feel beautiful.
Being in business can be fun. You may try setting up a karaoke bar, becoming a photographer/videographer, or even becoming a DJ. Sure, you may need to get your hands on some instruments, but the good news is that you can also hire them at first.
The e-commerce industry is also quite profitable, and it's convenient in the sense that you don't need to create the products yourself. You may simply go for an affiliate marketing blog, where you recommend products, or you may start a dropshipping company where you deliver other people's products.
The eco industry is another one that is quite popular nowadays. More and more people are looking for green and sustainable solutions that can help save money while saving the planet.
You may design reusable shopping bags or set up a thrift consignment store. Perhaps you may set up a car wash that only uses environmentally friendly cleaning methods. Do some research in the local area and see what might bring profit.
Starting your own business may seem like a challenge at first, but once you get your hands on a good idea, things will begin to shape up. Take enough time to brainstorm the ideas, but don't take too long to settle on one. Sometimes, the best thing that you can do is to trust your gut.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?