13 Recession Proof Businesses That Can Be Launched for Less Than $100

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If you're having a hard time finding a job or if you fear your job won't be around much longer, you might start thinking about launching your own business. Many recession-proof businesses can be started for less than $100--some of them can even be launched for free.
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Webpreneur

There are many ways to make money online. You can place ads on your Twitter account, make money on your blog or place affiliate links on your e-commerce site. Anyone can get a domain name and create a website for under $100. Once that's done, it's up to you to decide how you can make your money, how much money you'll need to make and how much time you're willing to invest in your web business.

Virtual Assistant

Many small businesses and individuals need secretarial services but have no desire to hire a full-time employee--particularly in a recession. If you have a computer, printer, email, and other basic supplies, you can fill this need as a virtual assistant. Some of the services you can offer include typing, proofreading, mailing, and Internet research.

Web Writer

The Internet is an addiction that just continues to grow--recession or not. You can get into the booming industry by starting a business as a web writer. All you need is an ability to spell, a passing knowledge of grammar and a desire to share information with the world. Having your own blog or website won't hurt either. You can find web writing jobs on sites like Craigslist and About Freelance Writing. Content providers, such as Associated Content and eHow, are always looking for contributors.

Resume Writer

With the national unemployment rate nearing double digits, there'ss no shortage of people in need of professional resume help. If you've written your fair share of resumes in the past or are willing to study resumes online, you can meet the need with your own resume writing business.

Direct Seller

The recession is leading waves of people into direct selling (Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, etc.) Direct sales reps can earn up to a 50 percent commission on products they sell in addition to rewards like jewelry, vacations and free cars. All they need to do is knock on doors and host parties. Getting into the biz is cheap too. For under$20, you can get the Avon starter kit of products. For less than $100, you can begin selling Tupperware or Mary Kay.

E-tailer

Online shopping is growing despite (or possibly as a result of) the recession. You can join the ranks of e-tailers quickly and cheaply via online auction sites like eBay, Yahoo!, Overstock and WeBidz. Selling opportunities also exist on Amazon, Buy.com, and hundreds of other online marketplaces. You can sell used stuff from home or garage sales or new merchandise obtained through wholesalers and other outlets.

Matchmaker

It may sound crazy, but plenty of people do make a living by running online dating services. This industry is worth billions, and one of the few fields that continues to grow during the recession. Starting a dating site isn't as complicated as one might expect. There are several dating service software and community programs that can be purchased off the shelf. Many may be licensed for less than $100.

Landlord or Innkeeper

Although travel has taken a hit, people still need cheap places to stay when they're away from home. If you own a large enough house, you can rent out a room or two or open a bed and breakfast. Sure, you'll have to share your home with guests you barely know, but the extra cash you make each month may make it worthwhile.

Bill Collector

Mounting consumer debt is creating a boom in the collections industry. If you know how to use a telephone, you can get your foot in the door with cheap training from the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA). The ACA offers CD-ROMs, DVDs, books, and other training materials that may be purchased for less then $100.

Pet Care Professional

Dedicated pet owners are rarely deterred by things like a recession. Most are willing to chuck out the necessary cash to make sure their pets receive proper care. You can capitalize on this unwavering need by offering pet services, such as dog walking, pet sitting, grooming and doo-doo cleanup.

Tutor

Students struggle whether the economy is good or bad. If you are knowledgeable about a particular school subject, you can easily start a business as a tutor. To get going, buy a box of business cards and hang up a few flyers in public places. Then, contact local school systems (public and private) and homeschooling associations to let them know you're available.

Consultant

If you're an expert on one particular topic, you can make money from your knowledge with a consulting business. Consulting is a high-paying profession with relatively low start-up costs. For under $100, you can print up a few business cards and buy at least one well-placed ad. Good consulting businesses to start during the recession include IT consulting and career consulting. If you have a strong platform to work from, you can also write a book to share your knowledge with an even wider group of people.

Consignment Shop Owner

Thrift shops have seen huge revenue increases in recent months. Retail sales continue to grow as the recession drives people to bargain hunt like they have never bargain hunted before. If you have a nice garage, a well-lit shed or another building you can use, you may be able to start your own consignment shop. Initial inventory can be gathered from your own home, friends, family and solicited donations. You can also find $100 worth of stock at garage sales and other consignment shops to fill out your tables and hangers.

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Featured Schools

Kaplan University

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  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate

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Louisiana State University Shreveport

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  • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration

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American National University

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  • Business Administration Management - Associate
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Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Applied Economics
  • MA in Public Management

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Notre Dame de Namur University

  • Masters in Business Administration

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Georgetown University

  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
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Regent University

  • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Law - Business
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Colorado State University Global

  • Master of Project Management
  • BS - Accounting
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