Nice list. I find that a lot of people want a turn-key business – one that doesn’t require a lot of capital to start and maintain. Unfortunately, the majority of the businesses listed here either require significant start-up costs because in a lot of them you need liability insurance, licenses, money to buy the inventory to start the business, and or a physical location in order to operate.

This is where people turn to travel planners. If you’re organized, reliable, highly communicative, and love exploring, then you should start a travel planning business. You should also be good at researching and finding the best deals. It’s easy to get a good reputation as a travel planner because satisfied customers would recommend you. Travel planners make, on average, about $42,000 per year.
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Is glass blowing your hobby? Perhaps you create jewelry or home decor. It’s possible to sell your products online, in retail shops, or at shows. However, you need equipment (including a costly furnace). You also need the skill to handle dangerously hot glass. If glass blowing is on your shortlist of ideas, try it first as a hobby before committing what could be a sizable outlay of money.
When traffic is coming to your website or blog, nearly unfettered, it gives you the opportunity to test out a variety of marketing initiatives. However, without that traffic, you're forced to spend money on costly ads before really determining the effectiveness of your offers and uncovering your cost-per acquisition (CPA), two things which are at the core of scaling out any business online.

I have another to add to your list that’s almost as easy to do as going for a daily walk! Clean up litter outside commercial properties for property management companies. The work is done on foot using simple hand tools. I started this as a side gig in 1981 and grew it into a profitable full-time business that I continue to operate today. I share my experience in my book, Cleanlots, and offer free support.


For instance, you might use Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences to get your message in front of an audience similar to your core demographic. Or, you could pay a social media influencer to share images of your products to her already well-established community. Paid social media can attract new customers to your brand or product, but you’ll want to conduct market research and A/B testing before investing too much in one social media channel.

Even the portrait and general-interest options, though, aren’t really for beginners. Photography businesses can be complex operations, with lots of equipment required and years of portfolio and relationship building necessary to really get steady income flowing. Still, if you’re a hobbyist already, starting a photography business as a side operation is a great way to make some extra money and possibly begin a career change.


A pet sitting or dog walking service indulges your passion for dogs and other pets, but requires hardly any equipment.  Get started for free — or perhaps the cost of pet treats and dog leashes. Dog walking or pet sitting requires you to visit clients’ homes. The positives of this small business are a flexible schedule and a home office. Add technology such as scheduling apps to manage administrative work.
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