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6 Low Cost Small Business Ideas!

By Edited Oct 20, 2016 2 0

What Type Of Business Is Right For You?

Everyone wants to start their own business without having to spend too much initially.  If you are one of those who dream of running their own business, then rest assured that there are hundreds of unique small business ideas that require the least amount of initial investment and can provide you your desired level of profit. 

parents on the beach
Just make sure that you spend time conducting a more comprehensive research about all your options before starting out a small business venture. 

It is also advisable for you to determine your interests first. 

If you open up a business which perfectly suits your interests and the level of your skills and knowledge, then it will rarely feel like a job and the rewards can be substantial.

Unique Ideas and Targeting Marketing!

We have established that you need to start a low cost small business that fits your interests.

Another factor to consider is starting a business that fills the demand for products or services in your local area, or even worldwide.

Better yet, if you can find demand for a unique service or product you will really find yourself having fun and building a profitable business.

To make this a little bit easier for you  I have some up with a niche that I know has room for growth in most areas in the United States or even abroad.  I believe one market that has lots of room for growth is marketing camps and classes to parents of young children.

See, I'm a parent myself and have spent thousands of dollars on classes that educate my children and keep them busy. And there are not enough of them. Plus there is not a huge selection of them. And on top of that their marketing is not very good, but people are still showing up and handing over money!

Why? Because parents are desperate to:

  • Keep their children busy.
  • Educate their children.
  • Get free time for themselves.

Below are four ideas I know are fun, and profitable. Please feel free to model them, but more importantly I am hoping these ideas will get you thinking about unique ideas that will fit your own interests.

Lego Camps And Classes!

Offering Lego camps or classes is one of my favorite ideas that you can start up without spending too much on initial investment. 

lego class project
This low cost small business idea allows you to start offering your services even at the comforts of your own. You do not need to spend anything for the rental or leasing of commercial space or buying  new land and establishing a commercial building. 

All that you have to do is to set up a specific space in your home where you can conduct the Lego camps & classes, or a better idea is to use the facilities at schools, churches, and even other small businesses. Schools and Churches are always looking for camps during breaks and are will to let you use their classes for free or for a reasonable fee.

Make sure that the space is convenient enough to make sure that everyone who decides to take part in the camps enjoys their experience. 

Consider These Tips For A Successful Lego Class or Camp:

Research and brainstorm:  Before setting up a Lego club, you have to spend time researching about this type of activity.  Lego's definitely stir the interest of kids who love technology and robotics.  You can also expect parents who wish to develop and improve their childrens problem-solving, team work, and personal communications skills to be greatly interested in this camp. 

Make sure, however, that you research everything about Lego's as this will allow you to efficiently train the kids about the most effective engineering concepts and strategies that they can use for their Lego robotics activities and projects.

Brainstorming ideas about how to run this type of business is possible by discussing your intention to offer Lego camps and classes to anyone who is interested with the members of your family, or your friends.

Lego construction site
You have to talk about the specific number of kids that you can handle, the best sources of high quality Lego's, the specific time and day to conduct Lego camps and classes, the frequency of the classes, meals for the kids, and if it is good to establish a weekly theme for the camps. 

All these factors can have a major impact on the success of your Lego club and in capturing the attention of both children and parents.

Gather all the supplies that you need:  You should start gathering all the materials and supplies that you need to make your Lego classes even more interesting.  You can order Lego party supplies such as napkins, plates and cups for snacks, Lego club magazines which you can easily hand out to all the members of your club, Lego blocks and base plates for building and interesting Lego models along with their instructions. 

Once everything is already prepared including the space where you intend to conduct the classes, you can start sending out invites and informing both parents and kids in your area about your Lego classes and camps.  Make sure that you develop effective promotional and marketing campaigns as this can help you in capturing the attention of your target market.

Start setting up rules:  You cannot expect your Lego club to survive if you do not establish rules that will make its operations even more effective.  You have to set up rules on how you want all your participants to behave including giving respect to the Lego creations of others and putting all the blocks away and on their right places after completing their projects. 

Make sure, however, that you allow the kids who have participated in your club to enjoy the whole experience.  Give them enough freedom to use their imagination and creativity and enjoy the activity.  This will allow you to draw a good impression to the children and their parents, thereby allowing you to generate more customers.

Science and Nature Camps!

This is another profitable small business idea which requires very little initial investment.  Again, you do not need to set up your own commercial building or lease a space to start operating this kind of business. 

Nature class
All that you need is a strong grasp about science and nature and skills in planning interesting activities related to it. 

