Small Home Based Business Ideas Under $500

The Internet has made finding small home based business ideas under $500 as simple as doing a Google search and diving headfirst into research. Is that a good idea?

When thinking about small home-based business ideas under 500 I was trying to decide if I should give you a handful and dig deep into them. Keep in mind that some will be free as well.


Give you a big list, with URLs, and let you dive deeper into the ones that appeal to you.

Here are 20 small home based business ideas under $500. Some are strictly online businesses, some are offline businesses, and some can be both!

1. Affiliate Marketing

You do not need $500 to get started in affiliate marketing. Most affiliate programs are free to join.

Eve affiliate programs that cost something are very inexpensive compared to starting other kinds of businesses. Plus, when you buy a product to be able to sell it as an affiliate marketer you can then pre-sell before sending your prospect to your affiliate sales page.

Wealthy Affiliate is an example of this. As a premium member for $49 a month, you earn $23.50 a month in residual income on your sales. The old adage of buy 3 and yours is free applies here plus a little bit more in commissions.

My make-money tips are full of ideas on how to start an affiliate business and make money. Check out some of my past articles on affiliate marketing.

Want to learn how I earn my passive Income working from home?

Click here right now for our review, my personal help, and instant access to our free training videos where we'll show you exactly how we did it ourselves starting out as complete beginners without ANY prior knowledge or experience in marketing online whatsoever!

2. Network Marketing

Network marketing is the most sought-after small business idea. Millions join MLM companies every month and do not spend $500 to get started.

Again the Internet makes researching network marketing and companies to join very easy. I really like the Business For Home website and free newsletter.

Remember that network marketing is a direct sales business model so you will have to sell products at retail pricing. Then you can also sponsor new members and build a sales team from there.

You will not find more comprehensive information on network marketing than this site including thousands of MLM companies you can join for under $500.

3. Get Paid To Programs

The people who do best with get-paid-to programs treat their work as a business. This work includes taking paid surveys, reading emails, completing small tasks for money, data entry, and so on.

If you want to make money taking surveys millions of people do. Check out Survey Chris for a really good website for making money-taking surveys. You will find all of the best programs to join here:

Completing simple tasks for money can be found at Amazon Mechanical Turk. The pay here is really small, but it adds up.

Want to learn how I earn my passive Income working from home?

Click here right now for our review, my personal help, and instant access to our free training videos where we'll show you exactly how we did it ourselves starting out as complete beginners without ANY prior knowledge or experience in marketing online whatsoever!

4. eCommerce

It used to be when we thought of e-commerce we thought of eBay. Now you have some really good programs you get set up with like Shopify, Big Commerce, and Magento.

Learn more about making money with eBay here. More millionaires have come from eBay than any other small business idea.

The new kid on the block so to speak is Shopify. I know many people starting online stores and doing e-commerce with them. Learn more about Shopify here:

5. Fulfillment by Amazon

Amazon is the number one buying website in the world. If you want to sell your own stuff online why not do it with Fulfillment By Amazon also known as FBA?

One resource getting a lot of traction is the good folks at Resource Academy:

Do a Google search and you will find a lot of training on FBA. This is something you can get into for under $100 and scale quickly once you learn how to do it.

home-based business via social media

6. Provide A Service

Online or offline people will pay you to do things they can not or will not do themselves. Examples include lawn mowing, snow shoveling, website design, a blog setup, and a hairstylist.

Services that solve a problem are evergreen in nature. This just means they will never go out of popularity.

Here is a good article on ways to provide a service for money:

7. Blog Writer

With millions of blogs online you will never run out of customers. Practice at content mill sites like HireWriters or iWriter and then start your own blog writing business. A really good source for writing training including freelance blog writing is Angela Boot.

8. Copywriter

The big money in writing is copywriting. Without a doubt, one of the best places to find high-quality training for under $500 is at American Writers &; Artists Inc. They will train you to become one of the leading copywriters ever.

They have generated billions in sales and today they keep generating top copywriters in the world that are contributing to their success. They have training for beginners to advanced training.

9. Tutoring

People will pay you to tutor their kids or even tutor them. This can be a very rewarding and profitable business that can grow into a full-time income.

