If you’re an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to start a business, but your budget is a hindrance, don’t despair, we’ve got plenty of low-cost small business ideas to help you begin. Whether you have some money stashed away or have a hobby that you’re passionate about, you can make money from it and re-invest profits to grow the business.
You don’t need vast sums of cash or take out a business loan to get your business idea running. There are businesses that you can start with just $1,000 or less.
If you desire to start a business and need inspiration, we’ve put together this business list with thought-provoking ideas to help you know where to begin.
1. Ecommerce Store
The availability of the internet has made it possible to transact business from remote locations. Companies keep mushrooming every other day owing to the convenience of selling online. You get to reach a wider audience with minimum effort and resources. Whether you want to sell your inventions or are drop shipping a fast-moving item that your clients need, you can quickly and cost-effectively set up an online store with minimum capital.
2. Content Writing
If you are passionate about writing and have a firm grasp of the written word, consider starting a freelance writing business. Even if you lack a degree or experience, you can write blogs for businesses, copywriting for marketing purposes, and create landing pages and website content.
It would be great if you had an internet connection, a computer, and the determination to succeed. First, search for credible websites that offer freelance writing opportunities like Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer, iWriter, etc.
Once you identify a bidding platform or job board, you must create a profile indicating your writing capabilities. Creating a portfolio will help you market your services and show potential clients what you’re capable of. Once established, you can launch a personal blog or website with writing samples. If you have views for an article, you can pitch it to a publication.
Remember that the pay is commensurate with experience, so to get entry-level positions, you may have to accept lower rates initially.
3. Marketing Consultancy
If you are well versed in business administration, marketing, or advertising and have relevant working experience, you could offer promotional services that create brand awareness for businesses.
You can decide what kind of marketing you want to specialize in. You may utilize digital marketing through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tiktok. When properly optimized, these channels can generate traffic and increase conversions.
Utilizing SEO by using keywords and key phrases to help products and services appear in search engines is another possibility. Using keywords in meta descriptions, inserting them in title tags, and using them throughout the article can significantly boost an article’s ranking.
4. Delivery Services
If you don’t mind driving or riding your bike for prolonged periods, you can make money packing and delivering orders from restaurants, grocery stores, or online sellers. First, you will need a business license that you can apply for from your local authorities. Several on-demand delivery apps can help you get your first client. UberEATS, GoPuff, Glovo, Instacart, or Postmates are some reliable options that you can try out. Once you gain experience, find clients and set your rates. Choosing a niche and specializing will help you get more customers.
Conduct a route mapping before you launch your business to understand your itinerary well. As much as possible, have a strategy in place to simplify matters. As the business grows, decide whether to hire and train drivers or contract independent staff who can work on a contractual basis.
5. Yoga Instructor
If you identify with the benefits of the ancient practice, then you’ll want to consider sharing that knowledge. Yoga Alliance can help you find credible training programs near you. Their member assistance programs help you gain access to personal or professional resources and tools at no cost.
Yoga Alliance is a comprehensive wellness support program that offers online lessons and teacher training opportunities. It utilizes proven methodologies, sound research, and reliable data to adapt its standards to the online environment. Their online programs enable them to reach audiences across the globe. They have a 200-hour and a 500-hour program you can choose from depending on the kind of yoga services you’d like to offer. The platform also facilitates you in getting your yoga certification.
6. Social Media Management
Social media has become a force to reckon with, not just for entertainment but as a cost-effective marketing platform for businesses. Not everyone is knowledgeable about reaching customers on social media. They prefer outsourcing such tasks to social media managers.
The advantage of starting a social media startup is that it doesn’t require a substantial financial investment. All you need is a desktop or smartphone and a stable internet connection. Also, you don’t necessarily need a degree to qualify, but you may enroll in short online courses to help you sharpen your skills.
If you’re getting started, you may consider volunteering to operate social media business accounts for free to gain credibility. Use that experience by adding it to your portfolio and market your skills.
Life is becoming busier, and no matter how much parents desire to always be around their kids, it’s not very practical. Even stay-at-home-mums need assistance from time to time. If you love children, you can offer childcare services at the customer’s home. Since dealing with children is delicate, getting a degree in child psychology with a first aid certification is essential. You must also pass a background check if a client requests one.
Still, you will need a daycare business license and insurance. Additionally, you need a current CPR certificate, a clean driving record, and an Early Childhood Education certificate. Starting a daycare is practical as the requirements are minimal. You must adhere to health and safety regulations.
