Easy & Cheap Businesses to Start Up

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In this time of economic uncertainty, many people are starting their own businesses in a quest to take control of their own destiny. Many businesses can be operated easily and cheaply out of your home.

Carpet Cleaning Business

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Most homes and businesses have carpeting that needs to be deep-cleaned on a regular basis, and you can get started with little money by renting a carpet-cleaning machine at a local store. Print fliers and distribute them among homes in your neighborhood and surrounding areas, then place a small classified ad in your local paper. Consider offering a discount to attract new clients and set a standard price comparable with other local carpet cleaning services.

Child Day Care

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This is an ideal work-at-home business if you have children. Most states require an individual to have a license if she is caring for more than a certain number of children. Typically a day care provider charges per child and collects money on a weekly basis, though some ask for more money upfront. Additionally, many states offer food assistance programs for child care providers.

Construction Cleanup

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Contractors and construction companies need cleanup crews after a project is complete. Hauling debris, sweeping out buildings, and cleaning up wood scraps, nails and wrappers are all part of a day's work. When you're finished you have to unload it at the local dump, and remember to include the dump fee in your bid for the job.

Foreclosure Cleanup Business

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Foreclosed properties are usually left in poor condition by the previous tenants. Many times garbage and personal belongings are left behind. Contact real estate companies in your area to let them know you are seeking clients and that you offer fast and inexpensive cleanup. Next, provide a bid, usually per square foot. Remember to bid on the outside and inside. You will also need to rent a dumpster and pay for all cleaning supplies.

Lawn Maintenance Business

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If you have basic lawn and gardening tools you can start this business right away, either by charging per job or per season, as almost all homes and businesses require mowing and maintenance. Your services could include mowing, edging and raking. Most states do not require a professional license for a lawn maintenance business, but many states require one for landscaping. Check with your local and state governments for requirements.

Party Planner

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This business can be started with little or no capital, as you are simply arranging an event, such as birthday parties, corporate events, reunions, conventions and festivals. You will have to arrange caterers, locations, entertainment, equipment rentals and photographers. Start networking and place fliers on local bulletin boards to begin receiving clients. Set your rates comparable to others in the industry.

Rental Preparation Business

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Homeowners, rental agencies and real estate companies often need someone to prepare homes and apartments for occupancy. They will seek services for painting, minor repairs, replacing bulbs and batteries, carpet cleaning, faucet and drain repair and lawn maintenance.

Sell Christmas Trees

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This is obviously a seasonal business, but you can still make money at it. Find a vacant area on a busy road and visible to traffic. Contact the owner and offer him a small fee for the temporary use of the area. For your tree supply, you may wish to contact wholesalers or local farmers. If you own your own land, growing trees is also an option.


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As with any business, have the proper licenses to operate legally.