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Low-Overhead Small Business Ideas

Looking for a small business to start? These business ideas have low overhead and start-up costs, making them low-risk options.

If you love the idea of becoming a small business owner but don't have much to spare in the way of startup costs, consider these low-risk business ideas.

Dog Waste Removal: Growing up, you may not have dreamed of cleaning dog poop from other people's yards. Dog waste removal is a much-needed service, however. Dog poop carries parasites and bacteria that can sicken both people and pets.

Starting a dog waste removal business provides a valuable public service and requires little overhead. Tools include a poop scoop (many in the business recommend a rake for quick cleanup, but myriad poop scoop options exist), and dog poop bags.

Some pooper scooper pros do the actual waste removal offsite, while others bag it neatly and dispose of it at the customer's home. Most poop scoop service providers wear t-shirts or polos bearing the company name. One or more stickers on company vehicles not only identify employees arriving at customers' homes, but also provide low-cost advertising.

Online Auction Consignment: Selling on eBay has long been recognized as a good income source for those with adequate knowledge and the right inventory. Sellers without a niche product or adequate inventory, however, might have a difficult time making ends meet. The good news is you don't need a warehouse or garage full of antiques or cell phones to sell items on eBay.

Some online auction sellers find success selling other people's items for a fee. People can bring their unwanted goods to the seller's storefront or home for an appraisal. Online auctions sellers may determine an item's value by searching its past performance on eBay or another online auction site. Other methods might include looking at price guides for collectors' items, or judging the value from past experience.

If you choose to sell online via consignment, make sure you have a written agreement that allows you a certain amount of money for unsold items. It's only fair that you get paid for the time and work it takes to photograph the item, write a description, and list it. You will also need to determine how listing and selling fees will be handled.

A small storefront with reasonable rent gives your business a certain degree of professionalism, as well as a place to store items. You might also consider visiting potential customers at their homes or other meeting spots to avoid paying rent.

Handmade Item Sales: You don't have to be a master at crocheting to produce handmade craft items to sell online. Gift baskets, homemade soaps, and gourmet foods are among the many items you can sell online.

Although a dedicated website looks professional and gives you complete control over how you sell your craft items, Etsy is perfect for doing a trial run. The listing fee is only 20 cents per item for four months, and Etsy charges 3.5% of the sale price for each item.

Etsy has few restrictions on what type of handmade items you sell, but you must have made them yourself. Etsy also allows you to sell craft supplies and vintage items.

REFERENCES

http://www.pima.gov/deq/educ/pdf/PetWaste&StormWater.pdf

http://www.etsy.com/fees.php

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Comments (6)

I got to look into Etsy, thanks

You're welcome! Good luck with your items.

These are great ideas. I'm definitely going to look into Etsy.

Great business ideas, Stacy.

Thanks, Kathleen and deep blue! Hope you do well with Etsy, Kathleen..

It would be great to fill a need with such kind of businesses.

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