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Are you looking for business ideas that can earn you a stable income in a few months or years from now? You’re in luck. On this page, you will find hundreds of unique business ideas in different industries that you can start for less than $100 on the low side and from $1000 on the high side.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked, or still working at a 9 – 5 job, everyone should have the option of starting a business that will give them fulfillment and a sense of contribution to the society at large.
Once you decide on a few ideas, scroll down this page to find out more about two very important next steps.
Step 1: Avoid overwhelm and pick your most profitable business idea using a four-step framework
Step 2: Enter your name and email address on this page to download a FREE printable business plan that will keep track of your progress and save you a few headaches as you approach launch.
On August 9th, I created and hosted a virtual summit that helped me build a powerful network of influencers, add almost 2000 subscribers to my mailing list and made $1500 from sponsorship and sales of All-Access pass. I wrote down all the steps to help you host your own virtual summit and for a limited time, I am giving you access to the checklist. If you would like to build your brand & business using the power of virtual summits, click here to download the Virtual Summit checklist.
701+ List of Business Ideas with Low Investment in 13 Industries
Industry #1 Agriculture
The agriculture industry is a trillion dollar industry and is one of, if not the oldest industry in the world. It is divided into three parts namely:
Crop Cultivation: raising plants for consumption, research, and ornamental purposes.
Animal husbandry: livestock production
The first two parts is classed as the primary sector of the economy.
Agro-allied products: using agriculture as raw materials to produce finished goods. This is the secondary sector of the economy
A fourth part is the services where you offer your knowledge and time to others who are interested in starting a business in agriculture. This fourth part is referred to as the tertiary sector of the economy.
If you are considering a business in agriculture but purchasing a landed property is a huge investment in your state, there are other options you can explore. Some of these include:
- Hydroponics – A system of growing plants without soil e.g Barley fodder
- Backyard Farming – as the name implies, this is farming that you can practice in your backyard either by taking advantage of your backyard space or by using tanks, drums, and flower pots. Some farming that you can practice in your backyard includes: Catfish farming, Snail farming, Poultry farming, etc.
Business Ideas in Agriculture
Aquarium Business: If you visit hotels, flower shops, and personal homes, you can find an aquarium. Aquariums are beautiful to have, an evidence of your love for fish and nature. Since you can literally put aquariums everywhere, there is a huge market potential for this business.
When you think of an aquarium business, you are probably thinking of hundreds of thousands of dollars and a 100-hour workweek. Unless you have a secret stash somewhere and a lot of time on your hands, you can start out like this.
If not, I suggest you start your aquarium business using this simple plan:
- Build a portfolio: Your new customers need to trust you and a great way to build trust is to have a portfolio. Luckily, you don’t need anything expensive to build your portfolio. You can start offering free resources and establish your credibility in this business by starting a blog in a related niche.
Free Blogging Resource – Blogging for Beginners: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
Starting a blog is inexpensive but very rewarding. You can start a blog for less than $5o a year
- Start a tank maintenance business: contact local homeowners, shop, hotels and offer to maintain their aquarium. You only need your first happy customer to refer other customers. Costs: $0.
- Supply aquarium equipment: gradually build relationships and educate people on the benefits of having an aquarium installed in their homes. You can also market your services to retailers. To start supplying aquarium equipment, contact manufacturers, request their brochure and make an arrangement to only pay when a product has been ordered or delivered. Costs: $0
- Acquisitions: If you have some money to invest, consider acquiring an existing aquariums business that is already equipped with resources and standard business processes. After the acquisition, you can expand this business and introduce new strategies.
Invest in a Farm: Too busy to start an agriculture business? This idea is ah-mazing because all you have to do is sponsor in a farm right from the comfort of your home and get up to 20% interest on your investment.
Imagine owning a maize farm without ever touching a maize seed and by the end of the planting season, know more about maize than the average consumer. This is because, Farmcrowdy, a digital agriculture platform sends you biweekly report on how your farm is doing and there is no limit to how many farms you can invest in.
You can also contact local farmers and offer to invest in their farms directly for a share in profits.
Raise Ornamental birds: This is very niche, but there is a growing demand for ornamental birds and if you have a network of exotic bird lovers, you can start a business raising ornamental birds like ducks, and turkeys.
