60 Small Business Ideas under 10k
Updated: Feb 9
Most of these business ideas will not require the whole $10,000, but it helps to have a little extra when starting your own company. Remember that you will need to do market research for each business described below before committing to any idea.
1. Freelance Writer/Blogger
If you have writing skills, this may be the best option for you. Content writing is one of the most solicited works in today's market. Blog posts, magazine articles, copywriting, and resume writing are some of the most common types of work you can find as a freelance writer.
The Basics: There is not much needed to start a writing business, be sure to create an attractive website. It is also vital to get in touch with potential customers from the beginning.
2. Graphic Design
Graphic design has been one of the most thriving industries in the last decade. With the creation of small businesses and the need to invest in self-made companies, designing needs are becoming more and more crucial in any business rotation. The most common inquiries are logo design, website design, visual concept creation, and layout design.
The Basics: Similar to the idea above, graphic design does not require a significant investment in equipment. The only difference is the software you are going to need. Apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Canva will help you take the first steps in this small business idea.
Vloggers and streamers are some of the top-grossing entrepreneurs in the entertainment business at the moment. All you need to do is make one of your videos go viral. Although easier said than done, all vloggers concentrate on a specific theme. Whether it's video games, movies, software tutorials, or tech reviews, make sure to pick a topic that covers a lot of subtopics.
The Basics: You will need a camera (try investing in something on the higher end of the spectrum), video editing software, and a stable internet connection. You can also find tutorials online on starting your streamer/vlogger career with as little as $500.
Chances are you have a semi-professional camera lying around in your house. If you do, you can become a freelance photographer. If you have composition and technical knowledge about photography, you can take any photography path of your choosing. If you don't possess the skills, try learning them through tutorials and practicing to master the art every day.
The Basics: As a photographer, you will have to invest according to the type of photography you want to make. Portrait photography will require professional lighting. Event photography will need batteries and memory storage more than anything else. Architecture and real estate photography are the cheaper ones but will also be one of the most competitive.
As a videographer, it's your job to capture moments or scenes previously scripted. Then you will manage them in editing software and show them to your clients.
The Basics: While also on the pricey side, starting a video business will include a camera, lighting equipment, and video editing software. Don't forget to have your demo reel updated and on Youtube. Having a Youtube link will showcase your abilities to all clients without sending your portfolio to every potential client.
If you dominate more than one language, translation is a well-suited business for you. There are two main types of translators. The first one is a general translator. A general translator works with resumes, audits, and public documentation within a company. The second one is a technical translator. A technical translator works with medical, legal, or scientific documents that require more attention to detail.
The Basics: Try to invest in a thesaurus or a scientific dictionary, as well as apps like Grammarly. These tools will be helpful when making sense of different texts.
Living in the suburbs doesn't mean less work. It means you can become a landscaper. Designing gardens, mowing, tree trimming, or simply putting a seasonal taste in an outdoor space are the most common tasks for a landscape gardener.
The Basics: A landscaper's first investment might be one of the highest in this list of 60 small business ideas under 10k. But after that first investment, you will only have to give maintenance to the equipment, which you will need to do twice a year on average.
8. House Cleaning
House cleaning is, without a doubt, one of the cheapest options on this list. Consider launching online ads with a specific target audience or print flyers and distribute them in your neighborhood.
The Basics: Even though you already have these items at home, try investing in new ones. Also, find online reviews about specific products. Eco-friendly and organic products are more accessible to market but more expensive. Chemical products are cheaper, but not many people agree with them anymore.
9. Home Inspector
Working as a home inspector requires certification and a great deal of knowledge about properties. It also offers a flexible work schedule and a stable income. A home inspection includes recognizing significant building defects, such as rising damp, wall movement, safety hazards, and faulty roofs.
The Basics: Before you decide you want to be a home inspector, you must check the licensing requirements in your state.
10. Massage Therapist
Soothing people's pain was one of the first jobs in history, and it has also become trending in the last decade. With your touch, you will relieve pain, help heal injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, and aid in the general wellness of clients.
The Basics: As a massage therapist, you will need proper certification and knowledge of the human body. Another aspect to consider is the materials you are going to use. Essential oils, a portable bed, and towels are crucial.
11. AirBnb/Bed and Breakfast Owner
If you have spare rooms in your house, being a Bed and Breakfast owner could be a great small business for you. Renting the rooms for the holidays or advertising them on AirBnB could generate the steady income you have been looking for.
The Basics: There is not much needed for bed and breakfast. Just make sure the rooms are always clean and that you have enough space for cooking and serving. Some Bed and Breakfast owners have a particular theme within their houses. Try to find your style or stick to the basics.
Creating novelties by hand is a fun and unique way to start a small business. Crafting ranges from making jewelry, knitted comfort items, woodwork, and creatively changing everyday items. An excellent way to start is Etsy.com. From there, you can open your online store and start mass-producing your products.
The Basics: Depending on the path you would like to take, materials will be essential when starting this type of business. Additionally, leaving part of the budget for a website and a designer.
13. Event Planner
Event planners often specialize themselves in specific types of events, such as weddings or parties. You will need to be organized and detail-oriented. Moreover, try to contact party suppliers and deal with them to provide your client with cheaper options.
