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55 Small Business Ideas You Can Start Today

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small business ideasWhen considering our careers, most of us want a job that challenges us, giving us the satisfaction we crave. We start on a career path, but five years in, things change. The career we worked at isn’t satisfying any longer.

Today’s employees planning a career change aren’t looking for the typical eight to ten-hour corporate job. Those changing careers are considering retirement from the general workforce for a home-based business. Life as an entrepreneur is a scary and lonely path, but for those willing to work hard and take the risk, home based business is possible.

Check out these home-based small business ideas with startup costs of $5,000 or less.

Small Business Ideas with Start-Up Costs of $1,500 or Less

Most of our small business ideas have low start-up costs. A few of these are expandable businesses or may need more money as you build them. But, if you’re looking for low start-up costs, consider these 35 business ideas for $1,500 and less.

1. Consultant

If you have expert experience in a marketable field, consulting has options. Areas of consulting include, marketing, human resources, warehouse management, inventory control, and much more. Make a list of your specialized skills gained during your career. The experience you have might surprise you. Your experience helps others do the same work while avoiding the mistakes you already made.

2. Business Planning Services

Offer a simple and easy to understand plan including the business plan summary, market analysis, marketing, sales, and financial projections. Your portfolio needs business plan examples for showing prospective customers.

Deliver the finished business plan in electronic format and keep a file for customer changes. Your client takes a copy with them while you have a copy for their requested adjustments.

Plan your fee based on the size and scope of your client’s business plan needs. Expand on the plan by offering related services for an added cost.

3. Financial Planning

Financial planning takes the business plan a step further by prioritizing long-term financial goals. Planners analyze the financial status and start a program for achieving those goals.

For a successful home business, financial planners need certification. A CFP or Certified Financial Planner shows credibility and the ability for helping people and businesses.

4. Accounting Services

Before starting an accounting business, decide what services to offer. Training, experience, and licensing play a big part in what services to offer. Simple bookkeeping for small businesses requires knowledge and skills in several accounting areas. Bookkeeping involves income statements, balance sheets, and routine financial reporting dependent on company needs.

Tax accounting offers huge potential for continuing work. People and businesses prefer professionals for tax services. If you want to narrow down your specialization, look at the different fields of tax services including payroll, unemployment, and state and local taxes.

You have many accounting niches from which to choose. We recommend starting with the main service and building off that. Once you decide what to offer, create a business flyer describing the services you offer.

5. Tax Preparation

Before starting a tax preparation business, consider working for a tax preparation franchise. Tax preparation companies offer the educational support needed for learning the complexities of preparing taxes. Training includes seminars and courses to prepare you for tax work. Besides learning the basics, tax franchises help you understand the tax system and the burdens and breaks. This knowledge teaches you to watch for things that save the taxpayer money.

With a good understanding of tax codes and the preparation steps, consider going on your own. Businesses and individuals spend several hundred dollars each year for tax preparation.

6. Justice of the Peace and Notaries

Justices of the peace do wedding ceremonies while a notary public witnesses and attests signatures. Many states have a fee structure you must follow so don’t plan to become rich as a notary or JP.

In most cases, applying for a notary license requires passing an exam and background check. Once you receive your license, you can witness and attest to document legalities.

Unlike notaries, a JP can charge extra fees. The add-ons might include travel, a rate per hour for added events like rehearsals, ceremony preparation time, and other special requests.

7. Event Planner

Planning an event takes organization, and so does starting an event planning business. The first step as a planner is visiting all local event venues in your area. Contact the marketing director and schedule a tour of each site. You want to learn what each event location offers.

Start by building a database in a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Docs. Make it sortable by the venue, features, and maximum capacity of each building.

Before starting your event planning business, consider certification. CSEP or Certified Special Events Professional and CMP, Certified Meeting Planner, are event planning designations. Larger corporations and the public give these certifications top consideration when hiring event planners. Both take considerable study and research and show clients they’re hiring a professional planner.

