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Can you really start a successful business for under $2,000?
Yes! You can!
Many of these businesses you can start with little, if any, experience. Quite a few of them you can start part-time, while keeping your day job.
I know because I’ve started plenty of successful businesses for less than $2,000, including one that I sold for $40 million.
My name is Bob Adams. I am the founder of BusinessTown.
Here is a list of some of my favorite, easy-to-start, low-cost business ideas:
Business Idea #1: Dog Walking Service
Let’s start with dog walking: it might sound like a small-time idea, but it can become huge if you stay with it and keep your clients happy. A friend in Georgia sold his dog walking business for $500,000.
A coworker’s friend made extra money dog walking while attending dental school in New York City. Enjoying the work, he continued while practicing dentistry, walking dogs before and after work and on lunch breaks.
With a good pair of shoes, some patience and a love for pups, you can make someone’s day a lot easier. Walking dogs is a great way to make cash and to stay fit. And since pet owners in neighborhoods often know each other, networking is quick and easy.
You can start part-time with even just one dog and build it from there! You can earn extra money by either boarding dogs yourself or getting referral fees from kennels when your customers go on vacation.
Starting a dog walking service costs just about nothing. To get customers, put up some posters around town, place an ad on Craigslist, contact online community bulletin boards and notify your friends on Facebook.
For more information on starting a dog walking service click here.
Business Idea #2: Lawn Service
You can make big money taking care of small lawns!
Lawn service may not be the most original idea, but it’s an example kind of the everyday business that offers both low risk and high income. Sure, it’s hot, hard work, but it can pay handsomely—sometimes $50 per hour or more, even before you start to add your first employees.
Start with a simple grass cutting service. You’ll just need a second-hand lawnmower and a grass catcher to get going. You don’t need a fancy truck and trailer. One friend’s landscaper carries his lawnmower in the trunk of his car.
Once you’ve grown your client base, add extra services like spring and fall yard cleanup, weeding, edging, fertilizing, and planting bushes and flowers. Over time, you can build from a single lawn mower to a full-fledged landscape service.
How do you get customers? Check out the Multi-Channel Marketing Plan on a $2,000 Budget that I put together specifically for a lawn care service.
If you need help starting your lawn service business, check out this comprehensive guide.
Business Idea #3: Social Media Specialist
Even small businesses need a presence on social media, but a lot of them either don’t know how to do it or don’t want to spend the time to do it.
That’s where you come in. As a social media specialist, you will write and place posts on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. You need to know how to reach audiences, when and where to post, and how to write copy that will benefit your clients.
Your customers will need you on an ongoing basis, providing you with steady income and an excellent business.
As you become more experienced, you will want to offer your clients additional services, such as helping them place promoted posts and ads. Increasingly, social media platforms are becoming “pay to play,” with more companies paying to broaden their exposure in a crowded market.
Becoming a social media specialist is not rocket science! It is relatively easy to learn on your own the social media skills needed to provide basic posting services to neighborhood businesses.
Perhaps start out by offering discounted services for a friend’s business to get your first customer testimonial.
To learn all the secrets to become a successful social media specialist click here.
Business Idea #4: Office Cleaning
I once played racquetball with a fellow at an upscale athletic club, who told me he made his living cleaning the offices of small businesses. He surprised me by saying that while he used to have a number of employees, he preferred to work alone.
He did all his cleaning in just 5 hours per night and made very good money at it. His clients were willing to pay him a premium because they trusted him to be in their offices alone at night and he provided highly consistent work quality.
He promoted his services by targeting local business owners by email, phone calls, and by networking at business events.
Office cleaning might not be glamorous, but if you can make great money at it just working part-time, why not give it a shot? Furthermore, you could get started while keeping your day job because most of the work is done at night.
Startup costs are minimal, including an industrial quality vacuum, floor mops, and cleaning supplies. After that, it’s all about providing solid, dependable service and keeping your clients happy.
To learn more specifics about how to start your own office cleaning business today click here.
