20 Home Business Ideas With Low Startup Costs – Learn how to start a home business with little money.
20 Home Business Ideas With Low Startup Costs: Starting your own business can be one of the most rewarding and profitable experiences you’ll ever have, but it can also be an expensive undertaking.
20 Home Business Ideas With Low Startup Costs
From software and equipment to transportation costs and insurance, starting up a business can quickly drain your bank account if you don’t plan ahead and think strategically about what you need to get started. If you want to start your own home business but don’t want to start from zero dollars in your bank account, here are 20 ideas that each require low startup costs to help get you on the right track toward successful entrepreneurship.
#1 – Create an Online Course
Many people want to learn new skills, but they often don’t have time or money to take classes. Creating an online course allows you to reach a global audience at a low cost and with minimal start-up time. If you already have a topic in mind, try sites like Udemy or Teachable. These platforms allow anyone to create and sell courses that help students achieve their learning goals.
If you’re looking for inspiration on what types of classes might work for you, search for the top [topic] courses or skillshare classes in your niche on Google. Once you’ve got your course built out, use marketing tactics similar to those listed above (e-mail campaigns, selling through your own site) to drive traffic and subscribers.
#2 – Teespring T-Shirt Line
If you have a great idea for a t-shirt, and some art skills, but don’t want to deal with printing and high startup costs, then Teespring is one of your best options. In fact, when you sign up using that link I just posted above, you’ll get a $10 bonus after making your first sale (and free shipping on your order). Sweet! Click here to read my full review of Teespring. If you use my affiliate link and make sales on T-shirts then that money can be directed towards product creation or simply helping fund your new business.
#3 – Create an Online Shop
You don’t need to be a web designer or developer to create an online shop. Platforms like Shopify and Squarespace will allow you to set up your own e-commerce storefront for a small monthly fee (approximately $30 per month). Additionally, there are plenty of well-designed templates that you can purchase for about $100.
You can also set up an online store using Etsy and sell items under $100 without paying extra fees. There are plenty of other sites dedicated solely to selling handmade items at reasonable prices, but these three are among our favorites due to their ease of use and attractive templates.
#4 – Blogging and Sponsored Posts
Many bloggers publish sponsored posts or guest posts. This is a great way to make money online and it can also build your brand! All you have to do is write a quality post on something you know about and include a link back to your site. You can find companies that will offer you paid sponsorships and earn money while doing it.
#5 – Find Products to Resell on Amazon
One of the most common ways people start making money online is by finding products to resell on Amazon. But like anything else truly worthwhile, it takes a lot of effort and know-how to make that happen. Many people new to selling on Amazon are tempted by all kinds of make-money fast scams that involve things like signing up for paid survey sites, buying low-quality products at a cheap price from China, and asking family and friends to help search for cheap items they can resell on Amazon. To get started with a legitimate home business idea that makes serious money, check out Dave’s guide here.
#6 – Vlog on YouTube
Chances are, you’ve got a camera and a computer that can run video editing software. Get started by doing a Google search for vlogging + your topic of interest. From there, feel free to just start capturing your experiences and building an audience around them (there’s no easier way to launch your own YouTube channel). You don’t need to hit it big right away—the beauty of YouTube is that you can build up an audience over time.
Additionally, once you have created a few videos on a particular subject matter, other vloggers in that niche will begin posting about you and sharing their experiences with yours in an effort to further expand your reach and provide value to each other’s viewers.
#7 – Start a Paid Survey Site Like Pinecone Research
Pinecone Research is one of my favorite survey sites because they tend to pay out a lot faster than most others. Pinecone also offers lots of ways to make money beyond just taking surveys, like renting or selling your extra items or even buying a package that allows you to take more surveys.
It’s easy to cash out with Pinecone as well, which is helpful if you want your money sooner rather than later. If you want a little more detail on how it works (and what I think of Pinecone Research), check out my full review here. Sign up for Pinecone Research here and get started right away! Continue reading #7 – Start a Paid Survey Site Like Pinecone Research →
#8 – Write Children’s Books
Writing a children’s book can be an excellent side business idea that you can take on while still working a full-time job. (We’ll talk more about how to find time in your schedule for side business ideas later.) The market for children’s books is huge, and kids don’t get tired of reading them. For example, we recently reviewed a coloring book geared toward adults that sold 10,000 copies in its first week on Amazon.
Best of all, you don’t have to add any text to make it a valuable educational tool—it’s ready to sell as soon as it hits Amazon! Check out our guide on How to Get Rich Writing Children’s Books. It will show you exactly how one family earns $60000 per year from their kid’s craft ideas.
#9 – Content Creation
By starting a content-creation business, you’re effectively becoming a public relations manager for businesses in your niche. Your goal is to help companies increase their online visibility through both traditional and social media by helping them develop high-quality blogs, videos, ebooks, and other online content. Depending on how much experience you have with content creation, you could create an entire business out of it.
To learn more about starting your own content agency, check out Side Hustle Nation where Chris Guillebeau shares his story of going from a job to $48K per month with his side hustle. A home-based business idea that requires little start-up costs but takes time to build up income.
#10 – Personal or virtual assistant
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for a while, there’s no denying that employees cost money. If you can get something done using less paid labor by hiring a virtual assistant to help, why not do it? That might mean blogging, writing emails, creating graphics—or anything else that doesn’t require a lot of time.
Using an outsourced VA is almost like having another team member on your side—except they work in their own time and charge a fraction of what employees typically make. Check out oDesk Work (oDesk), Zirtual (Zirtual), and eLance for some good options to consider. You can also find people directly on places like Craigslist and Fiverr.
