What are the best low investment business ideas you could start today for under $1,000?
I’ve put together a list of some unique small business ideas you can start for less than you’d expect.
Aside from the idea of a business, the next biggest hurdle for future entrepreneurs is the start up costs.
Many think they need thousands of dollars to get started with their business idea.
But the reality is, you can start a business with little money.
And in some cases, no money at all!
I’ve put together a short list of 11 fun businesses you can start for under $1,000.
The best part is with most of them, you can get started today!
Now there is no excuse not to become an entrepreneur and start your own business.
11 Great Low Investment Business Ideas
#1. Start An Estate Sale Company
This seems like the perfect idea for 1 or 2 stay at home Moms or friends who work well together.
The startup costs include tables, shelves, signs, pricing equipment, pens and a cash box.
You could even rent some of this for your first few jobs until you’re up and profitable.
The average estate sale has about $10,000 worth of potential sales and you can charge around 35% commission on everything sold.
That’s a nice little payday for a week’s work.
Each sale usually takes you one week from start to finish.
Monday through Wednesday is all about organizing and pricing and advertising the sale, then you can start selling Thursday through mid-day Sunday.
Finally you close it all up and donate what didn’t sell on Sunday afternoon. You can even donate to the client’s favorite charity!
The best ways to find clients doing this is to make flyers and distribute them to realtors, funeral directors, estate attorneys and personal organizers in your area.
They know which homes and clients need this type of service and will appreciate having you as a resource.
Eventually you can hire hourly workers to help you so you can be running more than one sale per week and expand the business.
Set yourselves up to accept credit cards using Paypal or another service and you’re golden.
The startup and overhead costs are low and the potential to make money is there!
You may want an attorney to create or look over your contract with your clients.
And some kind of umbrella insurance policy might also be a good idea to cover yourselves.
The attorney is a one-time cost and check with our local insurance agent for the rates on an umbrella policy in your area.
In any case starting an estate sale business is a business idea with low startup costs, meaning you could definitely start today for little to no cash.
#2. Start A Blog
This is one of my favorite businesses you can start for under $1,000!
Blogs are great because you don’t need to be tied to an office or do it during normal working hours.
You can work remotely and earn passive income, all on your own schedule!
I run this blog and a post I may have written six months ago can be earning me income even while I sleep.
My blog is read in multiple countries all over the world.
I may put in 20 hours per week on my blog but it’s definitely working for me 24/7/365!
The reason starting a blog is one of my favorite low cost business ideas is that with a blog you’re not trading time for money.
Your income becomes passive and I am addicted to passive income.
Starting a blog from scratch is easy and can be set up in less than five minutes!
Monetizing your blog can take a few weeks to months, depending on how much time and work you can put into it.
Many established bloggers say the first $1,000 will be the hardest and that once you pass that mark, blogging becomes easier and the income can grow from month to month.
The cost of starting a blog are super low, hosting can be less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee each month!
Blog overhead is also really low as its mostly you, your laptop and your desk!
The ways I have monetized my blog are through affiliate links and advertising revenue and my blog income has been steadily growing.
I go over the exact steps of how to start your blog in the blogging section of this site.
I’ve used Pinterest and Google to drive free traffic and most of what I’ve spent is either sweat equity, meaning time, or blogging education and courses.
The courses cost money, but they are vital to growing a site.
They allow you to learn skills and techniques used by the bigger bloggers.
Of course, you can also find a lot of free information too on how to grow your blog.
I list all of the courses I’ve taken on my resources page so you can see exactly how I’ve monetized my blog and follow in my exact footsteps!
Starting a blog is great if you want to have more autonomy with your time, like the idea of being able to work remotely and on your own schedule.
It’s a great business idea with low investment needed up front that has high income potential in the future.
#3. Freelance Writer
If you enjoy writing but don’t want to manage a website, what do you do?
You become a freelance writer.
Freelance writers are in high demand these days.
Personal websites and business websites need content written on a daily basis.
As a freelancer, you take on writing jobs and supply the content.
These could be one off jobs or a longer term position.
One of the great benefits is that you can decide how many hours you want to work, when you want to work, and where you will work from.
Beginners can expect to make $0.05 per word. For a 1,000 word article, that comes to $50.
You should be able write that in around an hour.
As you gain experience, your rate increases.
Depending on your niche, you could make $500 to $1,000 per article you write.
To get started with learning the ropes and where to find the best freelance writing gigs, I recommend you sign up for the Freelance To 5K course.
It will walk you through the process so you can start making money as a freelance writer within a few months.
#4. Dog Walker/Doggie Day Care
Dog walkers in my area get $20 per hour per dog and many of them are walking 3-6 dogs at a time!
It seems like a no brainer for someone who loves animals and being outdoors.
Dog walking is a business idea with low investment.
A good way to start would be with some flyers and also post notices on apps local to your area, Facebook, or craigslist.
Once you’ve got a client on a block then network further to find more clients to make your work geographically convenient.
Definitely check with your local insurance agent to see what type of business insurance coverage might make sense for this kind of business.
Dog walking is a great DIY business idea you can start with very little cash and spend your days walking your favorite furry friends around the block!
#5. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you make a recommendation for something you have used and liked and earn part of the sale as a commission.
For example, if a product offers a 25% commission on the sale of a $100 product, I earn $25 when someone buys the item using my referral code.
When doing this online, you simply use a link and a disclosure and when someone clicks on your link and buys something, you get paid.
It’s one of my favorite ways to earn money online because it’s passive, meaning it works 24/7/365 even when you’re on the beach or taking a nap or running an errand.
