The idea of starting a business puts thoughts of a large startup capital, an equally large customer base, aggressive, expensive marketing on all forms of media, social, electronic and even print media in most people’s minds. But it doesn’t have to be so. Granted, if you have the source of funds, a good business idea and business experience, you can go the expensive route. But most people don’t, so instead of wallowing, here are 10 business ideas that require virtually no capital, for those who don’t have access to a sizable startup fund.
- Consultancy services: This is the foremost of the small businesses you can start with almost no capital; consulting services can be provided for anything and everything. Think of any special skill you possess and you can make a reasonable income from it with no capital. E.g. marriage counseling, business consulting, legal consulting, property consultancy, educational consulting, media consulting, etc. You don’t have to possess any capital to start consulting, just the contacts on your phone, email addresses and referrals from family and friends and you’re good to go.
- Real estate agency: You can provide a valuable service to both the owners of properties and their prospective tenants by finding real estate properties for clients. Advertise that you have listings available for houses, apartments, flats, rooms, offices, etc. You can either charge a one-time fee for finding accommodations or work on a commission. In this line of business, no capital or professional qualification is really required to start-up. You can belong to groups in the real estate niche or get briefs from family and friends, just have the right information and you will always smile to the bank. In addition, you can also be a property manager to your clients and earn steady income from management fees.
- Home/office cleaning: Many homeowners and apartment dwellers will welcome help at “house cleaning’ – another venture that requires no capital to start. Charge a flat fee for the amount of work that must be done. House cleaning services cover carpets, floors, lawns, garages, windows, walls, and roofs, requiring a whole range of cleaning tools. You can hire maids and janitors to do the actual cleaning while you handle administrative and customer service tasks. Or, you can start small by actually getting your hands dirty as a contractor and learning on the job before launching your own cleaning operations. Make arrangements with firms that provide labour for tidying up office environment, cleaning carpets, dusting the furnitures, polishing, etc. and collect a commission from them. Tell your friends and family who are moving to a new house or changing offices and with the help of flyers or handbills you could reach out to a large audience.
- Teach an online course: If you’re an expert at something, there’s likely an audience of people online who would be willing to pay to become an expert in your field – just like you. You can start with no capital by advertising on your social media networks to people you know first, and then get them to evangelize for you by letting their friends and loved ones know about your class. You can give the classes for free at first, and when you get a sizable audience, charge a fee for your courses.
- Instagram marketing: If you’ve built up a following on your Instagram account, you could quickly be approached by major brands, gear companies, and other relevant businesses that sell products or services related to the type of content you share on Instagram. If you have hundreds of thousands of followers, you can easily charge from $500 per post or more – and make an almost regular income with no capital. Brands that produce clothing apparel, accessories and even tech devices could pay you per post to market their products if their brand is in line with the kind of content you post.
- Start a blog: Do you think blogging is no longer a viable source of income? Think again. Tens of thousands of bloggers are creating content on diverse topics like scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film and lifestyle. More are launching self-employed careers thanks to a combination of blog subscribers, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and other revenue streams all with no capital whatsoever. There are numerous platforms that provide free platforms for bloggers, and take only a few minutes to set up. Your first step will be to sharpen your writing abilities, understand what your audience wants and learn how to write a blog post that drives traffic and gives you regular readers. Once you can write within your topic area with confidence, find out from the numerous online guides about how to make money from your blog.
- Personal fitness training: If you’re a fitness enthusiast and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer can be both physically and financially rewarding while requiring no capital to start. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time business for you, with your own gym and facilities.
- Car Wash: A lot of car owners simply don’t have time to personally care for their vehicles, much less make them sparkle. With simple equipment such as car shampoo, polishing wax, tire black, sponges and a pail, you can start earning a good income on the side or as a main job from washing cars. With time, you can add services like cleaning car and home carpets to your business.
- Modeling: There are always products and services looking for models to promote their brands. Even though this takes no capital, it’s however dependent on you having a model’s body and a pretty/handsome face. You could sign up with a modeling agency, find a freelance agent or get modeling jobs independently. Get some advice about the industry from any locally based models you know or can connect with, and begin to build a portfolio that you can place online for references.
- Contract customer service: A lot of firms outsource their customer service operations and many of them accept home-based contractors. You can start this with no capital by signing up on freelancing sites. If you are a customer service representative with management skills, you can form an online team of customer service providers and engage clients as a customer service company. You can also give customer service training to teams and individuals all with no capital.
These 10 businesses you can start with little or no capital are ideal for people who don’t have access to proper funding for the larger business ideas. Start any of the businesses listed with no capital and if done properly, these ideas could generate enough capital for your dream business.