50 Low Cost Business Ideas with High Profit Potential – Small Business Trends

Every small business owner wants to turn a profit. But it can be difficult to do so — especially early on. If you don’t have a ton of money or resources to get your business up and running, you can still hope to create a profitable small business. You just need to choose the right idea.

Low Cost Business Ideas with High Profit Potential

Here are some low cost business ideas with high profit potential to get you started.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketers simply earn a small portion of each sale that they send to a brand. So you don’t really need anything to get started. It might take you some time to build up an audience that will actually help you earn. But once you get going it should be mostly profit.

Virtual Assistant Service

Virtual assistants help businesses with everything from inbox management to social media posting. You really just need access to a computer and internet connection to get started. And you can earn even more if you have specific skills.

Online Influencer Service

Influencers partner with brands to share their thoughts on products and services with their audience. If you have a sizeable following on social media or a blog, this can be an easy way to bring in some extra money.

Social Media Marketing

Or you could offer your services as a social media marketing profession. In this case, you would actually create and schedule social media content on behalf of various brands.

Digital Marketing

You could even get more general and offer a variety of digital marketing solutions. This type of business only really requires expertise and an internet connection.

Business Consulting

If you have business expertise, offer your services as a consultant where you provide insights and guidance to other brands.


Lots of businesses could also use help finding the right candidates for specific jobs. You can do most of this online. And businesses often pay a premium to recruiting services that can help them find high level candidates.

Ebook Sales

You can publish an ebook fairly inexpensively on platforms like Amazon. Then all of the money you bring in when you make sales is mainly profit.


Starting a blog mainly requires purchasing a domain and hosting. Then once you build a following, you can earn money by offering sponsored content to brands, sidebar ads or affiliate links.


Podcasting offers a similar business model, but just in an audio format. You might have to purchase some audio equipment. But overall it shouldn’t cost much.

YouTube Video Creation

YouTube lets video creators earn a portion of the ad revenue that their content brings in. With just some simple video equipment and time, you can build up enough of a following to earn profit on that platform.

Membership Website Development

If you want to start a website but don’t want to offer all of your content for free in blog form, you can start a membership site where people pay a recurring monthly fee to access your content.


Writers, you can work with brands on a contract basis to offer copywriting for websites, product pages or even advertisements.

Resume Service

If you have experience helping people get jobs, there are plenty of job seekers who would gladly pay for you to create resumes and cover letters for them.

Online Course Sales

For those with expertise in any given area, you can create an online course and charge a flat fee for people to access the course and take it at their own pace.

Digital Product Sales

There are also plenty of other digital products, from workbooks to design printables, that you can create without a ton of money and then sell online.

Web Design

Designers, offer your web design services on a per-project basis to brands or individuals.

App Development

Mobile application development is also very in-demand right now. If you have the ability to develop apps, you can either create your own or offer your services to third party companies.

IT Support

Tech savvy individuals can also offer general IT support to customers. You can even offer this service online or over the phone so you don’t need to pay for a location.

Ecommerce Reselling

If you want to start an ecommerce business, there are plenty of products you can purchase fairly inexpensively and then resell them at a profit.

Product Licensing

For those who have a product idea, offer the licensing rights to other companies so you don’t have to pay as much for development and manufacturing.

Real Estate Brokering

As a real estate broker, you can earn money on every sale you make and bring in extra agents that can increase your profits even more.


Financially savvy individuals, you really just need a computer and some bookkeeping software to manage the books for multiple business clients.

Tax Prep

You can also help individuals and businesses during tax season if you want to earn a high profit in a short amout of time.


If you know multiple languages, you can offer translating services for authors, businesses and governmental organizations.

Stock Photo Sales

Photographers, sell your photos on stock photo sites to earn some passive income. All you need is a camera and a computer with internet connection.

Event Photography

You can also offer your services photographing special events. People are often willing to pay a premium for things like wedding photography.

