If you want ideas for businesses you can start with $10k or less, look no further!
We’ve compiled a list of 55 different businesses to start with $10K or don’t require much startup capital. Etsy shops, daycares, blogging, and more are all profitable business ideas.
There’s something here for everyone if you’re looking to spend less than $10k to start a business. Some you can start for free, while others need only $1k-$5k if you have limited funds.
These are all real businesses that people have been able to get off the ground and make money quickly from in just a few months.
There are many benefits to becoming an entrepreneur, including the ability to work flexible hours and set your own schedule, as well as being able to choose how much money you make per hour.
So if you want to start your own business with a small initial investment but aren’t sure where to begin, take a look at our list below.
In a rush? Here are the best low-cost small businesses you can start today.
- Overall Best – Start your own money-making blog so you can diversify your online income and create a life of freedom.
- Easiest to Start – Online Proofreading is a perfect side hustle for anyone that loves to read and has an eagle eye for spelling and grammar.
- Highest Paying – Bookkeeping is a highly sought-after skill for other small business owners. If you are good with numbers this is a great small business to start.
- Most Flexible – Flipping Items Online is the fastest and easiest way to start a small online business that you can scale into a full-time business.
- Quick Cash – Steady App is a side hustle app that helps you earn money on your own terms when you need it most.
1. Blogging Website
Blogging is a great way to make money if you know how to create content people want to read. You can blog about anything from fashion and beauty to travel or even blogging itself.
Writing articles can take a lot of time, but you can save time by using Jasper and SurferSEO to write search engine optimized content faster. Learn how to write search engine optimized articles that show up on the first page of Google with Stupid Simple SEO.
You’ll have to purchase a domain name and hosting services for your website because you can’t earn money on free hosting sites. This can cost between $5 – $20 per month depending on your needs.
Additionally, investing in courses or software to help you improve your writing and SEO skills costs $500 – $1,000.
Some bloggers make a few thousand dollars each month through ads, affiliate links, and product sales while others make over six figures a year with their blog. Factors like the quality of your content, how many people visit your website, and how much you charge for ad space determine how much income your blog generates.
2. Online Proofreading Business
Proofreading is a growing industry in high demand by businesses, students, and bloggers who want to ensure their written content is error-free.
Learn how to become a proofreading entrepreneur with courses like Proofread Anywhere, which provides all the training and resources you need to become the successful owner of a proofreading business and get paying customers.
You need a computer with Microsoft Office installed, a scanner, and a printer, which will cost $500 – $1,000 for a basic setup.
Proofreaders typically charge a fee of $20 to $30 per hour.
3. Online Bookkeeper
Most business owners need a bookkeeper to keep track of their financial accounts, and this online business is rising quickly in today’s market. If you’re good with numbers and detail-oriented then this is a great service for you to offer.
You’ll start by learning QuickBooks, a popular accounting software that will help you track expenses and income. To learn bookkeeping quickly, you can join a training program like Bookkeeper Launch.
Your initial investment would include bookkeeping software like Quickbooks, which costs $25 – $180 per month.
The price of licensure varies depending on your state and city. You may need to pay a certification fee for becoming an IRS Registered Agent which costs $1000. You may also need to invest several hundred dollars for insurance and business permits.
Also, consider the cost of marketing expenses such as Facebook ads or Google Adwords to get in front of potential clients and local business owners.
Online bookkeepers typically charge a fee of $19 – $24 per hour, depending on the size of the business you are working for and how much experience you have.
4. Import/Export Business
AS the title suggests, your business would be bringing products in from other countries and selling them around wherever you live!
You will need a supplier for your imports or exports. Other costs in the import/export industry include shipping and customs fees. Once you know your cost you can determine your sales price.
Your cost to start an import/export business will depend on what products you handle and your supplier. You can import goods directly from a manufacturer or through wholesale distributors.
If you decide to purchase goods through distributors, you’ll likely need about $10,000 for inventory. If you import goods directly from a manufacturer for a low cost, your investment may be closer to $5k.
You can make $100,000+ per year by importing or exporting. This is a very profitable industry, but also requires a decent amount of startup cash and a lot of coordination to get off the ground.
5. Custom T-Shirts & Goodies
If you have a creative flair and know your way around a graphics program, you can make money creating custom t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and other fun products.
You’ll need a graphics program such as Photoshop or Illustrator which can cost several hundred dollars a year, but it makes professional-looking designs compared to making things by hand.
If you want to create a custom Shopify storefront, this will be a $20 – $100 monthly fee.
What you earn depends on what you make, but you have endless potential. You can make over $1,000 a month selling t-shirts or more if you market yourself well, have a detailed website, and have interesting designs.
If you sell high-end fabrics with detailed custom designs on a popular online store, you might make over six figures a year.
6. Online Marketing
A digital marketing consultant helps customers with digital marketing strategies and attracting new customers to their brand. That might mean coming up with a plan to make bus or magazine ads, create entire product campaigns, or develop new brand aesthetics.
Additionally, businesses need help promoting their business online so they can get more customers and make more sales. An online marketer will help businesses by running online advertising such as Facebook ads for the business owners.
You don’t need to have any previous experience running Facebook ads to have a successful digital marketing business. There are great courses you can take to learn everything you need to know such as Facebook Side Hustle and Flourish with FB Ads.
