7 Online Business Ideas You Can Start with Low Investment
by 300cbt Team·
Starting a business may seem like a mountain of big tasks. On the other hand, the time, money, and risks you take will all depend on the business idea you are pursuing.
Contrary to popular belief, there are actually more than one way to start a business. Contrary to your worries, you can start an online business with a small investment and it is not a big deal, and this method allows you to focus less on logistics and initial costs and more on getting started.
These low investment online business ideas can be a great starting point for beginners or anyone with a busy schedule. You can also start a side business without going all in without having to give up everything else.
Of course, we still need to come up with a solid idea, build a brand, work on marketing, and provide great customer service to have a successful business. However, if you have an idea, you can start a business and skip many of the traditional startup costs, such as initial inventory, warehouse, and sales space.
Today we're talking about 10 low-investment business ideas you can start right now.
1.Partner with Dropshipper
Buying inventory, storing it, sorting it, packaging it, shipping it... Inventory management is one big task in running an online business. But dropshipping is a different story. Dropshipping is a type of fulfillment model in which a third-party supplier stores inventory and ships it to customers. All we have to do is make the sale and forward the order to the supplier. There is no need to handle the product yourself.
For example, you can curate products from suppliers in your online store with themes focused on a specific niche, such as equipment for yoga enthusiasts or pet supplies for dog owners. When a customer purchases a product from our store, the order is transferred to a vendor who fulfills the order on our behalf. Of course, you are still responsible for marketing and customer service.
Additionally, there are a variety of domestic and international suppliers that can work with you for dropshipping, but it is up to the seller to choose a trustworthy supplier. Dropshipping is a low-investment way to test product-market fit and get your business off the ground before investing in the original product. This can always be done with a reliable supplier and you should order samples in advance to ensure that the product is suitable for sale to your customers.
▲ Dropship site Oberlo
2. Design and custom printed t-shirts
As another dropshipping model, you can also do business as a supplier that provides fulfillment from manufacturing custom printed shirts to delivery. A bit different from the dropshipping idea in #1, the focus is on customizing the design to create something unique.
T-shirts, hats, phone cases, hoodies, skirts, tote bags, and more are all available for your creativity. Even if you are not a designer, you can use freelance sites such as Fiverr, Upwork , Dribbble , and 99Designs to find and hire a designer. Many custom print-on-demand services require you to pay per product, so your base price per unit will be more expensive than if you order in bulk. However, if a t-shirt design doesn't sell, another advantage is that you haven't actually paid for it yet (only if it's an outsourced design).
You can also use templates to complete your t-shirt design, so you don't have to spend money and take photos for every new design. There are a variety of print-on-demand platforms you can work with, many of which integrate with your Shopify store for seamless order fulfillment. However, you should always order a sample of the product to check (usually available at a discounted price).
▲ ThinkPub site
3. Publish your own book
You might think of books as just a different kind of product than other products for sale. However, you can also create a product that can meet a specific need in the market.
Cookbooks, picture books, comic books, poetry books, photography books, coffee table books, novels, etc., there are many different original books that you can put on the market if you have the knowledge or creativity. Nowadays, with many different types of bookstores, such as independent bookstores and independent bookstores, catering to new trends, on-demand publishing is a relatively safe way to test the market and start with self-publishing, while still controlling the quality and design of your book.
You can order one book at a time, but of course the price goes down when you order in bulk, and you can also pre-sell or crowdfund your book idea to see if there's demand and have a certain number of customers for bulk orders.
Starting your own book is a great way to monetize your blog if you already have one or are just starting one.
▲ Example of book production by Lulu Xpress
4. Create a digital product or course
Unlike other digital products, like music, classes, and templates, they are not tangible products. The major advantage is that margins can be maintained high because manufacturing or shipping costs do not occur repeatedly. The key to this business idea is figuring out how to create a good digital product. What content is so useful that people are willing to pay to download it?
The answers range from original instrumental beats to licensed images to information products and templates that can help you level up your skills in a specific field. If you have a talent for converting to digital products, you may want to think about ways to generate new income.
Shopify offers a free digital download app that makes it easy to offer digital products from your store as physical products.
▲ PixieFaire ’s various class contents
5. Sell custom posters, cards, and prints
If you're artistic or camera-savvy, you could use a print-on-demand business model to run a business that allows others to physically own your work. Unless, of course, you're using a public domain asset that can be freely monetized, you'll need to have rights to the content you're printing.
If you're a cartoonist or urban photographer who already has an online presence, you're especially good at trying this business idea.
