The thought of starting your own business is always a thrill. Ideas aren’t all that simple, however.
Contrary to common opinion, you don’t have to spend all of your time and money on the logistics and early costs of starting a business.
These low-investment small businesses are great for entrepreneurs, beginners, and anyone who has a busy schedule. You can start your own business without losing everything.
However, it’s still important to create a solid plan, establish a brand, invest in marketing, and provide exceptional customer service. However, there are some ways to avoid the typical startup costs, such as inventory, warehousing, retail space, and initial inventory.
Towards the end of this article, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on how to decide what businesses to start in 2022…
13 Low-Investment Business Ideas That Make Money
Is 2022 a suitable time to start a new company or career? See which of the following small business concepts you can implement this year and start earning money right away!
1. Start A Dropshipping Business.
You’ll need to acquire stock, store it, pick it up, and send it. Inventory management is also a significant part of operating your company.
If you’re looking to establish a small company, dropshipping is an excellent option. It’s a fulfillment method in which your products are stored and sent by a third-party source. Dropshipping is a perfect option for a low-cost, hands-off, and scalable approach to starting a company.
You don’t have to manage any products. All you need is to sell the product and send orders to your supplier. It’s actually one of the easiest and most cost-effective businesses to start.
You can combine products from different suppliers to create your own online shop. This allows you to focus on specific niches, such as gear for yoga lovers or water bowls suitable for dog owners. Your supplier fulfills the customer’s order when they buy a product. You are responsible for customer service and marketing.
You can work with local and international suppliers, provided you establish trust with them; an unreliable supplier can negatively reflect your brand.
Dropshipping can be a great way to launch your business and test the product-market fit before investing in your original products. To ensure that your supplier is trustworthy and the quality of your products is checked, it’s a good idea to order samples for yourself.
2. Design And Sell Print-On-Demand T-Shirts.
It’s possible to use dropshipping with a print-on-demand approach in which a third-party provider handles inventory, shipping, and fulfillment. Dropshipping does not allow for product customization or the creation of original designs, while this business model can.
Your creativity is unlimited with t-shirts, hats, phone cases, and hoodies. There are many ways to create witty phrases for developers and references that resonate with cat owners. If there is passion and pride in a community, there’s a possibility of starting a t-shirt business.
You can still find a designer to work with, even if you don’t have a design background, using free sites such as Fiverr and Upwork.
Print-on-demand is a service that charges per product. This means that the unit price will be higher than if you order in bulk. The advantage is that even if a particular t-shirt design does not sell, you still have the option to pay for it (or the design if you outsourced).
You can also use mockup templates to save money on photoshoots for each new design.
You have many print-on-demand options available. Many of these can be integrated into your Shopify store to facilitate order fulfillment. Make sure you order a sample (often at a discount) to ensure your custom products look great.
3. Launch Your Own Book.
As a product, a book falls within the umbrella of the more general category of media. You may write a book to meet the needs of a certain audience.
You can sell picture books, cookbooks, comic books, or poetry books. Other ideas include photo books, novels, ebooks, and coffee table books. It’s one of the best small business ideas.
Print-on-demand publishing is a safe way to get started in self-publishing. You have complete control over the design and content of your book.
Lulu xPress or Blurb allows you to order and distribute your books digitally and physically on popular platforms like Lulu Xpress. You can also sell it on third-party marketplaces like Amazon and Powell’s.
Although you can order only one book, bulk purchases will bring down costs. To ensure demand for your book, you might consider preselling it or crowdfunding it; this will guarantee you a certain number to feel confident in placing bulk orders.
Launching your book can be an excellent way to monetize your blog if you have one or plan to start one.
4. Create Digital Products Or Online Courses
Music, courses, and templates are examples of digital goods. These are some of the most creative small company concepts. They are intangible and so distinct from other notions. They don’t have ongoing production or delivery expenditures. As a result, you may keep high margins while still collecting passive income, making them an excellent choice for anyone wishing to establish a company.
It’s important to understand what makes an excellent digital product. What is valuable enough to make people pay for it?
These answers can range from original instrumental tracks to stock photos licensed by other creators to information products or templates that help people increase their skills in a specific field.
Consider packaging it into a new stream if you have the talent and can make it into a digital product.
