Let me start off by declaring that capital isn’t always cash in hand and everyone has access to some source of capital. Many people start businesses without any start up cash of their own. If you are willing to put in your time and your skill into any business venture you already have capital and there is great value to the work you put in. Additionally, using resources that you already own in your business also amounts to capital investment. In this article “No Capital Required” really means not having large sums of money to invest. Having cash for initial investment is not the definition of a businessman. Entrepreneurs are those people who use creativity and innovation to solve current problems or fill an apparent need.
The best business ideas are those that solve a problem for an existing business. By creating a solution to someone else’s problem you create your market. If your business start up idea will help an existing business become more profitable you can convince that business to invest in your venture just by showing them how you can help. If your business idea will save the existing business considerable cash, or make them more profitable, chances are they would be willing to outsource that function to you. Some of the best business ideas are started on that premise.
I have compiled a list of 10 of the easiest “No Capital Required” business ideas:
1) Leaflet Distribution: This may seem unlikely but it is not only a great money making idea for the solo operator, it is also a tremendous opportunity for the budding entrepreneur who has the ambition to build a larger promotional marketing business. When you take into consideration that the majority of businesses must advertise, either in order to stay in business, or just to maintain customer awareness, you realise this is a sound business opportunity. Many companies promote new products this way, by providing the labour you can tap into a vast market.
2) Computer Repair Service: Today it is safe to say that everyone has access to a computer. If there are computers around then we need people to service them. If you have skills as a Computer Repair Technician, then those skills are in high demand. Upgrading, repairing, networking, troubleshooting and protecting your hardware, software and documents are just some of the tasks we are all not equipped to do ourselves. Offer your services starting with friends and colleagues and soon you will have more clients than you can handle.
3) Graphic design or desktop publishing: If you are trained graphic designer or if you just have a flair for desktop publishing, you have the software and a computer; you can earn big bucks as a freelance artist. Create an impressive portfolio of your work to present at business meetings and create a MySpace or facebook page to host your portfolio. Print your own business cards and leave them with potential clients. Start out by doing small jobs for your friends’ or and build up your clientele with referrals.
4) Webpage design: Everybody wants a website these days, the web is the number one source of information, and so if you can design websites, the possibilities for you are endless. The development process however, can be very tedious and time consuming. A good business idea would be to design web templates that are affordable and require minimal customisation for your clients. Advertise them as easy and cheap templates for small and start up businesses like yourself. You’d be amazed at how many people would go for a quick fix website solution. And the cost to you? Aside from time, almost nothing.
5) Cleaning service: Even if you hate cleaning you can start a lucrative cleaning service with little or no cash. You can go it alone by offering your services or you can create an agency by offering to managing the cleaners who will perform the jobs for your clients. All you need are competent and reliable personnel to clean and you can advertise the service cheaply or by word of mouth to find clients interested in your service. Most professionals with children need help in this department or small businesses who can’t afford an Office Attendant on payroll.
6) Making Gift baskets: There is a lot of potential in starting a gift basket business, you can start from orders and use clients’ deposits to create your baskets. Baskets are ideal gift ideas for birthdays and anniversaries and are extremely popular for special occasions; it can be generic or very personal. By making unique custom gift baskets you could carve a niche from a high demand market and get started with little or no cash.
7) Hairdressing: You know Jamaicans love to look good, and getting your hair done is one expense that we are not inclined to avoid. If you are skilled in the art of hairdressing then setting up a home practice is just right for you. Though many trendy hairstyles require equipment and tools, you could start out with doing those styles that require just your skill and a comb, like hair braiding. When the business picks up you can invest in equipment and improving your skill.
8) Consultancy: If you have any skill or professional training then you have everything you need to start your own consultancy business. Becoming a Business or Accounting or Public Relations consultant is easy to start, find people who need your services by posting small ads in the paper or on professional websites or even social networking sites for free. Once you get your first job, offer incentives for referrals to ensure a steady stream of clients. Most consultancies get their income from repeat business and referrals. So always make a good impression.
9) Catering Service: If you are a good cook or you know a good cook you can start a home based catering service. You should have all the equipment you need at home. You can provide daily lunch menus to nearby offices, or offer to cater for parties fundraisers or functions. The need for a good cook always exists. Specialty cuisine like vegetarian, Italian or Japanese will set you above the rest in what can be a very competitive but lucrative market. Ingredients can be costly but if you start out by dong only meal samples, then taking orders based on your samples, then you can ask for a deposit from the client to fund your first catering job.
10) Delivery or messenger service: If you have a car, motor cycle or even a bicycle and you have the time, then a delivery or messenger service might be the perfect business move for you. You can offer to pick up or deliver food, laundry, alcohol, people, letters and packages etc from various places in your community. Charge a delivery service fee of course. You can also most likely get additional income if you advertise clients’ services on your delivery vehicle.
The common factor for all these suggested business ideas is that they are services. There is an inexhaustible list of services that you can offer for your home business. Services provide the easiest opportunity to start a business with no cash. Your capital is your expertise. The key is to identify what you are not only good at doing, but also what you enjoy doing. The next step is to start small, working with little or no capital is best accomplished when you start on a small scale. Finally, if you decide to do it, do it well. Even if it is a part time, home based business, your duty is to be professional and take it seriously.
Also note that as your business expands many of these service areas are regulated for health and safety reasons and will require licensing and or registration of some kind. Getting required certification and licensing will help to boost your professional image and client confidence.