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As we all know, money is a necessary tool that we need to carry us through life in a comfortable way, but knowing where to earn it is the cornerstone of a building a lavish life.
Being able to incur income at your leisure or by your own hand isn’t always easy, but there are ways to create small companies that allow you to build your income as you please.
Becoming a small business owner can be a daunting task if the upfront costs are high, but there are small businesses that you can start as early as today with a small investment of $100 or less.
These businesses are legitimate, legal businesses that you can expect to work on to slowly grow and cultivate a steady flow of work.
If you’re looking to start a small business that has no high start-up costs and can easily manage on your own and build a future with, this guide will help you discover some of the best options.
10 Small Businesses You Can Start for Under $100
Starting a small business can feel like a goal that is limited to the reaches of those who have thousands of dollars to invest in a new company and all its startup costs, but that’s not always true.
The truth is you can start a small business with as little as less than $100, and this quick guide will show you some of the different businesses you can begin with little start up costs.
1. Become a Tutor
If you have a knack for teaching others subjects that you are interested in, tutoring may be a great business to begin.
For less than $100, you can become a tutor and help students of varying subjects study from the comfort of your home.
Although the option to tutor traditionally, one on one and in person, it’s much easier to maintain clients and appointments by tutoring online as you can do this from anywhere!
There are plenty of websites that you can sign up for to see if you qualify to become a tutor.
Thanks to the advent of online marketing and social media, it’s a lot easier to market your services and find new people to tutor.
Different websites offer different services.
Joining these sites have different requirements, so knowing which way you’ll be moving forward with your business will be important as you prepare to take the leap.
For example, Tutor.com is designed to help students learn academic subjects such as English, science and math.
If you want to teach on Tutor.com, you’ll have to go through the application process.
You will be tested on the subject you want to teach, you’ll have to demonstrate that you can teach the class, then you’ll go through a background check.
Once your background check clears, you’ll be able to start tutoring students.
The site offers 40 different subjects to students as well as SAT and advanced course test prep tutoring.
Wyzant is more of an open subject platform where students learn everything from academic subjects like biology to subjects like singing, cooking, or chess.
This is a platform for independent tutors.
You will be subjected to finding your own clients, making sure to create and log your own teaching material, you’ll have to market yourself to build up business, and you’ll have to pay a 25% facilitation fee.
That may seem like a lot of work, but if you’re knowledgeable in a subject and are confident that you can teach students successfully, your business is bound to grow quickly.
The platform fee is pretty steep, and the site doesn’t deduct taxes from the money you make, so you’ll have to pay your taxes on the money you’ve earned yourself at the end of the year.
Wyzant really is a small business platform.
You’ll be responsible for all aspects of your business including scheduling your appointments, developing your own material, and making sure to keep your financial records straight.
VIPKID is a website that helps Chinese students learn English, making it a subject that anyone with a proficiency in English can teach.
VIPKID is great because it creates the curriculum for you, all you have to do is follow the lesson and teach the students what they need to know without having any prior teaching experience.
VIPKID offers a rate of $17-$22 per hour, making it a lucrative work-from-home business that you can count on to make you a livable wage.
If you’re interested in teaching students online from around the world, you can join one of these platforms and start a small business quickly.
The fees incurred for running your business will come in the way of payment for facilitating the use of the platform.
You’ll be able to market yourself on social media, on sites like craigslist, and in real life if you so please.
There is no limit to how many students you can take on, so if you’re working a full time job tutoring, you’re likely to make a lot of money annually.
Tutors can be paid upwards of $50 per lesson.
If you’ve got to the chops to be a tutor, this is a lucrative small business to start at a low cost to you.
2. Sell Stuff Online
Online shopping platforms are all the rage at the moment, and becoming a seller on one of these platforms can be easy!
There are many, many websites online that you can use to sell products and services that you offer.
Secondhand selling is also an option, as well as starting a small marketplace for new manufactured items, handmade creations, or used items like books.
To become successful doing this as a side hustle, you’ll have to be able to maintain a steady interaction with your marketplace.
This means checking in consistently to see if you have new purchases, continuously marketing yourself on different platforms like Instagram or Facebook, or buying sponsored advertisements on the platform of your choice.
Here are some examples of websites you can join and start selling today!
Ebay has been around since the 1990’s and is still one of the most used marketplaces online.
If you’re interested in selling items on Ebay, you can sell almost anything you can think of to a worldwide market.
The beauty of Ebay is that there are some seller fees, but they’re low, and to list an item there is usually a small fee incurred but they often give out promotions that waive this fee.
You’ll be able to sell items like collectible postage stamps, clothes, automobiles, jewelry, musical equipment, anything!