Shopify has a free Digital Downloads app, which lets you sell digital products quickly and easily in your store.
5. Sell Print-On-Demand Posters, Greeting Cards, And Prints.
If you are artistically inclined, dropshipping is a method to enable people to own your creation. Make sure you hold the stuff you want to publish or utilize public domain assets that you can freely market.
This small business idea is ideal for those with a large online following, such as cartoonists or urban photographers.
Depending on which printer you use, you can make posters, framed wall art, or greeting cards. You can showcase your products using digital templates and mockup generators such as Placeit.
6. Start A Charitable Business.
Fundraising is not confined to establishing a charitable organization. Social entrepreneurs may build a purpose for their company while also profiting from a cause they care about.
Social enterprises often offer their own products, but you can also use any small business ideas to partner with a nonprofit or carry out that social good on your own.
Support your customers by sharing their impact on marketing. A blog post covering your work with the community or a real-time impact calculator can be examples of how you can do this.
The Give & Grow Shopify mobile app makes partnering with charitable organizations easy and allows you to incorporate your mission into your business. You can have it set up to donate a specified amount or a percentage from sales or ask your customers for a donation at checkout.
7. Sell A Service.
While offering services isn’t passive, it can be a great way to earn self-employment. Services-based small business ideas are your most significant investment. Your time is limited. If you have skills that are in high demand, it makes it easier to get on the ground.
Many people can build businesses around their talents, such as writers, graphic artists, virtual assistants (SEO consulting business), cleaning service providers, dog walking businesses, and real estate professionals.
It is one of the best business possibilities as you can expand it with any other ideas to create additional revenue streams by “productizing” services through physical and digital goods.
An example is a photographer who can attend a local event while selling prints on the internet through their Instagram page. A freelance writer may be able to sell a copywriting file with high-converting sales content. You can also combine your service-based company with physical products to make additional income.
Shopify offers the BookThatApp and Acerill Appointment Book to allow customers to easily book a session or consult or purchase tickets to a class through your store.
You can also list your services via a marketplace like Upwork. This way will increase your chances of being found by those interested in your skills.
8. Create An Online Fashion Boutique.
You can start your own fashion boutique online if you are passionate about fashion and want to share your style online. You need not be a professional fashion designer. You can just curate items from other vendors and put them in your online shop (using the dropshipping model mentioned earlier).
You can create your own fashion brand by sourcing dresses, shoes, swimwear, and accessories from Shopify. Then, you can model the products in your product photos and social media posts and become a trendsetter online.
9. Sell Handcrafted And Homemade Goods.
It doesn’t matter if your hobby is soap making, candle-making, pottery, sauce-making, or candles–you have the unique opportunity to create an online company idea. Because you control product development, procurement, and other aspects of your business, it’s literally at your fingertips.
This is different from many of the ideas on this page. Shipping and inventory management will be required. But you can start simple with small batches or per order until you generate consistent sales.
Shopify is full of home-based business owners who started with an idea and sold it to their friends or family via word-of-mouth. Once they established demand for the products, they became small-business owners.
Pay attention to any regulations within your product category, especially if they are products that customers may eat, inhale, and apply to their skin.
10. Build An Audience You Can Monetize.
In today’s connected society, catching and keeping people’s attention is a key asset. It’s an asset that many businesses are willing or able to pay for. And it’s one that many creators can convert into multiple revenue streams.
There are many options to monetize your audience.
- Sponsored posts from brands
- Becoming an Influencer
- Selling physical or electronic products (via any of this list’s ideas)
- All of the above
Taking an audience-first approach with your small business ideas will mean you are playing the long game and could take several months for you to find the answer. But it doesn’t require millions of followers. Instagrammer Kat Gaskin, for instance, launched a $10k product launch with only 3,000 fans.
11. Start A Pet Business.
There are many small business opportunities in the pet industry. It’s a market that is worth almost $100 billion. This makes it easy to start and has guaranteed demand. Your pet business could be product or service-based, selling accessories, food, toys, or offering grooming, walking, or training expertise.
PerkiePrints creates personalized pet products, including apparel and framed prints.
‘Let The Dog Out’ provides services such as dog walking and “bathroom breaks.”
