You know you want to start something for yourself. You just need to funnel your ambition and time into an idea something that’ll earn extra cash, make you proud, and possibly lead to a full-time venture—and that amazing moment you get to say “I quit!” to your boss. But what great idea should you say “I start!” to? Businesses
From childcare, fix-it services, and party planning to business consulting, artisan manufacturing, and resume writing, there is a business for every skill level, interest, and budget in our list of ideas you can start for less than $10,000. Some ideas listed here can even be started for less than $2,000!
These businesses can be started on a full- or part-time basis. Your location may be just an online presence, your clients’ homes or businesses, a work van or truck, or even a small storefront. You’ll advertise locally with fliers and coupons, cold-call potential clients, or set up shop with a website and online advertising campaign—finding customers will depend on the business idea you choose.
Each idea includes an overview of the business, a skill level recommendation needed to provide the service or create the product, ideas for marketing your business, and current average rates others are charging in this field. We’ve also included a list of resources for each business idea, including business associations, websites, and books, which will help you continue your research should an idea spark your passion. Featuring a resource in this list of ideas is by no means an endorsement of the company or publication; it is the responsibility of every entrepreneur to make sure he or she is doing business with reputable organizations. Rather, these are the just first resources for your journey from idea to business ownership.
1. Resume Service
Finding the perfect words to describe why people’s experiences, special skills, and interests make them the right candidate for a job is difficult to work. That’s why resume services continue to flourish despite the fact that most people have the tools (a computer and word processing program) to write their own. If you are a wordsmith with human resources, management, or administration background, this idea may be the perfect opportunity for you.
One of the best aspects of the idea of starting a resume service is that you can start small, part-time, and keep costs low by working at home with your current computer. It’s the perfect opportunity for people looking to earn an extra few hundred dollars a month. In addition to resumes, other ideas include writing cover letters and thank-you notes, assisting with LinkedIn profiles, and helping clients build portfolios if their industry requires them. As a way to separate your resume service idea from competitors’, considering offering to consult on how to dress for interviews, how to handle themselves in a stressful interview situation, how to make follow-up telephone calls, how to prepare for interviews, and how to network for that dream job. Advertise locally, online, and through career expos. Once established, word-of-mouth advertising and customer testimonials will go a long way to keeping you busy with this business idea
2. Personal Shopper
If you love to shop, this is the business idea for you. Earn great money and have fun by starting a personal shopping service assisting people who are too busy to shop, who don’t like to shop, or who can’t get out to do their own shopping. Lots of busy and well-heeled people love the idea of hiring personal shoppers to select gifts for any number of special occasions, including birthdays, births, weddings, holidays, and anniversaries. And it’s not just new products they’re after: Personal shoppers are also hired by interior designers and collectors to rummage through flea markets, consignment shops, antique dealers, and garage sales for collectibles, art, books, antiques, and funky home and office decor.
Corporations hire personal shoppers to purchase gifts for customers, prospects, business partners, investors, employees, and executives, as well as to purchase products for gift bag giveaways at special events, ceremonies, and seminars. Seniors and other people who may find it difficult to get around hire personal shoppers to purchase groceries, clothing and other home and personal products. Best of all, no experience is required to get started. If you love to shop, have good taste, are creative, and don’t mind networking with businesses owners, corporate executives and people from all walks of life, you’re qualified to turn the personal shopper business idea into a reality
3. Home based Alteration Service
Calling all people with sewing skills and a sewing machine! It’s time to capitalize on your talent and ideas by providing garment and fabric alteration services right from the convenience of a home workspace, and earn a bundle of money in the process.
Dry cleaners, fashion retailers, uniform retailers, bridal boutiques, costume shops, drapery studios, and consignment clothing shops—all are potential customers for your service. In fact, any businesses that retail or rent clothing of any sort are potential customers, and for that matter so is any person who is in need of alteration services.
Try this idea as a quick-start marketing method: put on a comfortable pair of shoes and start calling on businesses most likely to require alteration services. Offer free pick-up and delivery, fast turnaround times, great service businesses, and quality workmanship, all at fair prices. Your business clients benefit because they can offer alteration services to customers for free, ensuring repeat business. Or, they can make it into a profit center by marking up what you charge. Along with your sewing skills, you will need the tools of the sewing trade and reliable transportation to bring this business idea to fruition.