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14 Best Low Maintenance Businesses to Start Today

Jul 1, 2024


Are you wondering what the best low-maintenance businesses are? Looking for a business that doesn’t need much work? You’re not alone. Many people want to find ways to make money without having to spend all their time managing things. There are plenty of low-maintenance businesses that can provide good income with less effort. You just…

Are you wondering what the best low-maintenance businesses are? Looking for a business that doesn’t need much work? You’re not alone. Many people want to find ways to make money without having to spend all their time managing things.

There are plenty of low-maintenance businesses that can provide good income with less effort. You just need to know what options are out there and how they can fit into your busy life.

So, what makes a business low-maintenance?

This will vary from person to person, but businesses that are low maintenance are usually simpler to run because they use automation to handle work automatically. This means you don’t have to spend as much time and effort managing and growing your business.

These kinds of businesses usually have fewer things that need attention, which makes them easier to manage. For example, a vending machine business mostly involves refilling machines and collecting money. Another example is owning rental property, where you might only need to deal with tenants and handle repairs from time to time.

Running a low-maintenance business has many benefits. It reduces stress and workload for the business owner, allows for easier growth because work is simplified, and lets you concentrate on long-term planning instead of daily tasks. This approach can improve work-life balance and give you more time for hobbies and personal interests outside of work.

For me, I run a fairly low-maintenance business. It took some time to get to this point, but I now work around 10 hours a week. I can use my free time to do what I want and pursue my passions. So, I personally know how helpful these are.

Best Low Maintenance Businesses

Below are the best low-maintenance businesses to start:

1. Printables

Printables are a great low-maintenance business idea. You create digital files that people can print at home, and these can be things like journals, planners, calendars, or coloring pages.

One of the best places to sell printables is on Etsy. You make the design once and then you can sell it over and over again, and this means you don’t have to keep making new products.

Another benefit is that you don’t need any inventory. Customers download the files and print them themselves, and this saves you time and money on shipping and storing products.

To start, you’ll need some basic design skills. There are many free tools online you can use like Canva, and with some practice, you can create professional-looking products.

By focusing on quality digital products and good customer service, you can build a steady stream of income with printables. It’s a fun and creative way to make money with low upkeep.

You can learn more at How I Make Money Selling Printables On Etsy.

Free Training: Earn Money Selling Printables

Do you want to make money selling printables online? This free training will give you great ideas on what you can sell, how to get started, the costs, and how to make sales.

2. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great low-maintenance business idea. You can promote products and services of other companies. When someone buys through your link, you earn a commission. It’s like getting paid for recommending things you like.

I do affiliate marketing through this blog (you can learn about starting a blog here in my free blogging course), Making Sense of Cents, and I think it’s a great way to make money – whether you are looking for a full-time income or a part-time side hustle.

Setting up isn’t hard and you can use blog posts, social media, or a YouTube channel to share your links. I recommend choosing products related to things you love or know a lot about. That way, it feels natural and fun to share, plus you know that you are helping the people who are clicking on your referral links.

One thing I really love about affiliate marketing is that you don’t need much money to start. Joining affiliate programs is almost always free (I’ve actually never been asked to pay to join one, and I have never seen one that has a fee). Many companies have referral programs, such as Amazon, eBay, and even smaller brands.

The best part is, you don’t handle inventory or customer service. The company does all that and you just focus on getting people to click your links.

Affiliate marketing can be done from anywhere with internet access. It’s a flexible way to make money, especially if you have a busy schedule. Just put in some initial effort to set everything up, and it can almost run by itself.

For me, I spend less than 10 hours usually on my blog, and it earns me a full-time income. I put in a lot of work in the beginning, and now things run mostly by themselves with just a little maintenance from me, such as updating blog posts and sending out emails.

You can learn more at Affiliate Marketing Tips For Bloggers – Free eBook.

3. Vending machines

Vending machines are a great low-maintenance business idea because they don’t take a lot of time to manage and can bring in extra cash. You place them in high-traffic areas and just need to restock them every so often.

You can sell all kinds of items in vending machines. Snacks and drinks are popular choices; some people even sell toys or beauty products. The key is to pick items that your target customers (the people who are already at the location where you will place your vending machines) will want to buy.

One of the best parts about vending machines is the low start-up cost. You can start with just one machine and grow your business from there. Plus, you don’t have to hire a lot of staff or deal with a complicated setup.

Running a vending machine business also means you can earn passive income. Once your machine is set up and stocked, it can make money while you do other things. You just need to check on it and refill it when needed.

Learn more at How To Start A Vending Machine Business.

4. Real estate rental

Real estate rental is a popular way to earn passive income with low maintenance.

You can start by buying a property and renting it out. This could be a single-family home, a condo, or even an apartment.

Many people use platforms like Airbnb to rent properties to tourists, and this can be a good way to make money if you live in a popular area.

