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50 Businesses You Can Start With Little Cash

Mary Florence has been a freelance writer for over five years and she enjoys writing articles on general topics.

When starting a business, the two most important factors that you must consider are start-up capital and whether it will bring in returns. And although sometimes you may not start a business with any capital, it is only important that the business builds itself from its own profits. Your business can expand from nothing to something irregardless of your financial situation.

The following are quick tips on how to run any successful business

-Ensure that you comply with all legal requirements

-Find a strategic location if you intend to operate away from home.

- Be professional

- Market your business

- Be consistent and reliable.


1. Baking

You can bake from your own kitchen and sell in small-scale.

How to do it: You must do it perfectly to at least retain clients. But no matter how great your products are, without customers you could end up closing shop. To market your business, you should take any chance you get to let people know that you bake. When you hear of an up-coming wedding or birthday let them know about your baking deal. You could let people taste your delicacies so that they can market for you by word of mouth, literally. You can also show off your best cakes on social media.

2.Daycare business

Starting a daycare is very easy. The most basic requirement is that you be able to nurture. Anyone leaving you a child will do so because he/she trusts you. Be your best. Be gentle.

How to do it: Marketing involves placing a "daycare" sign at the entrance. Make it seem like what it's meant to be - a place where children are taken care of. Make it attractive. There should be toys.Enough space to crawl and run. It should be running in accordance with the laws of your area.

The growth of a daycare facility is inevitable. It is a patience game. You build your portfolio with every passing day. Parents will always inform other parents about a good daycare. Distribute fliers. Be on social media, have a Facebook page, promote your business.

3. Consultancy Services

What is your expertise? What are you good at? Whichever your career, you can open a consultation firm. People will pay you for your consultation services.

How to do it: When you share posts on social media, be professional. Let people trust that you can give good advice. Add your qualifications on your profile. Appear as a guest on a television show. As more people get drawn to your knowledge your portfolio will grow and you will soon charge people for consultation services.

4.Physical Trainer

There will always be someone who wants to lose weight or get fit. You do not even have to have any training, you just have to look like you can inspire someone.

How to do it: If you are unfit get fit first. Have your before picture. Join a group of people trying to lose weight. Share your story.Watch as people seek your services. You should also promote your business on social media. Train a celebrity. Write some blogs to attract more people to your business.

5. Painting Services

Anyone can run a house-painting business. You can market your business as the only person or as a team. All you need is just the ability to do a neat painting job.

How to do it: You should list your services in the classifieds. If you need to go to your customers, then the best places to target are areas where people are building. So list in the classifieds and walk.

6. Clothing Business

Clothing business is very wide...from brand new clothes to second-hand clothes. What do you want to focus on?

How to do it: As you start your clothing business, you must first find a niche. You do not want to start dealing with a variety of clothes as a start-up, you need a niche and a target group. For instance you could focus on baby clothes only. Or the plus-sized. Or men only. Or lingerie only. The important factor is that you find a niche and focus on the customers you would want to target. After that, you must market your clothes. Promote the items online, one item at a time.

7. Make-Up Artist

The beauty industry is immortal. The make-up sector will never be congested.There's always someone looking for a make-up artist for ordinary wear, special events e.g weddings, birthdays or prosthetic for entertainment.

How to do it: Advertising make-up artistry is easy. Show-case your portfolio on social media. Tag a price on them. People will naturally contact you.

8. Poultry Farming

This will definitely be determined by the laws of your area and if they allow poultry farming. If they allow it but require that you fill some papers, do so. Poultry farming is easy.Are you rearing turkeys? Or chicken? Or ducks? Geese?

How to do it: You ensure that they are immunized against common diseases for instance Marek's and Newcastle because when such diseases attack, they can wipe out your entire business. You can then breed to sell the meat,eggs or even the chicks. All you need is a set market. Places you deliver your products on demand. You do not even have to market yourself intensively. You just need some fixed client, all you need to do is to do your business very well to retain the clients.

