list of small businesses ideas | low cost home based business

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.
Do numbers excite you? Are you organized and pay great attention to detail? Then bookkeeping may be right up your alley. Bookkeepers help business owners and bloggers organize and keep track of their monthly income and expenses. If you think Bookkeeping may be your calling — check out this FREE training series from Bookkeeper Business Academy. 
I recently started working in network marketing with a natural hair care line. It has transformed my life, by giving me my confidence back. I was losing my hair and I didn’t know what to do. I’d been to the Dr and told it wasn’t a thyroid issue, but they couldn’t tell me what WAS causing it. My good friend introduced me to these amazing products, that in a matter of months changed my life. My husband is now using the products for his “gaining face” (not receding hairline) issue. Lol.
Even small businesses need all kinds of insurance and you can help them by getting them the coverage that will help save their business on a rainy day. To succeed in this business, you need to be outgoing and network well. But you also need to come across with a smart, consultative sell, not a hard-core pitch. It will take some time to build a corporate insurance brokerage, but this kind of business offers both high income potential and the possibility of someday selling it for a high multiple of earnings.
In the beginning, you’ll likely be doing everything yourself or shouldering the responsibilities with a co-founder. As your business grows, document all the daily, weekly and monthly procedures you follow–whether it’s setting up a Facebook ad campaign, scheduling a call or closing a sale–in a way that someone else can replicate.
Do you have a shoe fetish? Take your love of shoes and create one of kind designs – either sell them online, in specialty boutiques or take them the direct sales route. Make sure to check out Lizzie Lou Shoes and fibi & clo for inspirational shoe designer stories.
The bigger market for this is companies hiring outplacement services for employees they have laid off or fired. Companies hire outplacement services to help out their ex-employees, to show current employees that they are compassionate and to decrease the chances of wrongful termination lawsuits. It will be a lot easier to land your first assignments if you have some related experience, such as having worked in HR or at an employment agency. The real reward in this business comes when you win an assignment to outplace hundreds or thousands of employees that are laid off in a large corporate business re-organization.
If you already have a website that’s driving in targeted traffic, a great way to make passive income from the content you’re already creating as an easy side business idea, is through affiliate marketing. ShareASale, Rakuten, Clickbank, and Skimlinks are a few of the best affiliate networks and tools that can help you make money from the content you already produce, thus amplifying your side business idea income. Check out this extensive list by Justine Grey, covering the 59 Best Affiliate Programs for Business Bloggers to get some inspiration on how other bloggers are growing affiliate blogs from side business idea to full-time company.
That same study also revealed that more than 50 million Americans work independently as freelancers. With considerable overlap in the Venn diagram of home-based workers and entrepreneurs, the numbers show that starting a home-based business isn’t a just trend. It’s part of the new reality of the American workforce.
The real estate market is on the rebound (for today) and people are buying and selling properties in many locations across the U.S. That means a lot of opportunities for professionals who know how to navigate the legal, financial, and commercial aspect of real estate to build up a stable of clients as a side business idea, especially if you begin to scale your sales hiring and build a team of reps working to help you close more deals. If you consider yourself an expert in the subject, it won’t be a walk in the park (hehe), but you can earn significant additional side income as a home-based consultant.
Having been on television and done many videos, I can appreciate that makeup consulting isn’t just for women! With the Internet leading to more and more video production, makeup consulting is becoming more important than ever!
Looking for a way to make passive income? Find products and services that you LOVE and introduce them to your friends, family or blog audience via affiliate advertisements. As an affiliate marketer, you will you promote items and in return will earn a commission on every product that is sold through your affiliate link. Don’t have a website? No problem. Here’s how to earn affiliate income without maintaining a website or blog!
Then don’t sell YOUR product or skills for $5. Other people, your competitors, are allowed to do whatever they want. If someone makes a product and markets it for $5, while you make a product that YOU consider to be much more valued and market it for $100, the consumer still has the power of deciding what they would rather spend their money on. I’ve worked in the culinary industry for 10+ years and the saying I’ve always heard is that if you can’t handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Anyone can tell you if something tastes good or bad, but that doesn’t mean they can create high quality meals like I can. That being said…
Yes, you can make a lot of money with a simple ice cream shop! Perfect your ice cream before you start, find a good busy location without a crazy rent and consider starting with a smaller footprint to minimize your overhead. I’ll have an ice cream sundae please—with everything on it!
Many businesses seek out freelance graphic designers for logos, custom letterheads, infographics, and web design work. With digital visual assets becoming ever more valuable online, graphic designers have plenty of opportunities to make money remotely from home.
Early childhood learning seems to be the rage. Even many games have an educational bent. With such high interest this is a competitive space, so you need to specialize. Perhaps specialize in children with learning disabilities, slow learners, creative play, or “gifted” kids.
I would recommend that you hyper specialize if you are starting an e-commerce business. Why? Because many e-commerce websites have very deep pockets and patient investors and are willing to sell products for razor thin margins (i.e. Amazon) or even at a loss to build market share. That being said if you can show some solid revenue in this business, and especially if you have repeat customers, you will have a business that is worth a lot of money even before it is profitable.