You may need to invest $500 to $2,000 in courses and training to learn what you need to know.
Services such as invoicing software and content creation software will cost $100-$300 per month.
The expected income for an online marketing consultant is $40,000- $50,000 annually.
7. Freelance Writer
If you want to start a business and enjoy writing, become a freelance writer and create content for businesses’ websites or social media.
If you’re new to freelance writing, consider taking a course that is focused on marketing and productivity such as Earn More Writing.
You need the right software including programs like Grammarly which checks your spelling and grammar and Jasper which is an AI that helps you write content. This software can cost a few hundred dollars a year.
Most writers charge between $25 – $50 per hour or a fee of $0.05 – $1 per word depending on the type of writing they do and how quickly they are expected to work.
Many writers make around $1,000 per month working part-time hours while others can make much more, especially working full time.
8. Retail Arbitrage (Retail Resale)
Retail arbitrage means you find great deals or sales on products and resell them for a higher price on Amazon or eBay.
If you like searching for a steal, you can apply that skill to find great sales in stores or online, or even using coupons that make your purchases free.
You’ll need to purchase items to sell, which will cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
A good camera and a backdrop to take professional photos of the items may cost up to $1,000.
It’s possible to make between $1,000 – $4,000 per month working part-time hours with this business if you can find enough items at local sales to resell for a profit.
9. Virtual Assistant
You can become a general VA who answers emails and arranges travel for executives and business owners. This is a great job you can do from home as long as you are organized and good with calendars and word processing.
Other types of virtual assistance include marketing and specializing in different kinds of social media. If you want to be a social media specialist, there are courses available such as the Pinterest VA to teach you what you need to know.
Expenses for becoming a VA include a laptop and smartphone, so you might need a few thousand dollars to get set up.
If you want to take training courses to learn business or marketing skills, this can cost around $500. You can also learn about different marketing tactics through free resources like YouTube.
The standard fee for a VA is $15 – $30 per hour, or more if you have a specialty in a certain area such as blogging or social media.
Tutoring is a great way to help students learn subjects you’re an expert in and make money with a great side hustle.
You can use a service like Fiverr to find student tutoring jobs around your area or use word of mouth and social media to find students.
Tutoring is a great way to be an entrepreneur who makes money in your free time, as long as you focus on marketing your services to get more customers.
It costs very little to start an online tutoring service, as you will just need a computer, internet connection, and webcam. Webcams can cost around $50 – $100.
If you want to tutor local students in person, you’ll need transportation which might mean spending several thousand dollars on a car or public transportation.
Most in-person tutors make between $25 – $35 per hour, but more experienced tutors can earn $40 or more. Online tutors can earn $15 – $25 per hour.
If you’re more interested in art, cooking, or music than tutoring school subjects like English and math, you can become an instructor.
You can teach these skills in person to individuals or groups if you have a space in a studio or your home. Or you can meet your customer in their home for a private lesson. Another option is to instruct via online classes or courses.
To create a cooking course, you need to invest in some equipment and ingredients. You might spend anywhere from $1,000 – $2,500 to get started with this business.
If you want to start an art class, you’ll need some materials. You might spend a few hundred dollars upfront to share your skill with others.
To be a music instructor, you need sheet music and the instrument you are teaching about. You probably already own some of this so your investment will be minimal.
The revenue potential as the owner of instructional service is unlimited since the supply of students is never-ending. You can earn between $50 – $500 per student in your class.
12. Vintage Seller
This can be a fun business opportunity for anyone who loves old or interesting items. Get paid to peruse vintage clothes at local thrift shops or consignment stores.
You’ll want to find some great deals on eBay, Craigslist, or thrift shops and turn them around for a profit. You can list your vintage goods on eBay or Etsy, or even create your own website using Shopify.
Some vintage entrepreneurs even prefer to set up shop on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram rather than running a website, because that’s where their ideal customer spends their time.
You will need to make an initial investment in buying inventory. But beyond that, you don’t need to spend any money because you can store the items at home and sell them online, and you will only be charged a small fee if you are listing them on eBay or Etsy.
You could make $20 – $200 per sale depending on how much work you put into finding items that make a higher profit. You can increase your revenue by hosting local in-person sales and staying on top of the latest trends.
13. Document Services
Many businesses need help writing a business plan or financial documents, like financial projections and cash flow statements. If you’re well-versed in business operations and finances, this would be a great service for you to offer.
Your customer will often be a bank, business, or another entrepreneur who needs your skills with document development.
This is not an expensive business to start, the initial investment is low because it’s most office work from home. You will need some office supplies like a printer and a laptop, so anticipate $400 – $1,000 in initial costs. You will also need to spend some money marketing your services, and you can set up a website for free.
You can charge a flat fee per project (salaried style) you’ll work or you can charge $50+ per hour. Either way, once you have a client base it will be quite profitable.
14. Online Researcher
Why not become a home-based entrepreneur who helps customers with online research?
You can offer your research skills to various types of companies and customers. For example, you might work for a marketing firm that is developing ads for a new product and needs data to support its product.
Or you might work for a company that produces consumer reports and needs data on various products and services to make new product decisions.
To become an owner of an online research company, you will just need a computer, high-speed internet, and some basic office supplies, which are typically under $2,000.
Online researchers can charge a fee of $20 – $35 per hour depending on their skill level.
