Perhaps you’re ready to start a business but you’re working on a shoestring budget. This is actually fine, because you can become an entrepreneur for $100 or less.
That’s right. There’s no need to take out a business loan or garner investors. You can achieve your dream of starting a company right now.
Maybe you already have an idea, but if not, it’s time to start brainstorming.
“I have been starting and running small businesses online for over 20 years, and I can tell you that the best way to get started is to start with what you know,” said Mac Steer, owner and director at Simify.
He said there is plenty of options when turning your passion into an online business. For example, if you love cats, you might find a way to turn that into an online business for $100 or less.
“You’re a cat person through and through, so much so that when someone asks you what your favorite color is, it’s ‘cat,'” he said. “You love cats so much that you want to start a business that caters specifically to the needs of cats.
“You could make a website about cats — on how to care for them or how to train them or whatever it is that appeals most to you — and sell products related to cats on your site. Cats are a huge part of our society right now, so this idea has tons of potential.”
Here is a look at a few business that can be started for $100 or less.
Public Relations Agency
“I started my PR agency, Born To Influence, in 2013 for just the cost of buying a domain and hosting services,” said Esther Kiss, CEO at Born To Influence. “I teamed up with a friend of mine, and we started a podcast where we interviewed New York Times best-selling authors, coaches, consultants and other knowledge-based professionals about their expertise.”
Going beyond the interview, Kiss made being on her podcast extra enticing for guests.
“As a courtesy after the interview,” she said, “I offered to connect them with other podcasters and journalists for further interviews, with the intention to build these relationships. Over time, word got out and people started asking me to help them land interview opportunities.”
Kiss said this led to the creation of her public relations agency, which offers services in both traditional and online media.
“We’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the foremost experts and New York Times best-selling authors who specialize in social media, online marketing, book publishing and the alternative education space, such as online courses and coaching/consulting.”
Kiss said her firm has helped clients make millions of dollars in additional revenue through media exposure — all from a business started on a shoestring budget.
Seven years ago, Mike Escott, a digital marketing director at Welding & Welder, started a side venture as an SEO consultant.
“Capitalizing on my expertise in the field,” he said, “I started providing remote services to clients through video chats and email, making it a home-based business. This consultancy required minimal startup costs, as I already possessed a laptop and essential software.”
Individual business needs can vary, but he said you also can keep your startup costs low.
“Depending on the consultancy’s nature, the initial expenses can be minimal, mainly requiring standard office tools and a computer,” he said. “Success primarily hinges on securing clients, which I achieved through leveraging existing industry connections, engaging on LinkedIn and relying on word-of-mouth referrals.”
Etsy Printable Creator
If you’re familiar with Etsy, you know the site is filled with printable art sold in digital download form. Austin Netzley, an investor, business growth advisor and CEO of 2X, said this can be a great way to become a successful entrepreneur.
“Creating printables through Canva to sell on Etsy can be started with virtually zero money and easily turn into a five-figure-a-month salary,” he said.
Don’t panic if you’re not an artist. A wide variety of printables are available on the site, ranging from calendars and chore charts to birthday cards and wall art — so there’s clearly a market for any type of creation.
This is a great way to earn passive income, as you need only to create each printable once. You can then send the same file to every customer, requiring minimal ongoing effort.
In the digital age, becoming an entrepreneur is more accessible than ever. Sure, you’ll have to work hard to make your company a success, but you won’t necessarily need to spend a fortune getting it off the ground.
Take the time to consider what you’re truly passionate about and whether it’s also a lucrative business idea. When these two forces combine, there’s nothing you won’t be able to achieve.
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