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No Money; No Problem: 15 Businesses You Can Start with No Money


Having capital to start and grow a business is a big advantage. Being well funded makes product development, marketing, and growth much easier. But what if you want to launch your business but don’t have a lot of money to invest in your future business? 

Truth be told, there are a lot of businesses that you can start for free. But, just because you can start a business because it is free doesn’t mean you can GROW that business for free. This list is special because these are not only businesses that you can start with no money, but you can also grow them with little or no money

In this article, we’ll list some easy-to-start businesses that can be launched with almost no money. 

15 Businesses You Can Start with No Money

1. Freelance (Anything)

Photo by George Milton: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-working-retouching-photo-on-laptop-at-convenient-workplace-7014337/

Freelancing is one of the easiest businesses to start. For the most part, freelance has no upfront costs associated with it. Freelancers provide services to clients at a per-job or hourly rate. With so many small and medium-sized businesses growing around the globe, there is no shortage of work for freelancers in all areas.Set featured image

You can find freelancing jobs on sites like Indeed. However, your best bet is to go to sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr and sign up. These sites operate differently so you will need to be familiar with their formats to take full advantage of the opportunities. 

Most in Demand Types of Freelancing

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Web development
  • Graphic Designing Logos
  • Web design and Web Copy
  • Administrative Assistant


2. YouTube Publisher

The term YouTuber used to refer to someone who produced and published videos on YouTube to gain a following and made money from advertising. Usually, in order to climb the ranks as a YouTuber, you would usually need to produce lifestyle content, comedy skits, or entertainment vlogs. But since YouTube is the 2nd most visited website on the internet, there is a demand for all kinds of content. 

As a YouTube Publisher, you can begin by producing content to publish on YouTube on topics that you know and care about. You can choose the format that works best for you. It can be in a podcast, vlog, or instructional-themed channel.

To succeed as a YouTube Publisher, you will need to treat it like a business and not a hobby. You’ll need to be organized in your production and consistent with your publishing. Putting out weekly videos is a good way to make sure that you are growing your channel.

You’ll also want to explore all revenue options. Advertising through YouTube is the basic and most popular form of monetizing a YouTube channel. However, you can also offer premium subscriptions, offer sponsored content, and offer merchandise. 


3. Coaching

Coaching is a very broad term and industry. If you can help others become better at a skill, a profession, or life in general, then you can become a coach. Coaches offer advice, feedback, and strategies to help clients achieve their goals faster.

Although anyone can be a coach, great coaches possess several personal and professional skills that make them great at their job. Having good listening, organizational, and interpersonal skills can make the difference between a good coach and a great one. 


4. Repair Services

Many jobs fall into this category: home repair, computer repair, auto repair, etc. If you can fix things, there is someone out there looking for you! You may need specific tools to start the business but chances are you already have them.  

This is a particularly good business to start with no money because you may not need a lot of money to grow a repair service business. Repair service businesses tend to benefit greatly from word-of-mouth. Homeowners are always looking for reliable individuals or businesses that can repair things around their homes. The same for those individuals that own a car.

Keep in mind that since word of mouth can grow your business, it can also end it. Be sure to offer great prices, be prompt, and be customer service-focused. 


5. Tutoring

Tutoring can make a great business for teachers and anyone passionate about helping people. Tutors provide supplementary instruction on a range of topics. You do not need to have a degree in teaching or any other training to be a tutor. You can teach in a client’s house or your home or another location like the library. Tutors earn between $10 to $75 per hour based on the areas of study and the level they instruct.

Those who have a good understanding of mathematics, speak a second language, or have a knack for teaching and coaching others in any area of academics should look at tutoring as a perfect low-cost business to start.

Places to offer your tutoring services:





6. Selling eBooks

Photo by Lisa Fotios: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-person-s-hand-holding-ipad-3806168/

Selling eBooks online was once seen as the nail in the coffin of the traditional publishing of paperback books. While that hasn’t necessarily been the case, selling ebooks online has become a significant opportunity for authors and those looking to publish their writing.

Selling ebooks is one of the few businesses on this list that also produces passive income. Once you have developed a process of writing and publishing your ebooks, your income can compound. Depending on their ebook pricing, authors can expect to make $1-$4 royalties on each copy of their book sold. 

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is the best way to publish and sell your book. Amazon’s reach will help your book gain traction without much marketing. Be sure that your book is quality so that you can gain positive reviews that will help drive sales.

To produce the highest quality book, you may need to hire a proofreader and editor. You can do this yourself, but it may be best to have someone else manage that part of the process.


7. Print on Demand Merchandise

A print-on-demand business is a type of business that allows the owner to offer merchandise such as t-shirts, bags, coats, and mugs with custom designs. However, the owner does not print these items and does not hold any inventory. 

Instead, the manufacturer prints the merchandise once it has been sold and then ships the items to the customer. This is a great no-cost business because you do not need any upfront capital to begin selling.



Merch by Amazon 




8. Personal Training


Personal training is an incredibly lucrative profession as more and more people are adopting healthy lifestyles. You can get started in the sector with a high school diploma and train for a short time or on the job. The median pay in 2017 stood at $18.85 an hour. As your business grows, you can diversify to online workout subscriptions, boot camps, and selling membership models.


