8 Ways to Start a Business with No Money
Make money online – Start your own business today!
When I was a teenager, I was always dreaming of ways to start my own business. From idea’s of starting a daycare to a petsitting business, to finally actually building a 6 figure business in a virtual 3D game (Yes, really. I made that much selling virtual goods that weren’t even real. If that’s not quirky, I don’t know what is. But let’s save that story for another day!). I just knew I didn’t want to spend my life busting my butt working for (mostly ungrateful) bosses. I am sure you can relate.
Starting a business is a dream for many, but start up costs are a hurdle. With 8 out of 10 businesses failing in the first 18 months (according to Forbes.com), and those pricey startup costs may never be recouped.
So, how do you get around it? First of all, I know what you’re thinking, “Yea right, it’s not possible!”. Think again, my quirky friend. Get your game face on, and listen up. Here’s how to get started:
- Start a business with little to no overhead, but quickly generates income (Ok, I see you rolling your eyes – Stop being a negative nellie! Positive thoughts = Positive results. This IS very possible, and I’ll give you start up idea’s below!).
- Re-invest your start up profits into learning tools (courses and/or ebooks) and marketing strategies to level up your business. This step is especially relevant because it’s exactly how 6+ figure businesses start and grow into big profits.
- Are you ready to get started? These tips will not only pave your way to financial freedom, but in addition, will change your life. Let’s dive into some of your options below.
1. Freelance Writing
If you love to write, why not create your own freelance writing business? Writing is a super fun job. I know this, because I do it for a living!
Freelance writers are highly in demand, therefore the earning potential is great, between $50,000-$100,000+ per year. From bloggers to businesses, the opportunity to make money writing has never been better.
Starting your own freelance writing business will allow you to market your services immediately with virtually zero overhead. Because all it takes is investing your time and passion, and as a result, you can quickly grow into a very lucrative business.
Here are just a handful of free platforms to get your feet wet and gain some experience:
Amazon offers some great free Kindle Unlimited books that will teach you how to make money as a freelance writer. A few worth checking out:
- Corporate Freelance Writing Made Easy: How I Earned Over 1 Million in 7 Years
- Make Money as a Freelance Writer
- Corporate Freelance Writing Made Easy
- Freelance Writing on the Side
How to grow:
Remember we talked about reinvesting your profits to scale your business? Once you’ve dipped your toes into the above free platforms, you can re-invest your earnings into a course that will help you start a business easily earning $4,000+ per month.
30 Days to Freelance Writing Success is an amazing and affordable course that will help you lay out the foundation, establish your business and promote yourself to find paid writing gigs. Definitely worth checking out if you want to get paid (a lot of money) to write.
2. Virtual Assistant
This is one of my favorite ways to start a business online, because I have been a virtual assistant (VA) for years, and I absolutely love it. Furthermore, VA’s are in high demand, so you can rapidly grow into a very profitable VA business.
The average VA earns between $30-50 per hour, and there’s a wide variety of services you can offer as a VA. The possibilities are endless.
Here are some of the most popular services:
- Office Management
- Customer Service
- Email Support
- Social Media Management
- Project Management
- Data Entry
- Blog Management/Content Writing
- And so much more depending upon your skills
Free Kindle Unlimited resources to learn more about becoming a VA:
- Become a Successful Virtual Assistant: Learn the Business Side and Ditch the 9-5
- Take a Leap of Faith and Start a Virtual Assistant Business
Where to find VA work:
That’s just a handful of sites. There are many other sites to find VA work, but the best way to reach 6+ figures, is to build your own VA business once you’ve earned enough profits to invest into a course. I strongly recommend checking out 30 Days to Virtual Assistant Success.
Gina Horkey, the course creator, is awesome. She will teach you everything you need to know to launch and grow your VA business. She will give you a few good laughs too once you get to know her! She’s great, and an expert at building online businesses.
3. Graphic Design
Are you creative? Then use your talents to your advantage and make money online with your own Graphic Design business! You can make a killing, because from companies to busy bloggers, businesses love to outsource when it comes to graphic design. Here are some idea’s that you can design and market:
- Printables (SUPER hot seller these days!)
- Pinterest Images for bloggers (Also very popular!)
- Marketing Materials
- And SO much more! The possibilities are endless
You don’t need to be an artist or have crazy talent to do graphic design. Pinterest images for bloggers for example, are super easy to learn and can make you a ton of money. You just need to have a creative mind and market yourself properly.
You can do basic graphic design for free in Canva. But once you’ve earned some funds, I’d recommend investing into a better program. My favorite image editing tool is PicMonkey, which offers a free trial to check it out.
Ready to get started selling your designs? Three of the best platforms to start marketing your services are:
You can sign up for free and start selling immediately and bank some serious cash.