8. Wedding Planning

Wedding planning takes continuous education. A planner must know and understand the latest wedding fads and trends, the newest dress styles, and the most desired color palettes. You must know every detail about weddings to show you are the person to contact for wedding planning.

Start your fees with wedding day coordination then build on with available a la carte services. Things like picking the flowers, helping with choosing a wedding gown and dresses for the bridesmaids, to choosing the venue and caterer. By offering set planning fee ranges and a la carte pricing, clients understand the services included in their package. Keep prices competitive with a good range from highest to lowest.

9. Expert Witness

Attorneys hire expert witnesses for claim evaluation, reports for adjusting and settling cases, and to give expert testimony in court. Expert witness qualification includes experience, training, or education with any of them meeting requirements set by law. You don’t need an MD or Ph.D. behind your name, experience alone is enough to qualify you for a expert witness.

If you don’t want to testify yourself, your expert witness business can match experts to attorneys. Being an expert witness provider isn’t limited to your geographic location. Large money trials fly witnesses anywhere if it helps their case. Your witness database can include experts from around the country.

10. Concierge Service

A personal concierge is efficient and good at getting things done. Your clients expect immediate results, and you must deliver what they want when they want. Top executives, busy families, and single parents working two jobs use concierge services. Their hours start early and last late, leaving no time for doing necessary chores.

Start your business by finding a niche. Will you cater to corporate clients or specialize in one area, like setting up vacations or family outings? Take time and consider the service you want to offer.

Since concierge is service-based, starting your business doesn’t take a large investment. If you have a home office, you’ve got almost everything you’ll need.

11. Home Organization

Like concierge services, home organization has a huge popularity with professionals and families with little time. An organization business does the actual home organization or advises the client on steps for getting things in order. This business takes an understanding of the client’s needs and the ability to organize their home for efficiency.

Before contracting the work, build a portfolio with different scenarios for home organization. Examples should cover different plans for the different rooms in a home. Build your portfolio by offering to do jobs for family and friends.

The job isn’t always glamorous, and you need patience. It’s hard convincing clients to let go when they want to hold on to items not fitting into your organization system.

12. Interior Decorating

If you have a talent for planning spaces and coordinating furnishings, this field has possibilities. Decorators update, improve and beautify the functionality and appearance of interior spaces. Some decorators specialize in a certain decorating niche, such as kitchen or bathroom, and offer accessories and furniture with their services.

Interior decorating doesn’t need a degree and only involves updating interior design through furnishings and accessories.

13. Cleaning or Janitorial Services

This service gives the entrepreneur a variety of directions for the business. You can focus your business on cleaning homes or work after business hours in office buildings. Retail businesses offer the opportunity of bulk customers within the same city block area. Restaurants, another good source for cleaning clients, need thorough daily cleaning. If you’re dependable, this venue gives you a steady source of work.

Marketing costs are low for cleaning services. When you offer dependable cleaning services, your reputation spreads from recommendations. But this same word-of-mouth recommendation can ruin a business if the cleaning services are below standard and undependable.

14. Managing Properties

Property managers ensure the smooth operations of rental units and maintenance on seasonal properties. Seasonal properties need regular maintenance during the owner’s absence. Managers also prepare the property for the return of the owner during the vacation season.

The property manager is the first source of contact for security and deals with any security breaches.

15. Home Inspection Services

Home inspection service is an evergreen business and requires regular product knowledge updates. New products enter the market daily making keeping informed of the different materials available important for staying in business. If you focus on wood decks only, you won’t understand inspection issues with wood look composite materials.

Besides understanding the different building materials, inspectors must stay updated on all safety issues. Safety concerns include building material, carbon monoxide issues, and chemical precautions.

16. Home Energy Auditing

Energy conservation is a big focus as homeowners look for ways to cut utility bill costs. Home energy auditors give owners a utility cost audit of their house. This breakdown shows them how to save on electrical, heating, and cooling costs.

Complete appliance audits show the efficiency based on the appliance age. Appliance audits include cook stoves, ovens, refrigerators, freezers, and hot water tanks.

Offer other services like installing and implementing the energy saving suggestions yourself.