Industry #2. Design, Art and Craft
Love working with your hands? A business in arts and crafts is one of the best business ideas for beginners . It’s a real definition of turning your passion into a profit. Like all businesses have in common though, passion is not enough.
You need good planning, research, and a customer base. If you will also be the manufacturer of your designs and have lost your creative touch, you need some time to practice and get back in shape.
Also before production, get feedback on your ideas and ensure products pass a quality assurance test before shipping off to customers.
Business Ideas in Design, Art and Craft
Painting: If you are a skilled painter, you can make some good money painting people’s homes. As a painter, you can market your creative services to:
- expectant mothers: they’ll need to re-paint a room for the arrival of their babies
- home builders
- construction companies
- College students
Always remember to strike a referral bonus (collected in commissions or as a service) with your customers.
Here is a 11-piece bestselling painting and decorating kit you should check out.
Dance instructor: Do you love to dance? According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median pay for a dancer in 2016 was $16.85 per hour. There are even more opportunities to earn more with private classes. This is one business idea you don’t need any money to start and it’s in high demand.
Check out this crazy demand
- Couples dance
- Father-daughter wedding dance
- Mother-son wedding dance
- Surprise wedding dance by bride
- Surprise wedding dance by groom
- Surprise wedding dance by bridesmaid
- Surprise wedding dance by groomsmen
~Dancing for local artist
~Teach dance at a high school
~Dancing at a product launch
If you are not already a professional dancer, all you need is time, practice and plenty of YouTube videos. See how Adilyn Malcolm taught herself to dubstep:
You will also need a dance studio. A large living room or balcony can serve as your dance studio. You can also offer services by visiting people’s home.
When you are ready to start your dance instructor business, grab these shoes to step it up.
Party Favour Business: Have you been to a party where the gift was just horrible? Now you can save a life by starting your party favor business. This business has a lot of potentials.
Every day, people host parties and choosing and wrapping the party items is one headache the host would wish away. Design an affordable package and you could well be on your way to a highly profitable business.
There is also a strategy that can make your business go viral: cards!!!
Remember this is a creative small business idea so you have to be creative especially with your marketing strategy. For instance, for an arrangement with your client, you can include a business card in every gift item ordered. Those are extra pairs of eyes exposed to your business for free. And if your gift is so good, you will get referrals on a consistent basis.
Industry #3 Beauty
Raise your hands if you don’t make any efforts to look, smell or feel beautiful…errrrm…didn’t think so. While a whooping 69% of women use makeup, for those who don’t, there is still a conscious effort to feel beautiful for one’s self.
Your beauty routine may be as simple as standing in front of the mirror to say, “Hannah, you have been fearfully and wonderfully made” or as detailed as following a 9-step skincare routine.
The beauty industry has come to stay and is an industry where you need to follow the latest trends to be successful. Ready to start a business in this niche? Here is the ultimate list of ideas:
Business Ideas in the Beauty Industry
Weight Loss/Beauty Planner: I know what you are thinking. Weight loss should be in Health and Fitness, not the beauty category.
I could go look for stats right now, but I will let these pictures do the talking.
I am not a betting queen but I’d bet you lose weight both for health reasons and also because gaining weight where you would rather not have it makes you self conscious.
Whether you are losing weight or developing a new beauty routine, would it not be nice to have a place to write it down?
By designing a weight loss/beauty planner, you will be helping thousands of people around the world achieve their beauty goals.
To design the planner, you can:
- Bank on personal experience
- Interview people based on a topic, e.g interview women who have lost weight or kept to a skincare routine and design the planner based on their feedback. This is a very effective strategy.
You can also raise money on kickstarter to produce the first batch of planners, but if you can’t raise enough capital, sell the planner via
- Your website
- Send a planner to different review blogs so they can review your weight loss planner and link to it. This is good for SEO and credibility
- Ask friends, family and the people who gave you feedback at the initial stage to share it on social media
Makeup Artist: As a makeup artist, you will have the opportunity to make people beautiful for dates, weddings and special occasions.
You need to constantly showcase your makeup artistry in other to land consistent clients.
