25 Low Cost Small Business Ideas for San Jose, California, USA

With tenth-largest population in United States and third largest population in California, San Jose is a city of opportunities. This city is considered the capital of Silicon Valley which is the birthplace of modern network and computer technologies.

Due to the promising business environment, and welcoming nature the city attracts a diverse workforce which includes the young professionals, managers, expert technologists and many more.   It is home to heavyweight tech companies which include Cisco Systems, eBay and Adobe along with many other from the Fortune 500.

business ideas for san jose

Here are some business ideas which require minimal investment. Many of them are related to the tech field due to the fact that the city has an encouraging attitude towards it. No need to worry if you are not a tech wiz, every business gives rise to another business so we have tried to compile the potential ideas from every category.


1- Entertainment Centre:

After the tiring routine everybody needs some entertainment. Setup a place near a residential area for the ease of people or in a metropolitan area. It can include a snack bar, with activities like bowling, snooker, arcade games and many more. The more investment the more appealing your place would be. Moreover it is a onetime investment which keeps yielding the profit.

2- Janitorial Services:

There are numerous public places in this city and as long as they are existing the janitorial services business will never run out of demand. It includes very less investment in equipment in comparison to other ideas and as far as customers are concerned, who does not want a neat and tidy place at reasonable rates. Lastly the skills of your staff are directly proportional to the level of place you will be working for.

3- Security Alarm Sale and Installation:

Although new cars do get manufactured with built in auto-alarms you can target dealers of used cars and form alliance with them. Not only cars you can provide your security services to homes, offices, firms, schools and many more. It all depends on the length you are willing to go. Lastly you can even operate from the garage of your house when working at smaller scale. Make the business online to easily approachable to people

4- Fresh from the farm:

Establish a market which provides fresh supplies to the people. Even if the people don’t have intentions of buying anything, the vibrant colors and refreshing look will attract every passerby and send them back with at least a bag of cherries. Sell things fresh from your farm if you are into this or you can always contact with other farmers. Add homemade jams, humus and etc. as the sidelines.

Related Reading:

Organic Food Trading; Bringing a Healthy Food Option

small business ideas

5- Mini Sports Arena:

You are someone who loves sports and staying in shape, want to spread the vibes among others, this business idea is for you. A Sports arena of small size can have as many activates as you can invest in from a wide range of indoor sports like badminton, basketball, table tennis, snooker etc.  You can also extend it to providing a gym facility as well. You will need some investment as well some professionals to guide people. Something like this in the metropolitan area will attract huge amount of customers.

6- Blog about the City:

Are you someone who likes to put everything in words? You can express the deepest of observations even into words. Its time you start writing about the city up close from different perspectives. Explore the hidden treasure in this city and let others also know about it through your blog. Its time you start earning through your skill.

Related Readings:

6 Ways to Build a Successful Revenue Model for Your Travel Blog

How to Find & Develop Your Business Blog’s Unique Voice

7- Architectural Firm:

The city is constantly developing and expanding outwards. The new construction needs new and innovative architectures and the existing ones need renovations or makeover. If you have experience in this field then you are very good to setup this business. Needs investment to setup and your good to start`783. These kind of business flourish with the word of people, the more publicity you have the greater customers will approach you.

8- Home Tutor:

An idea with no investment at all. If you are good at some subjects its time you start earning from this. Very profitable idea for students trying to earn some money. Display your skills on the social media or spread the word among people which may need very few dollars.

Related Reading:

5 Highly Profitable & Trending Education Business Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs

9- Tech Shop:

In a region like Silicon Valley a one-stop-tech-shop is a very potential business idea that an entrepreneur who is inclined towards technology should consider. It can have gadgets, accessories, mobile phones and offer repairing services. Set up in a busy area and it will attract many customers per day.

Related Reading:

5 Important Considerations before Starting Computer Repair Business

10- Unique Jewelry Shop:

There are shops which do sell the common types of designs. If you have an aesthetic sense and love for creativity then you can try this idea. Bring forward different ornaments made from different techniques like 3D printing, threads, beads, marble and what not. You can even offer services for making customized jewelry and people will love it.

Related Reading:

7 Tips to Market Your Jewelry Brand Effectively on Social Media

11- Malware Protection Services:

Tons of data travels from one destination to other every minute and in that some malicious files sticks with your data and may contaminate the whole stuff. In order to keep the system safe from such activities proper protection is needed. Start a business that provides proper antivirus software and business security solutions according to the requirements of the system. This may include the installation of the software as well as the regular updating of the software.

how to find good software developer

12- Software House:

Even if it’s an engineering firm it would need some kind of customized software to handle its accounts, projects and work progress of its employees. Every office has its own requirements to make the work run smoothly. If you have skills to cater these requirements of people and provide them with a customized software for their office as the solution then you are going to earn great profit through this. Requires little investment in the equipment. Can be operated from home on small scale as well and may need few more team members to produce a more effective product. It’s also a good idea to get local projects and outsource the development for better profits!

