Tom Corson-Knowles is the author of more than 20 books and founder of a publishing company specializing in digital marketing.
How to Start a Business With Little or No Money!
I started this article and this idea because I believe everyone deserves a chance to start their own business, to serve others, and in doing so to create a better life for themselves. You probably know by now that there aren't just 1,000 ways to start a business with $1,000 or less—there are an infinite number of ways to start a business with little or no start-up capital.
So many people today have the misconception that starting a business takes a lot of money. The old saying, "It takes money to make money" has been ingrained in far too many people's memories. The truth is, it does NOT take money to make money. It takes value to earn money. You must provide others (your customers) with massive value. In return, they will gladly send you money.
The mission of this article is to educate, inspire, and instruct others in how they can start with little or nothing but an idea, a dream, and commitment.
If you have any ideas to add to the list, please contribute in the comments! We'd love to hear from you and know that it will help countless others who want to start a business.
So here they are, the first 82 or so ideas off an infinite list:
80+ Ways to Start a Business With Less Than $1,000
1. Write a book. Turn your passion into a mission to educate others - write a book and self-publish it.
That's exactly what Helen Georgaklis, founder of the 99 Book Series did!
This book series, which became the first ever to publish all 13 books digitally, was started with two things: an idea and determination. I had no money as I had just been left by my ex with a two-day old. Picked up the phone, started calling, started networking online, started working the 'barter" system again, and four years later, 13 books, another 15 authors writing for us as we work towards international expansion in 2011! Didn't have a dime to spend—but had heart, desire and ambition. Our first two years, we spent zero and we built a site and designed the first original covers! For under $1000.00 we created a new trend!
2. Start a blog with Google AdSense, Chitika ads, an Amazon store, an eBay store, or text link ads, or sell your own products or services.
3. Become a distributor or representative for a network marketing company or party plan company.
4. Start a business selling items on eBay. Miriam Otto tells us:
I am an eBay Top-Rated Seller and eBay instructor who loves to teach people how to start businesses on eBay. I started out by selling items around the house and now sell approximately 150 items and $3,000+ per month. eBay is not a joke. eBay offers people the opportunity to start their own businesses for very little money - even if they live in rural areas.
When I'm not selling on eBay, I am a teacher at a local adult school where I help people earn high school diplomas. I work 30 hours per week at the school and am still able to run my eBay business. You can start a business, and you can start one today. The key is to get educated. If you are interested in becoming an eBay seller, find an eBay Education Specialist in your area or contact me for more information.
For ideas on what to sell, check out my blog, The eBay Life, and my store, Blue Frog Shoes.
5. Start a business selling books or other items on Amazon.
6. Buy items in bulk from sites like www.liquidation.com and sell them individually.
Read More From Toughnickel
7. Start a website to sell products or services.
8. Create an eBook or report you can sell online. Information is free to create and people will pay for it if it's valuable!
9. Turn your hobby into a business. How can you monetize what you do already? If you collect stamps, find out how you can make money buying and selling collectible stamps. Become an expert at what you're already doing.
10. Start a paper route.
11. Distribute products door-to-door.
12. Become a consultant and help companies in your area of expertise.
13. Become a coach or advisor and help people in your area of expertise.
14. Build your personal brand and use it to sell products or services you believe in.
15. Create your own product or service to help others.
16. Create a YouTube video that goes viral.
17. Create an application for iPhone or Android.
18. Create a newsletter that educates others.
19. Create a Social Media following on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Digg, Reddit, or elsewhere.
20. Buy and sell coins, jewelry, antiques or other rare items.
21. Create coloring books.
22. Create audio books.
23. Start a Tumblr blog.
24. Become a representative for a direct sales company like Vector (which would not be network marketing).
25. Buy real estate with no money down. This is called Wholesaling where you get a contract or option to buy a property and sell that contract to another real estate investor for a premium
26. Raise money from private investors and invest in your area of expertise.
27. Start a hedge fund (Glen Bradford did).
28. Help people do things they're too busy, stupid, lazy, or uninformed to do (organize offices, clean homes, mow lawns, babysit kids).
29. Manufacture a product at home and sell it (but please consult an attorney and your city's zoning laws before doing so.) This is how I started my first business at age 13! My dad and I started manufacturing SAD Lamps for Seasonal Affective Disorder in our garage at home. If I can do it, you can do it!
30. Write a page on HubPages about whatever you want and earn money from the ads and product sales - or just donate it to charity!
31. Create an Online forum or social network using a site like Ning where people can connect and talk about their favorite hobby - which just might be your favorite hobby!
32. Create instructional CD's, DVD's, videos, or programs to educate people
33. Create instructional retreats, seminars, or conferences to educate people and sell tickets
34. License a patent or technology that you or someone else invented to a company that can commercialize it. Universities all across the United States and the world have millions of uncommercialized patents and processes that you can create a business with - with little or no cost. Just call up a university and ask for the Technology Transfer Office - then ask for all the patents and processes they have for sale in the area of your interest.
35. Write and/or record a song.
36. Write a play, movie script, or theatrical performance.
37. Create a business with options or other financial contracts.
38. Become a professional photographer and charge people money to take good pictures of them.
39. Join an affiliate program and market other people's services and products - all at no cost to you, and you get paid whenever someone buys through your affiliate. It's like a joint venture with a massively successful company like Amazon or thousands of others.
40. Become a tester or reviewer! People get paid to test video games, review movies, test consumer products, cars, new products, websites, and just about anything else you can dream of. If you love something or have a hobby you're passionate about, consider being a tester or reviewer in that area.
41. Import products. There are so many high-quality, low-priced products in other countries. Find a way to import them and sell them! When I traveled to India back in 2006, I saw so many incredible crafts and products that were incredibly cheap. Anyone could import them and sell them at a 100% markup easily in the United States. Why aren't you doing that?
