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34 Self Employment Business Ideas

Written by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

34 Self Employment Business Ideas

Had enough of supervisors breathing down your neck? Maybe it’s time to be your own boss. If you decide to start a business, your top options will mostly depend on your skills and qualifications.

You can start a freelance business, open a restaurant, do crafting, or set up a consulting agency. Other options include driving a taxi, starting a delivery business, and offering cleaning services.

We’ve put together a list of excellent self-employment ideas. Check it out below.

1. Project Management Service

How to start a project management business

What to Know Before Starting: Experience in managing projects, familiarity with project management software (e.g., Asana, Trello), and certifications like PMP (Project Management Professional) are beneficial.
How to Get Started: Obtain certification, set up a professional website, network to find clients, and join project management associations.
How Much You Can Earn: Earnings can range from $50,000 to $120,000 annually, depending on the number of clients and complexity of projects.

2. Tutoring

How to start a tutoring business

What to Know Before Starting: Proficiency in the subject area, experience in teaching or tutoring, and possibly a teaching certificate or degree in education.
How to Get Started: Identify your subject expertise, advertise your services online or through local schools, and possibly partner with tutoring centers.
How Much You Can Earn: Tutors can charge $25 to $80 per hour, depending on the subject and location.

3. Resume Writing

How to start a resume writing business

What to Know Before Starting: Strong writing skills, understanding of different industries, and knowledge of effective resume formats and ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems).
How to Get Started: Create sample resumes, set up a website or profile on freelance platforms, and market your services to job seekers.
How Much You Can Earn: Earnings can range from $30 to $200 per resume, based on complexity and client requirements.

4. Freelance Writing

How to start a freelance writing business

What to Know Before Starting: Excellent writing and research skills, understanding of SEO, and a portfolio of writing samples.
How to Get Started: Build a portfolio, join freelance websites (e.g., Upwork, Fiverr), and network with potential clients through social media and writing communities.
How Much You Can Earn: Freelance writers can earn $20 to $100 per hour, or $0.10 to $1 per word, depending on experience and niche.

5. Cell Phone Repair

How to start a cell phone repair business

What to Know Before Starting: Technical skills in repairing smartphones, knowledge of different phone models, and possibly certification from organizations like the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA).
How to Get Started: Gain experience through courses or apprenticeships, set up a repair shop or offer mobile services, and market locally.
How Much You Can Earn: Earnings can range from $30,000 to $75,000 annually, depending on the volume of repairs and location.

6 Web Design

How to start a web design business

What to Know Before Starting: Proficiency in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and design software like Adobe Creative Suite, plus a strong portfolio.
How to Get Started: Build a portfolio website, join freelance platforms, and network with businesses in need of web design services.
How Much You Can Earn: Web designers can earn $50 to $150 per hour or $500 to $5,000+ per project.

7. Social Media Management

social media management

What to Know Before Starting: Experience with social media platforms, understanding of content creation, and possibly certifications from Hootsuite or HubSpot.
How to Get Started: Create sample social media profiles, offer services to local businesses, and market yourself on LinkedIn and other professional networks.
How Much You Can Earn: Social media managers can earn $40,000 to $80,000 annually, depending on the number of clients and services provided.

8. IT Consulting

How to start a consulting business

What to Know Before Starting: Strong IT background, certifications like CompTIA A+, Network+, or Cisco’s CCNA, and experience in IT troubleshooting and solutions.
How to Get Started: Obtain necessary certifications, create a website, and network with businesses needing IT support.
How Much You Can Earn: IT consultants can earn $60,000 to $120,000 annually, depending on expertise and client base.

9. Event Planning

How to start an event planning business

What to Know Before Starting: Organizational and planning skills, experience in event coordination, and possibly a certification from the Meeting Professionals International (MPI).
How to Get Started: Build a portfolio of past events, network with vendors and venues, and market your services to individuals and businesses.
How Much You Can Earn: Event planners can earn $35,000 to $75,000 annually, depending on the scale and frequency of events.

10. Start a Blog

blog business idea

What to Know Before Starting: Strong writing skills, knowledge of SEO, and understanding of your niche audience.
How to Get Started: Choose a niche, set up a blog with hosting and a CMS like WordPress, create consistent content, and monetize through ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsored posts.
How Much You Can Earn: Bloggers can earn from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per month, depending on traffic and monetization strategies.

11. Personal Shopper

How to start a personal shopper business

What to Know Before Starting: Knowledge of fashion and trends, good communication skills, and possibly a background in retail or fashion consulting.
How to Get Started: Market your services to individuals or boutiques, create a website or social media presence, and network with potential clients.
How Much You Can Earn: Personal shoppers can earn $20 to $50 per hour, or $30,000 to $60,000 annually.