17. Alternative Energy Consulting

Alternative energy consulting involves home inspections for installing alternative energy options in the home. The audit covers full home solar installation, wind energy, and solar lighting.

Working at a company providing alternative energy products helps you gain knowledge in the field. But, we recommend avoiding affiliations with any one product or company. Alternative consulting requires you to recommend services and products throughout the alternative energy field.

Demand for alternative energy consultants is increasing. Businesses are considering alternative energy for their manufacturing processes while landowners use the wind to provide community energy for profit.

Start by selecting an energy niche, such as solar, hydro, or wind power. You can narrow it down further by consulting in specialize areas, like business, residential, or landowners. Specializing in a specific area helps you compete against seasoned consultants.

18. Marketing Copywriting

If you have a talent for writing pieces that excite people into buying, you can turn marketing copywriting into a profitable business. Writing marketing copy is not like writing in other venues and takes talent and experience. Unless you have experience in the field, we recommend taking marketing copy courses.

You can find marketing copy classes at your area universities and colleges and online. Investing in classes before jumping into the business gives you a good start for writing sales copy.

19. Editing Services

Unlike copy writing, editing doesn’t take specialized training. But, having literature and grammar classes help you gain a reputation and build your business. Startup costs are small, starting with a home office setup. The editorial services you offer have varied categories, and you can choose one or several.

  • Web Content Writing: This writing quickly builds your portfolio and your bank account. The web is a diverse place, making interesting writing assignments easy to find.
  • Copywriting: General copywriting promotes services and products.
  • Article Writing: Before starting a novel, gain experience by writing newspaper and magazine articles. The author gains writing credits and builds a writing reputation.
  • Copyediting: The first step in the editing process, this procedure fact checks the work for accuracy. Typographical, grammatical, and stylistic errors get fleshed out during this process.
  • Proofreading: The final step in the editing process, proofreading checks for error corrections and copyediting changes. It highlights any new errors created by the editing process.
  • Book Indexing: Developing an effective index with a book’s audience in mind, is a sought-after skill. Professional indexers compile complete and user-friendly indexes.
  • Book Doctor/Independent Editor: A book doctor, or independent editor, works for and gets paid by the book author. These editors read manuscripts for style, structure, character development, plot, and technical and grammatical errors.
  • Developmental Editing: Normally found in non-fiction writing, this editing comes during the manuscript development. It looks at the full picture, taking in content and organization issues. Problems with inconsistent tone and unclear audience often come out during this editing process.
  • Ghost Writing: Ghostwriters do the actual research and all the writing work under someone else’s name. Writing pieces include novels, speeches, plays, blog posts, reports and other texts.
  • Book Writing: After you have writing credits under your belt, it’s time to consider writing a book. Books can cover any subject from professional knowledge, like accounting or home construction, to personal hobbies like knitting or sewing.

20. Personal Training

There are several elements involved in the personal training business. You need a good idea of the training you want to offer and the clientele you are targeting. After that you should consider:

  • Where to hold your personal training sessions.
  • Are your clients specialized, like young athletes or seniors?
  • A full or part-time career?
  • What certification are you choosing?
  • Do you need Professional Liability Insurance?

Once you have the basics covered, print advertising flyers, and place them in high traffic areas. Message or billboards in restaurants, grocery stores, and laundromats are great places for advertising.

Personal trainers need a website. For diet and fitness, people prefer making their decisions in private. With a website, customers can learn about you, your personal training approach, and if it’s right for them.

Whether in person, on a flyer, or a website, always highlight the safety features of using personal trainers.

21. Golf Coaching

Hang out at the public golf courses and clubs. You want to cultivate relationships with employees, so they recommend your golf coaching business. The staff can give you great connections with those wanting to improve their game.

In the corporate world, golf is a business builder. Companies use golfing to build relationships with prospective customers. Strike up golfing friendships with corporate managers for an added source of clients.

You must have an above average golf game if you’re going to coach. But even with pro golfing skills, if you aren’t good at teaching, your business can fail. You need motivation and the skill to work with a diverse group of people to make golf coaching a success.

