Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start your own business online but don’t have much money?
Starting a business can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a lot of capital to invest. However, there are plenty of low-cost business ideas with high profit margins that can help you get your entrepreneurial journey off the ground.
In this article, we’ll explore 29 low-cost business ideas with high profit margins that you can start from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re a business owner, student, or just looking to make some extra money, these online business ideas could be just what you’re looking for!
These low cost business ideas with high profit margins will help you reduce unnecessary expenditures that would normally go toward office rentals, equipment, or storage. From blogging and affiliate marketing to freelance writing, these business ideas offer great potential and returns on your investment.
Read on to learn and start exploring.
Top Low-Cost Business Ideas with High Profit
1. Start an Online Blog
Blogging involves creating and maintaining a website or blog where you can share your thoughts, experiences, and expertise with a wide audience. The main benefit of blogging is that it allows you to monetize your content and build a loyal following. In fact, according to a survey by ProBlogger, the average blogger earns $19,000 per year, with the top earners making upwards of $100,000.
To get started, you will need a computer, an internet connection, and a domain name and hosting service. There are also many platforms, such as WordPress, Blogger, and Squarespace, that make it easy to set up and maintain a blog.
Once your blog is up and running, you can monetize it through a variety of methods, such as advertising, sponsored content, and selling products or services. It is important to regularly create and publish high-quality content to attract and retain an audience. You also need to engage with your readers through comments and social media to build a loyal following.
2. Learn Affiliate Marketing
This is an increasingly popular choice among low-cost business ideas with high profits. With affiliate marketing, you can earn a commission by promoting other people’s or companies’ products or services. In fact, according to Glassdoor, affiliates in the US earned an average of $56,000 per year, with the top earners making over $100,000.
It’s not too difficult to get started, as you will need to sign up for an affiliate program, usually free and found on the company’s website whose products or services you want to promote. Some popular affiliate networks include Commission Junction, Amazon Associates, and ShareASale.
Once you are accepted into an affiliate program, you will be provided with a unique affiliate link that you can use to promote the products or services on your website or social media accounts. When someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you will earn a commission on the sale.
Just remember to choose products or services that are relevant to your audience and to promote them in a way that adds value to your followers.
3. Amazon FBA
This business model allows you to sell your products on Amazon’s platform while Amazon handles all the logistics, from storage to shipping. Not only does this save you time and money, but it also allows you to tap into Amazon’s vast customer base and build a low-cost startup business with high profit.
Plus, with Amazon Prime, your products will be eligible for fast, free shipping, increasing the chances of making a sale. In fact, according to Amazon, FBA sellers see an average of 30% higher sales compared to non-FBA sellers.
To begin, you will need to create a seller account on Amazon and set up a product listing for your product. You will also need to source your product and have it shipped to an Amazon fulfillment center. Once your product is live on Amazon, customers can purchase it, and Amazon will handle the fulfillment and customer service.
You’ll want to consider using tools like Jungle Scout to help you find and source profitable products and to manage your Amazon seller account. And don’t forget to sign up for an Amazon Professional Seller Account to get access to more features and higher selling limits.
4. Start a Dropshipping Business
According to Oberlo, the drop shipping industry is to reach $243.42 billion in 2023. This figure is expected to continue rising in the coming years. It is predicted that by 2026, the market size will be worth as much as $476.1 billion
With drop shipping, you can sell products on your website or online store without having to hold any inventory or fulfill orders yourself. Instead, you partner with a supplier or manufacturer who handles the inventory and fulfillment for you. This allows you to focus on marketing and selling the products while the supplier takes care of the rest.
When starting off, you will need to choose a niche and find a supplier or manufacturer who offers drop shipping for their products. You can use platforms like SaleHoo, AliExpress, and Oberlo to find drop shipping suppliers. Once you have found a supplier, you will need to set up a website or online store to sell the products.
You can use platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce to set up your online store. When a customer places an order, you will forward the order to the supplier, who will then ship the product directly to the customer.
5. Start a Podcast
Podcasting has become a popular and lucrative medium for content creators due to its low barriers to entry and the potential for a high profit margin. It allows individuals and organizations to create and distribute their own audio or video content to a large audience through platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
According to Podcast Insights, there are currently over 850,000 active podcasts and over 30 million podcast episodes. To get started, you’ll need to decide on a topic and format for your podcast, as well as a name and artwork.
You’ll also need recording equipment and a hosting platform, like Anchor.fm, Buzzsprout, or Podbean, which will help distribute your podcast and allow you to monetize it through advertising, sponsorships, and donations. You can create a podcast about anything. As long as you have an interested audience, you can continue producing content.
6. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing allows you to use your writing skills to create content for businesses, websites, magazines, and more and is easily the cheapest business to start with high profit potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for writers and authors is expected to grow by 4% from 2019 to 2031, making it a lucrative field for skilled writers.
Starting a freelance writing business can be a great way to earn a living while doing work you enjoy. As an owner of your own freelance writing business, you have the freedom to choose your own projects and set your own schedule, allowing you to work from anywhere and balance your work with other commitments.
To grow your business, it’s important to have a professional website and portfolio of your writing samples, as well as find clients through networking, cold pitching, job boards, and online marketplaces. Offer value to your clients beyond just writing, and be professional and reliable in your work. Finally, continually improve your skills and stay up-to-date on industry trends to stay competitive and attract new clients.
Keep reading for more low-cost business ideas with high profit potential.
7. Social Media Management
Social media management allows you to use your skills and knowledge to help businesses and organizations build their online presence and reach a wider audience. According to a survey by Hootsuite, 71% of small to mid-sized businesses use social media for marketing, making it an important aspect of their business strategy.
To begin, you will need to build a portfolio of your social media work and create a website or online presence to showcase your skills. You can also join freelance job platforms, such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer, to find social media management gigs and build a client base.
The fee for social media management services can vary depending on the scope and complexity of the work, with high-end clients and large businesses potentially paying experienced social media managers upwards of a thousand dollars per month.
8. Become an Online Personal trainer/Health Coach
Online personal training allows you to use your skills and knowledge to help clients achieve their fitness goals from the comfort of their own homes. In fact, according to the consulting firm Global Market Insights, the average growth of the online fitness industry is expected to be over 30% from 2020 to 2026. This makes it a lucrative field for skilled trainers.
You will need to create a website or online presence to showcase your services and credentials as a personal trainer when starting off. You can also join online personal training platforms, such as Trainerize or PTminder, to find clients and manage your business. You can also consider offering package deals or subscription-based training plans to provide ongoing support and accountability for your clients.
9. Selling on eBay
Selling on eBay allows you to use your skills and knowledge to find and sell items for a profit. According to eBay, there are over 138 million active buyers on the platform, making it a great place to find a market for your products.
To start selling on eBay, you will need to set up an eBay seller account and create a seller profile to showcase your business. You can also join eBay selling groups or forums to learn tips and tricks from experienced sellers and connect with potential buyers. When selling on eBay, it’s important to do your research and price your items competitively to attract buyers.
10. Offer a Transcription Service
Doing transcription is common among low-cost business ideas with high profit potential, due the very low startup costs. Transcription allows you to use your skills and knowledge to transcribe audio or video recordings into written documents.
A report by Grand View Research predicts that the demand for transcriptionists is expected to grow by 6.1% from 2020 to 2027 in the next decade, making it a promising field for skilled professionals.
It can help to set up a website or online presence to showcase your services and credentials as a transcriptionist. You can also reach out to potential clients directly or join online platforms that connect transcriptionists with clients, such as TranscribeMe or GoTranscript.
11. Editing & Proofreading
With an editing and proofreading business, you can use your language expertise to assist others while also enjoying the freedom of working remotely and setting your own rates. Due to the very low startup costs, becoming an editor is a common entry on lists of low-cost business ideas with high profit potential.
All you need is a reliable computer and internet connection, as well as a keen eye for detail and strong proofreading skills. There are also various tools and resources available, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, and proofreading software like Grammarly or ProWritingAid, to help you polish your craft.
Finding clients is as easy as joining a freelance platform like Upwork or Fiverr or even marketing your services on social media. The demand for proofreading services is expected to increase by 5% in the next half-decade, so now might be the perfect time to turn your love of language into a profitable online business.
12. Start a YouTube Channel
Starting a YouTube channel, apart from being a lucrative business idea, allows you to share your passion and expertise with the world. Not only is it a fun and creative outlet, but it also has the potential to generate significant income through advertising, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.
All you need is a smartphone or computer and a reliable internet connection to get started. Consider brainstorming ideas for your channel, creating a channel name and branding, and planning out the types of videos you want to produce.
Some tools and platforms that can help you succeed on YouTube include video editing software, a good microphone and camera, and social media accounts to promote your channel. As you grow your channel, you can also consider collaborating with other creators and partnering with brands to increase your reach and income.
The average YouTuber with a million subscribers earns a yearly income of $57,000, so the potential for profitability is definitely there, but don’t underestimate the amount of work you need to put in to make your YouTube channel a success.
