Today I want to share with you my top business ideas with low investment and high profit that have the potential to replace your day job income.
This list is especially great for you if you need money and want to make a side income or to find self-employment ideas that work long term!
Most of these ideas are classified as “low investment” because your start-up costs or overall financial investment is low compared to the amount of money you could make.
Let’s get into the list!
Business Ideas With Low Investment And High Profit
1. Online Affiliate Marketing
An online affiliate marketer is someone who makes money promoting a brand or person’s product/service using the internet. The most common way this is done is to have your own website where you promote products to your visitors.
This is a low investment business idea because the cost of setting up and running your website can be accomplished for less than $100 in your first year of business. You’ll likely need to invest more money into tools and education to create a successful business around online affiliate marketing; however, these costs can be less than $1000 in your first year, which is still incredibly low for a new business.
Your job as an affiliate marketer would consist of creating content for your website (it can be a personal blog!), attracting visitors to your site, and then making money from visitors who consume your content. That’s the general idea of how a website makes money.
Starting a website is easy. You can have your website up and running in less than 24 hours. The difficult part is building your business from the ground up. Expect to spend a lot of hours learning and trying new ideas as you get the hang of it.
Most bloggers and affiliate marketers don’t make much money in the first six months, however after 1 – 2 years, it’s reasonable to make a full-time income online if you dedicate yourself to making your online venture work!
2. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is a term used to describe anyone who helps another person/business complete their business tasks online.
This is an incredibly low investment business idea because your monetary investment costs can be zero. Most of your investment costs will be your time and effort used to find work as a virtual assistant.
You can virtually assist practically any business. Many businesses (big and small) outsource tasks to virtual assistants to complete. The best part of being a virtual assistant is that you perform all your work online – which means you can work from home!
Here is some example of what a travel blogger can pay a virtual assistant to do:
- Creating travel pins for her Pinterest board
- Writing travel content for her blog or other websites
- Creating travel imagery to use on her blog posts
- Answering emails and other business inquiries
- Promoting her blog on social media or search engines
Some virtual assistants work from home full time. It can be challenging to get enough work to make a full-time income in the beginning; however, it’s absolutely doable as you gain experience in what you do and how you promote yourself.
To find work as a virtual assistant, you can:
- Look for jobs at online marketplaces like upwork.com
- Reach out to businesses inquiring about working for them
Reaching out to businesses will likely yield you better results in terms of pay.
A freelancer is someone who performs work for a person/business on a one-time basis (usually). For example, a company can hire a freelance web designer to fix a few coding issues their website is facing.
A freelancer typically works on a per-job basis. You get a job, and you are done after it’s completed. It’s slightly different than a virtual assistant, where the latter is typically characterized by a longer-term partnership (though these lines are getting more and more similar today).
To start a freelance business, you first want to identify what types of skills you have and how you can help others.
The next step is the most difficult one, and that is to get your name out there so people who require your skills can find you and hire you. Free online job websites like Craigslist and marketplaces like upwork.com are common places to advertise yourself.
Also, proactively reaching out to businesses who may need someone with your skills is also a great way to find work.
If you have a useful skill, you can bet someone out there needs it – and will be more than happy to pay you for your time.
4. Professional Photographer
Photography is a very in-demand skill that continues to grow as businesses require more and more content for their websites, social media accounts, and promotions. On top of that, regular day to day people also need images for their wedding, anniversaries, family portraits, and more.
If you are new to photography and want to turn this into a business, your learning curve will be steeper, and your investment costs will be higher. However, if you already own a camera and have some experience shooting, you can likely begin making money right away.
You can buy yourself a high-grade camera and a few useful lenses for $5000 or less. You may also need a few accessories like lights and tripods. This is certainly an investment of your money; however, you can make these costs back quickly – within the first few months if you market yourself well.
I’ve always found that finding work in artsy related jobs like photography is more about learning how to promote yourself and networking with the right people rather than having amazing skills. A photography business is a good business to start in a small town where everyone knows you.
Having excellent skills is terrific and will separate you from the rest. However, what’s even more important is how discoverable you are.
One popular way to network is through Instagram. Find accounts that you want to photograph for. Follow them and begin engaging with their content, so they become familiar with you. Do this with 100-200 accounts. After a few months, you should definitely have a minimum of a few people businesses who would want to hire you.
As you build your portfolio and gain experience, you can charge more money and get more jobs – and perhaps go full time! Many wedding photographers and event photographers make $100,000 yearly.
5. Social Media Influencer
A social media influencer is someone who has a following online, and “influences” others by sharing their thoughts, lifestyle, products they are using, etc.