Business Idea #5: Personal Trainer
Are you passionate and knowledgeable about fitness? Can you motivate others? You could be a personal trainer, helping people get fit and feel good about themselves!
You don’t need to have your own gym. You could hold lessons right in your home or at a local club.
Consider specializing, such as for people over 50 or women who are expecting.
If you have the experience, you could expand to become a personal coach for your favorite sport. For instance, a friend in Boston who coaches young soccer players has one client alone who pays him almost $50,000 per year to train his son!
To get going as a personal trainer, talk up your skills with everyone you know, post flyers at gyms, and consider building an enticing website complete with a motivational video message from you, as well as testimonials from clients that you have worked with. In some states, you may need to be certified.
Need help? This course will take you through the in’s and out’s of being a personal trainer.
Business Idea #6: Moving Service
How can you start a moving service without a truck? You rent one!
Using rental trucks for this business is highly advantageous. You can rent exactly the size you need for the load you will be carrying. And you won’t have any operating costs for it on the days it is sitting idle.
Related: Turning Your Idea into a Business
Most moves are local, so the market for local moving services is massive. I knew a fellow who carefully built a highly successful local moving service over the years by servicing each customer as carefully as possible and choosing a clever and memorable name for his business. He resisted the temptation to compete primarily on price.
To get started, line up insurance, put up posters at apartment complexes and storage facilities and place your ad on Craigslist.
I would charge on an hourly basis. This way, if the customer changes the number of items to be moved or if it takes longer than you expected, you still earn the same hourly rate. As an add-on business, consider offering packing services.
If you have a driver’s license and don’t mind doing some heavy lifting, this could be the business for you!
Business Idea #7: Room Rental
Room rental is just about the easiest business on this list to start. It’s basically the Airbnb model, and you can use Airbnb to pursue it, or you can put up ads on travel websites and places like Craigslist. Disrupt the hotel industry by offering a cheaper, friendlier alternative.
You don’t need a fancy house or penthouse apartment in order to make money renting a room. You just need a clean place and the patience to deal with people sharing your home. In fact, many people who rent a room really enjoying meeting a wide variety of renters from many different places.
Room rental offers solid revenue that is almost all pure profit. Take awesome photos of your room and house and try different ad copy. Don’t be afraid to adjust your pricing: hotels use local surveys to change their pricing every night.
Do you want to maximize your room rental profits? Check out this book.
Business Idea #8: Jewelry Designer
Making jewelry can be a lot of fun, and there are plenty of places that you can sell it, ranging from craft fairs to local stores to online marketplaces.
I’ve seen people start a jewelry business in their home and build it into a much larger enterprise.
To succeed in this business, you need to produce jewelry that not only looks great but also is sellable. So, keep your production costs way below your retail price so that you can easily cover your marketing costs or discounts to retailers. Jewelry is usually sold for at least a 50 percent discount off suggested retail to jewelry stores. Some jewelers will only take your jewelry on consignment, meaning that you retain ownership until it is actually sold.
You will also want to consider selling your jewelry online both through your own website, as well as through various online marketplaces.
Your jewelry will also be much easier to market if your pieces can be displayed as a differentiated brand and ideally as specific collections. So, make the turn from a hobby into a business by building in a plan for marketing and sales, and away you go!
For more information on starting a jewelry business click here.
Business Idea #9: House Painting
I started my own house painting business while on a summer break from college. I had never painted a house, but I had painted a few small boats and a couple of model trains, and I figured how hard could it be?
I called my business College Painters to make it clear you could expect a low price, but most of my employees ending up being teachers. Nice guys and hardworking but not much more experienced in painting than I was.
Fortunately, like most of the businesses on this list, house painting is easy to learn. And as I quickly found out, the key to a good paint job is the prep, such as sanding down the old, peeling paint. Learning to re-caulk around old windowpanes and replace the broken ones was a little tedious, but if I learned how to do it—so can you!