42. Become a book reviewer. You can review books on Amazon.com and build your personal brand. Some book reviewers on Amazon have such a following and have built up so much respect for themselves that they get free books all the time sent to them and their opinion and reviews can make or break the sales of a book on Amazon.
43. Sell commodities. No I don't mean futures contracts. I mean sell commodities! Ever heard of gratitude rocks? People actually just pick pretty stones and sell them as gratitude rocks for $5, $10 or even more. Not only are they earning money, they're helping educate others about the importance of gratitude in their lives. What are you grateful for?
44. Write software. Write software that people want, that people can use that will help them and sell it online.
45. Turn your job into a business. If you have a job now, see how you can turn your job skills into a business. If you keep the accounts accurate for your employer, you could start hiring your accounting and financial consulting services to other businesses in the area.
John Schulte wrote a book on the subject of starting a small/home business. "The Direct Marketing Toolkit for Small and Home Business" http://www.nmoa.org/directmarketingtoolkit/. John says:
"My input is that for a person to start a biz on a shoestring ($1,000) they must first outline their skills/abilities and what they have on hand already to start. With a $1,000 you can "start" almost any business, but it's not enough to sustain most things and get yourself some cash flow going unless you have some kind of base to work from.
Service businesses are the best bet to start on a shoestring.
For example, a laid-off carpenter would most likely already have tools and building skills, so it would be wise for him to come up with a business in that area and use the $1,000 for working capital for supplies and promotion.
The key would be having a narrow focus.
- General Handyman
- Building Picnic Tables or Outdoor Furniture
- Building Dog Houses
- Building Bunk Beds
- Building Garden Trellises, Raised Planting Beds, Planting Benches
The other type of business for a carpenter would be to buy and sell tools to other carpenters. He already has the knowledge of what tools are good and needed in the eyes of other carpenters, and also the pricing area of tools. This could be both used and new. Of course, the carpenter would have to have some social people skills needed for selling."
46. Make crafts and sell them. Kids do it all the time with things like bead bracelets and bead animals. You can learn how to it online at various websites like www.craftsforkids.com
47. Do community education.
48. Make jewelry
49. Bake bread.
50. Sell eggs. Just buy chickens, build a coop, feed them mainly on your lawn and scraps and sell their eggs for $3 a dozen. (Thanks to Christine Shuck of Creative Solutions for her entrepreneurial spirit and contribution for business ideas #47 - 50.)
Business Ideas #50 - #66
51. Start a publishing consulting business. This is pretty cool - I'm quoting here from Shel Horowitz (@ShelHorowitz) of www.guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com.
"29 years ago, I started the home-based marketing and publishing consulting business I still run. Total startup was $200, of which $12 went to marketing, $12 for office supplies, and $176 for a very used IBM Selectric typewriter I bought at a school auction.
I'm still home-based, but now have clients on three continents. And I still run on a shoestring. Today, assuming I already had a computer and a broadband connection, I'd be able to do it for $9 (the cost of a domain), using methods I talk about in my books, including Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet. Usingsocial media takes only time, not money. Setting up a website can be done for nothing with WordPress (and many Internet service providers include room for a small website). Payments can be accepted with no upfront cost using Paypal and Intuit Payment Network. Yes, it is possible to skip the domain, but I wouldn't recommend it; just last month, I was all set to explore doing some business with someone and then I noticed his website had a Tripod address-FAIL!
Pretty much any consulting business that doesn't require specialized equipment can be started at basically no cost. Information marketing can also be started on this budget. Neighborhood-oriented services (e.g., pet sitting, in-home cooling, personal shopping) might even be able to get away without the domain, at least for a little while."
52. Start a property management company. Quoting here firm Matt Landau, Owner of Los Cuatro Tulipane:
Regarding [starting a business with $1,000 or less], with around $500, I started what's now the most successful property management company in the historic district of Panama City in the Republic of Panama. The start-up costs involved contracts with owners, building a website, and some grassroots PR while perhaps most importantly identifying the right niche (considering at that time, there were no accommodations in our neighborhood - a UNESCO World Heritage Site called Casco Viejo). Running the operation like a hotel (focusing on nightly vacation rentals), we kept overhead and only hired staff (maintenance, cleaning, guest services) when demand required it.
53. Decorate homes for the holidays. Everyone wants to have a pretty home for the holidays - lend a hand and earn some extra money doing it.
54. Decorate yards for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
55. Start a dog walker, pet sitter, pooper scooper business (Only if you love dogs!)
56. Start a renovation company. Are you an auto mechanic or computer geek? Then you probably have all the skills necessary to buy and sell used and renovated cars or computers.
57. Start a tutoring business! Teach another language, musical instrument, computer, cooking, chemistry, whatever you have to offer. Jack Friedman of www.StudySmartTutors.com says:
I started my SAT prep business, Study Smart Tutors Inc, from my college dorm at USC in 2007 for WAY less than $1,000.
At the beginning, I spent about $50 on some SAT books on Amazon, found some cheap business cards online, and made a really terrible website myself. All in all, I spent about $175 total.
With such a low start-up cost, my business was profitable literally on day one and we have yet to look back. Now having been in business for three years, I still take this same bootstrapping approach to spending, and therefore maintain huge margins on all our services.
I highly recommend a tutoring or other personal service business for those looking to start a low-investment yet high-margin business!
58. Start a massage business.
59. Start an aromatherapy business.
60. Start an intuitive counseling business. (Thanks to writer CeliaSue Hecht for contributing ideas #53-60).
61. Start a lawnmowing or landscaping business. As Roman Price says:
I started my lawn cutting business for under 1,000. I bought a small trailer (400 bucks), lawn mower (250), blower and strimmer (250) and had 100 dollars left over for business cards.
I charged 20 dollars a cut, front and back and a turn-up of the soil in the gardens. I was able to do two houses, as long as they were on the same street, and averaged $40 per hour. Not bad for a 17 year old kid.
