Are you looking for low-risk business ideas to start in 2024? You’ve come to the right place.

The truth is that starting your own business can be scary. In fact, over 55% of people in a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report say they would not start a business because of the fear of failure.

That’s why, in this post, we’ll look at 19 low-risk business ideas that can give you a solid foundation for a new small business. We’ll explore opportunities that typically require lower startup costs and can provide steady income.

Let’s get started!

Low-Risk Business Ideas You Can Use Right Away

No business comes without risk. The business ideas we’ve listed, however, offer relatively low risk.

The key thing here is to pick one of the low-risk business ideas that fits your skills, interests, and lifestyle. With proper planning and execution, you can start these businesses without getting exposed to excessive financial risk.

Here are some low-risk business ideas for you to start your entrepreneurial journey in 2024.

1. Virtual Assistant (VA)

Becoming a virtual assistant is one of the best low-risk business ideas that require little investment.

As a VA, you can offer a range of clerical and administrative services to your clients. These include appointment scheduling, email management, data entry, and customer service support.

Developing a specialized skillset that sets you apart is key to being a successful virtual assistant. You can become an expert in areas like project management or travel booking, for example.

To get started as a VA, you can create a professional website to showcase your services and qualifications.

Take advantage of your network to find clients. You can also join virtual assistant directories or online marketplaces, like Fiver and Upwork, to expand your reach.

Here are some examples of virtual assistants on Upwork that you can get inspiration from when creating a profile.

VA on Upwork Image via Upwork

Use time management tools and improve your communication skills. You’ll need to be able to juggle multiple clients and tasks at the same time.

You also need to invest in the right productivity tools and software. This helps you streamline your operations so you can provide high-quality services to clients.

2. Content Writing & Editing

This is one of the versatile low-risk business ideas as you can start doing this from the comfort of your home.

As a content creator, you can provide services like blog post writing, website copywriting, and social media content creation. You can even be a ghostwriter for individuals and businesses.

For this business idea to work, you need to develop a solid portfolio and build a niche expertise. You also need to promote your services effectively.

Here’s the portfolio of Alice Driver, an award-winning and widely-published journalist.

Alice Driver

Image via Alice Driver

Start by identifying what you enjoy writing about and who your target audience is.

Show your work on a professional portfolio website and leverage freelance marketplaces and platforms like LinkedIn. You can also use industry-specific forums to connect with potential clients.

Continuously improve your writing skills and stay up-to-date with content trends. You should also be ready to adapt your services to meet clients’ changing needs.

Consider offering editing and proofreading services to expand your offerings. This way, you can provide comprehensive content solutions for clients.

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3. Social Media Management

This is one of the most sought-after low-risk business ideas. In fact, the social media management market was valued at $23.50 billion in 2023, presenting a huge opportunity for people looking for great business ideas.

As a social media manager, you can help businesses develop and execute effective strategies to boost their presence on various platforms. You can also create engaging content and manage businesses’ online presence across platforms like X, Instagram, and Facebook.

Here’s an example of a social media manager’s portfolio:

Nisreen Galloway

Image via Nisreen Galloway

Stay updated with the latest trends, algorithms, and best practices to be a successful social media manager.

Develop a good understanding of analytics and content optimization. This helps you achieve your clients’ social media goals—be it customer engagement, lead generation, or brand awareness.

You should also consider specializing in a specific niche or industry. This allows you to differentiate your services and position yourself as an expert in that niche or industry.

Leverage your own social media presence to demonstrate your skills and attract potential clients. Take advantage of platforms like LinkedIn and industry-specific online communities to network and find new opportunities.

You need to also continuously refine your strategies to adapt to changing social media trends and best practices.

4. Online Tutoring & Coaching

You can leverage technology to provide online courses or personalized tutoring to people looking to improve their skills. This includes both professional and academic development.

To get started, look for areas you’re proficient in and identify who your target audience is. This can range from tutoring students in maths or languages to coaching people in areas like personal finance or entrepreneurship.

