52 Low Cost Business Ideas [Cheap Startups 2024]

Updated: February 2nd, 2024

Building a business with little or no capital will come with its fair share of challenges, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to be successful.

With sufficient research, a solid plan, and some extra time, there are plenty of ways to build your business from scratch, regardless of your startup budget.

We’ve identified 52 low startup cost business ideas (from real world examples) that can be launched with $0 - $10,000 dollars.

Here's the list of the cheapest startup ideas:

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💰UNDER $1,000 TO START

1. Start a newsletter

Did you know that in the past five years, there has been more than a 50% increase in the number of people who read newsletters?

Newsletters are one of the few things you can use to market yourself as a trusted expert. A well-written newsletter can educate your subscribers and build connections with them.

Email newsletters are a great way to connect with customers and potential customers. It’s a newsletter’s job to inform, persuade, and sell to your audience.

How much you can make: $100 — $4,100,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $400 (?)

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

How I Started A $36M/Year Stock Market Research Newsletter

Financial media company MarketBeat, founded by Matt Paulson, provides objective financial information and real-time market data to empower individual stock investors to make better trading decisions, generating approximately $8 million in revenue in 2019 and ending the year with over 1.3 million unique email subscribers due to a freemium model with 75% of revenue from advertising and 25% from subscriptions.

Read by 27,141 founders

2. Start a subscription box business

Subscription box businesses offer customers a niche set of products on a monthly basis.

They're in high demand as they add value to customer service, offer exclusive products and can be highly profitable.

To start a subscription box business, understand your niche market, provide quality products, perfect your box design, build a good relationship with fulfillment companies, and market your service.

How much you can make: $400 — $400,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $210 (?)

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How I Started A Gift Box Business For Non Traditional Brides

Vowed Box Co. is a line of curated, quirky gift boxes with non-traditional brides in mind, offering four different products that have helped the business become profitable most months since its launch in 2018, with a monthly income of roughly $600.

Read by 30,627 founders

3. Start a natural beauty product business

Natural beauty products include aloe vera, honey, or cocoa butter. They contain no chemical or synthetic elements.

The global natural skin care products market size was valued at $6.7 billion in 2021.

Thinking about launching a beauty product line? What’s holding you back? Check out our case studies below to see how others have done it!

How much you can make: $300 — $80,000/month

How long does it take to build: 227 days (?)

How A Mother Of Two Started A $5K/Month Skincare Business From Home

A mother-of-two started a $5k/month skincare business after experimenting with beeswax and honey to create luxurious all-natural products, growing her business to attain over $7,500 in sales per month via multiple sales streams, including $4,000 per month at markets.

Read by 24,080 founders

4. Start a jewelry making business

The global jewelry market size was valued at $278B in 2018 and is expected to reach $292B by 2025.

The industry comprises manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and jewelry designers. Unlike many other industries that have gone through leaps in technology, the jewelry industry has remained untouched for over 40 years.

If you know how to make jewelry, then this might be a great way to make some extra money.

How much you can make: $1,000 — $2,000,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $3,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 120 days (?)

How A Teacher Started A Successful Handmade Jewelry Business Online

A primary school teacher found his passion for jewelry-making, turning it into a successful business generating $2500-3000 per month through sales at the Creative Queenstown Arts and Crafts Market, online, and through stockists, with plans to expand and eventually make it his full-time profession.

Read by 42,704 founders

5. Start a podcast

The podcast business involves creating and producing audio content that people can listen to online.

It’s a popular form of entertainment and information-sharing.

To start a podcast business on a budget, you'll need a few key steps.

First, choose a niche or topic that you're passionate about and that has an audience.

Next, get basic recording equipment like a microphone and headphones.

Then, find a free or affordable hosting platform to publish your episodes.

Finally, promote your podcast through social media, online communities, and word of mouth to build an audience and potentially attract sponsors or advertisers.

How much you can make: $400 — $1,020,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $3,055 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 2 hours/week

How I Started A Successful Podcast Production Company

A successful podcast production company that grew from one client making $15/hour to a team of 10 contractors producing over 30 shows per week with revenue of over $10k/mo, primarily through referrals and with a focus on providing high personal touch and being picky about working only with clients who are a good fit.

Read by 18,226 founders

6. Start a bridal accessories store

Bridal accessories are a great way to help you complete your wedding day look. Bridal accessories are something similar that surrounds weddings in our society. Bridal accessories are all the rage nowadays. These pretty things create the perfect set of accessories for the bridal.

The Bridal Wear market in the USA is estimated at $26B in 2020.

A bridal accessories store can provide you with high income and the ability to hire. Bridal occasions are exceptional and endure several phases. You could start a bridal accessories business with access to millions of customers from the first introduction until they get married.

How much you can make: $50,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $100 (?)

How I Built A Six Figure Business Bringing Asian Culture To The American Wedding Industry

East Meets Dress, an e-commerce store that offers Chinese wedding dresses and traditional outfits, grew to a six-figure annual recurring revenue ($25k/month) in just one year by targeting Asian-American brides in the U.S and high school students looking to wear cheongsams to prom to celebrate their heritage.

Read by 19,603 founders

7. Start a niche accessories brand

Niche accessories make excellent small business ideas. The profit margins in these businesses are pretty significant because of the product markup. You could have a small Etsy store or sell them through marketplace sites such as Amazon, Facebook, and eBay.

The niche market for custom accessories is estimated to be nearly $473.46B by 2020 and it contains a variety of product categories ranging from jewelry, handbags, and small leather goods to house decorations and small fashion apparel accessories. Niche accessories are currently enjoying strong growth, projected to continue during this decade.

How much you can make: $600 — $1,500,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $550 (?)

How long does it take to build: 44 days (?)

How We Turned $20 Into A $100K/Month Accessory Brand

Braxton Manley started Braxley Bands with only $20, creating an elastic Apple Watch band and scaling the business to an impressive $100K a month on Shopify, all without any other capital or investment.

