Small Business Ideas You Can Launch From Your Home or Van

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By Next Insurance Staff
Sep 8, 2020 min read

Have you been tossing around ideas to start a small business? If you’re tired of working for someone else and dream of becoming your own boss, there’s never been a better time to do it! There are currently over 30 million small businesses in the United States, and they account for nearly 50% of employment in the private sector. What’s more, all signs point to a strengthening U.S. economy, which means that the time is ripe to make your dreams a reality.

Always-Needed Small Business Ideas with Low Investment

While it’s great to go for your dreams, it’s also important to be practical. How can you launch your own business when you don’t have investors or savings? The key is to search for small scale business ideas that you enjoy, that don’t have especially high startup costs, and that there will always be demand for. There are many low cost small business ideas that fit the bill.

If you enjoy working with your hands, contracting is a popular small business with low startup costs. The main expenses would include tools, gas, insurance, and advertising. Most importantly, you wouldn’t have to lay out a large sum of money on stock and products that may or may not get sold. If you’re looking to start a small business with low investment, focusing on one specialty is an advantage because you’ll only need one set of tools. Some specialty ideas include handyman, plumber, painter, electrician, carpenter, roofer or drywall installer.

Home-based and mobile businesses have smaller startup costs than businesses that require renting a space. In particular, a small business investment from home is an attractive option for people with limited mobility or who live in a central location that’s easy for clients to reach. Some small home based business ideas might include tutoring, event planning, or hair-styling.

You also might consider a part-time gig you can do alongside other jobs — or parenting, which is the most important job of all. Small part time business ideas might include fitness professions such as being a personal trainer or a yoga instructor, where you can teach in the evenings or mornings and leave the rest of the day free for other pursuits.

Keeping Startup Costs Low

When launching a small scale business, you’ll probably be tempted to cut corners. While this may save you money in the short term, in the long run these omissions can end up putting you out of business.


High-quality tools are typically easier to use, more durable and more effective than the cheap ones. Since you’ll be using your tools constantly (not for the every-now-and-then repair), buying high-quality tools may be worth the investment. Not only will this save you the cost of replacing or repairing tools in the future, it could save you time on the job and even prevent injury or fatigue from working harder than you need to with a tool that doesn’t work as well.

Before you purchase your equipment, shop around carefully. Ask for recommendations from other professionals in your field who’ve tested the equipment and can vouch for its effectiveness and durability. Consider the exact uses you’ll need from it and only buy what you’ll need. There are certain supplies you might need to buy in bulk — it’s best to make the effort to purchase them wholesale, since this can save you a lot of money. There might also be specialized equipment that you’re better off buying directly from the manufacturer rather than a store. Take your time researching your options.


If you own a business — especially a contracting business — general liability insurance is a must. General liability insurance protects you when accidents happen on the job and a person is injured or property damaged. With insurance, you’ll be free to focus on growing your business without worrying about getting sued.

You may also want to consider adding professional liability insurance, which protects your business in cases of human error. If your business is mobile and you use a vehicle for it, you’ll need commercial auto insurance as well. If you use equipment that is expensive or difficult to replace, you might consider property insurance, which can cover the cost of replacement in case the item is damaged, stolen or lost. Purchasing additional insurance is an investment, but it can potentially save you a lot of money.

Financial Adviser

Consulting with a financial adviser or accountant, at least before you first launch your business, can save you lots of hassle, not to mention money. An adviser can inform you on local taxes, costs and laws, so you can comply with local regulations and avoid hefty fines. Advisers can also tell you which tax deductions you’re eligible for.

Tax Deductions

Before you launch your company, find out which types of businesses are eligible for various tax deductions.  Tax deductions can contribute to a lower startup cost in the long run. This may aid your decision when you’re considering multiple small business ideas.

Keep in mind that tax deductions apply to the type of contracting work you do and to the type of business you operate — do you run a home business or mobile business? Depending how you set it up, you may be able to claim certain deductions.

Small Business Ideas Done Right

While starting your own business can be scary, the payoff can be well worth it. When you have the right tools, good insurance, and a knowledgeable adviser guiding you, the chances of your small business succeeding are much higher. And because contracting is always in demand, when the basics are in place and you’re committed to doing your best, you have the potential to be in business for a long, long time.

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By Next Insurance Staff
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