The only real way to start generating revenue for your business is to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Despite what others may tell you, there is no easy shortcut to profit. But if you are confident you have a product or service that people want, you can propel your way to the top by pivoting, grinding it out, getting creative, and differentiating yourself.
Luckily, it is now increasingly easy to start a business from scratch without spending a fortune. Below, I've highlighted 75 varied business ideas you can start cheaply from the comfort of your own home. Some of the business ideas listed require nothing more than an internet connection, while others demand a level of licensing or a specific set of vocational skills...the choice is yours!
My current company, Outbox Systems, began this way. We wanted to connect two software applications, but we didn’t have the capital to build the integration. Knowing we needed to generate money to fund our product development, I approached the partner channel at AtTask and asked if I could build a software integration for them. Fortuitously, an enterprise AtTask customer needed to integrate AtTask and Salesforce and was willing to pay us $125 per hour to build the integration. Then we turned around and resold the product to others. A typical tech entrepreneur thinks, “Raise money, build software.” But we turned the model on its head and essentially got the company to help us develop intellectual property for our business.
To become an officially recognized business entity, you must register with the government. Corporations will need an "articles of incorporation" document, which includes your business name, business purpose, corporate structure, stock details and other information about your company. Otherwise, you will just need to register your business name, which can be your legal name, a fictitious "doing business as" name (if you are the sole proprietor), or the name you've come up with for your company. You may also want to take steps to trademark your business name for extra legal protection.
As someone who's been immersed in a number of online industries for quite some time, I know a thing or two about what it takes to succeed in this arena. However, just like you, I started at ground zero with little knowledge, but a great deal of passion. What I learned along the way were some invaluable lessons from failure that hurt at the time, but helped immensely in the grand scheme of things.