Read by 15,927 founders

8. Become a wedding planner

A wedding planner assists with designing, planning, and managing a wedding, so the bride and groom have the happiest day. Wedding planners enjoy a flexible working schedule and opportunities to travel locally and globally, and it’s a great career with numerous growth opportunities.

To start a wedding planning business, identify your target clientele and study their wedding cultures so you can offer the clients excellent service. Remember, excellent wedding planning is all about having the passion and knowing how to harness that passion for designing weddings that bring out the emotions of those in attendance.

How much you can make: $2,000 — $50,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 45 days (?)

This Couple Started A $50K/Month Business Helping People Get Married in Denmark

This husband and wife duo started a wedding consultancy agency, 'Getting Married in Denmark', which has gone from doing 5-10 weddings a month to 80-100 weddings a month in just 4 years, massively growing their revenue.

Read by 6,994 founders

9. Start a digital agency

A digital agency’s task is to make a business reach its advertising, marketing, or technology-related goals. Anyone with enough knowledge and passion for digital marketing can start and run a profitable digital marketing agency. With the proper skill set, the right tools, and the right mindset, you can start a successful digital agency.

The global digital agency market reached a value of nearly $305B in 2020. The future growth prospects of the digital agency market are projected to be high due to the rising population of people consuming and creating content through digital channels.

How much you can make: $6,500 — $3,699,632/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

How I Started A $22K/Month One-Stop Shop Marketing Company For E-commerce Businesses

Power Move Marketing is an innovative digital marketing company founded by Hailey Brooke McFadden, which has achieved an impressive monthly income of $22,075 and is projected to make almost $300,000 in its first year, by offering a one-stop-shop for e-commerce businesses looking for a marketing powerhouse with a female positive culture.

Read by 11,264 founders

10. Start a women's clothing line

Starting a women’s clothing brand is a great way to enter entrepreneurship. You don’t need to have millions of dollars or vast experience to start your clothing line—just the drive and determination to be your own boss.

Women’s fashion has come a long way over the last decade, and there are many growth opportunities! New trends are constantly emerging, and old ones are returning, too, so there will always be an audience for your new designs if you keep up with the times (and stay on top of them).

How much you can make: $500 — $600,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $5,250 (?)

How long does it take to build: 135 days (?)

How I Grew My Clothing Boutique to $10K/Month in 6 Months

Boutique Rye is an online-only women's clothing and accessories boutique that has grown to 3,200 Facebook Group members and a successful website through organic customer sharing, live sales, and open communication with customers.

Read by 36,037 founders

11. Start a niche blog

Starting a niche blog can be a great way to engage with a passionate online community by sharing your expertise on a specific topic.

The first step is to identify a profitable and underserved niche, such as fashion, video games, film reviews, cooking, and more.

Find your niche and create unique and informative content, such as articles, commentary, news, how-to guides, top product lists, convention coverage, video interviews, and spotlights.

To monetize your blog, gain visibility and followers, provide affiliate links, grow a YouTube channel, collaborate with relevant brands, and speak at events.

To succeed in niche blogging, you need to have a passion for your topic, create engaging content, and regularly engage with your followers.

How much you can make: $200 — $250,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $450 (?)

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

How I Turned A Crappy Idea Into A $3M/Year Business

Starter Story grew to 1.4 million monthly visitors and millions in annual revenue by sharing the stories of entrepreneurs. Pat breaks down the early days and how he grew the business into something that changed his life.

Read by 63,204 founders

12. Start a sustainable clothing line

Starting a sustainable clothing company can seem like a daunting task, but with the right skills and resources in place, it doesn't have to be. And thanks to more and more technologies becoming available there is a greater chance of success than has ever been had before.

The sustainable clothing market shrunk from $6.35B in 2019 to $6.14B in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse economic impact. But the sustainable clothing market size will keep growing in the coming years, Experts predict it will reach $8.25B by 2023.

How much you can make: $8,000 — $100,000/month

How long does it take to build: 250 days (?)

How We Started A $18K/Month Sustainable And Durable Clothing Brand

Minimalismbrand is a sustainable and durable clothing brand that has achieved $200k in annual revenue after starting with just €2k, focusing on quality over quantity, and prioritizing transparency through showing their numbers and production process.

Read by 8,593 founders

13. Start a home decor business

Are you a talented interior designer? Do you know you can turn your hobby into a side income opportunity? Home décor as a side hustle is a great opportunity to build a brand as you earn extra income. You first need to work on your portfolio to launch a successful home décor side hustle.

The portfolio communicates to your potential customers your potential when it comes to home décor. You may use your home as an example or request a friend for an opportunity to do their home décor as a sample for your portfolio. Once you have a portfolio, market your business, and remember to include photos from your previous gigs to increase the chances of closing a sale.

How much you can make: $2,000 — $415,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 48 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 5 hours/week

How I Started A $8K/Month Home Organizing Service

Less is More Organizing Services, founded by Sarah Giller Nelson, is a home organizing service that operates in two states, serving an average of 95 households per year with an 85% repeat customer rate, offering services by the hour with a 4-hour minimum, and using a guided decluttering process to help customers achieve their goals.

Read by 16,167 founders

14. Start a stationery business

A stationery business sells stationery products such as paper goods, notebooks, greeting cards, and envelopes.

The best part about starting a stationery business is that it's relatively easy and inexpensive to get started.

Since there are so many different types of products available in this industry, there are endless opportunities for creativity, customization, and expansion.

You could even start out small by selling your products on Etsy or eBay before opening up an actual storefront.

How much you can make: $200 — $260,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,250 (?)

How long does it take to build: 52 days (?)

How I Started A $12K/Month Business Selling Productivity Planners Online

Chasing Planner Peace is a planner company that has expanded from selling planner inserts on Etsy, to offering a one-stop shop customizable planner experience with over 300 inserts, a planner line, and various other related products, gaining a monthly revenue of around $25,000 at its busiest time of year.