Related Reading:

Startups’s Guide to Software Development Outsourcing

13- Body Spa:

Nothing is better than warm and relaxing spa service after the tiring work routine. This business requires very little investment and you are good to go. Even of you don’t have the skills, you can hire a professional or learn it yourself the business will still yield enough money.

14- Call Center:

Although this type of business is capital demanding, but at the same time it is highly profitable especially if you know how to source for businesses from multinationals which are already in ample in amount in a city like San Jose.

Related Reading:

7 Tips for Call Centers to Reduce Employee Turnover

15- Web Designing:

Another successful and lucrative info-tech related business that an entrepreneur can start is to offer web designing services. Statistics has it that there are well over 350 million active website on the internet and it is not enough to meet the demand of people visiting the internet. You can target people from different sectors and offer them your services.

Needs some skills and proper marketing to attract more people. Can be operated staying at home while outsourcing most of the tasks!

laptop for designers

16- Virtual Tour Development Services:

Providing virtual tour to the people who visit the website is a great marketing tool. Providing this service to the people earns a lot of cash in fact it has the potential of yielding almost $100,000 per year. You can target international hotels, educational institutions and real estate brokers who are interested in showcasing their building online in the form of a virtual tour. All you need is some specialized software, a computer system and digital camcorder and definitely the skills.

17- 3D Cinematography:

The cinema culture has been booming for several years. But 3D cinematography is becoming more popular and is quickly becoming the next big thing in the cinema industry. Establish a cinema showcasing the 3D movies in an area where there is none. In fact you can also upgrade an existing cinema. People always appreciate a source of entertainment at walking distance so you don’t need to worry about the customers.

18- Videography:

If you understand the technology behind video production, and enjoy the process of taking raw footage and producing a remarkable video, then videography business may be a great small business idea for you. This business involves video services like editing, producing, adding special effects, digitizing and etc. You can operate from your home or can have an office if feasible. Collaborating with photographers and event planners can earn you more business.

Related Reading:

How to Start a Photography Business with No Money

19- Interior designers:

If you have a knack for coordinating accessories and furnishings in a room or planning the spaces then this is the field for you. Proper marketing will bring you more customers and at initial stages you shall have the capacity of working at every kind of budgets. You can target homes, cafes, restaurants, offices and many more.

20- Business Plan Writing:

Many start up ideas have been aborted simply because of lack of funds.  In order to attract the investors towards the new startups a proper business plan is required. You can provide your service by making those ideas have a more strategic and well defined state in the form of a business plan. Of course, it will require some efforts on your side to convince the small business owners on their needs for a business plan. Working as a facilitator can be a good way to pass your message to your target market.  It is one of the stay-at-home ideas.


21- Researcher:

Is majority of your time spent online, why not cash it. There numerous people, clients, organizations who needs someone to do the time-consuming research work for them. You just need to have the eye for such people and should have expertise to recognize the exact data your customer needs. Another stay-at-home business.

Related Reading:

What Do Research Papers Have to do With the Way You Market Your Products?

22- Refurbishment of Antique:

Selling old stuff earns some extra cash but stepping up refurbishing the item adds value to the product and earns you great profit. You can take it to next level by buying old antiques and refurbishing them as well and then sell them through an auction sale. You may need some equipment and assistance to get started. As a matter of fact this business can be operated even from the yard of your house.

23- Therapist:

We all have issues. For many people, those issues tend to be related to personal goals and problems, such as relationships and for others it’s their concerns for the business. For releasing the stress and having a more focused and determined life, consulting a therapist won’t do any harm. In a city like San Jose, people who are so indulged in their business and work would definitely need services of a therapist. If you have the qualifications in this area then you’re good to go for this business. Not to mention it requires no investment at all.

24- Food Delivery Services:

No doubt there are cafes and restaurants in a large quantity but many people also wish to have homemade and fresh food. If you are good at cooking and wish to earn then maybe this business idea is for you. You can supply your food at affordable rates to people in offices and educational institutes. Definitely a very profitable idea.

25- Nail Spa:

This ideas something new and requires very nominal investment. A good idea for ladies who are thinking of getting into business. A nail spa can be a place where ladies can relax and have the services of manicure and pedicure. Something very reasonable that every other woman would love to try. Moreover these kind of business earn more customers with the word of mouth, the better your services the more ladies entering your doors.

The Bottom Line:

San Jose has unlimited opportunities for the doers; all you need is to have that enthusiasm to build something of your own and find an idea that best complements your talents and aptitude.