Yes, this is really a thing! Crazy, right? But if you love using Instagram, you’ll love this idea. Become your own boss as an influencer on Instagram.
I just recently started getting into Instagram for my rescue efforts, and I am quickly becoming an Instagram fanatic. It’s SO much fun! My following isn’t huge yet since I just started diving into it, but it’s growing very rapidly and I have already made some money and received free products as a result. So awesome! (P.S. If you love cats and/or pet rescue, follow me @hairballchronicles).
There is no need to invest in expensive advertising or marketing for a brand new business. Harness the power of social media for huge exposure at no cost. There are over 700 million users on Instagram every month and many of them are making thousands of dollars as an influencer. How to become Instafamous:
- Post quality photos – Edit your photos like a pro. Post bright, crisp quality photos only. People want to feel as if they were there.
- Grow your followers – Organic followers that are clicking like on your photos
- Engagement – Followers that comment and engage in conversation on your photo posts
- Collaborate with peers in your industry, join engagement pods and threads and participate. You’ll be surprised how fast your reach will grow!
Once you have a good sized engaged following, you can monetize your efforts to receive free products, sell items or be paid as an influencer. The power of Instagram is amazing, and can be your ticket out of your 9-5. Seriously! People are banking thousands per week with sponsored content on Instagram.
There is no need to have a blog to earn income on Instragram, but it can certainly go hand in hand with earning income. Instagram can drive major traffic to your blog, which in turn will grow your email list and increase your sales.
You might also enjoy: Foolproof Way to Start a Blog
The great thing about Instagram is, you can monetize any niche. Here are a few idea’s:
There’s a market for everyone.
Things you can earn as an Instagram influencer:
- Money – Brands will pay you to sponsor their products
- Free Products
- Travel Discounts
- Complimentary Hotel Stays
- More traffic to your blog
- And so much more fun stuff!
Are you ready to become Instafamous?
Once you start gaining some traction, I’d recommend checking out a couple of great courses when you’re ready to take your Instagram to a very profitable level:
- Instagram for Success – The creator of the course makes a full time living using Instagram, and has over 122,000 followers, so I’d say she knows her stuff! My followers went from 57 to over 3,000 in a few weeks time following Helene’s strategies, along with my engagement improving, so I stand by this course being the best Instagram course out there if you want to make money with Instagram.
- Instamazing – Another awesome course that will help grow and monetize your Instagram.
5. Social Media Manager
Pinning, posting and tweeting, oh my! How awesome would it be to get paid to play on Facebook or Twitter all day? If you’re addicted to social media, you should turn your hobby into profits by becoming a social media manager.
It’s so easy to get lost in social media. That’s why big brands and bloggers are turning to social media managers to help them build their online presence. Businesses almost always outsource their social media, so this is an extremely profitable business that could easily earn 6+ figures once you build up clients. The most popular platforms brands often need help with are:
Read these free Kindle Unlimited books to help you become an expert managing the above social platforms:
- Social Media Marketing
- 500 Social Media Marketing Tips
- Facebook Advertising
- Instagram Marketing
- Learn Pinterest Strategy
- How to Gain 100,000 Followers on Twitter
You can focus on mastering all platforms, or just focus on one platform such as starting your own Pinterest VA business.
If you’re already a social media pro and want to dive into helping business owners grow their online presence, setting up your own website to advertise your business services would be ideal, but you can also start marketing your services on free to join platforms such as Fiverr.
If you really want to hit at home run with your social media manager business, check out Social Media Manager School to learn all of the skills you need to create a very lucrative social media manager business.
Have you always dreamed of starting a business, but you can’t afford the expense of buying products and renting a building? If so, dropshipping is a great (and very lucrative) alternative. There’s no upfront cost or inventory to stock. You only purchase products when you have an order to fulfill.
How dropshipping works:
- Customer places an order through your shop
- Your shop places the order on the dropshipping suppliers website
- The dropshipping supplier prepares your order and ships directly to the customer
Super easy! The supplier does all of the heavy lifting, while you sit back and collect money! And there are dropshipping suppliers for almost everything. Whether you want to sell socks, jewelry, essential oils or iPads – You can sell just about anything with zero start up costs. It’s a great way to save money on inventory since inventory tends to be the largest expense for retailers.
Great platforms to get started with a storefront:
- Shopify: You can create your own store for free for 14 days with Shopify’s trial. By the way, if you open an online shop, Shopify is the ish! No joke. No comparison against any other store platform (believe me, I’ve tried them).
Dropshipping is one of the easiest, most affordable business models. Anyone can do it, and most are very successful, so it’s definitely a business idea to strongly consider.
Ready to dive into learning how to create a 6+ figure business dropshipping? Visit Udemy and search “dropshipping” for a ton of courses starting as low as $11.99. Here are some great courses to search for:
- How To Start A 6 Figure Amazon Dropshipping Home Business!
