Okay so the job marketplace is tough to break into. You’ve been at it now for almost 18  months and no job. You are at your wits end. You have read every book and article about writing great resumes and have, of course, tried everything I mentioned on this website. If nothing else has worked for you, why not try your hand at starting your own business?

Many businesses can start small with minimal investment, minimal storage space, minimal office space and often with almost little capital costs for equipment. Small business can start by doing your new business for close friends and relatives who would love to give you a chance to gain experience while working out the rough edges, close to home and in a friendly environment,  before you expand your reach and increase your commitments.

Stating your own business is not a new concept, yet few have the drive to do so. Did you know you might even become rich? One of the fast tracks to acquiring great wealth is to learn how to start and succeed in your own business. You can do so by taking one step at a time. You can start small, but don’t think small forever. By keeping careful notes and documenting your solutions to the many problems you will encounter along the way, you may be able to assemble your own guide that may even become useful, much later, should you decide to expand your business into a national chain or franchise. No business starts as a gigantic business. Every business starts with a seed of an idea, starts small, and then slowly overcomes one obstacle after another to become a billion-dollar global corporation. So, keep this in mind. Even if you decide not to go national or into franchising your business, keeping a notebook of just about every issue, problem, negotiations, decision, etc., can come in handy in many ways later. I can’t stress strongly enough to KEEP GREAT NOTES EVERY DAY in addition to all the receipts and other items you may need for the tax man. I know of one home inspector who started by doing home inspections himself, became so busy he had to hire a large staff and later leveraged all of his learning and materials into a national franchise. You can too.

Commit to starting a small business from your home in your immediate locale, if you are allowed to, serving your relatives, friends and neighbors. Sometimes governments may prohibit you doing so from your home. Other times a fee or license may be required. Who knows. You might just be starting the nation’s next great international business or the next great national franchise opportunity!

Ask yourself what you are good at. What skills or training you have. Can you provide that in some way as a service to others and charge them a reasonable fee for doing so? Will that allow you to earn enough money to make a good living? Here are just some of the more common ideas and opportunities that MIGHT be suitable for you.

