One of the most difficult aspects of creating a new business is the cost of starting up. This in itself leads many individuals to take excessive loans, substantial risks with their savings, or reject the idea altogether. It can be seen as an unsurpassable obstacle in many entrepreneurial minds that causes many countless businesses to never open their doors.
But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Many of today’s largest businesses were started up in a college dorm room or on a shoe-string budget. Take Dell and Facebook for example, both started in a college dorm room and with little to no money. Now they are now both international business powerhouses – and to be honest, we probably could all name 5-10 more businesses like this.
The point is, don’t believe the lie that you have to have a “ton of money” to start your dream business. If you have a dream idea, look for ways to start it on a very low budget. It may take some creativity or ingenuity, but I believe it is possible.
If you don’t have a “dream business” – but are instead looking to start a low cost side business, then this article is for you. My goal here is to give you some ideas on a side business that you can start with little to no capital.
In other words, you don’t need to have a ton of money saved to start a nice profitable side business. These businesses (side hustles) generally take two things to make happen: a lot of sweat equity, and the ability to take rejection and stay persistent.
So what are my 5 top picks for low cost side businesses?
1. Curb Numbering
Curb numbers… what is that? Well, in reality it is house numbering – but the work is done at the curb. Essentially this side hustle contains a very simple business plan with little execution to make happen. Simply, it’s repainting the curb with the house numbers for the location.
The business works like this… The only supplies you need are some spray paint and cutout numbers you will use to spray on the new house numbers. You then proceed to stop “door to door” in neighborhoods where the house address is painted on the curb.
You ask the home owner if they want their curb number repainted for $10 bucks or so and shazam! – instant side money.
My only caution is to be sure you are keeping good records of your sales and expenses. Going door to door for business can make it easy to lose track of your financials really quick.
2. Pet Services
Many of my readers love and adore pets. If this is you, and you’re thinking of a side business – look no further. There is a number of easy pet business you can start today with very little cash and effort.
I call this side hustle “pet services” – but it can involve anything with pets. Some simple ideas are pet clean up, dog walking, pet sitting, and pet grooming. All of these business ideas can be summed up as “pet services”, but each plays a different role in a niche market.
Start up costs on all these business startups are also pretty manageable for those on a budget. You will need to advertise, so I would recommend some expenses to get your name out – but once it’s out there I’m confident you will find customers. (… as over 50% of any western nation owns a dog or cat.)
Also think of the “social media effect” on a business such as this. If you do an amazing job, it won’t be long until your customers tell their friends and family (also pet owners) about your amazing services.
3. Home Care Services (Painting, Windows, Gutters, Lawn)
Another great side business that is pretty low budget to start is a home care service company. This side-hustle includes basic maintenance that everyone who owns a house needs to do – whether they do these services themselves or not. These home care services including painting, window cleaning, putting in screens, cleaning gutters, and lawn care options.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to launch a business that completes in all these arenas. For example, maybe you just want to clean gutters as a business in order to keep your costs down. You can specialize in this one service and still get enough side business to be profitable – and thus make it worth your time.
4. Life & Business Coaching
A newer trend in our day is “real life” coaching. What I mean by this is life coaching and business coaching. Today, unlike any other age, people are looking for advice and are not ashamed to pay for it.
Many college students now have “life coaches” to help them make decisions as they go through life. Business startups now have “business coaches” to help them make decisions, manage their money, and deal with employees.
All of these coaches are paid and use their knowledge and experience as a “service” to their customers. You may be a perfect fit for selling your own experience and knowledge in this area if you have already experienced successes in life and business. Obviously, the costs are minimal.
5. Office & Home Cleaning Services
I’ve always been intrigued by the “cleaning services” business. Many people engage in the home cleaning business, but few pursue “office cleaning” – which to me is the superior of the two, especially if you work full time and want to start a nice side business.
I think what intrigues me the most is the idea that one can start and operate this business in the after-hours of the work day, when most employees go home. This makes it easy for someone to start this business without quitting their “day job”.
Another benefit is that it can easily be scaled as your customer base grows. Adding employees and training them is a relatively easy process in that there is usually nothing specialized you need to teach them. Most individuals know how to clean a bath room and vacuum a floor. A few days of training and your employees are ready to take over for the locations you want to skip.
Then, once your business is really rocking, you can begin to transition to a full time operation.
The intent of this article is to really just encourage you if you’re thinking of starting a side business. There are so many “discouragers” out there; it is rare to find someone who will throw their support around your ideas of business ownership. I guess there are many reasons for this, but I think most people have a hard time seeing others succeed – outside of themselves.
If you’re thinking of launching a side business, I hope you do succeed and make it wildly successful. Remember that it will take tremendous persistence, but if you endure rejections and stay motivated, it is a “given” your business ventures will be successful.
Ask the Readers
As a reader, what thoughts do you have? Is there a side business that you find cheap and easy to start? How have you succeeded in launching your own side-business?