best cash flow businesses to start | cheap investment ideas

Everyone wants to feel special now and then. If you can create the right setting, you could make your customers feel great and be happy to pay top dollar for a sophisticated beverage! Get everything just so–the name, the furniture, the wall coverings, servers’ attire, the lighting, and the background music. If you get all the details right, this could be a really fun and highly profitable endeavor.
I hate being locked out! And I hate how much money I have to pay a locksmith! Let alone how much I have to pay to have locks changed or a better lock system installed! Wouldn’t it be nice to be receiving this money instead of paying it out? Not only is there a constant need for this service, but with more elaborate door systems there is more room for upselling your customers—wouldn’t it be cool to have a keyless lock system?
If you’re proficient in a highly specialized software, you can get paid to pass your knowledge on to amateurs and professionals looking to expand their skill sets. Technical manuals are available for programs like QuickBooks and Final Cut Pro, but these are often expensive and difficult for the average user to get through. Schedule small group workshops or private sessions, and charge by the hour for a full tutorial of the program. The best thing about this gig is that it can be done part time.
Cooking classes have become much more than just a way to instruct people in cooking. They have become more of a social event where for example, couples enjoy a cooking class together, get to meet some other people, enjoy sampling the food they cook, perhaps try some fine wine, and have a great experience. So carefully define whether you are selling the expertise, the experience, or both, and build your business model accordingly.
It takes a very thick skin to go into this business, but debt collectors only need a telephone and a computer to work, making it a great work-at-home business. It’s also a recession-proof (or even recession-loving) business. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so make sure you do your homework before setting up shop. Median salary: $31,300.

Nearly all businesses understand the importance of maintaining a social media presence, but not everyone can afford to bring in a full-time social media manager. Contract yourself out as a social media manager and spend your days tweeting, posting to Facebook, and snapping Instagram pics. If social media is your second skin, this could be a great home-based business idea for you.
The key with Web design is to carefully define a target market and, as is the case with graphic design, offer a service nobody else offers. Remember, too, that Web designers not only compete against each other but also against packaged software that assists with Web design, so a unique selling proposition is especially important.
What this means is that you’re able to monetize your blog, but only by using WordAds or Blogger’s Adsense ads. WordPress does allow affiliate marketing on their free platform — as long as you’re in compliance with their terms. Using a free platform limits your earning potential, but it gives you the initial foundation for building an audience. Once you have a little bit of money rolling in, you can easily transfer your blog over to the paid version of WordPress where you will be able to fully monetize your blog and start making money.
See what buyers are paying, and then offer half of that or less. The big margins are in textbooks, but online buyers accept many types of used books, and often pay for shipping with a printable label.
You can put a big sign on top of your truck or pull it around on a trailer. This is particularly powerful for local businesses because you can offer pinpoint marketing—driving around the same business block for example. You could also offer a service to hire people to agree to have a commercial sign mounted on their cars as they drive around town doing their usual thing. For example, a Boston radio station arranged to have hundreds of small VWs to be painted with their logos, paying each car owner a monthly stipend. How big can this business go? Well CNN/Turner Broadcasting founder Ted Turner made his initial money in the billboard business!
Fiverr.com takes a dollar of each $5 sale, so you might wonder how sellers make money. It’s all about the extra services. Many of the logo designers there keep it really simple for a basic sale (add a company name to a template), but offer extra services that can add $100 or more to an order.
Dogs are amazing. But, owners aren’t always at home to take them for a walk. If you’re a canine fan like I hope you are, this great side business idea can net you a regular profit by just taking some adorable pups for a stroll around the park. With pet-crazed, yet busy Americans having more pooches around, dog walking services have become a thriving industry in some U.S. cities. In fact, there’s already an app called Wag that links up dog walkers who want to exercise this business idea with the pet owners who need a helping hand.
Spending a leisurely afternoon in a swimming pool can be a lot of fun. But cleaning it can be a pain in the neck. Hence, most pool owners hire people to do the cleaning for them. If you need extra cash and don’t mind getting physical, then pool cleaning is a viable side business idea for you.
