32 Low Cost Business Ideas for New York City, NY, USA

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32 Low Cost Business Ideas for New York City, NY, USA

New York City is a major metropolis that is loaded with new startups every day. This kind of activity often helps to create new business models, keeps the economy health and invigorated, and may also be key in the development of new industries. 

Surely you have heard of Shutterstock, Foursquare, Meetup, and Tumblr. These were all startups out of New York City. These are good examples of startups that change and challenge older business models.

You will obviously need an amazing idea for a startup in New York City with the competition waiting there. However, the potential is huge for startups in this mega metropolis. 

One of the elements for a new business is that it can solve problems for particular audiences. Another element is that a business should create value to its audience. There are literally hundreds of ideas for startups and new small businesses that would be of value to people of this city. You simply need your niche to make it happen. 

Something you should know about New York City is that its business infrastructure is extremely advanced. The use of technology, the city’s financial status, its media perspective, and the hectic, fast-paced lifestyle of its people are what create this advanced culture. 

Professionals are constantly on the lookout for better and more efficient ways to improve and increase their productivity, while also enhancing their personal lives and entertainment. 

If you feel stumped or confused about getting your own startup started, this article will address the top best business ideas suitable for New York City without a large investment and a better return on investment. The following ideas may be just what you are looking for as-is, or you can brainstorm and get creative with them and find better and more valuable startup ideas.

Small Business Ideas for New York City

1) Webpreneur

Webpreneur

If you have the knowledge, skill set, and expertise in web development, marketing, content creation, or other similar skills, you can create a content agency. You simply need to find your niche that will attract the customers you want to make it happen. 

2) Home Cooked Food Delivery

It doesn’t matter where you live, people enjoy fresh home-cooked meals. Having their meals delivered is a major perk in New York City. Lunchtime is a good time to offer this service to businesses, but it’s not limited to that. Breakfast and dinner can be offered to busy people at home.

Consider offering special subscription-based services like weekly or monthly packages they can choose online to get their breakfast, lunch, or dinner delivered daily. Lunchtime is the best time in New York City for this service. 

3) Niche Recruitment Agency

If you’re thinking that the recruitment industry in New York City is a saturated market, you would be correct. However, there are gaps left to fill in the niche/specialization arena in recruitment agencies. Choose a two or three niche industries, create your online presence, and offer unique value to those people seeking work in those specific industries.

4) Luxury Travel Planner – Discount Deals

While the travel agency sector is well-established here, creating luxury and discount niches within it is a big opportunity. Don’t just offer overseas travel tours and international, luxury cruise packages. Find and unique exotic places in the state and surrounding states for people to explore and niche in that area of travel. 

5) Dog Walking Service

Dog Walking Service

Among the hectic lifestyles in New York City, people have dogs. Some have them as family pets, some as companions, and some as service pets. No matter why they have a dog, you can help out by offering dog walking services. You help busy people who cannot take their pets out every day and get paid for hanging out with furry friends. 

6) Language Translation Service

New York is a melting pot of beautiful and diverse people who speak different languages. Some businesses have communication issues because of the potential language barriers that sometimes exist. Starting a translation service is a huge market with a lot of potential in several niches. For instance language translation services to help with website content, meetings, video presentations, marketing material, and more.

7) Parking Space Rental

You can rent your parking space? Yes. If you have some parking space (unused) on your property, rent it out to get extra income. If you live in an area where parking is at a premium, you can cash in on that niche.

8) Garage Space Rental – Weekly/Monthly Garage Sales Rentals

What do you mean rent garage space? In this instance, it’s not a permanent idea. There are people all over New York City who want to sell their stuff, but they don’t have a garage for a garage sale. Let them rent your space to host their garage sales. 

9) Personal Shopper

The busy lifestyle in New York City often makes it challenging for working people and couples to make it to the grocery store. Offer to do that for them for a fee and be a personal shopper. Other niches in this startup industry may include clothing, cars, and whatever other types of shopping people need to have done for them.

10) Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor

Are you good with finances? Have you ever worked as a financial advisor? With so many business startups and growth, financial experts are in demand in big cities. Hands-on experience can help you create a portfolio worthy of creating your own financial advisory business. 

11) Photography

If you have a knack for photography, those skills will help you create a portfolio fast. Start by volunteering for friends, family, coworkers, or even reach out to businesses to get more referrals. Weddings, corporate events, private events, and other festivals and celebrations may all want your services.

12) Beauty Salon

A beauty salon can be a boutique offering of spa, hair, skin, nails, and other aesthetic services, or it can focus on only hair or hair and nails. Regardless, the market may seem saturated, but in big cities like New York City, these types of services are always in demand. 

13) Dry Cleaning/Laundry Services

Just like cleaning and cooking, doing laundry is another task that takes up time and people tend to feel it’s tedious when they are busy and rundown. The working class of this city needs someone to pick up and delivery their laundry and dry cleaning. You can be the one to do their laundry, or just be a pickup and delivery person.

14) Insurance Brokerage

Before you can be an insurance broker, you need to have your insurance license and know the state’s guidelines and laws regarding this industry. Otherwise, your network of insurance providers and your expertise will drive this business.

15) Online Trading

Online Trading

Successful sellers on eBay and Amazon often need help with their listings. You can help current online sellers keep track of their inventory, create listings, market their stores, etc. Also, you can start your own online trading on either of these platform for a very low investment.

16) Custom Baked Goods

Do you love to bake? If you do, there is a way to benefit financially from that skill. Cakes, cupcakes, pastries, snacks, and other baked goods are popular in the Big Apple (New York City). You can offer your baked goods for parties, events, and other celebrations or even get a cart and sell them at businesses that allow snack and food carts for lunch. 

