Don’t have a huge investment to get your business started?
Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Make & Sell Gift Baskets
If you have a talent for picking out products that go well with each other and have an artistic touch in how you present them, then you could put together and sell gift baskets.
Your customers might be hotels that need a basket for honeymooners, anniversary celebrations, a conference coordinator that brings business to them, or people who travel with pets and forget items. Businesses often give gifts away to the top sales person of the month, birthday gifts, or at the holidays. Home owner associations might give a new home owner not only a booklet with their guidelines, but a welcome to the neighborhood basket. The opportunities are endless. Items for the baskets can be purchased on sale following the holidays, or in bulk for a cheaper price.
This might take a bit of money to get started, and space for inventory, but the rest is contacting businesses with ideas. Perhaps leave a smaller version of the gift basket with the owner/manager as a thank you for talking with you. Be sure you leave all your contact info and prices. These baskets could be sold at consignment stores, for fund-raising, and big box stores. The skies the limit.
You could also create gift baskets for baby showers, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and any other celebrations.
Independent Wine Consultant
There are tons of independent wine companies, the little guys, that need help marketing and growing their businesses. You might think about hosting wine tasting parties either at a business or in-home with the idea that your guests could purchase wine at a discount or join a wine of the month club through you. Have fun earning an income while talking about and drinking wine.
Become a Virtual Assistant
As a virtual assistant, you could earn an income working for companies from the comfort of your own home. You could help businesses out with their day to day activities that don’t require you to come into their offices. This is where the idea of medical coding, book-keeping, seamstress, tutoring, etc. came from.
Employers like the idea of hiring virtual assistants because they can pay them as sub-contractors and avoid handling all the taxes, medical plans and retirement plans. A Sub-contractor is responsible for with-holding their own taxes, and covering their own benefits. Find your skills (something you wouldn’t mind doing everyday and are good at) and then look around locally for a good fit. The start asking face to face if they have a need for your services.
A great business that can be started with less than 100 dollars and in some cases without any money at all. Thanks to the internet, it is so easy these days to share information with a wide audience.
You can blog about pretty much anything. Identify your interests, do the research and pitch the company that’s doing the same and paying for writers.
Or make your own blog. Build it so you pick up lots of readers. You make money with a blog by monetizing it. The more people that read your blog, the higher your chances are of making money from it. You can make money by placing advertising on your site, or selling your skills to your readers.
The rewards are not immediate. It takes patience, hard work and time to build up your mailing list, but today it’s possible to earn a full income blogging.
Become an Image Consultant
The right first impression is especially important when someone is going for an interview or meeting a prospective client, but not everyone knows how to pick out a look that conveys a positive and professional image.
Becoming a business owner is a big deal. Interviews and customers view you in a ‘take charge way’ and they’ll need to look the part. By becoming an image consultant, you help people put their best foot forward in terms of style and appearance.
People need in-home nannies. Either you could do it yourself or you could run a nanny service. You would be the person to filter poor choices and great candidates, train them for a fee in CPR, becoming sub-contractors, developing early childhood games, proper discipline, healthy snacks and great places to take the kiddos. Then once you feel they’re ready, you add them to the call list for expert nannies.
This certainly has the potential to grow, like the service I heard about which started out on a shoe-string budget but grew to employ twenty nannies in just two years.
Sell on eBay, Amazon or Craigslist
Selling on eBay, Amazon and Craigslist is easier than ever now. You can purchase in-demand items at discounts and sell them on these sites. You can also make products and sell them there as well. Garage sale items, junk store items, and clearance stores are great places to find bargains.
A lady I know has an arrangement with a department store to buy their end of season shoes at very low prices. She then lists them on eBay and nets a tidy profit.
Selling on eBay is worth it if you know how to do it the right way. This article is a good read to help you understand some of the ups and downs on eBay.
You can even try to improve the piece, for example by refinishing or reupholstering furniture and selling it on Craigslist.
If you are artistic and enjoy crafts, you could make you own products to sell, like personalized jewelry.
Everyone loves personalized scrapbooks, but not everyone has time to put the pages together. This is a perfect business to help people organize their mementoes for a fee, and then put them together for them, also for a fee. You might even bring in several friends to complete a large project and pay them for a day of help.
If you love teaching and have qualifications in a particular subject, you could consider offering your services as a tutor.
You could get referrals from your friends and family and make connections through your child’s teachers and the school PTA. If you have a local community school, you can advertise your services there. In my town, I’ve even seen advertisements on cars. Make up flyers and post them locally. Soon word of mouth will fill your time.