When you work for yourself, there’s no tech support person to call when things go haywire. Consider taking a computer class at a community college or, if you’re a Mac user, at an Apple store in your neighborhood. If you need to give presentations, you should become conversant with web-based meeting programs such as GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, Join.Me, TeamViewer, Zoom or Google+ Hangouts.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have become popular not just for business use, but also for plenty of individuals who simply enjoy using them. You can have the best of both worlds by starting a business where you help businesses shape and carry out their social media strategies on the sites you already use.
With social media at your fingertips, this is the single best time to build a brand online. It wasn’t that long ago that you needed to hire a PR agency to create brand identity and awareness. But now, if you are determined and diligent enough, you can build a brand by creating quality content every single day and leveraging social media outlets to attract and engage an audience.
I met Wally Amos who made a blockbuster success out of famous Amos cookies, which he launched after a career as a Hollywood talent agent. Wally eventually lost control of his company to outside investors. However, he came back again with still another cookie line. Everyone loves a fancy cookie and it’s an easy food to both differentiate and to charge a premium for.
If your social media postings develop a large enough, or a specialized enough, following you may be able to earn money as a social media influencer. There are social media influencer platforms you can get listed on, and there are advertising companies hired specifically to promote company brands via social media influencers.
There will always be someone who will do what you can do for cheaper. There will always be someone who does what you can do better than you can, at some point or another. The idea is that you can create a product, or market yourself, with the backing of an idea or concept that makes you stand out form the rest. People will buy what works as a general rule. We look for solutions. However if you have something that people can get behind, a reason as to why they should use you for a service or buy your product, then you can market yourself for whatever you want and people will be much more obliged to pay premium prices.
There’s more to being a coach or personal trainer than just being fit and loving to exercise. Finding a specialization is important, and licenses might be required for certain types of coaching roles. For instance, a friend in Boston obtained US and European soccer-coaching licenses before opening a successful one-on-one soccer-instruction business.
My kids did an upscale sneaker and related goods boutique. This can be a lot of fun but it may be harder than you think to make money. First make absolutely sure your location has great foot traffic—stand there and count heads before you sign a lease! Then develop a distinctive plan for merchandising, and don’t be afraid to mark down what isn’t moving.
In Boston one of the very best high skyscraper restaurant locations was taken over by a banquet facility company. The owner of this business grew up in the restaurant business but decided to build his own business exclusively around banquets. A banquet facility is an interesting alternative to the difficult restaurant business. You get to match your labor and food costs closely to your income. And by having a dedicated space and a tightly focused business you should be able to execute well.
With very low overhead and a skill set that is very easy to learn, housecleaning is one of the easiest businesses to start. Depending on how much you want to grow, the income potential is pretty limitless.
These are just a few examples of great home-business ideas you may want to consider. Remember that starting your own home business requires an organized and self-efficient individual. If that sounds like you, go for it-you’ll be working from home in no time.
There is solid demand for this business—and no wonder installing carpet including stretching it out to fit just right—is harder than it looks! Demand comes not just from homeowners but also from commercial businesses. You can land installation work from carpet retailers, from online business service directories, or from advertising on places like Craigslist.
Who actually enjoys packing-up for a move? I don’t. And, if you’re like me, I was more than willing to hire someone to pack and load my belongings. Since you don’t need to purchase anything other than boxes and tape, which will be included in your final price, there isn’t much of an overhead to start.In addition to, or as a separate business idea, you can also start a moving company. Purchasing a truck may be pricey, but you could start by investing in a truck and trailer and moving larger items locally, like when someone just bought a new fridge or moved across town.
A lot of car owners simply don’t have time to personally care for their vehicles, much less make them sparkle. With simple equipment such as car shampoo, polishing wax, tire black, sponges, a pail and a sturdy hose, you can start earning a decent side income by making cars look fresh in your free time after work and on weekends. Not bad for an easy business idea that’ll keep you outdoors and moving your body on the weekends.
If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income as a side business idea is to sign a freelance contract to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows. Just be sure to brush up on all the right business slang and industry jargon that’s pervasive in the online marketing world before you launch unprepared into this side business idea.
