New Biz on the Block: Starting a Micro Business in Your Neighborhood

Micro businesses are an excellent way for teenagers to make money. Their small size makes them easy to manage. They can be started quickly and provide a way for teenagers to earn money while learning a lot. A great place to start a business is in your neighborhood. Your neighborhood could be the physical location around your home or it could be the network of people you and your family know.

Ideas for Neighborhood-Based Businesses

There are dozens of business opportunities offering products and services that can easily be done from your home or at a neighbor’s home:

Babysitting and Child Care: Offer a short time frame of child care, such as two to three hours on a regular basis. One student advertised to neighbors that she was hosting a regular babysitting service every Tuesday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in her home. Her customers could plan ahead knowing they had babysitting that evening.

Lawn Care: Mowing grass, shoveling snow, raking leaves and gardening. Offer to put garbage cans out on the curb and then return the empty cans to their proper place for your neighbors.

Photography: Take pictures of parties and special events for neighbors. This frees up the hostess to enjoy herself and get in some of the pictures.

Pet Care: Walking dogs, cleaning the yard of their messes, and pet sitting for neighbors on vacation.

Car Washing: Arrange a set time each week to arrive at a neighbor’s house and clean their car. Your neighbor will love it!

Tutor: Teach school subjects, such as math and Spanish, or offer lessons in music or art. Consider teaching a small group of children at the same time to maximize your income.

Baking or Cooking: Offer to cook full meals and have them ready for a busy working mom when she arrives home. Homemade cookies, cakes and pies are always popular. Be careful to follow local ordinances on food preparation. Your local county extension or 4-H office will have information on food safety in a business.

Party Planner: Plan a birthday or holiday party for your neighbors’ children.

Interior Decorator: Redecorate a room if you have an interest in interior design. Or offer to decorate a home at Christmas or other holiday times. Elderly neighbors might appreciate your willingness to set up their tree and string lights.

Computer Fix-It: Neighbors would love to have you help them when their computer acts up. Offer phone service for a fee or in-person service for an additional fee.

De-Clutter: Organize your neighbor’s house, playroom or garage.

Garage Sale Assistant: Advertise, organize and run a garage sale for your neighbors. Get several neighbors together and really earn the bucks!

E-bay Assistant: Offer to sell your neighbors’ stuff on eBay and take a cut for yourself. Combine the de-cluttering, garage sale, and eBay tasks into a full package to help your neighbors profit from their excess stuff.

Web Design: A family might want help creating a blog or a website for personal or even business use.

Bookkeeper: If you have had a basic accounting class, you could do the data entry for a small business.

Here are some tips for running a successful neighborhood micro business:

Keep good records. Record all sources of income and every expense. Total them by categories such as gas, supplies, and books.

Talk to a tax expert if you find yourself making more than $400 in profit in a year. You may need to pay taxes.

Do a few jobs for free to get started. This will build your experience and confidence. Get a good referral from a neighbor and use it in your advertising to other neighbors.

Make up a business plan. List what you plan to sell, how you will advertise, what you will charge, and what expenses you will incur. Get your parents’ opinion on your idea and ask a business owner for feedback. Listen to their advice and follow it.

Be unique. Many teenagers babysit, but maybe you also wash the dishes or bring a craft for the kids to make. Think of ways that you can offer something special.

Charge a competitive rate. Many times, a teenage micro business owner can undercut the competition by offering a lower rate. My daughter was 14 when she offered piano lessons at $8 an hour – less than half of what adults were charging. She had so many interested customers that she had to turn away students.

See your age as an advantage instead of a deterrent. You have more energy to wash cars, mow grass, and babysit children than many adults. You also have up-to-date skills on computers and technology. Offer your knowledge or energy for a price and you will have a micro business up and running in no time!

Learn all you can about your field and about running a business. There are several books available that provide helpful tips for your micro business!

Why Should You Outsource Your Business Blogs?

The trend of business blogs:

All those small and big business organizations with their websites find it really difficult to maintain the visibility of their websites in the search engines. And everyone knows that without regular web promotions and injection of new content your website is not going to bring anything in for you, however well designed and professional it might be. The owners of business websites, especially the ones doing business online, have to follow up and interact with the consumers through additional user interactive features to enrich their web presence. Adding a business blog is the best way to communicate with your target audience, as you can provide detailed information about your service/product using regular blog posts. And at the same time your customers, or potential customers, can communicate with you. So, you can see that a business blog is an easy, yet effective, tool of marketing and at the same time it also helps you to analyze consumer attitudes towards your business.

