Do you want to start a business but lack ideas and seed capital? If YES, here are 30 best small business ideas & opportunities you can do on your smartphone.

With the many advancements in technology, it has become possible to start a business with little or no seed capital. The digital age offers entrepreneurs the ability to launch and grow a business using a set of online platforms and tools that can be installed or accessed on a Smartphone.

In that vein, a Smartphone can be one the greatest assets of an entrepreneur who wishes to start a business but has no seed capital. When the abilities of the smart phone is maximized, it can be used to run a business from anywhere in the world. Here is how you can start a business with a Smartphone even if you do not have a seed capital;

How to Start a Business With a Smartphone and No Seed Capital in 10 Steps

1. Don’t quit your job yet: first things first, starting a business is risky. Starting a business with no money is even riskier. The longer you keep your job, the less pressure you put on yourself. When you start your business, you are not yet ready to walk away from a steady paycheck. It’s true that you’ll have to work harder, but you also need to pay your bills as you grow your business. Once your business starts to generate revenue, you can start thinking about transitioning out of your job.

2. Access what you have at your disposal: if you are want to start a new business without a seed capital, you should make a assessment to know what you have at your disposal that can be employed to start off your business. You will have to consider your;

  • Skills: what can you do?
  • Experience: what have you done in the past?
  • Knowledge: what do you know?

It is very important that you should give an in-depth thought to these questions so as to know what you have at hand already apart from your Smartphone. Go beyond what comes to mind immediately. You should do well to jot down your responses to these questions. Your written responses will help to shape the kind of business you can start with your smart phone.

3. Work on Your Business Idea: Coming up with a great business idea is just the beginning of your journey as an entrepreneur. There are many more steps that you need to take before you can get started. In order to guarantee the success of your business, you will have to flesh out your business idea.

Does your business idea bring anything new to the table? What value will it generate? Is it something your target audience really wants? Or is it something you think they’d want? Getting answers to these questions is important to determine whether or not your idea works.

4. Start with a “phone friendly” business model: you have to bear in mind that even though your Smartphone can do a lot of things, there are some businesses that you cannot just run with only a Smartphone. Certain types of businesses naturally lend themselves to being run on mobile devices, whereas others may present more challenges.

For instance, you probably cannot start a full-service web design firm with just a Smartphone. You’d need a desktop computer and some professional software in order to really get the job done. However, if you want to develop mobile apps, there are tools available for you to do that on a mobile device.

In addition, businesses that don’t require a computer or a place of business that customers visit, and require only a small amount of supplies and equipment can be easily ran with just a smartphone. For instance, businesses such as handymen, maid service, gutter cleaning, home decorator, seamstress and car detailing to name a few can be run successful with a Smartphone.

You can often get leads through home-service sites, online yellow pages, social media or word of mouth, directly to your phone– and you can work out of your home or by visiting clients at their residences or places of business. Be sure to check on any licensing and other requirements in your locale.

5. Get the right apps: to increase the functionality of you Smartphone you will need to have some apps installed in it. For some businesses, you definitely will need add-on apps. For example, to run an mCommerce business (the term “mCommerce” stands for a mobile based eCommerce business) you will need a Ecommerce application that is mobile friendly, and a fulfillment or drop ship service.

And as a writer, it might be possible to type by hand on your Smartphone’s on-screen keyboard, but wouldn’t it be so much better to use a voice transcription app of some kind? In addition, you will need basic apps necessary to run a business today.

For instance, you might need a note taking app to keep track of information and organize tasks. You probably will need some kind of expense tracking, invoicing and/or accounting software app to keep your books straight. And many businesses could use a cloud project management app, especially for businesses like event planning where organization skills are central to daily execution.

6. Master mobile communication: communication is a very important aspect of any business. As a business owner, you will need to communicate with your team members, customers or potential clients irrespective of if you have tons of expensive equipment or just a Smartphone to work with.

You will need to get used to using the small keyboard of a smart phone or find a way to get around this problem. Email is one of the most popular communication methods for mobile professionals. Even though a quick response to a business partner may contain grammatical errors and abbreviation, it’s not advisable to go down the same route when dealing with clients or customers.

So if you’re communicating with clients or anyone who might expect a detailed response, you need to take the time to communicate in a way that’s satisfactory. And if you use a voice app to dictate responses, be sure to review the communications for accuracy before sending the message out.

You can also consider having a response template prepared before hand so that you will not have to type out long information. You can also shore up your mobile communication strategy with apps like Google Hangouts, Skype or Apple FaceTime that let you communicate with others on other devices through voice, video or text chat.

7. Make social media work for you: Being active on social media is an essential activity for a lot of businesses, regardless of whether or not they’re run on smart phones. But luckily for mobile business owners, most popular social platforms have comprehensive mobile apps to make this function fairly straightforward.