62. Start a marketing communications business. Amanda Collins of The Grammar Doctors says:
"Back in 2006, I launched my business of providing marketing communications with no money. I had a computer already and Internet access, which is about all that's needed to be a writer. Even if a person has nothing, buying a phone, inexpensive computer, and Internet access would definitely be less than $1,000. That means low overhead moving forward, so better profits!"
63. Become a registered investment advisor. Thanks to Alex R. Foster, Registered Investment Advisor, of AF Capital Management, LLC:
I was able to start my business as a Registered Investment Advisor for less than $1,000. Let me know what questions I can answer for you.
Startup costs included:
- Series 65 Exam Fee -$135.00
- Domain Registration and Web Hosting Fees -$141.17
- LLC Filing with State of Georgia -$100.00
- Georgia Investment Advisor firm Registration -$250.00
- U4 Filing for individual as an Investment Advisor Representative -$50.00
- Fingerprint card from local police department -$10.00
- FBI Federal Criminal History Report -$18.00
Total Cost: $704.17.
64. Start a public relations business.
65. Start an event planning business. Thanks to publicist Cynthia "Cyn" M., president and CEO of 1CCU PR—Media and Marketing, for ideas #64 and 65:
I started my PR/Marketing and event planning firm in 2008 for next to no money. I designed my own website with a free template and paid $9.99 for my domain name then $4.99 a month for hosting. I used Vista Print to buy marketing supplies such as shirts, key-chains, fliers, postcards, and hats, with all under $300. I created company introduction letters that I mailed to prospects.
I placed my website link on various sites for free with a reciprocal link on my site. I also volunteered my expertise on Micro Mentors which also helped build a base and show my company as a matter expert."
66. Start a stand-up comedy business. Don't you enjoy making others laugh?
"I invested $250 in a class on standup comedy, and this has turned into a phenomenal business. I now fly around the world doing comedy not only in the States, but Canada, UK, India, Netherlands, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, etc.! I performed at the Democratic national convention as well as three Obama inaugural events. Last Christmas I performed for Donald Trump. Also, I appeared in an Apple commercial last year.
A little background - I was a senior engineer with Intel Corporation. My job was to travel the world with Chairman Andy Grove, doing technical demonstrations on stage at events, and I was incredibly nervous about speaking on stage. I took a comedy class to get over the fear, and the comedy kind of took off."
Dan Nainan, Comedian/Actor/Voiceover Artist/Computer Genius
Business Ideas #67 - #82
67. Become a freelance commercial writer.
“My name is Peter Bowerman and I’m a self-published author of four award-winning books in the “Well-Fed” series (including 3 in “The Well-Fed Writer” family about freelance commercial writing - writing for businesses (projects like marketing brochures, ad copy, newsletters, web content, case studies, etc. - in short, any written material a company would have to create in the course of communicating with prospects, customers, and employees. I have coined the term “freelance commercial writing” for this field. It’s also known as copywriting, but the term “copywriting” is often used to denote ad copywriting, which is actually only one tiny sliver of the whole commercial writing world.
For those who know they’re good writers, it’s a bona fide low-investment, home-based business opportunity, and a little-known but lucrative writing direction, where practitioners can routinely earn hourly rates of $50-125+. And assuming someone has a computer, this opportunity has far less than a $1000 startup cost - perhaps half that or less. But it will require a lot of “sweat equity.”
I invite you to visit http://www.wellfedwriter.com for more information.
It is not a get-rich-quick proposition, but unlike most “freelance writing” opportunities which offer, at best, dubious financial prospects (i.e., writing for online-based content mills for maybe $5-10 per article), this is a professional writing direction whose practitioners are valued for the expertise they bring to the table and are compensated commensurate for that expertise, per the rates noted above. Hence, the name of my book - “The Well-Fed Writer” - to draw a clear distinction between this field and other “starving writing” opportunities.
Ideal candidates to excel in commercial freelancing are those who have solid writing skills (though not necessarily brilliant talent) with broad-based experience and background in a particular industry who focus on pursuing writing opportunities within that field. That’s the beauty of the field - virtually any past career/industry/educational experience can be leveraged to build a business, making it a legitimate direction for those long-term unemployed looking for a way to capitalize on their deep knowledge of a field.
I’ve just released the updated edition of my first book, The Well-Fed Writer (originally an award-winning Book-of-the-Month club selection) - a heavily updated combination of that first book and its 2004 companion, TWFW: Back For Seconds.
The book has won four awards and is considered a how-to “standard” in the field.”
68. Start a painting business. Thanks to Ilene Davis, CFP, MBA, of Cocoa, FL.
69. Do sewing and alterations
70. Repair computers.
71. Clean drains.
72. Prepare direct mail for bulk mailing.
73. Do order-taking and fulfillment for small direct marketers. Thanks to John Schulte for business ideas #69-73 (see #45 for more from John)
74. Start an insurance business.
“It’s not glamorous or exciting or even terribly creative (how many businesses really are?) but you can start a one-person health, life, annuity, long-term care and disability insurance agency for less than $1000. Of course “starting” and “succeeding” are two different concepts!!!” - Thanks to Alan N. Canton from Fair Oaks, CA.
75. Stage homes.
76. Maintain and landscape foreclosed or bank-owned properties.
77. Clean and repair toys.
78. Provide reminder services.
79. Provide motor vehicle transportation services.
80. Provide roommate referral services. (Thanks to Christian Brenneman for business ideas #75-80.)
81. Start a workout class.
“So many folks think they need tons of money and capital to start a business. I don't.
I started Broadway Bodies in November 2008 ("the fun way to work out") with $700. Broadway Bodies is a dance workout class choreographed to show tunes, movie musicals, and pop videos. To start, we needed a flyer, a facebook page, a website, and sweat equity.
My first thought was that in order to get people to come to class, we needed a website. Websites are 1,000s of dollars or you can make one on your own or you can find a student to do it for you. Our first site was $350 to get up and running; we have since added bells and whistles. We needed a graphic designer: you can find those on fiverr, or I hired a guy for $50 to design our logo (found in a networking directory). Next we needed flyers and cards: Vistaprint, cheap, easy, and fast. etcÂ.
