What if you’re in college and you want to start your own business? What if you want to run your own startup, but you have no money? Don’t fret; there are plenty of low investment business ideas out there that can get you started on the right track, even when you don’t have much cash on hand. If you’re interested in being your own boss or just making some extra money, this list of 10 low investment business ideas will provide the information and inspiration you need to succeed. All it takes is hard work, so follow through and make this happen! Check out these business ideas for students with low investment.
Business ideas that need little startup capital
If you’re just getting started in business, one of your primary concerns is probably keeping costs down. But don’t think that means you have to give up on certain ideas. There are plenty of business ideas for students that need very little investment and could help bring in extra cash or part-time income without taking much time out of your busy schedule. So whether you’re looking to work from home, supplement your current salary or launch a brand new career, here are 10 great business ideas to get you started. Most of them are also good business ideas for students with low investment
1) Car Wash Business
If you live in a warm climate and have access to water, starting a car wash business may be an excellent way to get your entrepreneurial career started. Customers will pay someone else to do tasks they don’t want to take time out of their day for, like washing their car or cleaning up pet hair from their home.
If you can make their life easier, they’ll gladly pay you to do it! For example, almost every university has at least one car wash business run by students who need a little extra cash.
If you live in a colder climate, it can be more difficult to open a car wash business. You’ll likely have trouble finding enough customers to make a profit, so it’s best to look for other ideas that don’t require sunshine and warm weather.
Some good low-investment business ideas for students include selling food at school sporting events, holding yard sales or pet walking/sitting services. The more diversified your income streams are, the less impact any individual activity will have on your overall income.
You don’t need a college degree to work with kids—and you certainly don’t need thousands of dollars. If you have some basic childcare skills, enjoy working with children, and are looking for a flexible part-time job that lets you earn extra cash on nights and weekends, becoming an in-home childcare provider might be your perfect business opportunity.
With more than 3 million children under age 6 in daycare in America each year (according to Child Care Aware), there’s clearly a demand for caregivers. If you like kids and aren’t afraid of hard work, starting a home daycare center can be a great option—especially because it has relatively low startup costs.
To get started, you’ll need to attend a home daycare training class through your state or local child development board. In most states, you must complete at least eight hours of initial training and an additional 16 hours before you’re licensed by your city or state. The cost of these classes can vary widely depending on where you live, but are usually fairly affordable (in some cases free), and may be eligible for financial aid if you meet eligibility requirements. This is one of the great business ideas for students with low investment.
You’ll also have to pay a yearly fee to register with your city or state government to become an official in-home childcare provider. These fees usually range from $50 to $150 per year, depending on where you live.
You don’t need a ton of space to sell cookies, cupcakes, muffins and other delicious desserts. Bake at home or find a commercial kitchen that allows you to rent space by the hour. For safety reasons and regulatory concerns, it’s important to get licensed in your area if you plan on selling baked goods.
Becoming licensed will also allow you to obtain insurance and start paying taxes on your business income as soon as possible—which means more cash flow in your pocket each month!
Don’t think you need to be a master baker to succeed in baking. You can keep your prices low and still make decent profits by selling desserts that aren’t complicated, or by partnering with other companies that will do most of the production and delivery work for you.
Keep in mind that renting commercial kitchen space isn’t cheap, so it’s best to set up shop at home if possible. Your costs should be no more than $50-$100 per month, but plan on spending around $500-$1,000 when all is said and done.
If you want to start a business but don’t have a lot of money, consider starting a food cart or other mobile venture. Even if your idea requires more upfront costs than some of these other suggestions, it’s worth it because starting small allows you to keep your initial investment low and prove that there is demand for your product or service. Once you are profitable, you can invest in expansion and grow at your own pace.
One such business is selling donuts, and a successful donut business can be started with very little money. To start selling donuts, you’ll need an affordable cart or truck that can carry your equipment and product, but even a basic food truck will set you back more than $30,000.
You’ll also need to obtain permits and licenses that vary by location so you can legally sell food on city streets. This could cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 depending on where you live. Beyond that there’s not much else required to get started: some other rental equipment like a refrigerator or deep fryer if necessary and ingredients to make your donuts are about all it takes. This idea is the most prefered and easy among the top business ideas for students with low investment.
5) Ice Cream Truck
An ice cream truck business is one of those low investment ideas that really does have huge upside. You can quickly turn a profit by parking in front of schools, daycares, public parks, and other spots that offer access to children.
At a price tag of between $3K and $7K (depending on if you rent or buy), you’ll need at least 3 months to start seeing returns on your investment. That’s not necessarily a bad thing! Once you get your business up and running it can provide a decent income – as long as summer lasts.
An ice cream truck can be set up as either a mobile business or a stationary business. If you want to run it as a stationery shop, you’ll need to check local zoning laws and regulations that determine where trucks, trailers, and pushcarts can be parked.
Even if you do park in front of schools and other places where there are lots of children, ask your landlord if he or she is willing to allow an ice cream truck on-site so you don’t disrupt any tenants. You may also want to consider checking whether there are any specific conditions required (like heat lamps) so that when summer arrives you can hit the ground running with your mobile business.
