Would you love to start your own business and be in better control of your financial future? In today’s economy, it can be hard to find the extra money to start a business. Fortunately, there are some businesses you can launch with little-to-no start-up capital. We’re talking under $200 and, in a few cases, free.
We rounded up some of our favorites, based on their low cost to start up, limited training, and the demand for the service.
Any business will do better, today, with a website. You can invest anywhere from $50 for hosting and a domain name purchase, and then design your own site on a free WordPress platform, or you could spend thousands on professional Web design services. Many businesses today also start very small, with a Facebook business page, and eventually build a website when they grow.
If you decide to build your own website or set up a Facebook page, you’ll want to read up on SEO best practices and inbound marketing in order to build your social network and grow your business. But some of these businesses are even less complicated. You can start marketing through word-of-mouth and fliers hung at your local supermarket.
We live in an age of outsourcing, and many families decide that house cleaning is one task they’d like to leave to someone else. You’ll need basic cleaning products and tools, as well as a way to transport them, and a large supply of rubber gloves.
To set your business apart, you may also include household errands, such as grocery shopping, in your service offerings, or perhaps you might clean houses using eco-friendly, safe products. People are often looking for good housekeepers. If you do good work and are friendly, word-of-mouth can earn you a lot of business. Best of all, you probably already have lots of experience from cleaning your own home.
While housekeepers working for a housecleaning company make an average annual salary below $20,000, if you’re keeping all the profits from your boutique service, you can earn an actual living wage. You can charge anywhere from $15 to $45 an hour or more, depending on the services you provide, your reputation, and the cost-of-living in your area. You also have flexibility to set your own hours of availability. If you live in or near an upscale neighborhood, you can do very well housecleaning.
2. Blogging or Content Writing
If you have a way with words and SEO knowledge (or are willing to learn) you can earn thousands of dollars a month freelance writing, either setting up your own blog or writing for various websites looking for content. This is not a job for everyone, as exemplary writing skills are a must, but start-up costs are extremely low, assuming you already have a computer.
If you are setting up your own blog in a niche market, you will earn money from advertising and affiliate sales. Most of your time will actually be spent promoting your blog through social media to drive traffic, although you’ll want to publish at least two posts per week.
If you can research and write quickly on a variety of subjects, you might try writing for content sites looking for contributors.
3. In-home Daycare
Some women (and men!) who choose to stay home with their children may also decide to earn extra income by taking care of other people’s children, too.
If you’re going to launch a legitimate daycare business, you may have to be licensed by the state, and your home will be inspected to make sure it’s safe and good fit for an in-home daycare center. Additionally, everyone in your home may undergo background checks. These will be your basic expenses to begin, assuming you already have toys in the home for the children to play with and materials for crafts.
A few additional considerations:
- Do you have space for more children besides your own, or perhaps a separate space for a daycare? A separate room for naps and quiet time? Space to feed multiple children?
- Can you plan activities and stick to a schedule?
- Do you have someone else who can care for your kids or take them to the doctor if they are sick?
With this in mind, an in-home daycare is the perfect business for anyone who loves children and wants to spend time with their own children while also providing a social environment for them to play and learn. With daycare costs constantly rising, and the low overhead associated with an at-home daycare, you can make a lot of money, not to mention saving thousands of dollars a month because you won’t have to pay for daycare for your own children.
Before You Start a Business and Look for Start-up Capital
Before you launch any business, talk to a CPA about the tax ramifications, and possibly consult an attorney about liability issues and also about drawing up contracts for your customers.
Remember, most of your time and energy in the beginning of any business will be focused on marketing to get customers or to start generating revenue.
The benefit to launching any of these businesses is they can grow as big, or stay as small, as you’d like. You can bring in help to take on more clients, or advertise yourself as a personalized, boutique business (and charge accordingly.)
Best of all, you’ll be in charge of your own financial future… and all without going into debt to launch your business.