Home business ideas with low startup costs

What are home business ideas with low startup costs?

Internet businesses have low startup costs and have large profit potential. Typically, online businesses require minimal investment of software without a physical inventory. Business ideas include selling a product or service or creating content.

Imagine, starting a home business in your spare time. Eventually, you can quit your 9-5 because of your time spent 5-9.

People are quitting their jobs every day. Why not you as well?

Luckily for you, I’m going to show you the best home business ideas with low startup costs. You won’t need a fortune or to be a trust fund baby. Simply put in a little hard work combined with smart choices and you’ll do just fine.

20-100 - Home business ideas with low startup costs

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How can I start a business from home with no money?

Start a home business with little to no money by coming up with a business idea. Work outside of your salaried job to learn as much as possible. Then, create an online business during your spare time and consistently work on tasks that bring results in your business.

The first step is to come up with a business idea. I’ve listed a bunch of ideas later in the article. Ideally, you’re going to choose a business you enjoy and bring forth a life you want.

For example, I chose to do blogging as my side hustle. Blogging gives me location independence to write wherever I want. I’m not tied to a desk or clocking in at any specific time.

There needs to be a research phase of any business. You need to know how people are making money in your field. What tips can you learn to prevent running into future roadblocks? Most importantly, what are the successful people in your industry doing?

Nothing is going to happen if you don’t take action and start building your dream business. People focus too much on research and never build anything. 

I still do plenty of research, but do something that’s going to move the needle every day. This brings me to my next point, consistency.

Consistency is what will bring any home based business results. Most people fail because they aren’t showing up every day. Building an income-producing asset is something that takes time and effort. Therefore, show up every day and chip away at building something.

Unlike your 9-5, you really need to focus on the task that brings the most results. Your current job has so many time-wasting tasks it isn’t funny. The only thing you should be focusing on are tasks that bring in results.

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What are the cheapest most profitable businesses to start?

The cheapest, but most profitable businesses are the ones you can start online. Focus on building a business that separates your time from money. Alternatively, businesses that use other people’s time allow you to make the most amount of money. 

The internet allows you to reach a broad and diverse set of buyers for free. You can even target a worldwide audience. Reach this audience by building organic or paid traffic.

Organic is completely free traffic. Think of organic traffic in the form so social media or search engine optimization.

Paid traffic is where you are buying traffic from a source. Think of paid traffic as buying Facebook ads.

The best part about online businesses is separating your time from money. Most of us show up to a day job and exchange hours for dollars. The internet allows you to leverage products, software, or other people’s time to generate an income.

For example, you might come up with a product and have other people sell it. You made the product once, but other people are selling it which doesn’t require your time. Therefore, you are now making a substantial income from work you did previously. 

You might even take that same product and create advertisements. As you spend more money on ads, you create more money in sales. Therefore, you have created an automated system which requires little input from you.

Home business ideas with low startup costs

The internet has made it extremely easy to start a business with low start-up cost. Most of you already have the equipment you need such as, a laptop, smartphone, and internet connection. However, most Americans spend their time consuming content rather than creating content.

People who consume content tend to spend money. Even if they aren’t spending money, they are sitting through advertisements which somebody has to pay for.

A small majority of Americans are actually creating content. When you create content, you create something of value. When there is something of value, companies want to spend money.

Therefore, we need to change your mindset to be a creator and provide value. you can still watch your television shows and read your favorite news articles. However, the goal is simply to create more content, provide value, and get paid.

YouTube Marketing

YouTube marketing is completely free to start. You are creating a YouTube channel around a specific interest to build a loyal audience. Make money with YouTube with display advertising, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing.

Most people shy away from YouTube because they don’t want to show their face or have a camera. There are plenty of ways to start a YouTube channel without showing your face. A lot of YouTubers start out with only their smartphone before they upgrade cameras.

Your goal is to produce amazing content around a specific interest. What are you knowledgeable about and can speak about for hours on end? Chances are, plenty of other people share that interest. 

The most common way YouTubers make money is through ad revenue. Basically, you are paid anytime someone watches an advertisement.

Once you have a large enough audience, affiliate marketing and sponsored content can boost income. Affiliate marketing is where you sell someone else’s product for a commission. Sponsored content is when you include an item or pitch for an item that a company is paying you for.


