There are many businesses that cost tens or hundreds of thousands to start, but that’s not the case for all businesses. Many entrepreneurs are afraid to dive in based on misconceptions regarding cost.
But with an entrepreneurial spirit and the right idea, you can make a side income or a full-time profit an affordable startup. It’s call bootstrapping, and anyone can do it with the right idea.
1. Used Books Sales
Pick up books at thrift stores and yard sales for as little as 10 cents each, then turn around and sell them for market value on eBay, Amazon, and other third-party sales sites. If you live near a college, you can make an even greater profit by purchasing books from college students at the end of the semester and then re-selling them for a profit.
2. Amazon Seller
Similar to the first tenet, this one involves searching your community for hidden treasures and selling them on Amazon. You can also purchase Amazon pallets of extra warehouse inventory at ridiculously low prices (many are less than $100) and re-sell them on the same platform.
3. Delivery Service
Online ordering has made people lazy, and now we’ll pay to have almost anything delivered. Partner with local businesses to offer delivery services for things like restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops that don’t already offer delivery.
If you have ample experience with kids, start your own babysitting or nannying service. Using sites like Care.com or SitterCity.com, you can find families in need trusted sitters. It helps if you’re CPR certified and have completed a short child-development class, both of which are very affordable considering your fully profit-based business.
Evaluate your talents and offer freelance services, if possible. Writing, graphic design, data analyzation, photography, blogging, social media marketing, and other talents can all be turned into profitable freelance businesses.
6. Virtual Assistant
People running their own businesses online need help keeping their companies in order, but they don’t have an office or funds to hire a full-time employee. Virtual assisting gigs are usually just a few hours per week and include answering emails, updating social media pages, and doing other menial tasks.
7. Home Decorator
You’d be surprised how many people are looking for home decorators. They want their home to look like something out of a magazine but don’t have the know-how to get it done. If you’re a talented decorator, start offering your services to those in need. They pay for all of the supplies, so you don’t have to bring anything but yourself to the table.
With an affordable certification course, you can learn the bookkeeper trade, then offer your services to the masses. Numbers are confusing to many business owners, and if you have a knack for getting them right, your services will be in high demand.
9. House Painter
There’s little startup cost associated with painting people’s houses for a living as long as you know what you’re doing. Consumers want clean lines, quick work, and no mess. Your OCD-like attention for detail will come in handy if you like to work with your hands and see a beautiful finished product.
10. Dog Trainer
If you’re the kind of person who’s always been able to identify with man’s best friend, put those talents to good use by training dogs. You could go to people’s houses and offer personalized attention or hold classes to teach dog owners how to best control their pets.
11. Direct Sales
There are many multi-level marketing companies that offer buy-in kits at less than $100. You purchase the initial supplies and then make a percentage of anything you sell. It’s not for everyone and there is risk involved. But those who have a go-getter attitude, don’t mind soliciting sales from everyone they know, and are passionate about the products could make six figures.
Please be aware that there are very few that make more than a couple thousand per month but it’s not impossible.
Share your years of experience in a certain industry for a flat fee. Consulting is a highly valued commodity in many businesses, and executives will pay handsomely for the right advice.
Whether you’re helping a second grader behind in reading or a master’s student struggling with physics calculations, there’s good money in tutoring. Obviously, the higher level of student you tutor, the more you can charge.
14. Auto Detailing
Very few people like to clean their car inside and out, but if you do, it could be a great business opportunity. It requires detail-oriented attention and every corner of the vehicle must be spick and span, but it can be a great business for you!
15. Sharing Economy Services
Whether you’re driving someone around town or renting out a bedroom in your apartment, there’s a lot of money in the sharing economy. Best of all, it costs hardly anything to get started.