What if we told you that you could start a business with 10k or less? If you have the right business idea, you could get a business off the ground with a small initial investment.
In this article, we'll share a bunch of great sustainable business ideas that you can use to strike out on your own and become your own boss.
Why start your own business
There are a lot of benefits to starting your own business. For starters, being your own boss really suits some people. Secondly, you can work hours that fit around your schedule or family or use your business idea to supplement your current job.
When you start your own business, the sky's the limit. With hard work, you can expand your company into a money-making empire. Additionally, it can be something you sell or hand down to your children when you want to retire.
How to drive positive impact through entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is about much more than hustling and making money. It's about more than just coming up with the latest big business idea. Entrepreneurs are difference makers. They make things happen, and those things can have a positive ripple effect throughout the community.
When you have your own business, you can do things your way. That can mean embracing sustainability, renting, and using the circular economy.
Our article aims to highlight business ideas and models that are kind to people and the environment.
If you want to contribute positively to your local community through business, this article is for you.
Can you really start a business with 10k or less?
Yes. You can set up small local businesses with 10k or less with the right knowledge and business model. The internet has made connecting with potential clients more straightforward than ever. Additionally, there is a range of free software tools that make it possible for small businesses to thrive with limited capital.
Below, we'll list the best businesses to start with 10k or less. However, if you have an idea but it's not on our list, that doesn't mean it can't work. Almost any new business idea can work with a few key elements. These elements are:
A business license (if that's relevant in your area)
A computer or mobile device with an internet connection
Sales and marketing to connect with customers.
Other than those core elements, depending on the idea, you'll need to do things like buy stock, find real estate to host your business, and even pay for staff.
But the point here is to keep things as simple and accessible as possible. So instead of renting premises — and swallowing up a big chunk of your 10k — you can try to start something in your kitchen or garage, especially if you're testing the waters with your business and can't commit to a long lease.
Keeping real estate costs low means favoring an online business over a physical store or renting office space. If business growth happens, you can think about expanding.
The point is that many business owners have started successful businesses with 10k or less. Any startup business has a chance to win customers with a suitable business model and a solid plan.
Of course, you should always do market research and look for businesses to start in sectors you understand. This preparation will help you make fewer mistakes. One of the biggest reasons business owners struggle is due to poor business planning.
Let's look at the best businesses to start with 10k or less.
There are many rental business ideas around which to start your own business because basically anything you can sell, you can also rent. Well, almost anything.
Renting is also a responsible and sustainable business model that is growing in popularity by the year.
Not only are people already drowning in stuff, but manufacturing costs are under upward pressure from rising raw material prices and global supply chain problems causing bottlenecks across manufacturing sectors.
This trend is directly reflected in the prices of final products. As people's purchasing power declines, renting is a more affordable way to get what they need.
So, here are our rental business ideas to start with 10k or less.
Sports equipment rentals
Sports equipment rental services are an excellent business idea. They allow hobbyists and enthusiasts to practice sports even if they don't have room or extra income to buy equipment.
Obviously, the most significant startup cost is securing the equipment you can rent. Buying inventory could easily swallow up your 10k, so you need to be selective. One great thing about equipment rentals is that you can run them as an online business if you can find the right rental platform.
How much you make depends on your marketing and outreach quality. If your stock is constantly being rented, you can earn good money. Depending on the sector, rental businesses have gross margins of between 40% to 70%. A suitable business model can bring in thousands or more per month.
The cycling tourism market is booming. This situation creates extensive opportunities for renting bikes out to tourists for family days out or cross-country tours.
Of course, buying a fleet of bikes isn't cheap. At the lower end of quality, 20 cycles at $250 each will run you $5,000. Then you'll need tools for repairs, equipment, a website, business licenses, etc.
Bike rentals could easily fetch $10 per hour. During busy periods, you could bring in as much as $1000 per day.
If you want to take a deep dive into how to start a bike rental business, read our helpful article: Complete guide for starting a bike rental business.
Canoes and Kayaks
For an in-depth look into starting a canoe or kayak business, here is a step-by-step guide to starting a kayak business. Building your livery will be your most significant expense. A kayak will cost between $300 and $1000, with a canoe between $750 and $1500. Throw paddles, helmets, life jackets, and a storage rent, and you could put together a small fleet of 4-5 boats for 10k.