Read by 63,204 founders

15. Start a dog walking business

Are you a dog lover? If so, you can turn your passion for animals into a profitable side hustle that allows you to earn extra income for your mortgage, a vacation, or paying off student loans.

As a dog walker, sitter, or boarder, you can earn an average annual income of between $10,000 and $30,000 by offering your services to dog owners in need of a caregiver for their furry friends.

To get started, register on a credible dog-walking app and create a compelling profile that showcases your experience, skills, and love for dogs.

With your dedication and expertise, you can help dog owners ensure their pets receive the care and attention they need while building a thriving business that fulfills your passion for animals.

How much you can make: $15,000 — $54,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 2 hours/week

How I Started A $54K/Month Pet Sitting And Dog Walking Business

Furry Fellas Pet Service LLC is a successful pet sitting and dog walking business that brings in over half a million dollars in sales per year, boasts 3,500-4,000 social media followers, employs 42 individuals and has been voted in the top 3 pet sitting/dog walking companies in the RI/MA area for eight years in a row.

Read by 19,883 founders

16. Make a handcrafted drums business

Start a handcrafted drums business in an industry ready to boom. Firsthand drum builders and craftspeople have long sought out solid places to connect, guild-style, on the web. If you're on a shoestring budget, think about starting a handcrafted drums business.

The global handcrafted Drums & IBCs Market is expected to hit a market value of $16B by 2022 and is expected to reach $22.5B from 2022 to 2029. Starting your own handcrafted drums business in the modern age is much easier than it used to be. Because of the rise in sites like eBay over the past 20 years, it's much easier to pick up some used equipment and have your own drum kit up and running for a fraction of the cost of buying new.

How much you can make: $2,000/month

How I Faced My Fear of Failure And Launched A Business

This case study showcases a business owner who handcrafts steel tongue drums, which are used for music and sound therapy/meditation, with average monthly sales of $2000, and has successfully grown his business through persistence and creativity.

Read by 6,718 founders

17. Start a children's clothing business

The children's clothing business has grown rapidly over the last few years, and in 2022 was valued at $263.30 billion.

Starting a children's clothing business gives you the opportunity to be your own boss while working in a field you enjoy. While you have to be prepared to work long hours and put in lots of hard effort, it can be extremely rewarding if successful.

How much you can make: $500 — $1,333,333/month

How much does it cost to start: $5,750 (?)

How long does it take to build: 190 days (?)

How We Grew Our Baby Subscription Box To $60K MRR

Argentinian startup Bambox has grown its monthly recurring revenue to $60,000 and ships more than 1,100 boxes of baby essentials a month, a figure expected to help it achieve an annual recurring revenue of about $750,000 in 2019, after launching its first subscription service in July 2017. 

Read by 17,069 founders

18. Become a temporary tattoo artist

Starting a tattoo business is not as difficult as you might think. If you have the talent, ability, and guts, you already have the essential qualities for starting your own tattoo company. The Tattoo Artists market size in the US in 2022 is $1.4B.

The tattooing business is profitable and famous, and it is one of the most rewarding careers that you can have. However, becoming a tattoo artist requires a lot of commitment and hard work.

Tattoo shops have strict standards for artists who work in shops, so to have an ideal career as an artist, you might have to go the freelance route. It can be a short-term or long-term career, so you must be prepared before taking on such a responsibility. It won’t come with a million-dollar salary at first, but once you’ve developed a good reputation and have completed enough work, the money will start rolling in.

How much you can make: $1,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $100 (?)

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

How I Started A Passive Income Business While Living Out Of A Van

Forgotten Mermaids creator Anslea shares how she started a passive income business while living out of a van, creating mermaid temporary tattoos and accessories, and has grown to average $1,000 per month in mostly passive income over the last six months.

Read by 8,617 founders

19. Start a handmade paper goods business

The handmade paper goods market is growing globally due to the increase in environmental consciousness among people. The gift of handmade is a tradition with a long history. According to data collected by the US Census Bureau, each year the number of handmade goods made by individuals in the USA rises by 3%. Handmade paper goods are not an exception.

The handmade paper goods market size is expected to reach $7.3B by 2020. The business of crafting paper goods was largely untouched until the start of Etsy, which has since grown into an international curated marketplace. Those who could craft unique and innovative pieces landed themselves a successful eCommerce store, living off of bare-bones websites and making their creations available to customers far and wide.

How much you can make: $1,100/month

How much does it cost to start: $500 (?)

Leaving My Corporate Career To Start My Own Design Business

Chirps & Cricket Design Studio is a small, Denver, Colorado-based design studio specializing in graphic design services, custom illustration, handcrafted paper goods and bespoke invitations, with notable achievements including illustrating New Mexico State University’s Campus Map, while providing freelance services for small and large businesses, startups, engaged couples and a freelance writer.

Read by 7,671 founders

20. Start a dating coaching business

A dating coach offers training and guidance to improve the client's success in dating and relationships.

The dating coach evaluates the results of the client's actions and decides what changes to make to the client's dating approach to improve the outcome. Besides, dating coaches offer guidance and support, helping clients negotiate the often confusing first stages of their early romantic experiences.

Dating coaches have been around for years. A more recent trend is dating coaches who help people with conditions like autism overcome their situations and begin dating people they love. Do you love helping people achieve their dating goals? You can start a dating coach service today!

To start, identify a niche and create a website, to help you reach more people. You can target teenagers, divorced people, or older adults and help them through their dating life.

How much you can make: $1,500 — $30,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $20 (?)

How long does it take to build: 45 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 3 hours/week

How I Started A Business Where I Plan Romantic Date Nights For Couples

Meet Ta'Veca Collins, founder of Romance On The Go, a concierge service that promotes romance and intimacy; since becoming a preferred vendor for The W Hotel Fort Lauderdale, their gross income has increased to around $3,200.00 monthly, and they are currently expanding their team to meet the demands of new partnered hotels.