Most successful YouTubers work on a daily upload schedule and spend many hours a day scripting, filming, and editing their videos. Becoming a YouTube is one of those low-cost business ideas with high profit potential where you need to be very passionate about what you do to make it.
13. Publishing an eBook and Selling it on Amazon
This business idea allows you to share your knowledge and expertise with a global audience, all while generating income through book sales and ebook rentals. To begin, all you need is a computer, a word processor, and an idea for your book. Consider writing a book outline and creating a timeline for completing your book.
Self-publishing can be a lucrative business venture. If you do your research and experiment with different strategies, you can make $10,000 a month publishing your own ebook.
A few resources that can aid in publishing an ebook include a grammar checker, a cover design tool, and a formatting tool. As you publish and promote your ebook, you can also consider collaborating with other authors and participating in Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program to increase your reach and income.
14. Becoming a Social Media Influencer
As an influencer, you’ll have the opportunity to share your expertise and interests with a large audience, all while generating income through sponsorships, endorsements, and affiliate marketing. On average, influencers earn around $36,000 a year, while mega influencers (over 1 million followers) earn more than $180,000 a year.
It’s pretty easy to get started – choose a social media platform that aligns with your interests and expertise. The easiest platform to get started and become successful on is TikTok.
Then, start building a following by posting engaging and informative content. Consider creating a content calendar and developing a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged.
You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the platform’s terms of service and community guidelines to ensure you’re in compliance.
Utilizing these resources can increase your chances of success – a good camera and microphone, a content calendar, and social media management tools. As you grow your following, you can also consider collaborating with other influencers and brands to increase your reach and income.
Keep reading for more low-cost business ideas with high profit potential.
15. Become an Online Tutor
Online tutoring is the perfect business idea for individuals looking to share their knowledge and expertise with others, all from the comfort of their own homes. Whether you specialize in math, science, language, or any other subject, there’s a demand for online tutors in almost every field.
The main benefit of starting an online tutoring business is the ability to set your own schedule and work remotely, making it a great option for those who value flexibility and independence. Plus, with the rise of e-learning and remote learning, now is a great time to get in on the action.
According to a report by Research and Markets, the industry is expected to reach $350 billion by 2025, so don’t wait to jump on this opportunity.
All you need is a computer and a stable internet connection to get started. Some platforms and tools that could be helpful in managing your business are Zoom, Google Classroom, and Skype.
16. Start an Online Store
Starting an online store is a fantastic business idea that has exploded in popularity in recent years. According to a recent study, global e-commerce sales are expected to reach $6 trillion by 2024, with online stores accounting for a significant portion of that figure. With the proliferation of e-commerce platforms and the ease of setting up a virtual storefront, it’s easier than ever to get started in the world of online retail.
One of the main benefits of an online store is the ability to reach a global audience, with customers able to shop from anywhere in the world at any time. This means that you have the potential to make sales around the clock without the need for a physical storefront or the overhead costs associated with brick-and-mortar retail.
To set up an online store, you’ll need to choose an e-commerce platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce. These platforms provide everything you need to set up and manage your online store, including a customizable storefront, inventory management, payment processing, and shipping options.
You’ll also need to source products to sell, which can be done through wholesalers, drop shipping, or manufacturing your own products. As for marketing your online store, there are a ton of options available, including social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization.
17. Resume and Cover Letter Business
In today’s competitive job market, a professionally written resume and cover letter can make all the difference in getting noticed by potential employers. As a resume and cover letter writer, you’ll have the opportunity to use your writing skills to help others stand out from the crowd and increase their chances of career success.
With minimal upfront costs and the advantage of running your business entirely online, this can be a highly profitable venture with the potential for flexible, fulfilling work. All you’ll need is a computer and an internet connection, as well as a knack for writing and a good understanding of what employers are looking for in a resume and cover letter.
You’ll want to create a website or online portfolio showcasing your writing skills and the services you offer. You can also consider joining freelance job websites, such as Upwork or Fiverr, to connect with potential clients. As you grow your business, you may want to invest in marketing and branding to attract more clients and increase your earnings.
Vlogging is a growing industry, with the number of YouTube channels earning six figures per year, increasing by 40% year over year.
Vlogging is all about creating and sharing video content through a personal blog or YouTube channel. It’s a great way to share your thoughts, experiences, and personality with the world. The main benefit of vlogging is that it allows you to connect with your audience on a more personal level, which can help you build a loyal following and turn your passion into a profitable business.