Meal Planning

Lots of consumers are very health conscious and willing to pay for professional expertise on things like meal plans. You can charge even more if you’re registered as a dietician.

Personal Training

Or you could focus on fitness and work one-on-one with people looking to improve their workouts. Find a local gym you can work out of or consider creating workout plans for people you communicate with online.

Event Planning

If you have strong organizational and planning skills, you can start a wedding or event planning business without a physical office space.

Vacation Rentals Business

If you have a bit of extra space in your home or an access to an extra home or apartment, offer your space on vacation rental sites like Airbnb.

Property Management

Even if you don’t have your own space to offer, you could start a property management company where you help property owners in your area manage their tenants.

Home and Office Cleaning

Starting a cleaning service really just requires some basic supplies and transportation. You can work with both homeowners and businesses, and hopefully build some recurring clients.

Car Detailing

Or you could focus on cleaning cars. People are often willing to pay decent prices for full detailing services.


If you want to start a food business, catering can be fairly inexpensive, since you just need a kitchen but not a dining space. You can also charge a premium for certain types of events.

Food Truck Operation

Food trucks are also relatively inexpensive to get up and running — at least for food businesses. And you can earn a fair amount by targeting special events and high traffic areas.

If you have experience as a contractor or handyman, offer your services to homeowners looking to remodel their spaces.


Landscaping can be another profitable venture, since you really just need some basic equipment and transportation.

Handyman Service

Lots of homeowners are willing to pay for small repairs or additions like hanging curtain rods or patching walls. As a handyman, you can stay fairly busy and avoid setting up a physical storefront.

Recycling Service

You don’t need much of anything to start your own recycling service — mainly just a truck or van. You can charge people to pick up electronics or other items that are sometimes difficult to recycle or dispose of.

Electronics Repair Service

For those who are skilled with electronics, start a service where you fix people’s cracked phone screens or malfunctioning laptops.
Or you could purchase people’s broken electronics at a discounted rate, then refurbish them and sell them at a profit.

In-Home Senior Care

Lots of seniors need help with everyday tasks, from cooking and cleaning to running errands. Start an in-home care service and build up a base of recurring clients.

Pet Sitting

If you love animals, offer to pet sit or walk or groom dogs in exchange for a fee.

Child Care

People also pay a premium for quality child care these days. You can even start a day care business where you care for multiple kids at once.

Test Prep Service

For those who are knowledgeable on a particular school subject, you can charge a decent amount to help high school or college students prepare for specific tests, from SATs to LSATs.
If you want to provide general help for clients, start a life coaching business where you work with clients one-on-one, either in person or online.

Call Center Operation

Running a call center may require a bit more startup costs than others on the list. But you can run some small customer service operations remotely. And many companies are willing to pay a premium to have their customer service operations located nearby.

Travel Planning Service

Though the travel agency business has gone through some changes in recent years, you can still offer planning and consulting services to companies and large groups without a ton of overhead.

Tour Guide Service

Or if you live in an area that’s popular with tourists, you can offer a tour guide service or even sell guide books geared toward specific activities.
Related reading: 51 Business Ideas for 2020
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More in: 6 Comments ▼

Nice list Annie. Add parking lot litter removal. Real estate management companies require this service to be provided at their commercial properties. It’s usually provided on foot, after hours, using simple hand tools. Almost as easy to do as going for a walk! I started doing this in 1981 as a side gig and grew it into a full-time business that I still operate. I share my experience in my book, Cleanlots, as well as offer free support.
Aira Bongco
It is surprising that there are so many business ideas. It is all about taking the effort to provide the service.
Bran Winegarden
What a great list! Another business you hint at, but don’t outright say is the Dropshipping store! It’s a great way to earn some extra money with little input, as it can be very automated. I do mine through Shopify!
Dikatso Richard Mhiti
Very insightful information. I need more information Dropshipping Store
Your post is really very helpful. Thank you.
Another ideas I think that works is selling second hand clothes. I’ve seen sevaral people do it and make good money from it.
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