48 Low Cost Business Ideas with High Profits (2021)

48 Low Cost Business Ideas with High Profits (2021)

Seeking to start a low-cost business with high-profit but not quite sure what to start?

The good news is, there are so many opportunities to become an entrepreneur and build an innovative product/service in this line of work.

If you're looking to start your own low-cost business with high ROI, there are several low-investment options you can choose from.

We put a list together below of the most profitable low-cost business ideas with high-profit you can start today!

Here they are:

1. Start a test prep business ($240K/year)

Tyler York from San Francisco started Achievable over 5 years ago, a test prep business.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: San Francisco

The idea for Achievable came from my cofounder Justin, an engineering leader who built the product and team behind Cerego, a platform for lifelong learning. Cerego used a method called spaced repetition to help students memorize large bodies of knowledge over time, like a new language or the periodic table. Spaced repetition is very powerful and effective, but only when the student is committed and can stick to the schedule. We saw an opportunity to take this technological innovation to a highly motivated consumer segment: professionals preparing for life-changing, income-gating, career-advancing exams.

You can save yourself a lot of time, money, and headache by spending the extra time to really understand each market and each customer within that market to find the truly best customer to build for.

As it turns out, most of the test prep industry is far behind what we’d consider standard user experience today, especially on mobile. While some more consumer-focused segments like the SAT market are pretty far along, the professional market has languished. Even in 2020, many of our competitors don’t have true mobile experiences or any kind of ‘adaptive learning’ that has become the de facto standard of test prep software.

how-we-launched-a-1k-month-finra-sie-and-finra-series-7-test-prep-tool-for-professionals

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Tyler York, on starting Achievable ($20,000/month) full story ➜

2. Start a mobile app development business ($696K/year)

Tim Bornholdt from Minneapolis, MN, USA started The Jed Mahonis Group over 9 years ago, a mobile app development business.

  • Revenue: $58,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Growing up, I’ve always been into technology. I built my first website when I was in first grade, I built my first graphing calculator app when I was in sixth grade, and I used to run the internet’s largest website dedicated to Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons.

I waited in line for the iPhone the day it launched in 2007, and I was instantly hooked. I knew I had to learn how to build software for this device. Eventually, I learned how to jailbreak my device which allowed me to run custom apps on it (this being before the launch of the App Store).

Even though I had a passion for technology, I never really wanted a career in it. My dream job was to work as a technical director for live television broadcasts, and the only class that was close to that at my school was the capstone course for the Professional Journalism program. I ended up switching my major from Computer Engineering to that and abandoned any dreams of professionally writing software.

how-we-started-a-82k-month-custom-ios-and-android-apps-development-agency

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Tim Bornholdt, on starting The Jed Mahonis Group ($58,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a web development business ($744K/year)

Ty Fujimura from New York, LA, NJ started Cantilever Web Design & Development about 10 years ago, a web development business.

  • Revenue: $62,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: New York, LA, NJ

I’m the son of a therapist and an artist, and both sides of that upbringing prepared me well to manage a creative business! I was always playing with code and design growing up, and was lucky enough to have my dad’s tech hand-me-downs to learn on.

I regret bootstrapping because it forced us into making decisions based on the fear of running out of money, rather than on trying to find long-term value.

I majored in Mathematics at NYU, but while in classes I started to get the itch to design again. I did some portfolio pieces in photoshop but needed a website. I taught myself the basics by spending hours in Barnes & Noble reading every web design and development book I could find (even though I couldn’t afford to take them home) and got hooked.

how-i-started-a-750k-year-web-development-agency

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Ty Fujimura, on starting Cantilever Web Design & Development ($62,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start a blogging business ($60K/year)

Chhavi Agarwal from New Delhi, Delhi, India started Mrs Daaku Studio over 3 years ago, a blogging business.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India

I am a licensed attorney in India and right after my master’s in law, I started working with a leading company as a lawyer. I worked there for about two years before I quit my job to become more location independent.

Choose a niche in whatever you start. It is critical for streamlining your efforts and make money.

My job paid me well but I worked 12 hours a day, I was exhausted by the end of each day, spent my weekends sleeping and I almost quit the things I liked to do - for example, sketching, yoga, traveling, etc.

how-this-couple-makes-5k-month-generating-content-about-ways-to-make-money-online

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Chhavi Agarwal, on starting Mrs Daaku Studio ($5,000/month) full story ➜

5. Start an affiliate marketing business ($3.48M/year)

Examples of a successful affiliate marketing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a affiliate marketing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an affiliate marketing business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Spencer Mecham's story on creating Buildapreneur a read:

My name is Spencer Mecham. In 2016 I first heard about an industry called affiliate marketing and in 2017 I founded Buildapreneur, an affiliate business.

my-affiliate-marketing-business-earns-500k-year-profit-no-employees

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Spencer Mecham, on starting Buildapreneur ($80,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a personal training business ($720K/year)

Chris Anderson from Overland Park, Kansas, USA started Live Fit over 10 years ago, a personal training business.

