These days, it seems like entrepreneurs are appearing around every corner. Coming up with unique business ideas might seem like it’s impossible, because everyone has already thought of everything. You can put a unique spin on almost anything, however, and create something completely new out of it.
Something that keeps many wannabe entrepreneurs from starting their own businesses is not knowing what kind of business they want to start. Ideally, the idea should come before the thought that it can be monetized, but it can go both ways. Right behind that excuse is the next greatest barrier: how does an entrepreneur even afford to start their own business?
If you’re completely set on starting your own business within the next year or two, but aren’t sure where to even begin brainstorming, here are five cool business ideas you can start for less than $300 to at least get you going.
1. Become a professional problem-solver
Part of creating your own business is coming up with a solution to a problem others haven’t been able to solve yet. This mindset is also a great business idea within itself. People are always looking for quick solutions to their everyday woes. Why not set out to be their personal solution finder? Like a consultation business, but for problems like, “How do I stop hitting the snooze button?”
You just need to find a niche with a specific set of problems and set out to help the members of that audience come up with creative solutions to solve those problems. Or think of a common problem you have every day: chances are, others have to deal with it, too. Be the one to come up with a solution.
2. Freelance work
At this point in your life, you either have multiple years of higher education and a degree and/or plenty of experience and well-developed skills under your belt. In other words, you are good at something; good enough that you can, and should, be making money off of it. These days, finding freelance work is not only easy, but it’s completely free and worth looking into.
Becoming a freelancer allows you to use skills you already have, but you can build new skills along the way as well to make yourself even more marketable. Freelance work is just an umbrella under which many skills and creative project categories reside. Do you like to write? Design websites? Edit video or audio? There’s work out there for you, and it won’t cost you a thing to find.
All you really need to do is a little research to figure out how to find work, make sure you are guaranteed to get paid for the work you do and probably create your own website to make it easier for potential clients to find you.
3. Start an infotainment YouTube channel
Infotainment, or entertaining content that is also informative or educational, is huge in the YouTube space right now. Channels like CrashCourse have found away to break complex subjects like philosophy and biology into series of 10-minute videos to teach the basics in an easily digestible way. And millions upon millions of people watch.
You don’t have to be an expert on a subject to participate in the infotainment movement. If there’s something you enjoy talking about or something you know how to do better than anyone else around you, you already have a solid platform to work with. All you have to do is create and build upon it.
All you need is a little background knowledge, a free YouTube account and a cheap camera and you’re all good to go. It doesn’t have to be as professionally done as some of the larger channels out there. Get started, build your audience and then begin looking for advertisers to sponsor your content. It takes time, but it works.
4. Blog about something that interests you
Making money as a blogger may be a tough market, but it’s still possible. Really the only mistake you could make here is deciding what to keep a blog about based on whether or not it will help you make money. Every great business idea starts with passion and only sometimes ends in decent revenue, in that order.
With platforms like WordPress, getting started with your own blog won’t cost you anything other than time and less than $30 per year in many cases. You can even start blogging with a free account until you build up your audience and establish yourself in your niche and then upgrade from there.
By blogging about something you are passionate about, you are also simultaneously networking with others within your specific niche who have the same interests and maybe even do the same work as you do. Any business that automatically allows you to network is worth starting.
5. Take care of other people’s kids, pets and/or houses
Some parents don’t want to send their kids to daycare. People want to keep pets, but are out of the house all day or travel a lot. Some people go on vacations or frequently visit other places during the summer, and need someone to keep watch over their beloved homes while they’re away.
It’s not old-fashioned to start your own ‘sitting’ business. If people feel they can trust you, and you are genuinely enthusiastic about the work, they would probably much rather hire and form a continuous relationship with you than depend on someone just in it for the money.
Establish your credibility. Start small. Put together a website, get some business cards and, after working with clients for awhile, ask them if they would be willing to write a recommendation to post on your site for others to see. It definitely beats working in an office making copies all day.
These days, anyone can make money doing almost anything. All you need is a creative idea, a problem to solve and enthusiasm and a willingness to work hard and develop your skills. It might take time, but you can afford to do it.