Low-Cost Business Ideas for Everyone
Whether you’re a student looking for a sideline to offset tuition, a part-time employee in need of extra income, or a retiree ready to strike out on your own as a solopreneur, there are plenty of opportunities to build an inexpensive start-up from home.
Thanks to the web, freelancers and consultants can get a business up and running for next to nothing. If you've got a cell-phone, a computer, and a printer, then you’re well on your way.
It’s a good time to plant your flag as a freelancer…
Building a small business from scratch is slightly more involved, but by keeping your costs low and focusing on value, you can grow a sideline interest or a hobby into a thriving business without losing your shirt.
Are you ready to take the plunge?
Courage is the hinge on which the door of business success swings. Without courage, all the other virtues—expertise, frugality, leadership, intuition—are strictly hypothetical. If you want to put your abilities to the test, then you need the courage to pursue your dreams, and the fortitude to perseveres through tough times.
Luckily, these three startup ideas limit your exposure to financial risk, without limiting your potential for growth. So get your courage up and get your rear in gear. Solo success could be right around the corner.
Freelance Your Expertise
Are you recently retired, unemployed, or working part-time? Do you have valuable experience, expertise, and contacts? Have you ever thought, “I could do this better, faster, and for less if I were on my own”?
Well, prove it!
Across the country, companies are seeking to scale back their full-time workforce; a company that previously employed six specialists is now making due with one employee, a generalist who’s primarily responsible for coordinating the efforts of subcontractors and consultants.
In other words, it’s a good time to plant your flag as a freelancer. If you have expertise in a particular field, there is a very good chance that you can parlay your experience into a lucrative career.
The down side? With freedom comes risk and insecurity. As a freelancer, your ability to earn income depends on the size of your network. You need lots of contacts, and you need the marketing savvy and professional skills to convert your contacts into paying clients.
Begin by developing a portfolio to demonstrate your talents, show samples of your work on a website or blog, join a professional organization to improve your visibility.
If you’re a neatnik who loves cleaning closets, drawers, and offices, then why not go pro and advertise your services as an organizer? These days, professionals and families are busy fighting to hold on to their piece of the pie; they don’t have time to put their stuff in order.
We live in an era of “hoarders,” and every year it seems like there is more to buy, more to want, more more more. Organizers provide a valuable service: they help slobs and pack-rats regain control of their offices and living spaces.
If you are ready to get going, contact the National Association of Professional Organizers, or put the word out to family and friends that you’re available for hire.
For some, shopping is a passion, a means of personal expression.
In order to make it as a professional shopper, you need to be a Jack (or Jill) of all trades: shoppers must have style, professional flair, and great communication skills. Just because you love to try on clothes doesn’t mean you have what it takes to satisfy a client.
Shopping is the easy part. Typically, the personal-shopper experience begins with a detailed interview or a questionnaire to determine the client's needs. Next, the shopper and the client work together to focus on styles, brands, colors, or themes. Only then does the shopper hit the stores.
A personal shopper who wants to build deeper relationships with his or her clients can also act as an image consultant, advising customers on a range of issues from personal style to romance to careers.
There are lots of industries that thrive on self-doubt, disappointment, and frustration, but as a personal shopper, you have a chance to create value and earn income by making people feel better about themselves.
No matter what industry or market you decide to serve, if you believe that you have what it takes to make it as a freelancer, then it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and get moving! There’s no time like the present.
Do you have a great plan for a new solopreneur venture in the coming year? Without giving anything away, share it with us in the comments below!