15 Best Low-Cost Business Ideas With High Profit

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Ever thought about starting your own profitable business without spending a ton of money? Well, you can! In this article, I’ll break down the 15 best low-cost business ideas with high profit you can launch right now! You don’t need to be rich – just bring your passion, and we’ll turn those dreams into reality.

Woman sitting on a grey sofa smiling, working on her laptop.

You’ve got to spend money to make money, they say.

But here is the catch: we all want to make money, but not all of us have much to invest.

But you know what? This old saying isn’t true anymore.

Right now, there are plenty of profitable small business ideas you can start from the comfort of your home without breaking the bank.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not!

Below, you can find the 15 best low-cost business ideas with high profit, and I will share a success story for each to motivate you to get started!

So, what are we waiting for!?

15 Best Low-Cost Business Ideas With High Profit

1. Sell Digital Products

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $2,000-$10,000+/month

Digital products have exploded in popularity in recent years. And selling them has become one of the best low-cost business ideas with high profit potential out there.

Think of digital templates, graphics, PDFs, audio content, and printables – these are things you can create for free and sell through online marketplaces like Etsy.

Plus, because digital products are stored, sold, and delivered online, you don’t even have to invest in any inventory.

Plus, once you have created a digital product, you can sell it an infinite number of times, meaning digital products can be an excellent source of passive income.

Pro tip: Take your digital products business to the next level by investing in tools like Adobe Creative Cloud to make your products more unique or your own personalized online store with Shopify.

How to get started

Possible business ideas

  • Sell printables like budget templates, planners, and chore charts.
  • Sell artwork like icons, fonts, or social media graphics.
  • Sell audio content like sound effects.
  • Sell sewing or knitting patterns.
Success story

Rachel Jimenez always had dreams of starting her own business. It was just that between working a full-time job, taking university courses, and having a new baby at home, she didn’t exactly have the time.

That was until she heard about printables and decided to invest in a course on selling them. Immediately, she took the plunge and started selling planners, games, and marketing templates she created. Today, she makes $9,500 from her printables every month!

2. Cleaning Business

Hand with a plastic glove cleaning a mirror in a bathroom.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Initial Investment: $100-$3,000
Profit Potential: $2,000-$5,000+/month

This is one of the most in-demand and affordable business ideas out there.

You can start a cleaning business with only a few basic supplies.

Or, you can invest in specific equipment for more specialized cleaning – think of a power washer, a carpet cleaner, or a ladder for gutter cleaning.

That’s just the thing about the cleaning game – the options are pretty much endless, and the more specialized you get, the more money you can make.

While it’s not uncommon for someone doing house cleaning to make $20-$50 per hour, if you expand into commercial cleaning of warehouses, retail spaces, or more specialized cleaning like power washing or move-in/out cleaning, you can make even more!

How to get started

  • Decide on the type of cleaning you’d like to do and purchase the relevant supplies and equipment.
  • Promote your services on social media, in local Facebook community groups, or join a lead generation website like HomeYou.com.

Possible business ideas

  • House cleaning.
  • Commercial cleaning.
  • Move in/out cleaning.
  • Vehicle cleaning and detailing.
  • Gutter cleaning.
  • Carpet cleaning.
  • Window cleaning.
  • Event cleanup.
Success story

Speaking of ‘specialized’ cleaning businesses, check out Laura Spaulding. While working as a police officer, she came up with an idea for a specialty cleaning business after meeting a family in the midst of a grizzly crime scene cleanup in their home.

Shortly after that, Spaulding Decon was born, a cleaning service targeted specifically towards cleaning crime scenes and hoarder houses. The niche turned out to be huge, and today, Spaulding Decon makes eight figures in revenue each year!

3. Virtual Assistant

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $4,000-$10,000+/month

With the rise of digital business practices, the virtual assistant industry is now one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and one of the best low-cost businesses with high profits.

As a virtual assistant, you will do just about everything a regular assistant does for a business or individual, but remotely.

