100 Best Small Business Ideas You Can Start For Little To No Money
Brace yourself – a massive list of small business ideas is coming your way.
If you’re researching the top ideas for successful businesses, you must be thinking of finally launching a business of your own.
Don’t listen to what most people are saying:
Yes, starting a business from scratch is scary for people with no experience. But it’s also exciting, and it will change your life if you do it right.
Before you make a single move, you need to learn which business ideas have a higher potential to turn profitable.
And that’s what we’ll be talking about for a long time today.
This post contains affiliate links – read my affiliate disclosure.
I Want To Start A Business, But I Have No Ideas
Does that thought sound familiar to you?
Chances are, it does.
Then again, most people who already own businesses know the feeling too.
Picking the perfect business idea for you is a challenging task. However, you can’t begin anything until you complete it.
Here are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself while you brainstorm ideas for a business:
- What do I love talking about and I can spend a long time discussing?
- Do I have decent skills and knowledge of my favorite topic?
- Who is my ideal customer?
- Is there a large enough pool of potential clients my business will serve?
Assuming that you have an answer to these questions, you’re ready to start building a business.
Maybe you’re not there yet?
In that case, the one thing you might need is a bit of inspiration.
Actually, I have tons of that for you, so let’s get started, shall we?
Top Profitable Businesses Ideas – Small Business Ideas List
1) Consulting Business
The way I see it, every person is knowledgeable on a certain subject.
It doesn’t matter what that subject might be – there will always be a number of people who would like to learn about it.
With that said, sharing your expertise with others is a lucrative business idea you’ll greatly profit from once you develop it.
Don’t hesitate to launch a consulting business if you’re passionate about its topic.
Such a venture has unlimited growth potential, and you might even have to hire other consultants when the business takes off!
2) IT Consulting
Until we’re still on the subject of consulting, let’s narrow it down to IT.
To clarify, this business idea will appeal to people who have experience with computers or a background in other types of technology.
Is that you?
Alright then, you can start an IT business on a low budget and with not too many resources.
Doing so will allow you to offer remote services, and that means flexible working hours.
3) App Development
Make no mistake – app development is not for everybody. Furthermore, it’s not for people with no experience or tech skills.
Be that as it may, developing apps more than deserves a place on this list of small business ideas:
Millions of people worldwide use smartphones every day. And that explains the never-stopping demand for mobile apps.
App development tends to get expensive and requires tons of marketing, but it’s still worth the shot if you can manage it.
4) Website Development
These days, most physical businesses have a presence online.
The ones that don’t most likely don’t know how to build a website.
That’s where you’ll come in:
With over 170 sites arriving online every minute, you can imagine the money potential a website development business has.
I can’t imagine a scenario where you’ll ever be short on clients!
5) Graphic Design Business
Graphic design is one of these small business ideas with a close connection to web development:
Individuals who need someone to create a website will also need someone to design it.
You can start offering graphic design services even if your skills are not on a professional level yet:
Watching free YouTube tutorials will help you polish your talent as a graphic designer.
6) Design and Sell Print-On-Demand T-Shirts
Another way to earn from your designing skills is by going into the print-on-demand business.
Print-on-demand is a business model where inventory, shipping, and order fulfillment are not your responsibilities:
Your printing partner company will take care of all that.
Believe it or not, all you need to focus on is coming up with gorgeous designs for T-shirts!
7) Digital Marketing Services
Digital marketing is one of the most profitable industries you can choose to build a career.
Professionals who work as digital marketers are quite in-demand:
Considering digital marketing is crucial for the success of any kind of brand, offering such services is a smart business idea.
Don’t try your luck in the field unless your digital marketing abilities are impressive.
I suggest looking into Digital Marketing Career Blueprint – online training that helps digital marketers better themselves.
8) Social Media Management
Social Media is an inseparable part of most people’s lives nowadays.
At the same time, businesses count on it to increase their online presence and brand awareness. They often hire someone to do it for them.
Social Media managers reply to comments, work to increase the number of followers, engage with the audience, and perform a few other tasks.
If that’s something you can manage, offering Social Media management is worth your time.
9) SEO Consulting
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of optimizing a web page to rank well on the search engines for a specific keyword.
Knowing SEO inside and out will put you in a position where you can demand thousands of dollars in exchange for your expertise.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, thousands of blogs are being launched online every single day.
Many of the business owners behind those sites don’t have the first clue about doing proper SEO, so you have an enormous pool of clients.
