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Best businesses to start with 5k - Get success with a smaller capital

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Updated on:
December 12, 2022
December 12, 2022
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Nowadays, most people who get their tax return or perhaps a work bonus might start wondering what businesses to start with 5k. It seems like a shame to spend it just like that, so why not make it grow and transform it into one of the most profitable businesses out there?

The problem is that there are many startup business options - so, what would be the best ideas to try out? What niche market should you go into? Well, here are a couple of business ideas that will require only a small initial investment of 5k or less.

Note: You can get all the tools to start your business with Bonsai. From the proposal, contract, invoice templates as well as an expense tracker and business bank account if you open an account today. Claim your 7-day free trial here.

Backyard Nursery

If you have the space in your backyard and a green thumb, then you may start a backyard nursery. You won't even need $5k for that - around $2k will be more than enough. For the most part, you will only need to buy seedlings.

For example, you may buy some Japanese maple seedlings wholesale for about 75 cents. When those seedlings grow, you should be able to sell them for 50 dollars or even more. Even if you have a small 20-feet garden, you can easily grow around 15 seedlings, which makes it one of the most profitable business ideas.

You can also plant standard things such as shrubs. You'll be surprised how many people want to buy them, as not everyone has the green thumb to turn a seed or seedling into an actual plant. It's a small business that can bring a few thousand dollars in profit while giving you some nice outdoor time.

Mobile/Electronics Repair Business

Do you have the knack for repairing stuff? Perhaps you've been repairing your friends' and relatives' computers, phones or radios. Or maybe you've always liked to take electronic equipment down, to see exactly what makes it tick.

If that's the case, you may consider being your own boss at home and starting a repair business. The initial costs can be quite low, as you only need to find replacements for the broken parts - which are included in the price of the repair anyway.

To lower the costs, even more, you may have your customers bring the electronics in themselves. This way, you won't be wasting money on gas.

Plus, you may encourage your clients to give you their old, broken-down electronic equipment. Most people just keep it in the garage, simply because it's against the law in most states to throw it in the dumpster. By taking the items off your customers' hands, you may use them as parts for your next repair project.

Jewelry Design

If you like doing DIY jewelry and have an eye for accessories and fashion, then you can give jewelry design a try. This is a job befitting college students, as you will need no online assets except for a website (or perhaps just an Etsy account).

Remember that once you have all your ideas nicely put together, you may want to secure intellectual property rights. Otherwise, you risk people stealing your ideas from right under your nose.

Depending on the size of your business, you may even need a storage unit. Even with that, you won't require more than 5k to get things started.

Accountant Services

If you have some accounting knowledge, then you may try going for an accountant service. The advantage to this is that most of the services can be provided online - so, based on what you are offering, you may not even need to rent a physical office. Your home office should be just enough.

You may simply do the bookkeeping of a business, or you may even offer income statements, balance sheets, and annual reports. Depending on your pool of knowledge, you may even put tax accounting on the table, a many new business owners need help in that area.

As long as you have all the tools, you won't need a big capital. For instance, subscriptions to financial platforms such as Bonsai can simplify things.

You can use Bonsai's business account for the income statements and bookkeeping, and Bonsai Tax for tax returns. This is a very good way to organize the finances of a new business.

SEO, Copywriting & Digital Advertising Consultants

Search engine optimization services and copywriting businesses are among the most profitable small businesses today, as everyone wants to get their business known through marketing.

If you know how to use keywords or how to make the most of social media advertising, then you may want to start a consulting business. Consultants can earn money no matter if they are in human resources or technology, but SEO consultants and copywriters are the most popular today.

You won't even need much capital to offer consulting services. You just need to create a website to show that you have the skills they are looking for. Here's a guide on how to land freelance writing clients.

If you don't have any website building skills, may want to hire some web designers or a WordPress web development team to handle your website "skeleton," so to speak.

Once they put it up, use your SEO knowledge to increase your website's ranking. If people start coming your way, you already have what it takes to be an SEO consultant.

Business Planning Service

Everyone who wants to run a successful business requires a business plan. Even you will need one. The problem is that not everyone knows how to do market research or plan a business, which is why they often end up failing.

You can offer electronic business plans to your potential clients, allowing them to brush up on the drafts from there as they see fit. You may also offer to tweak them whenever it is necessary, helping them grow their business.