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9. Blogging Business

Blogs are usually articles that seem like diaries and personal opinions. You can write articles that do not have to be factual but just your opinions about certain events including your own life.

How to do it: You may or may not choose a niche.

All you will need is traffic. That's the natural truth about any online business. More traffic, more money. Your blog should be enticing enough to attract traffic. You can directly sell ad space, install Adsense or engage in affiliate marketing.

10. Dating Website Business

Dating site business entails launching a dating website where singles interact and eventually meet up.

How to do it: Very many dating sites are being created and are trying to compete against already established social media and sites exclusively meant for dating. It is advisable to create a dating site based on a niche like say a dating site for people over 30. Or elite people. Just make it about bringing in people with a common interest or even people within a certain locality. The advantage to this is that you can charge your curious and specific users. But keeping your dating site general and hoping that they will subscribe and pay is next to impossible. The current day question would be - why pay for a dating site while we have Facebook and Tagged? Facebook is not specifically a dating site, but it serves that purpose too. It is a social site and wherever people interact there are bound to be some attractions and relationships. So you start your new dating site to go against a powerful social network like Facebook? What extra features do you offer? Pick a niche.

11. Fumigation Business

Every home or premise will need fumigation services at some point. This is a business that is ever in demand. People who want to get rid of insects from their homes, farms, vehicles...

How to do it: You need to know the best chemicals to use against the insects. You want to do your job just once and leave your client satisfied. You should however allow your client to contact you if your strategy did not work. Be willing to re-do it until the job is done. Remember you want to not only please your client. You want to retain a client and you hope your client will recommend you to someone else. So do your job well.

12. Hairdressing

This can mean that you either open a salon or be a mobile hairdresser. The best part about being a mobile hairdresser is that your capital is really less than when you have a work-station. You also probably do not need to fill any papers initially.

How to do it: You must do your job well so that you keep your clients. You must be punctual. To earn side income you can share your hairstyling tips on social media e.g on youtube or your blog then monetize it through Adsence or direct product marketing.How do you promote a product directly? You can approach the shampoo, oil, pomade manufacturers and discuss with them if they would be interested in you mentioning their products.If they agree, you sign papers.

13. T-shirt Business

You can design t-shirts with cute slogans. Or you can take orders to ensure that a batch of t-shirts get branded.

How to do it: You have to know where to get the t-shirts, where to get them printed or re-designed, at a good deal.You either have the facilities and machines to do so or act as a designer and broker. Remember, you are interested in a business that you can open with the least capital. Show-case your trendy t-shirts on social media.

14. Furniture Business

This could entail just refurbishing old furniture or making one from scratch.

How to do it: If you are refurbishing, find or buy an old piece of strong furniture and refurbish it into something new and valuable. Do not invest in furniture that requires a lot of work.

If you are making new furniture from scratch, make one nice piece of furniture that will bring you nice profit. However, it's best that if you advertise yourself as someone who is in the furniture-making business, you work on orders.Let your clients bring you the furniture they want to be re-done.

15. Marketing

Marketing is a very important factor in any business. Having great products is not enough, you must market them and that's why marketers are invaluable people in all businesses.

How to do it: You advertise yourself as a marketer. Advertise yourself perfectly. You must be sure about the strategies that will bring you returns. Remember the client will rely on you for results and so you should know the tricks. Be keen to bring in the best results. Not every person can be a good marketer so do not promise what you know you cannot deliver.

16. Life Coach

Some people are naturally gifted with the ability to inspire and motivate. Are you such a person?

How to do it: It starts with giving solutions about good-living. Then once people gain confidence in you they will trust your advice. You have to market yourself as a life coach. You should be a good-listener.

You can share videos on social media and you can even charge your clients for every phone call. Or you can share your inspiring messages via texts and even be a speaker, at a cost. You can be an author, sell your books.

17. Rentals Website

This will be a website you launch to bring landlords and tenants together. You want to make it easier for people to find rentals from just clicking on your website than physically "window-shopping" rentals.

