31 Low-Cost Business Ideas With High-Profit

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Starting a business doesn’t have to be expensive, and with the right strategy, you can turn a low-cost business idea into a profitable venture. We’ve spoken to successful small business owners who have shared their recipe for success, and we’ve compiled a list of the most profitable low-cost business ideas for you to explore.

Our list includes 7 high-margin businesses that are cheap to start, 6 easy start-up businesses that allow you to own your own business today, and 10 online business ideas with high profit margins and low startup costs. Additionally, we’ve included 10 more low-cost businesses to start, so you can find the perfect business idea for you.

Whether you’re looking to start a side hustle or a full-time business, our list has something for everyone. Keep reading to discover the best low-cost business ideas that can help you achieve financial success.

Key Takeaways

  • Starting a business doesn’t have to be expensive, and with the right strategy, you can turn a low-cost business idea into a profitable venture.
  • Our list includes 7 high-margin businesses that are cheap to start, 6 easy start-up businesses to own your own business today, and 10 online business ideas with high profit margins and low startup costs.
  • With our list of low-cost business ideas, you can find the perfect business idea for you and achieve financial success.

Authors Note

When starting a business, it’s important to consider both the startup costs and the potential for profit. Many businesses that are cheap to start have low average profit margins because business owners do not implement useful systems or marketing strategies. This results in a negative profit margin, which brings down the average. To rank businesses based on their potential for profitability, we looked at what business owners make when they dedicate themselves to implementing industry best practices.

7 High-Margin Businesses That Are Cheap to Start

Starting a business doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are plenty of low-cost business ideas that can be started with just a few hundred dollars. In this section, we’ll explore seven high-margin businesses that are cheap to start.

#1. Cleaning business

A cleaning business is one of the most profitable business ideas that you can start from home with just a few hundred dollars. All you need is basic equipment like a vacuum, broom, and mop, and standard household cleaners—things that most people already have. While the average profit margin is only 6.7%, many of the costs are items like your salary and home office expenses, which help with your cost of living.

If you have more cash available, you can invest in marketing to grow your customer base faster. Today, his cleaning business averages $1.5 million a year in revenue.

#2. Vending business

Vending business operators earned more than $10 billion in revenue in 2022, a market increase of 3.8% compared to 2021. That growth is projected to continue, making it one of the top profitable business ideas for entrepreneurs looking for a flexible schedule and passive income potential.

While the average profit margin is only 4.3%, you can make up to 30% profit margins. Another nice thing about vending is that it doesn’t require any previous knowledge or a large time commitment. You can make good money in vending with just a few hours invested each week, making it a great low-cost business to start as a side hustle.

#3. Consulting business

Consulting can be a very profitable business idea, and you don’t need to invest much to start a successful business. The main thing you need is expertise, either in a specific industry or in key areas like leadership, technology, or business systems and management.

The most challenging part of starting your own business as a consultant is building your brand and reputation. Leveraging your professional network can help grow your consulting business faster. You can also build authority online through your social media accounts or by sharing knowledge on a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel.

#4. Event planning business

Planning events can be stressful and time-consuming, even when it’s something fun and exciting like a wedding or a kid’s birthday party. That’s why people often pay professionals to do the planning for them, and what makes this a great business idea for skilled planners and multitaskers who can rise to that challenge?

Event planning is a low-overhead business and a cheap business to start from home. The client is the one who pays for the space and supplies, and there’s no need for expensive equipment or complicated licensing to get started.

#5. Floor coating business

Epoxy floor coating is a popular way for businesses and homeowners to protect their floors in spaces like garages, basements, warehouses, or factories. While the startup expenses are higher for a floor coating business than some on this list, it still deserves a place among low-cost business ideas.

Once you’re up and running, you can expect to see margins of 38-45% on the revenue you make.

#6. Wedding photography business

Though it took a big hit during the height of the pandemic, the wedding industry has bounced back in a huge way. The number of weddings in the U.S. spiked to 2.47 million in 2022 and is expected to remain above 2 million a year through 2025. That makes this the ideal time to start a profitable small business as a wedding photographer.

