The greatest misconception about small businesses is that they require you to lease an office, go through a complex registration process and hire a myriad of employees on day one. In reality, you can start as a home-based-one-person-startup and see where it leads you. With that in mind, here are 10 great ideas that can start as a low-cost enterprise and then scale up as time goes by.
Selling on eBay
The first thing you might want to consider is putting your mercantile skills to test by selling items on eBay. You can start by decluttering your home systematically and then proceed to develop a full-fledged business operation. For instance, you can sell that old cupboard you keep in the basement and then consider what to do with the inventory in the attic. You would be surprised at just how many items people are willing to buy online. We’re talking about products like old cardboard boxes and cords. Alternatively, you can look for items on eBay that are underpriced, in your opinion, purchase them and then resell them at a profit.
Another thing you can do is start offering your landscaping services to your neighbors. We’re not just talking about mowing the lawn every now and then. This includes everything from composting and using natural repellants to companion planting. In other words, this is a line of work that requires quite a bit of knowledge, even though it might not require certificates or formal education. The costs of starting are also fairly low.
Regardless of the skill, there’s probably someone out there who would pay good money for the knowledge that you possess. This can range from origami and cooking lessons to tutoring others in your native language. The perks of this line of work are that you get to work from home and have full freedom of customizing your own work hours. In the beginning, you might want to start with an online tutoring agency, but, later on, you should probably go independent (for better pay).
The event management industry is one of the most lucrative there are and one of the most profitable ways to get involved with it is to start your own catering agency. Aside from having to acquire necessary certificates and permits (it’s the food industry, after all), this line of work requires some moderate investment. In other words, you might want to start looking for agencies offering start up business loans and check the application requirements. This way, you’ll be able to afford all the necessary equipment and pay for your first batch of supplies.
Selling on the farmer’s market
People with an interest in agriculture should consider dairy farming, bee farming or even poultry farming and then sell these artisan products on a farmer’s market. Apart from earning a profit, you also get the perk of cutting your food expenses by quite a bit. As a sole proprietor and a one-person entrepreneur, this reduces your overhead by quite a margin.
Social media manager
While digital marketing may require a lot of research, it is possible to take several online courses, read all the whitepapers you can get your hands on and start freelancing as a social media manager within a month. Sure, you won’t be as efficient at first, but as soon as you get enough knowledge and experience, you’ll be able to make a small fortune off this trade.
Those who are tech-savvy or, even better, have a background in the IT industry, might make a fortune by developing an app. The truth is that people nowadays spend 90 percent of their mobile internet time on apps, which gives you a unique window of opportunity for a massive breakthrough.
Becoming a self-published author
People with a story to tell should definitely hone their creative writing skills, write it all down and then self-publish the novel, novella or short story on Amazon or similar platforms. For this, you need some imagination, decent writing skills and some basic photo editing skills in order to create enticing covers.
Those with knowledge of, interests in or opinions on a certain hot topic should definitely consider blogging as a potential career choice. On the other hand, you don’t even have to go for a text format. Vlogs and podcasts are just as popular nowadays, which is also something worth keeping in mind.
At the very end, skill is not the only thing you can capitalize on; you can do the same with an asset. Why not rent out a room in your home and make a bit of extra cash? This is particularly effective and lucrative if you live in a tourist area. You can also rent out your car, especially if you’re not using it at the moment. This way, you make the most of your asset and improve your budget.
With several exceptions, most of the above-listed ideas can be brought to life with the funds you currently possess. Even those that can’t, could be kick-started with a small loan, which still keeps them within your reach. All you need to do is pick the option that suits you the most and start making a business plan.