67 Small Business Ideas that Needs Less Than $1000 to Start

27 mins read

You are not alone if you are looking to start a business in under $1000. You can start a side hustle or start a company as a full-time employee. Either way, this story is loaded with 67 ideas to help you kickstart your business in under $1000.

You might have read stories where 2-3 people started a business in under $100 and transformed it into a million dollar business. I am not going to write those ideas because those are normal but the way they executed is exceptional. You can grab an idea from this list and turn it into a multi-million dollar business.

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Table of Content

  1. What is present here for you?
  2. What does it take to turn an idea into a business
  3. How can you predict the earning after 6 months
  4. List of ideas

Heads up –

  • This story has around 5000 words which translate to around 39 pages. The approximate reading time is around 25 mins. You can download the clean looking PDF
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    of this story for offline reading.
  • You will see that I have allotted $250 almost all the times in ads. The reason behind $250 is that I don’t want to put a lot of money in ads. $250 for an optimized ad is enough to check if the demand for your product/service is there or not. If you’re not getting even a single meeting after spending $250 in ads then either your ads are not convincing enough or there’s no demand of your service/product.what
  • I have not provided how much you can earn from a business because that’s very much subjective. Earning from the business totally depends on the demand and your execution. But, I have provided ways which you can use to predict your earnings.
  • The list is not present on any ranking factor. I mean that the idea that is present on 1st point doesn’t mean that it’s better than the idea present in the 2nd point.

What is present here for you?

I have written this 5000 words story so that you can have at least one idea that you can grab to start your business.

  • You get a list of 67 ideas. You can pick one or multiple to start your business. You also get a brief zest of the idea.
  • Each idea has a startup cost which is the approximate cost to start a business around that idea.

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What does it take to turn an idea into a business?

The answer to this question is very simple but people make it complicated. To turn your idea into a business, all you need to do to is to create 4-5 steps that you need to do to start the company.

If you grab the idea of having a cleaning business, create 4 steps that you need to do to start the business. For example, it can be like this

  1. Select the locality where you want to operate
  2. Put the business on Yelp and Craiglist and start taking phone calls. Understand what your potential customers want. Don’t finalize any order. Simply listen what they want and say that you’re completely packed with other orders and can’t take the job right now. This will create a positive impression among your potential clients that your service is so good that you’re overbooked.
  3. Based on the several phone calls that you have received, make a list of things that your customers want you to do, Now, buy equipment around that.
  4. Based on the number of phone calls you have received and the amount they’re willing to pay, hire people. Now, start taking the real orders.

That’s all! You have a running company now. Isn’t it simple?

You also get to save money on equipment as you already know what your potential clients want and you buy only related equipment.

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How can you predict your earnings after 6 months?

The answer is that you can’t accurately predict your 6 months earning. You can only guess. Multi-billion dollar companies pay millions of dollars to the consulting and analytics firm to forecast the sales but they also don’t get the exact value. They only get the approximate value.

There are a few ways you can guess it. I have listed some of them below

  • Shortest way – Get in contact with the person who’s already in that business. Tell him that you want to be a partner and wants to know the revenue of the business. I know it’s unethical but it’s your best chance to guess the earning
  • Long way – Make a list of people who’ll be willing to pay for your product/service. A good rule of thumb is that only 5% of them will buy your service. So, if you have made a list of 1000 people then the best guess would be that only 50 will buy your service. So, if your product/service sots $100, you’ll earn $5000. Here 5% guess depends a lot on the product/service and its cost. Expensive things (more than $100) sell less and inexpensive things sell a lot.

 

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List of Ideas

Now, that you have all the things you want to know before starting a company, let’s get to the ideas

1: Tech Support Service

You can guide people to solve their problems with their electronic devices like laptop and phones over a phone call.

Startup Cost:

  • Educating yourself – $100
  • Subscription to multiple tech magazines to stay updated – $100 per year
  • Website – $50 per year
  • Phone connection – $50
  • High-speed internet for video calling – $50
  • Ads for Facebook – $250

Total cost – $600

2: Bicycle Repair

Repair the bicycles of those who are too busy to repair or who don’t know how to repair.