If managing the property seems overwhelming, you can hire a property management company. They handle things like finding tenants, collecting rent, and doing maintenance. Hiring a property management company can be a good way to make this a more low-maintenance business.

Learn more about low-maintenance real estate ideas at 23 Best Real Estate Side Hustles To Make Extra Money.

Best Low Maintenance Businesses - ATMs

5. ATM business

We’ve all used ATMs, but did you know that someone like you or me is making money from them?

An ATM business can be a great low-maintenance business choice. You place ATM machines in busy locations where lots of people need cash.

You earn money from the fees people pay to use your machines, and these small fees can add up quickly.

The start-up cost is your main expense, as ATMs usually cost around $2,000 to $3,000 each or more, and you will have to buy these yourself.

Managing ATMs doesn’t take much time either because once the machines are set up, they mostly take care of themselves. You just need to refill them with cash and make sure they are running well.

Overall, this business can provide a steady flow of income with a low effort once everything is in place. As long as you pick good locations and keep your machines running, you can make money with less day-to-day work.

6. Laundromat

Starting a laundromat business is a popular low-maintenance business. People always need clean clothes, so there is a steady demand.

A laundromat often needs less day-to-day management because you just need to make sure machines are working and maintain a clean environment.

You can set up your laundry service in a busy neighborhood where people need quick and easy laundry solutions. This will help you attract more customers.

With a laundromat, most of the work is done by machines. You just need to make sure the machines are working properly and help customers if they have questions.

Learn more at Are Laundromats Profitable? How Much Do Laundromats Make?

types of businesses that run themselves storage facility

7. Self-storage units

Self-storage units are one of the best low-maintenance businesses you can start. People need extra space to store their belongings, and you can provide that for them.

You don’t need to be there all the time, and you can set up a system where people can access their storage unit with a code or key card. This means fewer hours spent managing the business.

The demand for storage units is high in many areas. People are always looking for a place to keep their stuff – whether they are moving, downsizing, or just need extra space.

Once your storage units are rented out, you can earn passive income each month.

Maintenance is minimal for self-storage units. Most of the work involves keeping the area clean and making sure everything is secure. You might need to fix a door or handle paperwork occasionally, but it’s not time-consuming.

You can sell climate-controlled units to attract more customers and charge a higher rate too. Some items need to be stored in specific conditions, and providing this option can set your business apart.

You can also add features like 24-hour surveillance cameras and secure fencing to make your customers feel safe. People are more likely to rent from you if they know their belongings are protected.

For me, I personally have used a storage unit a few times – for my personal belongings such as boxes and even for an RV and boat. They always had crazy long waits, and some towns even had waitlists of years long – so there is a lot of demand!

Learn more at How To Invest In Self-Storage For Beginners.

8. Car wash

Starting a car wash business can be a smart idea. You can choose to open a self-service car wash or an automated one, and both options require less daily work compared to a full-service car wash.

A self-service car wash lets customers wash their own cars. This means you don’t need many employees, and you just need to keep the place clean and maintain the machines.

For an automated car wash, cars go through a machine that does the washing. You only need to check the equipment and refill supplies like soap and water.

Car washes can be profitable. Many people prefer to have a clean car but don’t have the time to wash it themselves, so this keeps the demand high.

You can also offer extra services like a vacuum that customers can use for an additional fee. This can boost your income without much extra work.

With some planning and the right setup, a car wash can be a great low-maintenance business idea. Plus, it can provide a steady income once it’s up and running.

9. Create an online course

Creating an online course is a great low-maintenance business idea. You can share your knowledge and skills with people all over the world. Once you create and upload the course, it can keep making money even while you sleep.

I started my first online course around 8 years ago and have earned over $2,000,000 from it over the years. Much of the work was done up front, and I am still able to help students today. I update the course all the time, but most of the legwork was done years ago, which has been so nice.

You can start this low-maintenance small business idea by thinking about what you are good at.

Online courses can be made on all types of subjects, such as gardening, baking, musical instruments, business, finance, travel, and more.

Another plus is you can always update or add new content to keep your course fresh and relevant. This can attract new learners and keep current ones coming back for more.

An online course is a fantastic way to earn passive income with some upfront effort and minimal ongoing maintenance.

Note: I recommend signing up for this free training – How Anyone Can Create an Online Course That Sells – In this free training, you will learn the 7-step process to create, market, and launch a profitable online course.

Stock photo photography

10. Stock photo photography

Stock photo photography is a great low-maintenance business idea where you can get paid to take pictures. You can take pictures in your free time and upload them to stock photo websites. Each time someone downloads your photo, you earn money.

All you need is a decent camera. You can even use your smartphone if it has a good camera!

You don’t have to worry about managing inventory or dealing with customers directly, and you can just focus on taking high-quality photos that people want to use.