Your target for this kind of business are children who are interested in joining science camps and parents who want their children to join educational yet fun-filled camps. 

Tips On Running A Quality Science or Nature Class!

If you are serious about offering science camps to kids, then make sure that you are capable of combining fun and education:  This means that you should be able to instill in the minds of your participants the basic knowledge about science and any topic related to it while also making sure that you add fun element into the science activities. 

Consider the following tips before starting to offer your science camps to anyone who is interested:

  • Decide on the specific range of age that you will accept into your camp:  When it comes to this, it is important for you to determine your level of knowledge about science and the specific age of children who you think will be interested on the themes that you intend to use for your science camps.  Offer your activities to the right kids and your business will surely receive positive feedback, thereby increasing your chances of generating a more stable flow of income.
  • Decide on the specific theme for your camps:  You should use a theme which perfectly suits your knowledge and skills about science and nature.  You cannot expect to educate the kids and make the entire camp more interesting if you know nothing about the theme that you are using.  Focus on science and nature topics that you are familiar with.  If possible, you should consider further increasing your knowledge about them.  This will allow you to accurately answer all the questions raised by the participants of your camps and satisfy their curiosity.
  • Consider the safety of the kids:  If you are serious about running science camps, then you have to make sure that you take into consideration the safety of the participants of your camps.  If possible, ask the parents or guardians of your campers to escort them to and from the activity area or camp room.  It is also important for you to ask the parents or guardians to leave their contact information to ensure that you can easily contact them in case of emergencies.
  • Learn more about advertising:  No one will ever know about the existence of your science and nature camps if you do not work hard to advertise them.  Conduct research about the most effective promotional, advertising and marketing campaigns that you can use at present including word of mouth referrals, handing out promotional flyers and banners, website marketing, summer camp directories, direct mail, newspaper and television ads, email marketing campaigns, Google ads, summer camp referral services, Craigslist and social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  All these can help you expose your business, thereby significantly increasing the number of your prospects.

Sports Camps!

If you are an athlete or if you know everything about a specific sport then you can use your skills and knowledge in this sport to earn money.  The good thing about this type of business is that this is something that you can operate at the comforts of your own home as well. 

You can run this business with low startup cost since the only things that you need are convenient space in parks, or even in your home. Usually, the costs of equipment needed for the kind of sports camps that you intend to offer to the public are not significant unless you choose a motor sport, or a sport that requires lots of equipment like ice hockey.

Kids Soccer Camp
A sports camp is a good small business idea for you because aside from being profitable you can also expect this venture to be fun and exciting as well.  The themes for your camp will be fully dependent upon your skills and may vary from baseball to hockey to gymnastics. 

The good thing about this type of business is that it not only caters to the needs of kids but for adults who love sports and adventure as well. 

You can offer a day camp or a weeklong camp depending on the needs of your participants which also includes proper accommodations.

It should be noted that there are a few factors that can contribute to the level of earnings that you will receive from this business and these include the specific number of trained participants, overhead costs, format used in your operations and if you have year-round or seasonal facilities.

When it comes to marketing, note that you can use traditional print advertising as well as direct mail campaigns that target parents, social media, Craigslist.org, and local schools, Churches, and day care facilities.

It is also important for you to find the best location for your camp, the specific number of participants that you can effectively handle, and the specific duration.  Determine if the sports that you intend to include in your camp are suitable indoors or outdoors. 

You should also create a list of all the facilities that your campers may need including overnight accommodations, kitchens, bathrooms, heat or wind protection and a proper and more convenient shade. 

However, you need not worry about overnight stays at first. Many camps are conducted at parks and the children or participants come each day from their home.

If you want to be successful in this venture then you should have enough skills in planning, researching, and effectively setting up your camps while also considering safety and liability issues, special skills, level of experience, equipment and your location before starting your operations.

Martial Arts Business!

If you want to become a successful business owner and you know a lot about martial arts, then setting up a martial arts school is the most ideal choice for you.  The good thing about this type of business is that you do not have to spend too much initially. It helps of course, but it's not the most important factor.

For example, you can find many gyms or small businesses that have excess space that they can rent to you monthly or even hourly. My instructor rents his space by the hour so he only pays for the time he spends there with his students, and the gym that he rents from is very happy because they are receiving revenue for space that they are not using. Plus, he gets students spilling over from the gym into his class.

Tips On Running A Successful Martial Arts Class:

Set your price:  A lot of martial arts school owners usually charge their clients based on the rates charged by their competitors.  This is a smart way to attract new clients but do not offer the cheapest price because smart people know that they, 'Get what they pay for'.