Startup cost:

  • Educating yourself – $100
  • Equipments – $200
  • Ads on Craigslist and Facebook – $250

Total cost – $550

3: Local Travel Consultant

You guide tourists over a phone call and email on what to visit in your city and when.

Startup cost:

  • Books on your city – $100
  • Subscription to magazines which write about your city – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and tourist maps – $400

Total cost – $550

4: Create an Instagram Page

Create an Instagram page in a specific niche and start posting on it. Once you have more than 20k followers, you can start doing business by posting pictures of other brands on your Instagram page in return for money.

Startup cost:

  • Payment to other Instagram accounts for the paid shoutout – $300
  • Instagram ads – $200 (I would not recommend you to use Instagram ads to grow your followers but still provided the cost in case you’re interested)
  • Photo editing tools – $150 per year

Total cost – $650

5: Coffee Cart

Open a coffee cart in a busy downtown area. Initially, you need to serve the coffees but you can hire a person to operate the cart once you start to make enough money.

Startup cost:

  • Rent a coffee cart – $100 per month
  • Coffee beans – $100
  • Books on making commercial coffees – $50

Total cost – $250

6: YouTube Channel

Create a YouTube channel on vlogs, how to, funny video compilations, cat or dog videos, etc. Make sure that you don’t put any copyright video or music because you cannot monetize that video and the revenue from all of the ads appearing in that video will go the person who holds the copyright.

Startup cost:

  • Creating a channel – $0
  • (Optional) Buying a DSLR camera if you’re going to shoot the video – $500
  • Video editing software – $20 per month but there are few free software presents also
  • Books on how to edit videos – $40
  • Books on managing a YouTube channel – $40

Total cost – $600 (cost of DSLR camera included)

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7: Become a tutor

What can be better than teaching someone? If you’re good at something, you can teach either online (via Skype) or offline (personally meeting them). You can also create an e-course and upload on elearning websites like lynda.com and udemy.com.

Startup cost:

  • Buying books to master the skill – $100
  • (Optional) Video editing software if you’re going for e-course – $20 per month
  • (Optional) DSLR camera if you’re going for e-course – $500
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $770 (cost of DSLR camera and video editing software included)

8: Professional Organizer

If you’re like Monica from Friends then you can earn money out of it. There is a huge market present for this service. Your potential customers are the rich people who don’t have enough time to organize the things.

Startup cost:

  • Ads for Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $250

9. Dog Walker

You can go for this option if you’re a dog person like me. You get to spend your time with lots of dogs. The best part is that you don’t have to spend entire day for this activity. Just 1 hour a day would suffice.

Startup cost:

  • Pet insurance – $300
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $550

10. Sell on Amazon and eBay

Buy something on wholesale and sell it on Amazon. It can be anything but make sure that you don’t sell very popular products like phone, electronics appliances, etc. so that you don’t get lost in the crowd.

Startup cost:

  • Inventory – It highly depends on what you’re going to sell. I would say that you can use Toyota’s Just in Time inventory which means that you only buy it from wholesale once you’ve received the order. I am still giving a cost of $500 to it.
  • Books on search optimization on Amazon and eBay – $50
  • Product photography – $100

Total cost – $650

11. Fashion Stylist

Get into this field if you like to design clothes or you have a good dressing sense. There is a very big market out there of rich people who don’t like shopping or don’t have time to shop. They hire other people to buy clothes for them. You can be that one.

Startup cost:

  • Subscribe fashion magazines to stay up to date – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $300

12. Translator

If you know two languages that you can earn money out of it. There’s a huge demand for translators especially to those who know Asian languages and English.

Startup cost:

  • Website – $50
  • Grammar books – $50
  • Facebook ads – $250

Total cost – $350

13. Photographer

Become a wedding photographer and you can charge $1000 for a single wedding shoot. Follow a few photographers on Instagram to learn the angle and lighting.