8. Physical Personal Trainer
If you are a fitness crusader, you can transform your passion into profit by training others to get into shape. The National Commission accredits programs such as ACE and NASM for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which can help you acquire certification.
Training with ACE will take approximately four months of study time to prepare for the exam. On the other hand, NASM offers career-boosting programs to help you expand your expertise with 100% online learning. Once you pass, you’ll be eligible to start offering your services within your community. As a certified personal trainer, you can create personalized workouts for your clients based on their individual needs and fitness goals. You can go live on social media to reach a wider audience or create exercise videos and sell them.
9. Special Needs Provider
People with disabilities need compassion and support to help them lead an everyday life. If you have experience interacting with people with special needs, you can leverage your experience and start your own business. Recommendations from friends and relatives help attract prospects, but if you’re a beginner, you can market yourself online or pitch potential clients.
10. Pet Care Business
Many pet owners adore their animals and are willing to part with some cash to guarantee proper quality care for their fur babies. Start a pet care business and offer services such as walking animals, grooming them, and delivering vital information about their care and wellbeing.
You can start a pet care business from your home or your customer’s home, so you don’t need much capital. To avoid marketing costs, consider advertising on Rover, where you can network and meet potential customers.
Getting accreditation from relevant bodies such as the National Association of Professional Pet Trainers, National Dog Groomers Association, or Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers will increase your credibility and win customers’ trust. You will also need a business license, depending on the rules set by your state.
11. App Development
With most industries acquiring an online presence, demand for app developers keeps rising. Businesses that lack an in-house team outsource that service to freelance professionals. If you’d like to venture into this trade but lack the necessary experience, don’t despair. Several sites offer app development courses, including Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare.
12. Virtual Assistant
If you’ve excellent organizational skills and a passion for helping small businesses succeed, consider becoming a virtual assistant. Offering administrative support to entrepreneurs is a great business idea as it requires minimal capital. You can start with no money.
Specializing can help you make more money but to begin with, you can offer general services such as:-
- answering phone calls,
- managing emails,
- maintaining websites,
- customer care engagement,
- appointment booking,
Getting your first client may be challenging, so approach companies and volunteer in exchange for testimonials or recommendations. Use this experience to create a portfolio that will help you market your services.
Also, consider leveraging social media to market yourself, as it is a cost-effective way of advertising. You can pitch local businesses and convince them of the benefits they get by hiring you. Job boards and bidding websites like Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer, Guru, and Fiverr are other fantastic job-seeking options.
13. Property Management
If you are knowledgeable in the real estate industry and love helping people find property or their dream homes, then consider becoming a property manager. Permit requirements vary from state to state, so you must research. However, standard requirements include the following:
- knowledge in real estate basics like contacts, titles, and property ownership information
- permanent residency in the state you are making the license application
- no criminal background and must be above 18 years
Property owners expect the professionals managing their real estate properties to be licensed and have appropriate permits. Some of the licenses you may need include the following:
- Property Management License
- Leasing Agent License
- Real Estate Brokers License.
14. Holiday Hosting Services
If you have an attractive space, a guest wing, a treehouse in your backyard, or your property, you can transform that space and earn money hosting with Airbnb. Listing your space is free, so you don’t have to worry about where to get the startup capital. You may have to use your creativity to renovate the space and make it habitable.
Offering outstanding service at competitive rates will get you positive reviews which is the key to succeeding in this trade. To guarantee customer satisfaction, ensure the place is comfortable, secure, clean, and inviting. Make sure its appearance is exactly as described.
If finances allow, you can invest in a good camera with great lighting to take pictures and write detailed descriptions about the place. Take visitors on a virtual tour describing each aspect in detail. Go the extra mile by providing helpful tips about the town, culture, and food and suggest places to visit. Offer welcome gifts such as an antique, bottle of wine, or a gift card as an incentive.
15. Website Developer
Web development is one of the most marketable services available in the current job market. Evolving technology has forced businesses to have an online presence, and most entrepreneurs identify with the benefits of having an online business presence. Due to this, there’s a huge demand for website developers.
