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Have you ever dreamed of starting a business? No more having to answer to anybody but yourself. No more working your butt off at a dead-end job that doesn’t get you anywhere. Having the flexibility to set your own hours around your family’s needs and schedule.
Sounds awesome right? Who wouldn’t want to work for themselves? A Lot of people dream about starting a business but are too scared to take the leap. It can be scary. When you think of starting a business, the first thing that comes to mind is your financial stability. What will happen if it doesn’t work out? How am I going to finance my business? I can’t afford to go without my steady income while building a business.
These are real concerns. Nobody wants to fail and even worse, getting into debt if things don’t work out. I hear you, the good news is that we live in a day and age where starting a business doesn’t have to be this scary or strap you financially.
5 Businesses You Can Start for Under $200
There are plenty of work from home businesses that you can start with little upfront capital. And they are business that you can start building in your spare time if you want to. This definitely is a lot less scary than jumping in with both feet, quitting your job, taking out business loans and not knowing if or when you will start to bring in income.
I have put together a list of five businesses that you can start today with very little investment. The best part about these businesses is that you can start them in your spare time and build them up until you are confident enough with them and your income potential to take the leap and quit your life draining job once and for all.
Five Low-Cost Business Startups
Do you love shopping? Do you have a knack for finding great deals and bargains? If so then online sales might be right for you. These days it is so easy to create an online shop whether it is your own website or selling through other sites such as eBay and Amazon.
I personally sell on Amazon and spend just a few hours a week working at it and it brings in a few thousand dollars a month of extra income. Not bad huh? I know that if I put more time in that it could definitely turn into a sustainable full-time business.
The best part about Amazon FBA is that you don’t need to worry about storing inventory, packing and shipping products when sold and customer service. Amazon FBA takes care of all of that for you.
Startup cost: As little as $100
You can start selling online through Amazon with as little $100 (or less) worth of inventory. Of course the more you invest, the faster your business will grow.
What you’ll need:
Amazon Sellers Account: You can set up an Amazon seller account for free. Amazon does offer a Pro account for $39.99 per month as well. Their Pro account will actually save you money in fees when you start selling 40 or more products a month. So once you hit 40 plus sales a month (which is pretty easy), you should upgrade to a Pro account.
Inventory: As mentioned above, you will need to find inventory. I started out selling items that I found great deals on using retail arbitrage. I would shop clearance sections, purchase low-cost inventory through couponing and hitting up thrift stores and a local liquidation store.
Scanning App: Amazon also has a free inventory scanning app. This is great to start off with but once you start growing you should consider Profit Bandit Sellers App. There is a $9.95 monthly subscription fee but it has way more functionality to help you source inventory.
Packing and Shipping Materials: You will need boxes to ship your items to Amazon’s warehouse, packing tape, poly bags to package your product and printable address labels.
If you are interested in selling on Amazon, you can sign up for a FREE 7-day email course put together by Jessica Larrew of The Selling Family. Jessica and her husband both work full time selling on Amazon and bring in a six-figure income a year.
Read How Amazon Got Me Out of Debt
This is the book that got me into selling on Amazon and on my road to being debt free!!
Are you the creative type? Love to design graphics, love to draw or have a good eye for photography? Then starting your own business selling your designs and photos might just be the perfect business for you. What could be better than turning your hobby and passion into a full-fledged business?
There are so many places you could sell your work online these days. For instance, you can sign up for sites like CafePress, Zazzle, and RedBubble to sell graphics. These are print on demand sites where you can have your graphics printed onto t-shirts, mugs, wall art and much more. They are free to join and you earn a commission each time a product with your design sells.
One of the best perks about this business model is that you create your designs or photographs once and earn money over and over again. This really could end up being a great source of passive income once you have a good collection of designs.
Start-up Cost: $100 – $200
What you’ll need:
You will either need some sort of graphic or photo editing software which can range in cost depending on which you prefer. Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator are some of the better software packages for this type of work but there are plenty of less expensive versions available.
Looking for ways to make some extra income? Check out these posts.
How to Make Money Completing Surveys
How to Make the Most of Online Surveys
How to Start a Business with Almost No Money
Do you love to write? Or do you love to help people out and share your knowledge? Then starting a blog is great business option for you. Most people start a blog as a hobby and a way to connect with others which is great. But blogging is also a great way to earn a full-time income. There are many bloggers out there who earn five and six figures a year with their blogs.
