In all these years that I am managing my business, I stop sometimes to think about my life stuck in a 9 to 5 job. I think that it was a wise decision on my part to start my own business and fire my boss. I have compiled a list of best businesses to start with little money which you can start soon.
If you are a passionate person and want to make a life for yourself, then you must go for entrepreneurship. Go through our list of low-cost business ideas with high profit and zero in on one idea. Try it out. Some ideas may require skills which you can acquire by learning online or from an institution.
- 1. Bed and Breakfast
- 2. T-Shirt printing
- 3. Outsourced HR services
- 4. Installation business
- 6. Mobile Cover
- 7. Candle Making
- 8. Laundry and Dry cleaning service
- 9. Flour Mill
- 10. Lawn Mowing
- 11. Party/Wedding Planning and rentals
- 12. Hydroponic Garden
- 13. Furniture
- 14. Imitation Jewellery
- 15. Watch assembling
- 16. Book Keeping
- 17. Tutoring/Coaching business
- 18. Interior Designing
- 19. Real Estate Broker
- 20. Plant Nursery
- 21. Kindergarten Preschool
- 22. Catering services and Food Delivery
- 23. Flower Shop
- 24. Photography
- 25. Travel Agency
- 26. Hair Salon
- 27. Online Freelance Writing and Proofreading
- 28. Blogging
- 29. Online Affiliate Marketing
- 30. Video Creation on sites like YouTube or DailyMotion
- 31. Online Translation and Transcription services
- 32. Digital Products Selling
- 33. Web Hosting business
- 34. Web Design and Development business
- Final Words
1. Bed and Breakfast
This business is for those who have extra room at their home. If you can spend a little on the interior decoration of the room and aesthetics it will be a good thing.
Along with breakfast, you can also provide meals if you can. You can charge per hour or day of stay. You can list your business on bread and breakfast aggregator sites like airbnb or OYO and get clients from all over the world.
All you have to do is register with one of the bed and breakfast aggregator sites, upload photos of your room and set your price. They will charge a commission each time a successful client pays via their website to book your room.
2. T-Shirt printing
T-shirt printing is one business which is hot right now. All you need is a Heat Transfer printer and a supplier of T-shirts.
A little advertising in the local papers will get you clients from all over the city. Try to keep costs to the minimal and charge competitive prices.
You can sell your T-shirts online via e-commerce sites. If you do not want to take printing and shipping in your hand, then you can go for T-shirt dropshipping business.
All you have to do is hire someone from job sites like Freelancer or Fiverr to make awesome designs for you which you can send to the T-shirt supply and printing company.
The company will print and ship the T-shirt to your customer once you place an order with them. You keep a cut from the sales.
3. Outsourced HR services
This is another business idea for those good at Recruitment and Payroll. You will need to pitch your services in front of top management at big companies.
You need to explain to them how you can provide them with low-cost HR services.
Once you bag a project, you will keep the wheels rolling. I must also be on a safer side by telling you that this requires people skills and so it is not for the introverts.
4. Installation business
Air Conditioner installation-
Many of the electronics shops are your potential clients. Once they sell an air conditioner, they can contact you to install it at their customer’s home.
You need to be physically strong for this work and must not be afraid of heights as this business requires you to install an AC and an exhaust unit.
If you can get a certification of AC Engineer from one of the technical institutes, it will be useful to bag some gigs. You can also get annual maintenance contracts from final consumers where you will be called for routine checks.
With the high awareness of security products among people, this has become a booming business.
You can sell and install CCTVs at a client’s property. Also, you can guide the customer on how to use it.
You can charge fees for annual maintenance and can help your business to sustain.
Solar Panel installation:-
Solar panel installation and servicing business are also booming as people are looking for cheaper sources of energy.
In the coming years, due to environmental concerns, solar panel business will be a good opportunity. Many governments across the globe are encouraging their citizens to switch to solar and even granting subsidies.
Since the solar equipment is expensive, this requires a good amount of investment.
6. Mobile Cover
This is a minimal to heavy investment business which depends on your risk appetite. You require an Injection Moulding machine.
You need to zero in on popular models or you can make covers for future phone models so that when they are launched, yours will be the only cover available for it.
Since many companies are already manufacturing mobile covers, yours will stand out only if it is creative. For this business, you need to hire a graphic designer.
Once you sell enough number of units where you think you can scale this business, invest more money into it.
Make sure you do not spend much on making covers for old phone models as already a thousand others will be making it and it’s probably saturated.
7. Candle Making
This business works well in areas where there are power outages very often like African or other developing countries. Also, there are festive occasions where scented and decorative candles are used.
