Top 10 Businesses to Start on a Shoestring Budget

Starting a business is never easy. There are a lot of industries to choose from, but the requirements generally limit your actual choices. It becomes even tougher when you consider the initial budget most businesses necessitate. Fortunately, there are businesses you can start with only a shoestring budget. Here are ten of them:

 Top 10 Businesses to Start on a Shoestring Budget

1.  Tutorial Classes 

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” That’s perhaps the reason why parents are adamant to ensure their children get the best education. While some are easy to learn, however, there are students who struggle with specific subjects. If you like certain school subjects and love teaching kids, this is the right business to start. You can offer tutorials in your own home or do a home service.


2.  Freelancing

The freelancing world is continuously growing as more people aim to work at their own pace and at the comfort of their own homes. If you want to spend the least money possible, this is the shoestring business for you. Here are some freelance jobs you can take on:

  • Writer
  • Virtual assistant
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Graphic and web design
  • Taking ecommerce photos for startups

3.  Homemade Food and Crafts

So, you love to cook or create crafts such as figurines, knitwear, or jewelry? Then you would love a “homemade” business. You can offer the food in small amounts or through catering. On the other hand, you can sell your crafts through any of the following:

  • Social networks (Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube)
  • eBay
  • Etsy

4.  Daycare

Children are bundles of joy. However, there are times when their seemingly inexhaustible energy feels like a burden to their guardians, especially when they have their own jobs and businesses to take care of. This is where you come in. For this business, you can offer to keep watch and entertain children.

You can offer your services in your own home or your client’s home.

5. Pet Sitting and Walking

Maybe you love animals more than kids? If yes, then why not start a pet sitting and walking business? For this, all you will need is a natural affinity or love for animals, some knowledge about breeds (although you can directly ask owners for possible concerns), and enduring patience. After all, animals tend to be as energetic and excitable as toddlers.

6.  Lawn and Garden Services

Lawns and gardens are the one of the best parts of a home. However, more and more people are starting to lose time for maintaining them. A lot others are also at a loss on how to create a visually appealing and organized one. If you have a green thumb and would love to make art out of plants and grass, then you ought to offer lawn and garden services.

7.  Cleaning Services

Many people nowadays don’t have the time or patience to clean their houses and are willing to pay anyone to do the job for them. Starting a cleaning business is actually not very difficult at all.  While the business requirements may vary from state to state, this is a service that can offer almost immediately.

The great thing about this industry is that cleaning services are in high demand, and if you are able to offer great services at affordable prices, you will find this business to be very lucrative.


8.  Delivery Services

Great driving and organizational skills, a clean driving record, and a suitable delivery car are the only requirements for this specific shoestring business. You can start delivering items for people in your neighborhood and then specify the types of products and services you offer as your business grows.

9.  Drop Shipping

This is a supply management business wherein you will act as a middle man. That means you will have a supplier and clients. When one of your clients orders a product, you will relay the order to your supplier and have the items shipped directly to your customer’s address. This reduces your initial expenditures and increases profits. If you want to launch a drop shipping store, you should start by selecting reliable ecommerce hosting from a cloud host provider. Then, you can design the website and launch your ecommerce store.

10.  Blogging

Are you a whiz when it comes to crafting with words? If yes, then blogging is the best affordable business for you. The only things you will need for this are:

If you’re ready to start blogging, then check out my step by step tutorial here.

Most people think that only highly-experienced, thoroughly-knowledgeable, and well-off people can start businesses. While it’s true that you will need some insight about your chosen niche, as long as you’re willing to learn and love what you do, you will certainly achieve success.

So tell me…are you thinking of starting a business anytime soon?  If so, what type of business would you like to start?

Annika Bansal

Annika "The Chick Geek" is the founder of AnnikaBansal.com. Small Business Sense shares small business ideas, tips and resources for independent Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Brian Winch

Consider parking lot litter cleanup. I started on a shoestring budget in 1981. All you need are simple hand tools. I contract with property management companies to maintain their commercial properties litter free. Almost as easy as a walk through the park. This ‘after hours’ service won’t conflict with your day job. Go full time and make a six figure income like I do. Full details online.


    Just wondering were I can find this info. Thanks

Timothy S Anderson

Just been looking for a nice honest business to start. Never had a business. I really need some help. Thanks Tim


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