20 Low-Investment Business Ideas for Introverts

20 Low-Investment Business Ideas for Introverts

Did you know that three of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world identify as introverts?

It's true - Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg all share that unique characteristic in common.

Contrary to what some may think, introverted people, make for remarkable business leaders and entrepreneurs.

If you're an introvert, you may really enjoy the journey of starting your own business.

Think about it...

You'll have the ability to create your own work environment, connect with others on your own terms, and delegate tasks to team members that can fulfill certain aspects of the business that you may not prefer.

Here are 20 business ideas suited for introverted entrepreneurs:

1. Start a cleaning service ($7.2M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$3,000 — $600,000/month
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 7 hours/week
Skills
Interests

Ron Holt from Birmingham, Alabama, USA started Two Maids & A Mop about 19 years ago, a cleaning service.

  • Revenue: $600,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 500
  • Location: Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Case Study

I can still remember my first day on the job. I had just been hired as a Chemist for a particle analysis laboratory.

The job made a lot of sense at the time. I had recently graduated college with a Biology degree, and there’s only so many careers the degree can take you. So I took the first job offer that was presented to me and proudly bragged about my $22,500 annual salary. It seemed like so much money at the time, and I just knew that I was going to climb the corporate ladder quickly.

The true secret to my success has been to simply outwork and outpassion everyone in my path, every single day for nearly twenty-five years

how-warren-buffett-inspired-my-lifelong-journey-creating-a-25m-cleaning-empire

2. Start a social media automation business ($2.4M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$4,000 — $250,000/month
Time To Revenue
270 days
Skills
Work from home

Laura Roeder from started MeetEdgar about 8 years ago, a social media automation business.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 11
  • Location:

Case Study

I had been teaching social media marketing to entrepreneurs and I had an online course business called LKR Social Media that I had been running for about 5 years and I had created a training course called Social Brilliant that you can currently access if you’re an Edgar customer through Edgar University. The course is teaching people how to repost their social media and how to make sure that they can easily fill up all of their accounts across all the different platforms. A lot of our customers for the training courses were solopreneurs managing their own social media and I saw what a huge time burden it was to create content and write new social updates across multiple platforms every day.

The AHA moment that I had was noticing that your reach on any given platform is very small. You’re only reaching a small percentage of people that follow you on any platform. It’s actually really smart to make sure you’re repeating and repurposing your content. Entrepreneurs think that it seems like they are repeating the same stuff over and over again but that’s only because they are the ones seeing their own status updates, but nobody else does. It’s really smart to repurpose, upcycle, recycle and social brilliant taught people how to do that in an organized way. You would create a sheet with all of your social media updates with categories, all colour coded, so you’d know which ones you’ve sent, which ones need to be changed. SO, in 2014 when I launched MeetEdgar I wondered why I was keeping this spreadsheet and paying for a social media tool at the same time.

Social media tools did exist at that time and they do what they did then which is send an update for you but nothing more. Why isn’t the tool doing all the work that I’m doing on the spreadsheet -- that’s what MeetEdgar was created to do. To handle all that grunt work for Social media, to do more than just send out an update.

how-i-bootstrapped-a-social-media-automation-tool-to-2mm-year

3. Start a moving company ($720K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$60,000/month
Time To Revenue
330 days
Skills
Business model

Max Maher from Chandler, Arizona, USA started Skinny Wimp Moving over 6 years ago, a moving company.

  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 12
  • Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA

Case Study

I didn’t exactly come up with the initial idea for this company because this is a franchise which means for me that I license out the name “Skinny Wimp Moving”. However, because it was the first franchise location I was able to be in a prime decision-making seat and guinea pig for all ideas enabling me to test out theories on marketing and customer service which have no become standard across the brand.

Put yourself out there and ask for their business. Sure be conscious that you may get rejected but don’t be afraid to ask more than once. It won’t work every time but it will work 100% more than not trying at all.

We realized people simply don’t want a moving company that sucks. So we asked ourselves what can we do to make the stressful experience of moving suck a little less and the answers we came up with and stuck to were very common sense:

how-i-started-a-1m-year-moving-company-at-19-years-old

4. Start an online courses business ($504K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$350 — $3,735,000/month
Time To Revenue
150 days
Skills

Shannon Mattern from Columbus, Ohio, USA started Web Designer Academy over 7 years ago, a online courses business.

