250 Ideas For Self Employment


If you’re out of work, not meeting your financial goals, or frustrated with your present job, self employment is an option that’s well worth considering. Self employment can either serve as an income supplement or an income replacement — depending on your objectives, your skills, your motivation, and the demand for your products or services.


Starting Your Own Self-Employed Business

Below are articles, business guides*, websites, and other resources that offer ideas, tools, training, and proven methods for starting and succeeding in your own business:

  1. 7 Ways to Start Your Own Business* without quitting your job
  2. Free online guide tells how to start your own online T-shirt store*
  3. Article: How to write proposals that generate new business and clients.*
  4. How to make money as a freelance writer! Job leads and training available*

Start an e-commerce Business

If you’ve been looking for ways to start your own online store, Shopify* can provide you with the tools, the software, and the marketing strategies to make it happen. In addition to enabling you to create your own professional e-commerce website, Shopify can help you sell your products on social media sales channels, like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. They also offer online guides, tutorials, and marketing tips (see below) for anyone interested in starting their own business from home.

Being self employed at home is a realistic goal for almost anyone with ambition, organizational skills, and a thirst for knowledge. Here are two free online business guides that can help get you started:

  • How to find a product to sell online: This 14-chapter guide provides you with a step-by-step process for finding, evaluating, and choosing products to sell online — ones that are trending and in demand. (Read it online or download the business guide as a PDF file.) This information multiplies your chances for self-employment success by showing you how to validate your business concept before spending time and money on it. Don’t miss out on this free information!
  • How to make your first sale in 30 days: Once you’ve chosen a potentially profitable product niche and launched your online store, the next step is driving targeted traffic to your website and effectively promoting it. This marketing checklist for entrepreneurs provides a summary of proven strategies for mastering these challenges:
    • Generating free traffic, using pay-per click advertising to attract customers
    • Working with bloggers and “influencers,”
    • Marketing your ecommerce site through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The article and checklist will answer many of your questions on how to promote your website, effectively market your products, make sales online, and achieve your self-employment goals. Learn the techniques, today!

An e-commerce platform like Shopify* can help you handle the details of accepting credit card payments, fulfilling orders in a single step, monitoring sales (and sales trends), keeping track of your inventory, and creating your own customized business website and blog. Once you’ve accomplished that, you’re off and running!


If starting an online store is not in your “comfort zone,” then there are literally hundreds of other self employment ideas from which to choose — many of which can be started with very little money. I’ve listed a long list of business ideas below, along with links to more information, training materials, and other useful resources.

List of Self Employed Business Ideas

The following list of 250 business ideas is intended to help you develop viable ideas for starting your own part-time or full-time business.

Your decision of what business to start will depend on a lot of variables, such as current skills, talents, your level of motivation, available time and energy, relevant experience, contacts (who you know, not corrective lenses!), your existing reputation, market conditions (demand for your product or services), competitive factors, your financial resources, tolerance for risk, salesmanship abilities, “people skills”, problem-solving ability, willingness to improve, commitment to quality control and customer satisfaction, and — last, but not least — your work ethic.

Note: Having experience, relevant knowledge, and qualifications does improve your chances for success in a self employed business, however, a strong willingness to learn and make use of available training materials, workshops, and tutorials can compensate for a lack of qualifications and experience.


FREE OFFER: By the way… If you’d like to receive more business ideas and tips for starting your own business from home, subscribe to my newsletter

List of 250+ Self Employment Ideas

Some of the more popular business ideas that people are now pursuing or researching include the following self employment options:

