10 Most Successful Small Business Ideas that Are Profitable & Low Cost

 14 Nov, 2022

Introduction: Most Successful Small Business Ideas Profitable Ones!

Financial rewards, creative freedom & independence are three terms that you can achieve if you start your own business

Investing in small business ideas could give you a pathway to be your own boss, open a stream of income or at least have an additional source of income.

But do you fear starting a business or at least thinking over small business ideas?

The only limiting belief that stops you from starting a business is “what if you fail”. Well, just a reminder, when you put in a lot of hard work and the right efforts, the chances of failing becomes slim to none (so choice is yours, be fearful or just put up a hustle). You can be 20 something and start your business as a hobby or 40 something and start your business to add to your livelihood. Just know that starting a business has nothing to do with your age, your schedules/availability, or how much revenue you can make to zig through expenses. All you need is a right mindset and small business ideas that are profitable deals, with them you can turn any opportunity into your marketplace to grow!

To get started, all you need is good small business ideas that are profitable, low-cost, and likely to expand well. In the following guide, we will give you just that, we will help you navigate through the top 10 small business ideas list that requires:

  • Very minimum funds to get started
  • No hard and fast inventory or skills to get started (well most of them)
  • A lot of positive attitude and can-do spirit

So if you are cheered up by the idea of being your own boss and think you can make it happen, let’s help you explore around the just 10 small business ideas that are profitable, received young in the market, and due to which are likely to flow well. Additionally, we would also share some tips from business gurus as to the dos and don’ts of starting a small business, followed by a quick differentiation between online business vs offline business (so stay tuned).

(Note: We have gathered these top 10 small business ideas based on our market research by compiling factors such as competitive edge, customers’ expectations, and profit opportunities).

Top 10 Small Business Ideas Which are Profitable, Realistic & Low Cost

Thinking about what best small business ideas to bet upon that are doable, profitable, and can be started in any shoe-string size budget? Well, here you have hit the jackpot. Here are your small business ideas that are profitable, and can help you get the most from what you choose to invest. This top 10 small business ideas list is all gathered from real-life businesses who once were small and dared to become big brands as we know them today (find out).

1. eCommerce Business 

Do you know more than 80% of global users use the internet to purchase products & services online? Even if they aren't online shopping, they would inquire about the product online before buying. 

Read: How to Start an eCommerce Business?

Online retail sales are all ready to reach $6.39 trillion, and out of them, eCommerce will be taking up 21.8% share. There are 24 million eCommerce sites globally, with numbers increasing each day. Almost less than 1 million websites are able to sell around $1000/year and make huge margins. This business model offers quite a competitive market and tons of opportunities to expand your product line and make great bucks.

Whether you are an investor or bootstrapper with good lump sum money to invest in, eCommerce is a great business to venture into. Even if you are a beginner, if you have a great strategy in place, know what to sell, and have a desire to make things work, for rest, you will easily get eCommerce tools & resources, to begin with.

How much does it cost to establish an eCommerce business?

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There is no set-in-stone price, setting up a store depends & costs you between $1000 to $100,000. Small businesses can choose to invest between $1000 to $10,000 and still make quite voluminous profits.

How much do eCommerce Businesses Make?

Depending on the business model you adopt, and the types of products you choose, you can earn from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars with the right eCommerce store, great product catalog, and performance marketing methods. Keep in mind that running an eCommerce business is a marathon, not a sprint, so it would take 12-24 months to get off the ground. If you are starting from a 10% profit margin & getting up to a 20% profit margin, know that you are making good progress.

What are the high-profit & in-demand products to sell at low cost?

  • Jewelry - Do you know almost 29 million people brought jewelry online?
  • Beauty products - Did you know the dollar value of online beauty products in 2019 for US-based eCommerce sellers was $25.73 billion?

  • Women’s Apparel - With amazing return policies, the size of the apparel eCommerce market has reached up to $28 billion.

  • Pet Supplies - The demand for pet products is undying, and you can easily make a 60% average profit with ease.

  • Phone accessories - Do you know with 3.8 billion global smartphone users, the market for phone accessories is expected to reach $108 billion by 2022?

  • Bluetooth speakers - Wireless speaker industry is all set to reach a market size of $134.2 billion by 2024.

  • At-home exercise equipment - This equipment has become our lifeblood ever since we have been forced to stay back at home. These are low-cost, high-profit margin products that you can think of selling.

  • Intangible products - Selling services, experiences or expertise are other forms of products that can get you massive margins.

2. Online Education, Courses & Tutoring

Do you know the online courses or e-learning market is all expected to reach $300 billion (inclusive of both individual & corporate spendings) by 2025? Providing affordable online courses & classes is a very effective & passive way to generate a high volume of profits.

