1.How do I Start a Business?
First you want to decide which type of business you are going to start. We have information on start-up instructions – specific to the type of business you start. Choose a Business. You can also see our general start-up business checklist, which explain the basics. Keep in mind that all steps do not necessarily apply to all businesses.
2. Do I need a business license? How do I get one?
Most likely you’ll need a business license, even if you operate from home, The license(s) required for your business will depend on the type of business you operate and where the business is located (city/county/state), as different cities and states have different requirements.
You’ll need to apply for your business license through your local government office. Use the Business.gov website to find the location and contact information for the government office in your area. Sometimes you can apply directly online.
The website will also give you information on additional permits that may be required, obtaining a tax ID and zoning restrictions that may affect your business. More information: How to Get a Business License
3. How do I register a business name? How much does it cost?
Procedures, requirements and fees for filing a business name vary by state. And some states require that you file at the state level, while others at the city or county level, while others don’t require filing of a fictitious business name at all. For this reason, you want to check with your local city or county clerk to see what is required for your location. Get more information here: How to Register Your Business Name
4. How can I get a government grant?
Are you interested in finding a grant for your business? Grants can be hard to come by, and there are many “government grant” scams out there, so be careful. According to the Small Business Administration, the Federal government does not provide grants for starting or expanding a business.
Yes, state and local groups do offer grants, as well as non-profits and other organizations, but this is generally not “free money”. Keep in mind that a small business grant may need to be combined with other financing or funds matched.
SBA.gov has a small business grant/loan/financing search tool on their website that you can use for free to help you find money to help finance your business.
If you need to find a grant writer, Allied Grant Writers is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Company that offers business grant writing, non profit grant writing and federal grant writing services. They also write mini grant proposals and offer several other grant related services.
5. How can I make money online?
There are many ways, but if you are want to start a home business that doesn’t require you to have specialized skills (like a website designer, for example), here are a few ideas.
Many home-based entrepreneurs are interested in starting an internet store or selling on eBay. These types of businesses are fairly easy to start and don’t require a lot of money to get started.
Do you enjoy retailing? You can earn money selling items on eBay – new or used – including opening an eBay store. You can even work with drop shippers, so that you don’t have to purchase inventory up front
Do you like learning about global news, following financial trends and working with charts and graphs? You can work independently from home trading foreign currency. There is higher risk involved in this type of business, so training is advised.
Start your own home business offering business support services to other companies as a virtual assistant. This field is becoming more and more popular as companies are outsourcing their work to cut costs. You can even become a Social Media Specialist with very little training.
Do you like writing? Find out how to write, publish and sell your own eBook online with step-by-step instructions. With easy-to-use, low cost software and a wide variety of selling platforms, this can be a fun business for those who have solutions or information to share.
6. What are the best products to sell on eBay?
eBay Pulse is a resource on the eBay website that shows you which products are selling the most. It is updated daily, so it is a good place to find out the types of products that people are buying right now. Another helpful tool is the World Wide Brands newsletter (http://www.worldwidebrands.com/wwb/rc_newsletter.asp). It is free at their website, and you can get lots of success tips about selling on eBay as well.
In addition – it’s more about how you sell, rather than what you sell. The goal is to stand out from the other eBay sellers.
1. Sell the most popular eBay products at deeply discounted prices or offer higher value “package deals”.
By offering a lower price, you will attract more buyers and can easily start a bidding war. The excitement and interest that a bidding war creates will generally give you a selling price that is higher than it would be if you had originally listed the product for sale at a high price. Once people have started bidding, they do not want to stop. Your goal is to get them started.
With a package deal, you stand out because you are delivering more value and added convenience to your buyers. They can make one purchase instead of several.
2. Sell unique or hard-to-find products that cannot be found at your local store.
With hard-to-find products, you can demand more money simply because you will have less sellers to compete against – maybe none.
7. Where can I find wholesale products to sell?
If you want to minimize your workload and work with multiple dropshippers who will ship products directly to your customers without you having to purchase and stock inventory, you can use a dropping network like SaleHoo. There is a list of wholesalers, distributors and drop shipping companies on this page.
8. How can I get more customers?
This will depend on the type of business you operate, where you are located and your clientele. Start by thinking about your typical customers. Do they spend lots of time on the internet? What are their interests? What type of work do they do? What is the general lifestyle? This can give you a good idea of whether or not to advertise online, in magazines, at local events, in community newspapers, within certain interest groups or organizations, etc..
In addition, some types of businesses can gain new clients simply by referrals. You can ask current customers directly for referrals, or offer incentives or rewards for referring new customers. If you can, give out free samples. Let customers try before they buy. This strategy can work well – especially if you don’t like selling!
To get some ideas, you can find a variety of creative low-cost “do-it-yourself” strategies on this page.
9. I need help! Can I get someone to help me start my business?
Yes! We’ve partnered with well-known Business Coaches who have helped thousands of entrepreneurs successfully launch their own businesses. You can get personal assistance and expert instruction starting your business or launching a product idea from top, experienced professionals for a fraction of what you would pay to hire a mentor. Visit this page