Read by 24,696 founders

21. Start a beach wedding company

If you have been aspiring to start a business that relates to weddings, you may consider starting a beach wedding company. Beach weddings have a naturally intimate romantic vibe and can be a perfect fit for couples looking for a unique experience.

Besides, beach weddings can be cheaper since there is not much décor to do and the ceremony and reception take place in the same venue.

How much you can make: $165,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,600 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Started And Grew A Wedding Services Business To $2M/Year

Florida-based Gulf Beach Weddings offers customized beach wedding packages and services across nine counties in the state of Florida and Alabama, conducting about 1,000 weddings a year and generating revenue of around $2 million annually, thanks in part to its trademarked Beach WeddingStudio software and focus on customer service.

Read by 9,263 founders

💸UNDER $10,000 TO START

22. Start a photo printing business

Are you keen on preserving moments and keen on business? Here's an idea for you: a photo printing service. This business centers around printing digital images onto physical mediums - think high-quality paper photos, canvas prints, or personalized photo gifts.

In today's digital age, there's a certain charm to physical photographs, creating a tangible memory people can hold on to. You'll be offering customers a nostalgia-inducing service, bringing their shots to life and enabling them to cherish these moments eternally. Strategizing your business for both online and physical interactions will expand your reach to photo enthusiasts far and near.

Entering the photo printing business might also tap into your creative side, allowing you to experiment with different materials and styles. With the right marketing approach and high-quality service, this business idea could be a profitable venture that allows you to combine passion with profit.

How much you can make: $27,400 — $1,500,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $5,075 (?)

How long does it take to build: 62 days (?)

How We Started A $1.5M/Month Custom Canvas Prints Business Online

CanvasChamp, a custom photo products company founded in 2012, has grown to offer 60+ personalized photo gift products with revenue of 1.5m$+/mo through SEO and successful digital marketing strategies.

Read by 24,961 founders

23. Start a backpack line

There is a demand for backpacks all year round, which increases during the camping season. As an entrepreneurial backpack company founder, you oversee design to bring functional style to an essential travel item.

Focus on creating versatile, durable, and comfortable backpacks suited for the daily commuter as well as outdoor adventurers by focusing on innovations in straps, padding, compartments, and lightweight but weatherproof materials.

Promote customized and made-to-order services to stand out while developing a direct-to-consumer model.

Whether aiming to outfit students, professionals, or travelers seeking hands-free convenience, building a backpack line from scratch aligns savvy business sense with a passion for accessories that organize and transport daily essentials.

How much you can make: $20,000 — $1,600,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $3,750 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

How We Started A $300K/Month Business Selling Carry On Travel Backpacks

How Tortuga bootstrapped their way to seven figures in revenue, by solving a problem for travelers with their carry-on sized travel backpacks, after overcoming challenges in design, manufacturing, and advertising.

Read by 12,479 founders

24. Start a drinkware brand

A drinkware brand sells home and houseware products like cups, koozies, mugs, and other drinking accessories. If you've decided to try and create a business selling drinkware, there are certain things you need to know. You can do it from the comfort of your own home. You can get started for free, avoiding the hefty cost of setting up a brick-and-mortar shop. And if you take advantage of the right marketing strategies, you could be on your way to making money within a few weeks. The demand for custom-branded drinkware in the workplace has increased substantially over the past decade.

How much you can make: $450,000 — $12,000,000/month

I Grew A Drinkware Brand To $1.1M/Month At 23 Years Old

BruMate is a successful insulated drinkware brand focused on the adult beverage community, with a flagship product that generated $2.1M in sales in 2017 and is now doing over $1.1M per month in sales, with plans to do $20M this year.

Read by 106,580 founders

25. Start a makeup academy

The allure of the beauty industry never fades. Skip the world of 9 to 5 and consider opening a Makeup Academy. As the founder of a school dedicated to beauty, you become the thought leader for aspiring makeup artists and professionals who crave an upgrade on their skills.

The business model revolves around hosting courses that teach various essential aspects - from mastering the classic smokey eye to creating the perfect dewy foundation base. Imagine whole classrooms of excited students, eager to learn the art of stealing the spotlight with perfect winged eyeliner or mastering contouring techniques.

This could be your stage. Not only do you reap the satisfaction of nurturing skills, but you also pave the road to a booming business venture. As the beauty industry continues to thrive, the desire for professional makeup courses grows alongside it. Be part of that journey, fostering beauticians' dreams while establishing a dynamic income source.

How much you can make: $235,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $4,000 (?)

How I Started A $200K/Month Online Makeup Academy

Online makeup academy, Vizio Makeup Academy, founded in 2011 by Anastasia Andreani and her partner, has enrolled over 3,300 students and generated $2.4M in revenue this year, by offering professional makeup courses online and creating their own cosmetic line.

Read by 14,967 founders

26. Become a toy maker

The toys market is growing at a CAGR of 2.5% and will reach a market size of $103 Billion in the next few years. Toys play a critical role in a child’s growth and development. They help in brain development, enabling the kids to acquire logical and reasoning skills.

Besides, toys help kids develop spatial reasoning and social and communication skills. Therefore, starting a toy-making business today could be the best decision you are about to make.

To start your toy-making business, identify a potential niche, and focus on delivering suitable toys.

How much you can make: $9,999 — $200,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $5,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 95 days (?)

How I Built A Teddy Bear Business Helping Military Kids Sleep At Night

This case study is about how the founder of ZZZ Bears created and grew a line of military teddy bears named SGT SLEEPTIGHT, primarily selling to military families and gaining success through Facebook ads and partnerships with military exchanges, Target, and TAPS, while also learning important lessons such as the power of mentors and seeking help.

Read by 10,315 founders

27. Start a 3D Printing Business

3D printing is a process that assembles objects layer by layer and starting a business in this industry can be a very creative venture.

You will need investment in the right equipment and materials, and the acquisition of 3D modeling and design skills. You will also need to regularly calibrate and maintain your 3D printers to deliver consistent results.

