7 Small Business Ideas That Take Under $500 to Start
Many people out there are looking to start their own LLC, but may feel like their dreams are for nothing because they don’t have the financial backing to get things up and running. Take heart! All hope is not lost — you can actually start your very own business with as little as $500 (or less). Below are seven ways for you to take your small business ideas and turn them into a profitable business.
1. eBay/Amazon Reseller
You can easily start your very own small business by selling other people’s (or your own) items. Just set up an eBay and/or Amazon account and start selling unused items around the house that are in good condition. Those purses or unopened golf balls are worth something to someone…and you may be surprised at how much.
Once you’re out of your own items to sell, go to your local discount store and look for inexpensive items that are worth more than their cost. You can even go online where you’re selling (eBay and Amazon) and purchase items that are being sold in bulk at a heavy discount. Once you receive them, take photos and post them online under your own eBay or Amazon account and sell them at a profit.
You can also check out area yard sales and garage sales. You’ve heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Find items that are saleable, and work to get the price you want to pay for them so you can turn around and make a profit.
2. Virtual Assistant
If selling products doesn’t excite you, don’t worry — you can sell a service (or even multiple instead services) instead. I’m assuming you already have a laptop/computer/tablet that you use for work; if so, there really isn’t any additional expense you need. For very low upfront costs, you can become a virtual assistant or online contractor. You can utilize websites such as Upwork and Fiverr to post your bio and start pulling in clients.
If you have a skill set that can help solve the problems of your customers, you’ll soon have a thriving small business. Maybe you’re great at data entry and can handle the workload from several clients on a daily basis. Maybe you’re skilled at completing research for companies who need-up-to date information for their projects. If you are quick at typing, you could take audio clips and transcribe them for clients.
There are so many possibilities when you start to think about all the problems people have that you could help solve! Whatever you feel your strengths are, you can utilize them as a virtual assistant for little to no cost at all.
3. Social Media Management
Social media is a necessary evil these days; everyone is using everything from Facebook to Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and LinkedIn. But influencers don’t always have time to comb through all their social media platforms to engage with their audience. For that reason, you can become a service provider who manages someone else’s business or personal social media pages.
There’s no cost to you other than your time and the laptop/tablet/smartphone you wish to work on (which you probably already possess). To make life easier, you may wish to pay for software that allows you to manage and schedule social media posts for your clients. The prices for these options vary, but all of them are well under $500 per year to use.
Everyone has a story to share or something they want to document. Online, you’ll see bloggers in every market giving out amazing information to help educate the general public. You can do this too with a simple and free WordPress website, or pay to have your own dedicated domain and web hosting site that will cost you under $500 per year.
While this is a great small business idea that many people have, some aren’t truly utilizing their platform to bring in revenue. In order to do so, look to use affiliate links, ad placement, content marketing, banners and other platforms to produce real monthly revenue from your storytelling.
Many bloggers and vloggers also bring on clients to promote their products. As long as you have a way to upload your content (laptop or smartphone) and a means to type or record the content itself (such as a video camera), you’re all set to start your own small business. Don’t believe that documenting your day is all that interesting? Google “Gary Vaynerchuk dailyvee.” Over 1M followers is no joke to simply record what happens in your daily life!
5. Editorial Services
Do you love to write? Some small business ideas happen in someone’s head, while others prefer to write everything down on paper or document it on their devices. If you enjoy typing and do it well, you could easily start your own editorial service. This can be anything in the field: content creation, writing, copywriting, ghostwriting, editing, proofreading, etc. It might make sense to start a website for your services to look professional and get your name out there, but that can be done free or very inexpensively (well under the $500 cap for this article).
The more clients you take on, the more revenue you’ll generate for your business. You can set your own prices for each service, and your customer base is endless — you can work with small businesses and large businesses alike. You can even work with individuals like students who need help putting essays and reports together. The opportunities are out there; you simply need to go find them.
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6. Online Coaching
Do you currently hold a degree or certification that allows you to work with clients as a life coach, personal trainer, nutrition consultant, etc.? For less than $500, you can take your skill set and education and turn one of your small business ideas into a reality.
Simply take your passion for helping people and become an online coach in your specific field of expertise. You have the ability to connect with clients on a daily basis through something like email, text or Skype at almost no cost to you. Clearly, you would need an internet connection if you wish to work from home, but almost any Wi-Fi connection will do if you need to work outside your house.
Businesses around the globe are always looking for consultants who can help take their company to the next level. There are so many different consulting roles out there — to decide on a specialty, you need to look at what abilities you possess as well as your background, education and experience.
For example, if you have a marketing background, you could easily consult using that knowledge. All businesses need marketing in order to grow. Pitching your consulting services to a brand or business can land you a quick paying job (or even a long-term contract).
Best of all, you don’t need to shell out a ton of money to start your business. A website would be helpful, as would business cards so you can network to market yourself and your consulting business. Other than that, you’d stay well below the $500 budget and can get your business up and running extremely quickly.