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10 Businesses You Can Start For Less Than $100

Elizabeth Peterson

Grocery delivery, social media manager and event planner are just a few of the businesses you can start without cleaning out your bank account.

Believe it or not, starting your own business doesn't have to mean breaking the bank. With $100, a smart marketing strategy and some basic knowledge about the field you're entering, you can have a business up and running in no time.

Here are 10 businesses you can start today for under $100. 

Grocery delivery service

Got a car? If so, then you already have everything you need to start your own grocery delivery service.

From working moms to elderly folks, you're likely to find people in your area looking for someone to do their shopping for them. You can offer your services on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis and charge a percentage of the total bill or a flat rate per order.

Ask clients to email you their grocery lists and then get creative in how you fill their orders. You might even go the extra mile by clipping coupons or shopping at different stores to find the best prices — something that's sure to result in repeat customers.

Green cleaning service

If you keep a clean house then you hold all the qualifications you need to start your own cleaning service.

You'll have to shell out some cash for basic cleaning supplies, like a mop and broom, but you can save yourself a lot of money — and market yourself as a green cleaner — if you forgo the brand-name cleaning supplies for a few homemade cleaners and polishes.

Stock up on white vinegar, baking soda, olive oil and rubbing alcohol, then hit Google for some grime-fighting recipes that will keep your customers, and your wallet, happy.

Child care provider

Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by working parents is how to find reliable, affordable care for their children. Why not give parents what they need by starting your own child care service out of your home?

If you have professional child care experience or are a nurturing parent, then you likely have what it takes to run such a business. Use the $100 in your pocket to stock up on puzzles and books and perhaps some baby-proofing gear.

And keep in mind that local fire departments, churches and community centers frequently offer free CPR and first-aid certification classes, qualifications that will help you further your career in child care.

Social media consultant

From Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr, today's businesses use a variety of social media sites to market themselves to consumers. If you're adept at using such sites, then you can start your own business as a social media manager.

Find local businesses whose marketing is a little behind the times and offer them your services. Once you've picked up a few clients, it will be easy to reel in more simply by showing off your expanding portfolio.

If you'd like to brush up on your social media skills before offering your services to others, there are plenty of e-books devoted to the subject available for free online. And some sites, like LinkedIn, offer free webinars for those that want to learn the basics of using such sites.

Home companion

Are you a good conversationalist? Do you have a kind disposition? Then you might want to start a business offering home companion services.

As a home companion, you can help elderly people or people with disabilities that need someone to care for them in their own homes. While you won't need much money to start this business, you will need a lot of compassion, patience and trustworthiness.

Try marketing your services to the family members of people you know with elderly or disabled relatives. Once you have gained the trust of a few clients, you're likely to have more business than you can handle in no time.

Party tent rental

From poolside birthday parties to backdoor barbecues, everybody needs a party tent at one point or another. And you could be the person to deliver it.

You might only have $100 to start your new tent rental business, but that will be enough to get you started. Shop around for an inexpensive, but good quality, tent. Then offer to rent it to friends for their next outdoor gathering. 

Be sure to advertise your new tent, including setup and dismantling services, on your social media accounts, and you'll have a bustling business in no time. You can use your first profits to diversify the range of tents you offer or expand your business into neighboring areas.

Event planner

If parties are your thing, then why not start your own business bringing them to life? Event planners are called upon to organize weddings, birthday parties, anniversary parties and a slew of other celebrations.

You won't need a lot of money to get this business off the ground, but you will need good organizational skills, an eye for detail and a knack for negotiating.

If you want to try your hand at event planning, start by offering your services to friends and family members, that way you can learn the tricks of the trade while building up an impressive portfolio to wow future clients.

Storefront window washer

If you happen to live anywhere near a major highway, then chances are you're in the perfect location to make it as a storefront window washer.

Retail shops and restaurants often have employees or cleaning crews maintain the cleanliness inside their establishments, but oftentimes, they're exterior windows go overlooked. Offer your services to such businesses at a competitive rate and they'll start to wonder how they ever got by without you.


Do you know how to handle a screw gun? Can you fix a leaky faucet? Then you should go into business as a handyman (or handywoman).

Landlords and overworked homeowners will likely be knocking down your door if you can help them fix a furnace, repair a hole in the wall or mend a broken fence.

All you'll need to get your new business off the ground is a full tool belt, some technical know-how and the willingness to learn as you go.


Are you an underemployed academic? A struggling artist? Why not use your book smarts or your artistic skills to start your own business?

You can run your tutoring business out of your home or the homes of those you teach. Market your services to anyone who has something to gain from your knowledge.

Are you multilingual? You could hold a class for the employees of a doctor's office, teaching them the basics of some of the languages heard in your area. Are you a dancer? Advertise your lessons to the members of the local senior citizens club.

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Elizabeth Peterson Member
<p>Elizabeth writes about innovative technologies and business trends. She has traveled throughout the Americas in her roles as student, English teacher, Spanish language interpreter and freelance writer. She graduated with a B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University.&nbsp;</p>