Every small business owner wants to turn a profit. But it can be difficult to do so — especially early on. If you don’t have a ton of money or resources to get your business up and running, you can still hope to create a profitable small business. You just need to choose the right idea.
Low Cost Business Ideas with High Profit Potential
Here are some low cost business ideas with high profit potential to get you started.
Affiliate marketers simply earn a small portion of each sale that they send to a brand. So you don’t really need anything to get started. It might take you some time to build up an audience that will actually help you earn. But once you get going it should be mostly profit.
Virtual Assistant Service
Virtual assistants help businesses with everything from inbox management to social media posting. You really just need access to a computer and internet connection to get started. And you can earn even more if you have specific skills.
Online Influencer Service
Influencers partner with brands to share their thoughts on products and services with their audience. If you have a sizeable following on social media or a blog, this can be an easy way to bring in some extra money.
Social Media Marketing
Or you could offer your services as a social media marketing profession. In this case, you would actually create and schedule social media content on behalf of various brands.
You could even get more general and offer a variety of digital marketing solutions. This type of business only really requires expertise and an internet connection.
If you have business expertise, offer your services as a consultant where you provide insights and guidance to other brands.
Lots of businesses could also use help finding the right candidates for specific jobs. You can do most of this online. And businesses often pay a premium to recruiting services that can help them find high level candidates.
You can publish an ebook fairly inexpensively on platforms like Amazon. Then all of the money you bring in when you make sales is mainly profit.
Starting a blog mainly requires purchasing a domain and hosting. Then once you build a following, you can earn money by offering sponsored content to brands, sidebar ads or affiliate links.
Podcasting offers a similar business model, but just in an audio format. You might have to purchase some audio equipment. But overall it shouldn’t cost much.
YouTube Video Creation
YouTube lets video creators earn a portion of the ad revenue that their content brings in. With just some simple video equipment and time, you can build up enough of a following to earn profit on that platform.
Membership Website Development
If you want to start a website but don’t want to offer all of your content for free in blog form, you can start a membership site where people pay a recurring monthly fee to access your content.
Writers, you can work with brands on a contract basis to offer copywriting for websites, product pages or even advertisements.
If you have experience helping people get jobs, there are plenty of job seekers who would gladly pay for you to create resumes and cover letters for them.
Online Course Sales
For those with expertise in any given area, you can create an online course and charge a flat fee for people to access the course and take it at their own pace.
Digital Product Sales
There are also plenty of other digital products, from workbooks to design printables, that you can create without a ton of money and then sell online.
Designers, offer your web design services on a per-project basis to brands or individuals.
Mobile application development is also very in-demand right now. If you have the ability to develop apps, you can either create your own or offer your services to third party companies.
Tech savvy individuals can also offer general IT support to customers. You can even offer this service online or over the phone so you don’t need to pay for a location.
If you want to start an ecommerce business, there are plenty of products you can purchase fairly inexpensively and then resell them at a profit.
For those who have a product idea, offer the licensing rights to other companies so you don’t have to pay as much for development and manufacturing.
Real Estate Brokering
As a real estate broker, you can earn money on every sale you make and bring in extra agents that can increase your profits even more.
Financially savvy individuals, you really just need a computer and some bookkeeping software to manage the books for multiple business clients.
You can also help individuals and businesses during tax season if you want to earn a high profit in a short amout of time.
If you know multiple languages, you can offer translating services for authors, businesses and governmental organizations.
Stock Photo Sales
Photographers, sell your photos on stock photo sites to earn some passive income. All you need is a camera and a computer with internet connection.
You can also offer your services photographing special events. People are often willing to pay a premium for things like wedding photography.
Lots of consumers are very health conscious and willing to pay for professional expertise on things like meal plans. You can charge even more if you’re registered as a dietician.
Or you could focus on fitness and work one-on-one with people looking to improve their workouts. Find a local gym you can work out of or consider creating workout plans for people you communicate with online.
If you have strong organizational and planning skills, you can start a wedding or event planning business without a physical office space.
Vacation Rentals Business
If you have a bit of extra space in your home or an access to an extra home or apartment, offer your space on vacation rental sites like Airbnb.
Even if you don’t have your own space to offer, you could start a property management company where you help property owners in your area manage their tenants.
Home and Office Cleaning
Starting a cleaning service really just requires some basic supplies and transportation. You can work with both homeowners and businesses, and hopefully build some recurring clients.
Or you could focus on cleaning cars. People are often willing to pay decent prices for full detailing services.
If you want to start a food business, catering can be fairly inexpensive, since you just need a kitchen but not a dining space. You can also charge a premium for certain types of events.
Food Truck Operation
Food trucks are also relatively inexpensive to get up and running — at least for food businesses. And you can earn a fair amount by targeting special events and high traffic areas.
If you have experience as a contractor or handyman, offer your services to homeowners looking to remodel their spaces.
Landscaping can be another profitable venture, since you really just need some basic equipment and transportation.
Lots of homeowners are willing to pay for small repairs or additions like hanging curtain rods or patching walls. As a handyman, you can stay fairly busy and avoid setting up a physical storefront.
You don’t need much of anything to start your own recycling service — mainly just a truck or van. You can charge people to pick up electronics or other items that are sometimes difficult to recycle or dispose of.
Electronics Repair Service
For those who are skilled with electronics, start a service where you fix people’s cracked phone screens or malfunctioning laptops.
Refurbished Electronics Sales
Or you could purchase people’s broken electronics at a discounted rate, then refurbish them and sell them at a profit.
In-Home Senior Care
Lots of seniors need help with everyday tasks, from cooking and cleaning to running errands. Start an in-home care service and build up a base of recurring clients.
If you love animals, offer to pet sit or walk or groom dogs in exchange for a fee.
People also pay a premium for quality child care these days. You can even start a day care business where you care for multiple kids at once.
Test Prep Service
For those who are knowledgeable on a particular school subject, you can charge a decent amount to help high school or college students prepare for specific tests, from SATs to LSATs.
If you want to provide general help for clients, start a life coaching business where you work with clients one-on-one, either in person or online.
Call Center Operation
Running a call center may require a bit more startup costs than others on the list. But you can run some small customer service operations remotely. And many companies are willing to pay a premium to have their customer service operations located nearby.
Travel Planning Service
Though the travel agency business has gone through some changes in recent years, you can still offer planning and consulting services to companies and large groups without a ton of overhead.
Tour Guide Service
Or if you live in an area that’s popular with tourists, you can offer a tour guide service or even sell guide books geared toward specific activities.
Related reading: 51 Business Ideas for 2020