How to do it: Give your website a straight-forward, easy-to- pronounce name. Advertising it means you need traffic that not only searches rentals but also signs-up. You can advertise on social media. You can monetize it by adsence, by selling advertisement space and also approaching companies to advertise on your website at a cost. But you first must work on building traffic.

18. Survey

Sometimes businesses, politicians or even initiatives will be curious about the impact of either their products or agendas on the public. A survey will give them the answers they need and that's where your business comes in.

How to do it: You can directly approach the prospective clients and inform them about your surveys. You can market your survey business by carrying out interesting unpaid surveys just to entice more clients. As long as your surveys are impressive, your clientele base will continue to grow.

19. Be an Author

Most authors have no more qualifications than just great writing skills. Authors are however not just writers. Authors write books.

How to do it: You want to write, publish and re-produce your book on a low budget so you have to find authoring opportunities that do not place a financial burden on you. One easy way is to look for someone whom you suspect would like to have an autobiography. Offer to do the job while he/she handles its budget. Or you can write simple books, for example children's stories and recipes that have the potential to sell fast. Or books about awareness -, religion, teenage hood, sex-education, peer pressure...then approach your church, school, local library or the education sector to buy your books at a discount.

You can sell your books as hard copies or e-books. The important factor as usual, is not only to write the book but to also market them intensively.

20. Relationship Coach

Do you have great relationship tips?

How to do it: You need a social media page e.g Facebook page. You should bring traffic to that page. Share memes and relationship tips but most importantly post relationship tips and stories in your website. In no time you can offer, or be approached, to be a relationship contributor on a magazine. If your work is good, that will be a sure way to build portfolio. In the meantime you can attach Adsence to your website or sell advertisement space directly.

21. Dancing Classes

Are you a good dancer or do you believe that you can teach people how to dance? People might be interested in your services.

How to do it: All you need is dancing space and music. Then do your job well to attract mote clientele. Leave fliers at your local gym, or with your friends and family to help you market your business. Most people trying to lose weight or to keep fit will be interested in dancing too.

22. Children's Toys

Toys can either be second-hand, brand-new or custom-made. Toys will always be in demand.

How to do it: If you have invested in few toys then you do not have to open a physical shop for that but you can have a virtual toy shop. A virtual shop means you do not have to pay rent. You can for instance sell the toys on your Facebook page. Or your blog/website. You must therefore be tactful about bringing traffic to your Facebook page/blog/website by for example, marketing your most appealing toy to entice clients.

23. Strategist

Do you believe that you have the ability to make things happen? A strategist's basic role is to make perfect plans that when implemented will yield results. There are various types of strategists; brand strategists, financial strategists, real-estate strategists, political strategists...

How to do it: Do you believe you can see prospects ' beyond the big-picture' ? Strategizing is all about plans that should benefit a business or a product in the long run. You may or may not have a formal background in an agenda that entails strategizing but the best marketing is by 'making things happen' for your clients. You should be organized. Your portfolio's strength will be determined by the clients you represent and the results of your representation.

24. Promotion Business

This means that you want to be your client's agent. You intend to train your client to be better and bring him/her some business prospects.Dancing, singing, sports and even modelling.

How to do it: You should pick a niche in which you not only are an expert in but have connections in too. Having a niche or not is not very important, the important factor is that your dealings with your client should be progressive not stagnant. For instance, if your niche is dancing, you should be able to fix your client with gigs once in a while.

25. Cleaning Services

You can venture into this business as a sole proprietor or as a manager of a team of cleaners. If you know how to clean your home, this will be easy for you.

How to do it: You may have an office or just work from home. You first have to ensure that your business complies with the legal requirements of your area. You should then market your business in both online and offline classifieds. You have to be very professional and thorough to retain clients. Wear clothes or uniforms with your business label on them - that is also a marketing strategy

26. Singing Business

You could form a serious singing business as a team or as your own solo career.

How to do it: You just have to be a great singer. You should take your job seriously and that means you should be punctual. Reach out to people intending to wed soon, corporates having a launch or even curtain- raise. Seek to be a back-up singer. Share videos on social media. Your small business should build you until you go large.