All you need is a smartphone or camera and a platform to share your content. YouTube is a popular choice for vloggers, but you can also use platforms like Vimeo or your own website to share your videos. To really stand out, it’s important to be authentic, engaging, and consistent in your content. You may also want to invest in some basic editing software and equipment like a microphone and tripod to improve the quality of your videos.
Keep reading for more low-cost business ideas with high profit potential.
19. Become a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is a professional who provides various services, such as administrative, technical, or creative assistance, to clients remotely from a home office. The main benefit of this business idea is the flexibility it offers. You can set your own schedule and work from anywhere with an internet connection.
Plus, the demand for virtual assistants is on the rise. In fact, the virtual assistant industry is expected to grow by $4.12 billion during 2021-2025.
So, how do you get started as a virtual assistant? First, decide on the services you want to offer. Some popular options include social media management, email management, and content creation. Once you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking for and decide on the scope of services you’re going to offer, it’s time to start putting together your pricing plan that covers rates, hours, and other caveats.
Next, create a website and social media profiles to showcase your skills and services. Consider joining a platform like Upwork or Fiverr to find clients or reach out to small businesses and entrepreneurs directly. It’s a good idea to have some basic tools, such as a computer and a reliable internet connection, as well as communication and project management software like Slack and Trello.
20. Sell your Photography Online
Selling your photographs online is a fantastic low-cost business idea with a high profit margin. Not only do you get to do what you love – taking beautiful photographs – but you also get to share them with the world and make money while doing it.
The main benefit of this business idea is that you don’t need to have a physical storefront or spend money on rent, utilities, and other overhead costs. All you need is a website or online platform to showcase and sell your work. Also, you’ll need to invest in a quality camera and editing software, such as Adobe Lightroom.
You’ll also want to create an online portfolio to showcase your work and make it easy for potential clients to view and purchase your photographs. There are several platforms you can use for this, such as SmugMug, Zenfolio, and 500px.
The average income for a professional photographer in the USA is around $30,000 per year. However, with the right marketing strategies and a strong online presence, it’s possible to earn much more. In fact, some photographers have been able to turn their passion for photography into a full-time career, earning six figures or more per year.
21. Sell on Print-on-demand Sites
Print-on-demand services are a great way for small business owners to sell products online without the hassles of shipping and handling. Print-on-demand sites allow you to sell products directly to customers online.
After choosing your niche and designing your products, you can add them to your online print-on-demand store. Some popular print-on-demand sites are Printful, Printify, and Redbubble. Once your products are listed, it’s up to you to market them and see if there’s any interest in your niche.
You might need to spend some money on marketing ads in order to see results, as this is quite a competitive space. But with a healthy return on investment, it’s definitely worth it. Print-on-demand services are an ideal option for new entrepreneurs who want to test their product before they invest in it.
22. E-commerce Resellers
An eCommerce reseller is someone who buys products from a manufacturer or wholesaler and sells them online for a profit. This business idea is perfect for those who have an eye for good deals and are great at finding products that people want to buy.
One of the biggest advantages of becoming an eCommerce reseller is the rapidly increasing use of second-hand online marketplaces. It is projected that there will be almost 2.14 billion global digital buyers in 2021.
There are many ways to get started once you decide how big or small you want to go and what your niche is. You can look to buy and sell used items on online marketplaces or buy products in bulk and resell them in your own store. To do this, you can make use of platforms such as Amazon, eBay, or Facebook marketplace.
You can also use tools like Oberlo or SaleHoo to help you source products from manufacturers and wholesalers. With this option, owners can focus on their business and not on marketing and customer service. Offerings can range from antique furniture to second-hand clothing. ECommerce resellers get to charge different rates depending on the type of product they sell.
Keep reading for more low-cost business ideas with high profit potential.
23. Opening a Shop on Etsy
If you have a knack for creativity and enjoy making handmade or unique items, opening a shop on Etsy could be the perfect online business idea for you. Etsy is an online marketplace specifically for buying and selling handmade, vintage, and unique goods.
It’s a great platform for artists, crafters, and small business owners to reach a wide audience and sell their products. The best part? It’s easy to get started. All you need is an account, some great product photos, and a bit of creativity when it comes to writing product descriptions. Plus, with a low listing fee and the option to offer digital products, it can be a low-cost way to get your business off the ground. In fact, it’s estimated that Etsy sellers earn an average of $44,000 a year.
24. Bookkeeping Services
Bookkeeping is the process of keeping track of a company’s financial transactions, including income, expenses, and profits. It’s an essential task for any business, big or small, and if you have an eye for detail and enjoy working with numbers, it could be a great online business idea for you.