Make sure that you always have a few samples to show your clients, and that you do not skip on making your own business plan. You should also ensure that you have a solid social media presence, as this will bring more clients your way.

Food Truck Service

Food trucks are expected to gain quite a bit of popularity, and it's understandable why. Not only do they bring specialty food products to the masses, but they also spare people from having to cook the foods themselves.

Plus, unlike restaurants and food shops, a food truck can be taken exactly where you expect the buyer to be. As a result, you can use it for farmers' markets, festivals, town squares, and many more.

You need to get in contact with the local health department, to see exactly what your state regulations are and what licenses you will need. Buying the food truck itself is the most expensive part, but you may start by renting one first. This way, when your business starts getting income, you may expand and buy your own food truck.

Tutoring and Online Courses

Do you have mad physics or chemistry skills? Or perhaps you are very good at English or any other language. In that case, you may consider passing it on to other people.

Online courses are quite popular nowadays. However, depending on your neighborhood and your teaching style, you may also consider a physical business structure aside from online learning. The variety will bring you more clients.

Start by figuring out who your target audience is, and determine what your services are going to be. Do you plan on offering your services to small children? Or do you want to teach at a high school level?

Regardless of your audience, make sure that you do thorough social media marketing. You need people to see your name out there if you want your tutoring business to have any success.

Virtual Assistant Services

More and more people with small businesses are outsourcing their administrative tasks to virtual assistants, saving them time and money. If you have the expertise of being an assistant, then this might prove beneficial for you.

All you need is a computer that is up to date, a reliable Internet connection, strong communication skills, and an organized mind. These days, almost everyone has a good computer and an Internet connection.

Therefore, if you can check those other aspects down as well, then this side gig will not cost that much. You won't even need the full $5k to put everything together.

Plus, virtual assistants are in high demand, and a well-organized company with its business licenses in order can easily make up to around $35,000 per year.

Car Wash Services

If you have a wider driveway or a larger space that you don't use, you can easily turn it into a car wash business. Cleaning services - regardless of the object of the cleaning - are quite inexpensive. You will only need to buy the cleaning tools and products first.

You don't need to get anything fancy at first - just a hose, buckets, some cleaning rags and brushes, a pressure washer, and the cleaning products. You won't even need $5,000 for that. A mobile car wash can require an even lower initial cost, as you won't need to rent a physical space.

After you start getting more income, you can focus on expanding your business. You can get more tools to make your job easier, or you may rent a space where you can only provide that business. This will make you look more professional, bringing even more clients your way.

Web Designer

If you are one of those who learned their way around computer software and building websites, you may try your luck with web design. The best thing about this kind of business is that you can do this from anywhere, and you just need a good computer and the right software.

Nowadays, every business owner wants a website, but not all of them will have the time and knowledge to create it themselves. You can charge up to $50 per hour for a business that costs you about $100 to set up.

With a web design business, you won't necessarily have to take professional classes to learn your trade. There are plenty of books and online tutorials that you can use to learn everything by yourself. Use the knowledge to create your own website, which can double as your portfolio.

Note: If you want to start a web design business, you'll need some nice invoices, web design contracts, and proposals to land clients. Bonsai can help with that. Our all-in-one freelancer software can help you streamline these tasks so you can focus on growing your business. Claim your 7-day free trial here.


If you like spending time in the outdoors and you have an artistic touch for gardening, then you may want to consider giving landscaping a try. All you need here is the equipment.

With a 5K budget, it might not be possible to buy a truck - but the advantage is that you won't have to get everything right away. You may rent the equipment firsthand, and once you gather some money, you can buy your own landscaping truck.

This is one of the best small business ideas if you live in a busy neighborhood, as people will not have enough time to clean the yards or mow the lawn by themselves. As a result, they will hire someone else to do this for them. Try our landscaping design proposal templates to help you get your business off the ground.

The Bottom Line

Nowadays, there are plenty of ways for you to start a business, without requiring ridiculous capital. If you go for the online marketplace, the costs are actually quite low.

Whether you are a student looking for some extra cash or a property owner wanting to make the most of your space, you can make a profit with the right business idea.

Get access to all the tools to run your business with Bonsai. Try 7 days here.
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