No money? Start your own business…..

There is still a popular myth that starting your own business requires a chunk of money.

A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO I noticed there were several tree companies working in our neighborhood. Their assignment was to cut the trees back wherever there was danger of them falling against power lines. Their work often left the trees looking misshapen and distorted, thus they were frowned upon and treated badly by most of the neighborhood residents, even though they were doing work that needed to be done. While they were on my property I concluded that I would get better results if I befriended the workers. In doing so I also discovered they had to drive about 15 miles out in the country to dump each truckload of freshly chipped wood. I asked if they would mind just dumping the chips from my property right there in a big pile. They laughed at the thought of not having to waste an hour driving to their normal dump site. What they thought was trash I recognized as a bonus for me.

Over the course of about six months those tree companies brought me approximately 120 truckloads of chips. I have used them for nature trails, playground areas and in covering areas formerly full of rocks and thorns.

Neighbors have asked me if they could buy chips from me and wondered how I was so “lucky.”

If I were looking for another source of income I could sell this “free” product, install playgrounds or create nature trails as I have done on our property.

Cost of business – zero.


Here’s a related idea

WHEN OUR THREE KIDS WERE SMALL I had two old tractor tires in the back yard that were their favorite playground items. I recently duplicated the same thing for our grandchildren in our yard here in Tennessee. The tires you see came from our local tire dealer – and were absolutely free. I buried them about one/third deep in the ground, making them unmovable. Then my granddaughter Clara helped me paint them with a standard outdoor paint.

All the grandkids love these tires. They are indestructible and offer a multitude of possibilities. The kids climb up on them, jump from one to another, hide in them and let their imaginations run wild. With a few wood chips around them (free – see #18 ) they become a central playground attraction.

Could you promote and provide this remarkable attraction for homeowners in your town? Would they be willing to pay for it? Of course. Yes, digging the holes takes some work. But what if you had a package price of $500, $800 or $997? With an attractive flyer do you think you’d get some takers? Absolutely.

Start-up Costs: Obviously it would be helpful to have a pickup truck. Beyond that, a good shovel, pick and some good pictures of what you can do. Approximately $50


These are two of 48 ideas from Dan’s 48 Low-Cost Business Ideas.  You can see the entire document for free.  Just go to and scroll down the right hand side till you see the post-it-note.  Over 100,000 people have already downloaded the ideas and I’m hearing from lots of them who have ACTED.  Let me know your success story.


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