  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Overland Park, Kansas, USA

I started Live Fit because I felt I was running out of options in the industry I loved so much. Personally, I felt the misses in the personal training industry and wanted to change that. Personal Training, as well as all types of fitness, can be very intimidating to most people. And honestly, the people that are most intimidated by fitness are often the people that need it the most. I set out to create a company that provided the same types of exercises, programming, and results as generally all fitness companies, but I wanted to make it a comfortable experience from the moment a potential client stepped through our doors.

All our processes, our studio layout, our team of trainers we have hired, and our entire mission are based on making clients feel comfortable, appreciated, and valued. We do things differently and over the past 10 years, I have seen other companies in our area follow our lead. Long gone are the days of slamming weights, extremely loud music, and uncomfortable gym environments. People want to go where they feel comfortable and respected.

I have always loved sports and started at a young age, with my dad as my coach. I continued athletics through high school and went on to run college track where I based my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees entirely on building my career in the fitness industry. The last thing I was willing to do was to throw it all away based on a lack of opportunity, so I created my own with Live Fit. I believe in spirituality and the law of attraction and base my life on those principles. So in early 2011 when I couldn’t focus on my spiritual study and spiritual growth because my mind was consumed with running numbers about opening my own company, I knew that was a sign from God it was time to create something great.

how-i-started-a-60k-month-personal-training-company

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Chris Anderson, on starting Live Fit ($60,000/month) full story ➜

7. Start a consulting business ($180K/year)

Akhil Suresh Nair from Boston, MA, USA started Xena Intelligence over 1 year ago, a consulting business.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Boston, MA, USA

I had a couple of years of experience working for a large corporation back in India. I genuinely felt that I was just a cog in the wheel and that whatever I did had little to no impact in the real world.

We were at a crossroads at that time – filled with constant self-doubt about the career path we wanted to take. We could have easily applied for corporate jobs in the US or in India, but we chose to follow our hearts by continuing to work in our consulting business.

I reached out to a few small businesses I had developed good relationships during my corporate career and started helping them out on developing marketing strategy to scale their businesses and also to instill robust operational efficiencies in their business processes. I realized that I was able to add considerable value to their businesses and that I felt a sense of satisfaction in being able to make their lives better. I soon started consulting for over 20 small businesses in India.

how-two-friends-from-india-bootstrapped-a-management-consulting-business

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Akhil Suresh Nair, on starting Xena Intelligence ($15,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start a catering business ($240K/year)

Nestor Nidome from Crestmore, California, USA started Elegante Catering ago, a catering business.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Crestmore, California, USA

For as long as I can remember I have always been attracted to the idea of being a business owner. I’ve tried many businesses starting with my own DJ company. I got some business cards, printed them at Staples, passed them out, and waited for the calls.

It took a bit of time, but eventually, the calls started to come in and bookings started to happen. I did that for a couple of years until one of the DJ gigs some gangsters got into it and I was almost in the middle of a gang fight. Thank GOD things calmed down, but after that, I started looking for another business!

During this same time, the whole tech bubble was growing and I wanted a part of it. I took some coding classes in college and started using HTML to code my website from scratch. I kind of borrowed a lot of ideas from Yahoo but it was going to be mainly focused on my local city. I visited some businesses and got some of them to advertise. Things seemed to be going well when the bubble burst and I was once more left to venture out and look for something else.

how-i-found-success-with-a-20k-month-catering-company-after-starting-many-businesses

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Nestor Nidome, on starting Elegante Catering ($20,000/month) full story ➜

9. Start a teaching & consulting business

Examples of a successful teaching & consulting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a teaching & consulting business ➜

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10. Start a podcasting business ($360K/year)

Examples of a successful podcasting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a podcasting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a podcasting business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Marti Sanchez's story on creating Influence Podium a read:

Hey! My name is Marti Sanchez and I am the CEO of Influence Podium. We help B2B CEOs get placed on podcasts their target audience listens to and repurposes those episodes into LinkedIn or Twitter content to grow their personal brand and drive inbound.

We just crossed $30k MRR and are looking to hit seven figures by the end of the year. We’re a young company in our 3rd year in business, and completely self-funded.

how-i-started-a-30k-month-personal-branding-content-service-for-b2b-ceos

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Marti Sanchez, on starting Influence Podium ($30,000/month) full story ➜

11. Start an online influencer business ($24K/year)

Examples of a successful online influencer business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a online influencer business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an online influencer business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Brett Owens's story on creating Afluencer a read:

My name is Brett Owens and I am the Founder and Chief Matchmaker at Afluencer. We match Brands with the best Influencers to promote their products. And likewise, we help Influencers (from Nano to Micro to Mega), Creators, and Ambassadors find “Collabs”, which are paid gigs being offered by Brands.

