Business Ideas for People Who Are Just Starting Out- Most people are born with all the odds heavily stacked up against them but with enough courage and dedication, anyone can realize their entrepreneurial goals. While it’s true that our fractured economy is rigged against the little guy, you can always carve out a niche for yourself by starting a small scale business.
Don’t let the word ‘small’ fool you though, it’s little more than corporate jargon but makes the world go round. One study by the Small Business Administration found that small scale businesses make up about 99.7% of all employers in the US and account for over 97% of US exporters.
So how can an ambitious entrepreneur who’s strapped for cash and always behind on the bills start a small scale business? Don’t you need money, a dedicated office, and employees to start a business?
The secret lies in starting a small scale business in a profitable niche. What you may lack in the capital, you’ll make up for with sheer effort and dedication.
Caution: Never buy into pyramid schemes. If your ‘performance’ is based on the number of people you recruit for your company, who then have to recruit even more people, and so on – it’s a pyramid scheme.
What are the Business Ideas for People with No Cash…?
While most small scale businesses have some startup requirements, some can be set up in a reasonably short period of time and don’t require much in the way of expenses or seed money. You don’t require professional certificates, special licenses, or hard-to-acquire permits – although they do give you a marketing edge.
These businesses will be the focal point of our discussion. Here is our round-up of 19 Easy businesses that only need just a little bit of your time and effort.
As easy as it sounds, proofreading is not a walk in the park. It requires a special eye for attention to details, lots of patience, and the ability to offer subjective changes to a document. Proofreaders can do reasonably well for themselves and earn over $100,000 yearly if they’re good enough.
As a proofreader, you will be examining documents from other businesses and writers for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
You’ll be using tools like Grammarly to get rid of the more obvious errors, but you’ll need expertise over the industry and language to determine the best course of action.
Udemy offers tons of proofreading courses that you can learn at your own pace to become an expert in days. Check their top courses here.
2. Virtual Assistant
Simply put, virtual assistants are small scale business owners who help other business owners. They can provide a range of services such as diary management, telephone answering, sales consultancy, writing social media posts, and more. Here is a detailed guide on how you can start your own virtual assistant small scale business from the ground up.
Here’s the rough blueprint:
- Choose your business name
- Settle on the price of your services
- Fill out a DBA form
- Create a business plan
- Create marketing packages for small business
- Do some advertisements (based on your budget of course)
- Ask for referrals and testimonials (just don’t bribe clients into leaving positive reviews!)
You’ll probably notice that this general blueprint applies to most business ideas.
The biggest advantage of starting a virtual assistant business is that it is completely free. You don’t need a college degree, access to special tools, or a dedicated office. All you need are the skills that you probably already possess.
If you want to pick up on some skills for virtual assistants, check out these courses on Udemy.
3. Start a Small Pet Business
The pet industry is massive and worth a whopping $100 billion. The best part is that there are no barriers and growing demand. Your pet business could be service- or product-based, selling food, toys, accessories, or offering walking, training, and grooming services. Within the realm of pet businesses, there are several ideas to explore, let’s discuss a few below:
· Prepare organic treats
More pet owners are now making the conscious decision to choose organic ingredients for their pets. By selling organic treats for pets, you can easily stand out from the crowd and quickly gain traction.
· Obedience Expert
This is a slightly difficult job because it requires a little know-how about pets and how to manipulate their behavior. But if you’ve been successful at teaching your pet how to develop good habits, you can do the same for other dogs too.
· Blogging on Pets
This one is rather easy to do since all you’re doing is providing suggestions and ideas to other pet owners. If your blog gains traction, you can also endorse products through affiliate links and earn a small portion of the sales proceeds.
You can check out the top pet small scale business courses on Udemy here.
3. Freelance Content Marketing
Content marketing is the only way to leverage SEO packages for small business and reach the front page of the internet. But to do this successfully, businesses need good content writing. This is where you come in. You can curate content for businesses, newspapers, online journals, and websites. If you have a passion for writing, then this small scale business provides the right answers.
