It’s no longer taboo for people to ditch the daily 9-to-5 grind and start their own business. In fact, it’s beyond easy starting a business for almost nothing these days. But, what businesses are guaranteed to make a million dollars?
Here’s 50 cheap, or even free, business ideas that will accomplish that goal.
Do you already have knowledge or experience in a specific area? Whether if it’s showing a business how to go green, how to use new technology, or providing legal advice then you can easily start your own consulting agency. Since you already posses the knowledge and experience the main costs involved are going to be marketing business and networking, specifically purchasing a website and business cards.Interested? Check out this consulting guide I put together to help get you consulting business up-and-running.
In 2015 the Bicycle industry pulled in over $6 billion. With so many people purchasing bicycles, they’re going to need someone to repair them when they eventually breakdown. Since this is probably a seasonal business, you could also store bicycles if you have a large enough space. For example, if you lived near a beach, people could store their bikes with you instead of them transporting them back and forth.Interestingly, since it appears that more people are deciding to purchase used bicycles, then you could consider selling used bikes either in-person or online.
“Where 10 years ago every company needed a website and five years ago every company needed an app, now every company needs to embrace messaging with AI and chatbots,” said ChatBot expert Murray Newlands. While making a chatbot sounds complicated, tools like Chattypeople allow you to easily build a Facebook bot without having any previous coding knowledge.
More and more businesses are allowing customers to order products online, such as your local grocery store or pizzeria. Not all of them, however, deliver. That’s where you can into play. You can deliver these products.Or, you could start your own business like Door To Door Organics – which is an online grocer of natural and organic products that’s delivered to your home. The company started in 1997 for just $700 and is posting around $40 million in revenue.
Selling “how to” information is a great business idea. Not only are you profiting from a passion or a skill that you already have, it’s incredibly low cost. Just purchase a website, start creating top notch content, and maybe invest in some ads. Since this is a competitive area, focus on a niche that isn’t frequently discussed.
This probably won’t work if you reside in an area that doesn’t have a lot of tourists, but if you do and are intimately familiar with popular sightseeing attractions than start your own tour guide service.Again, a website and some business cards can get you started. You can also sign up with a website like Vayable.com who will find customers for you – for a cut of the revenue obviously.
If you have the skills and equipment, then why not start your own home repair or restoration business? Having a specific area, however, is going to set you apart from other construction business.For example, Toby Woodward started his flooring business with $50 and a box of business cards. Best of all? You don’t need to invest in inventory since you’re more focused on installation or repairs.
Since there are more than 46 million people in the U.S. who are 65 years of age or older, and that figure is expected to increase to approximately 98 million by 2060, there are a lot business opportunities involving seniors.This includes companionship, running errands, or providing advice for family members.
Whether if it’s for the mid-season or winter, boats that are hauled out of the water are going to need repairs will need everything from the the decks, the head, the holds, and the sleeping quarters to be cleaned. Start by approaching any homes that have a boat on their property or working with a local marina to contract your cleaning or repair services.
Even if you don’t have a background in online marketing, you can take a cheap online course to get started – particularly with SEO.This is another competitive industry, so if you want to stand out, focus on a niche area, such as AdWords, or emerging marketing fields like influencer marketing.
Yes. Blogging is alive and well. Best of all? It only costs a couple of dollars to get started. Patience, along with a basic knowledge of SEO and being able to create quality content is essential. If so, you may be able to join the top bloggers who earn high six figures.If you’re charismatic and have some knowledge to share, then you can start a YouTube channel for next to nothing. People, like PewDiePie, are seriously making six-figures doing this.
Affiliate marketers promote products of other people. In return, they get commissions on their sales. Amazon is one of the most popular platforms for affiliate marketing, but there are alternatives that you can consider like Commission Junction.Since affiliate marketing is typically combined with blogging in order to create a seamless mix of content and promotion, you’ll need to get your own blog up and running first.
There’s more to writing than just being a freelance writer or creating content for blog. Juggernauts like Amazon and Apple are involved in the book publishing field where authors are raking big bucks for composing everything from instructional books to cookbooks to Sci-fi adventures.
What’s intriguing about starting a cleaning service is the fact that you have several different routes to take. You could clean houses during the day, office buildings during off-hours, or clean restaurants daily. It really depends on your preference, like what hours you work best.Cleaning supplies aren’t terribly expensive and since most of your business comes from word or mouth you don’t have to spend a ton on advertising or marketing.
With the emergence of “sharing economy” people are choosing to rent instead of purchasing items. While renting out a room on Airbnb or your vehicle and time on Uber/Lyft get most of the attention, you can rent pretty much anything you own like a garage, parking space, and even household items like furniture or yard equipment. Even if you don’t own these items, they’re fairly inexpensive to purchase.And, if you really want to step-up your rental gam, consider renting out party equipment like tents, photo booths, or bounce houses.