As a professional and certified life and business coach—my enterprise is aptly named Fun to Fortune—I work with people on how they can discover their passion with very little capital and create a business. I have Broadway Bodies to prove its really possible. Revenues grew 60% in 2010 and it's a great business model. I love to share that story and help others find a fun business that they can start with little risk, lots of passion and desire, and under $1,000.” - Jeff Vilensky
82. Start a virtual assistant business.
“You can start a virtual assistant business for less than $1,000 if you already have a computer. In general, here’s what you’ll need to get started (Prices are estimated):
- Up-to-date computer (Hopefully, you already have this and won't have to spend any money buying a new one.)
- High-speed internet access (about $50 per month)
- Phone with low cost, preferably unlimited, long distance (about $30 per month)
- Website and domain name (about $500 to set up and $10 per month for hosting)
Thanks to Kathy Goughenour.
Top Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs Today
We asked entrepreneurs what are some of the top challenges they've faced and how did they overcome them. The wisdom packed within these stories is priceless!
1. Raising Capital (for a Debt Buying Company)
I started American Asset Solutions LLC to transform the debt collection industry. We buy delinquent credit card loans from major US Banks and collect them by treating customers with absolute dignity and respect. We want to transform an industry that has been far too corrupt for far too long.
The company began operations in September, 2010 and we were cash flow positive by January and the business is already self-sustaining. Operations are going very well and we have access to over $1 million in credit card loans from four major US Banks so we have a ton of room to grow.
Our biggest challenge has been raising capital to grow the business. Banks are hesitant to take the loans we purchase as collateral so we’re focused on raising money from private investors. We raised $80,000 from a few private investors at 20% interest, but we haven’t found that key partner yet to really help us attract the capital we need to grow and scale up the business model. Right now we’re looking to raise another $200,000 to purchase more assets and take advantage of this huge market opportunity.
- Tom Corson-Knowles, founder of American Asset Solutions LLC
2. Dealing with the Recession (Men’s Designer Clothing Store)
We started our men’s designer clothing store Evolve Male in 2008, opening the store front doors in the summer of 2008. This was a self-invested, underfunded niche that we knew would be difficult. What we didn’t expect was an immediate change in sales starting in September, during the financial crisis, just months after starting. We immediately started making numerous changes such as developing our own website, cutting bills, etc. hoping to balance the cash flow. Like many others, we watched the recession, wondering how it will affect our business in the long run and when it will “end”. The store has been generally flat since the fall of 2008, and I have returned to work so my wife and I both have jobs and personal income.
As we enter 2011, we are committed to making more changes to our business. This includes continuing with men’s clothing and an online store, then adding women’s clothing to the store front this Spring. We feel this will be a big boost for sales, and will allow our men’s side to grow as well. In addition, we will be starting our own men’s clothing line which was always part of the plan, but put on hold due to the cost of having the store front.
Overall, we feel that we still haven’t seen the true potential of our business, and look forward to the changes we will be making in the near future.
- Geoffrey Lester, owner of Evolve Male
3. Getting a Fantastic Marketing Plan Into Action
I founded Dark Matter Consulting in order to help clients to get the most out of their time. This includes both time management and productivity, as well as discovering and living according to values and life purpose.
While my company has been profitable and cash-flow positive for most of its existence, I am making much less than I could if I were to go back to being an employee.
My biggest challenge has been “cracking the marketing code.” I have seen the amazing results that clients get from our work together. They literally “make” more time, relax into a calm and confident state of leadership, and find life and work more rewarding (financially and personally), but I have not yet found the right way to get in front of and connect with enough potential clients to keep my practice full. Coaching can be hard to understand, it’s not like “accounting” or “dry-cleaning.” We all know what that is. I struggle to articulate the value of coaching in a way that resonates.
- David Kaiser, Dark Matter Consulting
4. Inventing and Selling a Unique Product
I decided to turn my passion for being a mermaid into a company selling mermaid tails, so that anyone can become a mermaid or a merman. This is a new trend and it’s growing around the world among women, men and children.
My best friend became my business partner and we decided to bootstrap our startup with less than $2,000. We started working on the business in January 2010 and got our online store open by March. In April we started getting regular orders, peaking in June and July for the swim season. Sales have dropped for the rest of the year but remain steady enough to pay our monthly costs, which we’ve kept very low. Most of our tails go all over the U.S., but we have also shipped tails to Canada, Australia, Spain, Austria, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the UK, and Cyprus!
Our store has been open a year now, and my business partner and I are itching to get paid an income. That is our primary goal this year. Our startup is still on its infant legs, we are working to shore up its weaknesses by applying for a bank loan, looking into reducing production costs, developing processes to organize the business, trying out new marketing strategies. One of our biggest challenges is that, mer-swimming being such a new, fringe sport, we are having to educate the public before we can sell. But the world’s first mermaid convention is happening this August in Vegas, so the word is spreading.
- Thanks to Mermaid Jerilyn, Aquatails.com
5. Managing Cash Flow
From laid off to entrepreneurship:
I started a designer scrub business last year after 6 months of unsuccessful job searching. The 6 months of frustration gave me the courage to finally start my own business, something I’ve always wanted to do.
I design and manufacture the scrub line in the New York garment center. I wanted to produce a higher quality scrub for medical professionals seeking a more professional image. I spent 15 years in boxy unisex scrubs as a medical device sales representative and knew they could be tailored to look nicer and last longer.
It’s been a great experience thus far, however, I would do a few things differently. I started off producing too much inventory which is just costing me money. I wish I would have put those production resources towards advertising or web development, anything to generate sales. Also, I was got too caught up in the packaging, not necessarily a bad thing but spent too much capital buying beautiful bags.
