30 SMALL BUSINESS IDEAS TO MAKE MONEY IN 2022 (LOW INVESTMENT IDEAS)
With so many business ideas in 2022, it can be hard to figure out which are worth pursuing.
While jumping on a new trend can sometimes be risky—it can also be highly rewarding. You may notice that many of the ideas on this list have been growing in popularity recently. Others have been popular for a long time, making them more competitive but less risky. However, all the small business ideas below will help make you money.
30 best business ideas of 2022
If you have been asking yourself what business to start, then this list is for you. According to small business statistics, one of the biggest motivations for opening your own business is being your own boss. Owning a business gives you the freedom to work when, where, or how you want.
Want to work at a beach or your grandma’s house? Go ahead, no one is going to stop or question you. This is the dream life many people hope to live one day, and thanks to some great business ideas, achieving that lifestyle is well within your reach.
Let’s take a look at the list of business ideas that’ll make you money in 2022:
Are you looking to sell products online but don’t have the money to buy and store inventory? Consider dropshipping! Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model in which you don’t have to manage any physical products.
All you have to do is set up an online store and partner with suppliers who are ready to store, package, and ship orders to your customers. There’s no need to spend hours on product research, because you can use dropshipping apps like Automizely to find awesome products to sell.
Check out this dropshipping course from Shopify to learn more about selling online without inventory. If you’re searching for easy online business ideas to pursue, it would be hard to find something that tops dropshipping. It’s one of the simplest businesses to start if you have access to the right tools and resources.
The biggest reason people are often drawn to dropshipping is that you don’t have to hold inventory. However, if holding inventory isn’t an issue (maybe there’s enough room in that spare closet), you can consider sourcing products wholesale.
Online marketplaces like Handshake enable small business owners to find unique, high-quality products and build long-lasting relationships with suppliers. It’s worth checking out as a supplement to dropshipping if you already know what you want to sell.
2. Print on Demand
If you’re looking for proven business ideas to execute, try print on demand.
Print on demand (POD) is when you sell your own custom designs on items like phone cases, mugs, and t-shirts, but you don’t actually print the artwork. Instead, you collaborate with suppliers who print your design on the product—they even package and ship the item to your customer, so you don’t have to worry about logistics. Also, you only pay once you have sold the products. No sales equals no costs.
One of the quickest ways to get started is to create a Shopify store and install a POD app like Printify. In terms of marketing, partnering with Instagram influencers to promote your POD items is an effective way to reach audiences. To evaluate whether print on demand is the right option for you, watch our video where we get into a healthy debate with Wholesale Ted (a print-on-demand company).
Multilingual people are always in demand, so if you can speak two or more languages, consider starting a small business where you can monetize those skills.
You can look for clients on Upwork and Flexjobs and slowly build your portfolio. As you work successfully with more and more companies, you can hire more translators who specialize in other languages to take things off your plate. It’s also a good idea to market your business on social media websites, as it can help you reach a wider audience.
Got only a few hours to spare each day? Translation is one of the best side business ideas to pursue, as it lets you schedule your clients based on when you are available to work.
4. Website Flipping
Website flipping is among the new business ideas that have gotten everyone from work-at-home parents to recent graduates excited. It involves buying an already running website, improving its design and content, and then selling it for a profit.
There are quite a few places where you can buy and sell websites to earn a profit. Shopify’s marketplace, Exchange, for example, allows you to buy ecommerce websites that you can further improve via content marketing, SEO, and other tactics. Once your site begins to generate more revenue than when you acquired it, you can list it for sale on the marketplace.
5. Home-based Catering
If you have a knack for cooking and see it as a creative outlet, you can make a decent income by opening a home-based catering business.
The initial investment depends on how big you want the setup to be. For example, if you start with smaller events that you can manage on your own, you should be able to start your business for less.
Most home-based caterers start by creating a website, experimenting with local food markets, or joining platforms that allow cooking experts to squeeze some profits from their culinary skills.
6. Dog walking
It can be difficult to keep up with a furry friend, particularly high-energy breeds with limited outdoor access. As a professional dog walker, you’ll be helping pet owners in the community keep their dogs happy, healthy, and well exercised.
Dog walking requires no initial investments other than marketing and business liability insurance. This will protect you in case of accidents, bites, or unexpected lawsuits. It’s a good idea to charge prices that reflect your insurance costs, with the average range between $30 to $60 an hour.
You can establish a presence for your dog walking business on a number of platforms, including Wag!, Rover, and Care.com. Offer promotions for new clients and build a positive reputation by requesting reviews from those you’ve worked with in the past.
