August 28, 2016

50 Low Tech Businesses You Can Start


low tech featured

So, you have the entrepreneurial spirit but not a lot of tech know-how? Despite all of the high-tech startups that have popped up in recent years, there are still plenty of small business options out there that don’t require you to know the difference between CSS and QR codes. Below are low tech business ideas you can start this year.

Editor’s note: watch a video featuring 10 of these non tech startup ideas.

Low Tech Business Ideas

Cleaning Business

low tech business ideas

All you need to start your own cleaning business is a stockpile of cleaning supplies and access to clients, which you can gain through word of mouth, flyers or classified ads if you don’t want to set up your own website.

Flea Market Vending

Flea markets are filled with a huge variety of different vendors. You can sell basically anything from vintage housewares to jewelry that you made yourself.

Day Care

Running a child care service out of your home just requires you to have some experience working with kids and a safe home environment to care for them throughout the day.

Lawn Mowing

You can start a business providing lawn care services to people in your area. You just need a lawnmower and a vehicle to get you from place to place.

Errand Service

Busy people could often use some help with their day-to-day tasks. Starting an errand service means you can charge people to take care of things like grocery shopping, dry cleaning and other odd jobs.

Wedding Consulting

low tech business ideas

If you enjoy planning and organizing events, you might consider starting a wedding consulting business. This mainly requires you to plan and facilitate with various vendors and service providers.

Wholesale Bakery

You could start a baking business where you create dessert items at home and sell them wholesale to local bakeries or restaurants. You’ll need to learn first about regulations in your community for commercial food preparation, however

Dog Walking Service

If you love being outside and hanging out with animals, you can put up some flyers around your community offering your services as a dog walker.

Estate Sale Service

Those who have lost loved ones or need to move and sell many of their possessions often need help setting up estate sales. If you have some knowledge about antiques and selling used items, you may be able to offer your services in this capacity.

Personal Chef Service

If you enjoy cooking but don’t necessarily want to start a whole restaurant, you could become a personal chef and prepare meals for a client or clients in their home or yours.

Food Kiosk

low tech business ideas

Whether you want to start a roadside pretzel stand or operate a taco or other food truck, there are plenty of opportunities to sell food items on a small, sometimes even mobile scale.

Pool Cleaning

Pool owners often hire professionals to keep their pools clean and ready for use throughout the summer. This requires some experience or know-how, but not much in the way of technology.

Clothing Alterations

If you have some sewing skills, you could offer your services to people who need repairs or alterations to their garments.

Car Wash

Whether you want to set up an entire car washing business or just raise some extra money on occasion, car washing can be a great money making opportunity that requires little to no tech knowledge.

Packing Service

For people who are planning to move but don’t want to go through the trouble of packing their belongings, you can offer that service to them for a fee.

House Sitting

low tech business ideas

For travelers, hiring a house sitter can offer peace of mind. And offering those services doesn’t require you to do anything tech-related, though there are some websites that let you advertise your availability.

Custom Embroidery Service

If you enjoy embroidering and have the supplies to do so, you can offer your services to people who want to add their business logo, initials, or any other details to their clothing or accessories.

Interior Decorating Service

Helping clients design and decorate their homes can be a fun business opportunity for design-oriented entrepreneurs. And though there are some online tools that can help with those processes, it isn’t as necessary as a keen eye for design.

Personal Training

If you love getting in shape and helping others do the same, you can offer your services out of your home or a local gym.

Tutoring

You can start a tutoring business that helps local students with a particular subject, test or area of study.

Personal Shopping

low tech business ideas

Clients who need some help picking out outfits or creating a budget for their purchases may be interested in the services of a personal shopper. Starting this type of service mainly just requires an interest in shopping and some fashion sense.

Recycling Service

A lot of people don’t know how or don’t want to go through the trouble of recycling large items like computers. So you could offer the service of picking up those items for a fee and taking them to the proper recycling outlets.

