7 Low-Cost Business Ideas You Can Start Today

By Miranda Marquit

When we think about starting a business, we think of the need for capital. After all, you have to spend money to make money.

But what if there were some low-cost business ideas that you could start fairly quickly?

The good news is that there are some businesses that are relatively easy to start and won’t break the bank. If you are looking for an idea for a side gig that could grow into a full-on business — or even if you just want it to stay a side hustle — here are seven ideas to consider:

1. Dog Walker/Pet Sitter

With more and more people adding pets to their families, dog walkers and pet sitters are in greater demand. It doesn’t cost very much to get started as a dog walker or pet sitter. Most pets already have their own gear, so you can use the leads provided by pet owners.

If you have a home with plenty of room, you can be a pet sitter. You might not even need to have the pets in your home. In some cases, all a pet owner needs is for you to stop by to feed the pets and play with them for a little while.

2. Tutoring

Well-versed in a subject? This is one of the best low-cost business ideas for you. You can provide tutoring services in person or over the internet. As long as you have a computer and knowledge, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started.

3. Sharing Economy

It’s not exactly the same thing as starting a business, but it is a way to make money on the side. You can drive for a ride share company like Lyft or Uber. Consider renting your home out on Airbnb or VBRO. It’s possible to make money on the side with these gigs, and it doesn’t cost you much extra. Just make sure your home or car is clean, and you’re good to go.

4. Freelance Writing

If you have a computer, an internet connection, and good writing skills, you can become a freelance writer. Content is still king on the internet, and there are always websites looking for people to provide them with well-written content.

You can write for blogs, catalogs, and many other publications if you have the talent and the connection to the web.

5. Virtual Assistant

There are plenty of online entrepreneurs and others who are looking for help. They need help setting appointments, answering email, managing web content, and with other tasks. If you can make these types of arrangements, you are likely to be able to be a virtual assistant.

You just need access to the internet and good organizational skills.

6. Web/Software Development

If you have the right skills and knowledge, one of the best low-cost business ideas is web and/or software development. Provide these services on a freelance basis. You might be surprised to discover that many people are willing to pay for your skills.

Make a business of designing websites, developing apps, and other items that many people look for today. With the talent and the access to the web, you can go a long way toward starting a business that won’t cost you very much money.

7. Care and Companionship

Depending on where you live and the regulations in your state, you can set up a business caring for others. You can do child care and babysitting. You can act as a companion to the elderly. These are businesses that don’t cost a lot to start in some areas. As long as you have a friendly manner, are responsible, and have a clean and safe environment for others, you can provide care and companionship.

In some states you might have to get certain certifications or licenses, so it might not be as cost-efficient. Double-check to make sure you operate within the law.

Build Your Business

Even though these are low-cost business ideas that you can start relatively quickly, it’s important to realize that you might not make a bunch of money at first. Like any business, it’s important for you to build it up over time, and make the effort advertise.

Once you get things goin, and you make a little money you can start spending more on your business, and hopefully growing it for better long-term results.