Start a Business From Nothing

Many aspiring entrepreneurs think that they need a lot of capital to start a business. But 42% of CEOs from the fastest growing companies in America said they started their business with less than $5,000. So the truth is you don’t need a lot of money to launch a successful business. 

Starting a business from nothing is more challenging, but it’s still possible. Here are four businesses you can start with a small upfront investment to give you some inspiration.


Everyone has stuff in their home that they want to get rid of. You can turn that clutter into cash by listing your unwanted belongings on resale websites like Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace. 

To grow your business, use the profits from the sale of your items to purchase more inventory. Garage sales, estate sales, and thrift stores are great places to look for products to flip. Make sure you focus on a niche that you know a lot about, like clothing or electronics. That way you’ll be able to identify high-margin items that you can resell for a profit. 

Cleaning Service

The pandemic has caused an increased need for cleaning services, so it’s a great time to get into the business. ZipRecruiter projects that demand for cleaning services will grow 75% in 2021 compared to last year. So you should be able to build up a client base quickly by promoting your business on platforms like Nextdoor, Angie’s List, and Facebook Marketplace. 

Even with marketing costs, Cleaning Business Today says that you can start your business for about $500, which you can recoup by cleaning just a few houses. On average, you can expect to earn around $170 for each residential cleaning job you complete. 

Commercial cleaning contracts are even more lucrative. You can charge between $200 and $400 per hour to clean up a commercial building. 


If you’re trying to start a business from nothing, freelancing is a great option. All you need is a computer and a skill like writing, bookkeeping, graphic design, video editing, photography, or social media management. 

You can find your first clients on freelancing platforms like Upwork or try networking on LinkedIn. You can also reach out to companies you would like to work with and offer your services. 

It usually helps if you have some examples of your work to show off to potential clients. So before you start marketing your services, take a little time to build a portfolio website. 

Professional Organizer

Home organization is a much-needed service. More than half of Americans say that their home is cluttered and think moving into a bigger house is the only solution. 

As a professional organizer, you can help clients get rid of clutter and find better storage solutions for the things they want to keep. Your services may enable them to stay in their current home and avoid taking on a bigger mortgage. 

Because this is such a valuable, in-demand service, you can charge a pretty penny for it. Professional organizers make between $80 and $140 an hour and have minimal startup costs. All you need is general liability insurance to cover property damage and some basic organizing supplies. 

Starting a successful business from nothing requires hard work but is more than possible. With luck, this list inspires you to get out there and launch a business even if you don’t have a lot of startup capital.

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