15 Businesses You Can Start With $5,000 or Less

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If you dream of clocking out of your nine-to-five job for the last time and becoming your own boss, you’ve probably considered a variety of small business ideas. But, while you have plenty of passion, direction can be hard to find.


Best Small Business Ideas

1. Handyman

Are you always fixing things around the house? Often on call when friends need small projects completed? Put together a website, figure out what your time and expertise is worth, and start asking those thankful friends for referrals.


2. Woodworker

Similarly, if you have a passion for crafting beautiful furniture or other home goods out of wood — there’s demand for that. List a few of your pieces on sites like Etsy, eBay, or Craigslist. Once you build a following, consider starting a website, accepting custom orders, or expanding to refinishing work and upholstery.


3. Online dating consultant

Dating consultants usually charge for their time. They help people create successful online dating profiles, source possible matches from outside normal online channels, and offer a level of personalization Tinder just can’t. Think you’ve got a knack for the match? This might be the business for you.


4. Sewing and alteration specialist

People will always need clothing hemmed and buttons mended — and you could be the person to do it. If you love sewing, start by offering simple services like those mentioned above, and expand your repertoire to dressmaking and design as you build a customer base and demand.


5. Freelance developer


From building websites for other small businesses to providing technical support for certain projects, quality web development is in high demand right now. With such a technical skillset, make sure you can describe what you do and how you will do it in easy-to-understand language. Test your messaging on friends and family who don’t have a firm understanding of the work you do.


6. Personal trainer

Offer in-home consultations, personalized nutrition and exercise regimens, and community boot camps to get the word out. Don’t forget to populate an Instagram feed with inspirational quotes, free exercise videos, and yummy snack ideas as well — it’s a common way for fitness gurus to build their brands.

7. Freelance graphic designer


Set your own hours, choose your projects, and build a portfolio and business you’re proud of. From website design to blog graphics and more, many companies seek out experienced graphic designers for all manner of projects.


8. Life/career coach


If you have some experience under your belt, put it to good use as a life or career coach. Many of us are looking for guidance in our careers — and finding someone with the time to mentor us can be tough. Life/career coaches don’t come cheap, but they are able to offer clients the intense and hands-on training and advice they need to make serious moves in their personal and professional lives. After all, sometimes everyone just needs some uplifting advice.

9. Resume writer


Submitting a resume, cover letter, and — when necessary — portfolio for a new job can be tough and time consuming. That’s why many people hire help. Assist clients with tailored resumes, beautifully edited cover letters, and carefully crafted portfolios that make it impossible for employers to ignore.

10. Freelance writer


If you have writing skills, there’s someone out there willing to pay you for them. Write blog posts, magazine articles, and website copy galore — just make sure you have a body of work built up to share with potential clients. Even if you create a few sample pieces to have on hand, they’ll help exhibit your work and attract new business.


11. Translator

Speak a foreign language? Start a translation service. Consider specializing in a specific genre of translation, like medical or financial translation, as you might be able to fill a niche need in your community.

12. Garden designer


Many people have the willingness to do the dirty work in their backyards, but few have the know-how to design a backyard space to begin with. Draw up the designs for your clients’ outdoor spaces and let them do the actual digging.

13. Ecommerce store owner


Do you create, collect, or curate anything special? Consider starting an ecommerce store and turning your hobby into a full-time job. Whether you need somewhere to sell all that pottery you’ve been making, or an excuse to search for the sports memorabilia you love tracking down — an ecommerce store can make it financially viable for you to pursue your passion.


14. Landscaper

Mowing, tree-trimming, and seasonal decor are all neighborhood needs. If you have or can acquire the equipment, a landscaping business can be a lucrative affair.


15. Videographer

Video production requires you to have invested in the equipment up front which can be quite expensive. But that’s also what makes your services so valuable. Make sure you have a reel of your work to share or create a website with several selections of your work available for interested viewers.

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May 24, 2020 1:28 PM

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50k is plenty to start most types of businesses. Honestly, I have never spent more than a few thousand to get any of my ventures off the ground. ... It can take a very long time to build a successful business. Make sure it is something you don't mind working on for the next 5-10 years.

May 24, 2020 2:41 PM

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the easiest business to start is a service business, especially for a beginner. A service business is any kind of business where you sell services. In other words, you sell your skill, labor or expertise — instead of products or goods


Why a service business? Simple. Almost anyone can start and operate a service business. Everyone has some knowledge or ability to do something that others will pay for. There are also good financial and strategic reasons that a service business makes sense.

May 24, 2020 2:43 PM

After all, you don’t have the expenses of renting office space – you can work out of your home at first. You don’t have to develop a product. There’s no factory, warehouse or inventory to invest in.

You don’t have the expense of hiring employees. Most service businesses start out as sole proprietorships. Later on you can hire help but it’s not essential at the beginning.

May 24, 2020 2:44 PM

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With a low barrier to entry, house cleaning can be a great way to start doing what you love — soon. Consider advertising to homes in your neighborhood and get more bang for your buck by earning a few small businesses as clients as well. They’ll usually bring in a higher paycheck for a similar amount of work.

May 24, 2020 2:52 PM

If you decide to perform a service for other businesses or do consulting, establish a profile on LinkedIn. Perhaps join LinkedIn ProFinder. And check out freelance marketplaces like Fiverr, Freelancer.com and Upwork. These marketplaces can be a great way to get early clients. You don’t even need your own website at first.

May 24, 2020 2:53 PM