If you’re starting from scratch, you will need to budget around $3,000–$5,000 for equipment. If you already have high-quality photography equipment, though, it’s a very low-cost business to start.

#7. House painting business

A house painting business is another low-cost business idea that can be started with just a few hundred dollars. While the average profit margin is only 7.2%, there’s plenty of room for growth as you build your reputation and customer base.

To get started, you’ll need basic painting equipment like brushes, rollers, and drop cloths. You’ll also need to invest in marketing to help grow your customer base.

In conclusion, starting a business doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With these seven high-margin businesses that are cheap to start, you can start building your own successful business today.

{ Low-Cost Business Ideas With High Profits}

6 Easy Start-up Businesses to Own your Own Business Today

#8. Mobile Detailing Business

If you love cars and have a passion for cleaning, then starting a mobile detailing business could be a great fit for you. This type of business has a low barrier to entry and doesn’t require any specialized knowledge or prior experience. You can start with as little as $500–$1,000 for tools and supplies and expect to see revenue within 1-6 months. The average annual revenue for a mobile detailing business is $241,230, with average profit margins of 16.1%. The annual market growth rate is 1.8%.

#9. Personal Training Business

If you’re an athlete, fitness instructor, or just someone who loves going to the gym, then starting a personal training business could be a great fit for you. Your knowledge of health and exercise is the main value you bring clients, and it’s an easy start-up business if you already have this expertise. You can start off working with clients in gyms, community centers, or their own homes. The average annual revenue for a personal training business is $16,867, with average profit margins of 10.9%. The annual market growth rate is 0.6%.

#10. Landscaping and Lawn Care

If you’re an entrepreneur with high physical stamina, attention to detail, and customer service skills, then starting a landscaping or lawn care business could be a great fit for you. Lawn care has a low barrier to entry because you don’t need specialized training or equipment to get started—just a lawn mower and a few other basic garden tools you can get at any home improvement store. The average annual revenue for a landscaping or lawn care business is $272,790, with average profit margins of 8.7%. The annual market growth rate is 8.1%.

#11. Pet Sitting Business

If you’re an animal lover who is flexible, patient, empathetic, and a strong communicator, then starting a pet sitting business could be a great fit for you. The only expenses to start your own business as a pet sitter are the license and branding materials, like your own website or listings on sites like Craigslist and Yelp. Being able to care for a range of different animal species expands your potential for pet-sitting clients. The average annual revenue for a pet sitting business is $34,380, with average profit margins of 16%. The annual market growth rate is 1.7%.

#12. Pressure Washing Business

If you have a sharp eye for details and strong customer service skills, then starting a pressure washing business could be a great fit for you. Just invest a few hundred dollars into a professional power washer, and you can start cleaning people’s homes, sidewalks, and driveways. The average annual revenue for a pressure washing business is $64,000, with average profit margins of 8.8%. The annual market growth rate is 0.9%.

#13. T-Shirt Printing Business

If you’re a graphic designer or creative entrepreneur with strong customer service and marketing skills, then starting a t-shirt printing business could be a great fit for you. Custom apparel is a huge market, and there is a lot of potential for growth. You can start a custom apparel business for just a few hundred dollars if you do it as a print-on-demand online store. The average annual revenue for a t-shirt printing business is $147,000, with average profit margins of 3.2%. The annual market growth rate is 3.3%.

In conclusion, these six businesses are great start-up options for anyone looking to own their own business. They all have low barriers to entry and can be started with relatively low investment costs. Each business has its own unique set of skills and requirements, but with hard work and dedication, you can make a good living from any of these businesses.

{ Low-Cost Business Ideas With High Profits}

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10 Online Business Ideas with High Profit Margins and Low Startup Costs

If you’re looking for low-cost business ideas with high profit margins, starting an online business might be the perfect choice for you. Here are ten online business ideas that you can start with minimal investment and potentially earn a high income.

