Profitable Self Employment Ideas with a Minimum of Risk to You

Popular ideas for the self-employed entrepreneurs to consider

by Rod Dunne on May 4, 2011

in Biz Dev, Entrepreneurial

Would you love to work for yourself? To be your own boss and dictate how you run your own business?

There is a huge range of self employment ideas to suit just about any type of personality, skill level and whatever type of profitable business ideas you can think up.

The main obstacle to overcome with any types of self employed business ideas is the fear of the unknown. Hopefully I’ll show you here that there is nothing to fear.

Going self employed – The first big step

Have you spent your entire life working for the people? Working long hours just so that the owners can reap the benefits? So, what is stopping you from changing roles and starting up your own company? The simple answer is, fear!

Many people look at the variety of self employed business ideas below and fail to act upon it. Going self employed really just involves letting go of your fears, then looking into some of these professions or finding innovative business ideas which might give you the opportunity be your own boss.

Review the list then create a short list of professions you want to research further. Try looking into some of the more profitable modern franchises if you feel you need more guidance and clear steps for setting up the company.

Self employed ideas: Professions you might not have considered previously

The following new career ideas for self employment are broken down into three main categories: services, online opportunities and manual work. You’ll find that your temperament, your level of skill and attitudes towards getting some training will inform which type of self employment ideas are best suited to you.

Our article on buying a franchise goes into detail about becoming a franchise business owner in great detail, so is omitted from the list below.

Services: Self employment ideas where you offer much needed services to members of your community. A certain level of skill/training may be required for most.

You’ll notice that none of the following are particularly unique or quirky business ideas. They are traditional small-scale enterprises which just about anybody can get started in. What’s more, there is always demand for these skills and services.

  • Child care
  • Complementary therapies
  • Driving instructor
  • Home tuition
  • House minding
  • Leaflet distribution
  • Minicab driver
  • Party planning and selling
  • Personal trainer
  • Specialist catering
  • Interior designer
  • Yoga or pilates teacher

Online opportunities: Self employed ideas for businesses with a strong emphasis on an online presence.

  • Affiliate marketer
  • Coaching (via phone; advertised online; possible for most niches)
  • Online/web marketing consultancy
  • Desktop publishing
  • Image consultant
  • HR consultant/agent
  • Market research
  • Proofreading & editing
  • Selling e goods (i.e. ebooks or software) – be sure you understand the 9 key sales process steps
  • Translation work
  • Virtual PA
  • Web site designer

Manual work: Self employed business ideas which involve an extensive amount of manual work.

There are many careers that let you work with your hands and require only basic skill levels.

  • Dog walking /sitting
  • DIY & repairs
  • Gardening
  • Window cleaning

Now what are you waiting for?

You’ve read through the list of different self employment ideas above, right? Did any stand out? Here’s where you go next:

  1. Create a short list of two or three jobs, home-based business opportunities or ideas for self employment which you like the look of.
  2. Research online what is actually involved with these roles. Identify if training is required, how much it will cost and how long it will take.
  3. Contact employment agencies and find out how much demand there is for these types of roles in your community (there’s no point taking up one of these ideas for self employment if there’s no market for it near where you live).
  4. Still unsure? Then why not try contacting somebody who already works in the profession. Go through your contacts list (e.g. on Facebook or LinkedIn) to find someone who actually does this type of job currently. Contact her/him and ask for a phone conversation or quick discussion about what the role involves and how enjoyable it actually is. This could also give you some insight into whether or not you’re going to like going self employed, as well as pointers on how to improve sales performance, target niches, etc.

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Author Rod Dunne...

Blog owner and sole writer Rod DunneI am the owner and sole writer on This is my personal blog detailing troubleshooting tips for small businesses. Posts are based upon 2 decades in consultancy & innovation management within startups/maturing companies.

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