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101 Businesses You Can Start With Less Than 0
Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? If so, what’s holding you back? If not having enough money to get started, then I’ve got some excellent news for you. You can start countless businesses for under a $100.
Over they years I've done many odd jobs to pay bills. While it's not always easy, there are ways that you can put your skills (whatever they are) to work. It doesn't matter if you're a handyman or an online marketing expert, you can make extra money on the side.
You may think that’s crazy, but you’ll be convinced after reviewing these 101 business ideas that can actually be launched with less that $100.
1. Direct sales representative
Being a local sales representative for companies like Avon, Mary Kay, and Pampered Chef requires you to spread the word about their products by hosting a party or selling them online. Most starter kits cost around $100 and provide you with everything you need to become a sales rep.
If you already have the knowledge or experience in a specific area, such as providing legal advice or showing business how to become more eco-friendly, then you can easily start your own consulting agency. The main costs involved are marketing your business and networking. So invest in a website and business cards. Here is a consulting guide I put together to help.
3. Senior home companion
There are currently more than 46 million people in the U.S. alone who are 65 years of age or older. That figure is expected to grow to around 98 million in 2060. That means that there are lot of seniors who looking for someone to keep them company or families looking for advice on how to care for their loved ones.
There are a lot of students who need assistance in every subject - whether if it’s in elementary school or college. If you have this knowledge, then starting your own tutoring business can become an appealing business idea that requires almost no capital. After all, the students already have the learning materials with them.
Whether if you’re a writer or web developer freelancing is a lucrative business idea that pretty much requires nothing more than your talent, laptop, and internet connection. Thanks to the numerous websites that post freelance gigs, you should have no problem starting out. Here is a freelancer guide that will help you every step of the way.
Related: The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs
6. Vlog with YouTube
Since every laptop, tablet, and smartphone comes equipped with a built-in camera, anyone can start creating videos and posting them to YouTube. If you have knowledge you want to share, or are just incredibly charismatic, then you can start profiting from your vlog through ads.
7. Auto repair/detailing
If you have a garage, tools, and knowledge, then why not start your own auto repair shop? Even if you don’t have a garage, you could start a mobile auto repair business where you go to the broken-down vehicle.
If like the idea of working with vehicles, but aren’t a mechanic, then start washing and detailing cars. I had a former colleague who did this on the side. Eventually, he was able to make this into a full-time through word-of-mouth recommendations at work.
8. Sharing economy rentals
Thanks to the “sharing economy” more and more people are opting to rent items instead of purchasing them. You can rent everything from your car, parking space, and household items like furniture. I wouldn’t get too carried away. I would start with a niche and slowly work your way up. For example, you could start renting out yard equipment like rakes, shovels, or leaf blowers. If you don’t already own them, you can purchase for under $100.
Related: Airbnb and Uber Are Just the Beginning. What's Next for the Sharing Economy.
9. Managing web design
There are also countless sites out there that teach you basic web design. Learn a new trait today. Even if you aren’t a web designer, you could find a designer affordably and still charge less that professional web design firms. They key here is managing the process, most businesses don't want to do this and are willing to pay.
If you’re able to make minor household repairs, like switching out a broken electrical outlet or sealing a pipe under the kitchen sink, then this is another business that doesn’t cost much to start, but is also in-demand.
11. Menu planning
I know plenty of people who are indecisive when it comes to their meals. That’s why they’re willing to hire someone to help them plan out their meals. This is a low-cost idea for anyone who enjoys working with food, but doesn’t have the resources to prepare and serve it.
12. House sitter/pet sitter
This essentially requires no initial investment. You can start asking your family, friends, and neighbors if they need someone to watch their home or pet when they go-out-of-town.
Related: An Animal Lover Finds the Perfect Franchise -- and Financial Security
13. Lawn care
If you have a green thumb, enjoy being outside, and have the tools to get started, like a lawnmower, weed wacker, chainsaw, then this is a no-brainer of a business idea. The only main cost is advertising and marketing your business.
