101 Home Business Ideas with Low Startup Costs

Disclaimer: I may earn commission if you click through some of these links. Much appreciated if you do :) (but only if you want to).

With the virus situation going on and everyone staying at home, I’m guessing a lot of people have been looking into starting their own home business. 

One of the biggest advantages of starting a home business is low overhead and startup costs. You don’t have to rent out a location to run your business (usually) and you have a much bigger online audience you can reach out to. This means there’s high potential for bigger profits with low startup costs.

Best of all, your schedule is highly flexible with great work life balance. You can work wherever you want whenever you want. You’re your own boss. 

You could even become someone else’s boss. Make other people do your dirty work for you. 

Here’s a list of 101 business ideas that you can do from home that have a low startup cost. Don’t let coronavirus stop you from building your business. 

Digital Marketing Strategies for home businesses

digital marketing strategies with low startup costs for home businesses

Many of these home business ideas require you to have an audience of people to reach out to. After all, what’s the point in selling something if no one’s going to buy it? 

While these digital marketing strategies may not exactly earn you money directly, they can be used to attract an audience. If you have an audience, you can sell them on your business products, whether that be affiliate marketing, your own digital product, or your freelance services.

One word of warning: digital marketing strategies typically take time. So don’t expect to get thousands of readers overnight. However in the long run, your efforts could greatly boost your home business profits.

There are probably whole tutorials/courses written about each of these digital marketing strategies. So I won’t attempt to give an in-depth explanation for each one of those. If it really curious about one of them, just Google “how to <digital marketing strategy>” and you’ll get some pretty good info.

1. Your own blog/website

2. YouTube

3. Instagram

4. Tiktok

4. Podcast

5. Pinterest

6. Facebook Ads

7. Email Marketing

8. Webinars

9. Google Ads

10. Influencer Marketing

Selling Services/Freelancer Work

freelancer home business ideas

11. Photography (photojournalism, portrait photography, stock photography)

If you own a camera or a phone with a decent camera, you can look into selling your pictures. This isn’t just limited to wedding photos either. There are sites out there that are willing to pay you to sell your pictures to them including Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, Alamy, and Etsy.

12. Photo editing

If you want to put your Photoshop skills to work, there are people out there that are willing to pay you to edit their photos. It doesn’t really cost much to get started if you’re using free software. Sites: FixThePhoto, Mendr, Shutterstock

13. Graphic design

If you’re an artsy person, there’s plenty of demand for artists to draw up some designs for people. I’ve personally hired a graphic designer through Fiverr to design this site’s logo. If you have some experience, you also have the opportunity to teach other people how to become graphic designers through your own courses, ebooks, and consulting services.

14. Web design

If you’re a pro at web design, I’m guessing you probably already know you can become a freelance web designer. But if you’re looking to get into web design, it should be pretty easy to pick it up and start turning it into a business with enough hard work. This site says it should take a couple months to get the basics, then a lifetime of learning. 

15. Web development

Like web design, web development doesn’t have too many start up costs and most of the learning resources are freely available online. With half a million websites being created everyday, there’s plenty of demand for web developers. 

16. Video editing

Video content is huge these days. And it’s only going to get bigger. Did you know YouTube uploads 300 hours of content every minute? Guess what, someone’s going to have to edit all that footage. If you have your own business, that someone could be you.

17. Event planning

Do you know what’s the worst part about getting married? Wedding planning. Same goes for parties, corporate events, and festivals. Disagree? Then event planning could be a home business for you. Profit margins could be as high as 40%. Best of all, you would be taking away one of the biggest of the event from the organizer. You can help them plan the event of their dreams without the logistical headaches. 

18. Virtual assistant

A virtual assistant is basically someone who does things for people online. Yes, “things” is used intentionally here to cover almost anything you can think of. With a virtual assistant business you can hire an army of people doing things for an army of people. There’s lots of opportunity to scale up with proper planning. 

19. personal shopper

If you like shopping, then you can look into doing other people’s shopping for them. Best of all, you get paid to do this. Now you can spend guilt free (on the things your customers want you to buy for them). 

20. Daycare

If you love babies and little kids, this could be a good one for you. I’m pretty sure you know what a daycare is. Have a bunch of babies and little kids over, watch them all day, and get paid. 

21. Pet sitting

Pet sitting is like a daycare but instead of little kids you have little dogs, cats, and other animals. Dog and cat lovers rejoice!

22. House sitting

Do you like going over to people’s houses? Then house sitting could be a great opportunity for you to check out people’s houses and get paid to do it. 

