I spent $12,432 developing a business that should bring me $10/hr for 5 hours per week. It’s all income now, and I can write off my expenses, so it’s an investment.
Except that it’s not. Check it out:
It will take almost five years to recoup the initial expense, and only then will the income be a profit. Even at that, the $12k invested in the market was likely to earn at least $2600 in that same period, so your true profit date lags ever further behind.
If you’re looking at starting a business, look for rock bottom opening costs, and the best income possible. Some great business ideas with low startup costs include: tutoring, petsitting, in-home child care, writing under contract, programming, website development, Uber driving, AirBnB hosting, gardening for a neighbour, bookkeeping, and housecleaning. Most of these can be done from your home. All of them can be done within your immediate neighbourhood, eliminating travel time and cost to and from the job site. Depending on where you live, pay for each can range from $10/hr to $170/hr.
Choose the one that gives you the most joy and energy, that pays the most, and that is needed in your area. With a $10 domain name, a free WordPress.com website, and home-printed posters or business cards, you’ll have a tiny outlay and start raking it in. For $5/month, you can track all your income and expenses in YNAB.
Remember: If you’re receiving government benefits that require you to report your income, be sure to do so. If your expenses are a touch higher than outlined above, print out for the agency your report of income minus necessary expenses. Many programs consider only the net gain.
Whichever business you choose, choose a path that fills you with happiness, allows you to charge a reasonably high amount, and can be opened for less than $100. Then, watch the true profit pour in.