Launching a startup business can be expensive. It all depends on what industry you go into. If you do your research before you get started, you’ll have the knowledge to pick an industry that won’t cost you thousands (if not millions of dollars) to get into. You’ll be able to pinpoint an easy business startup that’s low cost and profitable.
If you’re ready to start a business that replaces your full time job but you don’t have a lot of money (of your own) to invest to get started, this article is just for you. If you want to start a business that just doesn’t cost a lot of money to start, this article is also for you. There are plenty of low cost startup business ideas that will enable you to get your feet wet as an entrepreneur and still make enough money to replace your current full time job (eventually). If you want to know what they are, keep reading! I identify three low cost business startup ideas that you’ll be glad you found out about before taking the big leap into “entrepreneurdom.” All of these are good ideas that have a startup cost of less than a few hundred bucks.
Idea #1: Referral Marketing
Referral marketing is an age old technique that business owners use to generate leads for their business via word of mouth. Many businesses (small and large) have built a solid client base from word of mouth marketing. It doesn’t cost them any actual money (upfront) and they can get it a lower cost than many traditional marketing techniques (like radio or television advertising).
You’ll also be happy to know that many entrepreneurs have built successful businesses as referral marketers. In fact, I can speak to the viability of a referral marketing business. My entrepreneurial journey began as a referral marketer. I built my first startup company around referring other entrepreneurs (who I knew personally) to consultants, retailers and service providers that could assist them. Those same consultants, retailers and service providers paid me a referral fee for every person that purchased their products or services. This often resulted in commission of anywhere from $100.00 to $5,000. Those were some pretty nice checks (especially for someone whose startup budget was nonexistent).
That’s right. I actually had very little money to invest in my business when I started. I promoted the products and services of other businesses to the people I knew personally and earned money every time they bought something. It may not sound like it can be a sustainable business, but it can definitely generate enough revenue for you to pay yourself a part time income (at least). It’s a great starting point for aspiring entrepreneurs on a budget (who may want to expand their business beyond referral marketing in the future).
So here’s how you get started in the referral marketing business. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Make a list of all of the businesses you have purchased products or services from in your life (that you can remember). Put a star next those businesses who you were really happy with. Call those businesses and ask them if they offer a referral partner program. If they do, ask if you can join. After joining, get training on how to promote the company’s products or services. Then start calling your friends and family to tell them about what you’re doing. Discuss it with everyone you know. The more you talk about it to people, the more people you can refer to the businesses you have partnered with. The more people you refer, the sooner your business starts to make money.
Idea #2: Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is often confused with referral marketing. However, they definitely aren’t the same. While both are inexpensive business start-up ideas, affiliate marketing can make you much more money. Most people who build a business around referral marketing promote the products and services of other companies to people they already know. In the affiliate marketing business, you promote the products and services of other companies to everyone. Affiliate marketing isn’t limited to your network.
Referral marketing is a great part time business. A good starting point. However affiliate marketing can become a full time business that enables you to generate a passive income. A passive income is one that you can earn while you’re sleeping. If you get your start in the referral marketing business and find yourself wanting to expand beyond that, affiliate marketing would be the next step.
If you’re ready to build an affiliate marketing business that generates a passive income, SiteSell’s Solo Build It would be a good starting point. Solo Build It is web based software platform and training program for aspiring entrepreneurs that want to build a business online. They teach you how to build a website that attracts high quality, targeted website visitors that are interested in learning more about what you have offer. Those website visitors often click a link or make a purchase that results in your business generating advertising revenue or an affiliate commission. They also host your website.
Many of the entrepreneurs who have used Solo Build It are some of the most successful affiliate marketers in the online world. One of their top customer’s generates $300,000 in revenue (annually) from the affiliate marketing business he built with the help of Solo Build It. The best part about it is that most of them did while working from home! Affiliate marketing is the ideal home-based business for aspiring entrepreneurs on a budget. I can guarantee that if you start your affiliate business with the help of Solo Build It, you’ll increase your chances of success and joining the top ranks in the online affiliate marketing world.
Idea #3: Janitorial Services
Janitorial businesses can be very easy to start. All you need is a mop, a bucket, some cleaning supplies (and maybe a vacuum) and you’re ready to launch. It doesn’t take much money (as long as you’re comfortable with doing some of the work yourself in the beginning). Another great thing about janitorial businesses is that the government buys a lot of janitorial services. You can register as a local, state and/or federal vendor and bid on government contracts when you start a janitorial services business. Not all businesses operate in industries that have the opportunity to bid on government contracts.