Startup cost:

  • DSLR camera – $500
  • Gears + Lens – $300
  • Photo editing software – $25 per month
  • Books on photography and Photoshop – $100

Total cost – $925

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14. Errand Runner

Some people don’t have time to go here and there. You can do for them in return for money.

Startup cost:

  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $250

15. Battery reconditioning

People are recycling more and more battery nowadays as they’re becoming environmentally conscious. There’s a good market here for you

Startup cost:

  • Equipment and tools – $700
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $950

16. Online gym coach

Guide the people online over Skype who wants to build muscles and get lean.

Startup cost:

  • Website – $50
  • Instagram ads (Instagram ads are more effective than Facebook ads here) – $250

Total cost – $300

17. Website Designer

Design websites for individuals and businesses.

Startup cost:

  • Web designing books – $50
  • Coding software – $30 per month
  • Designing software – $20 per month
  • Ads on Facebook – $250

Total cost – $350

18. College Application Consultant

Guide students to join the best college for them based on their performance.

Startup cost:

  • Subscription to educational magazines to stay up to date – $50
  • Ads for Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $300

19. Manufacture a product at home and sell

Manufacture handmade products and sell on Etsy or Shopify. You can also sell them on Amazon and eBay.

Startup cost:

  • Inventory costs depend on the product you’re manufacturing. I would suggest you use Toyota’s just in time inventory process which means that you’ll manufacture only when you receive an order. I am allotting $500 for this.
  • Tools to manufacture – $200
  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram – $250

Total cost – $950

20. Become a distributor

You can distribute things like newspapers, groceries, magazines, etc.

Startup cost:

  • Rent a vehicle – $200
  • Ads on Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $450

21. Become a caterer

Hire some freelancer chefs and cater to events.

Startup cost:

  • Renting utensils – $200
  • Buying meats and vegetables – $200
  • Website – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $600

22. Open an Accountancy firm

Open an accountancy firm that you operate from your home. Of course, you need to have knowledge of accounting.

Startup cost:

  • Website – $50
  • Books on accounting to fine tune your knowledge – $100
  • Ads on Facebook and LinkedIn – $250
  • Accounting software – $50

Total cost – $450

23. Personal Trainer in Gym

Start training people in the gym. You can train 2 people the same but I’ve seen personal trainers training 3 people at the same time.

Startup cost:

  • Books on gymming – $50
  • Subscription to fitness magazines – $50
  • Ads on Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $350

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24. Author

Write a book on something that you like. It can be on any topic like even on washing clothes. Just make sure that there’s a demand of that topic.

Startup cost:

  • Designing the book – $50
  • Proofreading (usually depends on the number of words) – $150 (taken as an average)
  • Publishing the book on Amazon Kindle – $0
  • Ads on Facebook – $250

Total cost – $450

25. Social Media Manager

Handle social media of multiple individuals and businesses. Post on their behalf.

Startup cost:

  • Tools to handle multiple social media accounts – $50
  • Ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – $400

Total cost – $450

26. Personal Chef

Become a personal chef of the people who’re too busy to cook their food. Your potential clients will usually be millionaires.

Startup cost:

  • Books on recipes – $50
  • Books on the nutritional value of food – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250
  • Chef cloths – $100

Total cost – $450

27. Virtual Assistant

There are many people out there who have too much on their plate that they cannot handle but cannot afford a full-time assistant. You can become a virtual assistant and your job will be handling his day to day tasks and coordinate with him over a phone call. Once you have enough clients, you can hire more people to assist you.

Startup cost:

  • Ads on Facebook and LinkedIn – $300

Total cost – $300

28. Auto Detailing

You could also invest your money in some cleaning and detailing supplies. This might include soaps, waxes and even a carpet cleaner. Then set up your own business as an auto detailer where you just travel to your clients when they need services.

Startup cost:

  • Inventory – $300
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $550

29. Transcriber

Write a speech for someone else and earn money. Your potential clients are people who’re busy to write their own speech or people who’re not fluent in the language they need to give the speech.