  • Revenue: $42,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA

Case Study

One day back in 2014, I was sitting in my beige, windowless office under fluorescent lights for the 2555th day in a row, finishing up a financial report that I dreaded doing every month, when I overheard this conversation outside my office door:

Have you ever had 7-UP salad? It’s got lemon Jell-O, lime Jell-O, marshmallows…

And I literally started to have a panic attack.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-business-selling-diy-web-design-and-marketing-courses

5. Start a board game ($1.68M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$19,000 — $250,000/month
Skills

Will Roya from Henderson, NV, USA started PlayingCardDecks.com about 5 years ago, a board game.

  • Revenue: $140,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Henderson, NV, USA

Case Study

Besides selling magic tricks and toys at special events such as fairs I was always trying different items to sell online, mostly on eBay. I also produced and sold instructional DVDs, mostly wholesale to magic shops.

Try to keep things as simple as possible with systems in place. Don’t be afraid to try something new but also don’t be afraid to give it up if it isn’t working.

I had noticed playing cards started selling particularly well and with the advent of Kickstarter, a lot more decks were getting produced. The more decks I stocked, the more I sold. I also noticed that playing card collectors would buy multiple decks and buy more frequently than other customers.

how-i-started-a-100k-month-business-selling-and-designing-playing-cards-decks

6. Start an online courses business ($1.5M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$350 — $3,735,000/month
Time To Revenue
150 days
Skills

Gabriel Kramer from Eagle Mountain, UT, USA started SI Certs over 11 years ago, a online courses business.

  • Revenue: $125,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Eagle Mountain, UT, USA

Case Study

I co-founded SI Certs in 2011. I had been working as a Special Inspector for six years. A Special Inspector is a type of construction inspector. To advance in the special inspection industry, you have to pass exams to earn certifications. Your earning potential increases as you get more and more certifications.

Looking back, the biggest lesson from the beginning is that small starts can turn into something huge. If you’re patient and work hard every year, you can reap great rewards in the future.

I started the company because I felt I had enough experience and certifications to teach others the inspection trade. Also, I held a bachelor’s degree in journalism and taught high school for a few years after graduating. While teaching, I took classes online at the University of Phoenix and received a master’s degree in education. I thought my degrees would give me a competitive edge in creating useful online courses.

how-i-leveraged-my-experience-and-created-a-60k-mo-online-course-platform

7. Start an audio sharing app ($1.2M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$20,000 — $100,000/month
Time To Revenue
360 days
Skills

Baird Hall from Charleston, South Carolina, USA started Wavve over 5 years ago, a audio sharing app.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Case Study

Everything technically started with my co-founder and I’s wives. At the time, I was an early employee at a Startup and had been a sales engineer there for about 4 years. Nick had passed the bar (he is a lawyer) and decided for a change of pace to work at a tech company as a software engineer. We were both getting the entrepreneurial itch. Our wives got tired of hearing all about our ideas and forced us to go get coffee and talk to each other about them.

We started in 2015 with an attempt to build a new kind of social network. One where you followed radio shows, podcasts, topics, and other subjects and verbally talked with other fans about them instead of typing. Think Reddit crossed with audio & Twitter.

You need to judge your progress by years because that is how long it takes to accomplish anything of importance.

how-we-launched-a-75k-month-audio-sharing-app-for-podcasters

8. Start a jewelry making business ($479K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000 — $2,000,000/month
Time To Revenue
210 days
Skills

Pragya Batra from Bengaluru, Karnataka, India started Quirksmith about 6 years ago, a jewelry making business.

  • Revenue: $39,956/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Case Study

Growing up, I was the nerdy one in my family. I loved my books (especially mathematics!). My parents saw all the signs of a budding “science” lover. And so, I was shown the path to Engineering! I studied at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi (IIT Delhi) and graduated in the year 2007 with a Btech and MTech in Biochemical engineering and Biotechnology. After that, I appeared for campus placements and landed myself a job at Bain & Company. I spent the next 8 years in strategy consulting, working with some of the smartest people across organizations in India. I also took a break from work to study at INSEAD (2011-12), before coming back to corporate life.