14. Homemade gourmet foods
Whether if it’s soup mixes, jellies, or chocolates, people love gourmet food products. And, since you already have a kitchen, you just need cooking supplies, packaging, and basic marketing materials to get started.
15. Professional organizer
We live in a materialistic world. And, it’s easy to start getting overwhelmed by all the stuff that’s consuming our homes. Professional organizers can help people get their homes back-in-order for no more than $20 or so on classified ads.
16. Green cleaning service
Cleaning services are a dime a dozen. You can stand out from the competition by offering a green cleaning service that uses eco-friendly and natural products. Some of these you may be able to make yourself and even start selling.
17. Grocery delivery
Some major grocery store offer delivery services, but not all of them. And, there’s a chance that your local mom-and-pop grocery store doesn’t. That’s when you can charge customers to go to the store for them and deliver their groceries to their home.
18. Personal concierge
A personal concierge takes care of everything from taking clients to the airport, the dog to the vet, or managing their schedules. It’s basically being someone's personal assistant.
19. Creating information products
If you have experience with a specific niche, then you can start selling your knowledge by creating products like eBooks or instructional videos. The cost is usually no more than your time, domain name, and web hosting.
As with creating information products, if you’re familiar with a specific topic, then you can launch a blog where you share this knowledge. You can earn money by selling ad space, becoming an affiliate, or starting a subscription service. Here is my top resource to getting started blogging . I followed it's tips and was able to personally create a solid four-figure income within around 12 months.
Related: 10 Keys to Make Millions Blogging
21. Window cleaning
I’ll be honest. Window cleaning is my least favorite chore around the house. And, I’m certainly not the only person who feels that way. A window cleaning service doesn’t require much capital and can become profitable.
22. Interior cesigner
Both homeowners and business owners are looking for people to design these spaces to make it more comfortable, organized, and productive.
23. Flyer distribution
Local businesses still people companies to hand out flyers or place them under windshield wipers. You pretty much just need to make a lot of copies. And that’s not a major investment.
Learning how to program or code, like object-oriented dynamic programming language known as Ruby, is one of the most lucrative business out there. Here is a guide to starting a developer business to help get you started.
25. Virtual assistant
Similar to personal assistant in which you answer phone calls, respond to emails, and keep a schedule for you client. The difference? You do this remotely.
26. Social-media consultant
Businesses and individuals are always on the lookout for people to manage and maintain their social channels for them. I find that there are a lot of businesses that will pay $500/month+ for these services.
27. Project management
Believe it or not, not all businesses have project managers in-house. That means that projects can quickly get off-track. That’s why they’re willing to hire outside project managers to keep their teams focused.
28. Secretarial services
There are a lot of small businesses and individuals who need services like typing, transcribing, and proofreading. As long as you've got a computer, printer, and the necessary skills, your business is good to go.
If you’re an outstanding cook, but don’t want to invest in a restaurant, then you can start your own catering business directly from your own kitchen.
30. Mobile repair
Want to put your own spin on a repair service? Start a mobile repair service you go to the client. Whether if it’s fixing a computer or piece of furniture, this doesn’t require more than a vehicle, marketing, and expertise.
31. Resume writing service
A lot of people have difficulty writing amazing resumes. And, that could even cause them to lose out on a job they’ve been eyeing up. If you have knack for composing resumes, it become a profitable business. I personally have paid $100 several times for people to shape-up my resume.
32. Holiday decorator
Everyone wants their home or office to look festive for an upcoming holiday. But, not all of us can make that happen. If you can pull-off that holiday cheer, then it’s another business that doesn’t much capital.
Related: Spreading Holiday Cheer as a Christmas Decor Franchisee
33. Domain name buying
You can buy a domain cheap, like under a buck cheap. If a business comes along and needs that domain they’ll be willing to pay top-dollar for it.