The bidding can be a little tricky because you are under pressure to bid low to win the job, but if you bid too low, you end up working for nothing. Like me, you will probably underbid a few jobs as you start up, but so does everyone else in this business. You will also find amazing the price difference between bids—a variation of 300 percent is not uncommon. That is a reminder of how much upside there is in this business as you get experienced and build up solid references.
To get started, you’ll need: a few ladders, drop cloths, rollers, brushes, caulking and sandpaper. You may want to get a used pressure washer to help remove old peeling paint. You don’t even need money for the paint: you can ask customers to pay for it in advance.
You do need decent weather for exterior painting. With my business, I ran into a severe rainy spell, temporarily crippling my income. That being said, there are always plenty of people who need their houses painted!
Want to run a house painting business from your home? Check out this guide.
Business Idea #10: Freelance Writer
Freelancers can still make money writing for print publications, but the big opportunities today are in content marketing.
Companies of all sizes are looking to put articles on their websites to attract customers. For example, a client that sells office furniture may commission articles on the latest trends in office décor or perhaps how important proper seating is for worker productivity.
The more you can build your expertise in a particular industry, the more marketable you will be. However, many people who write content marketing for specific businesses do not have operating experience in that industry. Instead they rely on input from the client and on doing their own research.
To get started in content marketing, review the many content marketing videos on BusinessTown, polish up your writing skills and start contacting potential clients. Over time, you can build up your expertise, such as how to maximize SEO (search engine optimization) for your articles.
To get freelance work at the traditional print publications, such as local newspapers and magazines, contact the editor. The most important thing you need as a freelance writer is “clips”—examples of your work. Good writing comes with practice, and editors will recognize it no matter what the source.
Being a successful freelance writer is more than just having good writing skills. Click here for more tips to launch your freelance writer’s career.
Business Idea #11: eBay Selling
I am a model train nut, and I’ve bought a lot of really cool stuff on eBay. Often, I’m buying from people who run professional eBay selling services.
They work on commission or maybe a flat fee. They don’t actually own the stuff, so they don’t take much risk. It’s an excellent, low-risk way to make good money over time.
To get started, list some of your own unwanted belongings; next, expand to friends, family and friends of friends.
A totally different approach is to use eBay as a trading platform. You develop some sort of specialty, learn the pricing and then buy cheap and sell high.
A trading business can take a while to get the hang of. And until you build your knowledge, you risk both overpaying and also tying up your money with slow selling items. However, it is possible to build it into a highly profitable enterprise over time. I know a college student who paid much of his own tuition from money he made trading on eBay when he was still in high school.
Build your eBay selling business with this comprehensive step by step guide.
Business Idea #12: Chef for Hire
One of my friend’s sons started a chef for hire business when he was just 12 years old and grew it until he went away to college. He started serving simple foods to his parents’ friends, growing his offerings, as well as his customer base, over time.
I suggest you start like my friend’s son, by offering a very short list of only your most fabulous foods. Under-promise, over-deliver and delight your customers! This business is extremely dependent upon both word of mouth and repeat business. Talk it up with friends and families and consider doing free sampling at town events and local food festivals.
To get started, you may be able to count on customers providing their own plates and silverware, but you will likely need some pots and pans, a hotplate and some utensils.
With people usually looking to hire a chef for weekend parties, keep your day job until you build up a steady clientele. You can staff up with friends or temps if you land larger assignments, but keep your overhead low.
Do you have a sweet tooth? Why not start a cupcake baking business with this comprehensive guide.
Business Idea #13: Professional Organizer
People are messy. Offices, garages, and homes—they all have a tendency to get out of control. Nonetheless, people love the idea of being organized! That’s where you, the professional organizer, can help.
If you can manage to keep your house tidy and neatly arranged, you can do the same for others. Organize a room in your house and take before and after pictures.
Post flyers at the local hardware store, storage facility or container store. Consider local ads, including Craigslist.
As is the case with many of these business ideas, you could start small, even just yourself working on weekends. Get started by organizing a few friends’ rooms for a deeply discounted price. Do an awesome job, and create raving fans! Ask them to refer you to friends and to mention you on their social media accounts.
