Business ideas

10 best small business ideas with low overhead

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Starting a business can be a multi-million dollar proposition that requires massive fundraising and issuing stock to investors. But there are many types of small businesses that entrepreneurs can start with little or no financing, and few ongoing expenses as well. The key is to understand the type of business you run and know where you can find customers before you even start.

See: 9 Best Small Business Ideas To Make Money From Home
Check Out: Small Businesses You Can Do in Retirement

Here are 10 small business ideas that have low overhead and low barriers to entry, assuming you have the skills to run them.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Blogger

Blogging is perhaps one of the easiest things to start on your own, because all you have to do is start writing. Of course, the reality of turning a blogging hobby into a real business is a bit more complicated, but in terms of barriers to entry, there are effectively none. However, to become a successful blogger, you will need to create an attractive website, market it to new users and, of course, be fluent in writing and know your subject well. In terms of cost, however, starting a blogging business is one of the most affordable options you can find. Although many bloggers don’t earn much, those who are very popular can earn in the six figures.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

private chef

Starting a business as a private chef may not cost a lot of money, but it takes some serious skills. However, if you have been trained in the industry and find yourself out of work or just want to fend for yourself, you can generate a lucrative salary without spending a dime on anything other than marketing. Private chefs are often hired on a word-of-mouth basis, so developing an industry presence is usually a good first step before starting your own business.

Tips: 27 Best Small Business Ideas to Make Money in 2022

fizkes/Getty Images/iStockphoto

fizkes/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Accountant at home

If you master accounting, you have the skills to start a successful business without ever leaving your home. Every business must keep accurate books, and many companies outsource this work rather than paying for expensive in-house support. With the right software, a good computer, and a strong internet connection, you can be up and running with minimal expense.

domoyéga / Getty Images

domoyéga / Getty Images

Etsy designer

If you’re a creative maker, sites like Etsy and Ebay offer exposure to huge markets you couldn’t access before the internet age. While Ebay is a more diverse site with a larger audience, Etsy is a more niche marketplace that primarily showcases individual, creative, vintage, or handmade products. But you can use Etsy and other online sites to sell products you make at home yourself, with little or no start-up costs.

filadendron/Getty Images

filadendron/Getty Images

Consultant

The term “consultant” covers a wide range of disciplines, but if you have specialist knowledge in a particular area or business, companies will likely want to talk to you. From the comfort of your own home, with nothing more than a smartphone and/or computer, you can offer your advice to companies around the world, often for a hefty annual fee.

tdub303 / Getty Images

tdub303 / Getty Images

Design services

A wide range of design services are best done using computer software. If you’re a designer, that means you can easily work from home using the computer you probably already own. You might want to invest in design software, especially if you’re an interior designer or plan to present graphic images to your clients, but beyond that your start-up costs are low. The real challenge to being a successful work from home designer is the ability to build a reputation in the industry, as this is key to developing new clients.

Agence_Sud / Getty Images

Agence_Sud / Getty Images

Music tutor/teacher

Once you have acquired the skills and talents to be a music tutor or teacher, your current expenses should be quite low. Typically, students bring their own computers or musical instruments to classes, which you can even arrange at your home if you want to reduce travel costs. You’ll probably want to get business cards and do some marketing, but beyond the cost of acquiring students, you shouldn’t expect to pay too much to start this type of business.

Jacob Ammentorp Lund/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Jacob Ammentorp Lund/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Personal trainer

If you love fitness, starting your own personal training business could be a win-win situation for you. Not only will you enjoy the satisfaction of helping your clients stay active, but you’ll also get paid to perform your own personal workouts. Unlike some of the other businesses on this list, becoming a personal trainer can come with higher start-up costs, as you’ll likely need to purchase equipment, rent training space, and acquire various certifications. But your costs will still be much lower than those of manufacturing or production companies, which require facilities, inventory, raw materials and large staff.

Daniel Jedzura / Shutterstock.com

Daniel Jedzura / Shutterstock.com

Notary

If you want to do business as a notary, you will need to meet certain legal requirements before you can start. For example, you will need to be trained, licensed, bonded, insured and have your fingerprints, and you will need to invest in a notary seal. But beyond the few hundred dollars that are usually needed, the only additional costs are usually marketing and transportation. The notary’s salary varies depending on how many clients you can reach and the state you reside in, but it can be quite lucrative for a relatively small investment.

Eva Katalin/Getty Images

Eva Katalin/Getty Images

Wedding planning services

When couples are planning a wedding, the sky is often the limit when it comes to how much they are willing to spend. If you have a knack for providing all the services a couple could want for less than expected, you might have the skills to run your own wedding planning business. Relationships with venues, distributors and suppliers are key to success in this business, but in terms of start-up costs as an entrepreneur, you may only need a phone, a computer and a vehicle, assets that you probably already have.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 10 Best Ideas for Small Businesses with Low Overheads