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10 Business Ideas Requiring No Financial Investment to Start With

Teacher tutoring a student

The recession changes people attitude toward money and employment.

More people are becoming frugal, more entrepreneurs are becoming bootstrappers, and more ex-employees are entering entrepreneurship.

All three of the above combined, you would want to start a business that requires minimal investment. Take heed, there are business opportunities that involve no financial investment to start with – Not even a dime.

10 business ideas to start requiring no financial investment

  1. Online business / make money online
    Blogging, SEO/link building, online freelancing, selling goods online are some of the example of online business and make money online. Many online business requires nothing down – This is why the potential is extraordinary, despite harsh competition.
  2. Virtual assistance (VA)
    Helping others to get their job done is well-sought after – You can start with zero investment by offering your services in forums, classified sites and other public domains. The best bet – Join a VA network.
  3. Intermediary services
    Intermediary services were thought to become obsolete due to the Internet. Not exactly. Product sourcing, product distribution and contracting services, and many other intermediary services are here to stay. Due to their busyness and time constraints, business people do need other help no matter how easy to DIY their search for new products or business resources.
  4. Organising services
    Event and wedding organising are two of the most common organising services. Personal assistance and personal shopping are the niche in organising services.
  5. Tutoring
    Helping school children and students to ace their school subjects or tests can be lucrative. Teaching math, tutoring English and such are simple and free to start. Get the buzz from your neighbours and you’re off the ground.
  6. Brokerage services
    Real estate brokerage, business brokerage, investment brokerage – The list of brokerage services is endless. In exchange for a certain amount of commission, brokers use their expertise in winning buyers on behalf of sellers.
  7. Consignment products sales
    Looking for the right supplier to arrange for a consignment is rather trivial – Not many want to engage in such a risky product sales strategy. However, finding one would be a great way for you to sell products without any investment involved.
  8. Consulting and training
    Experienced professionals and business owners can offer their expertise to help other individuals and organisations succeed.
  9. Freelancing
    Graphic design, web design, and copywriting are some of the example of freelancing. The competition is stiff, but the ability to create a business out of it is rewarding.
  10. Down-payment-enabled business
    I’m not sure whether to include this or not, but this is what many often overlook as one of the better business strategies. Either you offer products or services, ask for down payment (even full payment) up front. This way, you have the capital to produce the ordered products or perform the requested services – No financial investment involved on your side.

Most of the zero-financial-investment business ideas I present are service business – With that said, I recommend you to explore any other service business opportunities, as no business is thriving in today’s recession better than service business.

Ivan Widjaya
Business ideas with nothing down

About author

Ivan Widjaya
Ivan Widjaya 2044 posts

Ivan Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.

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  • Samar,

    Partnership is a great way to share expertise and resources. Generally speaking, in business, having two minds is better than one.

  • Samar

    Hi All,

    I wanted to have my own business, but apart form having on my own I am ok to join any existing business as a partner..

    Let me know if anyone interseted in Pune, India.


    You can contact me @

  • Kittykal

    Dear Mr. Widjaya,

    Good Morning,
    My name is Kittykal and I am 54 years old. I used to be employed until 3 years ago in the Middle East, however, I lost my job due to the recession and was compelled to return to India. Having being employed for more than 30 years I found it hard to stay at home, in fact I am finding it hard to stay at home even now. Not that I did not look for employment; everywhere I applied for a job I was turned down because I am 50+.

    I was employed initially in the Hospitality industry and later in the Private sector as a Personal Assistant to the General Manager and Managing Directors of the company I last worked with.

    My skills are in Telephone Ettiquettes and other secretarial jobs, however, as I have been out of touch, I have lost confidence and find it difficult to even write a cover letter for a job application.

    I have noticed that most companies have an unprofessional approach to answering telephones in our country – they forget that the person who answers the phone is the first contact and therfore it is very important to answer the phone professionally. The person who answers the phone is also an Ambassador of the company and not just a Operator. I would like to train people Telephone Manners, etc.

    I would be most grateful if you could throw some light on how to go about starting a venture on this subject.

    I look forward to hearing from your goodself.

    Kind regards,

  • afaq ahmed,

    Let’s talk here :) share your question in the comment section and I will try my best to answer yours…

  • Sriuma,

    I’d recommend you freelancing. If you can brand your service right, you can get much more than just making money; you can build your credibility that can get you more opportunities in the future.