This could include booking appointments, customer service, data entry, creating blogs and other digital content, and even managing social media accounts.

Because virtual assistants are in such high demand, it is not unusual for VAs with little experience to earn $30-$50/hour or more!

How to get started

Possible business ideas

  • Full-service VA for a business or individual.
  • E-commerce virtual assistant.
  • Customer service virtual assistant.
Success story

In an effort to earn the freedom to stay home with her new baby, Abbey began exploring various side hustles – from meal delivery to selling clothes to being a nanny – none of which worked exceptionally well.

Until a friend suggested she look into virtual assistance. Within one month, she was fully booked and able to set her own hours and rates!

In fact, it went so well that Abbey now teaches others how to do what she did with this amazing course.

4. Growing Microgreens

Hand cutting micro greens with a pair of scissors.

Initial Investment: $200-$2,000
Profit Potential: $2,000-$5,000+/month

One of my favorite affordable business ideas right now is selling microgreens. Think of things like arugula, fennel, radish, kale, and chard – these are high-nutrient greens that more and more people are including in their diet.

Unlike a full-scale vegetable operation, a microgreen operation can be set up easily. All you need is a few hundred dollars of equipment and about six feet of indoor space, meaning you can start a microgreen business in a spare bedroom, basement, garage, office, or even a closet.

Then, you can sell to individual customers or restaurants and grocery stores for even higher profits.

How to get started

  • Choose a space and invest in your growing equipment.
  • Grow your greens.
  • Set a delivery schedule with individual customers, grocery stores, and restaurants.

Possible business ideas

  • Home-based subscription business.
  • Restaurant subscription business.
  • Sell microgreens at farmer’s markets.
Success story

Stop me if you’ve heard Jonah’s story before – fresh out of college, he jumped straight into a corporate job he didn’t like, where he spent his days pining for something more fulfilling.

Yeah, many of us have been there.

In his spare time, Jonah began growing microgreens in an extra bedroom at his parents’ house.

Slowly, he began to acquire contracts with restaurants and grocery suppliers, and in his first twelve months, he surprisingly made $60,000 in revenue. Today, he owns one of the largest microgreen farms in Canada, making nearly $1 million in sales every year.

5. Blogging

Initial Investment: $200-$500
Profit Potential: $2,000-$10,000+/month

Yes, I’m probably biased, but blogging might be my favorite of all low-cost business ideas with high profit.


Because it’s a way to make money by sharing something you are passionate about with the world!

Sure, building and growing a blog can take some time, but if you’re willing to stick with it and put the work in, the sky is pretty much the limit for what you can make.

But how do you actually make money?

There are so many ways – from affiliate marketing to selling products, to brand partnerships, to teaching courses, and beyond.

How to get started

Possible business ideas

  • Personal finance blog.
  • Health and fitness blog.
  • Travel blog.
  • Food blog.
  • Parenting blog.
  • Beauty and fashion blog.
Success story

I could easily share my story, but there are so many incredible bloggers out there. I love the story of Liz Garcia. She started her Practical Wanderlust blog as a travel diary for her year-long honeymoon, hoping for it to be a way to offset some of the cost.

After six months, the blog had earned a grand total of … $65.07.

Rather than be discouraged, though, she kept at it, and in her first full year, she ended up making $22,000! Better still, she made between $4,000-$11,000 every month in her second year.

6. Freelance Writing

Woman writing on her laptop on her desk.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $2,000-$10,000+/month

My favorite thing about freelance writing is that it is so versatile, meaning you can make money in so many ways.

It could be writing articles for online magazines or newspapers, ghostwriting blog posts or books, or writing marketing campaigns and website copy for businesses; it could even mean writing social media content or scripts for videos and podcasts.

With a little experience, freelance writers can often make thousands or even tens of thousands per month!