My biggest challenge like many other start ups is cash flow. I have limited capital which restricts me from doing things, I have to be very selective and careful how I spend the resources. The good news is, it forces you to be creative and find ways to get free publicity. Fortunately, social media has leveled the playing field for small business and it’s so much more economical to market a business.
- Annette Akers, Skyline Scrubs
6. Pursuing a Licensing Agreement or Retail Partnership (for a One-of-a-Kind Necktie)
I started The iTie, LLC and Anchor Neckwear after inventing a necktie that stays in perfect position while you wear it. Anchor Ties are hand crafted from high quality 100% pure silk, come in amazing designs and colors, and are the world’s most functional line of ties. Simply put, Anchor Ties will never get in your way, fly over your shoulder or shift out of position.
The iTie was started in August of 2008 after losing my full time position at a Fortune 500 company. I was able to file the patent, start the website, identify and establish a manufacturing relationship, and obtain my initial inventory. Over the past two years, I have been able to sell over one thousand iTies and Anchor Ties (rebranded in 2010 to Anchor Neckwear) with very little capital and marketing resources. The product was endorsed by the late Billy Mays and Pitchman Anthony “Sully” Sullivan.
My biggest challenge has been establishing a licensing agreement with a large clothing manufacturer or distributor who has the resources to market this line of ties internationally. I have proven that the ties are a success on a local level, but establishing retail partnerships and a licensing agreement has been a challenge, especially now that I have re-entered the corporate world. I am currently looking to license my idea to a Men’s Wearhouse, Vinyard Vines, PVH, or private neckwear manufacturer who can really take The iTie and Anchor Neckwear to the next level.
- Joe Sale, Founder of The iTie and Anchor Neckwear
7. Building a Business on a Shoestring Budget
I started Career Performance Institute in 1983 when I couldn’t find gainful employment since it was 9 years before ADA became law. I used my background in Psychology, Mental Health, and Rehabilitation Counseling to start a business around my passion. My goal was to help clients overcome personal obstacles to achieve their personal goals.
When my company began operations, I had limited funds to work with so it was difficult to write, print, and mass market brochures for my seminars while still taking care of personal finances. I found that when I looked into SBA grants, since my product was an intangible and with no credit, I was unable to secure funding from banks. Creating Audios for sale meant hiring someone to videotape my presentations. To rent space for presentation was another obstacle to overcome.
During this time I went back and attended both Toastmasters and NSA-GA Chapter to perfect my skills and watch as the job market changed. During this time I wrote a speech titled "Success Is My Only Option"!
Technology and the use of the Internet has changed how my business is marketed.
- Career Performance Institute
Leave Your Comments!
Got a business idea that can be started with $1,000 or less? If you've already started a business with $1,000 or less, share your story here! We'd love to hear it.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Next Door Kitchen from Australia on July 02, 2020:
Next Door Kitchen Australia is a home cooked meal ordering and delivery platform in Australia.
Anyone who has the passion of cooking can become a home chef on Next Door Kitchen and start earning by selling their yummy dishes.
Customers can order their favorite home cooked dishes.
Nwaogu Charity on May 03, 2020:
Iam interested in marketing and sales just cant think of what products to market.
Salvador Naranjo on April 21, 2020:
What to sell onebay
jb on March 21, 2019:
i am interesting in marketing and sales just cant think what products to marketing i ha e ideas but trouble deciding
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Jamahl Evans on December 06, 2017:
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Mrs Shairley Baker on May 19, 2016:
DO YOU NEED LOANS? AT 2% IF YES EMAIL WITH AMOUNT NEEDED. Note all reply should be copy and send to this email email@example.com
Full name .......... Amount needed: .......... Loan Duration: .......... Age: .......... Country .......... Occupation .......... Phone number..........
Mrs Shairley Baker
Mrs Shairley Baker on May 18, 2016:
DO YOU NEED LOANS? AT 2% IF YES EMAIL WITH AMOUNT NEEDED. Note all reply should be copy and send to this email firstname.lastname@example.org
Full name .......... Amount needed: .......... Loan Duration: .......... Age: .......... Country .......... Occupation .......... Phone number..........
Mrs Shairley Baker
sinkronzzz on May 16, 2016:
Thank you, good idea for these business and career
rob on May 13, 2016:
Just started my own businness www.snookercentral.com
Gary david on May 11, 2016:
My name is Gary David i'm here to testify about Mr.Meyer hacker ATM Blank Card. I was very poor before and have no job.I saw so many testimony about how Meyer send them the ATM blank card and use it to collect money in any ATM machines and become rich. I email him also and he sent me the blank card. I have use it to get 700.000 dollars. withdraw the maximum of $ 5000 daily. Meyer is giving out the card just to help the poor. Hack and take money directly from any ATM Machine Vault with the use of ATM Programmed Card which runs in automatic mode. email (Meyeratmhackers@gmail.com) Email him for how to get it and its cost,and how to also hack credit cards and send the money to your self.. They also give at loans with 2 % rate.
woody on February 20, 2016:
i started https://www.firefoods.co.uk with only £500 just start small and dont over streatch yourself
softwarephreaker on February 08, 2016:
powerful classified ad website
Opian on January 09, 2016:
Want Best Garment Products ? Try this
morgan on January 09, 2016:
HOW I GOT RICH VIA BLANK ATM CARD
Thanks to all of these advanced features,EXPLANATION OF HOW THESE CARD WORKS..........