Create a professional online presence, whether it’s through a personal website or by using tools like Skype or Zoom. This helps you showcase your qualifications and offer your services.

Here’s an example of a professional business coaching website.

Samantha Siffring

Image via Samantha Siffring

You also need effective marketing and client acquisition strategies. Use online directories, social media, and referrals from former clients to build credibility and your client base.

Be responsive to your client’s needs and continuously improve your coaching or tutoring techniques. Offer competitive pricing and flexible schedules to stand out from others in the market.

If done right, this is one of the most lucrative low-risk business ideas, one that can help you earn a steady income.

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5. Data Entry & Web Research

With this low-risk business idea, you can offer services like:

  • Transcription
  • Data formatting
  • Database management
  • Online research

These services are useful for small businesses and enterprises alike.

Ensure that you have great attention to detail and excellent typing skills. Get a reliable computer, high-speed internet, and any necessary software to help streamline your workflow.

You can specialize in a specific industry or data type to differentiate your services. Then, leverage your network, freelance platforms, and online marketplaces to find your first few clients.

Always maintain open communication, deliver high-quality work, and meet deadlines consistently. This helps you build a solid reputation and get repeat business.

As you grow your client base, explore opportunities to expand your services. You can also hire additional team members to scale your business efficiently.

6. Web Design and Development

You can leverage your technical and creative skills to start a web design business where you build professional websites for clients. There is a wide range of opportunities in this field, whether you specialize in website creation, ecommerce solutions, or website app development.

To succeed in web design and development, you need to develop a strong understanding of:

  • Web design principles
  • User experience (UX) best practices
  • Latest web development technologies

Stay up-to-date with industry trends and be ready to offer services like:

  • Custom web design
  • Content management system (CMS) implementation
  • Search engine optimization
  • Ongoing website maintenance and support

Build an online presence by creating a portfolio website showcasing your work and services. Here’s a good example by Adrian Z:


Image via Adrian Z

Prioritize effective project management and clear communication. You should also be able to translate technical concepts into user-friendly solutions.

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7. Dropshipping

This is another one of the popular low-risk business ideas. It involves selling products without a physical inventory.

With dropshipping, you can partner with suppliers who store, package, and ship products directly to your customers. You need to focus on marketing, customer acquisition, and order fulfillment.

To get started, research and identify profitable product niches that fit your target market and interests. Carefully select a reliable supplier and create a clear communication channel and order processing protocols.

You can build an ecommerce platform to showcase your product offerings. It can be an online store or you can integrate with marketplaces like eBay and Amazon to ensure seamless transactions.

To be successful at dropshipping, you need effective marketing and customer acquisition strategies. Use social media, search engine optimization, and targeted advertising to drive traffic and potential customers to your online store.

Another thing you can do is form an LLC for your dropshipping business using platforms like Inc Authority and ZenBusiness. This way, you can have a business structure that reduces your personal liability.

You also need to continuously optimize your product selection, pricing, and customer experience. This helps you stay relevant and competitive.

8. Bookkeeping & Accounting Services

Providing booking and accounting services is one of the best low-risk business ideas if you’re into financial management. You can provide a range of services including:

  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Payroll processing
  • Tax preparation and filing
  • Financial reporting
  • Advisory services

The first step is to ensure that you have a strong understanding of accounting principles. You also need to be familiar with bookkeeping software like Bench, Xero, and QuickBooks. Maintaining client confidentiality and data security is also crucial.

Get any necessary certifications or licenses needed in your local jurisdiction. This helps boost your credibility and professional standing.

Build a comprehensive service offering and pricing structure that fits your target market’s needs. You should also use your professional network, industry events, and online directories to connect with potential clients.

Additionally, you can create a profile on freelance platforms to get clients. Here are some profiles on Fiver for inspiration:


Image via Fiver

You need effective communication and attention to detail and must be able to provide timely and accurate financial information to your clients. This ensures that you’re building a successful bookkeeping and accounting service business.

