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Consulting is probably the easiest business to start on the cheap, because you’re selling your expertise, be it in human resources, technology, the environment, social media or whatever, and you can launch the business from home. Consulting is big business: Companies are expected to spend more than $360 billion on consulting services this year, according to Plunkett Research.

Overhead costs will include business cards, marketing and any required certification. Plus, Michalowicz notes, most people forget that when you work from home, your utility bills jump — and it’s more wear and tear on your car, driving to clients’ offices, meetings or networking events.

Photo: John Lund | Marc Romanelli | Blend Images | Getty Images