If you are like millions of Americans, at some point, you have thought of starting your own business. But as with any undertaking, there are factors you will consider before going ahead to take the plunge. One of the most common hurdles in setting up a business is having the means to fund it. Sometimes, having a big capital isn’t readily available, especially if you’re currently doing a 9 to 5 and have limited cash to spare. So, what is a good business to start with little money?
Pro tip: When you set out to start any business, you will do well to make sure that you’re putting up something that aligns with your interest and passion so that you have the core competencies to go with your motivation of succeeding in your endeavor.
To give you a bit of inspiration, we round up 7 business ideas that you can build without breaking the bank:
1. Digital Marketing
By now, you already know that the world of business is digitalized. Having an online presence isn’t just a “nice to have” but rather a must. Compared to traditional marketing where your reach is limited to certain regions, digital marketing is about helping brands connect with their target audience on a global scale.
This type of service is so in demand nowadays because not all companies have enough time or internal resources to do digital marketing. Starting a digital marketing business can be a good starting point for you, especially if you love connecting with people and have ample prior experience in it.
Aside from the fact that it doesn’t require a big investment (a website, license, and marketing tools are all you will need to get started), the earning and business growth possibilities are endless.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Though there are many ways to make good money over the internet without having to shell out a hefty amount of capital, one of the ways to achieve this is by getting into the affiliate marketing business. What makes it even better is that you can do affiliate marketing even if you have a full-time job or an existing business.
The basic premise of affiliate marketing is that you promote other companies’ products or services either through an affiliate network, your own website, or blog to attract potential customers. When users purchase through your link, you earn a commission based on revenue sharing.
The most common way to do affiliate marketing is by publishing a review blog of the merchant or company’s product/s. Here is how you will make money online through affiliate marketing.
3. Pet Sitting
Did you know that more than half of U.S. households own at least one pet? Most of these pet owners regularly set aside money for pet care, especially pet sitting services. If you’re an animal lover and have a knack for taking care of pets, this could be a great business idea for you.
A pet sitting business can be run from home, so it doesn’t cost much to start this type of business. Plus, you will only need a computer to build your website to house your contracts (because you will need to put everything in writing to avoid headaches and legal problems in the long run), insurance, and to manage your online marketing efforts. You would also need a fully insured vehicle, flexibility with time, and, last but not least, your love for animals.
Generally speaking, you will generate much of your clients by word of mouth. So, make sure to provide the best service possible for each of your clients. When clients do come to you, take note of where they heard about your service (through family or friends, your website/flyer, etc.), so that you will know where to focus your marketing efforts on.
4. Online English Tutoring
In this age of digital transformation and widespread usage of the internet, the online tutoring industry is growing at a rapid pace. Teaching English as a second language (also known as ESL) is one of the most in-demand tutoring services nowadays. This is a great way to utilize your language skills and earn money on the side (especially if you are a native speaker from the U.S.).
Normally, an ESL certification can get you good rates to work with. You can get a head start by getting clients through job portals and build your credibility over time so that you can potentially turn this side hustle into a full-time business idea.
Starting a dropshipping business is extremely popular for people with business acumen since it requires very little capital. Imagine running an online store without having to acquire any inventory?
Although it has been around for quite a while now, dropshipping is still one of the most viable business ventures to get into. See how you can join the bandwagon and start making money through dropshipping here.
The idea behind dropshipping is that you find a product or niche, search for a reliable manufacturer to supply the products, and establish your presence through a website or a sales channel (e.g., Amazon, Shopify, etc.).
However, selling is not just the goal of dropshipping. It is just the first step. You will need to create awareness for your business, so your products are where they need to be: right where your target customers are.
Luckily, you can do this without additional cost (or with minimal cost if you choose to sponsor ads) through social media and other online marketing channels.
6. Social Media Influencer
Social media influencers are basically people who have built their online presence by distributing content on their social channels that garner a good amount of following and engagement. Because of this, companies and brands would utilize the power of these people to influence the buying decision of their audience through sponsorships or sponsored content.
Celebrities, bloggers, vloggers, as well as thought leaders, are some examples of social media influencers. If you have the skills and knows how to work the social media game, can produce content that builds audience trust, and are able to represent a brand responsibly, you can be a social media influencer and build your image as a brand/business.
7. Currency Trading
Currency trading is probably one of the most lucrative and engaging small business ideas you will ever come across. If you are someone who likes to take high risk, good with numbers, and able to work long hours, then this could be an ideal business for you. A computer and the right basic knowledge are all you need to get you up and running.
If you play your cards right, trading currency online can be a profitable extra stream of income for you. Check out our post on why you should trade forex.
Building a business from the ground up will always be a risk -- no matter how big or small your investment is.
But the good thing about starting a business at this time is the advantage of being in the digital age, thus, building a new business with the help of online tools will not cost you an arm and a leg.
Although businesses vary in terms of earning potential, they share a common ground – they begin with an idea.
Remember, don’t be afraid to test the waters and expect some hiccups at the beginning. Only then can you validate your business idea.
And when you are starting to generate income, the next step is to learn how to scale your business.