20 Businesses You Can Start for Less Than $20

20 Businesses You Can Start for Less Than $20

Whoever coined the phrase "You have to spend money to make money," probably had more than $20 in mind. Yet in today's business landscape,...


Whoever coined the phrase "You have to spend money to make money," probably had more than $20 in mind. Yet in today's business landscape, it's entirely possible to start your own company with a little help from President Andrew Jackson--and succeed!

You can start the following 25 businesses for less than $20. So empty your piggy bank, open your mind, and dive into entrepreneurship without drowning in debt.

1. Pet Sitting

Become a paid pet sitter with an investment of $0 thanks to one of many dog sitting services out there. It's usually free to join and create a profile. Rover.com and dogvacay.com are popular services.

2. House Sitting

Most people need a reliable, trustworthy house sitter at one point or another. Start offering your services to stay in peoples' homes and care for pets, plants, and the property right in your neighborhood.

3. Babysitting

Advertise your childcare services for free on Craigslist, Care.com and other services, then start watching other people's kids for no investment (other than the gas to get there).

4. Blogging and Promoting It

Set up your own website using a free service like Wix or WordPress and start creating original content for the world to see.

Then, utilize online services that can help you promote your blog through social media and other avenues. ClickBank.com is an example. Once you gain traction, some of these services will even let you use the money you make on commissions to help promote other people.

5. Direct Sales

Trying the direct sales route can cost as low as $10 depending on the company. Avon and Mary Kay are some of the more famous companies in this space. The initial fee usually covers membership, training, marketing tools, and samples.

6. Selling Used Books

Sell books that are sitting around your house for a profit on one of several online sites like BookScouter.com. Once you start making money, you can buy more expensive used books and sell them for even more.

7. Cleaning

Clean houses, windows, or cars for less than $20 by purchasing basic cleaning supplies and marketing yourself to friends and family members.

8. Driving for Uber or Lyft

It's free to sign up to drive for Uber and Lyft. If your vehicle doesn't meet the required standards, try a rental solution from either of the two.

9. Consulting

If there's something you know quite a bit about (website design, health and beauty, knitting, etc.) consider becoming a consultant.

This is of course easier said than done and can take a while. You'll want to obtain any licenses that are necessary, research and choose which customers to target, all the while building your network so you can get to know the right people.

10. Tutoring

Market tutoring skills for free with people you know and online platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Many of the online services even help tutors find tutors themselves so they can expand what they teach.

11. Professional Organizing

Become a professional organizer with help from social media. A locally targeted Facebook ad for example costs $20 or less.

12. Tour Guiding

Offer tour guides by signing up for free with a one of the sites or apps out there. One called Vayable.com will find your tourists for you in exchange for a percentage of what you earn.

13. Tax Preparing

With tax season on the way, this is a promising option. Search "tax preparation no experience" online. Plenty of companies are willing to train you in time for tax season.

14. Flea Market Vending

Have old stuff you want to sell lying around your house? Become a flea market vendor for less than $20 per day.

15. Selling on Etsy or Ebay

It's free to sign up on Etsy and start selling your handmade goods there. Your products can be virtually anything you make yourself.

Ebay is an enticing option (as is Craigslist, OfferUp, and other such resale sites) if you want to make money selling old stuff lying around your house or resell cheap thrift store finds for a profit.

16. Running Errands

Professional errand running is a popular niche if you have spare time and (preferably) a vehicle. Join TaskRabbit for an immediate customer base.

17. Delivering Food

Become an independently contracted delivery partner with one of many food apps. Some include Caviar, Doordash or Postmates. They allow you to make your own hours, be your own boss, and get paid--all for less than $20. It's usually free to sign up.

18. Freelance Bartending

Start out with freelance bartending by volunteering to tend bar at charity events to get experience. Work with clients who already have the necessary equipment to keep it cheap.

19. Training Dogs

Try your hand at dog training. You might already have experience with your own pets or take to Google for some excellent tips and tricks. Start with friends and family and expand.

20. Managing Social Media

Many millennials have an advanced understanding of social media platforms. Turn your knowledge into cash by offering social media management services. You might be surprised what local businesses will pay.

If you want to follow your entrepreneurial spirit but you're low on cash, don't give up - use these ideas to get you started without breaking the bank.

You can launch a business for little initial investment and with a bit of luck have it take off. If Amazon.com can start in a garage, so can your next big idea.

This article originally appeared on Inc.com on January 19, 2018.

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