Pet Sitting

Travelers with pets are particularly likely to want someone to come to their home or look after their dogs or cats. You can offer this service to people you know and let your client base grow out from there.

Handyman Service

If you’re good with tools and home repairs, you can offer general handyman services to people in your area who need help with various home projects.

Home Care

Elderly people often need help with basic functions like laundry, grocery shopping and getting to and from appointments. You can offer your services as a home care provider to help them take care of some of those tasks on a regular basis.

Tour Guide Service

low tech business ideas

If you have a lot of knowledge about your local community and love sharing that knowledge with others, you can consider starting a tour guide service to show people around.

Yoga Instruction

Teaching yoga can be a rewarding career that requires little to no technology. You can teach out of a studio or even set one up in your own home.

Translation Service

Businesses, individuals and even government entities often hire translators to communicate with people in various other languages. If you are fluent in any other languages, you may be able to offer your services to different clients.

Antique Sales

You can sell various antique items at antique fairs, antique mall booths or even in your own store.

Aquarium Maintenance

People who own fish, lizards, snakes or any other animals that live in tanks or aquariums are likely to need some maintenance services at some point. If that’s the type of work you enjoy, you can provide those services in people’s homes or place of business.

Window Washing

low tech business ideas

If you enjoy being outside and cleaning, a window washing business might be the right fit for you. You just need some cleaning supplies and outdoor equipment if you plan to work on multi-story buildings.

Gardening

Another great fit for anyone who loves working outside, working as a gardener would allow you to work for residential or business clients to improve their outdoor plant life.

Event Planning

Similar to wedding coordinators, event planners work with clients to plan and organize the various aspects of their events. You can work with an even bigger array of clients by being open to the types of events you’ll work on.

Craft Fair Vending

If you can make anything from clothing to candles, you can work on creating those items in your home or workshop and then travel to different craft fairs in your community or around the world to sell them.

Childproofing Service

When people have children or even just welcome child visitors into their homes, it can help to have an expert come over to make sure that everything is safe and childproof.

Car Detailing

low tech business ideas

Car owners will pay a premium price for someone who’s able to not only wash the outside of their cars, but also clean out the entire inside from top to bottom.

Florist

Being a florist allows you to work with different flowers and plants to make arrangements that your customers will love.

Hair Stylist

If you have a cosmetology certification, you can start your own business as a hairstylist, offering cut, color and various other styling services.

Makeup Artist

Or you can work as a makeup artist, welcoming clients to your own space or even traveling to work with them.

House Painting

You can offer house painting services to clients who need interior and/or exterior work done one their homes or businesses.

Greenhouse

low tech business ideas

Love plants? You can start your own greenhouse where you care for various outdoor and houseplants and sell them to customers.

Moving Service

If you have a large vehicle and a strong team, you can offer full moving services to customers in your area.

Woodworking Service

From furniture to birdhouses, you can build a huge variety of items out of wood. Then you can sell those items to local businesses or at craft fairs or flea markets.

Canning Business

Canning allows you to preserve different types of food items so that you can ship them to customers or even sell them wholesale to local businesses.

Photo Restoration

Old photos tend to fade and show other signs of ware and tear over time. It takes some specialized expertise, but you can work to restore certain types of photos without going fully digital.

Laundry Service

low tech business ideas

For students, elderly people or even busy families, you can offer a service that helps with their regular laundry so they don’t have to worry about it.

Resume Writing

Young professionals or people who haven’t job hunted in years often look for assistance when compiling their resumes. You can offer some assistance and feedback to clients working on things like resumes and cover letters.

Soap Making

With just a few ingredients and supplies, you can make your own soap with various scents and specialties and sell them to local beauty or home stores, or even at craft events.

Nutritionist

If you have some knowledge about food and dieting, you can work with clients to give them some input on their nutrition.

Proofreading Service

You can also offer your services as a proofreader for things like articles, grants, resumes or even school assignments.