22. Repairing Computers

Computer repair takes work. You need knowledge of different computers, and the software consumers use most. Popular software includes word processing and spreadsheet programs, photo editing and graphic design programs, and security software.

Besides software, a repair technician needs computer parts and hardware knowledge including monitors keyboards, scanners, and printers. You must be able to tell a customer what components they need.

Computer gurus also have complete familiarity with all ISPs in their market area. Knowing about local ISPs lets you recommend what’s best for the client’s needs.

23. Repairing Electronics

Like computer repair, you need a knowledge of multiple devices. To save costs, have customers bring their electronic repairs to you. The costs of picking up equipment then returning it adds up and recovering that cost is difficult. Encourage people to give you the electronics they must replace. These come in handy for using as spare parts.

24. Import / Export Specialist

This field requires import/export working experience. Without this experience, the learning curve is long and difficult.

With all the red-tape and issues varying by country, many businesses give up the import/export route out of frustration. But those business owners who don’t want to miss this growth opportunity, hire import/export specialists.

A knowledgeable specialist guides the company through complex legal issues. The legalities involve transportation, storage, marketing, distributing, environmental concerns, employment laws, and political and financial issues.

If you have the experience, your first step is building your client base. The easy way to market your services is with free and informational classes and seminars. Use the event as a hiring platform for individuals and businesses needing an advisor for importing and exporting products. Holding seminars might develop into a growing customer base. But don’t get carried away. You want to make sure the growing client base does not outpace your import/export education.

25. eBay Marketplace

Are there items gathering dust in the attic, basement, or garage? Get organized by selling them on eBay.

Your first step is to take inventory of everything you don’t want or need. Decide your selling price and if you’ll sell them by auction or in an eBay store. We suggest starting small with single auctions if you’ve never used eBay. It’s hard to sell in a store if you don’t have an eBay feedback score. Making single sales is a way to earn quick feedback.

Take good pictures of your items from different angles. People are buying from pictures and descriptions. If the pictures look grainy or blurry chances are the items won’t sell. Consider having a friend or family member take the pictures if you can’t do it.

If eBay works well for you, you have several places to get products for opening an eBay store. The eBay website has lots of information for getting your store running.

26. Flea Markets

There’s something about hunting for buried treasure at flea markets. People love digging through tables full of unwanted items, looking for that special piece. If you’re willing to put in the work and the time, there’s also treasure hidden for a flea market vendor. Sellers have full-time careers buying old junk and reselling at flea markets around the country.

Flea market selling is fun and profitable if you follow a few simple rules:

  • Switch up the layout often and add new sale items. If people like your stuff, they’ll return over and over to see what new items you’re offering.
  • Flea markets are great places to test products and gauge interest. You can see how people react to your products and whether they have a future.
  • Before beginning, take inventory of what you want to sell. Whether your items are vintage, re-purposed, or handmade, you must sell enough to cover costs. The costs involved in flea market selling are tables, chairs, canopy or tent, cash box, and space rental.
  • Beware of seasonal fluctuations. Sales are higher during holiday seasons, but always keep the cost of restocking and new supplies in focus. 

27. Selling Used Books

Most people have boxes of used books in the closet, garage, or attic. Even with the electronic age, people like the feel and smell of reading a real book.

Set up a used bookstore in a retail space, rent flea market space, or build an online store on eBay. You can start with as little as two book categories. Offer first editions, do trades or swaps, or have one price fits all: Two dollars for hardbacks and one dollar for paperbacks.

28. Making Jewelry

Jewelry making stands on its own or can go together with a flea market or eBay business. There are as many ways of starting a jewelry business as different jewelry material types. Jewelry business startup investments vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands.

You need working experience, formal training, or both, and fields like gemology, need certification or licensing.

Besides experience, you need tools no matter which jewelry niche you enter. Tools for standard beading, glass, or natural elements have minimal costs. Working with metal requires tools for manipulating the metal, like cutters, stampers, and engravers. 