It can be done 100% online with tools such as Skype or FaceTime. Of course, you can do it at home or even at school.

Here is a good video on How To Start A Tutoring Business – 10 Tips.

10. Tips Newsletter

If you have a passion or skill for something people need help with how about starting a tips newsletter in either digital, printed, or both versions?

The Use Letter from Amy Lynn Andrews is a good place to look at a really good and useful tips newsletter.

An email newsletter is also called an ezine which is short for electronic magazine. Here is a good article on the basics of starting an ezine:

You can make the ezine free to subscribe to and then sell advertising or use affiliate banners to make money. You can also offer a paid membership to earn monthly income.

Adam Nolan offers a great course on making money with tips newsletters called the Passive Print System:

More Small Home-Based Business Ideas To Consider

11. Social Media Manager

small home-based business ideas - social media marketing

A social media manager handles social media marketing for businesses. These could be one-man businesses, small mom-and-pop stores, or even larger businesses.

Read this article for more in-depth tips: How to Start a Social Media Management Home Business

12. Start A Lead Agency

One thing that will never change for almost all businesses is the need for fresh leads. This is true for network marketers.

It is also true for local small businesses such as HVAC, plumbing, carpet cleaning, and so on. I would say if this interests you there is no better skill to develop than lead generation.

Read this article Starting a Lead Generation Business for Insane Profit – A Complete Guide to see if this might be the small business idea you are looking for.

13. Virtual Assistant

When reading What a Virtual Assistant Is I was struck by how easy it is to set up this business. Plus it is in huge demand and pays up to $25 /hour.

14. Buy An Online Business at

The fastest way to start a small business is to buy one. The hard part is finding one at an affordable price. Read my review on Empire Flippers to see if this might be a place you could find a business to buy. You can check the weekly listings that I posted on my website on a weekly basis as they send them to me.

15. Domain Flipping at

Domain flipping is just what you think it is. You buy domains at a low price and sell them at a higher price. You can learn more about Domain Flipping here.

16. Start A Franchise

Finding a franchise to start for under $500 is going to be hard to do. The thing is most franchises will let you finance through them and this can be for little or no money down.

Franchise Opportunities is a good place to look at franchises by coast and state.

17. Top Tier Business from

This is also known as big-ticket or high-ticket opportunities. Prosperity Nexus has a great opportunity in the Top Tier Business model.

They give you a business in a box but expect to spend $3500-$6500 with financing available. Contact Steve Hawk here.

18. Offline Services

I could and probably will write an article starting on an offline service business. A few that come to mind are……

  • – Curb Painting
  • – Day Care
  • – Handyman
  • – Pet Care

19. Start Your Own Blog

Small Home Based business Ideas - Starting a blog

This is what I did and my out-of-pocket cost was under $100. It breaks down this way.

The first thing is to think of a niche you want to be in. Try and solve a problem, maybe even one you have.

I decided to get into the make-money tips niche. This is an evergreen niche that never runs out of prospects.

  • 1. Join Wealthy Affiliate for free. Upgrade to Premium Member for $49/mo.
  • 2. Buy a domain name for $13.99 a year.
  • 3. Start a website using a WordPress Theme. Cost $0.
  • 4. Join an autoresponder company. I use Traffic Wave. Cost $17/mo.
  • 5. Start blogging.
  • 6. Outsource writing.

This will bump your cost, but if you do not like to write, do not know how to write blog articles, or are just too busy outsourcing to a freelance writer is a great idea.

20. Join Wealthy Affiliate

This is my top choice for a small business idea under $500. As I just laid about in idea #19 you can start for under $100.

Sell the Wealthy Affiliate membership and earn $23.50 a month. Do this over and over until you are earning thousands of dollars per month.

This is not hype. There are many members earning good money in affiliate marketing with Wealthy Affiliate.

You can join for free and take their 5-part affiliate training course for free. Then upgrade for $49 a month and become a paid member with all kinds of benefits, including additional courses to take your understanding levels higher.

Why would I put this on small home-based business ideas under $500? In my opinion, there is no better business model for making money than affiliate marketing.

The key is to go into an affiliate marketing program with the idea that you are starting your own business. Most people don’t do that and that’s one of the reasons they fail.

