You don’t need a ton of money in the bank to start a business. In fact, many of today’s largest companies started in garages or basements — bootstrapping it until they made it big. That being said, there are a number of business ideas with low investment required that you can start for as little as $1,000. Here are 15 low-cost business ideas to consider. Hopefully this list will get you thinking creatively about the type of business you’d like to start by filing your LLC.
Photographers see the world from a different lens than the rest of us. They love capturing special moments by snapping photos and sharing those images. If this sounds like you, maybe you can take your hobby of photography and turn it into a business. The main things you need would be a camera, editing software, and a printer (if you decide to make actual prints).
2. Personal Trainer
As a personal trainer, you can take your business in many different directions. You can work with clients in a gym where you pay the gym a fee, or you can start your own in-home personal training. In this case, you'd need to purchase some basic equipment. From there, you can move to meeting clients in the privacy of their own homes to help them reach their health and fitness goals. This is one of the great low-cost business ideas for those who have a passion for fitness.
How creative are you? Do you have a great imagination? You might be able to start your own business as an author or writer. This can be anything from publishing your own books to creating engaging content and copy for clients across the globe. The only true expense you'd have to start this business would be a laptop with a word processing program. Other than that, as long as you have an internet connection to send content to your clients, you'll be good to go.
4. Virtual Assistant
If you enjoy helping people complete tasks, are proficient on the phone and enjoy working with spreadsheets and documents, you might want to consider becoming a virtual assistant. With just a phone, internet and your laptop, you’ll be on your way to helping businesses or individuals complete their daily tasks.
This is one of the great low-cost business ideas, in part because you get to solve someone’s problems. We all have a set number of hours in the day, and completing tons of tasks cuts into how much we can really accomplish. Busy individuals are looking for virtual assistants to help take some work off their plate. Not everyone wants to pay for an actual on-site assistant (employee), and many people are in search of a good virtual assistant they can count on.
Do you have a set of skills or knowledge that can benefit others? Are you an expert in your field or industry? Another business idea with low investment would be to start a consulting business. For instance, if you have sales experience and are savvy at seeing potential solutions, you could be a consultant for companies building out sales teams and processes. As with many of the low-cost business ideas already mentioned, key expenses to start your consulting business would be a laptop and phone.
6. Social Media Manager
One business in high demand is social media management. Everyone wants a large presence online to build up their followers and help sell their product or service. The downside is that not everyone has the time to invest in managing their social platforms — that’s where social media managers come in. This is another business ideas with low investment, because all you really need is a laptop and internet connection. If you wanted to simplify your business, you could always purchase social media scheduling tools to use with your clients that would allow you to automatically launch content on their behalf.
7. Wedding Planner
Let’s face it — there likely won't be a time when people stop getting married. For that reason, being a wedding planner is a stable low-cost business idea you could consider. You’d be in charge of planning the big day for a couple from the time they wake up until the time they leave the wedding reception. They would be putting their fairytale in your hands. This business would be a great fit if you already have industry contacts with vendors a couple might need to hire.
8. Personal Chef
People need to eat, yet not everyone has the time to prepare their own meals. That’s where a personal chef can truly shine: Folks will hire you to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for themselves and/or their family. You can structure your business however you wish — purchase all your own equipment, or work in the home of your client and use what they have to prepare meals.
Are you currently an educator who wants to focus more on one-on-one or small-group tutoring? Do you specialize in reading, writing, math, English, or another area? If so, starting your own tutoring business could be very lucrative. Some people need a little extra attention to allow them to progress, and you could be the one to help them. Many tutors either work out of the client’s home or meet in a common area such as a library. You would need to narrow down the subjects you'd like to cover, but this could be a great low-cost business idea: the only expenses you'd incur would be teaching materials.
You might be asking yourself how the heck "YouTuber" made the list of business ideas with low upfront investments. But truth be told, this can be an amazing source of revenue with an extremely low cost. There are people who use only a smartphone to shoot and edit videos.
Yes, some influencers invest in a fancy camera and use costly editing software before publishing on YouTube. But overall, the expenses required to make a career out of producing videos for YouTube are low. You can get sponsors for your channel, get paid to promote products, use affiliate marketing and even monetize your content by allowing YouTube to put ads before or during the video.
Similar to a YouTuber, a blogger simply produces written content that gets published online. As a blogger, you could publish content on your own blog and monetize it, or you might create content for other people’s blogs. With just a laptop and internet, you can start producing content immediately without really having any other expenses to worry about. The great thing about being a blogger is that you set your own schedule, and you can work virtually anywhere you have an internet connection.
12. Dog Walker/Sitter
If you're looking for business ideas with low investment, it might not get any lower than becoming a dog walker or pet sitter. There really isn’t any equipment needed (assuming you have a means of transportation to get to your clients' homes). Generally, dog owners will have a leash already that you would be able to use. Clients might even hire you when they go on vacation, so you can care for their pet at home rather than taking it to a kennel.
13. Ecommerce Reseller
If you are thinking about starting an ecommerce reselling business, you should be aware that it will take some research on your part. However, if you have a grasp of what to look for, you can make quite a bit of money with your business. Why exactly is ecommerce reselling on our list of low-cost business ideas? Well, where else can you purchase something and then sell it for more than double what you paid?
For instance, if you find an item that's on sale online, you can purchase it and then sell it at full price. Or, you can start a business on eBay where buy items at garage sales and then sell them for huge profits. Some people don’t understand the value of their items or simply want them gone (with a quick sale you can capitalize on).
14. Landscaping/Lawn Care Service
Depending on the equipment you decide to buy, you can easily start small with a landscaping and/or lawn care business. Not many people find it fun to cut their own grass, seed a lawn, manage weeds, or plant trees/bushes. There will probably be a number of competitors locally, but if you can differentiate yourself from them, you might build a lucrative operation and help your business grow from word of mouth referrals.
The final entry on our list of low-cost business ideas is starting a painting company. Not everyone has the time or patience to paint areas of their home that need a little TLC. That’s where your business comes into play. For a small investment, you can purchase all the equipment you would need like ladders, paint brushes and rollers, paint buckets, drop-cloths, scaffolding, masks, etc.
Does one of these business ideas sound like a winner? If you need help setting up your business, Incfile can assist you with getting your LLC filed so you can start the business of your dreams. Once you're up and running, we have plenty of resources to help you manage your company as well.
Matt Weik is the Founder/Owner of Weik Fitness, LLC and is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. He’s a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. His work has been featured in over 85 fitness magazines and over 1,500 websites. You can contact Matt via www.weikfitness.com or on his social channels found on his website.