29. Dog Walking Service

In larger cities like New York, there’s a high demand for trained dog walkers. Dog walkers schedule two or three daily walking sessions which occur with either individual dogs or small groups of dogs.

Besides fees for walking, dog walkers offer extra animal care services. Things, like feeding and playing and gathering mail and newspapers, are part of a dog walker’s a la carte services.

30. Furniture Upholstering

Operating a furniture upholstering business has good earning potential. The business is scalable with the ability to start small and learn as you go. One plus is regardless of your experience level; the customer only sees the finished product. If you’re earning while you learn, they’ll never know how many times you must redo the work until it’s right.

Furniture refinishing adds an expandable feature to your reupholstering business. People love taking worn, but sound used furniture and updating it. Furniture refinishing appears as more than a fad, with no end to its popularity in sight. By building relationships with used furniture vendors, you gain a client referral source. Earn extra money by attending auctions and flea markets and buying furniture needing refinishing. Once refinished, sell for profit through classified ads, flea markets, and other selling venues.

As you gain experience in refinishing, repairing is the natural next step. You can run repairs as a mobile business, repairing furniture at your customer’s location. You can hire a repair contractor, but doing minor repairs yourself is more cost effective.

31. Taxidermy

Today, taxidermy is more than preserving real animal specimens. Taxidermists use a variety of artificial materials for recreating true-to-life pieces. You find this art form in place other than a hunter’s home. Natural history museums hire taxidermists for upkeep on existing museum pieces and to make new additions for their displays.

Taxidermy takes experience and skill. You can find classes in schools across the country. Courses last several weeks and each class specializes in different ability levels. The field continues to change with new materials and techniques. For an excellent way to learn the newest techniques and innovations in the field, consider attending a convention.

32. Bicycle Repair Service

Typically, bicycle repair is a seasonal business unless your niche caters to professional cyclists. Racing professionals train year around, regardless of weather. A few racers repair their bikes, but most prefer having them done by someone else.

You can start and run a bicycle repair business from your home with little start up costs. The demand for bicycle repair increases each year with a $40 per hour income possibility. Most repair shops add extra profits by selling bicycle parts and accessories.

Bicycle repair takes minimal skills, a short learning period and offers flexible operation hours. Whether you make this a full or part-time job, you have the potential for a steady income.

33. Repairing Small Engines

Repairing small engines takes skill, experience and sometimes, licensing. Look for courses at local community colleges or gain further experience by working part-time for a repair or rental shop.

You can open your repair shop at home and start by repairing push and riding mowers, generators, tillers, and other small equipment. As you gain experience, consider adding larger machines like tractors and ATVs to your list of repair services.

34. Chimney Sweep

This low entry cost, high-return business lets you start for less than $1,300 yet have a net pay of $700 a week. Chimney sweeps perform a necessary and needed service, giving homeowners safety and peace of mind.

The learning curve for chimney sweeping is small. When you gain experience, adding inspection services to your chimney cleaning boosts your earning potential. A part-time sweeper, cleaning 2 to 3 chimneys a day, can expect to make a few hundred dollars a week. Sweepers working full-time can expect a weekly income of $1,000 or more.

35. Boat Cleaning

Depending on where you live, a boat cleaning service has little competition when started in the right area. Most cleaning services don’t need specialized skills and equipment. The startup investment is under $1,000, but income can range from $20 to $30 an hour.

Boat cleaning is a mobile business requiring portable tools and equipment. The tools you need depends on the services you offer. If you prefer guidance with choosing tools and services to offer, consider buying a boat cleaning franchise.

While it doesn’t take much money to start a boat cleaning business, it takes hard work. The key to success is good advertising and marketing, and a stellar reputation. You must be thorough, reliable, and offer expert detailing at a fair price.

Small Business Ideas (Start-Up Costs of $1,500 to $3,000)

This group of business ideas takes a little more beginning investment and training. But, at $3,000 and under, using your experience for one of these is easy.

