25 Smart Business Ideas Under $5000

Are you learning how to start a business and are exploring a new possible business idea? There are countless small business ideas that one can begin in today’s world. When looking for your next business venture, one thing to keep in mind is to find something in demand that can be started without investing a lot of capital. The quicker you can launch a business and get a client, the easier it will be to get started. You don’t want to start your first business building something that will take months or years to launch to the public. You will need some capital if you do, and raising money without proof of growth or experience can be very challenging. Not impossible, but very difficult.

Instead of starting such a business, in this article, we will go over a few clever business ideas that one can start for under $5,000. It also won’t take you forever to get started in the industries we listed below. 

1. Mobile Car Wash

Have you ever been or driven past a regular car wash facility? If so, you can see that those facilities are packed at peak hours. There is a line of cars one after another to get their car washed. That tells us that such service is in demand. We’ve seen a new trend growing in popular demand in the last decade. Instead of the customer getting a car wash, they request someone come to them for a few. It makes sense because there are no wait times, and someone can come to you and perform the car cleaning right at your home. 

Learning how to start a mobile car wash business can be a fantastic way to start. It doesn’t cost much to get started, and anyone can learn how to clean a car. It is a perfect business to hire young high school students looking to make an extra income. On top of it, if you lock in a few recurring customers, you can make some profit very quickly.

2. Home Cleaning

Learning how to start a home cleaning business is another fantastic business idea. Like a mobile car wash business, it takes very little capital to get started, and you can have a client on the same exact day. You can knock on a few doors in a neighborhood and sell them home cleaning. If you sell 1 person who needs cleaning once every 2 weeks, you already have recurring revenue. The best part is it didn’t cost you anything to get started. Of course, going door-knocking isn’t the only way to get clients, but you get the idea. 

3. Valet Service

If you want to do this part time or full time you will have the option to pick which one suits you best. You wont need much to get started, all you’ll need is a valid drivers license, third-party liability insurance, and a friendly personality. There are many opportunities for valet service needs.

From big birthday bashes, to wedding receptions, and church events, the need is there. Average jobs will require 2-3 people that charges $45-65 per hour plus there is always tips. When it comes to marketing word of mouth or flyers will do until you save up more money for a website and beyond. Always make sure to have the clients evaluate the service to know how you can improve.

4. Pet Sitting

A good small business idea is a pet sitting business. At some point in time a pet owner will be forced to leave their furry 4-legged family member behind while they go on vacation or on a business trip. If you’re looking to work on a small scale, you most certainly can work alone. But if you’re looking to work full-time while focusing on growing, you will need to hire additional pet sitters. Great candidates for this would be retired folks or high-school students with plenty of free time!

5. Social Media Consultant

First, make sure your own social accounts are above everyone else’s. To get experience and exposure, offer your services to friends’ businesses or other local businesses for free. Once you have the knowledge and can show progress, market your service. Include information to your potential clients on how you did it and how long it took. Show multiple examples of businesses that you worked with from starting point to end.

6. Fashion Accessory Designer

First of all pick a fashion accessory that will be easy to start making and something that people want. Once you get the hang of making the same design start to be more elaborate with your designs. The more original the design the more likely it will be to sell.

If you have no skill in using a sewing machine or tools there are plenty of manufacturers that will make your design and still keep your name on the product. You will want to be marketing on all social media channels. The more pictures of people wearing your product the better. You can sell them on places like Etsy, Pinterest, or even your own website.

7. Toy Maker

Making toys are a great way to start a business especially if you have kids. They will be able to tell you if the product is fun to play with or not. You can make dolls/teddy bears, doll houses, puzzles and more. The more special the toy is the more cherished it becomes. If you create toys that nobody else can copy and are irresistible to children then you hit a goldmine.

Toys are something that parents will always be buying for kids year round. All you’d need to start is a little extra room to work at like a workbench or desk, some hand tools and maybe a sewing machine. Be patient and let your ideas start flowing, over time you will gain more experience and get better at your technique.

