There are lots of businesses you can easily set up with money from backers or a gift.

But what about those of you feeling the entrepreneurial desire without any of the moolah to start it?

It can actually be better to start a business with a zero-dollar budget because you don’t stand to lose much.

If you start your business, hate it, and then close out, the most you’re out is your time. Whereas if you sink $5,000 into inventory for that must-try business opportunity, you have a lot of cash on the line.

I challenge you to think of your “zero dollar” investment as an upside in that way. You’ve got nothing to lose, so why not go all-out?

We live in an amazing time where it’s actually possible to start a business with nothing. Even better, we also live in a time when it’s possible to take that low-risk, no investment business and scale it up to six or seven figures? I mean how many stories have you heard about other online entrepreneurs that have experienced explosive growth?

While that might not happen for everyone, why not you?

Read on to learn more about some of my favorite online businesses that require practically no overhead.

Voiceover Artist

Have people always been telling you that you’d make a great broadcast journalist or radio announcer? (I seriously heard this for years before I landed one of my first-ever freelance gigs as, you guessed it- a voiceover artist.) While you might need a microphone and some decent recording conditions, you don’t have to invest a ton.

Take some to purchase one of the great microphones on Amazon that are $100 or so – I love the Blue Yeti and the ATR 2100- and make some sample recordings. Try out different voice styles like funny or serious. Articulate your words.

Use a free program like Audacity to record the files. If you have the money, pay for an audio engineer to clean up your files since they’re going in a demo reel, but you don’t have to if you’re just starting out. Get your feet wet and then invest more.

Note: for this, you might have to invest that $100 into a microphone, but it can double as the mic for your course recording, podcast interviews, and more. It’s an investment that pays off again and again.

Freelance Writer

Of course I’ve got to mention freelance writing since it’s been paying my bills for five years (and I don’t miss you at all, soul-sucking corporate jobs!)

I love freelance writing because I do it on my time.

No more sitting in a chair 9 to 5 trying to look busy.

If I want to work at 5 AM, I work then. If I want to work at 10 P.M. (truth: I don’t, because I’m a grandma,) I do.

I taught myself how to be an SEO writer with one $50 ebook in 2012. For real. No fancy degrees or certfications needed. Take some time to learn from as many free resources as you can to make it a reality. (Hint: I’ve got an entire YouTube channel, podcast, and website dedicated to the art of freelancing!)

Proofreading/Freelance Editor

Much like freelance writing, you’ll need some solid English grammar and punctuation skills to make a living as a freelance editor (Former English teachers, I’m looking at you!)

But even if your only experience was working with your college writing lab and silently judging people’s bad grammar on Facebook, why not get paid for that snarkiness?

I’ve landed numerous five-figure editing gigs, so never underestimate the power of being a grammar queen.

Virtual Assistant

Have you spent years working in offices? Do you love analyzing all the best travel deals for your own family vacation? Are you a spreadsheet nerd or are you passionate about helping other people get their calendar or inbox organized?

People will pay you for that knowledge and those tasks when you become a virtual assistant. 

Why?

Because most biz owners are totally overwhelmed and once they come to terms with not being able to do it all, and they want to outsource to a professional (Hey! That’s you!)

Doing admin work and helping people get a handle on their biz or blog can pay your bills with zero investment (assuming you have a computer and the internet.)

These are all great ways to do things on your own time and to travel often. As a soon-to-be military wife, we’ve moved five times in seven years, and it’s a blessing to have a career that travels with me!

 

 

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