Then, as you ramp up your client base, you could go full time and eventually hire other people. I know an enterprising woman who was successful enough to hire several other organizers and also expanded into organizing home businesses.
You could further scale up this business by selling ancillary services such as junk removal or cleaning, or even by installing elaborate closet organization systems. And by the way, no matter which business you go into, being super organized is a critical ingredient for success.
There are very few startup costs: a few storage bins, labels and magic markers.
Looking for a guide to start and grow your professional organizer business? Click here.
Business Idea #14: Mobile Auto Washing
Cars are a great source of pride for a lot of people, but they don’t always find time to go to the car wash. And a lot of people don’t want their car to be washed at a drive-through facility. You can help with a mobile auto washing service.
You don’t need a physical location. You can go wash cars at clients’ homes or offices. Or you can work out a deal with a parking lot or parking garage. The parking facility might charge a small fee, or they might be happy to provide you space for free as an added benefit for their customers.
Later, you can expand into cleaning car interiors, waxing and even offering a complete detailing service. All you need to get started are a few sponges, a bucket of soapy water and some clean rags.
A great model for structuring a service business and common practice in the car wash industry is the good/better/best service level pricing strategy. By offering different levels of service, you can both make your price affordable to budget-minded customers and make your services both appealing and highly profitable when servicing more demanding customers.
Washing cars is one thing, but what about selling them? Check out this guide to start your used car dealership business. (Reminds me when I bought and sold boats on a summer vacations from college-now that was a fun business!)
Business Idea #15: Knitting/Crocheting Lessons
Knitting is one of the few businesses I have never considered going into. But it is making a big comeback, especially among Gen-Xers and Millennials. If you know how to knit or crochet, there is a waiting base of people who would love to learn from you.
You can offer a knitting class at your local community center, perhaps even for free, and then start prospecting for private lessons. Also, consider promoting through online knitting forums.
Search out a local store that sells knitting supplies. Maybe they will post a flyer promoting your service or allow you to give lessons in the store. Perhaps you can build word of mouth by working at the store part-time.
This step-by-step guide to starting your own knitting business will help you maximize your chances of success. Click here.
Business Idea #16: Local Marketing Service
If you have some marketing experience, you can offer local marketing consultation to nearby businesses.
With so many options to choose from, including websites, blogs, content marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click search engine ads, email, social media, cable ads, couponing and publicity, local businesses need your help more than ever.
You can’t be the foremost expert in every area of marketing today, so one of the keys to success in this business is building up a network of other local marketing experts that you can both share ideas with and also bring in to offer specialized help to your clients from time to time.
Brush up your knowledge in any marketing area you are weak in by checking out the over 200 free marketing videos on BusinessTown, and hang out your shingle!
Learn how to build your own local marketing empire here.
Business Idea #17: Personal Concierge
Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody could go to the post office for you, wait for the cable guy or go out and buy that last-minute anniversary gift? This could be you … a personal concierge.
There are a wide variety of people who may need your services—busy executives, senior citizens … even new working parents.
You can start with simple gofer tasks and expand your operation all the way to helping plan travel or entertainment.
You’ll need a reliable vehicle, great customer services skills and a thick skin.
To land clients, place notices at retirement homes, community centers, day care centers, places of worship and local businesses. Try ads in places like Craigslist, and network through your friends, including by social media.
Do you want to make it in Hollywood but you’re not sure about your acting skills? Become a star’s personal assistant! Click here to learn how.
Business Idea #18: Private Tutor
Have you ever considered becoming a private tutor? If you have expertise in one subject, like math, science or English, you’re ready to start.
Tutors can charge high hourly rates. And there is no way a student can learn faster than with one-on-one tutoring!
You don’t have to just rely on your local market. You can tutor students anywhere via Skype.
Spread the word with mini-posters on local bulletin boards; place ads on places like Craigslist, and talk it up with friends and on social media. Get on local guidance counselors’ lists of recommended tutors.
For information on how to attract students to your tutoring business, click here.
