77 Best Businesses To Start W/ 10K Or Less (& how to pick one)

by Survival Zen

A lack of funds is the one obstacle that many people feel keeps them from starting a business. How can you set up a successful business if you don’t have the capital to do so? However, you don’t need to have huge amounts of funding and the backing of investors to start a business. There are plenty of ideas you can consider that will allow you to start a business with $10,000 or less. Some businesses can even be launched with nothing more than a few hundred dollars, or even barely anything at all.

So we’ve put together a huge list of businesses you can start with just an idea and a dream, and maybe a little bit of cash. Even if you’re on a budget, you can build a successful company.

How to Start and Run a Business Successfully on a Limited Budget

Not sure how you should go about starting and running a business when you’re strapped for cash? There are many strategies and techniques you can use to make it happen. Of course, choosing the right business idea is the first step to making it work, but it doesn’t end there.

First of all, you need to come up with a lean business plan that makes the most of your budget. Plan out what resources you need, what your costs are going to be, and how you can save money. Once you’ve done this, the real challenge is keeping your business going and making it successful while your budget is still low.

You can use a variety of tactics to save money while growing your business. Outsourcing, for example, can save you a lot of money compared to hiring permanent staff. Focusing on investing your profits back into the growth of your business helps you to grow it on a lean budget and quickly start to find success.

Other tips to keep in mind include:

  • Know your strengths and keep building on your skills
  • Watch carefully over your finances and cash flow
  • Only buy what you really need – avoid overspending on unnecessary equipment, real estate, or anything else
  • Look for ways to save money with discounts, offers, and deals
  • Collaborate with other businesses to get more done together
  • Look for extra funding to help your business grow faster

77 Businesses to Start with $10k or Less

  1. eCommerce

Selling online will always be a good bet for a new business on a budget. However, competition can be stiff, so do your research.

  1. 3D Printing

A 3D printer requires a small investment and opens up many options. You can offer printing services or make things to sell.

  1. Home Staging

Setting up homes for real estate agencies is a great option if you love interior design. This service is in increasing demand.

  1. Life Coaching

If you have some wisdom to pass on, you could help people live their best lives with nothing more than a laptop and a website.

  1. Food Truck

With smart planning, a food truck can be started on a budget. However, keeping it going can be challenging after your launch.

  1. Resume Writing

People with HR or recruitment expertise might be drawn to resume and CV writing. People can pay big bucks to boost their careers.

  1. Clothes Altering

If you have a sewing machine and some sewing skills, this business could work for you. You could quickly learn alteration too.

  1. Baking Services

A small baking business doesn’t have a lot of startup costs. If you’re a baker, you could sell wedding cakes, cupcakes, or more.

  1. Tutoring or Teaching

If you have any particular skills, teaching them to others is usually low-cost. But building a client base can take some time.

  1. Pet Sitting

Animal lovers will enjoy caring for people’s pets. There’s also the option to add on other services, such as dog walking.

  1. Real Estate Agent

Getting into the real estate business is a good choice for natural salespeople. You’ll need the right certifications and licenses.

  1. Moving or Hauling

If you can invest in a truck and trailer, you can start moving things for money. Offer haulage or moving services.

  1. Consultancy

Any professional skills can be transferred to consultancy services. Act as a consultant for businesses to help them grow and improve.

  1. Guided Tours

Become a tour guide if you’re interested in culture and history. You could soon grow your business with additional tour guides.

  1. Personal Trainer

If you know about health and fitness, being a personal trainer could work for you. Offer online services to save more money.

  1. Homegrown Nursery

With a backyard and some green thumbs, you could grow plants to sell. Fresh produce could also be turned into various products.

  1. Business Plan Writing

Put your business knowledge to use by writing business plans. A computer and a phone are all you need to get started.

  1. Copywriting

Develop copywriting skills or take a course to learn what you need to know. This professional service is always in demand.

  1. Window and Gutter Cleaning

Domestic services are often a winner and don’t have huge startup costs. Hiring equipment in the beginning can save money.

  1. SEO Consultant

Offer digital marketing services to help companies grow online. You can apply your skills to your own business too.

  1. Childcare

Childcare services of different types are always in demand. Babysitting, nannying and other options can be viable businesses.

  1. Photography Services

If you enjoy photography as a hobby, turn it into a profitable business. Find your niche to help you discover success.

  1. Pet Grooming

Pet grooming has become an increasingly sought-out service, and good pet groomers are always in demand. Get the right training first.

  1. Virtual Assistant

If you can set up a small home office space, you can be a virtual assistant. Help people with a range of tasks.

  1. Graphic Design Services

Graphic designers can offer services to businesses, charities, and more. If you have the skills, you can turn them into a business.