34. Flipping websites
Using a site like Flippa you can purchase a website, build-it-up, and sell it. It’s actually a lucrative business. I personally have been able to make around $25-$30k flipping websites each year.
35. Cleaning dryer ducts
Dryers get jammed with stuff like lint. If too much builds-up, you could have a house fire on your hands. Since this is an area that’s overlooking you can start a dry duct cleaning business with just a vacuum and some basic marketing.
36. Tour guide
If you know your area like the back-of-your hand then start charging tourists for a personalized tour of your hometown.
37. Affiliate marketing
If you have a blog with a fair amount of followers, then you can become an affiliate. Basically, this just means that you plug other people’s products or services. As an affiliate, you get a special link. Whenever a visitor clicks on that link and makes a purchase you’ll get a commission.
Drop shipping is where you sell products for companies on sites like eBay. Whenever the product the company handles everything else, like shipping.
39. Snow removal
If you have snow shovels, and even a plow, then this can make you serious dough. However, it’s completely dependent on the weather. When I lived in Utah, I paid a neighbor $25 every time it snowed to shovel my driveway and walkway. Took him 30 minutes but I didn't have to do it.
40. Pet grooming
If you enjoy being around pets, and have the skills to bath them, cut their nails, and give them a little haircut, then this can be a serious money-maker without much of an investment.
41. Pooper scooper
Definitely not the most glamorous job, but you’re doing something that most people dread so much that they’d pay someone else to do it for them.
42. Event or party planner
If you’re organized and are a planner, then taking care of the arrangements for birthdays, retirements, or weddings can be a profitable business.
43. Computer repair and maintenance provider
Think of all the computers out there that crash or need updates. Do you think that each owner has the technical knowledge to handle any troubleshooting problems?
44. Life coach or mentor
It may sound new agey, but a lot of people hire coaches or mentors to help them with things like losing weight or finding happiness. I've found that most life coaches charge $50 - $250/hr.
Related: The 10 Best Cities For Starting a Life-Coaching Practice
It’s important for both businesses and individuals to keep their files neat and tidy. Not all of them have the time to do so. That’s when they hire someone to keep their books in order for them. I pay our bookkeeper $30/hr, I found her on a local news site with a classified listing she paid $50/month for.
46. Tax preparation
Preparing taxes is another necessity. But, most of us don’t have the time or knowledge to take care of this task. If you’re up-to-date on the latest tax regulations and enjoy crunching numbers, it can be a nice business during tax season.
47. Write books
Did you know that both Amazon and Apple have a book publishing field? Whether if it’s writing an instructional book, cookbook or Sci-fi adventure, you can now publish your books for almost nothing.
48. Flooring business
Installing your own flooring may sound easy. But, it can get tricky. That’s when you can save the day by installing floors for others. Best of all? You don’t need to worry about inventory. You’re just focused on installation.
49. Painting addresses on curbs
Office and residential customers would gladly pay you to spray paint their address on the curb. You just need some spray paint and address kit to get started.
50. Parking lot striping
There are plenty of parking lots that need new stripes. You can start off with a straight edge tool and spray paint. As you earn more money you can purchase professional equipment.
51. Business planning
If you’ve already created a successful business then you can actually make that knowledge and experience into a new business. New business owners will pay for someone to help guide them in developing their own successful business plan.
52. Homemade natural soaps and beauty products
In case you didn’t notice, selling natural products is a thriving business. Even if you don’t feel comfortable making your own natural soaps and beauty products then you can drop ship for companies that do.
53. Logo design
If you’re a creative individual, then designing logos is a relatively easy business to start. You can do anything from designing unique logo or customizing ideas from templates. Here is a guide to starting a design business that should help you every step of the way.
The world is becoming smaller and smaller. Business are desperately in need of individuals who can speak the language in the market that they’re entering.
55. Restore/Upcycle Furniture
If you’re handy and spotted a used piece of furniture that needs some TLC, you could make the repairs and resell. That’s pretty much all profit.
