5 Best Low Cost Businesses To Start in 2020

Tired of the cubicle life? Are you looking for low cost businesses to start immediately?

Do you crave freedom to work under your own terms, whenever you want and from wherever in the world you want?

Well guess what?

There are lots of low cost businesses anyone can start with a small budget. All you need is the courage to get started.

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In this article we focus on businesses that will allow you to be location independent so once your business starts making money online, you can work from anywhere in the world.

While there are so many low cost businesses to start without any experience, some require skills that are easier to learn than others. These are the businesses we shall look at as you can easily take an online course to learn the skills and start making an income online.

*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase something we get a small percentage of the sale. More info here*

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5 Best Low Cost Businesses To Start

Here are five low cost business ideas that anyone can start – no previous experience required.

1. Social media consulting

A social media consulting business doesn’t need much to get started. You simply need a laptop, good internet and the skills (of course).

This is one of the best low cost startup business ideas for someone who doesn’t have much money to invest and wants to try their hand at starting a low-risk business.

As a social media consultant you will be expected to market clients on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest etc.

You’ll be expected to:

  • Create social media business pages on behalf of your clients
  • Create a social media strategy
  • Create content for the various platforms
  • Keep an eye on the interaction on the platforms
  • Create weekly or monthly reports on how the platforms are performing
  • Offer customer support on the platforms
  • Run online adverts on different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram advertising

The best way to get started is to learn social media marketing.

This is easy to do when you take an online course on how social media marketing works to familiarise yourself on how to use social media for business. (Course suggestions below)

See also: How to Become a Social Media Manager.

Once you have some basic knowledge on how the various platforms work, create your own business pages preferably on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as they are the most popular platforms. This way, you will get hands-on practice on how to run such pages for business use.

Having your own social media pages is also a great way to advertise your business to potential clients who a lot of the times will be using social media to find someone they can work with.

It’s also a great idea to have a basic freelance website to showcase your expertise and to also give you a professional look. Once you start getting clients, you can add a portfolio of the work you’ve done to attract more customers.

See also: 11 Reasons Why Every Freelancer Must Have a Website

Here are some popular Udemy courses we would recommend checking out:

Courses on Udemy:

2. Start a blog

A blog is another one of those low cost business ideas that let you start something of your own, without having to invest on a huge budget. It can cost you as little as $2.95 a month to get started!

Anyone can start a blog. Really!

See also: How to Start a Blog in Under 10 Minutes

The best thing about starting a blog is that you can make money writing about virtually any topic. There are so many people who are making over a $10,000 a MONTH from their blogs and you know what, they’re not doing any magic, they’re just writing on topics that they love.

Of course it’s important to note that getting your blog to make money is not a walk in the park. It takes proper planning and there are a number of things to consider before you start blogging. Laying the right foundation for your blog is very important for its future success, so plan well.

Wondering what specific ways a blogger makes money? Let’s take a look at the most popular ways you too can try:

  • Affiliate marketing

You’ve probably heard about this one a lot. So how does affiliate marketing bring you money? You get to promote products by various companies on your blog by adding links (affiliate links) to the products on your site. Once someone buys the products by clicking on the links on your blog you get paid a commission.

The more people use your affiliate links to buy products, the more money you make. The trick is to work with brands that are more attractive to your blog readers. If you write about cooking for instance, the best brands to work with are those that sell food related products.

  • Sponsored content

Again targeting companies that are related to your audience you can get paid to promote them on your blog. This works differently from affiliate marketing because you get paid to simply write about the products or brands that you’re promoting. People don’t necessarily need to buy for you to get paid.

  • Display advertising

This involves placing ads of products that your audience is interested in on your blog. You get paid a certain amount every time someone clicks on the ad regardless of whether they make a purchase or not as long as they get to the brand’s website from the ad on your blog.

  • Selling digital products

Digital products include ebooks, online courses, webinars and video tutorials. These are accessed online or can be downloaded after purchase. The beauty of digital products is that they are easy to produce and you don’t have to worry about spending money on shipping them to your customers.

If you want to get started, we have the perfect course for you (and it’s free).

3. Virtual assistance services

Another low cost business idea for you is to start a virtual assistance business.

Virtual assistance services are some of the most sought after in the business world because business owners always need extra support to help run their business.

Virtual assistance services are normally business support services that business owners are more than willing to outsource to a skilled virtual assistant (VA).

There are a host of virtual assistance services that you can offer depending on your skills and interests. These are some of the VA services currently in high demand:

  • Social media planning, scheduling, and promotion
  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Email management and marketing
  • Blogging/ghostwriting
  • Customer service
  • Proofreading
  • copywriting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Transcription
  • Data entry
  • Ecommerce assistant
  • General admin assistant

See more: How to Become A Virtual Assistant.

You can offer one specific service such as web design or offer a combination of related services such as data entry and transcription, blog writing, copywriting and proofreading etc.

To get started decide on the VA service/s that you want to offer and take an online course. Once you’re confident in your skill join online freelancing sites such as Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, PeoplePerHour, Fiverr etc. and start applying to VA jobs.

Even if your work is not website related you can still use a freelance website to create a portfolio of all the work that you do. This makes it easy for clients to have a glimpse of what you’re capable of doing.

To upscale your VA skills here are a few recommended courses that you can take depending on the type of service that you want to offer:

Courses on Udemy:

4. Design and development services

If you lean more on the creative side, get excited about graphics and colors then graphic design is the best low cost business to start.

The best part is that you don’t need to go to design school to start a design business. There are many good online courses that you can take and teach yourself how to be the best designer.

