Maybe you’ve worked as a hiring manager for years, and you know exactly what employers are looking for. Maybe you are a graphic design whiz and love creating a polished, professional-looking resume. Maybe you also have a great eye for detail (and I mean great—no mistakes allowed here!).
If so, consider starting a business as a resume builder. There are multiple ways you could approach this; some services specialize in editing existing documents,while others will build an entire resume—graphics, content, and all—for a considerably larger fee and time expenditure. What you choose will depend on your skill set, but both are viable options for free businesses to start.
Logo and image design
If you’re artistic and good with Photoshop, consider starting a logo or graphic design business. You can list your services on sites like Upwork, 99Designs, or any of the number of other freelance sites available to help build a portfolio and a client base to start.
If this sounds right up your alley, check out these resources from How Design,geared toward those interested in freelance graphic design or starting a design business.
While some Etsy businesses have a cost component associated with starting (think jewelry making and other crafts where materials are involved), there are some products that can be sold on Etsy that involve very minimal startup costs.
For example, if you’re a designer but not much interested in logo creation, digital art and other printables such as to-do lists and calendars are hugely popular on sites like Etsy.
A basic search of the term “printable” should bring up hundreds of ideas, with everything from wedding invitations to word art. The beauty of this business idea is that you simply create the image and list it; once it’s purchased, your customers do all the work.
Starting a consulting business is always a popular free business to start. The type of consulting you choose to offer will depend on your skill set; do you have a social media marketing background, or maybe you’ve got legal experience?
Look at your skills and your previous job experience and see what you could bring to the table that others might not have your expertise in. Check out Neil Patel’s article on lessons learned starting a consulting business for an in-depth look at the process.
Errand runner or jack of all trades
Have you heard of TaskRabbit, the site where you can essentially ask anyone to do any task for you—no matter how menial? (Though I assume you’d get a few funny looks if you asked someone to help you open that tricky jam jar.)
Consider employing a similar idea, and start a business as a jack-of-all-trades or general errand-runner. Someone needs dry cleaning dropped off, groceries purchased, or old clothes donated to Goodwill? You’re on it. For even more specificity, you could consider choosing a niche, such as running errands for seniors.
If you know how to set up a killer website, you’re in luck—most people don’t, and the demand for high-quality business websites is only continuing to grow.
Before you jump in, check out this article, 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Web Design Business—you’ll learn that the biggest competitor to your web design services isn’t other designers, but business owners who choose not to hire anyone at all. So, how will you make yourself seem invaluable?
While it is possible to teach yourself programming and build your own app,programming services will always be in high demand. If you are a skilled programmer, you can start a business with no money offering your programming skills.
Here are some useful tips for landing your first clients as a freelance developer, and if you’re interested specifically in building apps, check this article out.