The best social media platform for a makeup artist is Instagram and YouTube
Cartoon Character Design: This is a unique beauty industry business idea that rarely comes to mind but can be very fulfilling.
Think about it, someone or a team of people designed world-famous Mickey Mouse, barbie doll and others. There is nothing stopping you from thinking of a story [or work with a script writer] to develop the look and feel of a cartoon character.
You can sell your design/concept to a producer.
Don’t think the first three is a good fit? There are even more unique ideas you can explore …
Industry #4 Education
Continuous education is necessary for growth and development. According to a Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Cadillac Fairview, “learn something new” was one of Canadian’s top new year resolutions.
Learning is a significant part of life and determines how we respond to changes, challenges and opportunities.
This is a very interesting industry to pitch your tent as you meet different people at different stages with different goals.
Business Ideas in the Education Industry
Swimming School: Be prepared to be amazed at the number of children and adults who don’t know how to swim! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ten people die from unintentional drowning every single day. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.
If you know how to swim, this is a huge market for you and you will be saving lives, so if you are also looking for a way to give back, this is it!
Start by offering 5 – 10 packages of swimming classes to test the response. If you sell five packages, you have a business.
Sell Academic Materials: start a business selling academic materials like textbooks, handouts, manuals, CDs to high school and college students.
Start a Language School: All around the world, thousands of people are learning a second language.
A second language can lead to increased salary, new job opportunities, and access to special opportunities when you visit a foreign country. e.g. You have a better chance of getting a job in the Netherlands as an immigrant if you speak Dutch.
Industry #5 Entertainment
Cameras. Light. Flash. Smiles.
The entertainment industry is a fast-paced, ever-evolving industry. You never know when new things pop up and when the new celebrity will emerge. A business in entertainment means you are able to follow and predict the trend in order to know what products to stock.
You should also be the one-stop shop for customers in your business, it is therefore important you remain active on social media where your customers are always hanging out and sharing information that will help your business.
To receive the latest news, subscribe to:
- Google Alerts
- Google trend
- Industry publications
- Follow celebrities
Business Ideas in Entertainment
Jingles: Start a business writing scripts and record advertising jingles for companies.
To promote your business, you will need a portfolio and or an active social media handle. A great place to begin promoting your work is Instagram or open an account on Fiverr
Compere: As a compere, you will be able to attend a lot of events for free because you will be hosting the event. What I love most about this kind of business is you get to do your job and sell yourself to thousands in attendance without doing any actual selling.
A single event with the right audience can yield an endless list of referrals and a highly profitable business.
Songwriting: Do you love to write powerful lyrics that resonate with a particular group of people? A career in songwriting may be in view.
To be a songwriter, you need to develop a theme, pay close attention to words and what they mean, be observant and more importantly, be in touch with your own self.
I am not a songwriter but I found an excellent resource for you if you’d like to take your songwriting business to the next level. Here’s the process:
“you write a lyric, you find a composer to set it to music, you record the song professionally and competitively, then you set out to market the finished song, which includes pitching your work to music publishers and A & R people at record labels, who, in turn, pitch your songs to singers and bands looking for hits in your genre.” To read more about the process, visit Molly’s website.
Extract from the website of award-winning professional songwriter, Molly-Ann Leiken of www.songmd.com
Industry #6 Event
To put this in perspective, in 2015 alone, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook events has hit global scale with 450 Million active users. That is a lot of engagement for events so this industry will never run out of ideas.
Business Ideas in Event
Professional Ushering Service: There are so many things that go into planning an event and the worst thing that can happen is to organize a beautiful event and have attendees disorganized. Where will a particular set of people seat? Who goes where when – hence the need for professional ushering services.
Ushers will be given vital instructions prior to the event and will help the event run smoothly.
Organize Book Expos: Sure, there are entire bodies responsible for book expos. For instance, Book Expo America is the largest annual book trade fair in the United States and Nigeria International Book Fair is one of the largest in Africa, but it can be expensive and you may need to meet a long list of requirements to list your book especially if you are a first time published author.
For a fee, new authors will be able to list their titles in a spot where people can actually see them.
Seminar Speaker: Turn your passion for speaking into a profitable business by speaking at seminars, camps, training centers and a host of different places.
