Low Overhead Business Ideas

Tired of the politics and strictness of working for someone else? Can't find a job in this market and benefits running out? Need some ideas for businesses with low start up and overhead costs? Here are a few that you can even do part time while you build up your business before leaving your regular job to do one of these full time.

Dog Walker/Feeder – People go on vacation and many hate leaving their pets with a kennel due to the fact that their animals will be in unfamiliar environments. So, they hire animal walkers/feeders. Advertise what animals you are most comfortable with. You can place your business on Google Maps for free as well as use a car magnet to advertise. If you don’t have a criminal record, advertise that as well and let clients know you have a clean record. This will help ease tension in allowing a stranger in their house when they are out of town.

Babysitter – You will need a license, but the overhead costs are minimal. You can get used toys and cribs on craigslist and continue to expand your stock as you expand your business.

Make Yard Cutouts – People are looking for different ways to decorate during the holidays. The inflatable decorations were good for a while, but everyone has them now. If you have a knack with a saw and paint, make some great holiday cut outs. You can even do it for birthdays, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day – you name it. People love getting festive these days! Have fun and get creative.

Moonwalk or Margarita Machine Business – If you have a truck and can carry several pounds, you can easily have a business rentint out moonwalks, margarita machines, or any other party machine. You need an insurance policy to cover yourself in case anyone gets hurt as well as a contract stating you are not responsible for injuries etc. and they are responsible for damages to the unit. You can buy one for a few thousand and rent it out for a few hundred bucks a weekend. It won’t take you long to recoup your costs and start with profit!

Party Planner – Love planning parties? Start marketing yourself as a party planner. You can advertise in local kids and family publications and gather ideas. Virtually no overhead costs until you get your first gig (and then you are in profit mode!).

Costume Character – Love kids? Love parties? Buy a professional costume and rent yourself out to attend events and parties dressed as that character. You can start with one but will soon want to expand your inventory.

Alterations – If you can sew, you can do alterations. Advertise with a car magnet, website, and referrals. You can work out of your home and go to your client’s homes and businesses. They will love that you will come to them and you will love saving on the overhead costs to rent space.

Instructors - You can easily sign up to take classes to be a CPR instructor or birthing instructor. Look online, complete the courses and the rest is up to you.

Web Promoter – Small businesses need an online presence but most don’t have the time or resources to do it. Market yourself out as a consultant to these business and have them hire you on retainer. During that time, blog about them on webpages, write press releases about upcoming events, and get them listed on all free directories for their business.

Specialty lingerie - Another sewing one, but there really isn’t much competition for lingerie for people over 45 or sizes larger than 14. Buy a sewing machine, learn to sew and then pick up some silky fabrics and start designing and sewing.

Senior Events Planner – Everyone wants to plan stuff for kids – but there are more seniors in the world than we have ever had! They love to do things too! Start an event planning company to take them out on excursions and field trips from retirement homes.

Crafts – If you can make cut stuff, you can sell cute stuff. A few years ago, I would have never included this on a list. But, the market for crafts seems to be exploding! Etsy.com sellers are making great money and if you can come up with some unique ideas, you can even make an ecommerce site easily with your stuff.

Vinyl Floor Installer – With the recession, people are looking for ways to make their homes look better on a tight budget and vinyl floors are making a comeback! You can buy vinyl in square (for the look of tile) or planks (for the look of wood). They are easy peel and stick but many people just don’t’ have the time. You can install easily and charge $1/foot for installation rather than the $3-5 for ceramic tile and hardwood since it will take about 1/3 the time. This will make you money and create a demand for your services.

Interior Design/Stager – Staging is becoming huge thanks to home improvement channels. If you have an eye for design, then start a career in either interior designs or staging.

Freelance Writer – Write online. Hubpages, Associated Content, and Helium are all places you can get paid to write. If you have a lot to say, start your own free blog on blogger. As you grow your audience, you will of course grow to your own website.

4D Ultrasound – Baby Ultrasound - Soon to be Parents love to see exactly what their little one will look like and 4D ultrasounds provide just that. The certifications isn’t long but the machine will be expensive. Fortunately, you will gain your costs back very quickly.

Resale Shop – Open a resale shop. Find a place to rent with a great location and start asking people to bring in their gently used items. You sell them and give them 40% of their items and you keep 60%. The standard used to be 50/50 but it is now leaning towards the favor of the shop owner.

Landscaper – Unfortunately, not many kids are saying they want to grow up and be landscapers but what people aren’t seeing is the unlimited profit here. Landscapers are not cheap and really good ones are hard to find. So, if you have a green thumb and an uncanny marketing ability you should be able to achieve over six figures in about 3-4 years. Start small, do most of the work yourself (with a few part time helpers). Then as you grow hire a full time crew to assist you.

Photography – If you can take pictures, you can be in business! You can take pet photographs, wedding photographs, photos of business products for sale , homes for sale, family, and photographs for marketing purposes. Create a niche market, and go for it.

Bridget Batson owns a staffing service and is author of I Promise: A Mother's Poem to Her Son and Jude the Dude: The Peanut Allergy Kid both available on Amazon.

I Promise: A Mother's Poem to Her Son Available on Amazon

Comments 5 comments

BILLYZEKE  6 years ago

very nice blog YOU have here well written out explains deatails of many real world businesses !


Frank Crandell 6 years ago

Good set of business ideas that would take much initial investment.


Big Mr Bulldog profile image

Big Mr Bulldog 5 years ago from USA

Very good ideas. Thank you.


Mike Sobran 5 years ago

Thanks for the list...Housesitter might be a good one too


Anthony 18 months ago

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