Startup cost:

  • Books on speech writing – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and LinkedIn – $250

Total cost – $300

30. Freelance writer

Write articles for companies and magazines as a freelancer and open a business once you start to make enough revenue. As more are more companies are shifting towards content marketing, the demand of writers is increasing day by day.

Startup cost:

  • Subscription to the magazine in the field you write on – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and LinkedIn – $250

Total cost – $300

31. Jewelry Designer/Maker

Design and make your own jewelry and sell on Etsy or Shopify. The jewelry doesn’t have to be of gold or silver. You can design one even from non-expensive rocks gemstone.

Startup cost:

  • Inventory – The cost depends on the quantity of raw material that you purchase. I don’t recommend you to have an inventory of more than $500. You can use Toyota’s just in time method where you buy the raw material as soon as you get the order.
  • Website – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram – $250
  • Product photography – $150

Total cost – $950

32. Graphic designer

Start an agency of graphic designing. You can be the one man army of that company. The demand for the graphic designer has skyrocketed after the rise of social media.

Startup cost:

  • Graphic designing software – $20 per month
  • Ads on Facebook – $250
  • Magazines to stay updated in the field – $50

Total cost – $320

33. UI/UX designer

UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) are different things but are clubbed together. You can start an agency for this.

Startup cost:

  • Tools for designing – $50 per month
  • Books on UI and UX – $100 ($50 each)
  • Facebook ads – $250

Total cost – $400

34. Wedding planner

Become a wedding planner to upper medium and rich class people. These people generally don’t have enough time to plan out everything for their wedding.

Startup cost:

  • Subscription to magazines to stay updated in the field – $50
  • Books on planning – $50
  • Facebook ads – $250

Total cost – $450

35. Event Coordinator

Coordinate in organizing events that are happening nearby. You can find most of them via Eventbrite, Meetup, etc.

Startup cost:

  • Books on event planning – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $300

35. Property manager

Manage the houses of other people and keep track of renting and selling them. You won’t be having many business transactions here but the one you’ll have will give you enough money. Your earning will be commission based.

Startup cost:

  • Books on sales – $50
  • Books on communications – $50
  • Books on pursuing others – $50
  • Ads on Facebook – $250
  • Google sheets to keep track of everything – $0

Total cost – $400

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36. Copy Editor

Create an agency where you proofread the articles or texts. The demand is very high, believe me.

Startup cost:

  • Books on grammar – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and LinkedIn – $250
  • Subscription to grammar website apps like Grammarly – $20 per month

Total cost – $320

37. Antique dealer

You could also invest your money in some antique pieces and space at an antique mall or events. Some antique malls charge a monthly rent while events usually charge a flat rate to participate. Others might take a small percentage of sales, especially when selling online.

Startup cost:

  • Inventory – Based on the stock you would like to have. I suggest you to not go beyond $500.
  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram – $250

Total cost – $750

38. Clothing designer

Open a firm that deals with designing clothes. This idea is not for everybody but if you’re good at designing that you can take this opportunity.

Startup cost:

  • Designing software – $40 per month
  • Pencils and pads – $100
  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram – $250

Total cost – $390

39. Auto detailing

You could invest your money in some cleaning and detailing supplies. This might include soaps, waxes and even a carpet cleaner. Then set up your own business as an auto detailer where you just travel to your clients when they need services.

Startup cost:

  • Inventory – The cost depends on the quantity of raw material that you purchase. I don’t recommend you to have an inventory of more than $500. You can use Toyota’s just in time method where you buy the raw material as soon as you get the order.
  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram – $250

Total cost – $750

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40. Baker

Bake cupcakes and sell. Isn’t it easy? It is if you like cooking. 🙂

Startup cost:

  • Inventory – The cost depends on the quantity of raw material that you purchase. I don’t recommend you to have an inventory of more than $500. You can use Toyota’s just in time method where you buy the raw material as soon as you get the order.
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist- $250

Total cost – $750

41. Plant nursery

If you have some outdoor space at your home, you can build a greenhouse or similar structure and start your own nursery to provide plants to customers. If you need to build a greenhouse, the supplies for that will likely take up most of your initial budget. Then you’ll just need seeds, soil, and fertilizer to get your plants going.