Full-day rental could bring in about $50 or so per boat, so on a good day, you could take home about $250 with even a small fleet.
Camping and outdoor equipment
A camping and outdoor equipment rental business can be a good business in the right area. Many people are looking for outdoor adventures, but they don't always have money or space to buy equipment.
The most significant part of your startup costs will be securing equipment. You'll need things like tents, sleeping bags and pads, backpacks, clothing, and equipment. Additionally, your business could target hiking and climbing and include boots, picks, harnesses, helmets, and more.
One of the most significant considerations here is insurance. You must ensure your equipment is safe and won't cause accidents. Hiring equipment in bundles can fetch anywhere between $50 and $250 depending on how many days your customer needs them for.
Aside from equipment, other costs for starting the business will include marketing, website, insurance, and licenses.
A premium set of golf clubs can cost up to $2000. When you consider marketing and other costs, if you start with 10k, you can still build a small stock. Obviously, lower-quality clubs will cost a lot less.
However, a premium set of clubs can rent for $85 a day. Maintenance and business costs will eat into your profit, but a good set can last for years and keep generating income. If you slowly expand your business — and have a location near courses and tourists — you can make a steady living.
Clothing rentals are an excellent business to start with 10k and can have a gross profit margin of around 40%; if you can buy the right clothes, that will generate a return. Luxury items can cost as much as $500 to $2000 and generate around $30-50 a day or so in rentals. However, if these rentals happen over a multi-day period, the item can pay for itself fairly quickly.
One expense you'll need to consider is dry-cleaning fees. This can eat your profits, so build it into the hiring price. Pay attention also to your packaging and shipping options. As these are the most polluting aspects of e-commerce, you don't want them to neutralize the otherwise sustainable footprint of your business.
Finally, your stock needs to be replenished. People want to rent clothes that are in tip-top shape, so you'll need to sell on the stock that falls below a standard. Thinking about the second life of your products is essential not only for the environment but also for profits.
Clothing rental is competitive, but with the right stock and good marketing, it can quickly generate revenue of thousands of dollars a month.
If you want to find out more, read our complete guide on how to start a clothing rental business.
Party and event rentals
Party and event rentals are one of the best businesses to start with 10k or less. Startup costs are reasonable, and your investment can bring a return during busy periods. Here are a few specialties you can explore to get your business off the ground.
If you've ever been to a children's birthday party with a bounce castle, you'll understand just how much kids love to jump around on an air-filled structure. You can make this job a nice side earner if you live in the right area.
Setup costs aren't cheap. Each castle will cost between $1000 and $2000. Additionally, you'll need equipment to blow up the castle, circuit breakers, and transport. Themed castles are a good idea, so you'll want to get something that fits for different themed parties.
The good news is that, depending on size, you can rent out a bouncy castle for about $150 to $250 per day. You can get enough customers with the proper marketing to make a steady income.
Party tents are a big business. People use them for all sorts of parties, events, and festivals. It can be a great business idea if you live in an area with outdoor events.
Startup costs can be steep. Large party tents can easily run into thousands of dollars. Additionally, you'll need transport to get the tents around.
However, you can rent each one out for an average of $250 or more a day, depending on size. There is a bit of setup involved, so that you might need a helper, but with enough festivals, weddings, and other outdoor events, you can make a very good living.
Chairs and tables
Unless you've ever tried to rent chairs and tables for an event, you won't realize how much money can be made from these kinds of businesses.
The best thing about this business is how versatile a market you can serve. Conferences, weddings, talks, and parties are just a taste of the events that need tables and chairs. Buying stock, storage space, and appropriate transport can easily exceed 10k, so you'll need to be careful about where you shop.
The good news is that you can make a minimum of $250 an event and easily up to $1000 or more for large gatherings.
Check out our guide on how to start a party rental business to learn more.
AV equipment rental services
Running an AV equipment rental service can be a great business idea in the right market. However, buying rental stock will cost you a lot of money.
Here are a few of the best ideas for AV equipment rental businesses.
