It’s a tough economy and if you long to be an entrepreneur but can’t raise any cash; what can you do? Well, the good news is that if you have an internet connection and some skills – there’s no need to wait to start your own business; there are plenty of businesses that you can start online for no (or at least next to no) money. Here are 10 businesses that you can start online today with no cash:
Blogging isn’t dead but there’s a lot of money in the next-generation of blogging; vlogging. Some of the world’s best YouTube content creators can make millions a year. The bad news is that in addition to your internet connection you’ll need some basic video recording equipment (many vloggers use their smartphones) and some video editing software (which can be found for free if you look for open source tools). The good news is that as long as you can tell a story and find a niche; there’s no cost to get started and you could be one of the world’s best known faces one day – all from the comfort of your own home.
If you can rock Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever and get a huge engaged following; you’ll find that there are a bunch of marketers out there who will happily pay you big bucks to get access to your audience. Of course, it takes time to build up a following but if you’d like to earn a few grand for a single Facebook post – it’s bound to take time. There’s nothing to stop you from starting smaller and working your way up to the big leagues though.
If you’ve got previous business experience and you can learn to listen to what people want to do and help them plan how to get there; you can be a business coach. You can do this from your house if you use Skype as your communication tool. Business coaches command fees of $50 an hour upwards and the best businesses coaches charge thousands of dollars for a single call. You could do anything from coaching online freelancers to coaching executives of multi-national companies. You don’t need any previous qualifications – though there are plenty of free coaching courses available online – all you need it a little tenacity and marketing skill to get started.
If you want to start a store then you can do that online pretty easily and you’re not just limited to Ebay any more – there’s Shopify, Etsy, Amazon (with their Fulfillment by Amazon program). Not all of these places are free (though many offer a free trial to get you started) by they are all very low cost ways to break into online retail and they come with the advantage that you don’t need to be able to program or host a website to get started.
Start a T-shirt Company
There was a time when creating t-shirts would require a large investment in inventory but the internet combined with print-on-demand (PoD) services has changed that. If you can slap a few designs together in your spare time – you can team up with a t-shirt store provider and start selling those designs to the public in minutes.
If you know a lot about a single aspect of business; you can always get paid to guide companies in that area of business operation. Consultancy can be extremely lucrative and there are no barriers to starting a consulting firm in most of the world; there’s no qualification that makes you “a consultant”. You just need to get in touch with people you think might benefit from your services and start selling.
Affiliate marketers create web presences that sell other people’s products. In exchange they get paid a very healthy commission on those products. Most affiliate marketers will build a WordPress blog and then collect e-mail addresses of visitors; they then market to those e-mail addresses in search of a profit. Popular affiliate marketing schemes include Amazon Affiliates and Clickbank but there are many different schemes out there – each with different types of product and levels of potential earning. Starting a blog isn’t free (if you intend to use it for this kind of marketing) but it can be done for as little as $20-$30 including a year’s hosting and a domain name. Almost all the other tools you need for this are free including WordPress and a basic Mailchimp account.
Graphic Designer/Web Designer
If you’ve got coding or design skills then they can be put to work to make you money in your spare time (or as a full-time gig). With online brokers like freelancer.com and upwork.com making it easy to connect to clients wherever you are in the world and offering free services to get your business started – it’s never been so easy to go into business for yourself online.
In a world of online businesses; it should come as no surprise to find that there are tons of companies out there that don’t have offices and need someone to handle the admin for them. Virtual assistants work online to provide appointment setting, basic payroll, customer service, and much more for online businesses. You just need to reach out (and LinkedIn is a good place to start) and find some customers that you can help.
If you’ve got writing chops then starting out as a freelance writer isn’t too hard. In addition to Upwork and Freelancer there are also job boards in places like Problogger.com and Copyblogger.com as well as endless opportunities in mainstream media too. You’ll need to learn to craft a pitch letter which opens the door to work and build a portfolio (you can use a free blog service for this – such as blogger.com or wordpress.com) to show you can do the job. However as long as you’re online and have a computer; you won’t need to spend any money to land your first (and indeed umpteenth) writing gig.