Affordable Business Ideas: 12 Ones you Can Start Under $10k

best business to start with 10k

Thinking about starting a business but concerned about the high expenses? The great news is, you can start a profitable venture without spending a lot of money. In fact, with careful planning and a modest investment, you can kickstart a variety of businesses that have the potential to grow and thrive. But what are the best businesses you can start with just $10k? There are good ones available.

Is it possible to start a profitable business without spending a lot of money?

Launching a business with restricted funds presents both benefits and obstacles. On the positive side, low startup costs mean less financial risk and greater flexibility in experimenting with different ideas. It allows aspiring entrepreneurs to enter the market quickly and test the waters without committing substantial funds upfront. However, it also requires careful budgeting, resourcefulness, and potentially slower initial growth compared to businesses with larger investments.

What are the pros and cons of doing this?


  • Lower financial risk
  • Greater flexibility in testing ideas
  • Opportunity to bootstrap and grow organically


  • Limited initial resources may restrict the scale
  • Potential slower growth trajectory
  • Higher dependency on personal skills and time investment

12 Businesses You Can Start with $10k or Less

There are many businesses out there that you can start for less than $10,000. But below are the 12 best ones you can try.

Businesses you can start with $10,000

1. eCommerce Business

Sell products online through your website or platforms like Amazon or Etsy.

  • Investment: About $10,000. Includes inventory, website setup, and marketing.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Choose what you want to sell and find suppliers.
    • Set up an online store using websites like Shopify.
    • Use social media and SEO to attract customers.
    • Manage orders and customer inquiries.
  • Good: Reach customers globally, the growth potential.
  • Bad: Competitive market, need for ongoing marketing.

2. Home Staging

Decorate homes to make them attractive to buyers.

  • Investment: About $10,000. Includes furniture and marketing.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Acquire knowledge in interior design and real estate.
    • Collaborate with real estate agents to attract clients.
    • Develop a portfolio showcasing your work.
    • Establish competitive pricing for your services.
  • Good: Flexible work, high demand.
  • Bad: Seasonal business, need for initial investment.

3. Hair Styling

Offer haircuts and styles in a salon or as a mobile service.

  • Investment: About $10,000. Includes salon equipment and marketing.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Get certified in hair styling.
    • Rent space or set up a home salon.
    • Build a client base through referrals.
    • Keep up with trends in hair care.
  • Good: Regular clients, creative work.
  • Bad: Competitive field, skill maintenance.

Businesses you can start under $10,000

1. Massage Therapy

Provide massages for relaxation and wellness.

  • Investment: Under $10,000. Includes equipment and training.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Get licensed in massage therapy.
    • Offer services at clients’ homes.
    • Market to fitness centers and spas.
    • Build a loyal client base.
  • Good: Growing wellness industry, flexible hours.
  • Bad: Physically demanding, competition.

2. Party and Event Rentals

Rent out supplies like tables and decorations for events.

  • Investment: Under $10,000. Includes inventory and marketing.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Buy or rent event supplies.
    • Advertise to event planners and venues.
    • Deliver and set up rentals.
    • Offer competitive pricing.
  • Good: Recurring business, scalable with more items.
  • Bad: Storage needs, seasonal demand.

Businesses You Can Start with $5,000

1. Childcare Services

Offer childcare in homes or a small daycare.

  • Investment: About $5,000. Includes safety equipment and licensing.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Get licensed for childcare.
    • Create a safe, fun environment.
    • Advertise to families in your area.
    • Build trust with parents.
  • Good: Stable demand, rewarding work.

Bad: Regulatory requirements, staffing challenges.

2. Digital Marketing Agency

Provide online marketing services to businesses.

  • Investment: About $5,000. Includes tools and marketing.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Specialize in a niche like social media or SEO.
    • Build a website showcasing your services.
    • Network with local businesses.
    • Offer competitive rates.
  • Good: Growing demand, remote work.
  • Bad: Competitive field, constant learning.

3. Moving Services

Help people move locally with a truck or van.

  • Investment: About $5,000. Includes vehicle and equipment.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Get a commercial driver’s license if needed.
    • Buy moving equipment like dollies.
    • Advertise to homeowners and renters.
    • Provide excellent service.
  • Good: Constant demand, potential for referrals.
  • Bad: Physical work, competitive pricing.

Businesses you can start under $5,000

1. Pet Grooming

Offer grooming services for pets, which include bathing, haircuts, and nail trimming.

  • Investment: Under $5,000. Includes grooming tools, supplies, and marketing.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Get trained in pet grooming techniques.
    • Set up a mobile service or rent a small space.
    • Promote your services to pet owners locally.
    • Provide extra services such as pet sitting or daycare.
  • Good: Growing pet care industry, repeat customers.
  • Bad: Physical work, need for continuous learning.

2. Freelance Writing Services

Provide writing services for businesses and individuals, including blog posts, articles, and copywriting.

  • Investment: Under $5,000. Includes a computer, internet access, and marketing.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Showcase your writing skills with a portfolio.
    • Develop a website to advertise your services.
    • Connect with companies in need of content.
    • Offer competitive rates and reliable service.
  • Good: Flexible schedule, work from anywhere.
  • Bad: Competitive field, need for ongoing client acquisition.

Businesses you can start under $1,000

1. Junk Removal

Remove unwanted items from residences and commercial spaces.

  • Investment: Under $1,000. Includes basic equipment and advertising.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
  • Get permits for waste disposal.
    • Advertise locally.
    • Offer competitive rates.
    • Build relationships with real estate agents.
  • Good: Low startup costs, eco-friendly service.
  • Bad: Physical labor, irregular hours.

2. 3D Printing

Create custom products using a 3D printer.

  • Investment: Under $1,000. Includes printer and materials.
  • Guide to Getting Started:
    • Learn 3D design software.
    • Market to local businesses and individuals.
    • Offer unique designs.
    • Provide quality prints.
  • Good: High demand, creative work.
  • Bad: Learning curve, equipment maintenance.

You don’t need to spend a lot to start a business

Starting a business on a budget takes planning and effort. These ideas offer opportunities in various fields, from service-based industries like childcare and junk removal to creative ventures like digital marketing and 3D printing. Understanding your market, managing costs wisely, and delivering great service, can help build a successful business without a big initial investment.