10) Video Production
Chances are, you’re well aware of the fact that video as a content form is increasing in popularity by the minute.
Nowadays, Internet users prefer to watch than reading.
Is shooting, cutting, and editing a video one of those things you do best?
Then going into video production will be the perfect fit for you.
11) YouTube Channel
Assuming that video production is your strongest suit, I have to mention the possibility of starting, developing, and monetizing a YouTube channel.
Yes, we’re talking about vlogging here.
You can make money from YouTube videos in a variety of ways – affiliate marketing, displaying ads, sponsored content, etc.
Also, you don’t have to show your face to be successful on YouTube:
Tools like Speechelo are an amazing help for shy people who dream of being vloggers.
Still working on the angle of opportunities that don’t require posing for the camera, I’m moving the conversation to the podcast.
Podcasting is one of the hottest business trends at the moment, and I doubt that will change any time soon.
While jumping into this field requires a start-up investment (audio equipment and editing software), moving forward with it is something you won’t regret.
Both Google and YouTube offer tons of content that will guide you on your path to becoming a successful podcaster.
13) Public Relations (PR) Agency
Quite frankly, launching a PR agency will not work unless you have an extensive experience and expertise in the field.
Those of you with a background in PR should seriously consider the option, though:
Businesses of all sizes are constantly looking to hire PR specialists to help them with their image.
Networking will play a massive role here, so you might want to start it now if offering PR services is a done deal for you.
14) Accounting/Bookkeeping Small Business Ideas
Basically, owning a CPA license means that you can take your expertise online and begin offering accounting and bookkeeping services.
No business can function properly and efficiently if its finances are not in order.
I don’t have to mention again how many new businesses arrive online daily, right?
In other words, there is plenty of work and high-paying opportunities in this area.
15) Tax Consulting
Similar to the previous entry on my list, tax consulting is suitable for CPA professionals.
But here, you’ll focus all your attention specifically on taxes:
Most business owners find handling their taxes challenging, and you’ll earn a lot to get this part of the job off their hands.
Tax consultants and advisors are often necessary all year round, so I don’t see you unemployed once you develop such a business.
16) Business Planning Services
By all means, no list of small business ideas will be complete without a business planning venture.
If you have a couple of successful businesses already, then you must know a thing or two about crafting a business plan.
Why would you keep such knowledge to yourself?
Share it with wannabe business owners and get paid generously in the process:
Writing a business plan is crucial for the success of every business, so doing it for others will boost your income tremendously.
17) Freelance Writing/Copywriting
Every piece of content that goes online needs a writer to create it.
That’s why freelance writing and copywriting is one of the most lucrative niches you can get into to launch a business.
Offering writing services can be an extra income idea until your skills become on a professional level.
Hundreds of online platforms will pay you to write even if you’re a beginner.
Consider going through a top-notch writing course to accelerate your development as a freelance writer and copywriter.
18) Online Tutoring Services
My guess would be that you know how popular online tutoring is right now.
Can you handle it?
Great, then prepare to earn quite well for your tutoring services:
Professional tutors are able to make a full-time income with such activity.
19) Online Transcription Services
Transcription is the kind of work where you’ll transform audio or video files into written documents.
Doing so will earn you a nice extra income.
Ultimately, offering transcription services can become a whole online business:
There is no shortage of clients that will pay you for doing transcription work.
20) Online Translating Services
Are you bilingual?
It’s awesome if you are.
But I hope you don’t use your skills for a casual translation from time to time.
Put them to better use when you launch an online translating business.
Small Business Ideas That Require Initial Investment
21) Jewelry Making Business
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t go into the jewelry-making business unless you have a talent for it.
But if you do, you should know that there is always a demand for handmade jewelry.
Currently, many online platforms will allow you to start selling your jewelry.
Some of the most popular are Etsy and eBay.
22) Make And Sell Crafts
Since we’re still on the subject of creating things to sell, I have to mention the crafts.
No matter what kind of crafts you’re able to make, you can find clients that will be willing to pay well for them.
Again, I would suggest visiting Etsy and opening an online store.
List your crafts, optimize your products with keywords, and start promoting them on Social Media to boost your sales.
23) Coffee Shop
OK, it’s time for my list of small business ideas to present you with an option for a physical business – opening a coffee shop.
While you may love the idea, you have to keep in mind that you’ll face tons of competition in this field.
