Five Low-Cost Businesses You Can Launch

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(Last Updated On: November 29, 2013)

As the U.S. Economy struggles to rebound in these challenging economic times, more and more people are searching for ways to supplement their incomes and find ways to pay down debt or help rebuild their retirement savings.  If you have ever thought about launching your own business for any reason but worried it would be too costly, below are five businesses that you can start from home with minimal investment.

Delivery Service

Starting a hot shot delivery service to transport packages for local businesses or individuals is an affordable start-up business venture, particularly for individuals who have their own truck, although any reliable vehicle will do.. Rising gas prices may be a factor to consider, however, business owners can overcome this challenge by incorporating the rising price of gas into the costs for their delivery service. Businesses and nonprofits are a good target market to begin with, for instance, a local physician or dentists office may need a service to deliver their medical supplies or an area restaurant may want to expand to offer delivery services to business and residential customers. Obtaining the proper business insurance to protect yourself and cover the items being transported is essential to this type of business.

Website Design Business

Web designers are in high demand as businesses seek to increase their visibility and presence on the Internet. Many small businesses operate without a website and would be your first source of potential clients. Individuals can invest in a low-cost web design class to get started or utilize various online website template services to build websites for their customers. Reaching out through networking with small business groups will help you promote your services in the community.

The best promotional tool will be your own professionally-designed website to showcase your abilities and the range of design options you can provide to clients.

Scrapbooking Service

Many people have stacks of photos from the past stuffed in boxes or drawers that are begging for a special place to call their own. Creating a service that organizes and places those photos into a keepsake album requires little more than investing in a collection of quality photo albums or scrapbooks from a local craft store and marketing your services. One or two sample scrapbooks showcasing the diverse design options you can offer will cost you little. Then you can invest in additional scrapbooks as you secure each new client. Creativity and a love of turning your clients memories into a valued keepsake are the only other requirements to launch a potentially successful scrapbooking venture.

Graphic Design Business

Starting a graphic design business requires a few basic things: a computer, basic design software, artistic talent in graphic design, and quality samples of your work. The next thing you need is a well-designed brochure to showcase your design skills, featuring your services and prices. You will then need to develop a pool of potential clients in need of graphic design services from among your family members and friends. The next step – drop off your brochures at local businesses or nonprofits in the area or purchase a direct mail list of businesses to mail out your brochures. Some of the businesses that may need graphic design services include funeral homes, nonprofit organizations or newly-opened businesses. Check your local county clerks office for a list of recent DBA filings. Once you have a few design projects under your belt, you can begin to build on your professional portfolio to secure more graphic design jobs. Access to a quality collection of illustrations and clip art also would be helpful. Online sites like or can provide you with low cost images based on the quantity of images purchased.

There are also free stock sites available on the Internet, such as, and others.

Social Networking Page Set-Up Business

Many businesses have not stepped into the social networking world, although they are aware that growing segments of their potential market are regular users of the Internet and social networking sites. Find those businesses that have yet to take the dive into the social networking and you can offer to set up their business page, monitor activity,post information on promotions or sales.. Also offer to provide the company with ongoing analysis of the traffic and trends on their site and you can create a niche for yourself that may position you as a valuable asset to the companys success. If you enjoy social networking and are already spending time on such sites, you can turn the time you are investing in the virtual world into a business opportunity. You will need a computer, Internet service and the “know-how” and familiarity with these sites to help promote your clients businesses to their best advantage.

How to Get Started:

To lay the groundwork for the potential for a successful business, visit the local SCORE chapter or local library in your area to obtain information on how to launch a business. Then get started on spreading the word about your business among friends and local businesses.

Once you get started, consider joining a local chamber and benefit from networking opportunities and a range of business advocacy and support.

For more insights on launching a business, visit

Estimated Cost of Above Ventures: Less than $500 dollars to get started.