How to set up and run a small business

Leaderboard – Start Ups

You are here: Home » Start-Ups » Start Up Tips » 5 businesses you can start for £100

5 businesses you can start for £100

September 25, 2011

You no longer need huge financial backing and an original idea to start your own successful business. In fact, you could start your own business tomorrow – and have made a profit by next week.

For years you may have dreamt of running your own business – but not had the funds or the idea to get started. So how would you react if I said that you could start a profitable business for as little as £100?

Firstly, you would probably doubt me. Then you would probably ask…“how?”

Now you’re hooked, think about it some more – look around the room, look outside.

All around you are household items that you could make and sell, technologies that you can benefit from, odd-jobs that people will pay to have done – businesses that can be started for as little as £100.

To help you establish a simple and profitable business, here are 5 businesses that you can start for £100.

Running an eBay business

If you haven’t bought or sold on eBay, then someone you know certainly has. eBay is a marketplace where money is to be made – as thousands of users have already proved. In fact over 170,000 business people use eBay as their primary or secondary source of income. With a potential target audience of 14 million people in the UK alone, spending hundreds of millions of pounds a year, you can earn a lot of cash from eBay, and fast.

Firstly you must decide on a product to sell – new, used, or both? And don’t be afraid to try something you know little about. Like any business trying to make money, you want a healthy profit margin so find a cheap and reliable source.

Buy from wholesalers, importers and distributors, and also consider approaching liquidators or going directly to the manufacturer. If you decide to sell used products, scour the auction rooms, car boot sales, estate sales and eBay for bargains that can be sold on at a profit.

Remember to make sure that you are selling safe and reliable goods, and cover yourself legally like any other retailing business if necessary.

These guides will help you get your eBay business started:

If you buy from wholesalers, it’s essential that you verify they are legitimate. This website has some useful information on doing this.

Making candles, crafts or cards

This may appear to be a strange idea, but it can work. There are so many different types of candles that you can cater for almost anyone. Whether it’s scented jar candles, aromatherapy candles, wedding candles, floating candles, 100 per cent beeswax candles, novelty candles, citronella candles or decorative bowl and crock candles – you can make and sell them.

And cards and crafts are the same. It’s easy to get supplies and guides from craft shops. The great thing about candle and card making is that it doesn’t take long to learn how to do it and it’s easy to do part-time.

You must then locate where to buy the best basic materials as cheaply as possible – buying in bulk will help. And finally, find the marketplace where your products will be in demand.

A great place to start is local craft fairs, farmers’ markets, family and friends or advertising in local newspapers. Then move onto bigger things such as eBay, or even supplying local craft shops. And if things start to get really big, mass production is always an option!

As with any mature market, be aware that you may struggle to scale your business up to significant amounts of revenue.

House cleaning and garden maintenance

For a lot less than £100, you can buy yourself some cleaning products, a duster, a mop and bucket, a broom, a rake and other basic gardening tools – all you need to start your new door-to-door business.

A year-round job, you can offer your services to a large target market – busy parents, home-owners without the time available to clean their house and maintain their garden, those who require assistance with mobility, businesses and apartment blocks. And the great thing is that you can work absolutely anywhere and at any time.

The best way to market your new company would be through leafleting, local advertising, email marketing – all featuring powerful customer testimonials. If you provide a good service, word of mouth will take you much further. And there are also possibilities of expansion – contracting work, employing staff or even franchising.

Babysitting

Usually a traditional teenager and young adult job, babysitting is actually a viable and dependable business opportunity – with room for expansion. Ensuring that you comply with legal regulations, babysitting costs very little to set up and is very rewarding financially.

Begin by advertising in local newspapers, children related businesses and leafleting in the local area – and then you can rely on word of mouth from there on. Offer yourself as more than just a babysitter; someone who is entertaining and who the children will have lots of fun with.

Consider creating babysitting packages which are ideal for children of certain ages and gender. Ensure that you come across as someone who is able to discipline and earn the respect of children as well as the parents. Include named testimonials in marketing literature.

You can also start charging extra if you are willing to carry out other household duties such as laundry and cleaning. It is also a good idea to gain a series of first aid qualifications as this will enhance your appeal and put parents at ease.

Running errands

For centuries people have been paid to run errands on behalf of their employer – so why not go self-employed and do it for the general public? Whether it’s picking the groceries, dropping off a letter or taking a family pet to the vets for a check-up, there is a never-ending list of jobs that people need doing – and just don’t have the time to do it.

You can easily run the business from your mobile phone or by email, charging clients an hourly rate or according to the job they have asked you to do.

Start the business by advertising locally and produce a leaflet explaining the services you offer along with your contact details. Remember to include testimonials. Business growth can be achieved through referrals, so providing a high level of customer service and satisfaction should be one of your main goals.