  1. Cleaning business: house cleaning, housekeeping, office cleaning, janitorial
  2. Photography (Dozens of specialties and niche markets to choose from)
  3. Craft business [How to make money turning your hobby into a business.*]
  4. Catering business
  5. Home-based candy bouquet business [Illustrated guide to getting started*]
  6. Organic mushroom-growing business [Detailed instructions available*]
  7. Raising chickens [Successful techniques explained*]
  8. Backyard beekeeping business [Order business manual*]
  9. Consulting business: (Many specialties from which to choose)
  10. Mortgage broker [Sales templates: marketing letters to attract clients*]
  11. Real estate agent [Marketing templates: ready-to-use prospecting letters*]
  12. Landscaping business [Get access to 7000 landscaping ideas!*]
  13. Lawn care business
  14. Dog walking business
  15. Online business (Try Shopify free for 14 days today!)*
  16. Academic tutoring services [Get started with tutor jobs online*]
  17. Giving music lessons (individual or group): guitar, piano, singing
  18. Teach an online course
  19. Foreign language translation services
  20. Construction business
  21. Jewelry business [Order startup guide*]
  22. Vending machine business
  23. Selling video games [Free list of video game wholesalers*]
  24. Cupcake business
  25. Baking, bakery or cake business
  26. Painting business (interior and exterior house painting)
  27. Retail sales
  28. Food businesses: food trucks, Italian ice cart, hot dog carts,
  29. Recycling business
  30. Clothing business [Start your own clothing line*]
  31. Transportation
  32. Carpet cleaning
  33. Trucking
  34. Party planning or event planning business
  35. Wedding planning
  36. Pet sitting business
  37. Home health care business
  38. Courier business
  39. Bookkeeping services
  40. Daycare/childcare services
  41. Computer repair
  42. Web design [Income idea: Make and sell simple websites*]
  43. Graphic design business
  44. Handyman business
  45. Greeting card business
  46. Pressure washing
  47. Repo business
  48. Credit repair business
  49. Fashion business
  50. Limo business (limousine service) for weddings, proms, airport pickup
  51. Marketing/advertising agency and/or freelance copywriting*
  52. Social media marketing services
  53. Blogging
  54. Pizza shop
  55. Gym/fitness business
  56. Shoe business
  57. Bar business
  58. Pool hall business
  59. Wholesale business
  60. eBay business
  61. Pest control business
  62. Bail bonds business
  63. Medical transportation [Download 320-page manual*]
  64. Tax preparation
  65. Cell phone business
  66. Cookie business
  67. Manufacturing
  68. Laundry business
  69. Delivery service
  70. Car rental business
  71. Car detailing
  72. DJ business
  73. Scrap metal business
  74. Junk removal business
  75. Concierge services
  76. Boutique business
  77. Party rental
  78. Dog boarding/kennel
  79. Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance
  80. Plumbing services
  81. Magazine publishing
  82. Medical supply business
  83. Medical billing services
  84. Lingerie business
  85. Life coaching
  86. Career counseling
  87. Background check service
  88. Agriculture
  89. Greenhouse business
  90. Coffee shop and/or coffee roasting business
  91. Check cashing service
  92. Hotel business
  93. Printing business
  94. Candle sales/candle making [Income idea: [Earn money selling candles*]
  95. Travel agency [Learn how to become a home-based travel agent*]
  96. Storage business (storage unit rental/self storage)
  97. Event planning
  98. Mail order business
  99. Dropship business
  100. Security services or consulting (residential, commercial, personal security, etc)
  101. Dog training
  102. Dog grooming
  103. Laundromat business (coin laundry business)
  104. Senior care business
  105. Real estate investment business
  106. Property management business
  107. Fast food business
  108. Furniture business
  109. Massage business/massage therapy
  110. Fundraising business
  111. Resale business
  112. Sewing business
  113. Consignment business
  114. Spa business [Related idea: Earn extra money selling spa products*]
  115. Web hosting business
  116. Home staging business
  117. Home party business
  118. Locksmith business
  119. Website design
  120. Import/export business
