Starting a business in the United States is incredibly easy today. All you need is a few minutes online and you can have a business registered. A few minutes more and you can have a website up and running. But many business ideas require the owner to have a car, truck, or other method to move themselves and their products around the city. What if you don’t have a car and still want to start a business, are you out of luck?
Of course not! There are plenty of businesses you can start from the comfort of your own home. From part-time side hustles to full-time self-employment, there are tons of options to start a business without a car. Here are five great ideas to get you started.
Craft Project Sales
Do you have a knack for making things with your own hands? Do you love to create unique projects? If so, you may have a business on your hands. From woodworking and metalworking to scrapbooking and custom art, you can sell your projects for a healthy profit.
You can sell through your own website, an online marketplace like Etsy, or at local markets and craft fairs. You don’t need a car for any part of this business. You can order supplies online, create your crafts and projects at home, then sell online or in-person.
When you sell, you can take advantage of pickups from the post office, UPS, or FedEx so you never need to drive anywhere to drop them off. To sell at a local craft fair or event, consider investing a few dollars in an Uber or Lyft ride, or hitch a ride from a friend for your special one-day sale.
If you have an eye for design, graphics may be in your future. Super powered tools like Photoshop and lightweight web apps like Canva make graphic design a wonderful business to start at home without a car. If you have a laptop, you can work at home as well as coffee shops, libraries, co-working spaces, and airports. As long as you have internet, you can make this business work.
Start by finding small gigs on marketplaces like Thumbtack, UpWork and Fiverr. Once you have a portfolio of quality work, you can expand to working directly with clients through your own website and brand or an upscale marketplace like CloudPeeps.
Once you have your favorite graphic editing tools and a computer, there is little more to invest to get this business off the ground. Even if you’re a beginner, you can get low-paying gigs online to build your skills and portfolio to create a full-time income.
If you don’t have the skills to start, look for online courses and classes. In addition to free resources at YouTube, you can find online graphic design courses, many of which are free. Udemy’s Intro to Graphic Design class or Canva’s Design School are two places you can start.
While you may have years of experience building simple websites, to many people HTML might as well be Greek or Russian. Even basic website skills are enough to get you started building websites for pay.
Like graphic design, you can get started with low paying gigs through a freelancer marketplace. As you build your skills, portfolio, and brand, you can charge more and more, and eventually become very selective about your projects. But to start, take anything you can get and use it as a learning experience to build your skills, business, and portfolio to bring in new clients in the future.
Learning web development for free online works similarly to graphic design. Once you have the basic skills, you can build a freelance business or agency. Ryan Waggoner offers some amazing guides that can help you build your new small business into a six-figure income.
Online Research and Tasks
If you have a single lazy bone in your body, you understand that many people are just too lazy (or busy) to do things for themselves, and they are happy to pay someone else to do those things for them. You can be that person who gets paid!
Research, travel reservations, gift orders, and data entry are just a few of the jobs hired for online. Thanks to services like Amazon Mechanical Turk, TaskRabbit, FancyHands, and others, you can quickly and easily connect with those looking to pay an assistant.
Be aware that the pay and skill level required varies dramatically for this type of work. On the low end, Mechanical Turk may just pay a few cents per job finished, but those jobs may take just a few seconds to complete. FancyHands pays a reasonable hourly rate. If you venture out on your own, you are responsible for setting your own pricing and there is no limit to what you can earn, but in this case you are also responsible for finding your own clients.
Teach a Class or Skill
If you have any skill whatsoever, you can likely find a way to earn income as a teacher or tutor. Successful teachers come from a wide variety of backgrounds. If you are great with kids and core curriculum topics, you can quickly become an hourly tutor. If you are good with music, instruments, or have a hobby that requires specialized skills, that could be your route to online income.
People have wide interests, and the internet allows you to reach nearly anyone in the world. You can create a series of classes and turn them into a course on a site like Udemy, start a blog teaching others how to do the skill to create income from advertising or affiliate products, or work with students as a one-on-one tutor or coach.
If you create the best course on the web on your favorite topic, whether it is building tiny model ships in a bottle, flying remote control airplanes, or homemade blown glass, there is someone out there likely to buy. If you create a course that costs $199 and you can sell just one per week, that is a $10,000+ annual income. Use your imagination to consider what you could earn if that class scales to sell to even more students.
Be Creative When Starting a New Business or Side Hustle
There are many ways to earn through a side hustle or self-employment. If you pick something you are passionate about, stick with it, and repeat what works, you’ll be on track to a reliable new income stream before you know it.
Of course, it won’t’ happen on its own. Building a business with or without a car takes hard work and dedication. But if you work hard, have a great product or service and a market of enthusiastic customers, you’ll be on your way to success. Now it’s time to get started!