Low Startup Ideas To Make Money On The Side


These are some of the best businesses to start with little money. Just because they take less capital to get up and running than many others doesn’t mean they are low-quality businesses.

Several of these businesses you’re about to read about are superior business ideas to make money on the side.

Once you get your business started it can take on a life of its own and become a full-time income. There is no reason to let the term “on the side” deter you from the significant amount of income these solid opportunities can produce.

There’s no shortage of people who dislike their job and feel stuck in the rut of the nine to five.

Millions of people are wondering everyday if there is something they could do with their life that’s more rewarding.

Have you ever wanted to start your own small business but thought it would be too expensive?

There are many businesses that don’t require a ton of capital to start and can be very satisfying to their owner.

Owning a small business can be very rewarding in several ways.

Independence, self-reliance, and a good income and even financial freedom being just a few.

There are many opportunities to own a small business that you can grow as big as you like. All of them with a wide range of the level of involvement required by the owner.

If you feel like the daily job isn’t allowing you to live up to your full potential or if you’re unhappy answering to the boss every day, then those are some noble reasons to start your own business.

You can even begin by going part time before quitting your job.

Here are a few small businesses that offer splendid chances for someone willing to invest some time and money and that have low start-up costs.

Freelance Business

This is becoming one of the fastest growing and lowest cost startup businesses anywhere. All businesses need help with content writing, ad development, email campaigns, video creation, and more.

To save overhead and other costs involved, these businesses would rather hire someone to work at home on their computer.

With the wide array of services needed it’s important to start with one niche area.

You may want to create eBooks, write product sales letters, create compelling videos, blog posts, pre-sell advertorials, social media memes and ads, or even handle one of their ad accounts.

It’s a good idea to learn a little about the freelance business first. Getting a small amount of education up front can make your journey much smoother.

Freelancers make really good money once they are established. This only takes a few months in some cases if the right path is followed.

If you want a detailed list of freelance pay get this free eBook.

Cleaning Service

A cleaning service can be a great small business to own. So many people are busier than ever with kids, career, and other activities that they don’t make time to clean their homes.

Many people find hiring out these smaller tasks are well worth the money paid in ease of mind and protecting against viruses.

Another big scenario is the fact that many people don’t like to clean and are more than happy to send their cleaning chores out to a cleaning company.

Startup costs are very low and limited to some cleaning supplies and advertising, which can easily be accomplished through word of mouth initially.

Later on flyers can be posted at the local library and churches, and online advertising networks. The word of mouth from friends works well because people trust someone they already know before a stranger in most cases.

Cleaners have very little liability which makes insurance inexpensive, adding to where it’s an excellent business to own.

Expanding into commercial cleaning for office buildings, retail stores, and banks can be very lucrative, especially when specializing in floors and windows.

Keep in mind that most commercial cleaning is done after hours or on weekends when the fewest people are there.

One positive is the cleaning can only take a few hours once the system is established, making the pay very rewarding along with the independence that goes along with it.

Pressure Washing

The pressure washing business is easy to start, and most anyone can do it. Startup costs are low and transportation, some small machinery, and cleaning products are all that’s required.

For both residential and commercial work, the competition is fairly low in most areas. This is unlike the landscaping business where you probably see lots of people driving around with a lawnmower in tow or in the back of their pickup.

Usually including the weedeaters too. That’s why that niche didn’t make our list.

On the other hand, you rarely see a pressure washing company in your area. Pressure washing is a smaller niche business that most people aren’t knowledgeable about.

The equipment required is a long hose, a good gas powered pressure washer, and cleaning chemicals. These chemicals are grouped for purposes of siding, decks, roofing, and tougher areas like parking lots.

All this means you can get started for a modest $500.

Depending on demand and work you put into marketing your business, you can pressure wash a house for $250-$350. Often the owner will want other areas pressure washed.

Like the area around their pool or their driveway. For those who want to go to the commercial side of this business, there are even higher profit margins.

Commercial jobs would be parking lots, fleet washing (vehicles), and apartment complex washing.

Vending Machine Business

If you’re a hands on kind of person, this is a good way to build some sideline income. It will take some start up capital to purchase or lease your machines depending on the type machines you choose.

This is a good way to produce somewhat passive income requiring little effort once established. Since vending machines are mechanical devices, they require cleaning and some repair from time to time.

Removing the cash and replenishing the contents is also part of the service work.

Soda and large vending machines are one option and are set up these days to take debit cards, cash bills and coins. Smaller bubble gum and candy machines are another option, and they take quarters.

I would recommend starting with the small machines first, since startup cost is much lower. You can scale to the larger machines when more capital is available through profits.

You’ll probably want to purchase your small machines new. One such provider is 1-800-vending. Once they arrive in their boxes, you must assemble them.