Flea Market Vinyl, Mop, Wedding, Dessert Kiosk, Man in House, Shopper, Tour Guide, Window Washer, Auto Detailing, Greenhouse, Laundry Photos via Shutterstock

21 Comments ▼
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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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21 Reactions

  1. If you do the gardening or greenhouse ideas, you could also branch out to farmers’ markets where you could sell the produce from your gardening efforts as well. People love supporting local growers and the quality of product at a farmers’ market is much higher than supermarket fare.

  2. Aira Bongco

    Who says you need technology in order to start? Some people even enter paralysis from just not starting just because there is not enough technology or the technology they currently have is not as updated.

  3. All of these are excellent ideas, and really go to show that you don’t need some groundbreaking new idea to start a business. Just pick one of these ideas that appeals to you and put yourself out there, and you’re already ahead of all the other people who are still in the “thinking about starting a business” phase (a phase that never ends for most people).

  4. Great post Annie!

    Do you think too many aspiring entrepreneurs are trying to create the next big mobile/web app these days? Seems like there are tons of proven/simpler businesses that may be more suited for beginner entrepreneurs like the ones you’ve mentioned in this post!

  5. It’s amazing how you can have a business even if you are not working with technology. This shows that as long as you have the will to be of service to people, then you can create a business out of it.

  6. Great list. I would also add private chef/cook. If you live near a metropolitan area with highly paid, but very busy professionals, there is a great need for people to prepare home-cooked meals for them.

    And of course, there is always selling digital products. No significant delivery costs and even the product creation may happen with the use of free products.

    Last addition, anything where you provide the platform and other people provide the content. Take Task Rabbit. That business is just a listing service that takes a cut of all transactions. Genius!

    There are so many possibilities like this. In fact, there is so much opportunity for making good money with little start up cost, that I think people need to get their mindset straight first and foremost. The opportunity is there, but if you’re feeling like a beggar, asking, “What can I make money at,” instead of a success asking, “What do I most want to do that brings me money?” you’ll miss your golden ticket. Come from a place of fullness, confidence, and enthusiasm with an intent to make money in a way that’s stimulating and fun to you, and then just add the business knowledge you need to make a success of it into the mix. If you apply yourself consistently, you’ll have the same successes you see others having.

    • Well said and very true Indigo!
      I agree that you must choose a business that your passionate about so you never feel your working rather just doing your hobby. Always start at the minimum amount of capital, buy used machines etc. some town offers some subsidies to to increase jobs in their town. Check your town’s websites – good luck!

    • Indigo that’s very true.

      Most of us do what we do for the money and forget about the love for it, then we intend quite in someway.
      the best we must all do is starting a business we are in love with, then the passion we have for it will expose us and the business together to great height.

  7. Thanks for these ideas. Really helpful. The best thing is these doesn’t require much capital.

  8. what a detail post. it cover all the opportunities of part time business. thanks 🙂

  9. Nice article, very informative. Please share any IT (eg: IT Services) related business ideas. I am also one of them who just thinks, instead of doing something :). But looking forward to start something soon.

  10. All of these businesses suck.

  11. I’ve been in the cleaning business for 28 years. It’s not a bad biz to be in. I enjoy helping people start their own cleaning business. Visit mycleaningbiz.com to learn more.

  12. I “accidentally” came across this great post. Several of my clients are actually doing business with many of the ideas listed here. My business is to help their business by providing a smorgasbord of services in ONE convenient, trustworthy location. Please visit Jen Williams International at JenWilliamsIntl.com. We’d be more than happy to help!

  13. Excellent ideas shared by the team and its with going through the same. These business are really supportive and one can implement it for their own extra source of income to support family.

  14. Great article, thank you! If anyone is considering a business in the wedding industry, there is some great research on the average packages and pricing on the Wedlockers blog.

  15. Hey, great list! LaunchScore estimates the earnings potential of 800+ business types in 750 U.S. cities. Unlike most lists, LaunchScore provides a custom earnings estimate that takes into account the market conditions in each city.

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