#14. Affiliate Marketing Business

Affiliate marketing is a low-cost business idea with high profit potential. As an affiliate marketer, you promote other people’s products and services, earning a commission whenever a customer buys through you. This business model has the potential to earn passive income and is ideal for influencers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs with a large online presence and digital marketing skills.

The startup costs for affiliate marketing are low, and you don’t need to worry about inventory, shipping, or other costs associated with eCommerce businesses. The average annual revenue for affiliate marketing is $60K–$160K, with average profit margins of 8% and a time to revenue of 1-3 months. Listen to this podcast interview with Matt Diggity, who earns around $400,000 a month from affiliate marketing, to learn more about how to succeed in this space.

#15. Social Media Marketing or Digital Marketing Business

Social media marketing is a lucrative business idea that involves helping small business owners engage with customers. Not every business owner has the time or skills to get the full value out of their social media accounts, though. That’s why being a social media manager or starting a digital marketing firm is a great idea.

With a digital marketing firm, you can earn money from your knowledge of social media platforms while helping other businesses expand their brand and business. The startup costs for this business model are low, and you can run it easily from home. The average annual revenue for social media marketing is $817K, with average profit margins of 6.9% and a time to revenue of 1-6 months. Check out this interview with Jason from Socialistics, who makes $500,000 a year from providing social media management services, to learn more about how to start a social media marketing firm.

#16. Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is a great choice for the best business to start with little money. All you need to start is to set up an online store without worrying about inventory, shipping, or the other expenses and hassles of selling products. The most lucrative businesses in this niche are run by people who excel at digital marketing, though you can also learn those skills as you grow if you don’t have them from the start.

Building a customer base is often the most challenging part of starting a dropshipping business. The average annual revenue for dropshipping is $36K–$50K, with average profit margins of 5% and a time to revenue of 1-3 months. Check out this interview with Heather Johnson, who started her online business as a dropshipper as a side hustle when her hours were cut during the pandemic, to learn more about how to grow a dropshipping business.

#17. Offer Online Tutoring Services

If you’re skilled at explaining complex concepts and are looking for a low-cost start-up business, a tutoring business can be a great choice. While the average rate for an online tutor is around $20 an hour, that includes student and part-time tutors. Those who have expertise in advanced subject areas can earn $50 or more per hour for their time and knowledge.

Being a tutor is an incredibly easy, low-cost business idea to get started with. You don’t even need to create your own website to run this successful business idea. Just set up a profile on one of the tutoring websites that already exist. The average annual revenue for online tutoring services is $18,170, with average profit margins of 13.10% and a time to revenue of 1-3 months. Some of the most popular tutoring websites include Preply, Wyzant, TutorMe, and TakeLessons.

#18. Online Course Business

Making and selling online courses can be a successful business idea on its own. It’s also an excellent way to add an extra income stream to another business model, like a podcast, YouTube channel, or other online business. Course hosting platforms like Teachable and Coursify.me have free plan options and make it easy to upload and sell your online courses to students.

The average annual revenue for online course businesses is $30K–$50K, with average profit margins of 13.10% and a time to revenue of 1-6 months. Making an online course can be a big investment, but once it’s finished and uploaded, it’s mostly passive. Check out this interview. (https://www.upflip

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10 More Low-Cost Businesses to Start

If you’re looking for low-cost business ideas with high-profit potential, you’re in the right place. In this section, we’ll discuss ten more businesses that you can start without breaking the bank.

#24. Car wrapping business

A car wrapping business is a profitable idea that caters to both car enthusiasts and business owners. Car wrapping involves applying vinyl sheets to the car’s exterior, which serves as a protective layer or a branding and marketing tool for businesses. You can also offer services like ceramic coating or detailing to expand your revenue streams. Learning to wrap a car can take a bit of practice, but the tools are easily accessible and affordable, and you don’t need training or a specialized license to run this kind of business. Most new car wrapping businesses have an initial budget of around $2,000–$5,000, but you can start one for less if you need to. The average annual revenue for a car wrapping business is $241,230, with average profit margins of 16.1%.