In fact, some social apps like Instagram and Snapchat are only really available for full use on mobile devices. So if you’re running a business on your Smartphone, take full advantage of those social platforms by using them to showcase your social media strategy, branding and marketing from anywhere.

8. Back up important data: even though smart phones are a great business tool, a vast majority of them do not have enough storage space in them. And what space you have may be eaten up by adding multiple apps. If you’re running a business, you’re going to need a place to store all of your important documents, images, videos and other files.

In order to expand your storage space, you can get a memory card. However another more modern and secure option is to expand your data storage to a secure Cloud storage app. That way, even if your Smartphone drops into the river or is lost, your important business files will still be available and protected.

Some Smartphone companies including Apple and Samsung, have some cloud storage options that you can use for certain items. But you might also explore apps like Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive to store some of your important items in the cloud. With these services, you can also potentially share items with team members using other mobile devices.

9. Do all the work yourself: Starting a business with no money means that you have to learn to do things that you would normally delegate to an employee or an outside company. Granted, doing all the work yourself can be quite exhausting, but you may just be left with no other option since you do not have any seed capital. In addition doing all the work yourself will ensure that you plough back as much funds as possible back into the business.

10. Experiment and adapt: flexibility and adaptability are a competitive advantage if you want to run a business from your Smartphone. You succeed not by becoming too fixated on a single goal or outcome but by being responsive to changes in the environment.

What worked for others may not work exactly for you, so you will have to experiment, adjust and adapt your business to suit the realities on ground. Here are some businesses you can start with your Smartphone with no seed capital.

30 Best Business ideas to Start with a Smartphone and No Seed Capital

i. Car Service: Provided you have a car with a spacious back seat–and you’re good at keeping it clean and tidy–you can start a car service without much effort, particularly if you live in a smaller town without major taxi regulations.

The biggest hurdle is getting the appropriate driver’s license for your state and/or city (check with your state’s DMV for details). Once that’s out of the way, you can put up a simple website and offer a phone number for customers to schedule pickups.

Your phone can double as a calendar and address book to keep track of appointments, and it can work as a GPS device to ensure you’re going the right way. Check out UberCab, which lets passengers book travel on private cars directly from their Smartphone.

ii Writer: granted starting a career as a writer without a computer can be quite a difficult prospect. There are tons of websites that need content particularly large blog sites that need a lot of content due to the amount of traffic they have on their websit. So to get additional content, they have to hire additional writers to write content for them.

They may tell you the topics they need or you may have to come up with an idea for a topic on your own that is related to a particular niche. In Japan it’s becoming popular to write and distribute entire novels via cell phone, specifically text message–in 2007, five of the top ten bestselling novels in Japan were “cellphone novels” written specifically for the medium.

iii. Blogging: a blog is an individual website that is updated on a regular basis. If you love to write, then you can open up a blog where you can discuss a range of issues. There are many different ways by which a blog can be monetized so you should not stick to just one.

You can make money through blogging by putting up adverts on your blog, selling your own courses and books, affiliate marketing and of course Google AdSense. The more traffic you have, the more money you’ll make. Even if you post to your blog every day but only have ten people looking at it, you won’t make much money.

Though blogging is not a get rich scheme, it is a very good way to make some cash. A variety of iPhone apps exist for the major blog platforms (including WordPress and Tumblr) to expedite mobile posts, and many other platforms (such as TypePad) have mobile services built right in. But there’s no need to stop at blogging.

iv Videographer: in times past, in order to carry out the duties of a documentarian, filmmaker, or other video-production professional, you will need to have a ton of equipment in addition to a sizeable crew in order to get a day’s worth of shots. These days, there are a lot of smart phones that have HD quality cameras.

This makes it possible to shoot with a high-end cell phone. In addition, there are a ton of apps that you can download which can be used to easily edit the videos. You can also shoot custom video for clients, which can be distributed directly to them while you’re still on location, or upload it to YouTube with little more than a click and a swipe.

v. Life Coach: in order to become a life coach, you do not need any real credentials, degree, and any special business license in order to give people your opinion on how they should run their lives. Throw together a website touting your expertise–the more outrageous the design, the better–get some testimonials from people friendly to your cause, and write up a few stories that show off how wise and intelligent you are.

Once the clients come calling, you can book appointments for in-person meetings or, better yet, telephone calls. Charge premium rates or monthly retainers for folks who’d like 24/7 attention.

vi. Virtual Assistant: everyone needs help from time to time. Virtual assistants let people with too much on their plate outsource their most menial tasks for a fee. Exactly what you do is up to you and your client, but the most successful virtual assistants are the ones who will do just about anything that is legal.

