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 30 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. To get started, contact people in your network to ask if they know anyone who might need your services. You could also check out freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Freelancer.
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, consider becoming a calligrapher. Create a portfolio of work to showcase your skills. Then, start by reaching out to friends and family to ask if they know of anyone who may be interested in your services.
6. Pet Groomer
The American Pet Products Association predicts that pet grooming will grow in demand in the years to come. Plus, mobile pet grooming may experience the strongest growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation – and this small business idea requires little money to start. To begin, join local pet groups on Facebook, offer your services on Nextdoor, and network with your neighbors to find potential clients.
7. 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.
8. Freelance Bookkeeper
Many small businesses need help managing their financial books, taking care of invoices, and keeping track of inventory. So, why not start a freelance bookkeeping service? To find your first client, reach out to local businesses or check out freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer.
9. Home or Window Cleaner
One of the best businesses to start with little money is a cleaning service. Many people need help cleaning homes, offices, and windows. You can get started with this low-budget business idea with just a few basic cleaning supplies. Then, as your business grows, you can invest in more equipment and hire extra hands to take on larger clients, such as business premises. Plus, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials showing you how to get started.
10. Pet Sitter
If you love animals, consider becoming a pet sitter. Many people need someone to walk their dog regularly or look after their pets while they’re away. To start, ask friends and family if they know anyone who may need help looking after their pet. You could also tell others about your services in local Facebook groups. And if you’re serious about this small business idea, consider getting accredited by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
There are plenty of ways to make money from photography. Perhaps you’d love to specialize in events, weddings, family and pet portraits, or business photography. To get started with this small business idea, you’ll need to invest in some professional lighting and camera equipment. However, if you photograph events, you won’t need to pay for a studio. You could also make money by selling your photos on stock photo websites like Shutterstock, Pexels, and iStockPhoto.
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.
13. 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. To get started, reach out to contacts in your network to ask if they know anyone who might need your help.
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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Social Media Manager
Are you a social media whizz? Consider harnessing your knowledge to help businesses grow their sales with social media marketing. To find your first client, reach out to local businesses directly, or network in local business Facebook groups.
18. Health and Wellness Coach
Do you know a lot about living a healthy lifestyle? If so, consider becoming a health and wellness coach. Many people need someone to help them reach their health and fitness goals. Consider coaching people online through video calls or in-person, at local parks, or your client’s homes. To get started with this small business idea, reach out to people you know and ask if they know anyone who may be interested in your services.
19. 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. Look for jobs on freelance marketplaces like People Per Hour, Upwork, and Fiverr.
20. 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.
21. Ecommerce Store Owner
Do you have a hobby or interest that you can’t stop thinking about? Whether it’s fashion, fishing, or furniture, turn your obsession into a profitable small business by selling products online. To get started, learn how to start an ecommerce store.
22. 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. This is one of the best small business ideas to start from home – all you need is a computer and wifi connection. Find work on design-related job boards such as Authentic Jobs and Dribbble.
23. Freelance Web Designer
There are countless businesses, organizations, and individuals who need professional websites. So if you’re looking for a home-based business idea, consider becoming a freelance web designer. To get started, pitch small local businesses. Once you have a strong portfolio and positive client testimonials, you can begin pitching larger companies.
24. 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. You can find tons of exciting opportunities on Shopify’s Exchange marketplace.
25. Freelance Photo or Video Editor
Lots of people, businesses, and organizations need someone to edit their photos and videos professionally. So, if you know your way around Photoshop or Final Cut Pro, consider becoming a freelance photo or video editor. Pitch businesses directly or search for jobs online.
If personal cheffing 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. Reach out to local businesses or people in your network to ask if they know anyone who may need your services.
Consultants provide expert advice in a particular area to individuals and businesses. In other words, you can get paid for your knowledge and expertise! This is one of the best small business ideas to start from home. You can be a consultant in almost any field or industry, such as marketing, business, law, technology, compliance, or finance. Reach out to contacts in your network to see if they know anyone who might need your services. Then, to grow your income, focus on increasing your service’s impact on your clients’ bottom line.
28. Handcrafted Goods Store Owner
Do you love to make things? If so, why not create a line of handcrafted products? Whether you like woodwork, wicker, or needlework, many people pay good money for high-quality handmade products. You can start selling your creations through online platforms like Shopify Handmade and Etsy.
What do you love? Perhaps it’s cooking, travel, movies, or personal finance? Whatever it is, if you’re passionate about a particular topic or hobby, you could start a blog business. Create and share blog posts and start making money from affiliate marketing or Google display ads. To get started, learn how to start a blog.
30. Programmer or Developer
Do you know how to code? If so, you could earn money by becoming a freelance programmer, selling your code, or creating an application. If you’re interested in coding and want to learn more, check out services like Codecademy and Code.org. To find work, check out job boards on sites like Stack Overflow, Gun.io, or GitHub Jobs.
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
- Pet groomer
- Freelance virtual assistant
- Freelance bookkeeper
- Home or window cleaner
- Pet sitter
- Career coach
- Print-on-demand store owner
- Personal chef
- Freelance writer
- Social media manager
- Health and wellness coach
- Proofreader and editor
- Freelance translator
- Ecommerce store owner
- Freelancer graphic designer
- Freelance web designer
- Website flipper
- Freelance photo or video editor
- Handcrafted goods store owner
- Programmer or developer
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.