When you build an online small business in affiliate marketing you should be creating a long-term income strategy. You’re also building a business that you could sell if you ever wanted to in the future.

You should approach everything you do as though it is a real business selling real products to real people. Wealthy Affiliate will be a great resource for long-term success.

When doing this business, is good to start a saving program. Because as you build your free traffic base, you would want to take advantage of the paid ones as well. Something that Wealthy Affiliate will teach you in the Affiliate Course as well.

This is what I am leveraging and it is turning out to be one of my best marketing sources that have increased my earnings and given me the option to grow my business exponentially.

final thoughts

In summary, this is a fairly comprehensive list of small home-based businesses that anyone can start for under $500. Many lead you to train on how to make money in these various ways.

My best advice is to pick one and focus on it. Do not jump around always blaming the business opportunity for your lack of success.

What you decide to do with all this valuable information from here is totally up to you, but I wish you the best of luck!

If you need help choosing the right Affiliate Program, check out my #1 recommendation on building a successful Affiliate business online. You can get access to hundreds of training videos, 24/7 support, professional consultations, private access to training guides, tools, personal private assistance, my personal help, and much more.
PS: Click here to review my #1 recommendation in detail.

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22 thoughts on “Small Home Based Business Ideas Under $500”

  1. As you say, one of the most worthwhile things is a copywriter and the place where training can be found for this is on the site of American Writers and Artists, I wonder if they charge a membership fee on the site?
    I would also ask you if there are training for blog writers on the Angela site or is it just a freelance site?

    • Dragi, thank you for the comment and your concerns. Training on American Writers and Artists varies and it do have a cost to the different ones. Check it out here.

      On the Angela Site, yes, there are training there as well. You can go here to find out more. https://www.angelaswritingclas… Hope that helps. if you have any further concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me. Make it a great day!

  2. Dear David,

    Thanks for the post on Small Home Based Business Ideas Under $500.
    I got a new insight on FBA “Amazon is the number one buying website in the world. If you want to sell your own stuff online why not do it with Fulfillment By Amazon also known as FBA. Thanks for the information. Millions of Thanks!

    Your Friend,

    • Thank you for the comment, being an Amazon Affiliate is going to give you the edge of earning money online. And Joining Wealthy Affiliate will show exactly how to accomplish that. Glad that you see the value in FBA, Paul. Talk to you soon.

  3. Hey David,

    These are great ideas! I’m more into affiliate marketing and tutoring, but blogging and copywriting are also great.
    Being a blogger enables us to learn a lot of concepts, therefore creating and designing blogs for others, as well as social media and SEO are also some businesses one can start with minimal costs.

    Thanks for a great post!


    • Marios, great to see that you have a great interest in Affiliate Marketing. Anyone that starting a business, I always recommend that this should be their first choice.

      Thank you for your advise on why using a blog can help and other avenues like social media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and how cheap it is to get started. Talk to you soon.

  4. Hey i really enjoyed your article, i do think there could have been a little more information for each subject but i understood it for the most part. Also it would be helpful if you could make all of the links you posted clickable. Because some of your links you cant click on them so that can be an issue. I stick with affiliate marketing with my website and i also do freelance work on fiverr.

    • Thank you for your comment, glad that you enjoyed this article. Sometimes I do not make all my links clickable because i just wanted to provide the information but not make my readers leave my site without reading my entire article. And later if they want to go to that site they can go at a later date. Is all about changing up your approach from time to time.

      The other reason is that you get better rankings when your readers stay on your site, that is why using videos helps. This article have a lot website to go to so i did not want to make all of them clickable. Getting the message across and providing the information was my goal. Hope you see my point here.

      Yes, i would agree that Affiliate Marketing is a good choice and doing freelance work can create a steady income while you grow your business. Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

  5. Thanks, this is a great article. I have had a go at Amazon FBA and really think that it is a great opportunity for most people. You really don’t need a lot of money to get going and you can start by just selling items that you pick up for bargain prices at your local stores. From there there are lots of ways that you can expand and even launch your own private label products.

    • Chris, thank you for your comment and insight on what business ideas that one should choose and why is it important to go that way. Amazon has a vast amount of products one can choose from, and their customers experience is high in deliverability. Great choice.