Startup cost:

  • Building cost – $500
  • Ads on Craigslist – $200

Total cost – $700

42. Cleaning business

Start an agency where you can take projects of cleaning someone’s apartments, garage, house. You can also scale up and start taking bigger projects like offices. You can also come up with a subscription plan where you’ll provide your service once in a month for 3 months.

Startup cost:

  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $250

43. Digital marketing agency

Become a digital marketing expert and start your own agency. You can consult small businesses on how to get more customers online.

Startup cost:

  • Books on digital marketing – $50
  • Ads on Facebook – $250
  • Website – $50

Total cost – $350

44. App developer

Either create a mobile app that has a paid model or start an agency where you create mobile apps for other people/businesses.

Startup cost:

  • Books on app development – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Twitter – $250
  • Website – $50
  • A demo app for your portfolio – $50

Total cost – $400

45. Book-keeping

Start buying books and give them on rent to others. You don’t have to be big like libraries. You can keep only best sellers books.

Startup cost:

  • Inventory – The cost depends on the quantity of raw material that you purchase. I don’t recommend you to have an inventory of more than $500. You can use Toyota’s just in time method where you buy the raw material as soon as you get the order.
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist- $250

Total cost – $750

46. Resume maker

You can start making resumes for college graduates. Many college students are not sure how to make a good resume. You can help them in return for some money.

Startup cost:

  • Ads on Facebook – $250
  • Books on resume making – $50
  • Subscription to career magazines to stay aware of the trending skills – $50

Total cost – $350

47. Personal Shopper

Yes, this is a business. You can help someone shopping for him/her. Many rich people (especially males) either suck at shopping or they don’t like shopping at all. You can guide them on what to purchase.

Startup cost:

  • Subscription to lifestyle and fashion magazines to stay aware of the trending skills – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram – $250

Total cost – $300

48. Senior home companion

You can start an agency and take care of old age people. Many of them live alone and would like to have someone to take care of them.

Startup cost:

  • Ads on newspaper – $250. If you’re targeting old age people then showing ads on Facebook and Twitter will not give you any customer because they don’t use Facebook.
  • Books on taking care of old people – $50

Total cost – $300

49. Party menu planner

Plan menu for parties. You have to make who they guests are and what’s the occasion. You don’t want to lots of junk food on the menu at a wedding party.

Startup cost:

  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram – $250
  • Books on party planning – $50
  • Website – $50

Total cost – $350

50. Business planning

Guide other business owners on how to run a business. Of course, you need to have a good understanding of how does a business work. This idea is ideal for the people who’re currently working in a firm which deals with business optimization.

Startup cost:

  • Ads on Facebook and Twitter – $250
  • Books on business planning – $50
  • Website – $50

Total cost – $350

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51. Grocery Delivery

With the evolution of online store, delivering groceries from the store to the doors is now a business. You can start an agency where you can deliver the groceries from the store to the buyers. Your job will involve only the delivery part.

Startup cost:

  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $250

52. Pet grooming

People love their pet now even more with the rise of Facebook and Instagram. Videos of groomed pets go viral on Instagram and Facebook, and people want their pets to like them. You can start a business around it.

Startup cost:

  • Grooming inventory – $500
  • Store cost – $200 (you can use your also home rather than renting a shop)
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $950

53. Tax preparation

If you are aware of accounting then you can start your own agency where you can prepare tax for other people and businesses. You can show them ways to save tax.

Startup cost:

  • Ads on Facebook – $250
  • Tax preparation tools – $40 per month
  • Subscription to magazines to stay updated with the new laws – $50

Total cost – $340

54. Affiliate marketing

People have made millions from this kind of business. You can become one also. You just need someone to buy a product (which support affiliate marketing) with a unique code. Whenever they buy that product, you’ll get some money.

