Getting Your Startup Off The Ground: Business Ideas That Need Little Money To Start

Written by Chloe Harwood

Whether you are looking to make a second income or want to start a business and really make a success out of it, then it does all start with the idea. Some ideas are going to be more successful than others. Some ideas will work on a global scale, and some are more lifestyle businesses that will generate a steady income for you. Getting away from the traditional nine to five working routine is the dream for many people, right?

But for startups, money is always going to be an issue. You might have some savings to use to get yourself some initial inventory, for example. But from there, you might have to just wait until you are generating income to get bigger and bigger. So if there are ideas that need very little by way of income to start with, then it is going to be a quicker way to get your business up and running. It is not just about the money, though. You have to be prepared to work hard. It sounds silly, but many people underestimate just how hard you do have to work for a business to be a success. It isn’t until things are up and running and generating a lot of income that you can take a less hands-on role. But as the founder, you will still be ultimately responsible for the business. So don’t think you can make a success out of not doing very much! But if you’re prepared to work hard, have a desire to succeed and want to do well, then here are some ideas for startup businesses that will need very little to get them started. Would love to hear if you have any experience of any of them?

College Application and Financial Aid Consultancy

Someone that is a financial aid or planner helps parents and prospective college students to get the best price for their child’s education. And as crazy as it might sound, people are willing to spend money on getting this help early on, so that it will help to save them money later down the line. You need to be aware of all of the resources that are available so that you will be better able to tap into the resources for financial aid. You could give advice about college applications, the best colleges to apply for certain majors, as well as assisting with the actual filling out of the college applications and financial aid application forms. You could give tips for the college essay writing, and give parents the advice and know-how when it comes to the implications of tax for college saving plans.

If you have a pretty sound knowledge of higher education and understanding of tax, finances, and financial aid programs, then this could be the thing for you. Other than a website and some advertising, you would need very little to get you started. So it could easily be run from home, alongside a current job if needed.

Transport and Logistics Company

There are many transport companies across the country, but it is an industry that doesn’t really show any signs of backing down. We all need things to be transported to us, as do big brands. So for the foreseeable future, there will always be something that needs to be transported. You would need to drum up some business from customers that would use you to transport things. Then from there, it is just the trucks or lorries that you would need to transport the items. It is quite a straightforward business model. There are even companies that you can lease trucks from if you didn’t have the capital to purchase your own right away. It is a pretty standard business model and would work well as a lifestyle business, as well as growing it into something more significant.

Freelance Writing

With the rise of blogs and digital marketing, there is such a demand for copywriters and freelance writers at the moment. Businesses want to rank well on search engines and will start blogs of their own. But if they don’t have someone dedicated to writing regular content on their site, then it can in effect be quite pointless. The topics can vary hugely as to what you might be asked to write about, but the work will be steady, and in most cases, pretty well paid. The best thing to do is to set up your own website and then contact businesses that have blogs. Even businesses without blogs can be a good point of contact too, as you could suggest that to them and share your writing experience with them.

It would be completely based from home, so it works well for those of us with children or other commitments that we can work around. And other than the cost of a website, as long as you have the internet and computer, you can get started. It is definitely more of a lifestyle business, but if it needed to be, it really is scaleable. You could even branch out into SEO and digital marketing through this. It just depends on how much time you can commit to it and how hard you are prepared to work.

Gardening Business

When you ‘gardening business’ you can just think of it as going to someone’s garden and pulling weeds. While that might be an element of it, there is so much more to it. You could set up being an actual gardener in other people’s homes. You could also consider making your garden into a place to grow things that you can then sell on. Herb farms, for example, are a massive industry at the moment. Herbs can be used to make herbal teas, used in candles and soap making, as well as for eating and using in natural medicine. Much more there that you thought there was, right? You would need to have a good understanding of herbs and what it takes to grow them. So if you’re green fingered, it could be a viable lifestyle business for you.

You can scale this kind of business up, though. If you wanted, you could take your gardening skills to the classroom and become a gardening teacher. You could offer hands-on seminars from the comfort of your own home, or even get in touch with local community colleges to run classes or talks on different aspects. Getting in touch with local garden centers and nurseries could be a good idea too, as you’d have a much more engaged audience. You could branch out into flower arranging from this kind of business too. So don’t be fooled into thinking that it is a simple business. There are plenty of ways to take it if you’re creative enough.

Website or Graphic Design

If you’re handy with a computer and some design and editing software, then it makes sense to turn your passion into a business. I don’t know of many businesses that don’t have a website, so there can be plenty of demand for people wanting design services and logos for their site. You could also look at people who need help with flyers and leaflets, so having contacts in your local community could be really key, as this kind of thing is often done through word of mouth. This might end up being more of a hobby business, but why not get an extra income doing something that you enjoy?

Cleaning Business

Like with a gardening business, you can make much more out of a cleaning business than just going around and cleaning homes. If that is what you want to do, then there will always be a demand for it. But it is possible to make your business into a reliable brand that people will look to use when they are in need of reliable cleaners. You could go down the corporate cleaning route to clean office spaces instead. It is easier to get longer or larger contracts with these kinds of cleaning jobs as they will need cleaners day in and day out in a corporate setting. Whereas cleaning in people’s homes might be a bit more ad-hoc, and not as regular. There are plenty of options when it comes to cleaning, though.

Child Care

There have never been a more constant stream of work than when it comes to childcare. There will always be a demand for it, especially as more and more people return to work after having children. It could be that you get yourself registered as a childminder, to help collect children before and after school. You could even arrange something with a local school to get an after school club set up, which can be rather profitable depending on the number of students that you’re able to get to the club. If you wanted to make it more of a full-time business, then you could look to set up your own daycare setting for children. A good knowledge of the legal ramifications of this would be pretty essential; otherwise, there will be a lot of reading up to do. It can be good way of creating a successful business, though.

Have you got other ideas that would work?

About the author

Chloe Harwood