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Blog Post

Best Low-Investment Business Ideas You Can Start Online

Contrary to popular belief, there are numerous ways to start a business that let you concentrate more on getting started than on the logistics and initial costs. You can start a side business without giving up your main job. This makes it an excellent starting point for beginners, bootstrappers, and busy people. Still, you need to come up with a good idea, build a brand, work on marketing, and give great service to customers. However, there are a number of traditional startup costs that can be avoided, such as initial inventory, warehousing, and retail space.

Reaching customers and generating revenue are ultimately critical to any company’s success. As a result, marketing is a significant expenditure. Focusing on emerging specialties is an extraordinary method for cutting down your showcasing venture since your potential clients will be simpler to reach and change over on the web, regardless of whether your market size is restricted by the specialty. 

To keep your investments low, you can use more than one of the aforementioned strategies. For instance, if you decide that online teaching is a low-risk business idea, you will create and sell digital assets, turn a hobby into a business, and investigate a new subject area.

Also, do note that the businesses discussed in this article exclude less active options of making money on the side that may be considered opportunities to earn a passive income – for example, renting out your property. You could check out our blog about passive income fundamentals to learn more about how you can earn money even while you sleep.

So, let’s walk through the business ideas listed below, keeping the above considerations in mind.

  • Dropshipping 
  • Design and sell print-on-demand products
  • Start a customised gifting store
  • Sell your digital creations online (music/photography/digital art)
  • Sell courses or webinars
  • Turn your skill/ expertise into a service
  • Start your own curated fashion boutique
  • Sell handcrafted and homemade goods
  • Build a following that can be monetized in a variety of ways.
  • Cloud kitchen or bakery
  1. Dropshipping

A fulfillment model known as “dropshipping” involves having a third-party supplier store inventory and ship it to customers on your behalf. You just need to make the sales and pass orders on to your supplier; you don’t need to handle the products yourself.

As a result, dropshipping is the very definition of selling without holding inventory, making almost any business that sells physical goods to customers relatively low-risk.

To lower your investments further, you can curate products from one or more suppliers into your own online store under a theme that focuses on a specific emerging niche, like gear for yoga enthusiasts or water bowls for dog owners. When a customer buys a product from you, the order is sent to your supplier, who fulfills it on your behalf. However, you are still accountable for your own customer service and marketing.

You can work with both domestic and international suppliers as long as you can build a trusting relationship with them. An unreliable supplier will hurt your brand.

Before you invest in your own original products, dropshipping is a low-risk way to test product-market fit and start a business. Just make sure to always order a sample for yourself to ensure the quality of the products and the reliability of your supplier before selling them to your customers.

  1. Design and sell print-on-demand products

Another outsourcing model, print-on-demand, puts stock, transportation, and satisfaction in the hands of an outside provider. But unlike the dropshipping idea above, the focus here is on customizing these products with your own designs to create something original. You could easily turn your talent for imaginative graphics and aesthetics into a profitable business.

T-shirts, hats, phone cases, hoodies, skirts, tote bags, and more become canvases for your creativity.  For instance, if you can come up with clever slogans for developers or references that cat owners will relate to, or if a community is filled with passion and pride, you could start a t-shirt business. By focusing on a specific niche, you could also cut costs associated with marketing.

Even if you’re not a designer, you can find a designer to work with using freelance sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, Toptal, or even LinkedIn.

With many print-on-demand services, you’re paying per product, so the base price per unit will be more expensive than if you were to order in bulk. However, the advantage is that you won’t have to pay for the item yet if a particular design doesn’t sell (or just the design if you outsourced it).

If it’s a print-on-demand t-shirt business you want to explore, you can even use t-shirt mockup templates, so you don’t actually need to spend money on a full photoshoot for every new design.

There are a variety of print-on-demand platforms like Printrove and Owlprints you can work with, many of which can be integrated with your Shopify store for seamless order fulfillment. Nonetheless, make certain to continuously arrange an example of your item (frequently presented at a rebate) to do right by certain of your custom items.

  1. Start a customised gift store

As a business idea, personalized gifts have their own advantages. You can find your niche and have numerous opportunities to increase sales. Because it helps people commemorate significant dates and convey close affection, the concept of custom gifting is unique. as a newly formed market with numerous small players. Notwithstanding, as referenced previously, you can track down your strengths in different specialties in two general classes:

Individual ideas, such as photo frames and key-chains

Gifts for groups, like commemorative items, can be viewed from a B2B perspective.

Offering custom packaging and specialty items can set your business apart. Gifts made just for you can be a profitable business for creative and persistent people.

One such company is Confetti Gifts, which has created a one-of-a-kind assortment of gifts for all occasions. You can buy their creative gift ideas or choose and make your own gift box if you want.

  1. Sell your digital creations online (music/ photography/ digital art)

On this list of ideas, digital products like music, courses, ebooks, and templates stand out. Not at all like the others, they’re not substantial items. Your margins remain high because there are no recurring shipping or manufacturing costs to worry about.

Finding out what makes a good digital product is the hard part. The responses range from original instrumental beats to stock photos that can be licensed to other creators, as well as information products and templates that assist individuals in improving their skills in a particular field.