Plan how you'll handle shipping and logistics, and leverage technology to find new applications of 3D printing in all industries.

How much you can make: $42,000 — $330,000/month

How long does it take to build: 360 days (?)

How I Started A $330K/Month Ecommerce Specialized In 3D Printing

Founder Roy Kirchner shares how he started an eCommerce business specializing in 3D printing with an initial investment of $65,000, which now averages monthly gross sales of $330,000 and has partnered with international manufacturers and local businesses while offering technical support and education.

Read by 29,445 founders

28. Start a phone case business

With the number of mobile phone users increasing, there are opportunities for accessory makers such as phone case manufacturers to make a profit. Building a business around making and selling phone cases is relatively easier to produce. You can print labels on-demand, starting with a lower risk, or buy them in bulk and sell them online.

The global mobile phone protective cover market is expected to reach 75.62 billion in the next few years.

Phone protective covers often make a statement and reflect a person’s social and cultural preferences. Phone case manufacturers take advantage of such considerations and keep their products relevant and up-to-date to attract a more extensive customer base.

Remember, as with any industry with a low entry barrier, there will be competition. Therefore, you must study customers’ tastes and preferences and offer customized phone cases.

How much you can make: $120,000 — $125,000/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Started And Grew A $50K/mo Phone Case Business

Felony Case, a Toronto-based company designing unique iPhone cases, started as a small shop on Etsy and has grown to become an internationally recognized fashion iPhone case brand sold in top tier retailers like Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, Indigo, Urban Outfitters, Revolve, Free People, and made over half a million dollars in revenue last year.

Read by 28,369 founders

29. Start a membership management software

Imagine a digital key, unlocking a realm of organized data for businesses who are managing memberships. This could be the reality if you delve into the venture of creating a membership management software solution. This kind of software is designed to ease the management of organizations' memberships, store members’ data under one umbrella, and automate payments, saving numerous hours of administrative work.

Dig deeper, and you'll notice that there is a vast range of potential clientele--from gyms to clubs and non-profit organizations--all in need of a system that simplifies their operations. Your software can streamline their membership management processes, upgrading their operational efficiency and simplifying data access.

By taking an innovation-oriented route, this idea could cement your position as an instrumental player in the realm of business improvement tools. Get started with exploring this technology-defined pathway that can spark a revolution in membership management. Delivering value through such software could be your leeway to entrepreneurial success.

How much you can make: $25,000 — $60,000/month

How long does it take to build: 365 days (?)

How I Quit My Job And Launched A SaaS Company From Spain

Join It, a bootstrapped SaaS platform that helps organizations sell and track memberships, has been making $20,000 per month and is attracting customers through Google Ads, Organic Search, and Word of Mouth, despite being turned down multiple times by incumbent membership platforms.

Read by 29,355 founders

30. Start a hair product line

Starting a hair product line can be a fun and profitable way to build a new income stream. It's also fairly easy, as long as you plan it out (and maybe do a little bit of market research before creating your sales funnel). There's a reason we often talk about trends in hip-hop and pop culture when we talk about hairstyles — they often have a lot to do with advancements in the hair product industry. The industry is expected to grow to 102 billion dollars by 2024.

How much you can make: $550 — $2,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 365 days (?)

How I Started A $650K/Month Hair Extensions And Products Business

Private Label Extensions is a hair distribution and technology company that builds hair brands from A to Z for entrepreneurs, achieving over $650,000 in monthly sales and ranked #278 of the fastest-growing companies by Inc Magazine for 2018.

Read by 37,157 founders

31. Start an online food business

Gone are the days when food lovers needed to leave their homes for delectable delights. Insert: online food business. This venture allows individuals or groups to offer ready-to-eat meals or pre-packaged ingredients for home preparation, straight to customers' doorsteps.

In simple terms, the business centers on creating and selling meals through an online platform. In a world perpetually pursuing convenience and variety, this idea caters to a diverse audience—busy professionals seeking nutritious meals, cooking novices craving guidance, or adventurous eaters exploring global cuisines.

As an owner of an online food business, you'll be involved in menu planning, sourcing ingredients, preparation, packaging, and delivering—while constantly innovating and adapting to the ever-changing food trends and dietary preferences. With the right blend of business acumen and culinary passion, the online food business can offer a unique opportunity to merge profit with satisfaction—giving people the gift of good food while filling a fundamental market gap.

How much you can make: $4,500 — $3,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 120 days (?)

How We Started A Meal Prep Delivery Business And Did $1.8M In Sales

Healthy Chew is a profitable weekly meal preparation service that grew from 200 to 10,000 weekly bowls in just over 3 years, with an overall sales figure of $1.8 million, achieved through effective branding and personalised customer service.

Read by 38,860 founders

32. Start a custom prints business

Custom print businesses often focus on printing everything, including business cards, photos, and even custom T-shirts.

To start an online custom prints business, choose a niche to help your business stand out and attract the right target audience. Then, focus on producing quality prints of different sizes, materials, and designs. You may hire designers online or search for designs in online design communities. Then, validate the designs before you begin mass production. Finally, set up an online store, and launch the business.

Remember that with the growth in popularity of selling custom prints, expect to face stiff competition. Therefore, you should market your custom prints on social media to maximize your reach.

How much you can make: $3,700 — $3,000,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $3,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 365 days (?)

How I Stumbled Into A $300K Business Framing Tweets

Framed Tweets, an online store that offers customers the opportunity to frame tweets as art, started by grossing $20k in its first year and increasing to $110k in the second year, and now has monthly gross sales of $20k from Instagram ads, spending about $300 a day.

Read by 42,472 founders

33. Start an online masquerade masks store

Unleashing creativity while revolutionizing an industry can lead to an intriguing business - such as an online store solely dedicated to masquerade masks. The premise is simple: a platform where party goers, event organizers and mask collectors can browse and purchase a multitude of unique, hand-crafted masks.

