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Low Cost Business Ideas for Women
*This post may contain affiliate links. Read my affiliate disclosure here.
One of the best things you can do to reach financial independence early is to make more money. Saving is great, and I'm always advising people to find ways to trim their budget.
But the reality is that you can only cut so much. Your earning power, on the other hand, is your greatest asset and it's something that has no limit.
With the right education and enough perseverance, your income potential is limitless.
And as you probably know if you've been around my blog much, I'm a huge proponent of entrepreneurship. There are a ton of reasons why I love being a business owner and I have been since my early twenties.
Most of my reasons boiled down to freedom. Freedom of time, freedom of focus, freedom to travel and to take sick days and to spend as much time with my family as I’d like.
Another reason I love entrepreneurship so much is that the income you make is completely up to you. You have complete control over how much money you make and there is no one else above you capping your salary. This is great news for people who want to become financially free.
So with that being said, today I'm going to give you 3 low cost business ideas that are perfect for millennials who want to build thriving businesses and become financially independent. Let's get into it!
1. Become A Blogger
I love blogging and online business. I think it's an incredible way to make money in the modern age while truly giving back to the people you are serving.
I also think that more and more businesses will be going the online route in the coming decade, so it only makes sense that we are seeing such a huge rise in blogging and other online businesses.
So why do I love blogging as a business model for millennials? Here are just a few reasons.
- You can work from home and build it in your off hours when you aren't at work or taking care of your kids
- The income potential is astronomical (more on that in a moment)
- You can write about things that you really care about and make the world a better place for it
- Blogging is an eco-friendly business model
- Bloggers can help so many more people at once than a brick-and-mortar business can simply by the nature of the internet
So how do bloggers make money anyway?
If you'd like to get a full analysis, you can check out my complete breakdown of how bloggers make money here.
There are tons of different ways that bloggers make money, and I'll list some of them here.
First, many of them sell their own products. Online courses, ebooks, printables, and other digital items are a popular choice for bloggers who have an audience with questions and needs.
For example, I offer unique stock photos for bloggers that are completely different from what other stock photographers are offering online. When other bloggers want to customize their look and stand out from the competition, they come to me for help.
Another way bloggers make money is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when someone with an online platform (the blogger) recommends certain products that they love and use to their audience.
If someone reading their blog makes a purchase based on their recommendation, then the blogger receives a commission from the merchant.
Here are a few affiliate products I absolutely love and recommend for millennials who want to save money:
- Imperfect Produce (inexpensive an eco-friendly produce - Get $10 off your first box here)
- Personal Capital (free income and expense tracker)
- Credit Sesame (free Fico score reporting)
- Acorns (app that saves your spare change automatically)
These are a few products I love that I use for my blogging business:
- Bluehost (inexpensive hosting + free WordPress for bloggers)
- Tailwind (Pinterest scheduler for blog traffic)
- PicMonkey (my favorite easy to use image editor)
- Convertkit (comprehensive email automation software for bloggers)
- Freshbooks (bookkeeping and invoicing software for bloggers)
There are quite a few more ways that bloggers make money. Many of them use ads, sponsored posts, live events, physical products, and more to earn a living from their businesses. You can check out my full analysis of how bloggers make money here.
How much money do bloggers make?
There is a huge variation in incomes among bloggers out there. Some bloggers only make a couple of hundred dollars per month. Other bloggers make several million per year from their blogs.
Essentially it comes down to education and perseverance.
Successful bloggers are always the ones who kept going day after day, no matter what setbacks they faced. I really believe that anyone can become a successful blogger if they are willing to put in the time and learning to get there.
Blogging as a business is not easy or fast by any means. But it is, however, inexpensive and flexible. As long as you are willing to put in the work consistently, you can choose to work any hours on any days and build a successful blogging business.
Here are a few examples of other blogs and how much money they make:
- Breaking the one percent- $7,158 per month
- The savvy couple- $10,000 per month
- Learning Herbs - $20,000 per month
- Create and Go - $158,342 per month
No, you didn't read that last one wrong. Alex and Lauren of Create and Go are fantastic bloggers and have really honed down the exact formula creating profitable blogging businesses.
They show other bloggers how to do this in their awesome new course, Six Figure Blogger. I took this course a few months ago, and it was a real eye-opener. If you're serious about creating a six-figure blog, I highly recommend this course.
- Time investment to start a blog: About a month
- How much money you can make: $1000-$300,000 per month
- Difficulty level: Medium
Check out my complete guide to starting a blog here.
2. Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Business
Before I was a blogger, I had a dog walking and pet sitting business. If you are pretty familiar with dogs and cats and know how to handle them, this can be a great business for someone just starting out or for someone who loves working with animals.
The truth is that most people have full-time jobs and like to go on vacation once in awhile, which makes quality dog walkers and pet sitters in high demand.
Although I ultimately decided to close down my business, there were many reasons that I loved it for the several years it was open. I'll share a few of them with you here.
- You get to work with animals all day which is awesome!
- You spend way more time outside walking the dogs than sitting at a computer (a win for me!)
- Getting clients is pretty easy and doesn't take a long time
- Great for either urban or sub-urban business owners
Remember that you will definitely need to create a website for your business!