8. Homemade Soaps

If you want to work form home then making soap is the way for you. Every person who makes soaps adds their own touch to make it special and you can too! You can make different colors and scents with a good setup kit for around $500.

Your kitchen can be your work station while you’re in the middle of finishing up one batch you can get started with another. First start off by giving away your products to friends and family or even in a mall just so people know your name. Then when they fall in love with your product they will come back and buy more.

9. Floral Designer

Everyone loves getting flowers, but just pulling a bunch of roses out of a garden doesn’t cut it anymore. Becoming a floral designer is like being an artist. Knowing what colors work well together and what doesn’t makes all the difference. Plus certain flower combinations might not work like others. Knowing every kind of flower and their perfect match will make that arrangement stand out like no other.

10. Backyard Nursery

Housing a nursery in your backyard can make you a ton of money. Start by planting trees and shrubs and letting them grow a year. Then find landscapers or other people who are looking to plant them and sell them at wholesale price. The more space you have in your backyard the more money you can pull in. A good tip will be knowing what plants/trees thrive in the region you live. You don’t want a shrub that grows in cold weather grown in a place like Florida or Arizona

11. Personal Chef

Cooking for people not only makes them happy but it can make you happy to see someone enjoy something that you created. Food is a wonderful way to bring people together and if you can get paid to do that then you won. Becoming a personal chef doesn’t have to be hard. You will need to start with getting a good set of knives.

A great cook will always have sharp knives. They don’t have to be the worlds most expensive knife set but it also can’t be from the dollar store. Adding mixers and other instruments to your arsenal can be added over time. You don’t have to be fancy right away just make sure your food is amazing and that will do all the talking.

12. Baker

What is something that people love besides food? More food, but more specifically sweets! Baked goods will always sell if they taste great. If you also promote that you use little sugar or are totally vegan that may give you something to differentiate yourself from the competition. The best way to win people over, is by their stomachs. By creating a tasty treat that people obsess over, you will make a business in no time!

13. Personal Trainer

We’re at a time now where everyone is into fitness and becoming healthier. If you have been in the fitness industry for a few years and you have a great body then you might want to start thinking about training people. It would be in your best interest to become certified first and then think about continuing education.

There are so many avenues to personal training that can be taken, from focusing on runners, to bodybuilding to yoga. You just need to find the right one for you and that you have most knowledge in and start attacking! If you have ran multiple marathons you’re not gonna want to train someone to be a bodybuilder and vice versa. Stick to what you know and it will benefit everyone. Good investments for everyone would be stretching equipment, this will help you and your clients prevent injury and you’ll always have something to start with.

14. Furniture Repair

If you like working with your hands and you’re good at it then starting a furniture repair business will be a good it. You’ll want a variety of hand tools and some portable power tools that make it easy to bring with you. Traveling to someones house who has a broken rocking chair makes it so much easier for them to hire you vs someone who has a shop and they have to take it to them.

Nobody wants to carry a heavy piece of furniture once let alone twice when they have to bring it back home. Start by going to your neighbors and fixing their furniture and ask them to recommend you to their friends. A good idea would be to take before and after pictures to show future clients what work you have performed.

15. Handyman

If you’re a jack of all trades and like fixing things than becoming a handyman/handywoman could be a great venture for you. Again you will need to invest in a variety of basic hand tools and power tools. There will be times where you will need to buy a specialty tool but buy it when you encounter that problem.

It may occur that you will never use that tool and it will be a waste of money. You can start by creating business cards and just dropping them off door to door and word of mouth to friends and family. As with furniture repair taking before and after pictures will be a great way to showcase your work.

16. Event Planner

If working hands on with power tools isn’t your forte and you love a good party, then event planning should be more up your alley. For this you will need plenty of contacts to work with from food vendors to party supply wholesalers and more.

The more creative you are the more appealing the parties will be and more clients will come your way. You need to be very well organized and pay attention to even the smallest of details to make sure everything goes according to plan.

