Sam Walton was an ex-retail employee who got the idea to buy a little five and dime store in a small town in Arkansas. That small beginning eventually became Walmart, a global giant that today has over 11,000 stores.
Sometimes entrepreneurs dream about an aha, world-changing tech business. They struggle to come up with a unique idea.
But the most enduring businesses often begin as simple ideas.
8 Easy Businesses to Start Today
As the Sam Walton example shows, even a simple retail store can hold huge promise if you work hard. Here are eight examples of businesses that are easy to start.
If you have some basic design skills and access to a computer and graphic design software, one option is to start your own graphic design business. Focus on something simple like logo design.
Set up a website using a low cost platform like Wix, Weebly or GoDaddy to showcase samples of your work. You may also want to offer your services on freelance marketplace sites.
But you’re not limited to the online world. Target businesses in your local area through your local chamber of commerce and local listings. Then build repeat business through word of mouth.
House and Pet Sitter
If you’re seeking a business with virtually no upfront cost, then house sitting and pet sitting services are one option. You don’t need any training or equipment — just be responsible.
Offer your services through online classifieds or marketplaces like Care.com and Rover. Put out flyers and touch base with potential referral sources such as veterinarians and realtors.
Virtual assistants help businesses and individuals with online administrative work. Tasks include helping clients manage email correspondence, schedule calendar appointments and update social media accounts. For tools you need an internet connection and a computer.
Freelance platforms like Upwork and Freelancer can be a source of new clients. Create your own website and use social media for marketing, too.
Offer services ranging from grocery shopping to picking up dry cleaning. You don’t need any training or capital to get started. But unless you live in an area with reliable public transportation, you’ll probably need a vehicle.
You’ll also need a way to market your services. One option is to offer your services on errand marketplaces like TaskRabbit, Cheaver or ErrandTribe, or in local classifieds.
Anyone can open a shop on e-commerce marketplaces like eBay, Meylah or Amazon. If you find a good wholesaler or other source for quality products, create your own niche business with an online store.
The cost can be under $50 a month for the selling platform, plus transaction fees. Then purchase the goods you plan on selling and some shipping materials. Since it’s online commerce, you don’t need to start with a lot of inventory, either.
Have an artistic eye and like to take pictures? Consider starting a photography business.
There are several different niches including baby, wedding or event photographer. You can even take photos and sell them online as stock images.
A camera, a computer, good lighting and some editing software are the primary tools.
If you have any expertise in an academic subject area, you could offer tutoring services.
As a tutor, you work one-on-one with clients to help them understand specific subject matter. You can even focus on things like SAT prep.
If you don’t have enough of a potential client base in your immediate area, offer your service to online clients. Use a free video platform such as Skype or Hangouts to hold tutoring sessions.
If you like to shoot video, YouTube and basic Vimeo accounts are free and easy to set up. And if you get enough regular viewers, you can build an entire business around the platform, earning advertising revenues.
There’s no shortage of video subject matter. Businesses have been built on everything from funny cat videos to DIY home improvement tutorials.
Once you start your channel and post content regularly, focus on building your network online.
Finally, as with starting any new business, don’t forget to check your state and local authorities to see if your chosen business requires any special licenses. Be sure to also check regarding any sales tax implications. If you’re adopting a name for your business make sure it is legally available. After you do your legal homework, get started!