Online classes or e-learning was already in demand due to its flexibility & lesser costing curve but ever since the pandemic has taken place, their popularity has grown by leaps & bounds. So, if you have good teaching skills, want to spread your expertise or knowledge to teach and grow others, then this online education business model could be a suitable gig for you.

How much does it cost to start an e-learning business?

E-learning however is a very competitive marketplace but if you have a very outstanding product or service, you can easily make an income of 6-7 figures, effortlessly. Big names easily fetch $10,000 – $50,000 per month.

How much does it cost to start an e-learning business website?

If you can yourself teach & create a course curriculum, the only cost you would have to bear is of getting a learning management system, where you could conduct classes and manage the student activities. Such LMS websites can cost you between $20 000 to $120 000, depending on your budget, features needed, and how exceptional you are wanting your platform to be. Along with that, if you invest in some performance marketing (where you pay only when lead converts), you can make quick footfall of students & make great dividends.

Which online tutoring courses sell the most?

Since online education or e-learning is a hyper-competitive market, you need to ensure you sell what could be highly consumed by the students, professionals, or fast learners. Here are a few in-demand 7 hot-selling categories of courses with amazing profit margins.

  • IT, computers & technology
  • Writing & content creation
  • Education
  • Health
  • Career 
  • Personal Development
  • Management
  • Arts & Crafts and many more

3. Virtual Assistant Services

Virtual assistant services are so popular these days. Especially in these pandemic times, where people are working remotely and need experts' advice to oil their work machinery.

Virtual Assistant is a really spectacular business idea if you have got some good business acumen to share or are a master of different skills. Well, to start a virtual assistant business, you don’t have to have very technical or operational knowledge to advise people, virtual assistants are also there to help businesses with their less complex tasks like making their phone calls, scheduling appointments, managing email accounts, managing travel bookings or so.

To be a virtual assistant, you need to be highly communicative, creative, and solution-oriented. There are plenty of niches you can explore as a virtual assistant. You can be:

  • Real estate virtual assistants (if you are good with property management, aggregation & selling, then getting a real estate website would be the first thing to start off with).
  • Social Media Virtual assistant if you are good with handling the social media presence of people for their gain.
  • Virtual bookkeeping assistant if you have a very strong foot in managing books and assisting great guidance in balancing books.
  • Virtual research assistant if you are good with data research and could help businesses or individuals get them for their gains.
  • Travel virtual assistants if you are good at managing stays and hotels for the people. Getting a travel and tourism website first would be very helpful.

There are plenty of other virtual assistant business services you can opt for. Choose something that can simplify the tasks of other people, save their efforts within their budget. And start by creating a professional website that conveys what you do and invites people to avail of your services.

How much profit can virtual assistants make?

Starting a virtual assistant business is very low cost. As you would just need a website, some marketing materials to promote your business, and voila you will be able to make almost between $30,000 – $50,000 per year very easily.

4. Developing & Selling a Niche Product

Niche products are particular products that are high in demand and are relevant to the specific audience of the market. These products are in great demand and could be sold at higher profit margins. You can easily look through the target audience and identify one or a group of products that most businesses are failing at targeting.

For example, if you see Adidas selling athleisure wear with some comfortable & quality fabric or Levis selling waterproof jeans, these are examples of niche products that solve particular problems of buyers & fulfill their needs, and at any cost tempts them to buy it.

You just have to analyze what niche products are making rounds in the market the most & get your hands on them and sell them through your own labeled eCommerce store or via a dropshipping model (as explained later in the post).

Are niche-based products expensive to sell?

Well, most of the innovative niche-based products could sound expensive than generic products that are easily available, but when you sell these high-end products, ensure they are likely to sell and make you a big volume of profits.

5. Online Clothing Store

Clothes & apparels are the most essential things for our mankind, their need can’t be escaped. Digital shoppers for clothes & apparels have emerged so drastically as they think this saves their time & efforts, gives them good discounts & coupons, a wide variety of options to purchase at the comfort of their home, and feasibility to compare websites, brands, products to choose the best option, without going on any exhaustive spree.

An online store or clothing boutique is a very profitable deal, as it is currently valued at $90 billion-a-year revenue. 

According to statista, the apparel & accessories industry in the US alone is all set to generate 138 billion dollars in revenue by the year 2022. At present, it is predicted that the United States' apparel market might reach $283 billion by the year 2022. Reports by the CBRE agency say that returns from online clothing stores can get you 15% to 30%, whereas brick and mortar stores just get only 8%.

The Online Clothing Market is strong, how to Cut Your Way?

