Have an extra $1,000 and looking into entrepreneurship? There are plenty of businesses you can start with $1,000, but we’ve narrowed it down to the 13 best opportunities.
Whether you want a career change, side-hustle cash, or simply to make ends meet, there’s a multitude of businesses you can start for very little money.
Ventured recommends picking something you like, are already good at, or are already doing with your current full-time job and turn your passion into a business that you are the boss of.
Here are the 13 best businesses you can start with $1,000
Table of Contents
- Here are the 13 best businesses you can start with $1,000
1. Amazon/eBay Business
Description: Selling items on Amazon.com
How to get started: Find something you want to sell and list it online!
I remember, back in middle school selling my first items on eBay.
This was the process to take photos of an item
- Utilize digital camera
- Take photos of the item
- Remove SD card and place into the computer
- Download photos
- Upload photos to eBay
Ick, what a mess! Everyone has a phone with a camera that is 10x more powerful than 20 years ago.
Selling online today is easy!
Selling stuff online is one of the easiest businesses you can start with $1,000. It’s not difficult to open an account on either eBay or Amazon. It takes very little effort, and there are many online tutorials, and each has excellent seller support.
There are plenty of other platforms such as Offer Up, Mercari, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, and even Craigslist still exists. The benefit to eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and Mercari is that you can ship the item, which does not require meeting someone in person. This can be a great time-saver, people won’t stand you up, and you don’t have to meet creepy people!
The drawback to eBay & Amazon is that returns do happen frequently. It is reported that between 20%-30% of all Amazon orders are returned.
- After you run out of items lying around the house to sell, you will need to purchase additional items. Ventured.com recommends aiming for a 50% margin or only buying items that you can double your money on.
- If an item is selling for $100 (after fees and shipping), the max you would try to pay for that item is $50.
- You likely already have a phone to take photos and list items. Now your phone and phone bill may be written off as a business expense (please speak with a licensed tax professional).
- Amazon charges a $39.99 per month platform fee along with a fee every time you sell an item (around 10%)
- eBay charges a fee every time you sell an item (about 10%) plus Paypal charges around 3%.
People can make $10,000 per month or more simply by buying and selling items online.
We spoke with the owners of a Police Scanner company, and this is what the CEO had to say, “We started small with under $1,000, found a niche, and drove in. We sell over $3,000,0000 per year and started from nothing six years ago.” – Lukas, Founder & CEO zipscanners.com
Description: Become a published author or a copywriter
How to get started: Have a story to tell.
Many groundbreaking, heartwarming, and best-selling stories come from experiences.
One can also become a copywriter. Think of all the types of things that need to be written for or just how many different places you read words daily.
- Email copywriter
- Website copywriter
- Social media copywriter
- UX copywriter (think of instructions on a travel website)
- Video caption writer
- Newspaper or magazine writer
- Blogger or article writer
- SEO copywriter
- Technical copywriter
- Resume and cover letter writer
- Grant writing
- Speech writing
- Educational or textbook writing
If you want to try your hand at writing that memoir or novel you have meant to write. Now is a great time to do it as there is Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), which a way to self-publish on Amazon. It is free, and you only incur a commission when your book sells.
- Copywriting courses and classes can range from $10.44 on Udemy up to $14,999 through Peep Laja Conversion Copywriting Program.
- Through KDP you earn up to 70% of your book’s price, which you set, as an ebook.
- Up to 60% of your book’s price as a paperback, less printing costs.
- You will likely need an editor and/or you may choose a hire a ghostwriter.
- Is it oftentimes more expensive to go with a ghostwriter who does not want credit? You may be able to find one for less if you add “as tole to” or “with” and credit them as an accompanying author.
You may not become the next J.K. Rowling, who netted over $1.15 billion from selling Harry Potter books alone (utilizing a standard 15% writers cut of the estimated 7.7 billion revenue from the series.)
A survey by Author’s Guild found the average author to make $20,300 in 2017. Copywriters, technical writers, and UX copywriters have been known to make much more.
3. ATM Machine
Description: Owning and operating an ATM or vending machine business.
How to get started: This business is all about location and relationships. You can own a million vending machines, but with no place to put them, you’re out of luck.
An ATM or vending machine business takes research to find the ideal location. Is there foot traffic at this location, is there a need for this machine at this location, how close are competitors, and what is your differentiator?
You will need to secure a contract with a business owner to place your ATM, and in that contract, state the split of the fees. An ATM for the business owner means more business and possibly more spending in their store.
Here is where you make money, the national average for ATM fees is $4.61. Your cut of that as the owner could be around 50%.
ATMs are more expensive than vending machines, but both can be had for around $1,000 used.