You can start your freelance writing career in places like Upwork and Freelancer. Once you’ve built a strong enough portfolio and made a name for yourself, you can create your website showcasing your recent work.
The more traffic you’re able to redirect to your website, the more sales you’ll get. To earn more with freelance writing, you may eventually have to outsource to other writers. This is one way to scale up your business and maximize your earnings.
You’ll have to quickly learn how to pitch yourself to other businesses. This is easier said than done because you’ll need to invest in a good graphic designer, web developer, and even other content writers to quickly churn out quality content.
Freelance writing is further divided into various categories, including copywriting, article writing, ad writing, and more. Here are some top courses from Udemy if you want to learn content writing.
4. Sell Handcrafted Art
If you’re into arts and crafts, such as DIY pottery, candles, soap, and woodworking, you could sell your products online for decent earnings.
Do keep in mind that this is a slightly more expensive business to start because you’ll be in charge of inventory management and shipment. However, you can start with small batches and work your way up once you generate consistent sales.
Many artists have a side-hustle selling their handcrafted goods on Etsy to interested people. There is an undeniably big market for DIY items.
That being said, you will have to be mindful of regulations, if any, in your product category. This is true if you’re making anything that your customers will eat, use on their skin, or inhale.
Here are the top Etsy courses on Udemy for artists who are just getting started.
5. Social Media Manager
Social media is an important part of the marketing strategy for many businesses. You can start a small scale business that manages social media for those companies. You’ll create daily posts, schedule them, and monitor their performance by analyzing data using various tools. To be successful at being a social media manager, you’ll need considerable expertise over major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
You may have to play a role as a customer representative, answering questions, replying to comments, and other tasks.
The barriers to entry are virtually non-existent and there are no requirements whatsoever. Of course, you could always complete courses online to gain expertise but that’s not necessary.
If you feel you need to pick up on some skills, you can always check out these top courses on Udemy for social media management.
6. Create an Online Store on Fashion
If you have a panache for fashion and love sharing your sense of style with other people, you may want to consider running an online fashion boutique. You don’t need to be a professional fashion designer or keep inventory, you can arrange items from other vendors and feature them on your online store. This is a process known as dropshipping.
All you need is a good fashion sense for things such as dresses, swimwear, shoes, accessories, and a lot more. There is a fleet of products to choose from and huge demand – you just have to find a way to build your online following and become a trendsetter.
Udemy has various courses discussing fashion and clothing brands in general. Check out the complete blueprint here.
7. Create SEO Packages for Small Business
SEO is very likely the bread and butter for the majority of online and offline businesses.
It’s the only way to put the word out there if you don’t already have a following. Creating SEO packages for small business takes a lot of time and involves a lot of moving pieces to yield any meaningful results. You have to be on your toes for last-minute changes to search engine algorithms, keyword trends, and technical SEO packages for small businesses.
As hard as it sounds, SEO is relatively easy to follow because the basic rules haven’t changed from the early 2000s.
The goal, as always, is to rank higher in search results to drive more traffic to your website. As an expert well versed in SEO packages for small businesses, you will thoroughly audit the client’s website, their nearest competitors, and provide them with suggestions for how they can improve their SEO to generate more traffic to their website.
If you can’t make heads or tails of SEO, there are many free resources that teach you how to do this. For starters, you can learn the basics of technical SEO packages for small businesses here and content generation here.
8. Launch Your e-Book
Thanks to resources like Amazon e-Books, it is now possible to create your book and serve them to the market.
You could discuss topics such as nutrition, photography, food, novels, and more. Of course, the prerequisite is to have the knowledge and be creative enough to write engaging content. You also need a lot of patience to pen your ideas. It can be daunting for beginners to write more than 10 words at a time! But if you get the hang of it, the options can be endless; this is why eBook writing is an easy small scale business.