In the year 2015, for the first time in 15 years, I was living in the same city as my sister, Divya. She is a jewellery designer and she had moved to Bangalore in 2015 to head a design studio for her then-employer. It was at this time that Quirksmith sprouted as a passion project for the two of us. For almost a year we spent several weekends making appearances at pop up markets across Bangalore, showcasing our limited (and super quirky) range of silver jewellery. It was in these times that I saw the potential for Quirksmith to shape up as a brand that had something unique to offer. Our customers soon became our brand evangelists. Women would seek our pop up stores at these events. I was excited about the number of repeat customers we started to get on such a small base.

In 2016, I decided to quit my corporate career and focus on Quirksmith. And so I started to build a website on Shopify. We took help from our friends to shoot and model for the first version of the website. Thank God for talented friends! :). Within a few months, we launched our website quirksmith.com in November 2016.

how-we-launched-a-40k-month-handcrafted-jewelry-brand

9. Start a board game ($360K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$19,000 — $250,000/month
Skills

Travis Hancock from Columbus, Ohio, USA started Facade Games about 7 years ago, a board game.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA

Case Study

I played a lot of board games growing up, especially ones that involved lying about roles and identities. I was also never afraid to “tweak” games or change the rules if I thought it would improve the game.

We were able to produce 12,000 copies of the game in our first print. This opened my mind to the possibility of making more games and potentially doing this full time. I quit my job and started to get my feet wet as I learned more about fulfillment, manufacturing, retail, and distribution.

how-i-built-a-successful-business-out-of-my-passion-for-board-games

10. ($0/year)

Teodora Filovska from New York, New York, USA started Vrootok about 5 years ago, a business.

  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

Case Study

I have always been an energetic and extroverted person. I love being around people and I consider myself creative. Ever since a young age, you could find me organizing quizzes for my friends, selling flowers in front of my house, and even trying to make my parents get me an ice-cream fridge during the summer. During my high school and college days I was actively volunteering in various organizations, mostly in positions related to sales, organizational development and marketing. I always felt I should do something related to marketing, I just wasn’t exactly sure what it would be.

After graduating from college and working in corporate for 3 years, the opening of the agency came spontaneously as I got the chance to meet a business person from the USA who needed a team for supporting his clients for development and digital marketing. We decided to start working together and he was the one and only client for Vrootok at the beginning. I quit my job, which I loved, and I decided to go all-in with the opening of the company.

how-i-launched-a-digital-marketing-agency-specialized-on-ecommerce-and-saas-from-scratch

11. Start a stationery business ($156K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$2,000 — $40,000/month
Time To Revenue
300 days

Ruth Daro from Los Angeles, California, USA started Seniman Calligraphy over 7 years ago, a stationery business.

  • Revenue: $13,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Case Study

I always loved creating with my hands and I tend to get carried away with presents and cards during the holidays. That being said, I was content that my passion for drawing and painting would be a minor supporting role while I majored in Interior Architecture and worked as an Interior Designer over the next 4 years after I graduated.

So one day when my then boss passive aggressively asked what day I would like to show up for work that week, I told her ‘how about none?’... and never looked back.

It wasn’t until 2015 where I decided to pick up modern calligraphy as a hobby. Upon admiring all the more established calligraphers’, I realize that working on bespoke custom wedding invitations would allow me to do everything I love and at the same time make a living off of it.

how-i-started-my-own-13k-month-custom-stationery-design-studio

12. Start a cloud management software ($300K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$25,000 — $330,000/month
Time To Revenue
360 days
Skills

Alin Dobra from Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania started Bunnyshell ago, a cloud management software.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 15
  • Location: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

Case Study

Surprisingly, it all started after I became the CTO of an outsourcing development company. They were a Magento & Symfony partner and I thought I was going to spend my time deep-diving in the tech aspects of the company.

Turns out there was more to it, including managing the relationship with customers and a team of over 30 people. I was 23 and had no idea what it meant to be a first-time CTO.