Blogging is like YouTube marketing, but you are writing articles instead of producing videos. Your goal as a blogger is to get traffic to your website and monetize your articles. Similar to YouTube marketing, you can make money from display advertising, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing.

Your biggest expenses are going to be hosting, domain name, and maybe even some website security. At the end of the day, you’re probably going to be spending less than $500 every year.

The hardest part about blogging is getting people to your website. However, once you have figured out your system, it’s just a matter of repetition. Bloggers can get traffic through many ways, but the common methods are Pinterest and search engine optimization (SEO).

Pinterest is a good social media strategy for free traffic to your website. If your Niche fits well with the Pinterest audience, you can get thousands of visitors quickly. This traffic can then be converted into sales or ad impressions without spending a dime on advertising.

Alternatively, you can get your website to rake on Google with search engine optimization. SEO it’s a relatively slow process. However, SEO is one of the most reliable ways to get website visitors.

Once you have found a way to get traffic, it’s time to monetize. Start incorporating display advertising on your website with a blog ad network. Ask yourself, what products can you promote on your website for a commission?

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is another completely free business to start online. Track down clients who are willing to pay you for writing blog articles. Write the Articles, send an invoice, and wait for your payment to arrive.

The only expenses you’re going to need are a laptop and internet connection. Most of you already have these items, but it can be done from a smartphone as well. 

The hardest part you will have is finding clients. However, you should easily be able to find clients who are willing to pay anywhere from $0.05 to $0.10 per word.

Your typical article length will be anywhere from 1,300 to 2,000 words. At $0.10 per word, you’re earning $130 to $200 for an article.

I like freelance writing because it’s completely free to start. You can work on freelance writing during your lunch break at work. An experienced writer can write an article in around an hour.

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Social Media Management

Social media management is another business that you can start completely free at home. You are responsible for managing and growing a business’s social media accounts. The business may have other tasks for you to perform, such as customer support.

Just like any other service business, finding your clients is going to be the most difficult task. You will need to be proactive about finding your clients.

Basic pay is given to those who simply manage social media accounts. However, businesses are willing to pay more if you are able to actively grow their social media. Remember, the more followers a business has on social media, the more they can make.

Social Media Influencer Marketing

Social media influencer marketing is a pay for performance type business. Just like a few of these other businesses, social media marketing is completely free to start. You earn money by selling affiliate products and partnering with brands.

Twitter and Instagram are one of the best social media platforms to start influencer marketing. Your first task is to build up a substantial following, focused on a specific topic of Interest.

You can start making money from your following with as little as 1,000 followers. For example, you might send an affiliate product in a tweet which people might buy, earning you a commission.

On Instagram, you might partner with a brand to promote their product. You are signing a deal with that brand to post pictures which includes their product. The brand will pay you for advertising to your followers.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistant is another completely free business to start. You are providing a service to businesses to help with daily tasks. The business will have a very specific set of skills they are looking for in hiring a virtual assistant.

Some virtual assistants might perform some work on social media. Others might do email outreach or customer service type work.

Essentially, you are being paid to do tasks and free of time for other people.


Consulting can be a very profitable service with minimal start-up fees. You need to have a very specific set of knowledge which you can help mentor other people. With Consulting, you are able to set your own rates and find paying clients willing to pay.

The first thing you should decide is your specific knowledge. What do you know more about than most other people? A good consultant will always continue to grow their skills in that area.

You will also need to determine your rates. What are other people charging for similar services? Are you going to offer different services and how much do you want to charge for them?

You are going to need to be able to find clients. Finding clients is going to be the majority of your start-up expenses. How you go about finding those clients will determine how much money you need to start this business.

For example, a consultant might want to create his own web page. In order to get clients, you may have to advertise on Facebook. There is a lot of variability when it comes to start-up cost.

Event Planning

A well-organized person can make some really good money with event planning. People are constantly having events and willing to pay someone to help take the stress from the ordeal. Therefore, you can make some pretty good money by working with stressed-out people.

You will have to have some pretty thick skin in order to be an event planner. What people like is very subjective. Your job is to make everyone happy and limit the amount of surprises.

However, nothing says you have to be an event planner for individuals. You can make a lot of money by planning and advertising community events.