36. Desktop Publishing

Desktop publishing uses different software programs to combine text and graphics for producing documents. If you have an artistic flair for design paired with editing skills, desktop publishing is a great home-based business. Companies look for publishing skills for creating their newsletters, business flyers, and marketing materials.

If your skills lay more towards the design side, you can hire freelance workers for writing the content.

37. Graphic Design

Graphic design, much like desktop publishing, is the creation process of various print media. Businesses use graphic design for making magazines, newsletters, marketing ads, informational sheets, and customer letters. Online businesses also use graphic designers, for their online version of marketing pieces.

Starting a freelance design business takes a startup investment. You need a high-end computer, like a Mac, a good color printer, a scanner, fax machine, and updated software packages. Updates are an ongoing expense because to stay competitive; you must use the latest equipment and software.

The main qualification for a graphic designer is the ability to listen. You must understand the needs of your clients and have the skills to help them visualize their projects.

38. Computer Instructor

If you have great computer skills with extensive experience, then consider teaching as a business. There are several options for your business, from general computer skills to specialized software instruction. You also have the choice of teaching a group of people or offering one-on-one training.

Startup and continued costs are hefty. Depending on which area you focus on, you must keep your software and hardware updated. You also must keep certification updated to match the ever-changing fields. You can teach from your home, full-time or part-time, or go on site for classes. 

39. Website Development

Developing websites takes talent and listening skills to understand what your customer’s needs are. You must understand the company you’re designing for and what they envision for the website.

You don’t need an office for website development, and you can start out part-time. Startup costs include a good computer, updated development software, and the money to build a website for advertising your services. Updated development software is your biggest ongoing cost and the most important. The industry is growing and changing, and if you don’t keep informed on new technologies, you’ll lose the competition race.

Once established, profit margins are high, with entry level designer rates at $75 an hour. As demand increases, you may need a partner, contractor, or employee.

40. Photographer

Photography is not a field you can decide one day; you want to be a photographer. It takes practice, skill, and sometimes, training. But, if you have the artistic talent and the experience, you can earn money in several ways.

When starting your business, consider which niches you want to enter. You have several choices, including portraits, wedding, pets, homes, special events, and sports. You can specialize in one or several.

Once you know which niche, you need equipment. Professionals have at least two cameras, and extra equipment is not cheap. The best plan starts small. Pick a single niche that requires the least startup cost then invest your earnings in more equipment as you expand.

41. Music Tutor

Stay with instruments you know. If you have the skills, consider lessons in an instrument class, like strings, woodwinds, or brass.

You need a studio setup with the right equipment. Each student needs a neat and tidy space that is quiet and free from distractions. Studio equipment should include a good sound system, music stands, and other equipment specific to your instruments. Whether you teach individuals or classes, depends on space and instrument availability.

42. Hair Stylist

This lucrative and popular business can move from hairstyling salon to home-based business. If you have a license and salon experience, your loyal clientele base will follow wherever you go.

Another way is leasing a chair in an established shop. You pay a rental fee and buy all your styling products and equipment. But your rental fee includes utilities, and phones making it a cost effective choice.

43. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy takes education and certification. Certification courses include human anatomy, physiology, and instruction for entering the business of field massage. A therapy business is lucrative and offers the chance to work alone or with health care professionals. Orthopedic doctors and chiropractors keep licensed therapists on staff or as contractors.

The biggest expense is training and certification or associate degree. Tuition costs for message therapy average between $9 and $10 for each hour of educational training. Most states require 500 to 600 training hours making your certificate cost between $6,000 and $10,000. If you already have your certification, you can start your therapy business for $3,000 or less.

44. Gift Baskets

Gift basket possibilities are huge with dozens of areas to explore. Start by narrowing it down to one niche like pets, workout enthusiasts, or home bakers and cooks. Maybe you already make a product you can build your gift baskets around it. Something like homemade soaps and toiletries, children’s clothing or toys, or jewelry.

Gift baskets are the perfect outlet for creative people with hundreds of possible design combinations. Those who like to take attractive containers and build a customized gift, find this a fun and exciting business. Even with all the gift basket competition, the chance for sales is limitless with good profit potential.