Additionally, you will need inventory.
For a vending machine, you will need snacks, around $100 worth.
For an ATM, you will need cash and lots of it. An ATM needs to be stocked with around $10,000. This can be attained by taking out a small business loan.
Now, this takes some math.
Let’s expect the average ATM customer nationally withdraws $60 per transaction.
You can expect around four transactions per day up to twelve in a highly trafficked area.
This would mean between $240 and $720 per day, for an average of $480 withdrawn per day.
The fees on four transactions would be $16 if you charge $4 per withdrawal.
$0.20 processor fee per transaction or $0.80 per day
$0.50 vendor fee per transaction or $2.00 per day
$0.70 in costs per transaction or $2.80 per day
Your gross profit is $16-$2.80= $13.20 per day
Just over $4,800 per year!
Description: Freelance photographer/videographer
How to get started: Grab some friends and tell them you will take photos of them for free. Who doesn’t love free glamor shots?
You will likely need to set up social media and a website to garner attention and get the word out that you’re open for business.
You already own a phone, right? You have what you need to get started. If you want to be taken seriously by clients, you may need a standalone camera.
Here is a Canon camera, tripod, sd card, lenses, and all the fixin’ you need to get started for under $400.
You should already own a computer, but you may want some flashy editing software
Each application in the Adobe suite of products, Photoshop, and After Effects can be had for a $19.99 per month subscription.
This largely depends on how many gigs you can book. Photography is very competitive, but if you do it well, you can build a very successful business.
The average wedding costs around $2,000. This may require an additional photographer to find the right angles and moments. Plus, you will have to spend time touching photos and editing to meet the client’s needs after their perfect day.
An hourly rate for a photographer can run from $100 up to $250.
5. Pool cleaning company
Description: Commercial or residential pool cleaning business
How to get started: If you live somewhere warm, then it’s likely there will be pools. If you live somewhere where there are only three summer months for pool-goers, you are a bit disadvantaged in this one.
But, if you like somewhere where it’s never old (Califonia, Texas, Florida) and its pool weather all-year-round, then this may be your Golden Ticket!
We Interviewed someone who started a pool cleaning business
Andrew Bertolino owns and operates CB Pools, which is located in Long Island, New York.
“The hardest part was actually deciding to create the business; once we started, we found that customer acquisition was easy. Most pool service providers don’t leverage technology like they should, so things like being able to accept credit card payments in the field have been extremely beneficial to our business.”
Andrew split the $500 in start-up costs with his business partner, which funded the purchase of a pool pump and filter.
He spends $130 per month on Quickbooks, marketing, and does pay a part-time employee.
A pool cleaner owner can stand to make $50-$60 hours when working. This equates to $2,400 per week. Bear in mind, this workload and cash flow will not be available all year round.
Andrew shared with us he stands to make $10,000 in year one and upwards of $40,000 in year two!
Description: Commercial or residential home painter
How to get started: Dip your brush in a bucket and go. Easy as pie, right?
Finishes, primers, this job largely depends on how good you are. Not everyone can learn how to do this well if you do not have a steady hand, attention to detail, or a fear of heights.
Here are some common costs of different areas of a home
The cost of the paint is typically covered by the person who hires you.
You will have to pay for supplies; paint brushes, rollers, ladders, buckets, tape= $200-$400
The average hourly wage for a quality painter is around $60 per hour. Each room may run $200-$800 depending not including trim, ceilings, or the cost of material, paint.
7. Home inspector
Description: Certified Home inspector
How to get started: This one doesn’t simply take an influx of capital, you need to get formally educated, trained, and need to pass some tests.
The time and money commitments to becoming a home inspector are largely dictated by the state that one resides. It may take up to 200 hours and multiple exams before you are certified.
In many states, the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE) is a requirement to become a home inspector. This exam is four hours long and is required in most southern and eastern states.
Being a home inspector carries a large burden as you are responsible for certifying a building. If a home has structural issues, large liabilities that you did not catch, you could be legally responsible for damages, injuries, and even deaths.
As a home inspector, you will look at houses typically during the selling process all of these items
- Furnace and air conditioning systems
- Structural integrity
- Water heater
- Air quality
$225 NHIE Home Inspector exam.
Liability / Errors and Omissions Insurance: $1,000 per year
Optional: Pre-licensing courses
On-going: Continuing education classes may be required depending on the state you live in.
Average US Salary $58,000 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
It costs about $500 for one single home inspection that may take around 8 hours to complete.
Here you can be your own boss, or a home insurance company can also hire you. More money and freedom, for that matter, can be had by being your own boss.
