Low Cost Business Startup Ideas

Low Cost Business Startup Ideas

It is many people’s dream to start their own business. The problem is, is that it can be difficult to find a starting point. Starting a traditional business can be expensive. For example, if you were to open a shop, you would need to pay rent, buy stock, employ people and have a whole load of overheads. These are things that make it impossible for some people to get started. However, online businesses present more opportunities and there are a few options for low-cost business startup ideas online.

If you are concerned about not having enough technical knowledge to start your own online business, don’t worry. I started from scratch with no knowledge or experience. There was (and still is) a lot to learn, but it is all possible.

The Advantages Of Having An Online Business

There are a few advantages you can enjoy from having your own online business. 

You can Work At Any Time

For me, this being able to choose my working hours is the best part of having my own online business. This is because I can live my life how I want to, without having to wait for the weekends to enjoy myself or get non-work related things done. I work more hours now than when I had a conventional job, but I am much happier now, as I am not tied to somebody else’s working hours.

This doe mean I have to work late at night a lot to get all my jobs done, but I don’t mind. This is because I have done everything I have wanted to do in a day.

Great Earning Potential

With a traditional shop, you are restricted to people physically coming in to buy stuff. With an online business, you have the potential to make money from people all over the world at any time. The online market is huge and you can make a very comfortable living out of it.

Passive Income

Depending on what business you choose to star, it is possible to earn passive income. The work you put in can make you money at any time of the day. It is great to wake up in the morning to see that people have spent money through your website while you have been sleeping. 

Work From Anywhere

A huge advantage of having an online business is that you can do it from anywhere. Whether you want to work while travelling, from home, by the beach, shared workspace or just from a local coffee shop, it is possible. Also, if your circumstances change and need to move house, your business can carry on uninterrupted.

Being able to work from home saves a lot of money in travel expenses and child care etc. In addition, you don’t have to deal with workplace politics or annoying coworkers!

Choose The Right Business For You

The fact that you are looking to start your own online business, probably means you want a different lifestyle. Therefore, before you decide what business to start, you should set some ground rules for what you want to get out of it. This is because, if your new business doesn’t fulfil your needs, you won’t enjoy it or reap the benefits. Obviously, there will be compromises along the way, but you need to make sure that your business suits your needs.

With this in mind, you need to brainstorm the reasons for starting your business in the first place. When I was looking into what business to start, I decided that my new venture had to fulfil some prerequisites:

  • It has to be flexible to allow me to work at any time and from anywhere.
  • It has to be worth the effort, in terms of potential income.
  • It has to be legitimate, as I don’t want to be scammed, or be part of something that was dishonest.
  • There have to be reliable sources of learning about it. This is because I would be starting from scratch.

Before you choose one of my low-cost business startup ideas, I urge you to make a similar list of prerequisites for yourself. You need to be strict about this to make sure you will be happy with what you are about to take on.

Some Low Cost Business Startup Ideas

I am now going to go into a few low-cost business startup ideas that you can start from home. These are all things that you can do if you are unemployed or start along with side your current job.

Social Media Agency

Social media is super important to all businesses these days. Unfortunately, business owners struggle to find the time to create and post quality content on their social media channels. Therefore these businesses employ the skills of a social media agency to do this for them.

Starting your own social media agency is a great way to earn money and can be very lucrative. The startup costs are very low and anyone with the will to learn the best techniques to fulfil your customer’s needs can do it.

I go into more details in my post on how to start a social media marketing business, but in summary, businesses expect a social media agency to :

  • Create social media strategies
  • Build and Promet their brand
  • Attract customers
  • Analyse competition
  • Save time

It is possible to share $1,000 per month for each customer, depending on what they want. If you can imagine having a few customers on board, you can see the earning potential of this type of business startup.

As with any online business, I would advise that you specialise in a particular niche. This is because you can become an authority in providing social media content for a particular type of business. You may need to offer some free services, such as a social media health check to build up some trust with potential clients.

Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is a business model that allows you to sell other people’s products. You don’t have to buy the products in advance and you don’t need to ship them yourself either. In fact, you never even see the products you are selling. This is because your suppliers send the products directly to your customer.

the drop shipping process

You set up an online shop and set your prices for the products. Your prices will cover the cost price from the supplier and the shipping costs.

This all sounds pretty easy and my post on how to start a drop shipping online business goes in to more details, but you do need some money to get going. The money you need to spend is on your marketing efforts to get people to visit your website. This is because you attract people with paid adverts on social media.

These adverts are cleverly targeted to your intended audience. You can actually start with with a budget of $5 per day and once your adverts start to work, you can scale up your budget and make more money. These targeted adverts are a case of trial and error, so it may take some time to get them right before you make any money.


