250 Ideas For Self Employment

 

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

One of the biggest challenges that face many entrepreneurs is finding customers. You can be the most talented graphic designer, event planner, consultant, or handyman in town, but if you don’t have any customers, your skills and talents aren’t going to do you much good — at least not financially!

Since marketing is a subject I’ve been involved with for the past three decades, I’ll frequently be weaving it into my blog posts. Despite the fact that marketing campaigns can be and often are very costly (and not always productive), there are a number of relatively inexpensive ways to attract clients and promote your products and services.

Before I get into “part two” of this blog post, which is the actual self employment ideas, I want to offer some basic business marketing ideas, which will hopefully help you attract and retain customers and clients, without spending a bundle of money.

Advertising, sales, and marketing can be a bit of a rocky road if you’re not sure where to begin or how to go about it, but as the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

First Steps to Starting an Online Store

If you’ve been wanting to start an online store but don’t know where to begin, Shopify* can provide you with the tools and strategies to make it happen. In addition to being able to create your own ecommerce website, Shopify enables you sell your products on Amazon and social media channels, like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. More details on sales channels here.

What exactly is Shopify? It’s an integrated ecommerce platform for managing products, orders, customers, sales channels, and analytics. It can help you streamline, centralize, and effectively manage everything from marketing and customer payments to secure checkout and shipping.

If the idea of starting your own online store seems intimidating and too complicated, check out the ways Shopify can automate the process for you and make it infinitely easier and more efficient.

Find out how you can accept credit card payments online, fulfill orders in a single step, keep track of sales (and sales growth), keep track of your inventory, and create a customized business website and blog. Once you do that, you’re off and running!

Learn more about this ecommerce tool and start your 14-day free trial! *[adv]

Related articles, blog posts, free guides, business tools: 

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NOTE: If you want to skip the section on marketing for now and scroll directly down to the list of 250 self employment ideas, feel free to do so (I won’t be offended)!

Part One: Small Business Marketing Ideas

Marketing, which entails everything from advertising and public relations to blogging and SEO (search engine optimization), is one of the cornerstones of any successful business. The ability to generate leads, inquiries, referrals, and customers depends — to a large degree — on your willingness to create and implement a marketing plan for your business.

Marketing plans do not have to be lengthy or complicated to provide you with a practical and useful road map to customer acquisition, but should be well thought out, researched, flexible, and cost effective. A starting point to creating a small business marketing plan would be to do a “SWOT” analysis, which stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.” Two other components of a marketing plan would involve identifying your target market (demographics), listing as many feasible marketing tactics as you think of, and pinpointing your business’s USP, which is often referred to as a “Unique Selling Proposition,” “Unique Selling Points,” and/or “Unique Value Proposition (UVP).” Obviously, the operative word there is “unique.” To a large degree, marketing is all about two things:

  • Offering your customers unique advantages and benefits that they can’t get elsewhere
  • Being able to effectively communicate those unique advantages to as many targeted and “qualified” prospects as possible

In a nutshell, here is a handful of cost-effective and, in some cases, low-cost business marketing ideas that are worth considering.

  1. Handing out business cards, promotional flyers, brochures, inexpensive advertising specialties, door hangers, post card mailers, and coupons (if appropriate).
  2. Sending out newsworthy press releases to local media outlets and websites. Press releases can often result in a free publicity in the form of a feature article, event listing, or business profile in your local newspaper, regional magazine, websites, podcasts, and broadcast stations.Visibility in the media helps boost your credibility and recognition factor.
  3. Building up an Internet following, either through blogging, developing a social media presence, or signing up people on your website via an autoresponder to subscribe to your monthly newsletter, special offers, or special announcements.
  4. Face-to-face networking can also be an extremely valuable way to connect with prospective clients and develop mutually beneficial relationships with other entrepreneurs, organizations, influencers, and mentors. It’s old-fashioned, but it’s not going to go out of style anytime in the foreseeable future.
  5. Written business proposals: I’m a big proponent of professional business proposals for two reasons: First of all, back in the 1990s, I worked as a proposal writer for a major IT company for five years, so I can appreciate the pivotal role that a well-written business proposal plays in the competitive bidding process. Secondly, I’m an affiliate of a company that sells proposal-writing software, business proposal samples, and frequently used service contract templates. For more information on how and why written business proposals are important and can help you land more clients and customers, check out the article “It’s All About Trust.”*

“What Business Should I Start?”

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

The following list consists mostly of service business ideas, but also includes product-based self employment ideas, as well. Your decision of what business to start depends on a lot of variables, such as your professional skills, experience, talents, personal contacts, existing reputation, market conditions, financial resources, tolerance for risk, salesmanship abilities, people skills, and work ethic.