If you have a keen eye for detail and love to read, you can offer editing services to companies and individuals.
You can work from home as an editor in any industry and work on documents including web content/articles, marketing ads/materials, training courses, and technical reports.
If you have a computer and internet service, your initial investment will be minimal. However, the fee for editing or SEO software like Microsoft Word or Surfer SEO will run around $400 – $700.
You can charge anywhere from $20 – $60 per hour depending on your skill level and previous experience.
16. Social Media Manager
You can become a social media manager easily if you can use social media and make ways to engage with people online.
A lot of businesses don’t want to manage their social media accounts so they hire someone else to do it for them. That means you can earn money from creating engaging posts and staying on top of new social media trends.
You can work as a freelance manager and maintain accounts for multiple clients. You might also specialize in one platform like Facebook or Instagram.
This would be an inexpensive home-based business idea because all you need is a computer with internet access and some basic office supplies like printer ink and paper.
You will also need some social media management software that will cost $20 – $200 per month.
You can earn a fee of anywhere from $20 – $50 per hour depending on your skill level and the size of each business customer.
17. Interior Design
When it comes to the home renovation or decorating industry, you can earn a good living as an interior designer if you can find the right customer.
You can offer your services to individuals who need help redesigning their homes. Or, local businesses might need help with making their office, restaurant, or retail space more attractive. Local business is a good niche because word of mouth can earn you more clients.
You could spend between $2,000 – $10,000 depending on your business plan and services offerings. To get the word out, you will need to spend cash on marketing your business so you can get customers. You have to consider factors like getting carpet or furniture samples, gas going around town, and others.
How much money you can make will depend on where you provide your services. You can earn more in cities than rural areas, and from wealthy private clients. Interior designers can make from $30,000 – $70,000 per year.
18. Business Management Consultant
Many businesses hire a business consultant to help them maximize their profits and assist with growing their business. If you’ve previously worked in business management and want to become an entrepreneur, all you have to do is become an independent consultant.
You can specialize in a certain type of business like retail or restaurant. Or you might focus on a specific industry like technology, manufacturing, or medical. Whatever you choose, you need to market yourself well and will need to work hard to gain clients as an independent.
Your initial costs will be just basic office supplies to get started at home. You will also want to print business cards, which can cost $20 – $100 since they are essential for marketing yourself as a professional business owner.
Most consultants charge an hourly fee so your income will vary depending on how much time you spend helping each client. Expect to make anywhere from $30 – $80 an hour for most consulting services. You may also be compensated for expenses like travel costs or phone calls.
19. 3D Printer
3D printing is a technology that allows you to create 3-dimensional solid objects from digital files. If you’re passionate about this type of work and enjoy working with your hands, starting a 3D printing business would be an excellent way to become a creative entrepreneur.
You can either design and print your own products or provide this service to other companies. Or you can print prototypes of new designs a company wants to test out before manufacturing them in large quantities.
You may need to spend more to create your website for your own products or pay to sell on eBay or Amazon. You can even sell things on Etsy, like game storage, cute figurines, or whatever else you want to make.
Your initial investment will be around $1,000 – $5,000.
You’ll need a 3D printer, which can cost anywhere from $200 – $3,000. A higher-end printer will be capable of more and work a lot longer. You’ll also need materials printing with, like different plastics, which will vary in cost depending on what/how much you need.
Expect to make anywhere from $20,000 – $100,000 per year depending on how much you can produce with your 3D printer.
20. Green Business Consultant
If you’re environmentally conscious and passionate about energy resources, you can be an entrepreneur that helps other businesses become greener.
In this type of consulting work, you’ll make sure an organization’s actions are in line with its mission statement.
For example, you may consult on how a company can better recycle the waste it creates. Or if a new building is being constructed, you would ensure that there will be zero carbon footprint.
Before you start a business in green consulting, research what type of certification is required in your area. Certifications may have an associated fee of a few hundred dollars. You may need to pay for training before you are eligible to take a certification exam.
You’ll also need a basic home office setup such as a computer, smartphone, and printer. Consider spending some money on marketing for your business, including a website or online ads that target local potential clients.
Annual salaries for green business consultants vary from $40,000 – $80,000 per year.
Businesses To Start With $10K At Home
If you prefer to do hands-on work and don’t mind getting your hands dirty sometimes, these ideas will keep you busy and out from behind your computer screen.
21. Refurbished Electronics
Many people have old electronics laying around their homes that don’t work anymore. If you’re good with fixing things and know how to refurbish electronic devices, selling used items might be an easy business idea for you.
You can pick up broken electronics on online marketplaces like eBay or craigslist and then put a little effort into fixing them up so they are worth a lot more than you bought them for. Then you can sell them again on eBay or Decluttr.
This business idea doesn’t take too much money to start because broken electronics can cost less than $10 if you search well. Grabbing a bunch of inventory online can run you less than $1,000 and you have the potential to double your investment.
You can even ask people you know if they would donate their broken electronics to you for free so you can practice, or go to garage sales to check out cheap repairs in person.
Sales of used electronics can bring in anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per month.
22. Jewelry And Accessories Maker
If you’re good at making jewelry, this business idea is the perfect way to become an entrepreneur with low investments. You can create your own designs or work with clients to help them find the perfect piece of jewelry for their special day.
