20 Small Business Ideas With Low Start Up Cost

Start small and dream big.

Anna Domanska


2 years ago


Ask anyone engaged in a dreary 9 to 5 job about their future ambition and 90 percent of the time the answer will be to be their own boss. Starting your own business and being an entrepreneur may be ideal, but not many are able to achieve that dream.

Most people begin with a small business idea that they can do better than what their place of employment was doing. This is a fallacy. When starting a business, you do not fulfill only your role but the myriad other tasks that your colleagues were doing. A proper understanding of the enterprise as a whole is needed before you venture into something.

Exciting Small Business Ideas for Budding Entrepreneurs!

Some have incredible small business ideas but have no clue about how to make it happen. A great business idea needs proper implementation and direction to succeed. Just jumping into the great unknown, hoping things will fall in to place as you go along means, you will be a part of the statistics that say almost 83 percent of businesses fall by the wayside within the first year. Here we bring you some tried and tested, and some innovative small business ideas that you can start with low investment and less risk.


Buttons are an essential item of clothing. You can either get into manufacturing the same or become a seller by buying from the wholesale market and retailing it digitally or through a shop. Our advice would be to start small. Start out by selling on digital platforms and reach out to customers in a unique and exciting way.

The initial investment can be below $1000


The demand for shoelaces is high, and manufacturing shoelaces has become a lucrative small business idea. You need a machine to do the braiding of the shoelaces and fit the aglet at the ends.

The material can vary. Again it is about some design inputs, and being innovative about gaining customers and marketing. The initial investment is low. It all depends on the kind of machinery you invest in—basic or high-end.

Chocolate making

Homemade chocolate making is a lucrative business. From being a cottage industry that you can run from your kitchen to building a specialized delivery service of innovative chocolates with different ingredients, the choices are wide.

One thing is sure, you are bound to rope in customers. Depending on your scale of operations, the cost can be anywhere between $500 to $5000 to set up operations.


It is one business that you can do easily from home and does not require any investment except a laptop and great internet. There is a great demand for decent bookkeepers and tax consultants. One can earn a decent salary pursuing this.

Organic soap and oils

Starting a business like this needs some investment. First, you need to learn the art of making soap and essential oils at home. Once you have learned the basic techniques, you can first experiment at home. Hone your skills and get confident about the process. Then proceed ahead. You will initially need to invest in the ingredients and do some advertising online, but it should not cost much.

Content writing/editing/proofreading

If you are good with your language skills and like to write, then there are numerous opportunities to get into the business. Now, almost all businesses have a webpage and need content to fill up the sites.

Proofreading and editing content can be lucrative too. There is no investment involved, and you can easily operate from home. It takes time to build up a portfolio and get good money, but you can earn a decent earning. Best of all, it gives you the flexibility to operate in your own time.

Online tutoring

Many people are looking to learn an extra language or for some extra tuition for schoolwork or something creative. You can start independently or become a part of an online platform. The pandemic virus has suddenly turned online skill improving into a lucrative business.

Audio recording

If you have a great voice and clear diction, then this is a growing industry and pays well. It does not need any investment, you just need to rope in regular audiobooks recording clients, and you are set.

Mobile haircutting salon

Again, since it is a mobile operation, you save on rental space investment. The equipment cost is not too much. You may have to invest in a car, if you don’t have one. Rest depends on your skillset, advertising chops and customer relationship. If you are good, you can extend the services and rope in more people to operate under you.

Makeup Artist

If you are creative, stylish and interested in fashion and makeup, do a professional course. Do not get into it because you are good at doing your own makeup; then it is just a hobby. First, get a diploma, invest in quality equipment, and experiment. You can freelance as a makeup artist or open a makeup salon. Add short term courses for laypeople when you want to expand. The initial investment depends on your scale of operations and can be $2000 to $10,000.

Logo Design

Good logo designers make a tidy sum with very few overheads. Though it is a competitive industry, you need to be creative and innovative to survive in this space.

IT Support

The whole world is using a computer or a laptop or is using some form of IT to run their lives or businesses. Quality IT support technicians can charge a decent rate for their skills and don’t require too much overhead or equipment to run their businesses.

Gardening and Landscaping business

It is meant for someone who loves the outdoors and is creative. Getting some training in business is essential. The equipment may need some investment, still, it is a low overhead business. It is an evergreen business as most people need help to keep their garden green and neat. You can expand into a nursery, flower shop, and landscaping.

House sitting

You can start small by offering to look after homes that are vacant for some reason for the owners. There are many cases of squatting and break-ins; hence people are happy to have someone caretake. If somebody is either residing or making regular checks on the premises, then the owners are reassured. No equipment or overheads, except good networking skills. Keeping up with the property and estate laws will be a great help.

Business consulting

Quality business consultants can turn things around for businesses in trouble. If you have years of experience, have authored some books and articles, then people are ready to pay hefty amounts for the right advice, which, tied in with low overheads, makes business consulting a profitable business to embark upon.

People just getting into consulting need to build up a legacy first, start by writing for publications, giving lectures at seminars, etc. It is all about building a brand, your self. Here are some unique businesses you can start

Pizza Consultant

This may not seem odd but sure is tailor-made for anyone who is interested in traveling, eating, and experimenting with food. Pizza consultants measure the freshness of the cheese, the bubbles on its, choose the right sauce for the ingredients used, and more.

You do need some expertise in the kitchen for it to work for you. There are also pizzeria management courses that one can do. But it sounds fun and an exciting way to experience the world.

Professional line standers

If you are one of those people who need to buy the latest gadget on the day of its release or want to see a popular movie on the first day, you can hire a professional queue to stand in line to get the gadget or the tickets to the show. Sometimes people stand in line for 12 hours for a sale or a gadget, and this can be a viable alternative. You can negotiate depending on your paying abilities and desperation to get the device.

Full-time Netflix viewer

This might be a dream job for some. Netflix hires people to view their content before publishing to tag and categorize it under the right heading correctly. They view the content and assign it under the correct category of romantic, comedy, drama, suspense, etc.

No salary details could be found, but to be paid to watch content is in itself a reward.

Home energy auditor

 All homeowners are always on the lookout for ways to save on their utility bills. Professional energy experts can provide an audit of the equipment being used in the house and give a breakdown of the energy consumption of each equipment.

Do a complete appliance audit, with efficiency ratings and suggestions of what works best and is cost-effective. You may need to acquire a license to operate. And of course, the expertise.

Household organizer

A Japanese housewife, Marie Kondo, has turned the mundane task of cleaning up the clutter at home into a lucrative art form.

You can consult on the things that the homeowners could do to organize themselves better. No overheads are there. But you need to be a stylist cum interior decorator cum counselor to be successful in this job. It is an acquired skill set but has enormous potential to be a successful business.

  Whether you want to stay up-to-date on the latest business news, read in-depth CEO interviews, or find new ideas on leadership, management and innovation, Industry Leaders Magazine is here to suit your needs and help you stay more informed.

Anna Domanska
Anna Domanska is an Industry Leaders Magazine author possessing wide-range of knowledge for Business News. She is an avid reader and writer of Business and CEO Magazines and a rigorous follower of Business Leaders.

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