7. Virtual assistance
One of the most successful business ideas is to offer virtual assistant services. Everyone from large enterprises to solopreneurs requires help with the day-to-day management of their business. You can use your excellent organizational skills to take some weight off their shoulders.
Of course, you’ll get paid for the time and effort you put into answering emails, scheduling meetings, and performing other administrative duties.
You can land your first few clients by responding to listings on platforms like FreeUp, PeoplePerHour, or Virtual Assistant Jobs. This is a proven business model, as people are always looking for efficient virtual assistants.
8. Personal shopping
Do you often get praised for your eye for fashion trends? Are you someone who friends and family come to for clothing advice? Personal shopping can be a business that builds on those skills.
Personal shoppers find clothing items for clients who don’t have time to shop for themselves. Duties involve evaluating your client’s wardrobe, visiting websites, and picking items that will suit them. There are all kinds of products on different online clothing boutiques, so you don’t necessarily have to shop offline to get this business started.
Plus, you don’t need to hold any special certification or degree to become a personal shopper. If your interests lie in business ideas with low investment, personal shopping might be the ideal route to consider.
9. Car detailing
Contrary to popular belief, it’s entirely possible to make car detailing a full-time business. The average profit of car detailing is anywhere from $50 to $400 per vehicle, meaning you could make a healthy profit if you find consistent clients.
The key to success in the car detailing business is marketing. You’ll need to spread the word about your services through a website or social media platform, and encourage regular reviews as well. Try to offer discounts for new clients or package deals for those who commit to multiple sessions.
All you need to get started are cleaning supplies and a driveway. You may consider getting certified through the IDA or taking a craftsmanship seminar to enhance your skills.
10. Online tutoring
If you’re an expert in art, math, or another subject, you can start the business of online tutoring. An essential prerequisite is having a bachelor’s degree in the subject you intend to teach.
You can find online tutoring clients on sites like Skooli and Tutor.com. For the best results, always teach subjects that relate to your area of expertise, because you’ll be able to share your skills and constructive knowledge to enhance your students’ own knowledge. You can deliver lectures and interact with your students over Zoom, making online tutoring one of the easiest online businesses you can start.
11. Greeting cards
Greeting cards are always in style, so if you have a good eye for design or just love showcasing your artwork on physical items, this is one of the best creative business ideas for you.
Before you can start looking for clients, you’ll need to have a handful of designs ready to go. Tools like Photoshop and Canva make it easy to create custom card designs. Additionally, you’ll need to stock up on supplies required to create greeting cards (ink, paper, etc.).
Pro tip: If you want to keep costs low, consider buying your supplies wholesale. Once you have the inventory, you can start generating revenue by marketing your business on Facebook, Etsy, and other similar platforms.
12. Content writing
Almost every company with a web presence needs help creating content for product pages, blogs, etc.
As such, starting a content writing or copywriting company could be one of the most profitable business ideas for you. Popular websites for finding those first few customers include Remote.co, Problogger, and BloggingPro.
You can also join content writing groups on Facebook to get more exposure for your business. To make a good impression on clients, consider offering keyword optimization or custom graphics as part of your services.
13. Homemade products
If you have a knack for molding soap bars, brewing drinks, or baking specialty products, a homemade crafts business may be a great fit for you. Not only does it serve as a wonderful creative outlet, but it can easily scale up as word of your business gets out.
Some of the most profitable homemade products include agricultural products, beauty solutions like cosmetics and soaps, and accessories such as jewelry. Ingredients and raw materials coupled with your labor should provide a sustainable return on investment.
You can start selling homemade products at your local farmers market, on a platform like Etsy, or with a storefront on iCraft. Try adding a unique twist to your products, such as dessert-themed bath bombs or pop-culture clothing items.
14. WordPress support
A lot of websites out there are hosted on WordPress, and almost every WordPress website owner requires support in some form. So, if you’re familiar with the ins and outs of this platform, you’ll have several opportunities to make money.
Clients may contact you to fix their CSS, find and address security holes, and more. While you can use platforms like PeoplePerHour and Upwork to get your first clients, we recommend creating a custom website and listing your services there. That way, you’ll be able to avoid high commissions and build high-quality relationships with your clients.
Hands down, offering WordPress support is one of the best business ideas to try in 2022.
15. Career coaching
With rising unemployment and a saturated job market, there’s no shortage of people needing help finding jobs. If you have a talent for helping your friends and family find suitable employment, you can probably help others too.