You could start a small personal address (PA) system company for a few thousand dollars. But if you want to offer more extensive services, you could easily spend 10k on the stock.
The good news is that, depending on quality, you can rent a PA system out for $250 to $450 per day. That could be a tidy sum if you live in an area with enough events.
Film cameras come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on quality and specs, a camera will cost between $80 and up to $2500 per day. Of course, those upper limits are for professional-grade cameras that cost about $30,000 or more at retail.
For 10k, you can buy a decent amount of stock that you can rent at more modest prices. However, if you buy the right cameras and maintain them well, they can generate revenue for a long time.
Another option to get into the camera rental market is to specialize in lenses and other accessories, so you can avoid buying expensive camera bodies. Sure, other accessories cost a fortune too, but by specializing, you can build a compact inventory for less and still serve the same customer segment.
Starting an LED screen business isn't cheap. The biggest modern screens cost between 10k and 100k. However, you can get something a little smaller, so you have cash left to pay for transport, stands, tools, and brackets.
Lots of events need LED screens. Renting a screen can cost between $250 and $1500 per day. If you can get the right contacts, you can make a good living from trade shows, corporate retreats, and any other business that needs large screens.
You can start a lighting business for a few thousand dollars. However, if you want to provide a more complicated and varied service, you might need close to 8k. Additionally, you'll need stands, brackets, and a way to transport your lighting.
Lighting equipment rental costs vary depending on the light and the job. Basic lights can be found for as little as $50 a weekend, while fancier setups can run about $250 or more. Get enough clients through ads and marketing, and you can turn this into a nice side hustle.
Tool and DIY rental services
DIY and tool rental is an essential service for people who are renovating or working on a building but don't want to shell out on equipment that will spend most of its time sitting idle in the garage.
Setting up a tool rental business will cost between 6k and 10k. A lot of the costs depend on how broad your stock will be. Tools are typically rented by the day. Some might only bring in $10 or less, while others can fetch nearer $60 or $100 depending on specialty.
Overall, this kind of business can bring in about $120,000 per year, provided you get the right physical location and clients.
If your work or interests have led you to acquire quality tools for your own use over the years, why not try to create a sustainable side income with them?
Furniture rental services
A furniture rental business can be a money spinner if you find the right niche. Many companies who use served offices rent their furniture. Additionally, events like weddings or parties are another area where you can find customers.
You can spend as much as you want on the stock. But remember, if it's sitting idle, you'll need to pay for storage. Long-term corporate rentals are a great market. It's just pure passive income, and your inventory could generate thousands a month with the right equipment.
Tech and electronics rentals
Tech and electronics rentals are a nice way to earn some extra income. Initial investment is steep, with laptops and phones costing around 1k, depending on quality. Games consoles can also run between $200 and $450.
The key to this business is locking customers into decent-sized contracts. Say you buy a Macbook for $1500, if you can rent it out at $50 per month for 12 months, you've made about $600, plus you can refurbish and sell it on or rent it again. The margins aren't huge, but passive income can add up as you expand.
Baby and maternity rental services
Baby and maternity rental services are one of the greenest ideas out there. New parents can lease clothes, toys, prams, buggies, high chairs, and more. Getting started involves buying new equipment. The sky's the limit based on how much stock you want to buy. But 10k would get you started, plus pay for marketing, cleaning, and storage.
Many baby and maternity rental services run subscription-style packages. This means you can lock in revenues of between $30 and $150 a month on bundles. With the right clientele, this can be a very nice earner.
Trailer rental businesses require a good amount of starting capital. However, you can find smaller passenger car trailers for around $2000 when new and even less if you explore the used market.
Trailers are relatively durable and easy to maintain. Therefore, they make an excellent opportunity for low-effort passive income, especially if you already own a trailer. You can rent one out for approximately $20 a day.
Starting a tourism business can be a great idea. The startup costs vary a lot depending on the type of tourism business you have in mind. As the interest in responsible traveling and sustainable tourism is steeply increasing, the tourism industry offers an exciting opportunity for those who want to make the tourism industry more sustainable, enjoy providing local experiences and create a sustainable livelihood for themselves.
Starting a travel agency can be done with just a computer and an internet connection. At its simplest, a travel agency is an intermediary that puts together packages like travel routes, schedules, programs, and accommodations.
