I have defined this list as easy to start up business ideas because none of these businesses require you to be an expert, have extensive experience, a lot of cash or specific equipment to get started. There are many ways to make money, but this list is refined to businesses you can grow to replace your full time job.
You can start these businesses while working your full-time job or studying. However, I will be the first to say even though experience, cash and time isn’t necessary if you do have them they will all with help speed up growth.
Unless you are a passive investor all businesses are going to take work and time. Motivation and passion are needed but people forget to tell you that these emotions are not switched on at all times. This makes it important to know exactly why you want to start a business and remind yourself of this every day.
I recommend you read my previous post ‘How to Decide on Which Business to Start’ and if you are still stuck for ideas use some of these suggestions for inspiration.
With a little of lateral thinking you can turn a stock standard business into something completely unique. So if you are passionate about starting a business, just any business, but don’t want too many hassles getting started – this is a good place to get some ideas!
There has always been a market for help with duties in the home but it is definitely growing, as life gets more fast paced and both parents need to go back to work after having children it leaves far less time to do domestic chores.
Australians spend AUD$12.2 Billion on there pets annually, North America USD$90 Billion annually. If you love animals there are so many ways you can tap into this industry. You can dog walk, dog train, dog wash or pet sit while there owners go on holidays.
While I needed a little extra money I walked a dog and would earn $20 for an hour a few times a week for a walk that I would have gone on anyway.
As our pets are becoming more of a priority and seem to be the gateway to children people are willing to spend big to make sure they are looked after. CNBC goes so far as to suggest that Millennials are buying houses just so they can get a dog.
A business I have seen that is doing well is Jogs for Dogs. They offer most of these services but while you are starting one type of service is more than enough to get money coming in.
If you started purely with dog walking or pet sitting your main expense would be driving to location and picking up dogs, the pet owners could supply the rest. Dog washing would require some more specialised products and often you see a whole mobile trailer that can be used for this, obviously this would be more costly.
This is one of the most satisfying things to do just watch something go from dirty to glowing new. But it is one of those things that not everyone has the time or equipment to do. Pressure washing could cover doing driveways and garage floors, concrete or tile patios, front entrance stairs and walkways, wood decks, home exteriors that are vinyl or brick, fencing, outdoor furniture or cars, trucks boats and trailers.
Making headlines in Australia was an autistic high school student that started a bin cleaning business and got so busy he had to employ his friend to help him.
Just start with just doing jobs for individuals in your area if you build your business, get the right equipment and learn exactly what chemicals/industry tricks can help get the best result you could end up with jobs for real estate agents, commercial premises or even contracts with the government.
You don’t have to be a tradie to be a handyman basically if you consider yourself a practical and able to assist with basic labour around the home there is a good chance you can do this. Basically, you do odd jobs around peoples home, for example they might want help to change light bulbs, changing a door hinge, repainting a fence, hanging a frame or setting up a bed frame.
Many people don’t have the ability or tools to do what others consider a simple task. The tasks might be varied but if you prove yourself handy to someone it can often result in call backs for all different sorts of tasks need to maintain a home.
Your biggest start up expense will be purchasing basic tools and equipment if you don’t have them already.
Cleaning /House Keeping
The cleaning industry in North America is a $78 billion annually and Australia is a $12 billion annually.
This is an industry that is essential and not going anywhere. Not only is there demand for residential cleaning, also bond cleaning, body corporate cleaning, builders cleans, commercial cleaning and even lucrative government contracts. Because there are virtually no barriers to enter this industry you will find there is a lot of competition however with nearly all spaces require cleaning at some point there is a lot of work available.
Although it is possible to start out with no cash and request that your clients provide cleaning products you will find that if you purchase products that work well for you it will help you become more efficient at cleaning. A good vacuum, mop and chemicals will probably set you back a few hundred dollars.