You set up your links on your blog or on Pinterest and people surfing those links click and buy something they’re already looking for and you get paid!
But how do you set up those links? Do you need a blog?
The truly beautiful thing is that you can earn money through affiliate marketing with or without a blog.
The best way to get started is to learn the basics.
I did this using the Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing course.
It gives you a system and strategies for picking the right affiliate products to promote and how to create the Pinterest traffic to get those sales!
The course is constantly being updated but best part is the private Facebook group you get to join where you can ask all your burning questions and get advice from pro bloggers in real-time!
Michelle consistently makes over $100,000 per month with affiliate marketing so she is the one to learn from on this topic.
I made my first two affiliate sales within two months of taking her course and that’s just the beginning!
Another option is Affilorama.
This is a great community where you learn the basics and advanced techniques to affiliate marketing success.
There are over 120 video lessons, a roadmap to success, and more!
At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is definitely one of those business ideas with low investment needed to turn a profit.
#6. Amazon FBA
Reselling items on Amazon has never been easier thanks to its Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program.
You send in items to Amazon and list them for sale on the website.
When the item sells, Amazon will pack and ship the item for you, and even handle any returns.
They take a small fee to do all this.
This makes it easy to get started for under $1,000.
When I started out, I was buying a few things here and there and quickly selling them on Amazon.
As I created a process, I was quickly making $500 a month.
As a reseller on Amazon, you can make as little as $100 a month up to over $1,000 or more.
It is all about scale and how much effort you want to put into it.
If this interests you, click on the link below for a free 7 day course that teaches you the basics to making this your new business.
There are many small businesses out there.
In fact, according to the Small Business Administration, there are over 30 million small businesses in the United States.
Many of these businesses don’t do a great job when it comes to bookkeeping.
The reality is that in order to keep their business growing, the owners have to focus on the duties that bring in income.
Updating the books does not fall into this category.
This is where you come in.
As a virtual bookkeeper, you do the accounting for the small business and balance the books.
This helps the owner know where they stand financially, and you might even be able to make suggestions on where they can reduce some costs to save money.
How much can you make as a virtual bookkeeper?
Many make $80,000 a year or more!
How do you get started?
The best way to get started is through an online bookkeepers course.
This course walks you through the process of getting started, how to be successful, and where to find clients.
Many people report that the course pays for itself in a few short months.
You can click on the link below to get started.
#8. Become A Personal Organizer
Do you love re-doing your closet? Does an unruly garage or a messy kitchen drawer inspire you? Are you a clutter buster by nature?
Everyone wants their homes Marie Kondo’d and infused with more clutter-free joy these days!
This is an easy DIY business idea to start on a small budget.
Distributing flyers and business cards to local realtors is a good place to start building up your clientele.
Also try networking with realtors as they often know clients who will need your services either before or after a big move.
Again, this is the kind of business which has little to no overhead and very low start-up costs.
Clients can book you by the hour or by the day and you show up and help them re-organize their lives, one drawer or closet at a time.
You are trading time for money with this but with hourly fees starting at $25-$50 you could start earning a real income this month!
If you’re a word geek or the kind of person who always finds spelling errors and typos this is definitely the business idea you’ll want to start!
More and more people need proofreaders these days with all of the online content, book, and digital books and magazines being created.
But how do you get started?
You use the course Proofread Anywhere.
It has helped thousands of students learn how to proofread and control their future by having a solid second income stream.
In fact, many people make over $50,000 a year proofreading, and they aren’t tied to a specific location.
Since the work is virtual, they work from anywhere.
Check out her FREE 76 minute workshop course by clicking the link below.
You will learn proofreading basics and what you need to know to start you own proofreading businesses.
Proofreading is a low cost small business you can start for low cost and maintain with very low overhead.
This small business idea is ideal for teachers, writers and anyone who loves reading, grammar and punctuation.
Consider becoming a general proofreader today!
Do you love taking pictures?
If so, then starting your own photography business could make sense.
Assuming you have the camera and various lenses, all you need is to promote your business and possibly buy some photo editing software.
These days, more and more people want professional photos taken.
For example, people want pictures for:
- Family photos
- Family reunions
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to photos.
You could take landscape photos and sell them online. Or you could take photos at high school and college sporting events and sell them to local newspapers.
The bottom line is, if you enjoy photography, this is a lucrative business to start.
And as word gets around, you won’t have to do as much advertising either.
Just how much money can you make?
Many photographers charge between $100-$200 per hour to take pictures.
Then some charge an additional fee to edit the selected pictures.
All in, you could make between $150-$250 an hour.
#11. Senior Day Care Provider/Senior Helper
Many seniors who want to age in place can use the help of a responsible adult to check in on them during the day to make sure they’re eating, opening their mail and generally doing okay living on their own.
This is especially true when family or friends don’t live nearby.
I had a friend who worked for an older gentleman.
She would bring in his mail and help him go through it, make sure he was taking his medications and make him lunch and make sure he had plenty of groceries.
She would also oversee any type of home repairs he might need and help him setting doctor or other appointments as needed.
There are several websites who post ads for this type of work like Care.com and this requires almost no overhead or startup costs.
You could work with multiple clients per week on various days with flexible hours.
You could have one client or multiple clients throughout the week and start this kind of service with little to no upfront costs.
There are 11 low investment business ideas for you to consider.
But this list is by all means not complete.
There are hundreds more out there.
You need to take some time and figure out what you enjoy doing and then see if there is a type of business you can start.
Don’t fall into the trap thinking that you need a lot of money to get started.
As I’ve shown you, there are plenty of ways to start a business with little money or no money at all.
So take the time to figure out what you want and before you know it, you will be a budding entrepreneur.