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Ten Businesses You Can Start With $1,000 Or Less

Are you looking for a lucrative business that does not require a big investment? Your hobby and skills can be your major capital!

Here are 10 businesses you can start right now for less than $1,000:

1. Tutoring

The emergence of digital classrooms has made learning more convenient in many ways, yet with the same mastery and competence. May it be for getting good grades or for passing college entrance exams, online resources are now deemed as a reputable alternative. This change in perspective has paved the way for many online teaching opportunities for professional teachers and subject-area experts.

If you’re one of them, find an online teaching platform where you can cash in your knowledge and expertise. Several websites will allow you to record and upload your teaching materials, that in turn, can be accessed by millions of people for a certain fee. Or you can apply as an online tutor in websites like, where you can post your resume and students can contact you for tutoring services.

This business does not require much money. All you need is a computer camera and a good quality noise-cancelling headphone which costs around $450 or even less on Amazon.

2. Dog Walker

Do you love pets? And do you love to exercise? Apparently, these two can go well together and earn you bucks.

Dog walking is an easy business. You can invest in a dog handling certification through online websites like They charge for only $9.99 per course. Pet business insurance will make up the majority of your expenses and would usually cost around $200 to $400 a month depending on your desired coverage. You can use to check your eligibility and get a business insurance quote. You can also ask your local insurance provider for a quote on business liability coverage.

How can you market your dog walking services? You can begin with word-of-mouth by sharing the good news to your neighbors and friends or you can also distribute flyers within the neighborhood. Posting your services online is also an inexpensive way to go about it. With your dog walking business, you’re earning and at the same time, making furry friends and their owners happy along the way. Take advantage of free tools such as Craigslist and Facebook to let people know you are open for business. Starting a Facebook page costs you nothing and is a fantastic way to get started. Share the page with family and friends and ask them to like the page!

3. Avon / Tupperware Direct Selling

If you’re a people person, joining a direct sales company is a good choice. And yes, you can also take home generous commissions. In established direct sales companies like Avon or Tupperware, you can sign up for less than $300. Becoming an independent distributor will only cost you the registration fee or the start-up kit, at the most. It is a meager amount compared to what you can earn as you climb the success ladder. On top of cash incentives, other perks include free car and travel depending on your performance.

There are many advantages of becoming a representative for these direct selling companies. For one, they already have a proven business structure and compensation plan. Also, the company shoulders most of the responsibilities including product production and quality assurance, training and seminars (most are free), website and e-commerce site, advertisements and brand ambassadors, and in some cases, in-house credit financing and installment plans.

All you need is the determination to succeed and the right skills to sell the products and invite more people into the business. Just make sure you join a company that is duly registered and operates legally.

Other direct sales companies to consider are LuLaRoe, YoungLiving, and Pampered Chef. Every few years there are new companies that make a splash and fizzle out a few years in. If you are good at this model, you can get in and ride the wave of success till it's time to move on to another company.

4. Photography

If you have the passion and the skills, photography is a fruitful business. For only $600, you can invest in a good DSLR camera, your biggest upfront expense (you can upgrade as your business grows). As a new photographer, focus on building an impressive portfolio so you can establish your brand of service and gain higher-paying clients in the future. Start by creating family portraits and covering various events for relatives and friends.

To widen your reach, set up a website to showcase your projects. Attend related workshops and seminars to enhance your skills. Keep tabs on industry trends so you don’t get left behind. More importantly, always provide your clients with personalized, excellent service so they will voluntarily refer you to their own network.

5. Antique Dealer

Do you love watching Antiques Roadshow or have a knack for spotting rare vintage pieces? If ancient pieces and collectibles fascinate you, you can invest your money in antiques. Believe in the principle that you can sell an item for more than you paid to buy it. A $500-$800 worth of merchandise can help you get started.

Where to find collectibles and other old things for resale? Honestly, everywhere! You can find good stuff from garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, antique malls and the like.

Study how to determine the authenticity of each piece, practice having an eye for quality goods. Scout for pieces that are reasonable enough to turn into a profit. To display your items, you can set up a physical store or you can save rental fee by having an online store instead. You can even start small by reselling on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist.

6. Makeup Artist

Convert your passion for makeup and hair styling into a business. If you’re not an expert yet, there are tons of free online tutorials to widen your knowledge past the basics. Not only should you watch, you have to keep practicing.

Eventually, you can invest in a class or certificate program through websites like They offer a full course for $499. Your main investment is the seminar fee and the actual makeup and accessories you will be using. The cost of your makeup kit will vary depending on what brand you choose but you can always start with high-quality yet affordable brands so you only have to shell out a few hundred dollars.

Promote your services tirelessly especially during the startup phase. Tap family and friends as potential clientele. These are people who already trust you and are more likely to give you a chance even if you have zero portfolio yet. Take photos of your clients before and after getting them done. With your clients’ permission, you can use these pictures to promote the quality of makeup and hair styling services you offer.

7. Wedding Planner

Wedding preparations can be very exhausting. This is why many couples prefer to hire a professional to save them from the rigors of wedding planning.

If you are creative, have keen attention to details, and can face stress head-on with grace, consider running a wedding planning business. To gain experience, you can apply first as an event coordinator for agencies that organize wedding ceremonies and receptions. This way, you can see firsthand how magical weddings are made, maximize the experience, gain valuable contacts, and learn from industry experts. You will also have the opportunity to work with a variety of wedding vendors from photographers to cake bakers, florists and more. Or you can also take wedding planner courses online. Sites like the offers a full course for $495.

You can make it big time in wedding planning. All you need is passion, excellent time management and a great smile while working.

8. Caterer

Are you an amazing cook who can come up with delectable meals for a crowd of people? Consider your own catering business!

You could start with small events and private parties who will not require you to have a full commercial kitchen right away. If you can work from your own home kitchen, you can spend $500 on necessary kitchen equipment and the rest of your capital goes to the raw food and ingredients you need to buy. Eventually, you can expand the scope of your business and offer packages that already include plates, utensils, tables, chairs and centerpieces.

9. Jewelry Maker

Are you wondering if your hobby can become a legitimate business? Yes, it’s possible. Jewelry-making is a great business idea for hands-on creatives. You can make it at home, be your own boss and work during the hours when you feel your best. It is a profession that allows you to make beautiful crafts and earn from them.

Your jewelry collection doesn’t necessarily have to be gold or silver. You can start first with beaded masterpieces. The cost will vary depending on the type of materials you want to use. offers great deals on beading supplies and accessories.

Set up a website to showcase your products. Or you can maximize Facebook and Instagram to gain followers and customers.

10. Alteration Service

A lot of people find themselves in need of alteration services. From bridal boutiques, consignment clothing shops, dry cleaners, drapery studios, fashion retailers and costume shops, even for a pet’s wardrobe. If you’re good with a needle and thread, this is a great business to invest in.

What makes this an even better idea is that you can work from home. All you need is a sewing machine and accessories which will cost around $600 - $750 on Amazon, plus of course, your excellent sewing skills.

We hope this list inspired you to step into entrepreneurship. You can do this part-time or full-time. You’ll never know how successful you can be until you try. Remember to choose something you can be passionate about. The road to self-employment will be a bumpy one that requires focus and determination. Being passionate about what you are doing can help keep you motivated.

If you someone with a disability and you are thinking about starting a business, visit your local Vocational Rehabilitation office. There is a self-employment program designed to help you get started. And if you are someone residing in Indiana, don't hesitate to contact us, we can also help get you pointed in the right direction for assistance.

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