Depending on the printer you work with, you can turn your work into products such as posters, framed wall art, and even create cards. There are a variety of digital templates and demo generators, like , that allow you to display your products without having to print each item or take photos yourself.
▲ Zen Pencils Store
6. Sell your services
For service-based businesses, “time” is inventory and your biggest investment. There are just limited hours in the day. However, this makes it easy to get up and running once you have the necessary skills.
Writers, designers, developers, photographers, home cleaners and organizers, fitness trainers and many others can build a business based on their skills.
You can also expand your business with the other ideas above to create additional revenue streams by “producing” services through physical or digital products.
For example, a photographer could service local events while selling prints online through their Instagram account. Copywriters can sell copywriter files of high-converting ad copy. Combining a service-based business with a physical product provides another source of income that is not directly tied to time.
To create an online store that offers these services, you can use BookThapApp or a reservation app for Shopify so customers can easily book sessions, consultations, or lecture tickets through your store.
You can also offer your services through a freelance platform like Upwork to increase your chances of being exposed to more people who need your skills.
▲You can easily reserve services provided by Shopify’s The Book That App.
7. Grow your audience in a variety of ways to monetize it
In today's sophisticated social networks, the ability to capture and maintain the attention of others is a great asset. In other words, many companies are willing to pay to utilize this asset, and many creators can turn it into a business with multiple revenue streams.
Whether you're growing your following on YouTube, Instagram, or your blog (ideally a combination of other channels), there are several ways you can monetize your audience.
-Write sponsored posts on behalf of the brand.
- Form a partnership.
-Sell a physical or digital product (through one of the ideas on this list).
-combination of the above
Starting a business with a following like yours means playing the long game. But you don't need millions of followers. For example, Instagrammer Kat Gaskin launched a $10,000 product with just 3,000 followers.
It is true that the business ideas we have learned so far have low risk in terms of logistics, but that does not mean they are easy to implement. Whatever decision you make about starting a business, there are at least three things to keep in mind as you consider your options.
“Focusing on a niche makes marketing easier.”
As with any business, marketing is what makes your success possible. Just knowing that there is a demand for your product is not enough. You need to find a way to reach the people most likely to buy your product. You need to find the right customers to discover your product.
Fortunately, marketing becomes much easier when you cater to a specific audience or identity (e.g. vegetarians, board game enthusiasts, yoga enthusiasts, pet families, photographers in your city). You can create social media content that resonates with these people or run ads that target their interests. Adopting this approach will also help you achieve a consistent brand. Because you can get more specific information about exactly who you're communicating with.
Think about the engagement of specific customers with your product and how the business you build can help those customers. If you already have a lot of users (blog, YouTube channel, or Instagram account), you can also find ways to build your business off of your existing users.
“Price is more important than profit.”
If your product price is too low, buyers may think it is of low quality. If you set your prices too high, you may scare off some customers. In any case, especially if you plan to pay for advertising, you need to factor in your customer acquisition costs and find a compromise where you can offer a discount.
Many online sellers try to include shipping costs into the retail price so they can offer free shipping, or at least a reasonable flat rate. Others focus on encouraging shoppers to add more items to their carts through conditional free shipping (e.g., free shipping on orders over $50) to maximize profits.
Your selling price can be adjusted and you can experiment with different pricing strategies until you find what works for you. Find the right pricing and marketing costs to acquire customers. An appropriate long-term pricing policy is more necessary than immediate profits.
“You grow by testing, learning, and moving forward.”
Striving for perfection can be one of the biggest obstacles to starting and running a business. Flexible thinking is an important virtue in business.
Products may be updated and changed at any time. You can also redesign your store. Prices can be adjusted at any time. You can also switch to a supplier with better terms. And you can validate all of these decisions against dozens of pieces of data (traffic, sessions, reviews, abandoned carts, etc.) at your disposal.
If your idea doesn't work out as you planned, think about how you can make it up before you go out of business.
There are aspects of the business that can always be made up by trying a different product or approach. The following you have on your brand, social media, or customer list that you have invested time building can be an asset that you can repurpose for your next business idea.
The combination of technological advancements, a variety of third-party suppliers, and the ability to quickly test ideas online makes it easier than ever to build a business and start selling without having to worry about sourcing products, renting space, or managing inventory. It just got easier.
This approach makes it easier to test the feasibility of an idea before investing in it, and creates a profitable business without a burdensome inventory investment or logistics infrastructure.
If you apply your talents or creativity to the online business ideas above, you can combine them in a variety of ways to start your own business. Have you been hesitant to start a business because of the classic steps of sourcing, inventory, and logistics delivery? How about starting with a low-investment, inventory-free business model with various ideas? Start growing from scratch.