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9. Pet Sitting & Dog Walking

People love their pets and don’t mind spending money on them. The global pet care market size was valued at $246.66 billion in 2023, and you can capitalize on that as a low-risk business.

First, get any necessary license or permit required in your area. Create a professional website or online profile to show your experience and services. You can even add customer reviews to build your credibility.

Make sure you get the necessary equipment and resources to provide a safe environment for the pets in your care.

Use platforms like Nextdoor, Wag, or Rover to reach potential clients and promote your business.

Consider offering discounts or bundled packages to attract clients. Ensure you provide regular updates and go the extra mile to keep the pets safe.

As your business grows, you can consider expanding your services. You can offer pet grooming or training and even hire more pet care professionals to scale your business.

10. Travel Consulting

Becoming a travel consultant is a low-risk online business idea that lets you leverage your passion for travel. You can combine that with your expertise in planning unique, personalized experiences.

As a travel consultant, you can help clients create custom itineraries and book flights and accommodation. You can also provide insider tips and recommendations to improve their travel experiences.

To get started, develop a niche expertise in a particular destination, travel planning service, or travel segment. You also need to have a comprehensive knowledge of travel destinations, trends, and industry best practices.

You should build partnerships with travel service providers, like airlines, hotels, and tour operators. This gets you access to exclusive deals and discounts that you can offer to your clients.

Create a user-friendly website where clients can access your services and see your expertise. Here’s an example:

Roam Travel Company website example

Image via Roam Travel Company

Use social media, online travel forums, and industry events to connect with potential clients and demonstrate your unique value proposition.

Focus on delivering excellent customer service, paying attention to detail, and tailoring travel experience to individual clients’ preferences.

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11. Print-on-Demand (POD)

Print-on-demand stores are one of the best low-risk business ideas. You can sell custom-designed products without any upfront investment and with low startup costs.

All you have to do is partner with POD platforms. This allows you to offer a wide range of products with your unique designs, including, but not limited to:

  • T-shirts
  • Mugs
  • Posters
  • Phone cases

You need to understand design principles and get familiar with graphic design software like Canva or Adobe Illustrator. Get to know your target audience and build a unique brand identity that fits their interests and preferences.

Use online marketplaces like Printify or Printful to set up your POD storefronts and start selling custom-designed products. Here’s an example of a POD store on Etsy.

Etsy POD Store

Image via Etsy

These platforms help you outsource manufacturing and order fulfillment. You can also build your online store and use a mock product generator so customers can preview products before buying.

The important thing here is to curate the right products. Use social media, targeted advertising, and partner with influencers to drive traffic to your online store. This helps you easily convert them into potential customers.

Always analyze your sales data and customer feedback to refine your product line and marketing strategies. You can even expand your offering as your business grows.

12. Affiliate Marketing

This is another one of the low-risk business ideas that require practically no startup costs. All you need is a successful blog or a strong social media presence and you can enroll in affiliate programs of relevant brands in your niche.

With affiliate marketing, you need to enroll in a brand’s affiliate program and promote its product or service. You earn a commission on every sale that comes through you.

The brand gives you a unique affiliate link that you can promote on your website or social media profiles. The more people click on your links and buy from your partner brands, the more income you get.

Though it sounds simple, you still need a large enough audience to make money online as an affiliate marketer. The more followers you have, the more people see and click on your affiliate link.

You also need to create engaging content, like product reviews, that resonates with your audience, and add your affiliate link to the content.

Take advantage of social media, search engine optimization, and email marketing to drive traffic to your content.

You should also continuously monitor the performance of your content. This way, you can see what’s working and what isn’t to ensure a profitable affiliate marketing business.

