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Become An Entrepreneur With One Of These Low Cost Business Ideas

Updated on January 14, 2013

With job security becoming less certain and many workers becoming dissatisfied with their own situation, many people are considering reducing their vulnerability by investing in themselves and starting their own businesses. But what sorts of businesses are available to the entreprenuer who has very little start up cash? Of course you should take stock of your interests and abilities. What are you good at? What do you see a need for? And if it is a business that already exists in your area, what can you offer that they don't? The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it may help you to get the ball rolling.


Whether residential or for businesses, there are many people who will pay for this service rather than having to do it themselves. The supplies necessary are few and not very expensive and the business can generally be carried around in one's car or van, eliminating the need to rent an office. You could also make yourself stand out by offering services that other cleaning businesses don't like using only eco-friendly cleaning supplies.


This is a job that can make a significant difference in the apperance of a room, home or office. Many people, however, are busy or would simply rather spend their time elsewhere. This is a job that does not require a large staff or a great deal of equipment. Supplies are relatively inexpensive and easily transported.

Window Washing

Another job in the long list of jobs that people would rather pay for than have to bother with themselves. One man did mostly windows for businesses. Part of his regular route was a strip mall. He had a regular contract with each of the businesses in the strip mall. He charged each business ten to fifteen dollars a pop. Being quick and efficient, he walked away with somewhere between $45 and $60 for an hour's work. Not bad, even when you subtract the cost of gas and cleaning supplies.


People like to look out over a well maintained lawn, but most are happy to hand over the work of maintaining it to someone else. Depending on where you live, this may be seasonal employment. Each season, however, has its landscaping needs: Leaf removal in the fall, snow removal in the winter, regular landscaping begins again in the spring.

Babysitting/ Daycare

Decent, reliable childcare is in high demand. If you have a home to work from, then you can start your own daycare. You must have a high level of energy, creativity and patience. If you will be taking clients who receive state assistance for childcare, you will also need to aquire whatever sort of certification your county or state may require. CPR and first aid certification are also a plus. Depending on where you live and what your clientele is like, you can average about $100/wk per child.


With the advent of the digital age, it has never been easier to start a photography business. You no longer have to buy or process film and can digitally enhance photos with flaws. You can build references through family and friends and can photograph everything from weddings to senior pictures.

Wedding/ Party/ Events Planner

If you love a good party and enjoy the planning more than the party itself, this may be the job for you. It does require good communication and great people skills, not to mention the ability to be very organized. Your clients may be harried parents who are happy to let someone else plan the birthday party, to prospective brides, to corporate clients throwing large scale events.

Cake Decorator

Cake decorators are likely to have many of the same clients as party planners. Start up costs are low because you can begin this business from your own kitchen. It also requires a certain degree of skill and creativity and organization.


If you are good at a particular craft-- knitting, sewing, embroidery, jewelry making-- than you may be able to sell your crafts online. There has been a resurgence in interest in high quality, hand made goods. Sites like and give artists and crafters venues to sell their goods.


If you did well in English class and have a passion for writing, it may be an avenue for income. According to Peter Bowerman of, a free-lance commercial writer can earn upwards of $50/hr. Writers can earn residual income through content sites like Hubpages and Suite101. They can also sell articles to magazines or self publish books.

There are many opportunities with low start-up costs for the would-be entrepreneur. Anyone with creativity, talent and a willingness to work can start their own business. Check out the links below for more information.


The 100 Best Businesses to Start When You Don't Want to Work Hard Anymore, by Lisa Rogak


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    • d.william profile image


      10 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Excellent article. I have book marked this one for future reference. Many good ideas and suggestions to explore. Thanks.

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from a room of one's own


      Glad you stopped by. If you are considering writing a book you should check out and Thanks to the digital age, publishing on demand is less expensive than ever. As for jewelry, check out Good Luck! :)

      dramatis personae,

      Thanks for the feed back. I'm glad you stopped by. :)

    • dramatis personae profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      These are great ideas...........I like them and a nice comprehensive list.

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 

      10 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Must really think about your ideas and check out the sites. I make jewelry and would love to self publish my memoirs. Thank you for sharing this hub

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from a room of one's own


      Sorry I didn't get back sooner. My internet has been down the past few days. Thanks for the offer. I will definitely keep it in mind.


      I would love to have my own business too, but finding the right thing is a challenge.

    • Rusty C. Adore profile image

      C Levrow 

      10 years ago from Michigan

      Many good suggestions here. Part of me would love to have my own business, but the other part of me is filled with so much self doubt. I love cake decorating and writing. If only I could smash them together and make something really unique!

    • Sasha'sOnHubShell profile image


      10 years ago from Florida

      Are you just beginning to start publishing your work? I have gone through quite a few trial and error sites for starting out and I'd be more than happy to let you know what my experience has been like with them, and which have been the most effective in varying ways... Feel free to email me, All The Best!

    • BrightMeadow profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from a room of one's own


      Glad you liked the hub. I saw an interview with a money expert who said he would not send his kids to college (at least not right away) because there were other things they could do to give themselves a leg up and a learning experience. One of the things he mentioned was starting a business. I'm glad the writing thing is working out for you. I hope it works out for me:)

    • Sasha'sOnHubShell profile image


      10 years ago from Florida

      Very helpful, and accurate! Skills like photography and writing are some of the only currently growing industries. My mother always told me that a BA degree was going to be the most necessary and valuable thing to be sure I'm able to support myself. This is where I get to say. "Nanee nanee boo boo, I was right and you were wrong, Mom! My writing turned out to be much more valuable than another degree. Feels good just to type that! ;) Great overview of suggestions, thanks!


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