6) Lawn Care Service
Want to start a business that doesn’t require any startup costs? Get your hands dirty as a lawn care service. A good set of tools and some advertising can go a long way in helping you establish a thriving landscaping company, especially if you’re willing to learn on your feet.
Keep in mind that because many people are willing to cut their own grass or pay kids to do it, you might find yourself with stiff competition. Also, note that there is an abundance of information available on starting a lawn mowing business. However, there isn’t much data on how successful such businesses have been over time. If you think operating as an independent landscaper could be rewarding, talk to an accountant about tax implications and get out there!
You might consider a franchise instead of starting from scratch. Landscaping franchises are among some of the most affordable franchises available, but they do require an investment that varies between $20,000 and $50,000. Consider how much work you want to put into your lawn care business and whether you’re willing to buy into someone else’s idea when choosing how involved you want to be in your business’ growth.
The low startup costs make franchises a good choice if you’re looking for a less risky route toward entrepreneurship. For example, Scotts Lawn Service operates as many local franchises around Australia and prides itself on its quality work at fair prices. This goes at the best and very low cost or low budget business ideas for students with low investment.
7) Fulfillment Center
If you’re a student, it might be difficult to juggle your classwork and your business—but it doesn’t have to be. One low-investment business idea is to start a fulfillment center. You can purchase wholesale products from companies like Zeek, and then resell them on eBay or at local flea markets in order to make money on your own schedule.
If you sell more than $5,000 of merchandise in any given month (which is very doable with a little hard work), then you can open up shop on Amazon as well.
It might seem like you’re getting ahead of yourself to start thinking about eBay and Amazon when you’re just starting out in business, but it’s not. The truth is that both websites take a cut of your sales (in other words, they get their percentage of your profit), so why not focus on smaller marketplaces first?
This will help you make some money while you learn, and save time and effort when it comes time to expand. It also means that if sales don’t work out as well as you’d hoped, there won’t be much loss.
8) Virtual Assistant Service
As a student, it can be difficult to find work that pays well, offers flexible hours and is easy enough to do from home. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities that offer all of these benefits. One such opportunity is becoming a virtual assistant for small businesses. Virtual assistants are professionals who provide administrative and other services via remote communication technology.
Virtual assistants allow businesses with limited budgets and overheads to easily hire qualified support staff when needed without having to hire on full-time employees or rent an office space. If you’re looking for an entry-level job with great flexibility and long-term potential, a virtual assistant service may be right up your alley!
Virtual assistant services don’t require a lot of startup capital, either. All you need is a computer and internet connection, and you can earn money right away. Many virtual assistants work part-time while they go to school or maintain another job, which allows them to keep costs down even further.
Most businesses also offer competitive pricing structures with packages starting as low as $20/hour for administrative support to $80/hour+ for more specialized skills like web design.
Also Read: A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing
9) Catering Service
For students, a catering service is an excellent low-investment business idea that you can run while you’re in school. Catering businesses come in all shapes and sizes, from food trucks to full restaurant chains.
The advantage of running your own catering business is that you can get started on a shoestring budget and easily scale up as needed once you graduate.
If you’re not ready to take on a full restaurant or catering company, consider starting off with a food truck instead. In many cities, operating a food truck is cheaper than running a brick-and-mortar restaurant—not to mention far less complicated and stressful!
Whether you’re interested in launching a full-scale catering company or simply operating a food truck, look into all of your licensing and permitting requirements before you get started. These laws vary by city, so it’s important to do your research.
If you find an available parking spot to sell your food, consider advertising locally and online as well. This is an easy way to drum up some business without much additional effort on your part!
10) Dropshipping Business
With dropshipping, there’s no inventory to buy or store. Instead, when a customer orders a product, you purchase it from a wholesaler and have it shipped directly to your customer. When done correctly, drop shipping can be a low-cost and hassle-free way to start an online business.
Some of the most popular eCommerce platforms—including Shopify and BigCommerce—support dropshipping right out of the box, meaning you don’t need an eCommerce expert or software developer on your team before you get started.
If you’re looking to launch a business but don’t have much in startup capital, dropshipping is an excellent option. Since you don’t need to purchase or store any inventory, your overhead costs are minimal, allowing you to run your business on a small budget.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to consider before jumping into dropshipping. As with any business model, dropshipping has its own pros and cons—as well as potential pitfalls you should avoid at all costs.
Starting a business takes a lot of time, energy and money. So when it comes to choosing your first one, you’ll want to pick something you can start with minimal capital. That’s where low investment business ideas come in. Whether you have no experience or are looking to make some quick cash, these businesses are all great options for starting your entrepreneurial journey.
While each of these businesses may have different start-up costs, remember that you’ll also have to put in a lot of time and effort if you want to be successful. So if you’re serious about starting your own business, make sure you’re willing to commit all of your resources. If so, then these low investment business ideas could be just what you need to get started on your entrepreneurial journey. Good luck!
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