How to get started:

Possible business ideas:

  • Ghostwrite blog posts and articles.
  • Copywrite business content.
  • Write social media content for businesses and influencers.
  • Write feature articles for online magazines or newspapers.
Success story

Elna Cain started freelance writing with no previous experience because her maternity leave was ending, and she wanted to earn money remotely to stay home with her children. She began on freelance service marketplaces like Upwork and job boards like ProBlogger, while launching a portfolio website and reaching out directly to potential clients through social media.

After some experimentation, she found her niche in B2B SaaS content, and today, makes six figures each year writing for major brands like Walmart and Blogging Wizard.

7. Online Tutoring

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $2,000-$6,000+/month

Parents are always looking for tutors for their kids, while college students are always looking for extra help with their classes, meaning that if you are an expert in a particular subject, online tutoring can be one of the most profitable small business ideas around.

If you have teaching experience, an easy place to find work is BookNook, where you can get paid to tutor kids in math and reading.

You could also advertise your services on a digital tutoring directory like Care.com, place advertisements in Facebook groups, or speak directly to people you know with children.

You can even teach people with custom classes in just about any topic you want on Outschool!

How to get started

  • Determine the topic(s) you want to teach.
  • Pick a platform to tutor on like Outschool or BookNook, or advertise your services independently through social media marketing and word-of-mouth.

Possible business ideas

  • Tutor kids on BookNook.
  • Teach classes on Outschool.
  • Tutor college students.
  • Tutor children in person.
Success story

Jade Weatherington had been teaching part-time for years when she came across Outschool. On a whim, she decided to create a couple of classes on the platform, and by her third month, they had earned her more than $5,000.

Recognizing the earning potential, she quickly devoted her energy to creating more classes. Today, she teaches nine classes on the platform and makes about $10,000 every single month while working only 10-12 hours per week!

8. Food Services

Person with an apron rolling dough with a rolling pin on a kitchen worktop.

Initial Investment: $200-$5,000
Profit Potential: $2,000-$8,000+/month

If you love food, this is definitely one of the best and most profitable small business ideas out there because there are so many options at your disposal.

If you’re an incredible cook, you could become a personal chef for families and busy professionals, offer readymade meal delivery, or do catering for dinner parties and events.

Or, you could launch an online store selling specialty items like homemade jams, baked goods, or snacks.

Don’t feel like making things again and again? You could teach others your skills and share your passion with a food blog, a YouTube channel, or by offering courses or workshops.

How to get started

  • Decide which type of food business you want to pursue.
  • Research local regulations you will have to follow.
  • Launch a website for your business and promote it on social media.

Possible business ideas

  • Personal chef.
  • Meal delivery service.
  • Catering for events.
  • Start a food blog or YouTube channel.
  • Sell specialized products in an online store.
  • Sell cooking courses online.
Success story

Spencer Donaldson found his food services niche based on what his own life was lacking. As a busy professional, he found it difficult to eat healthy, so he launched a food delivery service providing nutritious meals that customers could prepare in minutes.

He started by pitching friends and family in a small commissary kitchen, and when three times as many people as expected showed up, he knew he was onto something. Within the first year, the business was serving thousands of customers and earning seven figures in revenue.

9. Bookkeeping

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $2,000-$7,000+/month

Like virtual assistants, remote bookkeepers are in extremely high demand, since every business needs to keep track of its numbers.

As a bookkeeper, you will do things like recording sales transactions, managing bill payments and reconciling expenses, entering and organizing data, and producing reports for record keeping.

While you don’t need any special qualifications or accounting experience to get started, I would recommend taking a look at these amazing free classes on how to earn money with a freelance bookkeeping business.

Pro tip: Consider freelance tax preparation and earn big money helping individuals and small business owners during tax season.

How to get started

Possible business ideas

  • Freelance bookkeeper for a business.
  • Freelance bookkeeper for individuals.
  • Freelance tax preparation specialist.
Success story

Flexibility was the name of the game for Jenna. Working full-time in a corporate environment, her job simply didn’t give her enough flexibility to raise her three children like she wanted.

That all changed when she took a free course on freelance bookkeeping and decided to dive in. In her first year as a freelance bookkeeper, she made $50,000, then bumped that up to $75,000 in her second year, all while having enough flexibility to look after her children.

