1. Money

7 Inexpensive Business Ideas

Part 1: Almost Anyone Can Start a Business With One of These Business Ideas


Cat Face

Pet Sitting

Image (c) Susan Ward

Want to start a business but don't have a lot of start up money or time to invest in developing specialized skills? Then you'll want to have a look at this list of business ideas.

Each is a business that you can start inexpensively; some can be started for next to nothing if you already have the equipment. Every one of these suggestions will let you start a business quickly - in some cases, almost instantly. And all can be operated as home-based businesses.

Be warned though; these types of businesses are not suitable for anyone looking for a "get rich quick" plan or a way to become an instant millionaire. What these businesses offer to the person prepared to work at them is a good living - and of course, the satisfaction of being your own boss.

1. Pet Sitting.

More and more people are looking for someone to care for their pets when they can't - people who don't like the idea of putting "precious" into a kennel. Professional pet care givers comes into the home to care for the pet while the owner is away, feeding, walking, and playing with the animal(s). If you love animals and are knowledgeable about them, this could be a great business idea for you. According to the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), in-home pet-care is one of the fastest growing industries in North America today.

Requirements: Knowledge of and affinity with animals. Currently accreditation and special training is not required (although this may change).
Variations on the theme: Dog walking services.

2. Residential cleaning services.

Having your house cleaned by someone else is no longer only for the rich. With everyone getting busier all the time, more people than ever are willing to pay to get the benefits of a cleaner home and more free time to do things they consider to be more important. Residential cleaning services are normally provided on a once-a-month or once-a-week basis. If you're an organized person who can build a clientele, you could do extremely well if you start a cleaning business.

Requirements: Knowledge of cleaning products and procedures. The ability to attract and keep reliable staff. Strong scheduling and organizational abilities.
Variations on the theme: Specialized cleaning services, such as blind cleaning.

3. Delivery services.

We're all familiar with the "big names" in the delivery industry, but that doesn't mean that there's no room for the little guy (or gal). If you can deliver things quickly and efficiently in your local area at a reasonable price, this may be a good business idea for you.

Requirements: Clean driving record and good driving skills. Strong organizational skills. A suitable vehicle; it may be necessary to transport large items.
Variations on the theme: Delivery services of a particular product, such as establishing an organic vegetable box route.

4. Grass cutting/snow removal services.

We mow our own grass here (and remove our own snow). But we’re in the minority in our neighborhood. Many people would rather spend the money on having someone else keep their yard looking good. The great thing about this business idea is that in many places, you can combine the two and have a viable business all year long.

Requirements: Equipment, such as power mowers, edgers, etc. You need to be prepared to trim as well as to mow. Trucks equipped with blades for snow clearing. Basic mechanical knowledge to run and repair equipment.
Variations on the theme: For those with more knowledge and experience, landscaping and or gardening services.

Continue on to the next page for three more inexpensive business ideas...

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