Even books—cookbooks, picture books, comic books, poetry books, photo books, novels, and coffee table books—can be brought to market if you have the knowledge or creativity to do so. If you already have a blog or are considering starting one, publishing your own book can be a great way to make money from it.

  1. Sell webinars or courses

If you think you have skills that can be taught and transferred. This could be a serious business for you. Others can benefit from your expertise and acquire the necessary set of skills.

Online courses are taken by people who want to significantly upgrade their skills and advance in their careers. However, there are now some people who look into courses because they are passionate about the subject and want to learn more about it. Your audience is committed and willing to pay for the course.

You can choose a niche topic within the category or skills that are currently popular in the market. You only need a camera, editing software, and a qualifying certification or expertise to demonstrate.

Your courses can be listed on several platforms, like Udemy and WordPress plugins. You can think about webinars or workshops if you don’t want to spend money on a course.

  1. In service-based businesses

“Time” is your inventory and your most significant investment. Turn your skill or expertise into a service. There are only a limited number of hours in a day. However, if you have skills that are in high demand, this makes it simpler to get started.

They can likewise grow their business with any of the different thoughts above to make extra income transfers by “productizing” their administrations through physical or advanced merchandise.

Through their Instagram account, a photographer, for instance, can serve a local event while also selling prints online. A high-converting sales copy swipe file can be sold by a copywriter. You might be able to generate additional income that isn’t directly dependent on your time if you combine your service-based business with the sale of physical goods.

The following are some significant services that you can use to work around your knowledge::

Photography and Videography-Set up your site, exhibit a portion of your best pictures, and tell your locals that you’re offering photography as a service. Of course, even if you don’t have a professional camera, you can still take pictures with your smartphone. 

Interior decorating: If you’re interested in building beautiful homes and have a passion for interior design, consider offering online consultations or interior decorating as a service. However, you must provide pet-sitting services. This might be a good business idea for you if you’ve always wanted a pet or if you have more than one but can’t keep them all. The most important thing that people look for in a company like this is a genuine love for animals. That is everything necessary to begin this business. There are platforms like PetBacker where you can get listed.

Fitness training is your specialty if you are committed to making fitness a way of life. You can become a freelance consultant with the assistance of online classes and other certifications. You might want to consider signing up for applications like Urban Company until you have some devoted customers. Online training and classes are also available.

  1. Start your own curated fashion boutique

If you’re into fashion and like to show off your personal style online, you might want to start your own fashion boutique online. You don’t have to turn into a style originator either — you can just minister and source readymade items straightforwardly from makers and sell those under your image.

You can accomplish this without stocking any inventory to maintain low investments. Simply include Trendsi or other fashion dropshipping apps in your store. You will be able to select products from their catalog, determine your markups, and sell them in your store, including dresses, shoes, swimwear, and accessories. Trends will take care of your inventory, shipping, returns, and customer invoicing while you handle the front end of the business. Your brand will be reflected in all collateral.

  1. Sell handcrafted and homemade goods

You are in a unique position to find an online business idea if you are a maker—whether you make your soap, candles, sauces, or pottery—because you are literally in charge of product development and procurement. This is only a business model based on skills. You will need to take into account shipping and inventory management, which are different from many of the other ideas on this list. However, you can start with a small batch or on a per-order basis until you start getting consistent sales.

Your time and attention, on the other hand, will be the venture’s biggest investment. Each product ought to be as close to perfect as possible. You’ll come up with a lot of ideas for improving your processes as you grow, which will help you work more efficiently.

  1. Build a following that you can monetize 

In the connected world of today, being able to attract and keep other people’s attention is an advantage. Many creators can turn it into a business with multiple revenue streams, and many businesses are even willing to pay for it. This does not involve holding products or inventory. It is an emerging specialty where you can use various virtual entertainment stages. You can track down your specialty in this thought; you could be a fashion influencer, a lifestyle influencer, a food critic, a movie reviewer, a tech enthusiast, or any number of other things. Choose a category that is near you. You can differentiate yourself from other fashion influencers by adopting a unique philosophy, presenting distinctively, or simplifying fashion for your audience, even if there are a lot of them. You can make money from your audience in a variety of ways, whether you choose to grow it on a blog, Instagram, or YouTube (ideally a combination of the three):

Be an affiliate, sell physical or digital products (using any of the suggestions on this list), or let your audience fund you (such as through Patreon). A mixture of the aforementioned (they are not mutually exclusive) 

  1. Cloud kitchen or bakery 

Do you like to bake and cook? All things considered, this is one of the most mind-blowing minimal-expense business thoughts for you. You could design a menu for your cloud bakery/kitchen, set up an online store for it, and offer food delivery or pick-up to people in your area. This is an emerging specialty plan of action that tracked down its force during a pandemic.

Additionally? You have the freedom to manage as much business as you want or as many orders as you want in a day.


It is easier than ever to start a business and start making sales without having to worry about sourcing products, renting space, or managing inventory thanks to a combination of technology, third-party suppliers, and the ability to quickly test ideas online.

You can test ideas before investing in them, or you can start making money on the side without all the commitments related to inventory that could get in the way.

To start a business that is uniquely yours, the aforementioned business concepts can even be combined in a variety of ways. Start with an inventory-free, low-investment business model and expand from there if the idea of sourcing, storing, and shipping inventory has prevented you from starting a business in the past.

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