7 Business Ideas Under $1,000 You Can Start Today



These days, it can be hard to think of a business idea that can run with $1,000 or less. As well, if you are new to thinking of business ideas, the material that is out there is not that helpful. That is why I created this article for you, so you can see how a company can be started with the bare necessities today. 


1. NFC Integration Company

Nfc integration company business idea

Near-Field Communication (NFC) has been a mainstream technology for about eight years now. Most major smartphones have NFC capabilities, which allow it to interact with other NFC compatible devices. Some examples include payment tap-and-go systems are bases from NFC, as well as entry badges for authorized access and information integration.


A business idea based on this technology could be an NFC integration company. Taking a niche approach, you can approach wealthy homeowners who would pay you to put these NFC tags around their house. This would allow them to adjust lights, set alarm systems, grant visitors wifi access, even unlocking the front door with the tap of their phone, to name a few possibilities.


Startup costs would consist of:

If you had an android smartphone this would be even cheaper, using the  NFC TagWriter app

Total start-up costs  = $440




2. Virtual Inventory Creator

Virtual inventory business ideas

These days, companies are always looking for ways to shrink the amount of inventory on hand to reduce overhead costs. As well, some businesses are looking to completely eliminate physical inventory.


For this business idea, you would design and re-create products that are capable of printing from a 3D printer. The great thing is, is that you wouldn’t have to pay for any 3D printers or material, you could simply sell the product design files. To start this business you would need to know how to design CAD files, know the capabilities of a 3D printer so you can match the material of your clients, and some business cards to network with. You could even integrate 3dhubs.com so clients could be from around the world, and access a 3D printer of their needs in the specific location. This makes the inventory really virtual.


Startup costs would consist of:

Total start-up costs  = $420



3. Niche Virtual Assistant (VA) Business

Niche Virtual assistant business idea

There are many virtual assistant companies out there such as 24/7 virtual assistant, Worldwide101, and Belay to name a few. However, I have several friends complain about the available niche assistants. For example, in the financial sector, having a virtual assistant that is well versed in financial terminology and know-how is important. The finance industry is just one, however, the law industry is another one where specifics to that industry are important.


The business idea here is for a VA business where certain niche business owners could go to, and hire the EXACT virtual assistant they are looking for. Some of the competitors allow you to pick who you want to hire, or they try to match you within a system of thousands of potential matches. Unfortunately, since they are not niche specific, you don’t know how deep that VA’s knowledge really is until you hire them. For lawyers and financial advisors, they cannot risk their reputation. In this business, you would need to create a website, and get VAs to sign-up to your site. Since it is based online (virtually) you should consider some online ads like Facebook Ads or Google Adwords


Startup costs would consist of:

  • Website = $50 if you created one by yourself. All’s you would need to buy is the hosting service and a domain name. Up to $500 if you got someone else to custom design it.

  • Online Ads = $250

  • Business Licenses = $150 (depends on where you live but this will usually cover it)

Total start-up costs = $450 to $950




4. Employment Program Developer for Seniors

senior job matching business idea

With many seniors retiring, a lot of them don’t actually want to “retire”, and making a side income doing other jobs appeals to them. Not only does it allow them to get out of the house, but it also allows them to generate income to supplement their pension they have. Some places in Canada and the USA have already started doing this, but competition remains only in local territories due to lack of computer interaction for these job boards. The lack of computer interaction can be tied directly to seniors not wanting to use computers.


The business idea here consists of creating local employment programs for seniors. To get participants, going door to door in seniors complexes handing out flyers may gain some leads. As well as networking with the senior citizen homes. Networking with potential employers would be the next step to secure people that want to hire this demographic. By taking a simple management fee for providing the senior with the contract work would be how we can make money doing this. Of course, you could check out some other business models here. A website wouldn’t even be needed if you had established solid relationships with a few employers in the beginning.


Startup costs would consist of:

Total start-up costs = $290




5. Remote Employee Satisfaction Service

Remote employee satisfaction service business idea

There is an ever growing trend with people wanting to work from home, or employers allowing their employees to work from home. Not only can this save costs for the employer as they don’t have to pay for the desk space and office supplies, but for the employee, it can mean lunches at home every day and avoiding rush hours.


A remote employee satisfaction service would be a great business idea to cater to this. Main aspects would involve setting up the resources the employer would need, such as software to track employees work, communication channels like messenger setup, remote access to files setup, compensation recommendations, employment contract recommendations, and team retreats to re-engage remote employees.  Many of these software systems costs could be passed onto your client as well. Since this business would be a knowledge-based business and fewer sales of products, investment in this business would be into self-learning.


Startup costs would consist of:

Total start-up costs = $430



6. Drone Aerial Video/ Photography business

drone photography business idea

The power of drones has made obtaining the epic cinematic shot for your business video, wedding, or event a reality for people who cannot afford a helicopter to get the same shot. However, not everyone wants to buy a drone unless they plan on using it more than once or twice a year. With regulations in place in some places for drones, it can also be a hassle for people to do this on their own too.


That is where the business idea for an Aerial video/ photography company comes in. Although it has been done, there is little barriers to entry for this business idea. With some education of the various regulations out there, that can be found here for USA readers or here for Canadian readers, and a drone capable of video/ photos, you can start a business. The first step I would take in this is creating partnerships with other photographers that do not have the capacity to run a drone. An ad on craigslist could also drive some leads for people who need event aerials. Free video editing software such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie can create the movies too. Since you will be selling videos, a website will be more effective than flyers. This can be a done for under $1000 too!


Startup costs would consist of:

Total start-up costs = $815


7. VR Video Development Company


Virtual reality business idea

Virtual Reality is beginning to take the world by storm. Huge companies like Google and Samsung are beginning to create some really great gear for people to use. Not to mention, VR lounges are now a thing which has the latest and greatest virtual reality tech. To add to this, websites like YouTube will rank your video as a higher priority in people's feeds because it is VR, as Google wants to help influence this. Having the higher ranking factor is huge for companies that do marketing online.


Imagine a reality where you created a company that developed virtual reality immersed videos for companies to better engage their customers? This business idea would take a lot of skills or knowledge in VR coding and development if you are interested in this. To get started, I would begin by opening up Unity, a VR development platform, and learning how to code. There is a lot of free resources online you can use to start. However, if you want professional education, budget about $200 for a course. Secondly, since it is a tech. company, you will need a website which can be easily created using something like Squarespace. The other tools you will need include a 360-degree shootable camera for real life shots, and a computer (assuming you already have one).


Startup costs would consist of:

Total start-up costs = $885


The trick here is to think basic. Ask yourself, “how can you do this with the minimal amount of resources and your skill sets?” Of course, you could incorporate a website, marketing spend, and hire a few people, but that is not the point of starting small with only $1,000. If you are starting a business from scratch without a lot of money, than doing everything yourself and learning to do so is important. If this mindset does not sound appealing, maybe a $1,000 business idea is not the right one for you. Maybe you need a $100,000 startup cost idea where you can find funding and hire a team.

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