I used to daydream a lot about owning a successful business and saying goodbye to my stressful and super-demanding job.
But I didn't have a lot of money and I just couldn't quit my job because, well obviously, I had bills to pay and a family to feed. I had to keep deferring the entrepreneurial urge that had been with me my whole life.
But things changed. I learned how to start a business from home and do it for cheap. I now run multiple online businesses from home that generate thousands of dollars per month.
It's actually kind of amazing how many great opportunities there are to start your own home-based business for less than $1,000, and in many cases for absolutely free. I am going to cover what I believe are 9 of the best.
Each of these home-based businesses can be started in your spare time and you don't need any special education, degrees or experience to begin. So if you have the drive and work ethic, you can make any of these home-based businesses a reality.
I have also selected businesses that can easily scale and grow, so that one day, your little part-time business can become a legit fulltime business that can replace your current income. For many people, I think that's the ultimate goal.
It's hard to put a price on being your own boss and not having to answer to anyone. These businesses can get you there.
Ok, let's get into it.
If you would like to see a condensed version of this article in video format, check out my YouTube article on the topic below.
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The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
1. Car Rental Business
If you've got a car that you don't use everyday, you can rent out that car and start making some extra money each month.
All you need to do is go on car sharing platforms like Turo.com or Hyrecar.com and list your vehicle for rent. Depending on the year, make and model of your car, you can make hundreds of dollars a month doing this.
To get a sense of how much you can make, check out Turo's “Carculator” tool, which will give you an estimate of your earning based on the type of vehicle you have.
You may not make much at first, but if you save up your earnings and buy another car that you can rent out full time, you can really start making money doing this. In fact, in my area, there are people who have fleets of cars that they rent out on Turo.
Pretty amazing business and it can all start from renting out a single car a few days a month.
If you want to go even bigger (and I mean literally bigger), you can start investing in trucks and make a ton of money renting them out full-time. Check out coop.com to learn more.
According to them, you can make around $5,890.31 per month renting out one semi-truck and trailer. That's some serious money.
2. Home-Based Car Wash Business
Staying on the topic of cars, you can also start a car wash business from home.
It doesn't take a lot of money to get started. You're really talking about maybe $250 in equipment and materials. The key items include a pressure washer, shopvac, water hose, mitts, towels, brushes, buckets, and cleaning products.
You can make a decent amount of money per wash. Your pricing will depend on what's market for your area, but you are generally looking at between $30 to $50 for a hand wash and interior cleaning.
To learn more about this type of business, check out my full article on How to Start a Car Wash From Home For $250.
3. Start a Blog
If you want to start a less physically demanding home-based business, you can start a blog. I started my blog a little over a year ago and it brings in thousands of dollars per month.
How do I make money doing this? Mostly through display advertising (advertisers pay to place those ads that you see throughout this article).
What I love about this business is that you need very little money to start (less than a couple of hundred dollars, if that) and the monthly maintenance costs are also really low ($10-$15 per month). We're talking really low risk here.
Plus, it's incredibly flexible because you can work on it whenever you have some free time. You have no customers demanding anything of you, no inventory to manage, and it is one of the easiest businesses to scale.
That's because bloggers grow their blog by writing more articles. It's as simple as that.
Of course, your articles have to be high quality and you have to study key words to ensure your articles will rank on Google and generate traffic, but if you figure that out, then, as a general matter, growing your blog is just a matter of writing more content.
If you want to learn how to start a blog from scratch, check out my step by step guide on the topic here.
It will guide you through every phase of the process and I will share my best tips and recommendations on how to establish your website, conduct keyword research, write great articles, and monetize your blog.
4. Become a YouTuber
If you prefer expressing yourself through video rather than writing, then you can become a YouTuber. Like blogging, this is a business that can be started in your spare time and does not cost much money at all to begin. If you're on a budget, all you really need is a decent phone to record videos.
YouTube is a completely free platform for creators so there are no costs to post your videos.
As for how much you can make, that will depend on a lot of factors, but it can be attractive.
In addition to my blog, I have a YouTube channel that generates thousands of dollars a month, so I can confidently state that making money on YouTube is 100% possible. In fact, I think it's possible to grow much more quickly on YouTube than through blogging.
That being said, it's certainly not easy or guaranteed. Most YouTubers make nothing or very little money, so I don't want to give the impression that you will make a few low-effort videos and make a killing. It won't happen.
You will need to be laser focused on creating great content (and making engaging videos is hard) and do it consistently over time. You will also need to master creating clickable thumbnails and compelling titles and a host of other things.
But if you figure it all out, the rewards can be amazing.
5. Data Entry Business
If you prefer something a bit less creatively demanding, you can start a data entry business. As you can imagine, all you need for this business is a computer and internet connection.
Getting started is simple. Just go to sites like indeed.com and simplyhired.com and run a search for “data entry remote” jobs. You'll see a ton of them pop up.
Once you have done this for a while and learned what these employers value and need, you can set up a full-blown business with employees that offers these types of services to companies and other large organizations.
6. Customer Service Business
If you prefer to interact with people and have a knack for resolving issues, then a customer service business may be ideal for you. In the beginning it's just going to be you offering your services, so no money is needed to start.
Like with data entry, you can go to indeed and simplyhired for these types of remote jobs, but you can also try sites like flexjobs.com, which specializes in remote work opportunities.
Obviously, you can grow this business beyond yourself by gaining knowledge and expertise around how customer service call centers work and start your own.
I think you are starting to see the pattern here. Learn what works, and more importantly, what doesn't work, in the industry you are working in and then start a business that offers a better product or service.
7. Virtual Assistant Business
If you don't want to be fielding calls from random people all day, you can choose to be a virtual assistant instead. No money's required to get started, but like with most of these businesses, you will need a computer, phone and internet connection.
If you don't know what a virtual assistant does, they handle various administrative tasks for people or companies. This includes making travel arrangements, scheduling appointments, taking calls, and managing emails.
You can find virtual assistant opportunities through sites like Fiverr.com, Upwork.com and Flexjobs.com, as well as the regular jobs boards that we already mentioned.
8. Selling Ebooks
If you have always wanted to be a writer and share your creativity with the world, but never got started because you were worried that no one would be willing to publish your work, you don't need to worry about that anymore.
The publishing world has radically changed and now there are some really amazing and accessible platforms where authors can self-publish their books. Gone are the days when you needed to submit your manuscript to a bunch of huge publishing houses and wait for the wave of rejections. You can bypass all of that and just publish your book on places like Amazon KDP and Apple Books for Authors.
There are three things I really like about this business.
First, it literally costs you nothing to start. Of course, these platforms will take a cut of your sales, but that's to be expected. Second, once the books are written, you get to enjoy passive income from the sale of your books. Third, the more books you write, the more opportunity you have to generate additional income.
9. Online Tutoring Business
Everyone is good at something.
And these days, you can make money by teaching what you are good at to people who want to learn. Getting started is as simple as signing up with the various online tutoring platforms that are out there. They include tutor.com, skooli.com, and preply.com.
If you are a native English speaker, you can even get paid to chat with people in English. There are plenty of people around the world who want to improve their English and recognize the value of having natural conversation with native speakers. If you want to learn more about this laid back option, check out sites like cambly.com and spokenenglishpractice.com.
For more detailed information on this option, check out my article on How to Get Paid to Chat in English.
So there you have it – 9 great home based businesses that you can start for less than $1,000. If you want to learn about some great passive income ideas that you can start for cheap, check out my article on 9 Low Cost Passive Income Ideas That Work [All For Under $500].