Although business planning is commonly used to secure financing, many business owners find it valuable to write a plan, even if they don’t work with investors. You can find free templates for business plans online.
12. Create A Membership Program.
Online memberships have become a great business idea, not just because people were forced to remain home during the COVID-19 crisis. Memberships make it easy to manage members-only access on a website, just like a subscription-based business. This is also great for physical businesses that offer online guided sessions. Many companies can benefit from this low-investment business model, including yoga studios.
The content is protected with a password that only paying subscribers can access through their accounts. Therefore, you can host exclusive live streams along with downloadable content.
No matter the route, it’s important to record in a quiet place so you don’t get distracted.
You can also use email marketing to inform your members about new content. It’s easy to create excitement for new launches with email, video teasers, or customer testimonials.
Shopify makes it easy to launch your membership-based business. Just like a physical product, create a new product. But give it a name.
To eliminate shipping options at checkout, select “This is a physical item.” (Note – Some setup requirements might change depending upon which apps you use later.
Create variants if you wish to offer different membership options. Modifying each variant allows you to adjust each one and set different prices.
13. Join An Affiliate Marketing Program.
Affiliate marketing is a marketing strategy based on performance that pays people (aka affiliates) to promote and sell their products. Each time an affiliate brings in a customer, the business pays them a commission.
Affiliates can promote products through their websites, blogs, social media accounts, and communities. Affiliate marketing can be a low-cost side hustle that eventually becomes one of the most profitable business ideas.
These are the steps to follow to join an affiliate program:
- You can find affiliate programs on websites like ShareASale or Affiliate.
- Select the offers that you wish to promote
- Register for an affiliate link
- You should promote this link across all your assets.
- You will earn a commission for every person who signs up through your link or makes a purchase.
Commission rates can vary depending on what offer you promote and the company. For example, you could make as little as 5% per sale, and as much as 50% of your class or event is promoted. Affiliate programs may offer flat rates instead of a percentage.
Three Tips For Choosing The Best Business Idea
The small business ideas we’ve covered might be easier to run regarding logistics, but that doesn’t make them easy. You should keep at least three things in mind as you consider your options, no matter what business you decide to start.
1. Focusing On A Niche Makes Marketing Easier.
Marketing is key to any business’ success. You can’t just know there is demand for your products. You need to find ways to reach those people. It’s crucial to your business to attract the right people to your products.
Marketing is much easier when you cater to a particular audience or identify (e.g., vegans, board gamers, local photographers). You can reach these people via social media or targeted ads. This approach will help you create a consistent brand by allowing you to better understand the people you are talking to.
Consider how you can narrow down your target audience and how your business can serve them. You might be able to build your business based on an existing audience if you have a blog, YouTube channel, or Instagram.
2. Pricing Is About More Than Profit.
If you price your products too low, shoppers may assume that they are low quality. You risk losing customers if you price them too high. You will need to find the sweet spot to offer discounts and attract customers, especially if your company plans to pay for advertising.
Many of the small business ideas discussed in this post may not require you to ship your products. However, you must still pay shipping costs. You should consider the shipping costs of your products and how they differ in different countries.
Many sellers online try to include shipping costs in their retail prices to offer to ship at a low flat rate or free of charge. Others encourage shoppers to add more items and receive conditional shipping (e.g., free shipping for orders above $50) to maximize profits.
You can adjust your prices and try different pricing strategies until you find the best one for you.
3. Test, Learn And Grow As You Go.
One of the greatest obstacles to getting your business started is being obsessed with perfection. Remember that there is no set formula.
It is easy to swap in and exchange products (especially if there isn’t any stock). You can completely redesign your store. You can change your prices and also switch to a different supplier. You can make these changes based on the dozens of signals you have at hand (traffic data, time spent on your site, abandoned cart reviews, etc.).
If you aren’t getting the results you want, consider how you can pivot before you give up.
You can save certain aspects of your business if you use a different approach or product. You can repurpose the brand you have built and the people you have on social media and in your email list to help you start your next business idea.
How To Start A Small Business From Home
A dream is not enough to launch a business. To get the wheels moving, you will need:
- Take advantage of the time you have. It’s important to be realistic but still ambitious when setting goals for your business.
