Starting a business with less than $100 may seem challenging, but there are plenty of opportunities that require minimal upfront investment. Here are 20 business ideas that you can start with a low budget:

  1. Freelance Writing: Offer writing services for blogs, websites, or businesses. All you need is a computer and internet access.
  2. Virtual Assistant: Provide administrative support to businesses or entrepreneurs remotely.
  3. Social Media Management: Manage social media accounts for small businesses or individuals.
  4. Tutoring: Offer tutoring services in subjects you are knowledgeable about.
  5. Pet Sitting/Dog Walking: Provide pet care services for neighbors and local residents.
  6. House Cleaning: Start a house cleaning service using basic cleaning supplies.
  7. Handyman Services: Offer basic repair and maintenance services.
  8. Online Coaching: Provide coaching services in your area of expertise (e.g., fitness, business, life coaching).
  9. Affiliate Marketing: Promote products and earn commissions on sales through affiliate marketing programs.
  10. Dropshipping: Start an online store and partner with suppliers who will ship products directly to customers.
  11. Print-on-Demand: Create and sell custom-designed products like t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases through print-on-demand services.
  12. E-book Publishing: Write and sell e-books on platforms like Amazon Kindle.
  13. Graphic Design: Offer graphic design services for logos, websites, or marketing materials.
  14. Website Flipping: Buy low-cost websites, improve them, and sell them for a profit.
  15. Event Planning: Offer event planning services for parties, weddings, and corporate events.
  16. Errand Service: Run errands for busy individuals or elderly people.
  17. Online Course Creation: Create and sell online courses on platforms like Udemy or Teachable.
  18. SEO Consulting: Provide search engine optimization (SEO) services to improve website visibility.
  19. Handmade Crafts: Create and sell handmade items on platforms like Etsy.
  20. Blogging: Start a blog and monetize it through ads, sponsored posts, or affiliate marketing.

Freelance Writing:

Starting a freelance writing business is a great option if you have strong writing skills and a passion for creating content. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started with minimal investment:

1. Identify Your Niche

  • Strengths and Interests: Consider what topics you are knowledgeable about or passionate about. Specializing in a niche can help you stand out.
  • Market Demand: Research areas where there is high demand for content, such as technology, health, finance, travel, or digital marketing.

2. Set Up Your Workspace

  • Computer and Internet: Ensure you have a reliable computer and internet connection.
  • Writing Tools: Use free tools like Google Docs or OpenOffice for writing and Grammarly for proofreading.

3. Create a Portfolio

  • Samples: Write a few sample articles or blog posts in your chosen niche. These can be published on a personal blog or as guest posts on other websites.
  • Portfolio Website: Create a simple portfolio website using free platforms like WordPress.com or Wix to showcase your work and provide contact information.

4. Find Clients

  • Freelance Platforms: Sign up on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Guru to find writing gigs.
  • Job Boards: Check job boards like ProBlogger, BloggingPro, and Contena for writing opportunities.
  • Networking: Join writing groups on social media and attend virtual networking events to connect with potential clients.

5. Set Your Rates

  • Research Rates: Look at what other freelance writers in your niche are charging to get an idea of market rates.
  • Pricing Structure: Decide whether to charge per word, per hour, or per project. Be flexible and adjust your rates as you gain more experience.

6. Market Your Services

  • Social Media: Use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to promote your services and share your work.
  • Guest Blogging: Write guest posts for popular blogs in your niche to increase your visibility and credibility.
  • Cold Pitching: Reach out to potential clients directly with a well-crafted pitch and a link to your portfolio.

7. Manage Your Business

  • Contracts: Use simple contracts to outline the scope of work, deadlines, and payment terms for each project.
  • Invoicing: Use free invoicing tools like Wave or PayPal to manage billing and payments.
  • Time Management: Use productivity tools like Trello, Asana, or Todoist to keep track of your tasks and deadlines.