Industry #7 Fashion
The fashion industry is a giant industry.
One of the three basic needs of man is food, clothing and shelter so the fashion industry is weaved into our most basic needs.
According to the Economic Impact of the Fashion Industry Report from the Joint Economic Committee, fashion is a $1.2 trillion global industry and fashion designers earn an average of $73,600 annually.
With so many fashion enthusiasts and celebrities emerging as a result of social media, there is no doubt a business in this industry will flourish.
So, if you don’t mind a bit of glam in your life, here are some handpicked fashion business ideas you can launch:
Alterations Tailor: Can you fit a size 10 cloth in a size 8? Set up shop as an alterations tailor and start fitting people’s clothing.
Lingerie Line: The secret is to create unique designs, and designs that meet a need. For example, see how this lingerie line was able to get attention by solving a problem for breast cancer patients.
Doll Clothing: Did you know the US global annual imports of toys, dolls and games is worth $19 billion? It is not unusual for a child to have up to three dolls and each of these dolls need to be clothed. You can start a business sewing beautiful doll clothing.
Industry #8 Food & Beverage
Do you like a good meal? Love discovering new recipes? Convinced people should eat good, nutritious meal? With a good business plan, the food industry is one you would love to have a business in.
Business Ideas in Food and Beverage
African Restaurant: The BBC reported that the International Organization for Migration estimates that around 4.6 Million African migrants live in Europe. Whaaaaaat! Oh, and that was 10 years ago!!!
From experience [I have friends that have migrated], there are two things they miss – the people and the food. This is a huge gap you can fill.
By establishing an African restaurant, you can sell to thousands of Africans in your country. Of course, you have to select an African country to cook for, but the market is so huge and its got space for enough restaurants
Corporate Food Planning: There are so many corporate events that happen all year round, from small breakfast meetings to lunch for managers.
To start a corporate food planning business, here are some things to consider:
- Who are the audience?
- Are there any allergies?
- Is there a preferred beverage or wine?
- Who is in charge of hiring the corporate food planner? how do you get your foot in the door?
Ice Cream Truck: This is a very popular concept but still profitable. What is required is a truck [which you can hire or borrow from a friend], ice cream cups, ice cream machine, ingredients to make the ice cream and a good location.
For Bootstrappers: You can make the ice cream from home, find a cooler and sell from the trunk of your car.
You can sell your ice-cream at the beach, after church service, at theme parks, and come up with other creative ways to sell.
Industry #9 Home-based Business
Being able to work from home and make money is the ultimate goal of every entrepreneur. I have handpicked these ideas because you can start it for a very low investment and gradually scale up.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t make money at first, but make sure you align with your plan and have a strategy. The idea that you can just quit your job and work 2 hours from a beach somewhere is a lie that has been propagated all over the internet.
Like any business, it is important to have a plan, consistently work on your business and never give up.
Business Ideas in Home-Based Industry
Product Creation: Turn your expertise into a product instead of selling your time 1-hour at a time. By doing the work once, that is, creating a course, you can profit from it over and over and over again.
Baby sitting: Babies are a blessing and joy to have around. If you don’t mind the poop, you may enjoy babysitting. This is a very special business to start and very rewarding.
Not only will you free up time for career moms, you will also have the joy of being paid to do what you already love doing.
Pet Walking: There are millions of pet owners in the world. Many of these pet owners are busy and don’t have the time to walk their pets. You can start a pet walking business to help people take care of their pets while they attend to other matters.
Start by walking your neighbour’s dogs while sourcing for new clients.
Industry #10 Online
Virtual Summit VA: I was able to build a network of influencers, added almost 2000 subscribers to my mailing list and made $1500 when I hosted my virtual summit. I was also able to build my brand and provided valuable information to help my audience build a profitable business
Affiliate Manager: as an affiliate manager, you will be responsible for tapping into your network, reaching out to new partners and using other strategies to sign up more people into an affiliate program. This is a very rewarding business
How to Get Clients as an Affiliate Manager
- Facebook Groups
- Blogger Outreach
- Cold pitching
Sales Funnel Expert: sales funnel experts are responsible for every stage of the conversion funnel. From the point of entry till they take the desired action.
