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For many people, starting their own small business is a big dream. Whether you’re looking for a side hustle to supplement your 9-to-5 job, or aspire to run a business full-time, it can be hard to know where to start.
If you’re going out on your own, choosing an industry you have a passion for is a no-brainer. But before you decide to open a business, consider the set-up costs (rent, insurance staff, stock, etc.), and the time it will take you to get up and running.
Here, we share 17 small business ideas that don’t require a lot of capital. From mobile to at-home options, read on for start-up inspiration…
1. Personal trainer
While personal training is about helping clients meet their health and fitness goals, many people get into the industry because they have a passion for working out themselves. Being a trainer gives you good flexibility – you can train your clients at a gym, a local park or their home.
2. Event planner
If you love party planning, a career as an events planner could be just right for you. You might choose to specialise in weddings or corporate events, or partner with an event venue to support them with all their functions. Bear in mind it’s not all glitz and glamour – you’ll often be working with stressed-out clients with fairly lofty expectations.
If you’re the person friends and family call when they need help with home improvement projects, becoming a handyperson could be a great fit for your skills. Tools like Square Reader let you accept contactless payments anywhere so you can process customer payments on the spot.
4. Website developer
With platforms like Wix and WooCommerce making it easier than ever to create your own website, many tech-savvy people are working as freelance website developers or technical experts. Pick a platform to specialise in and help other small business owners to make their brands shine online.
A cleaning business is an excellent option if you’re looking to establish a new business without incurring too many set-up costs. Minimise administration by using a tool like Square Reader to accept contactless customer payments at each job or Square Invoices to send online invoices from anywhere and get paid fast.
If friends and family seek your guidance due to your experience in or knowledge of a certain subject, you could turn your expertise into a thriving business. Depending on your skill set, you might find yourself doing anything from improving resumes to styling homes or streamlining other small businesses – if you’re a subject matter expert, the options are endless.
7. Interior designer
As an interior designer, you’ll help clients to create beautiful spaces that reflect their family and lifestyle. From sourcing furniture and homewares to advising on styling and lighting, interior design is a rewarding career that balances creativity and practicality.
If you’re someone who always captures the perfect shot, working as a photographer could be the ideal small business option. Take photos of family and friends to build a portfolio, and manage bookings and payments with ease via an online scheduling tool like Square Appointments.
9. Property manager
Great at dealing with people and juggling many tasks at once? Starting a property management agency could be an exciting new career. Looking after rental properties for their owners, you’ll need a strong command of the relevant tenancy regulations and the financial nous to manage a busy general ledger.
10. Food truck owner
Buying a food truck is a popular way to test your new restaurant idea without incurring the high costs of setting up a brick-and-mortar venue. Work alone or with a small team to try different menu items and pricing structures. Tools like Square Reader give food truck owners the flexibility to accept fast, secure contactless payments on the road.
11. Virtual assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant is a great choice if you’re someone who’s organised and has excellent attention to detail. Virtual assistants generally work on a freelance basis to help clients with administrative tasks like calendar management, bookkeeping and social media management.
Hairdressing is a flexible mobile or at-home business option. Choose your hours, set your pricing and start your hairdressing business today. Use social media to promote ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots that showcase your talent.
13. Graphic designer
Do you have an eye for design? As a graphic designer, you can create beautiful websites, advertisements, product packaging and more. Freelance graphic designers enjoy great flexibility, with the ability to set their own hours and choose the projects they work on. Tools like Square Invoices will save you time and help you get paid faster.
If you’re fantastic with kids and hold working-with-children and first aid certification, setting up a babysitting business is worth considering. You’ll need plenty of patience but babysitting young children can be a lucrative business that may see you working with the same families for many years.
15. Professional organiser
If a well-organised wardrobe or pantry sparks joy for you, you might be a natural to create a small business as a professional organiser. Working with clients in their homes, you’ll help them to create systems and storage solutions that reduce clutter and the time they spend tidying.
Working from home or your clients’ premises, as a freelance bookkeeper, you’re responsible for keeping your clients in good financial shape. You’ll need to be a registered BAS agent if you’re providing BAS and GST support.
Skilled at maths, Spanish or biology? Working as a tutor could be a lucrative small business idea – either on a full-time basis or after-hours to supplement your regular income. Advertise through local schools and community centres, and don’t forget to ask your existing clients for referrals. Use a tool like Square Reader to process payments on the spot.
At Square, we support small businesses with flexible tools to help them run more efficiently and manage payments with ease. Create a free account in minutes and join the millions of businesses using Square.