9. Pet Sitting

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Pet sitting has become an in-demand industry. Sites like Rover, Care.com, or Wag! offer a variety of opportunities for pet sitting, such as boarding in your home, staying with the pet in their own home, keeping the pet just during the day, or even simply dog walking. It’s the perfect side hustle for animal lovers. Earnings vary based on where you’re located and the type of care you’re providing, but indeed.com estimates an average of thirteen dollars per hour for pet sitters.

Here are some of the sites where you can register to pet sit:


10. Consulting

This is a way to share your knowledge and experience to help someone else succeed. This is similar to tutoring but outside of academics. If you are knowledgeable in a field and understand how to succeed in that field, you may have a consulting business on your hands.  There are several different types of consultants such as business, organizational, and career consultants. There are also health, financial, and life consultants.

One of the best parts about being a consultant is that you truly determine what your time is worth. This is a very lucrative industry! The better you are at getting others to succeed the more you will be able to charge.

11. eSeller

An eSeller is anyone who sells merchandise online through their website or any online retailer. To start this business for free, however, using one of the many online retail websites is the best way.

Of course, to sell online, you will need something to sell. If you do not want to spend money on inventory, you can start with things you already own. eBay and Poshmark are great places to sell previously owned items. Visiting local thrift stores is also another way to find items to sell online.

Here are the most popular platforms to sell-

Etsy Seller

Etsy allows users to sell handmade, and custom products. Over 33 million buyers converge on the site to buy things they may not otherwise get in other stores. This is an especially good platform for selling unique crafts that are designed by you.

eBay Reseller

All you need to do to become an eBay reseller is to open an auction account that can be customized. You can opt to focus on one stock or sell a combination of products. eBay resellers are always on the lookout for wholesale goods they can sell to make profits. You can even check flea markets and garage sales for different products.

Amazon Reseller

Amazon is the world’s second-largest retailer. If you want to sell anything online, selling on Amazon has to be a serious consideration. Becoming an Amazon seller is as easy as opening an account. However, selling successfully on Amazon does take more work and research.

One of the benefits of selling on Amazon is that you may not need to worry about shipping items to customers. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) takes care of shipping your items out once they have been ordered. 


Poshmark is a social commerce marketplace for new and secondhand styles for women, men, kids, pets, homes, and more. The platform has over 60 million users. Using Poshmark, you can sell new and used items to shoppers looking for unique styles at a reasonable price. For more, check out our article on how to start a Poshmark business.



12. Lawn Services

Lawn service businesses are easy to start and easy to manage. Basic lawn care supplies and equipment are all you need. This is another job that does need a ton of experience. You just need to know how to cut grass, bag, and trim lawns and bushes. It is important, however, that you do a good job. There is usually no shortage of lawn care services so the better your work, the more consistently you will be called upon.

Here is a tip to find new lawn care clients. First, visit websites like Zillow and Trulia. Look for homes for or are pending sale in your area. Once the house has been sold, visit the home and drop off a flyer on their door or send them a mailer welcoming the new owners to the neighborhood and giving them a discount on their lawn service. 

New homeowners may not have someone they can call to take care of their lawn. It may be their first time owning a home or their previous lawn service provider may not serve their area.


13. Social Media Management (not ad management)

One of the biggest needs businesses struggle with is attracting, influencing, and selling on social media. Since social media is an essential tool for branding and marketing, good social media managers are in high demand.  

A social media manager’s responsibilities include writing and scheduling posts, creating content, answering customer questions, managing ads, and more. Corporate social media managers make between $34,432 to $56,571 annually. As a for-hire social media manager, you can be more competitive with your prices or even charge more if you deliver results.


14. Photography Business

Even though most people have a camera on them at all times, the demand for skilled photographers continues to be high. This business will need a level of experience, and you can choose to back up a more established photographer before venturing on your own. The median projected pay for wedding photographers is $62,135 annually. Top-rated photographers make over $77,833, and there is no limit to the amount you can generate as a freelance photographer.

Here are some of the different types of photography businesses you could start

  • Wedding Photographer
  • Family Photographer
  • Newborn Photographer
  • Special Occasion Photographer
  • Real Estate Photographer
  • Social Media Photographer
  • Other types of photographers
  • Stock Photographer
  • Branding Photographer
  • Videographer


15. Mobile car detailing

Mobile auto detailing has grown rapidly in the past few years. Bringing auto detailing directly to someone’s house offers them convenience and saves them time. And you won’t go broke starting a detailing business either. You may have what you need to start a detailing business in your garage right now.


Ralph Paul on Twitter
Ralph Paul
Ralph is the Managing Editor at StartUp Mindset. The StartUp Mindset team consists of dedicated individuals and is designed to help new, seasoned, and aspiring entrepreneurs succeed.

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Ralph is the Managing Editor at StartUp Mindset. The StartUp Mindset team consists of dedicated individuals and is designed to help new, seasoned, and aspiring entrepreneurs succeed.

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