Three Ways to Start a Small Business On the Cheap

Woman starting her own small business

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own business, you probably stopped dreaming the second you considered how much money it would take to make your dream come true.

You can dream big and start small, however, by starting up a business that doesn’t require a huge amount of capital up front. The following are just some of the avenues you can take to make your dreams of being a business owner a reality.  

Get Creative With Your Small Business

If you count painting or handicrafts among your biggest passions, you have the potential to turn your hobby into a successful business. According to Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of AudienceBoom and VIP Contributor for Entrepreneur, selling your paintings, artwork and crafts on eBay, Amazon and Etsy allows you to reach a wider customer base without having to invest capital in a website.

If you want to market your products without having to pay for placement, you can start up dedicated accounts on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to show off your goods and offer exclusive discounts.

Related: Tips for starting a successful business on Etsy >>

Cook up Some Cash

Cooking can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It allows you not only to control what you put into your body, but it also provides a creative outlet and rewards experimentation with new things. If you find that your kitchen creations are consistent crowd-pleasers, you might be able to parlay that skill into a small enterprise.

Woman piping frosting onto cupcakes in blue wrappersSusan Ward, owner of information technology consulting firm Cypress Technologies, writes for The Balance Small Business that gluten-free and artisanal foods are two of the top small-business ventures you can start without a lot of capital up front.


If you can’t afford a retail space stocked with high-end equipment and appliances, you can simply utilize your home kitchen to create your product. Apart from selling your product via social media, you can start by selling your goods at a local farmers’ market.

Once you begin to build a bit of buzz, you can reach out to local grocery stores and restaurants to see if they’ll begin selling your products and incorporating them into dishes.

Just remember that if you’re selling food, you’ll need to meet certain requirements – read more about Ohio’s regulations here.

Turn Your Talents Into a Small Business

If you have a certain skill set or talent that you think can drive a small business, you might be able to put it to use without having to pay the typical small-business startup cost. Jackie Zimmerman, writing for NerdWallet, says that your expertise can be the seed from which a thriving business can grow.

If you consider yourself an expert in an academic field, for example, Zimmerman recommends plying your skills as a consultant or private tutor. If you hit upon a formula or approach that works, you can use the positive results seen by students as a proof of concept and begin marketing yourself with testimonials to back up what you’re selling.

Another service-focused option is senior care. Ward cites the affluence of the baby-boom generation and an AARP survey that found 90 percent of seniors wanting to live independently as evidence of in-home care being both profitable and important. Ward notes that there are low-cost franchise opportunities available for those interested in providing senior care.

Be sure you understand what guidelines are required for this type of service. 

Make Your Small Business Dreams a Reality With Minster Bank

These are just some of the small-business options that can be brought to fruition without a ton of money up front. If you have a particular skill or field that you would like to turn into a business of your own, consider all of your options and be creative wherever possible.

From private enterprises and nonprofit organizations to associations and municipalities, Minster Bank can finance the needs of almost any business. As a locally owned and operated bank, Minster Bank makes all of our lending decisions and loans locally.

Plus, we can be one place for loans, succession planning and investing. Our commercial banking team will help guide you and your small business and make it easy so you can focus on what you do best.

Learn More About Our Business Services >>

Published by Minster Bank
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