10. Dog Walking

Woman with a dog on a leash looking at camera with a cup of coffee in her hands.

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $2,000-$7,000+/month

Did you know that more than half of the households in the United States have a dog? And guess what? Many of them are looking for someone to walk these dogs for them while they are at work or simply too busy.

Starting a dog walking business can be as easy as speaking to dog owners in your neighborhood or posting in a local Facebook community group.

But if you want to get started today, the best and easiest way is with Rover, where more than one million pet owners head every month. There, you can offer dog walking, as well as a variety of other services like pet-sitting and drop-ins for dogs and all sorts of other pets.

How to get started

Possible business ideas

  • Dog walking.
  • Pet sitting.
  • Doggy daycare.
Success story

Bethany Lane started walking dogs after college to pay off her student loans as she began a career in public health.

As an animal lover, “it was perfect.” In fact, she loved it so much that she started Whistle & Wag, a boutique pet care service that offered walks and other services.

While this provided a solid full-time income, since 2020, things have exploded, and suddenly, Bethany is making six figures per year!

11. Self-Publishing

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $2,000-$10,000+/month

It used to be nearly impossible to get a book published. But that’s no longer the case!

It is now so easy to self-publish your work using platforms like Amazon KDP and Lulu. And because these platforms allow you to sell your books on a print-on-demand basis, you don’t even need to invest any money to get started!

Bonus tip: Definitely one of the cheapest, most profitable business ideas in the self-publishing niche is what is known as ‘low-content publishing.’ This means that you sell books with nothing in them. Think of things like journals and diaries, coloring books, books of games, even the lined paper used by students. People make big money selling these things with almost no effort!

How to get started

  • Write your book, or create your low-content work.
  • Publish using platforms like Amazon KDP or Lulu.
  • Sell your books through Amazon or in your own online store.

Possible business ideas

  • Sell fiction and non-fiction books.
  • Sell low-content books.
Success story

When Sue Irven and her husband were both laid off from their jobs at almost the same time, they took the opportunity to explore different ways to diversify their income until they stumbled upon low-content publishing with Amazon KDP.

They made a profit in their very first month by uploading and selling ten designs, which took between 45 minutes and three hours each to create. Today, they sell over 200 designs and earn between $5,000 and $10,000 in passive income every month!

12. Event Planning Business

Even planner, planning a wedding with her laptop and calendars.

Initial Investment: $0-$3,000
Profit Potential: $2,000-$10,000+/month

Event planning is one of the best low-investment high-return business ideas if you are an expert organizer and planner.

Just think about all the options for events you could plan – from weddings (the most popular niche) to business conferences and corporate retreats, to product launches, charity events, and more!

What works for you will all depend on where your skills lie and what type of things you like!

Bonus, you can even rent the things people who are putting on events need. Think of things like chairs, silverware, and glasses, wedding décor, audio/video equipment, kitchen equipment, even bouncy houses!

How to get started

  • Decide what type of events you want to plan.
  • Connect with venues and vendors you’ll be working with.
  • Find out which licenses and permits you’ll need.

Possible business ideas

  • Wedding planner.
  • Corporate retreat planner.
  • Business conference planner.
  • Charity event planner.
  • Product launch planner.
  • Rent event equipment.
Success story

Jamie Wolfer first fell in love with wedding planning while planning her own. In fact, she fell so deeply in love that she launched Wolfer & Co. and started planning weddings for others.

As she built her business, she began sharing tips on YouTube when, suddenly, her channel blew up, and thousands of people were contacting her for wedding planning services. This gave her an incredible idea. She began selling planning resources to guide couples. To date, she has helped more than 47,000 couples plan their weddings!

13. Social Media Management

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $4,000-$10,000+/month

These days, every business needs a social media presence, and many are hiring freelancers to manage their social media accounts for them.

A recent report shows that the market for social media managers is expected to triple by 2027.