The Basics: You can find online applications or software that can help you keep a better strategy when planning an event. Look into the possibility of business cards and what the competition is offering. Doing competitor research will help you establish a presence and build a better bundle for your customers.
14. Interior Designer
Also called Home Staging, interior design is a career that has grown 50% over the past decade. You will require exceptional space organization skills and a sense of decor like no other. Though it may sound quite complicated, both are skills that you can learn quickly. Just make sure to carry a measuring tape with you.
The Basics: A portfolio is necessary. Try to build one with the help of friends and family who have already furnished their home with specific patterns. Another trick is to visit stores like Pottery Barn or Ikea to give you some ideas.
15. Tour Guide
Chances are that if you live in the same city your entire life, you will know a thing or two about the local buildings or monuments. A tour guide is responsible for making the tourists enjoy wherever they may go. A critical aspect of this job is research. The more you know about a place of interest, the more audience you will attract.
The Basics: Knowledge is the key factor in this business. If you know funny or strange facts about a specific landmark, don't hesitate to mention them while on tour. A tablet for important notes and customer organization is also a helpful piece of equipment.
College students take tutoring as a serious job, and it can pay very well. Put your expertise to work. Math, chemistry, piano, and literature are some of the most common tutors you can find. Advertise your services at local schools, community centers, and even on social media.
The Basics: You can start printing a few flyers and distributing them in the places mentioned above. A few targeted ads can also be an excellent place to start.
Similar to the last idea, being a consultant is about using your expertise. The difference is the target audience. Identify your expertise and market yourself on the web or directly with local business owners.
The Basics: An attractive website will go a long way. Also, make sure to display your portfolio and the companies you have worked with before on the website.
You can start a catering business from the commodity of your own home. You can decide only to sell pastries or go the whole way and make a full menu. Catering is a business where your creativity is the best tool you can have.
The Basics: You can find most of the equipment in a standard house or apartment. The initial investment should be ingredients for specific recipes and also for experimentation. Don't be afraid to explore fusion cuisine.
19. Coffee shop
Starting a coffee shop may be one of the most expensive small businesses on this list, but it's also one of the most rewarding. You will get to meet people with different tastes and interests. Owning a coffee shop is not only about coffee. It is about building a community.
The Basics: Espresso maker, microwave or electric grill, a fridge/freezer, a counter, and a cash register. The espresso maker is the only vital component of a coffee shop. The rest you can invest in once the business starts to generate some income.
20. Pet Services
In this day and age, most people own one or several pets. Pets are a part of the family, and some owners are more concerned about their pets than themselves. Some standard pet services include but are not limited to dog walking, dog trainer, pet grooming, pet sitting, and pet nutritionist.
The Basics: Depending on the specific task you want to take, the Basics will be variable. Most of the items you will need can easily be found in a pet store. Don't forget to check reviews of each specific item.
21. Social Media Management
Social media management or community management has amplified how customers can interact with companies. Suppose you know a thing or two about the leading social media platforms. In that case, Social Media Management may be the small business idea you have been looking for. Remember to keep different accounts separated and use marketing strategies to stand out.
The Basics: Have an account on all the necessary platforms. This way, all customers can give you access to their pages without creating a specific profile for each account.
22. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants operate remotely and can perform all kinds of time-consuming tasks that the client cannot worry about all the time. You can also specialize yourself in a specific branch, like bookkeeping or customer support.
The Basics: A computer is a given, but definitely, the things you will want to invest the most in are a good internet connection and advertising. Moreover, establishing a relationship with your customers will help you satisfactorily grow your business.
23. Audio or video editing services
Time to put that editing software you bought a long time ago to good use. Most of us have editing software on our computers. While the software may not be the most valued by the market, it is a perfect way to start your editing journey.
The Basics: If you are looking to invest in editing software, da Vinci and the Adobe suite are a perfect choice. Watching tutorials and tricks can also give you a better understanding of this business opportunity.
24. Voiceover Artist/Podcast
Has anyone ever told you that you have the voice of a radio DJ? If yes, then well, look no further. Speaking on podcasts or making a voiceover for commercials and TV shows is a well-paid business. The only disadvantage is the competition. Make the most of your website and keep your demo reels up to date with the latest styles and trends.
The Basics: Try to invest in a good microphone and a few courses in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of your choice. Learning to work with your voice and edit it in software can make you stand above the competition.
25. eBay Buyer
If you consider yourself a Jack of trades, then selling on eBay may be the business for you. On eBay, you can find underrated and undervalued items that sell at a higher price and re-list them to make a profit. Buying things on Wish or Alibaba, and reselling them on eBay can increase your profit too.
The Basics: It all comes down to inventory. If you are not able to stock your inventory upfront, you can also try dropshipping on eBay. Dropshipping can earn you a few extra bucks to start your catalog without spending on inventory.
26. App Designer
The cellphone age is at its dawn. There are millions of apps you can download, and all of them need maintenance. You can choose one of two options in this small business idea. One, create your app, which can be a little expensive. Two, provide IT support for already existing apps.