5 Businesses You Can Start With $1,000 or Less

There are tons of different businesses you can start with $1,000 or less.

Thanks to the internet, a lack of capital is no longer an excuse to avoid getting started.

With these businesses, you need to invest:

  • Time
  • Energy
  • And effort

But if you have an internet connection and a small amount of cash to get started, you can scale any of these businesses to $100,000 per year (or more) by landing high-ticket clients who pay you thousands per month.

I chose the most beginner-friendly businesses to start with $1,000 to make sure you can find a model that’s a good fit for you, regardless of experience.


Email copywriting agency

Copywriting just means writing words that cause a certain action.

That action can be:

  • Clicking on an ad
  • Downloading a freebie
  • Buying a product

Email happens to be the best selling environment for most online businesses because you can talk directly to customers—which is key for getting them to know, like, trust, and buy from your business or brand.

Many businesses already make good revenue and have lots of traffic (eyeballs) on their product or service, but they’re missing out on extra revenue because they don’t have a good email marketing system in place.

If you want to collect thousands per month per client, you must target businesses that are already successful.

As Alex Hormozi says:

Solve rich people’s problems. They pay better.

Here’s what the process looks like for starting an email copywriting agency for less than $1,000.


Step 1: Learn how to write copy

Grab three copywriting books and read them three times each. I suggest these:

Watch 20 hours of YouTube content on email copywriting or buy an online course on the topic.

Copy famous sales letters by hand (top copywriters swear by this). Study real-life email campaigns. This is called “funnel hacking.” You sign up to newsletters from top marketers and study how they persuade and sell via email.

That will make you good enough to start pitching clients.


Step 2: Create samples (or do free work)

The best way to get good at writing copy is to write copy. You can pick companies you like and create sample emails based on their brand.

Even better, you can send those sample emails to those companies to try out. If they perform well, they just might hire you to do more.

If you want to build an actual portfolio you can do some free work for three companies in exchange for testimonials and social proof.

There are a couple of basic formats you want to master:

  • A welcome sequence: This is a series of 5-7 emails that introduce the reader to the brand and gradually make the messages more sales-focused.
  • An educational email course: This is similar to a welcome sequence, but it’s focused on a specific topic related to the business that helps the reader learn more about it so they will buy.
  • Broadcast emails: These are emails you send on behalf of your clients 2-5 times per week to help them nurture their readers or make sales.


Step 3: Craft an offer

It’s not enough to just have a service for email marketing.

You need to have an offer that explains to your potential client what your services will do for them. For example: Book 10 calls, increase sales by [x] percentage, or a less quantifiable but solid promise like “educating your customers so they are more likely to buy from you.”

Come up with:

  • Outcome and timeframe: Book 10 calls with qualified leads each month in 6 months or less
  • Deliverables: 2-4 emails per week
  • Pricing: $1,000-$3,000
  • Path to success: Market research, email strategy, done for you emails
  • Reason to buy now: Cap the number of spots you have each month due to capacity. This creates scarcity and urgency which will make prospects act faster.


Step 4: Send 100 pitches per day to get clients

This is the part most don’t want to do, but remember, if you lack money to invest in your business and want to start a business with $1,000 or less, you’ll have to make up for that lack of capital with effort.

First thing in the morning, send 100 pitches via email or to the social media profiles of company pages or business owners.

I wrote a detailed process on cold pitching successfully that you can use to guide the process.

Send 100 pitches per day and wash, rinse, and repeat until you hit your income goals.


YouTube organic content agency

B2B Agency models are the most beginner-friendly businesses you can start with $1,000 or less. You can build them with nothing more than the ability to learn the skill and the effort it takes to reach out to clients.

YouTube is one of the best skills and platforms to learn to help businesses because YouTube videos are great “sales assets” for businesses to help demonstrate the value of their products or services.

Take my business which focuses on helping writers build six-figure businesses. I sell online courses and coaching programs. I’m going heavy on YouTube after a hiatus because tons of people told me that my YouTube videos convinced them to buy.

YouTube videos are “sticky,” meaning they have a long shelf life. You can shoot a single video that brings in new views, leads, and sales for years.

With other platforms like X, your content doesn’t get shown in the algorithm for more than a day or two, so you have to create a bunch of new content every day to get noticed.

A solid YouTube channel with SEO-optimized videos that you get to rank on the first page can bring sales in constantly. YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world and Google owns it, so a solid video can get ranked on YouTube and show up on the first page of Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

A lot of businesses use paid ads to get traffic, which is great for short-term sales. Organic content, content that costs nothing to post, takes longer to kick in but delivers long-term results.


