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Want to start and run your own side business?

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Do you need ideas for your own side business? This short blog post lists some starting points for people interested in starting their own companies. While starting a side business comes with additional costs and risks, there are many potential rewards — ranging from the freedom to set your own priorities to generating real revenue.

The Simple Dollar lists 50 side businesses you can start on your own, from antique refurbishment to writing/editing. Similarly, the $100 Startup offers resources to help you become your own boss and start a business (whether it’s a consultancy or other service or product) on your own for less than, you guessed it, a Benjamin.

Many of the apps highlighted in the Top Tech Tools chapter of my book are appropriate for sole proprietors and small startups, but some additional ones you might consider include:

  • Mobile payments: Venmo is free to send and receive money
  • Invoicing: Freshbooks is the leader here, but Zoho might be better for sole proprietors, with unlimited free invoices for up to 5 clients)
  • Expense tracking: Expensify creates “expense reports that don’t suck”
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software: Insightly is free for up to 2,500 records.

As for where to start your side business, that really depends on the type of business. However, for many new entrepreneurs, the new company will be managed from their homes. In Chapter 1 of my book, I discuss the many possibilities for home offices.

If you don’t have a dedicated room for an office, a desk or any flat surface might work too. If the room gets a lot of household traffic, you might want to consider getting a cabinet desk or armoire, one that’s designed to be closed up to hide your equipment and desk clutter so you’re not constantly staring at it. Or you could physically separate your workspace from the rest of the room in other ways, such as using a bookcase as a divider or even a tall plant as a screen.

Look around for unused areas in your home that could be transformed into an office. Some people convert closets into compact yet efficient workspaces, set up their workspaces in hallways, or even tuck their desks in the area under the stairs!

Office under staircase - licensed from Shutterstock