Not only is it relatively easy to get started with just a computer and some basic software, but it can also be a lucrative business, with bookkeepers earning an average of $20 an hour. Plus, thanks to the internet, you can easily offer your services to clients all over the world.
To get started, consider taking a bookkeeping course to learn the basics and familiarize yourself with popular software like QuickBooks or Xero.
25. Start a Beauty Business
Starting an online beauty business is all about tapping into the booming beauty industry and leveraging the power of the internet to sell your products or services. Whether you’re a makeup artist looking to sell your own line of cosmetics, or a skincare expert offering virtual consultations and personalized regimens, an online beauty business is a great way to turn your passion into a profitable venture.
One of the main benefits of starting an online beauty business is the low cost and flexibility it offers. With the right tools and a bit of creativity, you can get your business up and running without breaking the bank. You can sell your products on your own website or through popular marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, and eBay. You can also use social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to showcase your products and connect with your customers.
To get started, you’ll need to decide on the products or services you want to offer and create a business plan. You’ll also need to choose a website platform, set up a payment system, and create a marketing strategy to reach your target audience.
Keep reading for more low-cost business ideas with high profit potential.
26. Start Consulting Services
The global consulting market is estimated to be roughly worth $300 billion, with online consulting services making up a significant portion of that growth. This business idea allows you to offer your expertise entirely online, giving you the freedom to work with clients from anywhere in the world and avoid the overhead costs of a traditional brick-and-mortar business.
The main benefit of starting an online consulting business is the flexibility it offers. You can set your own schedule and choose which clients and projects you take on, allowing you to focus on areas that you’re most passionate about.
To get started, identify your area of expertise and create a strong online presence through a professional website and social media accounts. Consider using platforms like Upwork or LinkedIn to connect with potential clients and don’t forget to invest in the right tools and resources to deliver top-quality services, such as video conferencing software and project management tools.
27. Offer Digital Marketing Services
Digital marketing services are about helping companies promote their products or services online. With the increasing use of the internet and social media, digital marketing has become a crucial part of any business’s marketing strategy.
One of the main benefits of offering digital marketing services is the ability to reach a wider audience. According to Statista, as of 2021, there were over 4.9 billion internet users worldwide, and this number is only expected to grow. By utilizing online marketing techniques such as social media advertising, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO), you can help businesses connect with potential customers who may have otherwise been out of reach.
To get started, you’ll need to have a good understanding of how different online marketing channels work and how to create effective campaigns. There are many tools and platforms available to help with this, such as Hootsuite for social media management and Mailchimp for email marketing.
You may also want to consider getting certified in a specific area of digital marketing, such as Google Ads or Facebook Blueprint.
28. Graphic Designer
As a graphic designer, you’ll use your artistic skills and software expertise to create visually appealing designs for clients. This can include logos, websites, packaging, marketing materials, and more. Not only is this a fulfilling career that allows you to express your creativity, but it can also be highly lucrative.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for graphic designers in 2020 was $52,110 per year.
Starting a graphic design business online is relatively easy and inexpensive. All you need is a computer, design software (such as Adobe Creative Suite), and a portfolio of your work to showcase to potential clients. You can find clients through social media, freelance job websites, or networking with small businesses in your area.
29. Domain Trading
As a domain trader, you’ll buy and sell internet real estate by purchasing and reselling domain names. A domain name is the web address for a website, such as “google.com” or “amazon.com.” These names can be valuable if they’re short, easy to remember, and related to a popular industry or trend.
The main benefit of domain trading is the potential for a high profit margin. Some domain names have sold for millions of dollars, and even lower-priced names can bring in a decent profit if you buy and sell them strategically. Plus, the overhead costs for domain trading are low, as you only need a computer and internet connection to get started.
To start domain trading, you’ll need to find a reputable domain market or auction site, such as GoDaddy Auctions or NameJet. From there, you can browse through available names and place bids or make offers. You can also use tools like Domain Hunter Gatherer to help you find valuable domains that are expiring or for sale.
Conclusion about Low-Cost Business Ideas with High Profit Potential
Starting a low-cost online business can be a great way to turn your passion or expertise into a profitable venture. Whether you’re interested in becoming a social media manager, are just looking for some side hustle ideas, or are exploring other online business ideas, the possibilities are endless.
With a little bit of hard work and determination, you can turn your dream of starting an online business into a reality. The great thing about starting a business online is that you have the flexibility to work from anywhere and the dormant potential for a high profit margin.
So don’t let the fear of failure hold you back – take the first step towards realizing your entrepreneurial aspirations and start your own low-cost online business today!