Have you ever wanted to start a creative small business from home, but gotten stuck when you think about the finances? For me, the thought of purchasing supplies to build up inventory had me too frozen in fear to even think about marketing my creative skills.
Don’t let the fear of getting started stop you from starting a small home business that can grow into whatever you want it to be.
Some of these ideas require zero startup money, and others don’t require many supplies to get started. You can use these budget-friendly ideas as a jumping-off point to build up the business you’ve always wanted, or you can think of it as a side hustle to make a little extra money from home.
Start Your Own Clothing Brand
Dropshipping services like Printful or Printify print merchandise only when your online store receives an order, so you don’t even need inventory to get started.
You can start designing everything from T-shirts and tank tops to hats and jewelry without any upfront costs (starter plans on these sites take a percentage per sale).
You can integrate directly with your Amazon, Etsy, or Shopify store. Some services even let you choose custom packaging, and allow you to send additional items (like a thank-you coupon) with your packages. A huge plus if you love cute packaging like we do!
Create Your Own Printable Home Business
Now that baby showers and weddings are in person again, people need a convenient, one-click (and sometimes last-minute) solution to make those parties and gatherings special.
Meet that need by designing printable party supplies! Cupcake and cake toppers bring a level of elegance to an average cake, or you could create all-in-one party bundles with shower games and welcome signs. Your customers will be grateful to focus on their guests rather than worrying over the details.
Wedding printables like invitations, save the dates, and planners are one of the top-selling printables on Etsy, so let that work for you!
Put Your Textile Skills To Use
If you enjoy crochet, knitting, or macramé as a hobby, you may want to create your own patterns and sell them on Etsy, LoveCrafts, or Ravelry.
Patterns are delivered via digital download, so you don’t have to worry about the stress of shipping, packaging, or building up inventory (yarn is expensive!) And if the idea of creating clothing patterns is too stressful, you could create patterns for coffee cozies, home decor, wall hangings, or toys.
If you prefer the idea of creating a physical product, consider creating small, trending items like keychains, earrings, coasters, or mini wall hangings. Use high quality yarn or cord, and think of many items you can make using the same supplies.
Sell to friends and family, on Etsy, or at local craft fairs. Make sure to include business cards with every physical purchase, referring customers to your Etsy (or other online store) and social media accounts. That way, happy customers can share your business cards with friends and family.
Design Your Own Wall Art
Whether you are a beginner or experienced artist, graphic designer, or photographer, maybe it’s time to create your own wall art! Use a free, user-friendly program like Canva to get started designing.
The great thing about this option is you get to create a product once, and make passive income off it forever. And you don’t have to just sell printable wall art on Etsy (though you can if you want!).
You can also design a product and rely on a print-on-demand site like Zazzle, Redbubble, or Society6 for printing, shipping, and handling. That means you get to focus on the fun part!
Start Your Own Foodie Business
Some states and localities allow certain shelf-stable foods to be sold in person without a food permit, like at farmer’s markets. Turn your favourite recipe for salted caramel sauce or your famous chocolate chip cookies into a local favourite at a farmer’s market, craft fair, or pop-up shop space.
Alternatively, you could start out selling through your community’s Facebook page. (Be sure to read about your area’s cottage food laws before getting started.)
Design Your Own Stickers
Stickers recently exploded in popularity on Etsy–they were ranked as the number one seller in 2021 and remain in the top ten sellers overall. They’re cheap, easy to drop in your cart and buy on impulse, and low in cost to ship.
If you already own a cutting machine like a Cricut, we have a tutorial on how you can get started making stickers with minimal supplies. If you don’t have a Cricut, you could also try our tutorial for printing cute monochrome stickers for free.
Market Your Knowledge
Chances are, you have a skill (whether creative or business) that other people would love to learn! Market your knowledge by creating a course for Udemy, Skillshare, or Teachable, creating your own ebooks, or teaching classes in person at your local craft or specialty stores.
To grow your brand, be sure to tell your students how to reach you at your main blog or website. You can also pitch article ideas to websites or magazines in your niche. Even if it’s not a paid opportunity, most websites are willing to link back to your main website–providing you with visibility and authority for your name and brand.
We hope these ideas give you just the inspiration needed to take that leap of faith to start the creative small business of your dreams. You got this, girl!