Business Idea #19: Apartment Preparation Service
Every time somebody moves out of an apartment, the place needs work, such as simple maintenance—say, filling nail holes in the wall, slapping on a coat of paint and a lot of cleaning.
Landlords often contract this work out to apartment preparation services.
If you have handy skills and can provide a little elbow grease, you could make yourself a nice income providing this service.
To get going, start with smaller to mid-sized apartment complexes that have work to be done but are unlikely to have their own staff to do it. Send out targeted emails and make phone calls to land customers.
It will take you a while to develop a client base, but assuming you do a good job for your landlords, they will stick with you. And if you ever got tired of this business, it could be very sellable.
Do you need a business plan focusing exclusively on an apartment preparation service? Click here.
Business Idea #20: Bartending Service
Party hosts love to hire a professional bartender so that they can mingle with guests. Typically, the customer provides the alcohol … you just pour it!
Sign up for one of the many bartending classes offered at local education programs. In some states, you may be required to take a class and get certified for responsible alcohol serving.
Other startup costs include blenders, shakers and possibly your own custom cart (great place to put your business logo) with tools of the trade.
Ask wedding or event planners if they will add you to their recommended list of local bartenders. Put up flyers at nearby package stores and party goods stores, and place an ad on Craigslist. Promote online including using best SEO practices for your website. Reach out to every friend and acquaintance possible, online and offline.
Then try on your tux or fine dress; practice making a core list of signature drinks, hang out your shingle, and pour away!
Bartending is more than just mixing stuff together… Click here to learn how to tend bars like a professional.
Business Idea #21: SEO Specialist
Businesses of all sizes need SEO (search engine optimization) in order to stake out a place near the top of Google and other search engines.
There are many ways that you can make web pages more likely to turn up in search results. This information is readily available: often provided by the search engines themselves and, of course, covered by videos on BusinessTown.
However, to apply SEO techniques in the most optimal way can require some thought and knowledge. For example, you need to be careful to avoid being penalized by search engines such as for having a “non-mobile friendly” website, duplicative copy, links from “toxic” link farms or what are considered “black hat” or misleading SEO practices.
However, you can learn the basics of search optimization relatively quickly, and you can learn about it on your own. Get started in this business by applying your best SEO techniques to your own business website and tinkering with it until you have great search engine placement that you can talk up with potential clients.
To become a real SEO specialist you need to know some advanced techniques… Click here for more information.
Business Idea #22: Bicycle Rentals
My very first business was Bob’s Rent-A-Bike, which I started when I was 19 years old on a summer vacation from college.
First, find a bicycle trail near you that people love to ride on. Then partner with a gas station or another local business near the trail.
You provide the bicycles, a bike rack and a sign, and the gas station handles the transactions. I would initially offer the gas station a 30 percent cut but would expect to have to negotiate higher to 40 or even 50 percent—especially if they have a great location.
Starting a bicycle rental business is easy. Your success will largely be determined by whom you are able to partner with.
While my bicycle rental business had three retail partner locations, I was most successful in renting and delivering bicycles directly to vacationers at campsites. I offered “free” delivery for a minimum rental of 2 bikes for 2 days.
No need to buy new bicycles for this endeavor! Get some good, safe, used bikes and shine them up. I bought used bikes both from individuals and from other bike rental firms that were upgrading their fleets. I found I could also make some extra pocket money from buying and selling used bicycles.
To get going with this business, or just about any other small business, check out my sample business plan for Bob’s Rent-A-Bike.
Dream bigger and start your own car rental business! Check out this business plan built especially for car rental agencies.
Business Idea #23: Resume Writing
Even in this age of online databases, people still need help writing a great resume.
The book publishing company I founded, Adams Media Corporation, became the leading publisher of resume books. (We also published books on just about every other “how-to” topic imaginable. And yes, this is the business I started for under $2,000 and sold for $40 million.)
I found the big difference between a weak resume and a great resume was that the weak resume looked like an attendance record, whereas the great resume emphasized what the candidate accomplished. Adding some search-engine friendly keywords is important, too. Finally, remember that employers like short, succinct resumes.
