As this list shows, there are tons of businesses you can start with very little money. At first glimpse, many appear to require some kind of experience or expertise, but generally it is pretty easy and quick to learn what is required. Some of these businesses can be a lot of fun, too!

A few months ago I met a fellow who ran a clown service. He worked in his clients’ homes and his investment was basically a clown suit, some makeup, and some balloons! He specialized in providing clowns for bar and bat mitzvahs. He boasted that he charged $200 an hour, made a lot of money, and his clients loved the service. Referrals had become increasingly important for him. When he started out, he did all the clowning himself, but then as demand grew, he hired additional clowns. He went to clown school—but come on, how hard can it be to be a clown? I was often accused of being a clown during my school days! You just put on the clown suit and blow up a couple of balloons, right?!

So browse these businesses and think of which ones appeal to you. And even though it’s a long list, this is just a starting point. There are plenty of other business ideas that you can start on a shoestring.

 

Watch the videos to learn more about these business ideas.

 

  • Airbrush Artist
  • Animal Registration/ID Service
  • Apartment Preparation Service
  • Arts Festival Promoter
  • Athletic Recruiter/Scout
  • Auction House
  • Auto Paint Touch-Up Professional
  • Automotive Loan Broker
  • Band Manager
  • Bankruptcy Service
  • Bartending Service
  • Barter Systems
  • Blade-Sharpening Service
  • Boardinghouse Operator
  • Book Indexer
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Cake Decorator
  • Calligrapher
  • Candle Maker
  • Caning Specialist
  • Cartoonist
  • Child Care Referral Service
  • Childbirth Instructor
  • College Application Consultant
  • Comedy Writer
  • Commercial Plant-Watering Service
  • Coupon Distributor
  • Doll Repair Service
  • Etiquette Adviser
  • First Aid/CPR Instructor
  • Garage Sale Coordinator
  • Genealogical Service (Family History Writer)
  • Gerontology Consultant
  • Graphologist
  • Handbill Distribution
  • Handyman Network
  • Home Schooling Consultant
  • Horse Trainer
  • Hospitality Service
  • Ice Sculpting
  • In-Home Mail Service Incorporation Service for Businesses
  • Jewelry Designer
  • Knitting/Crocheting Lessons
  • Lactation Consultant
  • Laundry/Ironing Service
  • Law Library Management
  • Lawn Care Service
  • Literary Agent
  • Magician
  • Makeup Artist
  • Mall Promotion
  • Merchandise Demonstrator
  • Mobile Book/Magazine Distributor
  • Mortgage Loan Broker
  • Motor Vehicle Transportation
  • Movie Site Scout
  • Multilevel Marketing
  • Mystery Shopper
  • Notary Public
  • Nutrition Consultant
  • Packing/Unpacking Service
  • Parapsychologist
  • Party Planner
  • Personal Instructor/Fitness Trainer
  • Personal Menu Service
  • Personal Shopper
  • Pet Psychologist
  • Private Tutor
  • Professional Organizer
  • Real Estate Agent/Home Researcher
  • Reminder Service
  • Roommate Referral Service
  • Scanning Service
  • Silk Flower Arranger
  • Storyteller
  • Stress Management Counselor
  • Taste Tester for Food Companies
  • Toy Cleaning Service
  • Vacation Rentals Broker
  • Wellness Instructor

 

Businesses You Can Start with $2,000 to $10,000