If money has been holding you back from starting your own business, here’s some news for you: thanks to the internet and online marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and Craigslist, it doesn’t take much capital to start a business these days.
Here are four businesses you can start for under $5,000.
Selling your hand-made products
If you have an idea or the ability to make quality hand-crafted items, you can get started for as little as material costs. Sites like Etsy, Artfire and Boticca help artisans sell their hand-made wares. Quality products and excellent customer service are key as these site utilize feedback rating systems that can greatly influence buyer behavior.
If you’re willing to invest some time into finding the right locations and have a couple thousand to spend you can get into the vending machine business. Used machines can be found under $2,000 while new machines can run around $4,000. Bottled water and Coke are the top selling products but with the array of machines available today your product selection can range anywhere from the traditional sodas to ice cream or even lattes.
If you have an idea and some coding skills you can get into the red hot (and competitive) business of developing apps for Apple iPhone and iPad. The entry cost is $99 to upload your apps to the iTunes App Store. If you have the idea but that’s where it ends, you can hire an app developer for $1,000-$2,000.
Selling second hand goods
Thanks to the internet you no longer need a physical store to sell second hand items. Sites like eBay and Craigslist have created the marketplace for you. You simply need to find, and possibly invest some sweat equity to refurbish, cheap or free goods that can be resold. Some great places to find your goods are garage sales, storage auctions, and even the “Free” section of Craigslist.
Whatever business you start it’s good practice to maintain a professional looking website with a contact form or email address and 800 phone numbers (or 0800 phone numbers for the UK) so your customers can contact you.
Money doesn’t have to be an obstacle to following your dreams of running your own company. These are just four out of hundreds of businesses that can be started for a minimal investment.