With lots of practice you should be able to make lots of money while working anywhere your heart desires.

A graphic designer is responsible of conveying messages through creative visuals such as ads, billboards, brochures, business cards and other marketing communications materials all around you.

Common design jobs include: websites, logos, brochures, flyers, business cards, adverts, postcards, letterheads, catalogs, invitation or greeting cards, social media pages and so much more.

See more: How to Become A Graphic Designer

One of the other low cost business ideas that you can incorporate in your design business is web development. If you already have an eye for creativity you may find web development to be cool too and it can earn you even more if you add it as another one of your services.

In most cases you will find clients are more interested in hiring one person to take care of all their design needs from the website to the marketing visuals. So if you’re able to offer these two services, you will be more marketable than someone who offers just one of them.

Learning the basics of web development is like learning anything else so don’t let the idea of coding scare you. All you need is time, dedication and the interest.

See also: How to Become a Web Developer & Travel The World

To get your design and development business started here are some good courses you should consider:

Graphic design courses on Udemy:

Web Developer & Programming Courses on Udemy:

5. Editorial services

Another best low cost startup business is an editorial services business. Writing is one of the most popular services because content is the fuel behind marketing.

Many businesses have thus, taken a keen interest of producing content to market their businesses especially now that we’re in a digital era.

Writing however, is not for everyone and can take up lots of time to produce well researched and written content. This is why businesses are always looking for a skilled writer who will offer them the writing services they need.

An editorial business is especially great for someone who already has some good writing skills because you can use your skills to offer a host of services.

Popular editorial services include:

  • Blog posts
  • Website content
  • Proofreading
  • News writing
  • Book writing and editing
  • Case studies
  • Online courses
  • copywriting

The good thing about an editorial business is that you can actually decide to offer all the above services to extend your client database.

To make your editorial business a success you need impeccable writing skills. Don’t worry if you’re not good yet, you can brush up your writing with these online courses:

Editorial Courses on Udemy:

See also: How to Become a Freelance Writer

There you have it – five low cost businesses to start today. As you can see, with these businesses the only investment you need is a good course to learn the skills and some basic software.

You have no excuse not to get started immediately. The only thing standing on your way now is fear.

Kick fear in the butt and be on your way to running a successful low cost startup business that lets you travel the world as you enjoy financial freedom!

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Written by

Fulltime Nomad

Fulltime Nomad is your passport to saying no to normal, and yes to a life of unlimited travel. Founded by Radhika & Johnny, this blog will help YOU take that big scary first step towards building your own freedom lifestyle. Are you new? Start here.




  1. Patricia G.

    These are great services and ideas for making money digitally. I do want to one day make money on my blog, and these are great ways to get me started. Thank you!

  2. Louise Bosman Knutsson Eg

    This post definitely gave me some extra motivation to keep working on my blog. Since I am a student I don’t have much to invest in my business, but time. Imagine to be able to travel the world and share everything through your own space online. Would be a dream come true!

  3. Amy-Lynn Vautour

    Love these suggestions. As a freelancer and blogger I am always looking for more income streams. Thank for sharing these ideas. I’m looking into a couple of the courses you suggest.

  4. Sam

    I have blogged for a good decade, but haven’t really taken it seriously until recently. I’m hoping to be able to put a couple of these practices to work– I have been looking into Web Design lately, and I’m glad to know people make a go of it without going back to school. Thanks for the tips!

    • Johnny

      You’re welcome Sam, good luck!

  5. Layan

    awesome post, I do social media marketing for a company that works out of our local university. we help students and recent grads start up their own businesses and I’ve honestly been so inspired by everyone I work with every day. This post really reminded me of that entrepreneurial spirit. I think working for yourself should be everyones ultimate goal, its such an exciting idea

    • Johnny

      What an awesome job. That must be very inspiring.

  6. Cassie @ Getyourholidayon

    This is a fantastic post to read on ways to earn an income from starting your own business. I must say that blogging is definitely my favorite one. I am so glad I started a blog and love making an income from it.

    • Johnny

      Yeh blogging is one of my favourites too.

  7. Gloria Harvley

    These are really great. I work remotely and love running my little corner of the Internet while blogging.

  8. derra howard

    This was so helpful
    I sent this to myself so I can definitely enroll in some courses

    • Johnny

      Glad you found it helpful Derra!

  9. fashionandstylepolice

    Great ideas here. There are so many ways to make money online these days. I am grateful to be aware of them.

  10. Daniela

    Love this! The main reason I started a blog was for my own therapeutic and accountability reasons, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt if I could make a little money off of it one day as well 😉

    • Johnny

      Yehs most definitely! Good luck.

  11. Sigrid Says

    Social media consulting…sounds like a great place to start for me. Thanks for the ideas.

  12. Carmen Edelson

    I’m happy to say I’m doing 2 out of the 5 mentioned here and also employ a VA! Thank for sharing 🙂

    • Johnny

      You’re welcome Carmen.

  13. the fashion matters

    great ideas! I feel like the virtual assitant business can be done by anyone and that’s so great.

  14. Melanie williams

    I could not agree more, these are fab ideas and the start up costs are extremely low compared to other business start ups x

  15. JK

    This is perfect! I just quit my full-time job 7 months ago and I find it really helpful. I recently started my blog and I’m hoping one day I can do some of these businesses in the future especially the ‘social media consultation”. Thank you for this.

  16. London Mumma

    Some good tips about making your blog profitable, I have been thinking about placing ads on mine.

  17. Flyingkids

    These are great business ideas. The best thing about them is that you can do them in the comfort of our homes.