Resource: Learn more about becoming a Home Inspector HERE
8. Cell Phone Screen Repair Business
Description: Fixing broken and cracked smart device screens.
How to get started: People drop their phones at least one time every other day, according to the NY Post.
And that results in a lot of cracked, damaged, and non-working cell phone screens.
This type of business can be run out of your home or local coffee shop if you can to convince customers you have higher quality or a lower price than the big players in the space.
Screen repair businesses are not going away as the general public relies on their phones and screens, in general, increasing year after year. If you at all have a “can do” and “Mr. Fix It” attitude, this business might be for you.
Tools: Tools may cost up to $100 depending on how many types of cell phone repair kits your purchase.
Inventory: Inventory may cost several hundred dollars to get started as you want to ensure you will have the correct item in stock. The phone is the lifeblood for most people; they cannot wait two days for you to get a part in stock when they can’t stand two more seconds with a cracked device.
My local cell phone repair store quoted me a whopping $129.99 to repair an iPhone 8 screen. I’d imagine the price for an iPhone Pro Max to be marginally higher.
Just for fun, I quoted an iPhone 5c, and that came in at $89.99 for a new screen while an entirely new phone can be had for around $50 on eBay. It seems like a surprisingly lucrative business.
If you collect $100 per, and let’s say the part costs you $20, you would need to only complete 300 repairs, or around one per day, to reach $24,000 gross profit.
9. Home-based Medical Billing and Coding
Description: An independent medical biller and coder
How to get started: This one requires a computer and an affinity for health care and data entry.
Health care is not going away, even if Bernie is elected and single-payer enacted, there will still be medical services with their accompanying bills and codes needing to transpire.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states this field to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026.
Just like many other businesses on this list, you are the boss, and you need to find clients, in this instance, your clients are the following:
It’s suggested you choose a niche so you can understand in ingrain your self into the world of that particular specialty.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a four-year degree or any formal training to be a medical coder. It is highly recommended to have some certification so you can stand out to potential clients and be taken seriously. Be wary of any school or institution advertising otherwise.
In this business, it is your job to bill the insurance companies with the needed medical codes to ensure accuracy and that the bills can be processed correctly. This enables the clinic to be paid and then send and outstanding balance to the patients who received the services.
Note: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has best practices and guidelines to avoid getting scammed, as there are many ads run around joining an existing medical billing/coding business.
A medical billing and coding business will need the following items:
- Medical billing software: $209 per month via Medisoft
- Accredited medical billing and coding programs can run up to $3,000. Again, these are not needed, but a less expensive class may be worthwhile to get you started.
You can structure your pay schedule after one of the three following models.
- Hourly fee
- Per-claim fee
- A percentage of the client’s total income
On average, a medical billing business can generate $20-$30 per hour, depending on credentials.
10. In-home Daycare
Description: Opening a daycare in your home
How to get started: You will need to have the right personality style for this one.
Having little rugrats and ankle-biters around you all day takes the right type of person.
This one takes a bit of research before jumping into due to rules and regulations.
Here qualifications from the State of Minnesota to give you an idea:
- A minimum of one year as a family child care provider
- A minimum of six months as a licensed family child care provider plus certain training and experience described in Minnesota rules
- Certification or licensure in the specified child development or early childhood program, child development assistant program, current prekindergarten license, K-6 teaching degree, or documentation of six months’ experience as a full-time teacher at a licensed child care center.
- Providers and all adult caregivers who are assisting with care regularly, must have had a physical exam within 12 months before obtaining their initial license.
Be sure to check the rules, regulations, and guidelines of your particular state to ensure they are attainable and you are well-informed before jumping into this business.
Total start-up costs for opening an in-home daycare may cost $4,000 or less if you already have children and the necessary toys and items that are required.
CPR training: $50
One-time costs may range from $0-$400 depending on if you already have these items:
- Baby gates
- Child safety locks
- Toys and activities
- Educational materials
On-going costs: Each child will likely cost $100 per week or more in food and other supplies
In-home daycare owners can make between $10-$15 per hour per child.
If you watch two children year-round, this equates to around $60,000 in income before expenses.
11. Personal Trainer
Description: Become an independent personal trainer
How to get started: Here, you need to have a passion for fitness and making other people fit!
Becoming an independent personal trainer does not require fancy degrees; what it does take is a good working knowledge of how to build workout plans and motivate others.
Although not a prerequisite, it may be helpful to be in shape yourself, as people are looking to hire you to make them look cut, slim, and in shape, you should be too! This is your best advertising strategy and a great way for others to build trust in you.
Finding clients to be a personal trainer may a tricky situation to navigate. You may already belong to a gym and may or may not be able to self-promote depending on the rules or how the ownership feels.
