5 Businesses That You Can Start For Less Than $1,000

We often assume becoming an entrepreneur is an expensive path, reserved for those who have access to capital or grants. While launching something like a tech company or restaurant might require some savings, there are plenty of businesses you can launch for less than $1,000. Many are online jobs that can be done from almost anywhere. Yes, believe it or not, you could be on the path to becoming your own boss much sooner than you’d believe. Here are a few options on how:

Dropshipping

One of the fastest growing business models, drop shipping is a great path to pursue if you’re looking to start a business. According to AmeriCommerce, 22 to 33 percent of internet retailers have adopted a drop shipping method, showcasing just how much this has become a popular source for running an online business. Beyond the benefit of being able to sell from the comfort of home, drop shipping enables you to take on less risk because there’s no inventory. Still, you need to be smart about crunching the numbers.

If you’re not familiar, drop shipping is essentially a model where online retailers won’t hold any inventory but rather send a customer’s order directly to suppliers, essentially playing intermediary between the two parties. While this means you don’t have to do things like fulfill minimum orders or hold inventory that’s not selling, it does mean you’re not getting as much of a cut from the maximum revenue streams you could. Because of this, it’d be wise to hash through what your inventory is going to be, as well as what the margins are like on it before you make commitments for your entire product line. As you’ll most likely be going through a few different iterations, it’s okay to trade out or swap certain items, ensuring that you get your dropshipping business right.

Reselling

Another great at-home business you can start, reselling has exploded in popularity over recent years. In fact, according to the National Association for Resell Professionals, the clothing sector of reselling averages over $17 billion in the US alone; which, when you factor in other aspects such as furniture, decor, or other collectibles, this could potentially be a pretty big industry to venture into. And if you have a passion for clothing, collectibles, furniture, or all of the above, then starting a reselling store might be a smart move.

Start brainstorming what items you have an eye for, as well as what type of value is the standard market rate for them is. The goal is to find sources that other resellers may not have considered, for example, buying clothes from a Goodwill or Salvation Army in a rural area to resell in the city. Furthermore, don’t be afraid of possibly fixing up or restoring certain items, giving you a better chance of increasing the value. As this is something you could easily get rolling with through Pinterest or Instagram, this is something that’s worth pursuing as long as you’ve got the eye and passion for it. To make sure you’re always getting 5 star reviews, ensure you use a courier company like Ask Absolutely who offer overnight delivery.

Administrative Assistance

Often overlooked as an independent business, becoming a private administrative assistant can be a pretty lucrative path to consider. Although the BLS puts the average revenue around $37,870, that’s also dependent upon skillset, as well as the metro area you’re looking to work in. Plus, as an independent worker, the game isn’t necessarily just to become one person’s assistant, but offer your services for multiple parties at once and then charging a flat monthly retainer for each. Ultimately it’ll be up to you the amount you’re willing to charge versus the amount of work you think you can take on for each, but as an underrated hack for starting your own business, isn’t a bad idea to consider.

Dog Walking

Although we tend to think of dog walking as a minimal side gig, some people are able to make some decent money with it. According to PayScale, the average walker makes around $13.28 per hour, which while that’s not outstanding, it does enable room for growth. After all, the more dogs you’re able to walk at once together, the more revenue potential you could potentially face. However, that primarily starts with promotion.

To begin, come up with a name that’s easily identifiable with dog walking, as well as establish your website and social presence. A big place to advertise dog walking is simply with flyers around your local area, including cafes, restaurants, clothing stores, dry cleaners, tattoo parlors, and grocery stores. Furthermore, try to keep your clients central to different sectors to knock out in chunks, giving you the best chance to maximizing the most amount of dogs per hour. While this is something that will take a lot of hard work (as well as a love for dogs), becoming a walker is an excellent solution for launching a small business.

Freelance Programming

Finally, as one of the most profitable tech jobs on this list, becoming a freelance programmer is one of the best independent businesses you can start. According to Glassdoor, with the average programmer getting paid $72,921, this is a smart path to take on, especially if you’ve been staggering when it comes to your career. A good place to begin is with self-education platforms like Codeacademy or MIT Open Course,  which are excellent introductions. From there, it’s all about building up your portfolio and eventually your client base as well, honing in on increasing your price point every time.

What is a business you’re interested in starting on a shoestring budget? Comment with your answers below!

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