If you’ve already created a successful business then you can pass that knowledge along to someone else for a fee – such as market research, business plan narrative, and financial statements. New business owners are more than willing to pay a someone who has successfully started a business to help guide them in developing their own successful business plan.
Since we live in a digital world, it’s expected that you have a website – especially for businesses who need to drive traffic to increase sales. If you have the skills then you can start creating personalized websites for customers. Start small by developing websites on a platforms like WordPress and work your way up. If you don’t have the talent, you can teach yourself through Codeacademy or hire a talented designer.Besides developing websites, offer a service like website management where you keep clients websites properly running and updated. Here is a guide to being a better programmer.
Businesses are also in need of talented creatives to tell their story through branding. This could be anything from designing a logo, advertisements, newsletter, magazine, flyer, or information sheet. Need inspiration? Nicky Laatz works from home designing fonts, graphics, and templates and has made a cool million dollars selling them online.
Thanks to hacking, scamming, and viruses, security is a priority for both businesses and individuals. Besides your expertise and some marketing, it doesn’t cost much to protect the hardware and software of others. Those handling sensitive information are more than willing to pay you a pay bundle to keep that info safe.
Americans dropped a whooping $62.75 billion on their pets in 2016. That amount is expected to increase to $96 billion by 2020! To tap into this industry you could go with traditional business ideas like dog walking, grooming, training or pet sitting.The real money shaker is by producing organic pet food and treats.
Do you have a green thumb, enjoy being outside, and equipment like a lawn mower, weed wacker, chainsaw? Then why haven’t started your own lawn care business yet? Since you already have the tools to get started, the main cost is advertising and marketing your business.If live in a region where you have snowy winters then offer snow removal services as well. You already did the advertising, so you just need to invest in snow shovels and a plow.
An editorial services business is incredibly easy to start, doesn’t require an initial monetary investment, and has the potential for expansion once you’re established.Additionally, you could offer your services from both small and large businesses, as well to authors and students. Speaking of services, you could offer everything from copywriting, ghostwriting, proofreading, editing and indexing.
Whether if it’s soup mixes, bread, jellies, cookies, or chocolates, people are definitely devouring gourmet food products. And, since you already have a kitchen, you only need to purchase cooking supplies, packaging, and a little basic marketing materials to launch.Amy’s Kitchen is just one example of a home-based business that became a multi-million business by creating delicious gourmet food.
Purchasing a domain is cheap. How cheap? Let’s say that you can obtain one for under $10. But, the real money is purchasing a domain that can be profitable and is memorable. This way when a business comes along and needs that domain they won’t hesitate to pay your top-dollar for it.
By using a site like Flippa you can purchase a website, build-it-up, and sell it for a pretty penny. Sounds silly, but it’s actually become a lucrative business.Personally I’ve been able to earn an additional $25-$30k flipping websites each year on the side. Just imagine if I did that full-time!
Unlike opening a brick-and-mortar storefront, an eCommerce site is easy to build and doesn’t require the monetary investment and time commitment. And, you’re not limited to one location or business hours since you can sell to customers anywhere in the world 24/7. BigCommerce and Shopify have a ton of priceless guides to get you started.
A personal concierge handles everything from managing schedules to running errands like taking clients to the airport or their dog to the vet. In a nutshell, it’s being someone’s personal assistant. But, depending on the market, it can make you some serious bank.
If you have the background this is another low-cost business idea that can make you millions. After some initial advertising and marketing costs, most of your customers will come through word-of-mouth.You can also sell your training online, like starting a YouTube channel or a subscription-based business.
Since landlords don’t have the time to constantly check in on their properties or maintain them, like mowing and cleaning the properties. A property management company will take care of these tasks for landlords who already have their hands full or who don’t live near the property.
If you’re like most of us, window cleaning is my least favorite chore around the house. It’s tedious and never looks “clean.” That’s why I have no problem hiring a window cleaning service for both my home and business. Like a cleaning service, you have the option to do residential or commercial properties and it doesn’t require much capital to start.
Do you have a piece of furniture that you love, but it’s looking a little ragged? Instead of purchasing a replacement you could have it upholstered. And, it’s pretty solid business idea as well. You can also repair and upsell used furniture for those who prefer quality pieces of furniture at a decent price.
Since people are becoming more conscientious about their looks they realize that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits all – particularly businessmen and women. That’s why the custom clothing industry is an intriguing idea. It’s in-demand, but currently untapped. This means that there’s some serious potential for future growth.
Do you have a proven track record in a particular field? Can you prove past success or have trained in matters of the mind? Then life coaching or mentorship is another low-cost and profitable business opportunity since you can run the business out of your home.
Whether you’re a guitarist, chef, fluent in Spanish, you can make some serious dough sharing your knowledge. Start by purchasing a website and selling content like instructional videos to customers.