Outside of a traditional gym, independent personal trainers may find work at physical therapy clinical, spas, or hospitals.
With additional capital, many fitness fanatics open their own, independent gym. You will need more than $1,000 to start, but if you can raise money from others, you may not need to break the bank.
CPR Certification: $50
Personal Trainer Liability Insurance: $129 per year through Insurance Canopy, which covers up to $3 Million Aggregate.
Rent Gym Space: If you were to be employed by a gym, they might take up to 70% of your training fees. If you are independent, you may keep up to 90% of your training fees, the other 10% going toward paying the gym for the space used during the training.
Marketing: Consider starting a fitness blog, although not required.
$50-$100 per session is not out of the question for the most qualified and experienced personal trainers.
An average personal trainer salary is around $50,000 annually but tops out at more than 2.5 times that at $130,000 per year.
12. Personal chef
Description: Private personal chef
How to get started: Many entrepreneurs dream of opening their own restaurant, but they have a very high failure rate (80% in five years) and have a high barrier to entry due to capital requirements.
Becoming a personal chef can combine your love of food and your entrepreneurial spirit.
How do you become a personal chef?
You have heard of Uber & UberEats, and now some companies allow you to hire a private chef into your home and prepare a homecooked meal in front of your eyes!
One of them being My Table. My Table is operating in many major cities throughout the US. A hungry person downloads their app and selects a chef in the marketplace.
My Table requires a private chef to show proof of a food safety certificate.
ServSafe allows for aspiring chefs to earn a food safety certificate online. The cheapest method is a ServaSafe Food handler certificate, which is awarded after completing a test. Depending on your state, it may cost between $10-$80. We cannot state for certain if this will suffice for My Table’s requirements.
Food Liability Insurance Program can be purchased for $299 per year, which covers you up to $2 million in general liability insurance and a plethora of other benefits you may need.
A personal chef can expect to make between $14-$45 per hour, mainly depending on experience.
My Table lists these tiers on their website.
- Comfort Cooks (home cooks)- $25-$50 per hour
- Catering- $50-$75 per hour
- Fine-Dining- $75+ per hour
13. Pressure Washing Business
Description: Commercial and residential power washing
How to get started: Find someplace that is dirty and offer to clean it up!
Seriously, dirt, grime, and gunk build up in all geographical locations with enough time.
Unlike some jobs on this list, you cannot have this type of business without highly specialized equipment.
What people will pay you to clean with a pressure washer
- Driveways and garage floors
- Home exteriors (siding, brick, windows, etc.)
- Patio and pavement
- Wood decks
- Trucks and cars
- Drain, duct, and gutter cleaning
This dirty industry is flush with cash and is estimated to be over $9.5 billion in 2020 (outdoor cleaning US statistics).
If you feel inspired or intrigued by the idea of pressure washing, you can join the nearly one million followers of the /r/powerwashingporn subreddit where its rabid fans flock to view satisfying before and after photos and videos of a job well done.
Note: Pressure Washing and Power Washing are two separate practices as the words are often incorrectly used interchangeably.
The difference is Power Washing utilizes hot water, mainly on fungus, mold, dirt, and grime.
You will likely need a pressure washer above 3,500 PSI. These can run $200-$500 or so.
A more expensive package can run several thousand dollars that include the telescoping wands, additional hoses, and fancy tools. If you don’t want to go in right away, the excellent thing is power washers can be rented on an hourly or daily basis from many big box home improvement stores for around $100 per day.
According to Home Advisor, power washers can expect to be paid the following amounts-
- $220-$380 for house siding
- $130-$220 for a driveway
- $250-$420 for a deck or patio
Keep in mind, in colder climates, power washing is not feasible all year round, and you will need to account for cash flow during colder months.
The above list is not exhaustive, and yet it still may be overwhelming and may not have answered your question of what type of business to start.
You still may be asking, “where to start?”
If you’re an entrepreneur wanting to start a business on a tight budget, start with what you already know.
Write down what you’re good at, your skills and abilities. There are likely those in your similar position with similar ideas, and it will come down to those who can execute and better serve their marketplace.
If you’ve never been a chef before and have zero culinary experience, maybe becoming a personal chef or starting a catering business isn’t for you.
IE: if an electrician were to be laid off, he would already own many of the tools needed to continue being an electrician. It would be wise for said person to come up with an idea and utilize the $1,000 for working capital for advertising and additional tools or supplies.
Note: In addition to the Total Startup costs listed above, be sure to take into consideration your state’s fees for registering a new business.
Plus, you will need a website, business cards, and other costs that may seep into the scenario.
What business do you plan on starting with $1,000? Leave a comment below…