In a market where global technology platforms dominate the market, it makes sense for a small company to focus on a niche where it has a competitive advantage. For example, you can focus on a specific target group, such as cyclists, foodies, and cultural tourists, to name a few and tailor packages for them.
Gross margins of 10% to 15% are standard. On packages of 2k per person, this represents a nice profit.
You can start a tour guide business with barely any capital. However, if you have spare money, you can put it into transport, marketing, and other extras to help your business take off.
The key thing about being a tour guide is providing value. So, if you know a lot about a specific area, you can use it by showing people around and teaching them the history. Tour guides can average about $25 per hour, plus tips of $80 to $100 a day. If you live in an area with good tourism, you could be on to a winner.
Online marketing consultant
Working as an online marketing consultant is easy to do remotely, and it doesn't require massive capital to get going. Also, the market is almost limitless as there is over 33 million small business registered in the US, according to Statista. Let's take a look at some of the niches you can serve.
Paid Ads Specialist
A paid ads specialist is a person who helps businesses list online ads to drive their marketing and advertising. To get an overview of how much you can charge customers, take a look at Fiverr's directory of freelancers and see what they offer at what price.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making pages rank highly on Google and other search engine result pages (SERPs). Becoming an SEO expert involves learning about what factors are involved in ranking. Thankfully, there are lots of online resources that can teach you the tricks of the trade. Check out, for example, our guide on local SEO.
You can become an SEO consultant business with just a computer. However, landing clients could involve some paid ads and marketing.
Freelance SEO consultants can make around $40 to $50 per hour, with some professionals making $75-100 and SEO consultant businesses charging $150 or more per hour.
Social Media Consultant
A social media consultant is an expert in how businesses and individuals can use social media channels to achieve business aims. There are lots of online freelancing jobs available for social media consultants. However, you'll most likely need a degree in media plus a solid portfolio to win clients.
Social media consultants can charge between $15 to $20 per hour. Additionally, you can do the job remotely, which widens your client net and reduces travel costs.
Marketing research services
Marketing research services offer intelligence and analysis for the business world. Starting a business like this won't cost a substantial initial investment. However, you'll need contacts and a flair for writing market research. Furthermore, you'll need to buy access to relevant databases, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Market research can be very lucrative. Companies will pay $20,000 to $50,000 for comprehensive research. However, it requires compiling surveys and a lot of analysis.
Digital marketing consultant
A digital marketing consultant helps businesses promote their companies online. The global marketing consulting market is worth billions of dollars. Clients are prepared to pay top dollar for the great advice. However, you need to find a way to prove that you know what you're doing, which is why you should have existing work samples before leaping into entrepreneurship.
If you have a marketing degree and experience, you can branch out independently. Digital marketing consultant fees start at around $35 per hour.
A good freelance web designer can make $50 or more per hour and $100k or more a year. However, you can supplement your service by designing things like plugins and website themes. Several website builders and commerce platforms have partner programs for professionals. By finding the right ones and bringing customers to these platforms, you can make a sizable side income in addition to your nine-to-five work.
Green business consultant
Green business consultants can help local businesses find ways to achieve sustainability and reduce environmental impact.
There are many ways companies can drive sustainability, from business models to supply chain optimization, material harvesting, and more. A degree in relevant space is essential to help your clients reach their sustainability goals across different functions.
From there, it's just about building a website and connections. Green consultant fees start at $30 an hour but can be even more if you work with more prominent clients.
Teaching and coaching businesses
Teaching and coaching jobs are rewarding in nature and contribute to people's skills, health, and quality of life. These are also vocations that usually require previous experience around a subject before you can start an entrepreneurial activity.
The online tutoring market is estimated to be worth over $132 million. During COVID-19, the business exploded in popularity as education technology filled the gap caused by lockdown restrictions.
Just like remote work, online tutoring is set to continue. Becoming an online tutor doesn't cost a lot of money. You need demonstrable expertise in a subject, but if you have a degree already, you may be able to teach that subject.
Online tutors make between $15 and $20 per hour. Another way to commercialize and scale your skills is to build online courses and sell access licenses. This allows you to create course materials once and sell them to many.