Sales funnel experts draw their knowledge from an educational background, experience, use of funnel software, and as a customer at the receiving end of a funnel.
I usually charge $100 for a 1000 word article (varies) so from my estimates, you can charge clients $2000 – $10,000 to build a basic acquisition funnel that includes a lead magnet, main offer page, an upsell and a follow-up sequence even if you are a beginner.
Read 67 More Online Business Ideas You can Start Without Investment
The good thing about starting a service is with a business name, you can start in less than 24 hours. Of course, the best service to start is one you already have experience with whether educational background or career background.
With established years of experience, you can approach people with more confidence, testimonials and deliver on the job.
Accounting Services: Small business owners and freelancers rarely keep an organized book because they have so much going on in their business. For a small fee, you can offer them bookkeeping and accounting service on a recurring basis while they free up hours of their time. This is an exchange of value and one that business owners will appreciate.
Video Editing Services: Video marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. According to stats from Insivia, including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%, video in an email subject line boosts the open rates by 19% and almost 50% of users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.
By providing a video editing service on a recurring basis, entrepreneurs can free up time to do other things in their business. Here are 44 bonus ideas you can add to this service to make it irresistible to prospects
Blog Critique Services: As you start blogging, you will undoubtedly gain more experience of what works and what doesn’t. Use this experience to provide blog critique service for up and coming blogs or critique blogs that want to expand their readership base.
Industry #12. Technology
Technology is at the front, back and centre of digital disrupts and a business in technology will give you access to other businesses that rely on the technology industry to be in operation.
WordPress Expert: do a quick Google search and you will see the staggering figure. Over 74 million websites are powered by WordPress. Do you still need more convincing on why you should be a WordPress expert?
Theme builder: Since thousands of websites are powered by WordPress, you can make a business out of building professional website themes for this CMS Platform. One of the most powerful WordPress themes is from Elegant Themes. Elegant themes is a premium WordPress theme used by over 400,000 websites. This site runs on Elegant Themes.
Coding School: The future is coding, The mantra is everyone needs to learn how to code. You can build a big business out of opening an out of school hours coding school where you teach people how to code. You can also specialize and open a coding school specifically for kids age 8 – 13, Advanced Coding School, etc
Industry #13 Writing
There is one thing achievers have in common: most have written a book.
I love to write. it’s the reason why you are reading this blog 🙂
As a Writer, you are perceived as:
- an expert in your field
- A well of wisdom
- a worthy mentor
Sharing your ideas through writing can change the world and if you are ready to change the world, here are the best business ideas you can start:
Copywriting: You can also specialize in different kinds of copy. You can be an Ad Copywriter, write sales pages, and many other options.
Linkedin Profile Writing: There are over 450 million accounts on Linkedin. Everyday, thousands of professionals come to Linkedin to connect, contribute, share opinions and announce their accomplishments.
It is important that professionals put their best foot forward by writing a great profile and many are looking for a Linkedin Profile Writer. Not only will you get the opportunity to meet new professionals, but writing their Linkedin profile will position them for new opportunities and possibly send you referrals.
Ghostwriting Services: I am a ghostwriter and I can tell you first hand, this is a profitable service to render. I also got my first, well-paying client via Linkedin. You can read about how I did it here
As a Ghostwriter, you can write for busy business executives, managers, and authors. You can also niche down to only ghostwrite:
- Research work
- Manuals, etc.
There you have it. 701 business ideas you can start in 13 industries. I’m always adding to this huge list of business ideas so if I missed any, do let me know in the comments.
Also if you are a business owner, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment telling us your business name and what you do. Also, leave a link to your blog, I’d love to check it out and maybe feature it on this page 🙂
Feel free to promote your business in the comments but don’t spam, promise? And I’d appreciate if you can take a minute to share this post.
How to Choose Your Most Profitable Business Idea
Idea Mapping: the process of writing down every single idea you can think of. Thankfully, you can skip this first step because you have a huge list of business ideas from this post.
