4 Online Businesses You Can Start at Little or NO Cost


If you've had a chance to wrestle your phone out of your kid's hands (thanks Youtube) and check your Facebook in the past year and a half, you may have noticed a major shift in your friends' posts. So many people are ditching traditional employment for more creative, flexible means of income- online entrepreneurship!

Seemingly overnight, women are bidding adieu to the demands of their 9-5, or saying adios to days that are solely dedicated to wrangling the kiddos, in favor of chasing their passions and pursuing success on their own terms. But conceiving a low-cost, lucrative online business model can pose a challenge. You don't want to sink all of your savings into launching a home-based biz, especially when the prosperity of your endeavor hinges on two parts hard work and a dash of luck. That's why I've created a list of viable online businesses that you could start with little to no start-up costs. 

Create a Facebook Shop

01. Start A Facebook Shop Selling A Unique Product

Do you create funny chore charts for your kids or monthly worksheets to manage your household? Sell them! Outside of the creative energy spent, Printables are a popular option that can be developed for free. Simply, spend a bit of time creating a theme for your items, set up a Facebook business page, and create a shop. Eventually, you can add a coaching segment to your business that will generate even more income! 

Interested in capitalizing on your creative hobby? Make your creations available as pre-order items- meaning, that your customers must actually purchase their desired product, therefore covering the development costs, before you actually make it. Etsy is also a great place to sell unique crafts. When you've developed a substantial following and reliable organic traffic- move your business to an independent website to truly legitimize your offering. 

The cost for creating a Facebook Page and integrating a shop is entirely free- the only expense is a 2.9% + .30 cent transaction fee on each purchase- which you would pay using any of the major credit card processors (like PayPal or Stripe).  

02. Become A Virtual Assistant

Become a Virtual Assistant

Perfect for women with administrative backgrounds, this option allows you to work for yourself or a larger Virtual Assistance Firm. Spend your days aiding entrepreneurs and small business owners with various tasks from the comfort of your home. Virtual Assistants can focus on anything from customer service and copy development to basic graphic design and client acquisition services. Whatever demands you think business owners are facing, offer to solve them. If you're interested in working with a VA team, try joining Virtual Assistant Facebook Groups and begin making connections with established VAs. Want to start an enterprise that is solely yours, you'll need to have a functional and attractive website and active social media accounts. There are tons of awesome, inexpensive website templates (including mine) that will give you the professional, polished look you need to be taken seriously by prospective clients. Expect to spend somewhere around $200 to achieve a beautiful and legitimate online presence: including website, hosting fees, unique domain, and email services. 

Start Social Media Management Business

03. Offer Social Media Management  

Have you established a strong online following for your personal Facebook or Instagram accounts? Are people pinning the heck out of your Pinterest Boards? Business owners will pay you to generate the same results for them! Social media posting is integral to the long term success of most businesses- I mean, how will people know you exist if you aren't telling them- so companies and fellow entrepreneurs are willing to pay big bucks for consistent and engaging content. Having active and prospering social media accounts is an essential part of solidifying your business- good news, this is entirely free. Start a business page where you share Social Media tips. Join a few groups where your ideal clients will hang out and share your knowledge. If you have a bit of money to invest, create a website where you will eventually share case studies (how you improved client's businesses) and begin blogging. Blogs are a great way to generate new leads for your services. 

04. Turn Your Professional Background into A Coaching Program

Do you have expert knowledge in a certain field? Bring that to the masses. Whether you're a college graduate with specialized business knowledge, a therapist hoping to offer sessions away from the couch, or a parent who has created helpful, effective methods for establishing a healthy and happy home- people are in need of your help. Coaching is a relationships business (in my opinion- all businesses are relationship driven, but that's a post for another day). To get started you'll want to start connecting with people locally and virtually that display an interest in your focus. Establish authentic relationships with these people- don't just join the group and begin plugging your offer OR seek friendships solely to pitch- it will have a negative effect on the success of your business. DO, however, share with the group that you are interested in starting a business offering x,y, and z. Ask for input- this will help you create offers that will be relevant and valuable to your target audience. Once you've got a bit of a following you can begin taking clients through Facebook- this should not be long term. In order to take your business, and profits, to the next level you'll need a website that screams YOU. While everyone is motivated by emotion when making purchases, those looking for coaches are especially invested in making sure the coach is a good personality fit- a branded website will show them exactly who you are. Again, if you opt for a designer made template option (which will provide you with an elevated, legitimate look) then you should anticipate spending somewhere around $200 to get things going. :) 

Basic Tips:

  • Share your endeavor with your friends list- from start to launch. People will want to support you!
  • Consider the amount of time you actually have to invest in your passion project. Is this something that you want to do full-time? Are you really only looking for a side-hustle? While you can start a business quickly, creating content and making sales means that long hours are ahead of you, regardless of which option you choose. 
  • Are you doing this for money or because you love it? Running a business is not for the faint of heart- there will be times where you've overwhelmed, discouraged, and burnt out- in those moments it will be passion that keeps you going. If there's no passion, the probability of success is greatly diminished. 

Did you make it through this long post? Did this help you suss out a potential business endeavor? I hope so- get in touch if you'd like to chat about your business ideas (courtney@westoakcreative.com).