30 small business ideas that require less than $10,000 to start


Thinking of starting your business but not sure where to start? Statistics show that 5.4 million SMEs submitted a creation request in 2021 only. However, starting your business requires setting a budget before you can start making money.

30 small business ideas that require less than $10,000 to start

It’s more difficult to have a smaller amount, like $10,000, to start with. Therefore, we will be discussing 30 small business ideas that require less than $10,000 to start. Let’s take a look below.

1. Drop shipping

Dropshipping is easily one of the easiest businesses to start as a small business. Its starting cost is around $1000 with a profit margin of 10% to 40% depending on how you run it. You can earn up to $1 million per year with this business model. With the growing popularity of dropshipping, the industry has grown rapidly.

2. Tutoring Services

Students need help with their subjects throughout the year; it is one of the most stable companies and requires almost no investment. Yes, you need to gain experience and expertise in your chosen subjects for them. Freelance platforms like Upwork can also help you get started faster.

3. Realtor

Becoming a real estate agent is relatively expensive, since its starting cost is between $5,000 and $10,000 on average, with a median income of $49,000. It would be helpful if you also have licenses and certifications and complete the terms necessary.

4. Transport company

The start-up cost for trucks and trailers ranges between $5,000 and $10,000, and you can increase your fleet over time. Professionals in this industry earn around $15 to $50 per hour, plus other expenses. You can also help remove unwanted waste and clean the area.

5. Digital Marketing Consultant

A laptop and an internet connection are all you need to get into this business. You will easily earn $24,000 to $60,000 per customer with a profit margin of 10% to 40%. It depends on the quality of services, as well as the affordability with which you can maintain business operations.

6. Tour guide

If you become a walking tour guide, it will only cost you $2,000. If you want to make it more special, you can always use a vehicle that costs around $10,000. The best part is that you can charge up to $360 per person during tours. Recovering your initial investment will not be a problem in this case.

7. Green Business Consultant

The cost to start this business varies by region but is under $10,000, with a commission potential of $1M/year. However, you need to gather knowledge about the following:

  • The technology available
  • Environmentally conscious contractors for facilities
  • Preservation methods
  • Calculation of return on investment

8. Personal trainer

If you are a fitness enthusiast, becoming a personal trainer may be your most viable option. You might need to spend $5,000 per month for most businesses and earn up to $96,000/year. You’ll be helping people achieve their fitness goals while earning a substantial amount for yourself.

9. Window cleaning services

Most of the essentials for window cleaning services are available in your home, and are also readily available and affordable. You can earn between $50,000 and $75,000 per month, up to $1 million per year. It’s a great alternative to traditional housekeeping services and can help you get more payments.

10. Online Business Manager

As an online business owner or consultant, you need the following to get started:

  • Management experience
  • the Internet

There are certifications to prove your skills, but you can constantly update them over time. You can also help CEOs succeed in the industry!

11. Fashion designer

The median income for fashion designers is around $65,000, but you can always get more if you have the skills and reputation. You will need sewing machines, fabrics and a measuring tape. Later, you can progress and grow as a business.

12. Local delivery service

As a local delivery service, major business costs include license and vehicle fees. This company has an estimate 32.6% CAGR 2021-2027. This allows small business owners to earn up to $1,200/week with services like UberEats.

There is a profit margin of $1-8 on each delivery after you pay your drivers. This type of business may take a little longer to take off, but it will be worth it in the end.

13. YouTube Content Creator

Starting a YouTube channel as a content creator is free. You may need to manage some start-up equipment costs, but you can start with what you have. There is a margin of $0.10 to $0.30 on each video view. You can also do $3 to $5 for 1,000 views on your channel, Ddepending on your location or region.

14. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You can start working in SEO with free tools and progress gradually. Top-rated industry professionals earn up to $150,000 per year, making this a great small business idea. You can use different tools for the task, including:

  • Keyword research
  • Improved site speed
  • Google My Business
  • Content marketing

15. Freelance Writer

As a writer, you can start for less than $100 and earn up to $150/hr if you have the skills and experience required. You can also register as a writer and provide various services to industries. Tools like Surfer SEO can help you optimize your content and jump-start your writing business.

16. Equipment rental service

The start-up cost of the equipment rental service is around $15,000 (without heavy machinery). In this business, you can enjoy an average gross profit margin of 30% to 40%. The equipment rental business is popular in various industries, such as

  • Rental of medical equipment at home
  • Rental of construction tools
  • Cars, boats and other rentals

17. Brick and Mortar Restaurant

A physical restaurant is one of the few businesses you can start for $10,000. These companies may have various requirements including health district inspections, insurance requirements, etc. Nevertheless, it is a profitable SME to start with.

18. Start a food truck

To start a food truck, you need around $10,000 and make your setup $1 million per food truck. There is also a profit margin of $20,000 to $50,000 from these food trucks. This is ideal if you like feeding people and want money.

19. Become an ice cream parlor

Everyone recognizes the ice cream parlor around the corner. You can start this business for $10,000. However, it would be helpful to remember that your target audience is children, sometimes there are seasonal fluctuations, and all you need is a freezer on wheels.

20. Meal Prep Business

The upfront cost of licensing and inspection is the most important consideration for small business owners. You can expect a profit margin of $20 to $50/hour. You can create a menu and market it to your potential audience.

21. Mobile Food Carts

There is a basic $1,000 business setup you can start with when operating mobile food trucks. There is potential to make up to six figures in a high traffic area. So explore the SMB option and start minting today!

22. Catering

The catering sector is in high demand and can reach $378.39 billion by 2026. It also has an income of $20 and $90/person, depending on food type and size. You can add creative elements to the business to ensure you thrive.

23. Locksmith Services

A locksmith business can start at around $2,500 and pay you $10 and $25/hour. This is the best option for telephone businesses and online home business owners. Insurance companies like AAA can also help, or you can connect with clients independently.

24. Answering Services

As a business answering service, you can start for as little as $2,500 and get paid $10 to $25 per hour. You can apply for jobs through Indeed or find individual gigs through Upwork. It may take some time to fully grasp the business, but it pays off in the long run.

25. candle maker

Candle making is one of the most affordable start-up businesses with an initial investment of $100. It’s easy with 10 times the initial cost for the first month. You will need wax, pouring pitchers and some essential equipment. The wick and fragrant perfumes also help in this process.

26. Security Company

Starting a security business requires around $10,000 to get started and can earn you $150/hour for bodyguard services. You can also charge up to $1,600 for quad-camera systems.

27. Mobile car wash

A mobile car wash business requires a start-up cost of $10,000 and generates up to $1 million in profit per year. There is a whopping 30% profit margin, which makes it a very lucrative option.

28. Research Services

A primary computer and an Internet connection are all you need to get started with Search Services. You can earn up to $150/hour even as a freelancer. With some experience, you can use search services for your long term gains.

29. Decoration Services

Commercial licenses and variable costs are required to build a portfolio. The decoration service depends on seasonal factors with a profit margin of 15% to 50%. Decorating services can help bring in more leads, significant ROI, and better results.

30. Dent Repair Services

Dent repair services offer business owners a great opportunity. The services can earn you between $50 and $500/pickup. The best part is that you can start with basic equipment and then improve your services with experience and time.


Small businesses need industry planning and assessments. These small businesses can be profitable if done correctly.

Therefore, we recommend that you follow some of the best industry recommendations that we have added in this article and find more viable options for yourself in the future. If you still have questions, consult a small business professional and they will help you with the best recommendations in the industry.

The Atlanta Small Business Network, from startup to success, we’re your go-to resource for small business news, expert advice, information and event coverage.


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