You can purchase materials wholesale and turn them into beautiful accessories. Or check out thrift stores or get busted costume jewelry for free and fix up these old jewelry pieces to create something new.
Wholesale prices on beads and other materials won’t cost more than $100. A basic jewelry kit costs less than $50 and includes some supplies like beads and wire, as well as tools to get you started.
If you want to become a luxury jewelry maker who uses gemstones and diamonds, you can invest much more.
You can expect to make anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per month, or more if you are making luxury jewelry.
23. Furniture Flipper
If you have a knack for picking up pieces of furniture for cheap at estate sales, yard sales, and thrift stores, why not turn that talent into a business flipping furniture?
By restoring old furniture and selling it on Craigslist or other marketplaces online, you can make a decent amount of money.
To get started as a furniture flipper, you’ll need to purchase some basic tools for about $100-$200 each. You’ll also need to consider how to move your furniture if you don’t own a van or truck, though U-Haul rentals aren’t too expensive.
If you’re going to be refinishing a lot of furniture, you might also want to invest in more expensive power tools to clean things up quicker.
You can make around $2,000 per month with the right pieces of furniture. If you are careful about what you choose to refurbish, you can double or triple that amount in profits.
24. Computer Repair
If you’re into technology and know a lot about computers, starting a business where you fix people’s broken electronics might be a great business idea for you.
People will always want their computers, phones, and tablets fixed when something goes wrong, so this business should never run out of customers.
To get started as a computer repair specialist, you’ll need to have tools for fixing computers as well as parts that are commonly needed. This will cost a few hundred dollars to start out.
It would be a good idea to have a storefront where people bring their computers to you, so you will need to factor in the cost of rent, which would be a few thousand dollars a month.
Another option is to do exclusively house calls, in which case you will need transportation like a car.
A computer repair specialist can make anywhere from $27,000 – $100,000 a year.
25. Flea Market Flipper
A flea market flipper’s job is to find cheap items at local flea markets, thrift stores, or garage sales and then flip them for a profit.
If you have a good eye for the potential hidden in an ugly piece of furniture or know how to spot valuable antiques, you can make a lot of money as an entrepreneur who flips items you find at a flea market.
Learn how to make a nice income with the Flea Market Flipping courses.
You’ll need to make an initial investment of hundreds to thousands of dollars to purchase items from flea markets. You’ll also need tools to fix up shabbier items, and a camera to help with marketing your items on online sales networks.
As a flea market flipper, you can earn at least $1,000 per month. If you’re knowledgeable about what types of items are hot, then your income will be higher.
26. Soap and Personal Care Seller
If you are good at making your own soap, why not manufacture your own brand of soap and personal care items? You can also make lotions, shampoo bars, lip balms, or bath bombs.
Using platforms like Shopify or Amazon FBA, you can quickly get started selling quality handmade soaps online for a decent profit to a large base of customers.
Making products in medium to large batches costs anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on how much you make and the quality of ingredients you decide to use.
Keep in mind that Amazon FBA will charge a fee on every sale, so as a business owner be sure to factor that into your projected earnings.
Soap and personal care sellers can expect to earn $1,000 per month. If you retail your items wholesale to stores or other businesses, you can make $2,000 to $5,000 per month.
27. Sustainable Products
If you’re crafty, you can make sustainable products like reusable bags, mason jars, cloth napkins, silverware, and more.
All you have to do is get these products in front of the right buyers on Amazon or Etsy and get your business name out there to the right niche market.
Marketing your products as zero waste is a great way to position yourself as a sustainable creator in an industry that is constantly under scrutiny for being consumeristic.
The initial investment for a product-based business like this will be pretty high as you need to have inventory on hand to sell. Purchasing inventory wholesale can be done for under $10,000.
Amazon and Etsy sellers can make a variety of incomes, $1,000+ per month, depending on how popular your products are and what your profit margins are.
28. Promotional Products- AKA Company Swag Creator
Promotional products are a popular marketing method for companies and business owners in any industry to increase their brand awareness with potential clients. People love getting promotional gifts like branded cups and bags when they go to industry conferences and events.
Your products can be sold to local businesses who need SWAG for their customers, like pens, hats, mugs, t-shirts, or any other ideas you may have.
To start this business all you really need is access to a computer, design programs, papers, and a printer.
You may also want to have some promotional products like ponchos, koozies, and pens to keep on hand for your first few potential clients. This would cost a few hundred dollars for the initial batch.
You can get paid $35,000 – $65,000 a year as a promotional product creator.
Top Ideas: Traveling Business Ideas
If you don’t mind traveling around a bit, these next business ideas might be perfect for you.
29. Bouncy House Rentals
Who doesn’t love jumping in a bounce house?
Kids do, and adults too! Starting a business that rents bouncy houses to families can be very profitable.
People will rent bouncy houses for all sorts of events, such as birthday parties and family reunions. This is a lucrative business that will also put a smile on people’s faces.
The initial investment for the owner of a traveling bouncy house rental business will be around $5,000 to purchase equipment including a bounce house, generator, extension cord, safety cones, stakes, and tarp.
Bouncy houses can be large, so you will also need a vehicle that can transport them and all of the associated equipment. The cost of renting or purchasing a vehicle suited to transporting the bouncy houses might bring your initial costs to $10,000.
