I suspect that there are a lot of people who would like to own their own business or work for themselves. I have successfully started multiple small businesses in several states and done very well. One thing I learned along the way is that if you have enough money to start a large business that requires equipment, employees, stock, a fixed location and money to cover expenses until the business supports itself, then you have enough money to retire. Why do it? Maybe the well off business owner wants more money, needs something to do, or the challenge and reward makes life worth living. No matter. Many of us have no choice but work for ourselves due to the economy and lack of paid jobs. Here are five businesses you can start with little money and do very well.
A mobile computer repair technician
If you are a computer geek put your skills and knowledge to use. Do house calls for sick computers. Repairing hardware is easy. Software problems are more difficult. You can do this with very little equipment though there are diagnostic tools that help. This is one of those jobs you usually charge by the hour. Time starts from the time you leave your shop (home) until you leave the client.
I don’t know about you but as a kid I walked around the neighborhood and mowed lawns for spending money. As an adult my partner did the same thing for a lot of money. You can do basic lawn mowing and edge trimming or get involved in landscaping and horticulture extravaganzas. My partner made his money mowing yards at repossessed homes that were backed by government loans. Grass is green–kind of like money. Banks have a lot of repossessed homes right now. Very important: mow grass for rich people. Poor people have no money.
Ceramic tile installer
Any skill could have been used as an example. I use tile installer as an example because it’s simple and easy. As a small business owner you don’t want to be a general contractor. General contracting requires too much equipment, labor, and upfront money. Specialize, focus on one skill you have that other people want. House painting is another good example.
Let me give you an example of how an online retailer can work. Search for products used in activities or endeavors that you know something about. Contact suppliers of these products and become an associate with drop ship privileges. Start a blog based on your activities and draw in traffic. Add a catalog and shopping cart. Populate the catalog with products from your suppliers. When you receive orders you get paid upfront. Relay these orders to your supplier who ships directly to the purchaser. It’s simple, it works, and you can set it up where it looks like everything is coming directly from your professional business location.
Many people like to prowl through garage sales and small ratty flea markets. You can find some treasures that way. You can also find products to sell at larger, well run flea markets. Crafts you do on the side can bring in good money. For a great example check out Canton Trade Days in Canton, Texas–the best flea market I’ve ever seen. There are a lot of good opportunities to make money at flea markets.
This list could be endless. There are hundreds of opportunities for small businesses, and endless variations under each opportunity. You don’t have to do everything. In fact it’s best to specialize in small niches. Keep your business small, basic, and very focused. Don’t borrow money. If there comes a time you don’t have capital to cover the cost get the other guy to cover it up front. You may lose a few jobs or sales this way, but it’s better than to lose money you don’t have. Consider your options. All of us have special skills, knowledge, or abilities that someone will pay for.