This niche is relatively untapped, offering a great opportunity to carve out a distinct segment and create a recognizable brand. Your store can cater to upmarket galas, themed parties, extravagant balls or even enthusiast collectors with masks ranging from minimalistic designs to ornate masterpieces.

Investing in high-quality product photography and user-friendly website design to will ensure that your online mask shop stands out. Establishing partnerships with reliable distributors or skillful artisans is also key to seamless operations.

With a keen eye for design, an understanding of trends, and a knack for marketing - an online masquerade masks store could become a thriving digital venture. Discover this charming blend of art, culture and online retail today.

How much you can make: $25,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $3,000 (?)

How We Started A $25K/Month Venetian Masquerade Masks Ecommerce

How 2 marketing professionals turned a $3k investment into a profitable eCommerce business, VIVO Masks, with monthly revenue of $25k in just their third month by sourcing and selling authentic Venetian masks handmade in Italy to the North American marketplace.

Read by 7,502 founders

34. Start a swimwear line

Are you interested in a textile business? If you live near a beach, a potential business idea can be swimwear. People wear swimwear when going for an afternoon of water activities. Therefore, starting a swimwear line can be a great business idea if you live near a beach or a swimming pool. Swimwear shops stock men’s and women’s attire.

How much you can make: $800 — $40,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $9,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How I Started A $300K Business Selling Swim Trunks Made From Trash

Junk in your Trunks is a sustainable swim trunk brand that uses recycled plastic bottles, reporting up to $25K in monthly revenue and gaining traction with a Barstool Sports partnership.

Read by 15,990 founders

35. Start a subscription box business

Subscription box businesses offer customers a niche set of products on a monthly basis.

They're in high demand as they add value to customer service, offer exclusive products and can be highly profitable.

To start a subscription box business, understand your niche market, provide quality products, perfect your box design, build a good relationship with fulfillment companies, and market your service.

How much you can make: $400 — $400,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $210 (?)

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How I Started A Gift Box Business For Non Traditional Brides

Vowed Box Co. is a line of curated, quirky gift boxes with non-traditional brides in mind, offering four different products that have helped the business become profitable most months since its launch in 2018, with a monthly income of roughly $600.

Read by 30,627 founders

36. Start a SEO agency

An SEO agency is a company that provides search engine optimization services to businesses. The function of an SEO agency is to help businesses rank higher in search engines through organic or paid means.

SEO is a rapidly growing industry, with experts across all aspects of the field already making six-figure incomes and expecting to see these earnings grow dramatically over the next few years. Getting into SEO today, before it gets too saturated, will allow you to establish a strong base in a new career, with an excellent chance for success.

It’s easier than ever to start your SEO agency. The tools are there, and the competition isn’t as stiff as it used to be. If you’re considering starting an SEO or digital marketing agency, it might be a good idea to learn how other digital agencies succeed.

How much you can make: $1,000 — $1,800,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

How I Started An SEO Agency For Lawyers Generating $3.6M/Year

Rankings.io is a hyper-focused SEO agency that helps elite personal injury law firms dominate first page rankings and was ranked #858 in the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in America for 2018, with a current revenue just under $300,000 per month, with plans for a record-breaking year.

Read by 37,604 founders

37. Start a skin care product line

The skincare business is a multi-billion dollar one, and it shows no sign of slowing down. New anti-aging products are entering the market at a nearly exponential rate, and the competition for consumers' money is growing more and more.

The industry was valued at 130 billion USD in 2021 and will expand at an annual growth rate of 4.6% up to 2030. This is surely a type of business that you should not miss. You'll need to build your creativity on your products and make sure that it is all safe and useful in improving the skin of your customers.

How much you can make: $300 — $1,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 165 days (?)

How Two Moms Started A Business Selling Homemade Body Butter

Two moms start a side hustle selling all-natural body products, doubling sales since their launch in 2017 with over 75 craft shows, promoting a non-profit source for their shea butter and self-promotion through podcasts, lining up retail interest from exposure.

Read by 34,097 founders

38. Start a sustainable clothing line

Starting a sustainable clothing company can seem like a daunting task, but with the right skills and resources in place, it doesn't have to be. And thanks to more and more technologies becoming available there is a greater chance of success than has ever been had before.

The sustainable clothing market shrunk from $6.35B in 2019 to $6.14B in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse economic impact. But the sustainable clothing market size will keep growing in the coming years, Experts predict it will reach $8.25B by 2023.

How much you can make: $8,000 — $100,000/month

How long does it take to build: 250 days (?)

How We Started A $18K/Month Sustainable And Durable Clothing Brand

Minimalismbrand is a sustainable and durable clothing brand that has achieved $200k in annual revenue after starting with just €2k, focusing on quality over quantity, and prioritizing transparency through showing their numbers and production process.

Read by 8,593 founders

39. Start an ice cream product

If you are looking for a hassle-free ice cream product business idea that anyone can easily start from the comfort of their home, consider the ice cream product business.

To start, create unique and delicious homemade ice cream flavors using simple ingredients.

You can sell your ice cream products online or at local markets, capitalizing on the popularity of artisanal and personalized treats.

With a straightforward production process and the ability to tap into the evergreen demand for sweet indulgences, the ice cream venture offers a simple and tasty way to turn a passion into a profitable business.

How much you can make: $16,000 — $400,000/month

How long does it take to build: 730 days (?)

On Starting A $16K/Month Handmade Natural Ice Cream Business

The Good Scoop, a California-based artisanal ice cream shop, started with a small Italian countertop ice cream maker and now has a production facility, wholesaling to various venues, offering frequent scooper programs, and using Instagram as their primary advertising platform.

Read by 15,516 founders

40. Start an IoT startup

An IoT startup focuses on devices connected to the internet that can be accessed remotely through the internet or a connected application.

Research what is essential to the end users to start and build a successful IoT. Leverage what is available to make the application easy to use. Then, create working prototypes, test, and build the application around the clear essential purpose.