The idea is to start with self-publishing to test the waters. The advantage is that you gain complete control over the quality and appearance of your book. You can use popular platforms like Blurb and Lulu xPress to distribute your books digitally and physically.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider crowdfunding your book to ensure you can meet a certain number of sales to recoup your costs (time and money).
9. Dog Walking
Many pet owners do not have the time to walk their dogs during the day, either due to work obligations or due to mobility issues.
This provides you with an opportunity to start your own small scale business as a dog walker for pet owners living in your neighborhood.
It’s easy to let friends and family know that you’re available through social media. If this doesn’t work, consider registering with services like Rover to connect with clients looking for a reliable dog walker. You could argue that Rover is to dog walking what Uber is to cars.
Rover lets you create a profile informing clients of your rates, schedule, and the dog breeds you’re most comfortable working with.
10. Personal Trainer
Offer in-home consultations to people looking for personalized exercise regimens, nutrition, and boot camps. Think of yourself as a coach who provides their time and expertise to help their client become a better version of themselves. The only prerequisite is to have experience in a certain niche that has reasonable demand.
Don’t forget to create YouTube videos and Instagram posts with inspirational quotes, and free instructional videos to build your brand.
Renowned celebrities who have successfully done this include Jeff Cavaliere, Greg Doucette, and Mike Israetel.
11. Gardening and Landscaping
Gardening is a rapidly growing trend and has the potential to make a lot of money for the small scale business owner. That being said, your business is less likely to move completely online because of the nature of gardening. You will need some equipment, transportation, and a steady base of customers. You don’t need much experience either.
Here are top courses on Udemy covering gardening.
12. Resume Writer
A lot of people struggle to put together a good resume. Most people are so daunted by the prospects of creating one that they would rather hire someone else to do this for them. This is why resume writing is the perfect small scale business idea. It’s easier than content writing because you usually have to stick to a very specific format and the bulk of the material is already provided by the client (transcripts, degrees, and achievements). You just have to put it together in a way that makes the most sense.
All you need is a computer and your website (or Upwork), and you’re good to go. Our suggestion is to have your own website because platforms like Upwork will take a significant portion of your income. Start by buying a domain, setting up your website, doing SEO packages for small businesses, creating social media pages, and more. All of this can be done in less than $50, depending on who you hire.
You may have to buy Google Ads and Facebook Ads to generate sales in the beginning before organic traffic catches on.
Click here to check out the complete blueprint on starting a resume writing small scale business for beginners.
13. Email Marketing Specialist
Emails are an effective way for businesses, both big and small, to connect online with their existing customers to stay in touch and sell their goods and services.
Of course, the key is to come across as genuine and pitch your ideas perfectly. This requires a good grasp on emails and marketing, thus providing you with an opportunity to merge the two skills into one super skill called “email marketing specialist”.
There is no special requirement to get started. All you need are a few basic tools, the ability to write good content, and in some cases, creating graphics.
An email marketing specialist will complete many tasks such as proofreading, editing for grammar and clarity, and proofreading. You may also have to evaluate the performance of the email by analyzing statistics.
14. Computer Repair
Computer repair has a very steep learning curve, but one that ultimately rewards. There is always demand because computer accessories are always breaking down. Most people would rather get these rather expensive items fixed than to have them replaced.
However, the prerequisites for starting a computer business are slightly complex. For starters, you may need formal training and education, but they are not entirely necessary. What you really need is access to the right tools, equipment, and a proper workspace. You can’t be repairing someone’s laptop on your bed!
There are a few disadvantages of starting a computer repair business. You’ll have a difficult time attracting clients because they likely know someone who does computer repairs. In order to stand out, you may have to provide discounts, services at reduced prices, and complimentary services. Marketing will mostly depend on cold calling potential clients, attending tech fairs, and handing out flyers to anyone who has 10 seconds to spare.
There is a lot of competition from big outfits. This means you’ll have to double down on marketing and build strong word-of-mouth marketing or success.