  • afaq ahmed

    assalmualikum i am afaqahmed i want to start a small busniess kindly guide me my email address

  • sriuma

    i want to start a small business without investment or less investment.could you tell me any business offers like ads posting,free lancer,any stall in companies.thank you.

  • Sunny,

    If you are looking for ideas, there are loads of them. You can get an idea or two browsing :)

  • sunny

    sir i am in benin africa .. i also want to do online business my email id is can u suggest me some businss

  • vamshi

    better give to 2 rs interest for any trusted people whom u know much better.. because for 5L cant start any… at high level

  • Vijay,

    The best way is to approach the community of your niche (forums, social media groups, etc.) and start everything from there :)

  • M Nasir Nawaz

    I want to promote my sound system business to professional level like live transmission events etc. But this require large capital and i dont have this. I am looking for someone who support me. If any one can do then plz help me. Thanks of all you..!

    M. Nasir Nawaz

    009 342 544979

  • bugzy003

    i can help you with some advice, as i have experience with technology and online companies, how can i contact you?

  • Vijay

    You are brilliant in stating the ideas in easy to understand way Ivan. Would it be possible for you to shed more light on how to reach out to clients in this FLAT world?

  • siddarth,

    Have you tried If bidding for project is not for you, how about Fiverr? I would alao recommend to offer your expertise.

    I hope this helps…

  • siddarth

    sir i had one year experience on e_learning & graphic design so pls help on for making money with that .tell me some freelancing website to take the me

  • Dhana

    I have came across new one like business to other sectors like, I have a project which needs capital, so I consulted some business man to invest on it, coz the deal was genuine like set up a Gas station.. I got a land to set up from my friends they ask me for share as lease.. I accepted, now I went to the business man and he was ready to produce his documents to bank as a partner… Now I came out from my problems..

  • Hi nikhil,

    I have no experience in establishing an agro tourism business, but I have visited several agrotourism locations and have a relative involving in agribusiness. Regarding area, that’s pretty much relative, really – not too small, obviously. Regarding facilities, you need to at least allow visitors to talk with your farmers and offer the ability to pick fruits themselves, milk a cow or have a guided tour around your farm. A location I have visited has a small restaurant inside the farm, a small shop selling fresh produce of the farm, as well as a playground for children.

    I hope this can give you some ideas – good luck!

  • nikhil

    hi , i am planning to build a farm for agro tourism can you help me about this?
    i mean how much area is required and wat facilities should i keep to attract the customer.

  • Rahul,

    BPO is the outsourcing of a particular business function – so to screen your client, you need to make sure that yours is a legitimate business (with verifiable company license and so on.) If what you mean is outsourcing in general, the best way for you is to make an agreement for you and your client to agree upon.

    Do background check – search the web for your prospects. If you can’t find any information, be aware. And, oh, always ask for down-payment :) This alone will eliminate most potential scams.

    I hope this helps :)

  • Rahul

    I am interested in starting my own BPO. However, the increasing frauds in this industry have become a hindrance. I would like to know that how do you know whether a client is genuine or not? Your suggestions will be appreciated.

  • Syed – just use our contact form – cheers!

  • Syed

    can i get ur email address ??

  • Santu,

    The best way to start is by asking yourself: Why I want to start an online business. Starting with the wrong reason means you are halfway to business failure. If you are looking for making easy money and earning money while sleeping, then you are most definitely starting an online business with wrong reasons.

    If you want to learn more about the technicality of online business, you need to learn from them who have already do the trials-and-errors – learn from Darren Rowse (, Yaro Starak (, Lea Woodward (, and many more – the key is to read, read and read popular online business/make money online blogs.

  • Santu Kandar

    I want to start Online business, but i don’t know about this business. please help me to my business.

  • Wins

    i want to get in business online selling goods (any kind most profitable one) how can i get start with it?

  • x,

    They might be stupid, but they have made me thousands of dollars a month – so, go figure ;)

  • x

    the most stupid ideas ever

  • Suraj,

    There are MANY businesses to start with 5 lakh rupees! Here’s a great page you should visit:

    I hope this helps!

  • suraj

    what can i do with five lakh rupees tell me

  • Sudarshan,

    Well, I can help you if I know what you really want :) What’s your skills and why you want to work online? Your answers will be detrimental to your success…

  • sudarshan

    dear sir, am intersted in computer line like doing in net. Doing at home and i can do any work without investment. kindly help me to earn in this field

  • Many thanks, Tendai!