Home organising is something I am seeing more and more of. At some point I am sure we have all felt overwhelmed by a task in front of us. Unorganised space is one of those things that really compounds that overwhelming feeling. Home organisers basically work with clients with the initial declutter process and further create ideas and systems that will bring more order and harmony into there lives. Some of this type of work could cross over into housekeeping on a regular basis.
Professional Organisers can make $40-50 an hour with people like Peter Walsh who has made appearances on US reality TV show Clean Sweep and the Oprah Winfrey Show. The Australasian Association of Professional Organisers (AAPO) is the industry body in Australia and you can do online training with registered training providers’ starting around $997. This would be your major start up expense and ultimately training increase your credibility and confidence, so you can create meaningful change in people’s lives quickly.
As a teenager I used to earn pocket money from baby-sitting and like me there is a good chance at some point in your life you have already done this.
If you look at this in a different light as people’s lives become busier and they need help with on a more regular basis, with school pick-ups, homework, after school care and food prep there is really opportunity to turn this into a full-time gig.
The real potential here lies in turning a nanny gig into an agency where you have a pool of employees or contractors that you can place into homes on a reoccurring basis. There are some checks and insurances that you will need if you want to get it to this point, but the potential and need is definitely there.
In Home Cook
If you fancy yourself a bit of a home cook that can create a wholesome and nutritious meal then you will be able to find people who are willing to pay to have you cook food for them. Either in there house or have it precooked. There are a lot of services that offer this however as things get massive produced it loses the charm as a home cooked meal. In fact there are websites purely created to match home cooks with households that need help with cooking for example yoyoyum.com.
You just need to think about how you want to run this type of business, will you be bringing in the food and your own equipment or will customers be supplying it. You will need a form of transport and cooking equipment that you can not do without.
Another one of those basic tasks that people run out of time for is Laundry. This is something that you could do washing, drying, folding, ironing, mending or even partner with a dry cleaner. You could offer all these services or just specialise in mending and repairs (obviously you need to have a little of sewing skill). You could do this from your home or many people are happy to have you in there home to do these tasks.
My business is primarily a mobile ironing service but I also offer mending and laundry products. Within the space of six months and very little money spent on promotion I was able to create a full-time income stream and demand is still growing.
This is not too costly to get started because most likely you will have all the equipment you need. As you get busier I do recommend investing in commercial or semi commercial grade equipment as it will cut your work time in half and be better able to handle the heavy use.
One thing about living in the 21st Century that is not changing anytime soon is that we are constantly producing rubbish. Often when moving, spring cleaning or upgrading furniture there are something that need to make there way to the dump but we do not have a big enough vehicle to transport it there. Enter: Rubbish Removalist!
If you have a ute, van or trailer you will easily be able to find people who are looking to have things taken away. On some occasions you could probably even sell things as a whole or for parts. As they say one mans’ trash is another man’s treasure.
Main expense would be either buying an appropriate vehicle, putting fuel in it and often there are charges to access the dump site.
If you love working outdoors and the smell of freshly cut grass maybe with will work for you. In just Australia this is a $3 billion industry and the garden is something that will always need maintenance.
Jim’s Mowing started in 1982 and franchised in 1989 and has since has branched out into 50 different service industries. Now the group has a turnover of over $400 million per year. Not bad for a guy who started mowing lawns.
You will need equipment specific to mowing, edging and pruning as well as a vehicle capable of transporting this type of large equipment.
Errand Service for Elderly
As the population ages and the costs of moving into age care increases there is a growing demand in the age care industry. As elderly people mind not be able to do all the chores they used to you could help with basic tasks on basic help around the home, picking up groceries, medication, or taking them to the doctor. Often there children have got there own lives and can’t dedicate the time to help keep them living in there own homes. There is even a website that is dedicated to helping you set up this business (https://www.seniorerrandservice.com/how-to-start-an-errand-running-business-for-seniors/)
Car Wash & Detailing Service
In the US this is an $11 billion pa. industry and in Australia this industry is worth $509 million annually and experiencing small growth. This is something you can start up on a shoe string budget, but it will require you to be physically fit and not mind working outdoors.
