It has been said that 9 out of every 10 startups fail. This is an extraordinarily frightening figure. Whether this is accurate or not, it’s a good reminder that starting your own business is hard, very hard. Entrepreneurs that fail, however, are not failed entrepreneurs. One of the greatest assets in business is to learn from failure, quickly, and apply those lessons to future endeavors.
What follows is a list of startup ideas that you could launch tomorrow, with little capital and a small time investment. Potentially, you could go wild with these businesses and run them into the ground without damaging your wallet, your ego, or your reputation. Get a head start on your big idea: learn from the success or failure of a small one.
All you really need is a regular location. Market to a particular professional group, charge an entrance fee, and make sure you’re providing some kind of recurring value. As a bonus, you might just meet some very useful people.
With the only initial outlay being cleaning products or specialist equipment, it shouldn’t be too complex to turn a profit from a specialist cleaning service. A pressure washer would be a good place to start: you could clean cars, driveways, gutter and more.
Gift Wrapping / Hamper Making
If you’ve got a gift for present buying, then putting together hampers for special occasions could be a viable option. Purchase enough for a few different basket options, take plenty of nice photos, and then wait until your first order to get the stock. Take some inspiration from gift websites like Think Geek or Toxic Fox, and think about unusual or niche products to include or personalize.
For particularly talented bakers, this is a no-brainer. You should be able to work out your initial costs easily, start taking orders quickly, and build up a sensible-sized customer base in no time. Marketing is very important here, twee bakeries are a dime a dozen. Find an angle.
Artistic talents aren’t something all of us are blessed with, but anybody with a talent for design should consider selling their services. In graphic design, you will live and die by the quality of your work. Put together a great portfolio, and then reach out to local clients that are in desperate need of a face lift.
Social Media Accounts Manager
A bad Twitter feed is very bad indeed. In fact, whatever the platform, poorly curated posts can tarnish the reputation of a brand. Lend a helping hand to business that seem to be struggling, and take on their social marketing.
People have junk, and you could sell it. It’s no secret that eBay is time consuming and at times frustrating, but it is also a potential goldmine. Lots of customers will be willing to split the revenue with you if you take on the work of selling for them.
The outlay is a little more here. You’ll need to order stock, keep a careful track of sales, and stay on top of delivery. Nevertheless, this is all good training for a future e-commerce business. Come up with a few eye-catching designs, and spend some time marketing to a small audience online.
Put those good organization skills to use. People hate planning big events, and all the stress that comes with it. Take care of everything, and your relieved customers will be happy to compensate you well.
Not the most glamorous of tasks, but a noble one nonetheless. From basic lawn mowing and weeding, to planting and growing vegetable, gardening services can be hugely popular with the elderly, those without green fingers, or people who are just too busy to do it themselves. Invest in some tools, hire a van for the first few jobs, and see how big you can grow.
With a bit of forward planning and a small initial investment, you could launch any of these small businesses in a few months. You might fail, and if you do, you’ll have a valuable set of lessons to utilize in the future. If you succeed, then you’ve found a way to secure more capital for future projects. You may even decided that your new tiny business could grow into a much larger one.