Why should you outsource your blogs?

When it comes to writing, many business owners find it difficult to write down the essential features and new product/service updates in their business blogs. And to ensure a search engine friendly business blog, turning around new content on a regular basis is one of the primary requirements.

Besides, most of the small businesses on the web are usually sole proprietorships and as an owner you probably will not get enough time to sit down and write about your products to attract an audience. Therefore, you would better off choosing someone else who can write about your business and the attractive features and offers that you will deliver to the consumers. If you write regular blogs, promote your business and answer the comments and suggestions from the visitors of your business blog, your business is more likely to flourish.

Although you would need people to write about your business pretty regularly, it is not always necessary that you hire someone permanently for these write ups. Besides, choosing a random writer will not ensure the expected outcomes as the blog writer needs to be well aware of the niche in which you are operating your business activities. And at the same time, he/she should have knowledge on web promotion and search engine optimization. Moreover, the blogs definitely require originality.

The only marketplace where you can find someone eligible with all the required skills and experience for writing your business blogs is the outsourcing domain. Most of the outsourcing writers have years of experience in business communication, web marketing and blog writing. At the same time, if you look further, you might be lucky enough to find a niche expert who will not require many instructions from you and will be able to work independently, yet responsibly. However, you need to remember that for business blogs, you would be better choosing an outsource writer who will be able to continue with you for a long time as blog writing is not a onetime task.

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Business in Florida

Any person or existing business can incorporate and own a business in Florida. Florida does not have residency restrictions on the owners, but there must be a registered agent in the State for service of process. An agent for service of process accepts lawsuits and other legal documents. There are various companies that will provide this service for a fee, but any such company hired should have clear methods by which they will quickly notify you as to when and whether any such documents are served. Using the power of the internet, it should be relatively easy for such an enterprise to simply scan and e-mail such documents, therefore, it is prudent to inquire as to their notification methods.

From one perspective, starting or incorporating a business in Florida can be as much procedural as substantive. The actual incorporation process, registration of any necessary occupation licenses, and leasing of physical offices or storefronts is a matter of filling out forms. However, substantive actions like understanding and negotiating the terms of a commercial lease and drafting agreements between the owners, such as operating, partnership, or shareholder agreements, is where the enterprise will most benefit from the services of a qualified and experienced business attorney.

Although some documents used for the formation of businesses are available on-line through various services, those can be likened to the difference between clothing purchased off the rack versus those that are custom tailored for an individual. While do-it-yourself or one-size-fits-all type documents may cover a broad range of situations, chances are they will not address all of the particular circumstances of an individual transaction and lack the advice, counsel, and explanations that experienced attorneys can provide.

On that point and to stress the importance of seeking qualified legal counsel before starting a business in Florida, the reader should know that in the summer of 2010, the Florida Supreme Court decided a case called Olmstead versus Federal Trade Commission, which confirmed that any member’s ownership interest in a limited liability company was property that could be seized by judgment execution. In response, however, in July 2011, the Florida Legislature amended Florida’s LLC laws to clarify that only membership interests in single-member LLCs are subject to judgment execution. The new Statute states that multi-member LLC interests are only subject to a charging order and can not be taken from the owner. Whether and how this impacts your plan for your new business is not something that DIY documents can address; only an attorney can discuss and explain the impact and suggest modifications to your plan.

The significance of this recent change to Florida’s a Limited Liability Company Laws highlights the importance of obtaining advice from an experienced business attorney before incorporating a new business. Whether it is better to set up your business as a company, partnership, or LLC and whether it should be a single-member or multi-member LLC is a matter specific to your circumstances and something to discuss with a business attorney. Seeking and obtaining proper counsel and advice from a Florida-licensed attorney with experience and expertise in this area of the law early and throughout this process can increase your chances of avoiding problems later.

The Florida Bar recognizes those attorneys who are experts in business litigation with Board Certification in Business Litigation Law. To attain such recognition, attorneys must try a certain number of jury and non-jury trials, pass a comprehensive examination, and receive satisfactory reviews from their peers and Judges before whom they have practiced. A complete listing of Board Certified attorneys in Business Litigation Law and other areas is available on the Florida Bar’s website at http://www.flabar.org.