  1. Local Delivery/Courier Services

Investing in a vehicle such as a truck or a van can open up various business opportunities, including local delivery services.

  1. Equipment Rental Service

There are many types of equipment that businesses or individuals prefer to hire instead of buy. Find out what’s in demand.

  1. Meal Prep

Keen cooks can make a business out of preparing meals for busy people. Consider specializing in a certain diet or client type.

  1. Mobile Car Wash

Mobile car washing offers convenience to customers and doesn’t require business premises. Just get a vehicle and the necessary tools.

  1. Research Services

Anyone who has strong research skills may be able to make money from offering business research services and more.

  1. Jewelry Designer/Maker

Creative skills can be very marketable, especially if you can make unique items to sell. Designing and making jewelry is one option.

  1. Making Soap or Essential Oils

Another product you could make is soap or essential oils. These are popular items for those looking for hand-crafted products.

  1. Makeup Artist

Makeup artists can provide services for weddings and other events, as well as commercial purposes. You can build your equipment over time.

  1. Cleaning Services

You don’t need much to start a cleaning business, especially if you ask your clients to provide the equipment and cleaning products.

  1. Dropshipping

If you’re interested in eCommerce but want a low-stakes option, dropshipping allows you to skip holding any stock.

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  1. Doula Service

A gentler birthing experience is all the rage, and birthing companions are popular to provide much-needed (often non-medical) support.

  1. Reselling Vintage Items

Buying and reselling can be a good strategy for making money. Vintage items are in high demand, from clothes to furniture.

  1. Event Entertainment

Entertainment for events could be children’s party entertainment, wedding music, and much more.

  1. Landscaping Services

Investing in some tools and transport could be all that you need to do to get started with landscaping or lawn care services.

  1. Pressure Washing

All you need is a pressure washer and perhaps some transport to start offering powerful cleaning services or equipment hire.

  1. Decorating and Interior Design

You could get started with decorating or interior design by investing in a few tools that help you get the job done.

  1. Chimney Cleaning

Fireplaces and wood burners are still popular, and you can earn well cleaning chimneys. Consider a franchise business with training.

  1. Dent Removal

Provide services removing dents from vehicles with a few essential tools that you’ll need to get started. Make it mobile to save money.

  1. Bicycle Repair

Focus on smaller modes of transport by learning how to fix bicycles or using your existing skills to provide a mobile service.

  1. Event/Party Planner

Planning events can ensure you have work from corporate customers or the general public. There are lots of events to focus on.

  1. Hair Stylist

Like a makeup artist, a hairstylist can provide services for special events. You could provide services on-location.

  1. Vending Machine Business

Owning vending machines can be a way to make a fairly passive income. Just keep them well-stocked and collect the cash.

  1. Car Detailing

Keep people’s car interiors clean with a detailing service. Investing in a few products and tools could get you started.

  1. Property Management

Offer to manage people’s properties, including taking care of maintenance and dealing with tenant issues.

  1. Social Media Management

Work online when you provide social media management services to businesses or perhaps to creatives, media personalities, and more.

  1. Bookkeeping and Tax Services

Looking after finances for businesses and people is always needed. However, you may need some certifications.

  1. Personal Shopping

Become a personal shopper for people who are looking for advice, or those who need some help getting their shopping done.

  1. Professional Organizing

If you love to organize anything, turn it into a business by offering to put people’s homes, businesses, and lives in order.

  1. Translation Services

Put a second language to use by providing online translation or interpretation services. You might want to consider some certifications.

  1. Professional Training

Training people in professional skills, from sales to customer service, is an interesting and low-cost B2B option.

  1. Video Production

Pick up a video camera and produce videos for businesses or individuals. You could make ads, wedding videos, and more.

  1. App Development

App development skills can easily be used to turn a profit. Offer services making apps to meet the demand from businesses.

  1. Home Care and Companionship

Non-medical home care businesses are needed by seniors and disabled people. Some are also looking for company.

  1. Medical Claims Billing

You will need to learn the ins and outs of medical claims billing, but it can be a profitable business to run.

  1. Content Creation

Creating content for businesses allows you to capitalize on the need for digital content at a low cost.

  1. Personal Errand/Concierge Service

Some people are just busy and don’t have much time for running errands. Offer to do it for them for a price.

  1. Home Maintenance Services

Put some handy skills to use by providing home maintenance and domestic tasks, from fixing things to building furniture.

  1. Subscription Box Business

Subscription boxes are very popular, especially as gifts. But you need to think of a unique twist for success.

  1. Online Dating Consultancy

Online dating is tough to navigate but you could help people build the perfect profile and find the right partner.

  1. Travel Planner

Take the stress out of planning travel by doing it for your clients. Get to know destinations and create itineraries.

