These days a lot of people are interested in starting a side business to help supplement their income but are not fond of fronting a bunch of cash to get started. Fortunately, there are businesses you can start from your home with little upfront cost.
An in-home bakery has been a great way for me to start a business without a lot of upfront costs. I already had some basic cake pans and I spent about $30 purchasing a few piping bags, tips and cake boards. I purchase ingredients as cakes are ordered as this saves space and reduces wastes. As my business grew, I purchased more items. When I booked my first wedding, I purchased my first round cake pan set with a variety of sizes. Later, I bought a larger cake decorating set with more tips and then came more fondant tools and cutters. Today I have a pretty good stock of supplies and it is much easier to predict what I need, but I still make most consumable purchases as I go. To track my income and make collecting sales tax easy, I signed up for a free Square system. Being a small business, I do not get a lot of credit card payments but it is nice to be able to. Plus the Square also helps me keep track of cash and check payments making everything easier at tax time. Keep in mind, when starting a bakery in your home, check your state’s laws on in-home food production and follow the regulations. My state kitchen inspection was free and my business name registration was $15.
As we have written about before, selling can be almost free to start if you start by selling items you already own and no longer need. Then you can take those earnings to invest in additional inventory. We like to let this business pay for itself by doing just that. We track our purchases and sales on a Google spreadsheet and only reinvest the money the business has made into new inventory to sell. To sell online, you just need a camera and computer or smartphone. To sell on eBay or Amazon you will need to create an account to sell and a PayPal account. Before listing items online that will require shipping, be sure you will have appropriate shipping materials. We have saved in shipping costs by reusing boxes and packing materials from items we order.
There are many other businesses you can start with little or no costs such as computer repair, virtual or personal assistant, social media management and more. The important thing is to find your niche and then research what you need to do in your state/city to set up your business. Please share some economical ways you have started a business.