Doesn’t sound like a millionaire-dollar business idea, but Remove It Restoration made $2.6 million in revenue in 2016 by removing graffiti.
When a bank forecloses on a home they always have to hire a business to clean the place out. Sometimes this can be really dirty, both physically and emotionally, but it’s an overlooked and profitable business idea.
If you’re organized and are a planner, then why not take care of the arrangements for events like birthdays, retirements, or weddings? It’s always in-demand and can be profitable.If events aren’t your cup of tea, you could become a project planner for a business that doesn’t have an in-house project manager in order to keep their teams focused and on-track.
Who actually enjoys packing-up for a move? I don’t. And, if you’re like me, I was more than willing to hire someone to pack and load my belongings. Since you don’t need to purchase anything other than boxes and tape, which will be included in your final price, there isn’t much of an overhead to start.In addition to, or as a separate business idea, you can also start a moving company. Purchasing a truck may be pricey, but you could start by investing in a truck and trailer and moving larger items locally, like when someone just bought a new fridge or moved across town.
Whether if it’s a new business or family that just moved into town, you can can refer them to restaurants, accountants, lawyers, landscapers, babysitters, or vendors. You’re biggest costs is networking, marketing yourself to the community, and placing ads online and in the Yellow Pages.
With the amount of tutorial videos, online courses, and applications that offer step-by-step guides becoming a currency trader has never been easier. And, it can make you a ton of cash. After you’ve learned the basics, you’ll just need a small amount of cash flow and a phone, tablet, or computer.
If you don’t want to go the Airbnb route, but still have a room or private area to rent, then you can always become a landlord or start your own bread and breakfast. The real money is if you live in tourist areas, but I’ve known plenty who have purchased homes in emerging neighborhoods when purchasing homes were cheap and now making a ton of cash renting out these homes or apartments.
After you’ve obtained the proper licenses and permits, this is a business that you can start at your home. In areas like Silicon Valley and D.C., this is a lucrative business. If you don’t want to run a daycare out of your home, you can still start a childcare business like being a babysitter, nanny, au pair, or tutor.
If you’re a crafty and creative person, then you could join Etsy, launch your own eCommerce site, or roadside stand where you can sell anything from hand-printed shirts, furniture, jewelry, natural soaps, or organic food.
If you’re up on the current styles, and can actually cut hair or do makeup, then you can start your own salon right from your home. If that’s not an option, you can always always turn to YouTube and start a beauty channel where you share hair and makeup tips.
If you’ve always enjoyed cooking, but don’t want to take the risk of opening a restaurant? Then why not invest in a food truck, trailer, or cart? While a food truck may get pricey, you can purchase a trailer or something like a hot dog cart for only a couple of thousand dollars.
You can buy a beer kit for under a $100 and start experimenting with brewing your own beer. If things go well, you can eventually open your own microbrewery.If beer isn’t your thing, then you can start making wine. Start by purchasing juice or growing your own grapes. If the batch is good, then you can sell your vino online and someday launch your own vineyard or tasting room.
As the cost of smartphones decrease, more and more people are starting to join the mobile revolution. It’s estimated that by 2020 there will be close to 3 billion smartphones globally. And, what are these users demanding? Mobile apps that help them manage their lives, or a game that they love.If you have an idea and some coding skills then you can start developing your own mobile apps. And, if you aren’t a coder, but have an awesome idea, then reach out to a software developer to make your app a reality.
The demand for skilled translators is incredibly high as the world becomes increasingly smaller. Whether if it’s translating legal contracts or translating blog posts for global eCommerce sites, this is a low cost business idea that is showing no signs of slowing down.Personally, I would search freelance sites like Fiverr or Upwork and start reaching out to people who are fluent in several languages to join your business. This way you can translate documents in a variety of languages.
Drones are scorching hot right now. In fact, drone sales boomed from 224 percent in 2015 to 2016 to almost $200 million. As Susan Ward writes for The Balance, “Drones are rapidly becoming an indispensable tool in a variety of industries.” If you want to capitalize on this trend you could start a drone-based business such as sales, customization, repair, training, photography, mapping, surveying, or security surveillance.
The main advantage of the subscription business model is that it’s predictable – which is great for creating and sticking to a budget since you know how much you can expect to bring-in each month.Need ideas? Cratejoy has 100 different ideas ranging from categories like beauty, grooming, fashion, gaming, food, pets, and books. It’s how I started my invoice company that I own today.
Before starting your own business, ask yourself;
Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur or small business owner?
What is your passion or expertise?
Do you have the capital to start the business?
Who is going to be on your team?
Do you have a strong business plan?
Answering the above questions won’t determine your fate, but they will guide you in determining your business idea and whether or not it should be pursued.
John Rampton is serial entrepreneur who now focuses on helping people to build amazing products and services that scale. He is founder of the online payments company Due.