I’m not saying that you should back off from the opportunity.
However, careful business planning must take place before you rent a space for your dream coffee shop.
24) Custom T-Shirt Business
Above all, you can make a lot of money if you know how to develop a successful custom T-shirt business.
As you can imagine, this is one of those businesses where you can sell both online and locally.
If you don’t want to sell your custom T-shirts on the web, you can do that in your area of residence.
That will save you renting expenditures, and you can run the business from your home.
25) Renting Bicycles/Bicycles Repair
Renting bicycles is one of those small business ideas most people underestimate.
Sure, dealing with bicycles might not be the most exciting way to spend your time.
Be that as it may, you can still turn it into a profitable venture if you put some initial work first.
Try to come up with ways to satisfy your potential customer by offering incentives your competitors do not.
26) Home Bakery Business
Is baking the secret weapon your guests always express admiration for?
Then starting a home bakery business seems like the right fit for you.
You can sell locally and online.
Also, you can expand such a business if you decide to publish a recipe book once your new career takes off.
27) Catering Business
Until we’re on the culinary note, let’s discuss catering for a minute, shall we?
Starting a catering service is an alluring possibility if you dream of being your own boss while doing what you love.
Here, your initial investment will go over a few hundred dollars.
Launching a catering business is way cheaper than opening a restaurant, though.
28) Bed And Breakfast
Cute B and Bs are never going out of style, in my opinion.
Going into the bed and breakfast industry is a profitable business idea, but you shouldn’t give it a try with the wrong expectations in your mind.
Besides, there are a lot of expenses to consider here – cleaning, renovations, staff salaries, etc.
Maybe you can manage all that? Fantastic, then bed and breakfast it is!
29) Clothing Boutique
In case you live for fashion, opening a clothing boutique will be a dream come true.
Selling clothes online and locally will double your odds of success.
Chances are, your boutique might fail if you skip in-depth competition research and market analysis.
But if you’re sure there is a large enough pool of buyers for the clothes you plan to sell, I don’t see anything standing in your way.
30) Art Business
Are there any artists reading this article on small business ideas?
Do you have an online store that showcases your artwork already?
Shopify will let you launch a webshop without paying anything upfront for two weeks.
Once your trial is over, you’ll have to pay to keep your art store, but the plans are more than affordable.
31) Flower Shop
Are you fond of the idea of opening a floral shop?
Flowers make for awesome gifts, and there is always an occasion to present your loved ones with a gift, isn’t there?
Even if you plan to sell flowers locally, you’ll still need to create a website where clients will be able to look at your floral arrangements.
You never know how your next client is going to find you!
32) Daycare Business
According to the statistics, nearly 60% of the parents in the USA rely on child care services.
So, if you’re thinking about opening a daycare, you’re going in the right direction business-wise.
Generally, you need a license to work as a childcare provider.
Check the law in the state you live in and take it from there.
33) Party Planning Business
Quite frankly, a party planning business may serve all kinds of clients.
For example, you can get hired as a party planner for kids’ birthdays and office group celebrations.
A party planning venture is one of those businesses where you can start small and grow it into a whole empire.
You’ll need more than a tiny start-up investment to launch such a business, so plan it carefully.
34) Ice Cream Shop
Who doesn’t love ice cream, right?
Following this trail of thought will lead you to the conclusion that the number of your future customers will be unlimited.
More importantly, you’ll not go broke if you decide to spend your time selling ice cream.
Your sales during wintertime will be on the lower end – you’ll need to pencil that in while you still plan the business.
35) Laundromat Business
Heads up – developing a laundromat business will turn into a passive income stream eventually.
After all, doing laundry and getting clothes cleaned is something people can’t avoid.
Moving into the laundromat business comes with a hefty start-up investment.
Whether you’re starting this business from scratch or purchasing an existing one, go through the numbers carefully.
36) Event Space
Devote some time and take a good look at your local market:
Is there a high demand for corporate events, fundraisers, and even weddings?
If the answer is yes, you know there is room for a brand new event space hosting business.
A piece of advice – consider offering planning services as well to increase your earnings.
37) Furniture Building/Woodworking
Do you know your way around wood?
Then what’s stopping you from starting a wood furniture building business?
Feel free to give it a try in your spare time at first.
Once your business gains the necessary exposure, it might become your new source of full-time income.
38) Hardware Store
From time to time, everyone has no choice but to do a spring cleaning or home project.
