Start a Small Business Today with These Low-Cost Ideas

It’s one of the most common excuses people use to avoid starting their own businesses – “I just don’t have the money.” This is just an excuse to avoid taking action, because there are actually all kinds of businesses that you can launch with little startup capital. What you lack in money you can often make up for in effort, as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

Here are five great small business ideas that don’t cost much to get started:

1. Book Reseller

This business uses the flipping model, where you buy a product at one price and then turn around to sell it to another party for a higher price. The most popular types of books people purchase for this business are textbooks. These tend to be the most expensive and therefore provide the best profit margins.

Here’s a simple way to make a profit reselling textbooks. Start by going to eBay and looking through the textbooks. Plug a few ISBNs into, which will show you how much several different sites are willing to pay for each book. Whenever a site is offering more than a book is selling for on eBay, you can make a profit. All you need to start is enough money to purchase one textbook, and people have made $750 per month doing this part-time.

2. Affiliate Marketing

If you can convince people to buy other companies’ products online, you can make great money through affiliate marketing. You can start this business by signing up for one or more companies’ affiliate programs, and then launching a website that includes affiliate links to products. The only thing you pay upfront is the costs of building your site, which can be under $20 if you handle the design yourself.

It does take time and effort to design an effective affiliate site if you’re handling the creation process yourself to save money. You’ll also need to create valuable content to bring people to your site. But once your site gets popular, it can generate hundreds or even thousands per month in passive income.

3. Snow Cone Stand Owner

During those hot summer days, a snow cone stand can generate quite a bit of money. It’s not unheard of for a snow cone stand to generate over $50,000 in just one season.

With this type of business, you need to make sure that you have the necessary permits and can legally operate in the areas you want. Once that’s taken care of, a snow cone stand is easy to start. You can find a ice shavers for under $1000, and supply costs are low.

4. House Painting

This is a good option if your state is one of many that doesn’t require painting contractors to obtain any sort of licensing. It requires minimal equipment, especially if you stick to indoor painting, allowing you to get started with an initial investment of just $100 to $200.

There are plenty of how-to videos online where you can learn how to paint, and you can practice a bit in your home before you start your business.

5. Drop-Shipping Products

Like affiliate marketing, drop-shipping is another way you can start a business without investing anything besides the money it takes to register a domain and pay for web hosting. Instead of sending customers to a company’s site and receiving a commission, you’ll see another company’s products on your own site for a portion of the profits.

There are plenty of companies that offer drop-shipping services so it’s all a matter of finding one with products you can sell. You’ll never need to worry about storing inventory, and instead, you can focus entirely on making sales.

These are just a few of the many small businesses you can start without draining your entire bank account or borrowing money. When you’re starting a small business without much money, the best thing you can do is keep it simple. Focus on one profitable idea and build your business around it. Even if it's just a small profit, you'll be able to reinvest those profits to help your business grow.
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