Consider starting a career coaching business where you help others figure out what the best career for them is, how to nail an interview, what traits define a good candidate, and more. You can look for clients in Facebook groups or on platforms like Coach.me.
The best thing about this business is that you can make money by conducting four to five hourly sessions a month. Plus, you can coach multiple clients in a single session. If you’re looking for good business ideas that won’t occupy too much of your time, career coaching may be the right option for you.
16. Email marketing
Are you good at writing emails? Have you cracked the code for crafting subject lines that people can’t help but click? If so, you can step into entrepreneurship and make money by launching an email marketing business.
You can find companies that need help with their email strategy on platforms like PeoplePerHour and Upwork, as well as via cold outreach. Once you demonstrate that skill of enticing recipients, clients will rush to get your services and even agree to the price you quote them (major brownie points if you can help grow their email list).
Startup costs include investing in email marketing tools, which will automate many of your tasks.
17. Contract cleaning
Not everyone has the time or skills to clean on a regular basis. Becoming a professional cleaner allows you to assist home and business owners with scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, and more.
Startup costs for household cleaning businesses are extremely low. Cleaning supplies and materials cost less than $100, although you could also purchase specialty equipment like steam vacuums or carpet cleaners. It’s a good idea to set up a website or social media page to get the word out for cheap.
The fees you charge will depend on the needs of your clients. Most cleaners charge by the hour, although some have additional expenses associated with certain tasks (organization, deep cleaning, etc.). Use tools like Angi Leads to display your business and discover what other people are charging. Be sure to register as an LLC and complete all necessary paperwork.
18. Meals to go
There’s no end to the line of people who struggle to find time to cook nutritious and healthy meals. This has led to a rise in meals-to-go businesses, offering all kinds of cuisine options. You can capitalize on this trend by starting your own meals-to-go business in your city, state, or neighborhood.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to invest in designing a large commercial kitchen. A shared rental kitchen is good enough to run a meals-go-to business. These places are usually equipped with essential supplies and can be rented by month, day, or hour. You can find shared-use, licensed commissary kitchens through websites like The Kitchen Door.
19. Landscaping services
Have a passion for gardening and yard work? Starting a landscaping business may be the perfect way to turn your hobby into a profitable endeavor. Landscaping services include anything from mowing lawns to planting flowers and shrubs and may or may not be seasonable, depending on your climate.
Determine what you can do best in a yard and market your business to a specific audience. Keep a curated portfolio of your best work, including colorful photographs with detailed outcomes for customers. If you offer unique services (fertilizing, pest control, etc.), be sure to highlight that across your social media platforms.
You can find your first landscaping clients by going door-to-door in the neighborhood or hopping on platforms like TaskEasy. Websites like HomeAdvisor connect your landscape business with paying clients in your area. You can also get certified with the National Association of Landscape Professionals to boost your credibility.
20. Website testing
Did you know that brands with a digital footprint hire real people to give feedback on their websites? These opinions allow them to address issues that their developers may have failed to identify. You can hire a bunch of people on a freelance basis and create your own website testing company.
As you take on projects, your employees will receive a set of questions that they need to answer as they navigate a company’s website. Through video, they’ll communicate their initial thoughts on the current user experience and how the site could be improved.
You can find work through websites like UserTesting, Ferpection, and TryMyUI.
Do you have experience in generating backlinks and improving the search engine visibility of a website? If yes, then there’s an opportunity for you to cash in on your skill set.
Site owners worldwide require the services of SEO experts, so opening a business in this field could turn out to be one of your best decisions. When looking for clients, focus on a niche audience, learn from the experiences, and build your portfolio—showcase your success stories and you are bound to see an influx of clients if your SEO techniques are on point.
You can choose to target all sorts of companies or appeal to businesses in a particular niche, such as in the legal, health, or financial sector. With monthly retainers of $501 to $1,000, selling SEO services is one of the best business ideas to make money in 2022.
22. App development
App development is one of the best profitable small business ideas, since so many companies require an app. Not to mention, the cost of starting this venture has drastically gone down due to the growth of tools and affordable developers.
Today, you can use software like OmniGraffle or Sketch to create the wireframes and mockups before you decide to publish the app. Alternatively, you can hire a freelance app developer via AngelList and Upwork.
There’s also the opportunity to earn passive income by creating apps for the general audience. Of course, that requires you to develop a monetization strategy that generates recurring revenue. Profitable strategies include offering in-app purchases and charging for a premium version of your app.
23. Stock photography
If you have the ability to capture great candid moments or recently did a portrait shoot of a relative, you can become a stock photographer by registering a sole proprietorship under your name.
