For the last few years, there have been many entrepreneur gurus that love to promote the idea of passive income. Though there are many types of businesses that do run on autopilot after a while, this doesn’t mean that they are easy or that you don’t have to put the work in.
Related Post: 12 Low-Investment Business Ideas for Students
An example is that a restaurant can be passive income but is a lot of work the first few years before you get to the point where you can step back from the daily operations. This is a high barrier to entry type of business.
Instead of looking for passive income opportunities, I love to promote the idea of starting a business with a low barrier to entry so anybody can start making money. Some of them do have somewhat passive methods to make money, also.
In this article, I will go over several business opportunities that don’t require a huge investment or specialized knowledge to get started.
1 – Vending machine franchise
There was a time back in the 1980s when vending machines were promoted as the next big thing and a sort of get-rich-quick scheme. However, the idea was sound at the time. The problem then was that the machines were not really filling much of a need.
These days, people are looking for convenience and love the idea of a vending machine nearby to get them the things they need without much fuss.
Starting with a vending franchise business is a great way to get started in business as they are useful for the general public and it doesn’t cost a fortune to get started. In addition to that, technology like the Internet of Things has made it easier than ever to maintain the business.
Just about every product available these days can be turned into a vending machine business. Depending on the area you can choose from many different products. Just do some research into what is needed in a particular area. For example, if you are near a university, a vending machine that sells healthy snack options would be welcome by the students around there since they usually only have unhealthy options. The same would be good in an area where there are many people working out.
The possibilities are endless so you just have to find a gap in the market where you plan to operate and go from there.
2 – Affiliate marketing
Starting an affiliate marketing blog is one of the easiest ways to get started with your own business. Not to say that making money doing it is easy, just that it doesn’t take a lot to get going.
All you need is a few dollars to buy the domain and pay for hosting every month. What you do need in abundance are time and patience. It takes quite a lot of content to be able to make any money so there is the time it takes to create the content. In addition to that, it can take up to a year before you start seeing an income after you’ve done all the research and writing the content.
The way that it works is that you pick a topic for the website or blog. Let’s use gardening as an example. First, do a lot of research about what kind of gardening topics are being searched for but the results don’t adequately help the reader. This is where you should focus because helping readers will ensure that you are trusted and will be able to make money.
Then you write content about those gardening queries with links to products that are helpful in these situations. If your article topic is how to keep rats out of your garden then linking to a product that can keep the rat problem under control is helpful to your reader. Then, the link should have a tracking ID with your specific account when you’ve been approved by a program that gives you a commission when the person that clicked buys in a specified amount of time.
The most popular program is Amazon Associates since most people trust Amazon. You just need to apply to their affiliate program and can make money as soon as the article starts getting traffic.
There are also display ads to put up on the site that can bring in additional income. Once your site is established after a couple of years you may see a full-time income from it while only working a few hours per week.
3 – T-shirt business
Back before the internet hit its current golden age, starting a t-shirt business would have been really expensive. Either you had to buy t-shirt blanks in bulk and then pay to have minimum orders printed, or you bought the silk screening machines yourself to print. Whichever route you took was expansive.
These days, it is so easy that you don’t even have to touch a single garment at any point in the process so just about anybody can get started. The reason is that Print on Demand services are abundant.
The way it works is that you sign up for a program like Merch By Amazon or a service like Printful in which they will print and fulfill an order for your shirts as they come in. You supply the design and then set up a link for people to go to the product page and by directly from the POD service.
To be able to make money it is helpful to have a large social media following that would love to buy designs that you have made or have bought from a designer. In the above case in which you would have an affiliate blog about gardening, you could then promote shirts about gardening to your followers.
If you have a travel Instagram account, then your followers would likely love a weel designed t-shirt about travel, for instance.
You’ll pay some hefty fees for the service, but you can make around $5 in profit or more from each sale while doing none of the heavy lifting.