If you’re a person who produces a salable product or runs a small business and want to expand your audience for items you offer, you can use Ebay to sell to buyers around the world.
Ebay is a lucrative option for those who want to work from home and run their own business.
Another thing that Ebay is good for is flipping items.
You can purchase items on Ebay at a low cost, some of them in bulk, and resell them to users on the site for a profit.
This makes funding your Ebay selling easy, and you can start as soon as today!
Etsy is another very popular marketplace, but this one strays away from mass produced items by selling only handmade or one of a kind items created by the seller.
Etsy began as a crafters marketplace some number of years ago, and this platform has taken off in a magnificent way.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to make things with their hands but has a hard time selling products from home or in your community, this may be the perfect place to start changing this.
If you like to knit, crotchet, bead, felt, or any other kind of craft, this is a perfect marketplace for someone with these skills to start a business.
Seller fees are minimal and the marketplace is well known for it’s abundance of users.
You’ll be able to market your store on online platforms and once you start selling you’ll be able to build a following that enjoys your crafted goods.
Poshmark is a well known marketplace for secondhand clothing.
Every seller on Poshmark is selling their own wardrobe items or items that they’ve decided to flip.
This marketplace is similar to Ebay and Etsy in the sense that they offer users the ability to name their price.
As with these other sites it is important to be honest about the quality of your product.
If you have a very large wardrobe, or like to go vintage shopping and often think of reselling your clothing or accessories, you can do so easily on Poshmark.
There are thousands of visitors to the site, and like Etsy and Ebay, it offers a mobile app that can be downloaded to help you easily post new items and keep track of sold items.
3. Cleaning Service
If you’re interested in starting a small business with low start-up costs, a cleaning service is a perfect idea for a quick and easy business idea.
When it comes to cleaning, a lot of people don’t have the proper time or concern for the details of dusting and deep scrubbing.
If you enjoy cleaning and want to make some money on the side, you can easily start this business by using your own home cleaning products before you buy specialty products for clients.
This is a business that can start bringing you money as soon as today.
You can market yourself on websites like Craigslist, in local adverts or on social media.
Once you start to bring in clients, you can easily begin to hire other individuals interested in earning money on the side as cleaners and end up operating a small business with a few employees.
This can be very lucrative depending on how good your services are, and if you find clients who want their homes cleaned a few times a month, you can make excellent money.
You’ll be able to name your price, and as your business builds you can offer premium services to your clients as you see fit.
4. Errand Service
If you’re into the idea of micro-freelancing, you can start an errand service on a platform like TaskRabbit.
This website allows people to match up with individuals who need help running errands.
This can be as simple as grocery shopping or running documents from one side of town to another.
These tasks can be time consuming or quick and short.
You’ll be able to offer your services to individuals based on what you’re interested in doing, and your errand service doesn’t have to be limited to one kind of task either.
If you have a car or are an avid cyclist, this is the perfect way to start a small business.
If you live in a major metropolitan area, you’re bound to find hundreds of people who are in need of some daily errand help.
This makes running an errand service a lucrative business, and starting on a platform like TaskRabbit can make it easy to find clients without having to invest a lot of money.
5. Freelance Bartending
If you have the chops to bartend, then you can start a small business as a freelance bartender.
If you don’t have the proper equipment on hand, you can start with clients who already have the proper tools to bartend an event.
This will make it easy to incur funds for you to purchase your own tools.
You can drum up business by advertising online on social media or on platforms like Craigslist.
If you don’t know how to bartend, you can learn how to make classic cocktails online.
You can go the route of developing a simple party menu for the drinks that you know as you build your knowledge and make these cocktails available to your clients.
As you go along, you’ll be able to offer your services for more money per hour.
You can make upwards of $300 a day or more from wages and tips.
Once you get into the territory of being able to hire other bartenders to work under you, you can pay them $10 an hour and they’ll make tips from the clients to supplement their income.
You’ll be able to charge clients $25-$30 an hour per bartender, making it easy to make a profit from running a bartending service.
If you work hard at building this business, you can easily come into making a couple extra thousand dollars a year.
6. Virtual Assistant
If you like the idea of working from home, you can start a business working as a virtual assistant.
To start this process, you’ll need three things that you most likely already have: a phone, a computer, and access to the internet.
With these three things, you can become a virtual assistant today!
There are plenty of platforms available to pick up clients.
This makes it easy to find work and work from anywhere!
If you’ve got simple computer skills and are proficient in English, you can find hundreds of thousands of available virtual assistant jobs online.
You can pitch your services to individuals in need of someone to book their appointments, answer emails or take their phone calls.
If you’ve got no experience as a virtual assistant, you can start with clients who are open to beginning freelancers to get some know-how under your belt.
