Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the gig economy was a growing sector in America. Since the pandemic, it has exploded, with more people starting their businesses from their homes than ever before.
One of the best aspects of starting some of the businesses we are about to discuss is that they are incredibly low-cost. Some may not cost you anything to start, so long as you already have a computer and the necessary skills.
Starting a business traditionally meant spending thousands of dollars, huge loans, licenses, and more. This list of 5 low-cost business ideas is just that: very low-cost ideas that can be very lucrative.
1. Blogger/Freelance Writer
We mashed these together because they frequently go hand-in-hand. While it’s technically possible to do one without the other, it’s easier to keep it singular as a blogger. As a blogger, there are numerous ways that you can monetize your website, and that includes selling products or your services.
As a freelance writer, you can write for anyone about anything under the sun, but you need to have a blog. Freelance writers get paid to provide written content for individual clients and businesses. It’s a very low-cost start-up because you only need a computer and internet.
Both require networking and getting your name out there in the industry. Regarding freelance writing, it’s more about getting bylines in significant publications, networking, and contacting potential clients.
It might sound like something that a stunt person would do in a Hollywood movie, but dropshipping is much more down-to-earth. Dropshipping is nothing more than selling products while eliminating the need for manufacturing and distribution processes and costs.
Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, and PinnacleCart are just a few of the eCommerce online stores you will become intimately familiar with if you choose this path. However, there are a few steps to take if you want to get into dropshipping, and you will need to choose a niche.
- Select your niche
- Determine who your supplier is going to be
- Sign a contract with your chosen supplier
- Design your online store
- Promote your online store
The biggest thing you want to focus on with dropshipping is your store’s integration with your blog. You will need a blog because just having the store alone is not as good when it comes to promotional opportunities.
You also need to be careful to choose the right niche. First, it has to be something people want, and then you need to leverage that need with your blog—offering your product as a solution.
3. Virtual Assistant
Like freelance writing or blogging, this is one of the most low-cost options you will find when starting your own business from home. The most challenging part about being a virtual assistant is getting your foot in the door.
The great thing about the Virtual Assistant route is that there are half a million new business start-ups every year, and many of these businesses need the help of a virtual assistant. Another benefit to being a virtual assistant is the number of job opportunities available across a broad spectrum.
As a virtual assistant, you will primarily be responsible for researching potential blog posts (a good idea for a combination job if you know how to blog), social media scheduling, managing emails, making and taking phone calls, and essential administrative duties.
If there is a significant drawback to being a virtual assistant, the starting pay is not the best in the world. You will have to work your way up before you start to rake in the dough. But, of course, that’s how most jobs are anyway.
4. Affiliate Marketing
This can go hand-in-hand with blogging or freelance writing, but it doesn’t have to. Affiliate marketing is nothing more than you signed on for a company’s affiliate program. Then, you market and sell that product, and the company you signed up with will grant you a commission on the sale.
The key to being successful in affiliate marketing is your networking capabilities. You don’t have to be a blogger or a freelance writer to be an affiliate marketer, although being either one of those things creates an excellent avenue for your efforts.
You can affiliate market by jumping on social media platforms and promoting the product. You can also create email lists associated with your social media or focus primarily on Pinterest. Users on these social media platforms are very wary of clickbait, so you will have to hone your sales skills to overcome those reservations seriously.
5. Host a Podcast
Getting your voice on the radio or television used to be very difficult. Most people considered it to be downright impossible. Now, everyone can have their podcast. If you are any good at it, the amount of money you can make is staggering.
You have to think of podcasting like you would blogging. Picking a niche is paramount because you want to draw in an audience and win more competitors. You also need to be very knowledgeable about your subject as well.
The start-up costs are relatively minor. You will need a computer and a solid microphone. As your podcast gains more sponsors and your affiliate marketing improves, you can afford the more state-of-the-art equipment out there.
Buzzsprout, Transistor, and Podbean are some of the best podcasting hosts out there, and you will likely choose your host based on your niche. Once you’ve chosen your host, you need to choose your platform, such as Audible, Apple, Google, Spotify, etc.
This list of five business ideas is all very low in terms of start-up costs. If you are even remotely good at any of them, you will find a reasonable degree of success, especially with a properly chosen niche and plenty of repetition. The opportunities are limitless, and these five choices are excellent routes if you want to start working from home.