17. Nanny

If you love kids and want to spend your days entertaining the future among newborns to 5 year olds then become a nanny. Special certifications like CPR and others will be huge benefits for you when a worrying parent is choosing their next nanny.

Having a room inside your home full of toys, crafts and other things kids will enjoy will make your job so much easier. You will need to have tremendous patience and energy to work among children.

18. Photographer

There is beauty everywhere and if you love capturing those moments then make it a career for yourself. Getting entry level photography equipment like cameras and tripods along with lenses and editing software will cost you around a few thousand dollars.

Start off by going around and taking pictures of literally everything. Find your specific niche and what type of photography you like shooting and stick with it. There will always be someone looking to get something done, but also be sure to know multiple styles just in case.

19. Landscaper

Being outdoors and getting paid for it can be a great way to make a business. Cutting grass and planting trees, shrubs, and flowers may be a little tiring at times but it can make you some serious money. You can start locally by cutting neighbors lawns until you have to hire on a second person.

Once you start scaling you can buy more equipment and hire more workers to take over your duties. All you’ll be left with is taking phone calls and booking jobs. Initially you will need a lawnmower and some gardening equipment.

20. Import/Export Specialist

If you want to work at home from a computer, then becoming an expert in import/exporting of goods can be a home run. You will need to know laws in your state pertaining to these matters, also knowing the laws of your country will be beneficial.

Over time you will remember the laws and rules of other countries that you have worked with and it will become easier. Establish a relationship with a reliable logistics company that will be able to take your customers packages to them on time and you will have repeat business.

21. Sales Trainer

If you’re outgoing and charismatic, at the same time love to sell people then why not teach people how to sell? Creating videos and publishing them on a website into courses will make you some serious money. Having a background in sales is a huge plus because people will take your word as fact vs a suggestion.

Plus if you make the videos once you most likely wont have to update them for a few years if ever. Times do change and so do your resources to sell so make sure to keep up with the current trends and you will be selling your sales training like no other.

22. Video Production

Becoming a master behind a video camera takes time but to some it comes naturally. If you fall into either category then creating video content for companies can pay out BIG. Businesses are always marketing their new products or services to their clients and future buyers.

If you have serious skill then make it known. You will need a computer, video camera, and editing software. Publish your work to YouTube or your website to feature your portfolio.

23. Liquidation Services

If you love to sell but not your own personal items then start a liquidation business. People are always looking to sell their personal belongings to make room for new things that they want to buy. You can be the middleman, by selling it for them. You will want to have a good high quality camera to take great pictures with.

Start off by selling some of your own items, then work with your friends and family and take a percentage of the price that is agreed upon by both parties before starting any deals. Then market your services on Yelp or Facebook. Ask everyone you work with to leave a review or their experience.

24. Marketing Consultant

Something similar to a social media consultant a marketing consultant can be a multi-million dollar business. You will have to have everything from social media to SEO and others. Business want to focus on growth and owners don’t want to spend time doing their own marketing thats why they hire outside services.

Something important to know is that not all businesses can be marketed in the same ways. A fashion brand will want to be on Instagram and Pinterest while cleaning services will want to be ranked in SEO. Knowing the perfect set up for all business will help you sell what you can do for owners while they focus on other aspects.

25. Make-Up Artist

Having someone who knows how to make you look your best is always beneficial. Whether it be for a wedding, birthday party or formal event people always want to look at the top of their game.

Investing in high quality makeup and equipment will make you stand out above the rest. Plenty of people can go buy any type of makeup from Target or Walmart but having someone know what color shades work well with a specific skin tone will make you or break you.

This list is just an idea of some great businesses that can be started with little to no money, which will always be needed. On top of all that, any of these can be outsourced, meaning you can always hire someone to perform the service being done. If you don’t have the patience to learn how to wax a car or don’t know how to wax a car, someone out there does. You can contract them out and give them a cut of each job they perform.

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