You want to start a business, but what business should you start? And what business can you start straight away and with a limited budget? In this article, I’ll share with you some great ideas for businesses you can start on a tight budget, many of these businesses you can also start straight away as they have low barriers to entry.


When you think of consulting you probably think of  MBAs, suits, and the Big4. But did you ever think this could be an option for you when it comes to starting a business on a budget?

According to the dictionary, the term consultant means:

a person who provides expert advice professionally.

To start consulting all you need to have is the knowledge, experience, and expertise to be able to give your clients the help, guidance, and advice they need to solve a particular problem. This makes start-up costs practically nonexistent and makes consulting a great business to start on a tight budget.

You can consult on almost anything that you have the knowledge and experience in. As long as clients are willing to pay you money for it.

The type of consulting business you start is purely based on your knowledge and expertise.

Here are just 20 examples of consulting businesses that are in demand:

  • Social Media Consultant
  • E-Commerce Consultant
  • Internet Marketing Consultant
  • Podcast Consultant
  • Image Consultant
  • Marketing Consultant
  • Diversity consultant
  • Public Relations Consultant
  • Skincare Consultant
  • eBay Consultant
  • Wedding Consultant
  • Clean Living Consultant

As you can see the list is varied and there lots more opportunities for consulting out there. And this is just a small sample of your options.

2. Virtual Assistance

You might have heard the term VA getting used more and more. While Virtual Assistance is still not known by everyone, it’s an industry that’s seen a huge surge.

But what do VAs do?

As a Virtual Assistant, you would provide business support services to your clients.

The types of services that VAs provide are as varied as the companies that hire them. Solo entrepreneurs, medium, or even large companies hire VAs to support them with tasks that are too much for the teams to handle alone. This can be anything from a day to day business administration tasks, scheduling social media, putting together PowerPoint presentations and reports, or other more technical responsibilities depending on the background and skills if the VA.

All you need is a passion to provide great service, excellent organization and communication skills, and the technical skills you’ll need to perform the services you offer.  Oh, and of course your phone for making those sales calls and your laptop to do the work.

[Find out how Rebecca Newenhan Started Get Ahead VA]

3. Online Course Creation/ workshops

Selling online courses could be a great way to go. While creating an online course would require more work upfront compared to consulting – because you would need to create the course in the first place, the costs don’t need to be high. What’s more, you can practically teach anything. Just check out out some of the online course platforms out there where people are promoting and selling their courses and you’ll find courses in all kinds of things.

To simplify things even further you can even host live training workshops on a platform like Zoom and just send workshop participants the link to join once they have made their payment. Then you just share what you know!

If you’re interested in going the route of online course creation then here are some resources that will help:

4. Freelancing

You might be wondering what the difference is between a freelancer and a consultant. Essentially, while consultants are hired to come into a business and advise based on their expertise- showing and telling their clients how to reach their goals, freelancers will do the work they’ve been hired for themselves.

And the difference between contractors and freelancers? Well, as a freelancer you are not committed to any one client and most freelancers will work for a variety of clients at one time. Contractors, on the other hand, will work for one company at a time till project completion and will be fully committed to just that company.

5. Other Service-Based Business

If you haven’t seen something on this list that feels like it fits, then consider another kind of service-based business.

Is there any other way that you could provide value to others? Some service businesses do need specific knowledge or expertise, like catering, tutoring, or wedding planning, while others have a lower barrier to entry. Like cleaning or home organization, as Kay Patterson- The Organized Soprano shares in this interview. The main thing is that an audit of your skills, experiences, and knowledge will uncover potential opportunities for you to start a business on a budget.

Find out how Kay Patterson, The Organized Soprano started her home organization business:

[How To Declutter And Stay Organized, With Kay Patterson The Organized Soprano]

6. Blogging / Content Creation

You might be wondering if blogging deserves a place on the list at all after all do bloggers make any money! And if so how?

Bloggers and other content creators such as podcasters and YouTubers do make money, whether as a side hustle or full-time. But it’s not in the way you might think. The reason I left blogging until the end of this list is that many bloggers make money by providing a combination of services and/or selling products. So in case, you were thinking this is all about advertising revenue- think again.

Blogging, like any business, is a long game and you have to be prepared to put in the time to build that business.

The benefits of starting a blog

Blogging is on this list because it does have its benefits. If you’re not sure what you want to do, but you have a deep interest or knowledge in a certain area, then starting to share this knowledge in the form of blogging or other content like video on Youtube is a good way to start. If you do, you’ll start to build an audience of people who are interested in your knowledge or expertise and who want to hear what you have to say on the topic. From there, you’ll be able to find out what their struggles are and how you can help, making it easier for you to decide the best service, product, or other solution that you could offer to help.

Like the other businesses on this list, blogging is definitely a business you can start on a budget with the main start-up costs being your domain name and hosting.

The Conclusion

So, no matter where you are right now- you have many options in terms of businesses that you can start. The most important thing is that you take the first step because every journey to success begins with your first step. What step will you take?