Starting a business may appear like a massive burden of responsibility. But all the factors like the amount of time, money, and risk involved depending on the business plan you want to implement.
Today, there are several ways to start a business that focuses limited on the logistics and upfront costs, and more on getting started.
These low-investment business ideas make a high entry point for newcomers, bootstrappers, or anyone with a hectic schedule, making you pick up a side business without dropping everything else.
You need to develop a definite plan, build a brand, put effort into marketing, and give outstanding customer service. In the beginning, you can avoid many conventional startup costs, such as primary inventory, warehousing, and retail space.
Buying stock, storing it, picking it, packing it, shipping it. Maintaining inventory can be a huge challenge when you’re starting a business.
Today, Dropshipping is an accomplished model where a third party supplier stocks and ships inventory to customers on your part. You just need to make the sales and pass orders to your supplier; you don’t need to handle them yourself.
When a consumer purchases a product from you, the order gets forward to your supplier, who fulfils it on your behalf. But you are still liable for your marketing and customer service.
Dropshipping is a low-investment method to experiment with product-market fit and start a business before investing in your original products. Make sure you order a sample for yourself to ensure that your supplier is right and that the quality of the goods is fit for marketing to your customers.
Let’s move forward to learn these low-investment business ideas.
- Design and market print-on-demand t-shirts
In this business ideas customizing products with your designs to create something unique. T-shirts, hats, phone cases, hoodies, skirts, tote bags are more becoming canvases for your creativity. You can think up whimsical slogans for developers or references that resonate with cat owners. If there is passion and dignity within a community, there’s a potential t-shirt business you can start.
Even if you’re not into design, you can get a designer working with various freelance sites.
With many print-on-demand services, you’re paying per-product, so the base price per unit will be higher than if you were to order in large quantities. But the advantage is that if a particular t-shirt design doesn’t go well, you don’t need to pay for the item (only the design if you outsourced it).
You can use t-shirt mockup templates, so you don’t need to waste money on a full photoshoot for every unique design.
There are several print-on-demand platforms you can work with and can get integrated with your Shopify store for seamless order fulfilment. However, be sure to always order a sample of your product (often offered at a discount) to make sure your custom products look good.
- Launch your book
A book is another type of product when you think about it. And as such, you can build one to serve a particular interest in the market.
Cookbooks, picture books, comic books, poetry books, photo books, coffee table books, and novels—if you’ve got the familiarity or the creativity, there are a variety of original editions you can bring to the market.
Print-on-demand publishing is a comparatively safe way to check and get started with self-publishing while giving you authority over the quality and look of your book.
Lulu Xpress and Blurb are well-known platforms for this purpose, allowing you to create, order, and distribute your books as digital and physical products.
While you can get one book at a time, costs naturally go down when you order in bulk. You can count pre-selling or crowdfunding your book design to ensure that there’s demand and guarantee a certain number of customers for bulk order.
Launching your book can be a great idea to monetize a blog if you have one or are looking to start one.
- Create digital products or courses
Digital products like music, courses, and templates are different on this list of ideas. Unlike the others, they’re not tangible products. There aren’t any recurring manufacturing or shipping costs to bother with, so your margins can remain high.
The method is figuring out what makes for an excellent digital product. What is useful enough that people are ready to pay to download it?
The solutions range from original instrumental beats to stock photos that will be authorized to other creators, to information products and templates that help people level their skills in a particular field.
If you’ve got a skill that can be turned into a digital product, you can go about packaging it into a new stream of income.
- Sell print-on-demand posters, greeting cards, and prints.
If you’re artistically favoured or know your way around a camera, you can dropship using a print-on-demand business idea to let others physically own a piece of your work. Just be sure you have the rights to the content you want to print unless you’re using public domain assets that you can freely monetize.
If you’ve already got an engaged online following, say you’re a cartoonist or an urban photographer, you’re in an especially good position to give this business idea a try.
Depending on the printer you go with, you can transform your work into products like posters or framed wall art, even greeting cards. There are lots of digital templates and mockup generators like Place.it that you can simply utilize to showcase your products without printing out each item and conducting your photoshoots.
- Start a charitable business.
Commencing a non-profit organization isn’t the only way you can decide to help to fund a better world. Having a purpose of going along with a business, and setting aside some profit for a cause, provides social entrepreneurs a new way to place their company in the market while addressing the problems they care about most.
89% of customers surveyed said they were likely to shift to a new brand with similar products and prices if it connected them with a good cause.
While various social enterprises offer their new products, you can also take any of the business plans above and partner with a non-profit, or execute that social good with your own hands, as long as you’re transparent about how it works.
As part of your marketing, you can share the impression your customers have by promoting your business, such as a blog post covering your work in the community or a real-time impact calculator on your website.
- Sell a service
With services-based businesses, “time” is your inventory and your most significant investment. You’ve just got a confined supply of hours in your day. However, that makes it easier to get up and run if you’ve got skills in demand.
Writers, designers, developers, photographers, house cleaners, fitness trainers, and more can build a business around their skills.
They can also expand their business with any of the other plans above to generate additional revenue by “productizing” their services through tangible or digital goods.
For example, a cameraperson can service a local event while selling prints online through their Instagram account. A copywriter can exchange a copywriting swipe file of a high-converting sales copy. Coupling your service-based business with physical products can give you another source of revenue that isn’t directly tied to your time. You can give your services through a freelance marketplace like Upwork and freelancers to increase your chances of getting noticed by the people who need your skills.
- Create an online fashion boutique
If you love the style and sharing your sense of trend online, you can consider creating your online fashion boutique. You don’t need to be a fashion designer either—you can easily curate items from other vendors into your online store.
From apparel, footwear, swimwear, accessories, and more, you can evolve your fashion brand using some product sourcing app, model them in your product photos and social media posts, and build an online following as a trend-setter. You can even go for your ecommerce business.
- Sell handcrafted and homemade goods.
If you’re a creator—whether you DIY soap, candles, sauces, or pottery—you’re in a unique position to find online business ideas since product development and procurement are entirely in your hands. Unlike many of the other ideas on this list, you will need to estimate shipping and inventory management. You can start easily on a per-order basis or with a small batch until you start making consistent sales.
Many makers on Shopify began with a part-time home-based business, selling from their homes on Etsy or to friends and family, growing into full-time business owners after creating a demand for their products. Be mindful of any adjustments in your product category, especially for anything customers will consume, smell, or put on their skin.
- Build an audience you can monetize in multiple ways.
In today’s time, the capability to grab and keep others’ attention is an asset. It’s one that many businesses are even ready to pay for, and one that many creators can convert into a company with multiple revenue streams. Whether you choose to grow your following on YouTube, Instagram, or a blog(ideally a combination of different channels), you have many avenues for monetizing your audience:
- Do sponsored posts on behalf of brands
- Become an affiliate
- Sell tangible or digital services
- A combination of the above (they’re not mutually exclusive)
Taking an audience-first strategy to start a business means you’re working on a long game (it might be months until you’ve figured it out). It is one of the most trending business ideas in today’s time
Covering it up
The business ideas covered above can even be combined in a variety of ways to start a business that’s uniquely yours. If the idea of sourcing, storing, and shipping inventory kept you from starting a business before, begin with an inventory-free, low-investment business ideas model and grow from there.