  1. Massage Therapist

Massage therapy can be a mobile business, which you conduct in your own home or wherever your client requests you.

  1. Small-Batch Goods Selling

Make and sell artisanal products in small batches. This could include many things you can make at home.

  1. Blogging

Start with one blog and build up to multiple blogs, using a range of methods to make money from your content.

  1. Sell Stock Photography/Video

Use your photography or videography skills to create generic images and footage that can be licensed.

  1. Buy a Franchise

Explore a wide range of businesses and get set up affordably by buying into a franchise, instead of starting from scratch.

  1. Driving Services

You don’t have to work for Uber or Lyft to make a living as a driver. Consider setting up on your own instead.

  1. Holiday Home Management

Help people out in the growing vacation home market by taking care of their properties, and offering cleaning and management.

  1. Laundry Service

A large washing machine and dryer may be all you need to start up your own laundry service and slowly grow it.

  1. IT Support

Use your technical skills to provide remote or in-person technical support to businesses or individuals.

  1. House Sitting

Care for people’s homes while they’re away or provide security services for vacant properties.

  1. Carpet Cleaning

The tools and equipment required for carpet cleaning services won’t require much of an investment. A vehicle can come in handy too.

  1. Private Investigator

Put your research skills to good use by becoming a private investigator. But remember to check licensing requirements and laws for your region.

Evaluating and Choosing the Best Business Idea

With so many potential ideas that could inspire you, how exactly should you choose the best one? It’s not all about what interests you or what you’re drawn to, although that can be helpful too. You need to know you’re starting a business that has the potential to be profitable. It might not be the most exciting part of starting a business, but this requires research to help you make your decision.

If you don’t know where to start, choosing something that sounds interesting to you or aligns with your current skills and experience is a good idea. However, once you’ve picked an idea or two that interest you, you need to start researching the market to work out if it will be viable.

Here are some questions to ask when you’re deciding on a business idea:

  • Is there a demand for this product or service?
  • What will you do differently to existing businesses in the market?
  • Who will your customers be?
  • Who are your main competitors?
  • What will the market look like in the future?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What skills and experience do you have that will help? What skills will you need to grow?

How to Secure Funding and Financing for a Business Startup

Many people use personal savings to help fund a business idea, but it’s definitely not the only way you can fund a business. There are multiple ways to secure funding that will help you to ensure you have the capital to launch a business.

Some of your options for securing funding and financing your business include:

  • Take out a loan – either a personal loan or a business loan
  • Borrow money from friends and family, or get them to invest
  • Use crowdfunding to get the public to fund your business
  • Look for local business grants and loans from government bodies, charitable organizations, and similar
  • Consider peer-to-peer lenders
  • Find opportunities for equity investment from angel investors or venture capitalists

How to Get a Business Loan

Business loans are often the go-to option for securing startup funding. Business loans will generally come from banks and credit unions, offering a more traditional way to fund a new business. If you want to get a business loan, there are a few things you can do to secure your chances of actually getting a loan.

Before approaching any lenders, be sure to create a business plan. Lenders will want to see what your plan is for your business and how you’re going to grow it. It’s also beneficial to have an expense sheet and financial projections, ideally for the next five years. If lenders think your business may be too risky, you might be able to get an SBA-guaranteed loan.

Best Small Business Loans

You have many different options if you’re looking for the best small business loans to help you start your business. Our list of the best 10 small business lenders can help you get started with finding the best option for your new business.

They include:

  • BlueVine
  • Kabbage
  • Lendio
  • FundBox
  • Funding Circle
  • Kiva
  • Accion
  • OnDeck
  • StreetShares
  • Currency

Being on a tight budget doesn’t have to stop you from starting a business. Whether you have $100 or $10,000, you can start a business that becomes a success . There are various business ideas that might suit you in different markets. Additionally, there are always opportunities for you to seek more funding for your business. Securing a business loan or another type of funding can give you the money you need to start and grow your business.

Choose your business idea carefully and spend plenty of time researching and planning to ensure you can grow it on a budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some ways to cut costs when starting a business?

You can cut costs in many ways when starting a business. Consider hiring equipment instead of renting it, or outsourcing tasks instead of hiring employees. Look for discounts and good deals, and consider running your business from home, to begin with.

How can I market my business effectively with a limited budget?

Marketing can quickly get costly, but it can be done on a budget. Digital marketing is often best for cash-strapped businesses, especially if you can do some of it yourself. Use methods like SEO, social media, and content marketing.

How can I manage my finances effectively as a small business owner?

One of the best things small business owners can do is to hire an accountant or bookkeeper. It might seem like another expense, but it’s worth it to manage your finances properly. Use accounting software and other tools to keep track of your finances too.

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