Start your own business on a budget

Do you fancy yourself as an entrepreneur but don’t have the funds to set up a business? Whether you are a fresh graduate, unemployed and trying to figure out what to do, employed but want to start a business on the side or still studying, there are plenty of opportunities for you to start up a business inexpensively.

Have a read through these business ideas you could start on a budget:

Cake-making & decorating
If you enjoy baking and have an artistic touch, making and decorating cakes can be a really rewarding way of earning extra money and could even turn into a full-blown business. Start by making cakes for friends’ and family’s birthdays, anniversaries, weddings etc. to get experience and build a portfolio of designs.
You may want to get some training in the industry to perfect your techniques. There are various qualifications and hundreds of courses for all levels, so you should be able to find one which will suit your commitments. Obviously you will need to buy the ingredients and have the kitchen space (which meets hygiene standards) to make them and store them in.

Get online, it will be your shop window to show off your designs! Websites can vary in cost, but you can do a basic one with a simple package like Mr Site, which costs around £100 and gives you a domain name, PayPal shop, and 50 email addresses for your domain name.

Can you speak a language? Are you a maths whiz? If you are patient, good with people and enthusiastic about your subject then why not use your knowledge to teach! You don’t need to be a qualified teacher but a good understanding of your chosen subject is a must, therefore high qualifications are desirable. You can tutor any level from children of all ages to adults. Contact the local schools, particularly private ones and adult education centres, and offer your services. Don’t be concerned if your topic is highly specialised, even those are in demand.

Housesitting for people while they are on holiday is a great business model because it requires no particular skills, just trustworthiness and reliability. Start off with housesitting for friends and family to compile a list of personal references. You’ll also need reliable transportation. This sort of business will probably spread through word of mouth but you could invest in printing some flyers to put up on bulletin boards, or put an advert in your local paper.

Craft making
Are you a dab hand at pottery-making, a knitting fanatic, or a jewellery-making superstar? You could make a living out of your hobby! Thanks to the current economic dip, crafting really is ‘in’. Think crochet, soap, cross-stitch, jewellery-making, pottery, glassblowing and tapestry. According to figures released by speciality craft and hobby store HobbyCraft in December ‘10, knitting sales were up to 28% and this trend shows no signs of waning. Like cake baking get yourself online. This is a cost effective way to gain exposure to your business and start selling your stuff!

A deep love of music and a broad collection of songs are must have traits for anyone considering DJing. Most DJing work will be required during the evening or at weekends so this would make a perfect side business. Be ready to cater for a range of crowds and musical preferences, not just your passion – be prepared you will have to play cheese at weddings! Learn the ropes by concentrating first on local pubs, weddings and birthday parties or by doing some assistant work for an established DJ. This will help you network, get you some experience and gain you useful contacts.

Personal shopper
Love to shop but don’t like to spend money? This could be your perfect business plan – shopping with someone else’s cash! There are plenty of people who hate going clothes shopping so if you are into fashion and trends then offer your services as a personal shopper. My friend at university did this for one of our housemates who did what he could to avoid the high-street. He handed over £200 with a brief and she went out and spent his cash! Again, trustworthiness and dependability are the key traits for this plus a reliable form of transport. You won’t need cash, but you’ll need available credit on your credit cards, since you really can’t use theirs.

eBay seller
The opportunities offered by an eBay business expand way beyond selling unwanted junk, or discarded Christmas presents. There are many people who make a decent living buying things at car boot sales and flea markets and selling them on the internet auction site. Julie King, from Newcastle, gave up her job as an IT consultant after she found she could buy and sell designer shoes and handbags on eBay for a profit. Her eBay business, Killer Heels, based on buying shoes and bags from wholesalers and selling them on eBay, soon grew into a £6,000-a-month operation. The big secret? Stick to products you know well, package your goods carefully, and provide impeccable customer service. It helps to have a digital camera or a scanner to take quality images.

Personal trainer
Despite the economic downturn, the health industry has remained relatively stable especially following the success of our London 2012 athletes! The trend for tailored, one-on-one support from a personal trainer is growing, with many specialising in outside training. So, if you are a bit of a fitness freak and interested in diets, nutrition, health and able to relate to a lot of different people then this could be the perfect business model. There are a number of courses that are well respected within the industry which either specialise in one area, such as weight loss, or offer a diversity of expertise.

Other business ideas:
• Dinner preparation (part-time home chef)
• Cocktail bartender for events
• Website design or development
• Photographer
• Secretarial Service/PA/organiser
• Selling ad space on a personal blog
• Avon independent sales representative
• Desktop publishing
• Dance school
• Mobile beautician
• Party and event planning
• Pet minding & walking