Starting a business for under $500.

Start A Service Business For Under $500

For many people, being their own boss is the ultimate dream. Being able to work when, where and how you like truly is a wonderful thing. The trouble is that starting a business is expensive. Well for most businesses at least. Believe it or not, there are quite a few businesses that you can start for under 500 dollars. Take a look at our list and see if you can find one that interests you.

Service Businesses For Under 500 Dollars

A service business can be one of the more affordable businesses to star. That said, if you are looking to start a business for under 500 bucks, you are going to have to make some sacrifices. Keep that in mind form the get go. You will not be able to do things like the entrepreneur who has tens of thousands of dollars to work with. No, you are going to have to hustle a bit, but it may be worth it in the end.

Thousands of people start businesses each year for very little money and wind up doing quite well. Will you be able to do it full time right away? No, you will probably have to continue to work another job while your new business grows. Will you be able to buy all new equipment? No, you will probably need to look to the used market. These are a few sacrifices that you can make but if you want to start a business for under $500, this is what you have to do.

Having said all of that, let’s take a look at some businesses that you can get under way for under 500 dollars.

Maid Service

Maid business under 500 dollars.

People will always pay other people to do the things that they do not want to do. Cleaning their homes is high on the list. Even in a recession, people are very reluctant to cut their maid services loose because they are simply too lazy to clean themselves. You can take advantage of this and earn a great living in a nearly recession proof line of work.

So what do you need to start a maid or house cleaning service?

  • Cleaning Supplies – $50
    Glass cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, disinfectants, etc. Just a lot of basic cleaners that can be had for well under 50 dollars.
  • Cleaning Equipment – $200
    You will need a decent vacuum which can be had for a little over 100 dollars. Then add to this a broom, floor sweeper, a mop, mop bucket and various rags and cleaning brushes
  • Logo – $10
    Head to Fiverr and get a logo made for under 10 dollars. It will make your company more memorable.
  • Business Cards – $30
    You can get 1000 double sided business cards for under $30. You will go through them quickly so get at least 1000 to start.
  • Invoices – $50
    Stay away from the cheap invoices from the office supply store. They will end up costing you more than the carbon copy invoices that you can get from an online printer. A good invoice will make you look like a pro.
  • Uniforms – $100
    You might be surprised at just how cheap a custom uniform can be. It will set your customers at ease and make you look more legitimate.

There you have it 440 dollars more or less and you are in business. Now all that is left to do is hustle to get the work. Tell all of your contacts that you are in business, advertise for free on Craigslist and hand out those business cards door to door.

Carpet Cleaning Company

Carpet cleaning business.

Carpet cleaning is another business that you only need 500 dollars or less to start. Just like with a maid service, people do not want to clean their own carpets and probably do not know how to do so anyway.

Now, those big huge truck-mounted machines are going to set you back tens of thousands but there is another way to get into the business and it gets you into a niche market. You can be a dry carpet cleaner.

Now, let’s look at what you will need.

  • Carpet Cleaning Equipment – $250
    Floor buffer for dry carpet cleaning, a few carpet bonnets, carpet rake and a vacuum. Buy the carpet rake and bonnets new from a carpet cleaning supply store for around $50. Then buy the vacuum and the floor buffer used on Craigslist for another $200. You just need $250 for all of your equipment but you will need to be frugal.
  • Carpet Shampoo – $20
    Look for a non residual carpet shampoo at a local carpet supply store. You can buy more specialty chemicals later, but this is all that you need for now to get you going.
  • Logo – $10
    Fiverr is your friend here and you can buy a great logo for under 10 bucks. Then you can use it on your cards, uniforms and invoices for a pro look.
  • Business Cards – $30
    Got to have them as they remain the cheapest and most effective form of marketing. Get 1000 double sided from a local Staples fur under 30 dollars.
  • Invoices – $50
    Get them custom printed with your logo. This is cheaper than you think and you should be able to get around 250 carbon copy invoices from an online printer for this price.
  • Uniforms – $100
    If you want people to take you seriously, you need a uniform. Look online at places like Queensboro.

So at this point, you are in it for about 460 dollars. This of course leaves you no room for advertising but like any other business started on the cheap, you will have to hustle. No business for under 500 dollars is going to have roo to pay advertising. You will need to post ads on Craigslist, ask your friends to spread the word and pass out those business cards.

Lawn Care Service

Lawn care business.

Provided you have a truck or SUV, this is another great service business that you can start on the cheap. Here is what you will need.

  • Lawn Care Equipment – $350
    You might already have all of this stuff but if not, you can pick up a mower for around $200, an edger for under $100 and some assorted clippers and gas cans for another $50. Get the basics now, you can upgrade to a fancier model when you can afford the zero turn mower financing payment.
  • Business Cards – $30
    Every business has to have them and they will serve as your only print advertisement so get at least 1000 of them. Have a quote section on the back of the card so you can write down an estimate and put the card on doors.
  • Invoices – $50
    You have to bill the clients and you should invest in some custom invoices online. They will look better and can actually be had for cheaper than the generic invoices from office supply stores.

That is it. You just need a few things to start a lawn care service. You can do a logo and uniform if you like but this is not as expected in the lawn care industry as it is in others. So, $430 and you are in business. Even less if you already have the lawn equipment.

Now, as with every other low cost service startup, it is time to hustle. Get out there and put your company name on the map.

Posted by
James Car

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.