It’s easy to sign up for these websites, and you can work at your own pace.
Individuals with a full-time job can work around their own schedule and do so from the comfort of their home.
7. Dog Training, Walking & Sitting
If you love dogs and would like to start a business that allows you to care or train them, then you’ll be able to do so at little cost.
There are online tools available to teach you how to train dogs easily.
A quick youtube search can help you find tutorials on how to teach dogs to be on their best behavior.
If training dogs seems like too daunting a task for you, you can alternately offer services to dog sit.
There are different platforms that you can use to find clients such as Rover which matches sitters with pet owners.
For these platforms, you’ll have to apply for a position as a freelance pet sitter.
There is a background check in place to make sure that sitters are being matched with trustworthy sitters.
As long as you can get through the application process, you can easily find clients and become a pet sitter within the week!
Pet sitters get paid per day, or you can keep it simple and just walk dogs!
You’ll get paid anywhere between $15-$25 or more per dog walk, making it easy to make a pretty penny in one day.
Once you’ve drummed up some reviews and a client history, you can break off on your own and market your services on social media and other platforms.
Animal lovers of all kinds can become a dog caretaker part time, and if you stick to building a business around taking care of dogs you can make a couple thousand dollars a year!
It may not seem like something that one would consider a full-time job, but blogging can be a very lucrative business idea.
When it comes to starting a blog there is the cost of time, but with dedication you can build a site that develops a passive income for you.
Many bloggers start with subjects that are special to them, usually in a niche that can help people who are looking for specific information on that subject to easily access it on their site.
You can start a blog about anything you can think of.
Some perfect examples would be pet care, fitness, or nutrition.
If you’ve got a serious hobby that you enjoy and know well, you can start a blog about how to develop the skills necessary to complete projects related to that hobby.
Once you’ve begun posting different blogs about your specific niche, you can develop products for purchase that can be bought from your site.
The products that most bloggers sell are ones they’ve created themselves, such as ebooks and downloadable guides.
Some bloggers sell printable materials such as coloring book pages or journal sheets to help supplement their income and keep an open interaction with their visitors going.
The best part about developing items to sell like this means that you don’t have to worry about delivering things to people’s doors.
They can simply download the item that they’ve purchased, and you can make a quick $10 or $15 for being a brilliant person who sells printable materials!
9. Social Media Management
Many small businesses in your area have a social media presence, but not all of them are particularly engaging or exciting for their visitors.
This is where you come in!
You can develop a small business helping small business owners engage with their online community better!
All you need to know is how to use the platform of their choosing and engage the online world with interesting posts and marketing content.
This is a small business that takes zero dollars to start.
All you have to do is get a little background knowledge on social media consulting by doing some research online or watching video tutorials on YouTube.
After this, you can reach out to everyone you know and see if your services are something they’d be interested in.
Develop a solid pitch as to why you’d be the best person for handling the job, and then offer your services at a reasonable rate to start.
Once you start showing that you’re able to execute the job well, you’ll be able to use the accounts you’ve built as a portfolio of your skills.
This will help you attract new clients, and you’ll eventually scale up to a place where you can start hiring others to help you run your business.
10. Become a Handy(wo)man
If you’re good with hand tools and know how to do some basic repairs in your home or office, then you can start a side hustle as a handyman or handywoman.
Having your own tools may be the first investment necessary for this particular business, but once you have them on hand you can begin marketing your services.
Being a handy person can be lucrative.
There are various small projects that people need done in their home but don’t have the time to complete the project themselves or the resources for a contractor.
That’s where you come in!
You can help individuals who need a hole in a wall fixed, a fixture changed out, or need a dresser or bookcase put together.
Being a hand person means that you may get calls for new projects that you haven’t done before, but you can learn to do most simple repairs by watching video tutorials.
Always remember to be honest about what you’re able to do.
If a project is too big and you won’t be able to complete it yourself, you can bring someone else in who knows how to fix what you don’t.
You can also defer the project to another person as a consultant, making sure to keep your client and help you build business relationships that can help you company grow.
If you’re interested in starting a small business at little to no cost, there are plenty of ways to start one as soon as today!
As with any other project or business idea, there will be some needed time to develop your plan and make sure that you are being properly compensated for your services.
Depending on your skills, you can offer different repair or errand services under one umbrella, you can work from home as a tutor or virtual assistant, or you can develop passive income via a blog.
Regardless of how you choose to pursue your new business idea, you’ll find that in time you will gain repeat customers and open yourself up to new business.
Always remember to market yourself every chance you get and to use social media to your benefit.
The best way to build your business is to stat with the people you know and offer your services to them as needed.
You’ll be able to grow your business by word of mouth and through your proven proficiency from your customer reviews.