There are actually quite a few options for individuals who want to run their own business with little or no startup fees.
Home Businesses You Can Start With No Money:
1. Digital Side Gigs
If the web were around when I was younger, I would have spent so much time trying out digital side gigs. Digital earning revolves around completing short tasks, like testing websites, watching videos, using smartphone apps, completing surveys, and so much more!
While you’re not going to get rich completing micro-tasks, it is an excellent way for you to get some cash flow coming in.
Here are some digital side gigs to check out:
Fancy Hands hires freelance virtual assistants to complete mini-tasks like online research, answering emails, booking travel, making appointments, data entry, and lots more. Tasks pay anywhere from $3.00 – $7.00 for newbies and go up from there. Payments are made every other Tuesday via Dwolla, and you can work any time of the day or night.
Fiverr is an online platform where you can sell mini freelance services like designing a logo, writing an advertisement, editing a photo or video, image creation, voice-overs, and so much more. With Fiverr, most gigs are priced at $5.00, which means you’ll earn $4.00 after the platform takes their cut. While you may think this is a waste of time, some Fiverr freelancers have been known to rake in six-figures a year! If you’re interested in Fiverr, check out the book, The Fiverr Master Class: The Fiverr Secrets Of Six Power Sellers.
InboxDollars allows you can earn cash for surveys, reading emails, playing games, redeeming coupons, searching the web, and shopping online. Membership is free, and you’ll receive $5.00 for signing up. Payments are made via check. InboxDollars, which is part of CotterWeb Enterprises, Inc. has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Swagbucks is an online platform where you can earn points called SB, which can be redeemed for gift cards and coupons. You can easily earn SB points by watching videos, playing games, answering questions, shopping online, and even surfing the web using their toolbar. Refer your friends, and you’ll earn even more SB points. Your SB points can be traded in for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Starbucks, PayPal, and Walmart. Swagbucks also gives you a $5 bonus for signing up! Swagbucks, which is part of Prodege, LLC, has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau.
While digital side gigs may not seem like a lot of money initially, every little bit adds up! One entrepreneur I know, Lori Cheek, has been able to use side gigs to fund her dating app business. You can read about her success with side gigs here.
2. Start a Blog
Obviously, I’m a huge advocate for starting your own monetized blog. However, it does become a bit tricky when you’re trying to do it for free. First, you have two options for getting started – you can either use the free WordPress option or Blogger, which is a commercial-free platform. Both have similar features regarding functionality and design, and both can be monetized, but only through their respective ad networks.
What this means is that you’re able to monetize your blog, but only by using WordAds or Blogger’s Adsense ads. WordPress does allow affiliate marketing on their free platform — as long as you comply with their terms. Using a free platform may limit your earning potential, but it gives you the initial foundation for building an audience. Once you have a little bit of money rolling in, you can easily transfer your blog over to the paid version of WordPress, where you will be able to monetize your blog any way you want.
And when you do, make sure to check out these posts on monetization:
How to Work with Brands: Learning the Ropes of Influencer Marketing
How to Get Your First Blog Advertiser
Making Money With Affiliate Marketing
3. Provide Child Care Services
As a teen, babysitting was my bread and butter. I would babysit my father’s co-worker’s children, the neighborhood kids, my siblings, as well as children from the church we attended. It was an easy way to make some money, and obviously, I didn’t spend any money on advertising my services. While most of my clients were from word of mouth referrals, I was also able to offer my childcare services on the local bulletin board at our church, and I told everyone I wanted to work.
You, too, can make good money by offering your services as a nanny, babysitter, or elderly caretaker. Gather up some positive referrals from friends and family members and then spread the word that you’re open for business. Places like Facebook, Craigslist, and local bulletin boards are great places to promote your business (plus, they’re free)!
Always remember to personally connect with neighbors, friends, and family and let them know about your services. You can also check out third-party platforms like Care.com, SitterCity, Bambino, and Task Rabbit, where they connect caretakers with caregivers. If you are connected with a job on one of these platforms, they’ll take a small percentage of the total transaction fee.