Realistically you’ll be buying event tickets, researching vacations, fetching dry cleaning, and even dog sitting from time to time. Be clear about your fee structure–most assistant’s bill hourly plus expenses, or offer prepackaged monthly deals for a set number of tasks–and promote the heck out of yourself.

vii. Tech Support: if you are quite knowledgeable in fixing computers and answering technical questions, then you can get paid doing this. You will need a good web page which lists out the services you have to offer. Use keywords and make sure you’re specific about the local boundaries of any on-site service.

Most people looking for help will Google “city name tech support” or something along those lines, so you will have to make sure that your web page is SEO optimized. Craigslist is a popular spot for advertising your wares when business is slow.

viii. Mobile App Developer: Mobile apps have become incredibly popular. So it’s an increasingly popular business idea as well. From your own Smartphone, you can build and test mobile apps for your own venture and sell them for a profit, or you can even contract with other companies to create apps for them.

ix. Social media Marketer: Social media websites like facebook, twitter, instagram et al. provide a lot of opportunities for marketers. If you want to start a social media business from your Smartphone, you can offer to post content for business clients on their accounts. Or you can become an influencer and work with brands to spread the word about their offerings on your accounts.

x. Event Planner: Working on events, from weddings to corporate functions, requires a lot of planning and organizational skills. Luckily, there are plenty of mobile apps that offer the ability to manage schedules, lists and more. And of course, you can use your phone to keep in touch with clients and vendors, through both phone calls and emails.

xi. eCommerce Seller: a lot of people who shop online these days do so from their Smartphone. So you can also now set up those mobile shops right from your Smartphone. Doing so will actually give you a better idea of how your shop will look to potential mobile customers so you can make sure the shopping experience is compatible with popular mobile devices. Since you do not have any seed capital, you can go into drop shipping which does not require any capital to get started.

xii. Airbnb Host: Home rental services like Airbnb let anyone with some extra space in their home, or a separate income property, make extra cash by renting it out. With the Airbnb app, or others like it, you can create a listing for your home or room and manage communication with renters right from your phone or mobile device.

xiii. Editorial Services: Here are some of the editorial services you can provide with your smart phone and get paid:

  • Copyediting. This involves checking facts making sure that a copy is free from any grammatical, stylistic and typographical errors.
  • Proofreading. This is the last stop for a “finished” piece. The proofreader makes sure the copyediting changes have been properly made and no new errors are created in the process.
  • Indexing. There are indexing courses available and you can get indexing software in order to help you carry out this job.
  • Developmental editing. A developmental editor works with a manuscript on big-picture things like organization and content issues.
  • Book doctoring. This is an editorial service provided for manuscripts written by experts. They create a manuscript as best they can and then a book doctor puts it into publishable shape.
  • Ghost Writing. As a ghost writer, you actually do the research and write the book and someone else’s name is attached as the author.
  • Copywriting. Also known as business writing, this is writing that promotes a product or a service.
  • Book writing. Do you have an expertise in something professional, such as accounting or interior decorating? Then you can write a book about it and make a lot of money from it.
  • Magazine article writing. Magazines and newspapers are a great way to get your writing published before tackling the daunting task of writing a whole book.
  • Web page content provider. Providing content for a web site is a good way to make some money writing.

xiv. Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketers promote the products of other people. In return, they get commissions on their sales. Amazon is one of the most popular platforms for affiliate marketing, but there are alternatives that you can consider like Commission Junction.

Since affiliate marketing is typically combined with blogging in order to create a seamless mix of content and promotion, you’ll need to get your own blog up and running first. You can easily go into affiliate marketing with just a Smartphone that has internet access.

xv. Translation service: if you can read and write more than one language, you can always monetize this skill to make money by offering to help people translate written and spoken words from one language to another. With the ever increasing number of non-English speakers in America, translation services are a booming business. You can be an independent translator and offer your services on freelance websites.

xvi. YouTube Channel: Every day, over 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube and your video can be one of them. When well-managed, a YouTube channel can be just as or even more profitable than a traditional blog. For starters, you don’t require a domain nor do you need to spend money on hosting your channel.

You also have a large audience and a readymade platform for you to work with. Furthermore, AdSense approval through YouTube is easy and what’s more, you can start earning from the very first day you create your account and make a post. You can just go to YouTube, upload a video and you can get started from there.

There are tons and tons of niches to choose from like online reviews, comedy, how-to, real estate, business, gaming, and motivation channels etc. You can get paid through by enabling Google AdSense on your channel, through sponsored videos and through sale of your services or the services of others on YouTube.

xvii Sponsored social media post: this involves letting an advertiser send a tweet, Facebook or Instagram post on your profile and then getting paid for it. Celebrities and people with a lot of followers can easily engage in this. To get started, head over to a sponsored post website such as Sponsoredtweets, connect your Facebook account, email and other social media profile to the platform.