Today, just a few years later, selling Apps is more competitive. In fact, there are large marketing firms that exclusively focus on marketing apps. Nonetheless, there is still money to be made in making and selling apps.
You can power wash houses, commercial buildings, driveways, patios, motor vehicles and more. You will need to be registered, probably have to post a bond, and there may be environmental issues because of the water usage. This is a business you will want to learn carefully. But the upside is that there are many potential markets for your services.
With people working 9- 5 they often do not have the time to walk their pets in the day. As a dog walker you would walk their pets for them in the day.  This simple business idea could become profitable with a good amount of customers. If you are walking more than one pet at a time then you could increase your profit further.
Becoming a known person of interest on YouTube is tough work, and earning views and subscribers is competitive, as more people are getting dollar-sign eyeballs when they see what the big YouTube power users make. Still, if you have something unique to bring to the table or have a great onscreen personality, YouTube could be the spot for you to make your millions (from the comfort of your own home, no less)!
What a great excuse to travel and get paid for it! Yes, there are some really cool craft items you can find around the world for really low prices. It could take a little bit of patience to get going, and specialization helps. But this is a very doable business. One of my friends built up a successful import/export business while still in college.
This probably won’t work if you reside in an area that doesn’t have a lot of tourists, but if you do and are intimately familiar with popular sightseeing attractions than start your own tour guide service.Again, a website and some business cards can get you started. You can also sign up with a website like Vayable.com who will find customers for you – for a cut of the revenue obviously.
I really appreciate all the hard work you put into this list. I never knew there were so many options. I have worked my entire life and am currently a undergrad in Business MGMT/Healthcare. In 2014, my 20 yr old son became a quadriplegic. For the first time, in many years, I am a stay at home mom. At 38, I have spent too many years being independent to feel comfortable relying on my husband. You have given me hope and a starting point. Thank you
Sometimes I’d do a little touchup work, such as a new wood trim or a coat of paint, occasionally I would contract out an engine repair, and always I would clean them the boats. Like any trading business, you need to find out what sells easily and at what price, and what you want to stay away from. Brand name outboards, specifically Boston Whalers, sold well for me. Sailboats, on the other hand, took forever to move.
Bob, any ideas on how to become rich instantly, that requires zero effort on my part and something that’s guaranteed???? haha, just kidding. thanks for these ideas. I’m going to share them with a few friends who are currently unemployed.
If you know how to make jewelry, there’s really no reason not to sell it. Handmade jewelry has long held appeal for collectors and admirers alike. The biggest challenge to setting up a jewelry business might be running the business itself—just making beautiful things won’t be enough to sustain the operation. Study up on what it takes to run a jewelry business and then make it happen. A great place to start is online with sites like Etsy and eBay
Like gift-basket design, floral arrangement requires a lot more creativity than it does overhead, so it’s an approachable business idea. You don’t have to be a florist per se; you can make money arranging flowers for delivery or on-site display rather than necessarily growing or sourcing them, or selling them at retail.
Expertise is another matter, but remember that writing can take many forms—from resumes to news articles to marketing materials and even thank-you notes. (You can even write for businesstown.com, although that gig doesn’t pay … yet.) There’s probably some form of writing you’re qualified to do. Plus, if you’re good enough with grammar and punctuation, companies will pay you to be a freelance editor. One friend made good money editing posts on a popular travel site.
Set goals. Not goals about what you “like” but about money. cold hard cash. the exact amount of money you want to earn. too many people are focused on the myth that they work at what they love. Love to earn money. Don’t love money, but seek to love to earn it and you will see that you will earn it.
For profit schools are hideously expensive. Check out your local Community College, they will have the program for literally thousands of dollars less. Many Community Colleges also now offer their programs online.
Many business and non-profit associations are too small to hire a full-time administrator but still have a lot of administrative work to be done. Some of the business groups I belong to, such as local chapter of The Young President’s Organization and The Harvard Business School Association of Boston, have hired an association management service which is typically a single individual or in one case a mother/daughter team. For these businesses, the management service processes membership dues and event payments, fields questions about events, arranges logistics for events, and attends events and welcomes members. Payment is usually on a monthly retainer basis.
Do you hate dirt and grime? Offer cleaning services to friends, families, and neighbors, ranging from laundering clothing and house cleaning to meal prep and washing windows. You can also check out sites like Care.com for house cleaning gigs.
Blogging isn’t just a fun online activity to feed our narcissistic tendencies-it’s also a clever internet business idea. A quality blog with a loyal audience can earn decent dough by partnering with advertisers, whether through Google AdWords, affiliate partners, or through sponsored blog posts.
Well said, the nerve at insulted designer how can you tell someone what kind of advice to give especially when there trying to help others legally find different avenues to generate income. People are allowed to give good ideas a try it’s basically like your saying they shouldn’t because you are someone else may be insulted. I’m pretty sure the people in this world who are wealthy didn’t get there worrying about if they may or may not insult someone.