A 15-year-old boy who wanted a new computer started a mobile car washing service on his school holidays. He managed to get such an influx of interest that within his first month he managed to make $2000.
If a teenager can do it I am sure you can to!
You will need a reliable vehicle, a wet/dry vacuum, rags, buffer, window cleaner, wax, leather polish a hose, bucket, soap, tyre cleaner and any other equipment that will help you get cars looking on point.
Family Day Care
This is another service in high demand as it is now considered the norm to have two incomes to support a household. Resulting in that more children need to be put into day care. I have heard many mothers complain about there children catching colds so often from constantly being around such large groups of children. And would prefer to go with an option where there are fewer children and more personal attention.
This could be a very enticing option if you want to stay at home with your little one and could help out others and contribute to the family bills. Child care centres charge from $75 to $185 per day per child. If you charged just a fraction of that for taking on three children and still getting to be there for your child that’s a pretty good deal.
This is an area that is highly regulated in Australia so it would take time getting your living environment up to required standard, having stimulating activities in place, having insurance and making sure you have all the checks needed to work with children done.
Online services include businesses that are finding clients and providing service to them primary based over the internet. You can set these businesses up with virtually a laptop and internet connection.
Virtual assistants (VAs) work from usually there home and do everything from manage clients schedules, answering telephones and emails, appointment booking, invoicing and book keeping, organise travel plans and basically any administration task that can be done over the internet.
Some VAs are located in countries in South East Asia and can get away with charging very little per hour as the cost of living is low compared to more developed countries. However, sometimes there service and abilities are limited. There is a market if you can offer a professional and proficient service you will be able to find client that are willing to pay for it and they could be located anywhere in the world. On the other hand, I hear a podcaster say they had built a VA company and employed people in developing countries to service there large client base.
Drop shipping involves setting up an online store and selling to customers without ever seeing the physical product. Basically, you take the order, send the order to the supplier and the supplier sends the product directly to the customer.
Many people have made massive amounts of money using this method. Shopify is probably the most popular platform used by drop shippers and Oberlo comes is the free platform that helps find the best suppliers.
Adrian Morrison was the first person I ever listened to talk about drop shipping even though it had been around for a long time before this. He claims to have built a $5 million ecommerce store. He uses a free plus shipping model. However, there are many, many different ways to make this type of business work you just have to make sure it aligns with you.
It is a low-cost way to get into retail because you do not have to buy physical stock up front. The main cost involved will be advertising. However, it will take time to set up your website, find the products and suppliers and set up your online advertising.
Amazon Seller with FBA
As you are probably aware Amazon is one of the largest companies on the planet. They offer you the ability to be an Amazon seller with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), where you buy products wholesale from suppliers, pay to warehouse them in an Amazon facility and list them for sale on the Amazon website. When a product is purchased it is packaged and set by Amazon so you do not have to see the physical products at all.
You do manage the logistics and are responsible getting the best rank possible within Amazon. Amazon then takes a percentage of the sale, last time I checked it was 15%. A relatively affordable option considering you do not have to pay for your own warehouse, postage or staff.
The major initial cost will be buying goods in bulk. However, if you start with a low cost items you could get away with starting with $1,000. Major expenses including shipping products to Amazon facilities and Amazon fees.
There are down sides to setting up a business through FBA so do thorough research to make sure you know what you are getting into.
I have chosen to use a broad term here to cover all different kinds of freelancing you can do over the internet. Websites such as Upwork, Fiverr and many others are spaces where you can have a profile and be contracted to work for someone anywhere in the world.
You could be a Freelance writer, researcher, programmer, digital marketer or graphic designer. There are many different areas that people are willing to get help with over the internet and if you build your reputation you could easily establish yourself away from platforms that facilitate this type of work.
Again this only requires a computer, internet connection and ideally a little of skill in whatever area you want to get into.