Companies like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and the like are always open for image submissions. You can start by listing a few of your existing photos on these platforms. Once you’ve submitted your photographs, wait for people to download them.
Most stock photography websites pay you a royalty for every download on their platform. Another option is to launch your own photography website and sell images directly to people, which is only viable if you have the resources to invest in marketing.
24. Virtual dance studio
The upsides to a virtual dance studio are pretty obvious: you don’t need to rent a big space, and it’s convenient to record, publish, and share the choreography at your own discretion. It’s even possible to give dance classes from home, making it one of the best home-based business ideas. Plus, there’s no limit to the number of students you can enroll in your class.
To start a virtual dance studio, you’ll need to invest in video conferencing software, such as Zoom. You’ll also need high-speed internet to ensure there are no lags or buffering during the livestream. Make sure to arrange enough classes per month so that your students learn their routines fast.
If you have a passion for creating your own unique choreography, you may also find opportunities to partner with dance schools to give their students access to your content on a membership basis.
25. Instagram consulting
If you know the secrets to Instagram engagement, consider becoming an Instagram consultant. Clients will pay you for creating engaging captions, responding to comments, creating attractive bios, and more.
You can monetize these services by charging a specific rate per hour or by project. This is the perfect business idea for digital nomads, as everything can be managed from a laptop or smartphone.
To become a sought-after Instagram consultant, master the skill of creating killer Instagram ads that get people to engage and buy from businesses. You can get your first clients by marketing your business on Upwork and other social media platforms.
26. Video production
According to video marketing statistics, 85% of internet users in the US watched an online video on their devices. With more and more videos being watched than ever before, there’s certainly a need for people who can record, edit, cut, and publish videos. Therefore, starting a video production company might turn out to be a lucrative business idea for you.
The initial investment in this business is a basic lighting set, wireless microphones, one to two cameras (and lenses), and editing software like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro. See if you can find second-hand varieties for some of this equipment in order to reduce startup costs.
You can offer to produce video content for companies’ YouTube channels, manage graduation and wedding videography, and more. While there’s no restriction to the types of projects you can do, specializing in a niche makes it easy to stand out in a busy marketplace.
27. Software education
Do you have acquaintances who lack proficiency in computer software? If so, you can set up your own software education business and enroll students on a monthly basis.
Pupils might include entrepreneurs looking to build on their IT skills, or other small business owners looking to master software like Excel and PowerPoint. If you have the expertise, you can lead from the front by teaching most classes.
As your business grows and more people sign up for your programs, you can hire freelance software experts to teach students based on their area of expertise. Although you can rent out space for classroom lectures, consider hosting virtual classes to keep costs low and expand your business to international markets.
28. College preparation
Helping high schoolers get accepted into college is a booming business. According to IBISWorld, the market size of the testing and educational support industry is $17.9 billion in 2022, so there’s a lot of money to be made if you can gain a foothold in the market.
To start, pick a certain area of college prep you’d like to run your business around. For instance, you can offer ACT tutoring, help students brush up on practice admission essays, etc. Once you’ve narrowed your focus, it’s time to register and introduce the business to students.
29. Niche staffing agency
Nearly every industry has open jobs, and employers are keen to hire the best people for their companies. Your task as a niche staffing agency is to match employees to employers in your sector of choice.
Figure out what type of roles you’ll be staffing (Junior? Mid-level? C-level?) so that you can identify the right candidates for the position. Additionally, consider the employment terms that your agency will share with potential candidates.
You can be a temporary, temporary-to-permanent, or long-term staffing agency based on the needs of the market.
30. Digital event planning
One of the best small business ideas is to open up a digital event planning company. In this business, you’ll plan, organize and report on digital events like webinars and online summits for different companies.
Money can be made by charging an hourly fee for your service, selling sponsorships, etc. If you ever dreamed of planning a wedding or exhibition, but never quite had the time to organize anything, you can still channel your inner facilitator by planning digital events for people and businesses.
There you have it, a list of 30 small business ideas that’ll make you money in 2022. To give yourself the best chance of success, focus on one idea at a time until you find one that aligns with your abilities.
Thousands of entrepreneurs have implemented these business ideas to make money, so you can be sure that you’re putting your time and effort into something viable and proven. Whether you’re a college student, a work-at-home parent, or anyone else looking to start a business, remember there are plenty of opportunities to earn a sizable income.
If you’re looking for even more business ideas, don’t forget to check out Shopify’s post on the 23 most profitable business ideas in 2022.