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10 cheap business ideas to start for under £5,000

If you’re looking for cheap business ideas with bags of potential, take a look at these...

10 low-cost business ideas

1. eBay business
2. Wedding planning
3. Childcare and babysitting
4. Tutoring
5. Editing and proofreading
6. Market stall
7. Sports coaching
8. Handyman business
9. Cleaning business
10. IT support and repairs

IT support and repair business

What does an IT support and repair business involve?

Pretty much everyone has used an IT support technician at some point; these people come in and fix problems with either the hardware or software of a computer, often the result of hacking and viruses.

How much does it cost to start an IT support and repair business?

Obviously you will need your own computer (although, if you want to set up an IT repair business, you'll probably have one of these already). Any subsequent costs will depend on the type of repairs you will be offering; however it's probably a good idea to invest in a basic toolkit, including screwdrivers, earthing straps, cables and socket sets. This will probably set you back around £200.

In addition, you'll probably need to subscribe to expertise databases, set aside a small amount for marketing, and invest in a vehicle which gives the appearance of professionalism and reliability.

How much can I earn running an IT support and repair business?

Someone who works from home and runs their business almost as a hobby, might charge £30 an hour for their service; but if you're serious about building an IT support business and are prepared to offer a high-quality service, you should be able to charge more.

A decent starting point might be £40 an hour. As your business grows and you gain experience, you'll be able to increase your rates accordingly.

What sort of skills and personality do I need?

Word of mouth is crucial in this area, so you need to build a strong reputation, based on being simple to deal with and trustworthy – especially if you're offering your services to businesses and gaining access to confidential data. It's also important to avoid the sort of jargon which can alienate the layman, and make you seem inaccessible.

Remember that the value of this service lies in your ability to root out problems and resolve them quickly – so your detective skills may ultimately be as important as your IT ones.

Top tips for IT success

  • Good people skills are a must; you want to come across as  friendly, polite and trustworthy.
  • Offer value-added services, such as regular healthchecks for your retained clients.
  • Always look for the up-sell and the on-sell, creating additional revenue from selling things like web hosting and broadband access. This could earn you an extra £200 a month for doing absolutely nothing.

If you're a computer whizz who's also good with people, read our guide on how to start your own IT support business.

Ready to get started? Find out everything you need to know about how to start your own business here.