Businesses with Low Startup Costs: Start Small and Grow Big

Share this:

If you’re looking for businesses with low startup costs, this article is a good place to start.

You don’t need to have as much as $20k in savings to get started and bear the name tag of a business owner. With as low as $100, you can start some of the businesses in this post.

Some of these businesses can even be run as a side business, while you keep your regular day job. There are those that are more like making money in your leisure.

If you are still not sure of where to start from, this post has a list of the best businesses with low startup costs. It will give you a clear direction of how to get started.

Let’s begin.

1. Social Media Manager

This is one of the businesses with low startup capital that will mostly favor those that are social media fans. The major cost to get started is the money to buy a laptop, internet access, and training to grab the requisite knowledge involved.

The set of clients you will target with your service are as follows. Firstly, there are those who understand the potential of what social media can add to their business. However, they don’t know how to utilize it to promote their business, product, or services.

This same set of people are the easiest to sell to. This is due to the fact that you won’t need to say much to convince them before taking your offer.

Second, there are individuals who understand how social media works and how to use it, but are too preoccupied to do so. It will not be difficult to sell to this set of individuals.

Furthermore, be prepared to deliver results to clients who fall into this category. This is simply because they have a good knowledge of social media.

Lastly, you’ll be selling to those who don’t know a thing about social media and how it will benefit them. You’ll have to up your marketing and customer acquisition skills if you must win this set of clients over.

You can turn to Facebook groups and online community forums for sourcing clients. Be ready to offer a foot-in-the-door offer as a means of attracting potential clients to try out your service.

SEE: Best platforms to make money with digital marketing

2. Self Publishing

The days of paying a publishing company upfront to have your work published are long gone. You can easily be a self-published author in a matter of hours using sites like Amazon KDP and Smashwords.

Before uploading your book to these platforms, you should ensure that the soft copy is properly formatted.

If your book is properly formatted, it will only take a few hours for the submitted softcopy to be accepted. After your book is accepted, it will be available for purchase online, making you a self-published author.

Since these platforms are free to use, the major startup costs you’ll be incurring is the time to write your book. If you decide to pay writers, that’s when it will cost you money, otherwise, this is a completely free business. You can purchase a bunch of PLR ebook online and just repurpose them.

To be successful in this business, you need to have a clear understanding of the latest trendy type of book. In addition, you’ll need the knowledge of how to title your book in order to arouse curiosity.

For your book to get traction when published, you’ll need to promote it. Doing so will give it a little bit of an edge, especially on Amazon.

However, don’t write one book and expect to become the next Amanda Hocking. Consistency is one of the rules of the game here.

Also, your book cover must be top-notch in order for it to attract readers towards looking in the direction of your book.

3. Personal Chef

As a personal chef, you’ll be engaged either on a part-time or a full-time basis by clients to cook for them. The class of those who will be needed the services of a personal chef are celebrities, top government officials, the wealthy, etc.

If it’s on a full-time basis, you may be required to reside in the same apartment as your employer. Conversely, on a part-time basis means that you’ll be visiting from your home.

Note that you’ll be required to always be the person to make purchases. Therefore, be ready for frequent movement to the grocery shop.

Personal chef made this list of businesses with low startup costs because most of the utensils to be used will be provided by your employer. You simply go to their homes and deliver your service using the utensils they already have.

In addition, being a personal chef does not require any special certification or college degree. Just demonstrate your ability to deliver delicious and tasty meals and you are ok. The major expense associated with this business is the cost of purchasing your personal cooking utensils.

However, you’ll only incur additional expenses if you decide to enroll in a cooking class in order to broaden your knowledge.

SEE: Best food business ideas

4. Sell Printables

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t make money selling printables if you’re competent at graphic design. You can design your printables with Canva and sell them online. You can sell your designs on Etsy, Shopify, or your own blog.

The major expense for this business is the cost of buying a laptop. In addition, other startup costs are those for domain and web host if you’ll be selling on your blog and Shopify cost. However, if your design skills are not top-notch, you can take up graphic design classes to enhance your skill.