Part Two: List of Self Employment Ideas

Some of the more popular business ideas that people are pursuing or thinking about starting  include the following options (click on the links* for more information):

  1. Cleaning business: house cleaning, housekeeping, office cleaning, janitorial)
  2. Photography business
  3. Catering business
  4. Consulting business
  5. Landscaping business
  6. Lawn care business (lawn mowing, etc.)
  7. Dog walking business
  8. Online business (Create your own ecommerce website with Shopify*)
  9. Real estate business
  10. Academic tutoring services [Free marketing tips], music lessons
  11. Foreign language translation services
  12. Construction business/contracting
  13. Jewelry sales/jewelry making business [Turn your hobby into a business]
  14. Vending machine business
  15. Cupcake business
  16. Painting business (house painting)
  17. Retail sales
  18. Food businesses, such as restaurants, food trucks, cafes, hot dog carts
  19. Recycling business
  20. Clothing business: How and why to start your own clothing line
  21. Transportation
  22. Carpet cleaning
  23. Trucking
  24. Party planning business
  25. Pet sitting business
  26. Home health care business
  27. Courier business
  28. Bookkeeping services
  29. Daycare/childcare services [Daycare management software]
  30. Wedding planning
  31. Computer repair
  32. IT consulting
  33. Web design and/or graphic design business
  34. Handyman business
  35. Greeting card business
  36. Craft business
  37. Pressure washing
  38. Baking, bakery or cake business
  39. Repo business
  40. Credit repair business
  41. Fashion business [How to get your business up and running]
  42. Limo business (limousine service)
  43. Marketing/advertising agency
  44. Social media marketing services
  45. Pizza shop
  46. Gym/fitness business
  47. Shoe business
  48. Bar business
  49. Pool hall business [Proven business plan]
  50. Wholesale business
  51. eBay business
  52. Pest control business
  53. Bail bonds business
  54. Medical transportation [Get more details]
  55. Tax preparation
  56. Cell phone business
  57. Gift basket business… Helpful videos, templates, supplier lists
  58. Cookie business
  59. Manufacturing
  60. Laundry business
  61. Delivery service
  62. Car rental business
  63. Car detailing
  64. DJ business
  65. Scrap metal business
  66. Junk removal business
  67. Concierge services
  68. Boutique business
  69. Party rental
  70. Dog boarding/kennel
  71. Swimming pool cleaning and maintenance
  72. Plumbing services
  73. Magazine publishing
  74. Medical supply business
  75. Medical billing business [Download medical coding study guide]
  76. Lingerie business
  77. Life coaching
  78. Career counseling
  79. Background check business
  80. Agriculture: farming, ranching, raising poultry, aquaculture, growing crops,  growing organic mushrooms
  81. Greenhouse business
  82. Coffee shop and/or coffee roasting business
  83. Check cashing service
  84. Hotel business
  85. Hot dog cart business [Here’s how to get started]
  86. Printing business
  87. Candle sales/candle making
  88. Travel agency
  89. Storage business (storage unit rental/self storage)
  90. Event planning
  91. Mail order business
  92. Dropship business [Tools and tips for getting started cheaply]*
  93. Security services or consulting (residential, commercial, personal security, etc)
  94. Dog training
  95. Dog grooming
  96. Laundromat business (coin laundry business)
  97. Senior care business
  98. Real estate investment business
  99. Property management business
  100. Fast food business
  101. Furniture business
  102. Massage business/massage therapy
  103. Fundraising business
  104. Resale business [Tips on selling thrift store purchases]*
  105. Sewing business [Learn how to turn your hobby into a business. Details.]
  106. Consignment business
  107. Spa business
  108. Web hosting business
  109. Home staging business
  110. Home party business
  111. Locksmith business
  112. Website design
  113. Import export business
  114. Bottled water business
  115. Hair salon
  116. Call center
  117. Dump truck business
  118. House flipping
  119. Grocery delivery
  120. Ice cream business
  121. HVAC business
  122. Lead generation business
  123. Window washing
  124. Dog kennel
  125. Non medical home care business
  126. Stationery business
  127. Soap making business
  128. Paintball business
  129. Rental car business
  130. Coaching business
  131. Chocolate business
  132. Popcorn business
  133. Smoothie business
  134. Matchmaking business
  135. Flea market business
  136. BBQ business (barbecue food catering)
  137. eCommerce business [Create an online store with Shopify*]
  138. Franchise business
  139. Moving business
  140. Freight brokerage business
  141. Logging business
  142. Remodeling business
  143. Personal chef business
  144. Bed and breakfast
  145. Beauty supply business
  146. Nursing home business
  147. Nail salon
  148. Hauling business
  149. Handbag business
  150. Hair bow business
  151. Gas station
  152. Video game business
  153. Frozen food business
  154. Financial planning business
  155. Horse boarding
  156. Telemarketing
  157. Laser tag business
  158. Floral business (flower shop)
  159. Clothing business online
  160. Multi level marketing/network marketing business
  161. Referral business
  162. Decorating business
  163. Nursery business
  164. Concrete business
  165. Car wash and/or hand card wash business
  166. Staffing/recruiting business
  167. Perfume business and/or cosmetic business
  168. Powder coating business
  169. Go kart business
  170. Sign business
  171. Interior design business
  172. Bowling alley
  173. Rain gutter cleaning business
  174. PC repair business
  175. Computer consulting
  176. Beverage business
  177. Car audio business
  178. Insurance agency
  179. Tanning salon
  180. Professional organizing service [The Ultimate Guide For Professional Organizers!]
  181. Catalog business
  182. Pet store
  183. Group home business
  184. Paralegal business
  185. Dollar store
  186. Nanny business
  187. Dry cleaning
  188. Mystery shopping business
  189. Gardening business
  190. Export business
  191. Senior home care business
  192. Mobile oil change business
  193. Fashion design business [Helpful ideas for getting started]*
  194. Home healthcare business
  195. Liquor store
  196. Balloon business
  197. Horse business
  198. Voip business
  199. direct sales
  200. Non-Emergency Medical Transportation
  201. T-shirt business [Free Course: How to Build an Online T-Shirt Store*]
  202. Wedding chapel business
  203. Retail clothing business
  204. Silk screen business
  205. Sporting goods business
  206. Security consulting
  207. Day spa business
  208. Feed store business
  209. Fishing business
  210. Home inventory business
  211. Honey business
  212. Hunting business
  213. Coffee cart business
  214. Boat charter business
  215. Bookstore business
  216. Beauty salon business
  217. Taxi cab business
  218. Cabinet making business
  219. Car transport business
  220. Chair massage business
  221. Knife sharpening business
  222. Psychic business
  223. Pet cremation business
  224. Pottery business [Sell your artwork]
  225. Pet boarding business
  226. Pet photography business
  227. Motorcycle business
  228. Mobile dog grooming business
  229. Personal fitness training
  230. Dog bakery — detailed step-by-step business system
  231. Recruitment business
  232. Animal rescue business
  233. Answering service
  234. Barber shop
  235. BPO business
  236. Business card printing
  237. Pet shop
  238. Mailing service
  239. Loan broker
  240. Skateboard business
  241. Gift shop
  242. Newspaper publishing
  243. Stained glass business
  244. Woodworking
  245. Freelance writing/editing/proofreading/blogging
  246. Electronic dog fence installation
  247. Shoe repair
  248. Appliance repair
  249. Window tinting
  250. Foreclosure cleanups
  251. Dumpster rentals
  252. Concert promoter
  253. Talent agent
  254. Self publishing Kindle ebooks [Video training course available]

