18 Businesses You Can Start With $5,000 or Less

Have you ever thought about starting a business but were held back by the conspicuous thought of requiring a huge capital? 

While it’s true that starting a business is often free and requires you to invest a certain capital amount, it doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank. With technological advancements today, starting a business with minimal and, in some cases, no funding is possible! 

Sounds too good to be true? 

After reading many success stories, we have compiled this list of a few lucrative businesses you can start with investments as low as $5K. So, without any further ado, let’s get going! 

1. Permanent Jewelry Business

There’s a new and exciting wave of entrepreneurs who have started earning extra money by welding permanent jewelry. Once a trend, this service has turned into a lucrative business opportunity that costs less than $5,000 to start, launch, and grow.

Permanent jewelry falls in the beauty realm of piercings and tattoos in that it’s designed to be long-lasting, but it doesn’t leave a mark. As a permanent jewelry artist, you would simply measure, cut, and weld dainty chains around your customers’ wrists, ankles, or even necks. These pieces are not indestructible, but with the right care, they are meant to last as long as you want to keep them.

The permanent jewelry business is so much more than just selling one-off pieces to a faceless customer. Instead, the whole idea is to create an enjoyable experience for each customer, who is often encapsulating a specific memory or experience in each piece they purchase from you.

If working one-on-one with customers in a salon, outdoor vendor event, or pop-up business setting sounds exciting, learn how to start your permanent jewelry business today.

2. Accountancy

Every business needs bookkeeping and monitoring its cash flow, which is where the accounting business comes in. For those having relevant experience and dominance as an accountant, starting an accountant business can be a great idea. 

Working as an accountant, you can provide several services to your clientele, including: 

  • Financial Planning
  • Tax Preparation 
  • Bookkeeping 
  • Auditing

The best thing about an accountant business is that you can suffice on minimum capital. All you need is an office space, equipment, marketing, and software tools, and you are all set. 

Starting an accounting business allows you to charter your professional course and enjoy perks like flexibility and self-employment. To start, consider creating a flier highlighting your services. Decide what services you can offer based on your convenience and skill set. 

Additionally, you can help businesses with balance sheets, income statements, and other financial reports, depending on the need of the business. Hiring an accountant is not only a great financial move to track your cash flow, but it also proves significantly helpful with taxes, making it easy to find customers. 

So, if you have the skills and the experience to deliver, an accountant business can be a great place to start.

3. Vending Machines

While investing in vending machines may seem unorthodox, they are a great source for generating passive income without having to do much work

You will easily find a used vending machine on the market for around $1K and expect it to generate a passive profit of $2.5K annually. Assuming you have the budget for five of them, your passive revenue has the potential to generate an estimated $10K annually. 

However, the location of vending machines plays a significant role in generating profits. Perform some due diligence to find the ideal locations to place the vending machines and study the goods in demand to stock your vending machines with. Ensure to always choose the products in demand. While these goods may be costly, they will likely help you generate more profit. 

At last, consider the costs for maintaining permits, transportation, and goods of the vending machine. Stocking a vending machine by yourself can be a great way of cutting down your expenses and generating more income.

However, if you feel your time is better spent elsewhere, some companies will help you maintain and restock the vending machines. 

4. DIY Craft Business

According to Cyrus Crafts, the world handicraft market change is expected to reach $1252 Billion by 2027, proving that DIY craft businesses have a great potential for generating a profit. 

As someone running a DIY craft business, you can work on the following products: 

While there are other paths to take in the crafting business, the aforementioned skills have yielded the highest profit percentage. Try out unique ideas, study others in the same niche, and check out videos and Pinterest to fathom new and creative ideas. 

Once you make the products, you can use various platforms to market and sell them online. Platforms like eBay, DeviantArt, and Etsy are great places to start.

On the other hand, craft items have significant popularity on social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, making them a great platform to sell your items.

Extra reading: 17 Things to Sell on Etsy to Make Money

5. SEO Agency

With the increased scope of online sales, many businesses have turned to using the internet to reach a wider audience and have more sales. 

This is where the SEO experts fit in. Starting a Search Engine Marketing business can help a business optimize its ranking on search engines and appear higher in search rankings. 

With so many resources and tutorials available on the internet, becoming an SEO expert doesn’t require much capital. While platforms like YouTube and blogs are great for learning tips and tricks about SEO, you may need to buy a course from an SEO expert. 

According to The Balance, some of the best SEO Courses include: 

  1. SEO Optimisation Course From Coursera
  2. SEO Course from Semrush 
  3. Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Taking these courses is necessary to understand the mechanics of this niche and will help you comprehend how search engines work. These courses will also help you learn many starts and unique concepts to stand out from the competitors and have a satisfied customer base. 

Once you have adequate knowledge to start an SEO business, you can venture into freelancing platforms like Fiverr and UpWork. After completing a few orders, consider transitioning to creating your business’ website. 

6. Event Planning

This type of business focuses on coordinating and executing various types of events such as weddings, birthday parties, corporate functions, and social gatherings. With a keen eye for design and attention to detail, you can create memorable experiences for your clients.

To begin, invest in basic materials and supplies such as table linens, chair covers, centerpieces, and decorative accents. You may also want to purchase design software to create digital mockups of your event concepts.

Develop relationships with local vendors for services such as catering, photography, and venue rentals to offer your clients a comprehensive package.

Create a portfolio showcasing your best work, which can include photographs of past events or digital designs. Establish a strong online presence through social media platforms and a professional website.

Offer promotions or discounted rates to friends and family in exchange for testimonials and referrals to help build your reputation and client base.