12. Grocery Delivery

How to start a grocery delivery business

What to Know Before Starting: Organizational and time management skills, a reliable vehicle, and possibly a background check.
How to Get Started: Partner with local grocery stores, advertise your services, or join platforms like Instacart or Shipt.
How Much You Can Earn: Grocery delivery workers can earn $15 to $30 per hour, depending on location and tips.

13. Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing business idea

What to Know Before Starting: Understanding of digital marketing, SEO, and content creation, plus knowledge of affiliate programs and networks.
How to Get Started: Choose a niche, create a website or blog, join affiliate programs, and create content that includes affiliate links.
How Much You Can Earn: Earnings can vary widely, from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per month, depending on traffic and affiliate partnerships.

14. Marketing Consulting

How to start a digital marketing agency

What to Know Before Starting: Experience in marketing, understanding of various marketing strategies, and possibly a degree in marketing or business.
How to Get Started: Build a portfolio of past work, create a professional website, and network with businesses in need of marketing assistance.
How Much You Can Earn: Marketing consultants can earn $50,000 to $150,000 annually, depending on expertise and client base.

15. Stock Trading

stock trading business idea

What to Know Before Starting: Knowledge of financial markets, experience with trading platforms, and possibly certifications like Series 7 or Series 63.
How to Get Started: Open a brokerage account, develop a trading strategy, and start with a small investment to build experience.
How Much You Can Earn: Earnings can vary greatly; some traders make a few thousand dollars a month, while successful traders can make six figures or more annually.

16. Virtual Assistant Service

How to start a virtual assistant business

What to Know Before Starting: Strong organizational and communication skills, proficiency in office software, and possibly experience in administrative roles.
How to Get Started: Create a professional website, join platforms like Upwork or Freelancer, and network with potential clients.
How Much You Can Earn: Virtual assistants can earn $15 to $50 per hour, depending on skills and services provided.

17. Dog Grooming

How to start a dog grooming business

What to Know Before Starting: Experience in handling and grooming dogs, knowledge of different breeds, and possibly certification from a grooming school.
How to Get Started: Obtain certification, set up a grooming space or mobile grooming van, and market your services to pet owners.
How Much You Can Earn: Dog groomers can earn $30,000 to $60,000 annually, depending on location and client base.

18. Errand Running

Errand Running

What to Know Before Starting: Good time management and organizational skills, reliability, and possibly a background check.
How to Get Started: Advertise your services locally, join platforms like TaskRabbit, and network with busy professionals or elderly individuals.
How Much You Can Earn: Errand runners can earn $15 to $30 per hour, depending on services provided and location.

19. Dog Walking

How to start a dog walking business

What to Know Before Starting: Experience with dogs, good physical fitness, and reliability.
How to Get Started: Advertise your services locally or join platforms like Rover or Wag!, and network with pet owners.
How Much You Can Earn: Dog walkers can earn $15 to $30 per hour, or $20,000 to $40,000 annually.

20. Life Coaching

How to start a life coaching business

What to Know Before Starting: Strong communication and interpersonal skills, experience in coaching or counseling, and possibly certification from organizations like the International Coach Federation (ICF).
How to Get Started: Obtain certification, set up a professional website, and market your services to individuals seeking personal development.
How Much You Can Earn: Life coaches can earn $50 to $200 per hour, or $30,000 to $80,000 annually.

21. Catering

How to start a catering business

What to Know Before Starting: Experience in cooking and food preparation, knowledge of food safety regulations, and possibly a food handler’s permit.
How to Get Started: Develop a menu, set up a commercial kitchen, and market your services to individuals and businesses for events.
How Much You Can Earn: Caterers can earn $30,000 to $80,000 annually, depending on the scale and frequency of events.

22. HR Consulting

How to start a recruiting business

What to Know Before Starting: Strong communication and problem-solving skills, experience in HR roles, and possibly a degree in human resources or business administration. Certifications like SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, PHR, or SPHR are beneficial.
How to Get Started: Identify your niche (e.g., recruitment, compliance, training), develop a business plan, obtain necessary certifications, set up a home office, and market your services through networking and online platforms.
How Much You Can Earn: HR consultants can earn $60,000 to $120,000+ annually, depending on expertise and client base.

23. Translation Service

How to start a translation agency

What to Know Before Starting: Proficiency in at least two languages, excellent writing skills, and experience in translation or related fields. A degree in translation or linguistics is beneficial.
How to Get Started: Build a portfolio of translated works, join freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, and market your services to businesses and individuals needing translation services.
How Much You Can Earn: Translators can earn $20 to $50 per hour, or $30,000 to $70,000 annually.

