As an entrepreneur, your job is to trade valuable skills and time for someone else's money. If you don't provide value, you don't win the business. Positioning yourself to win revenue from a client doesn't require a hefty enterprise behind you. You can start a business that is small, lean, and doesn't require a lot of money to start. You don't need thousands in capital to be successful for many businesses.
Most of these low cost business ideas are service oriented for a reason. With a service based company you are trading your time for your client's money. Even with simple product based companies doing reselling on Craigslist or eBay require an upfront investment to buy products to sell. If you can't make a profitable sale, you're out the initial investment. With a service company, your only concern is doing the job right and getting your invoice paid on time. Here are 6 businesses you can bootstrap with little upfront investment.

Wedding Consultant

There is a lot of money to be made on weddings. The average wedding costs $27,000, and that money goes to a wide variety of services ranging from flower delivery to photography. But managing a wedding and all of the choices can be overwhelming for a couple. All you need to start this business is a solid understanding of the wedding industry and contacts of local service providers. You could do your first wedding without spending a dollar on marketing by starting with friends and family.

Cleaning Service

Whether you target the residential or commercial market, a cleaning service can be easy to start. All you need to succeed is to show up on time and have cleaning supplies. Many couples are too busy at their jobs and other activities that having their home cleaned once per week or month can be a huge value to them. That extra few hours every month is time they normally wouldn't get to spend together. You could get started for less than $100 even if you had to purchase all new supplies at the store.

Education Tutoring and Consulting

Colleges are receiving an ever increasing number of applicants for a limited supply of freshman spots. Parents are worried about their kids getting into the best schools, getting the most scholarships, and having the best test scores. You could start by providing tutoring to students on a particular subject or helping them with test prep. You could do basic marketing on bulletin boards in local grocery stores, libraries, and by talking to your network in your local area. You don't need any expensive equipment to tutor a high school student in math, so your start up costs would essentially be zero.

Nanny and Childcare Services

The wait list for many of the best preschools and daycare locations are months or years long. Parents looking for a more affordable option would love to have a responsible adult watch their child in their own home. Your only start up costs are being bonded and insured, and having a good reputation. You might have to start small and only provide some part-time support to a family and work your way into a full-time role elsewhere.

Landscaping and Lawn Care

Taking care of your yard is a chore that takes a lot of time and is dependent on the weather. It might rain on the days you have time to do work in the yard, and be sunny when you're too busy to set foot outside. Many families use basic lawn care services. All you need to get started are a mower and a vehicle to transport it. You don't have to start out with the massive truck and the riding lawnmower; you could easily mow another yard by folding up your push mower and putting it in the trunk of your car.

Freelancing Your Best Skill

The best -- and easiest -- way to start a company with low investment costs is to take a skill you are great at and that is valuable in the marketplace, and to sell it to those in need of the skill. You might freelance your ability to write articles, to build websites, or to teach music lessons. Having specific skills limits your competition and increases your chances of charging a livable rate. How many expert french horn players live in your city? A lot fewer than the number of people that can watch children or mow yards. The more specific and unique your skills, the easier time you will find differentiating yourself in the marketplace.