So, keep that in mind, and if you know how to write, you can become a fabulous resume writer.
Click here to learn how to write bulletproof resumes.
Business Idea #24: Commercial Plant-Watering Service
Plants can really brighten up an office and make it a happier place. However, office managers typically don’t want to be involved in taking care of them, and that’s where you fit in.
In addition to plant watering, I would suggest you also provide pruning, feeding, and dusting to insure the plants remain vibrant and healthy. You could also recommend and provide new plants. Eventually, you may offer suggested plant designs for entire office facilities.
For budget-minded customers, you may consider offering a silk flower and/or artificial plant service. But even silk flowers should be changed up on a regular basis to keep the office looking fun and fresh.
To get going, you won’t need much more than a watering can, pruning shears and a duster. How easy is that?
To start a plant watering service, you better know how to take care of indoor plants… Click here for some help.
Business Idea #25: Logo Design
Selling graphic arts services can be very competitive and require a lot of expertise. But if you just focus on creating logos for businesses, you could do quite well and become very good at it.
Related: 5 Things Your Logo Needs
The design software you need may be pricey to buy outright, but some of the best packages you can license monthly. Practice up on the design software; study common logo designs, get your imagination in gear and start having fun helping local businesses with their logos.
Start by offering simple logos at a low fixed price, and then expand your offerings and your prices as you build your expertise.
Learn how to design amazing logos with this course.
Business Idea #26: House Cleaning
House cleaning is hard, repetitive work, but the demand is huge and the growth possibilities are endless if you are willing to take on employees as your client base grows.
Startup costs are low. You’ll need a good used vacuum, buckets, sponges, dusters, mops and cleaning supplies.
Green is in, so you might promote that you are using chemical-free soaps and cleaners. Having insurance can help sell clients, too.
Potential customers often ask for references, so until you have a couple great references, you may have to start by working for friends or offering deep discounts.
Create flyers and slip them in doors or on windshield wipers around your neighborhood, and place them on community bulletin boards. Consider ads on local websites, the service directory of your local newspaper and Craigslist.
Show up on time and provide consistent work, and this business will grow nicely.
For a detailed guide on starting your own home-based house cleaning business, click here.
Business Idea #27: Clown Service
The money you can make as a clown is nothing to laugh at. I was talking to a fellow running a professional clown service who told me he charges $200 per hour! Furthermore, he’s been so successful that he employs several fellow clowns to service his growing customer base.
Related: Is There a Market for Your Product?
Most of the business tends to be on weekends for kids’ parties, making it an excellent part-time business. If you can put on a little clown make-up and blow up some balloons, that’s about all you need to make a go of it!
Depending on how elaborate you want to get, you could use a variety of props and perform magic tricks. You may even want to attend “clown school.”
Do you need a business plan written specifically for a clown service business? Click here.
Business Idea #28: Mobile DJ
If you know a little about music, there are lots of opportunities to play tunes at a wide variety of events. You don’t have to be an expert in any particular type of music, but you’ve got to be able to keep people dancing or at least happy with your selections.
You can build a nice setup for under $2,000, including a laptop, a PA and a microphone. Some of your clients may already have their own audio systems that you can use.
I met a high school student who did very well as a DJ. He wasn’t even old enough to have a driver’s license, so to get to his DJ gigs he would either get a friend to drive him or would catch a ride with a taxi.
The key to this business is keeping your customers happy in order to build word of mouth and repeat business. To do that, show up on time, dress well, be polite and, most of all, play the music your customers want to hear, not necessarily what you want to play!
Become the best DJ in town with these Pro DJing classes.
Business Idea #29: Family History Writer (Genealogical Service)
On TV, you’ve probably seen ads for services such as Ancestry.com that can help people explore their family roots. But those services still often leave it to the individual to piece together records and stories from different generations.
