ideas to start a small business | low cost startup business ideas

If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as “You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech,” seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
Box subscription services are popping up everywhere in the food, beauty and even pet product sectors, ready to deliver goods right to your door each month. One of the consumer perks is the idea that these subscription boxes are carefully curated just for them based on their likes and interests, and each month, the boxes’ contents are a surprise.
While the barriers to entry for a retail shop can be very high, one way to keep costs down and limit your time investment while you keep your full-time job, is to set up a weekend popup shop as a side business idea. More of whatever it is you’re selling—donuts, clothing, antique baseball cards, or anything else—will stay in your pockets instead of going to pay for operating expenses such as rent or utilities by choosing to pursue retail as a side business idea with a short-term rental. This guide from Shopify will give you a step-by-step process for getting your popup shop off the ground.
Used-car salesmen unfortunately have some nasty stereotypes to live down, but you don’t need a tacky blazer or a fast-talking sales pitch to make money buying and reselling cars. People throw away perfectly good (or certainly good enough) cars all the time for all sorts of trivial issues. If you know a little something about servicing a car and can make one shine for a Craigslist ad, you could take advantage of massive opportunities to buy used cars and resell them for major profit.
This is one of the more difficult business on this list. But if you really want to do it, you can! First, it will take about 3-5 years to grow your grapes. Secondly, you need the right climate. Third, selling what you produce is like a whole separate business. However, people do like to visit and buy wine from local wineries. And I have seen some wineries that are initially producing just a small amount of wine themselves, jumpstart their business and supplement their sales by reselling wine from other vineyards.
Edward, I do not actually – I just did a search for a course for it and that was what I found. The course is sold from clickbank and they have a very good return policy, so if it is no good, it is pretty easy to get your money back – for what it’s worth…
Believe it or not, eBay is now more than two decades old, but it’s still the most viable platform for setting up a home-based business online. Big success stories have been around for years now, but there is an enormous amount of competition on the site.
Another option is cleaning offices. One friend in Boston built a highly successful cleaning business focusing on small businesses. They trusted him with access to their businesses at night and were willing to pay him a hefty premium. He worked just 4 or 5 hours a night and made a very healthy living.
When my book publishing business grew to the point when we needed forklifts, I was shocked by how expensive they were. So, we went to a used industrial equipment dealer and bought all of our forklifts there. Selling industrial equipment allows for specialization and it also allows for you to build up long-term relationships with customers. Furthermore, you can have add-on sales such as maintenance, supplies and repairs.
I have worked for Community Colleges, traditional non-profit universities, and a for-profit university. I cannot warn you enough to stay away from for-profits. Total snake oil salesmen who would steal from their own grandmas.
What makes drop shipping so attractive is exactly what lands it on this list; there are no big startup costs or expensive investments in inventory. You can sell products online, collect payment, pay suppliers, and let them send out the products — even using your company logo if you like.
Social networks are great for small businesses to take advantage of but many of them do not have the skills required to successfully market their businesses on social networks. If you know how to use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to successfully market a business then you could start charging for this service. This is a business that you can run from home and will require little initial start-up cost.

Every website owner (including myself) hires copywriters to write content for things like about pages, FAQ’s, or blog posts. Hourly wages for novice copywriters are not very high, but with some experience and a growing portfolio, you can become a freelance writer today and soon be charging more than you make at your full-time job if you find the right clients and brand yourself as an expert with this side business idea. Check out one of my most talented friends, Jory Mackay, for an example of someone who’s doing a great job of positioning himself as a premium service-provider with his freelance writing side business idea. Then when you’re ready to start cold emailing potential clients, pick up my free downloadable freelance proposal template and get started today.
Of course, you can try your hand at building homes and other large endeavors or you can specialize in smaller projects. Maybe driveways? Patios? Outside waterfalls? Closet renovations? There is no limit to what you can do, but to be highly successful or to build a scalable business I suggest you carefully find a highly profitable niche.
Of course, strictly speaking, this isn’t an at-home business, as the work takes place in someone else’s home. But it can be lucrative. You just need to make sure that your cleaning skills are up to snuff, which means some cleaning practice at friends’ houses might not be a bad thing to do before launching the business.
There are many specialist computer programs that people need to use for their business. If you are an expert in using these programs then you could start a business teaching potential users how to use them correctly and efficiently. You could also extend into mobile business applications as well. You could travel to company offices to teach in groups or provide one to one training.
Luckily, there are tons of ways to start businesses and make money with a side hustle while still leading a well-rounded, meaningful life. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to quit your day job and grow your side business idea into an empowering self-employed career.
Many people consider their pets to be family, and pet owners are often more than willing to shell out some serious money for Fido or Princess Pie. Whether you want to start a pet grooming, pet sitting, pet walking, or even a pet photography business, there are plenty of profitable from-home businesses you can manage in the pet care industry. Naturally, a love of animals is mandatory!
Shelving or Filing Cabinets: How much paper does your business generate? You might be lucky enough to keep most of it digital, but inevitably you’ll find yourself surrounded by stacks of papers that you’ll need to keep. Keeping your space uncluttered is more conducive to productivity.
Succeeding on Airbnb is all about selling an experience, not just providing a room. The first key to Airbnb is making your property look great online, with high-quality pictures that make your offering stand out. Combine that with reasonable pricing and friendly customer service, and Airbnb can become a goldmine.
If you’ve already created a successful business then you can pass that knowledge along to someone else for a fee – such as market research, business plan narrative, and financial statements. New business owners are more than willing to pay a someone who has successfully started a business to help guide them in developing their own successful business plan.
The other option for online sales is to simply become the eBay middleman. Millions of vendors sell their wares on the online auction house. If you can find an inexpensive source for (legally!) saleable merchandise, you can get into business.
A catering service may be a large business serving meals to armies of people at special events. Or it may be a single person business serving dinner to just a few people. Specialization can help build your business. For example, here in New England some caterers specialize in clambakes.
Are you good with animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you’re available to watch their pets while the owners go on a vacation or weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of an individual rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn’t be too difficult. If you can’t commit to lodging animals in your home, consider starting a dog walking or waste cleanup business.
It’s funny how much baking can relate to making money. Start bringing in some side income by kneading flour, mastering the oven, and appeasing everyone’s sweet tooth. While some experts have already turned baking into their sole “bread and butter,” you need not leave your day job to pursue this business idea just yet. Depending on your experience, you can start by doing something simple on the side like perfecting Grandma’s nostalgic cookies before heading on to offer exquisite artisanal fare.

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