Realistic Businesses You Can Start Without Money

Most entrepreneurs have these elaborate business ideas that require a ton of start-up capital and often go off in search of a bank, partner or investor to back their idea, however, in most cases this isn’t necessary. At the end of the day, profit is profit regardless of what the business is. So if you’re just starting out and you’re here looking for the cheapest business to start then you’re in the right place.

As an entrepreneur it is your mission to solve problems for your clients. If you can identify what your client’s common pain-points are, you can then sell them the solution. There are money-making opportunities all around you, it just takes an open mind and a go-getter attitude to start earning money. Dirty windows need cleaners, dogs need walking and drunk people need junk food. Highlight the problem, provide the solution.

Business really doesn’t have to get more complicated than that, but it’s worth mentioning this because it helps to further explain why you don’t necessarily need a large amount of capital to start a business. To clarify, there are plenty of ways that you can go out and help people without the need for fancy offices, custom-made software or shiny Lamborghinis.

Instead of trying to create the next greatest thing since sliced bread, it’s best to start small with a business model that works and then build from there, the experience itself will teach you more about entrepreneurship than anything that you’ll ever find on Google. Once you’ve established yourself as a successful entrepreneur, you can then fund any fancy business ideas you initially had or have since come up with.

If you’ve yet to start your first business and would like to know what life is really like as an entrepreneur, then it’s definitely worth you reading my article on the 15 Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Business!

What’s The Cheapest Business To Start?

Here is a list of simple business ideas that you can start today without any (significant) set up costs. This is not to say that it’s going to be an easy ride, as all businesses require hard work and consistency, but this list should help to give you an idea as to what you could be doing with your free time to make some extra money for yourself.


Do you have a gift with words? Then perhaps you can use that skill to write content for other freelancers for no cost to you at all. All you need is access to a computer, laptop or mobile device, as well as word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. My friend Charlène Boutin has been writing for a couple of years now and is reportedly making over 5 figures a month! Not bad if you ask me 😉


A lot of people say blogging is dead, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Now is the best time to be jumping online and sharing your thoughts on the subjects you love. The greatest part about blogging is that you can literally write about anything, no topic is off-limits, and quite frankly the more obscure the niche is – the better. Did you know that there are many bloggers out there that are pulling in over 6 figures a month?! Crazy numbers.

If you want to get started with blogging, then feel free to check out my article which provides a simple guide to starting a new blog today with WordPress. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Resume building

I don’t know about you but I hate writing about myself, I just can’t do it. Which is why there’s big business in writing people’s resumes for them. You have an opportunity to establish yourself as a top resume-creator in a market that’s far less crowded than some of the other services that I will mention on this list. Much like with copywriting, all you need is access to some word-processing software and you’re good to go.

Write A Book

Perhaps you’re more of a creative writer and you wish to turn your mad ideas into ink. There’s always money to be made in publishing (e)books, regardless of whether they’re fiction or non-fiction. One thing is for sure though, you will need to market your product relentlessly before and after launch in order to justify the time spent writing, but the potential benefits are endless.

Instagram can be a great way to promote visual products such as a new book release, which is why you’ll definitely want to check out how I gained 100k followers on Instagram within a year – without any paid ads!

Dog walking

Another one of my friends, Thomas Foxen, runs Pollok Pooches over in Glasgow, Scotland, and has experienced resounding success since setting up just last year. He had initially been working as a manager over at Dominos Pizza and started walking a couple of dogs in his spare time. He began to make a great impression with his clients and would soon pick up referred clients on a regular basis.

As the business continued to grow, he would eventually quit his job at the pizzeria and devout his time to dog walking on a full-time basis. He’s even started expanding the business and hiring other dog walkers to assist him. The best part though is that he feels so much happier being outdoors and working with animals. I mean, who wouldn’t be?


Are you a caring person that loves being around kids? Then you may want to consider becoming a babysitter. It’s a job that everyone’s aware of but not one that many people consider when looking to make some extra income. Hollywood might suggest that babysitting is a role primarily for teenage girls but there’s a lot more to it than that.

If you can demonstrate that you’re a responsible, mature, caring adult then it’s definitely a job that you should consider. Although babysitting may be quite limited when it comes to full-time work opportunities, it is arguably the cheapest business to start on this list.

Selling Art

Now I’m not suggesting that you become the next Banksy, but there is certainly money to be made in producing your own art. Not only can you make some extra income from selling your art to a wide range of clientele, but you can also potentially open yourself up to new commercial opportunities too, as there may be businesses that would hire you to create some artwork for a specific project or two.

At the very least you can sell your art directly to local customers, or if you’re looking to turn it into a serious business venture you can build your own eCommerce store on your website and sell it to a more international audience. If you would like some help with building an online store then feel free to contact me here.

Graphic Design

Similarly to selling your own artwork, you can also make a decent living as a graphic designer. If you have the talent to create high-quality graphics using tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator (which are both $29.99 per month), then you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to finding new clients. Even if you don’t have the necessary skills, you can always learn them from YouTube or online courses!

I would personally recommend that you focus on gaining a great deal of experience within a particular field when it comes to graphic design, such as a logo design, photo-editing or album cover design to name a few, as it will make it so much easier to find new clients when you’ve proven yourself as an expert in that particular service.

