Starting a business can be daunting, especially if you’re not in a position to drop cash and invest money into it. However, there are so many businesses you can start with zero money! Starting a business with little to no money is totally possible – it just requires forethought, planning, and a bit of creativity. If you’re interested in becoming self-employed or starting your own side-hustle but don’t have the cash to invest, we have you covered. Here are 6 businesses you can start without a large investment.
1. Start a blog
Blogging can be an amazing creative outlet, especially if you love writing and sharing ideas with an audience. With dedication and persistence, you can build an online audience and begin making money off your blog. To start a blog, you can sign up for a site builder like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress and begin designing your site. There are often free versions or free-trial periods when you get started, so you won’t need to spend a penny. After that, you may have to spend a small amount of money for hosting and purchasing a domain name, but that’s generally quite affordable and costs around $15USD/month.
Blogging can bring in advertising revenue by working with brands directly or having advertising space on the blog itself (using Google AdSense, for example). Alternatively, you can sign up for affiliate marketing products and share links throughout your site of products you love. This way, you will have a revenue stream coming in anytime someone clicks on the link and purchases a product. There are many ways to monetize your blog, and getting started takes nothing but time.
2. Provide child-care
If you love children and are looking to start a home business that costs nothing to start-up, childcare could be a great option for you! Many parents need casual or full-time caregivers for their children. Finding someone they trust can be the toughest part of finding childcare. If you are passionate about childcare and want to pursue a business, you can start an in-home business with zero investment. Reaching out to family and friends and asking for their references, creating social media awareness, and posting ads on free platforms are great ways to get started that cost nothing!
3. Become a freelance writer
Have you been writing in your free time? Have you always been told in school or at work that you’re a great writer? Why not pursue that as your business! If you love writing, blogging, or creating content online, becoming a freelance writer is a great business to start with no start-up fees! There are many free online platforms you can sign up for, and clients can begin booking your services quickly and easily. The best part about these platforms is that clients will come to you – you just need to create a great profile that effectively sells your service. Some great freelance websites to check out are Freelancer, Upwork, and Fiverr. If you love writing, this is a great way to work from home (or anywhere in the world) and create a steady income stream without investing a substantial sum of money from the get-go!
4. Sell your art on Etsy
There is no need to be a ‘starving artist’ these days! If you’re a talented artist or creative, Etsy is a fantastic platform to use to start a profitable business from home. With millions of people using the platform every day, you can sell your products online and reach a large audience with little to no investment. This is a much cheaper alternative to creating your own website on Shopify. The advantage to Etsy is that the set-up is completely free, and you only pay $0.20 per listing. Additionally, you can incorporate SEO into your listings to attract new buyers; there is no need to pay for expensive ads elsewhere. If you were set up a Shopify site, you would have to buy a domain, pay roughly $29USD/month for the site, then find ways to generate traffic to the site (ads, promoted posts, etc.). Those things can add up quickly and can make starting a business impossible. Etsy is a great home business where you can use your talent to make a stream of income without a large financial investment.
5. Teach a course
Everyone is skilled at something. Whether it’s baking, using Microsoft Excel, training for a marathon, or writing a great resume… somewhere down the line, you have learned something amazing that is an in-demand skill. People are turning to online courses more and more these days, and most likely, someone is searching for the information and skills you already have! Why not turn that into a sellable online course?
For example, if you’re a great writer, you can create a copywriting or blogging course to teach others how to improve their skills. If you know the best way to improve your running times for a marathon, tell novice runners everything you know in an informative eBook or training course. Courses can be created in many different formats, from videos to PDF documents. It will take time and creativity to make, but from a financial point of view, it’s an affordable business to get off the ground with minimal investment.
6. Become a virtual assistant
Virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular these days, and companies large and small are frequently using their support. This in-demand career is great for anyone who is well organized and able to take on a variety of duties from data entry, research to project management. This is a great freelance position that you can start with zero investment by signing up to freelance platforms like the ones mentioned above (Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer). As an alternative, you could create a business profile or flyer with your services (using the free version of Canva) and send it to businesses to get the conversation going! Virtual assistants will charge anywhere from $15USD to $60USD per hour, and it can be quite lucrative as you gain experience and take on more clients.
Starting a business doesn’t have to be costly. There are several ways to turn your passion, talent, and creativity into a business working from home. In today’s economy, starting a low-cost business is a great way to earn extra income on the side. Side-hustles can turn into full-time gigs more quickly than you imagined, especially when you are passionate and committed to doing whatever it takes to achieve your dreams. There are several free marketing strategies you can employ to promote your new business, such as SEO and social media marketing.
Will you be starting your own business soon? Let us know what you’re up to in the comments below!