Business Ideas

Simple and Cheap Business Ideas

Are you struggling to make ends meet? It is becoming increasingly common for individuals to start up a small business. If you, like many others, have recently lost a job or simply want to generate extra cash, setting up a sideline project may be just the thing. Even if you are already in employment, there’s probably no harm in a bit of ‘moonlighting’ to help pay the bills. Consider some of the below ideas. The list is not exhaustive but should give you food for thought.

Please be aware that some of the below business ideas may require insurance and potentially CRB checks. We recommend researching new business ventures thoroughly before making any commitment.


Fancy getting your hands dirty? Try gardening! You don’t necessarily have to undertake major landscaping. Perhaps just mowing the lawn or trimming back trees. Many people with gardens often struggle to keep things in order, and may be more than willing for some assistance, either for a one-off tidy up, or even maintenance on a regular basis. Word of mouth promotion may be a good start, but leafleting or advertising in your local paper could be equally as effective.

Car Washing

An old classic. Although often associated with teenagers aiming to make quick money, professional car washing and valeting is a cheap, effective business proposition. You’ll require the basics: bucket, sponge, shammy, and some wax, window and wash solution. It may be beneficial to contact local companies with car parks and attempt to strike a deal with them. Alternatively, if you’re able to acquire a patch of land, trading in this manner is an excellent way to attract passing trade. However, note that local trading and business premises legislation apply.

PC Repair

If you are confident with computers and technology, there’s never a shortage of people wanting help with their PC or laptop. Consider gaining a professional, recognised qualification to enhance your credibility (although this is not entirely necessary, it can help build trust with your customers). Begin by offering home computer support and soon enough, you may be able to enhance your offer by providing office technical assistance, networking, and more.

eBay Selling

Most of us have junk lying idle around the home. Old books, DVDs, computer equipment, clothing, and accessories. One of the best ways to get started with eBay selling is to first sell off all the items you no longer require. This way, your reputation can be enhanced before you begin trading for real. eBay operates on a ‘feedback’ system with established sellers gaining a higher rating. And it is these sellers that tend to attract the most sales. Not only will selling existing items gain positive feedback, it could help create valuable storage space in your home. Many successful traders started life on eBay. Maybe you should give it a go?

Ironing Service

A popular home business that’s suitable for anyone with a knack for ironing. Start up fees are inexpensive (all that’s required is an iron and ironing board!), plus you can begin almost immediately by asking friends or colleagues if they’d like to offload their ironing. Excellent examples of this have been seen in office environments where busy workers are often keen to let someone else do the chores for once. Advertise on your workplace notice board or make an announcement on Facebook.


An easy to start business with few overheads. Cleaning can take a variety of forms, from home and office cleaning, to window and carpet cleaning services. Albeit not the most glamorous of professions, cleaning is nonetheless a necessity, and demand persists. You’ll require a core selection of janitorial products, which are relatively cheap to acquire from either specialist suppliers or supermarkets. Get a few customers onboard and you may find the venture quite profitable (subject to some hard work, of course).

Mobile Hairdressing

Do you have experience in the hairdressing industry? If salon work is not your thing, or you’re struggling to find a vacancy, it could be very worthwhile going mobile. This can be done both part and full time, depending on your personal situation. The key is building up a loyal client base. To do this, fees must be competitive, ideally slightly cheaper than one would expect to pay at a salon. Level of skill will be a major factor in determining a pricing strategy. Equally, having salon experience before undertaking regular mobile hairdressing work is useful, and although not essential, comes recommended by the vast majority of hairdressers. Begin by cutting friends and your family’s hair, then continue to establish a network of customers.


You can earn some extra cash by offering yourself up for babysitting. While the odd evening looking after little ones is fine for family and close friends, professional baby sitting is another matter altogether. You will require a registration and a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, since this is required when working with children and vulnerable adults. Depending on your locality, you may also be required to have a recognised childcare qualification. Like other business ventures, research is key. Look into the various options before proceeding.

Cake Making

Do you enjoy baking? As a great part time money-spinner (or full-time, depending how serious you are), cake making could involve creating custom-made cakes, cakes for parties, birthdays, and also special occasions. All that’s required is the necessary ingredients. Novelty cakes are especially popular, even more so if they’re bespoke. Advertise by plugging your new venture to Facebook friends, but ensure you don’t spam them. A good idea is to set up a separate Facebook page dedicated to your businesses. You can also advertise in local papers and on bulletin boards.

Dog Walking

Perhaps one for animal lovers. Dog walking is perfect if you like the outdoors, and you needn’t live near open countryside to be a dog walker, although being in earshot of a park might come in handy. Note: you may find yourself having to take out suitable insurance to undertake this business venture. Protecting yourself is highly recommended and it will also give piece of mind to your customers. A love of animals in general and experience with dogs is obviously a must.

Other simple business ideas include trying your hand at being a DJ, car boot sales, and blogging. Can you think of any more?

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