So, you want to start a business without dropping thousands upon thousands of dollars in start-up costs. Is it possible? Yes, but it will require a bit of creative thinking — you’ll just need to avoid more traditional business models that involve investing in tons of equipment and inventory right off the bat.
The internet has connected us in such a way that it’s more possible than ever before to put yourself out there without having to necessarily having to rent a commercial space or commit to hefty start-up costs. Entrepreneurs are able to offer goods and services from home, or from coworking spaces, or from anywhere with a secure internet connection. Or, if your business idea does require a commercial space, there may be other key areas in which to streamline your initial expenses.
Here are some low-investment small business ideas that take advantage of all these exciting, modern possibilities.
Take the time to assess your strengths. Skills that seem second nature to you may be what someone else will pay good money for — allowing you to earn money from something you already know how to do.
There’s virtually no limit to the number of freelance skills in existence today. So, if you’re good at something — or willing to learn until you become an expert — you may be able to build a business around these offerings.
Here’s just a sampling of possible freelance skills desired on the market today, according to Indeed:
- Graphic design
- Website development
- Data analytics
If you decide to build a business around a certain skill or proficiency, consider how you can position yourself as an attractive hire to potential clients. Who can vouch for your abilities? Gather up reviews and ratings from past colleagues and clients. Be sure to prepare a portfolio demonstrating your skillset at a glance, and pursue any certifications or trainings that will help you master your craft. Then research job boards to learn more about how much people are charging per hour or per project for your given skill.
When deciding how to start a small business, you’ll have to decide between brick-and-mortar vs. online only. Retail used to require a storefront, but nowadays many people are turning a tidy profit selling online via ecommerce.
Utilizing the drop-shipping method allows entrepreneurs to run a storefront and accept payments without ever having to handle their own merchandise; rather, the supplier sends it direct to the consumer.
CNBC describes tech support as a possible business idea you can get up and running for less than $1,000. With the right equipment and know-how about IT support, you may be able to support clients around the world with their tech challenges.
Remember those strengths we assessed a few minutes ago? Consider whether any of them might translate into an online course. People are curious to learn all sorts of skills, hobbies, and professions. If you have worthwhile insight into how to do something, then teaching an online course may be a great way to monetize your knowledge.
If you’re organized, efficient, and communicative, someone may want to hire you to manage their scheduling and correspondence — even if you’re geographically remote from them. Look into the requirements for virtual assistantships to see if you’d be a good fit, and to learn more about how to optimize your resume.
What do these business ideas have in common? The point here is that starting a small business doesn’t always require a big investment from the outset. Consider what you have to offer without needing major start-up funding.