Popular subjects include landscapes, cityscapes, and everyday objects. Seasonal themes and holiday photos also do well.

Once you’ve uploaded your photos, they can keep earning money for years, and that’s why it’s considered a passive income source.

11. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a popular business model for many beginners. You sell products online, but you don’t need to keep them in stock. Instead, your supplier ships the products directly to your customers. This means you don’t need to spend money on storing inventory.

Once your website is set up and products are listed, it can handle sales automatically. As orders come in, you can streamline shipment processes, allowing your business to handle more customers without much added effort.

Another great thing about starting a dropshipping business is that it is affordable. With little or no start-up capital, you can list products on your website and start selling. You only buy the products from your supplier when you make a sale.

Another positive about dropshipping is the low risk involved. You’re not stuck with unsold inventory. Plus, you don’t need to worry about packing and shipping items. This makes dropshipping a low-maintenance business idea.

12. Print-on-demand

Print-on-demand is a great low-maintenance business idea. You can create custom designs for items like T-shirts, mugs, and phone cases.

You don’t have to worry about storing inventory. When someone buys a product, the print-on-demand company prints it and ships it directly to the customer, and this makes the process very hands-off for you.

Printful and Printify are popular print-on-demand companies. They offer many different products and work with various platforms like Shopify and Etsy. You can sell your designs in multiple stores, reaching different audiences.

What’s nice about print-on-demand is you can start small and grow. You only pay for the products customers buy. This means low upfront costs and reduced financial risk for your business.

Starting a print-on-demand business can be a great way to make money with minimal effort.

13. Parking lots

Parking lots can be a great low-maintenance business. If you have a space in a busy city, it’s a prime spot as a lot of people probably need parking, and they’re willing to pay a good price for it.

Once you set up a parking lot, there’s not much you need to do. You might have to repaint lines or put up new signs occasionally, but these tasks are easy and don’t take much time.

Owning a parking lot has other benefits too, with the main ones being that you don’t have to manage a lot of employees, and the maintenance costs are pretty low. Plus, you don’t need to be there every day to keep it running smoothly.

Starting a small parking lot with just 20 spaces can already bring in good money. If you charge $20 per day per space, you could see an annual revenue of around $146,000, with a high profit margin.

14. Billboards

Billboards are a great low-maintenance business. Once you set them up, they don’t need a lot of work. You can rent out advertising space to companies that want to advertise.

Starting a billboard business means finding good locations. Busy streets and highways are best and you need to rent or buy the space. After that, the billboard does the work for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Starting a low-maintenance business can be a great way to earn income with minimal effort. Below are some common questions and answers about low-maintenance business options.

What is the cheapest business with the most profit?

The cheapest business with the most profit to start includes businesses like selling printables on Etsy, affiliate marketing on a blog, creating an online course, and dropshipping.

What is the easiest business to start and maintain?

The easiest business to start and maintain includes printables, self-storage units, stock photo photography, and parking lots.

What kinds of businesses can I start that don’t require a lot of time to manage?

Vending machines are a great option. Once placed in high-traffic areas, they require little maintenance. Just stock them up and collect your earnings.

Which businesses can really run by themselves?

Real estate rentals can run mostly by themselves, especially if you hire a property manager. They take care of the day-to-day tasks like rent collection and maintenance.

What are the best business choices for earning passive income?

ATM businesses can generate passive income. You earn money from surcharge fees every time someone uses your machine. Place your ATMs in busy locations to maximize earnings.

What is the least riskiest business?

Self-storage facilities are low risk. People always need storage, and once set up, these facilities require minimal management. You collect rental fees without much daily involvement.

How do you find low-maintenance businesses for sale?

To find a business that runs itself for sale, check listings on websites like BizBuySell and LoopNet, or contact business brokers. Before purchasing, thoroughly research and vet any business to make sure it meets your needs and expectations.

What are the best businesses to buy for passive income?

Buying existing laundromats or storage facilities can be great for passive income. These businesses already have cash flow and customers, reducing your initial workload, and you can purchase them to get started quicker.

Best Low Maintenance Businesses – Summary

I hope you enjoyed this article on the best low-maintenance businesses.

There are many types of businesses that run themselves and are low maintenance as you learned above. These include selling printables, affiliate marketing, vending machines, rental real estate, running a laundromat, renting storage space, and more.

Some key traits of low-maintenance businesses include:

  • Few routine tasks
  • Easy to manage
  • Low maintenance or repair needs

One of the biggest benefits is the reduced time and effort required. Many low-maintenance businesses can be set up to run smoothly with minimal daily involvement. This frees you up to focus on other important tasks, like spending time with family or pursuing hobbies.

Low-maintenance businesses are also highly scalable. Since you spend less time on daily tasks, you can concentrate on growing your business. As it grows, you can duplicate your model and open more locations or move into new markets.

What do you think are the best low-maintenance businesses?

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