30 Small Business Ideas That Take Less Than $10K to Start

small business ideas

Planning to start your business but not sure where to begin? Statistics show that 5.4 million SMBs filed for formation in 2021 alone. However, starting your business requires setting a budget before you can start minting money.  

30 Small Business Ideas That Take Less than $10K to Start

It’s more challenging to have a smaller amount, like $10k, while starting. Therefore, we will discuss 30 small business ideas that take less than $10k to start. Let’s have a look at them below. 

1. Dropshipping 

Dropshipping is easily one of the easiest businesses to start as a small business. Its starting cost is around $1000 with a 10% to 40% profit margin depending on how you run it. You can earn up to $1M annually with this business model. With the increasing popularity of dropshipping, the industry has expanded quickly. 

2. Tutoring Services 

Students require help with their subjects all year long; it’s one of the most stable businesses and hardly requires an investment. Yes, you do have to gain experience and expertise in the subjects of your choice for them. Freelancing platforms like Upwork can also help you get started faster. 

3. Real Estate Agent 

Becoming a real estate agent is relatively costly, as its starting cost lies between $5,000 and $10,000 on average, with a median income of $49,000. It would help if you also had licensing and certifications and fulfilled the requirements needed. 

4. Hauling Business 

The startup cost of trucks and trailers ranges between $5,000 and $10,000, and you can increase your fleet with time. Professionals in this business earn around $15-50 per hour, along with other expenses. You can also help eliminate unwanted junk and clean the area. 

5. Digital Marketing Consultant 

A laptop and an internet connection are all you need to get started with this profession. You will easily make $24k to $60k per client with a 10% to 40% profit margin. It depends on the quality of services, as well as the affordability with which you can maintain the business operations. 

6. Tour Guide 

If you become a walking tour guide, it will cost you as little as $2,000. If you want to make it more special, you can always use a vehicle that costs around $10,000. The best part is, you can charge up to $360 per person during the tours. Recovering your initial investment will not be a problem in this case. 

7. Green Business Consultant 

The startup cost for this business varies for regions but is under $10,000, with a commission potential of $1M/year. However, you have to gather knowledge about the following: 

  • The available technology 
  • Green-minded contractors for installations 
  • Conservation methods 
  • Calculating return on investment

8. Personal Trainer 

If you are a fitness enthusiast, becoming a personal trainer can be your most viable option. You may need to spend $5,000 monthly for most businesses and earn up to $96,000/year. You’ll help people achieve their fitness goals while earning a substantial amount for yourself. 

9. Window Cleaning Services 

Most of the essentials for window cleaning services are available in your home, and are also readily available and affordable. You can make anywhere between $50,000 and $75,000 per month, going up to $1M/year. It’s a great spin on classic housekeeping services and can help you get more payments. 

10. Online Business Manager 

As an online business manager or consultant, you need the following things to start: 

  • Management experience 
  • Internet 
  • A laptop 

There are some certifications to prove your skills, but you can constantly update them over time. You can help CEOs achieve tremendous industry success too! 

11. Fashion Designer 

The median income for fashion designers is around $65,000, but you can always get more if you have the skills and reputation. You will need sewing machines, fabrics, and measuring tape. Later, you can work your way up and grow as a business. 

12. Local Delivery Service 

As a local delivery service, the primary costs of businesses include the licensing and vehicle expenses/ This business has an estimated 32.6% CAGR 2021-2027. This allows small business owners to earn up to $1,200/week with services like UberEats. 

There’s a profit margin of $1-8 on every delivery after paying your drivers. This kind of business may take slightly longer to take off, but it will be worth the effort in the end. 

13. YouTube Content Creator 

Starting a YouTube channel as a content creator is free. You may have to handle some startup equipment costs, but you can start with what you have. There’s a $.10 to $.30 margin on every video view. You can also make $3 to $5 per 1,000 views on your channel, depending on your location or region. 

14. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

You can start working in SEO with free tools and gradually work your way up. The top-rated industry professionals earn up to $150,000/year, making it a great small business idea. You can use different tools for the task, including: 

  • Keyword research 
  • Improving site speed 
  • Google My Business 
  • Content marketing 

15. Freelance Writer 

As a writer, you can start for less than $100 and earn up to $150/hr if you have the skills and experience required. You can also sign up as a copywriter and provide various services to industries. Tools like Surfer SEO can help you optimize your content and start your writing business. 

16. Rental Service for Equipment 

 The startup cost for the equipment rental service is around $15,000 (without heavy machinery). In this business, you can enjoy an average gross profit margin of 30% to 40%. The rental equipment business is popular in various industries, such as  

  • Home medical equipment rentals 
  • Construction tool rentals 
  • Cars, boats, and other rentals

17. Brick and Mortar Restaurant 

A brick-and-mortar restaurant is one of the few businesses you can start for $10,000. These businesses may have various requirements, including health district inspections, insurance requirements, etc. Nonetheless, it’s a profitable SMB to get started with.  

18. Starting a Food Truck 

To start a food truck, you need around $10,000 and make your setup $1M per food truck. There’s also a $20,000 to $50,000 profit margin from these food trucks. It’s ideal if you like feeding people and want money. 

19. Become an Ice Cream Man 

Everyone recognizes the ice cream man on the corner of the street. You can start this business for $10,000. However, it would help if you remember your target audience is kids, there’s a seasonal fluctuation at times, and all you need is a freezer on wheels. 

20. Meal Prep Company 

The starting cost of license and inspection is the most significant consideration for small business owners. There’s a $20 to $50/hour profit margin you can consider. You can create a menu and market it to your potential audience. 

21. Mobile Food Carts 

There’s a $1,000 basic business setup that you can begin with while running mobile food trucks. There’s a potential to make up to six figures in a high-traffic area. So, explore the SMB option and start minting money today! 

22. Catering  

The catering industry is high in demand and may reach $378.39 billion by 2026. It also has a $20 and $90/per person revenue, depending on the food type and size. You can add creative elements to the business to ensure you thrive. 

23. Lock Smith Services 

A locksmith business can start at around $2,500 and pay you $10 and $25/hour. It’s the best option for phone and online businesses from home-based business owners. Insurance companies like AAA can also help you, or you can connect with clients independently. 

24. Telephone Answering Services 

As a business answering service, you can start for as little as $2,500 and get paid $10 to $25 an hour. You can apply for jobs via Indeed or find individual gigs via Upwork. It may take some time to grasp the business entirely, but it’s profitable in the long run. 

25. Candle Maker 

Candle making is one of the most affordable starting businesses with a $100 initial investment. It’s easy with 10x the upfront cost in the first month. You will need wax, pouring pitchers, and some essential equipment. The wick and the scented fragrances also contribute to this process. 

26. Security Company 

Startin a security company requires around $10,000 to start, and can get you $150/hour for bodyguard services. You can charge up to $1,600 for four-camera systems too. 

27. Mobile Car Wash 

A mobile car wash business requires a starting cost of $10,000 and earns up to $1M/year in profits. There’s a whopping 30% profit margin, making it a highly lucrative option. 

28. Research Services 

A primary computer and internet connection are all you need to get started with research services. You can make up to $150/hour, even as a freelancer. With some experience, you can use the research services for your long-term gains. 

29. Decoration Services 

Business licensing and variable costs are needed for building a portfolio. The decorating service depends on seasonal factors with a 15% to 50% profit margin. The decorating services can help bring more prospects, significant ROI, and improved results. 

30. Dent Removal Services 

Dent removal services provide business owners with a great opportunity. The services can earn you $50-$500/removal. The best part is that you can start with basic equipment, and then improve your services with experience and time. 

Bottom Line

Small businesses require planning and industry assessments. These small businesses can be profitable if done correctly.  

Therefore, we recommend following some of the best industry recommendations we have added in this article and finding more viable options for yourself in the future. If you still have more questions, consult with an SMB professional, and they will help you with the best industry recommendations.


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