Copywriting is becoming more popular these days, as businesses rely on quality content. This content is used to inform, entertain and communicate with its intended audience. You can learn more in my post on how to become a copywriter with no experience, but a freelance copywriter’s job is to create this content in an engaging style for their clients.

There are no official qualifications to be a copywriter. There are online courses to learn how to do it, but anyone with a flair for writing can do it.

There are copywriters out there that earn six figures, so when it is done properly, it is very lucrative. But this all depends on how good at marketing yourself you are.

Copywriting is something that you can do in your spare time, to earn extra cash or to slowly build up a business to leave your current job. The kind of content a copywriter creates are as follows:

  • White papers to inform people about a problem and the ways of solving it.
  • Social media content to create engaging, informative and entraining posts.
  • Emails that are sent out to help with marketing efforts to mailing lists.
  • Website content aimed at its intended audience.
  • Advertisements that are designed to inform or to persuade the reader to take action.
  • Case studies to give social proof of how a business can help its clients.

To get started as a freelance copywriter, you need to prove what you can do to your potential clients. You do this by creating a digital portfolio to showcase your skills and to market yourself. TO build up this portfolio, you may have to do some work for free or create a some dummy examples of the kind of content you can create for your clients. This will show them that you mean business and it gives them something to go on.

Once you have built a digital portfolio, you can approach more clients and get plenty of work.


There are people all over the world making money blogging. There are several ways that you can make money blogging, but here I am going to talk about writing blogs for other people. Blogs are really important to business’s websites. This is because they attract traffic, which in turn creates awareness and an increase in business. 

Blogs are time-consuming, so businesses find it difficult to make time to write them. Therefore, they employ blog writers to do it for them. This could be you if you have a talent for writing.

You need to be able to write a lot of blogs to be able to make decent money from them, but it could be a way of supplementing your income. A good blog writer needs to know about search engine optimisation techniques. This is so the blog’s intended audience will find it. SEO techniques are not too difficult to learn, but you need to remember to use them. Part of SEO is knowing what your audience is searching for online. You do this with proper keyword research. This isn’t difficult, but it is essential to determine what blogs are worth writing.

 I do some blog writing for a local skiing holiday company. I write blogs that answer questions potential customers are likely to search for online. These could be all about what they can do, the best places to go, how to plan their holiday etc. These blogs bring the company to their attention and build trust in the brand. The blogs I write, indirectly sell holidays all the time.

Affiliate Marketing

Although I dabble in all of these businesses, affiliate marketing is what I spend the majority of my time doing. This is because I believe it to be the best business model for a low-cost business startup idea. It covers all of my prerequisites for business and allows me to lead the life I want to lead.

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products and services, in return for a commission. I go into all the details in my post why and how affiliate marketing works, but in short, you make money by creating content such as blogs, buyer’s guides, reviews, personal experiences etc and placing affiliate links within the content.

How does affiliate marketing work?

These affiliate links are unique to you and the products you are promoting and you get them from joining affiliate programs. If you can think of something that can be bought online, there is a good chance that there is an affiliate program for it.

This means that you can have an affiliate marketing business in anything that you are interested in. A quick word of warning though. You really need to choose a quality affiliate marketing niche. This is because you can set your business up for failure before you have even started.

There are lots of things to learn to get your affiliate marketing business to work effectively, but these things are not too complicated. My post on how to learn about affiliate marketing gives you all the information you need. But, I use a platform called Wealthy Affiliate to get all my information and tool to run my business. Check out my post Does Wealthy Affiliate Work? to see my full warts n’ all review.

What You Need To Know About Having Your Own Online Business

I have learned a few things with my various online ventures and you should know what you are getting into before you start. Here are some considerations to take note of before you commit to anything.

It Takes Time To Make Money

Some of these low-cost business startup ideas will earn you money quicker than others. Some will take longer, but they have higher earning potential. But, none of them will get you rich overnight. It takes months to earn money online, especially a significant amount of money. Therefore patience is a huge thing when you have an online business. But if you put the necessary effort in, it will start to work for you eventually.

You Need To Be Consistent

Consistency is essential to your success. This is because your customers and search engines like to see continuous updates, as it builds trust and shows that you mean business. Therefore, you need to work on your business every day.

Get Educated

No matter what you choose to dot here will be new skills to learn and you will make mistakes. Therefore, you really should do as much research and learning as possible. Getting educated will reduce the number of mistakes you make and will speed up the process of making your business successful.

Don't Stop Learning

There will always be something to learn. By just learning one small thing per day, you will build your skills up over time. This will make life a lot easier and it will have a hugely positive effect on your business and working life.

Get Started

What are your thoughts behind these low-cost startup business ideas? Do you have experience in any of them or are you interested inlacing more? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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