Never put yourself in debt by starting a business! Create a side hustle that can pay the rent and quickly get you on the road to stability and possible growth. Take it from someone who has created businesses for over 20 years, starting a business can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to invest. However, it is possible to start a successful business with little to no upfront costs. In this article, we will explore 30 microbusiness ideas that you can start with little to no money.
By definition, a microbusiness is just a steady and long-term form of a side hustle. From social media management to personal styling services, these ideas are perfect for entrepreneurs looking to break into the business world without breaking the bank. Before AI and corporate consolidation eliminate your job, these microbusiness ideas are a great place to start whether you’re looking for a full-time business or a side hustle.
Your Own Rideshare Business: (Up to $250 Per Day) Uber and Lyft aren’t the only game in town, you can join or start your own rideshare business with your own vehicle or someone else’s car and free time. Because they are all around you, getting customers is pretty simple! Give incentives that Uber and Lyft don’t offer, like “Every 5th ride is free for regular customers,” and you’ll have enough customers to make over $1k a week in just a few days. You can charge your riders at pickup using Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, or even cash. My app allowed me to have the trip prepaid, but I found that my regulars were older and loved the idea of paying at pickup. Customers will know how much their rides will cost through the app before they choose the time and location of their pickup.
Once I realized that Uber, starting in 2022, – pays drivers 50% or less of the Uber rider’s fee. I knew it was time to get into the market and start my own rideshare business. Uber drivers were picking up customers who had paid $25 for their ride, but they were only receiving $12 of that sum. I realized that if I found just 4 customers for who I charged $25 each way to and from work for 5 days, I would make $800 a week even when I added the incentive of one free day for weekly riders. Picking my customers up in the morning and dropping them off in the late afternoon left me with the middle of the day open for the gym, a nap, and other errands others try to do after a full day of work.
Personal chef/meal prep services: (Up To $165 Per Day) You only need four clients to make $600 a month! This is one of my favorite microbusinesses for “gym rats” to start, but I’m amazed at how few people actually do it since finding customers happens to be way too easy! If you have experience in the culinary industry and/or enjoy cooking, you can start a personal chef or meal prep business with minimal upfront costs. Charge $5 to $7.50 per meal for 30 days, and you’ll make $150 or more per person. This is way less money for your clients than what they can get delivered to them through HelloFresh, Blue Apron, or any other food prep delivery service, which charges on average $12 or more per meal with delivery, and with these platforms, they would still have to cook the meal instead of warming it up! Cook in bulk for four at a time, and you can keep the cost down to less than $2 per meal. You may need to purchase some basic kitchen equipment, such as pots, pans, utensils, and, of course, food, but these items are inexpensive (even with today’s food prices). You can let people know about your services through social media, word of mouth, or by handing out flyers and business cards at your local gym. Have your friends try meals for free and watch them make orders on the spot. Almost everyone who works out and watches their dietary intake hates to prep their meals even though they know they should do it.
Personal shopping/errand running: (Up To $175 Per Day) Doordash, UberEats, and Instacart are saturated with drivers, but if you have 3 hours a day to spare, you can still make $1,200 in a month driving for them, even in saturated areas. Go one step beyond and deliver groceries and place them in the refrigerator and cabinets yourself with your own delivery service. You’ll have several customers sign up in a matter of days because ice cream melts in the sun when groceries are just dumped at the front door. If you have a reliable car and some spare time, you can start a personal shopping/errand-running business with little to no money. Charge a percentage of the grocery price or have a minimum price for one or more items. You can let people know about your services on social media, or have an online landing page made for you in minutes to sign people up in your area, or have a personalized app created for you that can beat what Instacart and other platforms offer. This can be more beneficial to you and your customers’ pockets.
Virtual assistant services: (Up To $225 Per Day) As a virtual assistant, you can provide a variety of services, such as scheduling, email management, and data entry to clients remotely. The $225 per day rating is based on you handling several clients. Provide an affordable service by the day or hour. Automate your workload by using programs like AnyWord that can write emails, proposals, blogs, and ads automatically with very few directions from you. You can also Subcontract tedious work to online platforms. This will free you up to tackle time-sensitive matters for your clients. Start this business with little to no money by using a computer and internet connection that you already have and finding clients by advertising locally for only $0.39 cents per day or by networking with other small business owners. You can charge a ridiculously low price of $8 to $10 a day for a list of services, and with 15 clients, you’ll make $4,000 a month or more.