Idea Filtering: the process of sieving through these huge list of ideas to pick the one that’s a good fit for you
Idea Sorting: the process of choosing the most profitable business idea
Idea Testing: the process of doing real-life market research on your idea to see if its something people will be willing to pay for
If you would like to get more business insights from 33 successful business owners, click here
What I like to call a Startup Launch plan – subscribe anywhere on this page to download this EPIC and printable business plan workbook that will guide you step-by-step to launch. Your business plan needs to include these important details (already available in your workbook):
- Brand Summary
- Brand Objectives
- Guidelines for Best Practices
- Find your People
- Marketing and Sales Plan
Other Factors to Consider for your Choice of Business
1. Previous Work Experience: If you had a career before deciding to start your own business, you may consider doing something in your previous line of work.
The experience you gained can be referred to as you carve a niche for yourself and work on getting new clients. Before taking the plunge to start a business related to your corporate experience, here is a very important question you need to ask yourself:
Why did you leave your job?
Did you leave because you were underpaid, tired of the commute time, out of boredom, to explore new things or simply because you hate being told what to do?
If you left because you were underpaid: be prepared to work in your new business without expecting a profit for the first year. Starting a business does not equal a high payday unless you are willing to invest your time, energy and resources. Starting a business also does not equal spending three hours on your work desk and the rest of the day looking at the sunshine. It’s real hard work, but the benefits are very rewarding
If you left because you were tired of the commute time: Good news is you can start your own business from the comfort of your home desk (haha) or coffee shop. You can set your hours and this is one of the beautiful things about starting your own business.
If you left out of boredom: If you left out of boredom, what can I say…
Laying the foundation for your business, usually in the first year involves task that are necessary but uninteresting and sometimes, frustrating. Some tasks include keeping track of your finance, filing tax, setting up a blog, cold calling, cold pitching, choosing brand colors, writing an elevator pitch, getting your first three clients, the list is endless.
If you left to explore: Great! While you were unable to test out new strategies or go an entirely new direction because your boss’s boss says “this is not how we do it,” your new business will help you test your strategies and see what works
If you left because you hate being told what to do: don’t we all? The big part of starting your own business is you decide what to do, when to do it and how you want it done. You are also responsible for the outcome whether good or bad, loss or profit.
There you have it. Starting a business based on your previous work experience is a good move but its important that you decide on this after you have thought about it, afterall, it will be a nightmare to leave a job only to create the same job you left behind
2. Finance: According to the Census Bureau Data, 5.2% of small businesses ceased to exist as a result of inadequate cash flow. To avoid this situation, it is very important you take into account how much capital you have and how long it will last as you start your new business.
If you don’t have any money to start with it, do you have access to a business loan? How long before you turn a profit? What happens if you can no longer finance the business.
These questions will help you choose a business with very low investment (>$100 – $1000) and lost cost of maintenance rather than mid investment (>$1000 – $10,000) and high investment (>$10,000 – $1,000,000) type of businesses.
3. Contacts: Your existing relationships can determine the business idea that is best for you start. For instance, if you have existing relationships with printers, you may decide to start a card printing business because you know you can get discounts on the paper, the card, and even the design.
Starting a business based on this factor can help you save cost and increase your profit margin.
4. Influence: What are you known for? Some people already have assets to leverage but don’t know it. If you tweet for fun but have garnered thousands of followers who trust your tweets, that’s a business right there.
You can leverage these audience to build a huge list of prospects who are already sold on your idea
5. Long-term Plan: The type of business you settle on greatly depends on your plan. Do you want to build a business jut for the sole purpose of making money or are you genuinely interested in solving a complex problem?
Please note that building a business to make money is not a bad thing. Your reason can be to make enough money to eventually have enough to solve a real problem. If you are building just to make money, your approach will be different than someone who is trying to solve a real problem and doesn’t mind waiting a few more years before turning a profit.
6. Personality type: Finally, your personality type can influence your choice of business. If you are introverted, you are more likely to start a business in a niche that supports your personality type, while if you are extroverted, you are more likely to start a business in a niche that reflects your personality type
Now that you have a long list of business ideas to choose from, I have showed you how to pick the most profitable business to start, you have a business plan template that will take you from planning to launch, and the important factors that will influence your choice of business, what idea(s) did you pick and when will you start your business?
Feel free to include a link to your business website if you have one.