If you’re interested in working in graphic design, then you’ll definitely want to check out how graphic designer Anocostra acquires new clients on a daily basis, just by using Instagram alone.


Love cake? I know I do. If so then you might be interested in baking your own treats and selling them to sweet-toothed customers like me. Not only can they taste great but they also perform remarkably well on visual platforms like Instagram too. Luckily for you, there are plenty of great recipes and tutorials to follow online, so there are always ways to develop your baking skills as you go along.

Obviously you will need to purchase the ingredients for the sugary goods, but these can often be found quite cheaply, especially when you’re just starting out. If you really want to give this a go then I would suggest trialing your first few batches with friends & family and asking them for constructive feedback. Once you’ve mastered your brownies, cupcakes, and whatnot then you can even speak to various business owners to stock them in their shops.

Knitting, Sewing, and Alterations

Did anyone else’s mum make alterations to their school uniforms as you grew taller? No, just mine? Well anyway, it’s only now that I realized that my mum’s skills in knitting, sewing and making alterations to clothing can be made into a respectable business, especially when doing so for high-end fashion items like luxury suits.

Cold Calling

Not many people have the bottle needed to call up ‘random’ businesses and pitch a product or service to them, but if you’re the confident type then this may not be an issue for you. Introverted entrepreneurs like myself would happily outsource cold calling duties to a third-party salesman (or woman), meaning that there is a lot of demand for this service.

If you’re interested in cold calling businesses on behalf of clients or for yourself, then check out my article on 10 ways that you can improve your cold calling technique, and convert more sales, today!


One of the simplest business models that you can set up and scale is that of a cleaning company. There will always be a need for cleaning services given the fact that many people, and especially firms in the finance sector, really don’t have the time or energy to be cleaning up on a regular basis.

You will be required to purchase cleaning products such as a vacuum cleaner, trash bags and perhaps even window cleaner if you look to stretch your services that far, however, these items can often be purchased for a considerably low amount when compared to other business models. You can find a detailed list of what you need to purchase in this article from High-Speed Training.

Cutting the Grass

If staying inside doesn’t float your boat then perhaps you’d prefer to be outside in the garden, cutting the grass for your clients. There is a demand for lawn care however it can be highly seasonal, peaking obviously during the summer months. You may also find greater success if you combine the grass cutting with other garden-related services such as hedge trimming and pressure-washing of tiles and driveways.

This may not be the cheapest business to start on this list, as you will need to have access to a lawnmower, as well as other garden maintenance tools, in order to operate. That being said though these items can often be just one-off costs and otherwise be a cheap business to run going forward.

Start Recording Videos

Times have sure moved on over the last decade or two, as more and more YouTubers are making a killing from posting regular videos and live streams of anything and everything. Focusing on YouTube, for now, the social media platform pays its video creators on the basis of how many users are viewing/clicking on the ads that play before, during and after their videos.

Some of the top YouTubers at the moment are pulling in 8 figures a year, yes… eight, just from posting content in their respective niches. The best thing is that you can make videos about absolutely anything and there will probably be a market for it, including make-up tutorials, reaction videos, toy reviews and pranks.

Teach a skill (such as a language or instrument)

Know how to speak multiple languages or play a specific instrument? Well there are people out there who would happily pay for you to teach them these valuable skills. Not only can you teach someone in a 1-to-1 or group setting, but this is also something that you can make money from on YouTube (see the previous point) or in an online course. The latter options will help you to be more productive and make more money for your time. What skill can you teach?

If you’re interested in setting up a brand new course, then feel free to contact me here to set one up on your website today. And if you need a new website, well I can sort that out too 😉

Become a consultant

Now this one really depends on whether you’ve established yourself as an expert in a particular field or not. Without prior awareness of what you have to offer it is unlikely that you’ll pick up much business as a consultant, however, if your branding is on point then businesses may look to hire you to assess their business and advise on how they can improve on it to increase their profits.

There’s really no limit to which industry you can become a consultant in, provided that you’ve clearly demonstrated that you have a lot of knowledge and experience in that particular field. The fees that some top-level consultants charge can at times be astronomical, I’ve personally seen people charge $5,000 for an hour phone call to $50,000 for a full day, with experts like Tony Robbins probably charging a lot more.


It’s tempting to run away with the millions of business ideas that you have running in your head, and often these ideas can have hefty setup (and running) costs associated with them, but newcomers should start with the cheapest business models and learn the tricks of the trade before investing their life savings into a business which they have no prior experience in.

What do you think is the cheapest business to start? Let us know in the comments below!

Most entrepreneurs have these elaborate business ideas that require a ton of start-up capital and often go off in search of a bank, partner or investor to back their idea, however, in most cases this isn't necessary. The majority of businesses can be started with next-to-no money, and in this post, you should hopefully find some good examples of the cheapest business to start.
Did you find this post on the cheapest business to start up helpful? If so then I would be very grateful if you could save this image to Pinterest! 🙂

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. maileen arceo

    I really impressed for your wonderful ideas .hoping oneday I also do any of those ideas.I am thankful and honor to read this page

    1. Mike Walters

      Thank you Maileen, I hope it proves to be of good help to you. Good luck with your endeavours!

  2. maileen arceo

    Thank you…

    1. Mike Walters


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