17) Daycare 

The primary worry of parents is protecting their children. The safety and security of children is risky business nowadays at the global level. Therefore, a solid, credible, and reliable daycare center is crucial in New York City. Along with keeping children safe and secure, it is also essential to teach them well.

18) Cleaning/Maid/Handyman Services

Busy working professionals have little to no time to clean or make small repairs around their homes or apartment. You can step in and be the maid, cleaning person, or handyman (person) to give them a hand. Starting these small businesses take little investment.

You just need to know how to listen and perform cleaning tasks as requested by the client. Being good at any handyman or cleaning skills will get you referrals. Customer service skills go a long way in this industry.

19) Property Management

The wealthy people of New York City are usually too busy to manage their properties without help. Find these property owners and become their exclusive property manager. It is advisable to have experience in this field. 

20) Online Florist and Flower Delivery

Online Florist

Flowers are used to celebrate and share emotions. Regardless of the sentiment of any event (celebration, memorialization, congratulations, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.), flowers are likely to be there. If you have skills with plants and flowers, an online florist plus delivery service could be your go-to startup.

Most people lack the time to go to a flower shop, so they either call in their order or order online. This would be a hot business opportunity for someone with florist experience. 

21) Business Broker

The demand for becoming an entrepreneur is on the rise. There are thousands of people (probably much more) seeking a business to buy, and you could be the go–between for them. This startup business is a little more involved than others as it requires you to have some B2B experience, but if you do, this can be quite the revenue generator in the city.

22) Niche Blogger

Blogging is no longer simply writing words and creating a blog. The behind the scene nuances are important to bloggers nowadays, and you can take advantage of that. Using your experience and skills in a niche industry can help you either create your own successful money-making blog or provide an opportunity for you to help bloggers with theirs. 

23) Mobile Automobile Repair

Anyone who owns a vehicle (personal or business) is ultimately going to have problems. Wherever you have automobiles, you have workshops. Who would you call if you broke down in the middle of nowhere? A local mechanic or automobile repair service, right? If you have the licensing, training, experience, and skills, you can attract business through a mobile auto repair service or your own workshop. It seems there is always a need for more with the demand for repairs and services for automobiles. 

24) Business Setup Consultant

Have you owned and operated your own business in the past or are you still? If you are a business person already, why not become a business setup advisor and help someone else benefit from your experience? This startup can range from local to foreign investing. Very little startup capital is needed for this venture and it has a lot of  high return on investment (ROI).

25) Event Planning

Event Planning

Big cities may be full of event planning companies, but there can hardly be enough for such a largely populated area. Planning, organizing, implementing, and managing events in New York City is a highly profitable service. If you already have some experience, you can build on that and start small. If you need experience, get out there and learn or work for an event planner for a while until you have the hang of it and can start your own.

You will gain experience, but also gain knowledge about how in-demand this startup is. Be aware that if you work for an event planner, you will likely have to sign and non-compete clause and therefore cannot take clients with you when you start your business. However, your experience and knowledge will help you win.

26) Car Washing Service

Part of vehicle ownership is in maintaining not only its inner workings, but keeping it clean. There may be a lot of car wash shops in this city, but the lines for waiting are still present and annoying. People cannot afford that time in line, so a business that offers car washing services would be welcome to them. It would attract people who don’t like to wait in line at the car wash. You can do really well if you partner with office management companies and large customers.

27) Home-Based Gym/Trainer

If you already have a home gym, this won’t require much investment, but if you don’t you will need to acquire quality exercise equipment. If you know how to train others and help them get fit, that is another benefit you can offer with a home-based gym. You might even want to expand into having classes for cardio, yoga, Pilates, etc.

28) Foreign Cuisine Style Restaurant

Restaurants are popular to busy city people because of the convenience. Also, the cuisine and quality of food matters. New York City is full of people who have traveled the world just to taste or enjoy a favorite food from somewhere else in the world. A little research, a place of business, and some startup capital for equipment and staff will be required to do this. You can make it less expensive by offering a delivery service only or you can do both. 

29) Elder Care or Babysitter

Generally speaking, people are living longer which is good, but they often get sicker as they age. Elder care is a niche that requires patience and compassion. If you have experience working with seniors, this could be your niche. More people are choosing to keep their older loved ones at home, so helping them out would be a win-win for everyone.

Babysitting is another area of opportunity in the city since people are working, and they prefer someone to be home with their children. They may also attend many events where they require late night babysitting.

30) Bed & Breakfast

Bed & Breakfast

If you own a large piece of property with a house that has extra bedrooms and/or bathrooms, a bed and breakfast is a great way to turn that property into an income-generating property. If your rooms are already designed with flair, there will be very little investment.

Otherwise, remodeling could be part of this process. Tourists love having a home away from home experience.

31) DJ Services

Are you a disc jockey or do you want to be one? With some knowledge and expertise in music genres, you can start your own business and make money. Some events that you might cover include weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, etc.

32) Everything’s $10 Online Shop

An everything is $10 online store will require some investment. However, you can get started by selling on platforms like Amazon and eBay and expand into your own online store. It will save you time and money if you buy items that have confirmed orders unless you have spare money lying around to spend on products. This can be lucrative, but it will require some market research.

Summary

All these ideas may spark more ideas for startups in New York City. These can stand alone or become large businesses. All of these can be successful in the city, if you have the resources and ways to raise capital. 

Remember to follow the laws of New York City and the United States before offering products and services in this city. Get the proper licensing for your industry or business before you open for business. 

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The Small Business Blog was started in 2009. Aiming to help SME businesses. With that in mind, we are always looking for talented writers to write for us and add to the blog.

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