Small Business Ideas You Can Start with Less than $100

A hand diligently washes a car, symbolizing the low-cost startup possibilities for formerly incarcerated individuals exploring businesses they can initiate with $100 or less.

Starting your own business can be a great way to earn a living, and it allows you to work on your own schedule, bypass background checks, and take control of your finances. Some businesses require a lot of money and time to begin; however, there are several businesses you can start right now with less than $100 and some determination.

1. Car Wash/House Cleaning

Services like car washing and house cleaning are easy to begin as there is very little startup cost and a usually a high demand for these services. All you need to purchase to get started is some basic cleaning supplies. You can advertise your business by word-of-mouth or by posting fliers in local neighborhoods, as well as letting friends and family know. The good thing about a service like this is that if your customer is happy, they will likely book your services again as well as refer you to their friends.

2. Moving Service

Creating your own moving service can be a great business to start. Movers charge up to $50 per hour or more for local moves, and even more for longer distances. Since moving services are typically charged per hour and per mover, you can easily start this business with a friend or small team, and each make a good profit. U-Haul is an affordable option for renting a vehicle, with prices starting at $19.95 plus gas and mileage. Long-distance moves will cost you quite a bit, so focus on local moves at first. If you live near a college or university, you can expect a high demand for movers in May and August when students are beginning or finishing school. Otherwise, demand for movers is highest in the summer months.

3. Dog Walking/Pet Sitting

A simple business you can start with no money is dog walking or pet sitting. When people work long hours or go on vacation, they need someone to take care of their pets. The Rover app allows you to be matched with people in your area in search of pet services. There is always the option to market your services on your own rather than using the app to avoid the small user fee. You can also post signs around your neighborhood or in local coffee shops or parks to get the word out about your business. If any of your friends or family have pets, you can offer them your services and then use them as referrals for more business.

4. Freelance

If you have digital skills, there are many opportunities for you to do freelance work online. Freelance opportunities range from copywriting, web development, video editing, social media engagement, and more. Websites like Fiverr and Upwork provide a platform for people to buy and sell digital services. Though these websites make it easier for other people to find you and are free to sign up, they do take a small percentage of your earnings like most service platforms do. For this type of work, you will need a computer. Digital skills are valuable in most workplaces, so you can use your freelance experience to boost your resume if you decide to apply for a full-time position down the road.

5. Etsy Seller

If you are crafty, try selling your products on Etsy. Etsy is an e-commerce site that focuses on handmade items, such as jewelry, homemade bath and beauty products, digital artwork, and more. Keep in mind it costs $0.20 for each listing, and they take a small percentage of each transaction. If your Etsy store does well, consider taking your items to local craft and art fairs to sell items in person as well. Being a vendor at local craft shows is usually affordable, about $50 or less depending on where you are located and size of the fair. You will just need to bring a table and/or tent, and the product you are selling. Be sure to make your table/tent inviting to entice customers.

6. Delivery/Errands

If you have access to a car, consider running errands or offering a delivery service. There are delivery platforms, such as Door Dash, Instacart, and TaskRabbit, but you can also do it yourself by advertising on social media or around your neighborhood to avoid the user fees. Those who are elderly, have limited mobility, or simply want convenience will be your target audience. You can offer a variety of errands such as furniture assembly, shelf-mounting, closet organization, shopping, and even waiting in line.

Published On: July 13th, 2023|Categories: Employment Resources|

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