23. Professional reviewing

What’s one of the first things you look at one year looking to buy a new product? The reviews. This is why so many companies are willing to pay people to write reviews for their products. You can be one of them. Here’s a few sites where you can do this: LifePoints, InboxDollars, American Consumer Opinion, UserTesting

24. Art-Buying Consulting

As an art consultant you’ll be helping people buy art. Mainly you’ll be trying to understand what your clients are looking for and helping them find art pieces accordingly. This is a nice job for those who like visiting art galleries and appreciating art. 

25. Business consulting

A business consultant consults businesses. If you’ve been a working professional for a while and know how businesses work, this could be a chance to turn your skills and experiences into a profitable business. You could do this for virtually any industry you can think of.

26. Make-up artist

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Teach people how to do their makeup in exchange for an hourly fee. The start-up costs would be pretty low since you’ll just be needing a few supplies and maybe a website with an advertising budget to get your name out there.

27. Research/Fact Checking

Companies don’t have time to fact checks their own articles and will instead hire someone else to do it for them. This is where you could step in and offer your services by checking spelling and grammar and validating facts. 

28. Commision-only sales

Commission only sales means relying on commission as your primary source of income. While this might sound scary and risky not having a solid hourly income, there’s technically no cap on your earnings potential. If you’re a really good salesman you could be making a lot of good money. All you have to do is find the right product to sell. 

29. Tax preparation

Surprisingly the education requirements to become a tax prep professional are pretty low. You don’t need to be a CPA or an accountant to get started. You just need a willingness to learn the tax laws. Starting your own tax prep business can be very profitable with incomes up to $100/hr. Startup costs are also pretty low, typically around $1000-2000.

30. Social media manager

Lots of online and brick-and-mortar businesses are turning to social media to get traffic and spread awareness of their business. As a social media manager, you’ll be navigating sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat to run campaigns for your clients. Most likely you’ll be starting out with small, local businesses as your first customers. 

31. Writing

There are lots of opportunities to write for businesses as a freelancer or write your own content for your own business. This includes writing blog articles, kindle ebooks, or news-worthy stories. There are plenty of sites out there that will pay you to write for them. You just need to find one that fits your interests/expertise. You can also write for your own blog, build an audience, and convert that attention into profit.

32. Proofreading

Proofreading is what it sounds like. You’re reading a business’s articles and checking for a spelling and grammar mistakes. Why you don’t need any particular skills or education to start doing this, you will have to prove yourself before attracting any big clients. This site has a guide on how to get started.

33. Tutoring

Tutoring is pretty self-explanatory. Teach people things and get paid to do it. Sometimes you’ll need some certifications, but usually it’s not too difficult to obtain them. Tutoring sites that can help you find opportunities include: Magic Ears Teacher, Chegg Tutors, TutorMe, Qkids

34. Coaching

If you have the right experience and the right people skills, you could start your own coaching business. For the most part you’ll just have to find the right service to offer, build a following that loves you, then pitch them your services. With a solid business plan you could be making upwards of $100,000 a year. 

35. Data entry business

Personally I’m not a fan of data entry type of jobs because the earnings potential is limited. But if you just want to do something mindless for cash on the side, this could be for you. A few sites where you can start doing data entry as a side business: FlexJobs, Microworkers, Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), Clickworker

36. Fashion Consulting

As a fashion consultant, you’ll be helping people pick out their next wardrobe. If you have an eye for fashion and like picking out new styles, this could be for you. 

37. Translating

Translating is what it sounds like. Converting languages to other languages, most likely to/from english. You could work for direct clients or you could teach other translators how to market themselves and their services. If you happen to speak more than one language, this might be worth looking into. 

38. Software training

While people can always learn to code for free online, there are a lot of people who are looking for directed guidance either for themselves or for their kids. Besides learning how to code, some companies are willing to hire people to teach them how to use common software/tech stuff like SEO, tableau, salesforce, excel, etc.

39. Bookkeeping

If you want to be like Skylar from Breaking Bad and launder money for drug overlords, this could be for you (kidding). But seriously, you could become a bookkeeper with little to no education requirements and low startup costs while making decent money. You’ll be keeping track of financial records and monitoring the daily financial health of a business.

40. Doula

A doula is a trained, non-healthcare professional who helps women before, after, and during childbirth. It’s like a mini personal coach for childbirth. If the idea of helping mothers give birth speaks to you (for whatever reason), this might be something worth looking into. 

41. Voice acting

If the thought of being the voices of cartoon and/or video game characters interests you, this might be worth looking into. You’ll probably have to start out as a freelancer on Fiverr, Voices.com, or BunnyStudio.com, but once you build some experience, you could also look for an agency to represent you.

42. Animation

If you have fantasies of becoming an animator for Disney, animation might be right for you. Most animation software is pretty affordable or even free, so the startup costs are very low. If you want to work on your own terms you’ll probably be doing animations on your own YouTube or Twitch channel or be doing freelance animation work on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.

