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Starting your own small business can have many benefits, from increased flexibility to higher earning potential. However, starting a business can be expensive. Without access to large amounts of capital, getting your business off the ground can be difficult.
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Luckily, there are plenty of businesses you can start very cheaply these days thanks to the internet and modern technology. In fact, some of the cheapest small business ideas require little to no money to get started. Here are several to explore.
Sustainable development consultant
The sustainable development consultant is a profession that perhaps did not exist a few years ago. Today, however, with more and more companies assessing their environmental footprint, there is a lot of work to be done to help them be greener.
“Green solutions are often extremely expensive, even for the largest companies, and businesses of all sizes seek expert advice,” says Levon L. Galstyan, CPA at Oak View Legal Group. Galstyan says knowledge and skills are more important than an honors degree, which would cost thousands of dollars.
Are you friendly and do you live in an area with a thriving tourism industry? If so, being a tour guide might be a natural fit for starting a small business.
Although a business as a tour guide is not entirely online, you don’t necessarily need a physical office. Therefore, your overhead can remain quite low. If your city is known for something in particular, like cafes or cathedrals, you can specialize in guided tours.
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Have you ever felt stressed because your home is just not organized, and even worse, you just don’t have time to make it tidier? If so, you are not alone. There’s no shortage of people who wish their home was more organized, but they either don’t know how to get organized or they just don’t have the time. As a result, you can step in and act as a consultant who organizes people’s homes.
You don’t need a lot of gear for this one either. Maybe a vacuum cleaner and some cleaning tools, but mostly you just have to be organized. There are courses that teach advanced cleaning techniques, but this might be something you consider after earning some money.
Social media consultant
These days, you almost can’t have a successful business without a strong social media presence. Even if you can, most businesses would benefit from being well-known online. This will only be more apparent if mediums such as the Metaverse can reach their full potential.
However, many businesses are unfamiliar with social media strategy. If you can learn the skills to successfully promote an online business, you have a viable business yourself. The start-up costs are very minimal, as all you need are the necessary skills and the internet.
Do you like talking? Better yet, have you ever been told you have a “radio voice”? If so, being a podcast host may be the right business for you. It’s not the easiest job, and you’ll probably need a large following to earn real money from referrals. However, you won’t have to spend a lot of money to get started.
For example, you can buy a USB microphone that plugs directly into your laptop for less than $100, and you’ll still get much better sound than you would using your laptop’s built-in microphone. You can always upgrade later if you want better sound.
Virtual Event Planner
Event planning is something that’s always in demand, and that’s especially true as in-person events have once again proliferated. However, you do not necessarily need to be physically at the location where the event will take place. Instead, this service can be performed remotely.
“The massive increase in corporate events and virtual tools for hosting meetings will keep this industry growing at a high rate of 23% per year,” says Galstyan. “You will be responsible for organizing virtual conferences, networking events and training sessions for companies around the world as a virtual event planner.”
Remote travel agent
Traveling is another thing people like to do that has been put on hold due to the pandemic. However, 85% of companies are taking business travel in April 2022, compared to just 65% in January, according to the US Travel Association. Although personal travel is under some pressure from rising gas prices, this situation is likely not permanent.
And of course, trip planning can be done remotely with minimal start-up costs. All you need is to know how to search for trips. You can even put together spreadsheets to track hotels and airlines. These are things that most people won’t have in place, and they’ll be willing to pay you money to save them time.
While it may seem that reviewing products and services would entail high start-up costs, in many cases this is not the case. Indeed, the companies will provide their products and services for free to the reviewers in order to increase their visibility and awareness.
“The value of positive ratings hasn’t gone unnoticed by businesses of all sizes,” says Galstyan, adding that you can get paid for written or online reviews. “Plus, you get paid to try new things, read new novels, taste fresh foods, try new skincare products, experiment with new technologies, and more.”
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