56. eBay seller
People have been making a living for years off of eBay by selling their old junk, reselling items, and drop-shopping.
Related: Why It's Nearly Impossible To Stop This Amazon and eBay Scheme
57. App seveloper
With the mobile revolution in full-swing, the demand for apps has never been higher. Even if you don’t have the programming skills, you can still hire someone to make your app a reality.
58. Personal chef
Unlike catering, which may only keep you busy a couple of days per week, personal chefs are responsible for cooking breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner for a client. However, you can spend most of your preparing meals that just need to be reheated. That allows you to take-on more clients.
59. Personal trainer
Even though healthy is a priority for most of, it can be challenge to not only stay-on-track, but also make sure that exercising is done correctly so that you don’t injure yourself. You can become a personal trainer and motivate and monitor people when they exercise.
60. Beautify products
If you don’t have the tools or skills to build something from scratch you can always modify or beautify an existing product. Take for example mosquito nets. They’re bland. But, you could decorate them with ribbon or beads and make a unique product.
Yes. We still have a demand for photographers for special events like weddings. Here is a guide to starting a photography business to get you started!
62. Picture framing
If this was already a hobby, then you have tools like a sander, matte cutter, glass cutter, tape, clamps, saws, miter boxes, picture hangers, a stapler and glue in your work area. Now you just need to market your picture framing business.
63. Flea market vending
Flea markets are still thriving. And usually for just $20 you can rent out a spot for the day. You can sell anything from the junk laying around your house to the produce you're grew in your backyard to handmade crafts. There are usually multiple flea markets in your area that take place throughout the week, so this can easily become almost a full-time gig.
64. Online content producer
Businesses need lots of content today. What if they don’t have an in-house team to create and produce content? They hire talented individuals like you to do that for them. There are businesses such as mine that pay $50 per blog post. Here is a content marketing guide to help you in your journey!
Related: 4 Things Editors Are Looking When They Read Your Pitch
65. WordPress developer
Everyone should have a website these days. For the people who don’t have the time or knowledge, you can be there to build their WordPress site for them.
66. Sell plants online
If you have a green thumb, and the space, then you sell plants online . It’s actually a growing niche since people are becoming more concerned about where their plants originated from. And, you can probably charge less the big box stores.
If your penmanship is out-of-this-world then you can charge people for handwritten invitations.
68. Crafts seller
If you can make handmade crafts, like jewelry and furniture, then you can sell those products on sites like Etsy.
69. Home daycare
You’ll definitely need to get the proper licenses and permits, but this is a business that you can start at home. I know day care in my area is around $15/hr. This can be a very lucrative business.
70. Cleaning out foreclosed homes
Whenever a bank forecloses on a home they have to hire someone to clean the place out. If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, both physically and emotionally, there really isn’t much needed to start this business.
71. Scrap metal recycling
I’ve known several people who drive around and take junk, like broken dryers, off of people’s hands full-time. Why? Because they can scrap that metal. Just keep in mind that the more valuable metals are aluminum and copper.
72. Internet security consultant
Security is a major concern for businesses and individuals. Besides your expertise and some marketing, it doesn’t cost much to protect the hardware and software of others.
Related: 4 Foolish Cybersecurity Mistakes Robert Herjavec Is Shocked People Still Make
73. Freelance bartender
If you can make a mean Manhattan then start marketing yourself as a freelance bartender for private parties and events.
74. Dog training
If you consider yourself the next Cesar Millan, then this is another low-cost, high-profit business idea.
75. Referral service
Whether if it’s a new business or family that just moved into town, you can can refer them to the right vendors, babysitters, or restaurants. You’re only cost is networking and marketing yourself to the community.
76. Packing service
No one likes the hassle of packing-up for a move. That’s why they’ll hire other people to pack and load their belongings up. You really don’t need to purchase anything since boxes and tape will be included in your final price. But, you still should be a cheaper option than professional moves.
