60 Low-Cost Small Business Ideas to Start in 2023


Starting a small business is the dream for many – the ability to be your own boss, set your schedule, and turn your ideas and skills into income. With low startup costs, flexibility, and access to online tools, it’s easier than ever to get a small business off the ground if you have the passion and motivation.

In this article, we’ll share 60 distinctive small business ideas that can be launched with low overhead in 2023. Whether you want to sell products online, offer local services, start a blog, or become a consultant, you’ll discover options to match your interests and budget. Let’s dive in!

Small Business Ideas for Beginners

Consulting and Freelance Services

Offering professional skills and expertise as an independent consultant is an evergreen business model that can be started with minimal costs. Consider these in-demand services:

1. Bookkeeping
Every business needs help keeping their finances organized and in order. Build a bookkeeping practice helping local businesses with tasks like reconciling accounts, invoicing, payroll, taxes, and financial reporting.

2. Web Design and Development
Help small businesses and entrepreneurs get their websites designed and built. You can keep costs low by working from home and outsourcing any development work.

3. Copywriting
Write sales pages, blog posts, web content, newsletters, social media posts, and more for clients big and small as a freelance copywriter. Hone your writing skills for this portable service business.

4. Graphic Design
Freelance graphic designers are always in high demand for creating logos, ads, marketing materials, presentations, and visual designs for brands.

5. SEO Services
As an SEO consultant, you can offer small businesses services like keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and search engine ranking reports.

6. Social Media Marketing
Manage organizations’ social media accounts, grow their followers, develop content, and track ROI. This digital skillset is perfect for freelancing.

7. Virtual Assistant
Provide administrative support to busy entrepreneurs by becoming a VA handling tasks like email management, data entry, research, scheduling, and more.

Ecommerce and Product Businesses

Thanks to ecommerce platforms like Etsy, Shopify, and Amazon, launching a business selling products online is easier and more affordable than ever. Consider these inventive product ideas.

8. Handmade Crafts
Make and sell jewelry, candles, soaps, artwork, embroidery, wreaths, ceramics and other handmade items. Etsy and craft fairs are great channels.

9. Print-on-Demand Products
Use print-on-demand companies like CafePress to upload your designs to products like t-shirts, mugs, phone cases that you sell through your own store.

10. Affiliate Marketing
Earn commissions promoting other companies’ products on your website. Find affiliate programs through networks like CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, and more.

11. Online Courses or Ebooks
Share your expertise through information products you can easily create and sell on platforms like Teachable and Udemy.

12. Subscription Boxes
Curate special packages of goods catered to a theme and ship monthly subscription boxes to paying members.

13. Food Products
Whip up tasty baked goods, candy, sauces, spices, and other food items to sell through local stores, markets, or online.

14. Handmade Soap and Cosmetics
Craft handmade beauty products using ingredients like shea butter, essential oils, herbs, and beeswax, then sell on Etsy or your own shop.

15. Pet Treats and Products
Whip up homemade dog biscuits, pet toys, pet bandanas and other creations for the growing pet care market.

16. Gift Baskets
Create themed gift baskets tailored to occasions and holidays containing food, crafts, accessories, and other creative gifts.

17. Vinyl Stickers and Decals
Design and produce custom vinyl stickers for cars, laptops, water bottles, walls, and more using a vinyl cutter printer and Cricut machine.

Local Service Businesses

Service-based businesses make excellent starter ventures since you can get started quickly and keep costs low. Tap into the local market with these winning ideas.

18. Residential Cleaning
Launch a local house cleaning service marketing directly to homeowners who need regular help keeping their homes tidy.

19. Errand Services
Help busy professionals run errands like grocery shopping, pharmacy pickups, dry cleaning, returning library books, and all kinds of daily tasks.

20. Home Organization
Declutter, organize, and design space for garages, closets, pantries, playrooms and other home areas to simplify clients’ lives.

21. Handyman Services
Offer general repairs, maintenance, assembly, and improvements for homeowners as a handy, jack-of-all-trades.

22. Junk Hauling and Removal
Use a pickup truck to remove unwanted items from homes and properties for clients wanting help downsizing or de-cluttering.

23. Lawn Care and Landscaping
Start a basic lawn mowing, yard cleanup, and landscaping service where you live using your own or rented equipment.

24. Pressure Washing
Make grimy surfaces like decks, patios, driveways, and houses look sparkling clean again with this simple mobile service.

25. Auto Detailing
Detail cars inside and out—washing, waxing, vacuuming, polishing, etc. for individual vehicle owners or car dealers.

26. Painting
Launch a painting business offering interior and exterior painting for homes, offices, and commercial spaces in your community.

27. Moving Services
Use moving trucks and equipment to assist local residents and businesses relocate efficiently and affordably.