Step 1: Obsess over the YouTube algorithm

If you want to help clients grow on YouTube, you need to learn the ins and outs of crafting videos that rank well in search results. These videos are optimized to retain attention and are scripted to educate your client’s prospects. They transition into sales with strong calls to action at the end of videos to either capture emails or buy their product.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Learn YouTube SEO. Research and target high-volume, low-competition keywords (these are the types of keywords you want to focus on for clients).
  • Study how to create titles and thumbnails that increase the click-through rate (CTR) on videos. CTR is one of the top metrics YouTube uses to rank videos.
  • Study what makes great YouTube videos. You can do this by watching other channels that teach success on YouTube. You don’t have to be as good as them. You just have to be good enough to be better at YouTube than your clients (the same goes for all the skills I’m mentioning on this list). Study how videos hook you in the first few seconds, how they use open loops to retain attention, and how videos are scripted to get people to watch from start to finish.


Step 2: Start a YouTube channel

You have a couple of options here. You could start a YouTube channel based on topics you enjoy so you learn how to grow a channel, which means you can do it for clients. This will help you have social proof to show you can do it, too.

You can also make a YouTube channel about growing on YouTube, but it’s a super competitive category so you would have a hard time ranking on the first page. You could target very niche keywords, rank for them, and build a solid enough channel to show you know what you’re doing.

Over time, as you land clients, you can post their case studies on your channel for more social proof. Because the topic is so competitive, you can sell SEO-based offers to clients without being highly ranked for the topic itself. You can explain to them that competing for a term like “YouTube SEO” is really difficult, but you can help them rank in their less established niche.


Step 3: Craft the offer

See the pattern, now? You always need an offer.

Come up with:

  • Outcome and timeframe: Create 4 SEO-optimized videos per month that rank on the first page of YouTube and Google search results within 90 days
  • Deliverables: 4 high-quality, engaging videos per month, complete with optimized titles, descriptions, tags, and thumbnails
  • Pricing: $2,000 per month for a 3-month contract
  • Path to success: Conduct in-depth keyword research, create compelling video content, and optimize for search engines
  • Reason to buy now: Offer a limited-time discount for businesses that sign up for a quarterly package or cap the number of client spots available


Step 4: Find your dream clients

There’s a specific style of outreach I love for YouTube organic content agencies. It’s called a service-based lead magnet. A lead magnet is a freebie you give away to get the attention of prospects. Usually, lead magnets are things like free e-books, but with this style of agency, you can turn your service into a lead magnet.

A YouTube agency owner named Ayman used this exact strategy to build his YouTube content agency to $90,000 per month in just 15 months. Here’s what he did. He took existing videos from clients he wanted to work with and turned them into cool YouTube short videos. Then he’d give them the video unprompted and just tell them to post the video and see how it performs.

This free-sample strategy works really well for this type of agency.

You can create different types of service-based lead magnets to get clients for this offer:

  • Use existing videos and giveaway YouTube shorts like Ayman.
  • Create a script for a video, ask the prospect to shoot the content, and then edit, optimize, and post the YouTube video on their channel.
  • Do a loom video breaking down their current content marketing strategy and talk about how your YouTube strategy would help them (as time goes on having case studies you can reference makes this even more effective).


Lead generation agency

All businesses need leads.

They want to book more sales calls, land more clients, and simply get more people interested in their product or service. If you run a lead generation agency, your job is to go out there and get leads on their behalf.

There are lots of definitions for leads and many ways to get leads like paid traffic (google, Facebook, Tiktok ads) or organic strategies like creating content and/or sending cold emails or DMs on behalf of the business.

The easiest form of lead generation is a cold email lead gen agency. There are tools like ListKit that you can use to send thousands of cold emails per day to potential clients. A certain percentage of those people will book calls and turn into clients. It’s a pure volume game. You come up with a pitch template, find your ideal client pool, and send it away.

The way you get clients for your cold email agency is to send tons of cold emails. You make the pitch and focus on ROI. The thinking is: Your potential client is not using cold email to get leads right now so they have an untapped source of leads. You’ll do this for them to get them clients. Simple.

The best businesses to target for this type of agency are pre-internet businesses with older founders who already have successful businesses—but they don’t know much about using the Internet to get clients. A basic handle on online business and marketing will make you look like a marketing genius to these clients.


Step 1: Get good at cold email outreach

Step one for all of these offers starts with getting good at the skill.

Learn how to craft compelling pitches that grab your prospects’ attention and make them want to learn more.