  6. Nice post here. This makes the thought of making a living online much less daunting, I liked your “provide a service” recommendation, since many folks may have skills that can help someone out and still make some money on the side with it. Also blogging like you mentioned is a never ending source of possibilities.  Great post

    Thanks for the information


    • Todd, I could not have said it better myself. Building a website and blogging frequently is the best way to go so that anyone can make a decent amount of money from home without having to put out a huge sum.

      Glad I was able to provide value here.

  7. Oh, I’ll try Affiliate Marketing as it’s free to join. 

    You suggest Wealthy Affiliate for training courses. Can I stay for free until I feel I’m ready for the more advanced courses? Because I like doing things in my own time, without rushing. 

    I love writing so I’ll probably try blogging as well. I can do both together if I’m not wrong. Thanks for the ideas!

    • Jenny Affiliate Marketing is the best way to go. Good choice.

      Wealthy Affiliate training courses is the best place to start for the newbies and seasoned veterans as well. You can stay for free and enjoy your two free website and move at your own pace if is that you desire.

      Blogging would best fit you, because of you writing ability, and yes, you can do both. Thank you for stopping by here.

  8. Hi David,

    I really like your detailed outline in how to start a small home based business. Great review!

    I wasn’t aware of all of them  and a couple of them certainly has caught my eye to take a bit deeper look. Do you personally have a favorite?

    I know Wealthy Affiliate and this place is certainly the best way to start any online business.

    • Hey Sylvia, glad that I was able to bring some clarity here in this article on small home-based business ideas. I kind of dabble in a few, but my favorite would be Affiliate Marketing.

      If you have the time, blog writing can be very good business if you love writing. With some people who do not have the time to write and want to build a business, you can fill this void by writing their articles for them.

      Glad to know that you are aware of Wealthy Affiliate. this is where i would recommend for anyone starting out, Wealthy Affiliate would be good place to start, you will not only get the training, but you will be part of a community who are eager to see you succeed. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  9. Hey this is a cool list of small home based business ideas under $500 for sure. I can agree with affiliate marketing because I have been building my own internet business from the ground up and it’s slowly but surely it starting to pay off. With business, it should always be taken into consideration that starting any business takes time to grow and produce, specifically in the beginning. It’s like growing a garden, those fat tomatoes ain’t gonna grow over night.

    I’m curious about Domain Flipping, I buy it and sell it to someone that wants it? How does that work?

    • Glad to see that you understand that building a business requires time to grow. Nothing that would last happens overnight. You have the right approach and soon you will reap the rewards if you stay focus and consistent.

      Domain flipping is a big business and after some time you can sell your domain and earn a big payday. Learn more about it here.… Hope that i was able to provide valuable information.

  10. Thanks for the great blog post!  You have provided some great ideas.  Your advice to pick one method and focus on it is 100% spot on.  I used to go after every “shiny object” and lost a lot of money do so.  Once I decided to give Amazon FBA a shot and had a bit of success 5 years ago I was hooked. 

    After you become successful using one method I do however, think that it is a good idea to branch out into other avenues to diversify your income.  Not relying on one income stream is always a good idea.  This is why I am getting back into affiliate marketing.  I have had a bit of success with it a long time ago but I really did not commit.  So this time around I am really going to focus on making it work consistently. 

    • Thank you, tom for your comment. Glad that i was able to provide some value here on home based business that anyone can start and develop into a full-time income from home. we all make the same mistake by going after any business that looks good and not focusing on one.

      Not keeping all your eggs in one basket is a good approach to any successful entrepreneur. glad to see that you are approaching Affiliate marketing. this is my main source of income, and I would like others to see that is the best approach for building a business online. It was good chatting with you.

  11. Lots of great ideas here. I’ve done a few of them myself. I’m a blog writer, freelance writer and I also am part of Wealthy Affiliate. There’s so much information out there on work at home jobs and businesses, but it can be so tough figuring out which is legit. You’ve definitely helped out there.

    • Genesis, glad to see that you are on the right track by becoming a member of Wealthy Affiliate. Building a business can be tough, but with the right training and support, it is possible. 

      This is the reason I recommend anyone starting out, start by becoming a member at Wealthy Affiliate. It is also a good place for the season veterans as well. Thank you for the comment


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