You may have to spend up to $1,500 for liability insurance before starting your business since people may get hurt playing in a bouncy house.
Bouncy houses are typically rented out for $150 to $300 per day. If you are renting two bouncy houses two days a week for $300 per day you would earn over $62,000 in a year.
30. Personal Training
Many people turn to personal training when they want to get in shape and lose weight.
A lot of gyms and fitness centers hire personal trainers, so if you have the expertise and skills to train people, you can start a very profitable business helping people reach their goals.
You can also start a training business yourself if you don’t want to join an established gym.
If you can help people meet their goals, build a good reputation in your industry, and attract clients regularly, you can charge a higher fee and earn more. Word of mouth is a great marketing method for personal trainers to grow their client base, without having to pay marketing fees.
If you are training out of a home gym, you will need to invest several thousand dollars in equipment. It is a good idea to pay for liability insurance as well, which can run more than $1,000.
You’ll need to pay for marketing materials for your business, such as flyers, which may cost a hundred dollars to print.
Certifications can cost several hundred to a thousand dollars if your area requires personal trainers to be certified or if you work at an established gym first.
Personal trainers can earn from $30,000 – $50,000 per year.
If you are interested enjoy working with people and like helping those who are stressed or in pain, consider massage training and getting a certification to become the owner of your own massage company.
People love to feel good, and massage is one way they can relax and unwind. Providing local massage services that go to clients’ homes or parties can be very lucrative.
Massage tables can cost several hundred dollars, and you’ll also need to be able to transport your table.
You will need to pay for liability insurance, which can cost over $1,000. Massage training and certification classes can increase your initial cost by several thousand dollars.
A typical massage fee is $60 – $100 per hour. You can easily earn over $80,000 per year by giving massages.
31. Valet Driver
If you like to drive and are good at customer service, this is one of the best business ideas for you.
Valet drivers provide an upscale service to busy people who do not want to spend their time searching for parking or want a nice ride to a fancy event.
A successful entrepreneur could market their services directly to people hosting weddings and events, companies hosting conventions and other event planners, trade show organizers, and charity organizations. You can even table at wedding shows to gain clients!
You’ll need to purchase or lease a valet uniform, which can cost $300 or more. You will also need a sign and some business cards.
Business insurance is really important since you will be driving other people’s vehicles.
If you work hourly and work primarily events/weddings, you can make $15 – $30 an hour working as a valet.
32. Mobile Car Wash
It is a good idea to start a mobile car wash business if you like cars and drive frequently. The convenience factor of the mobile car wash makes this a very lucrative business.
You can show up at people’s houses and wash your customers’ cars in their driveway- they’ll spend less money and save their own time compared to a car wash!
If you offer detailing services you have the potential to earn even more money.
Your initial costs would be a hundred dollars for buckets, chamois cloths, sponges, and brushes.
It might be a good idea to get a custom wrap for your car that advertises your mobile car washing business, and that will run you several hundred dollars.
Some mobile car washes charge only $20 for a simple exterior wash. Adding in detailing, waxing, or tire wash to your services would earn you at least $40 – $60+ per car.
If you love taking pictures as a hobby and want to make money doing it, a photography business is the right option for you.
Whether you love taking portraits, photos of events like weddings, or pet pictures, a photography business can be a fun and profitable creative outlet.
You can start by offering photography services for a friend’s family or pet just to build your portfolio and get some word-of-mouth referrals.
If you’d rather be a wedding photographer, look around at Facebook groups to find a local photography business owner who needs a second shooter.
Photography equipment can be expensive, with cameras and lenses ranging from hundreds to several thousand dollars. Many photographers will have several cameras and even more lenses in their collection for different occasions.
If you want to shoot in a studio, your initial investment will be even higher because you will need to rent a space and purchase a backdrop and lighting. A photography business with a studio could easily cost $10,000 to start.
Photographers also need to invest in photo editing software, which can cost several hundred dollars a year. And you may need to pay for training videos to learn how to use this complex software.
Wedding photographers can make $2,000 to $4,000+ for each wedding depending on their experience and the number of hours they put in for preparation, shooting, and editing.
If you really like photographing families or portraits, expect to make anywhere from $25 – $100 an hour. You can earn even more if you are shooting in a studio space.
Another service for photography enthusiasts is to get into videography.
As a videographer, your job will mostly consist of capturing audio and video throughout an event. Once it’s time to edit, this is where you can really shine because you’ll be able to add music and create an interesting storyline around footage from the event.
You can purchase cameras ranging from $500 – $5,000 for the fancy 4k kind. You may also need to purchase lenses and lighting equipment, as well as video editing software.
If you need training for using video editing software, factor in a few hundred dollars more. There are also free resources on YouTube that can help with this.
Starting a videography business could easily involve an initial investment of $10,000.
If you are shooting weddings or events you can expect to make between $100 – $300 an hour depending on your skill level and experience. Some videographers charge a day rate while others have a menu of different options for clients to choose from.
If you’re just starting, offering video editing packages with your services can help you get clients that are looking to add videos to their website or social media channels. Expect to make around $150 per hour editing other people’s footage.
35. Business Coach
3.5 million new businesses are started each year in the United States, and many of the small businesses will need coaches to help with things such as business planning and legal advice.
A coaching business will be between $5,000 – $10,000 for startup costs.