Selling a Digital Product

digital product home business ideas with low startup costs

Selling digital products is a pretty good way to earn passive income if done correctly. All you have to do is put in a lot of upfront work to create a really high-quality product and sell it online to the right audience. After the upfront work is done, all you have to do is sit back and watch the sales roll in (hopefully).

43. Brand ambassador

A brand ambassador is basically someone with a huge following who partners up with a brand/business to market their products. It’s pretty straightforward, the hard part is building a large following. That part’s going to take months (at least), probably years to get going, but could be well worth it in the end.

44. Online Courses

Online courses are quickly becoming some of the most popular ways for people to learn new skills. You can take part in this growth by creating your own online course. Just make sure that it’s going to be high-quality content and not something you just put together in a few hours. While online courses are pretty popular, the competition is also pretty high. You need to make yourself stand out to stand a chance at earning any sales. Here’s a few sites that let users create courses: Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare

45. Write kindle ebooks

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Self-publish a Kindle ebook and sell it on a site like Amazon for profit. Usually it doesn’t cost anything to publish an ebook since everything’s done electronically.

46. Create Chatbots

Creating a chatbot is pretty easy (no coding experience required) and you can use them to sell your own products or affiliate products. You can even create chatbots and sell them directly to clients looking to automate their customer interactions.

47. Create info products

An info product is basically something that informs people about a certain topic (like weightloss, business strategies, exercise programs, etc.). This could be in the form of a diagram, ebook, or webinar. Basically anything that conveys a bundle of information all in one place. If you have an info product that people really want, then there should be people who would be willing to pay for it. 

48. Affiliate Marketing

An affiliate marketer is the modern day car salesman. As an affiliate marketer you’ll be selling people on a product and earning a commission for each sale. Most of the time this is in the form of getting someone to purchase something, but sometimes it can also include lead generations (email signups) or link clicks. For the most part, just this is how blogs make a good portion of their money. 

49. Develop Apps

This one is pretty straightforward. Develop an app, put it up on the app store or Google Play Store, and hope people pay to download it or spend on in-app purchases.

50. Create browser plugins

While almost all browser plugins are free, there are still ways to make money developing browser plugins. You can create some features that are only available to premium members or you can ask for donations if your plugin was helpful. Best of all, once you put it out there it’s pretty much passive income (excluding the occasional bug fix).

51. Create website themes

If you’re not familiar with WordPress, basically as seen as a template to build your website. Well there are a lot of free themes out there for website owners to download, there are a few premium themes that’s they can buy for $20-50. If you’re a pro at creating website, this could be an opportunity for you to earn some income for your skills. 

52. Sell domains

Picking a domain name is one of the biggest decisions a business owner has to make. Because of this, many businesses are willing to go the extra mile to find the name of their dreams. This is where you can take the opportunity step in their way and tell them to pay up. If you have a good eye for popular domain names, you could potentially have a steady stream of people coming to you to buy the names you’ve blocked off behind a paywall.

53. Create nutrition plans/recipes

Nutrition and weight-loss are pretty hot topics for people. Who doesn’t want to lose weight and look fit? You can capitalize on this interest by creating and selling some nutrition plans and recipes for people looking to eat healthy, tasty food.

54. Create meal-prep plans

Not everyone loves to figure out what to make for dinner. Some people just want to have someone figure it out for them. This is where a meal-prep plan would come in handy. Put together nice meal-prep plans of your own, put them up on your site, and watch the profits roll in.

55. Create workout plans

This is similar to the point above, not everyone wants to figure out how to workout and not everyone wants to or can afford to hire a personal trainer. A workout plan could be the solution to their issues. Put together a workout plan that you follow, put them up on your site, and watch the profits roll in.

56. Meditation programs

Meditation is a pretty popular topic with growing awareness of mental health. If you’re pretty familiar with meditation, this could be an opportunity to share your expertise with people with your own meditation program. You could even choose to create your own online meditation course. 

57. Fonts

Did you know that you can make money creating your own fonts? If you happen to be pretty good at graphic design, designing fonts is one specialization that might work out for you. From what I’ve heard Creative Market is the biggest site for selling fonts. If you’re just getting started, you can also just try making a few font designs and submitting them for free just to see how you like it. 

58. Cover letter templates

One of the most tedious parts of the job search is crafting individually tailored cover letters for each position you apply to. Fortunately, there are cover letter templates to help make that a little bit easier. You can create cover letter templates to help out frustrated job seekers find their next job. Some of them might even be willing to pay you for your templates. 

59. Music

Even though music creation is super-competitive, you can still find ways to make money making music. And no, you don’t have to walk around the streets handing out CDs. You can make money through royalties by putting your music up on Spotify or Apple Music or you can find a distribution network to distribute your music while giving you royalties.