- eBay Amazon Dropshipping The Easy Way To Make Profits
- eBay Drop Shipping Guide with No Inventory – Work From Home
There are many other low priced courses to browse on Udemy to get you started, so be sure to browse all of their courses. If you need some inspiration for selling products online, check out The Selling Family and their amazing story. They turned their love of bargain shopping for resale and turned it into a 6 figure business in just one year!
- How You Can Make 100,000 With Dropshipping This Holiday Season
- How to Earn $19,000 Per Month with Your Online Store
7. Pet Sitting
If you love animals (like I do!), pet sitting is an awesome way to start a business. Who wouldn’t love spending their days or nights getting paid to play with furry friends? You’ll love it so much, you won’t even believe you are getting paid for it. That’s definitely my kind of job!
In today’s busy society, there is a high demand for reliable pet sitters. You can easily earn anywhere from $15 to $30+ per hour. Pet sitting can start out as a side hustle, and quickly scale into a full time income once you build up clients. I used to do VA work for a pet sitting company, and rates could go up to $100+ per day for various types of pet sitting, such as boarding pets in your home while your clients are on vacation.
How to get started:
Word of mouth. Tell your family and friends that you’re interested in pet sitting, and have them spread the word. Post on Facebook and hang a flyer in your vets office. In addition, there are also websites to help you get started:
Pet Sitter Secrets – Tips, Forms, Systems and Behind the Scenes to Start and Grow is a great free Kindle Unlimited resource for some start up inspiration.
Are you crafty? Get into the handmade market! Start a business by using materials around your home or get donations and start creating products to sell in online marketplaces or to family and friends. People love to buy homemade products because the quality is often better than store bought, so building up a handmade business can be quite profitable, and fun too!
What can you sell:
- Jewelry & Accessories
And much more, depending upon your crafty talents. Be creative and unique so you can stand out.
Where to get started selling your items:
In addition to selling on the above platforms, I’d recommend setting up your own shop on Shopify for more exposure. Ecommerce and Prosper will teach you how to launch and operate a successful online business.
This is a great free Kindle Unlimited read to ease the learning curve: The Handmade Entrepreneur—How to Sell on Etsy, or Anywhere Else: Easy Steps for Building a Real Business Around Your Crafts
More Handmade Resources:
- Free Course: Your Handmade Business Foundation to Success and More Sales
- The 5 Knows of Having a Handmade Business
- 10 Things You Must Do to Have a Successful Online Craft Business
Side Hustles you can start for free or little cost:
- Blogging: Of course I have to mention this method of making money, since it’s obviously my favorite! Start a blog and monetize it. This isn’t a get quick rich scheme, but with time and patience, you can earn (way) more than a full time income. Visit The Foolproof Way to Start a Blog to get started, or subscribe to my free 5 day Make Money Blogging email course below ⇊
- Survey’s and Focus Groups: Check out this interview from a woman who earns thousands and makes a full time living taking surveys. Top paying surveys: Vindale, Survey Savvy, and 2020Panel
- VIPKid is an awesome way to earn a full time living online by teaching English to Chinese kids. The kids are super cute, and it’s a great rewarding experience that pays very well up to $22/hr (Bachelor’s degree required).
- Freelance on Fiverr: A gig is purchased every 5 seconds on Fiverr, so the income potential is huge. Many sellers are making a full time living offering services on Fiverr. It’s an amazing place for anyone in the startup space. There’s over 100 categories to choose from. Sellers offer services such graphic design (printables, logos, etc), writing, music and video, animation, digital marketing, web design, programming & tech, fun and lifestyle and SO much more. There’s a market no matter what your skill, the possibilities are endless. And it’s absolutely free to sign up and start making money TODAY.
- Child Care: If you love kids, consider setting up a home daycare. My cousin has an in-home daycare and makes way more money than those with a 9-5. She absolutely loves it. She gets to play with adorable kiddos all day, take them on field trips to zoos and pumpkin patches, do crafts, swimming and other fun activities, and gets paid (extremely well) for it! Free Kindle Unlimited Resource: How to Start a Profitable Daycare Business from Home
- Proofread Anywhere: If you love to read, and you’re a stickler for grammar, you may love being able to work from home in your pj’s reading for a living. Proofreaders can easily earn a full time income of $4,500+ per month.
- Transcription: If you’re great at typing, then turn your typing skills into your side hustle or full time job. Transcription involves listening to audio and typing it into text. Transcribe while sunning on the beach, lounging at your poolside or while your baby is napping. Here’s a free course that will teach you how to Transcribe Anywhere!
In conclusion, there are many ways to start a business with no money, especially online. What are you start up business idea’s? Sharing is caring, let’s brainstorm together in the comments below!