That’s where your hardware store will come in – to serve those people and make you money from satisfying their needs.
Offering your expertise on home repairs will earn you devoted customers.
Shopping tools locally will provide them with everything they need faster than ordering it online.
39) Professional Organizing – Small Business Ideas
Many people just can’t help themselves – organizing is in their DNA.
In case that describes your personality, starting a professional organizing business must be your true calling.
Less is more, and downsizing/organizing has a lot to do with it.
Teach people how to make their living space both comfortable and functional, and they’ll gladly pay for your service.
40) Invest In Vending Machines
According to the statistics, the global vending machine market will reach nearly $150 billion by 2027.
No, that’s not a type – we’re talking about billions of dollars and not millions.
Long story short, investing in vending machines is one of the most lucrative small business ideas you can start and develop.
Looking at the numbers again, such a business is more than worth it, in my opinion.
Top 10 Small Business Ideas With Enormous Income Potential
41) Real Estate
Say what you will, but real estate is always one of the industries with an incredible potential money-wise.
Especially considering there are many ways to make money in the field.
For example, you can work as a real estate agent, start your own real estate agency, assist businesses in finding office space, etc.
Get the necessary preparation and training – the completion you’ll face is more than formidable!
42) Start A Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping is a business model where you sell products you don’t keep in stocks.
More importantly, dropshipping is the kind of business you can start with no money.
Use Shopify to launch a store without paying any money upfront.
Make no mistake – dropshipping is one of the most lucrative small business ideas you can develop into a money-making machine.
- Everything You Need To Know About Shopify
- How To Make Money On Shopify
- Why Salehoo Is The Best Dropshipping Supplier
- A Step-By-Step Guide To Starting A Dropshipping Business
43) Online Reselling Business
To sum up, you can buy and resell for profit any kind of product you like.
Clothing seems like the most obvious choice for such a business.
Brace yourself, though:
Developing an online reselling business to the point where it will bring you money passively takes tons of hard work and dedication.
44) Create Digital Products To Sell
Creating and selling digital products is one of the best online business ideas for beginners.
You may wonder – why this business is suitable for newbies?
Well, it is because there are tons of free tutorials online that will walk you through the working process.
Planners, calendars, printables – take your pick and get to work!
45) Offer Online Courses
While an online course falls into the category of digital products, I’m giving it a separate paragraph:
It more than deserves special attention.
No matter what area you’re an expert in, use that knowledge and transform it into an online course.
These days, there are plenty of platforms where you can list your online course for sale.
46) Start A Blog
Let’s admit it – no list of small business ideas will be complete without the option of starting a blog.
Launching a website has tons of benefits. Plus, you can find tons of resources that will show you how to turn a blog into a profitable business.
Nowadays, you can start a blog with low investment:
Getting hosting with SiteGround will not empty your bank account.
47) Launch An Affiliate Marketing Business
Affiliate marketing is recommending products and services to an audience for a commission.
Creating these products is none of your concern – all you have to do is recommend them.
Currently, affiliate marketing is one of the most popular businesses you can start to make money online.
Get professional training first, though – you can begin this one for free.
48) Publish A Book
Alright, I hear you – you don’t see yourself becoming the next best-selling author.
Be that as it may, you don’t need to be a professional writer to earn money from publishing a book.
As long as you have a passion and expertise on a topic, you can learn the best practices for publishing and marketing a book/e-Book.
Tools like Sqribble will make the process as easy as it can get.
49) Offer Photography Services
Do you have any idea how much a professional photographer earns for working on a single wedding?
Hopefully, you do.
In case you are more than good with the camera, don’t sit on these skills:
Let them earn for you – I highly doubt you’ll ever regret it.
50) Become An Instagram Influencer
The last time I checked, the biggest Instagram influencers earn thousands of dollars per post.
Chances are, you wouldn’t say no to such an income.
Then, launching a career as an Instagram influencer is something you need to begin working on as soon as possible.
Before you do that, check the other lucrative Instagram business ideas as well.
Low Start-Up Cost Small Business Ideas
- Cleaning Services: Cleaning is an everyday activity, and many people prefer not to do it themselves. In case you love to clean, turn this passion into an income source.
- Personal Chef: Use your devotion to cooking and think about offering your cooking expertise to individuals who need help with meal planning.
- Food Cart/Food Truck: Buy or lease a truck that will suit your needs and try your luck with this cheaper alternative to a restaurant.
