According to Wells Fargo, the average cost to start a new business is $10,000, whether it’s a huge corporation or the tiniest home-based business. If you don’t have a particular business in mind, yet you know you want to be your own boss, you’ll find a few low-cost online startups that can help you get your entrepreneurial start.
Launching a website that requires that customers pay a weekly, monthly or yearly fee is an excellent way to earn now and in the future—plus it can be a good launching pad for ebooks, blogs, online courses and related products. This is called a recurring revenue model. An example of a membership website done right is “Paleo Plan.” This is a subscription-based website that provides resources for those who follow the Paleo diet. The key to this website’s success? The site’s creator saw a need and filled it—with a quality product at an affordable price. The costs to start a membership website vary. If you do the work yourself, you could start for less than $20, but expect to spend a lot of your own time building the site. If you want to save time by outsourcing tasks, you could pay a freelancer $75 an hour or more. Either way, putting together a quality membership website in just a few weeks time for under $1,000 is far from impossible.
While it might cost millions to develop a traditional video game for the X-box One or Playstation 3, developing a game for the iTunes marketplace or for play on Facebook is significantly cheaper. If you have the skills to code it yourself or partner with a developer who can turn your vision into virtual reality, you may only have upfront fees in marketing. Even if you outsource programming, art and other tasks, it may be possible to get your idea off the ground for less than a few thousand dollars. The story of the rise (and fall) of Flappy Birds is a great example of what is possible with an app. Within 28 days of launch, the app surpassed 50 million downloads and reached the App Store’s top 10; then the game’s developer took it down in response to criticisms. Mashable doesn’t mention how much Flappy Birds cost to build, but it reports rumors of the founder making $50,000 a day in advertising fees. Wired shows how anyone can build a clone for less than $100 and a few hours of time.
Become a paid consultant in programming, freelancing, design or whatever your specialty. You may already do this for free and not even realize it. There are nearly no up front costs to turn your passion for helping others into a business. Start a website that provides testimonials, publish some authoritative articles on your topic and become involved in social media. Make sure you show, not just tell, your potential clients what you can do for them.