There are a variety of ways to generate income with a blog. You can earn money with ads, affiliate marketing, writing sponsored posts, selling courses and training within your blog’s niche. The possibilities are endless.
There is a vast amount of information out there to help you along your way to becoming a successful blogger. Read my “How to Start a Blog – Step by Step Guide” post for step by step instructions to set up your blog with Bluehost.
Startup cost: Under $100
What you’ll need:
You can start your own blog for as little $3.95 per month with Bluehost. Bluehost will provide you with web hosting for your site and you will also get a free domain name (a $15 value).
Once you are on your way there are some great courses out there to help you grow. Here are a few of my best recommendations:
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
- Blog Traffic Ebook
- Core Affiliate Strategy
- Pinterest Strategy Guide
Do you have a knack for creating handmade crafts? Love working with your hands? Then selling your handmade creations might just be the business for you. Again, in this day and age, it is so easy to start a business selling your art. It used to be that you would have to spend your weekends stuck behind a booth at craft fairs to sell you crafts. Well not anymore.
You can now run a craft business from the comfort of your own home and showcase your work to millions of people on sites like Etsy, MadeItMyself and Amazon Handmade.
Start-up Cost: Varies
The cost to start a craft business will vary depending on your crafts. Basically, your cost will be for supplies and materials to make your crafts, which you probably already have anyway. Signing up to sell your crafts on most websites are free, you just pay fees when your items sell.
If you love writing then creating eBooks may be just what you are looking for. You can write eBooks in so many different genres. It could be fiction, how-to guides, children’s books, cookbooks, the list goes on and on.
The best part of starting this business is that once you create your eBook, it becomes a passive income stream for you. It could sell thousands of times over without any extra effort.
Self-publishing on Amazon Kindle is by far the best place to start. Again, Amazon is the leader in book sales and will put your product in front of millions of people.
Start-up Cost: $0
You can literally start creating and selling eBooks on Amazon with no upfront cost. All that is required is your knowledge of the topic you are writing about. Amazon supports uploading your eBook from a Microsoft Word document that comes loaded onto most computers. Of course, you can purchase publishing software if you prefer but it is not a necessity to start.
If this interests you, then you should check out this book to help you on your way. Simple Ebook Creation
As you can see, starting a home-based business doesn’t have to be scary and financially strapping. You can start off small in your spare time and build it up on your own schedule, but the more you put into your new business, the faster it’ll take off.
Have you started your own home-based business on a dime? Please share it with us.
These are some great ideas. A few comments I’d make for people considering entrepreneurship: It takes time, and effort. A lot of people hope they can start something and just sit back and cash checks. Starting something from scratch takes just as much work (or more) than working for someone else. Also give it enough time to ramp up. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs who spend months planning something toward a big launch then hear nothing but crickets. :-/ Set expectations right. There are some things to do pre-launch too that will help. Lastly, it’s a good idea to start something while you still have another source of income. I built my last business while overlapping full-time work for several years. I hired myself as employee #3 once the business was big enough. Overlap greatly lowers both stress levels and risk.
You are so right Brad. I definitely did not intended to imply that these are get rich schemes. Any legitimate business takes time, determination and perseverance. Nobody can sustain a business without it. What I did want to stress is that these are low cost start ups that you can build up in your spare time while still working and that require little up front capital.
I started selling knitting items way back in 2009. It was easy and cheap to start, but like all things in business, it takes a business mindset to keep it going. I found that I was spending too much in yarn compared to what I was bringing in. I’m much more wise now 😃
Yes a business mindset is definitely needed for sure!! Even if you do make sales (which is great and a big ego boost), you have to take into consideration not only your expenses but your time and any other fees, etc… You can not be working for free to run a legit business. If people truly want you awesome products, they will pay what they are worth.
As mentioned, I sell on Amazon. Although I do not invest a huge amount of time into it, I do make sure I am paid for the time I do spend. I never sell anything that brings in less than 100% ROI because it just isn’t worth my time at this point.
Love these ideas im hoping to try creating an e-book in the near future
That’s great. I a working on one myself, very anxious to put it out for sale.
These are great ideas! I started my first blog with less than $2, and started using affiliate marketing right away. I made almost $600 my first month of blogging!
Blogging is my passion, amd getting to help people in the process makes it so rewarding.
Just like any business, it takes alot of work in the beginning, but if you love what you do, it’s worth it!
Thanks Angel. I definitely does take a lot of work so having a passion for what you do is what you need to make any business work.