  121. Bottled water business
  122. Hair salon
  123. Call center
  124. Dump truck business
  125. House flipping
  126. Grocery delivery
  127. HVAC business (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning services)
  128. Lead generation business
  129. Window washing
  130. Dog kennel
  131. Non medical home care business
  132. Stationery business
  133. Soap making business
  134. Paintball business
  135. Rental car business
  136. Coaching business
  137. Chocolate business
  138. Popcorn business
  139. Smoothie business
  140. Matchmaking business
  141. Flea market business
  142. BBQ business (barbecue food catering)
  143. eCommerce business [Create an online store*]
  144. Franchise businesses
  145. Moving services
  146. Freight brokerage business
  147. Logging business
  148. Remodeling business
  149. Personal chef business
  150. Bed and breakfast
  151. Beauty supply business
  152. Nursing home business
  153. Nail salon
  154. Hauling business
  155. Handbag business 
  156. Hair bow business
  157. Gas station
  158. Video game business
  159. Frozen foods
  160. Financial planning services
  161. Horse boarding
  162. Telemarketing
  163. Laser tag business
  164. Floral business (flower shop)
  165. Clothing business online
  166. Multi level marketing/network marketing
  167. Referral business
  168. Decorating business
  169. Nursery business
  170. Concrete business
  171. Car wash and/or hand car wash business
  172. Staffing/recruiting/”head hunting” services
  173. Perfume business and/or cosmetics business
  174. Powder coating business
  175. Go kart business
  176. Sign business
  177. Interior design business
  178. Bowling alley
  179. Rain gutter installation and/or cleaning business
  180. PC repair services
  181. Computer consulting
  182. Beverage sales
  183. Car audio installation and repair
  184. Insurance agency
  185. Tanning salon
  186. Professional organizing service
  187. Catalog business
  188. Pet store
  189. Group home business
  190. Paralegal business
  191. Dollar store
  192. Nanny business
  193. Dry cleaning
  194. Mystery shopping business
  195. Gardening business
  196. Senior home care business
  197. Mobile oil change business
  198. Fashion design business
  199. Home healthcare business
  200. Liquor store
  201. Balloon business
  202. Horse business
  203. Voip business
  204. Direct sales
  205. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation
  206. T-shirt business [Free startup guide from Shopify*]
  207. Wedding chapel business
  208. Retail clothing business
  209. Silk screen business
  210. Sporting goods business
  211. Security consulting
  212. Day spa business
  213. Feed store business
  214. Fishing or aquaculture business
  215. Home inventory business
  216. Honey business
  217. Hunting business
  218. Coffee cart business
  219. Boat charter business
  220. Bookstore business
  221. Beauty salon business
  222. Taxi cab business
  223. Cabinet making business
  224. Car transport business
  225. Chair massage business
  226. Knife sharpening business
  227. Psychic business
  228. Pet cremation business
  229. Pottery business [Turn your hobby into a business.*]
  230. Pet boarding business
  231. Pet photography business
  232. Motorcycle business
  233. Mobile dog grooming business
  234. Personal fitness trainer
  235. Dog bakery
  236. Animal rescue business
  237. Answering service
  238. Barber shop
  239. BPO business
  240. Business card printing
  241. Pet shop
  242. Mailing service
  243. Loan broker
  244. Skateboard business
  245. Gift shop
  246. Newspaper publishing
  247. Stained glass business
  248. Woodworking
  249. Electronic dog fence installation
  250. Shoe repair
  251. Appliance repair
  252. Window tinting
  253. Foreclosure cleanups
  254. Dumpster rental business
  255. Concert promoter
  256. Talent agent
  257. Real estate business [Resource: Professional development courses for Realtors*]
  258. Freelance writer [Subscribe to my newsletter to learn how to make money as a freelance writer. You’ll get valuable tips on how to get started, how to achieve high earnings, where to find freelance writing jobs, how much you should charge, and how to turn fear into confidence as a professional writer. The information is free and you can easily cancel your subscription at any time.]

