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9 businesses you can start with less than $5K
Many people are often hesitant to ditch their 9 to 5 because of financial limitations. But you don’t necessarily need a huge investment to start your own business. There are plenty of business ideas that you can start with a budget of $5,000 or less.
According to a study, most micro businesses require a startup capital of around $3,000, way below the credit card limit for many people.
Here's a list of businesses you can start with $5,000 or less
#1. Apparel brand
What started as a hobby selling crafts on Etsy, evolved into a full-time business.
Their secret? Catering to a niche that is often forgotten in mainstream clothing.
#2. Subscription box
What? Are subscription boxes still around? Yeah! And one of their greatest advantages is that they’re super low-investment businesses.
This guy started with just $500, running to the store to buy the products every time he got an order. No upfront costs, no storage needed.
#3. Virtual assistants business
After hiring one VA for his business, he realized how much productivity increased.
With an initial $2K investment, it took just a couple of days to get the first customers, since he already had connections with highly trained VAs and had been telling his colleagues how good they’ve done to the business.
#4. App development agency
If you’re a developer you’ve probably thought about this already. You got the knowledge and a computer, which is basically all you need. Upwork and Fiverr can be great places to find your first customers.
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A classic internet low-budget business. This blogger invested only $200, but she could have spent even less.
The best thing about blogs? You can start one about literally anything. And there will be people searching for information about that. Guaranteed.
#6. Earrings brand
How did they do it? Success was the result of targeting an underserved niche: people with metal allergies who can’t wear regular earrings. Most brands leave these people out, and they’re about 20% of the world's population!
Again, niches can be huge.
#7. Smoking accessories
What started thanks to a competition hosted by Target has now made $2M in lifetime sales.
With marijuana being legalized for some uses in 39 states of the US, the sales of smoking accessories are also rising. Joining a growing trend can provide an invaluable leg up.
#8. SMS platform
Feel like SMS is too old-school? Even today, there is no other universal mobile communication channel (compatible with any device worldwide without installing any software). And it has a killer 98% open rate.
Key takeaway: Don’t discard a technology, tool, industry, etc. because it seems old-fashioned. New is always cooler, but a very small percentage of people jump onto using new technologies as they come out, most of the world sticks with old systems for ages. Do you know some industries still use fax machines?
A super overlooked type of business. But consider this, most people need help when they want to make something for the first time, right? It’s completely normal, they go to the internet and search for guides and templates.
Creating these documents “for dummies” can grow into a very lucrative business. The cost of making it is virtually $0 and so it can be the distribution.
Plus, a great upside is that you can start a business of this kind to many different needs (and make lots of money with all of them): social media posts ($1M/year), PowerPoint templates (6 figures) or spreadsheets ($240K/year).Sponsored by SEMRush
How did this company grow so much? What are they doing to get so many customers?_
With SEMRush competitive research tools you can easily identify the top players in your niche and reveal their promotion strategies (so you can copy them).
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(1) This solo founder bootstrapped a “simple” business to $1.2M/year. However, getting this far has not been a bed of roses. And keep growing is even more challenging. But he embraced a pretty unique approach to help him make better decisions: magic mushrooms.
(2) This guy went from Upwork freelancer to building a $500K/year business. From translation gigs to managing 10 full-time employees. A great example of how lucrative productizing a service can be.
Do you want to make the jump from working freelance gigs to starting a business? Learn how these starters left the gig life and built a $480K/year agency, a $120K/year WordPress business, and a $444K/year SaaS.
Thanks for reading!
Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
We interview successful business owners and share the stories behind their business. By sharing these stories, we want to help you get started.
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Hey there! 👋 I'm David, and if you ever got an email from Starter Story, I probably wrote it. With a background in working with startups and writing, being part of this team is kind of a perfect fit for me.