Affiliate marketing is where you earn a commission off the sale of someone else’s product. Just like you might make a commission as a car sales man you can have website that promotes products and when a sale is made you make commission. The sales are made on the providers’ website but cookies track where the referral for a sale comes from and rewards you with a commission payment.
There have been many success stories where people have been able to not only replace there income but earn more than they ever have. There is a bit of a learning curve to get this type of business set up and can be a slow start. You can find amazing programs that will facilitate this learning curve like Wealthy Affiliate or the Problogger podcast.
All you need to get started is a computer, internet connection and initial costs will include domain name and website hosting.
Other services includes business not based on duties needed around the home but not purely based online. However you could still operate these services from home.
Another broad topic but you are the most important ingredient in the mix when it comes to running a live workshop. Bringing your unique talent and abilities to provide either a learning or fun experience to a group of people.
I have recently seen someone running vision board creation workshops. She gets a group of people together and provides all the supplies you might need and talks you through how to create a vision board. Meanwhile, you get to meet like-minded people and walk away with something meaningful. My stepmother runs a ‘Stitch and Bitch’ session once a month where she helps people create a beautiful piece of clothing. They get to learn and improve there sewing skills, have the company of each other and create something they can wear.
With a little of imagination, the opportunities are endless. What is the most exciting about this is you can make a whole week’s wage in a single workshop. If you don’t have the right space in your home you will need to be able to hire space to run the workshop and any equipment or supplies needed to give to participants.
Life coaching is a continually growing industry and becoming more prevalent with the rise of the gig economy. Life coaches help people with accountability, motivation, finding life direction, creating and achieving goals and changing mindset to cultivate behaviour required to become successful.
When someone takes a step back from employment where they are accountable to someone else it is hard to find motivation and direction when all of a sudden, their accountability is shifted on to themselves.
Although this industry is currently not regulated you can do training with the ICF (International Coaching Federation) that will raise your credibility plus many other courses out there to help improve results you can get while working with clients. The cost of these courses vary massively however the returns can be very high.
As an events coordinator you would be responsible for the organisation of events ranging from parties, weddings, functions, expos, conferences, balls, community events, music festivals and so many other occasions that need organising! There are so many different types of events that get organised every year from massive to small I would recommend just choosing one type that you feel you could do really well because you will find your time being consumed very quickly. ‘
A girl on the Gold Coast in sunny Queensland Australia specialises purely in organising night out party events and pub crawls. By making good relationships with pub owners and managers she has been able to negotiate bringing her groups past their venues in exchange for a free drink per person. People are willing to pay to have the convenience of being taken to some of the most popular night spots with the safety of a group to in a location they are not familiar with. This is a very different type of event organisation, but it goes to show how many opportunities are out there.
No massive outlays required to start up just a computer, internet, phone, the ability to organise and some good contacts will be helpful.
Selling your craft
If you have a particular hobby where you love binding books, knitting sweaters, crafting jewellery, building furniture, making candles, throwing pottery or creating pieces of art these are all talents that people are willing to pay for. The traditional way would be to open a stall at your local market but marketplaces like Etsy allow you to sell your crafts online to a much larger market online. If you are passionate and talents with your crafts, you can definitely start to make money with them.
In fact, featured on Shark Tank in Australia there was a guy that opened shops in major shopping centres that leases a ‘cube’ for $5 a day within the shop to small start-ups selling their own products. An interesting concept and just another way to get more of your products out there.
There is a fee involved with having a stall at a local market or on Etsy there is a small listing free, commission and transaction fee.
The increase of online shopping over the years has just exploded the need for delivery services. There is not only opportunity to work as a contractor for larger delivery networks, but also to become a small courier service within a local niche for example specialising is refrigerated medical supplies, urgent delivery to remote mine sites or fast courier to do same day delivery
You will need a suitable vehicle, insurance, any necessary permits and licenses and if you are going independently the ability to advertise your service.
I have only just scrapped the surface, it is so exciting that there are so many more potential businesses you can start. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment with any other ideas for businesses that you would consider easy to start.