#25. Test prep business

A test prep business is an excellent low-cost business idea for educators with specific knowledge and skills in preparing students for standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, or GED. Experienced test prep tutors can charge anywhere from $30 to $100 per hour, depending on the test and where they’re located, so there’s definitely a high profit potential in this industry. The average annual revenue for a test prep business is $389,500, with average profit margins of 8.3%.

#26. Handyman business

A handyman business is a reliable and profitable, low-cost business idea for builders, makers, construction workers, mechanics, and repair experts. The demand for qualified handymen across the United States is consistent and growing, with salaries going up 11% over the last 5 years. The revenue you earn as a handyman is mostly profit, and you get paid for the time you spend on the job and can bill the client for any required parts or supplies. The average annual revenue for a handyman business is $204,700, with average profit margins of 5.4%.

#27. Life coaching business

A life coaching business is a low-cost business idea with high profit potential for empathetic entrepreneurs with strong motivation and communication skills. The overhead costs are minimal, especially if you meet with clients at home or via online appointments. Getting certified as a life coach can go a long way toward building trust with clients. The average annual revenue for a life coaching business is $63,400, with average profit margins of 10.5%.

#28. Candle-making business

A candle-making business is an affordable and easy-to-start, low-cost business idea that caters to makers, artists, and crafty entrepreneurs. Candles are a consumable product, which means customers will keep coming back for more if they like what you do. You can open an online store, get booths at farmers markets and art festivals, or talk to local stores about carrying your candles on their shelves. The average annual revenue for a candle-making business is $60K–$120K, with average profit margins of 5–15%.

#29. Tax preparation services

A tax preparation service is a low-cost business idea with high-profit potential for accountants, finance and legal experts and professionals, people with strong math skills, and a sharp eye for details. Americans spend more than $14 billion on tax preparation in an average year, and a good portion of that is for simple returns with a 1040 that anyone can learn to file without needing special training. The average annual revenue for a tax preparation business is $1.57 million, with average profit margins of 18%.

#30. Offer mobile notary services

A notary public’s role is to make oaths, contracts, and other legal documents official by confirming the identity of the signers. A mobile notary business is a low-cost business idea with high-profit potential for legal and administrative professionals, people with strong customer service skills, and a sharp eye for detail. Roughly 66% of full-time mobile notaries earn $4,000 or more a month, and the overhead costs are minimal. Each state has its own process for becoming a notary public, and it involves attending a few hours of classes and paying a small licensing fee.

#31. Childcare business

A childcare business is a low-cost business idea that caters to parents, teachers, nurses, and healthcare professionals who are empathetic and organized entrepreneurs and strong multitaskers. The pandemic illustrated the need for childcare services in the United States, and the industry’s recent growth is a testament to that. The average annual revenue for a childcare business is $143,110, with average profit margins of 9.3%–51.7%.

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In conclusion, embarking on a journey into entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be financially daunting. As we’ve explored various low-cost business ideas, it’s evident that with strategic planning and dedication, one can turn modest investments into thriving ventures.

From high-margin businesses like cleaning, vending, and consulting to easily accessible start-ups such as mobile detailing, personal training, and landscaping, the opportunities are diverse. The digital realm offers its share of lucrative prospects with online businesses like affiliate marketing, social media management, and dropshipping.

Furthermore, the realm of possibilities extends to creative ventures like a t-shirt printing business or even the timeless art of candle making. Not to forget the evergreen demand for essential services like tax preparation, childcare, and notary services.

Remember, success in entrepreneurship is not solely defined by the initial investment but rather by the commitment to implementing best practices and strategies. As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, consider the specific skills and passions that align with your chosen business. With diligence and dedication, the potential for financial success is within reach.

So, whether you’re dreaming of financial independence, exploring a side hustle, or diving into a full-fledged business, the key takeaway is this: the path to success starts with a well-chosen, low-cost business idea and the determination to make it flourish.

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