13. Graphic Design

This is one of the best low-cost business ideas that you can try if you’re a creative person. As a graphic designer, you can offer services like:

  • Logo design
  • Branding
  • Web graphics
  • Social media content
  • Creating marketing materials for businesses

You need to build a strong portfolio though. Use this to showcase your design skills and aesthetics.

As a graphic designer, you also need to invest in industry-standard design software like Adobe Creative Cloud. You should also continually expand your design knowledge and techniques.

Develop a unique style that sets you apart from other graphic designers. You should also tailor your services to your client’s specific needs and preferences.

Leverage online platforms like Behance to showcase your work and connect with potential clients and other graphic designers.

Here’s an example of a graphic designer’s profile on Behance.


Image via Behance

You can even network with local businesses and participate in design events. Ensure you also use your professional and personal network to get new clients.

To be a successful graphic designer, you need to prioritize effective communication and timely project delivery. You should also be willing to collaborate closely with clients.

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14. Event Planning

If you have great organizational skills with a creative flair, then you can become an event planner. You can help private individuals and businesses plan successful events, from corporate functions to wedding parties, and even charity galas.

First, ensure you know enough about things like:

  • Budgeting
  • Vendor coordination
  • Logistics
  • Event design

One important thing you need to do is build a network of trusted vendors. This includes florists, caterers, and event venues.

You also need a professional online presence. That’s why you should create a portfolio of previous works. You can also use your personal and professional networks to get your first clients.

Another thing you need is the ability to navigate unexpected challenges quickly. You should also look out for trends. Look at how other events are and get inspiration from them.

15. Start a YouTube Channel

YouTube has over 2 billion users, and you can take advantage of that. You can use your creativity, knowledge, or unique personality to build an audience on YouTube. Then, you can monetize your content to earn money.

You can decide to create educational content, movie reviews, or even specialized tutorials. The first thing you need to do is to find a specific niche or topic that aligns with your expertise or interest.

For example, this YouTuber plays and reviews video games and has amassed a massive follower base:


Image via YouTube

After that, you need a content strategy that focuses on providing valuable video content to your target audience.

You should also invest in high-quality equipment, like a good camera, microphone, and lighting. This way, your videos look professional and visually appealing.

Don’t forget to create content consistently and optimize and promote your videos. Use relevant titles, descriptions, and tags to ensure your audience finds your videos easily.

You also need to engage with your audience either through comments or your connected social media pages.

YouTube also comes with monetization features that can help you generate income from your content. You have access to tools like AdSense, channel subscriptions, and super chats.

As your YouTube channels grow, you can collaborate with other creators and offer sponsorships. You can even come up with your own branded merchandise.

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16. Podcasting

This is an excellent low-risk business idea because it allows you to share your voice, knowledge, and personality with a global audience. You can monetize it to generate an income.

You can do it solo or co-host a podcast with others. You need to first choose a podcast format and topics that are relevant to your target audience.

Also, invest in quality podcast recording equipment, including a microphone and audio editing software. This will ensure your audio sounds professional, which is good for building an audience.

Develop a content plan as well. It should focus on providing valuable content to listeners consistently.

You should also promote and distribute your podcast using platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Consider building a website to enable your target audience to access your podcast from multiple channels. Here’s an example of a podcast website.

99 percent invisible

Image via 99% Invisible

Engage with your listeners using social media and email newsletters. This helps in building a loyal following.

You can monetize your podcast to generate income using sponsorships, affiliate marketing, or premium content.

17. Video Production and Editing

Another low-risk business idea is using your creative skills and technical expertise to provide valuable video production and editing services to clients. Create promotional videos or cover corporate and entertainment events.

The first thing to do is learn how to operate a camera, record sounds properly, and how lighting works. You also need to know how to use video editing software.

Invest in equipment like DSLR cameras, lenses, and paid video editing software. This ensures that you’re delivering professional-grade video content for clients.

You should also create a portfolio to promote your work and highlight your skills and specialization to potential clients. Use your network and social media to promote your brand and meet potential clients.

