4 Low Cost Home Businesses You Can Start Today

Want to start earning money from home? Here are 4 low cost home businesses you can start today.

In the last week, I received emails from different readers, asking me about home business ideas that can be started on a shoestring, and started quickly. As a result, I decided to write this post, which features 4 low cost home business ideas that are relatively easy to start.

It’s important to realize that even though you can start these home businesses quickly and easily it doesn’t mean the money will start rolling in immediately. Any business takes time and effort to grow. But, if you are looking for a solid side hustle, there is no better time to start than now.

1. Freelancing

You knew this was going to be first on my list, didn’t you? Since I am a freelancer, I naturally point to my own home business as a great option. You don’t have to be a writer to freelance, though. There are numerous opportunities for freelance work for software developers, graphic designers, web developers, coders, and others with similar skills.

All you need to start freelancing (as long as you have the requisite skills) these days is a broadband Internet connection and a computer. You don’t even need the Internet connection at your home. There are plenty of coffee shops and co-working locations that  can provide you with a place to work at a low cost. If you already have a computer, your startup cost can be $0, although you might want to shell out a little bit for a home on the web.

2. Consulting

A lot of the easiest home businesses to start are those that involve the knowledge in your head. You don’t have to go out and buy new knowledge if you have a good store of it, and you know how to monetize what you know. Start up as a consultant. Whether you know about advertising, or social media, or statistics, you can offer your services. Do a little research and find out what companies in your local area need. Do they need someone who can design a good survey? If you know about survey design and administration, you could offer your services.

Consider what you know, from gardening to interior design. Then, start a business that offers your expertise to others. You might have to pay a little bit for business cards (I like MOO printing for inexpensive cards), or you might need to do a little advertising, but the startup costs are still relatively low — and they’re even lower if you use the Internet as part of your ad campaign.

3. Virtual Assisting

There is an increasing number of business owners and executives that want to outsource some of their more mundane tasks. If you are organized and professional, and you have a computer and an Internet connection, you can make money as a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant does a number of tasks, from submitting sites to social media, to answering emails, to scheduling appointments.

You can get started today by offering your services online to those who are looking to free up a little more time. The costs for web hosting might be there if you want your own site, but they are generally quite small if you don’t get a huge package to start. If you are going to answer phones, though, you might have to pay for special software.

4. Sell Stuff on Online

If you’ve already got the stuff, it’s easy and cheap to get started with this type of home business. You can sell on eBay, Amazon or Craigslist. If you have a crafty hobby, and the results are cluttering up your home, open a store on Etsy. Once again, as long as you have an Internet connection and a computer, you can get started with a business to sell stuff online. And if you already have the stuff, you can list it today. Once you run out of your own stuff, you can visit garage sales and thrift stores to pick up cheap items to sell at a profit.

Can you think of other home businesses that are easy and cheap to start?

Written by Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in personal finance, small business, and investing topics. She writes for a number of financial web sites and blogs, and has been featured in numerous media. Read about life as a freelancer at MirandaMarquit.com and in her book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

4 Responses to 4 Low Cost Home Businesses You Can Start Today

  1. I’m a fellow freelance writer. It helps that I have a degree in Journalism and have been blogging since 2004. I was always a WAHM in some fashion, but now I’m actually earning enough to support a family and help pay my daughters’ college tuition bills.

    All those years I blogged for free turned into my portfolio. I just had to figure out how to package it that way!

    • That J-school degree really does help, doesn’t it? That’s great that you found a way to package your writing and turn it into a profitable business!

  2. Miranda I’ve run a small business doing janitorial cleaning for the last 10 years, and worked for a company for 13 years prior to that. Due to the economy I recently had some of my hours cut back. Do you have any suggestions on how I might use this knowledge to be a consultant? Thanks for any suggestions>

    • Are you good at managing people? You could parlay the knowledge gained from running a small business into seminars and workshops for other business owners, or hire out as a small business consultant. Chances are you have valuable knowledge about managing people, bookkeeping, marketing, and more. You can also sign up with Google Helpouts to see if you can receive payment for your knowledge. If you do want to consult, you should start a blog, and update it once or twice a week, so you can show that you truly are an expert.

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