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  • Writer's pictureThe Self-Made Entrepreneur

Here Are 8 Low-Cost, High-Reward Business Ideas You Can Start in 2023

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

In the thrilling world of entrepreneurship, there’s always a window of opportunity waiting to be opened. If the high startup costs of many businesses have left you hesitating at the doorstep, here are eight business ideas that beckon with a warm, affordable welcome.

1. Freelance Writing

- Startup Cost: Very minimal.

- What You’ll Do: Write articles, blog posts, web content, or ad copy.

- Why It's Smart: Everyone's online, and they all need content.

Everyone has a story, a product, or a service. But not everyone can express it. That’s where you come in. Websites like Upwork or can help you find those in need of your writing prowess.

Resources To Get You Started*:

  • Audiobook: "The Well-Fed Writer" by Peter Bowerman

  • Podcast: "The Copywriter Club Podcast"

  • YouTube: "Writing Revolt" channel by Jorden Makelle

2. Content Creation

- Startup Cost: Almost none.

- What You’ll Do: Make YouTube videos, podcasts, or blog posts.

- Why It's Smart: Brands pay you to reach your audience.

Dive deep into your passion, and broadcast it to the world. Remember, every big YouTuber started with a single subscriber.

Resources To Get You Started*:

  • Audiobook: "YouTube Secrets" by Sean Cannell & Benji Travis

  • Podcast: "The Smart Passive Income Online Business and Blogging Podcast" by Pat Flynn

  • YouTube: "Video Creators" channel by Tim Schmoyer

3. Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

- Startup Cost: Minimal.

- What You’ll Do: Care for pets.

- Why It's Smart: Pet lovers are everywhere and they cherish trustworthiness.

Start local, and let word of mouth carry your name to every pet lover in town.

Resources To Get You Started*:

  • Audiobook: "How to Start a Home-based Pet-sitting and Dog-walking Business" by Cathy Vaughan

  • YouTube: " Doug the Dog Guy " channel

4. Virtual Assistant

- Startup Cost: Practically zero.

- What You’ll Do: Handle administrative tasks remotely.

- Why It's Smart: Every entrepreneur values their time; you help them save it.

From booking appointments to managing emails, become the unseen force that propels a business forward.

Resources To Get You Started*:

  • Book: How to Become a Virtual Assistant: Start Your Own Business from Home - Laura Briggs

  • Podcast: "Being Boss: Mindset, Habits, Tactics, and Lifestyle for Creative Entrepreneurs"

5. Tutoring

- Startup Cost: Minimal.

- What You’ll Do: Share knowledge in a subject you excel in.

- Why It's Smart: Parents pay for their kids' success, and adults love to learn new skills.

Physical or virtual, the classroom is wherever you choose.

Resources To Get You Started*:

  • Audiobook: "Make Money Teaching Online: 3rd Edition" by Danielle Babb & Jim Mirabella

  • Podcast: "The EdSurge Podcast"

6. Cleaning Service

- Startup Cost: Surprisingly low.

- What You’ll Do: Offer cleaning services for homes or offices.

- Why It's Smart: Clean spaces are in perennial demand.

Be it an office space or a cozy home, cleanliness brings peace. And peace is something everyone is willing to pay for.

Resources To Get You Started*:

  • Audiobook: "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries (adapt it to a cleaning service!)

  • Podcast: "Grow My Cleaning Company Podcast" by Mike Campion

  • YouTube: "Clean My Space" channel by Melissa Maker

7. Personal Shopping/Stylist

- Startup Cost: Low.

- What You’ll Do: Make people look good.

- Why It's Smart: Fashion can be overwhelming; you simplify it.

Help your clients discover their perfect look. Remember, confidence is the best outfit.

Resources To Get You Started*:

  • Podcast: The Styling Advisory Podcast - Personal Styling Business Interviews with Sarah Cohen

  • Podcast: The Business of Style with Louisa Gabriel

8. Handmade Crafts

- Startup Cost: Depends on the craft.

- What You’ll Do: Craft and sell your creations.

- Why It's Smart: Unique trumps mass-produced any day.

Resources To Get You Started*:

  • Audiobook: " The Ultimate Guide to Selling on Etsy: How to Turn Your Etsy Shop Side Hustle into a Business by Noelle Ihli (Author), Jeanne Allen (Author)

  • Podcast: "Etsy Conversations" by Ijeoma Eleazu

  • YouTube: "Etsy Success" channel

Your handmade touch brings a personal story to every product. Platforms like Etsy are perfect for showcasing and selling your unique crafts.


Let's keep it real: none of this is ‘get rich quick.’ But what they are is ‘get going fast.’ Start small, prove the model, then scale. These business ideas offer you a beginning without breaking the bank. Forget 'someday'—you can start laying the first brick of your empire now. Let it be your side hustle for as long as you need to nurture it into your full-time hustle. This isn't just about money; it's about building something that's authentically yours.

The path is clear and the time is now—so what's stopping you?

*We are not affiliated with nor do we formally endorse any or all of the opinions by the authors and creators cited in the resources we recommend. We did do research to ensure that the resources listed above are relevant and useful as of the publishing date for this article. The information provided is for the sole purpose of giving our readers a starting point to find more information to help build their next venture. Please use your own judgement to discern what information from these resources you wish to apply or not for yourself and your new business.


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