How to Start A Business With 3000 Or Less

Whether you’re starting a business on the side while still employed elsewhere, a student or homemaker looking for extra income, or unemployed and trying to figure out what to do, there are plenty of opportunities for you to start up a side business inexpensively. We’ll take a look at 10 such opportunities and, most importantly, tell you what to do with the 3K!

It’s unlikely any of the following will make you a living in the first few months, but they all have the potential to grow into full-time businesses.

1. Web Entrepreneur
It’s what everyone who’s ever surfed the Web dreams of — just stick a web site up there and watch the cash roll in! Well, that just doesn’t happen overnight, but the fact of the matter is it’s really not very hard to do. To do it right, start by picking a subject matter you know a lot about. Then get a domain and create a web site. It doesn’t even matter what technology you use — just make sure it looks good and provide plenty of original content. Now find some appropriate affiliate programs—that’s where your revenues are going to come from. Next, learn everything you can about search engine marketing and promote the heck out of your site. Last of all, set aside time every week to put new content on the site, delete dead links, and other maintenance. Now do this three or four times, and you’ve chosen your topics well, you might actually have some decent income from it.

Spend the 3,000 on: 800 or less for a domain and 1,000 for hosting. You can get cheap web design too (kitu 500).

2. Consultant
Getting into consulting is relatively simple. All you have to do is know how to do something better than most people do, and be able to either teach people how to do it or be willing to do it for them. Networking is the key to success in this business, so start by making a list of everyone you know and giving them all a call.

Spend the 3,000 on: 1,000 on a box of clean business cards and 500 buying your first prospect a cup of coffee one morning.

3. Housesitter /Babysitter
Nowadays, people feel an increased need for security, and house-sitting gives them some reassurance while they’re out of town. This one’s great because it basically requires no particular skills, just trustworthiness and reliability. Be sure to have personal references available, and you’ll also need reliable transportation. If you’re a baby lover, babysitting is an easy add-on.

Spend the 3,000 on: 200 on flyers to put up on bulletin boards and to pass around.

4. Professional Organizer
People these days are simply overwhelmed by their “stuff”. While there is an ever-growing trend of people wanting to simplify their lives, most of us haven’t done it yet. It’s not that people really have no clue how to get organized, it just keeps moving to the bottom of the stack, both figuratively and literally. There’s a prime opportunity for people to come in at a reasonable rate and get houses organized. And mostly it takes common sense, organizational skills, and a familiarity with where to get frequently used items cheaply. You can also do this online.

Spend the 3,000 on: Classified ads.

5. Independent Sales Representative
Sales has to be one of the most well paying ‘jobs’ out there. Just find a product you know people will love and sell it on commission. You can try this product, look here, or just ask around – the people you know are very resourceful, trust me.

Spend the 3,000 on: Possible sign up fees, maybe some samples; the rest on advertising.

6. Personal Services – Shopping & Errands
Believe it or not, there are people who are just too busy(or lazy) to do their own shopping. In addition, running petty errands is quite in demand – things like delivering small parcels and paying utility bills. Again, trustworthiness and dependability are the key traits for this. Also, make sure you know your way around the town/city you live in.

Spend the 3,000 on: 200 on flyers and the rest on classified ads.

7. Desktop Publishing
It’s amazing how many people have a computer and still don’t know how to do really simple stuff! If you’ve got a good design sense, are familiar with your word processor, and already have a laser or high-quality inkjet printer, you can get into desktop publishing. You can make fliers and posters for people. Create a really great-looking portfolio for yourself and go door-to-door.

Spend the 3,000 on: Some high-quality paper to create your samples on.

8. Tutoring
There’s an unprecedented need for tutors these days for kids of all ages—even adults! If you’ve got a topic you can tutor in, contact the local schools, particularly private ones, and even try door to door, and offer your services. Don’t be worried if your topic is highly specialized—even those are in demand.

Spend the 3,000 on: 1,000 on a box of clean business cards and 500 on flyers.

9. Online Freelancing
If you have a certain skill or if you can just do something really well, chances are there’s someone out there willing to pay you for it. Finding such people online is easy and all you need is the skills, the right attitude and reliability. Try look here.

Spend the 3,000 on: A nice looking website and reliable web hosting. Try these guys.

10. Secretarial Service – Typing / Transcription / Proofreading
Many small businesses and individuals have a need for these services, but not enough need to hire a full time employee. Assuming you’ve got a computer, a printer, and e-mail (and the necessary skills), you’re all set. Be prepared to charge by the job, not by the hour.

Spend the 3,000 on: 1,000 on a box of clean business cards and 500 on flyers.

One last thing — beware of small business scams that promise overnight riches or ‘easy money’. Sure,one can get rich overnight but practically speaking, it just does not happen.

Be prepared to work, and work hard, for your money.

Note: This post was modified into Kenyan terms (as much as I could) from the original writing found here.

Additional Resources


  1. People just need a little pat on the back and to be open to any kind of opportunity instead of having their minds set on a particular white collar job coz there are so many jobs like these and more out there.

  2. I love the tips on this site, they are always to the point and just the information I was looking for. Its hard to find good content these days in the world of spam and garbage sites.

  3. Am thrilled with all the tips they are all i need to be a good bussines lady

  4. peter ndirangu says:

    Please advise Am good in import and export documentation process trained by kenya revenue authority under simba 2005 tradex training in decralation and manifest module.How can i get a company i be making for them export n import documents as they are done online these days

  5. that’s great advice you got there

  6. Nice advice. Its informative.

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