You may need to register an LLC or another business entity depending on the state you’ll be operating in, which may cost a few hundred dollars.
You should also budget a few hundred dollars to attend coaching training or to join a business association that provides resources to business owners since this will help you meet clients.
You’ll also need to spend a few hundred dollars a year in marketing expenses such as website hosting and social media management tools to get the word out about your business.
A business coach can charge anywhere from $250 to $5,000 for a session or package, depending on their experience level and the services they offer. The more formal the coaching service, the higher the hourly fee a business coach can charge.
36. Personal Coach
If you are passionate about helping people achieve their goals, starting a personal or life coaching business may be the right option for you.
Start by speaking with friends and family to find out what they want most in their lives. Then you can come up with a plan to help them achieve those goals.
You can coach people online or in person. The more personal the service, the higher your hourly rate can be.
An initial investment of under $1,000 would allow you to start your coaching business with basic office supplies like a computer, printer, and webcam for video sessions. Additionally, you’ll need a website and social media accounts.
If you are coaching clients one-on-one, expect to charge anywhere from $100 – $1,000 per session depending on what type of services you’re offering and how much experience you have as a coach.
37. Food Truck/Cart
Food trucks are hot right now, and they’re cheaper than opening a traditional restaurant.
If you enjoy cooking and meeting new people, starting a food truck might be an exciting choice for you. Plus, you can work where ever and whenever you want.
Since specialized trucks can be quite expensive, you might want to start with a low-cost food cart to keep your initial investment under $10,000.
This cost includes buying or leasing your mobile kitchen as well as supplies like pans, pots, appliances, and other kitchen necessities.
You’ll need licenses to vend food that can cost several thousand dollars, and requirements will vary depending on your location.
You can make a lot of money operating a food truck, although there are high costs involved too. According to one survey, over 85% of full-time food trucks make over $100,000 per year.
38. Lawn Care Service
If you love working outdoors and with your hands, starting a lawn care service would be an excellent option for you.
You’ll need to be familiar with all the tools required for mowing, edging, trimming, and other landscaping services that will be part of this business.
The initial costs are minimal if you already have access to all the necessary tools.
However, if you don’t have them or need new ones there will be additional expenses involved for things like trucks, trailers, mowers, and edgers.
The initial investment for this type of local business can approach $10k if you need all new tools and a truck.
Depending on where you live you can charge between $25 – $75 an hour.
It’s important not to undercharge since it’s a service business and people often equate rates to the skill level of the business owner. If you aren’t sure what your services are worth, do some research in your area to find out what other lawn care services are charging.
Catering is another food-related business that you can start up with less than $10k.
For this business, you need to be a great cook, quick and efficient as well!
Sometimes people make requests or sometimes they want packages, so you’ll need to have an arsenal of recipes and pre-planned menus for options.
Starting an in-home catering business approaches the $10,000 mark, but can stay under if you do it frugally.
You may need a license, liability insurance, or even delivery vehicles. You may also hire staff to prep food or serve food if needed for events.
You’ll also need to purchase kitchen supplies or rent a commercial kitchen that can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 depending on the size you need.
And then there’s the cost of the food – your inventory can approach several thousand dollars per month depending on what you’re offering and your level of service.
The initial costs may be a bit higher depending on how you run your catering business, but you’re likely to make a great return on investments with these services.
Full-time caterers can expect to make $100,000 – $200,000 annually if they have a wide network of clients and are producing large events with multiple courses.
40. Certified Home Baker
If you love baking and have been doing it as a hobby for years, starting a certified home bakery business could be the perfect fit for you.
Baking can bring in a lot of money but is also a lot of work so you must be prepared.
In some counties, licensing is required and health departments may visit your home to inspect your kitchen for certification.
The startup costs for this type of food business are minimal – most kitchen items will already be in your home if you’ve been baking as a hobby.
However, since this is a certified home-based business you’ll need to make sure your kitchen meets health standards you may spend a few thousand dollars on licensing, liability insurance, and anything else required by the state.
Oftentimes, you will need to take a food safety training course and understand regulations around what types of products you are allowed to produce and sell.
Full-time certified home bakers can earn $37,000 – $65,000 annually depending on the volume of sales and number of clients they have.
41. Personal Chef
Personal chef services are quickly becoming a popular alternative for people who do not have the budget for an entirely catered event, or who just want homemade meals without the hassle of cooking.
Once established, your personal chef business can easily be supported by word-of-mouth marketing and repeat business as long as the meals are excellent and the service is top-notch.
As a personal chef, you’ll mainly be paying for equipment, food, gas, and other supplies that any cook would need. Those can cost you between $2,000 – $5,000 if you don’t have what you need already.
Depending on the client, you’ll need to bring your own equipment for cooking as well as food, though the cost will be covered by your client. Others may provide those things for you.
Full-time personal chefs may earn anywhere from $40,000 – $100,000 annually depending on how much they work and their availability.
42. Cleaning Services
Everybody needs help around the house sometimes, and as a mom, I certainly know that for a fact!
Starting a cleaning service is another new business idea with minimal startup costs. All you need are some supplies, a reliable vehicle to get to your cleaning jobs, and the proper insurance.
You can expect your monthly spending on cleaning supplies to range from $200 – $600 depending on how much work you plan to take on.
