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Starting your own business is always a risk, but if you can launch one without making a major investment, you may find it easier to stay calm. A low-cost business concept is a beautiful way to experiment with a new endeavour without needing to make a large profit immediately (or pay any employees).
Every new business requires a solid business plan, and it will always be hard to tell if a new idea for a small business will be successful when it hasn’t been tested in your target market. But it’s valuable to have the freedom to take risks and make mistakes in a relatively low-risk environment. That way, once you have some early indicators of success, you can start planning to scale up, expand, and create a full-time job for yourself.
Here are seven ideas for starting your own business that don’t require a big up-front investment:
Freelance in an area you’re passionate about
Where does your skill and experience lie? You’re likely to find more success (and have a lot more fun) starting a new business in a field that you’re passionate about. For example, if your cooking skills don’t extend beyond watching My Kitchen Rules, then perhaps catering isn’t a great idea for a business. But if you’re a whiz on social media, then there could be a viable opportunity to consult with other sellers on their social media plans.
Do you love animals and have spare time during the day? Dog walking could be a great way to make some extra money while getting some valuable exercise and time outdoors. It’s also a scalable and efficient business plan — you can start small with just a few clients, then build new clients through your neighbourhood or local dog park once you’re sure you can handle the workload. Remember, if you’re not doing a great job, then your business could suffer from bad word-of-mouth reviews, which could sink it before it even gets off the ground.
Become an executive assistant
If you like making someone else’s life easier, you could market your ability to tackle the high-demand tasks of busy clients. The job of an executive assistant is varied, meaning that every day is different. You could be asked to do a wide range of tasks, from organising small events and get-togethers to collecting dry cleaning, or building a schedule on behalf of the busy professional you’re working for. This type of work is a great business idea for an organised person with flexible working hours or living arrangements.
Are you a highly organised, Type A personality? If you’re considering starting your own small business, sharing your talents as a professional event organiser could be a good option. Whether you’re taking on lunches, parties, engagements or larger events, helping people make their events a success is a great idea for starting a business.
Help other companies sell their products online
These days, shoppers turn to the Internet to buy everything from clothes to furniture. But many companies have a limited amount of time to take photos, catalog their items, and manage their online sales. You might consider offering a service to support people and businesses by coordinating their delivery, managing their online sales, or updating their websites. It’s a simple way to start your own business, and you don’t need anything but experience and motivation.
Start a cleaning business
So long as you’re a hard worker willing to put in the time to make people’s homes and offices shine, starting a cleaning business can be a low-cost business opportunity. Cleaning businesses have relatively flexible hours (it can be done after business hours or on the weekends), so your business plan should accommodate you being able to work for multiple clients and still maintain a relatively comfortable schedule.
Become a caretaker
Is your area tourist friendly and full of vacation homes? Maintaining these properties during the off-season is a great way to start a scalable small business that requires very little startup investment. You are the homeowners’ eyes and ears on the ground, so you’d need to build and maintain a solid list of clients who can trust you with their investments.