While this fantastic business option needs minimal startup capital, you need specialized coding knowledge to excel. A degree in web designing, IT, or computer science is a great place to begin, while others are self-taught programmers who take short online courses to perfect their skills. Whichever the case, to excel in this trade, you must be proficient in the following:
- Computer literacy
- Hyper Text Mark-up Language/CSS skills
- Testing and debugging skills
- Back-end coding knowledge
Web Toptal is a bidding site with a global network of top developers. Their application process is arduous, and they only accept applications from a tiny fraction of applicants. While getting in is tough, they get their freelancers jobs with top organizations that offer great opportunities and good wages. Upwork is a credible bidding platform that offers numerous web development job opportunities.
16. Home Repair Services
If you’re handy, offer repair services ranging from minor to complex, depending on your expertise and experience. You’ll need licensing after paying a registration fee, undergoing training, and passing the exam before getting the go-ahead to practice. Once approved, you can list your services on platforms like TaskRabbit, HomeAdvisor, or Fiverr. Recommendations from friends and family and word-of-mouth go a long way in attracting prospects that need your services. Creating a portfolio or website and marketing digitally on social media channels is also a cost-effective way of advertising.
17. Auto Repair Services
Start a mechanic repair shop if you love operating cars and have the right skills and tools. If you live in a house with a garage, you can manage your business from home and save yourself the cost of renting space. But, you may not even need to rent a room as you can make house calls to your clients and service their vehicles from their location.
While you may not need much startup capital, having appropriate skills is a requirement. You could offer services ranging from body repair, oil changes, or bulb replacement.
18. Catering Services
Start a catering business if you are passionate about cooking and love experimenting with different recipes. Research the requirements before launching. In some places, you’ll need a health certificate, a business license, and kitchen space. Some states require that you use a commercial kitchen. You may pass through health and safety inspections, so you must maintain the highest hygiene standards. Avoid problems with the authorities by researching rules and regulations associated with the services you intend to provide. If you are providing alcohol, you’ll need a liquor license.
Suppose you have specialized education in a specific subject or have a bachelor’s degree; consider applying for freelance tutoring gigs. You may opt to offer physical face-to-face lessons. Or, you may engage in virtual tutoring. Before hiring, most parents will expect you to pass a background check. You may have to get certification depending on the subjects you intend to teach. In some states, you’ll need accreditation or tax registration. Market your services by pitching local learning institutions or customizing lessons and uploading them on online tutoring platforms like Udemy.
20. Video Editing And Production
If you have technical video editing or production training or own a great camera, you can assist businesses with their video production and editing requirements. With editing software on your computer and adequate experience, you can create a profitable business out of your skills. To get started, search for freelance opportunities on Craigslist or list your services on Upwork or Fiverr.
21. Event Planning
If you are creative and organized and can arrange an event without much struggle, consider starting an event planning business. You don’t need formal education, but it may require licensing and proper accreditation from relevant bodies. Start as a generalist, but as time passes, concentrate on corporate functions, social events, bachelorette parties, or wedding planning.
You can start a photography business with a good camera and a well-arranged portfolio. If you don’t have a camera, a good quality smartphone can do it, to begin with. You could grace events, take photos at weddings, graduations, and family gatherings, or specialize in nature photography.
23. Tour Guide
If you are knowledgeable about places and love sightseeing and exploring nature, you could turn that passion into a business. Becoming a tour guide allows you to explore places and share your discoveries with visitors. You may guide travelers through local museums, lead a hike, or share tips on great places to visit.
24. Moving Services
If you own a truck and are physically fit, you can assist people who need assistance when moving. You can work as an independent contractor on your schedule and set your rates. You’ll need insurance and a business license before you begin.
25. Bookkeeping Services
If you’re good with numbers, use them to your advantage and offer financial services to small businesses. Whether preparing reports, balancing accounts, processing payrolls, filing tax returns, offering financial consultation, or training employees on how to use accounting software, you can develop a career working on your schedule. You don’t need to be a certified public accountant to practice bookkeeping, but having certification with the relevant authority in your area will help you attract prospects.
Whether starting a business from scratch, revamping an existing one, or picking up a side hustle, a lack of finances should not hinder you from taking the first step. While money is vital, a lack of it should not hinder you from achieving your goals. The key to opening a successful business is to start small with what you have and slowly grow from there.
There are many ways to help you get the startup capital you desperately need. Whether you borrow from financial institutions, partner with friends, or approach an investor, the possibilities are limitless if only you’re determined. With some planning, passion, determination, and hard work, you can build a successful business without much money in your bank account.