7 Unique Business Ideas You Can Run At Almost No Cost

Last Updated on May 19, 2023

You better believe you’re not alone when it comes to wanting to start your own business. Working for someone else while wanting the flexibility and responsibility of running your own business is perfectly fine. However, a lot of people in this category find it hard to do so because they either do not have enough capital or are just lost on business ideas.

This problem probably makes you feel like you’re out of luck, right?

No! Here are seven business ideas you can start for practically nothing (the ones that aren’t completely free are still pretty cheap). You don’t need expensive training or degrees, fancy equipment, lots of materials, space, or products.

That being said, many of the businesses below require at least regular access to a computer, the internet, and possibly a car. If you think creatively, you will definitely find a business idea that fits your set of skills. Here is a list of business ideas, you can make a reality:

1. Become a virtual interior designer and sell home decor products

Home decor has become extremely beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic as quarantined shoppers chose to spend more time redecorating. The industry has been growing since 2021 and is expected to continue growing through 2026. The advent of augmented reality has allowed online shoppers to actually see what their furniture and other upholstery look like in their homes. This has spawned a new form of business: the virtual interior designer.

Virtual interior design is still a relatively new industry, making it an ideal area for new brands. There are even online services like RoomPlays that match virtual interior designers with clients looking for their services. If you are already in the interior design industry, this will cost almost close to nothing, apart from data costs, your spending is easily minimized. However, if you are just an enthusiast and have no experience in the interior design sector, you’ll need to invest in interior design software. Apart from all of that, your capital for this business idea is quite cheap.

Read: What are the Top Funding Options for Startup Ventures?

2. Start a dog-walking and pet-sitting business

You can start a dog-walking and pet-sitting business. If you love animals, chances are you’ll jump at the opportunity to spend as much time with them as possible. If you’re a social person (and a dog lover), dog walking is a great business opportunity. Dog walking companies are very local, so the type of service they offer will depend on your location. Take Salty Paws, for example; they offer traditional dog walking and pet sitting services for pet owners, as well as adventure walks to locations along the coast of New Hampshire.

You can even go ahead and offer grooming services for the pets, or make it more fun by calling the service “pet makeovers.” Giving pet owners, the chance to have a pet sitter that can decrease their stress, of having to properly clean and groom their pets. If you are offering these pet owners a chance to love their pets without the stress of knowing who to leave them with when they are not around, you’ll easily be their favorite pet service.

You can bring this business idea to life with little to no cost. For a start, you can invest in some pet toys and pet food, all of which you’ll soon be reimbursed for when your services are paid for. Over time, you can get a bus and offer a few luxuries to make your clients (the pets) feel like royalty. If the pets are happy, so are their owners.

3. Become a virtual teacher and sell memberships to an online course

More colleges, universities, and even elementary schools are offering more online courses than ever before. The market for distance learning is growing as people become more comfortable with online learning, and this trend is expected to continue.

This is an industry that offers many niche opportunities because online courses can teach people anything they want to learn, from cooking to playing the piano. This growing industry is perfect for new traders looking to establish themselves or sell related companion products in their online store. There are also more hands-on opportunities. For example, Helm Publishing offers open-book self-study courses that come with tests and textbooks, so customers can learn at their own pace and test themselves when they’re ready.

If you have a degree or just have enough experience in a niche, you can easily become a virtual teacher, the cost of doing this,  as long as you have your devices (phones, tablets/iPad, or laptops) data costs is mostly what you have to worry about. 

You can look for virtual teaching jobs on websites like Bridge Job Board. Do not forget to make an impact; students never forget the teachers who do this.

4. Become a social media influencer and partner with brands

Almost everyone uses social media in some way, so influencer marketing is growing in almost every industry. No matter what you’re selling, your business needs customers, and that’s where influencers come in. A social media influencer who specializes in growing social media in a specific niche Influencers has a certain amount of power over their audience. As such, when they work with brands, audiences tend to take those brands seriously. Many brands rely on influencers to promote their products.