How do dog walkers and pet sitters make money?
Pet care providers typically make the majority of their money from steady week after week dog walking clients. Providers can expect to charge between $20 and $40 per walking appointment, depending on where you live.
As it gets closer to the holidays, pet sitting requests abound. Pet sitting appointments typically range from $25 to $50 per appointment depending on the number of pets and the length of your care appointment. Overnight appointments often cost much more, typically between $75 and $100 per night.
Pet care providers can also provide small extra services to make additional money. I was a pet groomer before I started my pet care business, so I also offered teeth brushing, nail clipping, brush outs, and trim ups as extra services that clients could tack onto their walk or pet sitting appointment.
How much do pet care providers make?
This answer really depends on which part of the country you live in. Obviously a major city like LA or New York will have many more opportunities to find clients within a closer distance then somewhere like a sub-urban neighborhood in the Midwest.
How much a pet care provider makes also depends on if they are the only one working, or if they are able to partner or hire someone else to help take on appointments with them.
Overall though, pet care providers can expect to make between $30,000 and $100,000 per year when working full-time.
Since I was a pet care provider in the past, I'd like to give a few tips on things I learned for those of you who are interested in starting your own business. These are things that I learned from the several years I was in business and wish I could have changed from the beginning.
First, make sure that you don't under charge. I'm not sure that I under charged, per se, but I know that I could have charged more in my local area.
When you have to figure in transportation and fuel costs as well as all of the costs of doing business and maintaining insurance for a business like this, it's important to make sure that you are charging enough that you can make a solid living from your work. Don't undervalue yourself!
My second piece of advice is to decide whether or not you will do group walks. There is no doubt that you can certainly make a lot more money if you do several group walks per day. The downside to this is that it isn't nearly as popular with customers.
Most of them would like to have one-on-one attention for their dog, and eliminate the risk of two dogs getting into a fight or one of them getting away from the handler while doing a group walk.
This is something where you should take into consideration your experience with dogs and decide whether you should charge more to do one-on-one walks or whether you should offer group walks.
My last piece of advice is to really think about how much you want to work over the holidays and whether or not you will need to hire help.
Not realizing how many people would be going out of town, I quickly found myself working 12 to 13 hour days plus doing overnights several times a week between October and the New Year both years I was in business.
This quickly began to take its toll when I wasn't able to come home for more than an hour or two in any 24 hour period.
My recommendation is to decide how much you will work and then stick to that number. You will likely find yourself having to turn down pet sitting appointments if you don't have someone to help you.
I would strongly recommend either hiring someone to help for the holiday season, or enlisting a friend who would like to make extra money to take on appointments as well. Or, you can simply let your customers know that your schedule is full.
- Time investment to start a pet care business: 2-3 weeks
- How much money you can make: $30,000 to $100,000 per year
- Great for people who prefer working in the outdoors or for people who prefer working with animals over people
3. Start a Freelancing Business
More and more millennials all over the world are turning to freelancing to create extra side income and to start full-time businesses.
Freelancing is an excellent option for people of all skill sets. Not only are there plenty of companies hiring freelancers, but individuals as well. The market is enormous and with a little creativity you can find your place in it too!
Here are just a handful of skills that are perfect for people who want to start a freelance business:
- Graphic design
- Web Developing
- Resume writing
- Sketching and illustrating
- Virtual assistance
- Social media marketing
- Customer support
- Language teaching
How do freelancers make money and how much can they make?
Some freelancers charge by the hour, and some charge per project. The amount of money someone charges greatly depends on what their skills are and how in-demand those skills are.
Web developers, graphic designers, and software coders tend to make $50+ per hour.
Writers, artists, and photographers generally make between $20 and $40 per hour depending on their experience and how how much demand there is for their exact service.
Things to Keep in Mind When Starting Your Own Business
Whether you are just looking to create a lucrative side hustle or you're hoping to replace your day job with a full-time business, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first is that you will be responsible for paying quarterly taxes on your projected earnings. Make sure you don't get behind on this! The government won't be kind just because you're used to being traditionally employed, and there are steep fees for missing your deadline every 3 months.
This post on 20 tax deductions every entrepreneur should know will help you save as much money as possible come tax time.
You will also need to plan on purchasing your own health insurance. This is perhaps one of the biggest downsides to being self-employed, unless you happen to have a spouse who's employment provides both of you with health coverage.
The good news is that if you are able to maintain a healthy emergency fund and medical fund for appointments and deductibles, you can easily purchase a low-cost plan with a high deductible that will cover all of the big things.
Another thing to keep in mind is that just about any successful business these days needs a website. The days of running a mom-and-pop shop without a website are pretty much over.
Whether you plan on freelancing or taking care of pets or becoming a blogger, a website is the first step to getting your business off the ground and finding clients. You can check out my comprehensive guide to starting your own blog here.
And now I'd love to hear from you! What business do you plan on starting, and will it be just a side hustle or your full-time income?
How to (Finally!) Start Making Money From Your Blog
Tired of spinning your wheels trying to figure out this whole blogging thing? Ready to create an actual money making blogging business? I'll show you how.
Join the Full Time Bloggers Hotlist and receive the blueprint as a perk of becoming a subscriber.