27. Selling Photographs

Very many people are making a living just taking and selling photos. You take a photo and sell it. The photos that are currently in demand are:

a) Photos of people ~ couples, of same race, interracials, children
b) Photos of people working
c) Photos of landmarks
d) Photos of food
e) Photos of non-sexual body parts eg hands, feet, eyes
f) Photos of nature
g) Photos of animals
h) Photos of inanimate objects eg books, laptops, chairs etc

How to do it: Take good quality photos and submit to stock websites.Alternatively, you can sell them on your own website. The advantage of selling in a stock is that you find ready traffic while the advantage of selling them yourself is that you keep all the money.

28. Billboard Advertisements

This entails renting then leasing, or building a billboard from scratch then hiring, it out. Billboard advertisements will always be in demand.

How to do it: You have to check with the regulations of your land on where to situate a billboard and if it has already been set up, how much it will cost to hire it. Then you probably have to sign papers. You don't even have to market your billboard (s) , just paste your contact details on it and an interested client will contact you.

29. Editing

You can specialize in editing. You can choose to be an editor of words or an editor of photos and videos. To be an editor of words that may include proof-reading and copy-editing. Photo editors will enhance a photo and make it seem more attractive. As a video editor, you will snip some parts, add music and written words in it.

How to do it: Find your first client. It will not be easy. You literally have to hunt for someone who would be interested in the services of an editor. Add your editing prospects in your social media profiles, you should let people know that you are an editor. Market yourself through advertisements on the classifieds or social media.

30. Nail Business

You can deal with any kind of beauty therapy that deals with nails from just applying nail polish to fixing acrylic nails and gels.

How to do it: Open a small nail boutique. Advertise your services at the door or window. Also you can opt to be mobile. You advertise your business on fliers or on social media targeting clients within your locality. The best part about the nail-care business is that the interactions between the business-person and the client is personal and therefore retaining clients is easy. You just have to be pleasant, punctual and reliable.

31. Hiring out tents, chairs, tables, carpet...

Start out small. You can start with tables first. Then buy chairs. Then a tent. Or if you have a sufficient amount you can buy all the items at once. The main objective of a business is to grow. You can always add something. Some hirers have ended up offering catering and photography services as well.

How to do it: You either start a shop where clients can come to or take advantage of your clique and family. The first client is usually the toughest to find but after that, news will spread. Advertise on social media too.

32. Website Re-sales

If you are great at bringing traffic to your websites then you can engage in website re-sales as a business venture. Once the website has achieved revenue, traffic and is stable, you sell it at the online market-places in website resales.

How to do it: You can market it on social media. It's really simple to sell a website.But if you are interested in selling it to the highest bidder then you should put it up for sale at a marketplace like Or Flipper.

33. Beddings

You can make beddings from scratch, or buy new ones, and sell.

How to do it: You do not even have to sew them yourself. Just find a design and the type of material you like and hire someone to sew.You should market them online. Be reliable. Honour deliveries and be consistent.

34. Selling Domains

Also known as domain flipping. Some people make a living just selling domains. Domains, such as,have been sold for millions of dollars ( was sold at $872M).

How to do it: First purchase a domain. You can purchase just one domain, or even several, at a time. The domains that are in most demand are usually one worded, easy to pronounce, domains.The fewer the words or letters the higher your chances at making a good sale. Sell them on your landing page or at the online domain markets.

35. Taxi

If you have a car, you can venture into taxi business. In some localities starting a taxi business is just as easy as getting into your car and charging your clients based on a local arrangement, no complexities. However, that will be the case if you do not intend to brand or market your business in most circumstances. But if you intend to market your business and pick clients as a taxi should then you will need to fill some paper-work. Consult the relevant authorities in your neighbourhood.

How to do it: Your clients will either be repeat or once-off clients. You must maintain the car and keep it in good condition, pay insurance, parking fees and you should also make profit. Those are factors you must consider when charging your clients. In other words, the business should not only run itself but also pay you.

36. Renting out Office Space

If you have space in your office you can create room for several more offices for rent.