If you’ve got an eye for what goes viral, a knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO), and love spending time on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, or the platform formerly known as Twitter, then social media management can be one of the most lucrative business ideas out there with extremely low startup costs.

As a social media manager, you can do just about everything related to a brand’s social media presence, including creating eye-catching content, coordinating ad campaigns, engaging with followers, and beyond!

How to get started

  • Build your own social media presence as a portfolio on all platforms you want to work on.
  • List your services on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr, find gigs on job boards like FlexJobs and LinkedIn Marketplace, and reach out to brands directly on social media.

Possible business ideas

  • Social media manager for a business or influencer.
  • Social media ad campaign specialist.
  • Social media content creator.
Success story

After a barrage of unexpected layoffs left Isabelle Garson in charge of the social media accounts at the health company she worked for, she discovered she had such a knack for it and decided to set off on her own as a social media manager.

The decision launched her on an incredible journey working with all sorts of interesting clients, from spiritual healers to podcasters, to event promoters, to international music artists.

Today, she is in charge of social media at Cookies, “America’s most popular weed brand.”

14. Selling Online Courses

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $2,000-$10,000+/month

You’ve heard me talk about it before – the e-learning industry is off the charts right now, having doubled in size since 2019, and expected to triple in size by 2030. What this means is that selling online courses has become one of the cheapest most profitable business ideas around.

Online courses are so easy to create and sell using platforms like Teachable, Skillshare, or Udemy. Check them out! They give you all the tools you need to create something unique that sells.

Even better, once you’ve created the course, you can sell it an infinite number of times. As mentioned with digital products, this means passive income!

How to get started

  • Decide what you want to teach.
  • Create a course using Teachable, Skillshare, or Udemy.
  • Market your course on a website, blog, YouTube channel, or through social media.

Possible business ideas

  • Cooking courses.
  • Language courses.
  • Business courses.
  • Financial courses.
  • Music courses.
  • Photography courses.
Success story

You may already have heard of Kat Norton, aka Miss Excel. Back in 2020, she decided to start posting videos on TikTok giving tips for Microsoft Excel. One of her very first videos blew up, and in almost no time, she had amassed more than 100,000 followers. In order to capitalize, she began selling an online course on how to use Excel, and within two months, it was earning her more than her full-time job.

Today, she sells ten courses and makes millions every year!

15. Coaching

Initial Investment: $0-$500
Profit Potential: $2,000-$10,000+/month

Similar to selling courses, coaching is a way to help people reach their goals while getting paid for it.

With the number of people out there right now looking for new ways to make money, ways to be healthier, and ways to enjoy life more, coaching is, without a doubt, one of the best low-investment, high-return business ideas there is.

What you could coach depends on what you’re good at. Think about business and career coaching, health and wellness coaching, financial coaching, coaching for parents, and so on.

To start finding clients, first leverage your existing networks – think friends, family, colleagues, and social media contacts – and consider the things people already ask you to help them with.

How to get started:

  • Choose what type of coaching you want to do.
  • Find clients in existing networks.
  • Start a website and network on social media.

Possible business ideas:

  • Business and career coaching.
  • Health and wellness coaching.
  • Financial coaching.
  • Coach parents.
Success story

By her mid-20s, Jereshia Hawk was working full-time in a highly paid engineering job, on the fast track up the corporate ladder towards a leadership position. Yet, she began to become dissatisfied with the underrepresentation of women of color in the field, and so she decided to do something about it.

She founded an online coaching business directed toward women of color, and within 14 months, she was making enough to quit her day job and focus on coaching full-time. Today, she makes seven figures every year helping women just like her.

Ready to start your low-investment, high-return business?

So there you have it: the best low-cost business ideas with high profit!

With so many profitable business ideas to choose from, you should be able to find one that works perfectly for you and start making money without digging in your pockets for an upfront investment.

The only thing left to do is dive in!

As you do, please let me know how it’s going in the comments! I’d love to hear about your success and just how much you can make without, as they say, spending money to make money.

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