Small Business Ideas

Need some inspiration for your new start-up? Learn more about small business ideas for any budget in this helpful guide.

For some, starting a business is a clear calling, and deciding what to do is second nature.

For others, the ideas may not be so clear, or it could be that things like logistics and financing are problematic. Here, we’ve listed some great small business ideas for those with limited resources, along with other types of business that may appeal to your inner entrepreneur.

Business ideas on a budget

If you have a passion and want to turn it into a business, you’ll find that many of these can be done with very little upfront capital required:

  • Childcare – arguably one of the most in-demand services that costs you virtually nothing. You can offer childcare in the homes of clients, the costs of which are travel to and from, or you can open your home if you have the space to take care of children provided you’ve obtained the correct paperwork. The nominal costs involved with incorporating and advertising your childcare business will quickly be recouped.
  • Pet sitting – pet sitting, pet taxis and other services like dog walking are increasingly in demand, particularly in cities where pet parents may be out to work all day. There are similarly few start-up costs, and utilizing marketing tools like social media can cut these back even further
  • Cleaning – provided you can cover the costs of advertising and your cleaning products, you can start a cleaning business tomorrow. You can easily create your own advertising materials online, and even start small by offering services to family and friends at discounted rates. Word of mouth is another great way to build this kind of business, and one of the great things about it is you can take on as much or as little work as you’d like.

Business ideas you can start tomorrow

If you hold a professional designation, getting started and offering your services on a freelance or consultancy basis couldn’t be easier thanks to today’s digital world:

  • Catering – a passion for baking or cooking can easily be transferred into a catering business from home. Provided you obtain the required licenses and meet the necessary food hygiene standards, you can begin with catering for small events such as corporate lunches or baby showers, and work your way up to larger events should you so wish.
  • Wedding hair and makeup – if you are a dab hand at makeup application or have been professionally trained, being a makeup artist is a great way to start a small business you enjoy. While you may have to travel to brides on their big day to apply their wedding makeup, you can hold things like pre-wedding day trials and hen party applications at your house - all you need are your tools and the necessary space.
  • Photographer and videographer – not every professional shutterbug works out of a large studio. In fact, many travel around for events such as weddings or fundraisers, while others have a small space in their home (such as a converted loft or conservatory) from which they can get started.

Business ideas you can start with friends

If the idea of working with a group of people appeals, there are some business ideas that require a few hands on deck that you may want to consider:

  • Interior decoration – painting and decorating can be a large job, and so can be off-putting for many people. If you have the manpower, skills, tools and means to tackle these jobs, you’re in business.
  • Gardening and landscaping – similarly, many people may not have the time to dedicate to gardening, while others such as elderly residents may not be physically able to. By gathering a team of friends, you can share the start-up costs between you, and travel to various sites carrying out anything from small gardening jobs to large landscaping projects.
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