45. Herbal Farm Booth

This business offers three choices for selling herbs: Dried, packaged bunches, or live plants. Sell your herbs, at farmer’s markets, flea markets, to local restaurants, caterers, and natural food stores. You have dozens of possibilities depending on the resources in your area.

If you already have the land, the startup is minimal. If you don’t have the acreage for farming, you can lease the land. Leasing is inexpensive, and you have several places to look for land. Start by contacting your utility company about the unused land beneath their electric towers, or local farmers about unused areas of land.

Other supplies for a herbal farm booth, are seeds, growing materials, gardening tools and a possible greenhouse, depending on the climate. 

46. Landscaping Service

A landscaping business has many advantages including the freedom of setting your schedule, the ability to work outside, and a daily workout. But you need up-to-date gardening and lawn care knowledge and the ability to do the physical labor of the job.

Landscaping isn’t just taking care of lawns but includes a variety of tasks. Tree care, garden preparation, pest control, fencing, irrigation, and stone wall maintenance are a few services included in landscaping. The most sought after landscapers work as a designer, planning advanced installations and plantings then maintaining the space.

When considering expenses for a landscaping business, most equipment will keep you in the $1,500 to $3,000 range. If you don’t already have a heavy-duty truck and trailer, then your starting costs are more.

47. Fence Installation

If you don’t want to start a landscaping business, consider narrowing it down to a single niche like installing fences.

Before jumping in, decide what equipment you need. The first consideration is transporting your material and supplies. You need a heavy-duty truck with a large bed or flat bed. Depending on the clientele you may need a large trailer. Having these items already lowers the cost of starting your business. The minimal equipment you need is drills, post drivers, fence stretchers, saws, augers, air compressors, and concrete mixers. You can rent most of these items, but for continued business, you’re better off buying.

48. Graffiti Removal

Graffiti is a common problem in urban areas and businesses and schools are always looking for a removal service. Even residential areas suffer from bouts of graffiti on their sidewalks and fences.

Start your business by gathering a supply of cleaning products for the different graffiti materials. You want a product for every graffiti substance like chalk, paint, and markers. You also want your products to clean all surfaces including road pavement, cement, wood, brick, metal, and stone.

Most people needing graffiti removal are repeat customers, so your best graffiti service is subscription based. Work out the frequency with the customer for a by-the-month, quarter, or bi-annual removal. Add a la carte services for those customers that may only have a one-time cleanup.

Startup costs for a graffiti removal business are well within the $1,500 to $3,000 range, assuming you already have the truck to carry your supplies. You’ll need a portable power washer, safety equipment, and the chemicals necessary to remove graffiti and clean the area. To start out, you can rent your tools, but as your business grows, you’ll want to invest in equipment.

49. Appliance Repair

This work doesn’t need training or certification except for refrigerators of which you need an EPA test. If you have mechanical abilities, you can turn your skills into profit. But if you want to build your business an apprenticeship or vocational training and certification is advisable.

The required tools for appliance repair are minimal. You need to transport supplies, and the car trunk and back seat work well if you can’t buy a truck. You’ll need standard tools, like wrenches and screwdrivers, and a few common spare parts. You need a website, business cards, and magnetic signs for your vehicle for a polished and professional look.

Build your client base with referrals, recommendations, and contacting building contractors for appliance installations in new homes. Home improvement and other building supply stores use private contractors for installation and warranty work on their appliance sales. Talk to the store manager to see about doing sub-contract work for them.

50. Moving Service

Residential and commercial moving is a lucrative business if you take the time to set it up properly, like getting any area permits and buying insurance.

Start small, with one truck and two movers. As the business grows, add more equipment and employees. You must register your moving truck with the US Department of Transportation. The department issues you a US DOT number unique to your company. A valid US DOT registration is enough for operating a moving company in most states, but check local and state regulations.

Moving rates for two workers and a truck average $60 to $90 an hour.

