Maybe you aren’t ready to buy that commercial office or take out a $50,000 loan to start that restaurant or startup business. That is perfectly okay. There are a lot of more low-risk and trending business opportunities that you can expand on to turn into a small side business or build to become a primary source of income. 

The internet and gig economy has allowed you to almost have unlimited creativity in the types of businesses you can develop. So, pull out a pen and paper as we help to get those innovative ideas flowing with our lists of low-cost business ideas to consider in 2020.

business ideas1. Vending Machines

You may be thinking, what? Do people still use these? Well, they do. There is a reason why you always see them in office buildings, grocery stores, and smaller shops. The startup costs are low (a used vending machine can be found for under $3,000, while the cost to refill supplies could be less than $200 depending on the product you are offering and the size of the machine). 

Also, the maintenance—except for occasional repairs—should also be quite low. You can sell drinks, candy, snacks, or even purchase smaller machines that offer candy and toys aimed at children. The biggest challenges will be determining what to sell and the location of the machine, but with some strategic planning, you can grow this one to make some decent money.

2. Washing Other People’s Clothes

Have a washer and dryer? Why not put them to work? Today, individuals are busier than ever, and offering to take care of a chore for them can be your ticket to an extra $1,200 (or possibly more) a month. There are two ways you can do this. You can pick up clothes and wash them at your home or deliver them to a laundromat to pick them up and drop them back with the client when the process is complete. 

You will need to keep track of washing supplies, prepare to make more frequent repairs to your washing machine and dryer (if you wash at home), keep track of mileage, and acquire liability insurance. While there are a few details to keep track of, this could be a great way to make some additional income or start a business of your own.

business ideas3. Niche E-book Writing

There are millions of books on Amazon, but did you know you could still make money from writing e-books? The trick is to write about a topic that not many other people are writing about that potential readers want to hear about. Seem challenging? 

Well, there are a variety of software tools out there that allow you to track keyword and book searches on Amazon, and even show how much you can make if you write a book on a specific topic. The trick here is going to be in how skilled you are at finding niche topics as well as the volume of books you write in a month. If done with some intentionality, this can get you a stable income.

4. Consulting

You have probably heard of this one, but it seems only to be discussed for executive-level business professionals. The truth is that anyone can become a consultant. If you know a lot about a subject and can teach someone what you know, you can then be a consultant on that specific topic. 

Do you have expertise in personal finance, staying organized, farming, cooking, or any other matter that people are interested in learning more about? Then, start seeing how you can provide value to potential clients. You can also couple this with writing e-books about what you know, or developing courses to teach others.

Starting a Business Doesn’t Have to be Costly or Severely Risky

There will always be costs or risks associated with any business you start. However, you can diminish these elements by investing in business ideas with low-start-up costs as well as high demand. 

Whether you deliver laundry, create a course, market vending machines to various businesses, or develop e-books on niche topics, the sky’s the limit. Your business idea doesn’t have to put you in considerable debt or cause you to lose sleep. In 2020, find your niche, and see how you can start a low-risk business with high demand.


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