It takes less than you think to start your own business. Actually, most of the time, it’s your passion, dedication and time that are needed more than anything else. And the best reward of all is not the gobs of cash you could make (although that’s a sweet return), it’s the awesome and wonderful feeling of being your own boss!
Here are some businesses that aren’t too costly to start. And the best thing about these is that you probably already own much of the equipment needed.
Mixer or job fair… depending how big you want it to be, this is a way to help other people and make some cheese at the same time. Rent a hotel suite or small ballroom, or you may even have access to your church’s basement. Set up a networking party of sorts. Maybe it could be a job fair or a learn-how-to event. The point is to connect people who need something with people who can provide it. Many of the things that you may need you already have, such as a phone, computer, printer and database software. Depending on your budget, you can hire a speaker or expert. You make your money by charging an admission fee. And once you grow a reputation, you can even get sponsors!
Researcher… other entrepreneurs often need help generating leads and finding information. What if you used your computer and your noggin to do that for them? Charge by the hour to research things on the Internet. For example, Lily sells real estate, but she doesn’t have time looking for properties because she’s too busy showing the ones she has. You can go online for her and find available condos, homes and more. Your biggest investment up front will be marketing your concept.
Freelance assistant… some business executives don’t have an assistant to make travel arrangements for them, set up appointments, update databases. They need someone to be their assistant on an as-needed basis. Charge by the hour or by the job type. Again, a lot of the equipment you may need you already have, such as a phone, computer and Internet access.
Gifter… this may not be for everyone, but it certainly has its possibilities for those who think they have any kind of sense of style or decorum. Executives especially often don’t have time to choose gifts for everyone from their spouses to family members and colleagues. Set up a service where you will put together a gift basket for anniversaries, birthdays, illness, etc. Spread the word with flyers and networking at your church, office building lobbies, etc.
Transcriptionist… Forbes magazine reports that the medical transcription business is a multi-billion dollar industry. Doctors will pay you to transcribe their audiotapes into transcripts that are easily reviewed and referred to. You need to be a pretty good typist and you need to have a really good spell check program on your computer. Also, you will need to invest in a quality headset. Charge by the hour, and once word is out about what you are doing, you can pretty much make your own hours.
Shredder… A document shredder costs less than $50 these days. Put out the word that you will safely shred business’s excess paperwork and dispose of it as well. You can even be mobile! Considering the high rate of identity theft in this country and concern over the security of information, the list of possible clients is endless: from lawyer’s officers to restaurants!
Pet Taxi… People love their pets, but they often don’t want them in their fancy cars. However, dogs and cats need to go to the vet’s office or to get groomed, or sometimes the pet owner is traveling and regular taxis won’t allow the pet inside their vehicles. And a lot of folks that live in the city don’t have cars anyway. Maybe you do and know your way around town. Charge a flat rate plus so much per mile. And having to use a pooper-scooper is extra!
Messenger Service… Got a car? Know your way around town? Underprice the big boys (Fedex, UPS) and you can probably pick up more business that you can handle. Spread the word to local businesses that you can deliver their packages overnight or even within the hour!
These types of businesses aren’t going to become global phenomenons, but they can give you a head start on becoming your own boss!