Dog walking/pet sitting business: (Up To $145 Per Day). Ok, This one surprised me more than any microbusiness on the list! After interviewing dog walkers in different neighborhoods, I found out that some of them are making up to $900 a week, part-time! You can start a dog-walking or pet-sitting business for very little money. Believe it or not, it’s not just for upscale neighborhoods. There are not enough dog walkers to go around. Period.
Platforms like Wag and Rover are constantly giving out incentives to keep dog walkers on their platforms because so many acquire their own clients after just a few months of using the app. You may need to invest in a few supplies, such as a leash, dog bags, and a water bottle, but these items can be purchased for a low cost. Social media, word of mouth, business cards, and dog-walking platforms like Wag are great ways to get started.
Social media management: (Up To $425 Per Day) If you have experience with social media and a passion for helping businesses improve their online presence, you can start a social media management business with little to no money. You can use free tools such as Hootsuite and Canva to manage and create content for your client’s social media accounts, or you can have a professional create and run the business for you for a few dollars a month.
Graphic design: (Up To $400 Per Day) As a graphic designer, you can create visual content such as logos, websites, and marketing materials for clients. You can start this business with little to no money by using free design software such as Canva or Inkscape. I personally use a platform to subcontract the jobs I receive. Finding clients through advertising online for only $0.39 cents per day or by networking with small businesses in your area is so 1990s. Show off your work on social media and offer it at phenomenally low prices in the beginning, then gradually raise them once you can no longer take on any more customers.
Freelance writing/editing: (Up To $1,200 Per Day) I know! $1,200 per day sounds incredibly suspect, but writing for blogs, advertisers, and others happens to be the most profitable business on this list. If you have a passion for writing and editing, you can start a freelance business with little to no money. You can pretty much use your phone or a computer with an internet connection that you already have. Use free grammar-correcting software like Grammarly. Also, programs like Anyword (which I find to be better than ChatGPT) can pretty much write a blog post or an ad for you when you give it an outline of what you are looking for when it comes to content. Just add your own color comments, and you’re done in just a few minutes. Finding writing and editing work is easy because everyone needs something written or rewritten. Online job platforms can help you find work quickly, but you should also be able to reach out to small businesses and bloggers in need of content.
House cleaning: (Up To $170 Per Day) You can start a house cleaning business with minimal upfront costs by investing in cleaning supplies such as a vacuum, mop, and cleaning products, which can be purchased for a low cost. As a consultant for microbusinesses, I’ve seen people start one month, and the next month, they are totally booked by crafting social media posts for an after-party and event clean-up services, as well as disaster clean-ups.
Lawn care: (Up To $280 Per Day) To start a lawn care business, you may need to invest in some equipment such as a lawn mower, edger, and leaf blower, but these items can be purchased or rented for a low cost. Offer scaled prices to attract customers who find professional yard work too expensive. You can advertise your services on social media, but word of mouth about your great starting price will get you the customers you’re looking for very quickly.
Event planning: (Up To $300 Per Day) If you have a passion for event planning and an eye for detail, you can start an event planning business with little to no money. You can use a computer and internet connection that you already have to research vendors, create event timelines, and communicate with clients. You can find event planning work by networking with small businesses and individuals in your community or by creating a profile on an online platform such as Eventbrite. Don’t forget to advertise on Facebook and Instagram. Also, you can advertise your event planning business locally for just $0.39 cents a day.
Handyman/handywoman services: (Up To $600 Per Day!) If you have experience with home repairs and maintenance, you can start a handyman/handywoman business with minimal upfront costs. You may need to invest in some basic tools such as a drill, screwdriver set, and hammer, but these items can be purchased at a low cost. You can advertise your services on social media. For some reason, Facebook, not Instagram, is the best social media tool to reach customers. Start of by spending the least amount with direct advertising. In this business, word of mouth is king, and it will have a much greater impact than distributing flyers in your local community.
