Best Business to Start With Little Money

Business Startup

No matter what great idea someone else has for a new business you should start, it is only the best if it is the best for you.

I can’t tell you the number of people I know who just love shopping yard sales and reselling the stuff online. They make real money, and it costs them almost nothing. But I hate yard sales, and the mere idea would…well, just drive me nuts.

So, we have put together some popular ideas for starting a new business on a shoe string. And we have added some questions for you to ask yourself before you dive into something that may not be right for you.

There are three essential things you need to decide before you try to start any business.

  1. What do you really like to do?
  2. What are you good at?
  3. What do you like to do, and are good at, that people will pay you for?

Chances are, if you plan to start a business with little money, you will be doing it around a job you already have. If that job is not your dream of how you want to spend your life, then the last thing you need is a second business that is not your dream job either.

So, what do you like to do? Is it a skill? Is it a talent? Write down everything you can think of, and if you want, prioritize them into which ones are most important.

Make another list of what you are good at. Some may also be things you like to do. After all, we tend to devote more time and effort to the things we love, whether we get paid for them or not.

Whatever the business is that you start, you will either be offering a service or selling a product. A service could either be direct to your customer, as in cleaning, lawn care, repairs, or you could consider how to teach a skill, such as how to cook, how to plant a garden. A product can be something you make yourself, or something you would enjoy selling for someone else.

See where your two lists overlap, then think about whether or not any of those are marketable. Don’t limit yourself. If your biggest passion is video games, and you are mega-champion material, don’t totally disregard it. Maybe you could create a website about gaming strategy, and also act as a sales affiliate for game companies.

If you are a housecleaner extraordinaire, you could start a cleaning business, or also write a cleaning hints column for your local paper. If you are a car nut, you could do repairs, rebuild and resell parts, teach basic auto mechanics, or even restore and sell entire vintage cars.

In Person Service Businesses You Could Start Right Now

Service businesses have some of the lowest start-up costs around. You should check for licenses needed in your community, and obtain damage liability insurance. Beyond that, your expenses probably don’t extend much beyond the tools of your trade, some inexpensive advertising, and gas.

We have already mentioned cleaning and lawn care. You could wash windows, or if you have a pressure washer, clean siding and driveways. People with snow plows on their trucks can command almost any fees they want in cold climates. In the summer you could repair anything from bicycles to barbed wire fences.

Anything you can do for the people who have no time is a workable business. Running errands, picking up dry cleaning, grocery shopping for shut-ins, dog walking, are all low investment ideas for people who like to be on the move.

Online Service Businesses

Through the Internet you can do work for people you never even meet. Virtual assistants answer phones, return emails and schedule appointments for clients anywhere in the world. It may require an additional phone line, where your client could route calls, or they may be set up as an online business only.

Online freelancing allows you to use business skills to help prepare sales presentations, spreadsheets, proofread documents, or scores of other tasks. You can either set up your own website, or use one of the online freelance job boards, which charge you nothing to get started, and bill your clients for you.

Online Retail Businesses

The Internet offers plenty of opportunities to sell products on line. These could be things you make yourself – artwork, photographs, e-books, handmade furniture, crafts – almost anything you can create. Or you can become an online retail shop, selling goods you purchase wholesale and resell at a profit.

First you need a website, but that is far less expensive than it used to be. Domain names are not expensive and hosting can cost less than $10 a month. Pre-designed websites can work fine if you only need a few pages. If you want an unlimited amount of pages, there are website companies that will walk through every step.

You can either use your website to highlight products you sell locally, link to online retailers like Amazon, or set up your own order/payment pages. You will need to do research all your best options. Plenty of resources exist to help you build your website or even create your online store for you.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a slower method to making money online, but it has worked very well for many people. Basically, you have a website with some interesting content of your own, with links and advertisements for products sold elsewhere. If your reader clicks on the ad, they can be taken to another site which will take care of the selling the product. Some advertisers pay for the click, and some pay a percentage commission on each sale.

When you match what you like to do, with your skills, and a style of business that suits you, you can start a business with little money. What you create in the end will be the best business for YOU.

Additional Resources

Website development:

  • (free website creation)
  • (extensive website business builder)
  • (about WordPress)

Online stores:

  • Bigcommerce

Debt Relief Scams


Have you ever run to the phone, only to hear a recording, “You can lower your credit card interest rates, today”? Luckily, most people hang up right away.

But every year too many people still fall victim to debt relief scams which promise to lower your interest rates, consolidate your debts and reduce the amount of money you owe. Just call this number…or send a check to….

There are real, legitimate credit counselors out there, of course, and they are the first to tell consumers to be on the alert for scams. After all, the debt relief con artists hurt their entire industry. And many credit counselors are sincerely troubled to see people who are already burdened by too much debt, lose even more money to charlatans.

If you are worried about meeting your debts, and considering getting some outside help, here are some essential things to keep in mind.

  • Legitimate credit counselors should offer an initial free consultation, to help you decide your best course of action. According to Herb Weisbaum of NBC News, the credit counselors he surveyed reported less than 20% of the people who came to them actually needed some sort of consolidation assistance. Most just needed someone to help them see what steps to take, which can be done in the initial free session. 
  • Shop around before deciding on a credit counselor. Don’t rely on advertisements or sales calls to give you the facts. Look for a certified counselor with a good Better Business Bureau rating, and who may belong to your local Chamber of Commerce. An excellent resource is The National Foundation for Credit Counseling ( They can provide information and also refer you to a legitimate credit counselor in your area. 
  • Don’t believe speedy or unrealistic promises. If anyone says they can persuade your creditors to wipe out a huge percentage of your debt, or create a payment plan that will take mere months, they are feeding you a line. If you owe enough to need a debt consolidation service, then you can count on it taking a few years to pay it all off. 
  • When you do meet with a counselor, ask a lot of questions. Whether you are asking about fees, their services, or how any of it works, if they hesitate to give you answers, go somewhere else. 
  • It is vital you don’t pay any money for debt relief up front. A serious debt consolidation program may require a small fee…say $50…to set up a program, plus a monthly charge. But there should be an analysis of your situation first. Then they should provide a contract for you to sign, explaining exactly what services will be performed. Scam artists ask for hundreds of dollars right away, and then provide absolutely nothing.

Before you look for any counselor, you might want to try it first on your own. Your creditors may be willing to reduce your interest rates, or help you transfer balances. Your local bank may also offer debt consolidation loans with a lower interest rate than your credit cards. The loan would pay the cards off, ending the risk of multiple late fees or other charges, and you could make one payment a month to your bank. (See our article How to Get Out of Debt on Your Own.)

If you just need someone to help you sort things out, you can also check volunteer organizations in your community. Depending on where you live, there may be retired volunteer accountants or bankers, who can help you work up a plan of your own, and give you some encouragement.

In the U.S. both the Federal Trade Commission and the IRS investigate and prosecute fraudulent credit relief companies. But it takes time before these con artists can be shut down. In the meantime, the Internet and TV are full of enticements to lure in desperate individuals with promises to fix their financial lives. New scams seem to pop up every day.

As the old adage goes…if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. You are the only one in charge of your financial future. Don’t be fooled by debt relief scams. The right resources are out there, and you can get your debts under control.


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