Being your own boss has lots of advantages—and lots of challenges. One of the first hurdles many would-be entrepreneurs face is deciding just what business to go into and trying to come up with the funds to launch it.
Raising start-up capital can be a daunting task—so daunting that it may make you think you just can’t do it. Or, you may be tempted to start your business wholly on business credit cards, which can escalate an already risky proposition.
Yes, you’ll need a lot of money to start some of the most popular, successful businesses, like an established fast-food franchise or a gas station. But there are also a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities that don’t require loads of start-up cash. In fact, FranchiseGator.com lists several franchise opportunities that the site says require less than $10,000 to get started.
But you can do even better. Here are some very low-cost ideas to consider if you’re thinking of starting up your own business:
1. Pet sitter/dog walker – Buying the tools you’ll need is one of the challenging aspects of financing a business. You’ve probably already got one of the most important tools you’ll need for this job: a car. You can start out small, serving families within walking distance in your immediate neighborhood, and grow from there. Initial expenses might include advertising materials (although word of mouth will be a good, no-cost way to start out), leashes, dog treats and – depending on how much you intend to grow your business – basic liability insurance.
2. Vehicle detailing – If you’ve ever had a car detailed you know how good it can look when a professional spends some time cleaning. What’s their secret? It’s more that they take their time, rather than use any special products or techniques. To start with, you’ll need cleaning supplies, possibly some advertising materials and a lot of elbow grease.
3. Freelance writing – Online: content is king, and nearly every company with an Internet presence is looking for fresh content. With a simple online search, you can find multiple sites that connect freelance writers with companies looking to pay them to produce content. You’ll need a good grasp of grammar, punctuation, spelling and good storytelling, plus a computer and Internet access.
4. Home chef – There are a lot of people who don’t have the time to cook a meal at home, but would love to serve their families nutritious, good-tasting home-cooked food. If you have a kitchen, the time and a talent for making yummy food, you may have what it takes to be a home chef. You prepare meals at home that can either be delivered to or picked up by customers who then reheat the food and enjoy it at their home.
Starting up your own business doesn’t necessarily require a lot of capital. Creativity and perseverance can be just as important as cash to your success as a business owner.