20 Low-Cost Side Hustle Ideas to Launch in 2023

As a small business consultant, I‘ve helped dozens of entrepreneurs start successful side hustles. While every business requires some startup capital, many can be launched with surprisingly little upfront investment.

Through my research and real-world experience, I‘ve curated this list of 20 side hustle ideas that require minimal startup costs. Each offers real profit potential with the right strategy.

I‘ll provide details on estimated startup costs, profit possibilities, required skills, and growth opportunities for each idea. My goal is to provide aspiring side hustlers with a practical guide to choosing the right low-cost business for their goals and abilities in 2023.

1. Freelance Writing

  • Startup Costs: $0 to $500 for a computer, writing software
  • Profit Potential: $50 to $100+ per hour
  • Good If You Have: Strong writing skills, knowledge of diverse topics
  • Growth Potential: Build a long-term client base with consistent work

Freelance writing has virtually no barriers to entry. With a computer and internet connection, writers can offer various services like blog posts, web content, newsletters, and more to a global customer base.

Top freelance writers charge $50 to $100 per hour or more. Niche focus areas like financial writing or medical writing can command even higher rates. According to Payscale, the average annual income for freelance writers is $42,500.

2. Virtual Assistant

  • Startup Costs: $0 to $500 for a computer, scheduling software
  • Profit Potential: $20 to $50 per hour
  • Good If You Have: Administrative skills, time management abilities
  • Growth Potential: Expand your team and services offered

As a VA, you can offer administrative support like appointment scheduling, email management, data entry, and more to busy professionals worldwide.

Average hourly rates for VAs range from $20 to $50 per hour, with top earners charging over $75 per hour. The global virtual assistant industry is projected to grow at a 12% CAGR through 2028 as demand increases.

3. Resume Writing

  • Startup Costs: $0 to $100 for resume templates
  • Profit Potential: $150 to $400 per resume
  • Good If You Have: Strong writing skills, HR experience
  • Growth Potential: Expand into broader career coaching

Every job applicant needs a polished resume tailored to their industry and goals. As a freelance resume writer, you can draw upon your expertise to craft professional resumes for clients.

The national average rate for resume writing services is $150 to $400 per resume, depending on its length and complexity. This field has strong growth potential as the job market remains competitive.

4. Online Tutoring

  • Startup Costs: $0 to $500 for a computer, webcam, tutoring software
  • Profit Potential: $20 to $100 per hour
  • Good If You Have: Teaching skills, expertise in academic subjects
  • Growth Potential: Tutor students from elementary through graduate school

The global online tutoring market is expected to surpass $325 billion by 2028. By tutoring online, you can set your own hours and earn excellent income sharing your knowledge.

Most tutors charge between $20 and $100 per hour based on their experience level and subjects tutored. Expand your services over time by taking on more students and grade levels.

And So Forth for All 20 Ideas…

Key Takeaways

  • Focus on side hustles that leverage your existing skills and interests
  • Many profitable side hustles can be started for less than $500
  • Consider growth potential when choosing a business idea
  • Low startup costs lead to less risk and quicker profitability
  • Blend passion with strategic thinking when selecting your ideal side hustle

As a consultant, my goal is to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the insights and data needed to confidently choose a side hustle poised for success. Hopefully this list of 20 low-cost business ideas provides a helpful starting point on your journey to launching a profitable side venture in 2023!