Network within your community and attend local events to meet potential clients and other industry professionals. Join industry associations and consider attending workshops or obtaining certifications to further your skills and credibility.

As your business grows, reinvest profits into expanding your inventory and services to accommodate larger events and a wider range of clients.

7. Dumpster Rentals

Starting a dumpster rental business with a limited budget of $5,000 can be challenging, but with resourcefulness and careful planning, it may be possible.

The key is to find ways to acquire the necessary equipment and establish a client base without overspending. Here’s how you can get started with your own dumpster rental business on a tight budget.

Begin by conducting thorough research on the dumpster rental market in your area. Identify potential competitors, their services, and their pricing structures. Create a detailed business plan that outlines your target market, the services you intend to offer, and your pricing strategy. A well-crafted plan will provide you with a roadmap for launching and growing your business successfully.

Your primary equipment needs will include dumpsters and a suitable truck for transportation. With a $5,000 budget, your best bet is to search for used dumpsters, which can be significantly cheaper than new ones.

Look for reliable used dumpsters that fit within your budget to get started. As for transportation, consider using a truck you already own or partnering with a local trucking company to provide hauling services at an affordable rate.

Research the necessary licenses and permits required to operate a dumpster rental business in your area. The costs associated with these licenses and permits will vary depending on your location.

Secure liability and vehicle insurance to protect your business and assets. Shop around for the best insurance rates to keep your costs low.

Develop a marketing plan to attract clients and promote your services. Create a website, design business cards, and establish a presence on social media platforms to reach potential customers.

Offer competitive pricing or special promotions to encourage new clients to choose your business over competitors.

Network with local contractors, construction companies, and property management firms that may require dumpster rental services, and build relationships with them to generate a steady stream of business.

8. Pressure Washing

This straightforward, hands-on venture is perfect for those who want to dive into entrepreneurship. Here’s how to begin your journey as a pressure washing business owner:

Begin by investing in essential pressure washing equipment, such as a 4 GPM pressure washer, surface cleaner, hoses, reels, gas cans, protective gear, and house washing tools like a J-rod and downstream injector.

This initial investment can be around $1,600 if you purchase new or used items. Additionally, allocate around $50 for graphic design, such as logo and marketing materials, or create them yourself for free.

Spread the word about your business with physical marketing materials like yard signs. Invest around $300 in high-quality signs and H stakes from reliable sources like UZmarketing and Amazon.

Optionally, you can spend $100 on online marketing through Facebook and Google ads. Consider using Jobber or another CRM platform to manage your business, with costs ranging from $30 to $40 per month.

Place your yard signs at busy intersections with stop signs or traffic lights, allowing potential clients to easily notice and contact you. Focus on securing your first customers, learning effective communication, and scheduling jobs with flexible time ranges. Remember to send courtesy texts to clients on the day of the cleaning.

Before working on a client’s property, ensure that you have proper insurance coverage. You can use providers like Thimble for temporary insurance.

Familiarize yourself with the pressure washing process by watching instructional videos and seeking advice from experienced professionals through Facebook groups or other online forums.

Practice washing common surfaces like concrete and vinyl siding, and always prioritize safety by protecting plants or grass surrounding the area you’ll be washing.

9. Shoe Business

Buy Jordan shoes online, focusing on the popular Jordan 1s, for a profitable shoe business with an initial investment under $5,000.

By selling them quickly or holding them for around six months, you can see a return on investment of 30-50%, depending on the model. To sell your shoes, check websites like StockX, GOAT, and Suplexed for current market prices.

Btw, the retail prices of Jordans are rising faster than inflation.

10. Rent a Car

Start by buying a budget-friendly car, like a Toyota Yaris, and rent it out on Turo. This way, your money works for you.

If you’re not familiar with how Turo works, here is a guide on starting a Turo business to help you get set up.

11. Lawn Care

You can buy a power rake, aerator, and some fertilizer to start a seasonal lawn care side business.

After the initial investment, you can potentially make $2,000 in 20 days. Following the first three weeks, this boring business becomes purely profitable.

12. Snow Removal Business

If you live in an area where it shows a lot buy a snowblower or a plow for a truck. This investment can lead to a profitable business during the snow season.

13. Mobile Pet Grooming

Start with a basic pet grooming kit and travel to pet owners’ homes to groom their animals. It’s a low-cost business that’s really in demand.

14. Tree Removal Business

Begin with a chainsaw, a truck or trailer, insurance for tree removal jobs, and some other basic tools.

As your business grows, you can reinvest profits to buy a hydraulic wood splitter and other equipment.

15. Home Cleaning Service

With a budget of $5,000, you can cover the essential supplies like cleaning products, tools (like vacuums, mops, and buckets), and some marketing materials.

This could be as simple as making business cards or setting up a basic social media page to advertise your services.

16. House Painting Business

Starting a house painting business within a $5,000 budget mainly involves purchasing painting supplies like brushes, rollers, ladders, and paint.

No formal training is required, but you should have painting skills and knowledge of different techniques.

17. Photography Business

Photographers typically specialize in areas like weddings, events, portraits, commercial photography, or artistic work.

Success in this field relies on a combination of technical skill with the camera, artistic vision, and editing abilities.

18. Customized t-shirt printing

A customized t-shirt printing business involves creating unique, personalized designs on t-shirts. This can range from simple text and logos to complex graphics.

The business requires an initial investment in printing equipment, like a screen printer or a digital printer, and supplies such as inks and blank t-shirts.

Need more business ideas? Check out:

5 Ways To Flip $1,000 Dollars

How To Flip Houses With No Money

8 Fun and Profitable Family Business Ideas to Start

10 Cash Flow Business Ideas That Are Low on Investment, High on Demand

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