8. Continue Learning and Growing

  • Feedback: Ask for feedback from clients to improve your writing and service delivery.
  • Skill Development: Continuously improve your skills through online courses, webinars, and reading industry-related content.
  • Expand Services: Consider offering additional services like editing, proofreading, or content strategy to increase your value to clients.

Benefits of Freelance Writing

  • Low Startup Costs: Minimal investment required beyond a computer and internet.
  • Flexibility: Work from anywhere and set your own schedule.
  • Scalability: Opportunity to grow your business by taking on more clients or higher-paying projects.
  • Variety: Work on diverse projects across different industries.

Starting a freelance writing business can be highly rewarding and offers the potential for steady income and professional growth. By leveraging your writing skills and utilizing online platforms and tools, you can build a successful freelance career.

Virtual Assistant:

Starting a virtual assistant (VA) business is an excellent way to leverage your administrative and organizational skills. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Smiling latin businesswoman working with laptop and headset, portrait. Cheerful assistant in the bright office.

1. Identify Your Services

  • Core Services: Common tasks include email management, scheduling, data entry, customer service, social media management, and research.
  • Specialized Services: Consider offering specialized services like bookkeeping, graphic design, content creation, or digital marketing to attract a wider range of clients.

2. Set Up Your Workspace

  • Computer and Internet: Ensure you have a reliable computer and high-speed internet connection.
  • Office Supplies: Basic supplies like a notepad, pens, and a comfortable workspace are essential.
  • Software and Tools: Utilize free or affordable tools such as Google Workspace (for email and calendar), Trello or Asana (for task management), and Zoom or Skype (for communication).

3. Create a Professional Online Presence

  • Website: Build a simple website to showcase your services, experience, and contact information. Use platforms like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace.
  • Social Media: Create professional profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other relevant platforms to connect with potential clients.

4. Determine Your Rates

  • Market Research: Look at what other VAs with similar skills and experience are charging.
  • Pricing Structure: Decide whether to charge hourly, per task, or offer package deals. Typical rates range from $15 to $50 per hour, depending on the complexity of the tasks and your experience.

5. Find Clients

  • Freelance Platforms: Sign up on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and PeoplePerHour to find clients.
  • Networking: Join online communities, forums, and social media groups related to virtual assistance and remote work.
  • Referrals: Ask friends, family, and professional contacts for referrals. Offer incentives for successful referrals.

6. Market Your Services

  • Content Marketing: Start a blog or create content that showcases your expertise and helps attract potential clients.
  • Email Marketing: Build an email list and send out regular newsletters with tips and updates about your services.
  • Cold Pitching: Reach out to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups that might benefit from your services.

7. Manage Your Business

  • Contracts: Use simple contracts to outline the scope of work, deadlines, and payment terms for each client.
  • Invoicing: Use free invoicing tools like Wave, PayPal, or FreshBooks to manage billing and payments.
  • Time Management: Use productivity tools like Toggl (for time tracking), Trello, or Asana to keep track of tasks and deadlines.

8. Continue Learning and Growing

  • Feedback: Ask for feedback from clients to improve your services.
  • Skill Development: Take online courses, attend webinars, and read industry-related content to enhance your skills.
  • Expand Services: As you gain experience, consider offering additional services or specializing in a niche market.

Benefits of Starting a Virtual Assistant Business

  • Low Startup Costs: Minimal investment required beyond a computer, internet, and basic office supplies.
  • Flexibility: Work from anywhere and set your own hours.
  • Diverse Client Base: Opportunity to work with clients from various industries.
  • Scalability: Ability to grow your business by taking on more clients or subcontracting work to other VAs.

Starting a virtual assistant business offers a flexible and scalable way to use your skills to help businesses run smoothly. By creating a professional online presence, networking, and continuously improving your skills, you can build a successful and rewarding VA business.

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Many of these ideas require little more than a computer, internet access, and some creativity or specific skills. By leveraging free or low-cost online tools and platforms, you can effectively manage and grow your business without significant upfront investment.

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