Top 10 Low Cost Online Businesses for New Entrepreneur

Top 10 Low Cost Online Businesses for New Entrepreneur

Some people seem to have this idea that to start a successful business requires a lot of time and effort—not to mention a lot of startup money. That may be true for some business ventures, but not necessarily true for all possible businesses you can try online. The truth is that there are actually some online businesses (small business) you can start with a minimum of fuss. You won’t have to worry too much about expensive startup costs and equipment to start an online store.

These are the types of businesses that you should look into if you’re a newbie to online ventures. It’s also a great option for those looking for supplementary income when they don’t have enough time to spare from their main job.

If any of these circumstances describe your situation, you should seriously consider the following possibilities:

Create a Following Which Can Be the Source of Profits

The basic example of this method is to blog, whether you have written posts and videos (create a YouTube channel). This is an enjoyable exercise for many people, even those who never really started thinking about making money from the blog. These people just enjoy showing off their expertise and opinions, and they like to engage with other people who share the same interests.

If you’re able to attract the loyal attention of fans to your blog, you can then realize that this group of loyal fans can be a reliable source of income. There are several ways you can monetize the hold you have over your fans. You can use Patreon, which allows you to receive funding straight from your fans on a regular basis or for each creative work they produce. These can be videos, musical compositions, or literary works.

You can become an affiliate, which means you direct people to seller websites. If you really like something, then there’s nothing wrong with earning a few dollars for each customer to send to a seller. Or, you can even sell your own products online on your blog.

Focus on Selling Handcrafted Goods

So if you’re selling, what can you sell? While there are a lot of possibilities, you may want to sell stuff that you like to make with your own hands. Lots of people who like to make their own hats, gloves, and scarves make money off their hobby by selling their handmade products. You may also be interested in furniture design or in making your own food and sauces.

This can be a bit complicated since these aren’t digital products, but you can start slow with small batches (call them “limited edition” to generate more interest) with selling on a per-order basis. You can also start by selling to family and friends. And, when you are ready to get it online, here are your options:

  • Etsy is an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. Create an account and list your own products there to sell.
  • Create your own e-commerce store with Shopify. Shopify is a subscription to a software service that offers you to create a website and use their shopping cart solution to sell, ship, and manage your products.
  • Sell it on eBay or Amazon.
  • Create your own website with or hire a freelancer on UpWork.

Try Selling Your Own Book

What are you good at? Whether you have particular skills or knowledge, you can put that expertise into paper and launch your own book. Lots of fanfiction writers have gone on this path after trying out their skills on various fan fiction websites. Others have achieved a measure of success in their particular fields, and have written a “How to Succeed” book to guide others.

You can create your own book based on your interests, including cookbooks with your unique recipes, photobooks with the photographs you’ve taken, and even novels. Don’t forget that the 50 Shades of Grey series started out as Twilight fanfiction.

It’s also an advantage that you can send out electronic copies of your book online. However, you also can print out your hardcopy books if you want.

Create and Sell Printed Shirts on Demand

Just how creative are you when it comes to compelling designs and colors? If you like to print out your own designs for your shirts and lots of people compliment these shirts, you may have a future as a T-shirt designer.

This is a bit like the Dropshipping method, except that you have your creative fingerprints on the finished item. Your supplier still takes care of storing and shipping the items. It’s just that this time, you’re able to customize these items so that they feature your unique designs.

You don’t even have to be limited to shirts either. Your designs can also be incorporated in skirts, tote bags, hats, and sweaters. You can even have them on phone cases too.

Produce and Sell Your Own Digital Items

There are plenty of options here: apps, photographs, original music, and even educational courses. There are plenty of advantages to this method. Once you create an original digital item, it takes very little time and effort to create multiple copies. It’s not like creating furniture. Also, sending these items online is no trouble at all.


In this scenario, you’re in charge of marketing the products you sell and then making the sales. But once a customer buys something from you, you then just pass that order on to your supplier. This supplier who stores the products you sell then ships the items to your customer.

Obviously, you will need a very reliable supplier for this to work. But this method lets you see the extent of your marketing reach. If you are able to make lots of orders, then you can upgrade to making and selling your own products.

Sell Prints, Posters, and Greeting Cards on Demand

All you really need is some artistic ability with a camera and you’re good to go. This is a bit like selling printed shirts, but this time you can sell your designs as framed wall art or posters, or even as greeting cards. This works very well when you also have a blog, as the designs can fit the subject matter of your shared interests.

Start a Charity

You don’t have to establish a non-profit organization to make the world a better place. You can start a business that addresses the issues that you and your customers care about. You can start with ecological and environmental issues, since “going green” is important to so many people these days.

Another way to go about this is to partner your business with a charity organization. You can set up a percentage of the sales to go to charity, and in return you make your business look a lot better.

Offer Your Services

You don’t have to be a plumber or a professional handyman to sell your services to people in your neighborhood. Other options include house cleaning or taking care of pets.

You can also be a writer (blogger), affiliate marketing, online marketing, e-commerce site manager, graphic design, virtual assistant, search engine optimization (SEO), social media manager, web developer, a photographer, or a fitness trainer. As a photographer, you can become the “official photographer” for various events such as weddings and other parties. But you can also sell your prints online to interested participants in these events. Other options include offering photography courses as well.

Start Your Own Online Fashion Store

You don’t have to create the clothes yourself or come up with the designs. You can use the Dropshipping model to pick items from other vendors to sell into your online store. Shopify and other similar platforms make this quite easy for you. To make things more interesting, you can even model your own products to show just how good you can look in these fashion items.

With this business model, you’re the trendsetter. You can then use your innate fashion sense to make your own blog fans look good!

Try out any of these 10 online business ideas, and you may find that it won’t cost you as much as you may have feared!

Also, check out these 30-Point checklists for Your Startup

Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect:

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