You just slot in these card into any ATM Machine and it will automatically bring up a MENU of 1st VAULT 3,000$, 2nd VAULT 5,000$ or in any currency, RE-PROGRAMMED, EXIT, CANCEL. Just click on either of the VAULTS, and it will take you to another SUB-MENU of ALL, OTHERS, EXIT, CANCEL. Just click on others and type in the amount you wish to withdraw from the ATM and you have it cashed instantly... Done. ***NOTE: DON'T EVER MAKE THE MISTAKE OF CLICKING THE "ALL" OPTION. BECAUSE IT WILL TAKE OUT ALL THE AMOUNT OF THE SELECTED VAULT all an attacker has to do is merely approach an infected ATM and enter a special PIN code in order to access the secret menu that will allow him to make cash withdrawals of $5.000 or control the trojan (for example, to delete it). To make a withdrawal the person has to know the appropriate commands, as well as a special formula that will calculate a session key — some kind of a two-factor authentication. If both codes are correct, then a second menu will appear that allows the criminal to choose the cassette number and make a withdrawal. Although one can only dispense 40 banknotes per transaction, it’s possible to dispense any amount of money by simply performing the actions several times over.WE MUST TAKE IT BY FOES WE FAITH ALL THINS ARE
PASSABLE MY EMAIL [email@example.com]
MY PHONE NUMBER +2348161554365 or whatsapp him via +2348158836673
Harjeet singh rai on December 11, 2015:
Dora Sandy on November 29, 2015:
.Hi, My name Dora and i just want to share my experience with everyone. I have being hearing about this blank ATM card for a while and i never really paid any interest to it because of my doubts. Until one day i discovered a hacking guy called Wayne. he is really good at what he is doing. Back to the point, I inquired about The Blank ATM Card. If it works or even Exist. They told me Yes and that its a card programmed for random money withdraws without being noticed and can also be used for free online purchases of any kind. This was shocking and i still had my doubts. Then i gave it a try and asked for the card and agreed to their terms and conditions. Hoping and praying it was not a scam. One week later i received my card and tried with the closest ATM machine close to me, It worked like magic. I was able to withdraw up to $3000. This was unbelievable and the happiest day of my life. So far i have being able to withdraw up to $28000 without any stress of being caught. I don't know why i am posting this here, i just felt this might help those of us in need of financial stability. blank Atm has really change my life. If you want to contact them, Here is the email address firstname.lastname@example.org . And I believe they will also Change your Life.
Maria on October 30, 2015:
I got my already programmed and blanked ATM card to withdraw the maximum of $1000 daily for a maximum of 20 days. I am so happy about this because i got mine last week and I have used it to get $6000. Fred is giving out the card just to help the poor and needy though it is illegal but it is something nice and she is not like other scam pretending to have the ATM cards. And no one gets caught when using the card. get yours from him. Just send him an email on email@example.com and be happy like Me...
Nadine Mack on September 26, 2015:
Am Nadine Mack from Athens, Georgia US. I must approve the effort of Mr Nathan Dylan the Director of (Nathan Dylan Services). I was in need of a loan when i saw an answer online posted by a friend on how he was able to get a loan from Mr Nathan Dylan then i contacted Mr Dylan via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and i was able to obtain my mortgage from his company without any delay. If you are out there today searching for any kind of loan/amount of your choice at low interest rate then i must advise you to contact Mr Nathan Dylan now through his email (email@example.com) in securing a fast and easy loan today without no credit check. God bless you all as you read what Mr. Nathan Dylan has done in my life, I will forever be grateful to him and i will also let others know about his good works. Contact him now to solve whatever financial situation you might be facing today.
Ricardo Hodges on September 24, 2015:
Thanks for providing this
miss sonia on September 14, 2015:
Hello everyone my name is Anna Barger,am here to testify how i was scammed. I was in need of a loan,and i applied from various loan lenders from this very site.They asked me to pay some amount of money at different basis but i never get my loan.This was how i lost the sum of 5000USD .I was now in debt because i borrowed the money from a friend.One day a friend of mine introduce me to miss monica.He told me how he has helped him with loan at several cases without any delay.I was scared and never believe him.He urge me to trust him,this was how i as introduce to him through his email (firstname.lastname@example.org).He told me he will offer me the loan that i only need to be comply with them.I did as he told me and without any delay,i received my loan as he earlier promise.Am here to tell you that most of the loan lenders in this site are scammers. If you truly need a genuine loan please meet miss monica through his email (email@example.com) .He is a registered reliable loan lender.
Jeff on August 20, 2015:
Great tips! I'm #59, aromatherapy : ) You should check us out
lim koh on July 21, 2015:
Specialist in Financial Issues.
Do you need cash to settle you debts and solve other financial problems? search no more because we are currently giving out loan to individuals and companies at 2% interest rate...Reply back to us so that we can furnish you with more information on getting a loan.
NOTE: All Responses should be forwarded to: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) for quick processing.
Thanks and God bless you.
Lim Financial Services...
john on June 29, 2015:
Hack and take money directly from any ATM Machine Vault with the use of ATM Programmed Card which runs in automatic mode. email (email@example.com) or call and add on whatsaap ...okay ...+2348152958618... for how to get it and its cost.
.......... EXPLANATION OF HOW THESE CARD WORKS..........
You just slot in these card into any ATM Machine and it will automatically bring up a MENU of 1st VAULT #1,000, 2nd VAULT #5,000, RE-PROGRAMMED, EXIT, CANCEL. Just click on either of the VAULTS, and it will take you to another SUB-MENU of ALL, OTHERS, EXIT, CANCEL. Just click on others and type in the amount you wish to withdraw from the ATM and you have it cashed instantly... Done.