PS- don’t limit yourself to tutoring children, seniors might enjoy lessons on using their smart phones, computers and home appliances. You could teach sewing and offer to do alterations, sew costumes and prom dresses. Horse-back riding lessons, helping moms learn to can, cook on a budget are all creative ideas as well.
Sell Homemade Baked Goods
Selling homemade food is a great way for people who have a talent for cooking to make some extra money. You might make specialty cakes, chocolate truffles, Christmas cookies, a month of meals, breads, or cater special events.
If you enjoy cooking, you could offer your services as a personal chef, just like Rachel Ray did before she became a television personality. Or take a look at our own Collettey! She built Collettey’s Cookies from home until it exploded!
Most people do not like the idea of buying recycled clothes. However, if the clothes are in great condition and they save a bundle, more people are willing to save money with this route. You can get gently used clothing and sell them online. You would get a certain percentage for each item you sold. The object is to keep a clean, fresh, and fashionable shop that will appeal to buyers. As a consignment shop owner, your inventory online is free until they are sold. Make sure you get excellent condition clothing that can be resold at a bargain price. Read Start Your Own Clothing Store and More: Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, Specialty by Entrepreneur Press and Charlene Davis to help give you an idea of how to start and what needs to be done.
If you are an expert in certain topics, such as gardening, raising children, cleaning, or even baking, some magazine will pay you for your topics. The Writers Market has a huge list of publication ideas. One of the drawbacks in this field is getting a lot of rejections. You need to be stern and positive and never give up. It is a competitive field, but once you make your mark, it can pay huge dividends. Read Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business and More: Copywriter, Proofreader, Copy Editor, Journalist by Entrepreneur Press and George Sheldon.
There are two ways you can profit as a gardener. One is to grow medicinal herbs, herbal teas, and herbs for candles are just some ideas to get started. If you have a great understanding of growing herbs, then this can be an excellent way to earn extra income all while at home.
The second way to generate income as a gardener is to become a “teacher”. Offer classes at home or online how to be a “green thumb gardener.” Give tips how to planning flower beds, preparing the soil, planting bulbs and so forth. Read Lawn Care or Landscaping: Entrepreneur’s Step-by-Step Startup Guide by Entrepreneur Press.
Home Health Care Agency
If you have experience as a nurse or home care attendant, you can start your own home care business. Many elderlies do not want to live in nursing homes and prefer to stay in their own home, but need assistance. You can proved that help by preparing foods, making sure they take their medications, helping them do their chores, and helping them bathe for example. You must keep up with the laws regarding administering medications and such. With the skyrocketing costs or nursing care, many of them are capable of living at their home, but need some kind of assistance in their daily routine. Read Start Your Own Senior Services Business, 3rd Edition by Entrepreneur Press and Charlene Davis.
With many parents both working jobs to make ends meet, they do not have the time to clean their homes. From dusting to scrubbing floors, you can help them maintain a clean, healthy household. Doing an excellent top notch job cleaning will earn you loyalty and returning customers, as well as the customers spreading word about your house cleaning skills. Read Start Your Own Cleaning Service by Entrepreneur Press and Jacquelyn Lynn.
Music for Kids
If you have experience in the music industry, you can become a music teacher for kids at your own home. Teaching pre-school children and toddlers allow them to learn mobility and enjoy music at the same time. You may have to do a free performance in front of the parents to show you are trustworthy and establish a foundation with the child. This will enable you to build a client list. Once you get a firm reputation established, it will be easier to obtain more clients down the road. Read How I Made $100,000 My First Year as a Piano Teacher by Ms Kristin K. Yost.
Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business
If you are an animal lover and have experience working with pets, this is an ideal business you can establish from your own home. Some people take vacations and certain times the boarding rooms are full and costly. You can offer your services by babysitting their pets or taking them on walks to give them exercise. Read Start Your Own Pet Business and More by Entrepreneur Press and Eileen Figure Sandlin.
Sewing and Knitting Business
If you are an expert at making clothes, starting your own sewing business from the pleasure of your own home is an ideal way of generating extra income. From making baby clothes, doll clothes, quilts, hats, gloves, gowns, dresses, etc . Depending on your particular area of expertise and skill, you can profit greatly for the designs you make. You can also put your displays on an online store and they will sell your merchandise for you for a certain fee. Read How to Start & Maintain a Profitable Sewing Business: Making Money with Your Sewing Skills by Becky Reed.