Light build against yellow backdrop
Easy business ideas are low-cost and don't require complicated set up. — Getty Images/marchmeena29

An easy business is one that doesn’t require a large up-front investment, a time consuming licensing process, or specialized skills. It should meet an existing need and call for no trailblazing; just a desire to succeed and a willingness to go for it. Here are five easy business ideas to get you started.

Senior contractor service

As the population ages, more and more people are seeking help with life’s simple tasks. While there are businesses specializing in performing many of them—grocery shopping, lawn maintenance, or gutter cleaning, for example, dealing with a parade of workers can be intimidating and time-consuming. Hiring one trusted company to manage all of those things would simplify things for many senior customers.

Your company would contract these services, vet them and provide the customer with one consolidated cost for their service. To market your business, you will need a professional website and a good reputation. You can also get the word out by renting a table at senior health fairs and posting flyers at senior housing complexes and municipal senior centers.

Cleaning service

Let’s be honest. Some necessary tasks —vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing showers—just aren’t that much fun. And no matter how well they’re done, they’ll need to be done again soon. It’s the kind of work people are willing to pay others to do. Running a successful cleaning service requires attention to detail. People paying for clean and tidy expect super clean and exceptionally tidy, so don’t cut corners.

Get word of your new business out to friends and family. Post flyers on bulletin boards around town. An attractive website listing your services and service area will give you credibility. If you want to set your business apart from the competition, you could consider filling a niche, such as catering specifically to seniors or clients with pets. Another option is to consider using planet-friendly, non-toxic cleaners and market yourself as a green cleaning service.

Blogger

Blogging is big business that works on a small scale. Fortune 500 companies do it and so does your neighbor with the recipes to share. But simply spewing words out into the blogosphere does not constitute a viable business model. It’s the affiliate marketing, advertising and sponsored content that will bring in the dollars.

Yes, millions of bloggers beat you to it, but it’s an industry with enormous upside potential. While you could launch a blogging business in one day, some preparation is recommended. Consider your target audience. What do you have to say that they want to hear? How will you turn that particular something into a money making enterprise? For help getting started, check out a blog about blogging. There are plenty out there.

Pet sitting

If dollars spent is an indication, Americans really love their animals. Dogs, cats, goldfish, canaries—whatever species they’ve befriended, when pet owners head out for vacation or just to the office, they want to know their pets are in good hands.

If you love animals and can keep a schedule, you already have the basic skills to start a pet sitting business. Post flyers at pet stores and public bulletin boards. Choose a clever name and get a simple web site with testimonials. Signing up with an online network can get your business moving quickly.

Online reseller

A used book or handbag bought at a yard sale for less than a dollar can sell for twenty times that on Ebay or Etsy. With just a small investment and an eye for what’s in demand, you can launch a business, buying and selling everything from vintage china to retro sneakers. A smartphone will enable educated purchases, providing real-time information about an item’s value before you invest in that flea market find.

Just like brick and mortar retail, different sites attract different demographics. Maximize profits by understanding your venue and your target customer. Good photography and well written, searchable product descriptions will help your items get noticed. Offering reasonable shipping, cheerful refunds and responding quickly to buyers’ questions will earn you excellent feedback and repeat purchasers.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Published June 26, 2019