Episode-1737- 10 Businesses You Could Start with Very Small Investments — 46 Comments

  1. Jack,

    Thanks in no small part to motivation from you I left my job in June of 2012.

    I spent about $60k, leveraged my existing industry contacts and worked like a mad dog.

    I got my first paycheck on Jan 1 2013, 6 months and 2 weeks later.

    We now have 2 full time and 3 part time people and have roughly doubled my former pay and am sitting on $50k in operating capitol.

    People need to understand the synergies of “working the edges” that Jack talks about all the time…we leverage against our competitors once we get onsite we OWN the account…our competitors who are too narrow in scope cannot compete since we are already there! The “edge strategy” has taken us to the point that I have to turn away business regularly now as we continue to dig within our existing accounts and own our four business groups, saving huge on travel expenses!

    I just cannot thank you enough Jack….you have helped more people than you know!!!


  2. On Youtubing… Being consistent is key and you will post a LOT of content before you have a subscriber base… Ask me how I know

  3. Anyone interested in doing the nature guides or fishing or anything that requires customers to book certain times. I do horse and carriage rides in Bend Oregon and started using an online booking software that costs me nothing and it hasn’t quite doubled my revenue but it has helped a bunch. There are so many options and things wrapped up in this software. I am currently using one called peekpro. they are pretty good but a little complicated for the customer and even more complicated in the back and butt it has a lot more options than some of the others. I would suggest another software called giso. One person could volunteer to be a hiking guide and this software would make them look like an entire company! History tours, snowshoe tours, hiking guides, fishing guides, bicycle tours, helicopter rides, whale watching, lessons of any kind. Heck! You could use it to set up a crochet class! It doesn’t cost you anything to put on your website and use. If I sell a $100 Carriage ride the customer pays $106. Reminder emails are automated. Multiple follow up emails with requests for photos on your social networks and reviews on Tripadvisor are automated. You can upsell things like hats and t-shirts. You can even set up agent to book customers for you. I have a concierge at a high end hotel that can log into the software and book there customers at the concierge desk. There are so many things that you can do on foot with no upfront cost other than a website running this software. High schoolers can make money in the summer time as hiking guides.

  4. Love the closing song, makes you stop and think for sure! Great refresher.

    Side note, I will be giving away 11 more knives this year to Private Reserve Members, the next giveaway will be a 2015 Ranger!


    • I second the song choice. Haven’t heard that in a long time but means more now that I have two kids of my own!

    • I agree…I always thought it was a sad song. Wanted to shake the dad up and say what is wrong with you. It is even worse when you realize that it is in your family.

  5. Weekly delivery without the miles.

    A friend of mine opened a preschool a few years back. Her business has expanded to several centers. She also had a photography business. A couple times a year (like before Christmas) she offers photo sessions during the work day, while the kids are already there. Then a friend added prepared meals, just take home and heat up. Order day before and pick up supper with your kid. Another business offered hair cuts. I don’t know which ones worked well and which didn’t but she continues to look for ways to make life simple for her clients

  6. Jack spoke on the podcast about Thomas Paine being a deist, but one could argue that Benjamin Franklin was also a deist. Here is a quote from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography…

    “The arguments of the deists which were quoted to be refuted appeared to me much stronger than the refutations.”

    But he soon found that deism was not very helpful when a deist did him wrong…

    “I began to suspect that this doctrine, though it might be true, was not very useful.”

    So… my sense is that he thought deism was probably correct but for practical purposes following religious principles to provide structure and guidance to people was probably best.

    Alex Shrugged

    • I believe that much of the same could be said of many of our founders. Jefferson was a full on Deist but not afraid to quote scripture when it advantaged his case.

  7. What businesses involve the LEAST amount of interaction with people as possible? I am so tired of childish short-sighted irrational fickle dysfunctional waffling entitlement-demanding humans. (And of being one myself.)

  8. Jack, another possibility for people to start a business that services other businesses is real estate photography. If you are already into photography, you probably already have the equipment. If not, equipment and training can be less than $5000. Rates generally run about $150/shoot (and higher). A shoot will take you an hour or two. And, once the business is going, you can easily have 20-30 houses to shoot a week. The great thing is that this can also lead to other photography business opportunities.

  9. Can not wait to listen. In the last week my wife and I have created a youtube channel, facebook page (will create a group probably tonight), and reserved the domain name we are using to setup a web site. For now I am uploading some videos to youtube but have not decided on a schedule we want to strive for. No idea how we will monetize it yet but for now we just want to build the name.

    Tyler, TX

  10. About a year ago Jack did a similar podcast which inspired me to help my then 12 year old son start a pooper-scooper business. We invested about $200 and he was taking in over $200 a month in his first month. He’s currently 13 and saving for a car on his 16th birthday – he insists he won’t take a loan to get a car 🙂

    Thanks Jack for helping me teach him the value of # GSD.

    Here’s his site if anyone’s curious.

    • Best business name ever!! I also loved the description on his website: “Once a week (or more), our Special Forces will invade your back yard and take out those dirty, stinking land mines that your best friend leaves behind.”