Adjust strategies and products as necessary. Respond to your customers. You should set up a system or survey where your customers can rate their experience with you and your business. Be sure to strive for perfect ratings. Any criticisms you see consistently mean that you should change that aspect of your business.
We all love the moment in Antiques Roadshow when the owner learns how much their heirloom is worth. Becoming an antiques appraiser will allow you to live that moment every day. This does require a background education in the subject and access to an excellent reference library.
If you can craft anything, anything at all, have any sort of design qualities or experience, or just some creativity and a working set of arms and legs, you can create things and sell them. There are so many online market places that you can sell in, eBay, Amazon, Etsy, to name a few… so many product to create, from wearable art (a nicer term for clothing), through craftsmanship of things like pots and jars, through genuine art – painting sculpting etc.
The key is to stop thinking in terms of trading your time for money and start thinking of systems. That’s what an online business is — a sales machine that does the work for you. You front-load the work and keep profiting from it year after year.
This is very competitive. Just a few feet away from me in the co-share space I am working in currently, several young people started an Internet based food service, but gave up after a few months. But there is a huge demand for food delivery both from restaurants and grocery stores, and you just might be able to make a go of it!
Similar to selling on Amazon, eBay is a place to make money selling just about anything you can think of as a side business idea, with the added excitement of using the auction selling model to sometimes get way more than you expected for that antique baseball card you picked up at a local street fair. To turn your eBay selling into a legitimate business idea, look for opportunities where you can buy in-demand products at a discount—and later sell them for a profit. Eventually, you can even take the lessons learned from your eBay store and build a full on blog or eCommerce business like what the team over at Gear Hungry has done.
How can you expect to grow your business if you’re busy scheduling calls or checking email all day? That, or, buried in the books, subtracting and adding cells into a spreadsheet for half the week? Running your business shouldn’t be like running in a hamster wheel.
One of my friends with a background in manufacturing started a business removing waste from building sites and then he progressed into the demolition of industrial buildings. Like other construction related services, one of the keys to success is very carefully bidding for your work. You also need to make sure you get paid–general contractors can be highly successful one minute and then short on money to pay bills the next.
What sort of restrictions could there be? Where do I start looking? The property may be affected by restrictive covenants that prohibit certain uses, and there could be an outright prohibition on business use. Your neighbours are likely to be the ones with the right to enforce these covenants against you and they might be able to get a court order to stop you running your business from the property. The title to the property (held by the Land Registry) should have details of any restrictions and you should check what you were provided with by your solicitor when you bought the property. Even if there aren’t any restrictions on the title, there is a risk that your use could disturb neighbours and cause a nuisance, for example, by noise caused or increased visitors to the property. From a legal perspective, something has to be more than irritating before it is a nuisance and must actually cause damage or interfere with someone’s enjoyment of their property. If the nuisance was severe enough, your neighbours could take you to court.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but licensing a foreign product for sale domestically, can be a lucrative business idea that (at times) leads to a big payoff down the road. Invest intelligently, sell a product you believe in, and you can reap the rewards for years to come.
Don’t forget good ‘ol lawncare or landscaping. As we become more and more acquainted to the air-conditioned lifestyle more people are going to want to pay someone to do landscaping. If you like to sweat this one may be for you.
Corrisa, thank you for adding your thoughts on Annie’s list. I wholeheartedly agree with your points to consider and would encourage anyone looking to join a network marketing-based business to do their due diligence before signing up. As I have found in my past ventures into home based businesses, the KEY to success is to treat your business as exactly that and not a hobby or trending fad.
Businesses are also in need of talented creatives to tell their story through branding. This could be anything from designing a logo, advertisements, newsletter, magazine, flyer, or information sheet. Need inspiration? Nicky Laatz works from home designing fonts, graphics, and templates and has made a cool million dollars selling them online.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.
This is one of those businesses that not everyone wants to do, so the profits tend to be above average. Furthermore, you don’t have to collect just by telephone. You can send emails, mail letters and more. Make sure you know all the legal restrictions before you start!

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