  • tendai

    that is a good piece of literature in business…itn covers just about all the levels in entreprenuiship though you may not have seen or perhaps intended. All the same, everyone will find this article inspiring. Thank you nooby!

  • Ksenia,

    That’s a superb idea – pretty similar to what I have written here

    Cheers for sharing!

  • Great article! I can only add that all of these jobs are quiet common and competition is quiet high. So it would be reasonable to choose one of these professions and find your own interesting business niche. For example, if consulting is what you’d like to do, then don’t start a regular business consulting agency. Think of something special, like, for instance, consulting high school children about leadership and other skilss that they might need in their future life. Actually, this is an example from real life and here’s a more detailed description:

  • Operator,

    Well, you can join an online courses network or marketplace visited by plenty of visitors – something like and such – create courses and sell yours there. Try establishing a blog that will bring in targeted traffic you can funnel to your consulting services, courses or ebooks. And last but not least, use LinkedIn and Biznik! Both, in my opinion, are 2 of the most effective business social networking sites in driving in leads and business.

  • Operator

    Okay, thanks.

    How would one go about marketing those things and finding clients?

  • Hi Operator,

    You can always “sell” your expertise by creating a training program, publishing an ebook, offering online consulting, etc.

    I hope this helps…

  • Operator

    I have an immense amount of skill in a fairly specialized area.
    How would I go about generating money from this knowledge?

  • Nik,

    There are many ways to get clients – professional forums, ads, etc. But the best way, in my opinion, is by joining or building a business network from which we can share info, as well as getting leads and referral.

  • Nik

    gud yr,
    but starting business is ok.
    but how can you get clients.
    in for eg teaching, or website development

  • Great ideas, especially freelancing and tutoring.

  • Hi I,

    I’m not sure what kind of details you want – which business ideas are you interested in?

  • I

    Can u pls send me the details.

  • Hi Joseline,

    Please share what you have in mind…

  • Those are very smart move to invest without financial.For sure to those who also read about it will also apply it so they can invest without any financial involve.

  • Cheers, Richard!

  • Richard Broome

    I think that this is an informative blog and I will tell others about it!

  • Barb,

    That’s a great idea. I will write a blog post on how to get started topic.

    Many thanks for your suggestion!

  • Barb

    I am thankful for Karnav’s followup to your article Ivan- very good how to tips. Just a suggestion Ivan, how about more on the how to get started, like a mentorship program/matching system. I am in an infancy stage of a business idea and could use a mentor to guide me. Just a thought….

  • Karnav,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yeah, the article is about ideas only – so I don’t cover how to do with the ideas. Your comment has outlined some useful tips our readers can benefit from. So, many thanks for that!

  • crusader

    thnx for sharing…riyaz

  • there are definitely tons of freelancing sites out there, easy way to make some money for sure, great post.

  • Amit,

    The number one place (in my case, at least) to start is: Online forums!

    Seek niche forums (e.g. if you are a webmaster, you should go to; if you are a graphic designer, you should go to; etc.) and start involving yourself in them – ask questions, offer opinions, see what other members are doing… bid on projects, create a project yourself, etc. Soon, you’ll see that there’s a need to fill and you can make money filling those needs.

  • Amit Gupta

    Hey Ivan,
    thank for sharing all this info.
    my question is; How to do it? where to start… I just go to those sites? and take it from there ?
    I mean how does it work in the real life… services like ..consultant,or personal shoppers etc. how i get paid , can you guide me a bit please..
    thank you,

  • Hi Mel,

    Thanks for dropping by :)

    The “how” and “where to start” parts are always challenging – In fact, in my own experience, finding out to answer those questions take about 80% of my time investment to start a business.

    The best place you can start from here is the search engine – Google (or Yahoo!) about them and read as many info as you can. Don’t get too overwhelmed by the wealth (or lack) of search results… Get some legitimate info, and take it a bit further – Going to forums… You can start asking some (probing) questions there. You can also use Yahoo! Answers or Mahalo to ask questions and get some great ideas from the members.

    I hope this helps to get you started…

  • Mel

    Hey Ivan,
    thank for sharing all this info.
    my question is; How to do it? where to start… I just go to those sites? and take it from there ?
    I mean how does it work in the real life… services like ..consultant,or personal shoppers etc. how i get paid , can you guide me a bit please..
    thank you,

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