7 Low Cost Businesses You Can Start for Less Than $100

Starting a business doesn’t always require a hefty investment. With creativity, resourcefulness, and a bit of hustle, you can launch a successful venture with less than $100. I know this from personal experience, having started multiple businesses on a shoestring budget. Here, I’ll guide you through seven low-cost business ideas that can turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

Key Takeaways

  • List of 7 low-cost business ideas
  • Step-by-step guide for each business
  • Tips from personal experience
  • Answers to common questions about starting a low-cost business

1. Freelance Writing





Freelance writing is one of the easiest businesses to start with minimal investment. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr provide platforms to find clients looking for content writers, copywriters, and editors.

Steps to Start:

  1. Create a profile on freelance platforms.
  2. Build a portfolio with sample writings.
  3. Apply for jobs or gigs that match your skills.
  4. Set competitive rates to attract initial clients.

Personal Tip: Start by writing blogs or guest posts for free to build your portfolio. As your portfolio grows, you can gradually increase your rates.

2. Handmade Crafts




If you have a knack for crafting, you can turn your hobby into a profitable business. Websites like Etsy allow you to sell handmade items such as jewelry, candles, and home décor.

Steps to Start:

  1. Create unique and appealing crafts.
  2. Set up an Etsy shop.
  3. Take high-quality photos of your products.
  4. Promote your shop on social media.

Personal Tip: Use recycled materials to keep costs down and market your products as eco-friendly. This can attract environmentally conscious customers.

3. Pet Sitting

Pet sitting is a great business for animal lovers. It requires minimal upfront investment and can be highly rewarding.

Steps to Start:

  1. Spread the word among friends and family.
  2. Create profiles on pet-sitting websites like Rover.
  3. Offer competitive rates to attract clients.
  4. Ensure you have basic pet care supplies.

Personal Tip: Offer additional services like dog walking or grooming to increase your income. Building a good rapport with pets and their owners can lead to repeat business.

4. Tutoring

If you excel in a particular subject, consider offering tutoring services. Whether it’s math, science, or a foreign language, there’s always a demand for tutors.

Steps to Start:

  1. Identify the subjects you are proficient in.
  2. Advertise your services through social media and local community boards.
  3. Set up profiles on tutoring platforms like Wyzant.
  4. Create engaging lesson plans.

Personal Tip: Offer a free initial session to demonstrate your teaching skills. This can help build trust and attract more students.

5. Social Media Management

Many small businesses struggle with managing their social media presence. If you’re good at creating engaging content and growing followers, this could be a profitable venture.

Steps to Start:

  1. Gain knowledge about different social media platforms.
  2. Create a portfolio showcasing your skills.
  3. Reach out to small businesses offering your services.
  4. Set competitive pricing packages.

Personal Tip: Use free tools like Canva for creating graphics and Hootsuite for scheduling posts. These tools can enhance your service without increasing costs.

6. Dropshipping

Dropshipping allows you to sell products online without holding any inventory. You act as a middleman between the supplier and the customer.

Steps to Start:

  1. Choose a niche market.
  2. Set up an online store on platforms like Shopify.
  3. Find reliable suppliers through websites like AliExpress.
  4. Market your store through social media and SEO.

Personal Tip: Start with a small niche to avoid competition and focus on high-quality products to reduce the risk of returns and customer dissatisfaction.

7. House Cleaning

House cleaning services are always in demand. With minimal investment in cleaning supplies, you can start a lucrative business.

Steps to Start:

  1. Purchase basic cleaning supplies.
  2. Advertise your services through flyers and social media.
  3. Offer competitive rates for your initial clients.
  4. Provide exceptional service to build a good reputation.

Personal Tip: Offer specialized services like deep cleaning or eco-friendly cleaning to stand out from the competition.

Real-Life Example: I started a house cleaning business with just $50 spent on supplies. By providing exceptional service and leveraging word-of-mouth marketing, I quickly gained regular clients and expanded my business.

Table: Comparison of Business Ideas

Business IdeaInvestmentPotential EarningsKey Skills Required
Freelance Writing$0-$50$20-$100/hourWriting, Editing
Handmade Crafts$50-$100$5-$50/itemCrafting, Creativity
Pet Sitting$0-$50$15-$30/hourPet Care, Reliability
Tutoring$0$20-$50/hourTeaching, Subject Expertise
Social Media Management$0$15-$50/hourContent Creation, Marketing
Dropshipping$50-$100VariesMarketing, Research
House Cleaning$50$25-$50/hourCleaning, Organization

Starting a business with less than $100 is not only possible but can also be highly rewarding. By leveraging your skills and being resourceful, you can turn a small investment into a profitable venture. Each of these business ideas requires minimal upfront costs and can be started from home, making them perfect for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Final Thoughts

Starting a low-cost business is all about leveraging your existing skills, resources, and networks. With determination and creativity, you can build a successful business without a significant financial investment. Each of the ideas mentioned above provides a viable path to entrepreneurship, and with the right approach, you can achieve great success.