7 Cheapest Businesses to Start with 1K Dollars Or Less

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Welcome to the “Gig Economy” where over 58 million U.S. citizens are getting their next dollars. Perhaps you are planning on quitting your day job and starting your own business. You could also be looking for a side hustle to earn money during the weekend or when out of school.

Many people shy from starting businesses because of the mentality that all businesses need so much capital.

Well, that is not all false. Depending on the technicalities and size of the business or franchise, you may need as much as $1 million to set up. However, you also have a chance to start a well-paying gig or small business startup with less than $1,000.

Don’t have a million dollars or investors with deep pockets? That shouldn’t stop your entrepreneurial spirit! A little goes a long way when launching a bootstrapped small business. Here are the cheapest businesses and side hustles to start with 1K.

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7 Cheap Businesses To Start With $1,000

1. Website or Graphics Designer

Nowadays, almost everyone gets a blog or needs a website for their business. If you don’t already know how to design a website, there are many free online tutorials to teach you in less than a month.

You can also browse YouTube for tutorials on Graphics designs and learn how to design flyers, Instagram banners, logos, and other branding designs.

A web designer can earn up to $500 a project depending on how complex it is. A graphics designer can make about $20 per project. Being a freelancer, you are at liberty to charge as per your skills and experience. 

And the best part of freelancing? You can educate yourself and launch your web design or graphic designer business for under 1k!

2. Social Media Manager or Influencer

Those thousands of followers can fill your bank if you decide to partake in influencer marketing. Approach brands and offer to post their products to your followers. Brag about the likes, comments, and shares you get, and they will flock at your doorstep with free products to advertise for them.

You may also be good at managing social media pages. Offer that service to businesses and bloggers, and earn more than $5,000 a month. Such businesses are done online, so insurance isn’t necessary.

To start a social media management business, you need a laptop or desktop, a phone, and an internet connection. You probably already have all these. If not, they won’t cost you more than $500 to buy. Even if you purchase a domain name, web hosting, and some social media advertising your business should cost under $1,000.

3. Dog Walking

Okay, let’s go off the internet a bit and to the old dog walking gigs that pay as good as $18 per hour. During a school holiday or weekend, you can end up making $100 a day if lucky.

If you are a dog lover, and a fan of trekking for hours, this job will only require that. These is one of the gigs that you can start with zero dollars. Some opt to sign up with dog walking applications that help find gigs in their area.

Using an app will ensure you always have a job, thus get income daily. Some apps will charge for sign up or per service, which is usually around $1.

4. Photography

Photography is quite an intriguing skill to learn. If you have an artistic eye and are full of creativity, you can take outstanding portraits and sell for $300 and above. You can also do tailor-made photos for people and add graphical effects to upgrade their outcome.

If not, you can opt to be a professional event photographer. Here, you’ll be attending events like weddings and taking photos of the bride, groom, and guests.

There are so many angles to approach photography. All you need is a skill, a good camera, and an editing app.

5. Freelance Chef Or Bartender

Are you a fantastic mixologist or a chef struggling to find a stable job? Struggle no more, everyone can now become a freelancer! Use your social media pages to showcase different food designs and cocktails you make from the comfort of your home.

Be as creative as you can to impress your followers. As you do that, remind people that you’re available to prepare meals or drinks at their homes or events on a freelance basis.

With such jobs, you can charge per hour, since projects vary in length, and earn from $100 per hour.

You may need a few cooking apparatus for such projects. Find out more of what you need to start a business in California.

6. Makeup Artist

Everyone is turning into an MUA these days. The good thing is, almost everyone needs makeup services too, thus demand is high.

Choosing to open your beauty bar might cost a little over $1,000 due to insurance, shop licenses, rent, furniture, and purchasing makeup products and accessories.

That’s why you should consider becoming a freelancer. It might be a bit of a hustle having to follow your clients to their homes or event venues. However, most clients do pay for transport.

Choosing an MUA business can be a bit of a dice roll. With people having sensitive skins and different complexions, you may have to get original makeup, which is usually expensive. You’ll also need to have a variety of shades for different skin complexions.

A makeup artist can make up to $60 per client and only needs to have makeup products and accessories, making it one of the best cheapest businesses to start.

7. Online Content Producer

Online content producers can offer blogging or article writing services, designing of infographics, copywriting services, and the like.

Most of the online content pays very well depending on your source of clients. If you work for a freelance site or company, you may earn up to $50 for a piece of content. If you fish out clients by yourself, you can make up to $100 or more on similar content. “Producing quality content is key, and many sites will pay top dollar if you can produce quality content that will get readers’ eyes”, stated Ben Tejes writer of When will a debt collector sue and Unemployment and Bankruptcy.

You could even promote products and services from other companies as an affiliate. Affiliate marketing is a lucrative industry with plenty of opportunities to promote high-quality, high-paying products. The internet is full of quality resources to help you get started too, such as this guide to CJ Affiliate -- a popular affiliate network.

All you need to do is perfect your skills, and have a reliable internet connection and a laptop for this cheap business model. 

Being an online content producer is one of the cheapest businesses to start with costs well under $1,000 and a lot of earning potential.

There are Hundreds of Businesses to Start with 1k

The businesses mentioned above are only a few of the businesses to start with 1k dollars or less. Sometimes your big business idea can start under 1k dollars, euros, or pounds and grow into a fortune.

The secret to getting a business idea costing under 1k dollars is perusing your knowledge, skills, and personal hobbies to find which one would make you good money. Profit from your passion!

Unfortunately, most affordable startups are run dry by business insurance coverage which cost up to $400 a month. Therefore, find out how much you’ll need to pay for insurance and if your earned wages can cater to those business costs. You want your frugal business costs to stay under 1k dollars in startup costs! 

The Bottom Line On Budget Businesses

Are you interested in becoming a frugal entrepreneur? Check out more of our posts to launch new lean startups and help to grow your cheap business on a budget. We want to help you bootstrap your business on bare bones budgets.

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