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, software, and other tools that can help increase your chances of success in small business:

  1. Article: 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. “What type of business should I start?” Get ideas here.
  4. Blog post: How to come up with a great business idea.
  5. Proposal Software enables you to accurately quote projects, multiply your profitability, brand yourself as a top professional, and close sales! With Proposal Kit*, it’s easy to demonstrate to prospective clients and customers that you are the right professional for the job. In addition to proposal templates and sample proposals, you can also purchase contract management software for information technology projects, internet services, graphic design jobs, photography gigs, media services, advertising, marketing proposals, human resources, consulting, and general contracting. For more details, check out the article “It’s All About Trust.” [adv]


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, webinars, and tutorials can compensate for a lack of qualifications and experience.

Freelance Writing Riches

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

Freelance Writing Riches

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.”

Frequently Asked Questions:

“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.

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Joel’s T-Shirt Emporium

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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


Attention Real Estate Agents…

Real estate sales letters (also known as “prospecting letters” and “farming letters”) can be an effective way to generate leads, increase your client list, introduce yourself to prospective clients, get referrals, and boost your name recognition.

If you’re a self-employed real estate agent — or are considering becoming one — you’ll find some helpful tips and marketing strategies, as well as pointers on writing a new real estate agent introduction letter, on my website “Marketing Survival Kit.”

Work-at-Home Learning Center:


This module will show you where to find writing jobs online and includes tips for landing the job and getting repeat clients and assignments.






Establish yourself as a full-fledged writing service and have clients come to you! This module shows you how to set yourself apart from the competition, price your writing services effectively, set up your website, and generate a steady stream of clients.




Once you get your freelance writing business rolling, it’s time to move from trading hours for dollars to creating passive streams of income. This module shows you how to find or rediscover your niche, grow your biggest passive income asset, and more.





Here’s where you take things to the next level! Persuasive writing is a skill that not every writer naturally possesses, but it’s critical, no matter what type of writing you’re doing. Whether you’re trying to engage your audience or sell products and services, persuasive writing plays a key role. This module teaches you how to develop those persuasive writing skills and establish authority within your niche.




There many opportunities to turn writing into a full-time career. This module includes 34 of those markets and gives you ideas on approaching them as a freelancer and as a service-based business. This information also includes ideas for earning apassive income.


Previous Business Ideas Blog Posts

  1. 20 self-employment ideas for introverts
  2. List of 50 Good Businesses to Start
  3. 50 Side Hustle Ideas for 2019
  4. Self Employed Jobs With No Qualifications

Important: Starting a self-employed 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.