While this list of self employment ideas is far from all inclusive, I think 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 or email me at prowriter30years@yahoo.com

Stay tuned to this blog for more ideas, resources, marketing strategies, and guides to starting your own business.

More Small Business Ideas

WANT TO HELP OTHERS GET ORGANIZED… and make money doing it?

If you have a knack for helping people get organized, and you’d like to start your own low-cost, home-based business, why not become a professional organizer? It’s a fun business you can run on your own time, and it can be very profitable!

This detailed startup guide will help you get your business off the ground, promote it on a shoe-string budget, apply the best techniques for building up your sales, increase your business referrals, and much more. Visit this website for more details.* [adv]

Proposal Software for Creating Winning Business Proposals:

Accurately quote your projects, create winning proposals, negotiate your contracts, multiply your profitability, brand yourself as a top professional and close the sale. Proposal Kit helps you demonstrate that you are the right professional for your customers. It’s the mission-critical tool for how to write a proposal on a moments notice. Proven for two decades to be fast, easy, customizable and accurate.

Order and download Proposal Kit business proposal software here.*

 

e-Books on Starting a Business

BTW… If you’d like to download  step-by-step guides to starting a business, I’ve posted links to several small business startup guides* at my website Marketing Survival Kit. Startup guides are available for the following small businesses:  import/export car business, roofing, roof cleaning, flea market business, kettle corn business, cupcake business, fruit bouquets, candy bouquets, event planning, party rental services, record label business plan, t-shirt business, freight broker business,  professional organizing, Kindle book publishing,  transcription business, computer repair business, farming, aquaculture, and ranching. These and other ebooks on starting a business are available through my website*. More startup guides will be added in coming weeks.

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

Best of luck in all your entrepreneurial pursuits!

–Joel
Business blogger, freelance writer, affiliate marketer
Feel free to post a comment on this blog or email me if you have any questions.

Update: I’ve recently begun devoting more attention to the topics of personal development, human potential, and motivation in a new blog (about life) called Mastering Life Takes Time!

Question: Are you interested in starting your own affiliate marketing businesses? It’s no get-rich-quick scheme, but it’s an opportunity to start your own potentially profitable Internet business. To learn more, read the inspiring success story of Rosalind Gardner.* It’s a great business model most people are unfamiliar with. (I’ve been doing it for 16 years.)

*Disclaimer: I am a compensated affiliate of some of the websites, marketing software, digital products, ecommerce software, templates, books on starting your own business, marketing services, courses, tutorials, and informational products features in this blog. With a couple possible exceptions, I am currently not endorsing specific products or services at this time. Contact me if you have any questions.

Important: Starting a businesses 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

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