Start by studying successful cold email templates in your target niches. Analyze what makes them effective:

  • Subject lines: How do they stand out in a crowded inbox and entice the prospect to open the email?
  • Opening lines: How do they instantly hook the reader and make them want to keep reading?
  • Offer: How do they make a clear and easy-to-understand offer that shows ROI for the client?
  • Call-to-action: How do they make it simple, easy, and near effortless to take the next step?
  • Once you’ve got a feel for what works, start crafting your own templates. Focus on creating emails that are concise, personalized, and laser-focused on the needs of your target audience.


Step 2: A unique strategy to learn AND get clients

Before you start pitching your services to potential clients, you need to prove that your cold email strategies can actually generate leads.

Pick a niche that you’re passionate about and start sending cold emails on behalf of a business in that industry. You can offer to do this for free, in exchange for a testimonial and case study.

Or you could just…do it. Imagine you just started doing lead generation on behalf of a business and fed them a bunch of leads. After that, you followed up by forwarding all the emails you sent to help them get those leads. A bit risky? Yes. Effective? Extremely.

If you do use the free client strategy make sure to track metrics like:

  • Calls booked rate: How many calls get booked per email campaign?
  • Call show rate: How many people show up to the sales call?
  • Close rate: This is dependent on the client & their sales skills but is still key. Even better if you worked the leads and did the calls but that’s a higher-tier skillset. How many calls turn into sales?
  • Cost per lead: Total cost of sending the emails (mass cold email campaigns cost money) divided by the number of qualified leads that book calls.
  • Cost per acquisition: The total money it costs to land one client. Take the cost of the emails sent divided by the number of people who buy per campaign.

When you have a clear financial picture of the ROI your cold emails generate, it just makes logical sense for clients to buy.


Step 3: Craft the offer

The offer is king. 

Come up with:

  • Outcome and timeframe: Generate 50 qualified leads per month through cold email outreach within 90 days
  • Deliverables: Customized cold email templates, targeted prospect lists, and ongoing outreach and follow-up
  • Pricing: $2,500 per month for a 3-month contract
  • Path to success: Conduct market research, craft compelling email templates, and continually optimize based on metrics and feedback
  • Reason to buy now: Capped spots and price goes up after you land a certain number of clients


Step 4: Target your ideal clients

Use cold email to get cold email clients.

You can do three types of cold email campaigns:

  • Mass automated cold emails using tools like ListKit
  • Sniper cold emails with customized pitches for clients you think would make a great fit for your business
  • A hybrid of both

For the custom strategy, again, the best businesses to target are pre-internet companies with older founders who have successful businesses but limited online marketing expertise.

Look for businesses in your target niches that have outdated websites, little to no social media presence, and no visible email marketing strategy. These are the companies that stand to benefit the most from your cold email lead generation services.

Use cold email to land them. Use the case studies from free clients with the numbers to make a clear ROI for your pitch.


Coaching or consulting business

If you have knowledge in one of these three areas:

  • Health: Fitness, nutrition, mental health, fixing your nervous system, healing gut problems
  • Wealth: Writing online, real estate, marketing, business opportunities (i.e., become a vending machine owner), investing
  • Relationships: Get more dates, fix your relationships, fix your marriage, find your dream partner, master your attachment style

…then you can create a coaching or consulting-based offer that teaches what you know. Your expertise can help someone else get better results in one of those four areas. This is an excellent lifestyle business model you can use to hit $10K per month.


Step 1: Dig into your past experiences and expertise

Ask questions like:

  • What comes easily to you that’s difficult to others?
  • What skills have you learned in your career?
  • What are your hobbies, passions, and areas of interest?

If you have something that maps to one of the 3 questions above, you can use it to build your coaching or consulting offer.


Step 2: Create an offer

Once again, focus on the outcome your offer provides instead of the coaching or consulting itself.

Come up with:

  • Outcome and timeframe: Find your dream job in 90 days
  • Deliverables: Weekly 1 on 1 coaching
  • Pricing: $250 per week or $2,500 paid in full
  • Path: Identify your top skills, scan the market for top jobs, learn resume-building and interview strategies to land a six-figure job
  • Reason to buy now: Cap spots based on capacity for scarcity and urgency


Step 3: Create content on social media

Create content on social media platforms like LinkedIn, X, Instagram, Tiktok, and Youtube with content that focuses on these four areas that are top of mind for your potential clients:

  • Fears
  • Frustrations
  • Short-term wants
  • Long-term aspirations

Posting consistently online helps you get traffic that you can convert into sales.