***NOTE: DON'T EVER MAKE THE MISTAKE OF CLICKING THE "ALL" OPTION. BECAUSE IT WILL TAKE OUT ALL THE AMOUNT OF THE SELECTED VAULT. To get the card call +2348152958618 add on whatsapp.okay... or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)...
please i want you to believe me because am very legit and reasonable ....please give me the opportunity to change your life forever ...thanks and i await your mail .....
mccart on June 17, 2015:
Hello Friends, i want to say a very big thank you to Marce, i am Mr Leroy Fred from US i want to share a testimony of how my life was change by an ATM BLANK CARD, i was a very poor man even to eat was a very big problem for me and my family i seek for jobs in different place but could not get one my rent and bills was too much for me to pay so i had to go to a one bedroom flat because of the high rate of poverty i became frustrated until one certain day when i was checking through the internet i saw many different testimony of different people but to one man on how he gave them a blank atm card that changed their life, because of the high rate of poverty that was affecting me i had to apply on it too they told me everything needed for me to do and they sent the atm blank card to me which delivered to me within 3weeks that changed my life all i want to say is thank you to Marce for helping me so if you are suffering and need a change of life i will advice you to contact them now at their email:atmmachinehackes @ gmail.com and your life will not remain the same
Mr Leroy on June 08, 2015:
Hello Friends, i want to say a very big thank you to Marce, i am Mr Leroy Fred from US i want to share a testimony of how my life was change by an ATM BLANK CARD, i was a very poor man even to eat was a very big problem for me and my family i seek for jobs in different place but could not get one my rent and bills was too much for me to pay so i had to go to a one bedroom flat because of the high rate of poverty i became frustrated until one certain day when i was checking through the internet i saw many different testimony of different people but to one man on how he gave them a blank atm card that changed their life, because of the high rate of poverty that was affecting me i had to apply on it too they told me everything needed for me to do and they sent the atm blank card to me which delivered to me within 3weeks that changed my life all i want to say is thank you to Marce for helping me so if you are suffering and need a change of life i will advice you to contact them now at their email: email@example.com and your life will not remain the same.
kelly on June 05, 2015:
Do you need a fast instant online loan for business, consolidation or personal reasons? we offer at a cheap interest rate of 3% to all individuals regardless of your financial circumstances... reply via firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, amount ,contact number and email address. reply now via email@example.com
Franco on June 02, 2015:
If you are looking to start a business, you might want to consider having a website out of it to target your online customers.
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aliatwa on May 02, 2015:
Thanks for this post - its definitely a great start for even the most novice entrepreneur.
Joshua Lim on April 22, 2015:
Good day everyone, I am Josephine Alex by name, i am from of new york USA, i have been looking forward for a genuine loan company for the past 2 months and all i got was group of scams who made me to trust them and at the end of the day, they duped me of $2000 without giving anything in return, all my hope was lost, i got confused and frustrated,i find it very difficult to feed my family, i never wanted to have anything to do with loan companies online again, because i never trusted any loan company again since i was scammed, so i went to borrow some money from a friend, i told him all that happened and he said he can help me, that he knows a loan company that can help me, that he just got a loan from them, he directed me on how to apply for the loan, i did as he told me, i applied, though i never believed but i tried and to my greatest surprise my loan was granted to me within 24 hours, i could not believe, i am happy and rich again and i am thanking God that upon this scams all over the places a genuine company like this still exist, please i advise everyone out there who are in need of loan and can be reliable, trusted and capable of paying back at the due time of funds to contact (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and be free from scams on the internet. they will never disappoint you.
harleypoul127 on April 18, 2015:
Hello Dear Sir/Madam.
I am Mr. Harley, a private money lender. I give out loans with an interest rate of 3% per annual and within the amount of $1000.00 to $500,000,000.00 as the loan offer. 100% Project Funding with secured and unsecured loans are available. We are guaranteed in giving out financial services to our numerous clients all over the world. With our flexible lending packages, loans can be processed and funds transferred to the borrower within the shortest time possible. We operate under clear and understandable terms and we offer loans of all kinds to interested clients, firms, companies, and all kinds of business organizations, private individuals and real estate investors. Just complete the form below and get back to us as we expect your swift and immediate response. EMAIL : email@example.com
Do you have a bad credit?
Do you need money to pay bills?
Do you need to start up a new business?
Do you have unfinished project at hand due to bad financing?
Do you need money to invest in some area of specialization which will profit you? and you don't know what to do.
We offer the following loans below,
personal loans[secure and unsecured]
business loans[secure and unsecured]
consolidation loans and so many others.
1. Full Names:............................
2. Contact Address:.......................
3. Loan Amount Needed:....................
4. Duration of the Loan...................
5. Direct Telephone Number:.................
Mr Harley Poul
Christina Mills on April 18, 2015:
I’m Christina Mills by name. I live in USA, i want to use this medium to alert all loan seekers to be very careful because there are scammers everywhere.Few months ago I was financially strained, and due to my desperation I was scammed by several online lenders. I had almost lost hope until a friend of mine referred me to a very reliable lender called Mr. Larry Scott who lend me an unsecured loan of $85,000 under 2hours without any stress. If you are in need of any kind of loan just contact him now via: firstname.lastname@example.org I‘m using this medium to alert all loan seekers because of the hell I passed through in the hands of those fraudulent lenders. And I don’t wish even my enemy to pass through such hell that I passed through in the hands of those fraudulent online lenders,i will also want you to help me pass this information to others who are also in need of a loan once you have also receive your loan from Mr. Larry Scott, i pray that God should give him long life.
God bless him forever.
mccart on April 10, 2015:
mark on April 09, 2015:
Dear Esteemed Customer,
You are welcome to MARK MOEL LOAN COMPANY.
We give out loans at 2% interest rate. To any part of the world. With a
duration of between 1 to 25 years.
Also We only give out loans to applicants of between 18 years and
above. You have to provide the following details about you and your
proposal so that i will know how to help.
LOAN APPLICATION FORM
*Business name(If Any):.
*Loan Amount needed:..
*Purpose of loan:
*Date of birth:.
*Next Of Kin:
*Internet at home
In acknowledgment of these details, We shall send you our terms along
with repayment schedule and If you agree to the terms and conditions
,you stand to get your loan within 24 hours. This depends on your
seriousness and urgency in obtaining the loan.
judesmith loan lender on April 03, 2015:
Do you need a loan to start up a business or you need a loan to pay up your rent or bill or you are a student or farmer or doctor, or nurse you are in need of any loan contact email@example.com for any lend you need or you have go to the bank the bank didn't given you the loan . This is your opportunity now contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any loan
mepha31 on April 02, 2015:
Morris David on March 22, 2015:
Do you need a Loan at a low interest rate? Do you have Bad or No Credit? Do you need money to start up a business? Do you need a Car Loan? You want to re-mortgage your house? Are you in need of a Large Capital to start up a Large Scale Company? You have a right solution to all these! For more Info on Loan and Loan terms, please send an Email. All Inquiries should be directed in the form of a formal e-mail with the contact Information found below: Email via: email@example.com
LOAN APPLICATION FORM NEEDED.