- Find a new business opportunity. This new business idea could come from your personal interests, a market opportunity, an experience–anywhere, really.
- Validate your idea. Here you can determine if your idea has any merit. Do people want to spend money on it?
- Create a business name. Your name should be concise, simple, memorable, and unique.
- Develop a business plan. This is crucial for keeping your company on track and securing investors, lenders, partners, and other financial resources.
- Understanding business finances. Open business bank accounts, secure financing, and establish solid bookkeeping and accounting processes.
- Design your product/service. Now comes the fun part! This is where your product idea or service comes to life.
- Choose a business structure. The structure of your business can impact taxes, operations, personal liability, and many other factors. The key to choosing the right structure for your business is to balance the financial and legal protections you require with the available options.
- Look into licenses and regulations. The laws that govern businesses in your region, and those specific to your industry, will apply to your business. This knowledge will help you avoid more significant problems in the future.
- Select the software you need to run your business.
- Choose a location for your business. Based on space, retail requirements, and fulfillment requirements, find an area where you can open your shop.
- You should plan your workload and the size of your team. You are limited by how much time you have to invest if you do most of the work. You will have to consider the costs of hiring help.
- Launch your company. Build buzz through promotions and test paid ads.
Ways On How To Decide What Business To Start
There are many options to help you come up with great business ideas. Perhaps you or someone you know has had a bad experience with a company. You know better. There could be a market gap, such as a lack of demand for a particular product or no one fulfilling it. You might have other ideas in your shower or before you go to bed.
Brainstorming Business Ideas
There are several ways to brainstorm if you feel stuck in your business ideas. Keep a list of all the ideas you have. You can keep a board of brainstorming, digital or tactile, where you can write down all your ideas. You can then revisit it with new eyes.
There is power in numbers too. To brainstorm new ideas:
- Get help from friends and family.
- Get ideas from your customers and audiences.
- Observe what people are sharing on social media and searching online.
- Start with many ideas, then narrow your focus to the most important concepts that you want to explore.
Protecting Unique Business Ideas
There are many options available to entrepreneurs when it comes time to protect their small business ideas. The type of business you refer to will determine the right one.
- Copyright. Copyright protects intellectual property. This means that other people can’t use them without your permission. This applies to text and other media such as music, graphics, design, art, photography, or music.
- Trademark. Trademarking is another form of intellectual property protection. You “own” a word or phrase, logo, symbol, or design, and you can prevent others from using it.
- Patent. A patent is a restriction on using your invention by anyone else for a specified period.
- Confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements. These legal documents prohibit individuals from sharing information, as stated in the NDA.
- Non-compete agreement. Employees and contractors can sign this document to prevent them from competing with you.
- Work for hire agreement. This document is only for employees. It means that any work performed during the employee’s term of employment is the employer’s and not the employee’s.
Getting Funding For A Business Idea
Finding the funds for your business idea is one of the most challenging but important aspects of starting a company. There are multiple ways to source funds for your business idea.
- Small business loans. Shopify Capital provides loans and grants for businesses. It is a great place to begin.
- Merchant cash advances. You can apply for cash advances through Shopify Capital or a bank if you are in financial trouble and require immediate cash.
- Investors. Many investors are looking for the next big thing, those businesses that become viral. To present to investors, create a pitch for your business idea.
- Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding works in the same way as getting investors. However, you will need many investors willing to make small financial commitments.
- You can fund it yourself. Low-investment business ideas make it possible to raise cash. Be aware of the potential risks.
Become Your Own Boss With Little Financial Hassle
Technology, third-party suppliers, and the ability to quickly test new ideas online make it easier than ever for any business owner to create a profit and begin making sales.
This approach allows you to test your ideas before investing in them or making money on the side without taking on any inventory-related obligations.
You can combine the small business ideas above in many ways to start a business. Start with a low-cost, inventory-free business model to grow if the idea of sourcing, storage, and shipping inventory has kept you from starting a business in the past.
Although the world of self-employment can seem daunting, it is possible with some hard work and knowledge.
What Are The Most Successful Small Business Ideas?
Below are some of the most successful business ideas:
- eCommerce store owner
- Food trucks
- Personal trainer
- Pet businesses
- Online courses
- Online tutoring
- Personal wellness
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Landscaping business
What Are The Top Businesses To Start?