The website will analyses your profile and then determine how much you will get paid for each post you promote on your profile. For each tweet, you could get a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on if you have a lot of followers that are engaged with your content. You can make a lot of money doing this if you have a lot of followers on social media.

xviii. : having a social media account is something almost all businesses does now. Every brand needs to be active on social media to keep up with customers, yet the owner of the brand may not have the time or the skill to handle this. So if you want to help people build a better brand on social media be it Facebook, Instagram or twitter then this job is for you. Freelance websites such as Seoclerk, Fiverr, Upwork can help to get you in contact with people who are looking for these types of services

xix. Podcast: a podcast is like a personal radio show where you talk about specific topics. Before you think about monetizing your podcast, you have to make sure t hat it is filled with rich and engaging content. You can monetize your podcast through sponsorship, affiliate marketing or even sale of your own product.

xx. Transcription service: a lot of people who do videos or audios need a transcription service. It could be a lecture, court case, podcast, audios, interviews, videos, movies etc. Manual human transcription services are in high demand mainly because there is no decent application or computer program that can transcribe audios to text with accuracy. You can make use of freelancer websites or transcibeme.com to get work on a regular basis.

xxi. Online survey: these are surveys that are carried out by companies online in other to investigate certain aspects of their products. It may be in form of an opinion poll, answering questions about how often you shop and what you shop for or even reviewing a product. Online surveys pay one to fifty dollars per survey depending on how much time that is required.

xxii. Mobile app tester: a lot of companies offer money to testers who are tasked with testing mobile apps to find out if they work in the way they are intended and/or if they have any bugs. You will be given instructions and parameters that will dictate how the work will be carried out.

xix. Corporate English trainer: there are various foreign individuals from countries like Germany, Korea, China, France et al. who would like to increase their knowledge of both the oral and written English. The work of an English trainer will then have to be to coach such individuals on the language whether through the phone or over video service like Skype.

The training may be in form of making conversations with them or even following an already existing syllable. This work is best suited for native English speakers who love interacting with people of other ethnicities while also impacting knowledge in them. You will also need a high speed internet connection to do this job.

xx. engine evaluator: here, search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. will give you certain information or search terms. Your work will now be to find out how well the results that the engine provides matches the search terms. This job pays between 9 to 10 dollars an hour.

xxi. Resume writing: considering that the rejection rate of resumes is very high, it only makes sense that the service of a resume writer is often needed. As a resume writer, your task will be to write clear, engaging and professional resumes that stand out from the rest. You will have to create or redesign an existing resume so that it can be persuasive, creative and formatted correctly to be able to result to an interview invite and subsequently a job.

xxii. Micro tasks: micro task are those task that are short, easy to complete and low paying. Usually, the tasks pay range upward of $0.01 per task. The most reputable company in this line where you should begin your search is Amazon MTurk.

xxviii. Clean People’s Houses: a lot of people are in need of help in order to keep their homes clean. Hiring the services of professional cleaners can be quite costly so it is not surprise that a lot of people will be glad if they could have a cost effective alternative. If you like cleaning and are detailed about it, a house cleaning business might be right for you.

To get your business started, make a list of what types of cleaning you’ll do. For example, will you clean bathrooms and kitchens? Will you dust? Vacuum? Will you clean windows? Make sure the jobs are jobs you can do well and don’t forget the safety aspect. For example, you might want to rule out cleaning window exteriors that require the need for a ladder.

The next thing you will have to do is to set the amount of money you will be willing to accept for an hour of work. Normally, professional maid cleaning services charge about $25 to $35 for an hour of worth of cleaning. If you can do your work quickly, thoroughly and charge $12 to $15 an hour, you’ve just given potential clients a reason to hire you over a traditional maid service.

There are a lot of websites that where you can list your services for free. In addition, you can also list your services on social media.

xxix. Gutter cleaning: Gutters will fill with leaves and debris and will clog if not cleaned. Spray them out using a forceful sprayer and even install gutter guards to up-sell your service. Again, you can make use of social media to advertise your services.

xxx. Errand service: this is one business which people who have no skill can easily key into. It simply involves helping individuals who are busy or are under any other form of restriction perform some certain tasks. For example, under this service, you can offer to run local errands for nursing mothers, sick people or senior citizens for a fee.

To be able to get constant work in this field, you should be trustworthy and have a good knowledge of the road network. Your customers can easily call you on your phone when they are in need of your services.

Ajaero Tony Martins

Founder / Publisher at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd
Ajaero Tony Martins is an Entrepreneur, Real Estate Developer and Investor; with a passion for sharing his knowledge with budding entrepreneurs. He is the Executive Producer @JanellaTV and also doubles as the CEO, POJAS Properties Ltd.
Ajaero Tony Martins

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