Project Bootstrap – Working your way back up from the bottom rung

Following on from my last post, my plan is to come up with some ideas, basic business plans and other help for those who would like to start their own businesses, but have nothing.

Obviously there are plenty of immoral ways to earn incomes, but I won’t be dealing with those.

What I want is a range of plans that people who are, lest we miss the point, very poor. Negative money.

So, we need low to ultra low start up costs. We need to avoid things that require a CRB or other background check, because they cost both time and money, if even attainable. We need a rapid return on investment – if you borrow £10 to start your venture you don’t want to be wiped out by a legal or illegal loan shark, nor in debt to a friend for days or weeks.

The first ideas I came up with were OK, but many required a phone number, transport or other expense.

The best I came up with was oven cleaning. It requires no outlay beyond oven cleaner and some cheap gloves. Tissue paper, plastic bags & other useful things can be collected for free without much trouble.

Asking around, most ideas were likewise fatally flawed – you can’t be child minding with background checks, & let’s face it, only a certain demographic would be employable. But it might work.

Dog walking was suggested. This is another good suggestion. Almost no start up cost, and anyone who can afford a dog can afford to have them walked on occasion.

These are also local services. This helps if there is no useful way of contacting someone beyond cheap flyers or posters.

I’ve thrown this out on Twitter. A few ideas have come in already. Please comment below, and I’ll be updating this as things progress.

1 Comment

  1. Nigel on January 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    So far suggestions from Twitter have been:

    @jc_locks: Shoe shine.
    This might need a pedlar’s license or the like.

    @quarkbutter: Ironing, Cleaning or other service.
    Requires some skill – if you have them, sell them!

    @locksmithBS: Bike repair.
    Apparently the Princes’Trust can help teach the basic skills.

    @Ubijay: Drop shipping.
    Use free library computer time to get set up. Your Milage May Vary – having tried drop shipping in the past it sometimes works but often does not.

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