Did you ever dream about having your own business but stopped short because you didn't believe that you had enough funds to succeed on your own? Well, you may be pleased to learn that there are a number of businesses that you can start for under $1,000.
One way to start a small business is by working as a freelancer, doing side gigs on whatever interests you. You will have low overhead, insurance and medical costs, especially if you are keeping a part-time or full-time job. If you love writing and want to start a side gig as a professional writer, you can do that easily by working from your home computer. Websites such as Ebyline and oDesk hire people to write articles for a variety of news publications and websites. The site oDesk in particular hires contractors, not just in writing but also in web development, software development, networking and information systems, administrative support, and other fields.
To get started, all you'll need is a simple word processing program on your computer. If you want to print out hard copies of writing contracts, make sure you have a supply of paper and a printer. To help market yourself and grow your business, get a supply of business cards listing the fields of writing in which you specialize. If there's enough space on your card, be sure to list your credentials as well as any reputable and relevant organizations that you belong to, as this will help build your credibility. For example, the American Society of Journalists and Authors is an organization for professional writers in which you can meet other freelance writers with varying levels of experience.
It is also important to seek out organizations that not only will help you build your business but also provide support and a sense of camaraderie. One appealing feature of writing as a part-time job is that you can explore various fields of interest. Whatever you do, make sure you have a website that has your story and any relevant work experience. You can build an online CV for free through Posterous.com or Wordpress. Alternatively, you can market yourself as a writer without spending money by writing your own blog about topics that interest you.
Buy a Franchise
You can also start your own business by buying a franchise. Many of the franchises that are "work from home" types require an initial capital investment of $1,000 because of the low overheard costs. These franchises include home sitting services such as maintaining a home is secure while the owners are away, giving the home an occupied/live-in look, caring for pets, clearing the mailbox of mail and newspapers, providing plant care, and checking the furnace. Other franchises with low startup costs include cleaning services which provide professional cleaning for homes, government buildings and commercial buildings. If your skill is in technology, specifically with computers, you can possibly look into doing repairs and data recovery.
Become a Consultant
If you know a lot of facts about a certain field like taxes, accounting, business start-ups, art collections, history or any topic you can think of then you could possibly become a consultant. The key is to make the knowledge that you have gained so marketable that someone will be willing to pay for your advice. For example, if your field of interest is accounting, an accounting consultant can help businesses with all their financial needs. A writing consultant can help businesses and individuals with reports, memos or even book writing. A computer consultant can help with software, hardware, programming or troubleshooting.
The list of consultant options is almost unlimited. There are consultants in career counseling, auditing, marketing, advertising and fashion. However, you have to like networking. As with any other business endeavor, you'll have to build a network of people to seek advice from in addition to building a client base. The startup costs for this business are also relatively low because you will start out as a one-person business where you handle everything while working from a home office. Check with your state to find out if you need a special license or certification in order to operate as a consultant. As part of your research, look into the many professional organizations for consultants.
Daily Money Manager
Are you good with paying bills and organizing financial paperwork such as medical bills and insurance claims? The American Association of Daily Money Managers provides certification for individuals pursuing a career in money management. People with backgrounds in accounting and finance are good candidates, and if you like to help the public get its finances in order by navigating bills, setting up budgets and keeping records, then this could be a profitable side business for you.
The Bottom Line
If you are interested in having your own business, then there are many outlets through which you can accomplish this. The key is to do thorough research in order to find a small business idea that you are passionate about.