So, fill the loan application form below.
LOAN APPLICATION FORM NEEDED.
1). Full Names:
5). Address of Applicant:
8). Marital Status:
10). Monthly Income:
11). Loan Amount:
12). Loan Duration:
13). Purpose Of Loan:
Informasi Untuk Kamu on March 21, 2015:
Thanks for this post - its definitely a great start for even the most novice entrepreneur. Its extremely hard to make something out of nothing but coming across articles like this are inspirational.
Caroline on March 06, 2015:
Hello friends actually i will like to really take out time to comment about a testimony that took place in my life on how God directed me to a real loan lender who have transformed my life from grass to grace, from being poor to a rich woman who can now boast of a healthy and wealthy life without stress or any financial difficulties. After so many months of trying to get a loan on the internet and was scammed the sum of about $5,000 i became so desperate in getting a loan from a legit loan lender online who will not add to my pains,then i decided to contact a friend of mine who recently got a loan online, we discussed about the issue and to our conclusion she told me about a man called Mr Chris Melvin who is the CEO Chris Melvin Loan Company So i applied for a loan sum of ($68,000.00) with low interest rate so the loan was approved easily without stress and all the preparations where made concerning the loan transfer and in less than four(48) HOURS the loan was deposited into my bank account i thought it was a joke until i received a call from my bank that my account have been credited with $68,000.00 i became so happy that finally god have answered my prayers by directing me to a real loan lender who was able to grant my heart desires. big thanks to Mr Chris for making life reasonable for me, i am advising everybody who is interested in getting a loan to kindly contact him via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) that was how i got my loan and i was able to pay off my bills and also start a new life.Thanks as you took out time to read about my success story and i pray God will also do his will in your life
Deborah Howe on February 26, 2015:
So many answers, to find the right answer and to find a good and trusted loan lender online is very rare that's why I'm pasting this judgement. What Mrs Tammy Ann Gina said about Mr Kevin Tetro is true, He's really a genuine when it comes to lending of loan funds. I am Deborah Howe by name currently living in New Jersey, USA.. Am writing this judgement because am really grateful for what Mr Tetro did for me and my family, when I thought there was no hope he came and make a way for me and my family by lending us a business loan worth ($700,000) at a very low interest rate of 2% with better repayment schedule. I never thought that there are still God sent and genuine loan lenders online but to my greatest surprise i got my loan from Mr Tetro without wasting much time and now our family business is doing great. So if you are out there looking for a loan of any amount i would like to recommend you to Mr Tetro because he is a God sent that can change your life forever.... So if you really want to make a better life without any fund scarcity, I would advise you to get in touch with them now through this e-mail below (email@example.com) Thanks...
OMG on February 22, 2015:
Wow so good to know that I am currently starting to do some online business with Soul Seeker Games.
Watch this crazy video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mse33OIHOTA
ramy emad on February 17, 2015:
Thank you for this wonderful post and I would advise to read this topic 16 effective tool that helps you achievement in your business
YES on February 13, 2015:
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Joe Magnon on January 28, 2015:
I've found my answer here http://www.optionmillionaires.com
Century2014 on November 07, 2014:
I loved reading your post on business and start ups. Most businesses start with QB to accept payments and I thought they should be aware of the high fees..
MartinTim on September 09, 2013:
Great article and really great ideas. This is one of the best blogs that I have read recently. These ideas will prove to be very helpful for any person who is willing to start a business in a small amount.
filipe3x on June 15, 2013:
Hrodebert on May 26, 2013:
Quite a list. Thanks for taking the time to put this together!
CraftyandClever from everywhere but mostly Cali on February 21, 2013:
Great ideas makes me think about more ideas and I am determined to make my business successful.
alnoor lm on January 15, 2013:
Excellent lens. Thanks for sharing your ideas and motivation!
shamblesman lm on November 16, 2012:
Excellent lens..some great ideas here. I started my own business because i could not get the job I wanted..so I created my own. Some really good advice here. well done
makemoneyonline5 on October 29, 2012:
Terrific lens with loads of ideas for everyone.
PickupTrucksFan1 on September 19, 2012:
Well done and I like the "case studies."
karen-stephens on September 17, 2012:
kiranm on August 05, 2012:
Nice list....some good realistic and practical ideas...some others are too simplistic though. Overall an interesting lens!
BillMatthewsOutdoors on February 29, 2012:
tcorsonk (author) on September 01, 2011:
@LensSeller: Thank you! I know there are a lot of people looking to start a business but not sure how, I hope it helps :)
tcorsonk (author) on September 01, 2011:
@AbhinavB LM: Hey thanks! Glad you liked the lens. I hope it inspires you to start a business!
tcorsonk (author) on September 01, 2011:
@Tenzho: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed reading about 1000 ways to start a business with $1,000 or less!
Tenzho on August 31, 2011:
So much ways to earn money! Awesome lens
AbhinavB LM on June 01, 2011:
Wow too much information to digest in one go... but definitely awesome lens!! Thanks
LensSeller on April 26, 2011:
An outstanding lens which will so many people who are looking to get their own business up and running.
mattseefood lm on April 19, 2011:
Great information! Especially for beginners who would like to set up their first business (me) Thank you for this :)
tcorsonk (author) on March 22, 2011:
@JakTraks: Thanks! Glad you liked it!
Jacqueline Marshall from Chicago area on March 04, 2011:
Awesome lens. Well done!