While this list of self employment ideas is far from all inclusive, it does cover a lot of possibilities. If you can think of any other unique ideas for starting a small business, feel free to post a comment on this blog or email me your thoughts

Other Home-Based Business Ideas to Consider

If you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for an income supplement or even a profitable home business idea, you’re not alone. It’s a common challenge that countless parents face every day, throughout the world.

As a work-from-home dad, myself, I can speak from experience when it comes to being a home-based entrepreneur, freelance writer, blogger, website owner, and online marketing affiliate. In my opinion, one of the best businesses to start from home — whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a college student, or a retiree — is freelance writing.

There are also plenty of other work-at-home business ideas that are worth exploring — especially if you have marketable skills, experience in a particular field, knowledge that others might benefit from, an entrepreneurial mindset, a product or service for which there’s a demand, and/or a background in sale

While you may find that searching for freelance gigs, self employment jobs, and work-at-home opportunities can be discouraging at times, your most important asset is your mindset: the ability to cultivate self confidence, determination, momentum, and the belief that you are surrounded by opportunities waiting to be discovered — opportunities that are often “hiding in plain sight.

To quote Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”

In the Internet Age, there are countless ways to get a job, make money online, or start your own business. While there are no guarantees of success in any endeavor, the path to starting a profitable home business begins with a good idea, a proactive plan, and the determination to persist until you succeed.

Whether you’re considering being a freelance writer, a tutor, a bookkeeper, a virtual assistant, a freelance photographer, a social media marketing consultant,  event planner, or an e-commerce business owner, there are a lot of self employment opportunities out there waiting to be identified and acted on. Why not get started today?


A couple of my favorite inspiration quotes, which are attributed to Liam Linisong, are the following:

“A year from now, what will you wish you had done today?”

“No one can stop you but yourself!”

Question: Does “luck” play a role in business and personal success? That’s a topic for a separate blog post, but there does appear to be an element of luck in many success stories. However, there’s more to luck than just serendipity. To quote movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn … or was it former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson:

“The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”


FAQ: What Self Employed Business Should I Start?

For many entrepreneurs, the first hurdle to being self employed and building their client list is not a lack of desire or a marketing strategy, but something much more fundamental: deciding what business to start.

When it comes to starting a new business, there are literally hundreds of options from which to choose. Based on my Internet research, the top-ten businesses to start are cleaning services, online businesses, photography services, a t-shirt business, consulting services, landscaping, lawn care, dog walking, construction, and real estate marketing.

Other small business ideas people are actively pursuing include event planning, tutoring, vending, operating a food truck, retail sales, jewelry, ebay businesses, trucking, interior and exterior house painting, and pet sitting . Enterprising people are doing everything from starting a gift basket business to being a home-based travel agent or starting a used car business. For those with a background in fitness, there’s always the option of setting up and running a fitness boot camp. A few other random self employment ideas include being a professional organizer, freelance writer or freelance copywriter.

If none of those self-employed business ideas appeal to you, there are many more. I’ve created a long list of other possibilities (above) to help you identify good business startup ideas. I’ll be adding to it, periodically, so feel free to bookmark this Web page for future reference. To stay current with new ideas, you can also “follow” this blog to receive email notifications when new posts and topics are added.

Stay tuned for more small business ideas, resources, marketing strategies, and guides to starting and succeeding in your own business.


Thanks for checking out my latest small business tips and self employment ideas.

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

Business blogger, self employed freelance writer, affiliate marketer

Previous Business Ideas Blog Posts

  1. New blog post: 20 self-employment ideas for introverts
  2. Recent blog post: List of 50 Good Businesses to Start

Important: Starting a self-employedbusinesses of any kind involves an element of financial risk, so it’s always wise to consult a CPA, business insurance advisor, and a business attorney when setting up, expanding, or anticipating future needs for a new or existing business.

*Note: I am a compensated affiliate of the books, courses on starting your own business, Shopify e-commerce software, membership websites for self employed entrepreneurs, small business marketing tools, software, and other products and services featured on this blog. Unless otherwise noted, I do not personally endorse products featured in this blog.