Small Business Ideas with Minimal Startup Costs

small business ideas

One of the biggest misconceptions about starting a business is that you can launch one for free. That is, without incurring any startup related expenses. The average American business requires anywhere from $10,000 to $125,000 in initial startup costs. Starting a business costs so much because of the expenses related to office space, salaries, insurance, inventories, utility payments, and so on.

Small Business Ideas that Don’t Cost A Lot

If you streamline your business plan and consider your costs, you may be able to start a home-based, mobile-based, or micro-business for anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000. Still, in the age of the internet and social media, there are ways that you can start a business for a few hundred to less than a hundred dollars. As long as you have a laptop and preexisting business connections, or the patience to develop such, the only limitation to your startup business aspirations is your own imagination.

Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is a business practice where you act as third-party e-commerce intermediary between retailers and customers. You buy products from retailers, based on your customer orders, then pocket the cost of price markup after customer delivery. Look at it this way: A brick-and-mortar retailing giant, like Sears or Best Buy, buys flatscreen TVs in bulk from their wholesalers. A retailing giant buys 1,000 flatscreens from a wholesaler at $400 per item and sells them to consumers at $800 per item. So, the store makes a $400 profit.

As a drop shipper, you buy one or seven flatscreens from the retailer, who assumes the role of wholesaler for your business purposes. You then sell the products to your consumers and pocket the difference between the price you bought it for and selling price. Best of all, you don’t need to maintain inventory. You must develop a consumer base and have low overhead costs to profit well. Still, all you need is a laptop and preexisting business connections to become a drop shipper.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing requires you to have an appreciable base of people who visit your blog or website every day. Let’s assume you have a blog and 7,000+ people visit it every week. Well, this data or client list can be very valuable to a business or online retailer looking to beef up their sales. As an affiliate marketer, you make a deal with a business to use your website or blog to direct your traffic to your business partner with a link.

Let’s assume you make a deal with a company who makes designer shoes. You provide a link to the product on your blog. Whenever a visitor from your blog clicks on the link and buys a product, you make a percentage from the sale.


The mixed drink and cocktail were created in the aftermath of early 20th-century prohibition. Illegal, homemade alcohol tasted awful, so ingredients were added to make it more palatable. Why the history lesson? Well, it’s important to remember that most businesses succeed through a mix of opportunism, preparedness, and a dash of luck.

You can teach yourself how to mix drinks with one of many cocktail mixing guides that are available online. Then, you can volunteer at events and parties to build your skills. You should also make connections during this period. Then, you can hire yourself out as a bartender to clients who have fully stocked bars and ingredients that you can utilize. Learn how to mix exotic, unknown, and refreshing drinks with whatever you have available.

Perspective Is Everything

Yes, you can start a business for next to nothing, but keep it in perspective. You need a business plan. You’ll need to pay for a business license or permit, develop a marketing plan, network, and so on. The fact that you may be able to launch a business for next to nothing will not make it successful within itself. You will need a plan, some hustles, opportunities, and a dash of luck.

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Posted in: Personal Finance

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