The economy is down, but the cost of starting up a business is also down. There is a fire sale regarding start-up costs in many sectors of the economy. Forbes published an article on a number of businesses that you can start up right now for under $5,000. One is these businesses is home landscaper. People are working more and more hours and need someone to take care of their lawn. In some states, you have to pay a few hundred dollars for a license to do landscaping and you will have to buy tools. You may be able to find mowers and other equipment used and at a lower price. But, for the price of a license and some equipment and tools, you can become a home landscaper.
Another business that is attractive right now is educational services. You can become a professional tutor. It only takes $45 to become a certified professional tutor through the National Tutor Association. You can go in many different directions with tutoring but one is to help students prepare for college acceptance exams like the SAT. If you go in that direction, another cost will be buying the test prep guide published by one of the three companies that publish it. All in all, costs are very low for this business.
Take a look at businesses with low start-up costs and higher returns if you are looking to start a business.