  11. On WordPress right now designing a website for my new little stonework business. My photography for my previous work sucks and the website won’t be the prettiest, but get shit done right?

  12. I’m reading that affiliate links will get your channel shut down on YouTube. Have you seen this?

      • FWIW. Recently discovered that Yoast SEO is better than All in One SEO if you plan on using Pinterest, specifically for “Rich Pins”. (use search engine to find out more about those). Yoast SEO is newer and highly regarded. Not an SEO expert just discovered about Yoast while helping a friend with her Pinterest account.

        • That is great. I consider myself a FORMER SEO expert. The tech is always changing, I didn’t even know there was something called a rich pin or that it could be tied back to the source of the photograph. That is very cool, I am honest enough to admit I am still using 2012 tech for SEO in 2016. There is a point were a sites momentum carries it. Pinning seems like a very cool new way to get new traffic though.

    • @nospam865 -> “Golf = waste of a perfectly good rifle range” -> Perfect explanation – unless you can sit there with a shotgun and skeet shoot at the balls being driven off the tee…

  13. Regarding the website aspect of starting a business, you are right in that it is ridiculously cheap for the first year of domain registration and webhosting. Last week I registered both a .com and .net domain, WITH webhosting, for a total of $21 for the year. Sure creating/designing a page takes some time/effort (or a little additional money to pay someone else to create it), but complaining about the startup cost of registering and hosting a website and using that as an excuse to not start is ridiculous.

  14. I got fed up with listening to Jack saying “Get s++t done” that I started a website as well, it looks pretty bad at the moment but I am learning how to use WordPress and trying to make it better everyday. Thanks Jack, everyone needs a kick up the backside every now and then.

  15. The Urban Farmer is actually only working 15,000 sq ft on a few lots around his town. If growing things is your thing then by all means get his book and his course and follow the ABC 123 guide he has laid out. Oh and he makes about 85K on that 1/3 of an acre. You just have to do things right.

    There are a lot of small scale things you can do. You just need to source quality info from people that are SUCCESSFUL at it and follow the recipe until you are making enough profit to start tweaking things for your area or market. Learn to do market research to vet an idea because you aren’t going to sell iPads to the Amish no matter how much you believe in the idea.

    Everything is flexible except one, You cant be successful until you do something. Pick something and do something NOW.

    Another great episode Jack. Loved it.

  16. Over the past couple of years I’ve been a avid listener to the podcast. Following your advice I’ve turned my beloved home of 20 acres into a small but ever growing business that allows me to live the life I love at 25 with 6 horses, 2 milk cows 40+chickens and ducks turkeys rabbits and a goat 🙂 . This podcast helped me immensely, thank you Jack! You showed me areas I was under utilizing. I have a website and now the courage to start a you tube channel of my farm and homestead

  17. This episode couldn’t be more timely for me right now. After several free clients to build up a portfolio and some references, I’m taking my permaculture consulting business to paying gigs this year. Also scaling up my chicken-composting business to start selling limited amounts of compost and compost teas in the immediate area to just gauge the market. I’m confident in my abilities as a permaculture designer/consultant and what I know about compost. Where I know I suck is on the marketing side, especially the internet marketing side.

    I’m not sure how much of the stuff discussed at the end of this episode is really “simple” from my perspective, but it was valuable information that I know I need to put to use if I really want my enterprises to become something that allow me to walk away from a J.O.B. Now I’ll just have to shoehorn in another hour a day to work on the internet-oriented marketing and such until I get a handle on it.

    Thanks for all the info, Jack.

    • Good for you! I suggest that you put an offer out to trade your design work for website work. Stick with what you are good at and hire out what you are bad at. But you definitely want to learn so you can make your own updates down the road. Good luck.

  18. Hey Jack,
    Great show. It’s true, follow your heart and the business will work out. I don’t have to work hard to find customers, they usually find me. We moved to PA 3 years ago so my business changed dramatically, due to the environment which is rural, the clientele is different. I do petsitting, housesitting, baked dog treats, dog training. Thanks for remembering my venture when I took the abused dog out of the yard. He was adopted to a good home and treated very well. Like I said, “somebody had to do it “. I’m so glad I did and I will keep doing it when necessary.


  19. As an add-on to the idea of power washing driveways and decks – We have a guy who shows up to my work and offers $5 car washes right in our parking lot. He has a gas powered pressure washer and some water drums on the back of a truck. Shows up a couple times a week when it’s warm out and it takes him just a few minutes per vehicle. The guy always has a smile on his face.

    Our owner has now hired him to do the entire company fleet, the exterior of our entire building and some odd jobs at his house.

  20. Totally late to comment on this but just catching up on some podcasts.

    I just started a flower (and herb) farm in Canada. I am probably the first TSP flower florist eh?

    I want to thank Jack too. Great resource as always. Your business content is super helpful for entrepreneurs who just start out like me. The business side of a lot of farms is really underdeveloped I think. So hard to find good information on business that is not total bs or a firm trying to sell you consulting. So thanks!