Here are three more ideas for businesses that you can start quickly, inexpensively, and with little or no specialized skills:
I freely admit that I know little about scrapbooking. But I do know that scrapbooking is a growing industry (of about $3 billion a year currently) and that kind of popularity tells me that it's a business idea that could be very profitable. You can start a business as a creator of original scrapbooks or by becoming a consultant for a scrapbook business that's already established. About’s Scrapbooking site is a great place to learn more about scrapbooking.
Requirements: Artistic talent. Knowledge of scrapbooking (which you can get through research and experience or by taking scrapbooking courses). Materials to make scrapbooks.
Variations on the theme: Specializing in a particular type of memory book, such as books memorializing the lives of beloved pets.
6. Hauling services.
Ever try to fit a sheet of plywood into the back of one of those new compact SUVs? Then you know why the demand for hauling services is on the rise. Besides the size issue, there’s the whole issue of things that people don't want to haul in their own shiny vehicles, such as yard waste or loads of compost for the garden. All the things they don't want to or can't haul could be money in your pocket.
Requirements: A suitable vehicle or vehicles and a clean driving record. Sometimes a strong back if you’re loading the material yourself.
Variations on the theme: Specializing in hauling a particular product, such as delivering loads of compost or soil for gardeners.
7. eBay selling.
eBay's popularity continues to explode. I personally know very few people who haven't bought or sold something on eBay. But did you know that eBay is also a solid business idea? If you have a product that there's a demand for and that is suitable for being sold online and shipped to the purchaser, eBay may be the way to go. It can be a more inexpensive option than setting up your own online store and eBay offers all kinds of information to help you sell successfully - including eBay seminars.
Requirements: A worthy product or products. A computer. Knowledge of online selling and shipping. For more information on selling on eBay successfully see my article 7 Tips for Selling on eBay.
Variations on the theme: Moving from eBay auctions to having your own eBay online store.
So there they are - seven ideas for businesses that almost anyone can start. What else do you need to turn one of these ideas into a successful business? The kind of people skills that will allow you to attract and build a regular clientele. But I'm guessing that you have these, or you wouldn't be thinking of starting a business in the first place. If one of these business ideas appeals to you, the next step is to see if it will work for you by developing a business plan. My Writing a Business Plan series will lead you through the process. Best of luck with your new business!