Good quality paraffin wax, beeswax or soy wax must be sourced. Other things you will require buying regularly are wicks, tins, containers, etc. Suppliers are easily available.
8. Laundry and Dry cleaning service
The target customers are those working individuals who find a hard time washing their own clothes. Every other household is a potential customer because no one likes to wear stinky and dirty clothes.
You need to buy or lease washing machines and dry cleaning equipment. You can charge for weight-wise(per pound) or for individual clothes.
To make it a successful business, you need to win customer’s trust. Treat the customer’s clothes as your clothes and wash and dry clean them as you would yours.
If you can deliver the customers’ clothes to their homes they will be delighted.
9. Flour Mill
There is a huge demand for wheat flour, corn flour, etc. Individuals and food companies are your potential clients if you are looking to go for this business.
You can source a cheap flour mill machine from China and can start a small scale flour mill business. Charge per Kilo or pound for grinding wheat, rice or corn.
You can also make money by packaging flour and selling it for a price. But first, you need to establish your name as there already are big players in this.
But your USP lies in making your flour out of fine quality grain.
10. Lawn Mowing
This is one of the business ideas with low investment. But, this business requires hard work. Don’t let this put you off as you can easily charge upwards of $100 per job.
I have seen many youngsters and college going kids doing it part-time and they enjoy it.
When you start this business you can go for basic equipment like a Push Mower.
Once you make enough money you can go for a self-propelled mower which will halve your efforts and double your profits.
When you know you can turn this into a full-time business, you can go for hi-tech pieces of equipment like Riding lawn mower and leaf blower.
11. Party/Wedding Planning and rentals
Wedding being a multi-million dollar industry, there is no dearth of work here.
If you are organized and passionate for such a business, you must go for it.
In India, weddings take place on such a grand scale that you can easily make a lot of money by planning them for others.
One other part of the wedding business is Food Catering business. You can provide food for the guests at the wedding and make a lot of money.
You need a good portfolio for getting work. So make sure you start charging lesser than your competition and give your best.
Use social media to gain some reputation. Then you will see a lot of clients coming your way.
You can also supplement your income by providing tents, chairs, linen, decorations, tables, lamps, etc. You can also provide a wedding hall on rent.
12. Hydroponic Garden
There is a huge demand for flowers, vegetables, fruits, and food grains.
If you have a good indoor space with proper lighting, you can consider investing in a hydroponic garden.
It is a soil-less gardening method which increases the yield by 50% and is an Eco-friendly way of farming.
This business has a steep learning curve but is well worth the effort. The profits can be huge.
You can learn more about Hydroponics by a quick search on Google.
This business is evergreen but requires you have a lot of knowledge about woodworking.
If you do not want to waste time on learning another skill, but are interested in the business, then you can hire carpenters to make the furniture for you and then you can sell in a showroom setup.
14. Imitation Jewellery
If you can find the right supplier from China, you can buy and sell imitation jewelry to many of the enthusiasts.
There is a huge scope for this business in various countries and hence you can venture into exporting jewelry to overseas customers.
This can be done online too, but if you are thinking of serving local customers, you can set up a showroom.
15. Watch assembling
This business is hugely profitable. There is a huge demand in India and other Asian countries for watches which cost less than INR 300.
You can source dials, belts, machinery and then assemble it to then sell it online or in a shop.
The assembling cost will be around INR 100 and it leaves a lot of scope for earning a profit even if the customer is haggling.
16. Book Keeping
This is a business which requires knowledge of managing incomes and expenses, payroll, the filing of taxes and other administrative work of an organization.
Many companies do not have time to do this as the main focus is on core business activities. You can get a certification from a university or a community college.
There is no dearth of work here and hence, the time and money invested in getting the certification are worth it.
17. Tutoring/Coaching business
If you are good at a subject or are willing to earn a good amount of income by teaching kids, you can start your tutoring business or tuition classes.
You can charge by the hour or a monthly fee.
If you are a certified Yoga teacher, you can start your Yoga studio. Fitness coaching is another hot thing if you are a fitness freak. Coaching for Dance, Martial Arts, Music, Painting, etc. are also in great demand.
You can take this online and start a video course on sites like Udemy or Unacademy where you can get paid for your work.
You can start a Youtube channel and earn via ad revenue or sponsored products.
Basically, if you are good at anything, you can make a living out of it by Tutoring or Coaching
18. Interior Designing
If you are a creative person and are driven, then you can venture into Interior Designing business.
You need to get a certification or a degree from Art school to get the proper knowledge of design.
This is tough to enter business if you do not have a portfolio. So I suggest doing some projects for free to low fee.