How much you can make: $500 — $2,300,000/month

How long does it take to build: 505 days (?)

How I Invented The Ultimate Flying Gadget And Landed Massive Press

Craig Rabin invented The Airhook, a two-in-one beverage holder and electronics device holder that attaches to a closed tray table, and successfully launched it through a crowdfunding campaign that raised $15,000 from 750 backers, and went on to ship to every U.S. state and 73 countries, win Travel Product of the Year in 2019, and being featured in over 100 publications.

Read by 18,506 founders

41. Start a professional organizing business

Are you interested in a side hustle business idea you can launch today? How about becoming a professional organizing consultant? You can teach others how to keep their spaces neatly organized if you have special organization skills.

Typically, a professional organizing business helps clients develop critical organizing skills through training. To start your business, you can create videos and share them on Instagram or other social media platforms.

To earn income from the organizing business, you can partner with promoters or introduce paid advertising opportunities.

How much you can make: $8,000 — $10,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 40 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 100 hours/week

How I Make $8K/Month Helping Organizers Automate Their Business

Professional organizer turned system strategist boosts monthly sales to $8,000 by helping others in the industry implement business systems and through successful niche marketing on Instagram for Dubsado CRM setups.

Read by 4,326 founders

42. Become a business coach

Are you thinking of starting a career as a business coach?

Becoming a business coach can be a great way to help aspiring entrepreneurs while earning a healthy income. You may want to consider becoming a coach if you have skills in specialized business fields such as marketing, e-commerce, stress management, or leadership.

Many small-business owners are finding it hard to get started, grow, and succeed. As a business coach, your job will be to help entrepreneurs identify new opportunities and take advantage of the ones they already have.

How much you can make: $3,500 — $112,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

How I Started A $100K/Month Business Mentoring Dropshipping Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Kamil Sattar has developed multiple six-figure drop shipping businesses, and his company, e-commerce mentoring, specializes in helping others create their own successful companies, with favorite platforms including using Shopify and apps such as Loox reviews and SMSBump.

Read by 24,828 founders

43. Start a mom blog

Parenting may be an overwhelming journey. Mothers result to the internet to read stories from other moms.

Reading mom’s blogs makes parenting feel less alone a long way. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or passionate about parenting, you can consider starting a mommy blog.

You can make money through affiliate links or by selling your merchandise on the blog. To increase traffic to your blog, include resourceful and encouraging content.

How much you can make: $3,000 — $10,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 150 days (?)

How I Started A $10K/Month Blog About Motherhood

Mom blogger creates two related businesses, one generating 8-10k Canadian dollars per month in traffic revenue, and another offering courses to new bloggers about how to monetize their sites, all at an initial investment of $2,000, and largely based on her Pinterest presence.

Read by 9,584 founders

44. Start a fashion business

In 2022, the fashion industry was valued at $473.42B, with a growth rate of 8.3% over last year. To become successful in this highly competitive & ever-growing industry, you must have passion, perseverance, and the ability to take risks.

With platforms like TikTok and Instagram, the way that fashion products are marketed online has completely changed, so it’s essential to keep up with these trends.

How much you can make: $100 — $300,000/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Make $10K/Month Selling Printable Sewing Patterns From My Fashion Blog

Learn how this DIY blogger turned sewing pattern maker generates over $10k per month in passive income, and discover her tips for building an authentic brand on a budget.

Read by 26,546 founders

45. Start a dropshipping business

Dropshipping is a business model where you sell products to customers without holding inventory.

Instead, when a customer makes a purchase, you buy the product from a third-party supplier, who then ships it directly to the customer.

To start a dropshipping business on a budget, choose a niche or category of products you want to sell.

Next, set up an online store using platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce. Then, find reliable suppliers from platforms like AliExpress, list their products on your store, and focus on marketing and customer service to grow your business.

Remember to carefully manage your expenses and monitor your profit margins to ensure profitability.

How much you can make: $6,000 — $3,000,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $6,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 10 hours/week

How I Started A $100K/Month Business Mentoring Dropshipping Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Kamil Sattar has developed multiple six-figure drop shipping businesses, and his company, e-commerce mentoring, specializes in helping others create their own successful companies, with favorite platforms including using Shopify and apps such as Loox reviews and SMSBump.

Read by 24,828 founders

46. Become a children's book writer

If you are passionate about early childhood education, why not become a children’s book writer? Starting a children’s bookstore is a low-barrier-to-entry business you can start today.

You can write storybooks or subject textbooks for kids, publish and distribute them through the bookshops or your online bookstore, or sell them on Amazon and other online bookstores.

How much you can make: $2,000 — $50,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,600 (?)

How long does it take to build: 365 days (?)

How I Started A Six-Figure Niche Book Blog

OrderOfBooks.com is a website that lists books in both publication and chronological order and generates six-figure revenue after starting off as a resource for the founder and his friends, serving as a valuable resource for book readers.

Read by 17,644 founders

47. Start a skin care product line

The skincare business is a multi-billion dollar one, and it shows no sign of slowing down. New anti-aging products are entering the market at a nearly exponential rate, and the competition for consumers' money is growing more and more.

The industry was valued at 130 billion USD in 2021 and will expand at an annual growth rate of 4.6% up to 2030. This is surely a type of business that you should not miss. You'll need to build your creativity on your products and make sure that it is all safe and useful in improving the skin of your customers.

How much you can make: $300 — $1,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 165 days (?)

How Two Moms Started A Business Selling Homemade Body Butter

Two moms start a side hustle selling all-natural body products, doubling sales since their launch in 2017 with over 75 craft shows, promoting a non-profit source for their shea butter and self-promotion through podcasts, lining up retail interest from exposure.

Read by 34,097 founders

48. Start a penny portrait business

Have you ever marveled at art made from unconventional items? A penny portrait business is a unique venture where your creativity can shine. In simple terms, you meticulously arrange pennies by year, tininess, and patina to create striking portraits and pieces of art.