How to do it: Redesign the room and turn it into offices. Place ads in the classifieds or on social media.

37. Stylist

Some people are probably too busy or find dressing up well a bit too hectic and you probably have an eye for proper dressing up ideas.

How to do it: Approach celebrities or upcoming celebrities and offer to take care of their wardrobe at a fee, or even for free provided they mention and acknowledge your work in public. Request your client to refer more people to you and maybe share your brand with their followers. Share your portfolio online.

38. Home-based Catering

If you like cooking and you can cook good food, you can venture into a home-based catering business. You cook at home and deliver it to your clients celebrating a wedding, a birthday, baby-shower, family gathering etc...

How to do it: You really have to check with the relevant authorities in your area for advice on the papers you must have to operate your business. You start with a small catering business and let it expand because it must expand since you will sometimes receive huge orders and some which will require you to also provide for the tents, tables, chairs and utensils. The important tips are that you be organised, reliable and punctual. Remember, every guest you meet at any event is a prospective client. Doing your job well is the most perfect way to market your business.

39. Event Planning

Event planning involves organizing an event wholly and successfully. The planner will manage most of the issues from finding a perfect venue, permits and licences, flowers, catering, time and schedule, sound system, tents, and chairs.

How to do it: First you have to decide if you will have a niche or not. The main event planning businesses deal with social and corporate events. Or you can choose to be a general planner and hence be ready for any event planning opportunity.

You must be a approachable, disciplined, jovial and an extrovert. Most importantly you should be organized. The event's smooth running depends on you entirely.

You must have a website. Anyone who want to see your work should find it in the website. Market your work on social media, brochures and share out your business cards.

40. Growing Flowers for Sale

You may either grow flowers in large or small scale. The best deal about flowers is that they grow fast and you can keep growing different breeds of flowers throughout the year.

How to do it: Research and find out which type of flower is the most popular in your locality. It is a business and you definitely want to deal with the breed that will bring you profits fast.Consult the relevant authorities on the legal requirements of your business.

You can approach your clients one on one eg, restaurant owners, event planners, florists etc. You can advertise the flowers online and in the classifieds.

41. Dating Club

There will always be singles wanting to meet-up. Create that environment. Start a dating club.

How to do it: Organize events such as hiking, modeling, inner, blind-dating,competitions, to bring singles together at a cost.
Market your club on social media, distribute bronchures to your friends, to the church or college you attend. You can also place an advertisement in the dailies. The event should be really good. The best way to advertise this business is by ensuring that your clients have a good time.

42. Private detective

Do you believe that you have sleuth skills?

People hire private detectives from corporate reasons to private issues. The insurance company will hire a private detective to be sure that the insurer's claims are genuine. A lawyer will hire a private detective to secure more evidence. A spouse will hire a private detective if she/he suspects the spouse of infidelity.

How to do it: You will need a camera to take photos, most clients will expect tangible proof. Remember to include all the expenses you will incur including your profit in the amount you intend to charge your client. Being a private detective can be very risky and you therefore have to be as discreet as possible. Things can go very wrong when the subject knows that he/she is being spied on.

43. Security guard agency

Maybe you were in law enforcement and hence you understand the principles around safety and security of people and property. Or you would like to just start a security guard agency even though you do not have a background in security issues, in which case you could take up the managerial post and hire someone to train your guards.

How to do it: It is advisable that you enrol in a security - related course to win your clients' confidence. Some people trust people who have some education to back up their profession. You will need to check with the authorities to consult on the papers you must have for your business to be legitimate.Remember to give your business a good name, literally. The name should be straight-forward, easy to pronounce and interesting. You can market your business online or in the classifieds. You should be very professional. You must be keen on retaining your clients. Your clients pay you, you take your cut and thereafter you pay your employees.

44. Online Lingerie Business

You can sell lingerie online. People will always want to wear something sexy, especially discretely as it is online.

How to do it: You can either target everybody or a particular people. For example for the plus-sized, pregnancy lingerie, petite ladies or lingerie of a particular design or colour or you can opt to sell a variety for everybody.

