Do you like the idea of becoming one of the 27.9 million small business owners in the United States, but don’t have a lot of start-up money and not sure where to start? Here’s a list of 26 low to no cost small scale business ideas to whet your entrepreneur appetite.
Peer to Peer Marketplace
- Hopperstock Rental Host: All you need is a clean garage, driveway, basement, barn, shed, or extra bedroom. Turn the existing property structures you already own into a business opportunity. Rent out your space for a week, a month, or a year. You are your own boss and you set the terms of the rental.
- Uber or Lyft driver: Set your own hours and work when you’re available. Drive people to the airport, doctor’s appointments, or drive them home from the bar when they’ve had a few too many. Don’t want people in your car? Be an Uber Eats driver and deliver take-out to homes and businesses from restaurants and cafes in your area.
- Airbnb host: Rent out your rental property or your own home when you’re not around (help pay for your vacation while you’re on vacation!) Add extra services, such as a tour of your city, an art class, or a home cooked meal for bonus money and stellar referrals.
- Freelance content writer: Work from home by helping businesses post content on their websites, social media accounts, emails, press releases, marketing material, and advertisements.
- Resume Writer: Help job seekers update and customize their resumes, or help them get started if they’re feeling overwhelmed trying to put one together for the first time.
- Create a blog and sell advertising: Start blogging about your favorite hobby or passion. Post often with lots of beautiful pictures and links to build an audience. The more hits your blog posts get, the more likely you are to attract advertisers who will pay you to post their ads.
- Ghostwriter: Help someone who has a good book concept, wants to preserve their family history, or write their own biography but doesn’t have the time or the writing skills to make it happen.
- Virtual Assistant: Virtual Assistants help relieve the load of businesses and organizations without enough time or employees. VA’s may schedule appointments, call vendors, compose and send emails, complete data entry, billing, bookkeeping and any of the other millions of little things busy people need to be done.
- SEO Consultant: Are you fluent in SEO and web optimization? Help businesses increase traffic to their websites and convert that traffic to sales.
- Website designer: Businesses, charities, organizations, and everyday people with something to share want their own website, but not everyone knows how to design one, make it easy to use, and visually appealing at the same time. If you have that tech-savvy and creative skill combo, this could be a lucrative business venture for you.
Kids and Animal Lovers
- Dog or petsitter: Be a dog nanny while people are at work all day and feel guilty about leaving their pets home alone. Or take them in and care for them while their owners are on vacation.
- Dog walker: Take dogs for walks for owners who are unable due to complicated work schedules or limited mobility.
- Babysitter or Nanny: Every parent needs a reliable and trustworthy babysitter while they’re at work, running errands, or if they simply need a night out without the kids. Offer to babysit for people that already know and trust you, or get references and expand your clientele.
- Home daycare: If you’re already babysitting for one parent, what’s a few more? Check your local home daycare laws to see what certifications and licenses you need to start a daycare right in your own home.
- Animal Groomer: Do you love animals and love to play dress up? Have the best of both worlds and be an animal groomer! Start a doggy salon right in your home or get mobile and bring the flea shampoo and clippers to your 4-legged clients.
- Start a YouTube channel: If you’ve always wanted to be a star but never got the big break, discover yourself and show the world what you’ve got on YouTube. Start a web series about your favorite hobby, review movies, video games, or music. Film tutorials about things your skilled at like fixing cars, building kites, calligraphy, gardening, or refurbishing antiques. Like blogging, once you’ve built an audience, advertising will come knocking.
- Start a Podcast: In the same vein as blogs and YouTube channels, podcasts are a nice in-between for those who feel more comfortable speaking off camera. Podcasts topics are as varied as everything else, so pick your passion, start talking, and build an audience so you can attract sponsors and affiliates.
- Create an Etsy Store: Are crafts your thing? Start selling them to turn a buck! Whether you like to knit hats for babies or construct Adirondack chairs in your workshop, you can sell them on Etsy.
- Hiking or hunting guide
- Tutoring (math, science, musical instrument, or foreign language)
- Lawn and yard service or Gardner
- Dropship for Amazon or Ebay
- Start an eBay consignment store
- House cleaner
- Handyman services
- Errand service