Another way to get clients for a janitorial business is to go to the gas stations in your neighborhood. Find out when the owner will be there. Go there during the time the owner is there. Ask the owner if he has anyone to clean up the place. If not, make him an offer he can’t refuse. A long time business associate of mine recommended this to one of her clients. He did exactly what she said. He was able to get 10+ clients in his area within a matter of a few weeks. It cost him little to nothing to start his janitorial services business. He may have spent $200.00 on cleaning equipment and 40+ hours going to different gas stations to sell his service. That’s about as low cost as you can get when it comes to starting a business.
Idea #4: Non-Medical Personal Home Care Services
Non-medical personal home care consists of providing in-home support services to the elderly or disabled. It’s a fairly easy industry to get into, especially in the state of Michigan (where I live). I’ve worked with quite a few entrepreneurs who started a business in the non-medical personal home care industry. This is a very low cost, easy business to start. This is especially true if you know an elderly or disabled person who receives Medicaid or Medicare and need non-medical support in their homes. Non-medical support includes doing laundry, helping them get dressed, fixing their meals or helping them take their medication.
Many of the people I’ve helped start businesses in this industry, get a family member or friend as their first client. For example, one young entrepreneur I worked with was able to get her grandmother as her first client. She had already lived with her grandmother and was providing in-home support services to her. After starting a non-medical personal home care business, she was able to get paid for helping her grandmother (because she received Medicare).
The best thing about this type of business is that the government pays for your services. All you have to do is become an approved non-medical personal home care provider in your state. In the state of Michigan (where I live), it takes about 60 days to become an approved non-medical personal home care provider. The state of Michigan pays $15.50 per hour, per client for non-medical personal home care services. If you get enough clients, you can certainly build a long term sustainable business in the non-medical personal home care industry. Many large home health care companies also got their start in the non-medical personal home care industry. If you do it right, your business can become just as successful and graduate to the home health care services industry when the time is right.
If you’re in Michigan and you want to start a business in the non-medical personal home care industry, contact QT Business Solutions for more information. They will help you register and become an approved non-medical personal home care services provider in the state of Michigan. If you’re any another state, contact your local state department of insurance and licensing to find out how you can register to become an approved non-medical personal home care provider.
Legally Register Your Business, Its Important
No matter which business you choose to start, you should legally register the business before you start operating. Most new entrepreneurs that are starting a small business register a sole proprietorship. However, I always recommend that new entrepreneurs form their first company as a limited liability company instead of a sole proprietorship. A limited liability company will provide tax incentives and protect you from lawsuits and other business liabilities. You won’t get the same benefits with a sole proprietorship. Sole proprietorships provide no protection or tax incentives to the owner.
If you want to learn more about how to legally register your business in your state, The Company Corporation is a good resource. They helped me register my very first business. The process was simple, quick, and fairly inexpensive for this type of service. They made sure my business was legally registered in my state and with the federal government. They also helped me obtain a tax ID for my business. (You’ll need a tax ID when you file business taxes). The Company Corporation does a good job of explaining everything you need to operate a legally registered business.
Don’t Forget to Write Your Business Plan
Launching a new business before writing a business plan is just not wise. Failing to plan is the quickest way to fail. While a business plan won’t guarantee your success, it can serve as a guide for how you start, operate and grow the business. A good startup business plan should serve a blueprint for your business’ success for the next 5 years. If you’re on a budget, you may not be able to afford to hire a business plan writer. That’s okay because I’ve created a great business plan outline for aspiring entrepreneurs on a budget. (Just click the link to be taken to the business plan outline).
Get Financing for Your Low Cost Business Startup Idea with LenCred’s Help
When you get to the point where you know what kind of business you want to start, you’ve legally registered the business and you’ve written your business plan, the next step is often small business financing. I’ve identified four inexpensive business startup ideas in this blog. However, even though they are low cost ideas, it doesn’t mean you won’t need startup capital or working capital. Eventually, you will want to expand your business (if you’re a serious entrepreneur). When you’re ready to expand, nine times out of ten you will need additional capital. That’s where LenCred comes in.
LenCred specializes in helping startups (and established companies) obtain the small business financing they need to start, grow or expand. I personally have referred over 100+ aspiring and established entrepreneurs to LenCred. The average person I referred obtained $30,000 to $50,000 for their business startup with LenCred’s help. My largest client got $238,000 in startup capital with LenCred’s help. (My commission check for that client referral was awesome by the way…that good ‘ole affiliate marketing never fails me)! You could also work with LenCred to obtain the startup or working capital you may need for your small business. Contact the LenCred team today for more information on how to get started.