There are many affordable enterprises you may start with minimal capital, whether your goal is to work for yourself or simply to supplement your income. With just a company idea and $500 or less, you won’t necessarily become the next Facebook or Apple overnight, but there are lots of ways to start a small business on a budget.
According to Meghan Stabler, vice president of global product marketing at BigCommerce, “the tools and technology available today make it incredibly easy to get a new business up and operating fast and affordably, even with as little as a few hundred dollars.” Every entrepreneur should take a balanced approach to selling and invest the time up front to study their market and their consumer. It’s crucial to keep in mind that establishing a business with little money does not also mean you rush in carelessly.
How to find a business to start
Even with $500 or less, there are plenty of business prospects, but you must first make sure you have a solid company idea. You don’t have need a 20-page business plan to start a firm, but you should be passionate about it. It is the cause of the high number of business owners.
Additionally, you should research the market, the sector, the expansion prospects, and the required start-up capital. According to Stabler, if you want to launch an online business, you should identify a market niche or demand and focus on that first. The market will be congested if you try to capitalize on a trend, and the demand for your goods may drop down very soon. It’s crucial to comprehend your consumers’ purchasing patterns and the factors that influence their decision to choose your goods or services over those of a competitor. Last but not least, Stabler advised understanding the “four P’s”: pricing, product, placement, and promotion.
Here is a list of 20 businesses you can launch with an initial investment of $500 or less now that you are aware of the guidelines for moving a small business idea forward.
8 businesses you can start with $500 or less
1. Online seller
You may simply launch a business online on the cheap, regardless of what you want to sell—clothing, collectibles, or anything else. E-commerce platforms charge you a small monthly fee to sell goods online, while marketplaces like Amazon and eBay allow you sell your goods for a percentage of the sale.
Your basic inventory can be bought for not too much money. You can take use of your home’s stock or purchase products in bulk online, at a nearby discount retailer, or both. With any marketplace or e-commerce site fees taken into account, the goal is to sell the items for more money than you paid for them.
Dropshipping is a viable business option for entrepreneurs with limited capital. You construct a storefront or use an e-commerce platform using this business model, but you do not maintain the inventory. After a customer makes a purchase from your online store, the products are dispatched straight from the manufacturer. This approach just requires you to pay for the domain subscription and the costs involved with using an e-commerce or dropshipping platform to get a store up and operating.
The appeal of the dropshipping business model, according to Stabler, is that it doesn’t require any initial product manufacturing. Instead, you collaborate with a producer who produces your goods and sends them right to your clients.
3. Freelance writer or editor
If you have a talent for writing and/or editing, you may start a side hustle. There are a ton of options to get paid for writing and editing due to the development of online material and social media. The startup costs are low, but you will need to convince customers of your value.
4. Sales consultant
There are various low-cost businesses you may start by selling things for corporations, whether you want to sell beauty or cookware. As an illustration, consider the skincare line Rodan + Fields: To start selling the products, you only need to spend $45. Avon charges you $5, while Beachbody has a one-time investment of $39.95 and ongoing monthly fees of $15.
5. Lawn care
The biggest investment in beginning a lawn care service is the equipment, and if you’re just getting started, all you’ll need is a lawnmower and a leaf blower. This may be a seasonal business, but it is one that is easily expandable, depending on where you live. Flyers and a Facebook page are all you need in addition to the necessary tools.
6. Pet sitter/walker
This business requires a lot of patience and a love of animals, and the only expenses are those related to marketing. Another business that can readily grow while having low overhead is this one.
While many companies desire to hire a full-time employee to obtain counsel, not all do. In this situation, advisors are useful. Use your experience and knowledge to identify the areas where you could be most valuable. This could be any skill set that you can find a need for, such as marketing, accountancy, engineering, information technology, or any other.
Your reputation will increase if you offer quality service at a fair price, which will enable you to build your firm. You’ll need a website or social media presence, as well as networking skills, to get started.
8. Mobile public notary
Wills, loan paperwork, powers of attorney, property deeds, and other court papers all need to be notarized before being signed. A mobile public notary makes house or workplace visits to clients.
The annual cost to become a public notary might range from $50 to $150 depending on where you live. Some states demand additional payments for training courses. The secret to being a successful public notary is volume: A paper can cost anywhere between 25 cents and $20.