  • You need to set up a budget clothing eCommerce store over a powerful e-store builder with user-friendly features, an amazing quality product portfolio, and irresistible pricing deals.
  • Buy a domain, select a very approachable brand name, sell quality customer experience, run ads, pave the way with organic marketing, and voila you will be good to go.

How much does it cost to start an online clothing store?

The cost of establishing an online store depends on your needs, budgets, and volume of products & profit you are targeting. It can cost you roughly between $50,000 to $150,000 or substantially very less, if you go for lesser products with an easy, affordable eCommerce store.

6. Freelance Business

If you love working independently within your own sanity & pace based on some contracts, a freelance business would be an ideal gig for you. You can do freelance in your free time or as a full-time business, but ensuring forming its LLC would help your business and its income gets protected at all costs.

Is Freelancing business a profitable deal?

If you have got great skills, you can earn increasingly as here the sky's the limit. Most freelancers work just 36 hours a week on an hourly basis or monthly basis. And they are able to earn up to $21 per hour or up to a fixed income of $39,000 per year

Here are the few popular freelancing business types you can consider via your own personalized website or digital portfolio and approach clients:

  • Freelance photographer
  • Freelance writer/copywriter
  • Freelance Web designer
  • Freelance recruiter
  • Freelance web or graphic designer
  • Freelance art director

You can opt for any skill and turn it into a freelancing business. You can get started by having a business website or portfolio website, which can cost you as low as $500 to as much as $2500 for a fully customized 5-page website with full functionality & features.

7. Dropshipping Business

If you don’t want the hassle of manufacturing & stocking your own products & hoarding them for dispatch to your customers, with the dropshipping business model you can still sell and earn on products. Wondering how?

Well, dropshipping is a newly-age concept that you see with brands like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and more, they are all drop shipping businesses. 

Dropshipping businesses is a retail fulfillment method where you won’t have to assort and stock the products in order to sell them. You under this model can create a digital platform and tie-up with third-party vendors or sellers & market their products via your platform, sell the products directly from the warehouses of these 3rd party retailers only, and still earn a huge commission.

How much does it cost to start a Dropshipping Business Model?

In this model, you would have less risk, capital involvement, and unbearable running costs. You can have your dropshipping business model up & running for as cheap as the $1,000 range (yes, $1,000!).

How much does the dropshipping business model make profits?

Being in a dropshipping model, you can earn between $50 to $5,000. By roping in high-demand products of top quality, and investing in top-shelf marketing & sales initiatives, you can make your profit volume which gets only bigger & bigger.

What do you need to start a dropshipping business?

You need:

  • List of highly demanded, multiple niche products and collaboration with quality 3rd party wholesalers and suppliers.
  • A highly functional, intuitive, customer-facing dropshipping store online listed from these 3rd party vendors to entertain the shopping needs of the footfall of customers.
  • Some budget for marketing & advertising to promote your store & products for faster sales closing.

8. Food Delivery Business

Hmmm, what’s cooking? It's a food Delivery Business. While this pandemic has taken most of us back, the real gourmet lovers are still not static. Online food delivery business is still another  realistic small business idea that is profitable, very easy, and affordable to start with. 

It's a viable idea for today to set up a low-cost food-on-demand delivery business via mobile, phone, and website. 

How much does it cost to start an online food delivery business?

If you are able to cook meals through your kitchen or some hired kitchen, then the other cost you would have to bear is of a food delivery app & website, whose cost could vary based on the features & functionality you like to extend. Generally a food delivery app or software costs between $12,000 to $25,000.

9. Business Planning Consultant

If you hold great acumen about running a business then why don’t you sell that knowledge for real good? You can run a business consulting business model online via a professional website and self-manageable application. 

You don’t have to have a business degree or some specialization, if you have great craftsmanship towards helping businesses lay your expert opinion around how to map business ideas, do the feasible financial studies, analysis, and protrude own experience or recommendations to run a profitable business model, then congratulation mate you are just one step away to start your own gig of helping other start their own gig (pun intended!).

All in all, these self-acclaimed business consultants what they do is --- they lay key strategies, frameworks, troubleshoot, and help businesses eradicate their problems hindering their bottom lines or help them establish a completely fresh and result-oriented business idea from scratch.

If you don’t want to take entire business planning or advisory, here are the popular areas where you can branch out your services based on your expertise:

  • Business Strategy consulting
  • Business Marketing consulting
  • Business operations consulting
  • Business financial consulting
  • Business HR consulting
  • technology/IT consulting
  • Compliance consulting
  • Social media consulting
  • Legal consulting
  • Sales consultant
  • Sustainability consultant
  • Employee Wellness/fitness consultant
  • Employee career coaching consultant
  • Growth marketing consultant
  • PR consultant

You can choose any of the types of consulting wherein you can help individuals or corporations escalate their problems and help meet their goals!

