The definition of a small business is an independently owned and operated company that is limited in size and in revenue depending on the industry. Actually it is relatively small turnover and staff numbers, typically seen as constituting part of a specific commercial or economic sector.
Today, many people today are looking to leave the daily grind for something that feeds their passion. People do not want to retire at the age of 60 (or older) to look back on life and feel they have wasted it.
Luckily, it is now increasingly easy to start a business from scratch without spending a fortune. Below, I’ve highlighted 22 small business ideas you can start cheaply from the comforts of your own home. Some of the business ideas listed require nothing more than an internet connection, while others demand a level of licensing or a specific set of vocational skills…the choice is yours!
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There are a number of ideas which you can use to set your small business
1. Personal or Virtual Assistant
Although personal and virtual assistant jobs do not sound glamorous, they do pay well. If you have already held this job in an office, you will find the digital version allows for a lot more freedom. Use services like upwork.com to find clients. You can choose:
- Your clients
- Your hours
- Your hourly, daily, or monthly pay rate
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is extremely easy to get into and involves you earning a commission by promoting other companies’ products and services. Basically, you choose a product you like, promote it, and make a profit on each sale that stems from your marketing efforts. An affiliate marketing business is especially easy to start if:
- You have a blog or website of your own
- You can prove your success through visitor statistics
- You have already successfully undertaken affiliate marketing and can show this to your potential clients
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3. Tester or Reviewer
Individuals or startups often look for people to review their products to encourage others to buy them. You can either get started with a profile on freelancing websites or approach companies directly, offering them a review in exchange for a monetary reward by becoming a an influencer. Even better, if you have your own website or blog, you could write entire posts about their products, thus allowing you to charge more money in the long run and build a portfolio with tangible results to show future clients.
4. Secretarial Services
Similar to virtual assisting, remote secretarial services require little to no experience. All you need is:
- Strong organizational skills
- Good communication skills
- Good time management
- A high level of autonomy
Your day-to-day tasks as a freelancing secretary will typically include:
- Booking meetings
- Organizing calendars
- Replying to emails
- Putting together presentations
- Answering phone calls
5. Application Developer
New applications are launched on a daily basis and if you believe you have the skills to create your own and a unique enough idea, you should do it! Aside from the fact that you will have to invest little to no money to get started, it is far less time consuming than the average 9 to 5. Once you have created your application, couple it with the right marketing strategy and you’ll be making money in your sleep. The best part about developing applications is that you can do it from anywhere in the world.
6. Website Developer
We live in a digital world where every business needs a website to drive their traffic to in order to make sales. If you have the skills, you could enter an industry that will never die. You can also start small by creating websites on platforms such as WordPress. If you want to take your web-building skills to the next level, you can learn the language of website creation through Codecademy.com, where you will be able to learn how to incorporate personalized:
- Shopping carts
- Product pages
- Services pages
- Feedback forms
7. Internet Security Consultant
Hacking, scamming, and viruses are just some of the security threats on the web today. If you know your stuff, you could make very good money consulting businesses, especially those who handle sensitive customer information and want to keep it as safe as possible.
8. Graphic Designer
Companies are always in search for branding that tells people about what they do. If you can follow company guidelines and customer needs, all you will need to get started is a computer and applications such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Types of media you will be responsible for creating include:
- Information sheets
9. Desktop Publisher
Desktop publishers typically use publishing software to create:
- Marketing newsletters
- Other marketing materials
In order to offer a full service, you could also write the content or hire a content writer and create your own small team.
10. Designing Business Plans
Having a eureka moment is great, but it can be hard to put that idea down on paper in a way that will speak to a potential investor. If you have owned your own business in the past or earned a business degree, why not help those with a eureka moment start something they love? Plan your fee around the various packages you are prepared to offer your clients. You can either:
- Create an electronic copy that your client can customize
- Keep a copy on file and continue customizing it according to their needs
- Create various templates that you can show your customers and how you can customize the templates for them accordingly
11. Tax Consultant
Companies big and small pay good money to have their taxes prepared for them. It gives them a chance to focus on the everyday operations of their business. If you have the appropriate experience, you could set yourself up as a freelancer; however, by starting with a tax preparation franchise, you will receive courses, seminars, and training.
12. Blogger or Vlogger
Are you an expert in a specific field? From travel, fashion, cooking, to DIY, and removal services, if you know how to do something particularly well, why not tell the world through a blog or vlog? All you will need is a computer and a good quality camera. You can make money by offering advertising space and reviews of products on your platform.
13. Informational Product Creator
Similar to blogging or vlogging, creating informational products is your chance to put your expertise in an e-book or some form of digital format and selling it to the online world. Find a niche that’s not been overdone and start writing. You can sell your information piece on platforms such as Amazon Books.
14. Resume Writer
No matter the experience, there are very few people that enjoy or are good at writing their own resume. Individuals pay very good money to have their personal statements put on paper for them. It will cost you nothing to get setup and once you get the hang of it, you should be able to average a good hourly or daily pay rate.
15. Domain Name Buyer
As the name suggests, all you need to do is buy domain names you believe people will want and sell them for a profit. You will need to be able to:
- Identify profitable domain names
- Identify domain names that are memorable
- Learn about SEO and keyword optimization
16. Flipping Websites
Flipping a website is the art of buying an already existing website, improving it, and selling it. With the right web development skills, it is a very easy and cheap trade to explore. That said, you need to be able to identify websites that have the potential for improvement.
Translating is one of the easiest and most profitable industries to delve into if you are proficient in more than one language. Sought out on a global scale, translators do not need any capital to get started and can earn a salary of $40,000 a year (minimum) depending on the size of the company you are hired by and the length of the contract they offer.
18. Financial Adviser
Although the number of people wanting to start their own business has grown, many still do not know how to organize themselves financially. Start by getting your Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificate to show clients you are credible. On the other hand, if you already have the experience, you can start by advising individuals and then grow your empire to consult for larger organizations.
19. Editorial Services
An editorial services business is easy to start, requires no initial monetary investment, and has a huge potential for expansion. From small and large businesses to authors and students, your client base could be endless. You can offer a variety of services, some of which include:
- Magazine article writing
- Newspaper article writing
- Web content writing
- Book writing
20. Online Photo Selling
If you are a professional photographer or just have a deep-rooted passion for it, you can make money from your pictures on photo selling websites. All you need to get started is a camera, preferably a digital SLR with a minimum of 8 megapixels, and a computer. Once you have established yourself on websites such as GettyImages.com and Flickr.com, you can setup your own website with a list of your watermarked images and their price per unit.
21. Survey Taking
Although you won’t get rich doing surveys online, you may make a steady income if you sign up to multiple sites. These surveys take barely any time at all to complete and can normally net you around $150+. Some of the most popular survey-taking platforms include:
- Global Test Market
- Harris Poll
22. Video Production
There are a number of ways you can use videography to create your own home-based business. There are so many people wanting to become YouTube celebrities who don’t have the skills to upload high-quality, well-edited videos. Other services you could offer include:
- Vlog editing
- Creating music videos