For example, you can make money by planning a Home and Garden Show. You would be responsible for finding a venue, finding local businesses to partake, and advertising the event. Make money by charging the vendors a fee or the people an admittance fee.

Service Arbitrage

Service Arbitrage is providing a service to someone that you can buy cheaper elsewhere. You focus on getting clients, but the work is performed by someone else. You are essentially buying low and selling high.

For example, you might be able to be a freelance writer manager. You go out and find clients willing to pay $0.15 per word to write blog articles. However, you have a team of writers who charged $0.05 per word.

For a 2,000 word article, you charge your client $300. You outsource this article to your freelance writer and pay them $100. At the end of the day, you keep $200 for being a facilitator of work. 

The best part is that this business didn’t cost you anything to start. It merely took you some time to find a client and a freelance writer.


There are thousands upon thousands of individual businesses who all need someone to manage their money. You can be a freelance bookkeeper and charge a fee for managing a business’s finances.

Most bookkeepers will need some sort of bookkeeping software. Therefore, one of your biggest expenses is software like Quicken. However, some bookkeepers like to use free software like Google Sheets.

You are also going to need clients for your business. Therefore, there might be some expenses with obtaining those clients. Are you going to want the website and run Facebook ads?

Graphic Design

People who are handy at graphic design can create logos and other media for businesses. There are plenty of freelance websites for graphic designers. Alternatively, you can approach businesses with less than spectacular logos and offer your services.

Website Flipping

Website flipping can be a very profitable venture for anybody with website and SEO knowledge. Essentially, you are creating new websites or buying existing websites and fixing them up for profit.

Let’s assume you are going to create a brand new website. You perform some keyword research and have $5,000 to invest into content. At a $0.05 per word freelance rate, you can purchase around 76 1,300 word articles.

However, let’s assume you decide to purchase 60 articles which totals around $5,000. You need to give these articles time to rank on Google. Typically, you’re looking at around an 8 month time frame for the articles to rank.

Now let’s assume, each article brings in an average of 500 page views per month or 30,000 pageviews per month total. A website with 30k pageviews should be able to make $1,000 per month.

A new website like this can sell for 32 times its monthly profit. Therefore, you are able to sell this website for $32,000. In one year, you have made $27,000 or a 540% return on investment.

Editing and Proofreading Services

If you are good at editing and proofreading then you can create your own editing and proofreading services. Content creators need editors and proofreaders to look over content from freelance writers. Typically, content received from a freelancer needs a once-over.

For a website owner, it can be a hassle to read and review articles. Therefore, you can charge for your services to get these articles ready to publish.

Best of all, starting your own editing and proofreading service is completely free. Again, the hardest part of starting a proofreading service is finding clients.

Video Editing 

Just like editing and proofreading services, YouTubers and other content creators need video editing. Video editing is a very time-consuming process.Therefore, you can charge money for providing a service and put finishing touches on the videos.

Digital Course Creator

Creating and selling digital courses can be a very lucrative business with minimal start-up cost.  Research and develop a digital product which can help solve someone’s pain point. People are willing to pay money for anything that helps their life get easier.

For example, you might be very interested in Index Fund investing. However, there are a lot of people who do not know anything about investing at all.

Spend your time creating one of the best resources for someone new to learn about index funds. Your course can be as simple as a PDF or a video of you walking through a process.

Next, upload your product to a service like Gumroad. Gumroad gives you a digital platform for selling your products. All you have to do is send people to your Gumroad page and Gumroad handles the rest.

Even better, Gumroad allows other people to sell your products. Therefore, you can find an army of people willing to sell your product for you.

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Summary: Home business ideas with low startup costs

As you can see, there are many ways to start a business with low to none start up cost. The easiest and cheapest businesses are ones you can start with an online connection. Most online businesses offer a large profit potential with little investment.

The internet allows us to find a business which allows us to separate time for money. You can create a business where money can be earned independent of your time.

The internet also allows us to perform services. Services will always make quick money, but you will have to keep performing them to continue to make money.

At the end of the day, you still need to take action. The only thing that will produce results is to consistently show up and focus on result producing tasks. Try not to get carried away with busy work that doesn’t really produce any result.


John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.