Starting a business on a budget can be a challenge, but not impossible.
Looking for a way to be your own boss and make your own money? Many people dream of entrepreneurship, but finances tend to get in the way. Even a simple home-based operation can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000, according to the US Small Business Administration.
Thankfully, there are plenty of businesses you can start without gouging your bank account or landing you in debt. The following business ideas are both inexpensive and effective ways for you to take the entrepreneurial leap.
You don’t need to have your own secondary property to start a successful short term rental business. If you have a spare bedroom, you have the makings of a fruitful business venture. Short-term rental hosts make a monthly average of $924, with some more experienced hosts making even thousands of dollars in profits.
– Unlike managing a long-term property rental, running a vacation rental service offers you flexibility. Short-term rental hosts are able to confirm bookings as they please and block off any dates they’d prefer not to have guests.
– While starting up, you can use your own home to host guests, eliminating the need to purchase a second investment property.
– Success with your in-home service could afford you more means to purchase a second property for rental, which can increase monthly profits.
– Most booking websites allow you to ask for a deposit and fees for cleaning and damages, so there’s an incentive for guests to be respectful of your property.
– Profit can be sporadic. The amount of money you make depends on several factors, including location, time of year, property maintenance, and the privacy your rental space offers guests.
– Busy months mean less personal freedom, as you’ll have to spend time cleaning and resetting your property in between stays.
Tools and Resources
Once your property is ready for guests, all you have to do is list it online. There are plenty of websites you can use, but Airbnb and Vrbo are the most well-known among travelers. Both websites have their own unique benefits. Vrbo works best if you live in a tourist destination where travelers would want to stay for a week or two. Airbnb guests prefer city destinations and tend to make shorter, last-minute bookings.
To maximize their monthly guest count, hosts often post their properties on multiple rental sites. While this works to increase profit, it can also make organizing your calendar and messaging with guests difficult. If you’re promoting your property on more than one website, try using a vacation rental software solution like iGMS. This platform manages all of your vacation rental accounts and creates an organized booking schedule for you to follow.
Start a Dropshipping Business
Interested in becoming an eCommerce powerhouse? You can start a business without wasting time and resources creating your own inventory to sell online. “Dropshipping” is a term that describes the process of selling and shipping products that you don’t own or stock.
The first step is to find a wholesale supplier or manufacturer you can purchase products. The next step is to list that product on your own website at a higher retail price. When a customer orders a product off of your website, all you have to do is forward the order to your supplier, who then ships the order on your behalf. For example, if you decide to sell $20 bracelets from a supplier and post them on your website for $50 each, you’ll make a $30 profit for each one you sell, after paying your supplier the initial wholesale price.
– Dropshipping eliminates the hassle of managing your own warehouse and keeping track of your inventory.
– Decreased operational overhead means you can spend your money on other business needs like website design and marketing.
– There’s no limit to what kind of products you can sell, meaning you can provide your customers with more variety.
– Dropshipping is low-risk — you only need to pay for what you sell.
– You have very little control of logistical operations. There isn’t much you can do to prevent the drop shipper from making a delivery mistake or sending faulty products. In the end, mistakes will hurt your business’s image.
– In order to make a profit after paying your supplier, you’ll have to keep your prices less competitive.
– Not controlling your own inventory means you could be subject to stock shortages if your products become popular.
Creating your own eCommerce website has never been easier. Entrepreneurs can easily design their own websites and sell products using platforms like Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace. These platforms make set up easy — no coding experience required — and provide support services to help users set up their online stores.
Wondering where to find a supplier? There are plenty of platforms that connect sellers to online suppliers. Alibaba and Salehoo are among the most popular dropshipping websites among sellers, but there are plenty to choose from that even specialize in niche products like apparel, jewelry, tech, and more.
Do you have a skill or hobby that you’re passionate about? Take what you know and use it to offer virtual classes! If you can teach it, there are always people willing to learn. You can create a class for anything; creative writing, illustration, graphic design, cooking, or even working out… the possibilities are endless. Online instructors typically share their skills by creating instructional videos or written content that students can download for a fee.
– Becoming an online instructor can turn your favorite hobbies and activities into a profitable business venture.
– When you publish a course online, you’ll earn money with each user purchase as long as you choose to make your content available. Top earners make up to $100,000 a year for producing just five to 10 hours of content.
– Teaching others new and marketable skills can be very fulfilling.
– You can easily work online classes around your personal schedule.
– There are plenty of online courses available within your niche, so you’ll have to up your marketing skills to earn a considerable profit.
– Poor video quality and confusing instruction can deter viewership and decrease your content rating.
Instructors typically opt to post their content on learning platforms like Skillshare or Udemy. Neither website has a limit on the kind of courses instructors can offer, though Skillshare instructors tend to offer viewers more creative courses like painting and photography. In contrast, Udemy offers more courses related to business, tech, and marketing.
Are you looking for a way to make money doing something creative? Do you receive endless compliments about your meticulously curated Instagram page?
If so, you might want to consider starting a graphic design business. No need to head back to college and spend thousands of dollars on a program — you can learn all the fundamentals on Youtube or through attending local classes. With enough time and practice, you’ll be able to create a stunning portfolio and get paid to design logos, marketing material, and website pages for other businesses.
– You get to turn your hobby into a job that you can love and feel passionate about.
– You are free to create your own schedule.
– There are several areas of income for a graphic designer: corporate design, publishing, advertising, web design, and production design areonly a few of the many areas you can try out and specialize in.
– Graphic designers have the potential to earn a comfortable full-time annual salary for fewer hours of work.
– Learning can be tricky — it takes time and dedication to become an expert.
– Buying the right tools (drawing tablets, software) can be expensive.
– Like many creative freelancers, budding graphic designers often have to deal with difficult clients hoping to use their services for free or at lowered rates.
The most challenging aspect of starting a design business is getting the right equipment. There are plenty of drawing tablets available that come in a range of prices — so you’ll be able to find one you can afford. If buying brand new is still too much for your bank account to handle, try looking for second-hand tablets on Kijiji or eBay.
There are also plenty of design software options to choose from. Adobe applications are considered the industry standard. If you can’t afford to pay for Adobe’s full app package, you can use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator for $20.99 a month. Alternatively, there are cheaper platforms available — some are even free. Once you feel confident in your abilities and portfolio, it’s time to start promoting your business.
You can get started on any of these business ideas quickly. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these are not “get rich quick” schemes. Building a business from the ground up takes hard work, no matter how much money you have to invest — but if you’re prepared to take on the responsibility, you’ll be well on your way to making a living on your own terms.