To be honest, tightening my budget is not really my style; I would rather create small businesses on the side that will generate additional income. In my situation, managing web properties is my best small business idea so far. Since we are all looking to increase our monthly revenues, I thought of making a quick list of other small business ideas that came to mind when I didn’t have much time to develop:
Small Business Idea #1: Creating small niche websites
Creating a website has become something quite easy on the technical side. In fact, you don’t need to know much about html or php coding. All you need is a passion to write about, take some time to read on how to setup a website, go to GoDaddy to register a domain name and to WordPress to get a site theme and you are done… well for the technical part of your website ;-).
For the rest, it requires time, passion and patience. Online money definitely doesn’t come overnight. For example, I recently created Home Security System Canada as an alarm system website for Canadians. This has required some investment in terms of money and time and I hope to make a few bucks per month in the upcoming year. However, this site alone won’t pay for my mortgage right away. The idea behind it is to create a consistent flow of income (let say $100 per month) and multiply this income stream across other websites.
Small Business Idea #2: Selling Stuff to Canadians
You can use eBay or Craigslist to sell you stuff. You can also buy in the US and sell to Canadians the very same way. Why do so? Because the Canadian dollar is becoming stronger than the US dollar. Just look at this USD CAD chart. In addition to a strong dollar, Canadians are more inclined to spend money these days. Their economy is stronger and they don’t feel like they should restraint themselves.
So, the idea is to shop in the US for goods and turn around and sell them to Canadians. The only thing you must be careful is that if you do many transactions, chances are that you will need to look into export rules.
Small Business Idea #3 Repair / Sell parts for computers
I once opened a small business repairing computers. I was selling computer parts and installing them for my friends during university. More than ever, people don’t want to buy new computers as they are trying to save during the recession. If you know computers, it can be a very interesting side line.
It doesn’t require much funding (as you get the computer parts only when needed) and your work schedule is pretty flexible (you can do them after your day job). The markup is interesting as people would rather pay you $100 to repair their computer than pay $400-$500 for a new computer tower!
Small Business Idea #4 Freelance Writing
As opposed to what you may be thinking, you don’t need to be a “real” writer to become a freelance writer. In fact, if you know a lot about a specific topic, you can offer your services as a freelance writer for websites. Sites like Odesk offer the opportunity to connect website owners and freelancers in various domains.
Each time I am looking for a writer for a niche website or a specific domain, I post a job on Odesk to see if I can find someone. Then again, this kind of small business doesn’t require any funding (besides a computer and an internet connection) and can be done anywhere at any time. Don’t be modest; I’m sure you know about something better than most people. You don’t need to be the ultimate reference in your field, you just need to know more than most people in order to write valuable content.
Small Business Idea #5 House Cleaning
This is something I am very curious about. I have used the services of a house cleaning lady at one point in time and I found it very hard to find someone reliable and trustworthy. I guess that building a network of house cleaners would be a great idea especially if you can assure a certain level of professionalism.
The point of this small business idea is not to clean houses yourself (mind you, it might happen at first!). In fact, I think you can build your network and coordinate the house cleaners with the house to clean. The Markup would be smaller but it doesn’t require much work (as long as you hire the right people ;-) ).
As you can see, there are several small business ideas you can start without much cash in hand. Since the purpose is to make more money, most people don’t have much to invest. This is why it is important to pick a business model that won’t require extra cash to be invested in the first place.