Here’s an excerpt from our latest influencer newsletter where we talk about the latest pay-per-post opportunities being offered in our app:

i-created-a-two-sided-marketplace-that-helps-brands-find-influencers

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Brett Owens, on starting Afluencer ($2,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start a digital art & design business

Examples of a successful digital art & design business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a digital art & design business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a digital art & design business ➜

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13. Start a social media marketing business ($60.6K/year)

Examples of a successful social media marketing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a social media marketing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a social media marketing business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Mahsun Avci's story on creating Avci ApS a read:

Hello, my name is Mahsun Avci! I'm the founder of Avci ApS. At a fairly young age (15) I decided to start my own business. An online marketing agency, where we help businesses grow their bottom line through paid traffic and sales funnels. By taking a holistic approach to business, we make comprehensive online strategies that take our clients from their current situation to their desired situation.

After streamlining the process and consistently getting great client results, I knew I was on to something. I not only mastered Facebook ads, but I learned everything I could about personal branding and making it an asset.

how-i-built-a-10k-month-online-marketing-agency

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Mahsun Avci, on starting Avci ApS ($10,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start a writing & editing business

Examples of a successful writing & editing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a writing & editing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a writing & editing business ➜

15. Start a recruiting business ($90K/year)

Examples of a successful recruiting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a recruiting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a recruiting business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Kingsong Chen's story on creating Techintern.io a read:

Hi, I’m Kingsong, CEO of Techintern.io. We connect startups and tech companies with the best software developer students at colleges across North America like Waterloo, Harvard, Berkeley, and more. We work with startups to hire really strong and motivated technical interns, many of who have experience at top companies like Google or Facebook.

We also work with larger tech companies that are interested in diversifying their talent pipeline to hire diverse technical interns from smaller colleges and diverse student groups.

We’ve worked with companies like Afterpay, Zumper, and Yugabyte and recently achieved #1 Product of the Day and #2 Product of the Week on Product Hunt.

making-15k-month-connecting-interns-with-companies-looking-for-talent

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Kingsong Chen, on starting Techintern.io ($15,000/month) full story ➜

16. Start a graphic designing business ($360K/year)

Examples of a successful graphic designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a graphic designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a graphic designing business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Michael Moloney's story on creating FilterGrade a read:

Hi, I’m Mike Moloney, the founder of FilterGrade. FilterGrade is a marketplace for creators where you can find digital assets such as presets, LUTs, video templates, and much more.

Today thousands of creators from all around the world buy and sell digital products on FilterGrade and more than 450,000 users visit the site every month.

how-we-created-a-30k-month-marketplace-of-photo-filters-and-digital-assets-for-creatives

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Michael Moloney, on starting FilterGrade ($30,000/month) full story ➜

17. Start a cleaning & maintenance business

Examples of a successful cleaning & maintenance business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a cleaning & maintenance business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a cleaning & maintenance business ➜

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18. Start an e-book sales business

Examples of a successful e-book sales business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a e-book sales business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an e-book sales business ➜

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19. Start a youtube video creation business

Examples of a successful youtube video creation business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a youtube video creation business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a youtube video creation business ➜

20. Start an online course sales business

Examples of a successful online course sales business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a online course sales business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an online course sales business ➜

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21. Start a home tutoring business

Examples of a successful home tutoring business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a home tutoring business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a home tutoring business ➜

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22. Start a resume and cover letter business

Examples of a successful resume and cover letter business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a resume and cover letter business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a resume and cover letter business ➜

23. Start a digital product sales business

Examples of a successful digital product sales business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a digital product sales business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a digital product sales business ➜

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24. Start a travel consulting business

Examples of a successful travel consulting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a travel consulting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a travel consulting business ➜

25. Start an IT support business

Examples of a successful IT support business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a IT support business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an IT support business ➜

26. Start an interior design business ($1.32M/year)

Examples of a successful interior design business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a interior design business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an interior design business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Annemarie diSalvo's story on creating diSalvo Interiors a read:

Well, to make a long story short, my mother and I started this company together in 1996. I was working as a staff interior designer at a private firm in NYC, and my mother, Rosemarie was the manager of the Estate and Trust department at a large Law Firm. We both HATED our jobs and dreamed of doing our 'own thing'. We had no idea what that looked like, and so we turned to our passion..antiques and design.