Tutoring: (Up To $180 Per Day) If you have expertise in a particular subject or are skilled at teaching, you can start a tutoring business with little to no money. You can use a computer and internet connection that you already have to offer online tutoring services, or you can meet with students in person at a location convenient for both of you. You can find tutoring work by networking with parents and students in your community or by creating a profile on an online tutoring platform.
Online tutoring/teaching: (Up To $220 Per Day) This is the perfect business for traveling nomads. If you have a passion for teaching and are comfortable using video conferencing software, you can start an online tutoring or teaching business with little to no money. You can use a computer and internet connection that you already have to offer your services and find work on online tutoring platforms or by networking with schools and educational institutions. If you want to join a platform that already offers these services, look at Skooli, Wyzant, eTutorWorld, TutorMe, Tutor.com, SmartThinking, Club Z, and Revolution Prep. Some pay as much as $20 to $40 an hour.
Website design: (Up To $480 Per Day) If you have experience with web design and development, you can start a website design business with little to no money. You can use free design and development software such as WordPress and GitHub to create websites for clients, or better yet, use a platform that makes websites for you in less than 2 minutes and find work on online platforms or by advertising directly to small businesses for a few pennies a day.
Blogging: (Up To $650 Per Day) If you have a passion for writing and a particular subject matter, you can start a blog with little to no money. You can use a free blogging platform such as WordPress or Blogger to create your blog and monetize it through advertising, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing. In the beginning, Google Ads and other similar platforms won’t make you a lot of money until you have thousands of people reading your blog. It’s better to use affiliate marketing, where you can make a significant amount of money per referral while having just a few visitors to your blog site. If You are not familiar with blogging and would like to learn at your own pace, try starting here.
Social media consulting: (Up To $175 Per Day) If you have experience with social media and a passion for helping businesses improve their online presence, you can start a social media consulting business with little to no money. You can use a computer and internet connection that you already have to offer your services. I definitely recommend using a platform where you can hire graphic artists that specialize in social media advertisement and find work through networking with small businesses or by creating a profile on a consulting platform.
Personal training/fitness coaching: (Up To $240 Per Day) If you have experience in the fitness industry and are comfortable working with clients in a one-on-one setting, you can start a personal training or fitness coaching business with little to no money. You can use a local park or gym to train clients and advertise your services on social media, through word of mouth, or by distributing flyers in your local community.
Personal styling/wardrobe consulting: (Up To $225 Per Day) If you have a passion for fashion and enjoy helping others curate their wardrobe, you can start a personal styling or wardrobe consulting business with little to no money. You can use a computer and internet connection that you already have to research trends, communicate with clients, and create mood boards. You can find styling work by networking with individuals in your community or by creating a profile on a styling platform.
Photography: (Up To $450 Per Day) Think outside the box, and you will have a calendar filled with clients. If you have a passion for photography and a good eye for composition, you can start a photography business with little to no money. Offer YOUR IMAGES FOR FREE using platforms like Unsplash, and invite potential clients who download your work to join your Patreon membership (for a set price) to download more intricate photos or get deep discounts on your photography services. You can use a camera and editing software that you already have to offer your services. Make sure to offer extra services like album covers, movie and video posters, and social media influencer packages.
Online courses/workshops: (Up To $350 Per Day) This is by far one of the most lucrative microbusinesses you can run. If you have expertise in a particular subject or skill, you can create and sell online courses or workshops with little to no money. You can use a computer and internet connection that you already have to create and deliver your course content and find students through your own marketing efforts or by creating a profile on an online course platform.
Resume writing: (Up To $160 Per Day) If you have experience in career development and are skilled at crafting effective resumes, you can start a resume-writing business with little to no money. You can use a computer and internet connection that you already have to offer your services and find work through networking with job seekers or by creating a profile on a job search platform.
Translation services: (Up To $145 Per Day) If you are fluent in multiple languages, you can start a translation business with little to no money. You can use a computer and internet connection that you already have to offer your services and find work through networking with small businesses or by creating a profile on a translation platform.
