Four Full-Time Businesses You Can Start on a Part-Time Budget

When I talk to people about their ideas on starting a business it generally boils down to the fact that they don’t have one of two things:

  • Time
  • Money

Well, yeah, don’t we all have those same thoughts?

People do make it work, though, because it greatly depends on the type of business you’d like to start, how well you are with time management and understanding that you don’t need to invest a great deal of capital when you’re only in the experimental phase (bigger funding should come after seeing bigger returns on the investment).

When you’re looking at a business you have to figure the investment over a long period of time (the startup cost). You can often work with companies to finance the tools you need to get your business started else a small loan or working off credit can do the trick (as long as you’re good on paying back).

In need of some ideas that could fit this budget and time requirement?

Nail Specialist

There are big bucks in doing pedicures. Around here it’s not too uncommon for people to send $40-$50 for a great pedicure – the kicker is that these types are the ones that come back frequently.

If you divide out the cost of financing and invest in something like a spa pedicure chair to really look professional and gain access to a shop, then you’re looking at a business that could truly flourish.

What’s especially awesome about this direction is that you can practice on yourself to hone your skills and build up a personal clientele that will help you make the leap from job to a new business.


Flipping is easy because you just need to have the right eye for products that may be in demand. A shortcut is to just use your phone with the Amazon or Ebay app to quickly punch in the thing and see how much it’s selling for which is why it’s on money-maker lists so frequently.

Items to avoid:

  • Movies
  • Clothing
  • Books

Items to go for:

  • Collectables
  • Tools
  • Sporting goods

Look at Ebay, see how flooded the “avoid” list is, and then compare it to the margins for obscure or heavy-duty items. I recently found a tool for doing architecture for $6 – turns out it’s selling online for over $150!

Flipping takes a bit of money to get started: buying the goods, listing fees, and shipping. You’ll also want to account for the time you’re putting in going around the places and doing customer service. But once you’re up and rolling it can eventually turn into a full business whether selling stuff you find or leveraging the skills to sell stuff for others.

Website Design

I personally love this one because you probably have most of what you need to get started. The rest can be done either for free or come at a very small price. Starting a web design business isn’t nearly as hard as you may have made it out to be.

Here’s what you’re looking at:

  • Learning to code (HTML, CSS, JQuery) or understanding WISYWIG editors
  • Using free image editing tools (like Gimp) or affordable options like Adobe CC
  • Creating a portfolio and a few portfolio pieces ($$$ for domain & hosting)

Once you’ve got stuff to show and a place for people to contact it’s a matter of spending the time to get in touch with businesses in your area. Tell them your expertise, what you can bring to the table, and let the dice roll with a pitch.

Pressure Washing Service

I’ve always thought a pressure washing service would be a great idea because there is always a demand whether someone needs their driveway done, porch, or their house. Maybe it’s just me and I enjoy how clean the surface looks after it’s done but besides all that…there’s money to be made here.

A good pressure washer may set you back a couple hundred bucks (sticking to our budget) and if that you have a vehicle to bring it around.

Do a few extras like:

  • Business cards
  • Flyers
  • Simple website

Go around and get your name out there. Learn a bit about the industry and the competition. It’s a business you can do on the side which could become full-time if you have a regular flow of repeat customers or very active referrals.

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