24. Selling on eBay

ebay business idea

What to Know Before Starting: Knowledge of eBay’s platform, marketing skills, and an understanding of product sourcing and pricing.
How to Get Started: Create an eBay seller account, research and source products, take quality photos, write detailed descriptions, and manage listings and customer service.
How Much You Can Earn: Earnings vary widely but can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per month.

25. Photography

How to start a photography business

What to Know Before Starting: Photography skills, an understanding of editing software, and a good eye for composition. A degree or coursework in photography can be helpful.
How to Get Started: Invest in quality camera equipment, build a portfolio, create a website, market your services through social media and local events, and network with potential clients.
How Much You Can Earn: Photographers can earn $20,000 to $70,000 annually, depending on their specialty and client base.

26. Personal Chef

How to Start a Personal Chef Business

What to Know Before Starting: Culinary skills, experience in cooking, and possibly a culinary degree or certification. Knowledge of nutrition and dietary restrictions is beneficial.
How to Get Started: Obtain any necessary food handling certifications, create a menu, market your services to local clients, and network with potential clients through events and social media.
How Much You Can Earn: Personal chefs can earn $35,000 to $75,000 annually, depending on the client base and location.

27. Personal Driver

personal driver business idea

What to Know Before Starting: A clean driving record, good knowledge of the local area, and a professional demeanor. A chauffeur’s license may be required in some areas.
How to Get Started: Obtain any necessary licenses, purchase or lease a suitable vehicle, join a ride-sharing platform, and market your services to local clients.
How Much You Can Earn: Personal drivers can earn $25,000 to $60,000 annually, depending on the client base and hours worked.

28. Craft Business

How to start a craft business

What to Know Before Starting: Creative skills, knowledge of different crafting techniques, and a good eye for design. No formal education is required, but experience helps.
How to Get Started: Create a range of products, set up an online store on platforms like Etsy, market your crafts through social media, and participate in local craft fairs.
How Much You Can Earn: Craft business owners can earn $10,000 to $50,000 annually, depending on the product range and sales volume.

29. Home Decor Service

How to start a home decor business

What to Know Before Starting: Interior design skills, knowledge of current trends, and good communication skills. A degree in interior design or a related field is beneficial.
How to Get Started: Build a portfolio, create a business plan, obtain any necessary certifications, market your services through social media and local advertising, and network with potential clients.
How Much You Can Earn: Home decor service providers can earn $30,000 to $75,000 annually, depending on the client base and project size.

30. Gift Wrapping

How to start a gift wrapping business

What to Know Before Starting: Creative wrapping skills, attention to detail, and good customer service skills. No formal education is required.
How to Get Started: Source quality wrapping materials, create a portfolio of your work, set up a website or join local markets, and market your services to local businesses and individuals.
How Much You Can Earn: Gift wrappers can earn $10 to $30 per hour, or $20,000 to $40,000 annually.

31. Knife Sharpening

How to start a knife sharpening business

What to Know Before Starting: Skills in sharpening knives and tools, knowledge of different sharpening techniques, and attention to detail. Training or experience in metalwork is beneficial.
How to Get Started: Invest in sharpening equipment, create a mobile or home-based service, market your services to local restaurants, chefs, and households, and join local markets.
How Much You Can Earn: Knife sharpeners can earn $15 to $30 per hour, or $20,000 to $50,000 annually.

32. Proofreading Service

How to Start a Proofreading Business

What to Know Before Starting: Strong grammar and language skills, attention to detail, and possibly a degree in English or a related field.
How to Get Started: Build a portfolio, join freelance platforms, and market your services to authors, businesses, and students.
How Much You Can Earn: Proofreaders can earn $20 to $50 per hour, or $30,000 to $60,000 annually.

33. 3D Printing

How to start a 3D printing business

What to Know Before Starting: Knowledge of 3D printing technology, design skills, and experience with CAD software. No formal education is required, but technical training helps.
How to Get Started: Invest in a quality 3D printer, create a range of products or offer custom printing services, set up an online store, and market your services through social media and local businesses.
How Much You Can Earn: 3D printing businesses can earn $20,000 to $60,000 annually, depending on the product range and sales volume.

34. Senior Transportation

senior transportation business idea

What to Know Before Starting: A clean driving record, good knowledge of the local area, and a compassionate demeanor. A special driver’s license may be required.
How to Get Started: Obtain any necessary licenses, purchase or lease a suitable vehicle, market your services to local senior communities, and network with potential clients and caregivers.
How Much You Can Earn: Senior transportation providers can earn $20,000 to $50,000 annually, depending on the client base and hours worked.

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34 Self Employment Business Ideas