3 Small Business Ventures With Very Low Overhead Costs

All the business professionals reading this post will have one thing in common; you want low overhead costs. For a business owner, this is usually the main thing that restricts your profit margins and makes it hard to make any real money.

I know there are some people reading this that might be new to all of this business lingo, so I’ll briefly go over what this term means. Essentially, overhead costs are everything you need to spend money on to run your business. This includes paying for employees, manufacturing overheads, and so on. If you keep these as low as possible, then you stop a lot of money leaving your business, which means you have more chance of making a profit.

So, moving onto the main point of this post, I have a few modern business ventures that have very low overheads. They’re all profitable ideas that are well worth looking into if you want to start a new business in 2019. Feel free to check them all out here:

Photo credit: Uni of Wolverhampton


Yes, you can set up a teaching/tutoring business to help out students in need. These get extremely popular during exam periods, but you can usually find clients all year round. In fact, if you’re good at what you do, some parents will take their kids out of school to attend your classes full time. It’s not essential, but it helps if you have teaching qualifications as this makes you a more attractive prospect. But, as long as you know your stuff, and students see positive results, then word will spread, and you’ll bring in more clients.

Some people opt for this business venture and will specialise in one subject. If you have loads of knowledge in one area, then this can be a great USP to drive people to your business. Especially if you teach something that’s not widely covered in school curricula, but students want to learn about. On the other hand, some people will treat this business like it’s a mini school and cover a range of topics. Primarily, it depends on your own level of knowledge. I’d also suggest that you make your service different from traditional schools by offering new ways to learn. Perhaps you should use technology more prominently, keep classes very small, and have a more relaxed manner. This encourages people to come to you as they feel like they’re getting a better experience away from school.

With regards to overhead costs, it depends on how you operate. A mobile teaching business – where you visit students at home – has hardly any overheads. You may need to buy some resources, but that could be all it takes to run your business. If you want to have a little classroom that people come to, then you have the rental costs of that. Either way, the costs are minimal compared to other business ideas.

Image: London Personal Trainers

Personal Training

The world goes fitness mad in January, which means it’s the perfect time to start a personal training business. The concept is straightforward; you train people to reach their fitness goals. Obviously, to go through with this idea, you need the right qualifications. Otherwise, no one will choose you as their trainer. It helps if you can demonstrate that your training works by showing off people you’ve trained or looking good yourself.

What I like about this idea is that it’s simple, and yet you can alter it in so many ways to try and stand out. This is a crucial lesson for anyone that’s looking to start a fitness business. It’s such a saturated market that you must do things to stand out from the crowd. For example, offer outdoor personal training away from a conventional gym setting. Or, provide a mobile service where you visit clients in their home and train them there. Add in extras to your training packages like nutritional plans and 24/7 support – or even a mobile app. There are loads of ways you can alter the service to draw in more customers and make more money.

Right, what about overheads? Well, if you train people in a gym, then the only overheads are the fee you pay to use the gym. If you have your own gym, then you’ve got the costs of creating that gym. If you train people outside, then you have hardly any overheads to worry about – other than maybe equipment and marketing. In reality, the costs of running a personal training business are pretty darn low.

Photo: Vanmarciano

Content Creation

A content creation business venture is an excellent idea as it appeals to the current climate. All businesses are moving towards a more content-centric marketing strategy, with social media, blogs, and even YouTube channels becoming more prominent. As a result, companies need content, but they don’t always have the time to create it themselves. Not only that, but they don’t have the resources to bring on new team members to develop content and cover their wages, etc. After all, they’re trying to reduce overheads too!

Consequently, it makes sense to may a small business to provide content for them. This is where your idea comes into play as you can create content for different companies. There are so many ways you can attack this venture, and it all comes down to your personal talents. If you’re a good writer and have maybe spent time doing content writing before, then you can provide this service. If you’re good at creating infographics or animated videos, then this is the content you can provide. Of course, if you’re a master of everything, you can offer a range of different content options. Try your best to stand out as there are loads of businesses like this out there. One thing you can do is offer same-day content delivery options, or at least limit the production time as much as possible. Good pricing is always attractive, and if you run this business on your own, then you can usually offer much better prices than some content marketing agencies.

The reason you can offer attractive pricing is because your overheads are so low. Other than a computer – which you probably already have – there isn’t much to pay for. You can run this business from home, so I guess maybe the internet and office supplies come under the overhead costs? It really depends on how much money you want to invest in your business venture; you can spend as little or as much as you want. But, because there are no employee costs or office costs, the overall overheads are considerably low.

What are the benefits of low overhead costs?

Having meagre overhead costs isn’t essential for making a profit. Many businesses still manage to make money even when they have loads of regular expenses. However, you can benefit from reducing the running costs as it makes it easier to make a profit. Every penny you earn becomes more valuable as you don’t have to try and offset loads of overhead costs before it turns into profit.

What’s more, it makes it easier to run a business for longer as well. If you go through dry patches where you aren’t making much money – and this happens from time to time – then you won’t struggle to keep your business afloat as you don’t have many costs to pay for.

To sum up; it’s useful to find business ventures that don’t cost a lot of money to set up and run. If you’re looking for ideas, then these three businesses could work well for you.


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