- Dropshipping business
- Selling print-on-demand shirts
- Sell digital products
- Become a blogger
- Sell freelance services
- Create homemade products to sell online
- Media (podcast, YouTube channels, etc.)
- Affiliate marketing
- Pet sitting and products
- Online fashion store
What Is The Easiest Business To Start?
Dropshipping, tutoring, fashion shops, selling services, and tutoring are some of the easiest business models to start. An online business is easy to scale and needs minimal startup costs. You can make more money and do less work.
What Services Are In High Demand?
- Freelance writing
- Accounting and tax advice
- Consulting (content marketing, search engine marketing, etc.)
- Web development
- House cleaning
- Pet grooming
- Uber driver
What Is My #1 Recommendation For Making Money In 2022?
Alright, time for me to get real with my lovely readers for a moment:
I’ve personally tried all of the major online business models:
- I’ve sold fidget spinners through Amazon FBA
- I’ve drop-shipped a toilet bowl putting green on Shopify
- I’ve sold women’s health supplements via Clickbank affiliate marketing
And I made money with all of them, so trust me when I say: there is no “perfect” business model.
THAT BEING SAID: I would at least recommend you implement something that is tried and true because I’ve seen TOO MANY people (including friends and family) get burned by stuff on the business they started.
They come out of left field with some random idea, make it seem attractive, and then make themselves a quick buck by luring in unsuspecting people.
I’m not saying that the other business ideas are trash; I’m just saying you need to be very careful.
This is why I only recommend proven, tried, and true business models, like Lead Generation & Ad Agencies.
There are a bunch of programs out there that teach you those skills, but my top choice is the Digital Landlords program.
Why? It has proven leaders with their own 7-figure businesses implementing exactly what they teach you.
I’ve also got over a dozen personal friends there, so I feel comfortable telling you it works.
Their program works whether you’re a complete newbie or have been around the block before but have never had that “big win” to propel you forward.
1)Time: You can do this if you’ve got a spare hour or two each day. If you want to drop everything and go all-in, you can do this. More time obviously means faster results, but even putting in a few hours per day is enough to see real success.
And because of that flexibility, you don’t need to trade your time for money. Once the income starts, it’s recurring (for the most part).
That means you can take a month off, travel the country, pursue a passion project, chill on the beach, or charter a boat across the world.
But you can only do that once you’ve created an income stream that doesn’t require YOU to be there all day, every day.
2)Big Margins: With most businesses, you’re often going to have really slim margins. That means you need to hit a serious scale to make serious money.
Being a Digital Landlord, your profit margin is nearly 100%. Watch here to learn how.
Just a reminder: these Digital Rental Properties are worth (at a minimum) $500/mo in semi-passive income. And each time you create another one, your income increases, and the effort put into creating the next property decreases.
Best-case scenario, you have properties bringing in over $3,000+/mo on “auto-pilot.”
3)It’s Effectively Copy-Paste: Here’s my favorite part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up, you can literally copy-paste another version of it and find another willing “renter” in a few days. DOUBLING your income doesn’t get much easier than that…
If you wanted to double your income with your business, you would need time and effort. And I can guarantee you, that’s a lot harder than a few clicks & a phone call.
4)You’re Helping REAL People: My biggest gripe with your business is that you’re basically only helping yourself.
But when you’re a Digital Landlord, you’re helping solve REAL problems that people are ASKING for help with:
Small local businesses around the world need one thing: customers. Without them, their business would fall apart. If you can provide those customers, they’re going to be really happy – and they’re going to pay you for it.
You’re helping a struggling mother or father put food on the table for their families, put their kids through college, or simply live life a little bit more comfortably.
Having this type of impact on the world is what will help you sleep soundly at night.
So, the rest is up to you. You could keep looking at other off-the-wall business models and maybe hit it big one day.
You could keep researching and researching for the next few months (or few years), never making a concrete decision.
OR, you can look deep inside, think about those dreams, hopes, & desires, and make the decision to ACTUALLY make it happen, just like it has for thousands of other students before you.
Making a fortune while actually helping real people that need it.
If this sounds like you, click here to see how it all works.