77. Write and/or record a song
If you have the musical chops then you can make a career out of writing your own music. And, it doesn’t have to the latest Taylor Swift single. You could write for a Podcast or jingle for local business.
78. Concert and show promotion
If you have some experience in marketing, and are passionate about spreading the word about upcoming events, then you can start working with artists, venues, and labels to generate buzz for basically nothing.
79. Tester or reviewer
Companies are looking for individuals to test and review their products. You may start out small, even just getting for products. But, you can also start your own blog where you review products in a certain niche.
80. Fashion design
Sites like Etsy now make it accessible for you to sell your unique fashion designs. Even if you’re not into high fashion, you can start creating your own t-shirts and produce through sites like CafePress.
81. Import products
You can purchase products from overseas in bulk and start selling them at a markup. That’s how Pura Vida started.
82. Makeup artist
Whether if it’s from a special occasion like a wedding or for Halloween, people pay great money for someone to do their makeup.
If you're up on the current styles and can actually cut hair, then you can start your own salon from your home .
84. Sell snacks and drinks
Have you ever left a sporting event or concert thirsty and starving? We’ve all been there. That’s why you see people selling bottles of water and hot dogs after an event. Unlike investing in a food truck or cart, you can start off with just a cooler.
85. Voice-over artist
Now that businesses are creating their own content, such as videos, they’re looking for golden voices. If that’s something that you possess, then you can have yourself a lucrative self-employed career.
You can buy a beer kit for under a $100 and start tinkering around with brewing your own beer. I have a family friend who did this with his buddies and now has his own microbrewery.
You don’t need a vineyard to start making wine. You can start by growing some of your own grapes or purchasing juice. If you’re small batch of wine turns out good, and you start making some cash, you may eventually start you own vineyard or winery.
Related: How Craft Brewing Inspired This Denver Winemaker
88. Sell eggs
Farm fresh eggs are a big business right now. You can get in on the action by purchasing a couple of hens and building your own chicken coop.
89. Bake bread
You would be surprised how many people want home baked bread. I know woman who makes her own bread and has lines of people to purchase it. And, she can make a living by just working a couple of days a week.
90. Create customized care packages
People enjoy customized care packages that they can give out as gifts. To begin, you need to find a niche, like holiday packages, and start filling baskets with goodies.
You can instruct anyone to play an instrument, cook a meal, or workout. You pretty much just need your knowledge to get started.
92. Airbnb host
If you have an extra room or home, then rent it out on Airbnb instead of just sitting there vacant. I personally was able to make around $3k a month last year renting out my downstairs.
Related: Learn From These 3 Ways Airbnb Won the Trust It Needed to Succeed
93. Property management
Landlords can’t always check in on their properties or maintain their property, like mowing and cleaning. A property management company takes care of these tasks for busy landlords.
94. Laundry/ironing service
We all have clothes that need to be cleaned or iron. Either we don’t have the time or patience to handle these chores on our own. And, that’s why we’re willing to pay someone else to do this for us.
95. Clothing alteration service
If you know how to sew or replace buttons or zippers, then you’ve got a new business idea for people who can’t part with their favorite pieces of clothing that is also cheap to start
96. Item cleaning
Everything needs to be cleaned. Whether if it’s a computer or piece of antique furniture, this just requires the right cleaning materials and little elbow grease.
97. Online dating consultant
More and more people are using online dating. But it can be overwhelming when just starting out. If you have experience in this world, then people would definitely be willing to pay for your advice.
98. Sourcing service
You can find products or services for local businesses and resell it to them at a markup.
99. Travel agency
Even though there are hundreds of travel websites out there, most people don’t have the time or patience to compare the prices on flights and hotel rates. That’s why there’s still need for people to do the legwork for them.
100. Toy making
Whether if it’s a simple wood carving or using a 3D printer, making toys has been a popular business idea for parents and their kids.
101. Food delivery service
There are customers who either can’t leave the office to pick up food, or are too lazy to leave the house. That’s when they contact you to pickup and deliver food for them.