You can insert yourself into this process as a family history writer. You can do research in local libraries, town hall records, houses of worship, and by getting an inexpensive subscription to an online service. You can provide value by connecting the dots and writing a formal history of your clients’ families.
If you’re capable of making attractive books with photos and the like, that’s even better. With the population aging, genealogy is not only huge but also growing rapidly.
Click here to learn more about the world of professional genealogy.
Business Idea #30: Interior Decorating
Wouldn’t it be fun to create gorgeous interior designs and to help clients turn their current homes into the ones they have been dreaming about?
While many people have become successful interior designers without previous experience, the field is becoming increasingly sophisticated. More and more designers have some kind of related educational background. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if you’re comfortable choosing colors for paint and selecting and arranging furniture, your design talents might prove to be just as good as anyone else’s.
Design software is playing a more important role in presenting mock-ups of design and color possibilities. Design software is generally inexpensive, and you don’t need to be a technical geek to understand it, but it may take some patience. Personally, I have tried some design packages for office layouts for several of my businesses, and they always take more time to master than I think they will.
Interior decorating can be very rewarding, but it is also highly competitive and even if you have a knack for it, it may take a while to build a clientele.
To succeed in this business, I would try to develop and stay with a distinctive style, try to be incredibly patient with customers and promote this business endlessly.
To get customers, I would talk up my interior design business with friends, network at related events, and build a drop-dead gorgeous website. This business is perfect for social media. Everyone loves to see beautiful interior shots of local homes. Finally, I would do whatever it takes it get my interior designs featured by local home magazines, newspapers, cable TV shows or local-interest websites.
Click here to learn the secrets to become an outstanding interior decorator.
Business Idea #31: Test Prep Coach
Students are more stressed than ever trying to get into the right school, but you can help! Like so many small businesses, one important key to success is specialization! Zero in on the one or two tests that you can excel at. Then study and further practice them until your results and knowledge are truly outstanding.
Parents are willing to hire test prep coaches for their kids even if the coaches don’t have any previous experience coaching, as long as the coaches know their subject of expertise cold, and if they can be reasonably patient in passing on their test taking expertise. Furthermore, despite what the testing services claim, diligent preparation for these tests can dramatically increase scores, sometimes by more than 100 points. And there is no surer way to boost scores than by one-on-one tutoring.
To promote this business, I would put up notices on every online and offline bulletin board you can get access to, starting with schools, libraries and coffee shops. Keep your posters small; larger ones tend to get taken down much more quickly.
Contact guidance counselors, and put ads on Craigslist. To really ramp this business, you could do like the national test prep companies do and send direct mail pieces to parents of students of particular ages in your local community. You could also place closely targeted local ads on social media and experiment with keyword advertising on the search engines. If you’ve done your homework and have mastered your subject, you should be able to dramatically boost your clients’ test scores and start getting plenty of referrals.
This step by step guide will help you start and grow your test prep business.
Business Idea #32: Event Organizing
Weddings, anniversary parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, graduation parties, business events—life is full of celebrations, but they’re hard to plan. Most people don’t have the time or the inclination to contact caterers, DJs, bands, decorators and all the other people it takes to put a good time together. So, do it for them!
If you are thinking of breaking into this space, you may want to start with simpler events, such as small, home-based children’s parties. Wedding and bar/bat mitzvah organizing are big businesses with lots of competition even in smaller markets. These larger events also can be quite complex and logistically demanding. These are major life events, causing customers’ emotions to run high. Stick with the small kiddy parties to begin with, and then consider planning bigger events as you gain experience.
Your out-of-pocket costs to become an event organizer are just about nothing. But this work isn’t for everyone! You need to be a great networker, not just to get clients, but also to find the all the service providers that each event requires. You need to be incredibly organized. And you need to be able to work with sometimes demanding clients in a very patient way.
It will take time to build up a clientele, but this business has the potential for not only providing you a high income but also a lot of satisfaction and pride in putting together great events that are highly meaningful for your customers.
Still wondering what it takes to become a professional event organizer? Click here for more information.
Bob Adams is the founder of BusinessTown.com