51. Carpet Cleaning 

Cleaning carpets is an easy business to start and one that can bring huge profits. You don’t need special training, but you must understand the different carpet fabrics. You need knowledge of the different odors and stains and know how to remove them. If you’re good at removing tough stains and odors, like pet stains, people will flock to your company.

The most important decision before starting your carpet cleaning business is whether to go it alone or buy a franchise. Newer entrepreneurs prefer avoiding the trial and error that comes with a new business, and franchises can help. Franchising fees are steep, running between $20,000 and $50,000 and only includes training, basic marketing, and the right to the franchise’s branding. Even with the upfront fee, franchising takes the guesswork out of the startup process, providing a stronger business foundation. Having a franchise backing lowers business fail rates by helping rookies avoid common mistakes.

Small Business Ideas with Start Up Costs of $3,000 to $5,000

52. Christmas Tree Farm

Starting a Christmas tree farm takes long-term planning. Balsam firs, the most popular tree, take seven years to reach 5 or 6 feet. This is only the growing time and doesn’t include prepping the land before planting.

A good option for running your business is harvesting the trees yourself and selling them directly to the consumer. Buyers visit your farm, decide on a tree, and you cut it down or dig it up for them.

If you want to sell trees before yours are ready, you can buy them from wholesalers then set up a sales booth on your property. You may buy from wholesalers instead of growing trees and rent the space to sell them. When doing business this way, look for lot rental with the highest sales possibilities. Demographics plays an important role in your sales. A lot near residential areas and situated close to the main thoroughfare is best.

53. Pet Sitter

Pet sitting is a simple business with little to no startup costs and is a good way to break into the pet industry.

Start by becoming bonded. This insurance policy ensures the client you’re honest and won’t steal items from their home. Gather references from places you’ve worked in the pet field. Animal shelters, veterinary offices, and pet stores give a pet sitter good credentials. Personal pet ownership, present or past, is another necessary credential and shows you understand animals.

Start your business with pet sitting only. Once you become established, offer other services based on customer requests. These can include:

  • Daily Dog Walking
  • Pet Taxi Service
  • Pooper Scooper
  • Pet Errands

54. Child Care Services

Child Care needs grow each year with most clients preferring the care take place in familiar surroundings like their home. With in-home child care, there’s no special needs or regulations to meet, and an experienced care provider can start at once.

You’ll need experience documentation, proving your ability to care for a client’s children. Documentation comes in the form of references from people you’ve cared for their children before. Getting certification for basic child care and safety goes a long way towards helping parents feel comfortable contracting your services. Also, consider child and infant CPR certification when starting your business. 

55. Bed-and-Breakfast 

Do you have extra space with bedroom and bath suites separate from the family’s living quarters? If so, running a bed-and-breakfast might be the small business you’re looking for.

There are several requirements to turning your extra space into an overnight rental. Check the area zoning laws and apply for any licenses and permits. You need a draw for people to stay at your establishment. B & Bs work well near popular tourist areas, sports arenas, or specialty event venues. People also enjoy aged country and farm homes and downtown historic districts.

Rental rates depend on amenities offered, location, and lodging rates in your area. Rental incomes around the country for a year, average about $14,000.

What Small Business Ideas Are of Interest to You?

Any business venture you’re going to start will take time and hard work. Be prepared to put in the necessary ground work for your business to take off. Remain persistent and you shall succeed with time. Spread the word about your new business and follow a carefully written plan.

What type of small business is of interest to you? Share with us!

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4 Comments

  1. Hi, you have published a great list of business ideas which are effective and are pocket-friendly. All your tips which you have mentioned in the article are very useful and can be of great help to someone looking to start a small business with a minimum investment.
    sharon jones recently posted…10 Best Business Ideas for TeensMy Profile

  2. I’ve been thinking of starting my own business but I have my doubts especially on the financial side. But I didn’t know there’s a lot of business I can start with just a small amount of investment. Thanks for this! 🙂

  3. Hi, you have written an extensive list of business ideas which are helpful and are pocket-friendly. All your tips which you have stated in the article are handy and can be of excellent help to someone seeming to start a small business with a minimum purchase.

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