6 Cheap Businesses You Can Start Now

You don’t have to spend thousands to start a business.

With economic turmoil, scary headlines and a lack of job security feeling like the norm these days, it’s no wonder the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an interest in entrepreneurism. The current state of the country has left Americans wanting financial security and many are taking matters into their own hands. Starting your own business — even if it’s just a side hustle for now — is a great way to diversify your income streams, grow your skills and feel more secure in the face of uncertainty.

To help, Seek Capital has compiled a few cheap business ideas for you to consider. Some of these ideas may be easier to pursue currently in some parts of the country than others due to stay-at-home orders. But even if you’re still staying home, you can use these ideas to spark your imagination.

Consider what skills you have, what you enjoy and what you kind of work you can do safely — be it online or in person. Then consider what the upfront costs are. By approaching a new business this way, you can find a way to make money now, even if your business is temporary or a way to supplement income from a job. Or you could be on the verge of starting a whole new chapter in your career. Either way, aim for low upfront costs so you can start bringing in profit sooner than later. And if your business idea is bigger than that, you can always get a startup business loan to support the launch and growth of your business.

Here are six cheap business ideas you may be able to start right now:

Lawn Care

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, starting a lawn care business in your own neighborhood is a great way to make money while doing something you love. It’s a relatively inexpensive business to start and you can form a strong customer base just by reaching out to neighbors, posting flyers nearby and asking for referrals. Start by distributing fliers and business cards in your community and post on local online message boards and see where things go from there.

If you can’t afford the basic equipment you’ll need to get started, you can consider renting it or or pursuing equipment financing to give your lawn care business a jumpstart. With equipment financing you can borrow up to 100% of the value of your equipment you’ll need to operate your business. You’ll be able to upgrade your used lawn mower to the newest model so you can generate the most revenue for your business. There is unlimited opportunity when it comes to scaling your lawn care business, and equipment financing can eliminate some of the stress of owning your own company.

Cleaning Service

People will always need cleaning services. Where there are people, there is a need to clean. You can create your own schedule and set your own prices. Whether you decide to clean houses or target businesses, starting your cleaning business should come at a low-cost. You will need the basic cleaning supplies to start and fliers to get your name into the community. You can also promote your business in local Facebook groups or on the local social networking app, Nextdoor. If you find that you need more heavy-duty equipment and you have the business need to support it, consider equipment financing to fund extra equipment to grow your business.

Virtual Assistant

If you are technologically savvy and enjoy working with others, becoming a virtual assistant to a business owner who is just too busy, is a low-cost business idea. You can bring organization to their company by helping them stay on schedule and by staying active on social media platforms. You can also offer to sort through emails and customer complaints to help them become more successful. Becoming a virtual assistant for a business that already exists is a cheap way for you to make money. You will only need to pay for the cost of a computer and the cost of maintaining a stable internet connection — something you may already have. This will allow you to be active and stay connected with all of your valuable customers.


Many people have to leave their beloved pets at home during the day or even for several days, due to their busy work schedules and traveling. However, most owners are willing to pay good money for people to care for their pets. So, if you love animals and the outdoors, then pet-sitting is an awesome low-cost business idea. Pet-sitting and walking are fairly inexpensive businesses, other than the cost of getting pet business insurance, which could run you up to $400 a month. You will need to market yourself as well, but this shouldn’t cost you much to do. Start within your community and see your business take off from there. Consider offering a variety of services including walking, boarding and even grooming.


If taking pictures is your thing, consider starting up a photography hustle. Start by creating a portfolio of your best work to show to potential customers. A portfolio is a must for any photographer since it shows potential clients you are capable of taking professional photos. You can market your services in person and online for little to no cost at all. The majority of your costs will be photography equipment, which you may already have if it is a hobby of yours. You can also rent or pay for photography equipment in installments to make it more affordable.

Moving Service

If you are capable of lifting heavy items and transporting them safely then you should consider starting a moving service. This is a low-cost business idea that most people will need throughout their lives. This business will allow you to make money during your free time. You will be your own boss and you can actually charge a good amount for your services. Because most people aren’t capable of moving their own furniture, the opportunities for your company to grow are endless. Plus, you don’t have to buy a truck outright. You can rent a moving truck fairly inexpensively and on an as-needed basis.

The Bottom Line

These six ideas are just that — ideas. They’re by no means the only cheap businesses you can start so use these ideas as a way to brainstorm. Think about your own skills or interests and think about how they can appeal to customers, especially during this unique time. Chances are you have several ideas already and just need to take the plunge. If you can, stick to cheap ideas with low overhead. Choosing to start a low-cost business will put your company in the right direction from day one. But if your dreams are so big it requires capital, you can always get a startup business loan to propel your idea into reality. Just make sure you’re selling something that people want or need.

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