One of the questions we tend to encounter in entrepreneurship forums is on which businesses can be started with little capital. This question is usually posed by folks who find themselves yearning to launch small businesses, but with severe capital limitations. It is not an easy question to answer, as operating conditions vary from place to place. Furthermore, what may look like ‘small capital’ to one individual may turn out to be ‘massive capital’ to another individual. These facts notwithstanding, there are certain suggestions that keep on coming up whenever discussions on businesses that can be started with little capital are held. They include:
1. House cleaning services business
To launch a house cleaning services business, all you need to have is the cleaning equipment and the cleaning materials. The cleaning equipment can be hired. So you don’t have to pay for it upfront. Which therefore means that all you really need to pay for upfront are the cleaning materials – and these are typically not very costly. Once you have the cleaning materials and the cleaning equipment, the next step is to print out brochures informing people in the neighborhood(s) you are targeting that you are offering house cleaning services. So you ensure that you include the phone number you can be reached at in the brochures… The whole venture is surely unlikely to cost you more than a hundred bucks. Yet if you distinguish yourself by providing high quality house cleaning services, you could soon find yourself generating a lot of revenue, in spite of having invested so little money in the business…
2. Lawn mowing services business
All you need to have, to launch a lawn mowing business is the mower! And as it turns out, the lawn mower can be hired. So you don’t have to buy one upfront. Once you have hired the lawn mower, you can simply print glossy brochures informing people that you are offering lawn mowing services. Then you distribute the brochures to people in the neighborhood(s) you are targeting with your lawn mowing services. You just ensure that that you indicate the phone number you can be reached at clearly in the brochures. Then you wait for the phone calls to start streaming in. If you offer decent lawn mowing services, you could soon find yourself enjoying a great deal of business. That in spite of having spent so little money to launch the enterprise.
3. Graphic design business
Okay, this is a slightly more complex business to start than the house cleaning and lawn mowing businesses above. But it can still be started with modest capital. You first of all need to have decent graphic design skills. Those you can acquire through online tutorials, if you are tenacious enough and if you are reasonably talented. Then you can rent any sort of office, bring your computer or laptop there (with the appropriate graphic design software)and get going! If you market your services aggressively, you may soon start making quite a bit of money.
4. E-books selling business
This is the sort of business you can run from the comfort of your bedroom, if you have some sort of computer (laptop or desktop). So you just write e-books in a niche that you are knowledge about and offer them for sale online. You can even opt to market other peoples’ e-books for a commission, if you can’t write your own. It may admittedly take some time for you to start seeing the money. But if you are aggressive enough, there is no reason why you shouldn’t find it lucrative in the long run.
5. Real estate agency business
Here, all you need to do is acquire any sort of office, get a phone number and put a sign outside indicating that you are a real estate agent! You can also advertise in the local press and online [which is initially not as costly as you may imagine]. Soon, people who want to sell or rent out properties are likely to contact you, requesting you to find them buyers or renters. Similarly, people who are looking to buy or rent properties are likely to start contacting you, requesting you to help them find properties on sale or rent… Soon, you would be earning lots of commissions.
6. Events planning business
In this case, you first need to acquire the necessary events planning skills. This you can do through affordable online courses. You should endeavor to acquire some certifications, for credibility purposes. Then you set up on office somewhere (you could even start with a home office) and publicize the fact that you are offering event planning services. Soon, you are likely to start getting inquiries from people who are in search of event planning help. The equipment you need to set up events (tents, chairs, tables, catering equipment and so on) can be hired in the earlier stages of the business life. Meaning that you don’t have to spend a lot at the outset.
7. Snacks vending business
All you need to do here is get some sort of premises/space in a high traffic area. Then you acquire the necessary food handling certifications. After that, you buy (or initially hire) the equipment you need to be making the snacks. Finally, buy the ingredients and prepare the snacks. [Or you could start out selling snacks prepared by other people for a commission]. Then you go into business. Easy peasy.
8. Photography business
All you need to have in this case is a decent camera (and professional photography skills). If you can’t afford a brand new one, you can start with a second hand camera which you can buy with ease online. As for the photography skills, you can acquire them through online courses and practice. Then you acquire a ‘studio’ to be operating from — which can be any sort of office, including a home office. Thereafter, you publicize the fact that you are offering photography services. Soon you start getting business.
9. Computer services business
There are still individuals who need help with typing documents, printing, photocopying, lamination, document binding and so on. This is a line of business you can venture into with relatively little capital. All you need is some sort of office to be operating from, ideally in a high-traffic area. As for the necessary equipment, you can initially rent it. Or you can buy relatively cheap equipment for computer services business from the second hand market.
10. Affiliate marketing business
In this sort of business, you don’t need to have your own inventory. You get to sell other people’s inventory online, for a commission. Neither do you even need to have some sort of office. You just set up a website (even a blog will do), and include affiliate links in it. The challenge is in how to get traffic into the website, but if you are really aggressive about it, you will soon start getting traffic. When people follow your affiliate links and subsequently buy whatever you are selling, you would get to earn commissions. And it can be quite lucrative in the long run.