#11 – Event planning services
An event planner manages every aspect of an event, from logistics to set up and clean up, in exchange for a fee. If you have a knack for organization and planning ahead, it could be worth considering. Research local planners or create your own business to help others plan their weddings, birthdays, parties, corporate events, and other celebrations. An online guide may help you start an in-home business where you provide freelance services or create an app that will allow customers to book your services online through different booking tools.
#12 – Errand/concierge service
Do people ask you to help them out on a regular basis? Do you feel that your skills are underutilized at work and that you might be better suited for tasks other than what your company does? If so, then starting an errand/concierge service is for you. You can start with nothing more than a spare bedroom and a get-out-of-jail-free card from your wife.
Consider taking current events into account when thinking of an appropriate service to offer. For example, if clients would rather pay someone else to do all their holiday shopping, would they be willing to use an online service for non-holiday purchases as well? Be sure to keep overhead low by using a spare room in your home as an office space.
#13 – Social media consultant
This person would help businesses develop, create and maintain their social media presence. Social media is a great way to get information out to potential customers and draw them in. It can also be used to gather feedback and ideas from users who might have direct experience with a problem you’re trying to solve.
For example, if you’re starting a business that creates energy-efficient light bulbs, people on social media may already be posting about which types of light bulbs work best for their needs—and what problems they run into when trying to use them in various lighting situations.
#14 – Etsy Shop
Making and selling crafts is a great way to make money from home. Etsy is one of those sites that will open up a whole new realm of ideas to you if you just get out there and try. The site basically allows individuals to sell their handmade creations, whether they are fabric arts, photography, or any other kind of handiwork you can think of. While it may be difficult to break into at first, once you do, it’s not hard to succeed.
#15 – Personal Chef
Cooking for a family can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Start your own personal chef business and bring convenience to those who don’t want to cook. Think about offering some of these services: grocery shopping, meal planning, prepping ingredients, cooking meals (or just main courses), cleaning up afterward, or providing a daily delivery service. Start small with some part-time catering and build your clientele from there—this is one home business idea that has huge potential if you do it right.
#16 – Translation Service
Are you a native speaker of a foreign language? Do you live in an area where there are people who speak that language? If so, translating is a great business idea that requires very little startup capital. Check out Lionbridge if you want to get started quickly and easily as a freelance translator.
You can also set up your own website and let local businesses come to you by advertising your services online with services like Fiverr. Some business owners still think they need to hire big firms to handle their translation needs, but it’s cheaper (and sometimes faster) to use freelancers or agencies like these.
#17 – Software Training
Are you a whiz at computer software? Find an industry need and open up a business teaching employees how to use office applications, excel, or other programs. Offer your services as a consultant, who can work with them one-on-one over Web conference calls. Entrepreneur offers tips on what it takes to start such a business on its website.
You’ll find more advice for teachers in post 10 Start Your Own Moneymaking Teaching Business: 20 Great Opportunities from Forbes Magazine. Check out all our home business ideas for starting your own home-based business. Would you like to be part of our family of bloggers, please click here. Are you looking for home business ideas but not sure where to start?
#18 – Music Lessons
If you can play an instrument, turn that skill into a home business. Offer your services to local schools or to individuals. If you have a background in music, great! But if not, no worries. There are other options available; you just need to do some research and find out what will work for you. One of our writer’s parents made a career playing piano at restaurants in Key West and loved it because she could make her own schedule (and even take breaks when needed).
#19 – Bookkeeping Services
Nothing slows down a company faster than keeping up with paper receipts and records. Outsource your bookkeeping to an expert to keep yourself in check, or help small businesses manage their cash flow. It’s also one of the most common home business ideas for stay-at-home moms because it can be done from anywhere, and there are low startup costs involved.
In fact, you can use free online software like QuickBooks Self-Employed to track everything from how much you’ve earned every month to how many hours you’re putting in on which projects. If you have a background in accounting (or simply some time and motivation), being a virtual bookkeeper could be a huge help for small business owners who don’t have time or expertise in managing their finances.
#20 – Graphic Design
Do you have a background in graphic design? If so, you could start offering your services to local businesses. Web and print design are two great options. You can also offer to create logo designs for startups for cheap if you’re just starting out. Either way, if you take on small jobs (like logos) in addition to other design work, it can be a huge help when starting out while building your portfolio.
In fact, many entrepreneurs who started out with a freelance service business like Fiverr eventually turned that side hustle into full-time gigs. I’ve even seen some entrepreneurs earn 6 figures from logo design alone!
Also Read: I Want to Start a Business But Have No Ideas
Choosing a home business idea is a crucial first step in getting your business off to a good start. Even if you have no interest in starting an online business, there are plenty of good ideas out there that can help keep your finances and work-life balance on track.
If you’re just now starting your research into business ideas, don’t feel discouraged if some of these sounds are better than others—just choose one to get started with! At least it’s one less decision to make when you sit down to figure out what type of home business might be right for you.
How much does it cost to start a business?
The start-up costs for a business vary widely, depending on what type of company you want to start and whether you’re working alone or as part of a team.
What are the benefits of this business?
The biggest benefit of starting a home business is that you don’t have to work with a boss. At first, you’ll be working for yourself and getting to call all of your own shots.
What is the cost of starting a website?
Building a website for your home business is not a cheap endeavor. However, there are some costs that are unavoidable and some costs that can be minimized.
What is your business idea?
If you don’t have a business idea already, think about what your skills and talents are. There are tons of online marketplaces for these particular services.