Next you’ll decide the contents to sell. Many people use gumballs and candies like Skittles to get going. These are bought in bulk fairly inexpensively.

The next step is going out and placing the machines in businesses and establishments so they can begin generating income.

The key is installing the machines in the right locations where there is a good supply of traffic and need. One could even hire someone to do the stocking and make this business as hands off as possible.

Amazon FBA

The Fulfillment By Amazon service allows sellers to sell their products through Amazon. As more and more retail outlets close this will continue to grow.

Amazon takes many of the downfalls of owning an online retail business away. They handle storage, packing, shipping, returns and customer service issues. They also list the product on the Amazon site.

Sellers are responsible for shipping their items to the Amazon fulfillment centers and creating a product listing for the online store.

When products are bought by a customer, sellers receive payment on a weekly basis.

Since online selling like this drives prices lower, it puts more pressure on retailers. Places like Wal Mart will probably never go away because people still enjoy going out and walking the aisles.

Companies of that size can also undersell smaller retailers to stay in business.

Amazon FBA is good for people who want to make some money and secondly it keeps large retailers from overpricing most products since we can buy them online.

Amazon is now offering quick delivery except for Hawaii and Alaska in the US. Online delivery times have been dropping offering next day and sometimes even same day delivery in some cases.

If you consider becoming an online retailer, the Amazon FBA is definitely worth a closer look.

Social Media Marketing Agency

Businesses need people to manage their social media more than ever. Since most of the social media posts go through a timeline and are seen only once, it creates a need to publish often. Sometimes two times per day.

With so many people using cell phones and having instant access to their social media accounts, it makes getting in front of potential customers quicker, easier, and cheaper than ever in human history.

Smaller companies often like to hire outside people to manage their online marketing because they don’t want to develop a full time in house social media manager.

This is an excellent low start up cost business. A computer and internet is about all you need. The skill set of writing good headlines and interesting and compelling posts and memes is your primary task.

Short videos are also becoming popular. You can look at companies like InVideo for that service to add more value and attract higher paying clients as you begin to grow.

Once you learn the communication style for the industry niche you want to market for, you’re on your way to building more clients and even an agency where others do the posting and you manage the team.

You can charge $500 to $1,000 per month and more to each company whose social media you manage. To get clients, it’s a good idea to have enough cash reserve money to hold you over for the first month.

This is because you will want to show these companies you can get them results and the best way to do that is offer them a one or two week free trial.

This is enough time to get lots of engagement and build more followers for the business you are managing the account for.

Since this has the least investment capital of almost any business, it makes social media management a fantastic opportunity for someone wanting to start a small business and grow it big.

Painting Business

The glorious thing about a painting business is there’s no need for big equipment to get going. A good multi-purpose ladder, lights for interior work, drop cloths, brushes, rollers and a sprayer if you like.

Painting can be a fairly simple job and the prep work of cleaning and masking off areas that aren’t to be painted being the bulk of the work. The actual application of the paint goes fast once the prep work is complete.

To begin with, you can operate without a license unlike many other trade jobs. The pay for good quality painting is fairly high.

Many retail stores even offer free training for those that don’t have lots of experience. Home Depot and Lowes have workshops usually on a weekly basis for your convenience.

This covers many little tricks of the trade and timesaving techniques, and safety precautions to take while on the job.

Although people can skip interior painting for a while the exterior is another story. These outside areas need to be protected from weather and elements that can destroy the integrity of the house or building altogether.

This would reduce the value and make it hard to sell the home or building if that time ever came up.

In the painting business there are times where sealers and stains need to be applied to decks and other structures of homes.

It’s not always for aesthetic and cosmetic reasons people need a talented painter. This broadens the scope of a painting business, and people are more than willing to pay good money to protect their biggest investment.

Imagine making ten thousand dollars your first year. You may do a lot better than that, but through the experience you gain of how to do the jobs and how to market your business to get more customers, you’ll be well on your way to making a decent full time living.

Most of these businesses mentioned can even be sold or handed down to a family member later on. This makes your effort worth lots more than the pay you receive from each client and customer.

You can be in charge of giving yourself a raise. Compare that to working the next 2-3 years for your boss and being told what time to arrive and when you can take breaks and lunch.

How about you deciding what days you get to take off and when you take your vacation?

Guiding Cents Staff

Guiding Cents is online learning about Smart Investing & Spending Cents®. The Guiding Cents Staff researches financial information, products and services. The result is providing actionable articles and resources on how to earn more, save more, and manage money that enhance your life. We recommend only superior and proven products and services. Click the company logo to your left if on desktop, or above this paragraph if on mobile, to get on the Guiding Cents Newsletter subscription.

Recent Posts