Offer competitive pricing and customer service, and always deliver projects on time. This helps you build a strong reputation and get repeat business.

As your brand grows, you can expand your services to include live-stream production, animations, and motion graphics.

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18. Vlogging

Start a vlog, aka video blog, where you use engaging and informative video content instead of text like with a traditional blog.

Choose a specific niche or topic you’re passionate about, then choose your target audience. Invest in quality video equipment like a professional video camera, lighting, and microphone. This ensures that your videos are visually appealing.

You also need a content plan containing different topics you’ll be discussing in your vlogs.

For instance, if you like real estate, you can come up with a list of topics that will resonate with your audience. This way, you can consistently provide valuable content to your followers.

You should also promote your content online, especially on social media. Use appropriate titles, descriptions, and tags. This ensures that your video content is easily discoverable online.

To build your audience, engage with them online through comments, shares, etc.

You can also use sponsorships and affiliate marketing programs to get income from your vlogs. As you get popular, you can work with other vloggers and offer exclusive content.

19. VR Content Creation

Virtual reality content creation has continued to grow over the years. In fact, the global virtual reality content creation market is projected to reach $2,426.88 billion by 2030.

How can you take advantage of this trend?

By creating interactive games, cinematic VR experiences, and even educational simulations.

To become a VR content creator, you need to have a strong understanding of VR design principles and user experience. You should also consider the required technical skills you need to create compelling VR experiences.

Familiarize yourself with VR development tools and software like Unreal Engine or Unity. You also need to invest in high-quality VR headsets and all the hardware you need to create and test your VR content.

Conduct proper market research and user testing to identify your target audience. This helps you understand their specific needs and preferences.

You can then create VR experiences that meet their requirements. Always gather feedback so you iterate your designs effectively.

You can use distribution platforms, like Steam or Oculus Store so that your content reaches a wider audience.

VR content creation is one of the more complex low-risk business ideas listed here. You can, however, use a business startup checklist to ensure you don’t miss any step when starting your business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What business has the lowest risk?

Different business ideas come with their unique risks. You can, however, try out low-risk business ideas like being a virtual assistant, graphic designer, content writer, or social media manager.

Q2. What is a low-risk business you can start from home?

You can start several low-risk businesses from home. These include affiliate marketing, dropshipping, graphic design, data entry, and print-on-demand services.

Q3. What’s the cheapest business to start?

Some cheap, low-risk business ideas you can try include print-on-demand, dropshipping, content writing and editing, and pet sitting and dog walking.

Q4. What business is in high demand?

High-demand businesses include social media management, web design and development, and bookkeeping and accounting services.

Q5. How do you know what business to start?

You need to consider different factors when deciding what business to start. Some factors include your skills and interests, market demand, market competition, and scalability and profitability.

Ready to Start Your Own Low-Risk Business?

These low-risk business ideas are an excellent start if you’re a beginner or want to start a side business.

You can decide to be a virtual assistant, content writer and editor, social media manager, graphic designer, or VR content creator.

Regardless of your choice, you need to create a proper plan, build a brand, and promote your services. You should also ensure that you provide value to your target audience consistently.

Which business are you going to try? Let us know in the comments section below. Good luck!

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About the author

From selling flowers door-to-door at hair salons when he was 16 to starting his own auto detailing business, Brett Shapiro has had an entrepreneurial spirit since he was young. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global and International Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and years traveling the world planning and executing cause marketing events, Brett decided to test out his entrepreneurial chops with his own medical supply distribution company.

During the formation of this business, Brett made a handful of simple, avoidable mistakes due to lack of experience and guidance. It was then that Brett realized there was a real, consistent need for a company to support businesses as they start, build and grow. He set his sights on creating Easy Doc Filing — an honest, transparent and simple resource center that takes care of the mundane, yet critical, formation documentation. Brett continues to lead Easy Doc Filing in developing services and partnerships that support and encourage entrepreneurship across all industries.

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