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.

Freelancing
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.

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    What Does Bootstrap Mean?

    The term bootstrap refers to launching and building a business with little capital and no funding from outside sources.
  2. Investing

    The Rise of Corporate Venture Capital

    After the success of Google Ventures, corporate venture capital is an increasingly popular diversification and hedging tool for many large corporations.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 2 ETFs Targeting Startups

    Learn about the best ways to gain exposure to startups. Startup investing has become quite popular and is slowly being democratized.
  4. Professionals

    Small RIAs: How to Level the Playing Field

    In order to compete with larger firms, small RIAs have to get a little creative. Here are a few ways to kickstart growth.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Denver

    Learn why Denver is one of the hottest markets in America for startups, and identify five of the top startups that are emerging from the Denver market.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Raleigh

    Learn about the startup scene in the Research Triangle hub of Raleigh, North Carolina. Discover which startups are the hottest to emerge from this tech city.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    How Does ClassPass Work and Make Money?

    Find out how ClassPass makes money, how the company aims to help both businesses and consumers, and why it has been so successful.
  8. Professionals

    What Kind of Insurance Do RIAs Need?

    Advisors spend a lot of time discussing insurance with clients but they also need to consider their own coverage needs as small-business owners
  9. Entrepreneurship

    Top 10 Startups That Emerged in New York City

    Understand why the startup scene has grown, and discover why it has become a large part of New York City. Learn about the top 10 New York City startups.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    Top 10 Startups That Emerged in Chicago

    Understand why Chicago has become one of the best places to work or start a new business. Learn about the top 10 startups in Chicago.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Venture Capitalist

    An investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or ...
  2. Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

    A UK program that helps smaller, riskier companies to raise capital ...
  3. Per Transaction Fees

    An expense a business must pay each time it processes a customer’s ...
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with administering a business on a day to ...
  5. Path To Profitability (P2P)

    A clearly defined route to profitability as described in a business ...
  6. Freelancer

    A freelancer is an individual who earns money on a per-job or ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the benefits of financial sampling?

    Financial sampling allows auditors to approximate the rate of error within financial statements. For accounting purposes, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the benefits of prorating expenses?

    When a person prorates expenses between personal and business expenses, he is able to capture the maximum amount of tax benefits ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the responsibilities of the principal in a company?

    Principals have different roles depending on the nature of an individual business, but the universal responsibility of a ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What do hard and soft goods in the retail sector refer to?

    Hard goods and soft goods, also referred to as hardline and softline, designate different types of goods a retailer offers. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!