We live in an era full of opportunity. Because of technology, it’s possible to work from home and start businesses that many people would never have guessed at a few decades ago.

Many people dream of making extra money with a side gig, or of starting a business that could replace a day job. However, few of us have a large amount of money to pour into a business, or the ability to borrow a lot of money for startup capital.

The good news is that the same technology that allows us to start interesting new businesses also lets us start these businesses at a low cost — at least if you choose an inexpensive business. Here are some businesses you can start on a shoestring:

1. Freelance Writing

This is always at the top of the list because it’s what I do. This is my 11th year as a freelancer, and  it’s been a good life and business for me. Plus, all need to earn money is a computer and an Internet connection. If you can get a cheap notebook computer and connect to the Internet, you can start freelance writing.

2. Tutoring

If there are subjects you know really well, you can become a tutor. You can get listed with local schools and universities. Additionally, there are a number of sites now that offer you the ability to offer your tutoring skills remotely. If your computer has a webcam that can be accessed with Skype or some other program, you can tutor over the Internet.

3. Cleaning

Start a business cleaning others’ homes. You can do this fairly easily with the supplies you have in your own house. Once you have a little money, you can buy more cleaning supplies. This is a business that can be great for expansion. As your client base grows, you can hire others to be part of the business, but getting strated is low-cost.

4. Pet Care

You can offer different pet care services, including pet walking and pet sitting. If you are skilled at grooming, you can even offer those services. If you have your own pet that plays well with others, this can be a good way for your pet to enjoy the company while you earn money. It doesn’t cost much to begin in this area, since you might already have the supplies you need to start on a shoestring.

5. Homemade Items

I have a friend who started a business with yarn leftover from various projects. She started using it to crochet doll clothes, and then sold the results on Etsy. It was very easy to get started because she had what she needed on hand. Once she began selling items, she had money to buy more supplies.

It’s possible to sell other homemade items, depending on your skills. From wood carvings to blankets, if you can create, you can start on a shoestring.

When you start your business, don’t forget the marketing. The good news is that you can even market your business online with a tight budget. Plan ahead and think about your options, and you might be surprised at what you can start on a shoestring.

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I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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