Soon, I started gaining more and more responsibilities. And then I found my mantra:

how-we-developed-a-12k-month-automated-cloud-management-software

13. Start a junk removal business ($492K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$4,000 — $25,000,000/month
Time To Revenue
300 days
Skills
Business model

Sal Polit-Moran from West Pittston, Pennsylvania, USA started A+ Enterprises Junk Removal & Demolition over 4 years ago, a junk removal business.

  • Revenue: $41,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: West Pittston, Pennsylvania, USA

Case Study

I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in May of 2017 with a degree in Networking & Systems Administration. During my time at college, I worked for a very large snow plowing business. My boss at the time taught me the ins & outs of running a scalable business, and halfway through my college career, I decided I wanted to be self-employed.

After graduating from college, I took a full-time position doing Systems Administration work for a large company. Within 1 week of working at this company, I realized I could never do this for the rest of my life. I came up with a plan to quit my job within 1 year by starting some type of business.

I did tons of research and realized that the area I am located in (Scranton, PA) is extremely underserved by junk removal companies.

how-i-started-a-41k-month-junk-removal-demolition-company

14. Start a planner business ($270K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$4,800 — $50,000/month
Skills

Jess Yasuda from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia started Planner Peace almost 7 years ago, a planner business.

  • Revenue: $22,541/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Case Study

When I started Chasing Planner Peace I was a mum of two very small children, working part-time in a job for the government. I found my job extremely unrewarding and boring and had a little avenue for creativity. I never dreamed that starting an Etsy store would lead to growing a company that could become a full-time career. I had always had it drummed into me to find a secure job and stick with it - don’t take risks!

After my second child was born I became interested in using a paper planner as a hobby. There’s actually quite a big community of people (mostly women) who combine organization and creativity and love using their planners as a memory-keeping, scrapbooking tool using stickers and washi tape to decorate.

I loved the idea of using Filofax type planners where you could really customize your planner by adding in what “inserts” (refill pages) you wanted. I would download printable inserts off Etsy for calendar pages, meal planning, etc. but I could never find a layout that really worked for me. I would also waste huge amounts of time, money and printer ink trying to print out the printable inserts - as every file was a different format.

how-i-started-a-12k-month-selling-productivity-planners-online

15. Start a woodworking business ($78K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000 — $25,000/month
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 5 hours/week
Skills
Interests

Sasha Weekes from Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada started Timber Grove Studios almost 5 years ago, a woodworking business.

  • Revenue: $6,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Case Study

I was always the art kid growing up, so I naturally began my post secondary education by pursuing a degree in Fine Arts. I spent my summers refinishing furniture and doing photography and that’s how I got my feet wet with business, so by my second year, I was also pursuing a minor in Commerce.

I had never really done much woodworking at all but became a lot more interested in design and home decor during those years. After finishing my third year, I was itching to do something more practical than becoming a gallery artist, so I set my sights on furniture design and enrolled in a college cabinetmaking course instead. It really wasn’t where I had ever expected to end up, but it was sort of a natural progression and I’m so glad I did it!

I started making mountain shelves in the morning before class to sell on Facebook and Kijiji. It was intended to be a fun side project but they were so popular that I started my business shortly after graduating with the mountains as my first product.

how-i-took-my-woodworking-hobby-full-time-to-build-a-successful-brand

16. Start an art business ($42K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$876 — $415,000/month
Time To Revenue
210 days
Skills
Business model

Sarah Miller from Atlanta, Georgia, USA started sarahpaintspets over 4 years ago, a art business.

  • Revenue: $3,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Case Study

No one believes me when I say this, but I had never taken an art class before starting a career as an artist. I’ve always been a doodler in class, but nothing much beyond that.

Understanding the WHY of what you’re doing is the most important thing. Your purpose will guide you forward because without having to question yourself, you are free from fear and doubt holding you back.