- Dog Walking Business: Actually, a dog walking side hustle can grow into a quite profitable business if you add training and overnight boarding to the mix.
- Pet Grooming: Another way to earn from your love for pets is to advertise and market your pet grooming abilities.
- Moving Services: Renting two trucks can go a long way if you decide to use them to offer local moving services.
- Rideshare Driver: Rideshare driving is increasing in popularity every day. You can use your car and set working hours that don’t affect the rest of your day.
- Car Detailing Business: How do washing and waxing cars sound to you? Going with this business idea has barely any start-up cost.
- Personal Trainer: Tutorials and videos from personal trainers are all over the web these days. There is a room and demand for your personal training skills too!
- Nutrition Services: In case healthy eating is one of the things you’re proud of, you can earn good money sharing your knowledge with others.
- Beauty Services: Register as a professional stylist at on-demand beauty apps and see how that goes before opening a salon.
- Yoga Classes: Paying for a studio is not necessary if you want to offer yoga teaching lessons – you can do it online.
- Life Coach: Helping others is an honorable thing to do. It’s a profitable one as well!
- Massage Therapist: If you have a license to work as a massage therapist, consider marketing services where you bring your skills to the customers.
- Carpet Cleaning: Don’t underestimate this business idea – its earning potential is huge.
- Handyman Services: People who are good at fixing things will never be out of a job!
- Junk Removing Business: In case you don’t mind removing junk from people’s homes, think about offering such services.
- Senior Companion Service: Offering companionship to senior citizens is worth the look.
- Landscaping Services (Lawn Care): Planting flowers and mowing lawns is a great business idea for people with a green thumb.
- Event Planning: Those of you who are good at multitasking should research even planning and ways to earn from it.
Unique Small Business Ideas
- Medical Courier Service: Decent time managing skills, a vehicle, and you’re ready to start transporting medical items!
- Craft Brewery: With over 95% rise in popularity of microbreweries in the USA currently, it’s time to launch your own.
- Start A Charitable Business: Do some research, and you’ll see the money factor in the non-profit organizations.
- Create A Membership Program: While not exactly unique, this business idea is not as popular as it should be.
- Become A Virtual Event Planner: You already know about event planning, but maybe you should think about doing it virtually.
- Offer Phone Accessories: Who doesn’t use a mobile device these days?
- Sell Subscription Boxes: The subscription boxes business is not about creating products to sell but rather curating them.
- Launching A Clothing Line: Again, starting a clothing line is not a new business idea. Still, many people get intimidated by the thought of having a clothing line.
- Tour Operator: Every tour with going to has a tour operator behind it.
- Used Boat Sales: Selling used boats is both a fun and profitable business idea.
- Gift Basket Business: Sending a gift basket requires a person to prepare it first.
- Chocolatier: Test your candy-making skills and watch the money come in!
- Party Bus: Get your own party bus – it won’t cost you a fortune.
- Antique Dealer: Antique enthusiasts are not going anywhere any time soon.
- Build A Job Fair Business: Rent space to companies for trade shows.
- Domain Name Trading Business: I suggest reading a lot about domain trading before you start doing it.
- Make Candles: Making and selling candles will bring you profits if you do it right.
- Give Music Lessons: Share your music skills with others and get paid for the effort.
- Remodel Basements: Basements are creepy, but someone has to remodel them!
- Get Into Homestaging: Relatively fresh, this business idea has great income potential.
- Work As A Mobile DJ: Bring the party to people who will pay you for it.
- Offer Window Treatment Services: Such a business might seem boring, but it will become lucrative if you put in the work.
- Start A Drone Business: Do I have to tell you how popular drones are now?
- Build A Miniature Golf Course: No worries, there are people who will pay to use it.
- Think About Launching A Fortune Cookie Business: The fortune cookie industry is growing as we speak.
- Produce And Sell Homemade Jam: There is a large market for homemade jams.
- Install Fences: Many people are willing to pay for taking care of their fences.
- Do Home Inspection: Most people don’t invest in a new property before an inspection takes place.
- Deliver Balloons: Yes, delivering balloons is a profitable business idea.
- Provide Expert Tips On Online Dating: Can you imagine the amount of work you’ll have as an online dating coach?
I hope that my list of small business ideas will serve you well.
With that said, don’t lose your determination if the first business idea you try doesn’t work out:
There is always another one!
Now, tell me what you think about the most profitable business ideas in the comments section below!