If you want to go into business for yourself, you might think you’ll need a lot of money to get started — maybe even a small business loan.
But that’s not necessarily the case.
There are plenty of businesses you can start for little to no money — in some cases just for the cost of getting a business license.
(Always check to see if one is required in your area for the type of business you’re thinking of starting.)
Here are seven businesses you can start for $100 or less:
- Community manager – If you’re good at Twitter, Facebook, and interacting with bloggers, offer your services as a community manager to businesses and blogs that want to increase their online presence. You’ll handle their social media and engage with community members for a monthly fee.
- Tutoring – Are you good at math, science, writing, or a foreign language? Chances students at a local school need your help. Bone up on the subjects you’ll be offering to tutor in and then let folks know you’re available to provide tutoring at an hourly rate.
- Search engine optimization – Have you had success at ranking blog posts highly in Google for various keywords? There are plenty of folks who would pay you to work your magic on their sites.
- Graphic design – Did you take graphic design classes in school, or are you just self-taught and talented? In either case, there are plenty of folks out there who are in need of designs — for everything from web site headers to flyers, invitations, and advertisements. Get a client or two, and then rent Photoshop or Illustrator for a month for less than $50.
- WordPress site setup service – Yes, WordPress is very easy to setup — if you’re the least bit technically inclined. But a surprisingly large amount of people aren’t, so chances are you can find people willing to pay you to set up their web sites for them using WordPress. You could advertise your services on your own WordPress site (of course) or by contacting businesses who are likely to need web sites.
- Etsy seller – If you’re crafty or good at hunting down vintage items for cheap to resell, you can list items for sale on Etsy very inexpensively. Currently the fees are 20 cents per item, plus 3.5% off the sales price if an item sells. To start an Etsy shop inexpensively, first get a feel for what sells well by reviewing other listings, and then list only a few items to start with. (Don’t go overboard offering items that you’re not already sure will sell.)
- Residential lawn mowing – You can start this by knocking on doors in your neighborhood to get clients. Once you’ve gotten commitments from several people, then you can pick up a lawn mower if you don’t already own one. A quick search of Craigslist showed multiple lawnmowers for less than $75. (You’ll probably want to look into liability insurance too though to be on the safe side, which can add to your costs.)