You can start a website where you’ll review things and put your code there. You can also put an affiliate link. So, when one buys from your link or put your code, you’ll get a commission.

Startup cost:

  • Website – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Google – $250

Total cost – $300

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55. Blogging

Start your blog and put ads. The industry average is that you’ll make around $20 per thousand visitors from ads. However, the earning may deviate from $20.

Startup cost:

  • Website – $50

Total cost – $50

56. Snow removal

This is a seasonal business. You can start an agency to remove snow from people’s houses in winter.

Startup cost:

  • Tools – $300
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $550

57. Life Coach

Become a life consultant and guide other people on how to live a happy and peaceful life. You may want to achieve happiness and peace first before you can guide others.

Startup cost:

  • Books on life coaching – $50
  • Books of psychology to understand people’s’ problems – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250
  • Website – $50

Total cost – $400

58. Create coloring books

Create a coloring book for kids and sell on the local stores. You can scale up the distribution is see that kids and parents are liking your product

Startup cost:

  • Inventory – The cost depends on the quantity of raw material that you purchase. I don’t recommend you to have an inventory of more than $500.
  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram (target the parents who’re in the age of 30-38 especially moms) – $250

Total cost – $750

59. Create an audiobook

Write your own stories and record audio. Sell both on Amazon and local stores. You can self-publish a book on Amazon. You can bring distributors and publishers into the picture if you see that people are liking your product.

Startup cost:

  • Recording instruments – $400
  • Ads on Facebook – $250

Total cost – $650

60. Publish your songs on YouTube

Many celebrities you’re listening to nowadays started theirs on YouTube. Some of the names are Charlie Puth and late Christina Grimmie.

Startup cost:

  • Recording instruments – $400
  • Audio editing software – $50 per month
  • YouTube channel ads – $250

Total cost – $700

61. Become a book reviewer

With the easy availability of books after the launch on Amazon and eBooks, people are reading more and more books nowadays. With the increase in demand, authors are writing more and more books nowadays. With more and more books, people are getting flooded with books and they don’t know what to read. You can make things easier for them.

Startup cost:

  • Buy books to review – $100
  • Website – $50
  • Ads on Facebook – $250

Total cost – $400

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62. Sell commodities

You can sell raw materials like coffees to houses of cafes. You will act as a middleman between the importer/farmer and the buyer.

Startup cost:

  • Inventory – The cost depends on the quantity of raw material that you purchase. I don’t recommend you to have an inventory of more than $500. You can use Toyota’s just in time method where you buy the raw material as soon as you get the order.
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $750

63. Drone aerial photography and videography

Buy a drone and start shooting aerial photos. Your primary customers will be real estate agents.

Startup cost:

  • Buy drone – $200
  • Buy a camera that fits into drone – $400
  • Photo and video editing software – $50 per month
  • Ads on Facebook and Instagram – $250

Total cost – $900

64. Amazon and eBay consultant

Yes, this is a business. It’s easy to get your product listed on Amazon but not easy to get it shown on the first page in the search result. You can guide them what can they do to get to the first page.

Startup cost:

  • Books on Amazon/eBay optimization – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and LinkedIn – $250

Total cost – $300

65. House painting

Many people don’t like painting their house. You can help them.

Startup cost:

  • Painting tools – $200
  • Ads on Facebook and Craigslist – $250

Total cost – $450

66. Become a conversion rate optimizer

When someone visits a site and make a purchase, subscribes to the newsletter, or do anything that the website owner wants him to do, it is called a conversion. The industry average is only ~3% which means that only 3 people out of 100 people do the tasks that website owners want them to do.

Startup cost:

  • Books on conversion rate optimization – $50
  • Ads on Facebook and Linkedin – $250
  • Website – $50

Total cost – $350

67. Rent your car to Uber

You can rent your car to someone who can use it as an Uber driver. You need to make sure that your car meets Uber criteria.

Startup cost:

  • Legalities – $800

Total cost – $800

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