It all started my junior year of college when I decided to paint my boyfriend’s cat for our one-year anniversary in November 2016. The deciding factors were that Charlie is obsessed with his cat Merlin and I was too broke to buy him anything nice.

sarah-miller-started-a-business-selling-her-own-artwork-online

17. Start a dog walking business ($648K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$8,000 — $54,000/month
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 2 hours/week
Skills

Melodi Landi from Remote started Furry Fellas Pet Service LLC about 16 years ago, a dog walking business.

  • Revenue: $54,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 19
  • Location: Remote

Case Study

I have always had a passion for animals. I was going to school full time at the University of Rhode Island as a Pre-Vet student while working full time at a local veterinary hospital AND picking up pet sitting and dog walking clients on the side.

Since my late teenage years, I have known that I wanted to work with animals. While working at the animal hospital, I saw a great need for this type of service, and soon after decided to start this business!

I would often come across clients who had not traveled in years because their pets required specialized care or medications or because they did not know who to ask or whom they could trust with their pets and their home.

how-i-started-a-54k-month-pet-sitting-and-dog-walking-business

18. Start a resume writing business ($36K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$3,000 — $42,857/month
Skills

Mike McRitchie from El Dorado, California, USA started Critical Path Action about 7 years ago, a resume writing business.

  • Revenue: $3,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: El Dorado, California, USA

Case Study

Over the years I’ve built quite a bit of business knowledge (was a Director of Operations and helped build a company from 5 employees to 100 and $2.5 million to $16 million in revenue; also was a five-year member of Vistage, a business mastermind group) and wanted to leverage that.

Get started with something inexpensive that interests you. Then keep going as you try things and learn.

I started a website through an online marketing/website building course and began blogging on business and career topics. But I found monetizing that to be difficult. I wanted to do business strategy consulting and paid $1,000 for a three-month insert in a coupon mailing that did nothing and found trying to get that type of consulting off the ground part time around my day job wasn’t working.

how-i-make-30k-year-on-the-side-writing-resumes

19. Create a landing page builder ($168K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$10,000 — $160,000/month
Skills

Alexander Isora from Tbilisi, Грузия started Unicorn Platform almost 4 years ago, a landing page builder.

  • Revenue: $14,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Tbilisi, Грузия

Case Study

The most common question I’m asked is “how did you come up with the idea?”. Or the more expressive version: “are you crazy to dive into such a competitive area?!”.

That was actually an easy choice! 😁

I’m a startup folk. I launched over 15 tech projects: big and small, successful and not, profitable and fun-only. This gave me a huge experience in prototyping, designing and coding a landing page.

how-i-launched-a-2-5k-month-landing-page-builder

20. Become a proofreader ($24K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
Skills

Lenny Bron from New York, New York, USA started The Blog Proofreader about 6 years ago, a proofreader.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

Case Study

This business idea was born in 2016, but the journey really began in 2014.

After working for a company for 8 years, I hadn’t really gotten far financially and felt stuck. I decided to find a job with better financial prospects and the possibility of advancement. After 6 months of searching, I was hired at a new employer and managed to double my salary in one fell swoop!

Just start! That little voice inside your head giving you doubts will always be there. Push through that voice and keep going until you reach a point where you’re lost.

how-i-added-2-000-to-my-monthly-income-proofreading-blog-posts

21. Start an online courses business ($12K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$350 — $3,735,000/month
Time To Revenue
150 days
Skills

Keyul from started Coursesity over 4 years ago, a online courses business.

  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location:

Case Study

Three years back, I was preparing for the software engineer interview. During that time, I was searching for online courses that could help me to revise the technical concepts and technologies. In this process, I realized that I spent more time in the searching and comparing courses on various eLearning platforms instead of spending more time on actual learning.

Don’t focus on so many things at once. This will take lots of time and effort. Set 1-2 goals and plan everything that helps you to achieve them. Once these goals have been achieved set the next goals.

After a few months, I was discussing interview preparation with a friend and he explained how frustrated to find a course on some specific subjects. He had a similar experience as me.

how-i-validated-and-built-a-1k-month-side-project

Conclusion

As an introvert, you have special powers that no extrovert has. You have the ability to think and problem solve in your own unique way.

Given the right environment, introverts can be incredible business leaders and entrepreneurs!

Thanks for reading! Enjoy more startup stories on our explore page at Starter Story

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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