You have to make it easy for the person to buy and your delivery must be convenient and perfect. The more you deliver, the wider your client base.

45. Pawn Business

Pawn business involves giving loans in exchange for small items as security. Small items can be anything valuable which the businessman will resell if the debtor defaults on payment..

How to do it: You must consult your authorities to ensure that your business is legitimate. But to test the market first. Start with small loans to be repaid within short periods. Keep on researching. Watch how other pawn-brokers are running their businesses. The best advantage of this business is that people will always need loans. The one thing you must be keen on is not giving a huge loan for security that has no value from clients who do not intend to repay. Unpaid debts on valueless items can run the business down. You probably should be specific about items you can or cannot accept. Or you may need to have a niche about the only items that your business accepts. For instance, jewellery only, home-systems only etc.

46. Ice-Cream Business

Ice-cream business can be very profitable. You can choose to serve manufactured ice-cream or serve ice-cream made by you. You can also sell coloured ice popsicles.

How to do it: You first must research before you start the business. Find out how other ice-cream vendors are running their businesses. Be keen about how they market their ice-cream, how they package. Research and research some more. You can either sell your ice-cream from home or find a location. Or sell them in a cart. Or a truck. Wherever you sell them, the display should be appealing. Ensure that your business is properly licensed and is running as per the regulations and rules required of an ice-cream business in your locality.

47. Landscaping Business

This simply means making the outdoors seem more beautiful. It may involve trimming the beds, growing flowers, mowing or even fixing outdoor lights.

How to do it: You can start with a job at a time. In fact you could offer your services a person at a time.Or even with your friends. Sometimes while you are landscaping that's where you meet more prospective clients.You can also meet more clients through referrals. Offer free simple services sometimes. The fact about landscaping is that once retaining a client is easy, so long as you maintain professionalism.

48. Temporary Offices

Some people may be looking for office space just for a day or some few hours or even minutes and that's where you come in.

How to do it: Find a perfect environment for an office. Furnish it perfectly. Advertise online and even in local classifieds. Charge your clients daily. Start with one office then expand to several offices.

49. Debt Collection

The one headache that creditors all over the world is debt defaulters. At some point, they will enlist the services of a debt-collector.

How to do it: You could operate without any licence or documentation but this is a business that has the potential of turning into a legal dispute and you might end up in trouble with the law for running an 'illegal business'. Once you fulfill all the legal requirements you can decide to either work in an office or run your business from home.

Before you embark on a debt-collecting agend you have to be sure that the debtor has indeed defaulted a loan. Debt-collectors have a reputation of being tough and rough on the debtors but you can still collect debts without being confrotational. You will need company during assignments since debt-collrcting duties can go wrong if the debtor is hostile.

You should try your best to recover a loan. And when you cannot recover a loan you should engage your client and reason out the alternatives. If your client likes you that's how you will build your reputation. Do your job and do your job well. Advertise yourself as a debt collector in online and offline classifieds.

50. Selling templates

People are online looking for templates of all types; of letters, lesson plans and schemes, of resumés, of websites...

How to do it:
Make a perfect template, market it, sell it as a soft copy.



Mary Florence (author) on October 30, 2017:

Thank you Dennis, I appreciate your input.

Joseph Google the YouTube videos sharing that information.

Dennis Thorgesen from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S. on October 30, 2017:

Every successful business owner I have met has a passion for what they do. If you don't like it, don't do it. This is because your chances of success go way down if you aren't passionate.

Throughout the world GDPR is going to be required shortly. (what information do you have on potential clients and clients as well as how it will be used) So is KYC/AML (know your client and anti money laundering). Most of the businesses above will have them as a requirement including and probably most especially online.

In many cases you can find Software as a service (Saas) and compliance as a service (Cas) for your needs.

It is wise to always research local, global (for internet), federal laws and guidelines before you start a business.

Joseph Asumadu from Ghana-aWest Africa on October 30, 2017:

how to prepare yoghurt , can someone show me how to do it.

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