Working as a coach can be a good business if you can find the right clients. Here are a few ways you can turn sports coaching into a career.
A personal trainer helps people get in shape. They can work freelance, be contracted to a gym or fitness center, or even create digital training programs that clients can follow online and track their progress using a mobile app.
To become a personal trainer, you need to have some qualifications. For starters, education and training in the field of sports are required. If you work in person, you should have first aid and automatic external defibrillator (AED) training.
All in all, depending on the level of your degree, the startup costs of becoming a personal training entrepreneur can vary significantly. Where a university degree can be worth tens of thousands, the prices of commercial PT courses start from $500.
Personal trainers make around $40,000 a year in the US, with some making about $80,000 or more, depending on qualifications, quality, and clients. Of course, if you run a personal training business, you can make money if you take on other trainers.
Becoming a ski instructor could be a great option if you live in an area with great slopes. But you'll need to get qualified before you start finding potential clients. Ski instructor courses cost around $6000 or more. You need to learn lots of techniques, alongside health and safety.
From there, you can make somewhere between $12 and $17 per hour, depending on the level you teach at. If you have a passion for skiing, this could turn out to be one of the best career choices for you.
Sports coaches can make up to $55,000 a year, with averages near $40,000. In addition to your passion and experience in a specific sport, you need to obtain a license or badge to coach. You can complete these courses for less than $5,000.
Lots of people want to be fashion designers. However, breaking into this competitive industry takes a lot of work. Having a design background would be a start, and being able to make items would be even better.
But with a few thousand dollars, you could buy a sewing machine and materials and start promoting your clothes, e.g., on social media. Today's e-commerce platforms also make selling and renting your garments online super easy. At best, you can build an entirely customized and branded online store without any knowledge of coding.
Starting your own fashion brand can turn out to be the best decision of your life if you have the skills and vision.
Graphic designer and illustrator
Getting started as a graphic designer or illustrator can be as easy as building a portfolio and joining a freelancing platform. From there, it's just about getting clients.
To get started, you need to purchase relevant design software. This will cost you anything from $100 to $1000 a year. A freelance graphic designer can make between $40,000 and $80,000 per year.
If weddings, birthdays, corporate events, parties, and more are your thing, you could become an event designer. There are lots of areas that you can specialize in, and it's one of the easiest small businesses to get off the ground because it only requires a small investment.
Event Decorating service
Running an event decorating service can be a good gig. Your main expenses will be marketing and advertising, plus the costs of materials. A lot of the time, you can order these materials on spec. Additionally, you can ask your clients to make a partial payment upfront (or the whole amount), so cash flow won't be a huge issue.
The catering and food business can be a lucrative business to start with 10k or less. You'll need equipment, permits, and ingredients, but if you can establish a good reputation, there are big profits to be made.
There are lots of different ways you can do this. You can cater for weddings, birthdays, corporate events, or anywhere that food is served. You can also run side hustles like starting a meal prep company to bring in extra money.
Starting a photography business will likely cost you the best part of 10k. You'll need cameras, lenses, equipment, editing software, and possibly a lease on a studio. Additionally, it's a competitive market, so marketing and advertising will be necessary.
The good news is that if you establish a good reputation, you can make a lot of money. Wedding photographers can pull in thousands of dollars per day. Also, you can create an additional revenue stream by renting out your gear when you don't need it yourself.
Setting up a small video production business can be done for less than $10k. To get started, you need video and editing equipment, mics, lights, stands, and a powerful computer for editing.
Videographer salaries are good. A freelance videographer can make between $60 to $250 or more per hour. The work is exciting and varied, and if you can snag some commercial clients, you can make a very decent living.
Similarly, as photographers, you can consider renting your gear to other professionals when you're not actively using them.
For some people, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing an item restored to its former glory. If that sounds like you, why not bring your passion to a restoration business venture? There are so many niches you can specialize in that it can be a fantastic business idea.
There are a few business models you can use. You can take jobs by request. Or, you can find furniture, restore it, and sell it.
In recent years, many recommerce startups have emerged, and the overall market is expected to grow faster than traditional retail. In the US, the market size, including peer-to-peer resale of products, is expected to reach $244.7 billion by 2025. So there's a massive opportunity for commercial market facilitators who remove the pain from peer-to-peer transactions.