As an owner of a penny portrait business, you interact with art enthusiasts who appreciate the exquisite detail and time it takes to create such pieces. The process of creating a penny portrait is demanding, requiring careful planning and precision, lending each piece a unique and timeless appeal. The distinctive twist on portraiture and the appeal of upcycled artistry means there’s always a market ready to indulge in your creativity.

Whether you choose to open an online storefront or cater to local art exhibits and events, a penny portrait business presents a captivating way to transform common loose change into meaningful works of art. It’s a chance to craft an imaginative venture tailored to your artistic passion and attention to detail.

How much you can make: $1,250/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,000 (?)

Starting A Business Selling Portraits Made of Pennies

This case study is about a graphic designer who created a fun and unique product called Penny Portrait Kit that allows customers to create a portrait of Abraham Lincoln out of 846 pennies, which has sold over 6,800 kits and brought in approximately $10K of profit per year.

Read by 8,008 founders

49. Dropshipping men's grooming products

The global market for men’s grooming products is witnessing steady growth due to growing consumer preferences, and it is expected to witness a CAGR of 4.29% in the next few years.

Products such as shaving foams, face creams, after-shave lotions, and body sprays are among the highest in-demand men’s grooming products.

To start a men’s grooming products dropshipping business, high-quality research products, find a market, build a website and launch the business. Remember, as you begin the drop shipping business, people will come up with ideas. Listen to your customers, and implement necessary ideas to ensure the company is booming.

How much you can make: $1,000 — $650,000/month

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

Growing And Selling An Online Beard Care Business

A 22-year-old Korean American entrepreneur shares the story of how he pivoted from a beard growth cosmetic business to a beard care brand, built a strong community with a 30% customer retention rate, and scaled to a six-figure revenue with primarily Facebook ads.

Read by 16,319 founders

50. Start a men's underwear brand

Underwear is essential to any person’s wardrobe, and the men’s underwear industry has grown quite large.

Many companies, such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Hugo Boss, specialize in men’s underwear. These companies have been able to keep up with the demand of this growing industry by offering quality products at reasonable prices.

The demand for men’s underwear has risen because it offers an alternative to traditional cotton briefs. Men are increasingly realizing that they don’t want the same old thing when it comes to their underwear; they want something that feels like luxury and provides them with comfort and support.

With so many opportunities available today, it’s easy to see why more people are turning to this industry to start their businesses.

How much you can make: $800 — $2,000,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $4,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 470 days (?)

How We Built A Boxer Briefs Brand To $5K/Month With Zero Experience

Founder Krystian Frencel shares how he built a men's luxury underwear brand, Bunch of Animals, to $5,000/month with no previous e-commerce or product creation experience, offering softer than soft boxer briefs featuring seamless designs in collaboration with artists from around the world.

Read by 32,543 founders

51. Start a time tracking app

A time tracking app is a tool used allows its user to clock in/out via an internet-connected device or to use a stopwatch to record the start and end of tasks. The time tracker apps also have analytics and reporting features that consolidate the data so that users can gain insights into time spent on different tasks, projects, and clients.

The growing need among managers and enterprises to improve employee productivity and adopt a remote work culture contribute to the high demand for time-tracking apps.

Therefore, if you are looking for the best App-based business, you may consider developing a time tracker application. Here is a high-level overview of some steps to get you started working on your business idea of the time tracker App

  • Define the project scope
  • Choose a software development methodology
  • Formulate the approach for your development project
  • Create a project team
  • Develop the project plan with timelines
  • Test the prototypes
  • Find suitable API solutions
  • Publish the Apps

How much you can make: $350 — $500,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $3,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How I Launched A $185K/Month Employee Time & GPS Tracking App

Labor Sync is a mobile application that provides business owners with the ability to track the time and GPS location of their mobile workforce and after just one year of use, they saved $104,000 across 45 employees despite starting off with no funds for advertising or marketing.

Read by 7,852 founders

52. Create an online course

An online course business involves creating and selling digital classes teaching specialized skills or knowledge to subscribed students.

As an entrepreneurial course creator, you identify educational gaps around topics you have expertise in and develop engaging video lessons and supplementary materials.

With flexibility around self-paced or cohort-based structures, building a student base provides passive income potential.

For founders who enjoy information-sharing, launching an online course platform presents a lucrative way to monetize your instructional talents with small startup costs by serving eager lifelong learners seeking convenient access to emerging subjects.

How much you can make: $350 — $1,000,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 88 days (?)

How This 28-Year-Old Couple Quit Their Jobs And Make $20K/Month Running A Blog

Learn how one couple created a successful personal finance blog, The Savvy Couple, that now makes over $20,000 per month and has sold thousands of digital workbooks and courses, by focusing on purposeful content and optimizing their ROI with efficient time management.

Read by 27,911 founders

How to start a business with small capital?

Starting a business can be a daunting task, especially if you don't have a lot of capital to invest. However, there are many ways to get your business off the ground with limited funds.

One option is to start an online business. With a low overhead and no need for inventory, an online business can be a great way to get started with limited capital.

Another option is to start a home-based business. This can be a great way to test the waters with your product or service without making a large investment.

Finally, consider franchising. Franchises offer the ability to get started with a proven business model and access to resources that can help you succeed. Whatever option you choose, starting a business with small capital is possible if you are willing and willing to work hard.

What kind of small business is most profitable?

When it comes to starting a small business, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

The most profitable business for you will depend on a variety of factors, including your skillset, interests, and the local market.

However, there are some businesses that tend to be more profitable than others. For example, businesses that require a high level of expertise or special equipment can be difficult to break into but can be very lucrative once established.

Additionally, businesses that tap into trends or target a niche audience can also be quite profitable. Ultimately, the best way to determine which business is most profitable for you is to carefully research the market and examine your own strengths and weaknesses.

With a little bit of planning, you can set yourself up for success in the world of small business.

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.