How much can it cost to start a business planning consultant business?

Generally, it can cost you just a few dollars ranging between $10,000 to $50,000 inclusive of your website, portal, or app you develop, plus all the registrations, and other costs. Just with a few sums you can start your business and start earning very well.

How much profit can you earn through a business planning consultant business?

Most small business level consultants charge between $45 to $150 per hour. You can earn maximum if you have that skill and a stunning website portraying your skills & talent.

10. Selling Handmade Products

If you are a good crafter, why don’t you do it for some money? Yes, you can turn your creativity, muse into business opportunities. While starting a business idea, you might have less capital to put into it, so with low investment & amazing creativity, you can start creating and selling your own handmade products.

But remember not all handmade products make it to the market and sell faster, you have to be very careful while choosing the type of products to handcraft and sell. Here are few items you can sell and earn an amazing profit on:

  • Jewelry Making - It’s very high in demand and can be flipped for easy profits. Jewelry-making techniques are very easy for anyone to imbibe, and the products you need to make them with like threads, beads, wire, and other materials you add are very inexpensive. You can even go about making Gold, gemstones & other precious stones-based jewelry, but it would inflate your costs. So choose according to your budget, and you can expect to earn an average profit ranging between $35,000-50,000 per year. 
  • Bath & Body products - Skingenious products made of herbal & organic ingredients are so in. You can easily get them made and earn a great margin over them. At a cold compressed, organic, natural bar, you can earn $9.95 revenue quite easily. Products that help us look better & feel better are at a valuation of $445 billion.
  • Handmade, scented candles - Aromatic, handmade candles are quite popular in accentuating the look & vibe of the surroundings, the more authentic fragrance in the various varieties you bring, the more will be the demand. You can easily get a 50-70% margin on what you invest, monthly, it will be between $500 to $1,000, which could be more depending on the quantity.
  • Pet Products -  Another great industry with a valuation of $66.75. You can use your talent to create pet products as they have indispensable needs. You can choose to make pet food, toys, furniture & other in-demand products.
  • Photography/Painting - If you are skilled in photography, by investing in a good pair of lenses & other equipment, you can start clicking high-quality pictures of humans or scenery or wildlife and sell them through an online website. You can earn between $30-40k per year, while the top earners even earn more than $70k per year, depending on their skill & working hours.

          How to ensure your crafts sell & make money?

          • Wear your superhero cape, create the hotshot selling handicraft products, and get online with a compelling website or mobile application.
          • To boost your website & app reach, invest in organic marketing methods or run paid ads if your budget allows.
          • And soon you will get good leads which could be your potential customers.

          So here are the top 10 small business ideas profitable ones, now let’s now look at some do’s and don’ts of starting a business!

          5 Essential Do’s & Don'ts While Pursuing Small Business Ideas

          Before starting any small business, make sure you have certain dos and don’ts. Starting a business can be an easy or hefty deal, and it’s quite possible for things to go south, so better have remedial actions in the headspace. 

          5 Dos of Going With Small Business Ideas

          Here are the 5 key things that you must do to make your small business idea a huge success!

          • Have a Solid Business Plan That’s Measurable

          For layering the foundation of a business, having a future-proof business plan is key. You need to sit & jot down a viable business plan that acts as a roadmap to your business journey, tells what resources in what proportion need to be invested, what growth curve to anticipate, and how much self-propelled or outer initiatives to add to make a business successful. Ensure the plans & efforts you choose are measurable & give you complete foresight of what’s there ahead.

          • Build Seamless Relationships With Key Suppliers

          As a business, you work with a lot of suppliers who ensure your business is served with timely resources & inputs, thus ensuring you have a good cordial relationship with them to keep getting quality resources.

          • Build a Strong Team

          As a business leader, it’s impossible to wear so many different hats. You have to hire the right people for the particular job and take maximum advantage of their skills & learnings to drive the best revenue for your business. Supposedly, if you are setting up an online store, you need to have a team who would deal with daily operations & supplies, while another team originates your digital identity via websites, apps & digital portfolios & promotes them with their proven marketing gimmicks.

          • Always Ideate & Innovate

          Don’t sit back on the same old ideas & techniques as the market is continuously evolving. The customers are transforming & so are their choices. Keep the habit of ideating intact and innovate the current business according to the trends & keep adding newness to your business to appear relevant & new-era-y type. 

