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Laura Cattano went from working in a restaurant to managing her own business in less than a year and spent “next to nothing” to get started.
Her biggest initial startup costs? Replacing an old computer and spending about $400 to create an LLC. Since then, Cattano’s client list for her professional organizing business has grown to be “in the thousands” and multiple major fashion magazines have featured her work.
“My advice is to go out there and do it,” Cattano said. “Starting a business is not easy. It’s a lot of hard work, but if you take your work seriously, people will notice.”
If you’re looking to start your own business, think about what skills you have, career experts said.
“Ask yourself, ‘What’s my passion?'” career and life coach Deborah Brown-Volkman said. “People want control over their career, and so creating their own business for under $1,000 gives them the ability to test it out, to see what works and what doesn’t.”
Experts say once you feel you’re onto something, purchase some sort of business insurance, which will likely be a big chunk of your costs. Basic business insurance usually ranges from $200 to $500 a month, varying depending on location.
If you have a skill, teach it. The average wage of a tutor is $17.29 per hour, according to PayScale.
2. Dog walker
Love pets and getting some exercise? Dog walking is an easy business to start. Pet business insurance will make up the majority of your expenses, which usually cost $200 to 400 a month, according to one pet business insurance provider. Dog walkers typically make $8 to $20 an hour, with an average wage of $12.03.
3. Professional organizer
If you have a knack for turning clutter into cleanliness, why not try turning that into cash? The median hourly salary for a professional organizer is $25.
4. Fashion stylist
A great place to start is by styling a few of your friends for a party, and then encouraging them to tell their friends, career experts said. Soon you could have your own fashion business and be making a median of $15 an hour to above $40 once as you gain experience.
Multilingual entrepreneurs, this business is for you. Whether you want to take up projects people post online, approach companies or start-ups that do a lot of international business or check local job postings, there are multiple ways to start building your own translation business. Translators make a median income of $20 per hour.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent with a knack for photography, creating family portraits or photographing events for people in your neighborhood could be the start of a fruitful business. The trick here is that you’ll probably need to have a nice camera, a tripod and equipment insurance — the total cost of which will most likely exceed $1,000. If you can get a deal on a good camera at a lower price or already have the equipment, then the start-up costs are low. Freelance photographers make a median of $24 per hour.
7. Errand runner
Lots of people don’t have the time to run errands daily, and a local errand service business could be a great solution. Errand runners make about $11 per hour.
From video shoots to audio interviews or speeches, there’s a lot out there that needs to be transcribed. If you’re a good typist with a few extra hours and a computer, you could start your own transcription service. The median hourly wage for transcribers is $15.
9. Freelance writer
Companies and content websites need good content, and you want to start your own business. Consider starting your own business as a freelance writer. Freelance writers typically are paid by the post or project, so wages can vary.
10. Jewelry maker
Jewelry makers would most likely make money on sales and projects, as opposed to hourly wages. Platforms for selling homemade goods like Etsy are a benchmark of what you could expect to charge for your products.
11. Avon or Tupperware sales person
Independent sales representatives for companies like Avon or Tupperware don’t have to worry about creating a product or inventing a business structure. If you like talking with people, this social business could be for you. Incomes differ based on the company you work for and the amount of sales you make.
12. Makeup artist
If you’re a professional makeup artist or hairdresser at a salon, you could earn extra income by setting up your own side business. If you love makeup or hair care but aren’t an expert, consider investing in a class or certificate program. Talk with professionals to find what they recommend, experts said. Makeup artists earn a median salary of $16 per hour, while hairdressers earn a median of $9.
13. Virtual assistant
Organized self-starters could find good work being a virtual assistant, a person who does all the things an assistant would normally do, just via the internet and phone. Virtual assistants earn a median salary of $16 per hour.
14. Personal chef
Roll up your sleeves and break out the spices. A personal culinary business where you are a chef for private parties could be a delicious venture. Personal chefs make a median of $20 per hour.
15. Personal shopper
If you love to shop or are interested in fashion retail, starting a personal shopping business could be a great fit. Personal shoppers earn a median of $14 an hour.
16. Graphic designer
Graphic design has be frustrating for the nondesigner. While there are free design tools out there, many do not offer customization or the insight an expert would. That’s where your business could come in. Graphic designers make a median of $15 per hour, which you can factor into project prices.
17. UI/UX designer
This one’s a little more obscure to the average entrepreneur than the others. User interface (UI) design and user experience design (UX) make sure your website or app is user friendly, intuitive and visually pleasing among other things. UI designers make a median of $32 per hour while UX designers make a median of $35 per hour.
18. Social media manager
Many small companies or other entrepreneurs can’t afford to have a social media manager or marketing team. Starting a social media company where you manage part-time or full-time other people’s accounts could be a profitable gig. Social media managers make a median of $14 per hour.
“Every industry could have a consultant. In order to be a successful consultant, you need to have some sort of success in that particular field,” career expert Jill Jacinto said.
As a consultant, you could help businesses make contacts, form deals and guide their strategic plan as a consultant. This job has a median salary of $20 per hour.
20. PR professional
Have experience in a particular field? Recently retired? You likely have a lot of contacts and expertise in a specific industry, which you could leverage for your own venture. PR managers work with the media, government agencies and advertisers. They typically make $20 per hour.
21. Wedding planner
If you love detail and decor and don’t mind the stress of dealing with last-minute changes, a wedding planning business could be a great fit. Wedding planners earn a median of $17 per hour.
22. Event planner
Weddings aren’t the only events that need planning. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduation parties are just a few of many events people need help organizing. Event planners make a median of $17 per hour.
23. Property manager
This job is replacing what used to be known as the butler, experts said. A property manager looks after a household and ensures all property activities run smoothly. The manager would get the mail, do the laundry, stock the fridge, work with other professionals like gardeners and cleaning assistants. It’s especially helpful for people who own multiple properties and don’t have time to look after them. Property managers could make anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 per year, experts said.
While a personal chef usually caters to smaller groups, caterers prepare meals for big events. If you’re a great cook who can handle multiple meals cooking at once, you could start your own catering business. Personal caterers make a median of $11 per hour.
25. Personal trainer
Insurance is something you’ll need at the outset with this business. If you love to work out, look into certifications you could get to become a personal trainer. If you’re already certified, even better! Personal trainers make a median of $18 per hour.
If you’re a certified accountant, you could start your own practice. Accountants make a median of $18 per hour.
27. Copy editor
Business pamphlets, grant proposals and blog posts all need copy editing. Why not take your literacy and grammar skills to the market? Copy editors make a median of $18 per hour.