Karate camp
You should also consider setting up your price depending on the hard costs and the specific amount of profit that you want to make.  The average rate price for enrolling in a martial arts school at present is approximately $125 monthly. But note that there are also schools that charge their clients three hundred to five hundred dollars monthly for providing advanced one on one or couples training, or from $60-$100 per hour for individual lessons.

Tips On Running A Successful Martial Arts Class:

  • Ask for what is due:  This means that if you want to be successful, you should start to be more stringent when it comes to collecting what is due to you.  You should fully eliminate in your system the attitude of allowing your clients to pay you whenever they want even if they are your close friends or relatives.  Set up a reliable billing and collection system to make sure that you get paid for your services on time.  After all, you are running a business and you cannot expect to become successful if you go on with your lenient attitude.
  • Promote your martial arts school shamelessly:  You should never underestimate the power of effective advertising and promotion.  You should improve your ability to market and inform the public about the quality of your services.  There are a lot of marketing campaigns that you can use from traditional to the most advanced methods.  If you want to easily reach your target market, then you should consider advertising online by creating your own website, doing email marketing and using the power of social networking sites when it comes to informing the public.
  • Be thrifty with money:  This is something that you should always do especially if you are still starting out.  Before spending money determine its worthiness to your business and if it works towards improving the performance and profitability of your business.  If you have spent something on a marketing campaign then keep track of the results.  Make sure that the results are quantifiable and are effective when it comes to increasing the number of your paying customers.  Avoid wasting the funds of your business for an activity which you cannot quantifiably track.
  • Build a good reputation: You can do this by ensuring that your customers continue to receive the best services after enrolling in your martial arts school.  It is also important for you to establish your business as a dominant figure in martial arts in your area by continuously satisfying your customers with your excellent services.

Factors To Consider Before Starting Out A Small Business Venture:

If you are really serious about running your own business, then you have to make sure that you keep a few essential factors in mind before you start your business to increase your chances of achieving success. 

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Small Business:

What is your knowledge and skill level?  Before establishing a small business you have to make sure that you know everything about it and the industry.  You have to know more about the products and services than your competitors and of course your potential target audience. 

If your knowledge about the business is only limited then there is a great tendency that you will be unable to sustain its needs.  Also, if you have only a small amount of skill in the area of your interest compared to similar businesses you will not provide a good experience to your clients.

Kids Ballet Class
For example, you are not going to run a ballet class if you just learned ballet or only did it when you were a child.

However, one solution is to hire an expert in the area of your interest and let them provide the services while you manage the day to day operations.

What is your target market and is there demand? If you have already decided about the kind of business that you plan to start then you have to start exploring the market and demand for your products and services. 

Remember that while there are products that can be traded domestically, there are also those that you can export to other countries, thereby allowing you to enjoy profitable international transactions.  In order for you to determine your market, you have to ask yourself your potential customers are.

You may conduct a market survey before starting out your business so you will know exactly where you can market your products and services.  If the products and services of your business can only be sold domestically, then you have to carefully assess the demand. 

If you plan to carry out international trades and transactions then you have to make sure that you conduct research about all the rules and regulations associated with selling products and services internationally.

What will be your initial investment?  You have to know exactly how much you will need to spend initially for the project.  You have to make an accurate assessment of the specific amount of investment that you need to set up your business and run it successfully for at least 12 months. 

When assessing the initial project cost, you have to take into consideration the specific amount that you will need to spend for renting space, office supplies, furniture, utilities, etc.. All these factors can have a great impact on the total amount needed to establish your business.

What is the competition in your market like? You have to gather as much information as you can get about your competitors before entering the market as this will allow you to develop strategies that will help you compete with them despite the fact that you are still new in the industry. 

Take note that your success will be fully dependent upon the gap between supply and demand so you really have to know more about your competitors.  Determine the uniqueness of your products and services and how you can use this to survive the potentially fierce competition in the market.  It is also important for you to gather information about the marketing strategies used by competitors.  This is a huge help in identifying the many things that you can do to stay on top.

Child Playing With Clay
What will be your return on investment?  You have to figure out if the business that you are planning to establish allows you to earn a satisfactory return on your initial investment. 

ROI is actually computed by dividing net profit with the total investments that you have made.  You should  expect ROI to rise on a yearly basis so if you notice that it has remained the same or has gone low after several years, then you have to do something to further increase your sales.

Manpower:  This is one of the best assets of a business so you have to carefully choose the right people to include in your staff.  Make sure that they are skillful, proficient, and knowledgeable enough in their positions.  A bad employee or independent contractor and severely harm your business and reputation!  Hire the right people who can contribute to the success of your business.

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