Five Business You Can Start With Less Than $5,000


If you’re looking for a place to invest your tax return, the money you earned selling your old car, or it’s just plain time to put a little something aside and quit your day job, then there are a number of business opportunities open to you that you can get involved in for perhaps far less than you might think. All of the business ideas listed below will cost any intrepid entrepreneur less than $5,000 in cash, credit or check to get going.

Online Retail

Your main cost when it comes to online retail is simply purchasing a wholesale lot of goods. This is a trickier business than you might think, though. It’s very important to find a niche before getting involved. If you try to sell iPads, for instance, then no matter how low you go, the established online retailers can always afford to set their prices a little lower because of easier and cheaper access to the goods. They can even afford to take a loss to undercut you if need be. Find a commodity that isn’t already being dominated by somebody else and you might just have an opportunity on your hands. A good place to look for products is Ali Baba where you can find wholesalers for just about any product under the sun.


If you’re a beer lover with some ideas for your own brew, micro-brewing might be a real, viable business opportunity. There are a few ways to make money with a small brew for under five thousand. Licensing to sell beer can be very expensive and setting up a real brewery, however small, can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Making beer in your garage and selling it to friends is fun, but not really a serious business. By offering beer for free with the purchase of something else (say, tickets to a barbecue in your backyard, or a gift basket), you can work around a lot of laws regarding the selling of alcohol, though. Another option, and one with no legal gray zone, is to simply attend beer festivals and trade shows to try and sell your beer recipe to a major brewer.

Bounce House Rentals

Ever wonder where those bounce houses that you see at birthday parties come from? Somebody has to own them, but few parents are likely to keep a bounce castle in their garage to bring out once a year. Typically, these are rented from a party supplier, like yourself, if you choose to invest in one. Insurance costs are relatively minimal, as are repairs, and the initial purchase itself might be far lower than you think. Shop around and see if you can find a bounce house to launch your business as a party supplier and consider slowly adding other party supply rentals over time, such as chairs and tents. A good idea can be partnering with other birthday party suppliers and entertainers and swapping referrals. A friend of mine recently started a bounce house business in Ohio, and reports that it was a very no hassle business to start, although dealing with insurance and regulation can be a pain in some states.


Transporting band equipment, luggage and other stuff across town with a used van is a viable option if you’re a safe driver with a clean record. The joy in this job is being able to get out and drive around. A lot of small business ideas have you sitting at home on your computer writing websites and sending email for hours a day, so being able to drive around and meet new people and see new places is a lot of fun and very refreshing. A van or a large truck and a tank of gas is just about all you need for this business. You may need to check up on insurance laws in your state, but chances are that having your customers sign a waiver of liability should be enough to cover your interests as long as you have basic business insurance. You can bid on transporting various items through websites like uShip.

Recording Studios

There are a lot of would be rappers and musicians out there who need affordable studio space. If you have a spare bedroom in your home, a garage you can convert or even a large enough walk in closet, you can convert it into a recording studio with some foam padding and $5,000 or less in audio equipment and charge by the hour to rent it out. You can even offer your services as a sound engineer if you know a little something about the art and science of recording. The Internet makes it easier than ever for musicians to find an audience, and that means that there are more people than ever trying to make it in music. Whether or not you ever wanted to be a rock star, you can use this phenomenon to make a decent living offering your equipment and services at a fair price.

Starting a new business can be scary and success is never guaranteed, but if you give it your all, you may be surprised by the results.

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