          The newness could be transforming your current online store, adding more product verticals, going big with paid marketing, or else. Just do something that’s needed to outpace competition, don’t stay static. 

          • Receive Professional Business Advice

          Doing business involves a lot of calculated risks. Your every ounce of effort matters, you have to be strategic and very analytical with each step. The best way to take informed decisions is by consulting professional business advice from advisory boards or business consultants. They have sound years of experience shaping business of varied type industries, this could really come and resort your struggles to a bigger level.

          4 Don'ts of Going with Small Business Ideas

          Since not all are born businessmen, it can be a bit challenging to sustain a business. But if you don’t do these don’ts, you can sail back and can manage to keep your business afloat.

          • Don’t End Up Spending a Lot of Money (all at once)

          “Dave earned 10 grand from crowdfunding and ended up spending all of it to start his business.”  Don’t be like Dave!

          We get it this is your first business & you want to make it quite extensive. You want everything to be as dreamt and of highest quality as possible. But when we are flown by our emotions, we end up sulking a lot of money than we should. It is ideal to not shell all of it you own.

          Start with smaller bids. Try to grow that bid and then invest the margin from it to the different areas of business. Don’t get caught up with the idea of investing all the money in one place.

          Supposedly if you are approaching an online eCommerce business, just ensure the inventory you stock is minimum at first, the site or eCommerce store you are trying to build with professionals comes in a custom package as per your budget.

          We can assist you in getting a custom package for eCommerce website design that’s low cost and highly effective to fulfill your online retailing needs. Get Free Quotes now!

          • Don’t Drool Over Small Business Ideas Without Studying Them

          It happens, the excitement of starting a business is so intense that we automatically assume we should get started with it, and oftentimes end up not studying its market popularity, the growth curve, and the profitability streams.

          Don’t get caught up in excitement. Firstly, just do some feasibility studies to understand whether the idea you want to pursue is growth-prone or not. 

          • Is it going to get you easy customers?
          • Is it non complex & easy on the competition?
          • Can you cut yourself big slack of profit out of it?

          At JanBask, whatever business idea you choose to go with, we will help you have a complete feasibility study around it, consisting of complete market understanding, your competitors’ game plan, customers demographics, preferences & everything else!

          • Don’t Forget Walking Parallel to Target Market

          Customers' preferences evolve in years or even a fraction of weeks. Don’t think that the same & regular would bring you more businesses. Keep momentum with the market & know what’s in and popular around. Be adaptable by understanding and reacting early to your customers/target market’s shifting preferences or needs.

          We can help you stay in a new & relevant business by gauging your market or customers’ actions with a real-time data-driven CMS website.

          • Don’t Be Afraid to Take External Help

          A right businessman is one who knows when it is the right time to delegate or outsource the task to some specialized resources. It’s impossible for you to wear so many hats, it’s better to consult some professionals based on different areas of expertise. Like if you need business planning, outsource some business consulting services, or if you think you need a professional website to stay digitized, consult a professional website design agency. Just deliver the specialized tasks to specialized resources.

          Online Vs Offline Business - Which One Is Better?

          Are you confused between whether to have a complete brick & mortar business or save your sweet earned money & go for a new-era online business? Well, let’s help you choose the best.

          Final Takeaway - Between offline & online business, choose the one which meets your target audience and budget. Just look for these two factors while finally implementing the small business ideas profitable ones, the investment & target audience demographics & you will be good to go!

          Final Thoughts on Small Business Ideas That Are Profitable!

          Doing business in today's time is very easy only if you have the zeal, the right market to start with, and some professionals to work around your budget. Whether you want to run your own gig out of boredom, to add some extra paying opportunities, or be your own boss by owning your own grind, here we have managed to share the 10 best small business ideas profitable ones --- that are doable, achievable, and highly possible to start with even the smallest sum, let’s say  $1000. Small business ideas that are profitable ones are sureshot going to succeed, no matter how much peanut size budget you route towards it. A great business is seldom run on big energy and not big budgets.

          The above most successful small business ideas are really worth depending upon with specialists from outside, in the form of business consultants, website designers, marketers, rest it is your business acumen that can take you to heights and make you earn a minimum of $50,000 a year in initial years.

          At JanBask, we don’t just create stunning websites, we create business models through which you can build your customers & enjoy revenue streams. Explore our website design agency to receive solutions that ultimately make you meet your big business goals (which you created and are waiting to strike off from your to-do list).

          So, tell us in the comments below which other good small business ideas are you thinking of exploring and choosing a suitable one from! Leave other good small business ideas you think are low cost & highly relevant!

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          Ricardo Long

          Nice motivational blog, really helpful for upcoming entrepreneurs and listed tips are valuable and worthful.