Car detailing: (Up To $400 Per Day) If you have experience with car maintenance and enjoy working with your hands, you can start a car detailing business with minimal upfront costs. You may need to invest in some supplies, such as car wax, polish, and cleaning products, but these items can be purchased at a low cost. My neighborhood detailer started off by detailing just one car a week. With permission, she took “before and after” photos of the interior and exterior of the vehicle and loaded them up on Instagram. Now, I have to set up an appointment to drop off my car at her pop-up shop for specialized detailing.
Mobile hair/nail services: (Up To $420 Per Day) If you are a licensed cosmetologist, WHY ARE YOU PAYING FOR A CHAIR AT A SHOP? You can start a mobile hair or nail services business with little to no money and make more in 3 days than most executives make all week. Mobile barbers, hair stylists, and nail specialists can handle 1 to 4 clients at a home and charge a higher mobile fee than a salon. You can use the tools and products that you already have to offer your services and find work by networking through social media or by advertising locally for just $0.39 cents a day through our online and print magazines with a reach of 400k subscribers.
Lawn To Garden: (Up To $365 Per Day) This is another one that can be very profitable if you think outside of the box. If you have a green thumb and enjoy working outdoors, you can start a gardening or landscaping business with minimal upfront costs. There’s more you can do than just maintaining manicured yards. You can teach gardening techniques along with building miniature greenhouses for apartments and small homes. You may need to invest in some basic equipment such as gloves, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow, but these items can be purchased for a low cost. You can advertise your services on social media, through word of mouth, or advertise online for just $0.39 cents per day in your local community.
Food delivery: (Up To $200 Per Day) If you have a reliable car and are comfortable driving, you can start a food delivery business with little to no money. You can sign up to be a driver for a food delivery platform such as Grubhub or Uber Eats and use your own car to make deliveries. You can also create a delivery service with your very own app for a few dollars more and recruit other delivery drivers to join you.
Furniture refinishing: (Up To $275 Per Day) If you have experience with woodworking and enjoy restoring old furniture, you can start a furniture refinishing business with minimal upfront costs. Down the street from me, my neighbor, Caroline, buys, refurbishes, and repairs furniture. Every so often, she’ll have a yard sale for items that are not yet sold and easily make $3k in one weekend. You may need to invest in some basic tools such as sandpaper, paint, and brushes, but these items can be purchased for a low cost. You can advertise your services on social media or locally for $0.39 cents, but word of mouth, in this business will get you very far.
House sitting: (Per Day Varies) The reason why this is on the list is. you can make money passively, house sitting while making money with other endeavors. If you are responsible and reliable, you can start a house-sitting business with little to no money. My nephew house-sits for me while he works on his graphic novel. My dog Jack adores him and they are inseparable when they are together. I feel better knowing that my dog has company when I’m traveling. Since I trust him, I’ve been spreading the word about his house-sitting. Now he gets paid to house-sit and watch over other homeowner’s homes and pets while he works on his passion projects. He’s thinking about advertising his services on social media and through word of mouth. I’ll give an update on how that’s working out for him soon.
Home organization: (Up To $375 Per Day) If you have a knack for organizing and decluttering, you can start a home organization business with little to no money. TV shows like “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” which was a big hit on Netflix, have made this type of business more respectable and profitable. This is another great service to advertise on social media or through our network for just $0.39 cents a day.
Glow in The Dark Henna: (Up To $520 Per Day) Glowing henna tattoos, a modern iteration of the ancient art of henna, are rapidly gaining popularity, especially among the younger demographic. Using a special UV-reactive paste, these tattoos illuminate under black light, offering a mesmerizing visual effect that artist Sarah Walters describes as a “fun twist on traditional henna.” Not only are these tattoos safe and temporary, but their unique aesthetic appeal makes them especially sought-after for special events like nightclubs, dance parties, festivals, concerts, and other occasions. Walters’ observation that they’re “perfect for festivals, concerts, and special occasions” underscores the enormous potential for entrepreneurs to capitalize on this trend, tapping into a lucrative market at various events where attendees are eager to experiment with this vibrant and futuristic form of body art.