15 Businesses You Can Start With $5,000 or Less

Are you serious about starting a business, but lack the big bucks? Before you take out a bank loan, consider that you can start a number of businesses for as little as several hundred dollars. We’ve compiled a list of 15 proven businesses that you can start for $5,000 or less in overhead. Some require little outlay, but lots of time; others require more energy; still others don’t require much at all. One of the business ideas below might just be your next big thing.

1. Virtual Assisting

Source: iStock

Virtual assistant | Source: iStock

Virtual assistants help clients with a variety of projects from their home offices. Tasks may be administrative, but can also relate to marketing, Web design, IT, and other tasks. Virtual assistants communicate with their clients via Internet, phone, or fax.

Overhead: Your computer, phone system, and Internet connection are your lifeblood in this industry. If you already own the relevant machines, make sure you have the means to pay for good connections on a monthly basis.

Many virtual assistants come from a non-virtual (on-the-job) background. If you’re interested in education and coaching to launch your business, venues such as Virtual Assistance U. charge around $1,500 for complete training.

Recurring expenses: A good Internet and phone connection. Subscription fees for job-finding services such as ELance.

Time/energy requirement:
You will need a solid business plan, marketing strategy, and training. At the beginning, you may work between 14-18 hours per day.

Income potential: Most virtual assistants make $31-39/hour, according to this survey.