An “influencer” makes money by promoting a brand’s products or services. This is how most social media influencers earn income today. The general idea of how influencing work is that you create content and gain followers, and you continue the process until you can be paid for promoting things.
You generally don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started. Your costs will depend on which platform you use and what your niche is.
For example, if you want to get paid to travel as a Youtube travel influencer, you’ll first need to spend money traveling to create content – which can be expensive.
Alternatively, if you wanted to be a keto diet influencer on Instagram, your feed could simply consist of health quotes and photos of food you’re already eating – which would be an extremely low-cost social media business.
Getting started on social media is incredibly easy. Building a following to a level where you get paid is challenging and requires a lot of time and work. However, if you enjoy social media, it’s absolutely a great place to begin building your brand and business. Hundreds of millions of people have created a real, sustainable business on social media.
6. Online Course Creator
Creating courses online is one of the most rewarding business ideas with low investment and high profit. There are many ways to go about creating courses; however, the general idea is that you build a useful course on a subject people want to learn and sell it to as many people as possible.
Creating courses is typically not something a first-time online business owner starts their venture with because it’s challenging to succeed with it right off the bat.
Many people and business owners start their online careers with a blog, or social media account like Youtube and transition to creating online courses to generate more business revenue.
Creating courses can be one of the best business ideas with low investment and high profit. For the most part, if you create courses on learning platforms like Skillshare, your costs can be quite low – just a few thousand dollars or less.
Creating courses that you host yourself on your website will likely cost considerably more money because you’ll be responsible for all the upfront costs, including the promotion of your product.
If you are very experienced and knowledgeable about a specific topic, creating courses may be the right online business move for you! Explore your options on where you want to host your course and how you want to promote it.
7. Music Teacher
A music teacher is someone who teaches anything related to music to students, with teaching an instrument the most common form of music teaching.
Teaching music is an incredibly practical way to earn a full-time income or simply extra income. This is because you are already knowledgeable about how to use your musical instrument, and teaching it can make you a lot of money quickly.
For example, a piano music teacher can invite students to her home for music lessons. If the music teacher is quality, she can easily ask for $50 – $100 for an hour lesson. You can see that giving one on one private lessons to a few students per day can earn you a full-time income.
Making money as a music teacher will come down to advertising and promoting your service. There are a lot of students who want to learn musical instruments! Promoting yourself online on free websites is a great way to begin looking for students to teach.
8. Social Media Manager
A social media manager is someone responsible for managing all (or some) social media accounts a business owns. This is a great way to earn income because you only need a computer to perform your duties and can work from anywhere in the world.
Your job duties will vary, but the idea is that you will help the business promote their products/services through social media. You will be posting photos (and perhaps taking them too), writing captions, making videos, answering comments and questions, etc.
Social media managers get paid a wide variety of money. Your pay will come down to how much work you are required to complete and how experienced you are. It’s very reasonable to expect $1000 – $2000 per month for managing one business social media account. If you manage a few businesses, it would likely be the equivalent of working 30-40 hours per week and will likely earn you a wage you can live off!
9. Website Content Writer
A writer is one of the highest in-demand business ideas with low investment and high profit. Business, especially the hundreds of millions of online websites, needs daily fresh content, and many hire content writers to create it. If you see content written on a website, especially if the website is a big well-known site, chances are it hired content writers to write for them.
Writers of all skill levels are needed online. There are plenty of people who require low-quality content writers as well. However, for the best paying jobs, you’ll want to be at least average at writing. The higher your skill level, the better.
You can get paid $50 – $100 (or more) for writing an article for a website. If the site is an established business and you’re knowledgeable and a good writer, expecting more than $100 per article you write is very reasonable.
Finding writing jobs is quite easy. The fastest way is to perform a quick Google search for “writing jobs.” You’ll see pages and pages of results and opportunities. Many of these jobs typically don’t pay too well or require you to bid on jobs – however, you can usually get started making money quickly this way.
Finding great writing jobs that pay well is harder and requires you to do more work. You need to make sure you have competent writing skills and knowledge in the subject matter. I would recommend reaching out to many blogs and websites to look for career/freelance opportunities.
Many business ideas with low investment and high profit can work well and generate a full-time income. The difficult part is spending the time required to make it work long term.
I recommend choosing a business that you enjoy – because you want to be able to stick with it.
The low investment business ideas I mentioned in this article are all (generally) low-cost business ideas to get into. The real cost is your time and effort in building your business. These ideas are great if you are trying to build a business on a budget!
Author: Jay enjoys blogging about money at his personal finance blog Dope Dollar. He especially enjoys talking about topics related to making money and has many great articles for you to read. Check him out if you are looking for ways to earn more income this year!