In addition to providing passive income, selling printables is one of the most profitable enterprises with low initial costs. All you have to do with printables is make a few designs on your pc and post them to Etsy. Since Etsy is a popular site with a large number of visitors, you’ll see sales pour in.

However, do note that Etsy charges $0.25 for every product listed on the platform. Also, the volume of sales you’ll get will be based on how you were able to properly optimize your store.

SEE: Best items to sell on Etsy for money

5. Dropshipping

Using your social media profile and Shopify’s free trial, you can start a dropshipping business without any upfront cost. Just head over to Shopify and signup for a free trial. Once done, design your store and list your items.

After listing your product, if don’t have enough capital for marketing, you can decide to use your social media profile for marketing. In addition, you can head over to Instagram and search for popular pages in your niche.

Contact these pages and offer to give them a cut of your profit for a shoutout on their page. While some will accept your proposal, you can choose to pay those that don’t for a shoutout.

Do you know why this is among the best businesses with low startup costs? It is because you’ll only purchase the product you are selling after collecting payment from customers.

Furthermore, the product you are selling should be either an evergreen product or any product currently trending. If you sell a product that is not trending or evergreen, you will struggle with sales.

To source your products, you can use Alibaba or Aliexpress. It is best to go with suppliers that will ship out your product faster.

One way to know this is by how long it takes them to ship to the US. Avoid selling breakable items and also avoid selling medical-related items.

Since you’ll be dropshipping, don’t forget to tell your customers about the possibility of a delay in receiving their purchases. The reason for this is because since you won’t be packaging the product yourself, a situation of delays can arise.

Finally, try to sell products that give room for high-profit margins. This will enable you to make enough money after removing the cost of purchase, shipping, and marketing, if necessary.

SEE: How to make money with dropshipping

6. Freelance Content Writer

There are lots of blogs, magazines, and media outlets that require written content on a daily basis. This is where your services as a content writer come in.

As a freelance writer, you are not specifically employed by any company. Rather, you will be working on a per-project basis.

This is one of the businesses with low startup costs since your major investment will be your laptop. All other software to be used will normally come preinstalled on your device. However, the major key to success as a freelance writer is to be knowledgeable in the field you are writing about.

If you decide to start as a content writer, you can find clients on websites like Fiverr and Upwork. You can choose to price your writing gig a little lower than others in order to attract your initial few clients.

Once you have gathered enough experience and testimonials, you can opt to set up a website and sell your writing services.

In addition, one other way you can make money is by creating and selling a content writing course. This will help to serve as a passive source of income for you. While you are making money writing, your content writing course will also be bringing in more cash for you.

Once you become an expert in the field, it won’t be long before you start landing high-paying content writing jobs.

One interesting part of this business is that it can be done from anywhere. You just need to have a computer device and an internet connection.

SEE: How to become a top-earning freelance writer


What is the bare minimum for starting a business?

In the end, the type of business engaged in will determine this. Nevertheless, there are some businesses that can be started with no money.

Being a freelance content writer, for example, requires no upfront investment. You sign up on websites like Fiverr and Upwork, list your gig, and then fulfill orders as they come in.

Since you’ll be using the tools you already have, it will cost you nothing but your time.

What is a low-cost startup business?

A low-cost startup business is a business that requires less than $5,000 to start.

This is based on the premise that the US Small Business Administration pegs $5,000 as the maximum amount required to start a small business.

If you are creative and forward-thinking, most low-cost businesses can be started for next to nothing.


If you use the internet, you can generate money in a variety of ways. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you’ve probably been looking for businesses with low startup costs.

The businesses shared in this post are good starting ground. Just look for what piques your interest and run with it. In addition, after going through this post, startup capital should no longer be a setback for your entrepreneurial journey.

While some of the businesses in this post have extremely low startup costs, others can be started for free.

Out of the list of businesses with low startup costs in this post, I recommend starting as a freelance writer. This will help you to do away with any upfront cost involved with starting a business.

However, you must remember that having a good knowledge of your niche is essential. You can start small and upscale your freelance writing service into a full-blown content writing agency.

If you have a creative mind and would like to make money out of your creativity, I’d recommend you check out this post. It contains lists of businesses with which you can make money with your creativity.

Thanks for reading.