Restoring furniture can be an excellent skill. Furniture gets damaged over the years. Things like paint, upholstery, missing legs, rips, and general wear and tear can make furniture unsightly and ready for the scrap heap. However, you can bring so much of it back to life with a bit of tenderness and care, thus, prolonging the life of the furniture.
The average furniture restorer makes about $40,000 per year. However, you'll need training, equipment, materials, and tools. It's hard to succeed in the business without at least a carpentry or woodworking apprenticeship. That said, many people train themselves and can do the job to a high level.
Restoring clothes can be a good business. Again, you can find damaged items and resell them or fix clothes on people's behalf. Each piece can bring in $20 to $50, depending on the complexity of the job. Initial costs are low and can involve buying a sewing machine and other materials.
Electronics repair could be a great business idea if you know your way around a circuit board. It's pretty specialist work and not exactly something you can just fall into without some education.
Getting started in the business just requires tools and a workspace. You could quickly get off the ground for a few thousand dollars. Electronic and phone repair freelancing businesses can bring in between $25000 and $100000 a year. At the other end of the spectrum, companies like Swappie have found a way to scale their business to hundreds of millions. So, it might be worth exploring this opportunity more closely.
A cobbler is one of the oldest sustainable careers you can do. Repairing shoes and extending their life is a great way to reduce pressure on natural resources. However, because the practice is becoming less common, it's not a craft you can learn at college. The best way to learn is through an apprenticeship.
Alternatively, you can teach yourself. There are books and online resources that cover the subject. However, you'll need to practice your skills extensively before you start working on other people's items.
In terms of startup costs, you'll need tools and equipment. Some of the machines involved can cost up to $30,000, but you can still offer a good service with machinery under 10k.
The average cobbler can make about $30,000 a year. If you supplement this with other services, you can make a comfortable enough living.
Tailors generally take an apprenticeship to learn their craft. While job growth in the area is low, tailors that are around can get a higher concentration of the work on offer.
Tailors can make adjustments or repair clothes. It's another excellent sustainable profession because it promotes the reuse and recycling of clothes.
Tailors can make, on average, $30,000 per year. However, depending on specialty, quality, and clients, that number can be far higher.
The initial investment in setting up a tailoring business can be as high as 10k if you rent an office. However, you can run your business online, and then your only costs are things like equipment, materials, and business insurance.
Businesses to start from home
You can start a business from home if you're looking for a new business idea that doesn't require office space. You can also run many of the ventures mentioned above from your home. Still, below, we'll list some business ideas particularly suitable for running from your home office.
Flea market flipper
All you need to become a flea market flipper is an eye for a deal. And it's become much easier with mobile phones. If you have the time to travel around to flea markets, you might be able to find some amazing deals.
Of course, it's not just flea markets where you can go. You can attend auctions, liquidated inventory sales, estate sales, and more and see if you can pick up some items that you can resell for a profit.
How much money you need to start this business depends on what you want to achieve. Having a van would be a big help because you can haul bulkier items around. Of course, if you're really serious, you'll need a lock-up or a garage to store your items until people buy them.
If you have an eye for antique furniture, you can find it being sold at discounted rates online, at markets, at auctions, and so on. The initial investment here could involve transport that allows you to collect items. For example, some people give away an old chest of drawers for free that you can easily sell for $150 to $200.
Becoming a vintage retailer is a great business to start if you love clothes. How much it costs to set up depends on whether it's a physical or online business.
Your most considerable ongoing expense will be buying stock, but gross margins can be very lucrative, as we can learn from this article. Many vintage businesses rely on online and social selling alone. With creativity and hard work, you can make grow your business to seven figures with a very modest initial investment.
It doesn't cost much money to become a writer. However, it's a competitive niche, and landing great clients can be tricky. On the other hand, you only need a laptop and an internet connection to get started.
Start a blog
Starting a blog can be a great business idea. However, you need to be good and understand the basics of SEO to make an impact. If you are passionate about something, be it sports, food, computers, etc., you can slowly build up a reader base and sell ads on your page. Another way to monetize your blog is via affiliate partner programs. Blog writers can make anything from 10k to 200k and up a year.
