If you want to start your own small business, but don’t have a huge budget for doing so, there are a wide variety of businesses you can start with even the most shoestring of budgets. While they may not earn you enough to live off of immediately, they do all have the potential to grow into a healthy source of income. With enough hard work, persistence and a solid business plan covering all the financial bases, you can have your business up and running in good time.

Here are 5 small business ideas that don’t take a huge upfront investment.

1. Consulting

Becoming a consultant is fairly simple if you have a degree of expertise in a certain area. Getting your business started is generally just a matter of making a list of everyone you know that could use your services and then calling them and offering them. There is little, if any, start-up capital involved in being a consultant.

If you simply know more about a given topic or area than most people do, then you already have the tools necessary to be a consultant. Generally speaking, consultants are like gurus or guides that help others build expertise in a certain area, but in other cases consultants are more like freelancers that actually perform certain tasks. Which type of consultant you become will depend on how comfortable you are teaching others in your area of expertise.

2. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing requires at least some level of expertise, but it is also fairly easy to acquire. There are a number of online courses available, as well as a number of opportunities to start small and work your way up. There are almost always other people working on getting their small businesses up and running as well that can often help you gain experience and build up a client list.

When you are first starting out, bartering with other small business owners or startups can be a great way to get your foot in the door. Most people know how to navigate their way around social media and social media can be a veritable gold mine of marketing opportunities, but many businesses simply do not have the time to manage their own accounts. Managing the social media accounts of a few businesses is a great way to start build up a thriving digital marketing business.

3. Website Development

Like digital marketing, website development does take some skill and expertise, but it is also becoming much easier to gain. As web building platforms become more and more user friendly, it is becoming easier and easier to learn the basic coding skill necessary to build even the most sophisticated websites.

In fact, building a fully functioning website today requires far more time and energy than it does advanced skills. You can start small by creating platforms on websites like WordPress that have a number of pre-made templates available and work your way up from there. There are also a number of online coding classes available. Whether you learn first before you seek out clients, or seek out clients looking for very simple sites and develop more advanced skills as you go, there is really no right or wrong way to get started.

4. Bookkeeping

You don’t need to be a CPA to be a bookkeeper, but you do need to be good with numbers and detail oriented. The stakes are a little bit higher with bookkeeping than with digital marketing or web development because you are directly dealing with people’s money. You want to be sure you have some well-developed core competencies before taking on paying clients.

Conversely, there are a number of services you can offer when first starting out that aren’t actually dealing directly with money, such as billing or invoicing. There are even a number of free online tools you can use such as Sighted.com or Due.com to get your business up and running with.

5. Cleaning Services

If computer skills are not your forte, you can still turn a little bit of sweat equity into a thriving business. You don’t even need a computer or any equipment. While some cleaning services will provide their own cleaning products and supplies, there are many businesses and individuals that already have them. You can start off by marketing your services to businesses or individuals that already have their own cleaning supplies and work your way up from there.

Final Word

In today’s world, there is almost no limit to the kinds of small businesses you can start with little to no upfront capital. These are just a few ideas, but there are literally hundreds more where these came from. Some people prefer to work from home in front of a computer, while others prefer to get out and get their hands dirty. No matter what kind of work you enjoy doing, there is almost always a way to turn it into a booming, thriving business.