  1. TUTOR. If you are a graduate, whatever your specialty was can become an opportunity to tutor.
  2. ACADEMIC CONSULTANT. Along the lines of a tutor but you make yourself available to help students solve school homework problems in math, physics, chemistry, etc.
  3. LANGUAGE IMMERSION. Offer and hold one hour “immersion” sessions for a language you have mastered.
  4. IMMERSION PROGRAMS (TRIPS). Organize trips to a foreign country with the help of a vacation and trip planning firm. You can be interpreter, teacher, etc. Break the day into thirds. Following each third, gather the group together over a meal, for example, and discuss the events but do so in the language of the locale. Great fun and great learning.
  5. HOBBIES. Have a hobby that you excel at? Astronomy. Photography. Electronic kit building. Ham radio. Quilting. Knitting. Painting. Carpentry. You name it. You’d be surprised at how many people would love to learn more to start or further their own hobby. Often it is inconvenient for people to register with a school or community program, or their schedules will not permit the time when offered to the general public. Other times, people are embarrassed to attend a class for one reason or another. You can offer 1:1 sessions or small group sessions.
  6. MUSIC Teacher. Have you mastered a musical instrument? Why not offer lessons to others?
  7. WRITING. If you are articulate, know grammar well, and are creative, there are many branches of the writing arts that can be turned into a good business opportunity. Here are just a few writing jobs you can do for others: advertising copywriting, slogans, direct mail and flyers, publicity for events, political campaign writing activities, brochures, becoming the public relations liason for business and politicians, writing of speeches, developing scripts for product videos, ghostwriting, writing of magazine articles and even books, fillers, humor, web pages, technical, and much more.
  8. FREELANCING. There are many opportunities to work, essentially on a part-time basis, for magazines, newspapers, broadcast companies, paying websites, and so on. You need to master the art of submitting proposals, but here is plenty of help with that in the many writing magazines and books of that nature.
  9. CARTOONS. Do you have a knack for drawing caricatures or other cartoons? Can you create your own unique cartoon characters? If so, you can either sell your art online or align yourself with magazines (see freelancing above), or websites, to be their go-to-person for some of their feature articles. Many magazines attract great reader attention by summarizing current geo-political events into a cartoon which helps immediately to get the point across.
  10. RESUME WRITING. This is big, but hard to break into. So many articles and books, and websites, [like mine], offer so much information at no cost to those who want to do it themselves that the masses have a tough time justifying the notion of paying a professional to prepare their resume. It’s unfortunate that they often fail to realize how costly such decisions are, nonetheless, it is a fact that the majority try to save a few pennies by doing it themselves. Regardless, you may be able to find a way to differentiate yourself, your service and your talents, and may attract a client base willing to pay for your service.
  11. BED and BREAKFAST. If you live in an interesting tourist location, don’t mind having strangers sleep over, and are willing to keep a very clean and tidy home, you may be able to pull in some good income by offering a room or two in your home as a tourist destination.
  12. FINANCIAL SERVICES. If you are good with the finance side of things, consider acquiring proper accreditation and proper training in a wide range of possible services: tax preparer, bookkeeping, auditing, accounting, credit management, wealth building, investment counselling, and any of the many financial niches.
  13. REAL ESTATE. There’s plenty of activities related to real estate. Acquire training as a real estate agent or as in interior designer or decorator. There are many other aspects related to real estate. There is a need for stagers and staging.  Good photography. Reconditioning homes. Act as a “handyman” for others. Maintain property. Provide landscaping services. Snow removal. Provide services in events of floods, wind damage. Painting. Roofing. Just be honest and reliable. Be sure you have the credentials and training to offer whatever services you do offer.
  14. CLEANING SERVICES. This is self explanatory.
  15. COMPUTERS. This covers quite a large scope of possibilities. From software programming to hardware repair. From designing and building your own programs to teaching others how to do coding.
  16. SERVICES FOR ELDERLY OR INFIRMED. Many people have trouble getting to the store for everyday needs such as food. You can offer a service to shop for groceries or to fetch specialty items for those who are not mobile enough to do so for themselves.
  17. CHILD CARE. Given the appropriate licensing and provided you pass police checks, you may be able to look after several children for parents who are working and willing to entrust their precious little ones into your care. Supplement that with “in-home” schooling and you may be able to charge a bit extra compared to your competition.
  18. PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION.  Wedding planners have sprung up everywhere. Why not be part of the new business niche? Along with wedding planners you’ll also find organizing specialists. Everything can benefit from being better organized. Closets to time.
  19. MAKEUP CONSULTANT. Sorry. I just know they exist but I can’t add much information to this. You’d have to do your own look up. In short, though, if you have experience applying makeup, you may  be able to market your talent to others to teach them or to help them when they prepare for an important event.
  20. FITNESS TRAINER. More and more people are turning to physical fitness and many would be willing to enlist the services of a qualified physical trainer. Sometimes having that voice of encouragement is worth hiring a trainer. The extra convenience of having the trainer come to one’s home is a big plus.
  21. REPAIR SERVICES. Everything is in need of repair at some point in time. Dishwashers. Air conditioners. Automobiles. Lawn mowers. Snow throwers. You name it. If you are gifted and qualified, consider offering a repair service.
  22. HAULING. Many people need the services of someone who has a truck capable of picking up and delivering top soil, wood for wood stoves or fireplaces, hauling away garbage and trimmings from large properties, or even to pick up and deliver large items that won’t fit in their tiny FORD, CHEVY, or IMPORT.
  23. PET SERVICES. Grooming. Boarding. Sitting. Walking. Training.
  24. FOR THE STOMACH. Are you able to cook or bake? Cakes. Decorating cakes. Catering parties. Preparing sandwich trays or cookie trays. Wedding, birthday or special-occasion cakes. Even fresh bread daily. Gourmet meals. Specialty foods. A number of enterprising business people are doing in-home gourmet meals prepared in front of clients and involving them in the process. It makes for a great special occasion gift such as an anniversary or Christmas gift.
  25. JUST ABOUT ANYTHING AT WHICH YOU EXCEL can be turned into a business that makes you money…money.