“How much money do I need to start a business?”
If you’re asking that question, you have a certain amount of savings and you’re wondering if it’s enough to get you started.
The answer to that question is the one you least want to hear: It depends.
It depends on the type of business you’d like to start. If you already have the money and you wonder what you could do with it, it’s possible to rely on a few business ideas.
People will tell you that if you don’t know what business to start, you probably don’t have the passion and enthusiasm you need. Don’t worry about those comments. You’re already passionate about doing something, and that’s enough for a start. You can gain knowledge in several niches and then decide what industry you’ll conquer.
Now; the question of money. How much cash do you need to get your startup going? The U.S. Small Business Administration informs that most home-based franchises start with $2K – $5K, and most microbusinesses need around $3K to start.
However, this is a general claim. Not all home business ideas will be that cheap or that expensive.
Let’s categorize a few cool small business ideas by the starting budget. Find your category based on the funds you have available, and get inspired by the suggestions.
Business Ideas for a Budget < $1K
Is it possible to start something with less than a thousand? Yes! It’s possible to start small and grow from there. If you have such a limited amount to invest, you should look into startup ideas that require minimal funding.
Here are a few suggestions:
Create a Website
An e-commerce website requires a higher budget, since it’s a sales business after all. You’ll have to invest in products to sell. That idea is out of your limits. However, a website doesn’t have to sell products to be resourceful. You can start a site in any niche and monetize it through ads and sponsorships.
There are a few ways to earn through a simple website:
- Pay-per-click ads
- Affiliate links
- Featuring sponsored posts
- Ad space
- Selling eBooks and extremely useful guides
- Accepting donations from visitors
Take a look at what Wait But Why is doing through Patreon. This is a simple website, but its high-quality content is what makes people willing to pay to keep it going.
If you become influential in your niche, your website will bring you money. And you can definitely start it with less than $1K. But don’t expect that this project will immediately start bringing you money. It’s a good idea for those who want to create a source of passive income. It won’t fully support you, at least not during your beginnings.
Offer Gardening Services
Lawn and yard care, tree trimming, and gardening services are often needed in classy neighborhoods. People are willing to pay good money for talented gardeners, who can make their yards look beautiful.
You’ll only need to invest in some training and basic, but good equipment. Then, you’ll start offering services on a local level.
There’s an awesome Reddit thread with real experience from people who started businesses on a low budget. One user shares their experience with a tree trimming/removal business. The initial investment was returned after a few jobs. Since it’s a demanding job, he was able to charge $100 per hour working up in a tree and $50 per hour when working on the ground. He added charges for travel time, and ended up with a minimum quote of $300 per gig.
Tree removal requires specific skills, and it can get dangerous. If you’re not ready for such a business, you can start with lawn and yard care and move up from there.
Start an eBay Reselling Business
This is a no-brainer. The platform is already there, so you won’t invest in building a website. All you need to do is invest your budget in wholesale items, which you’ll then sell at a higher price. Selling on eBay is possible with the things you already have at home, too. You can sell books, clothes, furniture, or anything else you don’t need.
But if you want to turn this activity into a really productive business, you have to build a great store. Start small; $1K is enough to get a base of items. You’ll need to reinvest most of your earnings at first, so you’ll make that store bigger. Choose a good niche and do some marketing. If you’re committed to your eBay business, it will succeed.
Business Ideas for a Budget < $5K
Now we’re talking about a more serious investment, which can spark a very productive business.
How do you feel about reselling products through Amazon?
When compared to eBay, this platform looks more serious and people are willing to pay a higher price to get products faster and safer to their homes.
Here are a few tips that can get you started for less than $5K:
- If you opt for a highly competitive product, you’ll have to compete with the price. You’ll attract an audience by offering a lower price than usual.
- You can choose a not-so-competitive product and sell it at a higher price. Search for a brand that’s not sold on Amazon. Contact the owner and ask if you can stock up your store with their products. Negotiate a lower price for the supplies, and you’ll return this investment rather quickly.
- Contact bloggers and Instagram influencers to offer affiliate links to your products. They will earn a small commission, but you’ll benefit from their audience.
Business Ideas for a Budget < $10K
That Reddit thread mentioned above is full of surprises. One user started a business with $7K and a Kickstarter of $18K. He started a brand that’s already getting some attention: Devil Daves Bloody Mary Sticks. The product is a thematic stick pack of Bloody Mary seasoning. You just choose your favorite tomato juice, pour the seasoning of one stick in a glass, and enjoy your hangover cure.
This is the type of product that you can sell at a higher price on Amazon, since it’s unique. It requires production, but it’s not that difficult.
Of course; you won’t copy that idea. However, for this budget, you can get inspired by it. Do you have a unique idea for a product or service that’s not being sold on the market? If you’re wondering how to come up with business ideas that are so special, you can try brainstorming.
