A person with a dog walking business

No Loan Startups

Starting a business is one of the most difficult things that you can do. That said, it is also one of the most rewarding things that you can do. Taking control of your own destiny by going out on your own might just be one of the best things you ever do, but can you do it without going into debt. Yes you can.

Go Into Business For Under $500

Let’s assume that you have $500 that you can use to setup your business. That doesn’t buy much but it can get you going if you are willing to hustle. There actually are a lot of side businesses that you can get started with that much money or even less. Here are just a few of them.

1. Maid Services

There is one sure fire way to make money. Do something that people do not want to do themselves. Maid services will always be in demand because people are messy and they hate to clean up their own messes.

As far as overhead goes, assuming that you have a vehicle, all that you need are a few pieces of cleaning equipment and some chemicals. A vacuum cleaner, a mop, a broom, a duster, washable cleaning rags and some chemicals and you are all set. Think about using organic cleaners which will allow you to advertise your services as all natural. It is a good selling point.

To advertise your business, throw up a simple website using wordpress and plug your business on websites like Thumbtack, yelp and even Craigslist. You can also look into Google Ads but be careful, it gets expensive quickly.

2. Web Design

It is not as hard as you think to go into the web design business and you do not even need to know how to program. If you have a basic understanding of how websites work, you are miles ahead of the average person.

Simply learn one platform and you are all set. WordPress is one of the best to learn because it is very user friendly, has a ton of free and low cost templates available and is already used to power about a quarter of the internet.

For the best results, purchase a number of WordPress templates and become familiar with them. You can then easily put together a custom website in a matter of hours. Templates go from $20 to $50 and an assembled website can easily get $300 or more. You can see the potential for earning as long as you can get the business.

To advertise your business on the cheap, check out websites like Fiverr and spread the word on Facebook. There is always someone looking for a business website that has absolutely no idea on how to get the task done.

3. Scrap Metal Recycling

If you have a truck, you can get into this business for absolutely nothing. If you do not have a truck, get 400 dollars in cash and buy a trailer off of Craigslist to pull around.

Once you are set to go, place ads on Craigslist for free scrap metal removal. People are always looking to get rid of some junk. Things like water heaters, old air conditioner units and all kinds of other scrap. The trash service won’t take it, so you can step in and make some money.

Make the most of your time by making up pickup routes to cut down on time and gas usage. Once you have picked up your scrap, take it to a local recycler who will pay you cash for your metal by the pound. It is as simple as that.

4. Carpet Cleaning

Just like with maid services, people are always going to get things dirty, in this case the carpet. They do not want to clean it or simply can not clean it themselves. This is where you come in.

If you have no experience cleaning carpet, you might be advised to invest in some basic carpet cleaning educational material. It will set you back around 100 dollars but it can be very beneficial in getting you off on the right foot.

Now that you have the training, you need the equipment. You probably already have a vacuum, now you just need the heavy equipment. A used extractor or portable steam cleaning unit can be had for around 400 dollars on Craigslist. Pick one up and then practice on your own home first. Once you are comfortable, start advertising.

You will have to start out cheap and then raise your prices as you gain regular customers. Advertise on Thumbtack or just stick with Craigslist. $15 to $20 a room is a good starting point. You can go up from there with experience.

5. Dog Walking

If you have a car, this is another business that you can start for free. All that you need to have is transportation and a love for animals.

Getting started is easy. Just head over to Rover.Com and sign up. You will complete your profile and they will then review it. The review will also include a background check and should take about 5 to 7 days. Once complete, you are all set and can start receiving offers.

Rover does take a portion of your money but it is worth it to be exposed to the large volume of potential clients. The cut they take will range from 20 to 25 percent but this still leaves you enough money to make a fulltime income.

After starting your business as a dog walker, you can even expand your services. Some people even make additional money by taking dogs into their own home.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, 5 businesses that you can easily start without a loan, for $500 cash or less. They are great ways to dip your toes into self employment. They require a very minimal risk of losing money and they can be performed in your spare time. This allows you to keep your full time job and make some good side money. If your business proves successful, you may even be able to quit that full time job altogether.

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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.