Thursday, June 10, 2010

24 Businesses You Can Start from Home for Under $5,000

In doing a report for the Wholesale/Retail team at the accounting firm where I work, I discovered that Mississippi (where I live) is using some of its stimulus package dollars to help fund new start up businesses for entrepreneurs.  The new business owner gets a grant of as much as $5,000 to help get his or her start-up off the ground.
That got me to wondering just how many businesses there are that can be launched for $5,000 or less.  Aside from a couple obvious ones, like an eBay store or lawn care service, or joining one of the gazillion "get rich quick"  networking marketing companies, I was pretty much stumped.  So I did some research and found some interesting ideas.
In no particular order, here they are:
  1. Mobile pet grooming service 
  2. Tutoring service
  3. Sitting/ companion services for the elderly
  4. Concierge service (run errands, etc for others)
  5. Fitness class instructor (offer churches & community centers cut of fee for use of building)
  6. Cleaning service (Janitorial)
  7. Power washing
  8. Carpet and rug cleaning
  9. Roof / Gutter cleaning
  10. Travel Services
  11. Painting
  12. Junk-Removal
  13. Eco-Consulting (help people to live more "green")
  14. Cookie Grams
  15. First Aid Kit Supply (this one floored me, but I see the light!)
  16. Telephone answering service
  17. Mediation service (know any divorce lawyers?)
  18. Day Care provider
  19. Herb Gardening (provide local restaurants with the freshest ingredients!)
  20. Catering
  21. Landscaping
  22. Courier service
  23. Sewing business
  24. Bridal Consultant
In many cases, the primary cost is equipment involved.  Since most of these are "services" and not products for sale, the operating costs go way down.  Even the ones involving products are not pricey.  I really like the idea of restocking first aid kits for people.  Who thinks of that?  Nobody. Who needs it?  Everybody! 
Other costs:  Advertising will be a biggie, though you can create a buzz yourself by telling everyone you know and hitting the pavement.  Word of mouth will go a long way for most of these. 
Legal costs:  Depending on the degree of liability you are willing to incur, I would probably do an S-Corp for the majority of the list, but many can be done in the beginning as a sole proprieter.  At the very least, get bonded if you will be in other people's homes or dealing with other people's property.
Unless you plan to hire employees or work out of rented or purchased space, your other business start up costs will be fairly minimal. 

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