Starting a business on a limited budget isn’t ideal, but many of us aren’t exactly flush with cash. So here are a few business ideas that you can start with a minimal investment required.
1. Freelance Writing Business.
Starting a freelance writing business requires no upfront investment and all you really need to get started is a portfolio, possibly a social media page, and contact information. Some freelance writers start out with a website with a personalized domain name (which does cost money), but a lot of writers have seen success without paying for a personalized domain.
2. Virtual Assistant Business.
Virtual assistants are in high demand and you can start your own virtual assistant business by hiring a staff of VAs through job sites that make it free to post ads for new employees. You don’t necessarily need money to start this type of business, although it might help.
3. Launching an Online Course.
Creating online courses for others or yourself is a great business since so many people are looking for cheaper ways to learn new skills without enrolling in expensive college courses. Check out Udemy, Teachable, or Coursera if you want to create your own courses. Come up with a list of topics you’d be interested in teaching and see if there’s a market for it.
4. Launching a Membership Site.
A membership site can bring people with common interests together to connect and mingle. You could start a dating site, or a site specifically for people in a certain career or trade, such as freelance photographers or graphic designers. Charge a membership fee and you’ve got a business that practically runs itself. You might just have to manage comments to make sure people are being respectful and civilized.
5. SEO Consulting.
SEO (search engine optimization) is something every company could stand to benefit from. That’s why SEO consulting is a great business to get into. If you know your stuff when it comes to SEO, consider starting an SEO consulting business to help companies up their SEO game, build brand awareness, and reach more of their potential customers by assisting with website optimization, among other things.
6. eBook Publishing Company.
Creating your own eBooks regularly is a great way to start a business with no upfront investment. You could write fiction, non-fiction, or a combination of the two. The top-selling genre on Amazon.com is romance, but if that’s not for you, you could also focus on non-fiction genres like business/entrepreneurship, finance, or self-help. Figure out which niche would work best for you, do some research about which topics are underserved on the marketplace you want to use, and get to writing.
7. Affiliate Marketing Company.
Affiliate marketing can be lucrative if you do it right and the best part is that it won’t cost you a dime to get started. At least, not in the beginning. Eventually, you’ll want to sink some money into growing your affiliate marketing company, but to get started, all you really need to do is sign up with a few affiliate programs (no more than 10 to start is good) and start your blog.
8. Social Media Consulting Company.
Every company on social media wants to stand out and oftentimes, they don’t know just how to do that. If you know a little something about gaining attention on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Snapchat, you might be able to make money starting your own social media consulting company. Even if you don’t, some of these platforms have courses that can help you master your social media skills for little to no money.
9. Online Dating Consulting.
If you have a way with words and you’d love to help people find their ideal match, think about starting an online dating consulting company. You might be asked to help people write their online dating profiles or guiding them on the right and wrong things to say or do. Create a website to help sell your services and write a few sample profiles and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a highly sought-after online dating consultant.
10. Resume Writing Service.
People are constantly changing jobs and resumes need to be updated every six to 12 months. That’s what makes resume writing such a lucrative business. You can charge between $50 and $100 for one resume, depending on the complexity of the career your client has. Simply advertise your services on social media sites like LinkedIn and showcase the work you’ve done for family or friends.
11. Proofreading and Editing Service.
To open an online proofreading and editing service, you really just need a website to advertise your services and a few samples to get you started. You don’t even really need to pay for hosting before you get your first client. Once you have one paying client, you can use that money to buy web hosting and pay for a professional-sounding domain name.
12. Event Planning Business.
Do you just love planning events? Would you like to make money doing it? If so, you could start a business planning events for people and businesses in your community. All you need is internet access, a phone, and maybe a printer and a planner to keep all of your clients’ events organized. But then again, you could always just use an Excel spreadsheet if you know how.
13. Social Media Influencer Business.
Social media influencers can draw in tons of businesses for companies large and small and starting a social media influencer business can be lucrative — and cost you practically nothing. Start marketing your services with a free website and a social media presence and you could be on your way to making thousands of dollars every month. Whether you choose to be an influencer yourself or hire influencers to help your clients, you can get started for cheap (or even for free in some cases).
14. Errand Service.
An errand service requires no investment upfront as long as you have the gas to start completing errands for people in your neighborhood. If you don’t mind schlepping around town to complete errands like grocery shopping, dog walking, or any other errand your clients might ask, an errand business might be a great way to start a business with no money.
15. Local Tour Guide Business.
If you live in an area that gets lots of visitors year-round, consider starting a local tour guide business. You can literally get paid to show people how great your city is. Even if you don’t live in a major, high-traffic city, you can still do this if you live nearby and know another city pretty well. You can provide tours of local museums, parks, and famous (and not-so-famous) monuments.