You know you want to start something for yourself. You just need to funnel your ambition and time into an idea that’ll earn extra cash, make you proud, and possibly lead to a full-time venture—and that amazing moment you get to say “I quit!” to your boss. But what great idea should you say “I start!” to?
From childcare, fix-it services, and party planning to business consulting, artisan manufacturing, and resume writing, there is a business for every skill level, interest and budget in our list of ideas you can start for less than $10,000. Some ideas listed here can even be started for less than $2,000!
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These businesses can be started on a full- or part-time basis. Your location may be just an online presence, your clients’ homes or businesses, a work van or truck, or even a small storefront. You’ll advertise locally with fliers and coupons, cold-call potential clients, or set up shop with a website and online advertising campaign—finding customers will depend on the business idea you choose.
Each idea includes an overview of the business, a skill level recommendation needed to provide the service or create the product, ideas for marketing your business, and current average rates others are charging in this field. We’ve also included a list of resources for each business idea, including business associations, websites and books, which will help you continue your research should an idea spark your passion. Featuring a resource in this list of ideas is by no means an endorsement of the company or publication; it is the responsibility of every entrepreneur to make sure he or she is doing business with reputable organizations. Rather, these are the just first resources for your journey from idea to business ownership.
Business ideas under $2,000
Business ideas under $10,000
1. Resume Service
Finding the perfect words to describe why people’s experiences, special skills, and interests make them the right candidate for a job is difficult work. That’s why resume services continue to flourish despite the fact that most people have the tools (a computer and word processing program) to write their own. If you are a wordsmith with a human resources, management, or administration background, this idea may be the perfect opportunity for you.
One of the best aspects about the idea of starting a resume service is that you can start small, part-time, and keep costs low by working at home with your current computer. It’s the perfect opportunity for people looking to earn an extra few hundred dollars a month. In addition to resumes, other ideas include writing cover letters and thank-you notes, assisting with LinkedIn profiles, and helping clients build portfolios if their industry requires them. As a way to separate your resume service idea from competitors’, considering offering consulting on how to dress for interviews, how to handle themselves in a stressful interview situation, how to make follow-up telephone calls, how to prepare for interviews, and how to network for that dream job. Advertise locally, online, and through career expos. Once established, word-of-mouth advertising and customer testimonials will go a long way to keeping you busy with this business idea.