You’ll also need to purchase business insurance as you’ll be inside other people’s homes.
The average annual income for full-time cleaners is $21,000 – $45,000, but can be more if you are cleaning especially dirty homes or houses with a pet or two.
43. Makeup Artist
If you’re artistic and passionate about beauty, becoming a makeup artist could be a great business idea for you.
Working as an independent contractor for wedding parties or other events is one of the easiest ways to break into this industry.
The initial costs for makeup, brushes, and cleaning supplies range from $500 – $1,000+.
The average annual income for full-time freelance makeup artists is $20,000 – $45,000.
44. Party/Events Planner
As an event planner, you’ll be in charge of planning everything from the decorations to meals for your clients’ parties and events.
This is an excellent entrepreneur business for people who have the skills to put together fantastic celebrations!
Plus whatever supplies you get, you can charge for them to keep the decorations (or if they wreck them), or you can keep using them for other parties to free up some extra cash.
You’ll want to market your business with flyers, a website, and business cards which will cost at least a few hundred dollars.
Full-time event planners can earn $40,000 – $90,000 a year.
45. Carpet Cleaner
Carpet cleaning is one of the most popular home services.
You can either have people bring their area rugs to you to be cleaned, or you can offer a mobile service where you show up to their homes to clean installed carpets. You can even charge a higher fee for cleaning expensive oriental rugs.
You’ll need to spend at least $5,000 on your initial expenses like a truck or van and cleaning tools, applicators, shampoo, and sealers.
Carpet cleaning small business owners can earn $75,000 – $100,000 per year.
46. Equipment Rental Service
Another new business idea that requires less than $10k to start is an equipment rental service.
Your service can rent out snow blowers, power drills, ladders, and more to people who are doing projects around the house. You can also provide training to show your customers how to use the equipment.
You can spend less than $10k on buying equipment to rent. You might also need to pay for a training course to learn how to use some new types of equipment you don’t already have experience with.
You may want to lease a storefront to rent your equipment out of. And advertising would be another expense to get customers to walk through your door.
Part-time equipment rental business owners earn between $20,000- $50,000 per year.
Top Ideas: “Brick & Mortar” Local Business
If you want to be the owner of a more traditional local business, check out the ideas below.
47. Real Estate
If you already enjoy searching for houses on the market and going to open houses, selling real estate might be perfect for you.
All you have to do is get your real estate license and get a website started for your services. Then you can own your own realty business or join a real estate firm to share knowledge and clients.
You will need to pay to get a real estate license, which includes classes and training, an exam fee, and a licensing fee. These can add up to be over $1,000 in initial costs, depending on the state you are getting licensed in.
Real estate agents become well known through signs and billboards with their faces and names on them, and those can cost hundreds of dollars each.
Your income as a real estate agent will depend on how many properties you sell, so your yearly earnings can vary between $30,000 – $100,000+ per year.
48. Human Resources Agency
If you have a background in human resource management or administration, this might be a good opportunity for you.
An HR consultant provides advice to small businesses on hiring new employees. You can also help current employees with grievances or conflicts at work, and provide sensitivity training.
You can start a human resources agency for less than $10k by working out of your own home and using online advertising platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Entry-level HR consultants earn between $30,000 – $50,000 per year. However, if you become known as a local expert in this field, you could easily make over six figures.
49. Child Care Provider (Day Care Owner)
Not everyone can handle working with children all day long, but if you enjoy children and are good with them, this could be a great business for you to start.
You can start a child care program out of your home for less than $10k, even if you have to do renovations to transform the space into an interactive learning environment that ensures safety and meets requirements set by your state.
You may also be required to attend training to be licensed to provide child care services.
You could charge around $50 per day per child. Depending on how many children you care for, you could have substantial earnings with a local daycare business.
50. Doggy Dare Care
If you love pets, starting a doggy daycare could be the perfect business for you. A dog owner will pay you top dollar to watch their pet in your home while they’re away at work or on vacation.
You’ll need to develop a pet-safe space in your house that is comfortable for the dogs while also being stain-proof.
Rover is a great app to market your pet daycare business for free to local pet owners.
You will need to make some changes to your home to create a fun and safe pet area. These improvements could cost a few thousand dollars.
You’ll also need dog beds, dog toys, dog bowls, and other pet accessories so the dogs have a comfortable stay. Budget a few hundred dollars for these items.
Additionally, a pet daycare owner will have to spend several hundred to over a thousand dollars to get business insurance.
You could easily earn over $50,000 per year by charging about $25 per day per pet. You can charge even more if you have experience training pets.
51. Appliance Repairs
If you know a thing or two about appliances and have the skills to repair them, people will pay big bucks to have their broken appliances repaired. By making house calls or showing up on weekends, you can earn a higher fee.
You’ll need about $1,000 in startup capital for tools and service parts. You may also want to pay a few hundred dollars for training on repairing specific appliances that are common or lucrative to fix.
You could charge $75 – $100 an hour for your appliance repair services. You could easily make over six figures working two or three hours a day at this rate.
52. Furniture Repairs
Similar to appliance repairs, people will pay to have their broken furniture fixed. If you know how to fix and refinish furniture and can work with wood, this service would be the perfect business for you.
The cost of starting a small-scale furniture repair business is very low. You’ll only need around $1k for basic tools and materials like stains and sealers. However, if you want to get more advanced tools such as large sanders or a drill press, it will cost a bit extra.