28. Furniture Assembly
Put together chairs, tables, desks, shelves, and beds purchased from stores like IKEA for clients in your area.

29. Computer Repair
Fix laptops, desktops, tablets, phones and more and provide other IT services like installation and tutoring.

30. Resume Writing
Write and optimize professional resumes and cover letters to help others in your community land more job interviews.

Pet Businesses

Pet-related ventures make excellent home-based businesses, since many of the services can be mobile. Consider these pet care ideas.

31. Dog Walking
Offer neighborhood dog walking, doggie daycare, pet taxi, and overnight pet sitting services. Market locally with apps like Rover.

32. Mobile Pet Grooming
Groom pets at their homes with a van outfitted with grooming equipment so owners don’t have to travel.

33. Dog Training
If you have dog behavior and training experience, share your expertise by offering obedience classes or one-on-one training.

34. Pet Treat Bakery
Whip up homemade healthy dog biscuits, cat treats, snacks, and baked goods for local pet owners to sell online or at stores.

35. Pet Apparel and Accessories
Get crafty making cute bandanas, bow ties, tees, leashes, toys, beds and other pet products pet owners love.

Online Businesses

The internet makes starting an online-based business extremely affordable. Here are more virtual ventures you can launch.

36. Blogging
Start a blog sharing your knowledge and expertise on a topic you love and monetize it through ads, affiliates, products, and coaching.

37. Youtube Channel
Create a Youtube channel to showcase your skills on camera through tutorials, reviews, gameplay, comedy, commentary and more.

38. Information Products
Sell digital products like online courses, ebooks, guides, templates, checklists, and more through your own website.

39. Virtual Bookkeeping
Provide remote bookkeeping services like payroll, sales tax, financial statements, and more for clients nationwide.

40. Virtual Assistant Services
Set up services where busy clients can outsource administrative, technical, creative or marketing tasks to you online.

41. Resale Arbitrage
Sourcing underpriced inventory from thrift stores and auctions and reselling on sites like eBay and Amazon.

42. Dropshipping
Sell trendy products you source from third party suppliers shipped directly to customers when you make a sale.

43. Ride Share Driver
Earn extra income in your spare time by driving for platforms like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash in your city.

Personal Concierge Businesses

Help time-strapped locals by offering these convenient concierge and delivery services.

44. Grocery and Meal Delivery
Make grocery store and meal prep runs for busy professionals, new parents, seniors, and the disabled in your community.

45. Personal Shopper
Save clients time by picking up dry cleaning, prescriptions, groceries, and other items as an on-demand personal shopper.

46. Party Planning
Organize and manage weddings, birthdays parties, corporate events, and other gatherings as a professional event planner.

47. Personal Chef
Prepare weekly fresh meals and healthy meal plans tailored to clients’ dietary needs and restrictions as a personal chef.

48. Travel Planning
Plan customized vacation itineraries, book accommodations, make reservations, schedule transportation and trips.

49. Virtual Personal Assistant
Provide round-the-clock assistance with managing calendars, emails, documents, calls, bookings, research, data entry, and tasks.

At-Home Businesses

Thanks to technology, launching a business from home has never been more attainable. Consider these at-home ideas.

50. Professional Organizing
Help clients declutter, organize, and design their spaces like closets, kitchens, offices, and more by working from their location.

51. Phone, Email, Chat Customer Support
Work remotely providing customer service and support for companies that outsource using platforms like SupportFuze.

52. Transcription Services
Convert audio files to text documents with transcription services you can offer to clients from home.

53. Data Entry
Clean up spreadsheets, input information, complete online forms, prepare documents, and compile data from home.

54. Call Center Services
Handle inbound customer calls, emails, chats for companies from your own home office.

55. Tech Support and IT Services
Provide computer help desk, troubleshooting, and technical support virtually.

56. Virtual Tutoring
Tutor students of all ages online in academic subjects, music, sports, hobbies, and other skills.

57. Resume and Cover Letter Writing
Put your human resources or writing skills to work creating winning resumes and cover letters for clients remotely.

58. Proofreading and Editing
Freelance editors and proofreaders can tidy up book manuscripts, blogs, student papers, and other documents remotely.

59. Grant Writing
Write effective grant proposals for nonprofits and organizations seeking funding from foundations, the government, and donors.

60. Animation and Motion Graphics
Use skills with animation software to produce explainer videos, ads, logos, and other multimedia content remotely.


As you can see, you don’t need a fortune or previous experience to launch a profitable small business that matches your talents and interests. With low overhead and easy access to resources online, now is an ideal time to turn your side hustle idea into a thriving startup. We hope this list sparked some ideas so you can join the exciting world of entrepreneurship.

What low-cost small business appeals to you most? Let us know in the comments which idea resonates with you and we’ll do our best to provide more tips and guidance to get started!

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