Starting a small business can be scary, difficult, and rewarding at the same time.
But before you can get started, you need to commit to a small business idea.
However, it can be challenging to find viable small business ideas for beginners.
Especially if you don’t have a specialist skill set, a war chest of money to invest, or connections to get you started.
Thankfully, there are still plenty of great small business ideas out there!
Best Small Business Ideas 2020
Whether you’re a teenager with dreams of entrepreneurship, a nine-to-fiver looking for a change of pace, or a single parent looking for some extra income, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 20 low-budget small business ideas to start from home.
Small-Scale Business Ideas to Start from Home
If you’re looking to keep things manageable, consider these small-scale business ideas.
1. Freelance Transcriber
Transcribing is the process of turning speech into written words. If you have good listening and writing skills, you can start this home-based business idea today! Find your first transcription job through sites like:
2. Resume Writer
Not everyone has the time – or the skills – to write a job-winning resume. So, many people hire someone to help. If you’ve got some experience under your belt and are detail-oriented, you could assist clients by writing and designing resumes, cover letters, and portfolios that catch potential employers’ eyes.
3. Online Tutor
Are you a science geek, talented musician, or history buff? Brilliant! Put your knowledge to use as an online tutor. To get started, check out remote job sites like:
4. Freelance Data Entry Clerk
Plenty of businesses struggle to keep up with their data needs. To learn more about becoming a data entry clerk, check out our in-depth guide, Data Entry Jobs: Everything You Need to Know.
According to Google Trends, calligraphy has seen a resurgence in recent years – with notable spikes in interest over the holiday season. So, if you enjoy crafting beautiful invitations, place settings, and cards to announce personal events, consider becoming a calligrapher.
6. Freelance Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants help individuals and businesses with a range of tasks, such as scheduling, travel planning, and customer support. To learn more, check out our guide on How to Get Virtual Assistant Jobs.
Best Businesses to Start with Little Money
Don’t have money to invest in your new business? Check out these small investment business ideas.
Dropshipping is a home-based business model that allows you to sell physical products online while another business stores and ships the products to your customers for you. You can start this low-budget business idea by using Shopify and Oberlo.
8. Career Coach
Countless people are looking to get ahead in their careers. If you have plenty of career experience, use it to help others achieve their goals by providing actionable training, mentorship, and advice.
Print-on-demand is another passive income idea similar to dropshipping. However, instead of selling generic products, you can sell products featuring your unique designs. When a customer purchases a product from your store, your supplier will print the product and ship it to the customer. You can get started with Shopify.
10. Personal Chef
Many people love to eat delicious, fresh food but don’t have the time – or the desire – to cook for themselves. Why not cook meals for them? This is an easy business to start from home as you already have a kitchen! Start by asking your friends and family if they know someone who might need a chef. Then post bulletins at local stores or in local organizations.
11. Freelance Writer
If you love writing, you could write sales copy, blog posts, white papers, magazine articles, ebooks – or even become a technical writer. Check out popular freelance writing job boards to start pitching for jobs.
12. Social Media Manager
Are you a social media whizz? Consider harnessing your knowledge to help businesses grow their sales with social media marketing.
13. Proofreader and Editor
Are you good with words and grammar? Do you have an eye for detail? Plenty of people need someone to help them proofread and edit their book manuscripts, research papers, or business materials.
14. Freelance Translator
If you speak a foreign language fluently, you could provide translation services. To get started with this small business idea, take a look at the translation jobs available on sites like:
Business Ideas to Start From Home
Looking for a way to work from home? Here are some great home-based business ideas.
15. Website Flipper
Website flipping is the process of buying websites that aren’t living up to their potential, improving them, and then selling them for a profit. Use websites like Shopify’s Exchange marketplace to find opportunities.
16. Freelance Photo or Video Editor
Lots of people need someone to edit their photos and videos professionally. If you know your way around Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, consider becoming a freelance photo or video editor.
17. Handcrafted Goods Store Owner
If being a personal chef doesn’t fit your schedule, consider catering for small events in your area instead. As your business grows, you could even get together with some friends to work on larger events.
19. Freelance Graphic Designer
If you love to design, put your skills to use by helping businesses to promote their brands, products, and services with your designs.
20. Ecommerce Store Owner
Do you have a hobby or interest that you can’t stop thinking about? Turn your obsession into a profitable small business by starting an ecommerce store and selling products online.
Summary: Small Business Ideas List
There are countless viable small business ideas to start from home out there. In summary, here’s a list of small business ideas to inspire your next venture:
- Freelance transcriber
- Resume writer
- Online tutor
- Freelance data entry clerk
- Freelance virtual assistant
- Career coach
- Personal chef
- Freelance writer
- Social media manager
- Proofreader and editor
- Freelance translator
- Website flipper
- Freelance photo or video editor
- Handmade goods store owner
- Freelancer graphic designer
- Ecommerce store owner
Finally, don’t worry if you don’t become a millionaire overnight. As the billionaire founder of Virgin, Richard Branson said, “A big business starts small.”
So, choose a small business idea, focus on finding your first customer, and serve them powerfully.