You should charge around $50 per hour for your services to make decent money repairing furniture.
53. Nail Salon
If you know how to apply nail polish and do manicures, this could be your dream business. You have the option to work from home or visit clients at home.
If you have cute designs, good prices, and are personable, you can become a popular nail artist.
It can cost several hundred or even thousands of dollars for the rent and equipment needed to start a full-service nail salon. Or you can work at home or travel around and not pay for furniture or anything big to save money.
You may also want to pay for training on how to use specialized types of gel polish or tools and machines to make your job easier and more efficient.
You can charge anywhere between $30 – $80 per person for a manicure/service.
54. Vending Machines
Everyone loves grabbing a snack during their lunch break, which means vending machines are a great business. You’ll need to find a suitable location to place your vending machines such as an office building, shopping mall, or another public place with heavy foot traffic.
The initial investment required depends on whether you buy a used vending machine or if you buy a new one. A new vending machine costs about $2,000-$4,000 while a used one could cost half that.
A vending machine that’s placed in a high traffic area can generate $400 per month, and you can scale your business by purchasing more vending machines.
Tips To Start Your Business
First and foremost just GET STARTED! So many people want to start their own small business but they get stuck thinking and not doing.
Take action, get started, and learn as you go.
Make A Business Plan
Before you become an entrepreneur, you need to make a business plan. This will give you an idea of what you will sell, how you will market your product or service, and how much money it will take to get everything started. Planning this out beforehand will save you a lot of time and headache later on.
Create your SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is a list of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that will affect the success of your business.
When creating this list, be as detailed as possible. Make sure to come up with realistic solutions for the problems that you find.
Your Business Is A Solution
People won’t buy your product/service if they don’t need it. If you can figure out problems that people are having or something they lack in their lives and create a business around that, you will be on the fast track to success.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know how quickly you can grow without going too far- if you offer too many products or services, you may burn out fast.
Don’t try to go big or go home with your first business idea. You need to start small and then work your way up as you gain more skill and experience and find more clients.
Know Your Finances
It’s important to know how much money you have available to spend on your business. You’ll also want to know your credit score if you plan to take out a loan.
Network And Promote Your Business
No matter what type of business you start, it will be useless if no one knows about it. You may have trouble getting interest from only a website or Facebook page, so you need to get involved on social media and network!
Make sure that you network with everyone that you know that might be able to help your business grow. Don’t be afraid to help other business owners for free and collaborate with them as this will mutually benefit both of you.
Don’t Know Something? Learn!
There are so many different types of businesses that you can run and it all depends on your skill level. Some of them may seem daunting but there is always room to learn.
There are plenty of resources out there that you can use to learn new skills and obtain the knowledge necessary to run a business.
Positives of Starting Your Business
Follow Your Dreams
I think that most people would agree that it is better to try and fail than to never try at all. Starting your own business is a risk but it pays off in the long run because you’ll know you dedicated yourself to following your dreams.
Be Your Own Boss
Who doesn’t want to be their own boss? It’s the best feeling to have no one telling you what to do or how to do it.
Control Your Schedule (Flexibility!)
Starting your own business means that you are in control of everything. There is no one demanding that you work a certain number of hours every week. This allows you to set your own schedule and live life the way that you want.
When you work for someone else, your job always comes first and personal lives often fall to the wayside.
With your own business, this isn’t an issue because you get to decide how much time you want to spend working and how much time is devoted to your hobbies and family.
Reap The Rewards: Income Boost
There is nothing like knowing that you worked hard and reaped the benefits. With your own business, the sky is the limit in terms of income because you can always scale to sell more and earn more.
Choose Your Coworkers/Employees
You aren’t tied to anyone when you start your own business. You get to pick the people that work for you and with you, and you can fire anyone you don’t work well with.
Or Work Alone
If you like working by yourself, then starting your own business is perfect for you. You can do everything that needs to be done without anyone else getting in the way.
Negatives Of Running A Business
Risks And Problems Are On You
In the end, the buck stops with you- you’re the entrepreneur, the owner, the one in charge. If you or your employees don’t get a project done by a deadline or if they mess up something that costs you money, it is all on you.
Finding And Pleasing Clients
Finding customers is the most difficult part of starting a business. Once you have customers, it can still be difficult to please them. Sometimes the most difficult thing is to make a difficult client happy to get paid for your work.
Long Hours, Hard Work
You are going to have to put in a lot of hours if you want your business to succeed. There are times when you won’t want to, but your time is one of the most important resources you must invest in to grow your business.
Profits Can Take Time
Just because you start a business doesn’t mean that it is going to be thriving right off the bat. It takes time for people to find out about your company and start spending money on your products or services.
Our Thoughts On A Start-Up Business
There are plenty of businesses that can be started for less than $10k and resources to learn how to run your business.
We started our blogging business for less than $3 per month and grew it into multiple six-figure businesses.
Great businesses include online businesses, traveling businesses, businesses you can start at home, and brick-and-mortar businesses.
Some options cost almost nothing or only a few hundred dollars to start, and some that would need a larger initial investment.
Depending on your skills and the equipment you already have, it could be quite easy to start one of these businesses right away. So what are you waiting for? Choose your favorite business idea and get that business launched!