“Why does becoming an entrepreneur have to cost so much of my time and money?”
If you are like me, then you are drawn to good business ideas that aren’t terribly difficult to start, both in funds and skill level. Becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t have to cost you your first born.
When I speak to fellow entrepreneurs, the topic of what it took to get their businesses started always dominates. How much did they have to invest? What information did they use to drive them and their company forward? How hard was it to go from planning to operation?
When starting a small business, there’s way too many fields to get into that aren’t difficult to enter. Many of these small business fields don’t require you to have special training or certifications. You can practically graduate high school and funnel your part-time job’s wages into starting most of the small business ideas I’m listing below. Feast your eyes:
Okay, I know what you are going to say. “I did that when I was 12 years old. I couldn’t live off of that kind of money.” When you were 12, you were being paid children’s wages. In this beautiful city that I call home, day care centers are lucrative. Many of these day care centers receive subsidies to care for low income families who need to work during the day. But I’m clearly getting ahead of myself. This can all be done in the comfort of your own home. Just make sure you know how many children your town allows you to care for in your home. Many of the women who started daycare centers near me started in their homes, only to expand to a larger building. Perfect! Ease and scalability. Here’s a little added proposal to set this small business idea en fuego! In cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as in small towns, mothers and fathers are just dying to spend an evening away from the craziness of a children filled home. Evening and night-time child care is much needed.
Tons of people and businesses need cleaning and janitorial services (including myself). Starting a cleaning company is an unreasonably easy small business idea to start. It requires very little money to get up and running. As a concierge, I’ve seen people walk into my building to care for the elderly tenants one day, then all of a sudden they would return another day with a mop and bucket as a new entrepreneur. Cleaners would come to the building to do cleaning jobs and drum up some business afterwards, and do well. Overhead is super low. The only definite requirement is reliable transportation. Good luck taking a cab to your next client’s house.
You can also have a more specialize role in cleaning, such as window washing, or fire clean up.
I’m probably biased, considering that I’m a guy who loves his tools and loves using them. I will simply say that having a handyman service is the best small business idea on this list. I’ve seen half of my family make an awesome living fixing the many typical problems that develop in people’s homes. It didn’t hurt that most of my relatives operated in areas where they were well known personally, reducing the work that it took to market their businesses. I know more guys in this industry than any other non real estate related field, and they admit that the toughest thing about what they do is marketing themselves. Also, standing out from the handy family members of the person in need of repairs can be a nagging issue at times. A helpful tactic I learned: Keep a portfolio and take pictures. Videos even! There’s a guy I spoke to that makes informational YouTube videos and shows them to clients.
Event planning sounds like the simplest small business idea, but there’s some complexity involved. Working within the tastes of clients when organizing events such as family reunions, weddings, parties and ect. can be nerve racking. Event planning requires organizational skills and attention to detail, to effectively manage all aspects of an event and to make it memorable for guests. Just pray that your clients aren’t unrealistic.
Pet Sitting / Dog walking
Many people will pay to have someone look after their pets while they’re on vacation or during the day while they’re at work. And I should know. My co-worker would cat sit for vacationing tenants while on the clock as a concierge/ door person. My jaw dropped when he told me how much people are willing to pay to have someone feed and clean up after their cats. A pet-sitting business may require room in your home, though some people will allow you to watch over their furry family member in their homes. Dog walkers get paid to walk clients’ dogs during the day. The more clients you have, the more money you earn. Go collect those leashes!
Landscaping is pretty simple. Mowing lawns, raking leaves, trimming hedges, and keeping the front and back yards of your clients looking clean and manicured. The overhead may be a little more costly than pet sitting or event planning. Some of the tools you need aren’t cheap, if you buy them new, that is. If you own a lawnmower and a rake, you can start this business with one or two clients per week. There’s room for scalability and you can also do snow removal in the winter. That’s money almost year round.
Apologies to my suburban and rural readers in advanced. This small business idea would be a bit more difficult for you to pull off than your urban counterparts. In my immediate area, I’ve seen car washes sprout up every spring and summer to tackle the thousands of filthy cars roaming these streets. These auto detailing small businesses are similar to home cleaning services when it comes down to tools and supplies for the job. The requirement that can make it difficult for some readers is a steady water supply in concert with a good location. A possible fix would be water-less car wash cleaner, but then you would have to sell your customers on it. Also, having a good vacuum means that you will need an electric source as well.
Home care / Companionship
This is a small business venture that I recently decided to try my hand in. People are live longer. And baby boomers are nearing retirement age. There is serious growth in this industry, ladies and gents. Home care allows elderly people who are living in their own homes receive services that would otherwise be provided in a nursing home. Sounds like a win-win in the making.
Services includes health-related, as well as non-health services, such as cleaning, driving, shopping, cooking and assistance moving around the house if needed. Companionship has it’s similarities to home health care. As a companion to someone elderly, consider yourself an assistant to your client. A bulk of your time is spent keeping your client company, but you also cater to their non-medical or non-health related needs.
I’m also knee deep in an e-commerce business. This my friends, is a business almost anyone can start. Though I wasn’t that successful, my first online business was started at 14 years old. My first taste of becoming an entrepreneur started when I began setting up drop shipping with suppliers who had no clue I was still in high school.
You can sell things online using sites like eBay, Amazon, or Etsy if you create products or art. Another means of selling products online is through Facebook and YouTube. I hope to write up an article on this sleeper strategy. It’s definitely a selling platform most people are overlooking.
If you are knowledgeable in particular field, blogging may be for you. Write a blog about a subject you know well and use the blog to make money through advertising and selling products. The Warrior’s forum is where you should go for your crash course on making money online.
Most people have a skill that others want. If you have patience and can teach your skill to someone else, then what are you waiting for? You’ve heard of Living Social and Groupon, right? That’s your advertising platform. Does your world revolve around the piano? Do you coach a sport? Do you take photos that would make strangers get into bidding wars on the streets for them? Maybe you should train someone on the side.
Years ago, I taught people how to do simple tasks on a computer in order to supplement my income. Very lucrative when you can rack up a few clients to tutor during a week. You can even supercharge your idea and make an online business out of it. Depending on the skill you teach, you can write ebooks to sell, or even videos. Those videos can be held on the members only side of your small business’ website.
Becoming an entrepreneur without investing your life savings is a lot more possible now that you know of 10 doable small business ideas that you can try. Lets get to work! Good luck and stay tuned for new articles!!!
I’m not finished yet. I have an honorable mention that may cost you a little more in order to start, but many of you may already own some of the costly tools that you need.
* Towing and Roadside Assistance
Yes, this business can be challenging to get a decent foothold in, but it can be done. Many people won’t know that they need you until it’s too late! And by that time, they won’t know who to turn to for help. So in order to be at the “right place” at the right time for potential customers, you’ll need to advertise. This is where you want clients to find you:
- The Yellow Pages (online)
- Mobile GPS App advertising (Waze)
- Local Gas Stations
What you’ll need when you start this business is:
- 2 wheeled towing dolly
- 8 cylinder 4X4 Truck
- Gas cans
- Jump Boxes
- Hydraulic Jacks and Jack Stands
You will also want to work closely with local tire shops to get the best prices on tires. The idea is to have the tire shop sell tires to you, on demand and at discount, allowing you to increase the amount to a fair price. You get a cut for the tires sold, and your customer gets out of their jam.
Make sure you can accept credit cards. Square and PayPal have mobile credit and debit card readers. Keep it with the truck at all times.