If you run a copywriting service, you can make about $65,000 a year on average. However, much of that depends on you finding a specialty. The very best writers can make as much as $200k or more a year.
If you already have transport, you can use it to help you make money. Here are some of the best small businesses to start with a van, car, or even a bicycle.
Local delivery service
Local delivery services are an excellent way to make some extra cash. If the market you operate in isn't too saturated, you can do quite well. However, startup costs are relatively high. You'll need a means of transportation to carry you and the packages you're hired to deliver.
The platform economy and companies like Uber and Wolt have enabled almost anyone to employ themselves with deliveries and become a courier. The upside of the model is that individual entrepreneurs don't need to worry about customer acquisition. However, that means the fee per transport is significantly lower than if you serve your customers directly.
On an average day, a local courier can make up to $15 per hour. However, the insurance, car payments, and gas costs are subtracted. Therefore, a more cost-effective and sustainable choice for a local courier could be an e-bike, for example.
Starting a gardening business is a good idea if you're green-fingered and love the outdoors. Startup costs vary based on the service you provide, but things to think about are tools, equipment, transport, and additional staff.
Depending on where you work, a gardener can earn up to $150 to $200 daily. More if they are working on larger, more complex work. Of course, the work is very seasonal, with sharp declines in winter. It can be a very fulfilling job if you can secure regular clients in your area.
The home cleaning industry is booming. Many busy professionals choose to hire someone to clean their house, often on a regular basis. Startup costs are things like chemicals and cleaning equipment. It's a business to start if you don't have a lot of capital to spare.
Home cleaning can be a generalist. Alternatively, you can specialize. For example, you can think about areas like running a carpet cleaning or blind cleaning service. However, the equipment cost for these jobs is far higher, with machines costing thousands of dollars.
With enough work, a home cleaning business can be very profitable. Reports suggest an average take-home of between 16k to 100k a year. Securing commercial clients can take that even further, especially if you hire workers to fulfill contracts as your business expands.
Being a repair person is a great sustainable job. In our disposable culture, so many things get thrown out despite being perfectly good. So helping bring items back to life is a great gift.
Some repair people can fix almost anything. Others specialize in certain areas. To become a repair person, you need to know a lot about electricity, woodwork, and general mechanics. Startup costs will be things like tools, insurance, and transport. However, it all depends on what you repair.
Obviously, clock and watch repair are very specialized. It requires precise tools and knowledge of mechanics. While home repair can be more accessible, parts like plumbing and electricity require specialist training and equipment.
Repair people can make anywhere between $15 and $50 an hour, depending on their niche.
Mobile car wash
You can start a mobile car wash service for as little as $250 to $500. That covers your equipment, including a pressure washer. However, more profound businesses with comprehensive offerings can require a more considerable initial investment, including online advertising.
A mobile car wash business can be a real money spinner. However, there is room for a more sustainable type of car washing. For example, you can reduce water usage and use chemicals that are kinder to the environment. As people are increasingly conscious of their environmental impact, a sustainable approach can give you a competitive advantage.
Mobile locksmith services
Mobile locksmith services help people who are locked out of their homes. Additionally, you can double up as an emergency lock-out assistance for vehicles.
A mobile locksmith course will cost around $3000. However, you can do cheaper courses online for about $1000. You'll also need to do exams and get a state license to practice as a locksmith, which costs around $100.
Of course, the job requires a lot of practice, which is why many people choose to do an apprenticeship.
Once you're qualified, you can start earning. Locksmiths take home around $50,000 a year. The average job charges around $150.
Conclusion: Pick a business idea and get started
While many people think starting a business is expensive, you can actually do it for less than 10k. The challenging part is ensuring you do your research to understand the market and any licenses or qualifications you need to operate in your area.
Some businesses require insurance, permits, and other legal documents. So ensure you find out what you need to operate legally.
Besides that, with the right attitude, you can set up a sustainable and environmentally responsible business without significant capital. Getting your marketing and advertising right is essential, as is using any existing contacts you have to grab some early clients.
So what are you waiting for? If you want to become your own boss, now is as good a time as any.