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low-cost high profit business ideas

8 low-cost high profit business ideas

Keen to start your own business without risking too much of your hard-earned cash? Here are eight examples of high-profit businesses that you can set up with very little investment. 

Social media consultancy

If you’re under 30 years of age, you’re probably a whizz on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

Why not turn that ability into profit by offering your services to local businesses keen to increase their online presence and market their services on social media?

Top tips for doing this include:

  • Sign up to a social media management tool such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite.
  • Set up business profiles on the main platforms and use your skills to gain followers and attract likes and shares.
  • Research local businesses that have inactive or non-existent profiles and fire off some emails and/or make some calls inviting them to view your profile to get an idea how you could help them.
  • Take a digital marketing course – there are several available online courses for free, although it may also be worth paying to get a recognised qualification under your belt (usually within a couple of months).

Dog walking

With many companies increasingly asking their employees to return to the office rather than working from home, dog walkers are in high demand.

There’s no official training requirement, although if you want to look after someone else’s pet in your own home, you should have certain qualifications according to the Defra Animal Activity Licensing rules.

It’s also important not to take on more dogs than you can handle and to ensure you are aware of any behavioural issues such as running off or fighting with other dogs.

You can market your services simply by putting up posters in local shops and cafes, heading to the local park and handing out flyers or business cards to dog owners, and/or popping your flyers through the letterboxes of people you know who have four-legged friends in residence.

And with the going rate for dog walking ranging from around £10 to £25 an hour, it shouldn’t be long before you’re making a healthy profit.

Virtual assistant services

Many small business owners struggle with admin, but don’t have the resources or the requirements to take on a secretary or office manager. A growing number are therefore turning to virtual assistants, who charge around £15 an hour to handle those tasks remotely.

You’ll need to be organised and self-motivated to make a success of this type of business, and have confidence in your ability to take on jobs such as:

  • Diary management
  • Bookkeeping
  • Social media management
  • Letter and email writing
  • Invoicing
  • Dictation and online meeting transcription

To stand out from the crowd, it’s also worth trying to offer extra services based on your own experience and training.

These could include marketing, event management, or the recruitment of new staff.


There is always a market for good cleaners, whether you want to work for private individuals, businesses, or both.

It might not be the most glamorous vocation, but with hourly rates at between £10 and £20 an hour – or more for specialist services such as deep cleans – it can be a very lucrative one.

And all you need to get started is a set of cleaning products and a means of transport to get you from one job to the next.

As with many of the other services on this list, you can advertise your availability effectively and inexpensively by putting up posters in shops and bars and targeting local homes and businesses with flyers or business cards – as well as posting on local social media pages.


Green fingered? Or perhaps you just love being outdoors?

Gardening is another everyday service that many people are willing to pay for to ensure their outdoor spaces are kept under control.

From simply mowing the lawn and trimming back a few bushes to creating and planting a new garden feature, it can be a varied and highly satisfying occupation – especially during the spring and summer months.

You might need to invest in some equipment, although most people with have their own lawnmowers, for example.

But once you get started, you can charge up to £25 an hour or £250 a day.

And if you’re good, you can be sure your employers will soon pass your number on to their friends.


Parents are always on the lookout for a reliable babysitter.

So, if you’re good with kids, setting up a babysitting business is one of the most cost-efficient ways to start making money fast.

Local families are a good place to start from a marketing point of view, with Facebook pages for mums and dads in your area being one of the best places to pick up your first clients.

If you live in an area that’s popular with tourists, it’s also worth contacting local hotels and travel accommodation companies.

Parents often jump at the chance of a night out alone during their holiday and may well pay over the going rate – usually somewhere around £10 an hour – for the privilege.


If you enjoy making cakes, biscuits, or any kind of sweet treats, the easiest business to set up could be a home baking service.

Social media platforms such as Instagram are a great place to find customers – all you need are a few eye-catching photos of your delicious-looking baked goods and you should soon attract a loyal following.

Creative bakers can also make extra cash by fulfilling specialist orders such as wedding cakes and the often-outlandish designs requested by children for their birthdays.

You’ll need to research what’s available locally to ensure your prices are competitive, but for the more detailed of these, you can often charge between £200 and £500.

Online sales

Baked goods are far from the only homemade goods you can sell online.

Websites such as Etsy make it a piece of cake to sell everything from candles and face creams to jewellery and paintings – and lots more besides!

There are various fees to pay when you make a sale via the site, but listing an item only costs £0.16, so it’s easy to test the water without breaking the bank.

And you can increase the online visibility of your wares for free via services such as Instagram and Tiktok. 

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