Here are five business ideas I would suggest, based on all of my failed attempts thus far:
Online t-shirt store
Love creating fun designs? There are now dozens of excellent platforms to help you create your own clothing brand. I’ve used Shopify, Printful and Redbubble to get up and running within a day. There is little to no startup cost if you choose a platform like Redbubble.
I used to buy textbooks overseas at a fraction of the cost and sell them to fellow students on-campus. Head over to eBay and look up current ISBN numbers to see if you can make a profit here. Textbooks in retail stores are downright expensive with their pricing. You can do it better. I would create textbook ads on Craigslist to capture student interest, but there are many more marketing channels today to do this. Facebook Marketplace is a great channel to post your textbooks on.
Love using a certain type of product or service? You can become an affiliate by recommending the product in exchange for a commission! I have used Amazon Associates and ClickBank for this setup, with Amazon being my main recommendation due to sheer size. If you can become an authority leader with your niche product by posting epic blog content or videos about it, you have a chance to make a living with affiliate marketing.
Amazon KDP allows you to self-publish books as an author. If you love writing, this is for you. An alternative is to hire ghostwriters, which would allow you to produce more books while focusing on marketing. Getting book reviews is everything. Without Amazon reviews, no one will buy your book. Set up free giveaways (KDP Select) in exchange for reviews, and keep spreading the word every day.
Social media marketing agency
If you are savvy with social media, you could help lawyers, doctors or accountants with their accounts. I suggest these niches because they have money to spend on marketing. That means you can make this business more successful than targeting say mom-and-pops or profit-tight restaurants. Lead with helpful value and you will have clients in no time at all.
The best thing about all of these business ventures is they’re free to get started. Hope that sparks some ideas for you.