This is especially important for companies selling niche products. With a company like this, finding customers with a wide range of content can be more difficult. But the great thing about being an influencer is that the audience you build is your own. That means he can generate an additional revenue stream by selling his own products. Take Unxpectd, a clothing brand that leverages its huge number of TikTok followers to drive web traffic to its clothing line.

Social media influencing has turned out to be a lucrative business that almost anyone can do. The truth is, if you have a passion, you should find a way to share it with the world; you’d be surprised at how many people will be interested in what you have to say. Just stay sturdy and familiarize yourself with the social media apps and their metrics. Soon, creating great content will be as easy as breathing.

5. Start a local grocery delivery service

Everyone needs groceries, but not everyone has the same accessibility when it comes to shopping. A grocery delivery service allows shoppers to select items and have them delivered from the comfort of their homes.

Online shopping is global, but grocery delivery often needs to be local, as commodities such as fresh meat and produce can be damaged in transit. That means there are communities all over the world that have the potential to create niche grocery delivery businesses. Retirement communities, college campuses, and densely populated residential areas are usually great places to start a local grocery delivery business. Take, for example, Kiki’s Grocery Delivery Service, which provides customers throughout the Vancouver area with fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and canned goods of all kinds.

You can start simply by going around your neighborhood and asking people if they need their grocery shopping done. Charging them a fee, and making sure to be polite, precise, and efficient. Remember, if you give them good customer service, they will patronize your service again. They may even recommend you to their friends and family. As your clientele grows, you can start looking to make your business an online service with good customer care. This will cost you almost nothing, to begin with.

6. Sell digital subscriptions by starting your own zine account

If you love writing, you’ve probably thought about starting your own magazine. “Zines” are usually small-run magazines that focus on niche topics. Zines tend to have more independent elements, so the industry is more open to new entrants. There are endless possibilities for your zine’s theme. You’re more likely to be successful if you take up a topic you’re passionate about, so this is a small business idea that will help you stick to your instincts. Whether you’re an artist, designer, or writer, zines are a great way to showcase your talent and make money from what you’re passionate about.

Shopify’s Digital Downloads app makes it easy to sell digital subscriptions for your zines. If you want to sell physical copies, you can use a self-publishing app like Lulu Direct. While you may want to set the creative direction of your zine, you don’t necessarily have to write every article yourself. You can even hire remote freelance workers to help you create content. The high cost of this business idea mostly lies in your creativity, resilience, and hard work.

7. Sell your own designed products using a CNC router

A CNC machine (also called a CNC router) is a computer-controlled cutting tool that can cut intricate shapes out of materials such as wood, metal, plastic, and glass. Because CNC machines work through computers, they can mass produce products in a fraction of the time of professional builders. These machines are becoming more affordable, making it easier for small businesses to mass-produce their own custom products on a minimal budget in their garage, basement, or bedroom. Online marketplaces such as Etsy and Facebook marketplaces tend to be particularly in demand for CNC products due to the high demand for unique products on these sites. This is also why the CNC product market audience is more open to purchasing new brands, favoring smaller retailers. There are many products that can be made with a CNC machine. Interiors, cookware, toys, games, etc. The uniqueness of the product itself is often the selling point.

Take Avocraft as an example. The cedar coasters and placemats are cut from a combination of wood and resin, so each individual piece has its own unique pattern. The demand for uniqueness allows Avocrafts to provide customers with products of unrivaled quality that are easy to mass produce.

Before you go…

Hey, thank you for reading this blog to the end. I hope it was helpful. Let me tell you a little bit about Nicholas Idoko Technologies. We help businesses and companies build an online presence by developing web, mobile, desktop, and blockchain applications.

As a company, we work with your budget in developing your ideas and projects beautifully and elegantly as well as participate in the growth of your business. We do a lot of freelance work in various sectors such as blockchain, booking, e-commerce, education, online games, voting, and payments. Our ability to provide the needed resources to help clients develop their software packages for their targeted audience on schedule is unmatched.

Be sure to contact us if you need our services! We are readily available.


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