That passion has morphed into a boutique design firm that boasts over 1M in annual revenue and has completed hundreds of trophy projects.

how-we-mother-and-daughter-started-a-1m-year-boutique-design-firm

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Annemarie diSalvo, on starting diSalvo Interiors ($110,000/month) full story ➜

27. Start a real estate brokering business

Examples of a successful real estate brokering business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a real estate brokering business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a real estate brokering business ➜

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28. Start an etsy business

Examples of a successful etsy business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a etsy business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an etsy business ➜

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29. Start an ecommerce reselling business

Examples of a successful ecommerce reselling business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a ecommerce reselling business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an ecommerce reselling business ➜

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30. Start an ebay business ($120K/year)

Examples of a successful ebay business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a ebay business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an ebay business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Adam Torkildson's story on creating Tork Media LLC a read:

My name is Adam Torkildson (Tork to my friends). I run Tork Media, which is the umbrella company to several ventures I’m in various stages of running and/or funding.

I’m a partner and founder of 7 very different ventures; ranging from a solar farm in Bakersfield to selling sportscards on eBay (which is the one I like to talk about the most).

how-i-started-a-10k-month-business-selling-sports-cards-on-ebay

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Adam Torkildson, on starting Tork Media LLC ($10,000/month) full story ➜

31. Start a data analysis business

Examples of a successful data analysis business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a data analysis business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a data analysis business ➜

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32. Start a bookkeeping business

Examples of a successful bookkeeping business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a bookkeeping business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a bookkeeping business ➜

33. Start a wedding photography business ($600K/year)

Examples of a successful wedding photography business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a wedding photography business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a wedding photography business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Pranesh's story on creating Studio 31 a read:

I’m Pranesh Padmanabhan, 33, a first-generation entrepreneur and the Founder of Studio 31, a 12-years-old creative wedding photography and film company, that has been recognized by many premium publications in India. Studio 31 captures over 350 weddings every year and more than 90% of our customers are NRIs who travel to India for their weddings. On average, our annual revenue is about a million dollars.

One unique thing about why couples book Studio 31 is the overall customer experience that it provides, which is largely missing in the wedding photography industry in India.

How 4500+ families have rated Studio 31 over 12 years:

how-i-run-a-50k-month-wedding-photography-studio-like-a-startup

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Pranesh, on starting Studio 31 ($50,000/month) full story ➜

34. Start a stock photo sales business

Examples of a successful stock photo sales business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a stock photo sales business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a stock photo sales business ➜

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35. Start an event planning business ($1.11M/year)

Examples of a successful event planning business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a event planning business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an event planning business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Akshay Patel's story on creating Simply Decor and Events a read:

Hello, I am Akshay Patel from Albuquerque, NM the land of enchantment. I started an event rental and decor company that led me to an event venue. The View Event Center is a lavish space that is an indoor and outdoor event venue with panoramic city views. Our high-end venue with experienced staff will assist from venue decor to the smallest details entailed in making memories of a lifetime. Simply Decor, Tents, and Events ensures exclusive decor and thrives to bring your event to life through customized, elegant decor for all of their clients.

The full-service company will individually work with every client to design their event that will intrigue every eye in the room. Our company is broad that we get many different types of customers and we make many great connections with them as well. The company was making upwards of $380,000 a year.

how-i-started-a-35k-month-event-decor-business

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Akshay Patel, on starting Simply Decor and Events ($35,000/month) full story ➜

36. Start a handyman service business

Examples of a successful handyman service business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a handyman service business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a handyman service business ➜

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37. Start a recycling business

Examples of a successful recycling business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a recycling business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a recycling business ➜

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38. Start an airbnb hosting business

Examples of a successful airbnb hosting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a airbnb hosting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an airbnb hosting business ➜

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39. Start an in-home senior care business

Examples of a successful in-home senior care business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a in-home senior care business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an in-home senior care business ➜

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40. Start a child care business

Examples of a successful child care business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a child care business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a child care business ➜

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41. Start a photo editing business

Examples of a successful photo editing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a photo editing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a photo editing business ➜

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42. Start a tour guide service business

Examples of a successful tour guide service business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a tour guide service business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a tour guide service business ➜

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43. Start a candle making business

Examples of a successful candle making business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a candle making business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a candle making business ➜

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44. Start an electronics repairing service

Examples of a successful electronics repairing service:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a electronics repairing service:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an electronics repairing service ➜

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45. Start a furniture upcycling business

Examples of a successful furniture upcycling business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a furniture upcycling business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a furniture upcycling business ➜

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46. Start a home bakery business

Examples of a successful home bakery business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a home bakery business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a home bakery business ➜

47. Start a personal styling business

Examples of a successful personal styling business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a personal styling business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a personal styling business ➜

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48. Start a car washing and detailing business

Examples of a successful car washing and detailing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a car washing and detailing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a car washing and detailing business ➜

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Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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