Step 4: Marketing and sales

In this phase, you figure out how to convert casual consumers into buyers.

There are a few strategies you can use:

  • Email marketing: Create an email list and promote it with every piece of content. Then, write emails and do launches for your coaching and consulting offer.
  • Warm lead generation: You can individually reach out to people who like, comment, and engage with your posts. You can also reach out to people who follow you. Have conversations with them about their problems and pitch your offer as the solution.
  • Public offers: A few times per month, write a blatant sales pitch on your channels about your coaching or consulting offer and prompt them to DM you for details.


User-generated content (UGC) creator

UGC creators make ads that don’t look like traditional ads.

If you’ve been on TikTok, you’ve seen UGC ads.

It features viral videos that are entertaining but do have a product placement in them. These ads work well in 2024 because Generation Z is skeptical of traditional in-your-face advertising, but they spend tons of time on platforms like TikTok and buy lots of products from these ads that don’t look like ads.

If you want to do UGC content, you should focus on e-commerce brands with physical products as your target audience. You can do this in two ways.

You can work directly for brands and get paid a flat fee to create content on their behalf or you can become an affiliate for one of these businesses and get paid commissions based on how much you sell. TikTok has a platform called TikTok Shop that connects you with brands who are looking for UGC creators to do affiliate deals with.


Step 1: Master short-form video content

UGC content is all about creating viral short-form videos on platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels. Prioritizing entertainment while seamlessly integrating product placements.

Study viral videos in your niche and reverse engineer how they work. Pay attention to details like:

The hook: How do they grab attention within the first 3 seconds?

Storytelling: How do they weave together text, visuals, and sounds to create a compelling narrative?

Product placement: When and how do they introduce the product in a way that feels natural?

Create UGC-style videos every single day for the next 30 days. By the end of the month, you’ll have a solid grasp of the style and be ready to take on clients.


Step 2: Build a portfolio

Now that you’ve mastered the art of UGC videos, create a portfolio that will have clients and customers lining up to work with you.

Choose 3-5 products that you genuinely love and use. Create a UGC-style video for each one and post them on TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels. Use relevant hashtags so potential customers can easily find your content.

Just like the email copywriting example, reach out to the brands you featured and let them know about your video. Some of them might be so impressed that they’ll want to use it in their own marketing campaigns or even hire you to create more content.


Step 3: Craft the offer

Just like we did with the other business models, you need to create an offer that clearly communicates the value you bring to the table.

Come up with:

  • Outcome and timeframe: Create 10 UGC videos that generate 100,000 views and 1,000 sales in 30 days or less
  • Deliverables: 10 high-quality, engaging UGC videos tailored to the brand’s target audience
  • Pricing: Charge $500 per video or take a 10% commission on generated sales
  • Path to success: Research the brand and its audience, develop captivating video concepts, and optimize for views and conversions
  • Reason to buy now: Offer a limited-time discount for brands that sign up for a monthly package or cap the number of affiliate spots available


Step 4: Choose your monetization strategy

Pick between the two models we talked about already:

1. Partner directly with brands and charge a flat fee per video

2. Become an affiliate and earn commissions on the sales you generate

If you want to work directly with brands, put together a media kit that features your portfolio. Then, reach out to marketing managers at e-commerce companies and pitch your services.

If the affiliate route is more your style, sign up for TikTok’s creator marketplace or other affiliate programs in your niche. Look for products that align with your unique style and that your audience will love.


Don’t wait—choose one business you can start with $1,000

And run with it.

I narrowed down the list to the ones that are the most beginner-friendly, straightforward, and profitable.

This single blog post won’t be enough to get started.

You’ll have to deep dive into one of these models. Learn everything you can and implement fast. 

Be hungry when you’re first starting out. I have friends who sent 100 cold DMs per day for months before they landed their first client.

When you’re a beginner, you’re at a disadvantage because you lack expert-level skills, social proof, and case studies of success. But a lot of businesses will hire you for these reasons:

1. You’re cheaper than a top-tier pro and—if you’re good at the skill—they can get an amazing result at a discount.

2. You’re hungrier than the veterans. Use that in your pitch. Admit that you’re new and turn it into a benefit by communicating that you have to make this work to scale your business. Emphasize that they’ll get all of your attention and effort instead of being “just another client” at a big agency.

3. They see themselves in you. Business owners know how tough it is to get started. So if you’re sincere and hungry, they’ll sense it and give you a chance because they want to help the next generation of business owners become successful.

The only thing standing in the way of starting a business with $1,000 is simply making the decision to do it.

You have all the resources you need to get started.

The question is…will you?