Starting your own business might seem pretty scary, but what if we told you that you could start one for less than $100? Not only that, but most of the time, you can build it on the side without giving up your day job. In other words, what have you got to lose? If the prospect of venturing out on your own and making a living without a boss sounds good to you, then keep reading.
Flip merchandise for profit
You have a lot of ways to make money flipping products. Some people even make well over six figures doing so. Take Mark Meyer, for example. He’s a guy in his 30s who buys stuff at auctions to flip on Amazon, consistently bringing in more than $100,000 a year. You can find discounted products in plenty of places. You can shop the discount sections in department stores, garage sales, liquidation auctions, and thrift stores, to name a few. You can then turn those treasures into cash by marking them up and selling them on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or even at your own garage sales.
Start a small service business
One of the best ways to start a business that requires little to no capital is by offering a service. The key is to either find something you’re good at or something you can learn to be good at and start from the bottom. Lots of things can fall into this category. Some examples are:
- Maid or janitorial services
- Handyman services
- House painting
- Dog training
- Window cleaning
Sign up on service apps
You’ll find an app for almost anything you need nowadays. Need a ride to a party? Order an Uber or Lyft driver. Need a table assembled? Hire a micro-tasker on TaskRabbit. You can sign up to work on all these apps and run errands, give people rides, help them with menial tasks, and be a mystery shopper. Some of the most popular apps are:
- Amazon Flex
Become a freelancer
Freelancing can be done in almost any field, including the jobs we’ve already mentioned. Most commonly, however, a freelancer is someone who helps with online business tasks, such as writing or marketing. To become a freelancer, you just need to decide what skills you have to offer and make your services available to people, either in person or online. Lots of online marketplaces are out there, including Upwork, where you can put up your profile and bid on jobs. Or you can choose to set up your own website where people can find you and see your portfolio. Here are some popular freelance businesses you can start.
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Web design
Take care of business
Once you’ve decided on the business you will start, it’s important to make sure you take care of any legal or tax requirements your town or county may have. The SBA (Small Business Administration) website is a good place to start. But basically, you may have to file a DBA (Doing Business As) form with your county, a general business license, and any permits required in your city.
And if you plan on hiring people to help you, you will need to contact a tax professional about whether or not you’ll have to issue 1099s or pay payroll expenses. You may also need to check with your CPA or attorney to see if it’s in your best interest to create an LLC or S Corp, but those decisions usually don’t need to be made until you’re making a full-time income.