Once you have a solid portfolio and many clients, you can easily make a lot of money by hiring staff to do most of the work for you.
19. Real Estate Broker
Real Estate brokerage is another commission based business, where you can earn commission for helping someone sell or rent our their home.
You need to develop a trust level for this business with both the parties- the seller as well as the client.
If you look shoddy, then you will not get your commission check. So first thing is to establish an office and a good looking website.
This might look like an easy business to do, but in reality, there is a lot of competition.
20. Plant Nursery
There is a huge demand for flowering plants and show plants and various other plants and trees to be planted in the garden.
If you want to start a plant nursery business, you need some knowledge of horticulture. You can do with by becoming an apprentice or by reading a book about horticulture.
If you can get a certification or a degree, it will be an added bonus.
This business requires patience. So if you are an impatient person, this business is not for you.
21. Kindergarten Preschool
There are two options to start a kindergarten or a preschool business of your own.
You can either take a franchise from an already established Preschool brand or you can work hard to establish your own brand.
If you seriously are passionate about giving little kids a good early childhood learning experience, you can earn a serious reputation and make a lot of money.
22. Catering services and Food Delivery
For parties, weddings, or just a casual treat, many people look for catering services.
This is a very profitable business but requires you to work hard as there will be too much competition.
If you maintain quality and quantity, you will definitely get a lot of orders.
Since catering business can be seasonal, you can supplement your income by setting up a food delivery business.
This business is in huge demand especially, if there are offices or an industrial area near your home.
Your target customers are those individuals who find a hard time cooking their own food
. You need to do your research and then advertise your services.
Hire a chef and set up a menu. You can hire delivery staff or you yourself can deliver in the early stages of your business.
If your food quality and delivery time are good, then there will be a lot of word of mouth publicity. This will help you scale your business.
23. Flower Shop
Flowers make us happy. They cheer up our mood. Also, they make awesome decorations and help make friends and find love.
Since the flower shop business deals with a perishable product, its necessary to have a know-how about floristry.
This is one of the creative small business ideas. If you are a creative person, you can make a lot of money by making flower arrangement and decorations for functions, decorating wedding cars, decorating birthday party halls with flowers, etc.
You can start a flower delivery business too.
The advantage of this business is that you will get repeat customers and a steady flow of income.
The disadvantages of this business are that there is a lot of hard work involved.
This business might not seem attractive as camera and equipment have become inexpensive that even hobbyist photographers can afford a DSLR.
Here if you want to make a lot of money, you got to have a creative eye.
Wedding photography is a huge opportunity as it always was.
But since it involves capturing the special moments of a couples’ lives, they will only look for the best.
Here you can start as an assistant to an already established Professional photographer. Once you gain the confidence, you can start freelancing and getting small gigs.
Then you can build your portfolio to get good paying clients.
A website will be sufficient to show your work but make an Instagram account as well as a Pinterest account to showcase your work to gain followers and better publicity.
25. Travel Agency
Since there are already many online options available now, it is difficult to break into this market.
If you can take a slice in your profits and can offer competitive ticket prices, you can make money on sales volumes.
Start this business locally, and contact the bus, hotel operators and then design your packages after doing some market research.
You need to find out ways so that you get repeat customers so offer them loyalty points. Then reward them.
When you grow, you can buy your own fleet of cars and buses and provide a complete travel experience.
You can also start a car rental business by providing cars for weddings or for tours.
26. Hair Salon
If you have no problem cleaning and styling other people’s hair, then here is a good business for you.
Every person who is not totally bald is a potential client.
There are many hair salons already. But what you must give is an experience to your customers, to make them come back again and again to your salon.
You can also open a day spa and a massage parlor along with your hair salon.
A training in Hair Style or a Hair Stylist certification can be obtained from various institutes after successful completion of course.
27. Online Freelance Writing and Proofreading
This is one popular way of earning from online sources. Also, it is a good idea of entrepreneurship for introverts.
To rank better in search results on search giants like Google and Bing, it is necessary to write original content.
It is difficult to churn out content on your own. So, many website owners seek the services of freelance writers who can write interesting pieces for them.
You can get writing gigs on sites like Freelancer.com or Fiverr.com. You have to place bids on Freelancer.com or you can sell your services on Fiverr by writing a description of your writing services.
The pay is per word and a freelance writing can earn a lot of money if there is steady work.
The tip here will be to write extra words so that your customers will be delighted and will never stop ordering from you.
Before bagging a writing gig, you have to provide your writing samples to the website admin and then he decides whether to give you the work or not.
If the content delivered is substandard then he will not order again from you. There comes the proofreading part to check for grammatical errors and spelling typos.