60. Lightroom/photoshop presets

Lightroom presets are basically shelters that you can use to quickly edit your images. If you can come up with a presets that works pretty well, you can put it up online for people to buy.

61. Tickets

More and more tickets are coming online. This gives you the opportunity to buy tickets and resell them to people at a higher price (also known as scalping).

62. Ad space

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Put ads up on your site and if enough people see it you’ll get some money. You’ll probably have to get in the range of a few thousand visitors a month to make anything off of ads. 

63. Swipe files

Swipe files are basically a collection of writing samples. Blogs and businesses use swipe files to quickly write up their articles. You can create some swipe files and sell them to people if you have experience writing effective sales pitches, ads, or lead generation campaigns.

64. Spreadsheets

If you’re a master at Excel, you can create useful spreadsheets and sell them to people who either don’t know how or can’t be bothered to creat them themselves. Spreadsheetnut is a great place to do this. 

65. CGI Models

If you know how to create 3D designs, you could look into creating CGI models. There are a few sites that can help you do this: turbosquid, CGTrader, Shapeways, Cults 3D, PlanMarketplace


There are plenty of ideas for printables that you can come up with. All you have to do is create some type of well-designed, helpful template and put it up for sale. Once you create one thing, it stays up there for people to buy without you having to do any work. Here’s a few examples:

66. Origami templates

67. Printable calendars

68. Printable journals

69. Printable lesson plans

70. Printable Workbooks

71. Printable Checklists

72. Board game printouts

Creating Your Own Physical Product

physical products for home businesses

Real products typically have slightly higher startup costs compared to digital products, however the costs are still much lower than setting up a brick and mortar store. If you want to sell your own crafts, you’re going to have to pay for some equipment and supplies. 

One thing you need to watch out for is warehouse/storage space. If you’re limited to your bedroom space and you’re trying to sell surfboards, that’s going to be a problem.

You probably won’t have to rent out a warehouse when you start out. There’s a good chance you have some space at home to store a small amount of inventory. 

You’ll most likely sell your products on an ecommerce site like eBay, Amazon, or Etsy

73. Woodworking

74. Candles

75. Soaps

76. Decorations 

77. Beauty Products

78. Jewelry

79. Crafts

80. T-shirt, Mug, and Sticker Designs

81. Homemade Food, Catering, Cooking (Yummit, Ecwid)

82. Your Room(s): (Airbnb)

83. 3D Printed Stuff

Flipping Physical Products

flipping physical products

When it comes to flipping physical products, there’s not that much to it (in theory). All you have to do is buy low and sell high. 

The hard part about that is exactly how to do that. You’ll have to make sure you have the right products and the right suppliers who will give you the right prices. You will also need to make sure that your product will be profitable and that the competition isn’t too high. 

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem that you can find with a quick Google search. This might take some trial and error on your part and some research to figure out what works and what doesn’t. 

However, if you can figure out a formula that works for you, you could potentially see big profits with your home business.

There are a few big sites that might help out with this, including ebay, amazon, thredup, and poshmark. But you also might find some niche sites that would be good places to list your products as well.

Here’s a list of supposedly profitable ideas I found doing a quick Google search. But you can pretty much do this for anything you can think of (as long as there’s demand and you have enough storage space).

84. TV Accessories

85. Kids Toys

86. Sunglasses

87. Shoes

88. Halloween Costumes and Masks

89. Sleepwear and Underwear

90. Pet Care Supplies 

91. Outdoor Furniture and Accessories

92. Phone Accessories

93. Legos

94. Men’s Bow Ties

95. Watches

96. Coconut Oil

97. Matcha Powder

98. Bluetooth Speakers

99. Socks

100. Printer Ink

101. Active Wear

Conclusion: 101 Home business ideas with low startup costs

Well there you go. 101 home business ideas with low startup costs. 

If you’re really interested in starting your own small business, I would say just go ahead and get started. Don’t worry about not knowing enough, just try it out yourself to find out. 

After all, a low startup cost means you aren’t risking much to begin with. You literally have nothing to lose.

You can even start out your business on the side without quitting your full-time job as a side hustle for some extra cash.

If you enjoyed reading, consider subscribing below to get weekly money tips for ambitious youngsters. Feel free to check out some of my other articles as well.

Joe Wong

Sign up for my newsletter to get weekly money tips for ambitious youngsters. I'll also send you my 60 Minute Financial Planner and Excel Budgeting Spreadsheet to help set your finances straight right now.

Invalid email address
Unsubscribe anytime. I won't sell your email to Russian hackers (or anyone else) and I won't spam you.

Leave a Comment