Inexpensive Small Business IDEAS
The quickest businesses to start often rely on your personal knowledge.
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Depending on your idea of easy and cheap, you’ve got a wide variety of options for starting a small business. Whether you want to work from your home or open an offsite business, the criteria for choosing any business opportunity should be similar if you want to avoid a costly and complicated start-up.
Easy and Cheap
An easy start-up is one that doesn’t require significant training, such as earning a college degree or going through a multi-year certification program. It doesn't mean the work will be easy, and you should plan on putting in long hours for most businesses you start. A cheap business idea is one that doesn’t require an investment of tens of thousands of dollars or more and can be launched with a personal credit card or less than $5, 000 of your own savings.
Pet sitting is one of the fastest-growing service businesses as of 2012, according to the National Association of Professional Sitters, and can become a six-figure business in a matter of several years. Unlike dog walking, professional pet sitting is a more comprehensive service, requiring you to offer regular advice to clients as you become part of their extended family. Start by joining a pet-sitter trade association such as NAPPS or Pet Sitters International to get access to their marketing and training materials. Take advantage of their low-cost website and credit card processing services and begin slowly, starting with only two or three clients as you learn the business. As you grow, expand your marketing, get certified and add contractors who work for you, taking a cut of their pet sits.
If you have a valuable business skill, many small-business owners in your area might be happy to hire you to help their businesses. Many entrepreneurs who are experts at making a product often don’t know how to run a company and stay in business. If you have marketing, sales, advertising, public relations, promotions, graphic design, editorial, accounting, tax or computer expertise, contact local businesses to let them know you can help. Your investment will include business cards, a website, brochures and a direct mail campaign to attract clients. Add a post office box and a chamber of commerce membership to make your business look more professional.
As long as people own homes and have yards, there will be demand for lawn care. Your investment will include a mower, leaf blower, edger and marketing tools, such as a website, fliers, truck magnet and business cards. Add aerating, seeding, fertilizing and snow removal services to expand your revenue opportunities. Check with your state to determine if you need to be licensed to offer any specific services, such as fertilization, and contact your insurance company about any necessary coverage.