Seven Low-Cost Business Ideas for Introverts

If you think you’re not outgoing enough to start your own business, think again. Here are three examples to prove you wrong—Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Marissa Mayer. All three consider themselves introverted and each has a successful track record in running a business. So what kinds of businesses tend to be suited to introverts? Consider these business ideas—each draws on your unique strengths as an introvert.

Start by thinking how your business idea relates to your personality. Many introverts are drawn to individual tasks rather than team-oriented businesses. So businesses you can do alone might be more appealing. That doesn’t mean you can’t interact with people. But maybe you aim for one-on-one or online relationships with customers. Or you partner with someone who thrives on social interaction.

It’s important to note that few people are solely introverted or extroverted. Most fall somewhere in between. So be careful not to pigeonhole your choices. Focus on your strengths to find your comfort zone.

Here are seven, low-cost business ideas that take advantage of the skills introverts bring to the market:

  • College application advisor – Applying for college has become a complicated and time-consuming process. And the wrong decision could jeopardize a student’s career goals and saddle them with school debt that can take years to repay. So there’s a demand to help students and their parents sort out the details to find the right fit. The start-up costs are low and your social interactions are one-on-one rather than large groups.
  • Pet sitting – Pet owners who work outside the home are looking for “daycare” for their pets. This idea draws on an introvert’s strength in establishing individual relationships with clients and their pets. And you can operate it out of your house. Check with your insurance company to determine whether your current homeowner’s plan would cover you in this instance.
  • Freelancer writer – Writing tends to be a reflective activity that draws on keen observational skills—two talents where introverts excel. Your writing product could be used in blogs, marketing materials, travel sites, training materials, resumes and technical manuals. You may be required to conduct online research or interview subject-matter experts to gather content. Start-up requires little more than a computer and internet access. 
  • eCommerce reseller – If shopping is your game, you might be a player in this business. It involves sourcing goods either online or retail, then reselling them online for a profit. For example, you might locate a bargain collectable on eBay and repost it at a higher market price. This draws on the analytical and organizational skills of some introverts. And it’s a business that you can start on a smaller scale and expand with time.
  • Life counselor – If you’re a good listener (and many introverts are), this business draws on your ability to successfully engage people one-on-one. That’s also an important quality in getting referrals, which are key to developing a successful business. The interaction could happen online, in person, or a combination of both. Here’s a free, online class to learn how to become a paid coach.
  • SEO Marketer – Search-engine optimization (SEO) helps businesses get noticed on sites like Google. It takes advantage of an introvert’s analytical skills since they have to track data and observe trends over time. There’s also an element of creativity as you work with clients on ways to improve their online results. 
  • Stock photographer – A picture can be worth a thousand words to online marketers. That’s why there’s a demand for great photos they can use in marketing materials. Start-up costs for this business are low, especially if you already own a digital camera and photo-editing software. There are also a number of websites where you can sell your photos without having to market them on your own.

You don’t need to be outgoing to start a successful business. The key is to match your strengths with the type of business. Start with these ideas to help you zero-in on what’s right for you.

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