Here is an in-depth course on computer repair on Udemy.
If you think you’ve got above average typing and listening skills, you may want to consider offering services as a transcriber. Your goal is to listen to audio files and convert them into readable texts. The exact details for each job will vary from one client to another, but for the most part, your listening ability is the only skill that matters.
There aren’t many ongoing expenses and you’ll be working from home for the most part. This means that things such as utility and rent are not a concern for you. You’ll be using a computer that you already have. Other than aggressive marketing for your business, you really won’t have to worry about overhead costs.
While it is possible to charge any amount to your clients, it is important to stay competitive with other businesses in your area. If you go too high, you may lose out on important business. It’s a good idea to charge between $1 to $2 per minute for your time.
16. Airbnb Host
If you have extra room in your house or condo, you could rent it out regularly using an app like Airbnb.
Airbnb has made it extremely easy to rent out properties without worrying about excessive documentation or expenses. Moreover, the average duration for Airbnb rentals is about 3 days to one week. Becoming an Airbnb host has its perks because people are always traveling and need a place to stay.
Airbnb provides insurance of up to $1,000,000 in case something goes wrong, guaranteeing that any damages you incur during the length of rental are covered in full.
17. Sell Print-On-Demand Clothes
This is a dropshipping business that has become insanely popular over the years. With print on demand, your only objective is to create an original customized design and the rest will be taken care of by the manufacturer.
You won’t have to worry about things such as fulfillment, shipping, and inventory. That’s not your concern.
Even if you’re not a designer, you can hire one from places like Fiverr and Upwork.
In order to be successful with this business model, you’ll need a large following to create sufficient demand for your product.
18. Start a Web Development Company
Businesses are always finding new ways to make their websites look trendy and upscale. Most marketers don’t know how websites work and will always need an expert who knows what they’re doing. For the most part, you won’t even have to learn programming to start a web development company.
There are many drag and drop content management systems like WordPress and plugins like Elementor that let you create websites in mere seconds.
That being said, there is a tiny learning curve associated with web development. You can learn more about web development with these top courses on Udemy.
Most business websites need several landing pages in order to do well. Suppose one business requires 5 web pages and you charge $10 for each web page. This puts your profits at $50 for re-arranging a few boxes.
Once you become popular enough, you can increase your rates to $20 per page and so on.
With emphasis on mobile-first indexes and clutter-free layouts, website development will always be in huge demand.
19. Graphic Designer
Starting a graphic design business can be a rewarding experience if you’re passionate about artwork.
Without graphic design, you won’t find attractive websites, emails, apps, brochures, articles, and infographics. The learning curve for graphic designing is not everyone’s cup of tea, which is why most entrepreneurs hardly create their own graphic works. They’ll always try to hire someone to do it for them.
The only problem is, there are thousands of graphic designers out there making it hard for you to stand out. You will need some really aggressive marketing to stand out.
Make sure to put your work out on platforms like Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Start your career on sites like Fiverr where you can work for entry-level clients and gradually work your way up.
Your goals should be to create your own graphic designing agency to ensure you’re able to keep all your earnings to yourself.
Check out these top courses on Udemy to learn all there is to know about graphic designing.
A Word on Failure: Why People Fail to Achieve Their Ambitions
Most people are burdened with fears of failure and invent excuses to procrastinate. They’ll bail out at the last minute simply due to the fear of the unknown, it could be time, money, and everything anything in between.
Let’s get an important fact out of the way: most startups (90%) are going to fail anyhow. This is a very real possibility.
But you should remember the well-worn adage ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. If you fail, you start over.
Do you have the stomach to lose and start over? An average billionaire will lose several millions (hundreds of millions in some cases) in their quest for acquiring wealth. But their strong appetite for failure helps them shrug off temporary losses in favor of the bigger picture -– and that is the secret to success, both on a small scale and a large scale.
Feel we missed something? Have your own ideas for a small-scale business? Let us know in the comments below!