Low-Cost Business Start-Up Ideas

February 12th, 2018

Virtual Serviced Office, business start upsStarting a business is a daunting task, not least due to the financial costs that it often involves, but if you’re a budding entrepreneur who has always dreamed of running their own business, don’t let finances stand in your way!

In this article we share some business ideas which require very little, if any, start-up costs for would be entrepreneurs on a budget. Remember you don’t necessarily have to have an original idea. Many of the most successful small businesses are those that focus on the sheer demand for a tried and tested service.

Event Planning

If you’re a naturally organised person with an outgoing personality or have previous experience of organising events, why not consider setting up as an event planner? Firstly, decide on the types of events that you are going to plan. These could range from weddings, corporate events, or children’s parties through to much more niche services such as organising private dinner parties or travel itineraries for special occasions such as wedding anniversaries or honeymoons.

The secret to event planning is always to be one step ahead of the person that you’re organising the event for. Being able to listen and suggest ideas, manage your client’s budget and take the stress out of organising every aspect of the event in detail is crucial. The key to the success of this type of business is often recommendation and referral. Having a wide range of complementary suppliers that you can endorse and having them do the same for you will be extremely important. Having a range of established industry contacts will also pay dividends with your clients, prompting them to recommend your services to friends and family members.


Whilst you don’t necessarily require a formal qualification to start a business in this field, having a head for numbers and a degree of experience will certainly help. Whilst many businesses like to retain their accounting function inhouse, there’s no shortage of small businesses and sole traders looking to outsource these tasks. Consider offering services such as general bookkeeping, credit control, cashflow and payroll management.

Errand Service

Time is precious and with most of us leading increasingly busy lives, it’s not surprising that the demand for errand type services is growing. Target markets could include families with children, households where both adults work full time or the elderly.  The type of services which are likely to be popular include house cleaning services, either one off spring cleaning type packages or a regular weekly service, dog walking or shopping and running errands for the elderly.

When offering this type of service don’t forget to take account of any travel expenses that you might incur when advising potential clients of your rates.

Tutoring, Business Coach or Training

There are many times in our lives where we require some additional help to get to where we want to be or to achieve greater things. For that reason, if you have a particular skill or area of expertise that you are qualified to pass on to others via tutoring, business coaching or training, this could be an excellent avenue for your new business venture.

Depending on your skill set there are lots of opportunities to promote your services. Parents often decide that their children could benefit from additional tutoring in a particular subject or a range of subjects – you’d be surprised at how early this can start. Older children or mature students may require coaching in the lead-up to exams.  This area however is not confined to purely academic avenues, as people of all ages could be interested in learning to play a new instrument or have singing lessons or simply progress their existing skills in this area.

Business owners looking to take their organisation to the next level often employ business coaches to help them clarify their vision and help them reach their goals. Similarly, life coaching is popular with already successful people who have reached a crossroads in life. They may require support to make a big change in their lives or to move forward with their personal or professional goals to achieve the life they ultimately want.

Finally, training could involve helping people to learn how to use a software package, overcoming the fear of public speaking or more focused management training.

Translation Services

With the growth in international ties, this is a fast-growing field, with US research predicting a 42 percent growth by 2020!  If you are fluent in a second language you could market both written and spoken translation services to a wide range of industries including businesses, schools, hospitals and local government. Those that have additional specialist skills in an area such as the technology industry could stand to benefit the most. Advances in technology mean that simple content can be translated fairly easily, but highly specialised content will continue to require human intervention.

Personal or Virtual Assistant

With more and more of us demanding the added flexibility of working from home or the hours that suit, setting up as a Personal or Virtual Assistant could be the answer. You will of course need to have held a similar position in an office environment before or have a suitable qualification. The rates of pay are often good and once you are established, you will also benefit from being able to pick and choose the clients that you want to work with. Other than your individual skill set, you will require very little other than a laptop/PC and an internet connection to get started.

Basepoint’s centres offer a range of virtual serviced office packages suited to home-based businesses. In additional to a virtual office address and telephone number, we offer free access to breakout areas and wi-fi in all of our centres and the opportunity to book the use of serviced meeting rooms, so you can meet with your customers in a professional environment whenever you need to.  If at a later date you decide you want a more permanent office in one of our centres, you can do so without changing your phone number and will benefit from a wide range of additional business services.