By building your business as if you were, let’s say, a publicly-traded company, you’re not just planning for success-you’re preparing for it. What publicly-traded company do you know has just one employee? Now I know what you’re thinking.
Since I started blogging, I have seen the freelance market explode. There is a huge demand for content and so there are a lot of ways to make money writing it. Jonathan wrote a great article about a few legitimate work from home jobs – most of which were freelance writing.
I live in a flat but I own the leasehold. Does that mean I can use the flat for whatever I want? The short answer is no, you can’t. Your lease will govern how you can use the property so you will need to check whether it contains any restrictions. There may be an absolute prohibition on business use, or it may say that you need to seek your landlord’s consent. Certain types of leases (including the widely used assured shorthold tenancy or “AST”) prohibit business use. Running a home business in these circumstances would be a breach of your lease and there would be a risk of your landlord trying to terminate your tenancy.
Go on a shopping spree and get paid for it! Now that could be fun! But this work will also take some patience, such as getting to know your customers’ preferences and returning merchandise that your customer didn’t like as much as you did. However, if your clients like your work, they could retain you forever…and talk up your services with their friends!
Decluttr is an online platform where you can sell CDs, DVDs, and video games. Just enter the item’s barcode on the site to get a quote. Decide which items you’d like to sell (must be between 10 – 500) and send them in using a pre-paid shipping label. Once items are received, Music Magpie will send you a check.
I view a café as positioned somewhere between a sandwich shop and full service gourmet restaurant. You will be cooking a lot of items but not everything, and your dining space will be simpler than a fancy dinner spot. So, you save money on buildout both in the kitchen, the equipment and the dining space. And you won’t need as expensive a chef as you would for a full-service restaurant. Furthermore, if you choose your location well you could have a good lunch business, as well as a dinner time business, and you could do fine in the late afternoon time slot too. Then of course you could offer breakfast as well and really fill in your day!
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he’s running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
I’ve looked into this myself when I have had time and still researching when I have time but thought I would share what I’ve learned so far. The requirements for selling food/baked goods vary from state to state, where I live most edible items that are being sold need to be first baked/cooked in a professional kitchen. The key is to search requirements for selling baked goods in (your state).
Are you a health nut? Is exercise your forte? Help others achieve their fitness goals with your experience, knowledge, and expertise. You can even use an app like Handstand to connect directly with clients.
Videos are now becoming a popular way for businesses to promote their products on the internet. Videos can often get across a lot more information about a product than just text and images. If you know how to shoot and produce professional videos then you could charge businesses a fee for these services

You can find all the advice you need in an online scrap metal discussion forum. How big can you grow a business like this? Stephen Greer went to Hong Kong with almost nothing after college and built a scrap metal recycling business worth $250 million, according to his book, ” Starting from Scrap: An Entrepreneurial Success Story.”
There could be some investment necessary in equipment, and the biggest challenge might be getting your hands on the antiques you plan to refurbish. (Hint: Get to know some auctioneers.) Once you’ve turned a few pieces around, take some high-quality photographs for promotional purposes and go from there.
Are you a talented painter? Do you enjoy working with children? Take your artistic talents to birthday parties, carnivals, amusement parks, company picnics, zoos, and more. Use a site like GigMasters to connect directly with clients.
I would only recommend trading a collectible that you really love! If you are dealing with your favorite collectible, the work will be more enjoyable, it will be easier to increase your expertise, and you will be much more likely to be successful. The online options today allow you to specialize much more deeply than in the past because you can reach a global market. So, within your favorite collectible space, find a particular niche or two and focus sharply on it.
Part of the immediate profitability came from the way we hired. Instead of taking on full-time employees, it was quicker and more cost effective to find talented freelancers. This took a lot of the risk off of our shoulders and also connected us to talent around the world.
If you’re the sort who takes apart the computer for fun, operating an electronics repair shop out of your home is a natural decision. In particular, repairing iPads and other tablets would provide you with a great deal of business, as many tablet users are looking for a less expensive way to fix smashed screens and other damages that can be costly through the manufacturer. Median salary: $49,170.
Peer to peer lending:  Peer to peer lending means that instead of depositing your money in a bank, giving you small-time interest in comparison to the interest earned by the bank (which is lending it), you’ll lend it directly to either private clients or small businesses that need financing. Returns in companies like Zopa have been well over the 5% mark for the last few years. To learn more about these alternative investments click here.
You could find some space on a busy street, perhaps in a resort area, and equip it with arcade games. But I would try instead renting a cool collection of arcade games for parties. The overhead is less, you could start out with just a few games, and you know how much money you will be making before you go to work!
We strategically partnered with an entrepreneur mastermind group: Genius Network (aka the 25k group).  The investment is $25,000 a year to be a member, and brings together entrepreneurs trying to grow/scale their companies. This turned out to be our exact demographic since a person spending all that money proves they can afford a high-end service as well as tools and services that will help them grow their company. After only one presentation at one of these networking events, we received 100 new clients, which gave us a solid starting ground. From there, we continued to grow from one of the strongest forms of marketing there is–word of mouth.
Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.

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