Some clients only want their already written articles to be proofread. Here also you can charge a cent per word.
Blogging about things you love is another way to earn online. If you are serious and have knowledge about something, you can write about it.
You do not need to be an expert to write the blog. You can be a learner too and share your learning experiences with your readers.
One thing you must know, however, that there are more than a billion blogs online today and it’s difficult to rank for certain keywords on Google or Bing.
But the trick here to narrow down your topic and find niche topics. That is sure to get you traffic. Once you get enough traffic, you can monetize your blog with adverts.
This is more of a hobby and less of a business. For making it a business, you need to make more than one blog and treat it as a business. Then only it will succeed.
The key to successful blogs is good writing. So if you cannot write your own content, you can hire someone to write engaging content for you which will bring traffic and hence money.
29. Online Affiliate Marketing
The reason I kept it lower on the list is that it is for serious people only. Affiliate marketing is all about selling other people’s products for a commission.
There are various programs like Amazon associates or ClickBank or CJ where you can register and choose a product or a service and get your commissions once you sell the products on your website.
The key is to make your website professional an not a shoddy doorway to the above-mentioned sites.
Organic traffic is very hard to get if your website looks spammy.
You can promote your affiliate products via Pay per Click programs. However, Google Ads does not allow you to promote affiliate links as per their policies. So you need to find alternatives.
30. Video Creation on sites like YouTube or DailyMotion
Launched in 2005 by three former Paypal employees, YouTube was later acquired by Google in 2006.
With its strong Ad network, Google has developed over years a way to share its ad revenue with video creators. Similar is the case with DailyMotion. But one cannot compare the earnings of YouTube versus that of DailyMotion or any other alternative like Vimeo or Twitch.
YouTube has helped many talented people across the world to earn from their talents. Be it Musicians, Gamers, Singers, Dancers, Actors, Tech enthusiasts or simply those who love to enjoy their lives, everyone has a chance on YouTube to make a living for themselves.
If you have knowledge about a topic and you are ready to face criticism from unknown people, then you can make a decent amount by becoming a YouTube Influencer. Besides, ad revenue, you can also take sponsorships and get paid for the same.
YouTube is a serious business and many artists depend on the same. With a simple Phone camera, you can start filming yourself doing some project or just explaining something.
Make sure that your videos are not copied or have a robotic voice. YouTube will never monetize your channel if you disregard their policies.
31. Online Translation and Transcription services
If you are a polyglot, you can earn a lot via translation services. You can find work on Fiverr or Freelancer and make money for translating pages from one language to other. If you know English, French, German, Spanish, Hindi, Bengali and Arabic, you can make gold out of your talent.
Another online business which you can do is transcription business. For this work, you need an alert ear. The work is to convert speech to text.
In order to avoid disputes and lawsuits, many companies require the transcription of their meetings. Another kind of customer is a Podcast maker.
You can charge per minute of audio and try to charge a competitive price to get the first job. Work will follow once you get good ratings on Fiverr or Freelancer.
32. Digital Products Selling
If you are an expert on a topic, then you can make a digital product like an ebook, video course or an audiobook and sell it on your website.
This is a lucrative business and information products sell like hot cakes.
There are many people looking out for solutions on something or learning some skill. If you can solve their problem or help them learn new skills you can make a lot of money on digital products.
The advantage of digital products over physical products is that you do not have to hold any inventory. Also what you do is sell a file whether it is in ePub, PDF or any other popular ebook formats.
If you have a video course, you can sign up with Udemy or Fiverr Learn and make money for your expertise. If you get solid ratings on your video course, people will buy your course surely.
33. Web Hosting business
This is a good business opportunity which has the potential for exponential growth however it is very competitive already. The key is to provide niche hosting. You can read more about this business here.
34. Web Design and Development business
To start a web design and development business without any knowledge is difficult, but not impossible. There are various resources available online in order to help you learn the A to Z of this trade.
Also, make sure to give unconditional support to your clients at the beginning. Charge very low first. If you can, make websites for Not-for-profit organizations for free just for creating your portfolio.
The learning curve is steep if you find technical jargon difficult. There are free as well as paid courses online.
Robert H. Schuller once said, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Dhirubhai Ambani did not become billionaires in a day. They also face tough times, but they proved their metal and now you know what happened. So never give up. Try one business. Even if it fails, it will teach you a lot. Take that as an experience.
Before starting a business, make sure to check out for local laws on licensing and taxes. Also, do not rush into a business before you have a solid business plan. Most businesses fail because they do not have a plan. Focus on customer satisfaction more than making a profit. Making money is easy but sustaining that income flow will only depend upon your relationship with your customers.