Don’t go for a random idea if you’re not completely in love with it. This type of a startup requires a lot of passion, so take your time to think about it. Another great thing we can learn from this example is that Kickstarter rocks! If your idea is cool enough, people will support it before your product becomes available.
Business Ideas for a Budget < $20K
A budget of $20K is not huge, but it’s enough for a serious local business. Look around town. Would you like to start a retail store, amusement center for kids, or any other kind of brand that would operate locally?
Here are two specific ideas:
Start a Residential Moving Company
This is the type of business that will always have enough customers. You cannot get many vehicles for under $20K, but one second-hand moving truck will get you going for a start. You can also rent vans when you need more vehicles for a big move.
This is the kind of business that can cost a lot of money if you invest in many vehicles and storage spaces. However, it’s always a good idea to start small and grow. $20K is enough for a start.
If you check that Reddit thread again, you’ll notice a comment by a user telling how he and his brother started a residential moving company on that budget. Five years in, they already expanded on two locations and bringing over $200K per month over the summer.
It can work!
Found a Yoga Studio
Many people are practicing yoga nowadays. It’s not just a basic trend that’s going to vanish. It’s an ancient discipline that people fall in love with.
If you love yoga and you’d love to teach, you can invest in a local yoga studio. You’ll need to go through a teacher’s training program if you’re not certified, so part of the budget will go to that purpose. With the rest of your money, you can rent a space and get yoga mats, towels, bricks, and everything else needed for the practice.
One user on that Reddit thread said that they got their first yoga studio opened for around $20K, all in.
Business Ideas for a Budget < $50K
If you’re going to invest such a high amount in a business, you need a foolproof idea. The more money you use to start, the higher the risk is. Develop a detailed business plan that leaves no space for failure.
Here are three ideas that will surely work:
Get a Gym Franchise
$50K is close to the amount you’d pay for a gym franchise, depending on the one you choose. A franchise is a better idea than starting your own brand for a gym. You’re getting free marketing since everyone knows and trusts that brand. You already have something better than local competitors; the franchisee took care of that part.
You’ll only need to secure a good location, choose a good franchisee, and analyze the contract terms in detail. You’ll need a legal advisor for that, so you’ll make sure you understand your responsibilities as a franchise holder. You’ll also need insurance and permits, which the legal advisor will inform you about.
Start a Writing Service
This is one of the most productive online business ideas you could think of nowadays. College students are always looking for better services to buy papers from. They are too stuck with their assignments. If you offer top quality at an affordable price, you’ll get their attention.
Why is the budget for such a business so high? You’ll need to invest in a masterful website. You’ll also recruit the best writers on the market, so you need initial coverage for salaries before you start earning a lot. Plus, you’ll do a lot of marketing, since the competition in this industry is stiff.
You’ll see a Reddit user sharing this type of experience on that Reddit thread. It’s possible to launch a writing startup and grow it into a highly productive business if it’s good enough. This particular user started the business in college using personal statement writing service with native English writers. Their comment is funny: “I ended up making more money than the campus drug dealer.”
Start a Ghost Restaurant
Are you great at cooking? You inherited some awesome recipes from your mother and grandparents, and everyone is thrilled when they taste them?
You’re made for this type of business. A ghost restaurant is also known as a delivery-only restaurant. People order home-made food and they get it at their doorstep.
A “real” restaurant will cost more than $50K. The inventory is expensive, and you have to invest in a huge professional kitchen. You can start smaller with a ghost restaurant. You’ll still need professional kitchen utensils. This type of business requires a license, which imposes specific terms. However, this budget will be enough to cover that part and get you supplies for a great start. You’ll also invest in a delivery vehicle. You’ll probably need to employ a few people, too. And of course, you’ll need a great website and an impressive marketing plan.
That’s the most important lesson to learn when founding a startup. Don’t invest your entire savings in it, since you risk losing them. You’ll be optimistic, but not blind about the risks.
The first step is to get a great business idea. Then, you’ll need to develop it into a plan. This is the moment when professional assistance is more than welcome. Business planning services rely on experience and detailed market research to build a plan. Sure; this costs some money, but it’s also something that makes your startup more likely to succeed.
When you have the plan, you’ll only need to follow it. If you need additional funds, Kickstarter is always a good idea. People will support you if they see your spark and they like what you offer.
If you have the funds but lack the idea, you probably got inspired by the examples listed above. Don’t start right away, though. Give the idea some time to thrive and grow. Envision yourself in that type of business. Would you like such a future for yourself? Does the market need the service or product you plan to offer?
No matter how low or high the budget is, starting a business is not a walk in the park. Focus on the details and prepare everything before you make that investment.
BIO: Robert Everett always wanted to be a writer, but never realized how productive that career would be. Since he got into EduBirdie, he started earning enough money to support himself while traveling the world. Robert is a writer and blogger from the business niche. He loves sharing ideas based on personal experience.